صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

“ Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state,
“And business thou wouldst find, and wouldst create:

“ Business! the frivolous pretence
“ Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;

“ Business! the grave impertinence;
“ Business! the thing which I of all things hate;
“ Business ! the contradiction of thy fate.
“Go, renegado ! cast up thy account,

“ And see to what amount

“Thy foolish gains by quitting me :
“The sale of Knowledge, Fame, and Liberty,
“ The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostacy.
“Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were past,
“ All thy remaining life should sun shine be:
“Behold! the public storm is spent at last,
“ The sovereign 's tost at sea no more,
“ And thou, with all the noble company,

“ Art got at last to shore.
“But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see
“All march'd up to possess the promis'd land,
7. Thou still alone, alas ! dost gaping stand

Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand! As a fair morning of the blessed spring,

“ After a tedious stormy night,
“Such was the glorious entry of our king ;
“Enriching moisture dropp'd on every thing ;
“Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light!

“But then, alas ! to thee alone
“ One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;
For every tree and every herb around

“With pearly dew was crown'd,
And upon all the quicken'd ground
“ The fruitful seed of heaven did brooding lie,
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry,

“ It did all other threats surpass,
“ When God to his own people said
"The men whom through long wanderings he had

[ocr errors]

“ led)

" That he would give them ev'n a heaven of brass:

[ocr errors]

“ They look'd up to that heaven in vain, “ That bounteous heaven, which God did not

“ restrain “ Upon the most unjust to shine and rain. “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and

" more

“ Thou didst with faith and labour serve, “ And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,

“ Though she contracted was to thee,

“ Given to another, who had store « Of fairer and of richer wives before, “And not a Leah left, thy recompence to be!

Go on : twice seven years more thy fortune try; « Twice seven years more God in his bounty may

“ Give thee, to fling away “ Into the court's deceitful lottery :

“But think how likely 't is that thou, u With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough, “ Shouldst in a hard and barren season thrive,

“ Should even able be to live ; “ Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall, “In the miraculous year when manna rain'd on all." Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile, That seem'd at once to pity and revile. And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,

The melancholy Cowley said
“Ah, wanton foe! dost thou úpbraid

“ The hills which thou thyself hast made ?
“ When in the cradle innocent I lay,
“Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,

“ And my abused soul didst bear “Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,

“ Thy golden Indies in the air ;
And ever since I strive in vain

My ravish'd freedom to regain ;
“ Still I rebel, still thou dost reign ;
“ Lo! still in verse against thee I complain.

“There is a sort of stubborn weeds, " Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds;

}

[ocr errors]

66

“No wholesome herb can near them thrive,

“ No useful plant can keep alive : “The foolish sports I did on thee bestow, “ Make all my art and labour fruitless now; “ Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth

“ ever grow. “ When my new mind had no infusion known, “Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own,

“ That ever since I vainly try

“ To wash away th' inherent dye : Long work perhaps may spoil thy colours quite, “ But never will reduce the native white:

To all the ports of honour and of gain
“ I often steer my course in vain ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“Thou slacken'st all my nerves of industry,

By making them so oft to be
“The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy.
“Whoever this world's happiness would see,

“ Must as entirely cast-off thee,
As they who only heaven desire

“ Do from the world retire.
« This was my error, this my gross mistake,
“Myself a demi-votary to make.

Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate “ (A fault which I, like them, am taught too late), “ For all that I gave up I nothing gain, “And perish for the part which I retain. Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse!

“The court, and better king, t'accuse: “ The heaven under which I live is fair, " The fertile soil will a full harvest bear : « Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou “Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plough. “ When I but think how many a tedious year

“ Our patient sovereign did attend

“His long misfortunes' fatal end; “ How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, " On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend;

“I ought to be accurst, if I refuse “ To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! “Kings have long hands, they say; and though I be “ So distant, they may reach at length to me.

.“ However, of all princes, thou “ Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or

slow;

“ Thou ! who rewardest but with popular breath,

“ And that too after death."

HYMN TO LIGHT.
FIRST-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come

From the old negro's darksome womb!

Which, when it saw the lovely child, The melancholy mass put on kind looks and smil'd; Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,

But ever ebb and ever flow!

Thou golden shower of a true Jove! Who does in thee descend, and heaven to earth

make love!

Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health !

Her joy, her ornament, and wealth!

Hail to thy husband Heat, and thee! Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty bride

groom he!

Say from what golden quivers of the sky

Do all thy winged arrows fly?

Swiftness and power by birth are thine : From thy great sire they came, thy sire the Word

Divine.

'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

That so much cost in colours thou,

And skill in painting, dost bestow, Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow.

Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,

Thy race is finish'd when begun;

Let a post-angel start with thee, And thou the goal of earth shalt reach as soon as he, Thou in the moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,

Dost thy bright wood of stars survey ;

And all the year dost with thee bring Ofthousand flowery lights thine own nocturnalspring. Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above

The sun's gilt tents for ever move,

And still, as thou in pomp dost go, The shining pageants of the world attend thy show. Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn

The humble glow-worms to adorn,

And with those living spangles gild (O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,

And Sleep, the lazy owl of night;

Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They skreen their horrid shapes with the black

hemisphere. With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm,

Of painted dreams a busy swarm :

At the first opening of thine eye
The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,

Creep, conscious, to their secret rests :

Nature to thee does reverence pay, Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way. At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

To shake his wings, and rouse his head :

And cloudy Care has often took
A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.
At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;

Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.

Encourag'd at the sight of thee, To the cheek colour comes, and firmness to the knee.

« السابقةمتابعة »