Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

And let the aspiring youth beware of love,
Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
When on his heart the torrent-softness pours.
Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame
Dissolves in air away; while the fond soul,
Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss,

Still paints the illusive form; the kindling grace;
The inticing smile; the modest seeming eye,
Beneath whose beauteous beams belying heaven,
Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death:
And still false-warbling in his cheated ear,
Her syren-voice, enchanting, draws him on
To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
Even present, in the very lap of love
Inglorious laid; while music flows around,
Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours;
Amid the roses fierce Repentance rears

Her snaky crest: a quick-returning pang
Shoots thro' the conscious heart, where honour still,
And great design, against the oppressive load
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.

But absent, what fantastic woes, arous'd,
Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life?
Neglected fortune flies! and sliding swift,
Prone into ruin, fall his scorn'd affairs.

'Tis nought but gloom around: The darkened sun
loses his light. The rosy bosom'd Spring
To weeping Fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
Contracted, bends into a dusky vault.

All nature fades extinct; and she alone
Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.

Books are but formal dulness, tedious friends;
And sad amid the social band he sits,
Lonely and unattentive. From his tongue
The unfinish'd period falls: while borne away
On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
To the vain bosom of his distant fair;

Her first endearments twining round the soul,
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love.

Straight the fierce storm involves his mind anew,
Flames thro' the nerves, and boils along the veins;
While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart:
For even the sad assurance of his fears

Were ease to what he feels. Thus the warm youth,
Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds,
Thro' flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
Of fevered rapture, or of cruel care;

His brightest flames extinguish'd all, and all
His lively moments running down to waste.

But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem, enlivened by desire

Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;

Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence; for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days;
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire fierce, as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants, from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves meanly possess'd
Of a meer lifeless, violated form:

While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as Nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all,
Who in each other clasp whatever fair

High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish;
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face;
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm,
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh speak the joy! ye, whom the sudden tear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
All various Nature pressing on the heart:
An elegant sufficiency, content,

Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till evening comes at last, serene and mild;
When after the long vernal day of life,
Enamour'd more, as more remembrance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly

To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.

C

[ocr errors]

SUMMER.

THE ARGUMENT.

The subject proposed.-Invocation.-Address to Mr. Dodington.-An introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies; whence the succession of the seasons.-As the face of Nature in this season is almost uniform, the progress of the poem is a description of a summer's day.-The dawn.-Sun rising.-Hymn to the sun.-Forenoon.-Summer insects described.-Hay-making. -Sheep-sheering.-Noon-day.-A woodland retreat.-Group of herds and flocks.-A solemn grove: how it affects a contemplative mind.-A cataract, and rude scene.-View of the Summer in the torrid zone.-Storm of thunder and lightning.-A tale.-The storm over, a serene afternoon.-Bathing.-Hour of walking.-Transi tion to the prospect of a rich well-cultivated country; which introduces a panegyric on Great Britain.-Sun-set.-Evening.-Night.-Summer meteors.-A comet.-The whole concluding with the praise of Philosophy.

FROM brightening fields of ether fair disclos'd,

Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes, In pride of youth, and felt thro' Nature's depth : He comes attended by the sultry hours,

And ever-fanning breezes, on his way;

While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts her blushful face, and earth, and skies,
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.

Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
Where scarce a sun-beam wanders thro' the gloom;
And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink
Of haunted stream, that by the roots of oak
Rolls o'er the rocky channel, lie at large,
And sing the glories of the circling year.

Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit-seat,
By mortal seldom found: may Fancy dare,
From thy fix'd serious eye, and raptur'd glance
Shot on surrounding Heaven, to steal one look
Creative of the Poet, every power
Exalting to an ecstasy of soul.

And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend,
In whom the human graces all unite :
Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart;
Genius, and wisdom; the gay social sense,
By decency chastis'd; goodness and wit,
In seldom-meeting harmony combin'd;
Unblemish'd honour, and an active zeal
For Britain's glory, Liberty, and Man:
O Dodington! attend my rural song,
Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line,
And teach me to deserve thy just applause.
With what an awful world-revolving power
Were first the unweildy planets launch'd along
The illimitable void! Thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the toiling race of men,
And all their labour'd monuments away,
Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course;
To the kind-temper'd change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round,

Minutely faithful: Such the all perfect Hand!
That pois'd, impels, and rules the steady Whole.
When now no more the alternate Twins are fir'd,
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night;
And soon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint gleaming in the dappled east:

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »