Слике страница
PDF
ePub

His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glist'ring with dew: fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
. And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.
But neither breath of morning, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds;, nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.

Book iv. 641.

Of the various imitations of these very melodious verses I shall select but two, which, for their pathos and beauty, cannot fail to attract admiration. The first consists of only four lines, and is taken from the Ode for Music, by Gray.

Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasures sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The still sinall voice of gratitude.

The second, which is more extended and elaborate, though perhaps, equally pathetic and harmonious, is froin Hayley's Ode, inscribed to Mr. Howard, a composition that breathes the very spirit of philanthropy, and which has the singular felicity of recording a character, whose virtues could not be exagerated, even by the warmest poetic encomium.

Sweet is the joy when Science flings

Her light on philosophic thought; When Genius, with keen ardour, springs

To clasp the lovely truth he sought: Sweet is the joy, when Rapture's fire Flows from the spirit of the lyre; When Liberty and Virtue roll Spring-tides of fancy o'er the poet's soul, That waft his Aying bark thro’ seas above the pole.

Sweet the delight, when the galld heart

Feels Consolation's lenient hand, Bind up the wound from Fortune's dart

With Friendship’s life-supporting band! And sweeter still, and far above These fainter joys, when purest Love The soul his willing captive keeps! When he in bliss the melting spirit steeps, Who drops delicious tears, and wonders that he weeps.

But not the brighest joy, which Arts,

In floods of mental light, bestow;
Nor what firm Friendship's zeal imparts,

Blest antidote of bitterest woe!

Nor those that Love's sweet hours dispense,
Can equal the ecstatic sense,
When, swelling to a fond excess,
The grateful praises of reliev'd distress,
Re-echoed thro' the heart, the soul of Bounty bless.

After such originals, and such imitations, it certainly was unnecessary, and altogether hazardous to risque another copy. As the reader, however, may possess some inclination to see the rejected lines, I shall insert them in this place; they will, no doubt, corroborate the opinion of the professional critics, and may be compared with those which have been substituted in their room.

Sweet is the mild moon, chaste and white,

And list’ning to the ocean's roar,
And sweet the blue wave foaming light,

And dying on the hollow shore;
But not the mild moon, chaste and white,

And list’ning to the ocean's roar,
Nor yet the blue wave foaming light,

And dying on the hollow shore. Can, &c. &c.

ODE TO LAURA.

Dificile est longum subitò deponere amorem ;
Dificile est.

CATULLUS.

1.

No, not the ruby's crimson's rays,

Nor the green em'rald's milder hue, No, not the diamond's living blaze,

Nor the chaste sapphire's lovely blue, No, not the freezing star, whose light

Streams beauteous thro' the vault of heav'r Cheering the weary pilgrim's sight,

Wide from his track by tempests driv'n, Can with that sweet expression vie, Which beams from Love's enamour'd

eye, And thrills thro' all his frame: No, not the Muse, tho' mid her lay, Warm Genius dart his brightest ray,

And light his purest flame, Can hope, her noblest sons among, To equal the enchanting song, The melting tones that flow from Love's

delicious tongue.

2.

Oh, do not turn those eyes away!

Ah, Laura, shed their sweetness here, For much I love their modest ray,

And much I love their tender tear;
Nor, oh, to draw those lips aside,

I pray thee do not, do not try-
Still must I press them- do not chide,

If still to press those lips I sigh ;
Yet not thine eye so lovely blue,
Or lip embath'd in balmy dew,

More raptures e'er impart, Than when, to other beauties blind, I only mark thy polish'd mind,

I only view thine heart: Yet more I love to hear thee speak, To hear thy gentle accents break, Mild as the mellow strains oft heard at

evening meek.

3. And wilt thou, Laura, when from thee I

part, perchance, to meet no more, When far

upon a foreign sea I sail, to seek a foreign shore; Ah, wilt thou then, thus distant, pour

One tear, one hapless tear for ine,

« ПретходнаНастави »