Imágenes de páginas

(Through inexperience, as we now perceive) Charms more than silence. Meditation here
We missed that happiness we might have found! May think down hours to moments. Here the
Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend, heart
A father, whose authority, in show

May give a useful lesson to the head,
When most severe and mustering all its force, And learning wiser grow without his books.
Was but the graver countenance of love; Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might Have ofttimes no connexion. Knowledge dwells

In heads replete with thoughts of other men; And utter now and then an awful voice,

Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. But had a blessing in its darkest frown,

Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, Threatening at once and nourishing the plant. The mere materials with which Wisdom builds, We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place, That reared us. At a thoughtless age, allured Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich. By every gilded folly, we renounced

Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; His sheltering side, and wilfully forewent Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. That converse, which we now in vain regret. Books are not seldom talismans and spells, How gladly would the man recall to life By which the magic art of shrewder wits The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,

Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled. That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, Some to the fascination of a name Might he demand them at the gates of death. Surrender judgment, hoodwinked. Some the style Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds The playful humour; he could now endure, Of error leads them, by a tune entranced. (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears) While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear And feel a parent's presence no restraint. The insupportable fatigue of thought, But not to understand a treasure's worth, And swallowing therefore without pause or choice, Till time has stolen away the slighted good, The total grist unsisted, husks and all. Is cause of half the poverty we feel,

But trees and rivulets, whose rapid course And makes the world the wilderness it is. Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, The few that pray at all pray oft amiss, And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs, And seeking grace t improve the prize they hold, And lanes in which the primrose ere her time Would urge a wiser suit than asking more. Peeps through the moss, that clothes the hawthorn

The night was winter in its roughest mood; root, The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth, Upon the southern side of the slant hills, Not shy, as in the world, and to be won And where the woods fence off the northern blast, By slow solicitation, seize at once The season smiles, resigning all its rage, The roving thought, and fix it on themselves. And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue What prodigies can power divine perform Without a cloud, and white without a speck More grand than it produces year by year, The dazzling splendour of the scene below. And all in sight of inattentive man? Again the harmony comes o'er the vale; Familiar with the effect we slight the cause, And through the trees I view th’embattled tower, And in the constancy of nature's course, Whence all the music. I again perceive The regular return of genial months, The soothing influence of the wafted strains, And renovation of a faded world, And settle in soft musings as I tread

See nought to wonder at. Should God again,
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and clms, As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. Of the undeviating and punctual sun,

The roof, though moveable through all its length How would the world admire! but speaks it less
As the wind sways it, has yet well sufficed, An agency divine, to make him know
And, intercepting in their silent fall

His moment when to sink and when to rise,
The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me. Age after age, than to arrest his course ?
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought. All we behold is miracle; but seen
The redbreast warbles still, but is content So duly, all is miracle in vain.
With slender notes, and more than half sup- Where now the vital energy that moved,

While summer was, the pure and subtle lymph
Pleased with his solitude, and flitting light Through the imperceptible meandering veins
From spray to spay, where'er he rests he shakes Of leaf and flower? It sleeps; and th' icy touch
From many a twig the pendant drops of ice, Of unprolific winter has impressed
That tinkle in the withered leaves below. A cold stagnation on th'intestine tide..
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, But let the months go round, a few short months,


And all shall be restored. These naked shoots, Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
Barren as lances, among which the wind

Some say that in the origin of things,
Makes wintry music, sighing as it goes, When all creation started into birth,
Shall put their graceful foliage on again, The infant elements received a law,
And more aspiring, and with ampler spread, From which they swerved not since. That under
Shall best new charms, and more than they have force

of that controlling ordinance they move, Then each in its peculiar honours clad, And need not his immediate hand, who first Shall publish even to the distant eye

Prescribed their course, to regulate it now. Its family and tribe. Laburnum, rich

Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God In streaming gold; syringa, ivory pure; Th' encumbrance of his own concerns, and spare The scentless and the scented rose; this red The great artificer of all that moves And of an humbler growth, the other* tall, The stress of a continual act, the pain And throwing up into the darkest gloom Of unremitted vigilance and care, Of neighbouring cypress, or more sable yew, As too laborious and severe a task. Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems, That the wind severs from the broken wave To span omnipotence, and measure might, The lilac, various in array, now white,

That knows no measure, by the scanty rule Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set And standard of his own, that is to-day, With purple spikes pyramidal, as if

And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down. Studious of ornament, yet unresolved

But how should matter occupy a charge, Which hue she most approved, she chose them all; Dull as it is, and satisfy a law Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan So vast in its demands, unless impelled But well compensating her sickly looks To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force, With never-cloying odours, early and late; And under pressure of some conscious cause? Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarm The Lord of all, himself through all diffused, Of flowers like flies clothing her slender rods, Sustains, and is the life of all that lives, That scarce a leaf appears; mezereon too, Nature is but a name for an effect, Though leafless, well-attired, and thick beset Whose cause is God. He feeds the sacred fire With blushing wreaths, investing every spray; By which the mighty process is maintained; Althea with the purple eye; the broom, Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloyed, Slow circling ages are as transient days; Her blossoms; and luxuriant above all

Whose work is without labour; whose designs The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts; The deep dark green of whose unvarnished leaf

And whose beneficence no change exhausts. Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more, Him blind antiquity profaned, not served, The bright profusions of her scattered stars.

With self-taught rites, and under various names, These have been, and these shall be, in their day; (Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan, And all this uniform uncoloured scene

And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,

With tutelary goddesses and gods, And flush into variety again.

That were not; and commending as they would From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, To each some province, garden, field, or grove. Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man But all are under one. One spirit—His, In heavenly truth; evincing, as she makes

Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding The grand transition, that there lives and works

brows,A soul in all things, and that soul is God.

Rules universal nature. Not a flower The beauties of the wilderness are his, .

But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain, That makes so gay the solitary place,

of his unrivalled pencil. He inspires Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms, Their balmy odours

, and imparts their hues, That cultivation glories in, are his.

And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes, He sets the bright procession on its way, In grains as countless as the seaside sands, And marshals all the order of the year;

The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth. He marks the bounds, which winter may not Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds pass,

Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flower, And blunts his pointed fury; in its case, Or what he views of beautiful or grand Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ,

In nature, from the broad majestic oak Uninjured with inimitable art;

To the green blade that twinkles in the sun, And, ere one flowery season fades and dies,

Prompts with remembrance of a present God. • The Guelder-rose.

His presence, who made all so fair, perceived,


Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
Is dreary, so with him all seasons please. He has outslept the winter, ventures forth
Though winter had been none, had man been true, To frisk awhile, and bask in the warm sun,
And earth be punished for its tenant's sake, The squirrel, flippant, pert, and full of play;
Yet not in vengeance; as this smiling sky, He sees me, and at once, swift as a bird,
So soon succeeding such an angry night, Ascends the neighbouring beech; there

wks his And these dissolving snows, and this clear stream Recovering fast its liquid music, prove. And perks his ears, and stamps, and cries aloud, Who then, that has a mind well strung and with all the prettiness of feignied alarm, tuned

And anger insignificantly fierce. To contemplation, and within his reach

The heart is hard in nature and unfit A scene so friendly to his favourite task, For human fellowship, as being void Would waste attention at the checkered board, Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike His host of wooden warriors to and fro

To love and friendship both, that is not pleased Marching and counter-marching, with an eye With sight of animals enjoying life, As fixed as marble, with a forehead ridged Nor feels their happiness augment his own. And furrowed into storms, and with a hand The bounding fawn, that darts across the glade, Trembling, as if eternity were hung*

When none pursues, through mere delight of heart. In balance on his conduct of a pin?

And spirits buoyant with excess of glee; Nor envies he aught more their idle sport, The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet, · Who pant with application misapplied That skims the spacious meadow at full speed, To trivial toys, and pushing ivory balls Then stops, and snorts, and, throwing high his Across a velvet level, feel a joy

heels, Akin to rapture, when the bauble finds Starts to the voluntary race again; Its destined goal, of difficult access.

The very kine, that gambol at high noon,
Nor deems he wiser him, who gives his noon The total herd' receiving first from one,

To Miss, the mercer's plague, from shop to shop That leads the dance, a summons to be gay,
Wandering, and, littering with unfolded silks Though wild their strange vagaries, and unconth
The polished counter, and approving none, Their efforts, yet resolved with one consent
Or promising with smiles to call again.

To give such act and utterance as they may
Nor him, who by his vanity seduced,

To ecstacy too big to be suppressed
And soothed into a dream that he discerns These, and a thousand images of bliss,
The difference of a Guido from a daub, With which kind Nature graces every scene,
Frequents the crowded auction: stationed there Where cruel man defeats not her design,
As duly as the Langford of the show,

Impart to the benevolent, who wish
With glass at eye, and catalogue in hand, All that are capable of pleasure pleased,
And tongue accomplished in the fulsome cant, A far superior happiness to theirs,
And pedantry, that coxcombs learn with ease; The comfort of a reasonable joy.
Oft as the price deciding hammer falls,

Man scarce had risen, obedient to his call
He notes it in his book, then raps his box, Who formed him from the dust, his future grave,
Swears 'tis a bargain, rails at his hard fate, When he was crowned as never king was since.
That he has let it pass—but never bids. God set the diadem upon his head,

Here unmolested, through whatever sign And angel choirs attended. Wondering stood The sun proceeds, I wander. Neither mist, The new-made monarch, while before him passed, Nor freezing sky nor sultry, checking me, All happy, and all perfect in their kind, Nor stranger, intermeddling with my joy. Thecreatures, summoned from their various haunts, E'en in the spring and playtime of the year, To see their sovereign, and confess his sway. That calls th' unwonted villager abroad Vast was his empire, absolute his power. With all her little ones, a sportive train, Or bounded only by a law, whose force To gather kinecups in the yellow mead, 'Twas his sublimest privilege to feel And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick And own, the law of universal love. A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook, He ruled with meekness, they obeyed with joy; These shades are all my own. The timorous hare, No cruel purpose lurked within his heart, Grown so familiar with her frequent guest, And no.distrust of his intent in theirs. Scarce shuns me; and the stockdove unalarmed So Eden was a scene of harmless sport, Sits cooing in the pine-tree, nor suspends Where kindness on his part who ruled the whole, His long love-ditty for my near approach. Begat a tranquil confidence in all, Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm, And fear as yet was not, nor cause for fear. That age or injury has hollowed deep

But sin marred all; and the revolt of man,

[ocr errors]

That source of evils not exhausted yet,

With unsuspecting readiness he takes Was punished with revolt of his from him. His murderer on his back, and pushed all day Garden of God, how terrible the change With bleeding sides and Hanks, that heave for life, Thy groves and lawns then witnessed! Every To the far distant goal, arrives and dies. heart,

So little mercy shows who needs so much! Each animal, of every name, conceived

Does law, so jealous in the cause of man, A jealousy, and an instinctive fear,

Denounce no doom on the delinquent? None. And, conscious of some danger, either fled He lives, and o'er his brimming beaker boasts Precipitate the loathed abode of man,

(As if barbarity were high desert)
Or growled defiance in such angry sort, Th’ inglorious feat, and clamorous in praise
As taught him too to tremble in his turn. Of the poor brute, seems wisely to suppose
Thus harmony and family accord

The honours of his matchless horse his own.
Were driven from Paradise; and in that hour

But many a crime, deemed innocent on earth, The seeds of cruelty, that since have swelled

Is registered in heaven; and these no doubt To such gigantic and enormous growth,

Have cach their record, with a curse annexed. Were sown in human nature's fruitful soil.

Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, Hence date the persecution and the pain,

But God will never. When he charged the Jew That man inflicts on all inferior kinds,

T'assist his foc's down fallen beast to rise; Regardless of their plaints. To make him sport, And when the bush-exploring boy, that seized To gratify the frenzy of his wrath,

The young, to let the parent bird go free; Or his base gluttony, are causes good

Proved he not plainly, that his meaner works And just in his account, why bird and beast

Are yet his care, and have an interest all, Should suffer torture, and the streams be dyed All, in the universal Father's love? With blood of their inhabitants impaled. On Noah, and in him on all mankind, Earth groans beneath the burden of a war The charter was conferred, by which we hold Waged with defenceless innocence, while he, The flesh of animals in fee, and claim Not satisfied to prey on all around,

O'er all we feed on, power of life and death. Adds tentold bitterness to death by pangs But read the instrument and mark it well: Needless, and first torments ere he devours.

Th' oppression of a tyrannous control Now happiest they, that occupy the scenes Can find no warrant there. Feed then, and yield The most remote from his abhorred resort, Thanks for thy food. Carnivorous, through sin, Whom once, as delegate of God on earth, Feed on the slain, but spare the living brute! They feared, and as his perfect image loved. The wilderness is theirs, with all its caves,

The Governor of all, himself to all Its hollow glens, its thickets, and its plains,

So bountiful, in whose attentive ear Unvisited by man. There they are free,

The unfledged raven and the lion's whelp

Plead not in vain for pity on the pangs
And howl and roar as likes them, uncontrolled:
Vor ask his leave to slumber or to play.

Of hunger unassuaged, has interposed,
Wo to the tyrant, if he dare intrude

Not seldom; his avenging arm, to smite Within the confines of their wild domain:

Th' injurious trampler upon nature's law,

That claims forbearance even for a brute.
The lion tells him-I am monarch here-

He hates the hardness of a Balaam's heart;
And, if he spare him, spares him on the terms
Of royal mercy, and through generous scorn

And prophet as he was, he might not strike To rend a victim trembling at his foot.

The blameless animal, without rebuke, In measure, as by force of instinct drawn,

On which he rode. Her opportune offence Or by necessity constrained, they live

Saved him, or th' unrelenting seer had died. Dependant upon man; those in his fields,

He sees that human equity is slack These at his crib, and some beneath his roof.

To interfere, though in so just a cause; They pro’ie too often at how dear a rate

And makes the task his own. Inspiring dumb He sells protection.— Witness at his foot

And helpless victims with a sense so keen The spaniel dying for some venial fault,

Of injury, with such knowledge of their strength. Under dissection of the knotted scourge;

And such sagacity to take revenge, Witness the patient ox, with stripes and yells

That oft the beast has seemed to judge the man. Driven to the slaughter, goaded, as he runs,

An ancient, not a legendary tale, To madness; while the savage at his heels

By one of sound intelligence rehearsed, Laughs at the frantic sufferer's fury, spent

(If such who plead for Providence may seem Upon the guiltless passenger o'erthrown.

In modern eyes,) shall make the doctrine clear. He too is witness, noblest of the train

Where England, stretched towards the setting That wait on man, the flight-perforining horse; sun,

[ocr errors]

Narrow and long, o'erlooks the western wave, (As in the course of rash and fiery men)
Dwelt young Misagathus; a scorner he

The rude companion smiled, as if transformed.
Of God and goodness, atheist in ostent,

But 'twas a transient calm. A storm was near,
Vicious in act; in temper savage-fierce.' An unsuspected storm. His hour was come.
He journeyed; and his chance was, as he went, The impious challenger of Power divine
To join a traveller, of far different note, Was now to learn, that Heaven, though slow to
Evander, famed for piety, for years

Deserving honour, but for wisdom more. Is never with impunity defied.
Fame had not left the venerable man

His horse, as he had caught his master's mood,
A stranger to the manners of the youth,

Snorting, and starting into sudden rage,
Whose face too was familiar to his view.

Unbidden, and not now to be controlled,
Their way was on the margin of the land, Rushed to the cliff, and, having reached it, stood.
O'er the green summit of the rocks, whose base At once the shock unseated him; he flew
Beats back the roaring surge, scarce heard so high. Sheer o'er the craggy barrier; and, immersed
The charity, that warmed his heart, was moved Deep in the flood, found, when he sought it not,
At sight of the man-monster. With a smile, The death he had deserved, and died alone.
Gentle, and affable, and full of grace,

So God wrought double justice; made the fool
As fearful of offending whom he wished The victim of his own tremendous choice,
Much to persuade, he plied his ear with truths And taught a brute the way to safe revenge.
Not harshly thundered forth, or rudely pressed, I would not enter on my list of friends
But, like his purpose, gracious, kind, and sweet. (Though graced with polished manners and fine
“And dost thou dream," th' impenetrable man

Exclaimed, " that me the lullabies of age, Yet wanting sensibility) the man
And fantasies of dotards such as thou,

Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
Can cheat, or move a moment's fear in me? An inadvertent step may crush the snail,
Mark now the proof I give thee, that the brave That crawls at evening in the public path;
Need no such aids, as superstition lends, But he that has humanity, forewarned,
To steel their hearts against the dread of death." Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
He spoke, and to the precipice at hand

The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
Pushed with a madman's fury. Fancy shrinks And charged perhaps with venom, that intrudes,
And the blood thrills and curdles, at the thought A visiter unwelcome, into scenes
Of such a gulf as he designed his grave.

Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove,
But, though the felon on his back could dare The chamber, or refectory, may die:
The dreadful leap, more rational, his steed A necessary act incurs no blame.
Declined the death, and wheeling swiftly round, Not so when, held within their proper bounds,
Or e'er his hoof had pressed the crumbling verge, And guiltless of offence, they range the air,
Baffled his rider, saved against his will.

Or take their pastime in the spacious field;
The frenzy of the brain may be redressed There they are privileged; and he that hunts
By medicine well applied, but without grace

Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong,
The heart's insanity admits no cure.

Disturbs the economy of Nature's realm,
Enraged the more, by what might have reformed Who, when she formed, designed them an abode.
His horrible intènt, again he sought

The sum is this. If man's convenience, health,
Destruction, with a zeal to be destroyed, Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims
With sounding whip, and rowels dyed in blood. Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
But still in vain. The Providence that meant Else they are all the meanest things that are-
A longer date to the far nobler beast,

As free to live, and to enjoy that life,
Spared yet again th'ignoble for his sake. As God was free to form them at the first,
And now, his prowess proved, and his sincere Who in his sovereign wisdom made them all.
Incurable obduracy evinced,

Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons His rage grew cool; and, pleased perhaps t' have To love it too. The springtime of our years earned

Is soon dishonoured and defiled in most
So cheaply the renown of that attempt, By budding ills, and ask a prudent hand
With looks of some complacence he resumed

To check them. But alas! none sooner shoots,
His road, deriding much the blank, amaze

If unrestrained, into luxuriant growth,
Of good Evander, still where he was left Than cruelty, most devilish of them all.
Fixed motionless, and petrified with dread. Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule
So on they fared. Discourse on other themes And righteous limitation of its act,
Ensuing seemed t'obliterate the past;

By which Heaven moves in pardoning guilty man
And tamer far for so much fury shown,

And he that shows none, being ripe in years,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »