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For man, beast, mute, the small and great,
And prostrate dust to dust.
Precious the bounteous widow's mite;
And precious, for extreme delight,
The largess from the churl;
Precious the ruby's blushing blaze,
And alba's blest imperial rays,
And pure cerulean pearl;
Precious the penitential tear;
And precious is the sigh sincere,
Acceptable to God;
And precious are the winning flowers,
In gladsome Israel's feast of bowers,
Bound on the hallowed sod:
More precious that diviner part
Of David, even the Lord's own heart,
Great, beautiful, and new;
In all things where it was intent,
In all extremes, in each event,
Proof-answering true to true.
Glorious the sun in mid career. ;
Glorious th' assembled fires appear;
Glorious the comet's train;
Glorious the trumpet and alarm;
Glorious th' Almighty's stretched-out arm;
Glorious th' enraptured main;
Glorious the northern lights a-stream;
Glorious the song, when God's the theme;
Glorious the thunder's roar;
Glorious, Hosannah from the den;
Glorious the catholic amen;
Glorious the martyr's gore:
Glorious, more glorious, is the crown
Of Him That brought salvation down,
By meekness called thy son;
Thou that stupendous truth believed,
And now the matchless deed's achieved,
Determined, dared, and done.
THE PLEASURES OF MELANCHOLY
Beneath yon ruined abbey's moss-grown piles
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve,
Where through some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levelled rule of streaming light,
While sullen, sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow's
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r. Or let me tread
Its neighb'ring walk of pines, where mused of old
The cloistered brothers: through the gloomy void
That far extends beneath their ample arch
As on I pace, religious horror wraps
My soul in dread repose. But when the world
Is clad in midnight's raven-coloured robe,
'Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare
O'er the wan heaps, while airy voices talk
Along the glimm'ring walls, or ghostly shape,
At distance seen, invites with beck’ning hand
My lonesome steps through the far-winding vauits.
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon
Of night, when, haply wakeful, from my couch
I start: lo, all is motionless around !
Roars not the rushing wind; the sons of men
And every beast in mute oblivion lie;
All Nature's hushed in silence and in sleep:
O then how fearful is it to reflect
That through the still globe's awful solitude
No being wakes but me! till stealing sleep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
Nor then let dreams, of wanton folly born,
My senses lead through flow'ry paths of joy:
But let the sacred genius of the night
Such mystic visions send as Spenser saw
When through bewild'ring Fancy's magic maze.
To the fell house of Busyrane, he led
Th' unshaken Britomart; or Milton knew,
When in abstracted thought he first conceived
All heav'n in tumult, and the seraphim
Come tow'ring, armed in adamant and gold.
Through Pope's soft song though all the Graces
And happiest art adorn his Attic page,
Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow,
As, at the root of mossy trunk reclined,
In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song
I see deserted Uną wander wide
Through wasteful solitudes and lurid heaths,
Weary, forlorn, than when the fated fair
Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames
Launches in all the lustre of brocade,
Amid the splendours of the laughing sun:
The gay description palls upon the sense,
And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss.
The tapered choir, at the late hour of pray'r,
Oft let me tread, while to th' according voice
The many-sounding organ peals on high
The clear slow-dittied chaunt or varied hymn,
Till all my soul is bathed in ecstasies
And lapped in Paradise. Or let me sit
Far in sequestered aisles of the deep dome;
There lonesome listen to the sacred sounds,
Which, as they lengthen through the Gothic vaults,
In hollow murmurs reach my ravished ear.
Nor when the lamps, expiring, yield to night,
And solitude returns, would I forsake
The solemn mansion, but attentive mark
The due clock swinging slow with sweepy sway,
Measuring Time's flight with momentary sound.
Mindful of disaster past,
And shrinking at the northern blast
The sleety storm returning still,
The morning hoar, and evening chill,
Reluctant comes the timid Spring.
Scarce a bee, with airy ring,
Murmurs the blossomed boughs around
That clothe the garden's southern bound;
Scarce a sickly straggling flower
Decks the rough castle's rifted tower;
Scarce the hardy primrose peeps
From the dark dell's entangled steeps;
O’er the field of waving broom
Slowly shoots the golden bloom;
And but by fits the furze-clad dale
Tinctures the transitory gale;
While from the shrubbery's naked maze,
Where the vegetable blaze
Of Flora's brightest 'broidery shone,
Every chequered charm is flown,
Save that the lilac hangs to view
Its bursting gems in clusters blue.
Scant along the ridgy land
The beans their new-born ranks expand;
The fresh-turned soil with tender blades
Thinly the sprouting barley shades;
Fringing the forest's devious edge,
Half-robed appears the hawthorn hedge,
Or to the distant eye displays
Weakly green its budding sprays.
Yet in these presages rude,
Midst her pensive solitude,
Fancy, with prophetic glance,
Sees the teeming months advance,
The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay,
Sees the reddening orchard blow,
The harvest wave, the vintage flow,
Sees June unfold his glossy robe
Of thousand hues o'er all the globe,
Sees Ceres grasp her crown of corn,
And Plenty load her ample horn.
Ah, what a weary race my feet have run
Since first I trod thy banks with alders crowned,
And thought my way was all through fairy ground,
Beneath thy azure sky and golden sun,
Where first my Muse to lisp her notes begun!
While pensive Memory traces back the round,
Which fills the varied interval between,
Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene.
Sweet native stream, those skies and suns so pure
No more return, to cheer my evening road.
Yet still one joy remains : that not obscure
Nor useless all my vacant days have flowed,
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature,
Nor with the Muse's laurel unbestowed.
His eyes, in gloomy socket taught to roll,
Proclaimed the sullen habit of his soul.
Heavy and phlegmatic he trod the stage,
Too proud for tenderness, too dull for rage.
When Hector's lovely widow shines in tears,
Or Rowe's gay rake dependent virtue jeers,
With the same cast of features he is seen
To chide the libertine and court the queen.
From the tame scene which without passion flows,
With just desert his reputation rose.
Nor less he pleased when, on some surly plan,
He was at once the actor and the man.
In Brüte he shone unequalled: all agree
Garrick 's not half so great a brute as he.
When Cato's laboured scenes are brought to view,
With equal praise the actor laboured too;
For still you 'll find, trace passions to their root,
Small diff'rence 'twixt the Stoic and the brute