Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Frae aff its thorny tree;
And
my

fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi' me.

R. BURNS.

140. THE PROGRESS OF POESY.

A Pindaric Ode,

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs

A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
The laughing flowers that round them blow
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of Music winds along
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign;
Now rolling down the steep amain
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.

O Sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell ! the sullen Cares

And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb'd the fury of his car
And dropt his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing :
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sport, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures ;
Now pursuing, now retreating,

Now in circling troops they meet :
To brisk notes in cadence beating

Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare :

Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay: With arms sublime that float upon the air

In gliding state she wins her easy way : O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

Man's feeble race what ills await ! Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate ! The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry He gives to range the dreary sky : Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of

war.

In climes beyond the solar road Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight gloom

To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.

And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat
In loose numbers wildly sweet
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Aegean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish !
Where each old poetic mountain

Inspiration breathed around;
Every shade and hallow'd fountain

Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, O Albion ! next, thy sea-encircled coast.

Far from the sun and summer-gale
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face : the dauntless Child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smiled.
This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine, too, these golden keys, immortal Boy !

This can unlock the gates of Joy ;
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or

ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.

Nor second He, that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy The secrets of the Abyss to spy:

He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time : The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze Where Angels tremble while they gaze, He saw ; but blasted with excess of light, Closed his eyes in endless night. Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear Two coursers of ethereal race With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding

pace.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah ! 'tis heard no more-
0! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit
Wakes thee now! Tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,

That the Theban Eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion

Thro' the azure deep of air : Yet oft before his infant

eyes

would run Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun :

Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate: Beneath the Good how far-but far above the Great.

T. GRAY.

[ocr errors]

141. THE PASSIONS.

An Ode for Music. When Music, heavenly maid, was young: While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Throng'd around her magic cell Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possest beyond the Muse's painting ; By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined : 'Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round They snatch'd her instruments of sound, And, as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each, for Madness ruled the hour, Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,

E'en at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,

In lightnings own'd his secret stings: In one rude clash he struck the lyre

And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woeful measures wan Despair

Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »