Изображения страниц

And quantity, and accent, that can give
This all-pervading spirit to the ear,

Or blend it with the movings of the soul.
"Tis a mysterious feeling, which combines
Man with the world around him, in a chain
Woven of flowers, and dipp'd in sweetness, till
He tastes the high communion of his thoughts,
With all existences in earth and heaven,
That meet him in the charm of grace and power.
"Tis not the noisy babbler, who displays,
In studied phrase, and ornate epithet,
And rounded period, poor and vapid thoughts,
Which peep from out the cumbrous ornaments
That overload their littleness. Its words
Are few, but deep and solemn; and they break
Fresh from the fount of feeling, and are full
Of all that passion, which, on Carmel, fired
The holy prophet, when his lips were coals,
His language wing'd with terror, as when bolts
Leap from the brooding tempest, armed with wrath,
Commission'd to affright us, and destroy.


Weave, brothers, weave!-Swiftly throw
The shuttle athwart the loom,

And show us how brightly your flowers grow,
That have beauty, but no perfume!

Come, show us the rose, with a hundred dyes,
The lily that hath no spot;

The violet, deep as your true loves' eyes,
And the little forget-me-not!

Sing, brothers, sing! weave and sing!
"Tis good both to sing and to weave:
'Tis better to work than live idle;
"Tis better to sing than to grieve.

Weave, brothers, weave!-Weave and bid
The colours of sun-set glow!

Let grace in each gliding thread be hid,
Let beauty about you blow!

[blocks in formation]

Weave, brothers, weave!-Toil is ours;
But toil is the lot of men:

One gathers the fruit, one gathers the flowers,
One soweth the seed again!

There's not a creature, from the thron'd king
To the peasant that delves the soil,

That knows half the pleasure the seasons bring,
If he have not his share of toil!

So-sing, &c.


Breathless the course of the Pale White Horse, Bearing the ghastly form

Rapid and dark as the spectre bark

When it sweeps before the storm!

Balefully bright through the torrid night

Ensanguined meteors glare

Fiercely the spires of volcanic fires.

Stream on the sulphurous air!

Shades of the slain through the murderer's brain

Flit terrible and drear

Shadowy and swift the black storm drift

Doth tremble the atmosphere!

But swifter than all, with a darker pall
Of terror around my path,

I have arisen from my lampless prison-
Slave of the High God's wrath!

A deep voice went from the firmament,
And it pierced the caves of earth-
Therefore I came on my wings of flame
From the dark place of my birth!

And it said, “Go forth from the south to the north,

Over yon wandering ball

Sin is the King of the doomed thing,

And the sin-beguiled must fall!"

[blocks in formation]

Of Erebus and Old Night

From the unseen deep where Death and Sleep
Brood in their mystic might-

I come-I come-before me are dumb

The nations aghast for dreadLo! I have past as the desert blast,

And the millions of earth lie dead.

A voice of fear from the hemisphere
Tracketh me where I fly-

Earth weeping aloud for her widowhood-
A wild and desolate cry!

Thrones and dominions beneath my pinions

Cower like meanest things

Melt from my presence the pride and the pleasance
Of pallor-stricken kings!

Sorrow and mourning supremely scorning,

My throne in the boundless air

My chosen shroud is the dark-plumed cloud-
Which the whirling breezes bear!

Was I not borne on the wings of the morn
From the jungles of Jessore,

Over the plain of the purple main

To the far Mountain shore?

[ocr errors]

To the isles which sleep on the sunbright deep

Of a coral-paved sea;

Where the blue waves welter beneath the shelter

Of Heaven's serenity?

From the womb of the waters, athirst for slaughters,

I rose that thirst to sate

These green isles are graves in the waste of the wavesThis beauty is desolate!

From the wide Erythrean the noise of my paan

Rolled on the southern blast

Eternal Taurus made answering chorus

From the glaciers lone and vast!

Did I not pass his granite mass;

And the rigid Caucasian hill

Over burning sands-over frost-chained lands,

Borne at my own wild will?

Then hark to the beat of my hastening feet,

Thou shrined in the sea;

Where are the dreams that the ocean streams

Would be safety unto thee?

Awaken! awaken! my wings are shaken,

Athwart the troubled sky

Streams the red glance of meteor lance

And the glare of my eager eye.

[ocr errors]

Hearken, oh hearken! my coming shall darken
The light of thy festal cheer;

In thy storm-rocked home on the northern foam,
Nursling of Ocean-hear!*


"Rise, honest muse, and sing the Man of Ross."

THE true history and character of the individual, to whom the muse of Pope, thus invoked, arose and gave immortality in song, are but little known to the world at large, although almost every reader of the poet's lines must have felt an interest in a being so noble as the Man of Ross was there represented to be. John Kyrle was the proper appellation of the person whom local circumstances caused to bear the title of the Man of Ross. He was a native of the parish of Dymock, in the county of Gloucester, and was born on the 22d of May, 1637.

At the decease of his father, John Kyrle, who was the elder of two sons, found himself inheritor of little more than the family dwellinghouse in the town of Ross in Herefordshire, together with a few patches of land in the neighbourhood. But these possessions seem to have been quite sufficient to maintain him respectably, as he did not follow up the profession of the law, but permanently took up his residence in the district of his nativity. In truth, his frugal way of life, as well as his economical and judicious mode of managing his property, soon placed him in the most easy circumstances, and enabled him to make repeated accessions, by purchase, to the patrimony which had descended to him. But, though frugal in his habits, the subject of our notice was far, very far indeed, from exhibiting at any period of his career a spirit of avarice or money-hoarding. On the contrary, he was endowed with one of the most generous and noble hearts that ever fell to the lot of man, and hence, in reality, his celebrity, hence the immortality of his name as the Man of Ross. It was as a most extensive and unostentatious benefactor of his species that Pope enshrined John Kyrle in undying verse, and gave his name to all coming time.

The portraits of the Man of Ross display a regular, well-formed countenance, rather square in general outline, and strikingly expressive

* The most recent accounts state that the mortality from cholera in London is frightful, and the skill of the best physicians is exercised in vain. In one week more than 2000 have died in that city alone. The disease is raging in different parts of the kingdom, among the poor and the rich.

of mild cheerfulness and benevolence. The brow is open and expansive. In person, he was tall, thin, and well-shaped, and during his whole life his usual attire was a suit of brown, after the fashion of the day. He maintained his health by regular exercise from his youth upwards, turning his own hands to service in his favourite pursuits of horticulture and planting. A spade and a watering-pot were usually seen in his grasp, as he passed backwards and forwards between his dwelling and his fields. Having speedily increased his means, as we have said, and made his income respectable, he lived well, and enjoyed himself frequently with his friends, though much company was not agreeable to him. It was his practice, as his habits became fixed, to entertain a party of his acquaintances on every market-day, and on every fair-day, in the town of Ross. Nine, eleven, or thirteen (he seemed partial to odd numbers,) were the usual sum of the guests at the invitation dinners. His dishes were plain and good, and the only beverages which appeared on his table were malt liquor and cider. At ordinary times, moreover, he loved dearly to see his neighbours dropping in upon him in the evening, was cheerful always with them, enjoyed a pleasant tale, and was uniformly discomposed and sad when time brought round the parting hour. His character is truthfully depicted in the following lines of Pope. Throughout his long life of eighty-seven years, his benevolence did not tire-his care of the poor was incessant, he settled their disputes and ministered to their relief.

"But all our praises why should lords engross?
Rise, honest muse! and sing the man of Ross:
Pleased Vaga echoes through her winding bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.

Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the water flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,

Or in proud falls magnificently lost,

But clear and artless, pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose?
Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise?
'THE MAN OF Ross,' each lisping babe replies!
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread-
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread.
He feeds yon almshouse, neat, but void of state,
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate.
Him portioned maids, apprenticed orphans bless'd,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.

Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,

Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance? enter but his door,

Balked are the courts, and contest is no more."

The town which Mr. Kyrle so long adorned was justly proud of him during his life and deeply reverenced his memory when he was laid in

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »