Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,

To peaceand truth thy glorious way hast ploughed, And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud

Hast reared God's trophies, and his work pursued,
While Darwen stream, with blood of Scotsimbrued,

And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath : yet much remains

To conquer still ; Peace hath her victories

No less renowned than War: new foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.

Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.

XVII.

TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,

Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repelled

The fierce Epirot, and the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states hard to be spelled ;
Then to advise how war may best upheld

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, In all her equipage; besides, to know

Both spiritual power and civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hast learned, which few

have done.
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:

Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

XVIII. ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT. AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones

Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold ;

Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,

When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that rolled

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow

O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple Tyrant ; that from these may grow

A hundredfold, who, having learnt thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

XIX.

[ON HIS BLINDNESS.] WHEN I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?"

I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “ God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,

And post o'er land and ocean without rest ;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

XX.

[TO MR. LAWRENCE.] LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,

Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,

Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire

Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining ? Time will run

On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire

The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,

Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise

To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?

He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

XXI.

[TO CYRIACK SKINNER.] CYRIACK, whose grandsire on the royal bench

Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,

Which others at their bar so often wrench,
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench

In mirth that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,

And what the Swede intend, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;

For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,

That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

XXII.

[TO THE SAME.] CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,

Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot ;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,

Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot

Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?

The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied

In Liberty's defence, my noble task, Of which all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through the world's

vain mask Content, though blind, had I no better guide.

XXIII.

[ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.] METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Whom Tove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from Death by force, though pale and

faint. Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint

Purification in the Old Law did save,
And such as yet once more I trust to have

Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind.

Her face was veiled; yet to my fancied sight

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear as in no face with more delight.

But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

[TRANSLATIONS.]

THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.,

Quis multâ gracilis te puer in rosa,

Rendered almost word for word, without rhyme, according to

the Latin measure, as near as the language will permit.

WHAT slender youth, bedewed with liquid odours, Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,

Pyrrha ? For whom bind'st thou

In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness ? Oh, how oft shall he
On faith and changed gods complain, and seas

Rough with black winds and storms

Unwonted shall admire,
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold;
Who always vacant, always amiable,

Hopes thee, of flattering gales

Unmindful! Hapless they
To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my vowed
Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung

My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern God of Sea.

[As Milton inserts the original with his translation, as if to challenge comparison, it is right that we should do so too.]

« AnteriorContinuar »