« PreviousContinue »
Of wit or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear,
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream,
On summer eves, by haunted stream,
Then to the well trod stage anon,
If Johnson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood notes, wild.
And ever, against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the ineeting soul may pierce,
In notes with many a wiudirig bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of Harmony :
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber, on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free,
His half regain's Eurydice.
These delights, if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
III.-On the Pursuits of Mankind.-POPE.
HONOR and shame from no condition, rise ;
Act well your part-there all the honor lies.
Eortune in men has sone small difference made;
One flaunts in rags-one flutters in brocade ;
The cobler apron'd and the parson gown'd;
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
• What differ more,” you cry,
" than crown and cowl?"
I tell you friend--a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler like, the parson will be drunk;
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race,
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece :
But by your father's worth if yours you rate,
Count me those only who were good and great,
Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the focd,
Go! and pretend your family is young,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
What can ennoble sets, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.
Look next on greatness—say where greatness lies.
“Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?”
Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede :
The whole strange purpose of their lives to find,
Or make an enemy of all mankind !
Not one looks backward ; onward still he goes;
Yet ne'er looks forward, farther than his nose.
No less alike the politic and wise ;
All fly slow things with circumspective eyes.
Men in their loose, unguarded hours they take,
Not that themselves are wise, but others weak.
But grant that those can conquer; these can cheat: .
'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great.
Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a tool, the more a knave,
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains;
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates that man is great indeed.
What's fame? a faci'd life in others' breath,
A thing beyond us, e'en before our death.
All fame is foreign, but of true desert,
Plays round the head but comes not to the heart;
One self approving hour whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas:
And more true joy, Marcellus exild, feels,
Than Cesar, with a Senate at his heels.
In parts superior what advantage lies?
Tell, (for you can) what is it to be wise ?
'T'is but to know how little can be known;
To see all others faults, and feel our own;
Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge,
Without a second, or without a judge.
Truths would you teach, to save a sinking land?
All fear, none aid you, and few understand.
Painful preeminence! yourself to view
Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.
Bring then these blessings to a strict account;
Make fair deductions, see to what they 'mount :
How much, of other, each is sure to cost ;
How each, for other, oft is wholly lost;
How inconsistent greater goods with these ;
How sometimes life is risk'd, and always ease:
Think. And if still such things thy envy call,
Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall?
To sigh for ribbands, if thou art so silly,
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or sir Billy,
Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?
Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.
If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind.
Or, ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell damn'd to everlasting fame.
If all, united, thy ambition call,
From ancient story, learn to scorn them all.
IV.-Adam and Eve's Morning Hymn.-MILTON
THESE are thy glorious works! Parent of good! Almighty! thine this universal frame,
This woud'rous fair: Thyself how wond'r us, then,
Unspeakable ! who sitt'st above these heavens,
To usinvisible, or dimly seen
In these thy low st works ; yet these declare
Tuy goodness beyond thought and power divine.
Speak ye who besi can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels! for ye behold him, and with songs
And chrral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne, rejoicing Ye in heaven !
On earth, join, all ye creatures, to exto!
Him first, him last, hii vidst, and without end.
Fairest of stars ! last in train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling more
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy spliere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou sur ! of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou' climb'st,
And when high poon has gain'd and when thou fall'st.
Moon! That now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st.
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand'ring fires! that move
In mystic dance, not without song; resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, ard ye elements ! the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations ! that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honor to the world's great Author rise ;
Whether to deck with clouds th’uncolor'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling. still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds! that from four quarters blow
Breathe soft or loud ; and wave your tops, ye pines
With every plani, in sign of worship, wave.
Fountains and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls. Ye birds,
That singing, up to heaven's gate ascend,
Bear on your wings, and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread or lowly creep!
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise. =
Hail, universal Lord ! be bounterius still,
To give us only good ; and, if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or concealid
Disperseit, as now light dispels the dark.
V.-Parring of Hector and Andromache.--HOMER.
HECTOR now pass’d, with sad presaging heart,
To seek his spouse, his soui's far dearer part.
At home he sought her ; but he sught in vain ;
She, with one maid, of all her menial train,
Had thence retir’d; and with her second joy,
The young Astyanax, the hope if Troy,
Pensive she stond on Iljon's towery height,
Beheld the war, and sicken'd at the sight:
There her sad eyes in vain her lord explore,
Or weep the wounds her ble ding couiitry bore.
Hector, this heard. return'd without delay ;
Swift through the town he to k his former way,
Through streets of palaces, and walks of state,
And niet the mourner at the Scæan gate.
With haste to meet him sprung the jo; ful fair,
his blameless wife, Action's weal hy heir.
The nurse stood near; in whose embraces press',
His only h_pe hung smiling at her breast ;
Whom each soft charm and early grace adorn,
F-ir as the newborn star that gilds the morn.
Sileni, the warrior smild; and pleas'd, resign'd
T, tender passions, all his mighty inin.
His beauteous princess cast a mournfui look,
Hung on his hand, and then, dejec ed spoke.
Her bosom labor'd with a bodig, sigh,
And the big tear stod trembling in her eye.
“ Too daring prince ! ab! whither wilt thou run ?
Ah !.100 forgerful of thy wife and son !
Aud tink'st thinu not how wretched we shall
A widow I, an helpless orphan he!
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-aud thou must be slain. O grant me, gods ! ere Hector meets his doom, All I can ask of heaven-an early tonb! 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 annov, Where yon wild figtree joins the wall of Troy : Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given; Or led by hopes, or dictated froin 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 Attaint the lustre of my former name,
[ground, Should Hector basely quit the field of fame! My early youth was bred to warlike pains ; My soul impels me to the martial plains. S:ill 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 gaspiug on the shore, As thine, Andromache ! Thy griefs I dread! I see thee trenbling, 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 nighty Hector's wife !" Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see, Embitters all thy wces by naming me. The 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 thee weep."
Thus having spoke, tń illustrious chief of Troy Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy. The babe clung, crying, to the nurse's breast