Изображения страниц

For sure, such courage length of life denies;
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain ;
Now hosts oppose thee-and thou must be slain.
Oh, grant me, gods! ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven-an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows, as they first begun.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share;
Oh! prove a husband's, and a parent's care.
That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild figtree joins the walls of Troy :
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given ;
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ;
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."
The chief replied-"That post shall be my care;
Nor that alone, but all the works of war.

How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,

And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,

Should Hector basely quit the field of fame!
My early youth was bred to warlike pains;
My soul impels me to the martial plains.
Still foremost let me stand to guard the throne,
To save my father's honors and my own.
Yet, come it will! the day decreed by fates!
(How my heart trembles, while my tongue relates!
The day when thou, imperial Troy, must bend,
Must see thy warriors fall, thy glories end,
And yet, no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs, defil'd with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore,
As thine, Andromache! Thy griefs I dread!
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led,
In Argive looms our battles to design,

And woes, of which so large a part was thine.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry--- Behold the mighty Hector's wife!"
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes by naming me..

he thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name !
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector wrapp'd in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see the weep."
Thus having spoke, th' illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung, crying, to the nurse's breast,

Scar'd with the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure, each fond parent smil'd,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child:
The glitt'ring terrors from his brows unbound,
And plac'd the beaming helmet on the ground.
Then kiss'd the child; and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferr'd a parent's prayer.

"Oh thou, whose glory fills th' etherial throne!
And all ye deathless powers! protect my son !
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown;
Against his country's foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age.
So when triumphant from successful toils,
Of heroes slain, he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserv'd acclaim,
And say, "This chicf transcends his father's fame;"
While pleas'd amidst the general shouts of Troy.
His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy."
He spoke and fondly gazing on her charms,
Restor'd the pleasing burden to her arms.
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hush'd to repose, and with a smile survey'd :
The troubled pleasure, soon chastis'd with fear,
She mingled with a smile, a tender tear.
The soften'd chief with kind compassion view'd,
And dry'd the falling drops; and thus pursu'd
"Andromache! my soul's far better part!
Why with untimely sorrow heaves thy heart!
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemn me to the silent tomb :
Fix'd is the term of all the race of earth;
And such the hard condition of our birth.
No force can then resist, no flight can save ;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more-but hasten to thy tasks at home;
There guide the spindle and direct the loom.
Me, glory summons to the martial scene;
The field of combat is the sphere for men:
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger, as the first in fame."

Thus having said, th' undaunted chief resumes
His towery helmet, black with shading plumes.
His princess parts with a prophetic sigh,
Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye,
That stream'd at every look; then moving slow,
Sought her own palace, and indulg'd her woe.
There, while her tears depler'd the godlike man,
Through all her train the soft infection ran :
The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourn'd the living Hector as the dead.

VI.-Facetious History of John Gilpin.-CowPER.

JOHN GILPIN was a citizen

Of credit and renown;

A train band captain eke was he,

Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-
"Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
Tomorrow is our wedding day,

And we shall then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
My sister and my sister's child,
Myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise, so you must ride.
On horseback after we."
He soon replied-" I do admire
Of woman kind but one;
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.

I am a linen draper bold,

As all the world doth know ;
And my good friend, Tom Callender,
Will lend his horse to go."

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin-" That's well said;
And, for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,

Which is both bright and clear."

John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife :
O'erjoy'd was he to find,

That, though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought,

But yet was not allow'd

To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stay'd
Where they did all get in;

Six precious souls; and all agog,

To dash through thick and thin!

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,

Were never folk so glad;

The stones did rattle underneath,

As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side,

Seiz'd fast the flowing mane,

And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again :

For saddletree scarce reach'd had he,
His journey to begin,

When turning round his head he saw,
Three customers come in.

So down he came, for loss of time,
Although it griev'd hime sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more.
'Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty scream'd into his ears-
"The wine is left behind."

"Good lack;" quoth he, "yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I wear my trusty sword,
When I do exercise."

Now Mrs. Gilpin, careful soul,
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she lov'd,
And keep it safe and sound.
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew;
He hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,

His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat,
He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again,
Upon his nimble steed;

Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
With caution and good heed.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall'd him in his seat.
So," fair and softly," John he cried;
But John he cried in vain ;
The trot became a gallop soon ;
In spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must,

Who cannot sit upright;

He grasp'd the mane with both his hands,

And eke with all his might.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;

He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
His horse, who never had before

Been handled in this kind,
Affrighted fled; and as he flew,
Left all the world behind.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Like streamer long and gay;
Till loop and button failing both,
At last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung :
A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
Up flew the windows all;

And every soul cri'd out, "Well done!"
As loud as they could bawl.
Away went Gilpin-who but he !

His fame soon spread around-
"He carries weight; he rides a race!
'Tis for a thousand pound!"

And still, as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view,
How in a trice the turnpike men
Their gates wide open threw.
And now as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back,
Were shatter'd at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road,

Most piteous to be seen,

Which made his horse's flanks to smoke

As they had basted been.

But still he seem'd to carry weight,

With leathern girdle brac'd;
For all might see the bottle necks
Still dangling at his waist.
Thus all through merry Islington,
These gambols he did play,
And till he came unto the Wash

Of Edmonton so gay.

And there he threw the Wash about,

On both sides of the way;

Just like unto a trundling mop,

Or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton, his loving wife,
From the balcony, spied

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »