« ForrigeFortsett »
Inexorably calm, with silent pace
Here Time has pass'd—What ruin marks hisway! This pile, now crumbling o'er its hallow'd base,
Turn'd not his step, nor could his course delay.
Religion rais'd her supplicating eyes
In vain, Philosophy, with maxims wise,
Would touch the cold unfeeling heart of Time.
Yet the hoar tyrant, though not mov'd to spare,
And partly the rude ravage to repair,
How solemn is the cell o'ergrown with moss,
In the crush'd wall, a time-corroded cross,
Where the mild Sun, through saint-encypher"d glass,
Many rapt hours might Meditation pass,
And Piety, with mystie-meanmg bead?,
Trod oft the solitary path that leads
Through the grey grove, between those with'ring trees,
'Mongst a rude group of monuments, appears A marble-imag'd matron on her knees, Half wasted, like a Niobe in tears:
Low levell'd in the dust her darling's laid!
Death pitied not the pride of youthful bloom; Nor could maternal piety dissuade,
Or soften the fell tyrant of the tomb.
The relics of a mitred saint may rest,
Where, mould'ring in the niche, his statue stands 3
Now nameless as the crowd that kiss'd his vest, And crav'd the benediction of his hands.
Near the brown arch, redoubling yonder gloom,
Ah! what avails, that o'er the vassal plain,
That Honour and her knights compos'd his train,
Though to the clouds his castle seem'd to climb, And frown'd defiance on the desp'rate foe;
Thoughdeem'd invincible, the conqueror, Time, Levell'd the fabric, as the founder, low.
Where the light lyre gave many a soft'ning sound,
And where Society sat sweetly crown'd,
The lizard, and the lazy lurking bat,
Where the sage matron and her maidens sat,
The traveller's bewilder'd" on a waste;
And the rude winds incessant seem to roar, Where, in his groves with arching arbours grae'd,
Young lovers often sigh'd in days of yore.
His aqueducts, that led the limpid tide
In the deep dust their barren beauties hide: [dry I
Though his rich hours in revelry were spent,
And the sweet brow of Beauty, still unbent,
Fleet are the fleecy moments! fly they must;
Not to be stay'd by masque or midnight roar! Nor shall a pulse among that mould'ring dust
Beat wanton at the smiles of Beauty more!
Can the deep statesman, skill'd in great design,
Or the tun'd follower of the sacred Nine
No—though the palace bar her golden gate,
Unerring, and unseen, the shaft of Fate
What then avails Ambition's wide-stretch'd wing,
The crape-clad hermit, and the ricb-rob'd king,
The Macedonian monarch, wise and good,
Courtiers should call, as round his couch they stood, "Philip! remember, thou 'rt no more than man.
"Though glory spread thy name from poletopole: Though thou art merciful, and brave, and^ust;
Philip, reflect, thou 'rt posting to the goal,
So Saladin, for arts and arms renown'd,
Returning with imperial triumphs crown'd,
And as he rode, high in his regal car
In all the purple pride of conquest drest;
Conspicuous, o'er the trophies gain'd in war,
While thus the herald cry'd—" This son of Pow'r,
May, in the space of one revolving hour,
Search where Ambition rag'd, with rigour steel'J,
And say, while Memory weeps the blood-stainM
field, [man?Where lies the chief, and where the common
Vain then are pyramids, and motto'd stones,
For Time confounds them with the crumbling bones,
Rests not heneath the turf the peasant's head,
Or sleeps one colder, in his close clay bed,
Hither, let Luxury lead her loose-roh'd train;
Here flutter Pride, on purple-painted wings: And from the moral prospect learn—how vain
The wish, that sighs for suhlunary tiiings!
Hi that Love hath never try'd,
What are honours, regal wealth,
Gentle shepherds, persevere,
SAPPHO'S HYMN TO VF.NV9
Hah.! (with eternal heauty hlest!O'er Heav'n and Earth ador'd !) Hail, Venus! 'tis thy slave's request, Her peace may he restor'd: Break the fond honds, remove the rankling smart, And bid thy tyrant son from Sappho's soul depart.
Once you descended, queen of love,
At Sappho's hold desire. From the high roofs of sacred Jove, Thy ever glorious sire! I saw thy dusky pinion'd sparrows bear Thy chariot, rolling light, through the rejoicing air.
No transient visit you design'd,
Yonr wanton hirds depart; And with a look, divinely kind, That sooth'd my flutt'ring heart: *' Sappho," say you, " what sorrow breaks thy rest? How can I give relief to thy conflicting hreast?
"Is there a youth severely coy,
My fav'rite would subdue? Or has she lost some wand'ring hoy, To plighted vows untrue? Spread thy soft nets, the rambler shall return, And with new lighted flames, more fond, more fiercely hurn.
"Thy proffer'd gifts though he deride,
And scorn thy glowing charms, Soon shall his every art he try'd To win thee to his arms: Though he he now as cold as virgin snow, Toe victim, in his turn, shall like rous'd iE\na glow."
HYMN TO VENUS. 4i5Thee, goddess, I again invoke.
IMITATIONS FROM ANACHEON,
As I wove, with wanton care,
Glowing with malicious joy.
"Urchin," in my rage I cry'd, "What avails thy saucy pride? From thy husy veugeance free, Triumph now belongs to me! Thus—I drown thee in my cup; Thus—in wine I drink thee up."
Fatal was the nectar'd draught That to murder Love I quaff d. O'er my bosom's fond domains Now the cruel tyrant reigns: On my heart's most tender strings, Striking with his wanton wings, I'm for ever doom'd to prove All the insolence of love.
"Titt me»u said I, " my beauteous Dove
"Ambrosial sweets thy pinions shed As in the quivering breeze they spread !*
"A message," says the bird, " I bear
"Me, for an hymn, or amorous ode,
"Through the soft air he bade me glide,
"Twould prove me but a simple bird
When I 've my master's leave to stand
"Or if he strike the trembling wire,
Habk! the speaking strings invite,
On each glowing cheek is spread
As the magic numbers rise, Through my veins the poison flies; Raptures, not to be exprest, Revel in my th robbing breast. Jocund as we beat the ground, Love and Harmony go round.
Every maid (to crown his bliss) Gives her youth a rosy kiss; Such a kiss as might inspire Thrilling raptures—soft desire Such Adonis might receive, Such the queen of beauty gave, When the conquer'd goddess strove (In the conscious myrtle grove) To inflame the boy with love.
Let not pride our sports restrain, Banish hence the prude, Disdain! Think—ye virgins, if you 're coy, Think—ye rob yourselves of joy; Every moment you refuse, So much ecstasy you lose: Think—how fast these moments fly: If you should too long deny, Love and Beauty both will die.
Now I'm in my armour cla«p'd,
Wounded, through the woods I run,
Freedom I must, now, resign, Victory, oh Love, is thine! What can outward actions win When the battle butus within!
Fat me that capacious cup,
Let a wreath my temples shield,
Flow'rets, by their friendly aid,
ODE XXXIII. TO THE SWALLOW.
Soon as summer glads the sky,
When the seasons cease to smile,
Like the Swallow, Love, depart!
No, he 'It never leave his nest,
Till their noisy chirpings cease,
Feathei'd ones the younglings feed, Till mature they 're fit to breed; Then, to swell the crowded store, They produce their thousands more: Nor can mighty numbers count In my breast their vast amount.
A Po*t»ait, at my lord's command, Completed by a curious hand:For dabblers in the nice crrtu
His lordship set the piece to view, Bidding their connoisscurships tell.
Whether the work was finish'd well.
"Why"—says the loudest, " on my word, Tis not a likeness, good my lord;Nor, to be plain, for speak I must, Can I pronounce one feature just." Another effort straight was made, Another portraiture essay'd;The judges were again besought,
Kach to deliver what he thought,
"Worse than the first"—the critics bawl;"O what a mouth! how monstrous small!Look at the cheeks—how lank and thin!See, what a most prcpost'rous chin!" After remonstrance made in vain,
"I'll," says the painter, "once again, (If my good lord vouchsafes to sit) Try for a more successful hit:If you Ml to morrow deign to call, We '11 have a piece to please you all." To morrow comes—a picture 's plac'd
Before those spurious sons of Taste »
In their opinions all agree, This is the vilest of the three."Know—to confute your envious pride, (His lordship from the canvass cry'd)"Know—that it is my real face, Where you could no resemblance trace:I've try'd you by a lucky trick, And prov'd your Genius to the quick. Void of all judgment—justice—sense,
Out—ye pretending varlets—hence."
The connoisseurs depart in haste, i
A Witch, that from her ebon chair Could hurl destruction through the air, Or, at her all-commanding will, Make the tumultuous ocean still:Once, by an incantation fell, (As the recording Druids tell) Pluck'd the round Moon, whose radiant light Silver'd the sober noon of night, From the domain she held above,
Down to a dark, infernal grove.
"Give me," the goddess cry'd, "a cause, Why you disturb my sacred laws? Look at my train,—yon wand'ring host! See how the trembling stars are lost! Through the celestial regions wide, Why do they range without a guide! Chaos, from our confusion, may Hope for his old detested sway."
"I 'm," says the Witch, " severely crost, Know that my fav'rite squirrel '» lost:
Search for I" 11 have creation torn,
If he's not found before the morn."
Soon as the impious charge was giv'n— From the tremendous stores of Heaven,
Jove with a bolt revengeful! red!
Struck the detested monster dead.
If there are slaves to pity blind, With power enough to plague mankind, That for their own nefarious ends Tread upon Freedom and her friends, Let 'em beware the Witch's fate 1 When their presumption 's at the height, Jove will his angry powers assume, And the curs'd miscreants meet their doom.
To travel far as the wide world extends,
Virtue set forth, with two selected friends,
As they went on, in their intended round.
Talent first spoke, " My gentle comrades, say, Where each of you may probably be found, Should accident divide us on the way.
"If torn (she added) from my lov'd allies, A friendly patronage I hope to find, Where the fine arts from cultivation rise,
And the sweet Muse hath harmoniz'd mankind."
Says Virtue, "Did Sincerity appear, Or meek-ey'd Charity among the great;Could I find courtiers from corruption clear,
"Could I find patriots, for the public weal
Could I find priests of undissembled zeal,
"In glitt'ring domes let Luxury reside;
I must be found in some sequester'd cell, Far from the paths of Avarice or Pride,
Where homebred Happiness delights to dwell."
When wedded, away the wing'd gentleman hies,
This law, long ago, did Love's providence make, That ev'ry coquet should be curs'd with a rake.
THE SHEEP AND THE BRAMBLE-BUSH:
A FAB IE.
A Thick-twisted brake, in the time of a storm,
Seem'd kindly to cover a sheep: So snug, for a while, he lay shelter'd and warm,
It quietly sooth'd him asleep.
The clouds are now seatter'd—the winds are at
But, ah! the fell thicket lays hold of his fleece,
My friend, who the thicket of law never try'd,
Consider before you get in; Though judgment and sentence are pass'd on your
By Jove, you '11 be fleee'd to the skin. [side,
THE FOX AND THE CAT.
The Fox and the Cat, as they travell'd one day, With moral discourses cut shorter the way:
"'Tis great," says the Fox, "to make justice our guide!" "How godlike is mercy!" Grimalkin reply'd.
Whilst thus they proceeded,—a wolf from the Impatient of hunger, and thirsting for blood, [wood, Rush'd forth—as he saw the dull shepherd asleep, And seiz'd for his supper an innocent sheep. "In vain, wretched victim, for mercy you bleat, When mutton's at hand," says the wolf, " 1 must eat."
Grimalkin's astonish'd,—the Fox stood aghast, To see the fell beast at his bloody repast. "What a wretch," says the Cat,—" 'tis the vilest of brutes: Does he feed upon flesh, when there's herbagt
and roots?" Cries the Fox—" While our oaks give us acorns so
good, What a tyrant is this, to spill innocent blood!" Well, onward they march'd, and they moral iz'd still, Till they came where some poultry pick'd chaff by a mill;Sly Renard survey'd them with gluttonous eyes, And made (spite of morals) a pullet his prize.
A mouse too, that chane'd from her covert to The greedy Grimalkin secur'd as her prey, [stray,
A spider that sat in her web on the wall, Perceiv'd the poor victims, and pity'd their fall; She cry'd—" Of such murders how guiltless am I!" So ran to regale on a new taken fly.
The faults of our neighbours with freedom we blame, But tax not ourselves, though we practise the same.
When Chloe, with a blush, comply'd
A painter cajl'd, Nicander cries, Descending from the radiant skies,
His talents straight the painter try'd. And ere the nuptial knot was ty'd, A picture in the noblest taste Before the fond Nicander plae'd.
The lover thus arraign'd his skill, "Your execution's monstrous ill! A different form my fancy made; You 're quite a bungler at the trade. Where is the robe's luxuriant flow? Where is the cheek's celestial glow? Where are the looks so fond and free t 'Tis not an Hymen, sir, for me."
The painter bow'd—with this reply, "My colours an't, your honour, dry; When time has mellow'd ev'ry tint, 'Twill please you—or the deuce is in 'ti I Ml watch the happy change, and then Attend you with my piece again."
In a few months the painter came With a performance—(tiill the sauic.)