Imágenes de páginas

And thus in fecret to his foul he figh❜d. "WHAT pity! that fo delicate a form,


By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense "And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, "Should be devoted to the rude embrace "Of fome indecent clown! She looks, methinks, "Of old ACASTO's line; and to my mind "Recalls that patron of my happy life, "From whom my liberal fortune took its rife; "Now to the duft gone down; his houses, land, "And once fair-fpreading family, diffolv'd. ""Tis faid that in fome lone obfcure retreat,


Urg'd by remembrance fad, and decent pride, "Far from thofe fcenes which knew their better days, "His aged widow and his daughter live, "Whom yet my fruitless fearch could never find. "Romantic with! Would this the daughter were !" When, ftrict enquiring, from herfelf he found She was the fame, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful ACASTO; who can speak The mingled paffions that furpriz'd his heart, And thro his nerves in fhivering transport ran? Then blaz'd his fmother'd flame, avow'd, and bold And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o’er, Love, gratitude, and pity wept at once. Confus'd, and frightned at his fudden tears, Her rifing beauties flufh'd a higher bloom, As thus PALEMON, paffionate, and just, Pour'd out the pious rapture of his foul.

"And art thou then ACASTO's dear remains? "She, whom my reftlefs gratitude has fought, "So long in vain? O heav'ns! the very fame "The foften'd image of my noble friend,

Alive his very look, his every feature, "More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than fpring! "Thou fole furviving bloffom from the root "That nourish'd up my fortune! Say, ah where, "In what fequefter'd defart, haft thou drawn "The kindeft afpect of delighted HEAVEN ? "Into fuch beauty fpread, and blown so fair; "Tho' poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, "Beat keen, and heavy, on thy tender years? "O let me now, into a richer foil,

"Tranfplant thee fafe! where vernal funs, and showers,
"Diffuse their warmeft, largest influence;
"And of my garden be the pride, and joy!
"Ill it befits thee, oh it ill befits
"ACASTO's daughter, his whose open ftores,
"Tho' yaft, were little to his ampler heart,
"The father of a country, thus to pick
"The very refuse of those harvest-fields,
"Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy.
"Then throw that fhameful pittance from thy hand,
But ill apply'd to fuch a rugged task;

"The fields, the mafter, all, my fair, are thine;
"If to the various bleflings which thy houfe
"Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that blifs,
"That dearest blifs, the pow'r of bleffing thee !"
HERE ceas'd the youth: yet ftill his speaking eye
Exprefs'd the facred triumph of his foul,
With confcious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely rais'd.
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irrefiftable, and all

In fweet diforder loft, fhe blufh'd confent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierc'd with anxious thought, fhe pin'd away
The lonely moments for LAVINIA's fate;
Amaz'd, and fcarce believing what he heard,
Joy feiz'd her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam
Of fetting life fhone on her evening hours:
Not lefs enraptur'd than the happy pair;
Who flourish'd long in tender blifs, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round.

In his poem on Winter, he defcibes the approach of that feafon, and the various ftorms of rain, wind and fnow that ufually fucceed; which is followed by a landscape, or view, of the fnow driven into mountains, and a pathetic tale of a husbandman bewilder'd and loft near his own home; which naturally introduces reflections on the wants and miseries of mankind. He then speaks of the wolves descending from the Alps and Apennines, and defcribes a winter Evening, as spent by philofophers, by the country people, and by those in London. He then prefents us with a froft, with a view

of winter within the Polar Circle, and of a thaw, and concludes the poem with moral reflections on a future ftate.

His reflections on midnight, and the addrefs to the Su preme Being, are pious and beautiful.

As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary clouds,
Slow-meeting, mingle into folid gloom.
Now, while the drowfy world lies loft in fleep,
Let me affociate with the serious Night,
And Contemplation her fedate compeer;
Let me shake off th' intrufive cares of day,
And lay the meddling fenfes all afide.

WHERE now, ye lying vanities of life!
Ye ever-tempting ever-cheating train!
Where are you now? and what is your amount ?
Vexation, disappointment, and remorse.
Sad, fickening thought! and yet deluded man,
A fcene of crude disjointed vifions past,
And broken flumbers, rifes ftill refolv'd
With new-flush'd hopes, to run the giddy round.

FATHER of light and life! thou GOOD SUPREME!
O teach me what is good! teach me THYSELF!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit! and feed
With knowledge, confcious peace, and virtue pure;
Sacred, fubftantial, never-fading blifs!

my foul

The defcription of a deep fnow, and of a hufbandman. loft in it, with the reflections on the wants and miferies of mankind, are feasonable and pathetic.

As thus, the fnows arife; and foul, and fierce;
All winter drives along the darken'd air;
In his own loofe-revolving fields, the fwain
Difafter'd ftands; fees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
Of horrid profpect, fhag the tracklefs plains:
Nor finds the river, nor the foreft, hid
Beneath the formlefs wild; but wanders on

From hill to dale, ftill more and more aftray;
Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,

Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home

Rufh on his nerves, and call their vigour forth In many a vain attempt. How finks his foul! What black defpair, what horror fills his heart! When for the dusky fpot, which fancy feign'd His tufted cottage rifing thro' the fnow, He meets the roughness of the middle waste, Far from the track, and blest abode of man; While round him night refiftless clofes faft, And every tempeft, howling o'er his head, Renders the favage wilderness more wild. Then throng the bufy fhapes into his mind, Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep, A dire defcent! beyond the power of frost, Of faithlefs bogs; of precipices huge, Smooth'd up with fnow; and, what is land, unknown, What water, of the ftill unfrozen spring, In the loose marsh or solitary lake,

Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he finks
Beneath the shelter of the fhapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bofom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unfeen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair blazing, and the vestment warm;.
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling ftorm, demand their fire,
With tears of artlefs innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more fhall he behold,
Nor friends, nor facred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter feizes; fhuts up fenfe;
And, o'er his inmoft vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the fnows, a ftiffned corfe,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.

AH little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence furround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment death
And all the fad variety of pain.

His conclufion glows with a ftain of piety worthy of a chriftian poet and philofopher, and is too perfpicuous and forcible to require or admit of any remark.

'Tis done! dread WINTER fpreads his latest gloom, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!

How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His defolate domain. Behold, fond man!
See here thy pictur'd life; pafs fome few years,
Thy flowering fpring, thy fummer's ardent ftrength,
Thy fober autumn fading into age,

And pale concluding winter comes at laft,
And fhuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled,
Thofe dreams of greatnefs? Thofe unfolid hopes
Of happiness? Thofe longings after fame ?
Thofe reftlefs cares? Thofe bufy bustling days?
Thofe gay-fpent, feftive nights? Thofe veering thoughts
Loft between good and ill, that fhar'd thy life?
All now are vanifh'd! VIRTUE fole-furvives,
Immortal never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happiness on high. And fee!
Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth
Of heaven, and earth! awakening nature hears
The new creating word, and ftarts to life,
In every heighten'd form, from pain and death
For ever free. The great eternal scheme.
Involving all, and in a perfect whole
Uniting, as the prospect wider fpreads,
To reafon's eye refin'd clears up apace.
Ye vainly wife! ye blind prefumptuous! now,
Confounded in the duft, adore that PowER,
And WISDOM oft arraign'd: fee now the caufe,
Why unaffuming worth in fecret liv'd.
And dy'd, neglected: why the good man's fhare
In life was gall and bitterness of foul:
Why the lone widow and her orphans pin'd
In ftarving folitude; while luxury,
In palaces, lay ftraining her low thought,
To form unreal wants: why heaven-born truth,
And moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of fuperftition's fcourge: why licens'd pain,
That cruel fpoiler, that embofom'd foe,

« AnteriorContinuar »