Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

* But let untender thoughts afar be driven ; When all were great and free! man's sole employ Nor venture to arraign the dread decree.

To deck the bosom of his parent earth; For know, to man, as candidate for Heaven, Or toward his bower the murmuring stream decoy, The voice of the Eternal said, Be free:

To aid the flow'ret's long-expected birth, And this divine prerogative to thee

And lull the bed of peace, and crown the board of Does virtue, happiness, and Heaven convey ;

mirth. For virtue is the child of liberty, And happiness of virtue ; nor can they

"Sweet were your shades, 0 ye primeval groves ! Be free to keep the path, who are not free to stray. Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent,

Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves, Yet leave me not. I would allay that grief, His eye still smiling, and his heart content. Which else might thy young virtue overpower, Then, hand in hand, health, sport, and labor went. And in thy converse I shall find relief,

Nature supplied the wish she taught to crave. When the dark shades of melancholy lower ; None prowld for prey, none watch'd to circumvent. For solitude has many a dreary hour,

To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave : Even when exempt from grief, remorse, and pain : No vassal fear'd his lord, no tyrant fear'd his slave. Come often then; for, haply, in my bower, Amusement, knowledge, wisdom thou may'st gain : " But ah! th' historic Muse has never dar'd If I one soul improve, I have not liv'd in vain." To pierce those hallow'd bowers: 'lis Fancy's beam

Pour'd on the vision of the enraptur'd bard, And now, at length, to Edwin's ardent gaze That paints the charms of that delicious theme. The Muse of history unrolls her page.

Then hail sweet Fancy's ray! and hail the dream But few, alas! the scenes her art displays, That weans the weary soul from guilt and woe! To charm his fancy, or his heart engage.

Careless what others of my choice may deem, Here chiefs their thirst of power in blood assuage, I long, where Love and Fancy lead, 10 go And straight their fames with tensold fierceness burn: And meditate on Heaven, enough of Earth I know.” Here smiling Virtue prompts the patriot's rage, But lo, ere-long, is left alone to mourn,

“ I cannot blame thy choice,” the sage replied, And languish in the dust, and clasp th' abandona “For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. urn!

And yet, even there, if left without a guide,

The young adventurer unsafely plays.
“Ambition's slippery verge shall mortals trend, Eyes dazzled long by fiction's gaudy rays
Where ruin's gulf unfathom'd yawns beneath! In modest truth no light nor beauty find.
Shall life, shall liberty, be lost," he said,

And who, my child, would trust the meteor-blaze,
" For the vain toys that pomp and power bequeath! That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer blind,
The car of victory, the plume, the wreath, More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had
Defend not from the bolt of fate the brave:

shin'd? No note the clarion of renown can breathe, T' alarm the long night of the lonely grave, “Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart, Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight:

To joy each heightening charm it can impart,

But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night.
“Ah, what avails it to have trac'd the springs And often, where no real ills affright,
That whirl of empire the stupendous wheel ! Its visionary fiends, an endless train,
Ah, what have I to do with conquering kings,

Assail with equal or superior might, Hands drench'd in blood, and breasts begirt with And through the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, steel !

And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than To those, whom Nature taught to think and feel,

mortal pain. Heroes, alas ! are things of small concern; Could History man's secret heart reveal,

“And yet, alas ! the real ills of life And what imports a heaven-born mind to learn, Claim the full vigor of a mind prepard, Her transcripts to explore what bosom would not Prepar’d for patient, long, laborious strife, yearn!

Its guide experience, and truth its guard.

We fare on Earth as other men have far'd. This praise, O Cheronean sage,* is thine!

Were they successful ? Let not us despair. (Why should this praise to thee alone belong ?) Was disappointment oft their sole reward ? All else from Nature's moral path decline,

Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare Lur'd by the toys that captivate the throng; How they have borne the load ourselves are doom'd To herd in cabinets and camps, among

to bear. Spoil, carnage, and the cruel pomp of pride ; Or chant of heraldry the drowsy song,

What charms th' historic Muse adorn, from spoils, How tyrant blood, o'er many a region wide, And blood, and tyrants, when she wings her flight, Rolls to a thousand thrones its execrable tide. To hail the patriot prince, whose pious toils,

Sacred to science, liberty, and right, “O who of man the story will unfold,

And peace, through every age divinely bright, Ere victory and empire wrought annoy,

Shall shine the boast and wonder of mankind ! In that elysian age (misnam'd of gold)

Sees yonder Sun, from his meridian height, The age of love, and innocence and joy,

A lovelier scene, than virtue thus enshrin'd

In power, and man with man for mutual aid com* Plutarch.

bin'd?

wave.

" Hail, sacred Polity. by Freedom reard !

'Twas from Philosophy man learn d to tame Hail, sacred Freedoin, when by law restrain'd! The soil by plenty to intemperance fed. Without you, what were man? A grovelling herd Lo, from the echoing ax, and thundering flame, In darkness, wretchedness, and nt, enchain'd. Poison and plague and yelling rage are fled ! Sublim'd by you, the Greek and Roman reign'd The waters, bursting from their slimy bed, In arts unrival'd: 0, to latest days,

Bring health and melody to every vale : In Albion may your influence, unprofan'd,

And, from the breezy main, and mountain's head, To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale, And prompt the sage's lore, and fire the poet's lays! To fan their glowing charms, invite the fluttering gale

But now let other themes our care engage.

“ What dire necessities on every

hand For lo, with modest yet rnajestic grace,

Our art, our strength, our fortitude, require! To curb Imagination's lawless rage,

Or foes intestine what a numerous band And from within the cherish'd heart to brace, Against this litle throb of life conspire ! Philosophy appears! The gloomy race

Yet Science can elude their fatal ire By indolence and moping Fancy bred,

Awhile, and turn aside Death's level'd dart, Fear, Discontent, Solicitude, give place,

Soothe the sharp pang, allay the fever's fire, And Hope and Courage brighten in their stead, And brace the nerves once more, and cheer the heart While on the kindling soul her vital beams are shed. And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impart.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Then waken from long lethargy to life

Nor less to regulate man's moral frame The seeds of happiness, and powers of thought; Science exerts her all-composing sway, Then jarring appetites forego their strise,

Flutters thy breast with fear, or pants for fame, A strise by ignorance to madness wrought. Or pines, to indolence and spleen a prey, Pleasure by savage man is dearly bought

Or avarice, a fiend more fierce than they? With fell revenge, lust that defies control,

Flee to the shade of Academus' grove: With gluttony and death. The mind untanght Where cares molest not, discord melts away Is a dark waste, where fiends and tempests howl; In harmony, and the pure passions prove As Phæbus to the world, is science to the soul. How sweet the words of Truth, breath'd from the

lips of Love. And Reason now through number, time and space, Darts the keen lustre of her serious eye,

What cannot Art and Industry perform,
And learns, from facts compar'd, the laws to trace, When Science plans the progress of their toil!
Whose long progression leads to Deity.

They smile at penury, disease, and storm ;
Can mortal strength presume to soar so high ? And oceans from their mighty mounds recoil,
Can mortal sight, so oft bedimm'd with tears, When tyrants scourge, or demagogues embroil
Such glory bear?--for lo! the shadows fly A land, or when the rabble's headlong rage
From Nature's face; confusion disappears, Order transforms to anarchy and spoil,
And order charms the eye, and harmony the ears! Deep-vers'd in man the philosophic sage

Prepares with lenient hand their frenzy to assuage
• In the deep windings of the grove, no more
The hag obscene, and grisly phantom, dwell ; 'Tis he alone, whose comprehensive mind,
Nor in the fall of mountain-stream, or roar From situation, temper, soil and clime
Of winds, is heard the angry spirit's yell; Explord, a nation's various powers can bind,
No wizard mutters the tremendous spell,

And various orders, in one form sublime
Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon ;

of policy, that, 'ınidst the wrecks of time,
Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell, Secure shall lift his head on high, nor fear
To ease of fancied pangs the laboring Moon, Th' assault of foreign or domestic crime,
Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of noon. While public faith, and public love sincere,

And industry and law maintain their sway severe."
Many a long-lingering year, in lonely isle,
Stunnd with th' eternal turbulence of waves, Enraptur'd by the hermit's strain, the youth
Lo, with dim eyes, that never learn'd to smile, Proceeds the path of Science to explore.
And trembling hands, the famish'd native craves And now, expanded to the beams of truth,
Of Heaven his wretched fare ; shivering in caves, New energies and charms unknown before,
Or scorch'd on rocks, he pines from day to day ; His mind discloses : Fancy now no more
But Science gives the word ; and lo, he braves Wantons on fickle pinion through the skies;
The surge and tempest, lighted by her ray,

But, fix'd in aim, and conscious of her power, And to a happier land wafis merrily away! Aloft from cause to cause exults to rise,

Creation's blended stores arranging as she Nies. "And even where Nature loads the teeming plain With the full pomp of vegetable store,

Nor love of novelty alone inspires, Her bounty, unimprov'd, is deadly bane ;

Their laws and nice dependencies to scan; Dark woods and rankling wilds, from shore to shore, For, mindful of the aids that life requires, Stretch their enormous gloom ; which to explore And of the services man owes to man, Even Fancy trembles, in her sprightliest mood; He meditates new arts on Nature's plan; For there, each eyeball gleams with lust of gore, The cold desponding breast of sloth to warm, Nestles each murderous and each monstrous brood, The Name of industry and genius fan, Plague lurks in every shade, and steams from every And emulation's noble rage alarm, flood.

And the long hours of toil and solitude to charm

But she, who set on fire his infart heart,

And how his lyre, though rude her first essays, And all his dreams, and all his wanderings, shar'd Now skill'd to soothe, to triumph, to complain, And bless'd, the Muse, and her celestial art, Warbling at will through each harmonious maze, Still claim'd the enthusiast's fond and first regard. Was taught to modulate the artful strain, From Nature's beauties variously compar'd I sain would sing :-but ah! I strive in vain. And variously combin'd, he learns to frame Sighs from a breaking heart my voice confound, Those forms of bright perfection, which the bard, With trembling step, to join yon weeping train, While boundless hopes and boundless views inflame, I haste, where gleams sunereal glare around, Enamour'd, consecrates to never-dying fame. And mix'd with shrieks of woe, the knells of death

resound. of late, with cumbersome, though pompous show, Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface, Adieu, ye lays, that Fancy's flowers adorn, Through ardor to adorn ; but Nature now

The sost amusement of the vacant mind! To his experienc'd eye a modest grace

He sleeps in dust, and all the Muses mourn, Presents, where ornament the second place He, whom each virtue fir'd, each grace refin'd, Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design

Friend, tea, pattern, darling of mankind ! Subservient still. Simplicity apace

He sleeps in ist. Ah! how shall I pursue Tempers his rage : he owns her charm divine, My theme! heart-consuming grief resign'd, And clears th' ambiguous phrase, and lops th' un- Here on his recent grave I fix my view, wieldy line.

And pour my bitter tears. Ye flowery lays, adieu'

Fain would I sing (much yet unsung remains) Art thou, my GREGORÝ, for ever fled !
What sweet delirium o'er his bosom stole,

And am I left to unavailing woe!
When the great shepherd of the Mantuan plain When fortune's storms assail this weary head,
His deep majestic melody 'gan roll :

Where cares long since have shed untimely snow! Fain would I sing what transport storm'd his soul, Ah, now for comfort whither shall I go! How the red current throbb'd his veins along, No more thy soothing voice my anguish cheers. When, like Pelides, bold beyond control,

Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow, Without art graceful, without effort strong, My hopes to cherish, and allay my fears. Homer rais'd high to Heaven the loud, the impetu- 'Tis meet that I should mourn: Aow forth afresh

ous song.

my tears

S

her

du

« AnteriorContinuar »