« ZurückWeiter »
Ii Penseroso: Or the gloom/ Pleasures of Melancholy.
Hence vain deluding joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred,
How little you bested,
Or sill the sixed mindwith all your toys!
Dwell in fome idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams,
Or likest hovering dreams,
The sickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
But hail! thou goddess, fage and holy,
Hail! divinest Melancholy,
Whose faintly vifage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue;
Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon's sister might be seen,
Or that starr*d Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauties praife above
TheSea-nymphs,and their pow'rs offended i
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-hair'd Vefia long of yore
To folitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain)
Oft in glimmering bow'rs and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no sear of Jove.
Come pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, stedfast, and demure,
All in robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And fable stole of Cyprus lawn,
O'er thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step, and musing gate,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt suul sitting in thine eyes;
There held in holy passion still
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a fad leaden downward cast
Thou six them on the-earth as fast:
And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth diet,
And hears the muses in a ring
Ay round about Jove's altar sing:
And add to these retired Leifure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure;
But sirst, and chiesest, with thee bring,
Him that yon foars on golden wing,
Guiding the siery-wheeled throne,
The cherub Contemplation i
And the mute Silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will deign a fong,
In her sweetest, faddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow os Night,-
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er th1 accustom'd oak .
Sweet bird that shunn'st the noife of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy!
Thee chauntress oft the woods among
I woo to hear thy eyen-fong;
And misting thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green.
To behold the wand'ring moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heav'n's wide pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bow'd ,
Stooping through,a fleecy cloud.
Oft on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far off curseu suund,
Over fome wide-water'd shore, ,
Swinging flow with sullen roar;
Or if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will sit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterseit a gloom,
Far from all resort of mirth.
Save the cricket on.the hearjjj^";"
Or the belman's drousy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm:
Or let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen in fome high lonely tow'r,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind that hath forfook
Her mansion in this fleshy nook:
And of those Demons that are found
In sire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelofs' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, O fad virgin, that thy power
Might raife Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the foul of Orpheus ling
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto^s cheek,
And made hell grant what love did seek;
Cr call up him that lest half told
The story of Cambufian bold,
Of Camball, and of Ægarfife,
And who had Canace to wise,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wond'rous horse of brass
On which the Tartar king did ride;
And if ought else great-bards beside •".'
In fage and sulemn tunes have sung,
Of turnies fnd of trophies hung,
Of forests, and inchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, Nighr, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not trickt and flounc'c as she wa* wont
With the Attic boy to hunt, . •: •.
But kercheft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a mower still,
When the gust hath blown his- sill;
Ending on the russling leaves
With minute drops from osf the eaves;
And when the fun begins to sting
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude ax with heavy stroke
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt;
There in close covert by fome brook,
Where no profanereye may look,
Hide me from day's garilh eye,
While the bee with honied thigh,
That at her flow'ry work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such confort as they keep
Entice the dewy seather'd Sleep;
And let fome strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture difplay'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid:
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by fome spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen genius of the wood.
But let my dew-seet never fail
To walk the studious cloysters pale.
And love the high-embowed r'oof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light:
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the sull-voic'd choir below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness through mine ear
Dissolve me into extasie.%
And bring all heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peacesul hermitage,
The hairy gown, and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heav'n doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To fomething like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will chuse to live.
These poems are to be admired, as well for their close, signisicant, and expressive descriptions, as for the frequent and beautiful use the poet has made of the sigure called Prosopopœia; by which he has perfonisied almost every object in his view, raifed a great number of pleasing images, and introduced qualities and things inanimate as living and rational beings.
We cannot quit this subject without raking fome notice of that excellent poem, left us by Mr. Thomson, intituled the Seasons; which, notwithstanding fome parts of it are didadic, may with propriety be inserted under this head, j
fn> this work, the author has given us a poetical, philosophical, and moral description of the fcur seafons, i/«. Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
Under Spring, he has described the seasun as it usually, affects the various parts of nature, ascending from the lower to the higher, and considered the influence of the Spring on inanimate matter, on vegetables, on brute animals, and on man ; after which he concludes with a.dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of love, and recommends that of a pure and happy kind. The whole is. embellilhed wiih suitable digressions, and moral reflections i and wrought up with wondersul art. His Address to heaven in favour of the farmer, and what follows in praise of agriculture, is extremely beautisul..
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious mart
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow
Ye suft'ning dews, ye tender showers, descend 1
And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
Into the persect year! nor ye who live
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride,