Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Some show that nice sagacity of smell,
And read with such discernment, in the 'port
And figure of the man, his secret aim,
That oft we owe our safety to a skill
We could not teach, and must despair to learn.

620
But learn we might, if not too proud to stoop
To quadrupede instructors, many a good
And useful quality, and viriue too,
Rarely exemplised among ourse ves.
Attachment never to be wean’d, or chang'd

625 By any change of fortune ; proof alike Against unkindness, ab..cuce, and neglect; Fidelity, that neither bribe nor threat Can move or warp; and gratitude for small And trivial favours, lasting as the life,

630 And glistening even in the dying eye.

Man praises man. Desert in arts or arms Wins public honour; and ten thousand sit Patiently present at a sacred song, Commemoration-mad; content to hear

635 (Oh wonderful effect of music's power!). Messiah's eulogy for Handel's sake! But less, methink, than sacrilege night serve(For, was it less, what heathen would have dar'd To strip Jove's statute of his oaken wreath,

640 And hang it up in honour of a man?) Much less might serve, when all that we design, Is but to gratify an itching ear, And give the day to a musician's praise. Remember Handel; Who, was not born

645 Deaf as the dead to harmony, forgets, Or can, the more than Homer of his age ? Yes-we remember him; and, while we praise A talent so divine, renember too That His most holy book from whom it came

650 Was never meant, was never us'd before, To buckram out the memory of a man. But hush !-the muse perhaps is too severe ; And, with a gravity beyond the size And measure of the offence, rebukes a deed

655 Less impious than absurd, and owing niore To want of judgment than to wrong design. So in the chapel of old Ely House, When wandering Charles, who meant to be the third, Had fled from William, and the news was fresh, 660

610

The simple clerk, but loyal, did announce,
And eke did rear right merrily, two staves,
Sung to the praise and glory of king George!
--Man praises man; and Garrick's memory next,
When time hath somewhat mellow'd it, and made 665
The idol of our worship while he liy'd
The god of our idolatry once more,
Shall have its altar; and the world shall go
In pilgrimage to bow before his shrine.
The theatre, too small, shall suffocate,

670 Its squeez'd contents, and more than it admits Shall sigh at their exclusion, and return Ungratified. For there some noble lord Shall stuff his shoulders with king Richard's bunch, Or wrap himself in Hamlet's inky cloak,

675 And strut, and storm, and straddle, stamp, and stare, To show the world how Garrick did not adtFor Garrick was a worshipper himself; He drew the liturgy, and fram'd the rites And solemn ceremonial of the day, And call'd the world to worship on the banks Of Avon, fam'd in song. Ah, pleasant proof That piety has still in human hearts Some place, a spark or two not yet extinct. The mulberry-tree was hung with blooming wreaths ; 685 The mulberry-tree stood centre of the dance ; The mulberry-tree was hymu'd with dulcet airs ; And from his touchwood trunk the mulberry-tree Supplied such relics as devotion holds Still sacred, and preserves with pious care.

690 So 'twas an hallow'd time: decorum reign'd, And mirih without offence. No few return'd, Doubtless, much edified, and all refresh'd. ---Man praises man. The rabble, all alive, From tippling. benches, cellars, stalls, and styes, 695 Sivarm in the streets. The statesman of the day, A pompous and slow-moving pageant, comes. Some shout him, and some hang upon his car, To gaze in his eyes, and bless hin.“ Maidens wave Their ’kerchiefs, and old women weep for joy:

700 While others, not so satisfied, unhorse The gilded equipage, and, turning loose His steeds, usurp a place they well deserve. Why? what has charm'd them? Hath he sav'd the state ? No. Doth he purpose its salvation ? No.

705 Enchanting novelty, that moon at full,

[ocr errors]

710

715

720

725

That finds out every crevice of the head
That is not sound and perfect, hath in their's
Wrought this disturbance. But the wane is near,
And his own cattle must suffice him soon.
Thus idly do we waste the breath of praise,
And dedicate a tribute, in its use
And just direction sacred, to a thing
Doom'd to the dust, or lodg'd already there!
Encomium in old time was poets' work;
But, poets having lavishly long since
Exhausted all materials of the art,
The task now falls into the public hand;
And I, contented with an humble theme,
Have pour'd my stream of panegyric down.
The vale of nature, where it creeps and winds
Among her lovely works with a secure
And unambitious course, refleding clear,
If not the virtues, yet the worth, of brutes.
And I am recompens'd, and deem the toils
Of poetry not lost, if verse of inine
May stand between an animal and woe,
And teach one tyrant pity for his drudge.

The groans of nature in this nether world,
Which Heaven has heard for ages, have an end.
Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,
Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp,
The time of rest, the promis’d sabbath, comes.
Six thousand years of sorrow have well-nigh
Fulfill'd their tardy and disastrous course
Over a sinful world ; and what remains
Of this tempestuous state of human things
Is merely as the working of a sea
Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest :
For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds
The dust that waits upon his sultry march,
When sin hath mov'd him, and his wrath is hot,
Shall visit earth in mercy ; shall descend,
Propitious, in his chariot pav'd with love ;
And what his storms have blasted and defac'd
For man's revolt shall with a smile repair.

Sweet is the harp of prophecy ; too sweet
Not to be wrong'd by a mere mortal touch :
Nor can the wonders it records be sung
To meaner music, and not suffer loss.

730

735

740

745

750

But, when a poet, or when one like me,
Happy to rove among poetic flowers,
Though poor in skill to rear them, lights at last
On some fair theme, some theme divinely fair,.
Such is the impulse and the spur he feels
To give it praise proportion'd to its worth,
That not to attempt it, arduous as he deenis
The labour, were a task more arduous still.

755

760

765

7702

775

Oh scenes surpassing fable, and yet true,
Scenes of accomplish'd bliss ! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refresh'd with foretaste of the joy?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty ; the reproach
Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundalice; and the land, once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thistly curse repeal'd.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring,
The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet, all are full.
'The lion, and the libbard, and the bear
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Antipathies are none. No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent now : the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
Stretch'd forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lanıbent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One Lord, one Father. Error has no place :
That creeping pestilence is driven away;
The breath of heaven has chas'd it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant string,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not: the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations; and all cry,
“ Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us !"
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks
Shout to each other, and the mountain tops
From distant mountains catch the flying joy;

780

785

790

795

#

[ocr errors]

Till, nation after nation taught the strain,
Each rolls the rapturous hosanna round.
Behold the measure of the promise fillid;
See Salem built, the labour of a God!
Bright as a sun the sacred city shines ;

800
All kingdoms and all princes of the earth
Flock to that light; the glory of all lands
Flows into her; unbounded is her joy,
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
Nehaioth, and the flocks of Kedar there;

805
The looms of Ormus, and the mines of Ind,
And Saba's spicy groves, pay tribute there.
Praise is in all her gates ; upon her walls,
And in her streets, and in her spacious courts,
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there

810
Kneels with the native of the farthest west ;
And Æthiopia spreads abroad the hand,
And worships. Her report has travell’d forth
Into all lands. From every clime they come
To see thy beauty and to share thy joy,

815
O Sion! an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as Heaven stoops down to see.

Thus heaven-ward all things tend. For all were once
Perfect, and all must be at length restor’d.
So God has greatly purpos'd ; who would else

820
In his dishonour'd works himself endure
Dishonour, and be wrong'd without redress.
Haste, then, and wheel away a shatter'd world,
Ye slow-revolving seasons! we would see
(A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet)

825
A world that does not dread and hate his laws,
And suffer for its crime ; would learn how fair
The creature is that God pronounces good,
How pleasant in itself what pleases him.
Here every drop of honey hides a sting;

830
Worms wind themselves into our sweetest flowers;
And even the joy that haply some poor heart
Derives from heaven, pure as the fountain is,
Is sullied in the stream, taking a taint
From touch of human lips, at best impure.

835 Nebaioth and Kedar, the sons of Ishmael, and progenitors of the Arabs, in the prophetic scripture here alluded to, may be reasonably considered as representatives of the Gentiles at large.

1 1

« EdellinenJatka »