Page images


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

High rais'd in solemn theatre around,

The coming rage. Th’awaken'd village starts, Leans the huge elephant, wisest of brutes !

And to her fluttering breast the mother strains O truly wise! with gentle might endow'd,

Her thoughtless infant. From the pirate's den, Though powerful not destructive ! here he sees Or stern Morocco's tyrant fang escap'd, Revolving ages sweep the changeful earth,

The wretch half wishes for his bonds again; And empires rise and fall; regardless he

While, uproar all, the wilderness resounds Of what the never-resting race of men

From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile.
Project: thrice happy! could he 'scape their guile, Unhappy he! who from the first of joys,
Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps,

Society, cut off, is left alone
Or with his tow'ry grandeur swell their state, Amid this world of death. Day after day
The pride of kings! or else his strength pervert, Sad on the jutting eminence he sits,
And bid him rage amid the mortal fray,

And views the main that ever toils below,
Astonish'd at the madness of mankind.

Still fondly forming in the farthest verge, Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods, Where the round ether mixes with the wave, Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar,

Ships dim-discover'd dropping from the clouds: Thick swarm the brighter birds ! for nature's hand, At evening to the setting sun he turns That with a sportive vanity has deck'd

A mournful eye, and down his dying heart The plumy nations, there her gayest hues

Sinks helpless, while the wonted roar is up, Profusely pours. But if she bids them shine, And hiss continual through the tedious night. Array’l in all the beauteous beams of day, Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song.

Nor stop the terror of these regions here. Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent

Commission's demons oft, angels of wrath, Proud Montezuma's realm, whose legions cast Let loose the raging elements. Breath'd hot A boundless radiance waving on the sun,

From all the boundless furnace of the sky, While Philomel is ours; while in our shades,

And the wide-glittering waste of burning sand, Through the soft silence of the list’ning night, A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites The sober-suited songstress trills her lay.

With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil,

Son of the desert! ev'n the camel feels Lo! the green serpent, from his dark abode,

Shot through his wither'd heart the fiery blast. Which ev'n imagination fears to tread,

Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad, At noon forth issuing, gathers up his train

Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands, In orbs immense : then darting out anew,

Commov'd around, in gath’ring eddies play; Seeks the refreshing fount, by which diffus’d

Nearer and nearer still they dark’ning come, He throws his folds: and while with threat'ning Till with the gen’ral all-involving storm And deathful jaws erect the monster curls (tongue

Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise; His flaming crest, all other thirst appallid

And by their noonday fount dejected thrown, Or shiv'ring flies, or check'd, at distance stands,

Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep, Nor dares approach. But still more direful he,

Beneath descending hills the caravan The small close-lurking minister of fate,

Is buried deep. In Cairo's crowded streets Whose high-concocted venom through the veins Th’ impatient merchant, wond'ring, waits in vain; A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift

And Mecca saddens at the long delay. The vital current. Form’d to humble man,

But chief at sea, whose ev'ry flexile wave This child of vengeful nature! there sublim'd

Obeys the blast, the aerial tumult swells. To fearless lust of blood, the savage race

In the dread ocean, undulating wide Roam, licens'd by the shading hour of guilt

Beneath the radiant line that girts the globe, And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut The circling Typhon, whirl'd from point to point, His sacred eye. The tyger, darting fierce,

Exhausting all the rage of all the sky, Impetuous on the prey his glance has doom'd;

And dire Ecnephia reign. Amid the heav'ns, The lively-shining leopard speckled o'er

Falsely serene, deep in a cloudy speck With many a spot, the beauty of the waste;

Compress'd, the mighty tempest brooding dwells, And, scorning all the taming arts of man,

Of no regard save to the skilful eye: The keen hyena, fellest of the fell.

Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs These rushing from th' inhospitable woods

Aloft, or on the promontory's brow Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles

Musters its force: a faint deceitful calm, That verdant rise amid the Lybian wild,

A flutt'ring gale, the demon sends before, Innum'rous glare around their shaggy king, To tempt the spreading sail : then down at once, Majestic, stalking o'er the printed sand;

Precipitant, descends a mingled mass And with imperious and repeated roars

Of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods. Demand their fated food. The fearful flocks

In wild amazement fix'd the sailor stands. Crowd near the guardian swain; the nobler herds, Art is too slow; by rapid fate oppress’d, Where round their lordly bull in rural ease

His broad-wing'd vessel drinks the whelming tide, They ruminating lie, with horror hear

Hid in the bosom of the black abyss.

With such mad seas the daring Gama fought In bashful coyness or in maiden pride,
For many a day and many a dreadful night, The soft return conceal’d, save when it stole
Incessant lab'ring round the stormy Cape,

In side-long glances from her downcast eye,
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst

Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. Of gold: for then from ancient gloom emerg'd Touch'd by the scene, no stranger to bis vows, The rising world of trade: the genius then

He fram'd a melting lay to try her heart, Of navigation, that in hopeless sloth

And if an infant passion struggled there, Had slumber'd on the vast Atlantic deep

To call that passion forth. Thrice happy swain ! For idle ages, starting, heard at last

A lucky chance, that oft' decides the fate The Lusitanian Prince, who, heav'n-inspir'd, Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine : To love of useful glory rous'd mankind,

For, lo! conducted by the laughing loves, And in unbounded commerce mix'd the world. This cool retreat his Musidora sought:

Increasing still the terrors of these storms, Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd, His jaws horrific arm’d with threefold fate,

And rob’d in loose array, she came to bathe Here dwells the direful shark. Lur’d by the scent Her servent limbs in the refreshing stream. Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost, Behold! he rushing cuts the briny flood,

And dubious flutt’rings, he awhile remain’d: Swift as the gale can bear the ship along,

A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, And from the partners of that cruel trade

A delicate refinement, known to few, Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons,

Perplex'd his breast, and urg'd him to retire ; Demands his share of prey; demands themselves. But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue! say, The stormy fates descend: one death involves Say, ye severest! what would you have done ? Tyrants and slaves; when straight their mangled Mean-time this fairer nymph than ever bless'd Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas [limbs Arcadian stream, with timid eye around With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal.

The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous limbs, When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. Flooded immense, looks out the joyless sun,

Ah then! not Paris ou the piny top And draws the copious steam from swampy fens, Of Ida panted stronger, when aside Where putrefaction into life ferments,

The rival goddesses the veil divine And breathes destructive myriads; or from woods, Cast unconfin'd, and gave him all their charms, Impenetrable shades, recesses foul,

Than, Damon, thou, as from her snowy leg In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapp'd, And slender foot th’inverted silk she drew: Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot

As the soft touch dissolv'd the virgin zone, Has ever dar'd to pierce; then, wasteful, forth And through the parting robe the alternate breast, Walks the dire pow'r of pestilent disease.

With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless gaze A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, In full luxuriance rose. But, desp'rate youth ! Sick nature blasting, and to heartless woe

How durst thou risk the soul-distracting view, And feeble desolation casting down

As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, The tow'ring hopes and all the pride of man; Harmonious swell'd by nature's finest hand, Such as of late at Carthagena quench'd

In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn, The British fire. You, gallant Vernon ! saw And fair-expos'd she stood, shrunk from herself, The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw

With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze To infant-weakness sunk the warrior's arm;

Alarm’d, and starting like the fearful fawn?
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form, Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted flood
The lip pale-quiv’ring, and the beamless eye Its lovely guest with closing waves receiv'd,
No more with ardour bright: you heard the groans And ev'ry beauty soft'ning, ev'ry grace
Of agonizing ships from shore to shore;

Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed:
Heard nightly plung’d amid the sullen waves As shines the lily through the crystal mild,
The frequent corse, while on each other fix’d, Or as the rose amid the morning dew,
In sad presage, the blank assistants seem'd,

Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly glows. Silent to ask whom fate would next demand.

While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the wave
But ill conceal'd, and now with streaming locks,

That half-embraced her in a humid veil,
Close in the covert of an hazel copse,

Rising again, the latent Damon drew Where winded into pleasing solitudes

Such madd’ning draughts of beauty to the soul, Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon sat, As for awhile o'erwhelm'd his raptur'd thought Pensive, and pierc'd with love's delightful pangs: With luxury too daring. Check'd at last There to the stream that down the distant rocks By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd Hoarse murm'ring fell, and plaintive breeze that The theft profane, if aught profane to love Among the bending willows, falsely he [play'd Can e'er be deem'd; and struggling from the shade, Of Musidora's cruelty complain’d.

With headlong hurry fled; but first these lines, She felt his flame; but deep within her breast, Trac'd by his ready pencil on the bank,



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


With trembling hand he threw. “Bathe on, my fair! Gives all his swift aerial soul to flight.
Yet unbeheld save by the sacred eye

Against the breeze he darts, that way the more Of faithful love. I go to guard thy haunt,

To leave the less'ning murd'rous cry behind : To keep from thy recess each vagrant fool,

Deception short! though fleeter than the winds And each licentious eye.” With wild surprise, Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountains by the north, As if to marble struck, devoid of sense,

He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades, A stupid moment motionless she stood:

And plunges deep into the wildest wood;
So stands the statue that enchants the world; If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the track
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.

Th’inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Recovering, swift she flew to find those robes Expel him, circling through his ev'ry shift.
Which blissful Eden knew not; and, array'd He sweeps the forest oft, and sobbing sees
In careless haste, th' alarming paper spatch’d: The glades mild op’ning to the golden day;
But when her Damon's well known hand she saw, Where in kind contest with his butting friends
Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train

He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy. Of mix'd emotions, hard to be describ’d,

Oft in the full-descending flood he tries Her sudden bosom seiz'd : shame void of guilt, To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides; The charming blush of innocence, esteem

Oft seeks the herd: the watch ful herd alarm'd, And admiration of her lover's flame,

With selfish care avoid a brother's woe. By modesty exalted; even a sense

What shall he do ? His once-so-vivid nerves, Of self-approving beauty stole across

So full of buoyant spirit, now no more Her busy thought. At length a tender calm Inspire the course, but fainting breathless toil, Hush'd by degrees the tumult of her soul,

Sick, seizes on his heart: he stands at bay, And on the spreading beech, that o'er the stream And puts his last weak refuge in despair. Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen

The big round tears run down his dappled face; Of rural lovers this confession carv'd,

He groans in anguish, while the growling pack, Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping joy: Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest, “ Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses mean, And mark his beauteous chequer'd sides with gore. By fortune too much favour’d, but by love, Alas! not favour'd less, be still, as now, Discreet: the time may come you need not fly.” But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide;

The tankards foam; and the strong table groans

Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretch'd immense Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare !

From side to side, in which with desp’rate knife Scar'd from the and now to some lone seat They deep incision make, and talk the while Retir'd: the rushy fen; the ragged furze

Of England's glory, ne'er to be defac'd
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath ; the stubble chapp'd; While hence they borrow vigour; or amain
The thistly lawn; the thick entangld broom ; Into the pasty plung'd, at intervals,
Of the same friendly hue the wither'd fern;

If stomach keen can intervals allow,
The fallow ground laid open to the sun

Relating all the glories of the chase. Concoctive; and the nodding sandy bank,

Then sated hunger bids his brother thirst Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.

Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl, Vain is her best precaution, though she sits

Swell’d high with fiery juice, steams lib'ral round Conceal'd with folded ears; unsleeping eyes,

A potent gale, delicious as the breath By nature rais'd to take th' horizon in;

Of Maia to the love-sick shepherdess, And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet, On violets diffus'd, while soft she hears In act to spring away. The scented dew

Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms. Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep,

Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn In scatter'd sullen op'nings, far behind,

Mature and perfect from his dark retreat
With ev'ry breeze she hears the coming storm: Of thirty years: and now his honest front
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads

Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid
The sighing gale, she springs amaz’d, and all Ev'n with the vineyard's best produce to vie.
The savage soul of game is up at once :

To cheat the thirsty moments, whist awhile
The pack full op'ning, various; the shrill horn Walks his dull round beneath a cloud of smoke,
Resounded from the hills; the neighing steed, Wreath'd fragrant from the pipe; or the quick dice,
Wild for the chase; and the loud hunter's shout; In thunder leaping from the box, awake
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all

The sounding gammon; while romp-loving miss Mix'd in mad tumult and discordant joy!

Is haul'd about in gallantry robust.
The stag, too, singled from the herd, where long At last these puling idlenesses laid
He rang'd the branching monarch of the shades, Aside, frequent and full the dry divan
Before the tempest drives. At first in speed Close in firm circle, and set ardent in
He sprightly puts his faith; and rous’d by fear, For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly,





Nor sober shift is to the puking wretch

Unbounded o'er the world, and, mingling thick, Indulg'd apart; but earnest brimming bowls A formless gray confusion covers all. Lave ev'ry soul, the table floating round, And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot.

THE PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT. Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,

Oh! knew he but his happiness, of men Vociferous at once from twenty tongues,

The happiest he, who, far from public rage, Reels fast from theme to theme; from horses, hounds, Deep in the vale with a choice few retir’d, To church or mistress, politics or ghost,

Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life. [gate In endless mazes intricate perplex'd.

What though the dome be wanting, whose proud Meantime with sudden interruption loud

Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd Th’impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart; Of flatt'rers false, and in their turn abus'd? That moment touch'd is ev'ry kindred soul,

Vile intercourse! What though the glitt'ring robe, And, op'ning in a full-mouth'd cry of joy,

Of ev'ry hue reflected light can give, The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse, go round; Or floating loose, or stiff with massy gold; While from their slumbers shook, the kennellid The pride and gaze of fools ! oppress him not? hounds

What though from utmost land and sea purvey'd, Mix in the music of the day again.

For him each rarer tributary life As when the tempest, that has vex’d the deep Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps The dark night long, with fainter murmurs falls, With luxury and death? What though his bowl So, gradual, sinks their mirth. Their feeble tongues,

Flames not with costly juice, nor sunk in beds, Unable to take up the cumberous word,

Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night,
Lie quite dissolv’d. Before their maudlin eyes, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state?
Seen dim and blue the double tapers dance,

What though he koows not those fantastic joys Like the sun wading through the misty sky;

That still amuse the wanton, still deceive, Then sliding soft they drop. Confus'd above A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain, Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazetteers,

Their hollow moments undelighted all ? As if the table ev'n itself was drunk,

Sure peace is his ; a solid life, estrang'd Lie a wet broken scene; and wide below

To disappointment and fallacious hope : Is heap'd the social slaughter; where astride Rich in content, in nature's bounty rich, The lubber pow'r in filthy triumph sits

In herbs and fruits, whatever greens the spring, Slumb'rous, inclining still from side to side,

When heay'n descends in show'rs, or bends the And steeps them drench'd in potent sleep till morn. bough, Perhaps some doctor of tremendous paunch,

When summer reddens, and when autumn beams, Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink!

Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Outlives them all, and from his bury'd flock

Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap, Retiring full of rumination sad,

These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove, Laments the weakness of these latter times.

Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ;

Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streams, MISTS IN AUTUMN.

And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere Now, by the cool declining year condens'd, Into the guiltless breast beneath the shade, Descend the copious exhalations check'd

Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; As up the middle sky unseen they stole,

Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, And roll the doubling fogs around the hill.

Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear. No more the mountain, horrid, vast, sublime, Here, too, dwells simple truth, plain innocence, Who pours a sweep of rivers from his sides,

Unsully'd beauty, sound unbroken youth, And high between contending kingdoms rears

Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd, The rocky long division, fills the view

Health ever-blooming, upambitious toil,
With great variety; but in a night

Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
Of gath’ring vapour from the baffled sense
Sinks dark and dreary ; thence expanding far, The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
The huge dusk gradual swallows up the plain:

Move not the man who, from the world escap'd,
Vanish the woods; the dim-seen river seems In still retreats and flow'ry solitudes
Sullen and slow to roll the misty wave.

To nature's voice attends, from month to month, Ev’n in the height of noon oppress’d the sun And day to day, through the revolving year; Sheds weak and blunt his wide-refracted ray, Admiring sees her in her ev'ry shape, Whence glaring oft with many a broaden'd orb Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart, He frights the nations. Indistinct on earth, Takes what she lib’ral gives, nor thinks of more. Seen through the turbid air, beyond the life He when young spring protrudes the bursting gems, Objects appear, and wilder'd o'er the waste

Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale The shepherd stalks gigantic: till at last

Into his freshen’d soul; her genial hours Wreath'd dun around in deeper circles still He full enjoys, and not a beauty blows, Successive closing, sits the gen’ral fog

And not an op'ning blossom breathes in vain.



As I stroll the city, oft I
See a building large and lofty,

Not a bow-shot from the college;

Half the globe from sense and knowledge: By the prudent architect,

Plac'd against the church direct, Making good thy grandame's jest, "Near the church"-you know the rest. Tell us, what the pile contains? Many a head that holds no brains. These demoniacs let me dub With the name of Legion-club. Such assemblies, you might swear, Meet when butchers bait a bear; Such a noise, and such haranguing, When a brother thief is hanging: Such a rout and such a rabble Run to hear Jack-pudding gabble; Such a crowd their ordure throws On a far less villain's nose.

Could I from the building's top
Hear the rattling thunder drop,
While the devil upon the roof
(If the devil be thunder-proof)
Should with poker fiery red
Crack the stones, and melt the lead;
Drive them down on every skull,
While the den of thieves is full;
Quite destroy the harpies' nest:
How might then our isle be blest!
For divines allow that God
Sometimes makes the devil his rod;
And the gospel will inform us,
He can punish sins enormous.

Yet should Swift endow the schools,
For his lunatics and fools,
With a rood or two of land,

I allow the pile may stand. You perhaps will ask me, Why so? But it is with this proviso: Since the house is like to last, Let the royal grant be pass'd, That the club have right to dwell Each within his proper cell, With a passage left to creep in, And a hole above for peeping. Let them when they once get in, Sell the nation for a pin; While they sit a-picking straws, Let them rave at making laws; While they never hold their tongue, Let them dabble in their dung: Let them form a grand committee, How to plague and starve the city: Let them stare, and storm, and frown, When they see a clergy gown; Let them, ere they crack a louse, Call for th' orders of the house;

Let them, with their gosling quills, Scribble senseless heads of bills.

We may, while they strain their throats, Wipe our a―s with their votes.

Let Sir Tom, that rampant ass, Stuff his guts with flax and grass; But, before the priest he fleeces, Tear the bible all to pieces:

At the parsons, Tom, halloo, boy,
Worthy offspring of a shoe-boy,
Footman, traitor, vile seducer,
Perjur'd rebel, brib'd accuser,
Lay thy paltry privilege aside,
Sprung from papists, and a regicide;
Fall a-working like a mole,
Raise the dirt about your hole.

Come, assist me, Muse obedient!
Let us try some new expedient;
Shift the scene for half an hour,
Time and place are in thy power.
Thither, gentle Muse, conduct me;
I shall ask, and you instruct me.

See, the Muse unbars the gate! Hark, the monkeys, how they prate! All ye gods who rule the soul! Styx, through hell whose waters roll! Let me be allow'd to tell What I heard in yonder hell.

Near the door an entrance gapes, Crowded round with antic shapes, Poverty, and grief, and care, Causeless joy, and true despair; Discord, periwigg'd with snakes, See the dreadful strides she takes! By this odious crew beset, I began to rage and fret, And resolv'd to break their pates, Ere we enter'd at the gates; Had not Clio in the nick Whisper'd me," Lay down your stick." What, said I, is this the mad-house? These, she answer'd, are but shadows, Phantoms bodiless and vain, Empty visions of the brain.

In the porch Briareus stands,
Shows a bribe in all his hands;
Briareus the secretary,

But we mortals call him Carey.
When the rogues their country fleece,
They may hope for pence a-piece.

Clio, who had been so wise
To put on a fool's disguise,
To bespeak some approbation,
And be thought a near relation,
When she saw three hundred brutes
All involv'd in wild disputes,
Roaring till their lungs were spent,
Privilege of Parliament:
Now a new misfortune feels,
Dreading to be laid by th' heels.
Never durst the Muse before
Enter that infernal door.

« PreviousContinue »