صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

He ceas'd. But still their trembling ears retain'd
The deep vibrations of his 'witching song ;
That by a kind of magic pow'r constrain'd
To enter in, pell-mell, the listning throng,
Heaps pour'd on heaps, and yet they slipp'd along,
In silent ease; as when beneath the beam
Of summer-moons, the distant woods among,

Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam, The soft-embodied fays thro' airy portal stream.

By the smooth demon so it order'd was, And here his baneful bounty first began; Tho' some there were who would not further pass, And his alluring baits suspected han. The wise distrust the too fair spoken man; Yet thro' the gate they cast a wishful eye: Not to move on, forsooth, is all they can; For, do their very best, they cannot fly; But often each way look, and often sorely sigh.

When this the watchful wicked wizard saw, With sudden spring he leap'd upon them straight; And, soon as touch'd by his unhallow'd paw, They found themselves within the cursed gate; Full hard to be repass'd, like that of fate. Not stronger were of old the giant crew Who sought to pull high Jove from regal state; Tho' feeble wretch he seem'd, of sallow hue, Certes, who bides his grasp, will that encounter rue.

For whomsoe'er the villain takes in hand, Their joints unknit, their sinews melt apace; As lithe they grow as any willow wand, And of their vanish'd force remains no trace. So when a maiden fair, of modest grace, In all her buxom blooming May of charms, Is seized in some losel's hot embrace, She waxeth very weakly as she warms, Then sighing yields her up to love's delicious harms.

Wak'd by the crowd, slow from his bench aroso
A comely full-spread porter, swol'n with sleep;
His calm, broad, thoughtless aspect breath'd repose,
And in sweet torpor he was plunged deep,
Ne could himself from ceaseless yawning keep :
While o'er his eyes the drowsy liquor ran,
Thro' which his half-wak'd soul would faintly peep.

Then, taking his black staff, he call'd his man, And rous'd himself as much as rouse himself he can,

The lad leap'd lightly at his master's call,
He was, to weet, a little roguish page,
Save sleep and play who minded nought at all,
Like most the untaught striplings of his age.
This boy he kept each band to disengage,
Garters, and buckles, task for him unfit,
But ill becoming his grave personage,

And which his portly paunch would not permit; So this same limber page to all performed it.

Meantime the master-porter wide display'd
Great store of caps, of slippers, and of gowns ;
Wherewith he those who enter'd is array'd,
Loose as the breeze that plays along the downs,
And waves the summer woods when ev’ning frowns.
O fair undress, best dress! it checks no vein,
But every flowing limb in pleasure drowns,

And heightens ease with grace. This done,right fain, Sir porter sat him down, and turn'd to sleep again.

Thus easy rob’d, they to the fountain sped,
That in the middle of the court up-threw
A stream, high spouting from its liquid bed,
And falling back again in drizzly dew :
There each deep draughts,as deep he thirsted, drew.
It was a fountain of Nepenthe rare :
Whence,as Dan Homer sings,huge pleasaunce grew,

And sweet oblivion of vile earthly care;
Fair gladsome waking thoughts, and joyous dreams

more fair.

This rite perform'd, all inly pleas'd and still, Withouten tromp was proclamation made : * Ye sons of Indolence, do what you will; . And wander where you list, thro' hall or glade! • Be no man's pleasure for another's staid ; Let each as likes him best his hours employ;

And curs'd be he who minds his neighbour's trade! • Here dwells kind ease and unreproving joy : He little merits bliss who others can annoy.' Straight of these endless numbers, swarming round, As thick as idle moats in sunny ray, Not one,eftsoons in view was to be found, But ev'ry map strolld off his own glad way. Wide o'er this ample court's blank area, With all the lodges that thereto pertain'd, No living creature could be seen to stray ;

While solitude and perfect silence reign'd: So that to think you dream'd you almost was con

strain'd. As when a shepherd of the Hebrid ssles, Plac'd far amid the melancholy main, (Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles ; Or that aërial beings sometimes deign To stand, embodied, to our senses plain) Sees on the naked hill, or valley low, The whilst in ocean Phæbus dips his wain, A vast assembly moving to and fro : Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show.

Ye gods of quiet' and of sleep profound, Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways, And all the wildly silent places round, Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays What never yet was sung in mortal lays. But how shall I attempt such arduous string, I who have spent my nights and nightly days In this soul-deadening place, loose-loitering ? Ah ! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing? Vol. II.

H

Come on, my muse, nor stoop to low despair,
Thou imp of Jove, touch'd by celestial fire !
Thou yet shalt sing of war, and actions fair,
Which the bold sons of Britain will inspire ;
Of ancient bards thou yet shalt sweep the lyre;
Thou yet shalt tread in tragic pall the stage,
Paint love's enchanting woes, the hero's ire,

The sage's calm, the patriot's noble rage,
Dashing corruption down thro' ev'ry worthless age.
The doors, that knew no shrill alarming bell,
Ne cursed knocker plied by villain's hand,
Self-open'd into halls, where, who can tell
What elegance and grandeur wide expand,
The pride of Turkey and of Persian land ?
Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread,
And couches stretch around in seemly band ;

And endless pillows rise to prop the head;
So that each spacious room was one full-swelling bed.

And ev'ry where huge cover'd tables stood,
With wines high flavour'd and rich viands crown'd;
Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food
On the green bosom of this earth are found,
And all old ocean genders in his round:
Some hand unseen these silently display'd,
Ev'n undemanded by a sign or sound :

You need but wish ; and, instantly obey'd,
Fair rang'd the dishes rose, and thick the glasses

play'd. Here freedom reign'd without the least alloy ; Nor gossip's tale, nor ancient maiden's gall, Nor saintly spleen, durst murmur at our joy, And with envenom'd tongue our pleasures pall, For why ? there was but one great rule for all; To wit, that each should work his own desire, And eat, drink, study, sleep, as it may fall,

Or melt the time in love, or wake the lyre, And carol what anbid the muses might inspire.

The rooms with costly tapestry were hung,
Where was enwoven many a gentle tale ;
Such as of old the rural poets sung,
Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale:
Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale,
Pour'd forth at large the sweetly tortur'd heart;
Or, sighing tender passion, swelld the gale,

And taught charm'd echo to resound their smart; While flocks, woods, streams, around repose, and

peace impart. Those pleas'd the most, where, by a cunning hand, Depainted was the patriarchal age; What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land, And pastur'd on from verdant stage to stage, Where fields and fountains fresh could best engage. Toil was not then. Of nothing took they heed, But with wild beasts the sylvan war to wage,

And o'er vast plains their herds and flocks to feed: Blest sons of Nature they! true golden age indeed!

Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
Bade the gay bloom of vernal landscapes rise,
Or autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls:
Now the black tempest strikes th' astonish'd eyes;
Now down the steep the flashing torrent flies;
The trembling sun now plays o'er ocean blue,
And now rude mountains frown amid the skies;

Whate'er Lorrain light-touch'd with soft'ning hue, Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned Poussin drew.

Each sound too here to languishment inclin'd,
Lalld the weak bosom, and induced ease.
Aërial music in the warbling wind,
At distance rising oft, by small degrees
Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees
It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving airs,
As did, alas ! with 'soft perdition please :

Entangled deep in its enchanting snares,
The listning heart forgot all duties and all cares.

« السابقةمتابعة »