Page images

To me reveal thy heavenly art,
To me thy mysteries impart.
As yet I but in verse can paint,
And to th' idea colour faint
What to the open eye you show,
Seeming Nature's living glow!
The beauteous shapes of objects near!
Or diftant ones confus’d in air!
The golden eve, the blushing dawn,
Smiling on the lovely lawn !
And pleasing views of chequer'd glades!
And rivers, winding through the shades!
And sunny hills ! --and pleasant plains!
And groups of merry nymphs and swains !

Or fome old building, hid with grass,
Rearing sad its ruin'd face;
Whose columns, frizes, statues, lie,
The grief and wonder of the eye!
Or swift adown a mountain tall:
A foaming cataract's founding fall;
Whose loud roaring stuns the ear
Of the wondering traveller !
Or a calm and quiet bay,
And a level shining sea !
Or surges rough, that froth, and roar,
And, angry, dash the founding shore !
And vessels tost! and billows high !
And lightning flashing from the sky!
Or that which gives me most delight,
The fair idea (seeming light!)


Of warrior fierce, with shining blade!
Or orator, with arms display'd!
Tully's engaging air and mien,
Declaiming against Cataline.
Or fierce Achilles towering high
Above his foes, who round him die.

Or Hercules, with lion's hide,
And knotty cudgel, thrown afide,
Lifting Antæus high in air !
Who, in his gripe, expires there !

Or Sisyphus, with toil and sweat,
And muscles strain'd, striving to get
Up a steep hill a ponderous stone,
Which near the top recoils, and rolls impetuous down,
Or beauteous Helen's casy air,
With head reclin'd, and flowing hair;
Or comely Paris, gay and young,
Moving with gallant grace along !
These you can do!-I but advance
In a florid ignorance ;
And say to you, who better know,
You should design them so and so.


On his POEM called GIDEON.


ELL me, wondrous friend, where were you

When Gideon was your lofty song ! Where did the heavenly spirit bear you, When fair soul reflected strong



Gideon's actions, as they shin'd

Bright in the chambers of your mind! Say, have you trod Arabia's spicy vales,

Or gather'd bays beside Euphrates' stream, Or lonely sung with Jordan's water-falls,

While heavenly Gideon was your facred theme. Or have you many ages given

To close retirement and to books! And held a long discourse with Heaven,

And notic'd Nature in her various looks! Full of inspiring wonder and delight,

Slow read I Gideon with a greedy eye! Like a pleas'd traveller that lingers sweet

On some fair and lofty plain

Where the sun does brightly shine, And glorious prospects all around him lie ! On Gideon's pages beautifully shine,

Surprizing pictures rising to my sight, With all the life of colours and of line,

And all the force of rounding shade and light,

And all the grace of something more divine ! High on a hill, beneath an oak’s broad arm,

I see a youth divinely fair, 66 Pensive he leans his head on his left hand;

“ His smiling eye sheds sweetness mix'd with awe, 6. His right hand, with a milk-white wand, fome figure

6c seems to draw ! “ A nameless grace is scatter'd through his air, “ And o'er his shoulders loosely flows his amber66 colour'd hair!”

Above, with burning blush the morning glows,
The waking world all fair before him lies;

“ Slow from the plain the melting dews,

" To kiss the sun-beams, climbing, rise," &c.c". Methinks the


of Baal I fee, In terrafs’d stages mount up high, And wave its sable beauties in the sky,

“ From stage to stage, broad steps of half-hid stone, “ With curling moss and blady grass o'ergrown, " Lead awful

Down in a dungeon deep,
" Where through thick walls, oblique, the broken light
“ From narrow loop- holes quivers to the fight,

" With swift and furious stride,
" Close-folded arms, and short and sudden starts,
“ The fretful prince, in dumb and sullen pride,
66 Revolves escape-
Here in red colours glowing bold,

A warlike figure strikes my eye!
The dreadful sudden fight his foes behold
Confounded so, they lose the power to fly ;
“ Backening they gaze at distance on his face,
“ Admire his posture, and confess his

grace ;
“ His right hand grasps his planted spear," &e.
Alas! my Muse, through much good-will, you err:
And we the mighty author greatly wrong;

To gather beauties here and there,

As but a scatter'd few there were,
While every word 's a beauty in his song !

[Those lines in this Poem marked thus “ are taken out of the Poem called GIDEON.]



[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

HILE, charm’d with Aberglasney's quiet plains,

The Muses, and their Empress, court your strains, Tird of the noisy town, fo lately try'd, Methinks, I see you smile, on Towy's fide ! Pensive, her mazy wanderings you unwind, And, on your river's margin, calm your mind. Oh!--greatly bless'd-whate'er your fate requires, Your ductile wisdom tempers your desires! Balanc’d within, you look abroad ferene, And, marking both extremes, pass clear between.

Oh! could your lov'd example teach your fkill, And, as it moves my wonder, mend my will! Calm would my passions grow ;-my lot would please; And my fick foul might think itself to ease ! But, to the future while I strain my eye, Each present good slips, undistinguish d, by. Still, what I would, contends with what I can, And my wild withes leap the bounds of man.

If in my power it lies to limit hope, And my unchain'd desires can fix a scope, This were my Choice-Oh, Friend! pronounce me

poor; For I have wants, which wealth can never cure !

Let others, with a narrow'd stint of pride, In selfish views, a bounded hope divide :

« PreviousContinue »