« EelmineJätka »
The subject proposed. Invocation. Address to Mr. Doddington. An introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies; whence the succession of the Seasons. As the face of Nature in this season is almost uniform, the progress of the poem is a description of a summer's day. The dawn. Sun-rising. Hymn to the Sun. Forenoon. Summer insects described. Hay-making. Sheep-shearing. Noon-day. A woodland retreat. Group of herds and flocks. A solemn grove: how it affects a contemplative mind. A cataract, and rude scene. View of Summer in the torrid zone. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale. The storm over, a serene afternoon. Bathing. Hour of walking. Transition to the prospect of a rich well-cultivated country; which introduces a panegyric on Great Britain. Sun-set. Evening. Night. Summer meteors. A comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philosophy.
FROM brightening fields of ether fair disclos'd,
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth
He comes attended by the sultry hours,
And ever-fanning breezes, on his way;
While from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts her blushful face; and earth and skies,
All smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.
Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade, Where scarce a sunbeam wanders through the gloom;
And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink
Of haunted stream, that by the roots of oak
Rolls o'er the rocky channel, lie at large,
And sing the glories of the circling year.
Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit seat,
By mortal seldom found: may fancy dare,
From thy fix'd serious eye, and raptur'd glance
Shot on surrounding Heaven, to steal one look
Creative of the poet, every power
Exalting to an ecstasy of soul.
And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend,
In whom the human graces all unite:
Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart;
Genius, and wisdom; the gay social sense,
By decency chastis'd; goodness and wit,
In seldom-meeting harmony combin'd;
Unblemish'd honor, and an active zeal
For Britain's glory, liberty, and man:
O Doddington! attend my rural song,
Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line,
And teach me to deserve thy just applause.
With what an awful world-revolving power
Were first th' unwieldy planets lanch'd along
Th' illimitable void! Thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the toiling race of men,
And all their labor'd monuments away.
Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course;
To the kind-temper'd change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round,
Minutely faithful: such th' all-perfect Hand!
That pois'd, impels, and rules the steady whole.
When now no more th' alternate Twins are fir'd, And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze, Short is the doubtful empire of the night; And soon, observant of approaching day, The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews, At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east: Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow; And, from before the lustre of her face, White break the clouds away. With quicken'd step, Brown night retires: young day pours in apace, And opens all the lawny prospect wide. The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine; And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps, awkward; while along the forest-glade The wild-deer trip, and often turning gaze At early passenger. Music awakes The native voice of undissembled joy; And thick around the woodland hymns arise. Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells; And from the crowded fold, in order, drives His flock to taste the verdure of the morn.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake;
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,
To meditation due and sacred song?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life;
Total extinction of the enlighten'd soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wilder'd, and tossing through distemper'd dreams?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than nature craves; when every Muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning walk?
But yonder comes the powerful king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow
Illum'd with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo! now, apparent all,
Aslant the dew-bright Earth, and color'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering
High gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer Light!
Of all material beings first, and best!
Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe!
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun!
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?
'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound,
Thy system rolls entire: from the far bourne
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round
Of thirty years; to Mercury, whose disk
Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye,
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.
Informer of the planetary train!
Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orbs
Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead,
And not, as now, the green abodes of life!
How many forms of being wait on thee!
Inhaling spirit; from th' unfetter'd mind,
By thee sublim'd, down to the daily race,
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam.
The vegetable world is also thine,
Parent of Seasons! who the pomp precede
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain,
Annual, along the bright ecliptic road,
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime.
Meantime th' expecting nations, circled gay
With all the various tribes of foodful earth,
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up
A common hymn: while, round thy beaming car,
High-seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance
Harmonious knit, the rosy-finger'd Hours,
The zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains,
Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews,
And soften'd into joy the surly storms.
These, in successive turn, with lavish hand,
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower,
Herbs, flowers, and fruits; till kindling at thy touch,
From land to land is flush'd the vernal year.
Nor to the surface of enliven'd Earth,
Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods,
Her liberal tresses, is thy force confin'd:
But to the bowel'd cavern darting deep,
The mineral kinds confess thy mighty power.
Effulgent, hence the veiny marble shines;
Hence Labor draws his tools; hence burnish'd War
Gleams on the day; the nobler works of Peace
Hence bless mankind, and generous Commerce
The round of nations in a golden chain.
Th' unfruitful rock itself, impregn'd by thee,
In dark retirement forms the lucid stone.
The lively diamond drinks thy purest rays,
Collected light, compact; that, polish'd bright,
And all its native lustre let abroad,
Dares, as it sparkles on the fair-one's breast,
With vain ambition emulate her eyes.
At thee the ruby lights its deepening glow,
And with a waving radiance inward flames.
From thee the sapphire, solid ether, takes
Its hue cerulean; and, of evening tinct,
The purple-streaming amethyst is thine.
With thy own smile the yellow topaz burns,
Nor deeper verdure dyes the robe of Spring,
When first she gives it to the southern gale,
Than the green emerald shows. But, all combin'd,
Thick through the whitening opal play thy beams;
Or, flying several from its surface, form
A trembling variance of revolving hues,
As the site varies in the gazer's hand.
The very dead creation, from thy touch,
Assumes a mimic life. By thee refin'd,
In brighter mazes the reluctant stream
Plays o'er the mead. The precipice abrupt,
Projecting horror on the blacken'd flood,
Softens at thy return. The desert joys
Wildly, through all his melancholy bounds.
Rude ruins glitter; and the briny deep,
Seen from some pointed promontory's top,
Far to the blue horizon's utmost verge,
Restless, reflects a floating gleam. But this,
And all the much-transported Muse can sing,
Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use,
Unequal far; great delegated source
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below!
How shall I then attempt to sing of Him
Who, Light himself, in uncreated light
Invested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken;
Whose single smile has, from the first of time,
Fill'd o'erflowing, all those lamps of Heaven,
That beam for ever through the boundless sky :
But, should he hide his face, th' astonish'd Sun,
And all the extinguish'd stars, would loosening reel
Wide from their spheres, and Chaos come again.
And yet was every faltering tongue of man,
Almighty Father! silent in thy praise,
Thy works themselves would raise a general voice
Ev'n in the depth of solitary woods
By human foot untrod; proclaim thy power,
And to the quire celestial thee resound,
Th' eternal cause, support, and end of all!
To me be Nature's volume broad display'd;
And to peruse its all-instructing page,
Or, haply catching inspiration thence,
Some easy passage, raptur'd to translate;
My sole delight, as through the falling glooms
Pensive I stray, or with the rising dawn
On fancy's eagle-wing excursive soar.
Now flaming up the Heavens, the potent Sun
Melts into limpid air the high-rais'd clouds,
And morning fogs that hover'd round the hills
In party-color'd bands; till wide unveil'd
The face of Nature shines, from where Earth seems,
Far stretch'd around, to meet the bending sphere.
Half in a blush of clustering roses lost,
Dew-dropping Coolness to the shade retires;
There, on the verdant turf, or flowery bed,
By gelid founts and careless rills to muse;
While tyrant Heat, dispreading through the sky,
With rapid sway, his burning influence darts
On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream.
Who can unpitying see the flowery race,
Shed by the morn, their new-flush'd bloom resign,
Before the parching beam? So fade the fair,
When fevers revel through their azure veins.
But one, the lofty follower of the Sun,
Sad when he sits, shuts up her yellow leaves,
Drooping all night; and, when he warm returns,
Points her enamour'd bosom to his ray.
Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats;
His flock before him stepping to the fold:
While the full-udder'd mother lows around
The cheerful cottage, then expecting food,
The food of innocence and health! The daw,
The rook and magpie, to the grey-grown oaks
That the calm village in their verdant arms,
Sheltering, embrace, direct their lazy flight;
Where on the mingling boughs they sit embower'd,
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise.
Faint, underneath, the household fowls convene;
And, in a corner of the buzzing shade,
The house-dog, with the vacant greyhound, lies,
Out-stretch'd, and sleepy. In his slumbers, one
Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults
O'er hill and dale; till, waken'd by the wasp,
They starting snap. Nor shall the Muse disdain
To let the little noisy summer-race
Live in her lay, and flutter through her song.
Not mean, though simple; to the Sun allied,
From him they draw their animating fire.
Wak'd by his warmer ray, the reptile young
Come wing'd abroad; by the light air upborne
Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink,
And secret corner, where they slept away
The wintery storms; or rising from their tombs,
To higher life; by myriads, forth at once,
Swarming they pour; of all the varied hues
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose.
Ten thousand forms! ten thousand different tribes!
People the blaze. To sunny waters some
By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool
They, sportive, wheel; or, sailing down the stream,
Are snatch'd immediate by the quick-ey'd trout,
Or darting salmon. Through the greenwood glade
Some love to stray; there lodg'd, amus'd and fed,
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make
The meads their choice, and visit every flower,
And every latent herb: for the sweet task,
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap,
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclos'd,
Employs their tender care. Some to the house,
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their flight;
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese:
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream
They meet their fate; or, weltering in the bowl,
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.
But chief to heedless flies the window proves
A constant death; where, gloomily retir'd,
The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce,
Mixture abhorr'd! Amid a mangled heap
Of carcasses, in eager watch he sits,
O'erlooking all his waving snares around.
Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer oft
Passes, as oft the ruffian shows his front;
The prey at last ensnar'd, he dreadful darts,
With rapid glide, along the leaning line;
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs,
Let no presuming impious railer tax
Creative Wisdom, as if aught was form'd
In vain, or not for admirable ends.
Shall little haughty Ignorance pronounce
His works unwise, of which the smallest part
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind?
As if upon a full-proportion'd dome,
On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art!
A critic fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads
An inch around, with blind presumption bold,
Should dare to tax the structure of the whole.
And lives the man, whose universal eye
Has swept at once th' unbounded scheme of things;
Mark'd their dependence so, and firm accord,
As with unfaltering accent to conclude
That this availeth nought? Has any seen
The mighty chain of beings, lessening down
From Infinite Perfection to the brink
Of dreary nothing, desolate abyss!
From which astonish'd thought, recoiling, turns?
Till then alone let zealous praise ascend,
And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power
Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds,
As on our smiling eyes his servant Sun.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways,
Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolv'd,
The quivering nations sport; till, tempest-wing'd,
Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day
Ev'n so luxurious men, unheeding, pass
Strikes backward grimly pleas'd: the fluttering wing An idle summer life in fortune's shine,
And shriller sound declare extreme distress,
And ask the helping hospitable hand.
Resounds the living surface of the ground:
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who muses through the woods at noon:
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclin'd,
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade
Of willows grey, close-crowding o'er the brook.
Gradual, from these what numerous kinds de-
Evading ev'n the microscopic eye!
A season's glitter! Thus they flutter on
From toy to toy, from vanity to vice;
Till, blown away by Death, Oblivion comes
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.
Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead :
The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil,
Healthful and strong; full as the summer rose
Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid,
Half naked, swelling on the sight, and all
Her kindled graces, burning o'er her cheek.
Ev'n stooping age is here: and infant-hands
Full Nature swarms with life; one wondrous mass Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load
Of animals, or atoms organiz'd,
Waiting the vital Breath, when Parent-Heaven
Shall bid his spirit blow. The hoary fen,
In putrid steams, emits the living cloud
Of pestilence. Through subterranean cells,
Where searching sunbeams scarce can find a way,
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf
Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure,
Within its winding citadel, the stone
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs,
That dance unnumber'd to the playful breeze,
The downy orchard, and the melting pulp
Of mellow fruit, the nameless nations feed
Of evanescent insects. Where the pool
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible,
Amid the floating verdure millions stray.
Each liquid too, whether it pierces, soothes,
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste,
With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air,
Though one transparent vacancy it seems,
Void of their unseen people. These, conceal'd
By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape
The grosser eye of man: for, if the worlds
In worlds inclos'd should on his senses burst,
From cates ambrosial, and the nectar'd bowl,
He would abhorrent turn; and in dead night,
When silence sleeps o'er all, be stunn'd with noise.
O'ercharg'd, amid the kind oppression roll.
Wide flies the tedded grain; all in a row
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field,
They spread their breathing harvest to the Sun,
That throws refreshful round a rural smell:
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground,
And drive the dusky wave along the mead,
The russet hay-cock rises thick behind,
In order gay.
While, heard from dale to dale,
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice
Of happy labor, love, and social glee.
Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band,
They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog
Compell'd, to where the mazy-running brook
Forms a deep pool; this bank abrupt and high,
And that fair spreading in a pebbled shore.
Urg'd to the giddy brink, much is the toil,
The clamor much, of men, and boys, and dogs,
Ere the soft fearful people to the flood
Commit their woolly sides: and oft the swain,
On some impatient seizing, hurls them in;
Embolden'd then, nor hesitating more,
Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing wave,
And panting labor to the farthest shore.
Repeated this, till deep the well-wash'd fleece
Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt
The trout is banish'd by the sordid stream;
Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow
Slow move the harmless race; where, as they spread Thrice-happy he! who, on the sunless side
Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray,
Inly disturb'd, and wondering what this wild
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints
The country fill; and, toss'd from rock to rock,
Incessant bleatings run around the hills.
At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks
Are in the wattled pen innumerous press'd,
Head above head: and, rang'd in lusty rows,
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears.
The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores,
With all her gay-drest maids attending round.
One, chief in gracious dignity enthron'd,
Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king;
While the glad circle round them yield their souls
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace:
Some mingling stir the melted tar, and some,
Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving side,
To stamp his master's cipher ready stand;
Others th' unwilling wether drag along;
And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy
Holds by the twisted horns th' indignant ram.
Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft,
By needy man, that all-depending lord,
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies!
What softness in its melancholy face,
What dumb complaining innocence appears!
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife
Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you wav'd;
No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears,
Who having now, to pay his annual care,
Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumbrous load,
Will send you bounding to your hills again.
A simple scene! Yet hence Britannia sees
Her solid grandeur rise: hence she commands
Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime,
The treasures of the Sun without his rage:
Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts,
Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence
Rides o'er the waves sublime, and now, ev'n now,
Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast;
Hence rules the circling deep, and awes the world.
"Tis raging noon; and, vertical, the Sun
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays.
O'er Heaven and Earth, far as the ranging eye
Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns; and all
From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze.
In vain the sight, dejected, to the ground
Stoops for relief; thence hot-ascending steams
And keen reflection pain. Deep to the root
Of vegetation parch'd, the cleaving fields
And slippery lawn an arid hue disclose,
Blast Fancy's bloom, and wither ev'n the soul.
Echo no more returns the cheerful sound
Of sharpening scythe: the mower sinking, heaps
O'er him the humid hay, with flowers perfum'd;
And scarce a chirping grasshopper is heard
Through the dumb mead. Distressful Nature pants.
The very streams look languid from afar;
Or, through th' unshelter'd glade, impatient seem
To hurl into the covert of the grove.
All-conquering Heat, oh, intermit thy wrath!
And on my throbbing temples potent thus
Beam not so fierce! Incessant still you flow,
And still another fervent flood succeeds,
Pour'd on the head profuse. In vain I sigh,
And restless turn, and look around for night;
Night is far off, and hotter hours approach.
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown'd,
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines :
Or in the gelid caverns, wood bine-wrought,
And fresh bedew'd with ever-spouting streams,
Sits coolly calm; while all the world without,
Unsatisfied and sick, tosses in noon:
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man,
Who keeps his temper'd mind serene and pure,
And every passion aptly harmoniz'd,
Amid a jarring world with vice inflam'd.
Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail!
Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks!
Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep!
Delicious is your shelter to the soul,
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides
Laves, as he floats along the herbag'd brink.
Cool, through the nerves, your pleasing comfort
The heart beats glad; the fresh-expanded eye
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit;
And life shoots swift through all the lighten'd limbs
Around th' adjoining brook, that purls along
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock,
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool,
Now starting to a sudden stream, and now
Gently diffus'd into a limpid plain;
A various group the herds and flocks compose,
Rural confusion! on the grassy bank
Some ruminating lie; while others stand
Half in the flood, and, often bending, sip
The circling surface. In the middle droops
The strong laborious ox, of honest front,
Which incompos'd he shakes; and from his sides
The troublous insects lashes with his tail,
Returning still. Amid his subjects safe,
Slumbers the monarch-swain; his careless arm
Thrown round his head, on downy moss sustain'd;
Here laid his scrip, with wholesome viands fill'd;
There, listening every noise, his watchful dog.
Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight
Of angry gad-flies fasten on the herd;
That startling scatters from the shallow brook,
In search of lavish stream. Tossing the foam,
They scorn the keeper's voice, and scour the plain,
Through all the bright severity of noon;
While, from their laboring breasts, a hollow moan
Proceeding runs low-bellowing round the hills.
Oft in this season too the horse, provok'd,
While his big sinews full of spirits swell,
Trembling with vigor, in the heat of blood,
Springs the high fence; and, o'er the field effus'd,
Darts on the gloomy flood, with stedfast eye,
And heart estrang'd to fear: his nervous chest,
Luxuriant, and erect! the seat of strength!
Bears down th' opposing stream: quenchless his
He takes the river at redoubled draughts,
And with wide nostrils, snorting, skims the wave.
Still let me pierce into the midnight depth
Of yonder grove, of wildest largest growth:
That, forming high in air a woodland quire,
Nods o'er the mount beneath. At every step,
Solemn, and slow, the shadows blacker fall,
And all is awful listening gloom around.
These are the haunts of Meditation, these
The scenes where ancient bards th' inspiring breath,
Ecstatic, felt; and, from this world retir'd,
Convers'd with angels and immortal forms.
On gracious errands bent: to save the fall
Of Virtue struggling on the brink of Vice;
In waking whispers, and repeated dreams,
To hint pure thought, and warn the favor'd soul
For future trials fated to prepare ;
To prompt the poet, who devoted gives
His Muse to better themes; to soothe the pangs
Of dying worth, and from the patriot's breast
(Backward to mingle in detested war,
But foremost when engag'd) to turn the death;
And numberless such offices of love
Daily, and nightly, zealous to perform.
Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky,
A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dusk,
Or stalk majestic on. Deep-rous'd, I feel
A sacred terror, a severe delight,
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep
It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round
At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad:
Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls,
And from the loud-resounding rocks below
Dash'd in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft
A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower.
Nor can the tortur'd wave here find repose:
But, raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
Now flashes o'er the scatter'd fragments, now
Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts;
And, falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
With wild infracted course, and lessen'd roar,
It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last,
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.
Invited from the cliff, to whose dark brow
Creep through my mortal frame; and thus, me- He clings, the steep-ascending eagle soars,
A voice, than human more, th' abstracted ear
Of fancy strikes. Be not of us afraid,
Poor kindred man! thy fellow-creatures, we
From the same Parent-Power our beings drew,
The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit.
Once some of us, like thee, through stormy life,
Toil'd, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain
This holy calm, this harmony of mind,
Where purity and peace immingle charms.
Then fear not us; but with responsive song,
Amid these dim recesses, undisturb'd
By noisy folly and discordant vice,
Of Nature sing with us, and Nature's God.
Here frequent, at the visionary hour,
When musing midnight reigns or silent noon,
Angelic harps are in full concert heard;
And voices chanting from the wood-crown'd hill,
The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade:
A privilege bestow'd by us, alone,
On Contemplation, or the hallow'd ear
Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain.".
And art thou, Stanley,* of that sacred band?
Alas, for us too soon! Though rais'd above
The reach of human pain, above the flight
Of human joy; yet, with a mingled ray
Of sadly-pleas'd remembrance, must thou feel
A mother's love, a mother's tender woe:
Who seeks thee still, in many a former scene;
Seeks thy fair form, thy lovely beaming eyes,
Thy pleasing converse, by gay lively sense
Inspir'd: where moral wisdom mildly shone,
Without the toil of art; and virtue glow'd,
In all her smiles, without forbidding pride.
But, O thou best of parents! wipe thy tears;
Or rather to Parental Nature pay
The tears of grateful joy, who for a while
Lent thee this younger self, this opening bloom
Of thy enlighten'd mind and gentle worth.
Believe the Muse: the wintry blast of Death
Kills not the buds of virtue; no, they spread,
Beneath the heavenly beam of brighter suns,
Through endless ages, into higher powers.
Thus up the mount, in aëry vision rapt,
I stray, regardless whither; till the sound
Of a near fall of water every sense
Wakes from the charm of thought: swift-shrinking
I check my steps, and view the broken scene. Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood
Rolls fair, and placid; where, collected all
With upward pinions, through the flood of day;
And, giving full his bosom to the blaze,
Gains on the Sun; while all the tuneful race,
Smit by afflictive noon, disorder'd droop,
Deep in the thicket; or, from bower to bower
Responsive, force an interrupted strain.
The stock-dove only through the forest cooes,
Mournfully hoarse; oft ceasing from his plaint,
Short interval of weary woe! again
The sad idea of his murder'd mate,
Struck from his side by savage fowler's guile,
Across his fancy comes; and then resounds
A louder song of sorrow through the grove.
Beside the dewy border let me sit,
All in the freshness of the humid air;
There in that hollow'd rock, grotesque and wild,
An ample chair moss-lin'd, and over-head
By flowering umbrage shaded; where the bee
Strays diligent, and with th' extracted balm
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh.
Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade,
While Nature lies around deep-lull'd in Noon,
Now come bold Fancy, spread a daring flight,
And view the wonders of the torrid zone:
Climes unrelenting! with whose rage compar'd,
Yon blaze is feeble, and yon skies are cool.
See, how at once the bright effulgent Sun,
Rising direct, swift chases from the sky
The short-liv'd twilight; and with ardent blaze
Looks gaily fierce through all the dazzling air:
He mounts his throne; but kind before him sends,
Issuing from out the portals of the morn,
The general breeze,† to mitigate his fire,
And breathe refreshment on a fainting world.
Great are the scenes, with dreadful beauty crown'd
And barbarous wealth, that see each circling year,
Returning suns and double seasons‡ pass :
Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines,
That on the high equator ridgy rise,
Whence many a bursting stream auriferous plays:
Majestic woods, of every vigorous green,
Stage above stage, high waving o'er the hills;
Or to the far horizon wide diffus'd,
A boundless deep immensity of shade.
Which blows constantly between the tropics from the east, or the collateral points, the north-east and southeast; caused by the pressure of the rarefied air on that before it, according to the diurnal motion of the Sun from east to west.
In all climates between the tropics, the Sun, as he * A young lady who died at the age of eighteen, in the passes and repasses in his annual motion, is twice a year year 1738. vertical, which produces this effect.