« ForrigeFortsett »
Thus as down a long valley, with cedars o'erspread,
From war's dread confusion, I pensively stray'd
The gloom from the face of fair heav'n retir'd,
The winds ceas'd to murmur; the thunders expir'd;
Perfumes as of Eden, flow'd sweetly along,
And a voice as of angels, enchantingly sung ;
* Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world and the child of the skies.'
THE CHOICE OF A RURAL LIFE,
WRITTEN BY W. L. ESQ. GOV. OF N. J.
THE ARGUMENT.The subject proposed. Situation of the author's house. His
frugality in his furniture. The beauties of the country, His love of retirement, and choice of his friends. A description of the morning Hymn to the sun. Contemplation of the Heavens. The existence of God inferred from a view of the beauty and harmony of the creation. Morning and evening devotion. The vanity of riches and grandeur. The choice of his books. Praise of the marriage state. A knot of modern ladies described. The author's exit.
PHILOSOPHIC SOLITUDE, &c.
Pant after fame, and rush to war's alarms;
To shining palaces let fools resort,
And dunces cringe to be esteem'd at court:
Mine be the pleasure of a rural life,
From noise remote, and ignorant of strife;
Far from the painted belle, and white-glov'd beau,
The lawless masquerade, and midnight show:
From ladies' lap dogs, courtiers, garters, stars,
Fops, fiddlers, tyrants, emperors, and czars.
Full in the centre of some shady grove,
By nature form’d for solitude and love;
On banks array'd with ever-blooming flowers,
Near beaut’ous landscapes, or by roseate bowers,
My neat, but simple mansion I would raise,
Unlike the sumptuous domes of modern days;
Devoid of pomp, with rural plainness form'd,
With savage game, and glossy shells adornd,
No costly furniture should grace my hall; But curling vines ascend against the wall, Whose pliant branches should luxuriant twine, Whilst purple clusters swellid with future wine ; To slake my thirst a liquid lapse distil, From craggy rocks, and spread a limpid rill. Along my mansion spiry firs should giow, And gloomy views extend the shady row; The cedars flourish, and the poplars rise, Sublimely tall, and shoot into the skies. Among the leaves refreshing zephyrs play, And clouding trees exclude the noon-tide ray; Whereon the birds their downy nests should form, Securely shelter'd from the battring storm; And to melodious notes their choir apply, Soon as Aurora blush'd along the sky; While all around th’ enchanting music rings, And every vocal grove responsive sings.
Me to sequester'd scenes, ye muses guide, Where nature wantons in her virgin pride, To mossy banks edg'd round with op'ning flow'rs, Elysian fields and amaranthian bowers; Tambrosial founts, and sleep inspiring rills, To herbag'd vales, gay lawns, and sunny hills.
Welcome ye shades! all hail, ye vernal blooms! Ye bow'ry thickets, and prophetic glooms ! Ye forests hail! ye solitary woods ! Love whispering groves, and silver-streaming foods! Ye meads that aramatic sweets exhale ! Ye birds and all ye sylvan beauties hail ! Oh how I long with you to spend my days, Invoke the muse, and try the rural lays !
No trumpets there with martial clangor sound, No prostrate heroes strew the crimson'd ground; No
groves of lances glitter in the air, Nor thund'ring drums provoke the sanguine war, But white-rob'd peace, and universal love Smile in the field, and brighten every grove. There all the beauties of the circling year, In native ornamental pride appear, Gay rosy bosom’d Spring, and April showers: Wake from the womb of earth the rising flowers : In deeper verdure Summer clothes the plain, And Autumn bends beneath the golden grain ; The trees weep amber and the whispering gales Breeze o’er the lawn or murmur through the vates;
The flowery tribès in gay confusion bloom, Profuse of sweets, and fragrant with perfume; On blossoms blossoms, fruits on fruits arise, And varied prospects glad the wand’ring eyes. In these fair seats I'd pass the joyous day, Where meadows flourish and where fields look gay; From bliss to bliss with endless pleasure rove, Seek crystal streams or haunt the vernal
grove, Woods, fountains, lakes, the fertile fields, or shades, Aerial mountains, or subjacent glades.
There from the polish'd fecters of the great,
Triumphal piles, and gilded rooms of state;
Prime ministers, and sycophantic knaves,
Illustrious villians, and illustrious slaves!
From all the vain formality of fools,
And odious task of arbitrary rules ;
The ruffling cares which the vex'd soul annoy,
The wealth the rich possess, but not enjoy,
The visionary bliss the world can lend,
Th' insiduous foe, and false designing friend,
The seven-fold fury of Xantippe's soul,
that burns without controul;
I'd live retired, contented and serene,
Forgot, unknown, unenvied and unseen.
Yet not a real hermitage I'd choose,
Nor wish to live from all the world recluse ;
But with a friend sometimes unbend the soul
In social converse, o'er the sprightly bowl.
With cheerful W........, serene and wisely gay,
I'd often pass the dancing hours away :
He skill'd alike to profit and to please,
Politely talks with unaffected ease;
Sage in debate, and faithful to his trust,
Mature in science, and severely just;
Of soul diffusive, vast and unconfin’d,
Breathing benevolence to all mankind;
Cautious to censure, ready to commend,
A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted friend :
In early youth fair wisdom's paths he trod,
In early youth a minister of God :
Each pulpit lov'd him when at Yale he shone,
And ev'ry bleeding bosom weeps him gone. ,
Dear A...... too, should grace my rural seat,
For ever welcome to the
green retreat :
Heaven for the cause of righteousness design’d,
His florid genius, and capacious mind;
Oft have I heard, amidst the adorning throng,
Celestial truths devolving from his tongue :
High o'er the list’ning audience seen him stand,
Divinely speak and graceful stretch his hand :
With such becoming grace and pompous sound,
With long rob’d senators encircled round,
Before the Roman bar, while Rome was free,
Nor bow'd to Cæsar's throne the servile knee,
Immortal Tully plead the patriot cause,
While ev'ry tongue resounded his applause.
Next round my board should candid S...... appear,
Of manners gentle, and a friend sincere,
Averse to discord, party-rage and strife,
He sails serenely down the stream of life,
With the three friends, beneath a spreading shade
Where silver fountains murmur thro' the glade;
Or in cool grots, perfum'd with native flow'rs,
In harmless mirth I'd spend the circling hours,
Or gravely talk, or innocently sing,
Or, in harmonious concert, strike the trembling string.
Amid sequester'd bowers, near gliding streams,
Druids and bards enjoy'd serenest dreams.
Such was the seat where courtly Horace sung,
And his bold harp immortal Maro strung :
Where tuneful Orpheus' unresisted lay,
Made rapid tygers bear their rage away;
While groves attentive to th’ ecstatic sound
Burst from their roots, and raptur’d danc'd around.
Such seats the venerable seers of old
(When blissful years in golden circles rolld)
Chose and admir'd: e'en goddesses and gous
(As poets feign) were fond of such abodes :
The impartial consort of fictitious Jove
For fount full Ida forsook the realms above.
Oft to Idalia on a golden cloud,
Veil'd in a midst of fragrance Venus rode,
There num'rous altars to the queen were rear'd,
And love-sick youths their am'rous vows preferr'd,
While fair-hair'd damsels (a lascivious train)
With wanton rites ador'd her gentle reign.
The silver-shafted huntress of the woods,
Sought pendant shades, and bath'd in cooling flools,
In balmy Delots, by Scamander's side,
Or where Cajister rolld his silver tide,
Melodious Phæbus sang : the Muses round
Alternate warbling to the heavenly sound,
E'en the feign'd monarch of heaven's bright abode,
Iligh thrond in gold, of gods the sovereign God,
Oft time prefer'd the shade of Ida's grove
To all the ambrosial feasts and nectar'd
Behold, the rosy-finger'd morning dawn,
In saffron, rob’d and blushing o'er the lawn!
Reflected from the clouds, a radiant stream,
Tips with ethereal dew the mountain's brim.
The unfolding roses, and the opening flowers
Imbibe the dew, and strew the varied bowers ;
Diffuse nectareous sweets around, and glow
With all the colours of the showery bow.
The industrious bees their balmy toil renew,
Buzz o'er the field, and sip the rosy dew.
But yonder comes the illustrious God of day,
Invests the east, and gilds the ethereal way;
'The groves rejoice, the feather'd nations sing,
Echo the mountains and the vallies ring.
Hail Orb! array'd with majesty and fire,
That bids each sable shade of night retire !
Fountain of light, with burning glory crown'd,
Darting a deluge of effulgence round!
Wak'd by thy genial and prolific ray,
Nature resumes her verdure, and looks gay :
Fresh blooms the rose, the drooping plants revive,
The groves reflourish, and the forests live.
Deep in the teeming earth, the ripening ore
Confesses thy consolidating power;
Hence labour draws her tools, and artists mould
The fusile silver and the ductile gold :
Ilence war is furnished, and the regal shield
Like lightning flashes o’er illumin'd field.
If thou so fair with delegated light,
That all heaven's splendours vanish at thy sight;
With what effulgence must the ocean glow !
From which thy borrow'd beams incessant flow!
The exhaustless source, whose single smile supplies,
The unnuniber'd orbs that gild the spangled skies.
Oft would I view, in admiration lost,
Ileaven's sumptuous canopy, and starry host ;
With level'd tube, and astronomic eye,
Pursue the planets whirling through the sky:
Immeasururable vault! where thunders roll,
And for ky lightnings flash from pole to pole.
Say, railing infidel! canst thou survey
Yon globe of fire, that gives the golden day,