« EelmineJätka »
So when black clouds surround heaven's glorious face,
Tempestuous darkness covering all the place,
If we discern but the least glimmering ray
Of that bright orb of fire which rules the day,
The chearful sight our fainting courage warms;
Fix'd upon that, we fear no future harms.
· WRETCHED mankind! void of both strength
Dextrous at nothing but at doing ill!
In merit humble, in pretensions high,
Among them none, alas! more weak than I,
And none more blind : though still I worthless thought
The best I ever spoke, or ever wrote.
But zealous heat exalts the humblest mind ;
Within my soul such strong impulse I find
The heavenly tribute of due praise to pay:
Perhaps 'tis sacred, and I must obey.
Yet such the subjects, various, and so high,
Stupendous wonders of the Deity!
Miraculous effects of boundless power !
And that as boundless goodness thining more!
All these fo numberless my thoughts attend,
Oh where shall I begin, or ever end?
But on that theme which ev'n the wise abuse,
So sacred, so sublime, and so abitruse,
Abruptly to break off, wants no excuse.
While others vainly strive to know Thee more,
Let me in filent reverence adore ;
Withing that human power were higher rais’d,
Only that thine might be more nobly prais'd!
Thrice happy angels in their high degree,
Created worthy of extolling Thee !
Hope to mend Shakespcare ! or to match his style!
'Tis such a jest would make a Stoic smile.
Too fond of fame, our poet soars too high,
Yet freely owns he wants the wings to fly:
So sensible of his presumptuous thought,
That he confesses while he does the fault :
This to the fair will no great wonder prove,
Who oft' in blushes yield to what they love.
Of.greatest actions, and of noblest men,
This story most deserves a poet's pen
For who can with a scene more juftly fam’d,
When Rome and mighty Julius are but nam’d!
That state of heroes who the world had brav’d!
That wondrous man who fich a state inslav'd !
Yet loth he was to take so rough a way,
And after govern'd with so mild a fway,
At distance now of seventeen hundred years,
Methinks a lovely ravisher appears ;
Whom, though forbid by virtue to excuse,
A nymph might pardon, and could scarce refufe.
HITHER is Roman honour gone?
Where is your ancient virtue now?
That valour, which so bright has shone,
And with the wings of conquest flown,
Must to a haughty master bow :
Who, with our toil, our blood, and all we have beside,
Gorges his ill-got power, his humour, and his pride.
Fearless he will his life expose;
So does a lion or a bear.
His very virtues threaten those,
Who more his bold ambition fear.
How stupid wretches we appear,
Who round the world for wealth and empire roam,
Yet never, never think what flaves we are at home!
Did men for this together join,
Quitting the free wild life of Nature ?
What other beast did e'er design
The setting up his fellow-creature,
And of two mischiefs chufe the greater? Oh!
Oh! rather than be slaves to bold imperious men,
Give us our wildness, and our woods, our huts, and
There, secure from lawless fway,
Out of Pride or Envy's way;
Living up to Nature's rules,
Not deprav'd by knaves and fools ;
Happily we all should live, and harmless as our heep,
And at last as calmly die as infants fall asleep.
0! to prevent this mighty empire's doom,
From bright unknown abodes of blifs I come,
The awful genius of majestic Rome.
Great is her danger : but I will engage
Some few, the matier-fouls of all this age,
To do an act of just heroic rage.
'Tis hard, a man ío great should fall so low;
More hard to let fo brave a people bow
To one themselves have rais'd, who scorns them now,
Yet, oh! I grieve t! at Brutus should be stain'd,
Whose life, excepting this one act, remain'd
that future times will think it feign'd.
But only he can make the rest combine;
The very life and soul of their defign,
The centre, where those mighty fpirits join.
Unthinking men no sort of scruples make;
Others do ill, only for mischief's fake;
But ev’n the best are guilty by mistake.
Thus fome for envy, or revenge, intend
To bring the bold ufurper to his end :
But for his country Brutus stabs his friend.
ELL, oh! tell me, whence arise
These disorders in our skies?
Rome's great genius wildly gaz'd,
And the gods seem all amaz’d.
Know, in sight of this day's fun,
Such a deed is to be done,
Black enough to shroud the light
Of all this world in dismal night.
What is this deed ?
To kill a man,
The greatest since mankind began :
Learned, eloquent, and wise,
Generous, merciful, and brave !
Yet not too great a sacrifice,
The liberty of Rome to save ?