Слике страница

And still he asks them of their unknown aims,
Evolves their secrets, and their guilt proclaims;
And still his hands despoil them on the road
Of each vain wreath, by lying bards bestowed;
Break their proud marbles, crush their festal cars,
And rend the lawless trophies of their wars.
At last the gates his potent voice obey;
Fierce to their dark abode he drives his prey;
Where, ever armed with adamantine chains,
The watchful demon o'er her vassals reigns,
O'er mighty names and giant powers of lust,
The great, the sage, the happy, and august.
No gleam of hope their baleful mansion cheers,
No sound of honor hails their unblest ears;
But dire reproaches from the friend betrayed,
The childless sire, and violated maid;

But vengeful vows for guardian laws effaced,
From towns enslaved, and continents laid waste;
But long posterity's united groan,

And the sad charge of horrors not their own,
Forever through the trembling space resound,
And sink each impious forehead to the ground.
Ye mighty foes of liberty and rest,
Give way, do homage to a mightier guest!
Ye daring spirits of the Roman race,

See Curio's toil your proudest claims efface!

-Awed at the name, fierce Appius rising bends,

And hardy Cinna from his throne attends:

"He comes," they cry, "to whom the fates assigned

With surer arts to work what we designed,

From year to year the stubborn herd to sway,
Mouth all their wrongs, and all their rage obey;
Till owned their guide, and trusted with their power,
He mocked their hopes in one decisive hour;
Then, tired and yielding, led them to the chain,
And quenched the spirit we provoked in vain."
But thou, Supreme, by whose eternal hands
Fair Liberty's heroic empire stands;
Whose thunders the rebellious deep control,
And quell the triumphs of the traitor's soul,
O turn this dreadful omen far away!
On Freedom's foes their own attempts repay:
Relume her sacred fire, so near suppressed,
And fix her shrine in every Roman breast.
Though bold corruption boast around the land,


"Let virtue, if she can, my baits withstand;
Though bolder now she urge the accursed claim,
Gay with her trophies raised on Curio's shame;
Yet some there are who scorn her impious mirth,
Who know what conscience and a heart are worth.


[WILLIAM COLLINS, English poet, was born in Chichester in 1721, graduated B. A. at Oxford, and about 1745 went to London to follow literature as a profession. On account of the failure of his "Odes" (1746) to attract attention, he became indolent and dissipated. By the death of an uncle in 1749 he inherited £2000, but his health and spirits were broken, and after lingering for some time in a state of imbecility, he died at Chichester, June 12, 1759. A monument by Flaxman was erected to his memory by public subscription, and his biography was written by Johnson, who speaks of him with great tenderness, and adds that "his great fault was irresolution." His odes now hold a place among the finest of English lyrical poems.]


[Written in the beginning of the year 1746.]

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blessed!
When spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!


If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,

Thy springs, and dying gales,

O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,

With brede ethereal wove,

O'erhang his wavy bed:

Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat
With short, shrill shriek, flits by on leathern wing;
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,

As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:

Now teach me, maid composed,

To breathe some softened strain,

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale, May, not unseemly, with its stillness suit,

As, musing slow, I hail

Thy genial loved return!

For when thy folding star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp

The fragrant hours, and elves
Who slept in flowers the day,

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge
And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,

The pensive pleasures sweet

Prepare thy shadowy car.

Then lead, calm votaress, where some sheety lake
Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallowed pile
Or upland fallows gray

Reflect its last cool gleam.

But when chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Forbid my willing feet, be mine the hut,

That from the mountain's side,

Views wilds, and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw

The gradual dusky veil.

While spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest eve!

While summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light;

VOL. XVII. —— -11

While sallow autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,

And rudely rends thy robes;

So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan shed,
Shall fancy, friendship, science, rose-lipped health,
Thy gentlest influence own,

And hymn thy favorite name!


[The scene of these stanzas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond.]

In yonder grave a druid lies,

Where slowly winds the stealing wave;
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise
To deck its poet's sylvan grave.

In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp shall now be laid,
That he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds,
May love through life the soothing shade.

Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell,
Shall sadly seem in pity's ear

To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.

Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore

When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,
And oft suspend the dashing oar,

To bid his gentle spirit rest!

And oft, as ease and health retire

To breezy lawn, or forest deep,

The friend shall view yon whitening spire,
And 'mid the varied landscape weep.

But thou, who own'st that earthy bed,
Ah! what will every dirge avail;
Or tears, which love and pity shed,

That mourn beneath the gliding sail?

Yet lives there one whose heedless eye

Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near?

1 Richmond Church, in which Thomson was buried.

With him, sweet bard, may fancy die,
And joy desert the blooming year.

But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crowned sisters now attend,
Now waft me from the green hill's side,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!

[blocks in formation]

The genial meads, assigned to bless

Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom; Their hinds and shepherd-girls shall dress, With simple hands, thy rural tomb.

Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes:
O vales and wild woods! shall he say,
In yonder grave your druid lies!

THE PASSIONS: AN ODE FOR MUSIC. When Music, heavenly maid, was young, While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Thronged around her magic cell Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possest beyond the Muse's painting; By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined: Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round They snatched her instruments of sound, And, as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each, for Madness ruled the hour,

Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.

« ПретходнаНастави »