Изображения страниц





So restless Cromwell could not cease
In the inglorious arts of peace,

But through adventurous war

Urgéd his active star :
And like the three-fork'd lightning, first
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst,

Did thorough his own side

His fiery way divide : (For 'tis all one to courage high The emulous, or enemy ;

And with such, to enclose

Is more than to oppose ;)
Then burning through the air he went
And palaces and temples rent ;

And Caesar's head at last

Did through his laurels blast. 'Tis madness to resist or blame The face of angry heaven's flame;

And if we would speak true,

Much to the man is due
Who, from his private gardens, where
He lived reservéd and austere

(As if his highest plot

To plant the bergamot),
Could by industrious valour climb
To ruin the great work of Time,

And cast the Kingdoms old

Into another mould ! ;
Though Justice against Fate complain,
And plead the ancient Rights in vain-

But those do hold or break

As men are strong or weak.
Nature, that hateth emptiness,
Allows of penetration less,

And therefore must make room
Where greater spirits come.





[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

What field of all the Civil War
Where his were not the deepest scar ?

And Hampton shows what part

He had of wiser art ;
Where, twining subtle fears with hope,
He wove a net of such a scope

That Charles himself might chase

To. Carisbrook's narrow case ; That thence the Royal actor borne The tragic scaffold might adorn :

While round the armed bands

Did clap their bloody hands; He nothing common did or mean Upon that memorable scene,

But with his keener eye

The axe's edge did try ;
Nor call'd the Gods, with vulgar spite,
To vindicate his helpless right;

But bow'd his comely head

Down, as upon a bed. - This was that memorable hour Which first assured the forcéd power :

So when they did design

The Capitol's first line,
A Bleeding Head, where they begun,
Did fright the architects to run ;

And yet in that the State

Foresaw its happy fate !
And now the Irish are ashamed
To see themselves in one year tamel :

So much one man can do

That does both act and know.
They can affirm his praises best,
And have, though overcome, confest

How good he is, how just
And fit for highest trust;




SO 95

Nor yet grown stiffer with command,
But still in the Republic's hand-

How fit he is to sway

That can so well obey !
He to the Commons' feet presents

85 A Kingdom for his first year's rents,

And (what he may) forbears

His fame, to make it theirs : And has his sword and spoils ungirt To lay them at the Public's skirt.

90 So when the falcon high

Falls heavy from the sky,
She, having kill'd, no more does search
But on the next green bough to perch,

Where, when he first does lure,

The falconer has her sure.
What may not then our Isle presume
While victory his crest does plume ?

What may not others fear

If thus he crowns each year ? 100 As Caesar he, ere long, to Gaul, To Italy an Hannibal,

And to all states not free

Shall climacteric be.
The Pict no shelter now shall find
Within his parti-colour'd mind,

But from this valour sad,

Shrink underneath the plaid-
Happy, if in the tufted brake
The English hunter him mistake,

Nor lay his hounds in near

The Caledonian deer.
But thou, the War's and Fortune's son,
March indefatigably on ;

And for the last effect
Still keep the sword erect :



115 120



Besides the force it has to fright
The spirits of the shady night,

The same arts that did gain
A power, must it maintain.


LYCIDAS Elegy on a Friend drowned in the Irish Channel Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forced fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear Compels me to disturb your season due : For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer : Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring, Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string. Hence with denial vain and coy excuse : So may some gentle Muse With lucky words favour my destined urn; And as he passes, turn And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nursed upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill. Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd Under the opening eye-lids of the morn, We drove a-field, and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the star, that rose at evening bright,





[ocr errors]

Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering

wheel. Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, Temper'd to the oaten flute ; Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel From the glad sound would not be absent long ; And old Damoetas loved to hear our song. 36

But O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return ! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves, With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes, mourn :

41 The willows and the hazel copses green Shall now no more be seen Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. As killing as the canker to the rose, Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear When first the white-thorn blows ; Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's car.

Where wereye, Nymphs,when theremorseless deep Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: Ay me! I fondly dream

Had ye been there—for what could that have done ?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

Alas! what boots it with uncessant care
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ?
Were it not better done, as others use,




« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »