Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Trade wields the sword, and Agriculture leaves Like gold, to take anew Truth's heavenly stamp,
Her half-turn'd furrow : other harvests fire And (rising both in lustre and in weight)
A nobler avarice, avarice of renown!

With her bless'd Master's unmaim'd image shine; And laurels are the growth of every field.

Why should she longer droop? why longer act In distant courts is our commotion felt;

As an accomplice with the plots of Rome? And less like gods sit monarchs on their thrones. Why longer lend an edge to Bourbon's sword, What arm can want or sinews or success,

And give him leave, among his dastard troops, Which, lifted from an honest heart, descends, To muster that strong succour, Albion's crimes ? With all the weight of British wrath, to cleave Send his self-impotent ambition aid, The papal mitre, or the Gallic chain,

And crown the conquest of her fiercest foes? At every stroke, and save a sinking land ?

Where are her foes most fatal? Blushing Truth, Or death or victory must be resolv'd;:

“ In her friends' vices,"—with a sigh replies. To dream of mercy, O how tame! how mad! Empire on Virtue's rock unshaken stands ; Where, o'er black deeds the crucifix display'd, Flux as the billows, when in vice dissolv'd. Fools think Heaven purchas'd by the blood they If Heaven reclaims us by the scourge of war, By giving, not supporting, pains and death! (shed; what thanks are due to Paris and Madrid ? Nor simple death where they the greatest saints Would they a revolution ?--Aid their aim, Who most subdue all tenderness of heart;

But be the revolution in our hearts ! Students in torture! where, in zeal to him,

Wouldst thou (whose hand is at the helm) the Whose darling title is the Prince of Peace,

The shaken bark of Britain, should out-ride (bark, The best turn ruthless butchers for our sakes; The present blast, and every future storm? To save us in a world they recommend,

Give it that balast which alone has weight
And yet forbear, themselves with Earth content; With Him whom wind, and waves, and war, obey,
What modesty !_such virtues Rome adoru! Persist. Are others subtle? Thou be wise :
And chiefly those who Rome's first honours wear, Above the Florentine's court-science raise;
Whose name from Jesus, and whose hearts from Stand forth a patriot of the moral world ;
Hell!

The pattern, and the patron, of the just :
And shall a pope-bred princeling crawl ashore, Thus strengthen Britain's military strength;
Replete with venoun, guiltless of a sting, (scrap'd Give its own terrour to the sword she draws.
And whistle cut-throats, with those swords that

Ask

you, “What mean I?"-The most obvious Their barren rocks for wretched sustenance,

Armies and fleets alone ne'er won the day. [truth; To cut his passage to the British throne?

When our proud arms are once disarm’d, disarm'd One that has suck'd-in malice with his milk, Of aid from Him by whom the mighty fall; Malice, to Britain, Liberty, and Truth?

Of aid from Him by whom the fecble stand; Less savage was his brother-robber's nurse, Who takes away the keenest edge of battle, The howling nurse of plundering Romulus,

Or gives the sword commission to destroy; Ere yet far worse than Pagan harbour'd there. Who blasts, or bids the martial laurel bloom

Hail to the brave! be Britain Britain still: Emasculated, then, most manly might; Britain ! high favour'd of indulgent Heaven ! Or, though the might remains, it nought avails : Nature's anointed empress of the deep !

Then wither'd weakness foils the sinewy arm The nurse of merchants, who can purchase crowns ! Of man's meridian and high-hearted power: Supreme in commerce! that exuberant source Our naral thunders, and our tented fields Of wealth, the nerve of war; of wealth, the blood, With travel'd banners fanning southern climes, The circling current in a nation's veins,

What do they? This; and more what can they do? To set high bloom on the fair face of peace! When heap'd the measure of a kingdom's crimes, This once so celebrated seat of power,

The prince most dauntless, the first plume of war, From which escap'd the mighty Cæsar triumph'd ! By such bold inroads into foreign lands, Of Gallic lilies this eternal blast!

Such elongation of our armaments, This terrour of armadas! this true bolt

But stretches out the guilty nation's neck, Ethereal-teinperd, to repress the vain

While Heaven commands her executioner, Salmonean thunders from the papal chair!

Some less abandon's nation, to discharge This small isle wide-realm’d monarchs eye with awe! Her fuli-ripe vengeance in a final blow, Which says to their ambition's foaming waves, And tell the world, “Not strong is human strength; “ Thus far, nor farther!”—Let her hold, in life, And that the proudest empire holds of Heaven." Nought dear disjoin’d from freedom and renown; O Britain ! often rescued, often crown'd, Renown, our ancestors' great legacy,

Beyond thy merit and most sauguine hopes, To be transmitted to their latest sons.

With all that's great in war, or sweet in peace! By thoughts inglorious, and un-British deeds, Know from what source thy signal blessings flow, Their cancel'd will is impiously profan'd,

Though bless'd with spirits ardent in the field, Inhumanly disturb'd their sacrcd dust.

Though cover'd various oceans with thy fleets, Their sacred dust with recent laurels crown, Though fenc'd with rocks; and moated by the nain, By your own valuur won.

This sacred isle,

Thy trust repose in a far stronger guard ; Cut froin the continent, that world of slaves; In Him, who thee, though naked, conld defend ; This temple built by Heaven's peculiar care, Tho'weak, could strengthen; ruin'd, could restore. In a recess from the contagious world,

How oft, to tell what arın defends thine isle, With ocean pour'd around it for its gnard,

To guard her welfare, and yet check ber pride, And dedicated, long, to liberty,

Have the winds snatch'd the victory from war? That health, that strength, that bloom, of civil life! | Or, rather, won the day, when war despair'd ? This temple of still more divine; of faith

How oft has providential succonr aw'd, Sifted from errours, purify'd by flames,

Aw'd while it bless'd us, conscious of our guilt ; VOL. XIII.

te

[ocr errors]

Struck dead all confidence in human aid,

And changing for spruce plaid his dirty shroud, And, while we triumph'd, made us tremble too ! With succour suitable from lower still)

Well may we tremble now; what manners reign? | A foe who, these concurring to the charm, But wherefore ask we, when a true reply

Excites those storms that shall o'erturn the state, Would shock too much? Kind Heaven ! avert events Rend up her antient honours by the root, Whose fatal nature might reply too plain! And lay the boast of ages, the rever'd. Heaven's half-bard arm of vengeance has been Of nations, the dear-bought with sumless wealth In northern skies, and pointed to the south. [wav'd Aud blood illustrious, (spite of her La fIogues, Vengeance delay'd but gathers and ferments; Her Cresseys, and her Blenheims) in the dust. More formidably blackens in the wind;

How must this strike a horrour through the breast, Brews deeper draughts of unrelenting wrath, Through every generous breast where honour reigns, And higher charges the suspended storm.

Through every breast where honour claims a share! “ That public vice portends a public fall”- Yes, and through every breast of honour void ! Is this conjecture of adventurous thought! This thought might animate the dregs of men ; Or pious coward's pulpit-cushion'd dream; Ferment them into spirit; give them fire Far from it. This is certain; this is fate.

To fight the cause, the black opprobrious cause, What says Experience, in her awful chair Foul core of all !--corruption at our hearts. Of ages, her authentic annals spread

What wreck of empire has the stream of time Around her? What says Reason eagle-eyed ? Swept, with her vices, from the mountain height Nay, what says Common Sense, with common care of grandeur, deified by half mankind, Weighing events, and causes, in her scale ? To dark Oblivion's melancholy lake, All give one verdict, one decision sign ;

Or flagrant Infamy's eternal brand ! And this the sentence Delphos could not mend : Those names, at which surrounding nations shook, “ Whaterer secondary props may rise

Those names ador'd, a nuisance ! or forgot ! From politics, to build the public peace,

Nor this the caprice of a doubtful die, The basis is the manners of the land.

But Nature's course; no single chance against it. When rotten these; the politician's wiles

For know, my lord ! 't is writ in adamant, But struggle with destruction, as a child

'Tis fixt, as is the basis of the world, With giants huge, or giants with a Jove.

Whose kingdoms stand or fall by the decree. The statesman's arts to conjure up a peace, What saw these eyes, surpris'u “Yet why surOr military phantoms void of force,

pris'dBut scare away the vultures for an hour;

For aid divine the crisis seem'd to call, The scent cadaverous (for, oh ! how rank

And how divine was the monition given! The stench of profligates !) soon lures them back As late I walk'd the night in troubled thought, On the proud flatter of a Gallic wing

My peace disturb'd by rumours from the North, Soon they return; soon make their full descent; While thunder o'er my head, porpentous, rollid, Soon glut their rage, and riot in our ruin;

As giving signal of some strange event, Their idols grac'd and gorgeous with our spoils, And ocean groan'd beneath for her he lov'd, Of universal empire sure presage !

Albion the fair! so long his empire's queen, Till now repell’d by seas of British blood."

Whose reign is, now, contested by her foes, And whence the manners of the multitude ? On her white clitts (á tablet broad and bright, The colours of their manners, black or fair,

Strongly reflecting the pale lunar ray) Falls from above; from the complexion falls By Fate's own iron pen I saw it writ, Of state Othellos, or white men in power :

And thus the title ran :
And fruin the greater height example falls,

TIIE STATESMAN'S CREED.
Greater the weight, and deeper its impress
In ranks inferior, passive to the stroke :

" Ye states ! and empires! nor of empires least, From the court-mint, of hearts the current coin, Though least in size, hear, Britain! thou whose lot, The pupil presses, but the pattern drives.

Whose final lot, is in the balance laid, What bonds then, bonds how manifold, and strong Irresolutely play the doubtful scales, [me, To duty, double duty, are the great!

Nor know'st thou which will win.--Know then from And are there Samsons that can burst then all? As govern'd well or ill, states sink or rise : Yes; and great minds that stand in need of none, State-ministers, as upright or corrupt, Whose pulse beats virtnes, and whose generous Are balm or poison in a nation's veins ! Aids mental motives to push on renown, [blood Health or distemper, basten or retard In emulation of their glorious sires,

The period of her pride, her day of doom: From whom rolls down the consecrated stream. And though, for reasons obvious to the wise,

Some sow good seeds in the glad people's hearts, Just Providence deals otherwise with men, Some cursed tares, like Satan in the text:

Yet believe, Britons ! nur too late believe, This makes a foe inost fatal to the state;

'Tis fix'd ! by Fate irrevocably fix'd ! A foe who (like a wizard in his cell)

Virtnie and vice are empire's life and death." In his dark cabinet of crooked schemes,

Thus it is written-Heard you not a groan? Re embling Cuma's gloomy grot, the forge

Is Britain on her death-bed?--No, that groan O casted oracles, and real lies,

Was utter'd by her foes--But soon the scale, (Aided, perhaps, by second-sighted Scots,

If this divine monition is despis'd, French Magi, relies riding post from Rome, May turn against us. Read it, ye who rule ! A Gothic hero ' rising from the dead,

With rererence read; with steadfastness believe;

With courage act as such belief inspires; 1 The inrades affects the character of Charles Then shall your glory stand like Fate's decree; XII. of Sweden.

Then shall your name in adamant be writ,

1

In records that defy the tooth of Time,

For deviations in our moral line ?
By nations sav'd, resounding your applause. This, and the next worlu, view'd with such an eye

While deep beyond your monument's proud base, As suits a statesman, such as keeps in view
In black Oblivion's kennel, shall be trod

His own exalted science, both conspire
Their execrable names, who, high in power, To recommend and fix us in the right,
And deep in guilt, most ominously shine,

If we reward the politics of Heaven, (The meteors of the state !) give Vice her head, The grand administration of the whole, To License lewd let loose the public rein ; What's the next world ? A supplement of this: Quench every spark of conscience in the land, Without it, justice is defective here; And triumph in the profligate's applause : Just as to states, defective as to men: Or who to the first bidder sell their souls,

If so, what is this world ? as sure as Right Their country sell, sell all their fathers bought Sits in Hearen's throne, a prophet of the next. With funds exhausted and exhausted veins, Prize you the prophet ? then believe him too: To demons, by his Holiness ordain'd

His prophecy more precious than his smile. To propagate the gospel--pennd at Rome; How comes it then to pass, with most on Earth, Hawk'd through the world by consecrated bulls ; That this should charm us, that should discompose? And how illustrated ?-by Smithfield flames : Long as the statesman finds this case his own, Who plunge (but not like Curtius) down the gulf, So long his politics are uncomplete ; Down narrow-minded Self's voracious gulf, In danger he; nor is the nation safe, Which gapes, and swallows all they swore to save: But soon must rue his inauspicious power. Hate all that lifted heroes into gods,

What hence results ? a truth that should resound And hug the borrours of a victor's chain :

For ever awful in Britannia's ear: Of bodies politic that destin'd Hell,

“ Religion crowns the statesman and the man, Inflicted here, since here their beings end; Sole source of public and of private peace." And fall from foes detested and despis’d,

This truth all men must own, and therefore will, On disbelievers of the Statesman's Creed. And praise and preach it too:-and when that's Note, here, my lord, (unnuted yet it lies

done, By most, or all) these truths political

Their compliment is paid, and 't is forgot,
Serve more than public ends: this Creed of States What highland pole-axe half so deep can wound?
Seconds, and irresistibly supports,

But how dare I, so mean, presume so far?
The Christian Creed. Are you surpris'd ?- Attend; Assume my seat in the dictator's chair?
And on the Statesman's build a nobler name. Pronounce, predict (as if indeed inspir’d),

This punctual justice exercis'd on states, Promulge my censures, lay out all my throat, With which authentic chronicle abounds,

Till hoarse in clamour on enormous crimes ? As all men know, and therefore must believe ; Two mighty columns rise in my support ; This vengeance pour'd on nations ripe in guilt, In their more awrul and authentic voice, Pour'd on them here, where only they exist, Record profane anıl sacred, drown the Muse, What is it but an argument of sense,

Though loud, and far out-thread her threatening Or rather demonstration, to support

song.
Our feeble faith--" That they who states compose, Still further, Holles ! suffer me to plead
That men who stand not bounded by the grave, That I speak freely, as I speak to thee:
Shall meet like measure at their proper hour?” Guilt only startles at the name of guilt;
For God is equal, similarly deals

And truth, plain truth, is welcome to the wise. With states and persons, or he were not God! Thus what seein'd my presumption is thy praise. What means a rectitude immutable ?

Praise, and immortal praise, is Virtue's claim; A pattern here of universal right.

And Virtue's sphere is action : yet we grant
What, then, shall rescue an abandon'd man? Some merit to the trumpet's loud alarm,
Nothing, it is reply'd. Reply'd, by whom? Whose clangour kindles cowards into men.
Reply'd by politicians well as priests:

Nor shall the verse, perhaps, be quite forgot,
Writ sacred set aside, mankind's own writ, Which talks of immortality, and bids,
The whole world's annals; these pronounce his in every British breast, true glory rise,
doom.

As now the warbling lark awakes the morn.
Thus (what might seem a daring paradox) To close, my lord ! with that which all should close
E'en politics advance divinity :

And all begin, and strike us every hour, True masters there are better scholars here, Though no war wak'd us, no black tempest frown'd. Who travel history in quest of schemes

The morning rises gay; yet gavest morn To govern nations, or perhaps oppress,

Less glorious after night's incumbent shades; May there start truths that other aims inspire, Less glorious far bright Nature, rich array'd And, like Candace's eunuch, as they read,

With golden robes, in all the pomp of noon, By Providence turn Christians on their road : Than the first feeble dawn of Moral day? Digging for silver, they may strike on gold; Sole day, (let those whom statesmen serve attend) May be surpris'd with better than they sought, Though the Sun ripens diamonds for their crowns; And entertain an angel unawares.

Sole day worth his regard whom Heaven ordains, Nor is divinity ungrateful found,

Undarken'd, to behold noon dark, and date, As politics advance divinity,

From the Sun's death, and every planet's fall, Thus, in return, divinity promotes

His all-illustrious and eternal year; True politics, and crowns the statesman's praise, Where statesmen and their monarchs, (names of All wisdoms are but branches of the chief,

awe And statesmen found but shoots of honest men, And distance here) shall rank with common men, Are this world's witchcrafts pleaded in excuse Yet own their glory never dawn'd before.

a

ON

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

THE COMPLAINT:

Through this opaque of Nature, and of soula

This double night, transmit one pitying ray,
OR,

To lighten, and to cheer. O lead my mind,
NIGHT-THOUGHTS.

(A mind that fain would wander from its woe)

Lead it through various scenes of life and death; PREFACE.

And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire, As the occasion of this poem was real, not fictiti- Teach my best reason, reason ; my best will

Nor less inspire my conduct, than my song ; ous; so the method pursued in it, was rather im- Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve posed, by what spontaneously arose in the author's Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: mind on that occasion, than meditated or designed; Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, pour'd which will appear very probable from the nature on this devoted head, be pour'd in vain. of it. For it differs from the common mode of

The bell strikes one. We take no note of time poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short But from its loss. To give it then a tongue, morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, short, and the morality arising from it makes the I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, bulk of the poem. The reason of it is, that the it is the knell of my departed hours: facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral re

Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. fections on the thought of the writer.

It is the signal that demands dispatch ;

How much is to be done? My hopes and fears
NIGHT THE FIRST.

Start up alarm’d, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down-On what? a fathomless abyss ;

A dread eternity! bow surely mine!
LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY. And can eternity belong to me,

Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? TO THE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR ONSLOW, SPEAKER OF THE

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,

How complicate, how wonderful, is man ! Tra’D Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! How passing wonder he, who made him such! He, like the world, his ready visit pays

Who centred in our make such strange extremes ! Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes; Prom different natures marvelously mixt, Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,

Connection exquisite of distant worlds ! And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain ! From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose, Midway from nothing to the Deity! I wake: How happy they, who wake no more! A beam ethereal, sully'd and absorpt ! Yet that were rain, if dreams infest the grave. Though sully'd and dishonour'd, still divine! I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams

Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! Tumultuous; where my wreck'd desponding thought, An heir of glory! a frail child of dust! From wave to wave of fancied misery,

Helpless immortal ! insect infinite ! At randoin drove, her helm of reason lost.

A worm! a god!-1 tremble at myself, Though now restor’d, 't is only change of pain, And in myself am lost! at home a stranger, (A bitter change!) severer for severe.

Thought wanders up and down, surpris'd, aghast, The Day too short for my distress; and Night, And wondering at her own : How Reason reels! E'en in the zenith of her dark domain,

O what a miracle to man is man, Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.

Triumphantly distress'd! what joy, what dread! Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne, Alternately transported, and alarm'd! In rayless majesty, now stretches forth

What can preserve my life! or what destroy ! Her leaden sceptre oʻer a slumbering world. An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound! Legions of angels can't confine me there. Nor eye, nor listening ear, an object finds;

'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof : Creation sleeps. "Tis as the general pulse While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion spread, • Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause ; What though my soul fantastic measures trod Lý An awful pause ! prophetic of her end.

O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom And let her prophecy be soon fulfill'd;

Of pathless woods ; or, down the craggy steep Fate! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more. Hurl'd headlong, swam with pain the mantled pool;

Silence and Darkness ! solenn sisters ! twins Or scald the cliff; or danc'd on hollow winds, Froin antient Night, who nurse the tender thought With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? To reason, and on reason build resolve,

Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her (That column of true majesty in man)

Of subtler essence than the trodden clod; [nature Assist me: I will thank you in the grave;

Active, aërial, towering, unconfin'd, The grave, your kingdom: there this frame shall | Unfetler'd with her gross companion's fall. fall

E’en silent night proclaims my soul immortal : A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.

E'en silent night proclaims eternal day. But what are ye?

For human weal, Heaven husbands all events; Thou, who didst put to flight

Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain. Primeval Silence, when the morning stars,

Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost? Exulling, shonted o'er the rising ball!

Why wanders wretched thought their tombs around, O thou, whose word from solid darkness struck In infidel distress? Are angels there? That spark, the Sun ; strike wisdom from my soul; Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ? My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her trea- They live! they greatly live a life on Earth As misers to their gold, while others rest. [sure, 'Unkindled, unconceiv'd; and from an eye

Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall

A perpetuity of bliss is bliss.
On me, more justly number'd with the dead. Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end,
This is the desert, ihis the solitude :

That ghastly thought would drink up all your joy, How populous, how vital, is the grave!

And quite unparadise the realms of light. This is creation's melancholy vault,

Safe are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres ; The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom;

The baleful influence of whose giddy dance The land of apparitions, empty shades !

Sheds sad vicissitude on all beneath. All, all on Earth, is shadow, all beyond

Here teems with revolutions every hour;
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed :

And rarely for the better; or the best,
How solid all, where change shall be no more ! More mortal than the common births of fate.

This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, Each moment has its sickle, emulous
The twilight of our day, the vestibule;

Of Time's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep Life's theatre as-yet is shut, and Death,

Strikes empires from the root; each moment plays Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar, His little weapon in the narrower sphere This gross impediment of clay remove,

Of sweet domestic comfort, aud cuts down And make us embryos of existence free,

The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss. From real life, but little more remote

Bliss ! sublunary bliss ! -proud words, and vain! Is he, not yet a candidate for ligbt,

Implicit treason to divine decree ! The future embryo, slumbering in his sire.

A bold invasion of the rights of Heaven! Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell, I clasp'd the phantoms, and I found them air. Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, O had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace ! The life of gods, O transport ! and of man, What darts of agony had miss'd my heart !

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts; Death! great proprietor of all! 't is thine Inters celestial hopes without one sigh.

To tread out empire, and to quench the stars. Prisoner of Earth, and pent beneath the Moon, The Sun himself by thy permission shines ; Here pinions all his wishes; wing'd by Heaven And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his sphere, To fly at infinite; and reach it there,

Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust
Where seraphs gather immortality,

Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean?
On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. Why thy peculiar rancour wreak'd on me?
What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow, Insatiate archer! could not one suffice ?
In his full beam, and ripen for the just,

Thy shaft flew thrice; and thrice my peace was slain;
Where momentary ages are no more ! [pire ! And thrice, ere thrice yon Moon bad fill'd her horn.
Where Time, and Pain, and Chance, and Death ex- O Cynthia! why so pale? Dost thou lament
And is it in the flight of threescore years,

Thy wretched neigbbour ? Grieve to see thy wheel To push eternity from human thought,

Of ceaseless change outwhirl'd in human life? And smother souls immortal in the dust?

How wanes my borrow'd bliss ! from fortune's smile, A soul immortal, spending all her fires,

Precarious courtesy ! not virtue's sure, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Self-given, solar ray of sound delight. Thrown into tumult, raptur'd or alarm’d,

In every vary'd posture, place, and hour, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, How widow'd every thought of every joy ! Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,

Thought, busy thought! too busy for my peace ! To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.

Through the dark postern of time long elaps'd,
Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelms myself; Led softly, by the stillness of the night,
How was my heart incrusted by the world! Led, like a murderer, (and such it proves !)
O how self-fetter'd was my grovelling soul ! Strays (wretched rover!) o'er the pleasing past ;
How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round In quest of wretchedness perversely strays;
In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun, And finds all desert now ; and meets the ghosts
Till darken'd Reason lay quite clouded o'er Of my departed joys; a numerous train!
With soft conceit of endless comfort here,

I rue the riches of my former fate;
Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies ! Sweet comfort's blasted clusters I lament;

Night-visions may befriend (as sung above): I tremble at the blessings once so dear ;
Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dreamt And every pleasure pains me to the heart.
Of things impossible ! (Could sleep do more?) Yet why complain ? or why complain for one ?
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change !

Hangs out the Sun his lustre but for me, Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave!

The single man? Are angels all beside ? Eternal sunshine in the storms of life!

I mourn for millions : 'T is the common lot; How richly were my noon-tide trances hung In this shape, or in that, has Fate entailid With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys !

The mother's throes on all of woman born, Joy behind joy, in endless perspective !

Not more the children, than sure heirs, of pain. Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue War, Famine, Pest, Volcano, Storm, and Fire, Calls daily for his millions at a meal,

Intestine broils, Oppression, with her heart Starting I woke, and found myself undone. Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind. Where now my phrensy's pompous furniture ? God's image disinherited of day, The colrel'd cottage, with its ragged wall Here, plung'd in mines, forgets a Sun was made, Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me!

There, beings deathless as their haughty lord, The spider's most attenuated thread

Are hammer'd to the galling oar for life ; Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie

And plow the winter's wave, and reap despair. On earthly bliss ! it breaks at every breeze. Some, for hard masters, broken under arms,

O ye blest scenes of permanent delight ! In battle lopt away, with half their limbs, Full, above measure ! lasting, beyond bound! Beg bitter bread through realms their valour sar'd,

« AnteriorContinuar »