صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The temple of thy glory. But not me,
Not my directing voice, he oft requires,
Or hears delighted : this enchanting maid,
The associate thou hast given me, her alone
He loves, O Father! absent, her he craves ;
And but for her glad presence ever join'd,
Rejoices not in mine: that all my hopes
This thy benignant purpose to fulfil,
I deem uncertain : and my daily cares
Unfruitful all and vain, unless by thee
Still further aided in the work divine.'

“ She ceas'd; a voice more aweful thus reply'd.
• O thou! in whom for ever I delight,
Fairer than all the inhabitants of Heaven,
Best image of thy author ! far from thee
Be disappointment, or distaste, or blame ;
Who soon or late shall every work fulfil,
And no resistance find. If man refuse
To hearken to thy dictates; or, allur'd
By meaner joys, to any other power
Transfer the honours due to thee alone;
That joy which he pursues he ne'er shall taste,
That power in whom delighteth ne'er behold.
Go then, once more, and happy be thy toil :
Go then! but let not this thy smiling friend
Partake thy footsteps. In her stead, behold!
With thee the son of Nemesis I send ;
The fiend abhorr'd! whose vengeance takes account
Of sacred Order's violated laws.
See where he calls thee, burning to be gone,
Fierce to exhaust the tempest of his wrath
On yon devoted head. But thou, my child,

Controul his cruel phrenzy, and protect
Thy tender charge ; that when Despair shall grasp
His agonizing bosom, he may learn,
Then he may learn to love the gracious hand
Alone sufficient in the hour of ill
To save his feeble spirit; then confess
Thy genuine honours, O excelling fair!
When all the plagues that wait the deadly will
Of this avenging demon, all the storms
Of night infernal, serve but to display
The energy of thy superior charms
With mildest awe triumphant o'er his rage,
And shining clearer in the horrid gloom.'

“ Here ceas'd that aweful voice, and soon I felt
The cloudy curtain of refreshing eve
Was clos'd once more, from that immortal fire
Sheltering my eye-lids. Looking up, I view'd
A vast gigantic spectre striding on
Through murmuring thunders and a waste of clouds,
With dreadful action. Black as night, his brow
Relentless frowns involv’d. His savage limbs
With sharp impatience violent he writh’d,
As through convulsive anguish ; and his hand,
Arm’d with a scorpion-lash, full oft he rais'd
In madness to his bosom ; while his eyes
Rain'd bitter tears, and bellowing loud he shook
The void with horrour. Silent by his side
The virgin came. No discomposure stirrid
Her features. From the glooms which hung around
No stain of darkness mingled with the beam
Of her divine effulgence. Now they stoop
Upon the river-bank ; and now to hail,


His wonted guests, with eager steps advanc’d
The unsuspecting inmate of the shade.

As when a famish'd wolf, that all night long
Had rang'd the Alpine snows, by chance at morn
Sees from a cliff incumbent o'er the smoke
Of some lone village, a neglected kid
That strays along the wild for herb or spring;
Down from the winding ridge he sweeps amain,
And thinks he tears him: so with tenfold rage,
The monster sprung remorseless on his prey.
Amaz'd the stripling stood: with panting breast
Feebly he pour'd the lamentable wail
Of helpless consternation, struck at once,
And rooted to the ground. The queen beheld
His terrour, and with looks of tenderest care
Advanc'd to save him. Soon the tyrant felt
Her aweful power. · His keen, tempestuous. arm
Hung nerveless, nor descended where his rage
Had aim'd the deadly blow : then dumb retir'd
With sullen rancour. Lo! the sovran maid
Folds with a mother's arms the fainting boy,
Till life rekindles in his rosy cheek ; (tongue.
Then grasps his hands, and cheers him with her

“ • Owake thee, rouse thy spirit! Shall the spite Of yon tormentor thus appal thy heart, While I, thy friend and guardian, am at hand To rescue and to heal ? O let thy soul Remember, what the will of Heaven ordains Is ever good for all; and if for all, Then good for thee. Nor only by the warmth And soothing sunshine of delightful things Do minds grow up and flourish. Oft misled

By that bland light, the young unpractis'd views
Of reason wander through a fatal road,
Far from their native aim ; as if to lie
Inglorious in the fragrant shade, and wait
The soft access of ever-circling joys,
Were all the end of being. Ask thyself,
This pleasing errour did it never lull
Thy wishes ? Has thy constant heart refus'd
The silken fetters of delicious ease ?
Or when divine Euphrosyné appear'd
Within this dwelling, did not thy desires
Hang far below the measure of thy fate,
Which I reveal'd before thee? and thy eyes,
Impatient of my counsels, turn away
To drink the soft effusion of her smiles ?
Know then, for this the everlasting Sire
Deprives thee of her presence, and instead,
O wise and still benevolent! ordains
This horrid visage hither to pursue
My steps ; that so thy naturė may discern
Its real good, and what alone can save
Thy feeble spirit in this bour of ill
From folly and despair. O yet belov’d!
Let not this headlong terrour quite o'erwhelm
Thy scatter'd powers; nor fatal deem the rage
Of this tormentor, nor his proud assault,
While I am here to vindicate thy toil,
Above the generous question of thy arm.
Brave hy thy fears, and in thy weakness strong,
This hour he triumphs; but confront his might,
And dare him to the combat, then with ease
Disarm’d and quell'd, his fierceness he resigns

the wreck;

To bondage and to scorn : while thus inur'd
By watchful danger, by unceasing toil,
The immortal mind, superior to his fate,
Amid the outrage of external things,
Firm as the solid base of this great world,
Rests on his own foundations. Blow, ye winds !
Ye waves ! ye thunders ! roll your tempest on;
Shake, ye old pillars of the marble sky!
Till all its orbs and all its worlds of fire
Be loosen'd from their seats; yet still serene,
The unconquer'd mind looks down

upon And ever stronger as the storms advance, Firm through the closing ruin holds his way, Where Nature calls him to the destin'd goal. “ So spake the goddess; while through all her

Celestial raptures flow'd, in every word,
In every motion kindling warmth divine
To seize who listen'd. Vehement and swift,
As lightning fires the aromatic shade
In Ethiopian fields, the stripling felt
Her inspiration catch his fervid soul,
And starting from his languor thus exclaim'd:

« « Then let the trial come! and witness thony
If terrour be upon me; if I shrink
To meet the storm, or faulter in my strength
When hardest it besets me. Do not think
That I am fearful and infirm of soul,
As late thy eyes beheld; for thou hast chang'd
My nature; thy commanding voice has wak'd
My languid powers to bear me boldly on,
Where'er the will divine my path ordains

« السابقةمتابعة »