« EelmineJätka »
Whose thoughts are suited to her life's decline:
Which yet all wish, nor know they wish for pain.
We call for death, and shelter in a shroud.
Where's Portia now ?-But Portia left behind Two lovely copies of her form and mind. What heart untouch'd their early grief can view, Like blushing rose-buds dipp'd in morning dew? Who into shelter takes their tender bloom,
And forms their minds to flee from ills to come?
A while torment, and then quite sink in woe.
And man, whom least she fears, her worst of foes!
In simple manners all the secret lies;-
THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.
An Allegorical Poem.
The Castle hight of Indolence,
Mortal man, who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate:
For, tho' sometimes it makes thee weep and wail, And curse thy star, and early drudge and late; Withouten that would come an heavier bale, Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round,
Than whom a fiend more fell is no where found.
And there a season atween June and May, Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrown'd,
A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for play. Was nought around but images of rest:
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between; And flow'ry beds that slumb'rous influence kest, From poppies breath'd; and beds of pleasant green, Where never yet was creeping creature seen. Meantime unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd, And hurled every where their waters sheen; That, as they bicker'd thro' the sunny glade, Tho' restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills
Full in the passage of the vale above,
Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to move,
A pleasing land of drowsy head it was, ́ Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye; And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, For ever flushing round a summer sky: There eke the soft delights that witchingly Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast, And calm the pleasures, always lover'd nigh; But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest, Was far, far off expell'd from this delicious nest.
The landscape such, inspiring perfect ease, Where Indolence (for so the wizard hight) Close hid his castle 'mid embow'ring trees, That half shut out the beams of Phœbus bright, And made a kind of checquer'd day and night: Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate, Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight Was plac'd; and, to his lute, of cruel fate And labour harsh complain'd, lamenting man's estate.
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,
From all the roads of earth that pass thereby :
While o'er th' enfeebling lute his hand he flung, And to the trembling chords those tempting verses
Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold! See all but man with unearn'd pleasure gay: 'See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of May! 'What youthful bride can equal her array?
Who can with her for easy pleasure vie? 'From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray, 'From flow'r to flow'r on balmy gales to fly, Is all she hath to do beneath the radiant sky.
Behold the merry minstrels of the morn,
'Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, Such grateful kindly raptures them emove: They neither plough nor sow; ne, fit for flail, 'E'er to the barn the nodding-sheaves they drove; 'Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale.
'Outcast of nature, man! the wretched thrall Of bitter-dropping sweat, of sweltry pain, ⚫ of cares that eat away thy heart with gall, And of the vices, an inhuman train, That all proceed from savage thirst of gain : For when hard-hearted interest first began To poison earth, Astræa left the plain; 'Guile, violence, and murder seiz'd on man, 'And,for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers ran.