Abbildungen der Seite

Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear:

Such themes as these the rural Mao lung

To wide-imperial Rome, in the sull height

Of elegance and taste, by Grrtvt resin'd.

In antient times, the sacred plough employ'd

The kings, and awsul fathers of mankind:

And fome, with whom compar'd your insect-tribes

Are but the beings of a summer's day,

Have held the scale of empire, rul'd the storm

Of mighty war; then, with victorious hand,

Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'd

The plough, and greatly independent liv'd.

i His description of a gentle refreshing rain; and of th» rainbow is, I think, inimitable,

The north-east spends his rage; he now, shot up
Within his iion cave, th'afFusive suuth
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At sirst a dusky wieath they seem to rife, •;

Scarce staining ether; but by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour fails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom.
Not such as wintry-storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing lise i but lovely, gentle, kind,
And sull of every hope and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a persect calm ; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many-twink'ling leaves
Of aspin tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glassy breadth, seem thro' delusive lapse
Forgetsul of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and slocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute imploring eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling oft";
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
A nd forests seem, impatient, to demand

The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks

Amid the glad creation, musing praife,

And looking lively gratitude. At last,

The clouds consign their treasures to the sields;

And, suftly shaking on the dimpled pool

Prelusive drops, let all their .moisture flow,

In large efsusion, o'er the freshened worlds

The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard,

By such as wander thro' the forrest walks,

Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.

But who can hold the shade, while heaven descends

In univerfal bounty, shedding herbs,

And fruits, and flowers, on nature's ample lap i

Swift fancy sir'd anticipates their growth;

And while the mighty nutriment distills, , . t

Beholds the kindling country colour round.

Thus alldaylong the sull distended clouds
Indulge their genial stores, and well-showerM eartlv
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable lise;
Till, in the western sky, the downward sun
Looks out, esfulgent, from amid the flush
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam.
The rapid radience instantaneous strikes
Th' illumin'd mountain, thro' the forest streams,
Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist,
Farfmoaking o'er th' interminable plaiD,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moist, "bright, and green, the landflcip laughs around.
Full swell the woods; their every music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert with the warbling brooks
Jncreas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills,
And hollow lows responsive srom the vales,
Whence blending all the sweetened zephyr springs.
Mean time refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Bestriding eartl), the grand ethereal bow
Shoots up immense; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red,
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awsul Newton, the dilfolving clouds
Form, fronting on the fun, the showry prifm;
And to the fage-instructed eye unfold
The various twine of light, by thee difclos'd

From the white mingling maze. Not fo the boy;
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightsul, o'er the radient sields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanquilh quite away. Still night succeeds,
A foftened shade, and faturated earth
Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light,
Rais'd thro' ten thoufand different plallic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.

That part where he presers the vegetable to the animal food, and inveighs against the cruelty os destroying those creatures, that are not only inosfensive, but serviceable torn, is pathetic and sublime.

Shall Man, whom nature form'd of milder clay,
With every kind emotion in his heart,
And taught alone to weep; while from her lap
She pours ten thoufand delicacies, herbs,
And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain,
Or beams that gave them birth: shall he fair form!
Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven,-
E'er iloop to mingle with the prowling herd
And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey,
Blood-stain'd deserves to bleed : but you, ye slocks,
What have you done; ye peacesul people, what,
To merit death? You, who have given us milk
In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat
Against the winter's cold f And the plain Ox i
That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended? He, whose toil,
Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
With alHhe pomp of harvest; shall he bleed,
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
Even of the clown he seeds?

The description of the garden, and the apostrophe to the Supreme being on that occasion, are both pious and poetical; as alfo is the description of the feathered sungsters, and their Loves; but these and other parts, equally beautiful, are too long to be Here inserted. The author coa

<eludes his poem on Spring with an Eulogium on a happy marriage state.

As the Summer seasun is more uniform than the Spring, and does not admit of equal variety, the poet, after describing the motion of those heavenly bodies which occasion the succession of seasuns, introduces the description of Sl Summer's day, and speaks particularly of the dawn, sunxising, and the forenoon; where he considers the Summer insects, and gives us a scene of hay-making, and sheepfliearing, which are natural and poetical. He then describes the noon-day, a wood-land retreat, a groupe of slocks and herds, a folemn grove, and the effect it has on a contemplative mind. He next presents us with a cataract, and a landscape, rude and romantic; whence we are led into the Torrid Zone, to view a Summer there. He then <describes a storm of thunder and light'ning, which is sufsiciently terrible, but is made more su by a pathetic tale of two lovers lost in the tempest. This storm is succeeded by a serene afternoon, in which are described the pastime of bathing and walking. After this, we are presented with the prospect of a well cultivated country, which paves the way for a panegyric on Great Britain, that immediately follows. We are then entertained with descriptions of the fun setting, of the evening, night, summer meteors, and of a comet; and the Poem concludes ia praife of natural philofophy.

His description of the morning, of the sun rising, and the hymn on that occasion, are too beautisul to be omitted.

. Wh E N now no more th' alternate Twins are six'd,
And Cancer reddens with the folar blaze,
Short is the doubtsul empire of the night;
And suon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,
At sirst faint-gleaming in the dappled east:
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow;
And, from before the lustre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With quickens step.
Brown night retires: young day pours in a-pace,
And opens all th' lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's mifty top
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue thro' the dulk, the smoaking currents shine;

And from the bladed sield the searsul hare
Limps, aukward: while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arife.
Rous'd by the cock, the suon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And srom the crowded fold, in order, drives
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.

Falsely luxurious, will not Man awake;
And, springing srom the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,
To mediation due and facred fong?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, loosing half
The fleeting moments of too short a lise?
Total extinction of th' eniightned foul!
Or else to severifh vanity alive,
Wildered, and tossing thro' distemper'd dreams?
Who would in such a gloomy sate remain,
Longer than nature craves; where every muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning-walk?

But yonder comes the powersul king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illum'd with fluio. gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo! now apparent all,
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad i
And sheds the shining day, that burnifhVl plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,
High gleaming from a-far. Prime chearer light 1
Of all material beings sirst, and best!
Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe!
Without whore <esting beaucy all were wrapt
In unessential gloom i and thou, O Sun!
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?

« ZurückWeiter »