Slike strani
PDF
ePub

And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air, pursues the flying storm,
Rides on the vollied lightning through the heav'ns,
Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and, hovering round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light, beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve

40

The fated rounds of Time. Thence, far effused,
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs,
Exulting, circles the perennial wheel

45

50

Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amazed she views
Th' empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heav'n, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travelled the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world, untired,
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges, soon o'erwhelmed and swallowed up

55

60

In that immense of being. There her hopes

Rest at the fated goal. For, from the birth

Of mortal man, the Sov'reign Maker said
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,

65

Pow'r's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flow'ry lap,

The soul should find enjoyment; but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,

Through all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,

[blocks in formation]

To me, whom in their lays the shepherds call
Actaea, daughter of the neighbouring stream,

This cave belongs. The fig-tree and the vine,
Which o'er the rocky entrance downward shoot,
Were placed by Glycon. He, with cowslips pale,
Primrose, and purple lychnis, decked the green
Before my threshold, and my shelving walls
With honeysuckle covered. Here, at noon,
Lulled by the murmur of my rising fount,
I slumber; here my clustering fruits I tend;
Or from the humid flowers, at break of day,
Fresh garlands weave, and chase from all my bounds
Each thing impure or noxious. Enter in,
O stranger, undismayed. Nor bat nor toad
Here lurks: and if thy breast of blameless thoughts
Approve thee, not unwelcome shalt thou tread
My quiet mansion; chiefly, if thy name
Wise Pallas and the immortal Muses own.

CHRISTOPHER SMART

FROM

A SONG TO DAVID

Sweet is the dew that falls betimes,
And drops upon the leafy limes;

Sweet, Hermon's fragrant air;

1758.

5

ΙΟ

15

Sweet is the lily's silver bell,

And sweet the wakeful tapers' smell

5

That watch for early prayer;

Sweet the young nurse, with love intense,

Which smiles o'er sleeping innocence;

Sweet when the lost arrive;

Sweet the musician's ardour beats,

[ocr errors]

While his vague mind's in quest of sweets,
The choicest flowers to hive:

Sweeter, in all the strains of love,
The language of thy turtle-dove,

Paired to thy swelling chord;

15

Sweeter, with every grace endued,
The glory of thy gratitude

Respired unto the Lord.

Strong is the horse upon his speed;
Strong in pursuit the rapid glede,

Which makes at once his game;
Strong the tall ostrich on the ground;
Strong through the turbulent profound
Shoots Xiphias to his aim;

Strong is the lion-like a coal
His eyeball, like a bastion's mole
His chest against the foes;
Strong the gier-eagle on his sail;

Strong against tide th' enormous whale
Emerges as he goes:

But stronger still, in earth and air
And in the sea, the man of prayer,

And far beneath the tide,

And in the seat to faith assigned,
Where ask is have, where seek is find,
Where knock is open wide.

Beauteous the fleet before the gale;
Beauteous the multitudes in mail,

Ranked arms and crested heads;

[blocks in formation]

When to the heaven of heavens they build
Their heart-directed vows:

Beauteous, yea beauteous more than these,

The Shepherd King upon his knees,

For his momentous trust;

With wish of infinite conceit

50

35

330

25

20

1763?

For man, beast, mute, the small and great,
And prostrate dust to dust.

Precious the bounteous widow's mite;
And precious, for extreme delight,

The largess from the churl;
Precious the ruby's blushing blaze,
And alba's blest imperial rays,

And pure cerulean pearl;

Precious the penitential tear;

55

60

[blocks in formation]

Glorious the catholic amen;

Glorious the martyr's gore:

Glorious, more glorious, is the crown
Of Him That brought salvation down,
By meekness called thy son;
Thou that stupendous truth believed,
And now the matchless deed's achieved,
Determined, dared, and done.

85

90

1763.

THOMAS WARTON

FROM

THE PLEASURES OF MELANCHOLY

Beneath yon ruined abbey's moss-grown piles
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve,

Where through some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levelled rule of streaming light,
While sullen, sacred silence reigns around,

5

Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,

Or the calm breeze that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r. Or let me tread

ΙΟ

Its neighb'ring walk of pines, where mused of old
The cloistered brothers: through the gloomy void
That far extends beneath their ample arch
As on I pace, religious horror wraps

My soul in dread repose. But when the world
Is clad in midnight's raven-coloured robe,
'Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare
O'er the wan heaps, while airy voices talk
Along the glimm'ring walls, or ghostly shape,
At distance seen, invites with beck'ning hand
My lonesome steps through the far-winding vauits.
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon

15

20

Of night, when, haply wakeful, from my couch

25

I start: lo, all is motionless around!
Roars not the rushing wind; the sons of men
And every beast in mute oblivion lie;
All Nature's hushed in silence and in sleep:
O then how fearful is it to reflect
That through the still globe's awful solitude
No being wakes but me! till stealing sleep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
Nor then let dreams, of wanton folly born,
My senses lead through flow'ry paths of joy:
But let the sacred genius of the night
Such mystic visions send as Spenser saw
When through bewild'ring Fancy's magic maze.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »