« AnteriorContinuar »
gather in one excursion, was all that he sought, and all that
15. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might produce or chance might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight.
16. This parallel will, I hope, when it is well considered, be found just; and if the reader should suspect me, as I suspect myself, of some partial fondness for the memory of Dry. den, let him not too hastily condemn me, for meditation and inquiry may, perhaps, show him the reasonableness of my determination.
English Versification. – O. W. HOLMES.
1. Poets, like painters, their machinery claim,
And verse bestows the varnish and the frame;
Our grating English, whose Teutonic jar
Shakes the racked axle of Art's rattling car,
Fits like mosaic in the lines that gird
Fast in its place each many-angled word.
2. From Saxon lips Anacreon's numbers glide,
As once they melted on the Teian tide,
And, fresh transfused, the Iliad thrills again
From Albion's cliffs as o'er Achaia's plain;
The proud heroic,* with its pulse-like beat,
Rings like the cymbals clashing as they meet.
3. The sweet Spenserian,* gathering as it flows,
Sweeps gently onward to its dying close,
Where waves on waves in long succession pour,
Till the ninth billow melts along the shore;
The lonely spirit of the mournful lay,
Which lives immortal in the verse of Gray, * The “heroic” verse is the lambic, with five feet. The “Spense rian,” so called from Spenser, who employed it, consists of heroics with an additional foot in every ninth line.' The 79th lesson is an example of the Spenserian measure.
In sable plumage slowly drifts along,
On eagle pinion, through the air of song.
4. The glittering lyric bounds elastic by,
With flashing ringlets and exulting eye,
While every image, in her airy whirl,
Gleams like a diamond on a dancing girl!
Compunction. - CHURCHILL.* 1. Look back! a thought which borders on despair, Which human nature must, yet cannot bear. 'T is not the babbling of a busy world, Where praise or censure are at random hurled, Which can the meanest of my thoughts control, Or shake one settled purpose of my soul; Free and at large might their wild curses roam, If all, if all, alas! were well at home.
2. No; 't is the tale which angry conscience tells, When she with more than tragic horror swells Each circumstance of guilt; when stern, She brings bad actions forth into review, And, like the dread handwriting on the wall, Bids late remorse awake at Reason's call; Armed at all points, bids scorpion vengeance pass, And to the mind holds up Reflection's glass,The mind, which, starting, heaves the heart-felt groan, And hates that form she knows to be her own.
Beauties of Nature. · BEATTIE.
1. LIBERAL, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;
Nor was perfection made for man below.
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are planned,
Good counteracting ill, and gladness woe.
With gold and gems if Chilian mountains glow,
If bleak and barren Scotia's hills arise,
There plague and poison, lust and rapine, grow;
Here peaceful are the vales, and
the skies, And freedom fires the soul, and sparkles in the eyes.
2. Then grieve not thou, to whom the indulgent Muse
Vouchsafes a portion of celestial fire;
Nor blame the partial Fates, if they refuse
The imperial banquet and the rich attire.
Know thine own worth, and reverence the lyre.
Wilt thou debase the heart which God refined ?
No, let thy heaven-taught soul to heaven aspire,
To fancy, freedom, harmony, resigned;
Ambition's groveling crew forever left behind.
3. Canst thou forego the pure ethereal soul,
In each fine sense so exquisitely keen,
On the dull couch of Luxury to loll,
Stung with disease, and stupefied with spleen;
Fain to implore the aid of Flattery's screen,
Even from thyself thy loathsome heart to hide
(The mansion then no more of joy serene),
Where fear, distrust, malevolence, abide,
And impotent desire, and disappointed pride ?
4. O, how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms which Nature to her votary yields !
The warbling woodland, the resounding shore,
groves, and garniture of fields ; All that the genial ray of morning yields, And all that echoes to the song of even, All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, And all the dread magnificence of heaven, O, how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven ? *
5. But who the melodies of morn can tell ?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side;
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell ;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide,
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
6. The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark; Crowned with her pail, the tripping milkmaid sings; The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark !
Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings;
Through rustling corn the hare astonished springs;
Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequestered bower,
And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tower.
7. Yet such the destiny of all on earth ;
So flourishes and fades majestic man.
Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth,
And fostering gales awhile the nursling fan.
O smile, ye heavens, serene! ye mildews wan,
Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime,
Nor lessen of his life the little span!
Borne on the swift though silent wings of Time,
Old age comes on apace to ravage
all the clime.
8. And be it so. Let those implore their doom
Whose hope stil grovels in this dark sojourn;
But lofty souls, who look beyond the tomb,
Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn.
Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more return ?
Is yonder wave the sun's eternal bed ?
Soon shall the orient with new luster burn,
And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed,
Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead.
9. Shall I be left forgotten in the dust,
When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive ?
Shall Nature's voice, to man alone unjust,
Bid him, though doomed to perish, hope to live ?
Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive
With disappointment, penury and pain ?
No! Heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive,
And man's majestic beauty bloom again,
Bright through the eternal year of Love's triumphant reign
To my Wife. -LINDLEY MURRAY.*
1. When on thy bosom I recline,
Enraptured still to call thee mine, * Lindley Murray, author of the "English Grammar, " and other works, was a native of New York, though the greater portion of his life was passed in England.
To call thee mine for life,
I glory in the sacred ties,
Which modern wits and fools despise,
Of husband and of wife.
2. One mutual flame inspires our bliss;
The tender look, the melting kiss,
Even years have not destroyed;
Some sweet sensation, ever new,
Springs up, and proves the maxim true,
That love can ne'er be cloyed.
3. Have I a wish? - 't is all for thee.
Hast thou a wish ? 't is all for me.
So soft our moments move,
That angels look with ardent gaze,
Well pleased to see our happy days,
And bid us live, and love.
4. If cares arise, and cares will come,Thy bosom is
I'll lull me there to rest;
And is there aught disturbs my fair?
I 'll bid her sigh out every care,
And lose it in
5. Have I a wish ? 't is all her own;
All hers and mine are rolled in one;
Our hearts are so entwined,
That, like the ivy round the tree,
Bound up in closest amity,
'Tis death to be disjoined.
To a Wife, with a Ring, on the Anniversary of her
Wedding-day: -- BISHOP. *
1. “THEE, Mary, with this ring I wed”
So, fourteen years ago, I said.
Behold another ring !
" For what?”
“ To wed thee o'er again ?” Why not?
2. With that first ring I married youth,
Grace, beauty, innocence and truth ;