Слике страница
PDF
ePub

O teach me to elude each latent snare,

And dancing lustres, where the unsteady eye, And whisper to my sliding heart,-Beware! Restless and dazzled, wanders unconfined With caution let me hear the syren's voice, O'er all this field of glories ; spacious field, And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice. And worthy of the Master : he, whose hand If friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,

With hieroglyphics elder than the Nile Where briars wound, and thorns perplex my way, Inscribed the mystic tablet, hung on high Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,

To public gaze, and said, “ Adore, O man! And with strong confidence lay hold on thee; The singer of thy God." From what pure wells With equal eye my various lot receive,

of milky light, what soft o'erflowing urn, Resign'd to die, or resolute to live;

Are all these lamps so fill'd ? these friendly lamps Prepared to kiss the sceptre or the rod,

For ever streaming o'er the azure deep While God is seen in all, and all in God.

To point our path, and light us to our home. I read his awful name, emblazon'd high How soft they slide along their lucid spheres ! With golden letters on th' illumined sky;

And silent as the foot of Time, fulfil Nor less the mystic characters I see

Their destined courses : Nature's self is hush'd, Wrought in each flower, inscribed in every tree; And, but a scatter'd leaf, which rustles through In every leaf that trembles to the breeze

The thick-wove foliage, not a sound is heard I hear the voice of God among the trees;

To break the midnight air; though the raised ear, With thee in shady solitudes I walk,

Intensely listening, drinks in every breath. With thee in busy crowded cities talk ;

How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise ! In every creature own thy forming power, But are they silent all ? or is there not In each event thy providence adore.

A tongue in every star, that talks with man, Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul, And woos him to be wise ? nor woos in vain : Thy precepts guide me, and thy fears control : This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, Thus shall I rest, unmoved by all alarms,

And Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. Secure within the temple of thine arms ;

At this still hour the self-collected soul From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,

Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.

Of high descent, and more than mortal rank;
Then when the last, the closing hour, draws nigh, An embryo god; a spark of fire divine,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye ;

Which must burn on for ages, when the sun, -
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate Fair transitory creature of a day !-
I stand, and stretch my view to either state : Has closed his golden eye, and wrapped in shades
Teach me to quit this transitory scene

Forgets his wonted journey through the east. With decent triumph, and a look serene;

Ye citadels of light, and seats of gods ! Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,

Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul, And having lived to Thee, in Thee to die. Revolving periods past, may oft look back

With recollected tenderness on all
The various busy scenes she left below,

Its deep-laid projects, and its strange events,
A SUMMER EVENING'S MEDITATION.

As on some fond and doating tale that sooth'd

Her infant hours- be it lawful now
'Tis past ! the sultry tyrant of the south To tread the hallow'd circle of your courts,
Has spent his short-lived rage ; more grateful hours And with mute wonder and delighted awe
Move silent on; the skies no more repel

Approach your burning confines. Seized in The dazzled sight, but with mild maiden beams

thought, Of temper'd lustre court the cherish'd eye On Fancy's wild and roving wing I sail, To wander o'er their sphere ; where hung aloft From the green borders of the peopled Earth, Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow

And the pale Moon, her duteous fair attendant ; New strung in heaven, lifts high its beamy horns From solitary Mars ; from the vast orb Impatient for the night, and seems to push Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines Dances in ether like the lightest leaf; E'en in the eye of day; with sweetest beam To the dim verge, the suburbs of the system, Propitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood Where cheerless Saturn midst his watery moons Of soften'd radiance from her dewy locks. Girt with a lucid zone, in gloomy pomp, The shadows spread apace'; while meeken'd Eve, Sits like an exiled monarch : fearless thence Her cheek yet warm with blushes, slow retires I launch into the trackless deeps of space, Through the Hesperian gardens of the west, Where, burning round, ten thousand suns appear, And shuts the gates of day. 'Tis now the hour Of elder beam, which ask no leave to shine When Contemplation from her sunless haunts, Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth From the proud regent of our scanty day; Of unpierced woods, where wrapt in solid shade Sons of the morning, first-born of creation, She mused away the gaudy hours of noon, And only less than Him who marks their track, And fed on thoughts unripen'd by the sun, And guides their fiery wheels. Here must I stop, Moves forward ; and with radiant finger points Or is there aught beyond ? What hand unsee To yon blue concave swell’d by breath divine, Impels me onward through the glowing orbs Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven Of habitable nature, far remote, Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of ether To the dread confines of eternal night, One boundless blaze ; ten thousand trembling firos, | To solitudes of vast unpeopled space,

WILLIAM

John, faithful John, is with the horses come;
Mamma prevails, and I am sent for home.

The deserts of creation, wide and wild ;
Where embryo systems and unkindled suns
Sleep in the womb of chaos? fancy droops,
And thought astonish'd stops her bold career.
But 0 ihou mighty Mind! whose powerful word
Said, thus let all things be, and thus they were,
Where shall I seek thy presence? how unblamed
Invoke thy dread perfection ?
Have the broad eyelids of the morn beheld thee?
Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion
Support thy throne? O look with pity down
On erring, guilty man! not in thy names
Of terror clad: not with those thunders arm'd
That conscious Sinai felt, when fear appallid
The scatter'd tribes ;-thou hast a gontler voice,
That whispers comfort to the swelling heart
A bash'd, yet longing to behold her Maker.
But now my soul, unused to stretch her powers
In flight so daring, drops her weary wing,
And seeks again the known accustom'd spot,
Drest up with sun, and shade, and lawns and

streams,
A mansion fair, and spacious for its guest,
And full replete with wonders. Let me here,
Content and grateful, wait th' appointed time,
And ripen for the skies : the hour will come
When all these splendours bursting on my sight
Shall stand unveiled, and to my ravished sense
Unlock the glories of the world unknown.

HARRY.
Thrice happy whom such welcome tidings greet
Thrice happy who reviews his native seat!
For him the matron spreads her candied hoard,
And early strawberries crown the smiling board;
For him crush'd gooseberries with rich cream

combine,
And bending boughs their fragrant fruit resign:
Custards and sillabubs his taste invite;
Sports fill the day, and feasts prolong the night.
Think not I envy, I admire thy fate :t
Yet, ah! what different tasks thy comrades wait!
Some in the grammar's thorny maze to toil,
Some with rude strokes the snowy paper soil,
Some o'er barbaric climes in maps to roam,
Far from their mo gue, and dear loved

home.f
Harsh names of uncouth sound, their memories load,
And oft their shoulders feel th' unpleasant goad.

EDWARD.
Doubt not our turn will come some future time.
Now, William, hear us twain contend in rhyme;
For yet thy horses have not eat their hay,
And unconsumed as yet th' allotted hour of play.

WILLIAM

Then spout alternate, I consent to hear,
TO-MORROW.

Let no false rhyme offend my critic ear;-
SEE where the falling day

But say, what prizes shall the victor hold ?
In silence steals away

I guess your pockets are not lined with gold !
Behind the western hills withdrawn :

HARRY.
Her fires are quench’d, her beauty fled,

A ship these hands have built, in every part
While blushes all her face o'erspread,

Carved, rigg'd, and painted, with the nicest art;
As conscious she had ill fulfillid

The ridgy sides are black with pitchy store,
The promise of the dawn.

From stem to stern 'tis twice ten inches o'er.
Another morning soon shall rise,

The lofty mast, a straight smooth hazel framed, Another day salute our eyes,

The tackling silk, the Charming Sally named ; As smiling and as fair as she,

And,—but take heed lest thou divulge the tale,
And make as many promises :

The lappet of my shirt supplied the sail ,
But do not thou

An azure riband for a pendant flies :-
The tale believe,

Now, if thy verse excel, be this the prize.
They're sisters all,

EDWARD.
And all deceive.

For me at home the careful housewives make,
With plums and almonds rich, an ample cake.
Smooth is the top, a plain of shining ice,

The West its sweetness gives, the East its spice :
A SCHOOL ECLOGUE.

From soft Ionian isles, well known to fame,
EDWARD.

Ulysses once, the luscious currant came.

"he green transparent citron Spain bestows, Hist, William ! hist! what means that air so gay? And from her golden groves the orange glows. Thy looks, thy dress, bespeak some holyday : So vast the heaving mass, it scarce has room Thy hat is brush'd ; thy hands, with wondrous Within the oven's dark capacious womb; pains,

'Twill be consign'd to the next carrier's care, Are cleansed from garden mould and inky stains ; I cannot yield it all,- be half thy share. Thy glossy shoes confess the lackey's care ; And recent from the comb shines thy sleek hair. What god, what saint, this prodigy has wrought ?* • Fortunate senex, his inter flumina nota. Declare the cause, and ease my labouring thought? # Non equidein invideo, miror magis.

* At nos hinc alii sitientes ibimus Afros,

Pars Scythiam, et rapidum Cretæ veniemus Oaxcm. Sed tamen, ille Deus qui sit, da Tityre nobis.

& Alternis dicetis.

Well does the gift thy liquorish palate suit ;

WILLIAM I know who robb'd the orchard of its fruit*

Cease! cease your carols, both! for lo the bell,
When all were wrapt in sleep, one early morn,

With jarring notes, has rung out Pleasure's knell.
While yet the dew-drop trembled on the thorn, Your startled comrades, ere the game be done,
I mark'd when o'er the quickset hedge you leapt, Quit their unfinish'd sports, and trembling run.
And, sly, beneath the gooseberry bushes crept it

Haste to your forms before the master call!
Then shook the trees; a shower of apples fell,

With thoughtful step he paces o'er the hall,
And where the hoard you kept, I know full well ; Does with stern looks each playful loiterer greet,
The mellow gooseberries did themselves produce, Counts with his eye, and marks each vacant seat:
For through thy pocket oozed the viscous juice. Intense the buzzing murmur grows around,
HARRY

Loud through the dome the usher's strokes resound:

Sneak off, and to your places slyly steal, I scorn a telliale, or I could declare

Before the prowess of his arm you feel. How, leave unask'd, you sought the neighbouring

fair;

Then home by moonlight spurr'd your jaded steed,
And scarce return'd before the hour of bed.
Think how thy trembling heart had felt affright,
Had not our master supp'd abroad that night.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

EDWARD.
On the smooth whitewash'd ceiling near thy bed,
Mix'd with thine own, is Anna's cipher read;
From wreaths of dusky smoke the letters flow ;-
Whose hand the waving candle held, I know,
Fines and jobations shall thy soul appal,
Whene'er our mistress spies the sullied wall.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

HARRY.
Unconn'd her lesson once, in idle mood,
Trembling before her master, Anna stood
I mark'd what prompter near her took his place,
And, whispering, saved the virgin from disgrace:
Much is the youth belied, and much the maid,
Or more than words the whisper soft convey'd.

EDWARD.
Think not I blush to own so bright a flame,
E'en boys for her assume the lover's name ;-
As far as alleys beyond taws we prize,I
Or venison pasty ranks above school pies ;
As much as peaches beyond apples please,
Or Parmesan excels a Suffolk cheese ;
Or Palgrave donkeys lag behind a steed, -
So far do Anna's charms all other charms exceed.

To virgins languishing in love,

They speak the minute nigh;
And warm consenting hearts they join,

And paint the rapture high.

In every language, every tongue,

The same kind things they say ;
In gentle slumbers speak by night,

In waking dreams by day.

Harry.
Tell, if thou canst, where is that creature bred,
Whose wide-stretch'd mouth is larger than its head:
Guess, and my great Apollo thou shalt be,
And cake and ship shall both remain with thee.

Cassandra's fate reversed is theirs ;

She, true, no faith could gain,-
They, every passing hour deceive,

Yet are believed again.

THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN.

EDWARD.
Explain thou first, what portent late was seen,
With strides impetuous, posting o'er the green;
Three heads, like Cerberus, the monster bore,
And one was sidelong fix'd, and two before ;
Eight legs, depending from his ample sides,
Each well-built flank unequally divides ;
For five on this, on that side three, are found,
Four swiftly move, aud four not touch the ground.
Long time the moving prodigy I view'd,
By gazing men and barking dogs pursued.

Yes, injured woman! rise, assert thy right!

Woman! too long degraded, scorn'd, opprest;
O born to rule in partial Law's despite,

Resume thy native empire o'er the breast!
Go forth array'd in panoply divine ;

That angel pureness which admits no stain,
Go, bid proud man his boasted rule resign,

And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign
Go, gird thyself with grace; collect thy store

Of bright artillery glancing from afar;
Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon's roar

Blushes and fears thy magazine of war.

[blocks in formation]

Thy rights are empire : urge no meaner claim, - | Or study swept, or nicely dusted coat,
Felt, not defined, and if debated, lost ;

Or usual 'tendance ;-ask not, indiscreet,
Like sacred mysteries, which withheld from fame, Thy stockings mended, though the yawning rents
Shunning discussion, are revered the most. Gape wide as Erebus; nor hope to find

Some snug recess impervious: shouldst thou try Try all that wit and art suggest to bend

The 'custom'd garden walks, thine eye shall rue Of thy imperial foe the stubborn knee;

The budding fragrance of thy tender shrubs, Make treacherous man thy subject, not thy friend ; Myrtle or rose, all crush'd beneath the weight Thou mayst command, but never canst be free.

Of coarse check'd apron,-with impatient hand

Twitch'd off when showers impend : or crossing Awe the licentious, and restrain the rude ;

lines Soften the sullen, clear the cloudy brow : Be, more than princes' gifts, thy favours sued ;

Shall mar thy musings, as the wet cold sheet

Flaps in thy face abrupt. Wo to the friend She hazards all, who will the least allow.

Whose evil stars have urged him forth to claim But hope not, courted idol of mankind,

On such a day the hospitable rites ! On this proud eminence secure to stay ;

Looks blank at best, and stinted courtesy, Subduing and subdued, thou soon'shalt find

Shall he receive. Vainly he feeds his hopes Thy coldness soften, and thy pride give way.

With dinner of roast chickens, savoury pie,

Or tart or pudding :-pudding he nor tart Then, then, abandon each ambitious thought, That day shall eat ; nor, though the husband try,

Conquest or rule thy heart shall feebly move, Mending what can't be help'd, to kindle mirth In Nature's school, by her soft maxims taught,

From cheer deficient, shall his consort's brow Thai separate rights are lost in mutual love. Clear up propitious :—the unlucky guest

In silence dines, and early slinks away.
I well remember, when a child, the awe
This day struck into me; for then the maids,

I scarce knew why, look'd cross, and drove me
WASHING-DAY.

from them :

Nor soft caress could I obtain, nor hope . And their voice, Turning again towards childish treble, pipes

Usual indulgencies; jelly or creams, And whistles in its sound.

Relic of costly suppers, and set by

For me their petted one; or butter'd toast, The muses are turn'd gossips ; they have lost When butter was forbid ; or thrilling tale The buskind step, and clear high-sounding phrase, of ghost or witch, or murder-so I went Language of gods. Come then, domestic muse, And shelter'd me beside the parlour fire : In slipshod measure loosely prattling on

There my dear grandmother, eldest of forms, Of farm or orchard, pleasant curds and cream, Tended the little ones, and watch'd from harm, Or drowning flies, or shoe lost in the mire

Anxiously fond, though oft her spectacles By little whimpering boy, with rueful face; With elfin cunning bid, and oft the pins Come, muse, and sing the dreaded washing-day. Drawn from her ravell’d stockings, might have Ye who beneath the yoke of wedlock bend,

sour'd With bow'd soul, full well ye ken the day One less indulgent.Which week, smooth sliding after week, brings on

At intervals my mother's voice was heard, Too soon ;-for to that day nor peace belongs Urging despatch : briskly the work went on, Nor comfort ;-ere the first gray streak of dawn, All hands employ'd to wash, to rinse, to wring, The red-arm'd washers come and chase repose. To fuld, and starch, and clap, and iron, and plait. Nor pleasant smile, nor quaint device of mirth,

Then would I sit me down, and ponder much E'er visited that day: the very cat,

Why washings were. Sometimes through hollow From the wet kitchen scared and reeking hearth, bowl Visits the parlour,-an unwonted guest.

Of pipe amused we blew, and sent alost The silent breakfast-meal is soon despatch'd;

The floating bubbles ; litile dreaming then Uninterrupted, save by anxious looks

To see, Montgolfier, thy silken ball Cast at the lowering sky, if sky should lower.

Ride buoyant through the clouds—so near approach From that last evil, O preserve us, heavens !

The sports of children and the toils of men. For sbould the skies pour down, adieu to all

Earth, air, and sky, and ocean, hath its bubbles, Remains of quiet: then expect to hear

And verse is one of them, this most of all.
Of sad disasters, dirt and gravel stains
Hard to efface, and loaded lines at once
Snapp'd short,—and linen horse by dog thrown

down,
And all the petty miseries of life.

TO MR. S. T. COLERIDGE.-1797. Saints have been calm while stretch'd upon the rack,

Midway the hill of science after steep And Guatimozin smiled on burning coals ; And rugged paths that tire the unpractised feet, Bat never yet did housewife notable

A grove extends in tangled mazes wrought, Greet with a smile a rainy washing-day.

And fill'd with strange enchantment:dubions - But grant the welkin fair, require not thou

shapes Who call'st thyself perchance the master there, Flit through dim glades, and lure the eager foot

Of

Of youthful ardour to eternal chase.

Ephesian Dian sees no more
Dreams hang on every leaf; unearthly forms

Her workmen fuse the silver ore,
Glide through the gloom ; and mystic visions swim Nor Capitolian Jove.
Before the cheated sense. Athwart the mists,
Far into vacant space, huge shadows stretch,

E'en Salem's hallow'd courts have ceased And seem realities; while things of life,

With solemn pomps her tribes to feast, Obvious to sight and touch, all glowing round,

No more the victim bleeds ; Fade to the hue of shadows.—Scruples here,

To censers fillid with rare perfumes, With filmy net, most like th' autumnal webs

And vestments from Egyptian looms, Of floating gossamer, arrest the foot

A purer rite succeeds. generous enterprise ; and palsy hope

Yet still, where'er presumptuous man And fair ambition with the chilling touch

His Maker's essence strives to scan,
Of sickly hesitation and blank fear.

And lifts his feeble hands,
Nor seldom Indolence these lawns among
Fixes her turf-built seat; and wears the garb

Though saint and sage their powers unite.

To fathom that abyss of light,
Of deep philosophy, and museful sits,

Ah! still that altar stands.
In dreamy twilight of the vacant mind,
Soothed by the whispering shade; for soothing soft
The shades ; and vistas lengthening into air,
With moonbeam rainbows tinted.—Here each mind
Of finer mould acute and delicate,

ODE TO REMORSE.
In its high progress to eternal truth
Rests for a space, in fairy bowers entranced ; DREAD offspring of the holy light within,
And loves the soften'd light and tender gloom; Offspring of Conscience and of Sin,
And, pamper'd with most unsubstantial food, Stern as thine awful sire, and fraught with wo,
Looks down indignant on the grosser world,

From bitter springs thy mother taught to flow,And matters cumbrous shaping. Youth beloved

Remorse! To man alone 'tis given Of Science of the Muse beloved,—not here,

Of all on earth, or all in heaven, Not in the maze of metaphysic lore,

To wretched man thy bitter cup to drain, Build thou thy place of resting ! lightly tread

Feel thy awakening stings, and taste thy wholeThe dangerous ground, on noble aims intent;

some pain. And be this Circe of the studious cell

Midst Eden's blissful bowers,
Enjoy'd but still subservient. Active scenes

And amaranthine flowers,
Shall soon with healthful spirit brace thy mind;
And fair exertion for bright fame sustain'd,

Thy birth portentous dimm'd the orient day,

What time our hapless sire,
For friends, for country chase each spleen-fed fog
That blots the wide creation.-

O'ercome by fond desire,
Now Heaven conduct thee with a parent's love!

The high command presumed to disobey;

Then didst thou rear thy snaky crest,
And raise thy scorpion lash to tear the guilty

breast :

And never, since that fatal hour,

May man, of woman born, expect t' escape thy THE UNKNOWN GOD.

power. To learned Athens, led by fame,

Thy goading stings the branded Cain
As once the man of Tarsus came,

Cross th' untrodden desert drove,
With pity and surprise,

Ere from his cradling home and native plain Midst idol altars as he stood,

Domestic man had learnt to rove.
O'er sculptured marble, brass; and wood,
He rollid his awful eyes.

By gloomy shade or lonely flood

Of vast primeval solitude, But one, apart, his notice caught,

Thy step his hurried steps pursued,
That seem'd with higher meaning fraught,

Thy voice awoke his conscious fears,
Graved on the wounded stone;

For ever sounding in his ears
Nor form nor name was there express'd ;

A father's curse, a brother's blood;
Deep reverence fillid the musing breast,

Till life was misery too great to bear,
Perusing, “ To the God unknown."

And torturing thought was lost in sullen, dumb

despair.
Age after age has roll'd away,
Altars and thrones have felt decay,

The king who sat on Judah's throne,
Sages and saints have risen ;

By guilty love to murder wrought,
And, like a giant roused from sleep,

Was taught thy searching power to own, Man has explored the pathless deep,

When, sent of Heaven, the seer his royal presence And lightnings snatch'd from heaven.

sought.

As, wrapt in artful phrase, with sorrow feign'd, And many a shrine in dust is laid,

He told of helpless, meek distress, Where kneeling nations homage paid,

And wrongs that sought from power redress, By rock, or fount, or grove ;

The pity-moving tale his ear obtain'd,

« ПретходнаНастави »