صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

This having heard and seen, some Pow'r un

known Straight chang’d the scene, and snatch'd me from

the throne. Before my view appear'd a structure fair, Its site uncertain, if in earth or air: With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round; With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound; Not less in number were the spacious doors Than leaves on trees, or sands upon the

shores; Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day, Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way. As flames by nature to the skies ascend, As weighty bodies to the centre tend, As to the sea returning rivers roll, And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole; Hither, as to their proper place, arise All various sounds from earth, and seas, and,

skies,

Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear ;
Nor ever silence, rest, or peace is here.

As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes
The sinking stone at first a circle makes;
The trembling surface, by the motion stirr’d,
Spreads in a second circle, then a third;
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance,
Fill all the wat’ry plain, and to the margin dance:
Thus ev'ry voice and sound, when first they break,
On neighb'ring air a soft impression make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That, in its turn, impels the next above;
Thro' undulating air the sounds are sent,
And spread o’er all the fluid element.

*There various news I heard, of love and strife, Of peace and war, health, sickness, death and

life; Of loss and gain, of famine and of store; Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore; Of prodigies, and portents seen in air; Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair, Of turns of fortune, changes in the state ; The falls of fav’rites, projects of the great;

Of old mismanagements, taxations new:
All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.

Above, below, without, within, around, Confus’d, unnumber'd multitudes are found, Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away; Hosts rais’d by fear, and phantoms of a day: Astrologers, that future fates foreshew; Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few; And priests, and party zealots, num’rous bands, With home-born lies, or tales from foreign

lands; Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place; And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face. The flying rumours gather'd as they rolld, Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told; And all who told it added something new, And all who heard it made enlargements too; In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew. ) Thus flying east and west, and north and south, News travelld with increase from mouth to

mouth.

So from a spark that kindled first by chance,
With gath’ring force the quick’ning fames ad

vance;
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
And tow'rs and temples sink in floods of fire.

When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
Thro' thousand vents impatient forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below;
FAME sits aloft, and points them out their

course,
Their date determines, and prescribes their

force;
Some to remain, and some to perish soon;
Or wane and wax, alternate, like the moon.
Around a thousand winged wonders fly,
Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd thro'

the sky

'

There, at one passage, oft you might survey A lie and truth contending for the way;

And long 't was doubtful, both so closely pent,
Which first should issue thro' the narrow vent.
At last agreed, together out they fly,
Inseparable now the truth and lie;
The strict companions are for ever join'd,
And this or that unmix'd no mortal e'er shall

find.

While thus I stood, intent to see and hear, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear: 6. What could thus high thy rash ambition raise ? Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise ?”

“ 'T is true, said I, not void of hopes I came, For who so fond, as youthful bards, of Fame ? But few, alas! the casual blessing boast, So hard to gain, so easy to be lost. How vain that second life in others' breath, Th’estate which wits inherit after death! Fase, health, and life, for this they must resign ; Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine! The great man's curse, without the gains, endure;

« السابقةمتابعة »