« PreviousContinue »
She swore', indeed, 'twas strange', 'twas pa‘ssing strange';
'Twas pi'tiful, 'twas woʻndrous pi'tiful
She wi'shed she had not heard' it- -yet she wished
That Heav'n had made hěr/ s'uch a ma'n :—she than'ked me,
And bade' me, if I had a friend that lov'ed her,
I should but te'ach him/ ho'w to tell my stoʻry,
And that would wo'o her. On this hinť, I spake':
She' loved me for the dan'gers/ I had passed';
And I loved her', that she did pity them.
Thi's, on'ly, is the witc'hcraft/ I have-used.
Now stood Eli'za, on the wood-crown'd height'
O'er Minden's plain', specta'tress of the fi'ght,
Sought', with bold eye', amid the bloody strife,
Her dearer s'elf, the partner of her life';
From hill to hill the rushing host pursu’ed,
And view'ed his ban'ner, or, believed'-she-viewed.
Pleased with the distant roar', with quicker tread/
Fast by his ha'nd, one lisping bo'y she le'd;
And one fair girl', amid the loud alarm'
Slept on her ker'chief, crad'led by her arm';
While round her brows / bright beams of honour dart',
And lo've's warm ed'dies/ circle ro’und her heart'.
- Near, and more near, the intrepid beauty press'ed,
Saw', through the driving smoke, his dan'cing-crest ;
Heard the exulting shout', “ They run' ! they run' !"
“ Great God!" (she cried) “ he's safe' ! the battle's won'!"
-A ball now hisses through the airy tides',
(Some fury win'g'd it, and some de mon guides' !)
Parts the fine locks', her graceful head that deck',
Wounds her fair ear', and sinks' into her neck';
The red stream / issuing from her azure veins'
Dyes' her white veil, her ivory boʻsom stains :-
C“ Ah mé !" she crised, (and, sinking on the ground,
Kissed her dear babes', regardless of the wound';)
“ Oh, cease not yet to be'at, (thou vital u’rn !)
Wait', gushing life', oh wai't, my love's retu’rn !
“ Hoarse barks the wolf', the vulture screams from far' !
“ The an'gel, Pity', shuns the wa'lks of wa'r !—
“Oh spare, ye war-hounds', spa^re* their tender age' !-
“On me', on mě,” (she cried) “ exha'ust your rage !"
Then with weak ar'ms, her weeping babes caress'ed,
And, sig'hing, hid' them/ in her blooʻd-stained vest'.
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies',
(Fé'ar in his heart, and fren‘zy in his eyes ;)
Èliza's naʼme along the camp he calls',
Eliza,* echoes through the canvass walls';
Qui'ck/ through the murmuring gloom, his footsteps tread/
O'er groan'ing-heaps, the dy'ing and the de'ad,
Va’ult o'er the plain', and, in the tangled wood',
Lo'! dead Eliza', w'eltering in her blood' ! -
-Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds', (With open ar'ms/ and sparkling eyes/ he bo'unds.)
Speak lo'w,” (he cri’es, and gives his little h’and,) “ Eliza sleeps' upon the dew-cold sand; “Po'or/ wee ping-babe, with bloody fingers press'ed, “ And tri’ed (with pouting lips ) her milkless bre'ast. “ Alas'! we both with cold and hunger quake'Why do you weep'?— Mamma' will soon awake”.”
-“ She'll wake no more' !" (the hopeless mourner cri’ed,) Upturned his eyes', and clasped his hands, and sighed; Stretched on the ground/ awhile entra'nced he lay', And pres'sed warm kiss'es/ on the life'less cla'y ; And then upsprung', with wild', convul'sive start', And, a'll the fa'ther/ ki'ndled in his heart : “O, he’avens !" (he cried,)“ my fi’rst/ ra`sh-vow forgi've ! “ These'l bind to ea'rth, för THESE/ I pra'y to live' !" Round his chill babes, he wrapped his crimson vest', And clasp'ed them, sobbing', to his a'ching breast'.
Say, w'hat is Ta'ste, but the internal powers
A'ctive and stro'ng, and feelingly ali've
To e’ach/ fine impulse ? a discerning se'nse
Of d'ecent and subli'me, with quick disg'ust/
From things defo'rmed, or disarranged, or gro'ss
In spe'cies ? Thi's, nor ge'ms, nor st’ores of go'ld,
Nor purple sta'te, nor cu^lture can best'ow ;
But Gʻod alo'ne, when first his active h'and/
Imprints the secret b'ias of the sou'l.
H'e, (mighty Parent !) wi'se and ju'st in all,
(Free as the vital breeze, or light of he'aven)
Reveals the ch'arms* of nature. Ask the sw'ain,
(Who journeys homeward from a summer day's
Long l'abour) wh'y (forg'etful of his toils
And due rep'ose) he loiters/ to behold
The sunshine gleaming/ as through amber clo'uds
O’er all the western sky'! Full soon, I we'en,
His rude expression, and untutored a'irs,
(Beyond the power of la'nguage) will unfold
The form of Bea'uty/ smi'ling/ at his h'eart;
How lo'vely! how comma'nding! But/ though He’aven/
every bre'ast/ hath sown these early se'eds
Of lo've and admir'ation, ye't in v'ain,
Without fair Culture's/t Ki'nd, paren'tal-aid,
Without enlivening su’ns and genial show'ers,
And shỉelter from the blast, in vain we h'ope/
The tender pla'nt/ should rear its blooming h'ead,
Or yield the h'arvest/ promised in its spri'ng.
Nor yet will every s'oil (with equal stores)
Repay the tiller's labour ; or attend
His wi'll, obse'quious, whether to produce
The oli've or the lau'rel. Different mi’nds/
Incline to different objects : o'ne/ pursues
The va'st alone, the wo'nderful, the wild ;
An'other/ sighs for har'mony and gr’ace,
And ge'ntlest beauty. H'ence, when lightning fires
The arch of he’aven, and th’unders rock the ground;
When furious whi’rlwinds/ rend the howling a'ir,
And Oc’ean (groaning from his lowest b'ed)
Heaves his tempestuous bil'lows/ to the sk'y;
Amid the mighty upr'oar (while belo'w
The nations tr'emble) Shʼakspeare/ looks abroad
From some high cli'ff, sup'erior, and enjoys
The ele'mental wa'r. But Waller lo'ngs,
(All on the margin of some flowery stre’am,)
To spread his careless li'mbs, amid the cool
Of plantain sha'des, a'nd/ to the listening d'eer;
The tale of slighted vows and Love's disd'ain
Resou'nds, soft w'arbling, all the li'velong day :
Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping r’ill/
Joins in his pla’int, melo'dious; mu'te the gr'oves;
And hi'll and d'ale (with all their e'choes) mo'un.
Su'ch/ and so v'arious/are the taʼstes of me'n. (Concluding tone.)
THE PLEASURES ARISING FROM A
O BLESSED of He’aven, who'm/ no't the languid songs
Of L'uxury, (the si’ren !) not the bribes
Of sordid Wea'lth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant' h'onour, can sedu'ce/ to leave
Those e verblooming sw'eets, wh'ich, from the sto'res
Of n'ature, fair Imagination c'ulls,
To charm the enl'ivened sou'l! Wh'at ! tl:ough not a'll
Of mortal oʻffspring/ can attain the he’ight
Of e'nvied li'fe; though only fe^w/ possess
Patrician trea'sures, or imperial-state :
Yet nature's ca’re (to all her children ju'st)
With richer trea'sures/ and an ampler state
Endo'ws/ at la'rge/ whatever happy m'an
Will dei'gn to u'se them. His the city's p'omp,
The ru`ral ho'nours — hi's. Whate'er adorns
The princely do'me, the cʻolumn and the ar'ch,
The breathing ma'rble, and the sculptured g'old,
(Beyond the proud posses'sor's narrow cla'im,)
His tuneful br'east/ enjo'ys. For him the Spring
Distils her de'ws, a’nd/ from the silken g'em/
Its lucid le'aves unfo'lds; for hiêm the hand
Of A'utumn/ tinges every fertile bra'nch
With blooming gʻold, and blushes like the moʻrn.
Each passing hoʻur/ sheds tribute from her wi'ng ;
And still new bea'uties/ meet his lonely w'alk,
And lo'ves/ unf'elt/ attra'ct-him. Not a br'eeze/
Flies o'er the meadow, not a clo'ud/ imbibes
The setting sun's effu'lgence, not a str'ain/
(From all the tenants of the warbling sh'ade)
Asc'ends, but whence hi's/ bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, u'nrepro'ved. Nor then partakes
Fresh ple’asure oʻnly ; for/* the atten'tive M'ind,
(By this harmonious action on her p'owers,)
Becomes h'erself harmo'nious: wont so o'ft/
In ou tward-things/ to meditate the cha'rm
Of sacred oʻrder, soon she seeks at hôme
To find a kiîndred-order, to exert
Within he'rself this elegance of lo've,
This f’air/ inspir'ed-delight: her tempered powers/
Refin'e at le'ngth, and every pass'ion/ wears
A ch'aster, mi'lder, more attraîctive-mien.
B’ut, if to a`mpler-prospects, if to gaze
On nature's-form, wh'ere (negligent of all
These lesser gr’aces,) she assumes the port
Of that eternal Majesty/ that weighed
The world's foundations; if to th'ese/ the Mind
Exalts her daring e'ye; then mightier far
Will be the cha'nge, and no‘bler. Would the forms
Of servile cu‘stom/ cramp her generous po'wers ?
Would sordid policies, (the barbarous growth
Of ig'norance and r’apine,) bow her down
To tame pursu'its, to in dolence and fe’ar ?
L'o! she appeals to na'ture, to the wi'nds
And rolling wa'ves, the sun's/ unwearied coʻurse,
* Whenever “for” means “because,” it is a conjunction, and requires a pause after it.