Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Equal, the injur'd to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend.
He, with a hundred arts refin'd,

Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind :
To him each rival shall submit,

Make but his riches equal to his wit.

Then shall thy form the marble grace
(Thy Grecian form), and Chloe lend the face:
His house embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love,

Shall glitter o'er the pendant grecu,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene:
Thither the silver sounding lyres

Shall call the smiling loves and young desires:
There cv'ry grace and muse shall throug,
Exalt the dance, or animate the song ;
There youths and nymphs, in concert gay,
Shall hail the rising, close the parting day.
With me, alas! those joys are o'er;
For me the verual garlands bloom no more.
Adieu, fond hope of mutual fire!
The still-believing, still renew'd desire ;
Adieu, the heart-expauding bowl!
And all the kiud deceivers of the soul!
But why? Ah, tell me! ah, too dear!
Steals down my check th' involuntary tear?
Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee?
Thee, drest in fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow thro' th' extended dream;

Ix that soft season, when descending show'rs
Call forth the greens, and wake the rising
flow'rs;

When op`ning buds salute the welcome day,
And earth relenting feels the genial ray;
As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
(What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden
wings,)

A train of phantoms in wild order rose ;
And, join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and
skies;

Now, now I cease, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah, cruel!) from my arms;
And swiftly shoot along the Mall,
Or softly glide by the canal;
Now shewn by Cynthia's silver ray,
And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.

[ocr errors]

PART OF THE NINTH ODE OF THE
FOURTH BOOK.

A FRAGMENT.

LEST you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver Thames along,
Taught on the wings of truth to fly, -

Above the reach of vulgar song.

THE TEMPLE OF FAME.

Tho' daring Milton sits sublime,

In Spenser native muses play;
Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,

Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay.
Sages and chiefs long since had birth,

Ere Cesar was, or Newton nam'd;
These rais'd new empires o'er the earth,

And those new heavens and systems fram'd.

Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died;
In vain they schem'd, in vain they bled!
They had no poct, and are dead.

O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Or billows murm'ring on the hollow shore;
Then, gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose tow'ring summit ambient clouds cou-
ceal'd.

High on a rock of ice the structure lay,
Steep its ascent, and slipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble shone,
And seem'd to distant sight of solid stone.
Inscriptions here of various names I view'd,
The greater part by hostile time subdued;
Yet wide were spread their fame in ages past,
And poets once had promis'd they should
last.

The whole creation open to my eyes;
In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below,
Where mountains rise, and circling oceans
flow;

Some, fresh engrav'd, appea.'d of wits re-
nown'd;

Here naked rocks and empty wastes were seen,
There tow'ry cities, and the forests green ;
Here sailing ships delight the wand'ring eyes,
There trees and intermingled temples rise:
Now a clear sun the shining scene displays,

I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own with labour in their place;
Their own, like others, soon their place re-
sign'd,

The transient landscape now in clouds decays. Or disappear'd, and left the first behind.

Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun;
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heaven could feel,
Like crystal, faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storms in-
vade.

The growing tow'rs like exhalations rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.

The eastern front was glorious to behold,
With diamond flaming, and Barbaric gold.
There Ninus shone, who spread th' Assyrian
fame,

There names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past,
From time's first birth, with time itself shall
last;

These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter, with the length of To midnight banquets in the glimm'ring glades;
Made visionary fabrics round them rise,

Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th'impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent
sky:

||

And the great founder of the Persian name :
There, in long robes, the royal Magi stand;
Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand:
The sage Chaldæans rob'd in white appear'd,
And Brachmans, deep in desert woods rever'd.
These stopp'd the moon, and call'd th' unbodied
shades

days.

So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of! And airy spectres skim before their eyes;

frost)

Of talismans and sigils knew the pow'r,
And careful watch'd the planetary hour.
Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
Who taught that useful science, to be good.

But, on the south, a long majestic race
Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace,
Who measur'd earth, describ'd the starry
spheres,

As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and ery face
Of various structure, but of and grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute th' diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled chiefs, in darker ages boru,
Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd,||
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In shaggy spoils here Thesens was beheld,
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield:
There great Alcides, stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian
spoil:

The domes swell up, the widening arches bend,

And trac'd the long records of lunar years.
High on his car Sesostris struck my view,
Whom sceptered slaves in golden harness

[blocks in formation]

The borrid forms of Scythian heroes stood, Druids and bards (their once loud harps unstrung),

And youths that died to be by poets sung.
These, and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
To whom old fables gave a lasting name,
In ranks adorn'd the temple's outward face:

Here Orpheus sings; trees moving to the The wall in lustre and effect like glass,

Which o'er each object casting various dyes,
Enlarges some, and others multiplies:
Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall;
For thus romantic fame increases all.

sound,
Start from their roots,and form a shade around:
Amphion there the loud creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire!
Cytheron's echoes auswer to his call,
And balf the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you see the length'ning spires
ascend,

The temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold,

Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold;

Rais'd on a thousand pillars, wreath'd around
With laurel foliage, and with eagles crown'd.

Of bright transparent beryl were the walls,
The friezes gold, and gold the capitals:
As heaven with stars, the roof with jewels
glows,

And ever-living lamps depend in rows.

Full in the passage of each spacious gate,
The sage Historians in white garments wait;
Grav'd o'er their seats the form of Time was
found,

Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall, Here dragg'd in triumph round the Trojan wall.

Motion and life did ev'ry part inspire, [fire;
Bold was the work, and prov'd the master's
A strong expression most he seem'd t' affect,
And here and there disclos'd a brave neglect.

bound.

A golden column next in rank appear'd,
On which a shrine of purest gold was rear`d;
His scythe revers'd, and both his pinions Finish'd the whole, and labour'd ev'ry part,
With patient touches of unwearied art:
The Mantuan there iu sober triumph sate,
Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate;
On Homer still he fix'd a rev'rend eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty.
In living sculpture on the sides were spread
The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead;
Eliza stretch'd upon the fun'ral pyre;
|| Eneas bending with his aged sire:

Within stood heroes, who thro' loud alarms
In bloody fields pursued renown in arms.
High on a throne, with trophies charg'd, I
view'd
[dued,
The your
that all things but himself sub-
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
And his horn'd head belyed the Lybian god.
There Cæsar, grac'd with both Minervas,
shone;

||

Troy flam'd in burning gold; and o'er the
throne

Cæsar, the world's great master, and his own;
Uumov'd, superior still in ev'ry state,
And scarce detested in his country's fate.
But chief were those who not for empire
fought,
[bought.
But with their toils their people's safety
High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood;
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state,
Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught
mind
fjoin'd, (
With boundless pow'r unbounded virtue
His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.
Much suff'ring heroes next their honours
claim,

Those of less noisy and less guilty fame,
Fair Virtue's silent train: supremne of these
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
He whom ungrateful Athens could expel,
At all times just but when he sign'd the shell;
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocion claims,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names;
Unconquer'd Cato shews the wound he tore;
And Brutus his ill genius meets no more.

But in the centre of the hallow'd choir,
Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire ;
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
Hold the chief honours, and the fane com-
mand.

High on the first the mighty Homer shone,
Eternal adamant compos'd his throne;
Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
His silver beard wav'd gently o'er his breast;
Tho' blind, a boldness in his look appears;
In years he seem'd, but not impair'd by years.
The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen :
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian

queen;

Arms and the Man in golden cyphers shone.

Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, With heads advanc'd, and pinions stretch'd for flight:

Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
And seem'd to labour with th' inspiring god.
Across the harp a careless band he flings,
And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
The figur'd games of Greece the column grace;
Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
The youths hang o'er their chariots as they
run, "

The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone:
The champions, in distorted posture, threat:
And all appear'd irregularly great.

Here happy Horace tun'd th' Ausonian lyre
To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire:
Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage t'infuse
The softer spirit of the Sapphic muse.

||

The polish'd pillar diffrent sculptures grace,
A work outlasting monumental brass.
Here smiling loves and Bacchanals appear;
The Julian star, and great Augustus here.
The doves that round the infant poet spread
Myrtles and bays, hang hov'ring o'er his head.

Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
Sat fix'd in thought the mighty Stagyrite;
His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
And various animals his sides surround;
His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Superior worlds, and look all nature through.
With equal rays immortal Tully shone ;
The Roman rostra deck'd the consal's throne
Gath ring his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand
In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his band,
Behind, Rome's genius waits with civic
crowns,

And the great father of his country owns

[ocr errors]

These massy columns in a circle rise,
O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies:
Scarce to the top I stretch'd my aching sight,
So large it spread, and swell'd to such a height.
Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat
With jewels blaz`d, magnificently great:
The vivid em'ralds there revive the eye,
The flaming rubies shew their sanguine dye,
Bright azure rays from lively sapphires
stream,

And lucid amber casts a golden gleam.
With various-colour'd light the pavement
shone,

And all on fire appear'd the glowing throne;
The dome's high arch reflects the mingled
blaze,

And forms a rainbow of alternate rays.
When on the goddess first I cast my sight,
Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height;
But swell'd to larger size, the more I gaz'd,
Till to the roof her tow'ring head she rais'd.
With her, the temple ev'ry moment grew ;
And ampler vistas open'd to my view:
Upwards the columns shoot, the roofs ascend,
And arches widen, and long aisles extend.
Such was her form as ancient bards have told,
Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet en-
fold;

A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears,
A thousand open eyes, and thousand list ning

ears.

Beneath, in order rang'd, the tuneful Nine
(Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine;
With eyes on Faine for ever fix'd, they sing ;
For Fame they raise the voice, and tune the
string:
[lays,
With Time's first birth began the heavenly
And last eternal thro' the length of days.

Around these wonders as I cast a look,

Some she disgrac'd, and some with honours
crown'd;

Unlike successes equal merits found.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns:
And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains.

First at the shrine the learned world appear,
And to the Goddess thus prefer their pray'r;
Long have we sought t'instruct and please
mankind,

same;

For good and bad alike are fond of fame.

With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind;
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none,
We here appeal to thy superior throne:
Ou wit and learning the just prize bestow ;
For fame is all we must expect below.

The Goddess heard, and bade the Muses
raise

The golden trumpet of eternal praise:
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
That fills the circuit of the world around;
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud :
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud;
By just degrees they ev'ry moment rise,
Fill the wide earth, and gain upon the skies.
At ev'ry breath were balmy odours shed,
Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread;
Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales,
Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.

Next these the good and just, an awful train,
Thus on their knees address the sacred fane:
Since living virtue is with envy curs'd,
And the best men are treated like the worst,
Do thou, just Goddess, call our merits forth,
And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth.
Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd
(Said Fame), but high above desert renown'd:
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the loud clarion labour in your praise.

This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd Preferr'd the same request, and lowly bow'd;

The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook ;|| The constant tenour of whose well-spent days

And all the nations, summon'd at the call,
From diffrent quarters fill the crowded hall:
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were
heard;

In various garbs promiscuous throngs ap-
pear'd;

Thick as the bees that with the spring renew
Their flow'ry toils, and sip the fragrant dew,
When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky,
O'er dusky fields and shaded waters Bly,
Or settling seize the sweets the blossoms yield,
And a low murmur runs along the field.
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the goddess bend;
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
Their pleas were diffrent, their request the

No less deserv'd a just return of praise.

But straight the direful trump of slander sounds!

Thro' the big dome the doubling thunder
bounds;

Lond as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
The dire report thro' ev'ry region flies;
In ev'ry ear incessant rumours rung,
And gath'ring scandals drew on ev'ry tongue.
From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling

smoke:

The pois nous vapour blots the purple skies,
And withers all before it as it flies.

A troop came next who crowns and armour
wore,

And proud defiance in their looks they bore:
For thee (they cried) amidst alarms and strife
We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life;

For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood,

And swam to empire thro' the purple flood.
Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own;
What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone.
Ambitious fools! (the Queen replied, and
frown'd)

Be all your acts in deep oblivion drown'd: There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone; Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown! [my sight, A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from And each majestic phantom sunk in night.

Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen; Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien.

Great idol of mankind! we neither claim The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame ; But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men, Would die unheard of, as we liv'd uuseen. 'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight Those acts of goodness which themselves requite.

O let us still the secret joy partake,

To follow virtue even for virtue's sake.

And live there men who slight immortal fame? Who then with incense shali adore our name? But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.

Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath; These must not sleep in darkness and in death. She said; in air the trembling music floats, And on the winds triumphant swell the notes; So soft, tho' high, so loud, and yet so clear, Even list'ning angels lean from Heaven to hear:

To furthest shores the ambrosial spirit flies, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies. Next these, a youthful train their vows express'd,

With feathers crown'd, with gay embroid'ry dress'd;

Hither, they cried, direct your eyes, and see, The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry; Ours is the place, at banquets, balls, and plays;

The Queen assents, the trumpet rends the skies,

And at each blast a lady's honour dies. Pleas'd with the strange success, vast numhers press'd

Around the shrine, and made the same request: What! you (she cried) unlearn'd in arts to please, [ease, Slaves to yourselves, and even fatign'd with Who lose a length of undeserving daysWould you usurp the lover's dear-bought praise!

Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days; Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing

care

To pay due visits, and address the fair :
In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could per-

suade,

But still in fancy vanquish'd ev'ry maid;
Of unknown Duchesses lewd tales we tell;
Yet, would the world believe us, all were well.
The joy let others have, and we the name;
And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame.

To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall;
The people's fable and the scorn of all!
Straight the black clarion sends a horrid
sound,
[round;
Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoffs fly
Whispers are loud, with taunts reviling loud
And scornful hisses run thro' all the crowd.

Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,

Enslave their country, or usurp the throne;
Or who their glory's dire foundation laid
Ou sov'reigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd;
Calm thinking villains, whom no faith could
fix,

[blocks in formation]
« ПретходнаНастави »