Imágenes de páginas
PDF

Then, that we should our sacrilege restore,
And re-convey their gods from Argos' shore,
Calchas persuades, till then we urge in vain
The fate of Troy. To measure back the main
They all consent, but to return again,
When reinforc’d with aids of gods and men.
Thus Calchas; them, instead of that, this pile
To Pallas was design'd ; to reconcile
Th' offended power, and expiate our guilt;
To this vast height and monstrous stature built,
Lest, through your gates receiv'd, it might re-
• new
Your vows to her, and her defence to you.
But if this sacred gift you disesteem,
The cruel plagues (which Heaven divert on
them ')
Shall fall on Priam's state : but if the horse
Your walls ascend, assisted by your force,
A league 'gainst Greece all Asia shall contract:
Our sons then suffering what their sires would
act.” -
Thus by his fraud and our own faith o'er-
A feigned tear destroys us, against whom [come,
Tydides nor Achilles could prevail,
Nor ten years conflict, nor a thousand sail.
This seconded by a most sad portent,
Which credit to the first imposture lent;
Laocoon, Neptune's priest, upon the day
Devoted to that god, a bull did slay.
When two prodigious serpents were descry'd,
Whose circling strokes the sea's smooth face
divide;
Above the deep they raise their scaly crests,
And stem the flood with their erected b
Their winding tails advance and steer
course,
And 'gainst the shore the breaking billows force.
Now landing, from their brandish'd tongues there
Catne,
A dreadful hiss, and from their eyes a flame.
Amaz'd we fly, directly in a line
Laocoon they pursue, and first entwine
(Each preying upon one) his tender sons;
Then him, who armed to their rescue runs,
They seiz'd, and with entangling foes embrac'd,
His neck twice compassing, and twice his waist :
Their poisonous knots he strives to break and

[ocr errors]

tear, While slime and blood his sacred wreaths besmear; Then loudly roars, as when th’ enraged bull From th' altar flies, and from his wounded skull Shakes the huge axe ; the conquering serpents To cruel Pallas' altar, and their lie [fly Under her feet, within her shield's extent. We, in our fears, conclude this fate was sent Justly on him, who struck the sacred oak With his accursed lance. Then to invoke The goddess, and let in the fatal lorse, We all consent. a spacious breach we make, and Troy's proud wall. Puilt by the gods, by her own hands doth fall; Thus all their help to their own ruin give, Some draw with cords and soine the monster drive With rolls and levers: thus our works it climbs, Big with our fate; the youth with songs and rhimes,

Some dance, some haul the rope; at last let
down
It enters with a thundering noise the town,
Oh Troy, the seat of gods, in war renown'd'
Three times it struck, as oft the clashing sound
Of arms was heard, yet blinded by the power
Of Fate, we place it in the sacred tower.
Cassandra then foretels th' event, but she
Finds no belief (such was the gods' decree.)
The altars with fresh flowers we crown, and
waste
In feasts that day, which was (alas!) our last.
Now by the revolution of the skies,
Night's sable shadows from the ocean rise,
Which heaven and earth, and the Greek frauds
involv’d.
The city in secure repose dissolv’d,
When from the admiral's high poop appears
A light, by which the Argive squadron steers
Their silent course to Ilium’s well-known shore,
When Sinon (sav'd by the gods' partial power)
Opens the horse, and through the unlockt doors
To the free air the armed freight restores:
Ulysses, Stheneleus, Tisander, slide
Down by a rope, Machaon was their guide;
Atrides, Pyrrhus, Thoas, Athamas,
And Epeus, who the fraud's contriver was i
The gates they seize; the guards, with sleep
and wine
Opprest, surprise, and then their forces join.
'Twas then, when the first sweets of sleep re-
pair
Our bodies spent with toil, our minds with care,
(The gods' best gift) when, bath'd in tears and
ood,
Before my face lamenting Hector stood,
His aspect such when, soil'd with bloody dust,
Dragg'd by the cords which through his feet
were thrust:
By his insulting foe, O how transform'd
How much unlike that Hector, who return'd
Clad in Achilles' spoils: when he among
A thousand ships, (like Jove) his lightning flung!
His horrid beard and knotted tresses stood
Stiff with his gore, and all his wounds ran blood:
Intranc'd I lay, then (weeping) said, “The joy,
The hope and stay of thy declining Troy |
What region held thee, whence so much desir'd,
Art thou restor'd to us consum'd and tir’d
With toils and deaths; but what sad cause con-
founds
Thy once fair looks,or why appearthose wounds?”
Regardless of my words, he no reply
Returns, but with a dreadful groan doth cry,
“Piy floun the flame, O goddess-born, our walls
The Greeks possess, and Troy confounded falls
From all her glories ; if it might have stood
By any power, by this right hand it should.
What man could do, by Ine for Troy was done,
Take here her reliques and her gods, to run
With them thy fate, with them new walls ex-
pect,
Which, tost on seas, thou shall at last erect:”
Then brings old Vesta from her sacred quire,
Her holy wreaths, and her eternal fire.
Meanwhile the walls with doubtful cries resound
From far (for shady coverts did surround
My father's house); approaching still more meat

* clash of arms, and voice of men we hear ;

Rouz'd from my bed, I speedily ascend The houses' tops, and listening there attend. As flames roll'd by the winds' conspiring force, O'er full-ear'dcorn, or torrents' raging course Bears down th' opposing oaks, the fields destroys, And mocks the plough-man's toil, th' unlook'dfor noise From neighbouring hills th’ amazed shepherd hears; Such my surprise, and such their rage appears. First fell thy house, Ucalegon, then thine Deiphobus, Sigaean seas did shine Bright with Troy's flames; the trumpets dreadful sound The louder groans of dying men confound; “Give me my arms,” I cry’d, resolv'd to throw Myself’mong any that oppos'd the foe: Rage, anger, and despair at once suggest, That of all deaths to die in arms was best. The first I met was Pantheus, Phoebus' priest, Who, 'scaping with his gods and reliques, fled, And towards the shore his little grandchild led. “Pantheus, what hope remains? what force, what place Made good?” but sighing, he replies, “Alas! Trojans we were, and mighty Ilium was; But the last period, and the fatal hour Of Troy is come: our glory and our power Incensed Jove's transfers to Grecian hands; The foe within the burning town commands; And (like a smother'd fire) an unseen force Breaks from the bowels of the fatal horse: Insulting Sinon flings about the flame, And thousands more than e'er from Argos came Possess the gates, the passes, and the streets, And these the sword o’ertakes, and those it meets. The guard nor fights, nor flies; their fate so near At once suspends their courage and their fear.” Thus by the gods, and by Atrides' words Inspir’d, I make my way through fire, through swords, Where noises, tumults, outcries, and alarms, I heard. First Iphitus, renown'd for arms, We meet, who knew us (for the Moon did shine); Then Ripheus, Hypanis, and Dymas join Their force, and young Choroebus, Mygdon's Who, by the love of fair Cassandra, won, [son, Arriv'd but lately in her father's aid; Unhappy, whom the threats could not dissuade Of his prophetic spouse; Whom when I saw yet daring to maintain The fight, I said, “Brave spirits (but in vain) Are you resolv'd to follow one who dares Tempt all extremes; the state of our affairs You see : the gods have left us, by whose aih Our empire stood; nor can the flame be staid: Then let us fall amidst our foes ; this one Relief the vanquish'd have, to hope for none.” Then reinforc'd, as in a stormy night Wolves urged by their raging appetite Forage for prey, which their neglected young With greedy jaws expect, ev'n so among Foes, fire, and swords, t' assured death we pass, Darkness our guide, Despair our leader was. Who can relate that evening's woes and spoils, Or can his tears proportion to our toils 2 The city, which so long had flourish'd, falls; Death triumphs o'er the houses, teurples, walls.

Nor only on the Trojans fell this doom,
Their hearts at last the vanquish'd re-assume;
And now the victors fall: on all sides fears,
Groans and pale Death in all her shapes appears:
Androgeus first with his whole troop was cast
Upon us, with civility misplac'd ;
Thus greeting us, “You lose by your delay,
Your share both of the honour and the prey;
Others the spoils of burning Troy convey
Back to those ships which you but now forsake.”
We making no return, his sad mistake
Too late he finds: as when an unseen snake
A traveller's unwary foot hath prest,
Who trembling starts when the snake's azure
Swoln with his rising anger, he espies, screst,
So from our view surpriz’d Androgeus flies.
But here an easy victory we meet: [fect.
Fear binds their hands, and ignorance their
Whilst fortune our first enterprize did aid,
Encourag'd with success, Choroebus said,
“O friends we now by better Fates are led,
And the fair path they lead us, let us tread.
First change your arms, and their distinctions
The same, in foes, deceit and virtue are.”[bear;
Then of his arms Androgeus he divests,
His sword, his shield he takes, and plumed crests,
Then Ripheus, Dymas, and the rest, all glad
Of the occasion, in fresh spoils are clad.
Thus mixt with Greeks, as if their fortune still
Follow'd their swords, we fight, pursue, and kill.
Some re-ascend the horse, and he whose sides
Let forth the valiant, now the coward hides.
Some to their safer guard, their ships, retire;
But vain's that hope, 'gainst which the gods con-
Behold the royal virgin, the divine [spire:
Cassandra, from Minerva's fatal shrine [vain,
Dragg’d by the hair, casting towards heaven, in
Her eyes; for cords her tender hands did strain ;
Choroebus, at the spectacle enrag'd
Flies in amidst the foes: we thus engag’d,
To second him, among the thickest ran;
Here first our ruin from our friends began,
Who from the temple's battlements a shower
Ofdarts and arrows on our heads did pour;
They us for Greeks, and now the Greeks (who
Cassandra’s rescue) us for Trojans slew. [knew
Then from all parts Ulysses, Ajax then,
And then th’ Atridae, rally all their men;
As winds, that meet from several coasts, contest,
Their prisons being broke, the south and west,
And Eurus on his winged coursers borne,
Triumphing in their speed, the woods are torn,
And chasing Nereus with his trident throws
The billows from the bottom ; then all those
Who in the dark our fury did escape,
Returning, know our borrow'd arms, and shape,
And different dialect : then their numbers swell
And grow upon us. First Choroebus fe
Before Minerva's altar, next did bleed
Just Ripheus, whom no Trojan did exceed
In virtue, yet the gods his fate decreed.
Then Hypanis and Dymas, wounded by
Their friends; nor thee, Pantheus, thy piety,
Nor consecrated mitre, from the same
Ill fate could save; my country's funeral flams
And Troy's cold ashes 1 attest, and call
To witness for myself, that in their fall

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Now Iphitus with me, and Pelias, Slowly retire; the one retarded was By feeble age, the other by a wound. To court the cry directs us, where we found Th' assault so hot, as if 'twere only there, And all the rest secure from foes or fear : The Greeks the gates approach'd, their targets cast Over their heads; some scaling ladders plac'd Against the walls, the rest the steps ascend, And with their shields on their left arms defend Arrows and darts, and with their right hold fast The battlement; on them the Trojans cast Stones, rafters, pillars, beams ; such arms as these, Now hopeless, for their last defence they seize. The gilded roofs, the marks of ancient state, They tumble down ; and now against the gate Of th’ inner court their growing force they bring : Now was our last effort to save the king, Relieve the fainting, and succeed the dead. A private gallery 'twixt th' apartments led, Not to the foe yet known, or not observ’d, (The way for Hector's hapless wife reserv'd, When to the aged king, her little son [run She would present) through this we pass, and Up to the highest battlement, from whence The Trojans threw their darts without offence, A tower so high, it seem'd to reach the sky, Stood on the roof, from whence we could descry All Ilium—both the camps, the Grecian fleet; This, where the beams upon the columns meet, We loosen, which like thunder from the cloud T}reaks on their heads, as sudden and as loud. Iłut others still succeed : meantime, nor stones Nor any kind of weapons cease. Before the gate in gilded armour shone [grown, Young Pyrrhus, like a snake, his skin new Who fed on poisonous herbs, all winter lay Under the ground, and now reviews the day Fresh in his new apparel, proud and young, * Rolls up his back, and brandishes his tongue, And lifts his scaly breast against the Sun; With him his father's squire, Automedon, And Peripas, who drove his winged steeds, Fnter the court; whom all the youth succeeds Of Scyros' isle, who flaming firebrands flung Up to the roof; Pyrrhus himself among The foremost with an axe an entrance hews Through beams of solid oak, then freely views The chambers, galleries, and rooms of state, Where Priam and the ancient monarchs sat. At the first gate an armed guard appears ; But th’ inner court with horrour, moise, and tears, Confus'dly sill'd, the women's shrieks and cries The arch'd vaults re-echo to the skies; Sad matrons wandering through the spacious roorns Fmbrace and kiss the posts: then Pyrrhus comes Full of his father, neither men nor walls His force sustain, the torn portcullis falls, Then from the hinge their strokes the gates di

vorce, And where the way they cannot find, they force. Not with such rage a swelling torren: flows

Above his banks, th' opposing dams o'erthrows, Lepopulates the fields, the cattle, sheep, Shepherds and folds, the soauling surges sweep.

And now between two sad extremes I stood, Here Pyrrhus and th’ Atridae drunk with blood, There th' hapless queen amongst an hundred dames, And Priam quenching from his wounds those flames Which his own hands had on the altar laid ; Then they the secret cabinets invade, Where stood the fifty nuptial beds, the hopes Of that great race; the golden posts,whose tops Old hostile spoils adorn'd, demolish’d lay, Or to the foe, or to the fire a prey. Now Priam's fate perhaps you may inquire: Seeing his empire lost, his Troy on fire, And his own palace by the Greeks possest, Arms long disus’d his trembling limbs invest; Thus on his foes he throws himself alone, Not for their fate, but to provoke his own: There stood an altar open to the view Of Heaven, near which an aged laurel grew, Whose shady arms the household gods embrac'd, Before whose feet the queen herself had east With all her daughters, and the Trojan wives, As doves whom an approaching tempest drives And frights into one flock; but having spy'd Old Priam clad in youthful arm, she cried, “Alas, my wretched husband, what pretence To bear those arms, and in them what defence? Such aid such times require not, when again If Hector were alive, he liv'd in vain; Or here weshall a sanctuary find, Or as in life we shall in death be join'd.” Then weeping, with kind force held and embrac'd, And on the secret seat the king she plac'd, Meantime Polites, one of Priam's sons, Flying the rage of bloody Pyrrhus, runs Through foes and swords, and ranges all thecourt, And empty galleries, amaz'd and hurt; Pyrrhus pursues him, now o'ertakes, now kills, And his last blood in Priam's presence spills. The king (though him so many deaths enclose) Nor fear, nor grief, but indignation shows; “The gods requite thee, (if within the care Of those above th’ affairs of mortals are) Whose fury on the son but lost had been, Had not his parents' eyes his murder seen: Not that Achilles (whom thou feign'st to be Thy father) so inhuman was to me; He blusht, when I the rights of arms implor'd; To me my Hector, me to Troy restor'd :” This said, his feeble arm a javelin flung, . Which on the sounding shield, scarce entenns: rting. Then Pyrrhus; “Go a messenger to Hell Of my black deeds, and to my father tell The acts of his degenerate race.” So through His son's warm blood the trembling king h" drew To th' altar; in his hair one hand he wreaths; His sword the other in his bosom sheaths. Thus fell the king, who yet surviv'd the state, With such a signal and peculiar fate, Under so vast a ruin, not a grave, Nor n such flannes a funcral fire to have : He whom such titles swell'd, such power made proud, To whom the sceptres of all Asia bow'd, On the cold earth lies th' unregarded king, A headless carcase, and a nameless thing.

ON THE EARL OF STRAFFORD...TO A PERSON OF HONOUR. 243

[ocr errors]

Garat Strafford ' worthy of that name, though all Of thee could be forgotten, but thy fall, Crush'd by imaginary treason's weight, Which too much merit did accumulate: As chymists gold from brass by fire would draw, Pretexts are into treason forg’d by law. His wisdom such, at once it did appear Three kingdoms’ wonder, and three kingdoms’ fear; While single he stood forth, and seem’d, although Each had an army, as an equal foe. Such was his force of eloquence, to make The hearers more concern'd than he that spake ; Each seem'd to act that part he came to see, And none was more a looker-on than he ; Sodid he move our passions, some were known To wish, for the defence, the crime their own. Now private pily strove with public hate, Reason with rage, and eloquence with fate: Now they could him, if he could them forgive ; He's not too guilty, but too wise to live; Less seem those facts which Treason's nick-name bore, Than such a fear'd ability for more. They afer death their fears of him express, His innocence and their own guilt confess. Their legislative frenzy they repent: Enacting it should make no precedent. [lose This fate he could have 'scap'd, but would not Honour for life, but rather nobly chose Death from their fears, than safety from his own, That his last action all the rest might crown.

TO A PERSON OF HONOUR, oN his 1.Ncompar ABLE PoeM7.

What mighty gale hath rais'd a flight so strong?
So high above all vulgar eyes! so long -
One single rapture scarce itself confines
Within the limits of fourthousand lines:
And yet I hope to see this noble heat
Continue, till it makes the piece complete,
That to the latter age it may descend,
And to the end of time its beams extend.
When Poesy joins profit with delight,
Her images should be most exquisite,

1 The honourable Flward Howard, by his Poem called The British Princes, engaged the attention of by far the most eminent of his contemporaries; who played upon his vanity, as the wits of half a century before had done on that of Thomas Coryat, by writing extravagant tompliments on his works. See Butler's, Wal*s, Sprat's, and Dorset's verses, in their respective volumes; and in the Select Collection of Miscellaneous Poems, 1780, vol. III. p. 105, are other verses on the same subject, by Marton Clifford, and the lord Vaughan, N.

Since man to that perfection cannot rise,
Of always virtuous, fortunate, and wise;
Therefore the patterns man should imitate
Above the life our masters should create.
Herein, if we consult with Greece and Rome,
Greece (as in war) by Rome was overcome;
Though mighty raptures we in Homer find,
Yet, like himself, his characters were blind;
Virgil's sublimed eyes not only gaz'd,
But his sublimed thoughts to Heaven were
rais'd. -
Who reads the honours which he paid the gods,
Would think he had beheld their best abodes;
And that his hero might accomplish’d be,
From divine blood he draws his pedigree.
From that great judge your judgment takes its
law,
And by the best original does draw
Bonduca's honour, with those heroes Time
Had in oblivion wrapt, his saucy crime;
To them and to your nation you are just,
In raising up their glories from the dust;
And to Old England you that right have done
To show, no story nobier than her own.

[merged small][ocr errors]

RFAnrn, preserve thy peace; those busy eyes
Will weep at their own sad discoveries;
When every line they add improves thy loss,
Till having view'd the whole, they sum a
cross;
Such as derides thy passions' best relief,
And scorms the succours of thy easy grief.
Yet, lest thy ignorance betray thy name
Of man and pious, read and mourn: the shame
Of an exemption, from just sense, doth show
Irrational, beyond excess of woe.
Since reason, then, can privilege a tear,
Manhood, uncensur'd, pay that tribute here,
Upon this noble urn. Here, here, remains
Dust far more precious than in India's veins:
Within these cold embraces, ravish'd, lies
That which compleats the age's tyrannies:
Who weak to such another ill appear,
For what destroys our hope, secures our fear.
What sin unexpiate , in this land
Of groans, hath guided so severe a hand 2
The late great victim that your altars knew,
Ye angry gods, might have excus’d this new
Oblation, and have spar'd one lofty light
Of virtue, to inform our steps aright ;
By whose example good, condemned, we
Might have run on to kinder destiny.
But as the leader of the herd fell first
A sacrifice, to quench the raging thirst
Of inflam'd vengeance for past crimes; so none
But this white-fatted youngling cou’d atone,
By his untimely fate; that impious smoke,
That sullied Earth, and did Heaven's pity choke.

a King Charles the First.

Let it suffice for us, that we have lost
In him more than the widow’d world can boast
In any lump of her remaining clay.
Fair as the grey ey'd Morn he was ; the day,
Youthful, and climbing upwards still, imparts
No haste like that of his increasing parts;
Like the meridian beam, his virtue’s light
Was seen, as full of comfort and as bright.
Had his moon been as fix’d as clear—but he,
That only wanted immortality
To make him perfect, now submits to night,
In the black bosom of whose sable spite,
He leaves a cloud of flesh behind, and flies,
Refin'd, all ray and glory, to the skies.
Great saint shine there in an eternal sphere,
And tell those powers to whom thou now draw'st
mear, [dead,
That by our trembling sense, in HASTINGs
Their anger and our ugly faults are read ;
The short lines of whose life did to our eyes
Their love and majesty epitomize:
Tell them, whose stern degrees impose our laws,
The feasted Grave may close her hollow jaws:
Though Sin search Nature, to provide her here
A second entertainment half so dear,
She'll never meet a plenty like this hearse,
Till Time present her with the universe.

ex My Lord croft’s AND My Journey INTo Poland, From whence we brought 10,000l. For his Majesty, by The Decimation of his scorish SUBJECTS THERE,

ro

Tole, tole, Gentle bell, for the soul Of the pure ones in Pole, Which are damn'd in our scrouk.

Who having felt atouch
Of Cockram's greedy clutch,
Which though it was not much,
Yet their stubborness was such,

That when we did arrive,
'Gainst the stream we did strive;
They would neither lead nor drive:

Nor lend An ear to a friend, Nor an answer would send To our letter so well penn'd.

Nor assist our affairs
With their monies nor their wares,
As their answer now declares,
But only with their prayers.

Thus they did persist
Did and said what they list,
Till the diet was dismist;
But then our breech they kist.

For when It was mov’d there and then They should pay one in ten, The diet said, Amen.

And because they are loth
To discover the troth,
They must give word and oath,
Though they will forfeit both.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »