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ON THE DEATH OF THE BISHOP OF ELY.
My lids with grief were tumid yet,
And still my sullied cheek was wet
With briny dews profusely shed
For venerable Winton dead:
When fame, whose tales of saddest sound,
Alas! are ever truest found,
The news through all our cities spread
Of yet another mitred head
By ruthless fate to death consign'd,
Ely, the honour of his kindl
At once a storm of passion heaved
My boiling bosom, much I grieved; ,
But more I raged, at every breath
Devoting Death himself to death.
With less revenge did Naso teem
When hated Ibis was his theme;
With less Archilochus denied
The lovely Greek his promised bride.
But lo! while thus I execrate,
Incensed, the minister of fate,
Wondrous accents, soft, yet clear,
Wafted on the gale I hear.
“Ah, much deluded ! lay aside
Thy threats and anger misapplied 1
Art not afraid with sounds like these
To offend, where thou canst not appease?
Death is not (wherefore dreamst thou thus )
The son of Night and Erebus:
Nor was of fell Erynnis born
On gulfs where Chaos rules forlorn;
But, sent from God, his presence leaves,
To gather home his ripen'd sheaves,
To call encumber'd souls away
From fleshy bonds to boundless day,
(As when the so hours excite,
And summon forth the morning light,)
And each to convoy to her place
Before the Ete Father's face.
But not the wicked—them, severe
Yet just, from all their pleasures here
He hurries to the realms below,
Terrific realms of penal woel
Myself no sooner heard his call,
Than, 'scaping through my prison wall,
Ibade adieu to bolts and bars,
And soar'd, with angels, to the stars,
Like him of old, to whom 'twas given
To mount on fiery wheels to heaven.
Boötes' wagon, slow with cold,
#. me not; nor to behold
The sword that vast Orion draws,
Or e'en the Scorpion's horrid claws.
Beyond the sun's bright orb I fly,
And far beneath my feet descry
Night's dread goddess, seen with awe,
Whom her winged dragons draw.
Thus, ever wondering at my speed,
Augmented still as I proceed,
I o: the planetary sphere,
The milkyway—and now appear
Heaven's crystal battlements, her door
Of massy pearl, and emerald floor.
“But here I cease. For never can
The tongue of once a mortal man
In suitable description trace
The pleasures of that happy place;
Suffice it, that those joys divine
Are all, and all for ever, mine !”
NATURE UNIMPAIRED BY TIME,
AH, how the human mind wearies herself
With her own wanderings, and, involved in gloom
Impenetrable, speculates amiss!
Measuring in her folly things divine
By human; laws inscribed on adamant
By laws of man's device; and counsels fix'd
For ever, by the hours that pass and die.
How?—shall the face of nature then be plough'd
Into deep wrinkles, and shall years at last
On the great parent fix a sterile curse?
Shall even she confess old age, and halt,
And, p. shake her starry brows?
Shall foul antiquity with rust, and drought,
And famine, vex the radiant worlds above?
Shall Time's unsated maw crave and ingulf
The very heavens, that regulate his flight!
And was the Sire of all able to fence
His works, and to uphold the circling worlds,
But, through improvident and heedless haste
Let slip the occasion?—so then—all is lost—
And in some future evil hour, yon arch
Shall crumble, and come thundering down, the poles
Jar in collision, the o king,
Fall with his throne, and Pallas, holding forth
The terrors of the Gorgon shield in vain,
Shall rush to the abyss, like Wulcan hurl’d
Down into Lemnos, through the gate of heaven.
Thou also, with precipitated wheels,
Phoebus ! thy own son's fall shalt imitate,
With hideous ruin shalt impress the dee
Suddenly, and the flood shall reek, and hiss,
At the extinction of the lamp of day.
Then too shall Haemus, cloven to his base,
Be shatter'd, and the huge Ceraunian hills,
Once weapons of Tartarean Dis, immersed
In Erebus, shall fill himself with fear.
No. The Almighty Father surer laid
His deep foundations, and providing well
For the event of all, the scales of fate
Suspended in just equipoise, and bade
His universal works, from age to age,
One tenor hold, perpetual, undisturb’d.
Hence the prime mover wheels itself about
Continual, day by day, and with it bears,
In social measure swift, the heavens around.
Not tardier now is Saturn than of old,
Nor radiant less the burning casque of Mars.
Phoebus, his vigour unimpair'd, still shows
The effdigence of his youth, nor needs the god
A downward course, that he may warm the vales;
But, ev r rich in influence, runs his road,
Sign after sign, through all the heavenly zone.
Beautiful, as at first, ascends the star
From odoriferous Ind, whose office is
To gather home betimes the ethereal flock,
To ... them o'er the skies again at eve,
A d to discriminate the night and day.
Still Cynthia's changeful horn waxes and wanes
Alternate, and with arms extended still
She welcomes to her breast her brother's beams.
Nor have the elements deserted yet
Their functions; thunder with as loud a stroke
As erst smites through the rocks and scatters them,
The east still howls; still the relentless north
Invades the shuddering Scythian, still he breathes
The winter, and still rolls the storms along.
The king of ocean, with his wonted force,
Beats on Pelorus; o'er the deep is heard
The hoarse alarm of Triton's sounding shell;
Nor swim the monsters of the AEgean sea
In shallows, or beneath diminish’d waves.
Thou too, ; ancient vegetative power
Enjoy'st, O Earth ! Narcissus still is sweet;
And Phoebus! still thy favourite, and still
Thy favourite Cythereal both retain
Their beauty; nor the mountains, ore-enrich'd
For punishment of man, with purer gold
Teem'd ever, or with brighter gems the deep.
Thus in unbroken series all proceeds;
And shall, till wide involving either pole,
And the immensity of yonder heaven,
The final flames of destiny absorb
The world, consumed in one enormous pyre
ON THE PLATONIC IDEA AS IT WAS UNDERSTOOD BY ARISTOTLE.
YE sister powers, who o'er the sacred groves
Preside, and thou, fair mother of them all,
Mnemosyne! and thou who, in thy grot
Immense, reclined at leisure, hast in charge
The archives and the ordinances of Jove,
And dost record the festivals of heaven,
Eternity!—inform us, who is He,
That great original, by nature chosen
To be the archetype of human kind,
}. immortal, with the poles
Themselves cočval, one, yet every where,
An image of the God who gave him being?
Twin-brother of the goddess born from Jove,
He dwells not in his father's mind, but, though
Of common nature with ourselves, exists
#: and occupies a local home—
ether, companion of the stars, he spend
Eternal ages, roaming at his will
From sphere to sphere, the tenfold heavens, or dwell
On the moon's side that nearest neighbours earth,
Or torpid on the banks of Lethe sit
Among the multitude of souls ordain'd
To flesh and blogd; or whether (as may chance)
That vast and giant model of our kind
In some far distant region of this globe
Sequester'd stalk with lifted head on high
O'ertowering Athas, on whose shoulders rest
The stars, terrific even to the gods.
Never the Theban seer, whose blindness proved
is best illumination, him beheld
In secret vision; never him the son
Of Pleione, amid the noiseless night
Descending, to the prophet-choir reveal’d;
Him never knew the Assyrian priest, who yet
The ancestry of Ninus’ chronicles,
And Belus, and Osiris, far renown'd;
Nor even thrice great Hermes, although skill'd
So deep in mystery, to the worshippers
Of Isis show'd a prodigy like him.
And thou, who hast immortalized the shades
Of Academus, if the schools received
This monster of the fancy first from thee,
Either recall at once thy banish'd bards
To thy republic, or thyself, evinced
A wilder fabulist, go also forth.
OH that Pieria's spring would through my breast
Pour its inspiring influence, and ru
No rill, but rather an o'erflowing flood;
That, for my venerable father's sake
All meaner themes renounced, my muse, on wings
Of duty borne, might reach a loftier strain!
For thee, my father 1 howsoe'er it please,
She frames this slender work; nor know I aught
That may thy gifts more suitably requite:
Though to requite them suitably would ask
Returns much nobler, and surpassing far
The meagre stores of verbal gratitude:
But, such as I possess, I send thee all.
This page presents thee in their full amount
With thy son's treasures, and the sum is nought;
Nought, save the riches that from airy dream
In secret grottoes and in laurel bowers,
I have, by golden Clio’s gift, acquired.
Werse is a work divine; despise not thou
Verse therefore, which evinces (nothing more)
Man's heavenly source, and which, retaining still
Some scintillations of Promethean fire,
Bespeaks him animated from above.
The gods love verse; the infernal powers themselves
Confess the influence of verse, which stirs
The lowest deep, and binds in triple chains
of adamant both Pluto and the shades.
In verse the Delphic priestess and the pale
Tremulous sybil make the future known;
And he who sacrifices, on the shrine
Hangs verse, both when he smites the threatening bull
And when he ;. his reeking entrails wide
To scrutinize the fates enveloped there.
We too, ourselves, what time we seek again
Our native skies, and one eternal now
Shall be the only measure of our being,
Crown'd all with gold, and chanting to the lyre
Harmonious verse, shall range the courts above,
And make the starry firmament resound.
And, even now, the fiery spirit pure
That wheelsà. circling orbs, directs himself
Their m ance with melody of verse
Unutterable, immortal, hearing which
Huge Ophiuchus holds his hiss suppress'd;
Orion, soften’d, drops his ardent blade,
And Atlas stands unconscious of his load.
Verse graced of old the feasts of kings, ere yet
Luxurious dainties, destined to the gulf
Immense of gluttony, were known, and ere
#. deluged yet the temperate board.
Then sat the bard a customary ;
To share the banquet, and, his length of locks
With beechen honours bound, proposed in verse
The characters of heroes and their deeds,
To imitation; sang of chaos old,
Of nature's birth, of gods that crept in search
Of acorns fallen, and of the thunderbolt
Not yet produced from Ætna's fiery cave.
And what avails, at last, tune without voice,
Devoid of matter? Such may suit perhaps
The rural dance, but such was ne'er the song
Of Orpheus, whom the streams stood still to hear,