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With Doris and her nymphs, and all the throng
Of azure gods to speed thee safe along.
But rather, to ensure thy happier haste,
Ascend Medea's chariot, if thou mayst;
Or that whence young Triptolemus of yore
Descended, welcome on the Scythian shore.
The sands that line the German coast descried,
To opulent Hamburga turn aside!
So call'd, if legendary fame be true,
From Hama, whom a club-arm'd Cimbrian slew!
There lives, deep learn'd and primitively just,
A faithful steward of his Christian trust,
My friend, and favourite inmate of my heart,
That now is forc'd to want its better part!
What mountains now, and seas, alas! how wide!
From me this other, dearer self divide,
Dear as the sage renown'd for moral truth
To the prime spirit of the Attic youth!
Dear as the Stagyrite to Amnion's son,
His pupil, who disdain'd the world he won!
Nor so did Chiron, or so Phoenix shine
In young Achilles' eyes, as he in mine.
First led by him through sweet Aonian shade,
Each sacred haunt of Pindus I survey'd;
And favour'd by the muse, whom I implored,
Thrice on my lip the hallow'd stream I pour'd.
But thrice the sun's resplendent chariot roll'd
To Aries, has new tinged his fleece with gold,
And Chloris twice has dress'd the meadows gay,
And twice has summer parch'd their bloom away,
Since last delighted on his looks I hung,
Or my ear drank the music of his tongue:
Fly, therefore, and surpass the tempest's speed;
Aware thyself that there is urgent need!
Him, entering, thou shalt haply seated see
Beside his spouse, his infants on his knee;
Or turning, page by page, with studious look,
Some bulky father, or God's holy book;
Or ministering (which is his weightiest care)
To Christ's assembled flock their heavenly fare.
Give him, whatever his employment be,
Such gratulation as he claims from me!
And, with a downcast eye, and carriage meek,
Addressing him, forget not thus to speak: [tend
u If compass'd round with arms thou canst at-
To verse, verse greets thee from a distant friend.
Long due, and late, I left the English shore;
But make me welcome for that cause the more!
Such from Ulysses, his chaste wife to cheer,
The slow epistle came, though late, sincere.
But wherefore this? why palliate I the deed
For which the culprit's self could hardly plead?
Self-charged, and self-condemn'd, his proper part
He feels neglected, with an aching heart;
But thou forgive—delinquents, who confess,
And pray forgiveness, merit anger less;
From timid foes the lion turns away,
Nor yawns upon or rends a crouching prey,
E'en pike-wielding Thracians learn to spare,
Won by soft influence of a suppliant prayer;
And heaven's dread thunderbolt arrested stands
By a cheap victim and uplifted hands.
Long had he wish'd to write, but was withheld,
And writes at last, by love alone compell'd,
For fame, too often true, when she alarms,
Reports thy neighbouring fields a scene of arms;
Thy city against fierce besiegers barr'd,
And all the Saxon chiefs for fight prepared.
Enyo wastes thy country wide around,
And saturates with blood the tainted ground;
Mars rests contented in his Thrace no more,
But goads his steeds to fields of German gore,
The ever verdant olive fades and dies,
And peace, the trumpet-hating goddess, flies,
Flies from that earth which justice long had left,
And leaves the world of its last guard bereft."
Thus horror girds thee round. Meantime alone
Thou dwell'st, and helpless, in a soil unknown;
Poor, and receiving from a foreign hand
The aid denied thee in thy native land.
Oh, ruthless country, and unfeeling more
Than thy own billow-beaten chalky shore!
Leavest thou to foreign care the worthies given
By providence to guide thy steps to heaven?
His ministers, commission'd to proclaim
Eternal blessings in a Saviour's name!
Ah then most worthy, with a soul unfed,
In Stygian night to lie for ever dead!
So once the venerable Tishbite stray'd
An exiled fugitive from shade to shade,
When, flying Ahab and his fury wife,
In lone Arabian wilds he shelter'd life;
So from Philippa wander'd forth forlorn
Cilician Paul, with sounding scourges torn;
And Christ himself, so left, and trod no more
The thankless Gergesene's forbidden shore.
But thou take courage! strive against despair!
Quake not with dread, nor nourish anxious care!
Grim war indeed on every side appears,
And thou art menaced by a thousand spears;
Yet none shall drink thy blood, or shall offend
E'en the defenceless bosom of my friend.
For thee the iEgis of thy God shall hide,
Jehovah's self shall combat on thy side.
The same who vanquish'd under Sion's towers
At silent midnight all Assyria's powers,
The same who overthrew in ages past
Damascus' sons that laid Samaria waste!
Their king he fill'd and them with fatal fears
By mimic sounds of clarions in their ears,
Of hoofs, and wheels, and neighings from afar,
Of clashing armour, and the din of war.
Thou, therefore (as the most afflicted may), Still hope, and triumph o'er thy evil day! Look forth, expecting happier times to come, And to enjoy, once more, thy native home!
ON THE APPROACH OF SPRING.
Time, never wandering from his annual round,
Bids zephyr breathe the spring, and thaw the ground;
Bleak winter flies, new verdure clothes the plain,
And earth assumes her transient youth again.
Dream I, or also to the spring belong
Increase of genius, and new powers of song?
Spring gives them, and, how strange soe'er it
Impels me now to some harmonious themes.
Castalia's fountain, and the forked hill
By day, by night, my raptured fancy fill;
My bosom burns and heaves, I hear within
A sacred sound that prompts me to begin.
Lo! Phoebus comes, with his bright hair he blends
The radiant laurel wreath; Phoebus descends!
I mount, and undepress'd by cumbrous clay,
Through cloudy regions win my easy way;
Rapt through poetic shadowy haunts I fly:
The shrines all open to my dauntless eye,
My spirit searches all the realms of light,
And no Tartarean gulfs elude my sight.
But this ecstatic trance—this glorious storm
Of inspiration—what will it perform?