Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

More genuine transports found, as on some tomb Ye youths of Albion's beauty-blooming isle,
Reclin'd, she watch'd the tapers of the dead ; Whose brows have worn the wreath of luckless love
Or through the pillar'd aisles, amid pale shrines there a pleasure like the pensive mood,
Of imag'd saints, and intermingled graves, Whose magic wont to soothe your sosten'd souls ?
Mus'd a veil'd votaress; than Flavia feels, O tell how rapturous the joy, to melt
As through the mazes of the festive ball,

To Melody's assuasive voice; to bend
Proud of her conquering charms, and beauty's blaze, Th' uncertain step along the midnig mead,
She floats amid the silken sons of dress,

Aud pour your sorrows to the pitying Moon, And shines the fairest of th' assembled fair. By many a slow trill from the bird of woe

When azure noontide cheers the dædal globe, Or: interrupted ; in embow'ring woods And the blest regent of the golden day

By darksome brook to muse, and there forget Rejoices in his bright meridian tower,

The solemn dullness of the tedious world, Ilow ost my wishes ask the night's return, While Fancy grasps the visionary fair: That best befriends the melancholy mind!

And now no more th'abstracted ear attends Hail, sacred Night! thou too shall share my song! The water's murm'ring lapse, th' entranced eye Sister of ebon-sceptred Hecate, hail!

Pierces no longer through th' extended rows Whether in congregated clouds thou wrapp'st of thick-rang:d trees; till haply from the depth Thy viewless chariot, or with silver crown The woodman's stroke, or distant tinkling team, Thy beaming head encirclest, ever hail!

Or heifers rustling through the brake, alarms What though beneath thy gloom the sorceress-strain, Th'illuded sense, and mars the golden dream. Far in obscured haunt of Lapland moors,

These are delights that absence drear has made With rhymes uncouth the bloody caldron bless ; Familiar to my soul, e'er since the form Though Murder wan beneath thy shrouding shade or young Sapphira, beauteous as the Spring, Summons her slow-ey'd vot'ries to devise

When from her vi'let-woven couch awak'd of secret slaughter, while by one blue lamp By frolic Zephyr's hand, her tender cheek In hideous conference sits the list'ning band, Graceful she lists, and blushing from her bow'r And start at each low wind, or wakeful sound : Issues to clothe in gladsome-glistering green What though thy stay the pilgrim curseth oft, The genial globe, first met my dazzled sight: As all benighted in Arabian wastes

These are delighis unknown to minds profane, He hears the wilderness around him howl And which alone the persive soul can taste. With roaming monsters, while on his hoar head The la perd choir, at the late hour of pray'r, The black-descending tempest ceaseless beats ; Oft let me tread, while to th' according voice Yel more delightful to my pensive mind

The many-sounding organ peals on high, Is thy return, than blooming Moru's approach, The clear slow-dittied chant, or varied hymn, Ev’n than, in youthful pride of opening May, Till all my soul is bathed in ecstasies, When from the portals of the saffron east

And lapp'd in paradise. Or let me sit
She sheds fresh roses, and ambrosial dews. Far in sequester'd aisles of the deep dome,
Yet not ungrateful is the Morn's approach, There lonesome listen lo the sacred sounds,
When dropping wet she comes, and clad in clouds, Which, as they lengthen through the Gothic vaults,
While through the damp air scowls the lowering In hollow murmurs reach my ravish'd ear.
South,

Nor when the lamps expiring yield to night,
Blackening the landscape's face, that grove and hill And solitude returns, would i forsake
In forinless vapors undistinguish'd swim:

The solcmn mansion, but attentive mark
Th'afflicted songsters of the sadden'd groves

The due clock swinging slow with sweepy sway, Hail not the sullen gloom : the waving elms Measuring time's flight with momentary sound. Thai, hoar through time and rang'd in thick array, Nor let me fail to cultivate my mind Inclose with slately row some rural hall,

With the sost thrillings of the tragic Muse, Are mute, nor echo with the clamors hoarse Divine Melpomene, sweet Pity's nurse, of rooks rejoicing on their airy boughs;

Queen of the stately slep, and flowing pall. While to the shed the dripping poultry crowd, Now let Monimia mourn with streaming eyes A mournful train : secure the village-bind

Her joys incestuous, and polluted love;
Hangs o'er the crackling blaze, nor lempts the storm; Now let soft Juliet in the gaping tomb
Fix'd in th' unfinish'd furrow rests the plow: Print the last kiss on her true Romeo's lips,
Rings not the high wood with enliven'd shouts His lips yet reeking from the deadly draught:
of early hunter: all is silence drear;

Or Jaffier kneel for one forgiving look.
And deepest sadness wraps the face of things. Nor seldom let the Moor on Desdemone
Through Pope's soft song though all the Graces Pour the misguided ihreats of jealous rage.
hreathe,

By soft degrees the manly torrent steals
And happiest art adorn his Attic page;

From my swoln eyes; and at a brother's woe
Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow, My big heart melts in sympathizing tears.
As at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd,

What are the splendors of the gaudy court, In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song

Its tinsel trappings, and its pageant pomps ?
I see deserted Una wander wide

To me far happier seems the banish'd lord,
Through wasteful solitudes, and lurid heaths, Amid Siberia's unrejoicing wilds,
Weary, forlorn; than when the fated fair

Who pines all lonesome, in the chambers hoar Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames of some high castle shul, whose windows diin Launches in all the lustre of brocade,

In distant ken discover trackless plains, Amid the splendors of the laughing Sun.

Where Winter ever whirls his icy car! The gay description palls upon the sense,

While still repeated objects of his view, And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss. The gloomy battlements, and ivied spires,

That crown the solitary dome, arise ;

of sunk magnificence! a blended scene While from the topmost turret the slow clock, of moles, fanes, arches, domes, and palaces, Far heard along th' inhospitable wastes,

Where, with his brother Horror, Ruin siis. With sad-returning chime awakes new grief; O come then, Melancholy, queen of thought! Ev'n he far happier seems than is the proud, O come with saintly look, and sted fast step, The potent satrap, whom he left behind

From forth thy cave embower'd with mournful yew 'Mid Moscow's golden palaces, to drown

Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound In ease and luxury the laughing hours.

List’ning thou sitt'st, and with thy cypress bind Illustrious objects strike the gazer's mind Thy votary's hair, and seal him for thy son. With feeble bliss, and but allure the sight,

But never let Euphrosyné beguile Nor rouse with impulse quick th' unfeeling heart. With toys of wanton mirth iny fixed mind, Thus seen by shepherds from Hymettus' brow, Nor in my path her primrose-garland cast. What dædal landscapes smile! here palmy groves, Though ʼmid her train the dimpled Hebe bare Resounding once with Plato's voice, arise,

Her rosy

bosom to th' enamour'd view; Amid whose umbrage green her silver head Though Venus, mother of the Smiles and Loves, Th’unfading olive lifts: here vine-clad hills And Bacchus, ivy-crown'd, in citron-bow'r Lay forth their purple store, and sunny vales With her on nectar-streaming fruitage feast : In prospect vast their level laps expand,

What though 'tis hers to calm the low'ring skies, Amid whose beauties glistering Athens tow'rs. And at her presence mild th' embattled clouds Though through the blissful scenes llissus roll Disperse in air, and o'er the face of Heav'n His sage-inspiring flood, whose winding marge New day diffusive gleam at her approach ? The thick-wore lanrel shades; though roseate Morn Yet are these joys that Melancholy gives, Pour all her splendors on th' empurpled scene;

Than all her witless revels happier far; Yet feels the hoary hermit truer joys,

These deep-felt joys, by Contemplation taught. As from the cliff, ihat o'er his cavern hangs,

They ever, beauteous Contemplation, hail ! He views the piles of fallin Persepolis

From thee began, auspicious maid, my song, In deep arrangement hide the darksome plain. With thee shall end; for thou art fairer far Unbounded waste! the mould'ring obelisk

Than are the nymphs of Cirrha's mossy grot ; Here, like a blasted oak, ascends the clouds; To loftier rapture thou canst wake the thought, Here Parian domes their vaulled halls disclose Than all the fabling poet's bousted pow'rs. Horrid with thorn, where lurks th' unpitying thief, Hail

, queen divine! whom, as tradition tells,
Whence flits the twilight-loving bat at eve, Once in his evening walk a Druid found,
And the deaf adder wreathes her spotted train, Far in a hollow glade of Mona's woods;
The dwellings once of elegance and art.

And pileous bore with hospitable hand
Here temples rise, amid whose hallow'd bounds To the close shelter of his oaken bow'r.
Spires the black pine, while through the naked street, There soon the sage admiring mark'd the dawn
Once haunt of tradeful merchants, springs the grass : Or solemn musing in your pensive thought;
Here columns heap'd on prostrate colunins, torn For when a smiling babe, you lov'd to lie
From their firm base, increase the mould'ring mass. Oft deeply list’ning to the rapid roar
Far as the sight can pierce, appear the spoils Of wood-hung Meinai, stream of Druids old.

WILLIAM MASON.

William Mason, a poet of some distinction, born verse, made its appearance, of which the fourth and in 1725, was the son of a clergyman, who held the concluding book was printed in 1781. Its purpose living of Hull. He was admitted first of St. John's was to recommend the modern system of natural or College, and afterwards of Pembroke College, Cam- landscape gardening, to which the author adheres bridge, of the latter of which he was elected Fel- with the rigor of exclusive taste. The versification low in 1747. He entered into holy orders in 1754, is formed upon the best models, and the description, and, by the favor of the Earl of Holderness, was in many parts, is rich and vivid ; but a general air presented to the valuable rectory of Ashton, York- of stiffness prevented it from attaining any conshire, and became Chaplain to His Majesty. Some siderable share of popularity. Some of his following poems which he printed gave himn reputation, which poetic pieces express his liberal sentiments on politireceived a great accession from his dramatic poem cal subjects; and when the late Mr. Pitt came into of “ Elfrida." By this piece, and his * Caractacus,"| power, being then the friend of a free constitution, which followed, it was his aim to attempt the resto- Mason addressed him in an “Ode," containing many ration of the ancient Greek chorus in tragedy; but patriotic and manly ideas. But being struck with this is so evidently an appendage of the infant and alarm at the unhappy events of the French revoluimperfect state of the drama, that a pedantic at- tion, one of his latest pieces was a “ Palinody to tachment to the ancients could alone suggest its re- Liberty." He likewise revived, in an improved vival. In 1756, he published a small collection of form, and published, Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on “Odes," which were generally considered as display- the Art of Painting, enriching it with additions fur. ing more of the artificial mechanism of poetry, than nished by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and with a metrical of its genuine spirit. This was not the case with versjon. Few have been better executed than this, his “Elegies,” published in 1763, which, abating which unites to great beauties of language a correct some superfluity of ornament, are in general marked representation of the original. His tribute to the with the simplicity of language proper to this spe- memory of Gray, being an edition of his poems, cies of composition, and breathe noble sentiments of with some additions, and Memoirs of his Life and freedom and virtue. A collection of all his poems Writings, was favorably received by the public. which he thought worthy of preserving, was pub- Mason died in April, 1797, at the age of seventy. lished in 1764, and afterwards went through several two, in consequence of a mortification produced by editions. He had married an amiable lady, who a hurt in his leg. A tablet has been placed to his died of a consumption in 1767, and was buried in memory in Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey. the cathedral of Bristol, under a monument, on His character in private life was exemplary for which are inscribed some very tender and beautiful worth and active benevolence, though not without lines, by her husband.

a degree of stateliness and assumed superiority of In 1772, the first book of Mason's “ English Gar- manner. den," a didactic and descriptive poem, in blank

ODE TO MEMORY.

Mother of Wisdom! thou, whose sway
The throng'd ideal hosts obey ;
Who bidd'st their ranks, row vanish, now appear,
Flame in the van, or darken in the rear;

Accept this votive verse. Thy reign

Nor place can fix, nor power restrain.
All, all is thine. For thee the ear, and eye,
Rove through the realms of grace, and harmony :

The senses thee spontaneous serve,

That wake, and thrill through ev'ry nerve.
Else vainly soft, lov'd Philomel! would flow
The soothing sadness of thy warbled woe :

Else vainly sweet yon woodbine shade
With clouds of fragrance fill the glade ;

Vainly, the cygnet spread her downy plume,
Tho vine gush nectar, and the virgin bloom.

But swist to thee, alive and warm,

Devolves each tributary charm :
See modest Nature bring her simple stores,
Luxuriant Art exhaust her plastic powers;

While every flower in Fancy's clime,

Each gem of old heroic time,
Cullid by the hand of the industrious Muse,
Around thy shrine their blended beams diffuse.

Hail, Mem'ry! hail. Behold, I lead

To that high sbrine the sacred maid :
Thy daughter she, the empress of the lyre,
The first, the fairest, of Aonia's quire.

She comes, and lo, thy realms expand'
She takes her delegated stand

Full in the midst, and o'er thy num'rous train

As now o'er this lone beach I stray, Displays the awful wonders of her reign.

Thy fav'rite swain* oft stole along, There thron'd supreme in native state,

And artless wove his Dorian lay, If Sirius flame with fainting heat,

Far from the busy throng. She calls ; ideal groves their shade extend, Thou heard'st him, goddess, strike the tender string, The cool gale breathes, the silent show’rs descend. And bad'st his soul with bolder passions move: Or, if bleak Winter, frowning round,

Soon these responsive shores forgot to ring,
Disrobe the trees, and chill the ground, With beauty's praise, or plaint of slighted love ;
She, mild magician, waves her potent wand, To loftier flights his daring genius rose,
And ready summers wake at her command. And led the war 'gainst thine, and Freedom's foes.

See, visionary suns arise
Through silver clouds and azure skies ;

Pointed with satire's keenest steel,

The shafts of wit he darts around ; See, sportive zephyrs fan the crisped streams;

Ev'nt mitred dullness learns to feel, Through shadowy brakes light glance the sparkling beams :

And shrinks beneath the wound. While, near the secret moss-grown cave,

In awful poverty his honest Muse That stands beside the crystal wave,

Walks forth vindictive through a venal land : Sweet Echo, rising from her rocky bed,

In vain corruption sheds her golden dews, Mimics the feather'd chorus o'er her head.

In vain oppression lifts her iron hand ;

He scorns them both, and, arm'd with truth alone, Rise, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say, Bids lust and folly tremble on the throne. How, at thy gloomy close of day,

Behold, like him, immortal maid,
How, when “deprest by age, beset with wrongs ;"

The Muses' vestal fires I bring :
When “ fall'n on evil days and evil tongues;”
When darkness, brooding on thy sight,

Here, at thy feet, the sparks I spread:
Exil'd the sov'reign lamp of light;

Propitious wave thy wing,

And fan them to that dazzling blaze of song, Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse? What friends were thine, save Mem’ry and the Muse? Which glares tremendous on the sons of pride. Hence the rich spoils, thy studious youth

But, hark! methinks I hear her hallow'd tongue!

In distant trills it echoes o'er the tide ;
Caught from the stores of ancient truth:
Hence all thy classic wand'rings could explore,

Now meets mine ear with warbles wildly free,

As swells the lark's meridian ecstasy.
When rapture led thee to the Latian shore ;
Each scene, that Tyber's banks supplied ;

Fond youth! to Marvell's patriot fame,
Each grace, that play'd on Amo's side;

Thy humble breast must ne'er aspire. The tepid gales, through Tuscan glades that fly; Yet nourish still the lambent flame; The blue serene, that spreads Hesperia's sky;

Still strike thy blameless lyre : Were still thine own; thy ample mind Led by the moral Muse, securely rove;

Each charm receiv’d, retain'd, combin'd. And all the vernal sweets thy vacant youth
And thence “ the nightly visitant," that came Can cull from busy Fancy's fairy grove,
To touch thy bosom with her sacred flame, Oh hang their foliage round the fane of Truth:

Recall'd the long-lost beams of grace, To arts like these devote thy tuneful toil,
That whilom shot from Nature's face,

And meet its fair reward in D'Arcy's smile.
When God, in Eden, o'er her youthful breast
Spread with his own right hand Persection's gor- « 'Tis he, my son, alone shall cheer
geous vest.

Thy sick’ning soul; at that sad hour,
When o'er a much-lov'd parent's bier,

Thy duteous sorrows shower:

At that sad hour, when all thy hopes decline ;
ODE TO INDEPENDENCY.

When pining Care leads on her pallid train,
HERE, on my native shore reclin’d,

And sees thee, like the weak and widow'd vine,
While silence rules this midnight hour, Winding thy blasted tendrils o'er the plain.
I woo thee, Goddess ! On my musing mind At that sad hour shall D'Arcy lend his aid,
Descend, propitious power!

And raise with friendship’s arm thy drooping head. And bid these ruffling gales of grief subside : Bid my calm'd soul with all thy influence shine; “ This fragrant wreath, the Muses' meed, As yon chaste orb along this ample tide

That bloom'd those vocal shades among, Draws the long lustre of her silver line,

Where never flatı'ry dar'd to tread, While the hush'd breeze its last weak whisper blows,

Or interest's servile throng; And lulls old Humber to his deep repose.

Receive, thou favor'd son, at my command,

And keep with sacred care, for D'Arcy's brow:
Come to thy vot'ry's ardent prayer,

Tell him, 'twas wove by my immortal hand,
In all thy graceful plainness drest:

I breath'd on every flower a purer glow;
No knot confines thy waving hair,

Say, for thy sake, I send the gift divine
No zone, thy floating vest;

To him, who calls thee his, yet makes thee mine."
Unsullied honor decks thine open brow,
And candor brightens in thy modest eye :

* Andrew Marvell, born at Kingston upon-Hull in the Thy blush is warm content's ethereal glow;

year 1620. Thy smile is peace; thy step is liberty:

† See The Rehearsal Transposed, and an account of Thou scatter’st blessings round with lavish hand,

the effect of that satire, in the Biographia Britannica, As Spring with careless fragrance fills the land.

art. Marvell.

Know, ye were formd to range yon azure field,
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A LADY. In yon ethereal founts of bliss to lave:

Force then, secure in Faith's protecting shield,
The midnight clock has tollid; and hark, the bell
Of death beats slow! heard ye the note profound ?

The sting from Death, the vict'ry from the Grave

Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain, It pauses now; and now, with rising knell,

Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dullness steep Flings to the hollow gale its sullen sound.

Go, soothe your souls in sickness, grief, or pain, Yes, **** is dead. Attend the strain,

With the sad solace of eternal sleep. Daughters of Albion! Ye that, light as air,

Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are, So oft have tript in her fantastic train,

More than those preachers of your fav’rite creed With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair:

Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war, For she was fair beyond your brightest bloom;

Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed; (This envy owns, since now her bloom is fled ;)

Nor wish for more: who conquer, but to die. Fair as the forms, that, wove in fancy's loom,

Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale : Float in light vision round the poet's head.

Like you, they reason; not, like you, enjoy Whene'er with soft serenity she smild,

The breeze of bliss, that fills your silken sail : Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise,

On Pleasure's glitt'ring stream ye gaily steer
How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild,

Your little course to cold oblivion's shore:
The liquid lustre darted from her eyes!
Each look, each motion, wak'd a new-born grace,

They dare the storm, and, through th' inclement year That o'er her form its transient glory cast:

Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's roar. Some lovelier wonder soon usurp'd the place,

Is it for glory? that just Fate denies.

Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud, Chas'd by a charm still lovelier than the last.

Ere from her trump the heav'n-breath'd accents rise That bell again! it tells us what she is :

That lift the hero from the fighting crowd.
On what she was, no more the strain prolong :

Is it his grasp of empire to extend ?
Luxuriant fancy, pause : an hour like this
Demands the tribute of a serious song,

To curb the fury of insulting foes?

Ambition, cease: the idle contest end : Maria claims it from that sable bier, Where cold and wan the slumberer rests her head; And why must murder'd myriads lose their all,

'Tis but a kingdom thou canst win or lose. In still small whispers to reflection's ear, She breathes the solemn dictates of the dead.

(If life be all, why desolation lower,

With famish'd frown, on this affrighted ball,
Oh catch the awful notes, and lift them loud ;
Proclaim the theme, by sage, by fool rever'd :

That thou may'st flame the meteor of an hour!

Go wiser ye, that flutter life away, Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud!

Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high; 'Tis Nature speaks, and Nature will be heard.

Weave the light dance, wiih festive freedom gay, Yes, ye shall hear, and tremble as ye hear, While, high with health, your hearts uxulting leap; Yet know, vain sceptics, know, th’ Almighty mind,

And live your moment, since the next ye die. Evin in the midst of Pleasure's mad career,

Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire, The mental monitor shall wake and weep.

Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd For say, than ****'s propitious star,

To Heav'n, to immortality aspire. What brighter planet on your births arose :

Nor shall the pile of hope, his mercy rear'd, Or gave of Fortune's gifts an ampler share,

By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd : In life to lavish, or by death to lose !

Eternity, by all or wish'd or fear'd,
Early to lose ; while, borne on busy wing,

Shall be by all or suffer'd or enjoy'd.
Ye sip the nectar of each varying bloom :
Nor fear, while basking in the beams of spring,

The wintry storm that sweeps you to the tomb.
Think of her fate! revere the heav'nly band
That led her hence, though soon, by steps so slow:

EPITAPH ON MRS. MASON.
Long at her couch Death took his patient stand,

IN THE CATHEDRAL OF BRISTOL.
And menacd oft, and oft withheld the blow:
To give reflection time, with lenient art,

Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear : Each fond delusion from her soul to steal;

Take that best gift which Heav'n so lately gare : Teach her from folly peaceably to part,

To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care And wean her from a world she lov'd so weil. Her faded form ; she bow'd to taste the wave, Say, are ye sure his mercy shall extend

And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line ! To you so long a span ? Alas, ye sigh :

Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm? Make then, while yet ye may, your God, your friend, Speak, dead Maria! breathe a strain divine : And learn with equal ease to sleep or die!

Ev'n from the grave thou shalt have power to Nor think the Muse, whose sober vice ye hear,

charın. Contracts with bigot frown her sullen brow; Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee; Casts round Religion's orb the mists of fear,

Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move; Or shades with horrors, what with smiles should And if so fair, from vanity as free; glow.

As firm in friendship, and as fond in love No; she would warm you with seraphic fire, Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die, Heirs as ye are of Heav'n's eternal day;

('Twas ev'n to thee) yet the dread path once trod Would bid you boldly to that Heav'n aspire, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,

Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay. And bids “the pure in heart behold their God.”

« VorigeDoorgaan »