Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Fle, sovereign priest, stooping his regal head,
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,

,
Poor fleshly tabernacle entered,
His starry front low-roof'd beneath the skies.
Oh, what a mask was there—what a disguise!

Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's

side. These latest scenes confine my roving verse ; To this horizon is my Phæbus bound : His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce, And former sufferings, other-where are found ; Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things. Befriend me, night, best patroness of grief: Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw, And work my flatter'd fancy to belief, That heaven and earth are colour'd with my woe My sorrows are too dark for day to know;

The leaves should all be black whereon I write And letters, where my tears have wash’d, a wannish

white.

See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
That whirld the prophet up at Chebar flood :
My spirit some transporting cherub feels,
To bear me where the towers of Salem stood,
Once glorious towers, now sunk in guiltless blood

There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit

[ocr errors]

Mine eye hath found inat sad sepulchral rock
That was the casket of Heaven's richest store
And here, though grief my feeble hands up-locr
Yet on the soften'd quarry would I score
My plaining verse as lively as before;

For sure so well instructed are my tears,
That they would fitly fall in order'd characters.

Or should I thence, hurried on viewless wing,
Take up a weeping on the mountains wild,
The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring
Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild ;
And I (for grief is easily beguiled)

Might think the infection of my sorrows oud
Had got a race of mourners on some pregnan cloud

[This subject the author finding to be above the years he has when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was be un, leg ů unfinished.]

III.

UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.

Ye flaming powers, and winged warriors bri,
That erst with music, and triumphant song,
First heard by happy watchful shepherds' ear,
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along
Through the soft silence of the listening night
Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to beu
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow:
He, who with all heaven's heraldry whilere

Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us eas.
Alas! how soon our sin
Sore doth begin

His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding love, or law more just ?
Just law, indeed, but more.exceeding love!
For we, by rightful doom remediless,
Were lost in death, till he, that dwelt above,
High-throned in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, even to nakedness;
And that great covendit, which we still transgress
Entirely satisfied,
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess;
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day; but, oh, ere long,
Huge pangs and strong

Will pierce more near his heart.

IV.

ON THE DEATH OF A PAIR INFANT, DYING OF A COUGH. O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted, Soft silken primrose fading timelessly, Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry; For he, being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss

For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,

If likewise he some fair one wedded not.
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot

Of long uncoupled bed and childless ek., Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach

was held.

So, mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spied froin far;
There ended was his quest, there ceased his care:
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair.

But, all un’wares, with his cold, kind embrace,
Unhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding-place.
Yet thou art not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth, born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land ;

But then transform’d him to a purple flower: Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power! Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead, Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed, Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb; Could Heaven, for pity, thee so strictly doom?

Oh, no! for something in thy face did shine Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.

Resolve me, then, O soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear!)
Tell me, bright spirit, where'er thou hoverest.

Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in the Elysian fields (if such there were ;)

O, say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take this

flight? Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Of shaked Olympus by mischance didst fall; Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof Took up, and in fit place did reinstal? Or did of late Earth's sons besiege the wall

Of sheeny heaven, and thou, some goddess, flel Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ? Or wert thou that just maid, who once before Forsook the hated earth, oh, tell me sootii, And camest again to visit us once more? Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth? Or that crown'd matron sage, white-robed Truth?

Or any other of that heavenly brood [good ? Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some Or wert thou of the golden-winged host, Who, having clad thyself in human weed, To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post, And after short abode fly back with speed, As if to show what creatures heaven doth breed;

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire, To scorn the sordid world, and unto heaven aspire But, oh! why didst thou not stay here below To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence, To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,

« ПретходнаНастави »