« AnteriorContinuar »
Fire and twenty years thou'st pass’d,
Thundering on uncheck’d, and fast,
And, though tempests burst around,
Stall nor stay thy coursers found:
I am dizzy_faint-oppressid
Driver! for one moment rest.
Swifter than the lightning flies
All things vanish from my eyes ;
All that rise so brightly o'er me
Like pale mist-wreaths fade before me;
Every spot my glance can find
Thy impatience leaves behind.
Yesterday thy wild steeds flew
O’er a spot where roses grew;
These I sought to gather blindly,
But thou hurried'st on unkindly:
Fairest buds I trampled, lorn,
And but grasp'd the naked thorn.
Driver! turn thee quickly back
On the self-same beaten track;
I, of late, so much neglected,
That I still each scene would trace:
Slacken thy bewildering pace!
Dost thou thus impetuous drive,
That thou sooner may'st arrive
Safe within the hallow'd fences
Where delight-where rest commences ?
Where then dost thou respite crave?
All makes answer; “At the Grave."
There, alas ! and only there,
Through the storms that rend the air,
Doth the rugged pathway bend:
There all pains and sorrows end;
There repose's goal is won-
Driver! ride, in God's name, on. V.D.
A CHIT CHAT LETTER
ON MEN AND OTHER THINGS.
From Ned Ward, Jun. a Fellow in London, lo Anthony Wood, Jun. a
Fellow at Oxford.
We like the wit and rambling manner of Ned Ward. It is not, indeed, in the highest strain of poetry, but neither should it be; for “wit and judgment ever are at strife,” and he who is too ambitious of excellence, must be willing to sacrifice a great portion of his wit. Swift was a great wit but not a great poet: Ned is not so witty, but his associations are more poetical.--ED.
Dear Anthony! thy old friend Ned
Is at his desk, and not azbed.
'Tis twelve o'clock,-a chilly night,-
My chamber fire is full and bright;
And my sinumbra, like the moon
Upon a summer afternoon,
Smiles with a pale and cloudless ray
In tiny mimicry of day,
Shedding thin light, assoil'd from gloom,
O’er the horizon of my room.
'Tis twelve o'clock,-the watchman goes
Lulling the hour into a doze,
Leading Time by, and through the nose;
Wrapping his voice in his great coat,
And 'plaining in a woollen note,
Of weather cold, and falling showers,
And cloudy skies (for ever ours !)
And the decay of drowsy hours.
In gusts of wind, down comes the rain,
Swooping like peas upon the pane;
Loud is the music of the sashes,-
And through the solitary plashes,
Dull hackneys waddle from the play,
A rugged eighteen-penny way,
The driver wriggling on his seat,
With haybands round his head and feet.
· I, slipper footed, sit and send
These nothings to my college friend,
Who now perchance,-a counterpart
To me in idleness of heart,
Leans at his books with toasted knees
Against the grate,—and hears the breeze
Ransack the midnight college trees-
Hears bell to bell, from tower to tower,
Sullenly murmur “the damn'd hour;"*
• One of the old drainatists says, “ If there is any thing dainned on earth, it is twelve o'clock at night." Some of our modern Farce writers think the same.
And who (so dreaming thought will be !)
May now be tilting pens with me.
Oh Anthony,-as Brutus said, How idle 'tis to be well read ! What stults are men to screw their looks Into the musty wood of books,To pass their days on dry dry-land, In studying things at second hand. Of what avail is learning ?-What? But to unparadise man's lot! A book, that apple worse than Eve's, Comes with its bitter fruit in leaves, And tempts each college Adamite To cut his learned tooth, and bite ! What is the scholar's gain, for fooling His time with a perpetual schooling ? For parting with all kith and kind ?A dusty, cabineted mind, A forehead scored like pork,--a pair Of legs that stutter every whereNerves, ever trembling, -as one sees Bell-wires at public offices, A black dress browner than the berries, And fit but to befriend the cherries; A gait that offers food for candour,Two eyes for Mr. Alexander ;* And, to complete this thing inhuman, The devil a bit of love from woman. Up! from thy books !--come-come-be idle ! Up! up!-as saith the sage of Rydal !
• The great oculist. Alexander the Great, in the eyes of men.
The sage alone-no poor abuse !
By adding to the sage, the goose.
Oh Tony! Tony! if thou thus
Strugglest with tragic Æschylus,
If thus thine eye by night-light secs
The page but of Euripides-
The leaves of Plato, dry as those
Which Autumn withers as she throws
With her burnt hands on Isis' marge :-
By heavens ! man, thou wilt ne'er enlarge
Experience of the gallant world,
Through which life, when 'tis life, is hurl'd;
A sense of breathing joy-a heart
To take thine own and others' part.
Leave books and learn a wiser plan,
Read that strange work, thy fellow man!
Awake !-thou art awake in eyes,-
Well then, poor fallen spirit, arise !
Shake off this mustiness of nature,
Book thyself in the Regulator
And hither come to brighter ease
Than slugs in fret-work colleges !
Come to thy friend-oh! come to all
That makes this London magical!
Oxford I know is dear to thee,
(As thou hast often said to me,)
For all its aged imagery,
Its sainted carvings of old stone,
Its air so learned and so lone,-
Its fretted windows and calm men,
And antique wealth of press and pen,