« VorigeDoorgaan »
May one kind grave unite each hapless name,
Amid that scene if some relenting eye
most part indeed but a sort of exercises, while he was improving himself in the languages, and
When opening buds salute the welcome day,
And earth relenting feels the genial ray;
As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings)
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
Chaucer's House of Fame. The design is in a I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas and
Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow; knowledgment. The reader, who would com
Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen pare this with Chaucer, máy begin with his There towering cities, and the forests green: third book of Fame, there being nothing in the Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes; two first books that answers to their title : There trees and intermingled temples rise: wherever any hint is taken from him, the pas- The transient landscape now in clouds decays
Now a clear sun the shining scene displays; sage itself is set down in the marginal notes. The poem is introduced in the manner of the Pro
O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around, vençal pocts, whose works were for the most Sudden I heard a wild prozoiscuous sound, part visions, or pieces of imagination, and con
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Ver. 11, &c.] These verses are hinted from the
following of Chaucer, Book ii.
Though beheld I fields and plains of exordium.
Now hills and now mountains,
Now valeis, and now forestrs,
And now imneth great bestes,
Now rivers, now citees, Ix that soft season, when descending showers
Now towns, now great trees, Call forth the greens, and wake the rising tewers; Now shippes sayling in the sce.
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, (ceald. Their names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past
The gather'd winter of a thousand years. And fix their own, with labour, in their place : On this foundation Fame's high temple stands; Their own, like others, soon their place resign'd, Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands. Or disappear'd, and left the first behind.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Grecce beheld, Nor was the work innpair'd by storms alone, 41 Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd. But felt th' approaches of too warın a sun ;
Four faces had the dome, and every face, For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Of various structure, but of equal grace! Not more by Envy, than excess of Praise.
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high, Yet part no injuries of Heaven could feel, 45 Salute the different quarters of the sky. Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
Here fabled chiefs in darker ages born, The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn, Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade. Who cities rais d, or tam'd a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes ju animated marble frown, Ver. 27. High on a rock of ice, &c.] Chaucer's And legislators seem to think in stone. third book of Fame.
Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd, It stood upon so high a rock,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd, Higher standeth none in Spaynem
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold, What manner stone this rock was,
And sculpture rising on the roughend gold. For it was like a lymed glass,
In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld, But that it shone full inore clere;
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield: But of what congeled matere
There great Alcides, stooping with his toil, It was, I niste redily;
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian spoil : But at the last espied I,
Here Orpheus sings ; trees moving to the sound And found that it was every dele,
Start froin their roots, and form a shade around: A rock of ice, and not of stele.
Amphion there the loud creating lyre Ver. 31. Inscriptions here, &c.]
Strikes, and behold a sudden Thebes aspire !
Cythæron's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you see the lengthening spires ascend,
The domes swell up, the widening arches bend,
The growing towers like exhalations rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.
The easteru front was glorious to behold,
With diamond flaming, and Barbaric gold.
There Ninus shone, who spread th’ Assyrian fame,
And the great founder of the Persian name :
There in long robes the royal Magi stand,
And Brachmans, decp in desert woods rever'd. That they were inolte away for heate, These stopp'd the Moon, and call’d th' unbody'd And not away with storines beate,
shades Ver. 45. Yet part no injuries, &c.]
To midnight banquets in the glimmering glades; For on that other side I sey,
Made visionary fabrics round them rise, Of that hill which northward ley,
And airy sper
skim before their eyes; How it was written full of names
Of talisinans and sigils knew the power,
Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
But on the south, a long majestic race
Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace, But well I wiste what it made;
Who measur'd Earth, describ'd the starry spheras, It was conserved with the shade
And trac'd the long records of lunar years. (All the writing that I sye)
High on his car Sesostris struck my view Of the castle that stoode on high,
Whom scepter'd slaves in golden harness drew: And stood eke in so cold a place,
His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold; That heat might it not deface.
His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold,
Between the statues obelisks were plac'd,
But in the centre of the hallow'd choir, And the learn'd walls with hieroglyphics grac'd. Six poinpous columns o'er the rest aspire ; 159
Of Gothic structure was the northern side, Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand, D'erwrought with ornaments of barbarous pride. Hold the chief honours, and the fane command. There huge Colosses rose, with trophies crown'd, High on the first, the mighty Homer shone; 182 And Runic characters were grav'd around.
Eternal adamant compos'd his throne; There sat Zamolxis with erected eyes,
Father of verse ! in holy Gillets drest, And Odin here in mimic trances dies.
His silver beard wav'd gently o'er his breast; There on rude iron columns, smeard with blood, Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears ; The horrid forms of Scythian heroes stood,
In years he seemd, but not impair'd by years. Druids and bards (their once loud harps unstrung) The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen: And youths that died to be by poets sung.
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian queen; These and a thousand more of doubtful fame, Here Hector glorious froin Patroclus' fall, To whom old fables gave a lasting name,
Here dragyd in triumph round the Trojan wall. In ranks adornd the temple's outward face; Motion and life did every part inspire, The wall in lustre and effect like glass, 132 Bold was the work, and prov'd the master's fire; Which, o'er each object casting various dyes, A sirong expression most he scem'd t'affect, Enlarges some, and others multiplies :
And here and there disclos'd a brare neglect. Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall,
A golden coluinn next in rank appeard, 196 For thus romantic Pame increases all.
On which a shrine of purest gold was rear'd; The temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold, Finish'd the whole, and labour'd every part, Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold : With patient touches of unwearied Art: Rais'd on a thousand pillars wreath'd around The Mantran there in sober triumph sate, With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd: Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate; Of bright transparent beryl were the walls,
On Momor still he fix'd a reverent eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty.
The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead;
Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre,
From the dees many a pillere,
Upou a pillere saw I stonde His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
That was of lede and iron fine,
Him of the sect Saturnine,
l'pon an iron pilli re strong, Unmov'd, superior still in every state,
That painted was all endlong, And scarce detested in his country's fate.
With Tigers' blood in every place, But chief were those, who not for empire fought,
The 'Tholosan that hight Stace, But with their toils their people's safety bought: That bear of Thebes up the name, &c. High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood ;
Ver. 182.] Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
Full wonder high on a pillere Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state;
Of iron, he the great Omer, Great in his triumphs, in retirement great ;
And with him Dares and 'Titus, &c. And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught inind
Ver. 196, &c.) With bound ass power unbounded virtue join'd,
There saw I stand on a pillere His own strict julge, and patron of mankind.
That was of tinned iron cleere, Much suffering heroes next their bonours
The latin poet Virgyle, claim, Those of less noisy, and less guilty fame,
That hath bore up of a great while Fair Virtue s silent train : supreme of these
The fame of pious Fneas: Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
And next him on a pillere was He whom ungrateful Athens could expell
Of copper, Venus' clerke Ovile,
That bath sowen wondrous wide
The great god of love's fame
Tho saw I on a pillere by
Of iron wro'ight full stornly,
The great poet Dan Lucan,
The fame of Julius and Pompce.
And next him on a pillere stode
Of sulphure, like as he were wode,
Dan (laudian, sotle for to tell,
That bare up all the fame of Hell, &c.'
Troy flam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears,
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, (fight:
For Fame they raise their voice, and tune the string; And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
With Time's first birth began the heavenly lays, The figur'd games of Greece the column grace, And last, eternal, through the length of days Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race,
Around these wonders as I cast a look, 276 The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run; The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone; And all the nations, summon'd at the call, The champions in distorted postures threat ; From different quarters fill the crowded hall: And all appear'd irregularly great.
Of various tongues the mingle sounds were heard; Here happy Horace tun'd th’ Ausonian lyre In various garbs proiniscuous throngs appeard; To sweeter sounds, and ten.per'd Pindar's fire : Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage t’infuse
'Their flo:very toils, and sip the fragrant dew, The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
When the wingid colonies first tempt the sky, The polish'd pillar different sculptures grace; O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly, A work outlasting monumental brass.
Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield, Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear, And a low murmur runs along the field. The Julian star and great Augustus here.
Millions of suppljant crouds the shrine attend, The doves that round the infant poet spread And all degrees before the goddess bend; Myrtles and bays, hung hovering o'er his head. The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light, And boasting youth, and narrative old-age. Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite;
Their pleas were different, their request the same; His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
For good and bad alike are fond of Fame. And various animals his sides surround;
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honours His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Unlike successes equal merits found. (crown'd; 294 Superior worlds, and look all Nature through. Thus her blind sister, tickle Fortune, reigns, With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
And undiscerning scatters crowns and chains. The Roman rostra deck'd the consul's throne:
First at the shrine the learned world appear, Gathering his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer. In act to speak, and graceful stretci'd his hand. Long have we sought t' instruct and please man. Behind, Pome's genius waits with civic crowns,
kind, And the great father of his country owns.
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind ; These massy columns in a circle rise,
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by noue,
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise With jewels blaz'l, magnificently great;
The golden trumpet of eternal Praise : The vivid emeralds there revive the eye,
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound, The flaming rubies show their sanguine dye,
That fills the circuit of the world around;
I heard about her throne y sung
So sung the mighty Muse, she When on the goddess first I cast niy sight,
That cleped is Calliope, Scarce scem'd her stature of a cubit's height; 259
And her seven sisters cke-
Ver. 276. Around these wonders, &c.]
I heard a noise arproachen blive,
That tar'd as becs done in a live, And ampler vistas opeu'd to my view:
Against her time of out-tlying, Upward the columns shoot, the roofs ascend,
Right such a minere murmwing, And arches widen, and long aisles extend.
For all the could it seemned inc, Such was her form, as antient bar have told,
Tho gan I look about and see Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold;
That there came entering into th' hally
A right great company withal;
An that of sundry revions,
Of all kind of conditions, &c.
Ver. 291, Some she disgrac'd, &c.)
Aud some of them she granted sono, But thos soone in a while she,
And some she warned well anul fir, Hlerself the wonderly straight,
And some she granted the contrairThat with her feet she the Earth right,
Right as her sister, dame Furtune, And with her head she touchyd licayen
Is wout to serve iu cuuunune.
Not all at once, as thinder breaks the cloud; A troop came next, who crowns and armour wore,
“For thee” (they cry'd) “amidst alarms and strife, Fill the wide Earth, and gain upon the skies. We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life ; At every breath were balmy odours shed,
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood, Which still grew sweeter, as they wider spread : And swam to empire through the purple flood. Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales, Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own; Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone.” Next these the good and just, an awful train, 318 “ Ambitious fools !" (the queen reply'd, and frown'd) Thus on their knees address the sacred fane. “ Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd; “Since living virtue is with envy curs'd,
There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone, And the best men are treated like the worst, Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown !” Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my And give each deed th' exact intripsic worth."
sight, “Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd,” And cach majestic phantom sunk in night. (Said Fame) “ but high above desert renown'd: Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen; 356 Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien, And the loud clarion labour in your praise.". “Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd 328 The praise of merit, nor aspire to Pame! Prefer'd the same request, and lowly bow'd; But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men, The constant tenour of whose well-spent days Would die unheard of, as we liv'd unseen. No less deserv'd a just return of praise.
"Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight But straight the direful trump of Slander sounds; Those aots of goodness which themselves requite. Through the big dome the doubling thunder O let us still the secret joys partake, bounds;
To follow Virtue ev'n for Virtue's sake." Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
“And live there men, who slight immortal Fame! The dire report through every region flies,
Who then with incense shall adore our name? In every car incessant rumours rung,
But, mortals ! know, 'tis still our greatest pride, And gathering scandals grew on every tongue.
To blaze those virtues which the good would hide, From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke 338 Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath ; Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling smoke: These must not sleep in darkness and in death.” The poisonous vapour blots the purple skies, She said : in air the trembling music floats, And withers all before it as it Aies,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes;
So soft, though high, so loud, and yet so clear, IMITATIONS.
Ev'n listening angels lean from Heaven to hear: Ver. 318. The good and just, &c.]
To farthest shores th' ambrosial spirit flies, Tho came the third companye,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies. And gan up to the dees to hye,
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd, And down on knees they fell anone,
With feathers crown'd, with gay embroidery And saiden : “We been everichone
dress'd : Folke that han full truely
"Hither,” they cry'd, " direct your cyes, and sec Deserved fame right-fully,
The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry;
“ I grant," quoth she, “ for now we list 'That your good works shall be wist.
Ver. 356. Then came the smallest, &c.] And yet ye shall have hetter loos,
I saw anone the Gifth route, Right in despite of all your foos,
That to this lady gan loute, Than worthy is, and that anone.
And downe on knees anone to fall, Læt now," quoth she, “thy trump gone" And to her they besoughten all, And certes all the breath that went
To hiden their good works eke. Out of his trump's mouth siel'd
And said, they yeve not a leke As men a pot of baume held
For no fame ne such renowne; Among a basket full of roses.
For they for contemplacyoune,
And Goddes love had it wrought,
Ne of fame would they ought.
“What,” quoth she, “and be ye wood ? Anotł:er huge companye
And ween ye for to do good, Of good folke
And for to have it of no fame? What did this Eolus, but he
Have ye despite to have my name? Took out his-trump of brass,
Nay ye shall lien everichone: That fouler than the Devil was:
Blow thy trump, and that anone” And gan his trump for to blowe,
(Quoth she) “ thou Eolus, I hote, As all the world should overthrowe,
And ring these folks works by wrote, Throughout every regiono
That all the world may of it heare :" Went this foul trumpet's soune
And he gan blow their loos so cleare, Swift as a pellet out of a gunne,
In his golden clarioune, When fire is in the powiler runne.
Through the world went the sonne, And such a smoke gan out wende,
All so kindly, and eke so soft, Out of the foul trumpet's ende--&c.
That ther fame was blown aloft