« AnteriorContinuar »
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb, no trophies raise,
Where through the long drawn disle and fretted vault,
The peeling anthem *) swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion cail the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ectasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village - Hampden **), that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes copin'd:
“) Anthems d. 1. Antehymns, eine Art Motetten, welche von der Orgel begleitet werden. Der Karakter der Anthems ist feierlich und ernst. **).S. S. 351.
to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shrut the gates of mercy on mankind.
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who to 'dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say:
Oft bave we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
„There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
,, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
„His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
„ And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, „Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill, , Along the heath and near his favourite gree; „Another came; nor yet beside the rill, „Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; „The next with dirges due in sad array „Slow through the church - way path we saw him born, „ Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, „Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
TH® EPITAPH. .
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youh to fortune and to fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to inisery all he had, a tear;
He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
('There they alike in trembling bope repose,)
The bosom of his father and his God.
ON A DISTANT PROSPBCT O: ETON COLLEGB. "Ανθρωπος έκανη πρόφασις εις το δυσυχεϊν. .
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's ") holy shade;
that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse
) King Henry the Sixih, founder of the College.
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way.
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss bestow;
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure' trace,
Who foremost now delight to cleave,
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthrall ?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball *) ?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:,
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatcb a fearful joy,
*) Der Dichter meint das Spiel, das von den Englischen Schulknaben zů Eton auf ihren Spielplätzen (play-fields) cricket
Die Bälle, die man dazu nimmt, sind sehr kleia und hart, und werden mit hölzernen Keulen (bars), welche im ten breit und schwer sind, getrieben. Küttner,
Gay hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing, when possest:
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast :
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue;
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy nigbt,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of inorn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims' play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around them wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah! show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murderous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men!
These sball the fury passions tear,
The vulturs of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And shame that skulks behind;.
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart;
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim - visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise;
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stirgs of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defild,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amidst severest woe.