« PreviousContinue »
His broad keen knife into the solid mass :
O’erwhelming all distinction. On the flood, Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands, Indurated and fixt, the snowy weight With such undeviating and even force
Lies undissolved; while silently beneath, He severs it away; no needless care,
And unperceived, the current steals away. Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Not so where, scornful of a check, it leaps Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel, Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned And wantons in the pebbly gulph below: The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe No frost can bind it there ; its utmost force And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear, Can but arrest the light and smoky mist, From morn to eve his solitary task.
That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide. Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears And see where it has hung the embroidered basis And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur, With forms so various, that no powers of art, His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
The pencil or the pen, may trace the scene! Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk Here glittering turrets rise, upbearing high Wide-scampering, snatches up the drifted snow (Fantastic misarrangement !) on the roof With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout; Large growth of what may seem the sparkling tres Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy. And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops, Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl That trickle down the branches, fast congealed, Moves right toward the mark: nor stops for aught, Shoot into pillars of pellucid length, But now and then with pressure of his thumb And prop the pile they but adorned before. To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube, Here grotto within grotto safe defies That fumes beneath his nose: the trailing cloud The sun-beam; there, embossed and fretted wit, Streams far behind him, scenting all the air. The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes Now from the roost, or from the neighbouring pale, Capricious, in which fancy seeks in vain Where, diligent to catch the first saint gleam The likeness of some object seen berore. Of smiling day, they gossiped side by side,
Thus nature works as if to mock at art, Come trooping at the housewife's well-known call And in defiance of her rival powers; The feathered tribes domestic. Half on wing, By these fortuitous and random strokes And half on foot, they brush the fleecy flood, Performing such inimitable feats, Conscious and fearful of too deep a plunge.
As she with all her roles can never reach. The sparrows peep, and quit the sheltering eaves Less worthy of applause, though more admired, To seize the fair occasion. Well they eye
Because a novelty, the work of man, The scattered grain, and thievishly resolved Imperial mistress of the fur-clad Russ! To escape the impending famine, often scared Thy most magnificent and mighty freak, As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
The wonder of the North. No forest fell Clean riddance quickly made, one only care When thou wouldst build; no quarry sent its store Remains to each, the search of sunny nook,
To enrich thy walls: but thou didst hew the floods,
In such a palace Aristæus found
In such a palace poetry might place
And wraps him in an unexpected tomb.
Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Were soon conjoined, nor other cement asked Thins all their numerous flocks. In chinks and holes Than water interfused to make them one. Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
Lamps gracefully disposed, and of all hues, As instinct prompts; self-buried ere they die. Illumined every side: a watery light (seemed The very rooks and daws forsake the fields, Gleamed through the clear transparency, that Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now Another moon new risen, or meteor fallen Repays their labour more; and perched aloft From heaven to earth, of lambent flame serene. By the way-side, or stalking in the path,
So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth Lean pensioners upon the traveller's track,
And slippery the materials, yet frost-bound, Pick up their nauseous dole, though sweet to them, Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within Of voided pulse or half-digested grain.
That royal residence might well befit, The streams are lost amid the splendid blank, For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths
Of flowers, that feared no enemy but warmth, In politic convention) put your trust
In fancied peace beneath his dangerous branch, Convivial table and commodious seat
Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway; What seemed at least commodious seat) were there; Where find ye passive fortitude? Whence springs ofa, and couch, and high-built throne august. Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good The same lubricity was found in all,
To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang ind all was moist to the warm touch : a scene His thorns with streamers of continual praise? fevanescent glory, once a stream,
We too are friends to loyalty. We love ind soon to slide into a stream again.
The king, who loves the law, respects his bounds, Jas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
And reigns content within them: him we serve Of u ndesigned severity, that glanced
Freely and with delight, who leaves us free: Made by a monarch) on her own estate,
But recollecting still that he is man, In human grandeur and the courts of kings. We trust him not too far. King though he be, Iwas transient in its nature, as in show
And king in England too, he may be weak, Iwas durable; as worthless, as it seemed
And vain enough to be ambitious still; intrinsically precious; to the foot
May exercise amiss his proper powers, reacherous and false ; it smiled, and it was cold. Or covet more than freemen choose to grant:
Great princes have great playthings. Some have Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours - played
To administer, to guard, to adorn, the state, It hewing mountains into men, and some
But not to warp or change it. We are hís It building human wonders mountain-high. To serve him nobly in the common cause, some have amused the dull, sad years of life, True to the death, but not to be his slaves. Life spent in indolence, and therefore sad)
Mark now the difference, ye that boast your love Vith schemes of monumental fame; and sought Of kings, between your loyalty and ours. By pyramids and mausolean pomp,
We love the man, the paltry pageant you: short-lived themselves, to immortalize their bones. We the chief patron of the commonwealth, some seek diversion in the tented field, .
You the regardless author of its woes:
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod,
And licks the foot, that treads it in the dust.
Were kingship as true treasure as it seems,
I would not be a king to be beloved
Causeless, and daubed with undiscerning praise, Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone
Where love is mere attachment to the throne, To reverence'what is ancient, and can plead
Not to the man, who fills it as he ought. A course of long observance for its use,
'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower That even servitude, the worst of ills,
of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; Because delivered down from sire to son,
And we are weeds without it. All constraint, Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing.
Except what wisdom lays on evil men, But is it fit, or can it bear the shock
Is evil: hurts the faculties, impedes Of rational discussion, that a man,
Their progress in the road of science; blinds Compounded and made up like other men
The eyesight of discovery; and begets Of elements tumultuous, in whom lust
In those that suffer it, a sordid mind And folly in as ample measure meet,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, uufit As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules,
To be the tenant of man's noble form. Should be a despot absolute, and boast
Thee therefore still, blame-worthy as thou art, Himself the only freeman of his land?
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed Should, when he pleases, and on whom he will, By public exigence till annual food Wage war, with any or with no pretence
Fails for the craving hunger of the state, of provocation given, or wrong sustained,
Thee I account still happy, and the chief And force the beggarly last doit, by means
Among the nations, seeing thou art free; That his own humour dictates, from the clutch My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude, Of poverty, that thus he may procure
Replete with vapours, and disposes much His thousands, weary of penurious life,
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine: A splendid opportunity to die?
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft Say ye, who (with less prudence than of old And plausible than social life requires, Jothan ascribed to his assembled trees
And thou hast need of discipline and art
To give thee what politer France receives
Was registered in Heaven ere time began. From nature's bounty—that humane address We turn to dust, and all our mightiest works And sweetness, without which no pleasure is Die too: the deep foundations that we lay, In converse, either starved by cold reserve,
Time ploughs them up, and not a trace remains. Or flushed with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl. We build with what we deem eternal rock: Yet being free I love thee: for the sake
A distant age asks where the fabric stood;
And in the dust, sifted and searched in vain,
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, Of British natures, wanting its excuse
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chais, That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
That hellish foes, confederate for his harmi, And shock me. I should then with double pain
Can wind around him, but he casts it off Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime;
With as much ease as Samson his
withes. And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,
He looks abroad into the varied field For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
Of nature, and though poor perhaps, compared I would at least bewail it under skies
With those whose mansions glitter in bis sight, Milder, among a people less austere;
Calls the delightful scenery all his own. In scenes, which having never known me free, His are the mountains, and the vallies his, Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy Do I forbode impossible events,
With a propriety that none can feel, Aud tremble at vain dreams? Heaven grant I may!
But who, with filial confidence inspired, But the age of virtuous politics is past,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eyes And we are deep in that of cold pretence.
And smiling say—“ My Father made them all." Patriots are grown too shtrewd to be sincere,
Are they not his by a peculiar right, And we too wise to trust them. He that takes And by an emphasis of interest his, Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy, Designed by loud declaimers on the part
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted miał Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust,
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied lore, Incurs derision for his easy faith,
That planned, and built, and still upholds, a warid And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough: So clothed with beauty for rebellious man? For when was public virtue to be found
Yes-ye may fill your garners, ye that reap Where private was not? Can he love the whole The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good Who loves no part? He be a nation's friend In senseless riot; but ye will not find Who is in truth the friend of no man there?
In feast or in the chase, in song or dance, Can he be strenuous in his country's cause,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeached Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong, That country, if at all, must be beloved ?
Appropriates nature as his Father's work, 'Tis therefore sober and good men are sad
And has a richer use of yours than jou. For England's glory, seeing it wax pale
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth And sickly, while her champions wear their hearts Of no mean city: planned or ere the hills So loose to private duty, that no brain,
Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea Healthful and undisturbed by factious fumes, With all his roaring multitude of waves. Can dream them trusty to the general weal.
His freedom is the same in every state; Such were they not of old, whose tempered blades And no condition of this changeful life
, Dispersed the shackles of usurped controul,
So manifold in cares, whose every day And hewed them link from link; then Albion's sons
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less: Were sons indeed; they felt a filial heart
For he has wings, that neither sickness, paio, Beat high within them at a mother's wrongs;
Nor penury, can cripple or confine. And, shining each in his domestic sphere,
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there Shone brighter still, once called to public view.
With ease, and is at large. The oppressor balto 'Tis therefore many, whose sequestered lot
His body bound; but knows not what a range Forbids their interference, looking on,
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain; Anticipate perforce some dire event;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt And, seeing the old castle of the state,
Whom God delights in, and in wbom he dwells That promised once more firmness, so assailed That all its tempest-beaten turrets shake,
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst cas Stand motionless expectants of its fall.
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before:
So reads he nature, whom the lamp of truth shall relish, with divine delight pure Till then unselt, what hands divine have wrought. Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious word! Brutes the mountain-top, with faces prone Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost,
graze And eyes intent upon the scanty herb
With intellects bemazed in endless doubt, It yields them: or recumbent on its brow
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread
that were not till by thee employed, Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
Worlds that had never been hadst thou in strength From inland regions to the distant main.
Been less, or less benevolent than strong.
In vain thy creatures testify of thee,
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn,
Till thou art heard, imaginations vain Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Possess the heart, and fables false as hell; Much more, who fashioned it, he gives it praise ; Yet, deemed oracular, lure down to death Praise that from earth resulting, as it ought,
The quinformed and heedless souls of men.
The glory of thy work; which yet appears
Challenging human scrutiny, and proved
Thy providence forbids that fickle power A ray of heavenly light, gilding all forms
(If power she be that works but to confound) Terrestrial in the vast and the minute;
To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws, The unambiguous footsteps of the God,
Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
Amused spectators of this bustling stage.
Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure,
Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause To gratulate the new-created earth,
For which we shunned and hated thee before. Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God
Then we are free. Then liberty, like day, Shouted for joy.—" Tell me, ye shining hosts,
Breaks on the sou and by a flash from Heaven That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy. Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
A voice is heard, that mortal ears hear not If from your elevation, whence ye view
Till thou hast touched them; 'tis the voice of song, Distinctly scenes invisible to man,
A loud hosanna sent from all thy works; And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Which he that hears it with a shout repeats, Have reached this nether world, ye spy a race
And adds his rapture to the general praise. Favoured as ours; transgressors from the womb,
In that blest moment Nature, throwing wide And hasting to a grave, yet doomed to rise, Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile And to possess a brighter heaven than yours?
The author of her beauties, who, retired As one, who long detained on foreign shores, Behind his own creation, works unseen Pants to return, and when he sees afar
By the impure, and hears his power denied. His country's weather-bleached and battered rocks, Thou art the source, and centre of all minds, From the green wave emerging, darts an eye Their only point of rest, eternal Word! Radiant with joy towards the happy land;
From thee departing they are lost, and rove
At random without honour, hope, or peace.
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
But oh, thou bounteous giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown!
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor;
THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.
And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue There is in souls a sympathy with sounds, Without a clond, and white without a speck And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased The dazzling splendour of the scene below. With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave; Again the harmony comes o'er the vale; Some chord in unison with what we hear
And through the trees I view the embattled tor, Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
Whence all the music. I again perceive How soft the music of those village bells,
The soothing influence of the wafted strains, Falling at intervals upon the ear
And settle in soft musings as I tread In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elmes, Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
The roof, though moveable through all its length With easy force it opens all the cells
As the wind sways it, has yet well suffiæd,
The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me.
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
The redbreast warbles still, but is content That in a few short moments I retrace
With slender notes, and more than half suppressed (As in a map the voyager his course)
Pleased with his solitude, and fitting light The windings of my way through many years.
From spray to spray, where'er he rests be shales Short as in retrospect the journey seems,
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice, It seemed not alway short; the rugged path,
That tinkle in the withered leaves below. And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn,
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, Moved many a sigh at its disheartening length.
Charms more than silence. Meditation here Yet feeling present evils, while the past
May think down hours to moments. Here the beart Faintly impress the mind, or not at all,
May give an useful lesson to the head, How readily we wish time spent revoked,
And learning wiser grow without his books. That we might try the ground again, where once Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, (Through inexperience, as we now perceive)
Have oft-times no connexion. Knowledge deels We missed that happiness we might have found! In heads replete with thoughts of other med; Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend, Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. A father, whose authority, in show
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, When most severe, and mustering all its force, The mere materials with which wisdom builds
, Was but the graver countenance of love;
Till smoothed and squared and fitted to its place, Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might lower,
Does but incumber whom it seems to enrich. And utter now and then an awful voice,
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. Threatening at once and nourishing the plant,
Books are not seldom talismans and spells, We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand, By which the magic art of shrewder wits That reared us.
At a thoughtless age, allured Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled. By every gilded folly, we renounced
Some to the fascination of a name His sheltering side, and wilfully forewent
Surrender judgment, hood-winked. Some the style That converse, which we now in vain regret. Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds How gladly would the man recall to life
Of error leads them by a tune entranced. The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, The insupportable fatigue of thought, Might he demand them at the gates of death. And swallowing therefore withoue pause or choice Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed The total grist unsisted, husks and all. The playful humour; he could now endure, But trees and rivulets, whose rapid course (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears)
Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs. But not to understand a treasure's worth,
And lanes, in which the primrose ere her time [root Till time has stolen away the slighted good,
Peeps through the moss that clothes the hawthora Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth, And makes the world the wilderness it is.
Not shy, as in the world, and to be won The few that pray at all pray oft amiss,
By slow solicitation, seize at once And, seeking grace to improve the prize they hold,
The roving thought, and fix it on themselves
. Would urge a wiser suit than asking more.
What prodigies can power divine perform
Familiar with the effect we slight the cause,
And in the constancy of nature's course, The season smiles, resigning all its rage,
The regular return of genial months,