Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Looked to the sea for safety? They are gone, Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Gone with the refluent wave into the deep- Denies the power that wields it. God proclaims
A prince with half his people! Ancient towers, His hot displeasure against foolish men,
And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes, That live an atheist life; involves the Heaven
Where beauty oft and lettered worth consume In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
Life in the unproductive shades of death, And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Fall prone: the pale inhabitants come forth, Kindle a fiery bile upon the skin,
And, happy in their unforeseen release

And putrefy the breath of blooming Health.
From all the rigours of restraint, enjoy

He calls for Famine, and the meagre fiend The terrors of the day, that sets them free. Blows mildew from between his shrivelled lips, Who then, that has thee, would not hold thee fast, And taints the golden ear. He springs his mines, Freedom ? whom they that lose thee so regret, And desolates a nation at a blast. That e'en a judgment, making way for thee, Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells Seems in their eyes a mercy for thy sake. Of homogeneal and discordant springs

Such evils Sin hath wrought; and such a flame And principles; of causes, how they work Kindled in Heaven, that it burns down to Earth, By necessary laws their sure effects; And in the furious inquest that it makes Of action and re-action: he has found On God's behalf, lays waste his fairest works. The source of the disease, that nature feels, The very elements, though each be meant And bids the world take heart and banish fear. The minister of man, to serve his wants, Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause Conspire against him. With his breath he draws Suspend th' effect, or heal it? Has not God A plague into his blood; and can not use Still wrought by means since first he made the Life's necessary means, but he must die.

world? Storms rise t' o'erwhelm him: or, if stormy winds And did he not of old employ his means Rise not, the waters of the deep shall rise, To drown it? What is his creation less And, needing none assistance of the storm, Than a capacious reservoir of means Shall roll themselves ashore, and reach him there. Formed for his use, and ready at his will ? The earth shall shake him out of all his holds, Go, dress thine eye with eye-salve; ask of hin, Or make his house his grave; nor so content, Or ask of whomsoever he has taught; Shall counterfeit the motions of the flood, And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all. And drown him in her dry and dusty gulfs. England, with all thy faults, I love thee still — What then !-were they the wicked above all, My country! and while yet a nook is left, And we the righteous, whose fast anchored isle Where English minds and manners may be found, Moved not, while theirs was rocked, like a light Shall be constrained to love thee. Though thy clime skiff,

Be fickle, and thy year most part deformed
The sport of every wave ? No: none are clear, With dripping rains, or withered by a frost,
And none than we more guilty. But, where all I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies,
Stand chargeable with guilt, and to the shafts And fields without a flower, for warmer France
Of wrath obnoxious, God may choose his mark: With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's groves
May punish, if he please, the less, to warn Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle bowers.
The more malignant. If he spared not them, To shake thy senate, and from heights sublime
Tremble and be amazed at thine escape,

Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire
Far guiltier England, lest he spare not thee? Upon thy foes, was never meant my task:

Happy the man, who sees a God employed But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake
In all the good and ill that checker life!

Thy joys and sorrows, with as true a heart Resolving all events, with their effects

As any thunderer there. And I can feel And manifold results, into the will

Thy follies too; and with a just disdain And arbitration wise of the Supreme.

Frown at effeminates, whose very looks Did not his eye rule all things, and intend Reflect dishonour on the land I love. The least of our concerns (since from the least How, in the name of soldiership and sense, The greatest oft originate ;) could chance Should England prosper, when such things, as Find place in his dominion, or dispose

smooth One lawless particle to thwart his plan; And tender as a girl, all essenced o'er Then God might be surprised, and unforeseen With odours, and as profligate as sweet; Contingence might alarm him, and disturb Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath, The smooth and equal course of his affairs. And love when they should fight; when such as This truth Philosophy, though eagle-eyed

these In nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;

Presume to lay their hands upon the ark And, having found his instrument, forgets, Of her magnificent and awful cause?

Time was when it was praise and boast enough And force them sit till he has pencilled off
In every clime, and travel where we might, A faithful likeness of the forms he views;
That we were born her children. Praise enough Then to dispose his copies with such art,
To fill th' ambition of a private man,

That each may find its most propitious light,
That Chatham's language was his mother tongue, And shine by situation, hardly less
And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own. Than by the labour and the skill it cost;
Farewell those honours, and farewell with them Are occupations of the poet's mind
The hope of such hereafter! They have fallen So pleasing, and that steal away the thought
Each in his field of glory; one in arms,

With such address from themes of sad import, And one in council-Wolfe upon the lap That, lost in his own musings, happy man! Of smiling Victory that moment won,

He feels th' anxieties of life, denied And Chatham heart-sick of his country's shame! Their wonted entertainment, all retire. They made us many soldiers. Chatham, still Such joys has he that sings. But ah! not such, Consulting England's happiness at home, Or seldom such, the hearers of his song. Secured it by an unforgiving frown,

Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps If any wronged her. Wolfe, where'er he fought, Aware of nothing arduous in a task Put so much of his heart into his act,

They never undertook, they little note That his example had a magnet's force,

His dangers or escapes, and haply find And all were swift to follow whom all loved.

Their least amusement where he found the most.
Those suns are set. O rise some other such! But is amusement all? Studious of song,
Or all that we have left is empty talk

And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
Of old achievements, and despair of new. I would not trifle merely, though the world

Now hoist the sail, and let the streamers float Be loudest in their praise, who do no more.
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay?
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets, It may correct a foible, may chastise
That no rude savour maritime invade

The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
The nose of nice nobility! Breathe soft

Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch; Ye clarionets, and softer still ye flutes;

But where are its sublimer trophics found?
That winds and waters, lulled by magic sounds, What vice has it subdued? whose heart reclaimed
May bear us smoothly to the Gallic shore!

By rigour, or whom laughed into reform?
True; we have lost an empire_let it pass. Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed;
True; we may thank the perfidy of France,

Laughed at he laughs again; and stricken hard,
That picked the jewel out of England's crown, Turns to his stroke his adamantine scales,
With all the cunning of an envious shrew. That fear no discipline of human hands.
And let that pass—'twas but a trick of state
A brave man knows no malice, but at once The pulpit, therefore, (and I name it filled
Forgets in peace the injuries of war,

With solemn awe, that bids me well beware And gives his direst foe a friend's embrace. With what intent I touch that holy thing) And, shamed as we have been, to th' very beard The pulpit (when the satirist has at last, Braved and defied, and in our own sea proved Strutting and vapouring in an empty school, Too weak for those decisive blows, that once Spent all his force and made no proselyte)Ensured us mastery there, we yet retain I say the pulpit (in the sober use Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast Of its legitimate, peculiar powers) At least superior jockeyship, and claim Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall The honours of the turf as all our own!

stand, Go then, well worthy of the praise ye seek, The most important and effectual guard, And show the shame, ye might conceal at home, Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause. In foreign eyes — Be grooms and win the plate, There stands the messenger of truth: there stands Where once your noble fathers won a crown!- The legate of the skies!-His theme divine, 'Tis generous to communicate your skill His office sacred, his credentials clear. To those that need it. Folly is soon learned: By him the violated law speaks out And under such preceptors who can fail! Its thunders; and by him in strains as sweet There is a pleasure in poetic pains,

As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace. Which only poets know. The shifts and turns, He establishes the strong, restores the weak, Th' expedients and inventions multiform, Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart, To which the mind resorts, in chase of terms And, armed himself in panoply complete Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win- Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms T'arrest the fleeting images, that fill

Bright as his own, and trains, by every rule The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, of holy discipline, to glorious war,

life,

The sacramental host of God's elect!

A messenger of grace to guilty men.
Are all such teachers ?-would to Heaven all were! Behold the picture !: -Is it like ?-Like whom?
But hark—the doctor's voice !—fast wedged between The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
Two empirics he stands, and with swoln chceks And then skip down again; pronounce a text;
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far Cry-hem; and reading what they never wrote,
Than all invective is his bold harangue. Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
While through that public organ of report And with a well-bred whisper close the scene !
He hails the clergy; and. defying shame,

In man or woman, but far most in man,
Announces to the world his own and theirs ! And most of all in man that ministers.
He teaches those to read, whoin schools dismissed, and serves the altar, in my soul I loathe
And colleges, untaught; sells accent, tone, All affectation: 'Tis my perfect scorn;
And emphasis in score, and gives to prayer Object of my implacable disgust. .
The adagio and andante it demands.

What!—will a man play tricks, will he indulge He grinds divinity of other days

A silly fond conceit of his fair form,
Down into modern use; transforms old print And just proportion, fashionable mien,
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.

Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware? As with the diamond on his lily hand,
O, name it not in Gath!—it can not be,

And play his brilliant parts before my eyes,
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid. When I am hungry for the bread of life?
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll, He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
Assuming thus a rank unknown before-

His noble office, and, instead of truth, Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church! Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock.

I venerate the man, whose heart is warm, Therefore avaunt all attitude, and stare, Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose And start theatric, practised at the glass !

I seek divine simplicity in him, Coincident, exhibit lucid proof

Who handles things divine; and all besides, That he is honest in the sacred cause,

Though learned with labour, and though much adTo such I render more than mere respect,

mired
Whose actions say, that they respect themselves. By curious eyes and judgments ill-informed,
But loose in morals, and in manners vain, To me is odious as the nasal twang
In conversation frivolous, in dress

Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse; Misled by.custom, strain celestial themes
Frequent in park with lady at his side,

Through the pressed nostril, spectacle bestrid. Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes; Some decent in demeanour while they preach, But rare at home, and never at his books, That task performed, relapse into themselves; Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card; And having spoken wisely, at the close Constant at routs, familiar with a round Grow wanton, and give proof to every eye, Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor ;

Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not ! Ambitious of preferment for its gold,

Forth comes the pocket mirror-First we stroke And well-prepared, by ignorance and sloth, An eyebrow; next compose a straggling lock; By infidelity and love of world,

Then with an air most gracefully performed,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave Fall back into our seat, extend an arm,
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride; And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
From such apostles, O ye mitred heads,

With handkerchief in hand depending low:
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands The better hand more busy gives the nose
On sculls, that can not teach, and will not learn. Its bergamot, or aids the indebted eye

Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul, With opera glass, to watch the moving scene, Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own, And recognise the slow-retiring fair.Paul should himself direct me. I would trace Now this is fulsome, and offends me more His master-strokes, and draw from his design. Than in a churchman slovenly neglect I would express him simple, grave, sincere; And rustic coarseness would. A heavenly mind In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain, May be indifferent to her house of clay, And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste, And slight the hovel as beneath her care; And natural in gesture; much impressed But how a body so fantastic, trim, Himself, as conscious of his awful charge, And quaint, in its deportment and attire, And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds Can lodge a heavenly mind—demands a doubt. May feel it too; affectionate in look,

He, that negotiates between God and man, And tender in address, as well becomes

As God's ambassador, the grand concerns

Of judgment and of mercy, should beware Left them as dark themselves. Their rules of life, Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful

Defective and unsanctioned, proved too weak To court a grin, when you should woo a soul; To bind the roving appetite, and lead To break a jest, when pity would inspire Blind nature to a God not yet revealed. Pathetic exhortation; and t' address

'Tis Revelation satisfies all doubts, The skittish fancy with facetious tales,

Explains all mysteries, except her own,
When sent with God's commission to the heart! And so illuminates the path of life,
So did not Paul Direct ine to a quip

That fools discover it, and stray no more.
Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,

Now tell me, dignified and sapient sir,
And I consent you take it for your text,

My man of morals, nurtured in the shades
Your only one, till sides and benches fail. Of Academus-is this false or true?
No: he was serious in a serious cause,“ Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools?
And understood too well the weighty terms, If Christ, then why resort at every turn
That he had taken in charge. He would not stoop To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
To conquer those by jocular exploits,

Of man's occasions, when in him reside
Whom truth and soberness assailed in vain. Grace, knowledge, comfort-an unfathomed store ?

O Popular Applause! what heart of man How oft, when Paul has served us with a text, Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms ? Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully, preachel! The wisest and the best feel urgent need

Men that, if now alive, would sit content Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales; And humble learners of a Saviour's worth, But swelled into a gust — Who then, alas! Preach it who might. Such was their love of With all his canvass set, and inexpert,

truth, And therefore heedless, can withstand thy power? Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too! Praise from the rivelled lips of toothless, bald And thus it is The pastor, either vain Derreptitude, and in the looks of lean

By nature, or by flattery made so, taught And craving Poverty, and in the bow

To gaze at his own splendour, and to exalt Respectful of the smutched artificer,

Absurdly, not his office, but himself; Is ott too welcome, and may much disturb Or unenlightened, and too proud to learn; The bias of the purpose. How much more, Or vicious, and not therefore apt to teach; Poured forth by beauty splendid and polite, Perverting often by the stress of lewd In language soft as Adoration breathes? And loose example, whom he should instruct Ah spare your idol! think him human still. Exposes, and holds up to broad disgrace Charms he may have, but he has frailties too! The noblest function, and discredits much Dote not too much, nor spoil what ye admire. The brightest truths that man has ever seen.

All truth is from the sempiternal source For ghostly counsel; if it either fall Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece and Rome, Below the exigence, or be not backed Drew from the stream below. More favoured we With show of love, at least with hopeful proof Drink, when we choose it, at the fountain head. Of some sincerity on the giver's part; To them it flowed much mingled and defiled Or be dishonoured in th' exterior form With hurtful error, prejudice and dreams And mode of its conveyance by such tricks Illusive of philosophy, so called,

As move derision, or by foppish airs But falsely. Sages after sage strove

And histrionic mummery, that let down In vain to filter otř a crystal draught

The pulpit to the level of the stage; Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced Drops from the lips a disregarded thing. The thirst than slaked it, and not seldom bred The weak perhaps are moved, but are not taught, Intoxication and delirium wild.

While prejudice in men of stronger minds In vain they pushed inquiry to the birth Takes deeper root, confirmed by what they see. And spring time of the world; asked, Whence is A relaxation of religion's hold man?

Upon the roving and untutored heart, Why formed at all? and wherefore as he is ? Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapped, Where must be find his Maker? with what rites The laity run wild—But do they now? Adore him? Will he bear, accept, and bless? Note their extravagance, and be convinced. Or does he sit regardless of his works?

As nations, ignorant of God, contrive Has man within him an immortal seed?

A wooden one; so we, no longer taught Ot does the tomb take all ? If he survive

By monitors that mother church supplies, His ashes, where? and in what weal or wo? Now make our own. Posterity will ask Knots worthy of solution, which alone

(If e'er posterity see verse of mine) A Deity could solve. Their answers, vague Some fifty or a hundred lustrums hence, And all at random, fabulous and dark,

What was a monitor in George's days?

My very gentle reader, yet unborn,

Their weariness; and they the most polite, Of whom I needs must augur better things. Who squander time and treasure with a smile, Since Heaven would sure grow weary of a world Though at their own destruction. She that asks Productive only of a race like ours,

Her dear five hundred friends contemns them all, A monitor is wood-plank shaven thin. And hates their coming. They (what can they We wear it at our backs. There, closely braced

less?) And neatly fitted, it compresses hard

Make just reprisals; and, with cringe and shrug, The prominent and most unsightly bones, And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her. And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its use All catch the frenzy, downward from her grace, Sovereign and most effectual to secure

Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies, A form, not now gymnastic as of yore,

And gild our chamber ceiling as they pass, From rickets and distortion, else our lot. To her, who, frugal only that her thrift But thus admonished, we can walk erect- May feed excesses she can ill afford, One proof at least of manhood! while the friend Is hackneyed home unlackeyed; who, in haste Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge. Alighting, turns the key in her own door, Our habits, costlier than Lucullus wore, And, at the watchman's lantern borrowing light, And by caprice as multiplied as his,

Finds a cold bed her only comfort left. Just please us while the fashion is at full, Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their But change with every moon. The sycophant, wives, Who waits to dress us, arbitrates their date; On Fortune's velvet altar offering up Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye; Their last poor pittance.-Fortune, most severe * Finds one ill made, another obsolete,

Of Goddesses yet known, and costlier far This fits not nicely, that is ill conceived; Than all, that held their routs in Juno's heaven. And, making prize of all that he condemns, So fare we in this prison-house the World; With our expenditure defrays his own.

And 'tis a fearful spectacle to see Variety's the very spice of life,

So many maniacs dancing in their chains. That gives it all its flavour. We have run They gaze upon the links, that hold them fast, Through every change, that Fancy, at the loom With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot, Exhausted, has had genius to supply;

Then shake them in despair, and dance again! And studious of mutation still, discard

Now basket up the family of plagues,
A real elegance, a little used,

That wastes our vitals; peculation, sale
For monstrous novelty, and strange disguise. Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
And comfort cease. Dress drains our cellar dry, By tricks and liés as numerous and as keen
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires; As the necessities their authors feel;
And introduces hunger, frost, and wo,

Then cast them, closely bundled, every brat
Where peace and hospitality might reign. At the right door. Profusion is the sire.
What man that lives, and that knows how to live, Profusion unrestrained, with all that's base
Would fail t' exhibit at the public shows In character, has littered all the land,
A form as splendid as the proudest there, And bred, within the memory of no few,
Though appetite raise outcries at the cost ? A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old,
A man o' th' town dines rate, but soon enough A people, such as never was till now.
With reasonable forecast and despatch,

It is a hungry vice:—it eats up all
T'ensure a side-box station at half-price. That gives society its beauty, strength,
You think, perhaps, so delicate his dress, Convenience, and security, and use :
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!

Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapped He picks clean teeth, and busy as he seems And gibbeted, as fast as catchpole claws With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet! Can seize the slippery prey: unties the knot The rout is Folly's circle, which he draws Of union, and converts the sacred band, With magic wand. So potent is the spell,

That holds mankind together, to a scourge. That none, decoyed into that fatal ring,

Profusion, deluging a state with lusts Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.

Of grossest nature and of worst effects, There we grow early gray, but never wise; Prepares it for its ruin: hardens, blinds, There form connexions, but acquire no friend; And warps the consciences of public men, Solicit pleasure hopeless of success;

Till they can laugh at Virtue; mock the fools Waste youth in occupations only fit

That trust them; and in the end disclose a face, For second childhood, and devote old age That would have shocked Credulity herself, To sports, which only childhood could excuse; Unmasked, vouchsafing their sole excuse There they are happiest, who dissemble best Since all alike are selfish, why not they ? '

« AnteriorContinuar »