Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

The puzzling sons of party next appear'd,
In dark cabals and nightly juntoes met;
And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging

To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound;
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began,
Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground,
Where the wild thyme and camomile are found:
There would he linger, till the latest ray
Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound;
Then homeward through the twilight shadows

stray, Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day!

Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past:
For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal'd:
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field,

And markt the clouds that drove before the wind,
Ten thousand glorious systems would he build,
Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind;

But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace

Than forth they various rush in mighty fret;
When, lo! push'd up to power, and crown'd their


In comes another set, and kicketh them down stairs.

Th'important shoulder; then, as if to get
New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set. The glittering star of eve—"
day is done."
No sooner Lucifer recalls affairs,

With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk,
(Profoundly silent, for they never spoke,)
One shyer still, who quite detested talk:
Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke,
To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak,
There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone,
And on himself his pensive fury wroke,
Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone
Thank Heaven! the

Here lurk'd a wretch, who had not crept abroad
For forty years, ne face of mortal seen;
In chamber brooding like a lothely toad:
And sure his linen was not very clean.

2 P

[blocks in formation]

Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest,
To this dark den, where Sickness toss'd alway.
Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep opprest,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
Heaving his sides, and snored night and day;
To stir him from his traunce it was not eath,
And his half-open'd eyne he shut straightway:
He led, I wot, the softest way to death,

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny :
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave·

And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave. breath.

Come then, my Muse, and raise a bolder song:
Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Dragging the lazy languid line along,
Fond to begin, but still to finish loth,
Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the moth:
Arise, and sing that generous imp of Fame,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth,
To sweep away this human lumber came,
Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumbering flame.

Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Soft-swoln and pale, here lay the Hydropsy:
Unwieldy man; with belly monstrous round,
For ever fed with watery supply;

For still he drank, and yet he still was dry.
And moping here did Hypochondria sit,
Mother of Spleen, in robes of various dye,
Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
And some her frantic deem'd, and some her deem'd
a wit.

A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,

Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low:
She felt, or fancied in her fluttering mood,
All the diseases which the spittles know,
And sought all physic which the shops bestow.
And still new leeches and new drugs would try,
Her humor ever wavering to and fro;

For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes cry, Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not why.

Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd,

With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings;
Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind,
Yet lov'd in secret all forbidden things.
And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings;
The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks,
A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings;
Whilst Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperance knocks
Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.


The knight of arts and industry,
And his achievements fair;
That by his castle's overthrow,

Secur'd, and crowned were.

ESCAP'D the castle of the sire of sin,
Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find?
For all around, without, and all within,
Nothing save what delightful was and kind,
of goodness savoring and a tender mind,
E'er rose to view. But now another strain,
Of doleful note, alas! remains behind:
I now must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain,
And of the false enchanter, Indolence, complain.

Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
And fence for her Parnassus' barren soil?
To every labor its reward accrues,
And they are sure of bread who swink and moil;
But a fell tribe th' Aonian hive despoil,
As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee:
Thus while the laws not guard that noblest toil,
Ne for the other Muses meed decree,
They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.

In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old,
Of feature stern. Selvaggio well yclep'd,
A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold,
But wondrous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd
Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd;
In hunting all his days away he wore;

Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd.
Now pinch'd by biting January sore,
He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar.

As he one morning, long before the dawn,
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey,
Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn,
With wood wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray,
That from the beating rain, and wintery fray,
Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy;

There, up to earn the needments of the day,
He found dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy:
Her he compress'd, and fill'd her with a lusty boy

Amid the greenwood shade this boy was bred,
And grew at last a knight of muchel fame,
Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed,
The Knight of Arts and Industry by name.
Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame;
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream;
His tasteful well-earn'd food the sylvan-game,
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem
The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme.

So pass'd his youthful morning, void of care,
Wild as the colts that through the commons run
For him no tender parents troubled were,
He of the forest seem'd to be the son,
And certes had been utterly undone;
But that Minerva pity of him took,
With all the gods that love the rural wonne,
That teach to tame the soil and rule the crook;
Ne did the sacred Nine disdain a gentle look.

Of fertile genius him they nurtur'd well,
In every science, and in every art,

By which mankind the thoughtless brutes excel,
That can or use, or joy, or grace impart,
Disclosing all the powers of head and heart:
Ne were the goodly exercises spar'd,

That brace the nerves, or make the limbs alert,
And mix elastic force with firmness hard:
Was never knight on ground mote be with him

« EelmineJätka »