« PreviousContinue »
And every where huge cover'd tables stood, Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine? With wines high-flavour'd and rich viands Who up the lofty diapasan roll crown'd;
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine, Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food
Then let then down again into the soul? On the green bosom of this Earth are found, Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole And all old Ocean genders in his round:
They breath'd, in tender musings, through the Some hand unseen these silently display'd, Ev'a undeinanded by a sign or sound;
And now a graver sacred strain they stole, You need but wish, and, instantly obey'd,
As when seraphic hands an hyunn impart, Fair-rang'd the dishes rose, and thick the glasses Wild-warbling Nature all above the reach of Art! play'd.
Such the gay splendour, the luxurious state, Here freedom reign'd, without the least alloy; Of caliphs old, who on the Tigris' shore, Nor gossip's tale, nor ancient maiden's gall, In mighty Bagdat, populous and great, Nor saintly spleen durst murmur at our joy, Held their bright court, where was of ladies store ; And with envenom'd tongue our pleasures pall. And verse, love, music, still the garland wore: For why? there was but one great rule for all,
When sleep was coy, the bard in waiting there, To wit, that each should work his own desire,
Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse's lore: And eat, drink, study, sleep, as it may fall,
Composing music bade his dreams be fair, Or melt the time in love, or wake the lyre, And music lent new gladness to the morning air. And carol what, unbid, the Muses might inspire.
Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran The rooms with costly tapestry were hung,
Soft-tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell, Where was inwoven many a gentle tale;
And sobbing breezes sigh'd, and oft began Such as of old the rural poets sung,
(So work'd the wizard) u intery storms to swell, Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale:
As Heaven and Earth they would together mell: Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale,
At doors and windows, threatening, seem'd to Pour'd forth at large the sweetly-tortur'd heart; The demons of the tempest, growling fell, (call Or, sighing tender passion, swell’d the gale,
Yet the least entrance found they none at all; And taught charm'd echo to resound their smart; Whence sweeter grew our sleep, secure in massy While docks, woods, streams, around, repose and
hall. peace impart.
And hither Morpheus, sent bis kindest dreams, Those pleas'd the most, where, by a cunning
Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace ; Depainted was the patriarchal age; (hand,
O’er which were shadowy cast Elysian gleams, What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land,
That play'd, in waving lights, from place to And pastur'd on from verdant stage to stage, And shed a roseate smile on Nature's face. (place, Where fields and fountains fresh could best en
Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array, gage.
So fierce with clouds the pure ethereal space; Toil was not then. Of nothing took they heed,
Ne could it e'er such melting forms display, But with wild beasts the sylvan war to wage, As loose on flowery beds all languishingly lay. And o'er vast plains their herds and flocks to feed :
No, fair illusions! artful phantoms, no! Blest sons of Nature they ! true golden age indeed !
My Muse will not attempt your fairy-land : Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
She has no colours that like you can glow : Bade the gay bloom of vernal landskips rise,
To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand. Or autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls : But sure it is, was ne'er a subuler band Now the black tempest strikes th' astonish'd eyes Than these same guileful angel-seeming sprights, Now down the steep the flashing torrent fies; Who thus in dreams, voluptuous, soft, and bland, The trembling Sun now plays o'er Ocean blue, Pour'd all th' Arabian Heaven upon ber nights, And now rude mountains frown amid the skies; And bless'd them oft bcsides with more refin'd deWhate'er Lorraine light touch'd with softening
lights. hue, Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned Poussin drew.
They were in sooth a most enchanting train,
Ev'n feigning virtue ; skilful to unite Each sound too here, to languishment inclin'd, With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain. Lulld the weak bosom, and induced case,
But for those fiends,whom blood and broils delight; Aerial inusic in the warbling wind,
Who hurl the wretch, as if to Hell outright, At distance rising oft by small degrees,
Down, down black galfs, where sullen waters sleep, Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees
Or hold him clambering all the fearful night It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving airs,
On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep: As did, alas! with soft perdition please : They, till due time should serve, were bid far Entangled deep in its enchanting snares,
hence to keep The listening heart forgot all duties and all cares.
Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear, A certain music, never known before,
From these foul demons shield the midnight Here lull'd the pensive melancholy mind;
Angels of fancy and of love, be near, (gloop : Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more,
And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom : But sidelong, to the gently-waving wind,
Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, To lay the well-tun'd instruinent reclin'd;
And let them virtue with a look impart: From which, with airy flying fingers light, But chief, a while, O! lend us from the tomb Beyond each mortal touch the most refin'd, These long-lost friends for whom in love we The god of winds drew sounds of deep delight:
smart, Whence, with just cause, the harp of Æolus it hight. And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the heart
Or are you sportiveBid the morn of youth But what most show'd the vanity of life,
In cruel broils engag's, and deadly strife:
Of the wild brooks! But fondly wandering wide, They sit thein down just where they were before, My Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force reabide.
store. One great amusement of our household was, To number up the thousands dwelling here, In a huge crystal magic globe to spy,
An useless were, and eke an endless task ; Still as you turn'd it, all things that do pass From kings, and tbose who at the helm appear, Upon this ant-hill Farth; where constantly To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask. Of idly-busy men the restless fry
Yea many a man perdie I could unmask, Run bustling to and fro with foolisn haste,
Whose de-k and table make a solemn show, In search of pleasure vain that from them fly, With tape.ty'd trash, and suits of fools that ask
Or which obtain'd the cait fis dare not taste : For place or pension laid in decent row; (moe. When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater But these I passen by, with nameless numbers waste?
Of all the gentle tenants of the place, 1" Of vanity the mirror” this was callid.
There was a man of special grave remark : Here you a muckworm of the town inight see, A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face, At his dull desk, amid his legers stall'd,
Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd, not dark, Eat up with carking care and penurie;
As soot this man could sing as morning-lark, Most like to carcase parch'd on gallow-tree. And teach the noblest morals of the heart : A penny saved is a penny got;"
But these his talents were youried stark; Firm to this scoundrel maxim keeperh he,
Of the fine stores he nothing would impart, Ne of its rigour will be bate a jot,
Which or boon Nature gave,or Nature-painting Art. Till it has quench'd his fire, and banished his pot. To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Straight from the filth of this low grub, behold! Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound;
Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground, The silly tenant of the summer-air,
Where the wild thyme and camomoil are found: In folly lost, of nothing takes he care;
There would he linger, till the latest ray Pimps, lawyers, stewards, harlots, flatterers vile, Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound; And thieving tradesmen him among them share: Then homeward through the twilight shadows His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while,
stray, Sees this, which more damnation doth upon him Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day! pile.
Yet not in thoughtless slunber were they past: This globe pourtray'd the race of learned men, For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd Still at their books, and turning o'er the page. Beneath the sleeping einbers, mounted fast, Backwards and forwards: oft they snatch the pen, And all its native light anew reveal'd: , As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage;
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field, Then write, and blot, as would your ruth engage. And markt the clouds that drove before the wind, Why, authors, all this scrawl and scribbling sore? Ten thousand glorious systems would he build, To lose the present, gain the future age,
Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind; Praised to be when you can hear no more, (store. But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace And much enrich'd with fame, when useless worldly
behind. Then would a splendid city rise to view,
With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk, With carts, and cars, and coaches, roaring all : (Profoundly silent, for they never spoke) Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew; One shyer still, who quite detested talk : See how they dash along from wall to wall! Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke, At every door, hark how they thundering call ! To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak; Good lord! what can this giddy rout excite? There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone, Why, on each other with fell tooth to fall; And on himself his pensive fury wroke,
A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight, Ve ever utter'd word, save when first shone And make new tiresome parties for the coming The glittering star of eve" Thank Heaven! the night.
day is done." The puzzling sons of party next appear'a,
Here lurk'd a wretch, who had not crept abroad In dark cabals and nightly juntos met; (rear'd For forty years, ne face of nortal seen; And now they whisper”d close, now shrugging In chamber brooding like a loathly toad : Th' important shoulder; then, as if to get And sure his linen was not very clean. New light, their twinkling cyes were inward set. Through secret loop-holes, that had practis d No sooner Lucifer recals affairs,
Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took; [been Than forth they various rush in mighty fret; Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien, When, lo! push'd up to power, and crown'd Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy their cares,
nook, In comes another sett, and kicketh them down We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look
One day there chaunc'd into these halls to rove Full oft by holy feet our ground was trol, A joyous youth, who took you at first sight; Of clerks good plenty here yon mote espy. Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove, A little, round, fat, oily man of God, Before the sprightly tempest tossing light : Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry: Certes, he was a most engaging wight,
He bad a roguish twinkle in his eye, Of social glee, and wit humane though keen, And shone all glittering with ungodly dex, Turning the night to day and day to night : If a tight damsel chaunc'd to trippen by ; For him the merry bells had rung, I ween,
Which when obseryd, he shrunk into his mee, I in this nook of quiet bells had ever been. And straight would recollect his piety anew. But not ev'n pleasure to excess is good :
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought What most elates then sinks the soul as low :
(Old inmates of the place) but state-affairs : When spring-tide joy pours in with copious food, They look'd perdie, as if they deeply thought; The higher still th' exulting billows flow,
And on their brow sat every nation's cares. The farther back again they dagging go,
The world by them is parcel'd out in shares, And leave us grovcling on the dreary shore : When in the ball of smoak they congress hold, Taught by this son of joy, we found it so; And the sage berry sun-barnt Mocha bears
Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar Has cleard their inward eye: then, smoak-enOur madden'd castle all, th' abode of sleep no more.
roll'd, As when in prime of June a burnish'd fly, (along, Their oracles break forth mysterious as of old. Sprung from the meads, o'er which he sweeps
Here languid Beauty kept her pale fac'd court: Cheer'd by the breathing bloom and vital sky,
Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree, Tunes up amid these airy halls his song,
From every quarter hither made resort; Soothing at first the gay reposing throng :
Where, from gross mortal care and business free, And oft he sips their bowl; or, nearly drown'd,
They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury, He, thence recovering, drives their beds among, Or should they a vain show of work assume, And scares their tender sleep, with trump pro
Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be? found;
To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom; Then out again he flies, to wing his mazy round.
But far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and Another guest there was, of sense retin'd,
loom. Who felt each worth, for every worth he bad;
Their only labour was to kill the time; Serene, yet warı, humane, yet firm bis mind,
And labour dire it is, and weary woe. As little touch'd as any man's with bad :
They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme; Him through their inmost walks the Muses lad,
Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go, To him the sacred love of Nature lent,
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow: And sometimes would he make our valley glad;
This soon too rude an exercise they find;
Straight on the couch their limbs again they
throw, " Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, Where hours on hours they sighing lie reelin'd, But if, alas ! we cannot thee persuade, [come! And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
wind. Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade;
Now must I mark the villainy we found, Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid
But, ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shown. Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark,
A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade,
Where still our inmates, when unpleasing gTOND, There to indulge the Muse, and Nature mark :
Diseas'd and loathsome, privily were thrown, We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley-Park.”
Far from the light of Heaven, they languish'd Here whilom ligg'd th’ Esopus of the age ; Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan; (there, But call'd by Fame, in soul yppricked deep, For of these wretches taken was no care : (were. A noble pride restor'd hiin to the stage, Fierce fiends, and hags of Hell, their only nurses And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep. Ev'n from his slumbers we advantage reap:
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest, With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes,
To this dark den, where Sickness toss'd alway. Yet quits not Nature's bounds. He knows to keep
Here I£tbargy, with deadly sleep opprest, Fach due decorum : now the heart he shakes,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay, And now with well-urg'd sense th' enlighten'd judg.
Heaving his sides, and snored night and day;
To stir him from his traunce it was not eath, ment takes.
And his half-opend eyne he shut straightway: A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems; He led, I wot, the softest way to death, * Who, void of envy, guile, and lust of gain,
And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
breath. Pour'd forth his unpremeditated strain :
Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Soft-swoln and pale, here lay the Hydropsy:
Unwieldy manj, with belly monstrous round, Here quaffd encircled with the joyous train,
For ever fed with watery supply;
For still he drank, and yet he still was dry,
And moping here did Hypochondria sit, " Mr. Quin.
Mother of spleen, in robes of various dye, * This character of Mr. Thomson was written Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit; by lord Lyttelton.
And some her frantic deeind, and soine her deem'd
A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old, Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low : Of feature steru, Selvaggio well yclep'd, She felt, or fancy'd in, her futtering mood, A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold, All the diseases which the spittles know,
But wondrous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd, And sought all physic which the shops bestow, Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd; And still new leaches and new drugs would try, In hunting all his days away he wore; Her humour ever wavering to and froi;
Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd, For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes Now pinch'd by biting Jannary sore,
(why. He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar. Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not
As be one morning, long before the dawn, Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd,
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey, With aching head, and squcarish heart-burn- Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn, ings;
With wood wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray, Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind, That from the beating rain, and wintery fray, Yet lov'd in secret all forbidden things.
Did to a lonely cut his steps decoy , And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings; There, up to earn the needments of the day, The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing He found damc Poverty, nor fair nor coy: cocks,
Her he compress'd, and fill'd her with a lusty boy. A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings;
Amid the green-wood shade this boy was bred,
And grew at last a knight of muchel fame,
He knew no beverage but the towing stream;
His tasteful well-earn’d food the sylvan game,
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem:
And his achievements fair;
So pass'd his youthly morning, void of care,
Wild as the Colts that thro' the commons run:
For him no tender parents troubled were, Escap'd the castle of the sire of sin,
He of the forest seein'd to be the son, Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find? And certes had been utterly undone; For all around, without, and all within,
But that Minerva pity of him took, Nothing sare what delightful was and kind, With all the gods that love the rural wonne, Of goodness savouring and a tender mind,
That teach to tame the soil and rule the crook; E’er rose to view. But now another strain,
Ne did the sacred Nine disdain a gentle louk. Of doleful note, alas! remains behind:
Of fertile genius him they nurtur'd well, I now must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain,
In every science, and in every art, And of the false enchanter Indolence complain.
Bv which mankind the thoughtless brutes excel, Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
That can or use, or joy, or grace iinpart, And fonce for her Parnassus' barren soil?
Disclosing all the powers of head and heart: To every labour its reward accrue's,
Ne were the goodly excrcises spar'd, And they are sure of bread who swink and toil; That brace the nerves, or make the limbs alert, But a fell tribe th' Aonian hive despoil,
And inix clastic force with firmness hard : As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee : Was gover knight on ground mote be with hira "Thus while the laws rot guard that boblest toil,
compar'd. Ne for the other Mises meed decree,
Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.
The hunter-steed, exulting o'ér the dale, · I care not, Fortune, what you me dewy:
And drew the roseat breath of orient day; You cannot rob ine of free Nature's grace;
Sometimes, retiring to the secret vale, You cannot shut the windows of the sky, (face; Yclad in steel, and bright with burnish'd mail, Through which Aurora shows her brightening Ile strain't the bow, or toss'd the sounding speur, You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
Or dirting on the goal outstripp'd the gale, The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Or wheeld the chariot in its unid.carcer, Let health my nerves and finer libres brace, Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough And I their toy's tu the great children leave :
Compeer. Of tancy, reason, virtue, pought can me bereare,
At other times he pry'd throngh Nature's store, Come then, my Muse, and raise a bolder song ;
W'bate'er she in th' cthereal round contains, Comc, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Whate'cr she hides beneath her verdant floor, Dragging the lazy languid line along,
The vegetable and the mineral rcigus; (mains, Fond to begin, but still to finish loth,
Or clse be scann'd the globe, those sinall do.' Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the inoth: Where restless niortals such a turmoil keep. Arise, and sing that generous inip of fame, Its seas, its foods, its mountains, and its plains; Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth,
But inore he search'd the mind, aidd rous'd from To sweep away thris humian lumber came,
sleep Or in a chosen fuw to touse the slumbering dame.
Those sporal sceds whuace rc hetoic actions reap.
Nor would he scorn to stoop from high pursuits Here, by degrees, his master-work arose,
And oft he put bimself to Neptune's school, That, while they ravish, tranquillize the mind: Fighting with winds and waves on the vext ocean Nature and Art, at once, delight and use combin'd pool.
The towps he quicken'd hy mechanic arts, To solace then these rougher toils, he try'd And bade the fervent city glow with toil ; To touch the kindling canvass into life ;
Bade social Commerce raise renowned marts, With Nature his creating pencil sy'd,
Join land to land, and marry soil to soil, With Natnre joyons at the mimic strife:
l'nite the poles, and, witbout bloody spoil, Or, to such shapes as grac'd Pygmalion's wife, Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous stores; He hew'd the marble; or, with varied fire, Or, should despotic rage the world embroil, He rous'u the trumpet and the martial life, Bade tyrants tremble on remotest shores, (roars.
Or bade the lute sweet tenderness inspire, (lyre. While o'er th' encircling deep Britannia's thunder Or verses fram'd that well might wake Apollo's The drooping Muses then he westward call'd, Accomplish'd thus he from the woods issued,
From the tani'd city by Propontic sea, Full of great aiins, and bent on bold emprize;
What time the Turk th' enfeebled Grecian The work, which long he in his breast had brew'd,
[free, Now to perform he ardent did devise ;
Thence from their cloister'd walks he set them To wit, a barbarous world to civilize.
And brought them to another Castalie, Earth was till then a boundless forest wild;
Where Isis many a famous noursling breeds; Nought to be seen but savage wood, and skies;
Or where old Cam soft-paces o'er the lea No cities nourish'd arts, no culture smilid,
In pensive mood, and tunes his Doric seeds, No government, no laws, no gentle manners mild.
The whilst his flocks at large the lonely shepherd
feeds. A ragged wight, the worst of brotes, was man;
Yet the fine arts were what he finish'd least. On his own wretched kind he, ruthless, prey'd :
For why? They are the quintessence of all, The strongest still the weakest over-ran;
The growth of labouring time, and slow increast; In every country mighty robbers sway'd,
I'nless, as seldom chances, it should fall,
That mighty patrons the coy sisters cal!
Up to the sun-shine of uncumber'd ease, (thrall, Which this brave knight, in noble anger, made
Where no rude care the mounting thought may To swear, he would the rascal rout o'erthrow,
And where they nothing have to do but please; For, by the powers divine, it should no more be so!
Ah! gracious God! thou know'st tht y ask no other It would exceed the purport of my song,
fees. To say how this best Sun from orient climes
But now, alas! we live too late in time: Came beaming lit. and beauty all along,
Our patrons now er'n grudge that little claim, Before him chasing indolence and crimes.
Except to such as sleek the soothing rhyme; Still as he pass'd, the nations he sublimes,
And yet, forsooth, they wear Macenas' name, And calls forth arts and virtues with his ray:
Poor sons of puft up vanity, not fame. Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome, their golden Unbroken spirits, cheer! still, still remains
Successive bad; but now in ruins grey [times, Th' cternal patron, Liberty; whose flame, They lie, to slavish sloth and tyranny a prey.
While she protects, inspires the noblest strains. To crown his toils, sir Industry then spread
The best, and sweetest far, are toil-created gains. The swelling sail, and made for Britain's coast. When as the knight had fram'd, in Britain-land A sylvan life till then the natives led,
A matchless form of glorious government, In the brown shades and green wond forest lost, In which the sovereign laws alone command, All careless rambling where it lik'd them most : Laws 'stablish'd by the public free consent, Their wealth the wild-deer bouncing through Whose majesty is to the sceptre lent; the glade;
When this great plan, with each dependent art, They lodg'd at large, and livid at Nature's cost; Was settled firm, and to his heart's conteut. Save spear, and bow, withouten other aid
Then sought he from the toilsome scene to part, Yet not the Roman steel their naked breast dis- And let lífe's vacant eve breathe quiet through the may'd.
heart He lik'd the soil, he lik'd the clement skies, For this he chose a farm in Deva's vale, He lik'd the verdant hills and flowery plains. Where his long allies peep'd upon the main. “ Be this my great, my chosen isle," he cries, In this calm seat he drew the healthful gale, “ This, whilst my labours Liberty sustains, Here mix'd the chief, the patriot, and the swain. This queen of Occan all assault disdains.
The happy monarch of bis sylvan train, Nor lik'd he less the genius of the land,
Here, sided by the guardians of the fold, 'To freedom apt and persevering pains,
He walk'd his rounds, and cheer'd his blest Mild to obey, and generous to command,
domain! Temper'd by forming Heaven with kindest, firmest His days, the days of onstain'd nature, rolld. hand.”
Replete with peace and joy, like patriarchs of old.