Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
[graphic]

And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand!
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains ?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain .
The reddening orange and the swelling grain :
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines :

[graphic]

cation, while Pope was his last. He had more sa SCICOLOM, execution. He debased the style of Dryden, and weakened that of Pope. His greatest poetical work is undoubtedly the tragedy of Cato, which is sufficiently sustained and dignified to hold a high place in the imagination of classical readers, who are content to surrender the more natural and passionate characteristics of tragedy, in return for the embodiment it seems to present of those remote visions of Roman grandeur and stoicism which were so familiar to their youth. In the more subtle accomplishments of scholarship Addison was certainly deficient. His translations from the Classics would alone sufficiently prove this. They are polished and easy, but they want the exactness of the scholar, and are more seriously deficient in the true spirit and genius of classical learning. In a word, the character of Addison's mind was not poetical. He was a fine essayist and a correct critic, and in his life he never failed to sustain the character and respectability of letters. His name is never mentioned in any intellectual circle, without a feeling that the gratitude and reverence paid to it, ADDISON.

[graphic]

FROM A LETTER FROM ITALY.
How has kind Heaven adorn'd the happy land,
And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand !
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,

The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains ?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain ..
The reddening orange and the swelling grain :
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,

Starves, in the midst of nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaded vineyard dies for thirst.

O Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smling Plenty leads thy wanton train ;
Eas'd of her load, Subjection grows more light,
And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the Sun, and pleasure to the day.

Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought !
On foreign mountains may the Sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine,
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil :
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies,
Nor at the coarseness of our Heaven repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine:
'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile.

PARAPHRASE ON PSALM XXIII.

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye:
My noon-day walks he shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.

: When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountain pant;
To fertile vales and dewy meads.
My weary wandering steps he leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow, .

Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My stedfast heart shall fear no ill,
For thou, O Lord, art with me still ;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my wants beguile:
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crown'd,
And streams shall murmur all around.

AN ODE.

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
Th' unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display ;
And publishes to every land,
The work of an Almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wonderous tale ;
And nightly, to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll, .
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though no real voice, nor sound,
Amidst their radiant orbs be found :
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter: forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing as they shine,

« ZurückWeiter »