« EdellinenJatka »
Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones,
The very turf on which we tread once liv'd ;
And we that live, must lend our carcasses
To cover our own offspring ; in their turns
They too must cover theirs.—Tis here all meet,
The shivering Icelander, and sunburnt Moor ;
Men of all climes that never met before ;
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, and Christian.
Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder,
His sovereign's keeper, and the people's scourge,
Are huddled out of sight.--Here lie abash'd
The great negotiators of the earth,
And celebrated masters of the balance,
Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts.
Now vain their treaty-skill:--Death scorns to treat.
Here the o'erloaded slave flings down his burden
From his gallid shoulders ;-and, when the stern
With all his guards and tools of power about him,
Is meditating new unheard-of hardships,
Mocks his short arm,--and quick as thoughtescapes
Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest.
Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade,
The tell-tale echo, and the babbling stream,
(Time out of mind the favourite scats of love)
Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down,
Unblasted by foul tongue.--Here friends and foes
Lie close; unmindful of their former feuds.
The lawn-rob'd prelate and plain presbyter,
Erewhile that stood aloof, as shy to meet,
Familiar mingle here like sister-streams
That some rude interposing rock has split.
Here is the large-limb’d peasant:-here the child
Of a span long, that never saw the sun,
Nor press’d the nipple, strangled in life's porch.
Here is the mother, with her sons and daughters :
The barren wife, and long-demurring maid,
Whose lonely unappropriated sweets
Smil'd like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff,
Not to be come at by the willing hand.
Here are the prude severe, and gay coquette,
The sober widow, and the young green virgin,
Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown,
Or half its worth disclos'd. Strange medley here!
Here garrulous old age winds up his tale;
And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart,
Whose every day was made of melody,
Hears not the voice of mirth.—The shrill tongued
Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding.
Here are the wise, the generous, and the brave;
The just, the good, the worthless, and profane,
The downright clown, and perfectly well-bred ;
The fool, the churl, the scoundrel, and the mean;
The supple statesman, and the patriot stern;
The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time,
With all the lumber of six thousand years.
Poor man!-how happy once in thy first state! When yet but warm from thy great Maker's hand, He stamp'd thee with his image, and, well-pleas'd, Smil'd on his last fair work. Then all was well. Sound was the body, and the soul serene; Like two sweet instruments, ne'er out of tune, That play their several parts.—Nor head, nor
heart, Offer'd to ache: nor was there cause they should; For all was pure within : no fell remorse, Nor anxious castings-up of what might be,
Alarm'd his peaceful bosom. Summer seas
Show not more smooth, when kiss'd by southern
Just ready to expire-scarce importun'd,
The generous soil, with a luxurious hand,
Offer'd the various produce of the year,
And every thing most perfect in its kind.
Blessed! thrice blessed days !But ah! how short!
Bless'd as the pleasing dreams of holy men;
But fugitive like those, and quickly gone.
Oh! slippery state of things. What sudden turns!
What strange vicissitudes in the first leaf
Of man's sad history !-To-day most happy,
And ere to-morrow's sun has set, most abject.
How scant the space between these vast extremes!
Thus far'd it with our sire :-not long he enjoy'd
His Paradise.-Scarce had the happy tenant
Of the fair spot due time to prove its sweets,
Or sum them up, when straight he must be gone;
Ne'er to return again. And must he go?
Can nought compound for the first dire offence.
Of erring man ?-Like one that is condemn'd,
Fain would he trifle time with idle talk,
And parley with his fate. But 'tis in vain.
Not all the lavish odours of the place,
Offer'd in incense, can procure his pardon,
Or mitigate his doom. A mighty angel,
With flaming sword, forbids his longer stay,
And drives the loiterer forth ; nor must he take
One last and farewell round. At once he lost
His glory, and his God.-If mortal now,
And sorely maim'd, no wonder.-Man has sinn'd.
Sick of his bliss, and bent on new adventures,
Evil he would needs try: nor tried in vain.
(Dreadful experiment! destructive measure !
Where the worst thing could happen, is success.)
Alas! too well he sped:-the good he scorn'd
Stalk'd off reluctant, like an ill-usd ghost,
Not to return;-or if it did, its visits,
Like those of angels, short and far between :
Whilst the black demon, with his hell-scap'd train,
Admitted once into its better room,
Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone;
Lording it o'er the man : who now too late
Saw the rash error, which he could not mend :
An error fatal not to him alone,
But to his future sons, his fortune's heirs.
Inglorious bondage !-Human nature groans
Beneath a vassalage so vile and cruel,
And its vast body bleeds through every vein.
What havoc hast thou made, foul monster, Sin
Greatest and first of ills. The fruitful parent
Of woes of all dimensions !-But for thee
Sorrow had never been.-All noxious thing,
Of vilest nature !-Other sorts of evils
Are kindly circumscrib'd, and have their bounds.
The fierce volcano, from his burning entrails,
That belches molten stone and globes of fire,
Involv'd in pitchy clouds of smoke and stench,
Mars the adjacent fields for some leagues round,
And there it stops. The big-swol'n inundation,
Of mischief more diffusive, raving loud,
Buries whole tracts of country, threatening more;
But that too has its shore it cannot pass.
More dreadful far than those! Sin has laid waste,
Not here and there a country, but a world :
Despatching at a wide-extended blow
Entire mankind; and, for their sakes, defacing
A whole creation's beauty with rude hands;
Blasting the foodful grain, the loaded branches,
And marking all along its way with ruin.
Accursed thing !-Oh! where shall fancy find
A proper name to call thee by, expressive
Of all thy horrors ?-Pregnant womb of ills!
Of temper so transcendently malign,
That toads and serpents, of most deadly kind,
Compar'd to thee, are harmless.-Sicknesses
Of every size and symptom, racking pains,
And bluest plagues, are thine. See how the fiend
Profusely scatters the contagion round!
Whilst deep-mouth'd slaughter, bellowing at her
Wades deep in blood new-spilt; yet for to-morrow
Shapes out new work of great uncommon daring,
And inly pines till the dread blow is struck.
But, hold ! I've gone too far; too much dis-
cover'd My father's nakedness, and nature's shame. Here let me pause, and drop an honest tear; One burst of filial duty and condolence, O’er all those ample deserts Death hath spread, This chaos of mankind.-O great man-eater! Whose every day is carnival, not sated yet! Unheard-of epicure! without a fellow! The veriest gluttons do not always cram; Some intervals of abstinence are sought To edge the appetite: thou seekest none. Methinks the countless swarms thou hast devour'd, And thousands that each hour thou gobblest up, This, less than this, might gorge thee to the full. But, ah ! rapacious still, thou gap'st for more: Like one, whole days defrauded of his meals,