« PreviousContinue »
'Tis faid, that, in fome lone, obscure retreat, Urg'd by remembrance sad and decent pride; far from those scenes which knew their better days His aged widow and his daughter live, Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. Romantic wish! would this the daughter were!"
When, strict inquiring, from herself he found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto-who can speak The mingled paffions that forpris'd his heart, And through his nerves in shivering transport ran! Then blaz'd his fmother'd Aame, avow'd, and bold; And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confus’d and frighten’d at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom ; As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.
And art thon, then, Acafto's dear remains ? She whom my reftlels gratitude has fought So long in vain ?-0 yes! the very fame, The foften'd image of my noble friend ; Alive, his every feature, every look, More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring! Thou sole surviving bloffom from the root That nourish'd up my fortune ! fay, ah! where, In what sequester'd defert, hast thou drawn The kindest aspect of delighted beaven! Into such beauty spread, and blown fo fair, Though poverty's cold wind and crufhing rain Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years. O let me now into a richer foil TranYplant thee fafe, where vernal funs and showet Diffuse their warmest, largest influence ; And of my garden be the pride and joy.. Ill it befits thee, oh! it ill befits Acasto's daughter, his, whose open stores, Though valt, were little to his ampler heart, The father of a country, thus to pick The very refuse of thöfe harvest-fields Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. Then throw that ihameful pittance from thy hand,
But ill applied to such a rugged talk :
The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine ;
If to the various bleflings which thy house
Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add ihat bliss,
That deareit bliss, the power of blessing thee l”
Here ceas'd the youth; yet till his speaking eye
Express'd the sacred triumph of his foul,
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely rais'd.
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irrefittible, and all
In tweet disorder loft- the blush'd confent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierc'd with anxious thought, she pin’d away
The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate :
Amaz'd, and scarce believing what the heard,
Joy seiz'd her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam
of ferting life thone on her evening-hours;
Not less enraptur'd than the happy pair,
Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round.
VI. Celadon and Annelig.
And his Amelia were a matchless prer,
With equal virtue form’d, and equal grace ; .
The lame, distinguish'd by their iex alone :
Hers, the mild lustre of the blooining inorn ;
And his, the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd. But such their guillefs paflion was,
As, in the dawn of time, inform'd the heart
Of innocence and undillembling truth.
"T was friendship heighten'd by the mutual with:
Th’ enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,
Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all
To love, each was to each a dearer selt;
Supremely happy in the awaken’d power
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the fhades,
Stilì in harmonious intercourse, they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart;
Or ligh'd and look'd--unutterabie things.
So pass’d their life ; a clear united stream,
By care unruflled, till, in evil hour,
The tempeft caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far and where its mazes stray'd ; -
While, with each otber bleft, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Prefaging instant fate, her bofom heav'd
Unwonted fighs; and, stealing oft a look
Tow'rds the big gloom, on Celadon her eye.
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek.
In vain alluring love and confidence
In heaven'reprefs'd her fear; it grew, and look
Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict; and, as angels look
On dying faints, his eyes companion fhed,
With love illumin'd high. " Fear not,” he said,
“ Sweet innocence ! thou ftranger to offence
And inward storm! He who yon skies involves
In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft,
That wastes at midnight, or th' andreaded liour
Of noon, flies harmless; and that very voice
Which thunders terrour through the guilty heart,
With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
"Tis safety to be near thee, sure, and thus
To clasp perfection !"-From his void embrace
(Mysterious Heaven !) that moment, to the ground,
A blaken'd corfe was struck the beanteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood
Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of wo.
VII. Description of Mab, Queen of the Fairies.
SHE is the fancy's midwife : and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman ;
Drawn with a tearn of little atomies,
Athwart mens noies as they lie aileep :
Her waggon-spokes, made of long ipinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone ; the lash, of film:
Her waggoner, a Imall gray-coated goat :
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state the gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love,
O'er lawyers' fingers, who ftraight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kiffes dream :
And sometimes comes the with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling the parfon as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck;
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades;
Of healths five fathom deep: and then, anon,
Drums in his ears; at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two-
And sleeps again.
VIII. On the Existence of a Deity.
RETIRE.—The world thut out.-Thy thoughts call
Imagination's airy wing repress-
Lock up thy senses. Let no passion ftir.
Wake all to reason. Let her reign alone.
Then, in thy soul's deep filence, and the depth
Of nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire.-
What am I ? and from whence ?-I nothing know
But that I am ; and, since I am, conclude
Something eternal. Had there e'er been nought,
Nought still had been. Eternal there must be
But, what eternal? Why not human race,
And Adam's ancestors'without an end ?
That's hard to be conceiv’d, since every
Of that long-chain'd fucceffion is fo frail :
Can every part depend, and not the whole ?
Yet, grant it true, new difficulties rise :
I'm still quite cut at fea, nor see the shore.--
Whence Earth, and these bright orbs --Eternal too con
Grant matter was eternal; fill these orbs
Would want some other father. Mnch design
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes.
Design implies intelligence, and art :
That can't be from themselves--or man : that art
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow ?
And nothing greater yet allow'd than man.-
Who, motion, foreign to the smallett grain,
Shot through vast masses of enormous weight?
Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly!
Has matter innate motion ? Then, each atom,
Asserting its indisputable right
To danee, would form an universe of dust.
Has matter none? Then, whence these glorious forms
And boundless flights, from shapeless and repos'd ?
Has matter more than motion ? Has it thought,
Judgment, and genius? Is it deeply learn'd
In mathematics? Has it fram'd such laws,
Which, but to guess, a Newton made immortal!
If art to form, and counsel to conduct,
And that with greater far than luman kill,
Resides not in each block—a GODHEAD reigns.-
And, if a God there is that God how great!
IX. Evening in Paradise described.- Adam and Body
Condersation and Evening Wurship.
NOW came ftill evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad.
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grafy couch, these to their nests
Were funk; all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous defcant lung:
Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires : Hefperus that led
The starry boft, rode brightest; till the aloon,
Rising in clouded majefty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveii'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve. Fair confort, thi' hour
Of night, and all things now retir’d to rest,
Mind us of like repose ; since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive ; and the timely dew of sleep