Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Rather than so, ah! let me still survive,

Here tears shall flow from a more generous cause, And burn in Cupid's flames—but burn alive." Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws :

“Restore the Lock," she cries; and all around, He bids your breasts with ancient ardor rise, “ Restore the Lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound. And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain

Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws, Roard for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain | What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was : But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, No common object to your sight displays, and chiefs contend till all the prize is lost! But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys, The Lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain, A brave man struggling in the storms of fate, In every place is sought, but sought in vain : And greatly falling with a falling state. With such a prize no mortal must be blest, While Cato gives his little senate laws, So Heaven decrees! with Heaven who can contest? What bosom beats not in his country's cause!

Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Who sees him act, but envies every deed ? Since all things lost on Earth are treasur'd there. Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases, Ev'n when proud Cæsar midst triumphal cars, And beaux in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases : The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars, There broken vows and death-bed alras are found, Ignobly vain, and impotently great, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound; Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state ; The courtier's promises, and sick man's prayers, As her dead father's reverend image past, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, The pomp was darken’d, and the day o'ercast; Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,

The triumph ceas'd, tears gush'd from ev'ry eye, Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.

The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by; But trust the Muse--she saw it upward rise, iHer last good man dejected Rome ador'd, Though mark’d by none but quick, poetic eyes : And honor'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword? (So Rome's great founder to the Heavens withdrew, Britons, attend : be worth like this appror'd, To Proculus alone confess'd in view :)

And show, you have the virtue to be mov'd. A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,

With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.

Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she sul). Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,

dued ; The Heaven bespangling with dishevell'd light. Your scene precariously subsists too long The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,

On French translation, and Italian song. And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage,

This the beau-monde shall from the Mall survey, Be justly warm'd with your own native rage; And hail with music its propitious ray.

Such plays alone should win a British ear,
This the blest lover shall for Venus take,

As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake.
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes;
And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom

ELOISA TO ABELARD.
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy rav-

Argument.
ish'd hair
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!

Abelard and Eloïsa flourished in the twelfth cen Not all the tresses that fair head can boast,

tury; they were two of the most distinguished Shall draw such envy as the Lock you lost.

persons of their age in learning and beauty, but For, after all the murders of your eye,

for nothing more famous than for their unforte When, after millions slain, yourself shall die;

nate passion. After a long course of calamities, When those fair suns shall set, as set they must, they retired each to a several convent, and conAnd all those tresses shall be laid in dust,

secrated the remainder of their days to religion. This Lock the Muse shall consecrate to fame,

It was many years after this separation, that a • And midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.

letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands uf Eloïsa. This awakening all her tenderness,

occasioned those celebrated letters (out of which PROLOGUE

the following is partly extracted) which give so

lively a picture of the struggles of grace and na
TO MR. ADDISON'S TRAGEDY OF CATO. ture, virtue and passion.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art, In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; Where heavenly-pensive Contemplation dwells,
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, And ever-musing Melancholy reigns;
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold: What means this tumult in a vestal's veins ?
For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage, Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat ?
Commanding tears to stream through every age; Why feels my heart.its long-forgotten heat ?
Tyrants no more their savage nature kept,

Yet, yet I love !-From Abelard it came,
And foes to Virtue wonder'd how they wept. And Eloïsa yet must kiss the name.
Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move

Dear, fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;

Nor pass these lips in holy silence seal'd : In pitying Love, we but our weakness show, Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise, And wild Ambition well deserves its woe

Where, mix'd with God's, his lov'd idea lies

[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]
« EdellinenJatka »