« EelmineJätka »
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
But here the needle plies its busy task, Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald, The pattern grows, the well-depicted flow'r, Heav'n, earth, and ocean, plunderd of their sweets, Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn, Nectareous essences, Olympian dews,
Unfolds its bosom; buds, and leaves, and sprigs, Sermons, and city feasts, and fav’rite airs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully dispos'd, Ethereal journeys, submarine exploits,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair; And Katerfelto, with his hair on end
A wreath, that cannot fade, of now'rs, that blow At his own wonders, wond'ring for his bread. With most success when all besides decay.
"Tis pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat, The poet's or historian's page by one To peep at such a world ; to see the stir
Made vocal for th' amusement of the rest; of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd ; The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds To hear the roar she sends through all her gates The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out; At a safe distance, where the dying sound
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct, Falls a soft murmur on th' uninjur'd ear.
And in the charming strife triumphant still; 'Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge
of the last meal commence. A Roman meal ; With all its generations; I behold
Such as the mistress of the world once found
Perhaps by moonlight, at their humble doors,
of fancy, or proscribes the sound of mirth: He travels and expatiates, as the bee
Nor do we madly, like an impious world, From flow'r to flow'r, so he from land to land; Who deem religion frenzy, and the God, The manners, customs, policy, of all
That made them, an intruder on their joys, Pay contribution to the store he gleans ;
Start at his awful name, or deem his praise
A jarring note. Themes of a graver tone,
While we retrace with Mom’ry's pointing wand, He travels, and I too. I tread his deck,
That calls the past to our exact review, Ascend his topmast, through his peering eyes The dangers we have 'scaped, the broken snare, Discover countries, with a kindred heart
The disappointed foe, deliv'rance found Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes ;
Unlook'd for, life preserv'd, and peace restor’d, While fancy, like the finger of a clock,
Fruits of omnipotent eternal love.
The Sabine bard. O ev’nings, I reply,
The pent-up breath of an unsav'ry throng,
To thaw him into feeling; or the smart I love thee, all unlovely as thou seemist,
And snappish dialogue, that flippant wits And dreaded as thou art! Thou hold'st the Sun Call comedy, to prompt him with a smile ? A pris'ner in the yet undawning east,
The self-complacant actor, when he views Short'ning his journey between morn and noon, (Stealing a sidelong glance at a full house) And hurrying him, impatient of his stay,
The slope of faces, from the floor to th' roof Down to the rosy west ; but kindly still
(As if one master-spring controllid them all) Compensating his loss with added hours
Relax'd into a universal grin, Of social converse and instructive ease,
Sees not a count'nance there, that speaks of joy And gath'ring, at short notice, in one group, Half so refind or so sincere as ours. The family dispers'd, and fixing thought,
Cards were superfluous here, with all the tricks
To fill the void of an unfurnish'd brain,
Time, as he passes us, has a dove's wing,
Unsoil'd, and swift, and of a silken sound; Of long uninterrupted ev'ning, know.
But the World's Time is Time in masquerade! No rattling wheels stop short before these gates ; Theirs, should I paint him, has his pinions fledg'd No powder'd pert, proficient in the art
With motley plumes; and, where the peacock shows Of sounding an alarm, assaults these doors His azure eyes, is tinctur'd black and red Till the street rings; no stationary steeds
With spots quadrangular of diamond form, Cough their own knell, while, heedless of the sound, Ensanguin'd hearts, clubs typical of strife, The silent circle fan themselves, and quake : And spades, the emblem of untimely graves. 96
3 0 2
What should be, and what was an hour-glass once, In the red cinders, while with poring eye
I gaz'd, myself creating what I saw.
In indolent vacuity of thought, of card-devoted Time, and night by night
And sleeps and is refresh'd. Meanwhile the face Plac'd at some vacant corner of the board, Conceals the mood lethargic with a mask Learn ev'ry trick, and soon play all the game. of deep deliberation, as the man But truce with censure. Roving as I rove, Were task'd to his full strength, absorb'd and lost. Where shall I find an end, or how proceed? Thus oft reclind at ease, I lose an hour As he that travels far oft turns aside
At ev'ning, till at length the freezing blast, To view some rugged rock or mould'ring tow'r, That sweeps the bolted shutter, summons home Which seen delights him not; then coming home The recollected pow'rs, and snapping short Describes and prints it, that the world may know | The glassy threads, with which the Faney weares How far he went for what was nothing worth; Her brittle toils, restores me to myself. So I, with brush in hand and pallet spread, How calm is my recess! and how the frost, With colors mix'd for a far diff'rent use,
Raging abroad, and the rough wind, endear Paint cards and dolls, and ev'ry idle thing, The silence and the warmth enjoy'd within! That Fancy finds in her excursive flights.
I saw the woods and fields at close of day
The golden harvest, of a mellow brown,
With verdure not unprofitable, graz'd
His fav'rite herb; while all the leafless groves, Not sumptuously adorn'd, not needing aid,
That skirt th' horizon, wore a sable hue,
Scarce notic'd in the kindred dusk of eve.
Which even now, though silently perform'd,
Of universal nature undergoes.
Descending, and with never-ceasing lapse,
Assimilate all objects. Earth receives
Gladly the thick’ning mantle; and the green To books, to music, or the poet's toil;
And iender blade, that fear'd the chilling blast, To weaving nels for bird-alluring fruit;
Escapes unhurt beneath so warm a veil. Or twining silken threads round iv'ry reels,
In such a world, so thorny, and where none When they command whom man was born to Finds happiness unblighted, or, if found, please;
Without some thistly sorrow at its side ; I slight thee not, but make thee welcome still. It seems the part of wisdom, and no sin
Just when our drawing-rooms begin to blaze Against the law of love, to measure lots With lights, by clear reflection multiplied
With less distinguish'd ihan ourselves ; that thus From many a mirror, in which he of Gath, We may with patience bear our mod'rate ills, Goliath, might have seen his giant bulk
And sympathize with others suff'ring more. Whole without stooping, tow'ring crest and all, Ill fares the tray'ller now, and he that stalks My pleasures, too, begin. But me perhaps
In pond'rous boots beside his reeking team. The glowing hearih may satisfy awhile
The wain goes heavily, impeded sore With faint illumination, that uplifts
By congregated loads adhering close The shadows to the ceiling, there by fits
To the clogg'd wheels; and in its sluggish pace Dancing uncouthly to the quiv'ring flame. Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow. Not undelightful is an hour to me
The toiling steeds expand the nostril wide,
While ev'ry breath, by respiration strong
The pelling brunt of the tempestuous night,
Presented bare against the storm, plods on. Nor need one; I am conscious, and confess
One hand secures his hat, save when with both Fearless a soul, that does not always think. He brandishes his pliant length of whip, Me oft has Fancy ludicrous and wild
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain. Sooth'd with a waking dream of houses, tow'rs, O happy! and in my account denied Trees, churches, and strange visages, express'd | That sensibility of pain, with which
Refinement is endu'd, thrice-happy thou !
But poverty with most, who whimper forth Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed
Their long complaints, is self-inflicted woe; The piercing cold, but feels it unimpair'd.
The effect of laziness or sottish waste.
Now goes the nightly thief prowling abroad
By works of darkness and noctural wrong. Thy days roll on exempt from household care ; Woe to the gard'ner's pale, the farmer's hedge, Thy wagon is thy wife; and the poor beasts, Plash'd neatly, and secur'd with driven slakes That drag the dull companion to and fro,
Deep in the loamy bank. Uptorn by strength,
Resistless in so bad a cause, but lame
An ass's burden, and, when laden most
And heaviest, light of foot steals fast away Humane as they would seem, not always show. Nor does the boarded hovel better guard
Poor, yet industrious, modest, quiet, neat, The well-stack'd pile of riven logs and roots Such claim compassion in a night like this, From his pernicious force. Nor will he leave And have a friend in ev'ry feeling heart.
Unwrench'd the door, however well securd, Warmd, while it lasts, by labor, all day long Where Chanticleer amidst his harem sleeps They brave the season, and yet find at eve, In unsuspecting pomp. "Twitch'd from the perch, Ill clad, and fed but sparely, time to cool.
He gives the princely bird, with all his wives, The frugal housewife trembles when she lights To his voracious bag, struggling in vain, Her scanty stock of brushwood, blazing clear, And loudly wond'ring at the sudden change. But dying soon, like all terrestrial joys.
Nor this to feed his own. "Twere some excuse, The few small embers left she nurses well; Did pity of their suff'rings warp aside And, while her infant race, with outspread hands His principle, and tempt him into sin And crowded knees, sit cow'ring o'er the sparks, For their support, so destitute. But they Retires, content to quake, so they be warm’d. Neglected pine at home; themselves, as more The man feels least, as more inur'd than she Expos'd than others, with less scruple made To winter, and the current in his veins
His victims, robb’d of their defenceless all. More briskly mov'd by his severer toil ;
Cruel is all he does. 'Tis quenchless thirst Yet he too finds his own distress in theirs.
Of ruinous ebriety, than prompts The taper soon extinguish'd, which I saw
His ev'ry action, and imbrutes the man. Dangled along at the cold finger’s-end
O for a law to noose the villain's neck, Just when the day declin'd; and the brown loaf Who starves his own; who persecutes the blood Lodgid on the shelf, half eaten without sauce He gave them in his children's veins, and hates Of sav'ry cheese, or butter, costlier still;
And wrongs the woman he has sworn to love! Sleep seems their only refuge: for, alas !
Pass where we may, through city or through town, Where penury is felt, the thought is chain'd, Village, or hamlet, of this merry land, And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few! Though lean and beggar'd, ev'ry twentieth pace With all this thrift they thrive not. All the care, Conducts th' unguarded nose to such a whiff Ingenious Parsimony takes, but just
Of stale debauch, forth-issuing from the styes Saves the small inventory, bed, and stool,
That law has licens'd, as makes Temp'rance reel. Skillet, and old carv'd chest, from public sale. There sit, involv'd and lost in curling clouds They live, and live without extorted alms
Of Indian fume, and guzzling deep, the boor, From grudging hands; but other boast bave none, The lackey, and the groom : the craftsman there To soothe their honest pride, that scorns to beg, Takes a Lethean leave of all his toil ; Nor comfort else, but in their mutual love. Smith, cobbler, joiner, he that plies the shears, I praise you much, ye meek and patient pair, And he that kneads the dough; all loud alike, For ye are worthy; choosing rather far
All learned, and all drunk! The fiddle screams A dry but independent crust, hard earn’d,
Plaintive and piteous, as it wept and wail'd And eaten with a sigh, than to endure
Its wasted tones and harmony unheard : The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs
Fierce the dispute, whate'er the theme; while she, Of knaves in office, partial in the work
Fell Discord, arbitress of such debate, of distribution ; lib'ral of their aid
Perch'd on the sign-post, holds with even hand To clam'rous Importunity in rags,
Her undecisive scales. In this she lays But oft-times deaf to suppliants, who would blush A weight of ignorance; in that, of pride ; To wear a tatter'd garb however coarse,
And smiles delighted with the eternal poise. Whom famine cannot reconcile to filth:
Dire the frequent curse, and its twin sound, These ask with painful shyness, and, refus'd The cheek-distending oath, not to be prais'd Because deserving, silently retire !
As ornamental, musical, polite, But be ye of good courage! Time itself
Like those which modern senators employ, Shall much befriend you. Time shall give increase; Whose oath is rhet'ric, and who swear for famne! And all your num'rous progeny, well-train'd Behold the schools, in which plebeian minds But helpless, in few years shall find their hands, Once simple are initiated in arts, And labor too. Meanwhile ye shall not want Which some may practise with politer grace, What, conscious of your virtues, we can spare, But none with readier skill 'Tis here they learn Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send.
The road, that leads from competence and peace I mean the man, who, when the distant poor To indigence and rapine ; till at last Need help, denies them nothing but his name. Society, grown weary of the load,
Shakes her encumber'd lap, and casts them out. And the first larum of the cock's shrill throat
To horrid sounds of hostile feet within.
Through pathless wastes and woods, unconscious once Th’ Excise is fatten'd with the rich result
Of other tenants than melodious birds, Of all this riot; and ten thousand casks,
Or harmless flocks, is hazardous and bold.
The course of human things from good to ill,
Would I had fall'n upon those happier days, That seizes first the opulent, descends
Of order, from the chariot to the plow. Nymphs were Dianas then, and swains had hearts, The rich, and they that have an arm to check That felt their virtues : Innocence, it seems, The license of the lowest in degree, From courts dismiss’d, found shelter in the groves; Desert their office ; and themselves, intent The footsteps of Simplicity, impress'd
On pleasure, haunt the capital, and thus Upon the yielding herbage, (so they sing,) To all the violence of lawless hands Then were not all effac'd: then speech profane, Resign the scenes their presence might protect. And manners profligate, were rarely found, Authority herself not seldom sleeps, Observ'd as prodigies, and soon reclaim'd. Though resident, and witness of the wrong. Vain wish! those days were never: airy dreams The plump convivial parson often bears Sat for the picture : and the poet's hand, The magisterial sword in vain, and lays Imparting substance to an empty shade,
His rev'rence and his worship both to rest Impos'd a gay delirium for a truth.
On the same cushion of habitual sloth. Grant it: 1 still must envy them an age,
Perhaps timidity restrains his arm; That favor'd such a dream; in days like these When he should strike he trembles, and sets free, Impossible, when Virtue is so scarce,
Himself enslav'd by terror of the band, That to suppose a scene where she presides, Th' audacious convict, whom he dares not bind. Is tramontane, and stumbles all belief.
Perhaps, though by profession ghostly pure, No: we are polish'd now. The rural lass, He too may have his vice, and sometimes prove Whom once her virgin modesty and grace, Less dainty than becomes his grave outside Her artless manners, and her neat attire,
In lucrative concerns. Examine well So dignified, that she was hardly less
His milk-white hand; the palm is hardly cleanThan the fair shepherdess of old romance,
But here and there an ugly smutch appears. Is seen no more. The character is lost!
Foh! 'twas a bribe that left it: he has touch'd Her head, adorn'd with lappets pinn'd aloft, Corruption. Whoso seeks an audit here And ribands streaming gay, superbly rais’d, Propitious, pays his tribute, game or fish, And magnified beyond all human size,
Wild-fowl or ven’son; and his errand speeds. Indebted to some smart wig-weaver's hand
But faster far, and more than all the rest,
The heart of merit in the meaner class.
And incompatible with serious thought.
Blest with an infant's ignorance of all
A wrestling-match, a foot-race, or a fair;
Sheepish he doffs his hat, and mumbling swears Th' unguarded door was safe; men did not watch A Bible-oath to be whate'er they please, T'invade another's right, or guard their own. To do he knows not what. The task perform'd, Then sleep was undistwrb’d by fear, unscar'd That instant he becomes the sergeant's care, By drunken howling; and the chilling tale His pupil, and his torment, and his jest. of midnight murder was a wonder heard
His awkward gait, his introverted toes, With doubtful credit, told to frighten babes. bar knees, round shoulders, and dejected looks, But farewell now to unsuspicious nights,
Procure him many a curse. By slow degrees, And slumbers unalarm'd! Now, ere you sleep, Unapt to learn, and form'd of stubborn stuff, See that your polish'd arms be prim'd with care, He yet by slow degrees puts off himself, And drop the night-bolt ;-ruftians are abroad ; Grows conscious of a change, and likes it well:
He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk; Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms :
New to my taste, his Paradise surpass'd
I marvellid much that at so ripe an age
As twice seven years, his beauties had then first
Engag'd my wonder; and admiring still,
And still admiring, with regret suppos'd
Determin'd, and possessing it at last
With transports, such as favor'd lovers feel,
By modern lights from an erroneous laste,
I still revere thee, courtly though retir'd;
Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's silent bow'rs
Not unemploy’d; and finding rich amends
For a lost world in solitude and verse.
"Tis born with all: the love of Nature's works Shine out; there only reach their proper use.
Is an ingredient in the compound man,
Infus'd at the creation of the kind.
And, though th' Almighty Maker has throughout
Discriminated each from each, by strokes
And touches of his hand, with so much art
Twins at all points-yet this obtains in all,
That all discern a beauty in his works,
And all can taste them: minds that have been form'd
But none without some relish, none unmoy'd.
It is a flame, that dies not even there,
Where nothing feeds it: neither business, crowds,
Nor habits of luxurious city life,
Whatever else they smother of true worth
In human bosoms, quench it or abate.
The villas, with which London stands begirt,
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads,
Ev'n in the stifling bosom of the town,
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms
That soothe the rich possessor; much consolid, With all its majesty of thund'ring pomp,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well
That Nature lives; that sight-refreshing green
Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear,
Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole.
What are the casements lin'd with creeping herbs,
The prouder sashes fronted with a range
The Frenchman's darling ** Are they not all proofs
That man, immur'd in cities, still retains
His inborn inextinguishable thirst
of rural scenes, compensating his loss
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life,
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air,
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there;