« EelmineJätka »
No, fly me, fly me, far as Pole from Pole;
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll!
Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me,
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign;
Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine.
Fair eyes, and tempting looks, (which yet I view !)
Long loved, adored ideas, all adieu!
Oh grace serene! oh virtue heavenly fair!
Divine oblivion of low-thoughteď Care!
Fresh-blooming Hope, gay daughter of the sky!
And Faith, our early immortality!
Enter, each mild, each amicable guest;
Receive, and wrap me, in eternal rest!
See in her cell sad Eloïsa spread,
Propp'd on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead.
In each low wind methinks a spirit calls,
And more than echoes talk along the walls.
Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around,
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound.
"Come, sister, come! (it said, or seem'd to say)
Thy place is here, sad sister, come away;
Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd,
Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid':
But all is calm in this eternal sleep;
Here Grief forgets to groan, and Love to weep,
E'en Superstition loses every fear:
For God, not man, absolves our frailties here.”
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers.
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
Where flames refined in breasts seraphic glow:
Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay,
And smooth my passage to the realms of day:
See my lips tremble, and my eyeballs roll,
Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul!
Ah no-in sacred vestments may'st thou stand,
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Present the cross before my lifted eye,
Teach me at once, and learn of me, to die.
Ah then, thy once-loved Eloïsa see!
It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'cr;
And even my Abelard be loved no more.
O Death all-eloquent! you only prove
What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love.
Then, too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy,
(That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy)
In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd,
Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round,
From opening skies may streaming glories shine,
And saints embrace thee with a love like mine.
May one kind grave unite each hapless name,
And graft my love immortal on thy fame!
Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er,
When this rebellious heart shall beat no more;
If ever chance two wandering lovers brings
To Paraclet's white walls and silver springs,
O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads;
And drink the falling tears each other sheds;
Then sadly say, with mutual pity moved,
"Oh may we never love as these have loved !”
From the full choir when loud hosannahs rise,
And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Amid that scene if some relenting eye
Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie,
Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heaven,
One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven.
And sure if fate some future bard shall join
In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well;
Let him our sad, our tender story tell;
The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost;
He best can paint them who shall feel them most.
TRANSLATIONS AND IMITATIONS.
THE following Translations were selected from many others done by the Author in his youth; for the most part, indeed, but a sort of Exercises, while he was improving himself in the languages, and carried by his early bent to Poetry to perform them rather in verse than prose. Mr. Dryden's Fables came out by that time, which occasioned the Translations from Chaucer. They were first separately printed in Miscellanies by J. Tonson and B. Lintot, and afterwards collected in the quarto edition of 1717. The Imitations of English Authors, which are added at the end, were done as early, some of them at fourteen or fifteen years old; but having also got into Miscellanies, we have thought it best so to continue them.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR MDCCXI.
THE hint of the following piece was taken from Chaucer's House of Fame. The design is in a manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own; yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third Book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title.
This poem is introduced in the manner of the Provençal poets, whose works were for the most part yisions or pieces of imagination, and constantly descriptive.
In that soft season, when descending showers
Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flowers;
When opening buds salute the welcome day,
And earth relenting feels the genial ray;
As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
(What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings)
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies; The whole creation open to my eyes:
In air self-balanced hung the globe below,
Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow;
Here naked rocks and empty wastes were seen,
There towery cities, and the forests green;.
Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes;
There trees and intermingled temples rise:
Now a clear sun the shining scene displays,
The transient landscape now in clouds decays.
O'er the wide prospect as I gazed around,
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Or billows murmuring on the hollow shore:
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose towering summit ambient clouds conceal'd.
High on a rock of ice the structure lay,
Steep its ascent, and slippery was the way;
The wondrous rock like Parian marble shone,
And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone.
Inscriptions here of various names I view'd,
The greater part by hostile time subdued;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And poets once had promised they should last.
Some fresh engraved appear'd of wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own; like others, soon their place resign'd,
Or disappear'd, and left the first behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt the approaches of too warm a sun;
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heaven could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
Their names inscribed unnumber'd ages past
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost) Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on the impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop the incumbent sky
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell❜d.
Four faces had the dome,1 and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of equal grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the different quarters of the sky.
Here fabled chiefs in darker ages born,
Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities raised, or tamed a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace.
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mould,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld,
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield:
There great Alcides2 stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds the Hesperian spoil.
Here Orpheus sings; trees moving to the sound
Start from their roots, and form a shade around:
Amphion there the loud-creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire!
Citharon's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you see the lengthening spires ascend,
The domes swell up, and widening arches bend,
1 The Temple is described to be square, the four fronts with open gates facing the different quarters of the world, as an intimation that all nations of the earth may alike be received into it. The western front is of Grecian architecture: the Doric order was peculiarly sacred to heroes and worthies. Those whose statues are after mentioned, were the first names of old Greece in arms and arts.
2. This figure of Hercules is drawn with an eye to the position of the famous statue of Farnese.