Изображения страниц

Slighting, by my humble side,
fame and splendor, wealth and pride.
Rage, and jealousy, and hate, —
Transports of man's fallon state.
When by Satan's wiles betrayed, —
Fly those windings, and that shade!

5. Let me, then, indulgent Fate!
Let me, still in my retreat,
From all roving thoughts be freed,
Or aims that may contention breed ,'
Nor be my endeavors led

By goods that perish with the dead!

Fitly might the life of man

Be, indeed, esteemed a span,

If the present moment were

Of delight his only share;

If no other joys he knew

Than whai5 round about him grew : —

6. But, — as those who stars would trace
From a subterranean place,
Through some engine lift tli eir eyes
To the outward glorious skies, —

So the immortal spirit may,

When descended to our clay,

From a rightly governed frame,

View the height from whence she came;

To her Paradise be caught,

And things unutterable taught!

7 Give me, then, in that retreat, —
Give me, O, indulgent Fate ! —
For all pleasures left behind,
Contemplations of the mind.
Let the fair, the gay, the vain,
Courtship and applause obtain;
Let the ambitious rule the earth;
Let the giddy fool have mirth;
Give the epicure his dish,
Every one his several wish;
Whilst my transports I employ
On that more extensive joy,
When all Heaven hall be surveyed
From those windings and that shade'


• Th^jS lady, whose maiden name -vas Anne Kingsmill, died in 1720. She was the friend of Pope, who complimented her highly in some of his verses Wordsworth says of her, that she is " one of the very few original observers of uature who appeared in an artificial age."


1. John Littlejohn was stanch and strong,
Upright and downright, scorning wrong;
He gave good weight, and paid his way,
He thought for himself, and he said his say.
Whenever a rascal strove to pass,
Instead of silver, money of brass,
He took his hammer, and said, with a frown,
"The coin is spurious, nail it down."

H John Littlejohn was firm and true,

You could not cheat him in " two and two ;"
When foolish arguers, might and main,
Darkened and twisted the clear and plain,
He saw through the mazes of their speech
The simple truth beyond their rf ach;
And crushing their logic, said, with a frown.
"Your coin is spurious, nail it down."

3. John Littlejohn maintained the right,
Through storm and shine, in the world's despite
When fools or quacks desired his vote,

Dosed him with arguments, learned by rote,
Or by coaxing, threats, or promise, tried
To gain his support to the wrongful side,
"Nay, nay," said John, with an angry frown,
"Your coin is spurious, nail it down."

4. When told that kings had a right divine,
And that the people wore herds of swine,
That nobles alone were fit to rule,

That the poor were unimproved by school,
That ceaseless toil was the proper fate *
Of all but the wealthy and the great,
John shook his head, and said, with a frown,
"The coin is spurious, nail it down."

5. When told that events might justify
A false and crooked policy,

That a decent hope of future good

Might excuse departure trom rectitude,

That a lie, if white, was a small offence.

To be forgiven by men of sense,

"Nay, nay," said John, with a sigh and frown,

"The coin is spurious, nail it down." Mack At OhIX. POETRY OF lUE SEASONS.


1. Stjnkise In Summer. - Thomson.

But yonder comes the powerful king of day,

Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,

The kindling azure, and tho mountain's brow

Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach

Betoken glad. Lo! now apparent all,

Aslant the dew-hvight earth and colored air

He looks in boundless majesty abroad,

And sheds the shining day, that burnished plays

On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,

High gleaming from afar! Prime cheerer Light!

Of all material beings first and best!

Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe!

Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt

In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun!

Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen

Shines out thy Maker! May I sing of thee?

2. Welcome Of The Birds. Holmes.

Now bursts the song from every leafy glade,
The yielding season's bridal serenade;
Now flash the wings returning Summer calls
Through the deep arches of her forest halls.
The crack-brained bobolink courts his crazy mate,
Poised on a bulrush tipsy with his weight;
Nay, in his cage the lone'canary sings,
Feels the soft air, and spreads his idle wings.

3. To The Flowers.Horace Smith.

Day-stars! that ope your frownless eyes, to twinkle

From rainbow galaxies13 of earth's creation,
Ard dew-drops on her holy altars sprinkle
As a libation!

Tour voiceless lips, O flowers! are living preachers,

Each cup a pulpit and each leaf a book, Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers From loneliest nook!

• Thou wast not, Solomon, in all thy glory

Arrayed," the lilies cry, "in robes like ours! How vain your grandeur! Ah, how transitory Are buman flowers!"

Ephe-m'eraln sages! what instructors hoary

For such a world of thought could furnish scops!
Each fading calyx" a mementit1 mbri.
Yet fount of hope!

Posfhumous" glories! angel-like collection!

Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth,
Ye are to me a type of resurrection
And second birth.

Were I, O God! in churchless lands remaining,

Far from all teachers and from all divines,
My soul would find in flowers of Thy ordaining
Priests, sermons, shrines!

4. Summer Winn. Bryant.

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors; the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven, —
Their bases on the mountains, their white tops
Shining in the far ether, — fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer's eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays its coming.


1. Of the blessings which civilization and philosophy brinj with them, a large proportion is common to all ranks, and woulA if withdrawn, be missed as painfully by the laborer aa by tbt peer. The market-place, which the rustic can now roach witk his cart in an hour, was, a hundred and sixty years ago, a day's journey from him. The street, wh:ch now affords to the ar'tisan, during the whole night, a secure, a convenient, and a brilliantly. Lighted walk, was, a hundred and sixty years ago, so dark after sunset that he would not have been able to see his hand, so ill paved that he would have run constant risk of breaking his neck, and so ill watched that he would have been in imminent' danger of being knocked down and plundered of his small earnings. Every bricklayer who falls from a scaffold, every sweeper of a crossing who is run over by a carriage, now may have his wounds dressed and his limbs set with a skill such as, a hundred and sixty years ago, all the wealth of a great lord like Ormond, or of a merchant prince like Clayton, could not have purchased.

2. Some frightful diseases have been extir'pated by science, and some have been banished by police. The term of human life has been lengthened over the whole kingdom, and especially in the towns. The year 1685 was not accounted sickly; yet in the year 1685 more than one in twenty-three of the inhabitants of the capital died. At present only one inhabitant of the capital in forty dies annually. The difference in salubrity between the London of the nineteenth century and the London of the seventeenth century is very far greater than the difference between London in an ordinary season and London in the cholera.

3. Still more important is the benefit which all orders of society, and especially the lower orders, have derived from the mollifying influence of civilization on the national character. The ground-work of that character has indeed been the same through many generations, in the sense in which the groundwork of the character of an individual may be said to be the game when he is a rude and thoughtless schoolboy and when he is a refined and accomplished man. It is pleasing to reflect that the public mind of England has softened while it has ripened, and that we have, in the course of ages, become, not only a wiser, but also a kinder people. There is scarcely a page of the history or lighter literature of the seventeenth century which does not contain some proof that our ancestors were less humane than their posterity.

4. The discipline of work-shops, of schools, of private families, though not more efficient than at present, was infinitely harsher. Masters, well bom and bred, were in the habit of beating their servants. Pedagogues" knew no way of imparting knowledge but by beating their pupils. Husbands of decent station were not ashamed to beat their wives. The implacability of hostile factions was such as we can scarcely conceive. As little mercy was shown by the populace to sufferers of a

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »