Page images

3 50 m f g .


S. B. III. Š. 267. - Unmöglich kann ich hier die herrliche Hymne übergebent, womit dieser treffliche Dichter sein großes Gemåhide der Jahrszeiten vollendete, ob sie gleich' nicht die &ußere lyrische Form hat, und auch in ihr das herrschende mahlerische Talent dieses Dichters am meis ften hervorleuchtet. Aber wie mschtig weiß er auch hiere, wie überal, durch die Phantasie aufs Gefühl zu wirken, und dieses durch jene zu befeuern! Unter reinen vermischten Gedichten ift auch eine schone bymne auf die Linsamkeit.

A H Y M N.


Tuese, *) as they change, ALMIGHTY

Are but the varied GOD. The rolling Year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
The Beauty walks, Thy Tenderness and Love.
Wide-Aufh the fields; the softening Air is Balm;
Echo the Mountains round; the Forest smiles;
And every Sense, and every Heart is Joy.
Then comes thy Glory in the Summer-Months,
With Light and Heat refulgent. Then the Sun
Shoots full Perfection thro the swelling Year:
And oft The Voice in dreadful Thunder speaks;
And oft at Dawn, deep Noon, or falling Eve,
By Brooks and Groves, in hollow-whispering Gales
The Bounty shines in Autumn unconfind,
And spreads a common Feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful THOU! with Clouds and Storms
Around then thrown, Tempest o'er Tempest rollid,
Majestic Darkness! on the Whirlwind's Wing.
Riding lublime, Thou bidst the World adore,
And humblest Nature with the northern Blasta

M 4


*) The four Seasons


MYSTERIOUS Round! what skill, what Force di

Deep.felt, in These appear! a simple Train,
Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind Art,
Such Beauty and Beneficence combin'd;
Shade, unperceiv'd, so softening into Shade;
And all so forming an harmonious Whole ;
That, as they still fucceed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious Gaze,
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty Hand,
That, ever-busy, wheels the filent Spheres;
Works in the secret Deep; shoots, steaming, then-


The fair Profusion that o'erspreads the Spring :
Flings from the Sun direct the flaming Day;
Feeds every Creature; hurls the Tempest forth;
And, as on Earth this grateful Change revolves,
With Transport touches all the Springs of Life.

[ocr errors]

NATURE, attend! join every living Soul,
Beneath the spacious Temple of the Sky,
In Adoration join; and, ardent, raise
One general Song! TO HIM, ye vocal Gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your Freshness brea.

thes :
Oh talk of him in solitary Glooms!
Where, o'er the Rock, the scarcely.waving Pine
Fills the brown Shade with a religious Awe.

whose bolder Note is heard afar,
Who shake th' astonish'd World, lift high to Hea-


Th' impetuous Song, and say from whom you

His Praise, ye Brooks, attune, ye trembling Rills;
And let me catcl: it as I muse along.
Ye headlong Torrents, rapid, and profound;
Ye softer Floods, that lead the humid Maze
Along the Vale; and thou, majestic Main,
A secret World of Wonders in thyself

Sound uis ftupendous Praise; whole greater Voice



Or bids you roar, or bids your Roarings fall;
Soft-roll your Incense, Herbs, and Fruits, and Flow.

In mingled Clouds to him; whose Sun exalts,
Whose Breath perfumes you, and whose Pencil

Ye Forests bend, ye Harvests wave, to him;
Breathe your ftill Song into the Reaper's Heart,
As home he goes beneath the joyous Moon.
Ye that keep watch in Heaven, as Earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest Beams,
Ye Constellations, while your Angels strike,
Amid the spangled Sky, the silver Lyre,
Great Source of Day! best Image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From World to World, the vital Ocean round,
On Nature write with every Beam uis Praise.
The Thunder rolls: be hush'd the proftrate World;
While Cloud to Cloud returns the solemn Hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye Hills: ye mofly Rocks,
Retain the Sound: the broad refponfive Low,
Ye vallays, mise; for the GREAT SHEPHERD reigns;
And his unsuffering Kingdom yet will come.
Ye Woodlands all, awake: a boundless Song
Burst from the Groves; and when the restless Day,
Expiring, lays the warbling World asleep,
Sweetest of Birds! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening Shades, and teach the Night uit

Ye chief, for whom the whole Creation fmiles;
At once the Head, the Heart, and Tongue of all,
Crown the great Hymn! in swarming Cities vast,
Assembled Men, to the deep Organ join
The long-resounding Voice, oft-breaking clear,
At sotemn Pauses, thro the swelling Bale;
And, as each mingling Flame increases each,
In one united Ardor rise to Heaven.
Or if you rather chuse the rural Shade,
And find a Fame in every sacred Grove;
There let the Shepherd's Flute, the Virgin's Lay,

[ocr errors][merged small]


The prompting Seraph, and the Poet's Lyre,
Still sing the GOD OF SEASONS, as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling Theme,
Whether the Blossom blows, the Summer-Ray
Ruflets the Plain, inspiring Autumn gleams;
Or Winter rises in the blackening East;
Be my Tongue mute, may Fancy paint no more,
And, dead to Joy, forget my Heart to beat!

[ocr errors]

SHOULD Fate command me to the farthest Verge
Of the green Earth, to distant barbarous Climes,
Rivers unknown to Song, where first the Sun
Gilds Indian Mountains, or his setting Beam
Flames on th' Atlantic Isles; 'tis nought to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void Wafte as in the City full;
And where he vital spreads there must be Joy.
When even at last the folemn Hour shall come,
And wing my mystic Flight to future Worlds,
I chearfull will obey, There, with new Powers,
Will rifing Wonders fing: I cannot go
Where UNIVERSAL Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon Orbs and all their Sons,
Froni seeming Evil ftill educing Good,
And Better thence again, and Better still,
In infinite Progression - But I lose
Myself in him, in LIGHT INEFFABLE!
Come then, expressive Silence, mufe his Praise.

Aken, A ke n fi de.


B. II. S. 321 ff. haben wir in ihm einen der sch&tbars ften didaktischen Dichter kennen lernen; aber auch in der Ins rischen Gattung zeichnet er sich sehr vortheilhaft aus. Dr. Johnson, der ihm dieß Verdienst im Allgemeinen zugesteht, tadelt zwar an seinen Oden den Mangel an Stårke, Natur und Neuheit; die Sprache derselben scheint ihm zuweilen hart und ungefålig zu reyn; den Strophenbau erklärt er für åbel geordnet und unangenehm, die Reime für mißklingend, ungeschickt vertheilt und zu weit von einander entfernt; und ganz find fie schwerlich von diesem Tadel frei zu sprechen. Auch selbst in folgendem, an Schönheiten gewiß nicht armen, Gedichte ift dieß zuweilen der Fall; es gehdrt überhaupt wohl mehr zur beschreibenden als lyrischen Gattung; und ich würde die hymne an die Fiajaden in dessen Stelle gewählt Baben, wenn mich ihre Långe nicht anders bestimmt hatte.


How thick the shades of ev'ning close!
How pale the sky with weight of snows!
Haste, light the tapers, urge the fire,
And bid the joyless day retire!

Alas! in vain I try within
To brighten the dejected scene;
While rous'd by grief these fiery pains
Tear the frail texture of my veins,
While Winter's voice that storms around,
And yon' deep dead-bell's groaning sound,
Renew my mind's oppressive gloom
Till starting Horrour thakes the room.

Is there in Nature no kind pow'r
To footh Afiction's lonely hour?
To blunt the edge of dire disease,
And teach these wintry shades to please?


« PreviousContinue »