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To rocks and seas I fly from Phaon's hate
their days to religion. It was many years after this And hope from seas and rocks a milder fate.
separation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend, Ye gentle gales, beneath my body blow,
which contained the history of his misfortune, fell And softly lay me on the waves below.!
into the hands of Eloisa. This awakening all hei
tenderness, occasioned those celebrated letters (out of And thou, kind Love, my sinking limbs sustain,
which the following is partly extracted) which give so Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main,
lively a picture of the struggles of grace and nature, Nor let a lover's death the guiltless flood profane!
virtue and passion. On Phæbus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow, And this inscription shall be plac'd below;;
In these deep solitudes and awful cells, * Here she who sung, to him who did inspire,
Where heavenly-pensiye contemplation dwells, Sappho to Phæbus consecrates her lyre;
And ever-musing melancholy reigns, What suits with Sappho, Phæbus, suits with thee,
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins ? The gift, the giver, and the god agree.'
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat ? But why, alas! relentless youth, ah why
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat ? To distant seas must tender Sappho fly?
Yet, yet I love !-From Abelard it came, Thy charms than those may far more powerful be,
| And Eloisa yet must kiss the name. And Phæbus' self is less a god to me.
| Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,.. Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
|Nor pass these lips, in holy silence seal'd.
Where, mix'd with God's, his loved idea lies :
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls ! whose darksome round contains My languid numbers have forgot to flow,
Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains : And fancy sinks beneath a weight of wo,
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn; Ye Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames, Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn; Themes of my verse, and objects of my flames,
Shrines ! where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep; No more your groves with my glad songs shall ring, And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep; No more these hands shall touch the trembling Though cold like you, unmoved and silent grown, string : .
I have not yet forgot myself to stone. (My Phaon 's fled, and I those arts resign,
All is not Heaven's while Abelard has part: Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!) Still rebel nature holds out half my heart; Return, fair youth, return, and bring along Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain, Joy to my soul, and vigour to my song:
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain. Absent from thee, the poet's flame expires ;
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose, But ah! how fiercely burn the lover's fires!
That well-known name awakens all my woes; Gods! can no prayers, no sighs, no numbers move
Oh, name for ever sad! for ever dear.
Still breathed in sighs, still ushered with a tear.
Some dire misfortune follows close behind
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom,
| Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare; Ah let me seek it from the raging seas :
Love but demands what else were shed in prayer; To raging seas unpitied I'll remove,
No happier task these faded eyes pursue; And either cease to live, or cease to love!
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief:
Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid, ELOISA TO ABELARD.
Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid;
They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires, ARGUMENT.
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires, Abelard and Eloisa flourished in the twelfth century:
The virgin's wish without her fears impart,
"Y: Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, they were two of the most distinguished persons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing
Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
per more famous than for their unfortunate passion. And waft a sigh from Indus to the pole! After a long course of calamities they retired each to Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame, a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of When love approach'd me under friendship's name
My fancy fornd thee of angelic kind,
| Ah! think at least thy flock deserves thy care, Some emanation of the All-beauteous Mind, Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer. Those smiling eyes, attempering every ray, From the false world in early youth they fled, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.
By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led, Guiltless I gazed: Heaven listen'd while you sung, You raised these hallow'd walls ; the desert smiled And truths divine came mended from that tongue. And paradise was open'd in the wild. From lips like those what precept fail'd to move ? No weeping orphan saw his father's stores Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to love : Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors; Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran, No silver saints, by dying misers given, Nor wish'd an angel whom I loved a man.
Here bribe the rage of ill-requited Heaven ;, Dim and remote the joys of saints I see,
But such plain roofs as piety could raise, Nor envy them that heaven I lose for thee.
And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
Where awful arches make a noon-day night,
And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day:
Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend!
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind. If there be yet another name more free,
The wandering streams that shine between the hills, More fond than mistress, make me that to thee! . The grots that echo to the tinkling rills, Oh, happy state ! when souls each other draw, The dying gales that pant upon the trees, When love is liberty, and nature law;
|The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze; All then is full, possessing and possess'd,
No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to rest the visionary maid :
A death-like silence, and a dread repose ;
Shades every flower, and darkens every green,
Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;
Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day, . Here all its frailties, all its flames resign, When victims at yon altar's foot we lay?
And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thine. Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell, Ah, wretch ! believed the spouse of God in vain, When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ? Confess'd within the slave of love and man. As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil,
Assist me, Heaven! but whence arose that prayer ? The shrines all trembled, and the lamps grew pale ; Sprung it from piety, or from despair? Heaven scarce believed the conquest it survey'd, E'en here, where frozen chastity retires, And saints with wonder heard the vows I made. Love finds an altar for forbidden fires. Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,
I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought; Not on the cross my eyes were fix'd, but you: I mourn the lover, not lament the fault; Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call;
I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Repent old pleasures, and solicit new;
Now think of thee, and curse my innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet, Still drink delicious poison from thy eye,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget! Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd;
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, Give all thou canst and let me dream the rest. And love the offender, yet detest the offence? Ah, no! instruct me other joys to prize,
How the dear object from the crime remove, With other beauties charm my partial eyes :
Or how distinguish penitence from love? Full in my view set all the bright abode,
Unequal task! a passion to resign, And make my soul quit Abelard for God.
For hearts so touch'd, so pierced, so lost as mine!
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state,
Rise in the grove, before the altar rise, How often must it love, how often hate!
Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes. How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee,
Thy image steals between my God and me;
When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll,
One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight, Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.
Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight : How happy is the blameless vestal's lot;
In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd, The world forgetting, by the world forgot! While altars blaze, and angels tremble round. Eternal sun-shine of the spotless mind;
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie, Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd; Kind, virtuous drops just gathering in my eye, Labour and rest that equal periods keep;
While, praying, trembling, in the dust I roll, 'Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;' And dawning grace is opening on my soul : Desires composed, affections ever even ;
Come, if thou darest, all-charming as thou art ; Tears that delight and sighs that waft to heaven. Oppose thyself to Heaven; dispute my heart; Grace shines around her with serenest beams, Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes And whispering angels prompt her golden dreams; Blot out each bright idea of the skies ; For her the unfading rose of Eden blooms,
Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those tears And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes; Take back my fruitless penitence and prayers ; For her the spouse prepares the bridal ring; Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode, For her white virgins hymenæals sing ;
Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God! To sounds of heavenly harps she dies away, | No, fly me, Ay me, far as pole from pole ; And melts in visions of eternal day. .
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll: Far other dreams my erring soul employ, Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me, Far other raptures of unholy joy:
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.. When, at the close of each sad sorrowing day, Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign ; Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd away, Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine. Then conscience sleeps, and leaving nature free, Fair eyes, and tempting looks (which yet I view') All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee, Long loved, adored ideas, all adieu ! O curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night! O grace serene ! O virtue heavenly fair ! How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Divine oblivion of low thoughted care!. Provoking demons all restraint remove, :
Fresh-blooming hope, gay daughter of the sky ! And stir within me every source of love. , And faith, our early immortality! I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms, Enter, each mild, each amiable guest; And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms. Receive and wrap me in eternal rest! I wake:- no more I hear, no more I view,
See in her cell sad Eloïsa spread, The phantom flies me, as unkind as you.
|Propp'd on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead, I call aloud; it hears not what I say:
In each low wind methinks a spirit calls, I stretch my empty arms; it glides away.
And more than echoes talk along the walls To dream once more, I close my willing eyes: Here, as I watch'd the dying lamp around, Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound: Alas, no more! methinks we wandering go "Come, sister, come! it said, or seem'd to say, Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe, Thy place is here ; sad sister, come away! Where round some mouldering tower pale ivy creeps, Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd, And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps. Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid: Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies ; But all is calm in this eternal sleep; . Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise. Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep: I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find, E'en superstition loses every fear;! And wake to all the griefs I left behind.
For God, not man, absolvės our frailties here. For thee the Fates, severely kind, ordain.
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers, A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain; Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers : Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd repose;
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go, No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows. Where flames refined in breasts seraphic glow : Still as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow, Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay, Or moving spirit bade the waters flow;
And smooth my passage to the realms of day; Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiven,
See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll,
Come, Abelard ! for wbat hast thou to dread ? : Ah, no-in sacred vestments mayst thou stand,
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
What scenes appear where'er I turn my view! See from my check the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er; I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies; And e'en my Abelard be loved no more.
The whole creation open to my eyes : O Death all eloquent ! you only prove
In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below, What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love. Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow Then too, when Fate shall thy fair frame destroy Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen, (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy,
There towering cities, and the forests green; In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd, Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes; Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round; There trees and intermingled temples rise : From opening skies may streaming glories shine, Now a clear sun the shining scene displays, And saints embrace thee with a love like mine. The transient landscape now in clouds decays.
May one kind grave unite each hapless name! O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around, And graft my love immortal on thy fame!
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound, Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er, Like broken thunders that at distance roar, When this rebellious heart shall beat no more, Or billows murmuring on the hollow shore : If ever chance two wandering lovers brings Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs, Whose towering summit ambient clouds conceal'd. O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, High on a rock of ice the structure lay, And drink the falling tears, each other sheds ; Steep its ascent, and slippery was the way: Then sadly say, with mutual pity moved,
The wond'rous rook like Parian marble shone, "O, may we never love as these have loved !! And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone. From the full choir, when loud hosannas rise, Inscriptions here of various names 1 view'd, And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
The greater part by hostile time subdued ; Amid that scene if some relenting eye
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past, Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie, And poets once had promis'd they should last. Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heaven, Some fresh engray'd appear'd of wits renown'd; One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven. I look' again, nor could their trace be found.
And sure if Fate some future bard shall join Critics I saw, that other names deface, In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place: Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore, Their own, like others, soon their place resign'd, And image charms he must behold no more; Or disappear'd, and left the first behind. Such, if there be, who loves so long, so well, Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone, Let him our sad, our tender story tell !
But felt the approaches of too warm a sun; The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost; For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays He best can paint them who shall feel them most! Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heav'n 'could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graven steel: THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade. Written in the Year 1711.
Their names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past,
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last; ADVERTISEMENT.
These ever new, nor subject to decays, The hint of the following piece was taken from Chau- 1 Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days. cer's House of Fame. The design is in a manner en- So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost) tirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particu- Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast; lar thoughts my own; yet I could not suffer it to be Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away, printed without this acknowledgment. The reader And on the impassive ice the lightnings play; who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin
begin Eternal snows the growing mass supply, with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in
"Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky; the first two books that answers to their title. The poem is introduced in the manner of the Provencall As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
poets, whose works were for the most part visions, or The gather'd winter of a thousand years. pieces of imagination, and constantly descriptive. On this foundation Fare's high temple stands ; From these, Petrarch and Chaucer frequently borrow. Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands. ed the idea of their poems. See the Trionfi of the Whate'er proud Rome or Artful Greece beheld, former, and the Dream, Flower and the Leaf, &c. of lor elder Babylon, its frame excell'd. the latter. The author of this, therefore, chose the
Four faces had the dome, and every face
one faces same sort of exordium.
Of various structure, but of equal grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the different quarters of the sky.
The walls in venerable order grace : As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest, Heroes in animated marble frown, And love itself was banish'd from my breast, And legislators seem to think in stone. (What time the morn mysterious visions brings, | Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd, While purer slumbers spread their golden wings) On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd, A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mould, And join'd, this intellectual scene compose. And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld, Graved' o'er their seats the form of Time was found,
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
There Cæsar, graced with both Minervas, shone; And half the mountain rolls into a wall :
Cæsar, the world's great master, and his own; i There might you see the lengthening spires ascend, Unmoved, superior still in every state, The domes swell up, the widening arches bend, And scarce detested in his country's fate. The growing tow'rs, like exhalations, rise,
But chief were those, who not for empire fought, And the huge columns heave into the skies. But with their toils their people's safety bought :
The eastern front was glorious to behold, High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood;
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
With boundless power unbounded virtue join'd,
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates ; And airy spectres skim before their eyes;
He whom ungrateful Athens could expel, Of talismans and sigils knew the power,
At all times just, but when he sign'd the shellAnd careful watch'd the planetary hour.
Here his abode the martyr'a Phocion claims, Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names : Who taught that useful science-to be good. Unconquer'd Cato shows the wound he tore, But on the south, a long majestic race
And Brutus his ill génius meets no more.. Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace,
But in the centre of the hallow'd choir, . Who measured earth, described the starry spheres, Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire ; And traced the long records of lunar years.
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand, High on his car Sesostris struck my view,
Hold the chief honours, and the fane command Whom scepter'd slaves in golden harness drew : High on the first, the mighty Homer shone; His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold:
Eternal adamant composed his throne; His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold. Father of verse ! in holy fillets dress'd, Between the statues obelisks were placed,
His silver beard waved gently o'er his breast; And the learn'd walls with hieroglyphics graced. Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
Or Gothic structure was the northern side, In years he seem'd but not impair’d by years. O'erwrought with ornaments of barbarous pride. The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen ; There huge Colosses rose, with trophies crown'd, Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian queen And Runic characters were graved around.
Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall, There sat Zamolxis with erected eyes,
Here dragg'd in triumph round the Trojan wall. And Odin here in mimic trances dies.
Motion and life did every part inspire, There on rude iron columns, smear'd with blood, Bold was the work, and proved the master's fire; The horrid forms of Scythian heroes stood; A strong'expression most he seem'd t' affect, Druids and Bards (their once loud harps unstrung) And here and there disclosed a brave neglect. And youths that died to be by poets sung.
A golden column next in rank appear'd, These and a thousand more of doubtful fame, On which a shrine of purest gold was rear'd; To whom old fables give a lasting name,
Finish'd the whole, and labour'd every part, In ranks adorn'd the temple's outward face;
With patient touches of unwearied art; The wall in lustre and effect like glass,
The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate, Which, o'er each object casting various dyes, Composed his posture, and his look sedate; Enlarges some, and others multiplies :
On Homer still he fix'd a reverent eye, Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall,
Great without pride, in modest majesty. For thus romantic Fame increases all.
In living sculpture on the sides were spread The temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold, The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead; Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold : Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre; Raised on a thousand pillars wreathed around Æneas bending with his aged sire ; . With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd: Troy, flamed in burning gold, and o'er the throne Of bright transparent beryl were the walls, \' Arms and the man' in golden cyphers shone. The friezes gold, and gold the capitals :
· Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, bing As heaven with stars, the roof with jewels glows, With heads advanced, and pinions stretch'd for And ever-living lamps depend in rows.
flight: Full in the passage of each spacious gate,
Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode, The sage historians in white garments wait; And seem'd to labour with the inspiring god.