Imágenes de páginas

* Sincere th* unalter'd bliss her charms impart,

Sedate th' enlivening ardours they inspire:

She bids no transient rapture thrill the heart,

She wakes no feverish gust of fierce desire.

'Unwise, who, tossing on the watery way,
All to the storm th' unfetter'd sail devolve:

Man more unwise resigns the mental sway,
Borne headlong on by passion's keen resolve.

* While storms remote but murmur on thine ear,

Nor waves in ruinous uproar round thee roll, Yet, yet a moment check thy prone career,

And curb the keen resolve that prompts thy soul.

'Explore thy heart, that, roused by glory's name,
Pants all enraptured with the mighty charm—

And, does Ambition quench each milder flame?
And is it Conquest that alone can warm?

* To indulge fell Rapine's desolating lust,

To drench the balmy lawn in streaming gore, To s"»irn the hero's cold and silent dust—

Arc these thy joys? Nor throbs thy heart for more?

'Pleased canst thou listen to the patriot's groan,
And the wild wail of innocence forlorn?

And hear th' abandon'd maid's last frantic moan,
Her love for ever from her bosom torn?

'Nor wilt thou shrink, when Virtue's fainting breath Pours the dread curse of vengeance on thy head 1

Nor when the pale ghost bursts the cave of death,
To glare destruction on thy midnight bed?

'Was it for this, though born to regal power,
Kind Heav'n to thee did nobler gifts consign,

Bade Fancy's influence gild thy natal hour,
And bade Philanthropy's applause be thine?

Theirs be the dreadful glory to destroy, And theirs the pride of pomp and praise suboraM, Whose eye ne'er lightened at the smile of Joy, Whose cheek the tear of Pity ne'er adorn'd:

* Whose soul, each finer sense instinctive quell'd.

The lyre's mellifluous ravishment defies: Nor marks where Beauty roves the flowery field, Or Grandeur's pinion sweeps th' unbounded skies.

'Hail to sweet Fancy's unexpressive charm!

Hail to the pure delights of social love!
Hail, pleasures mild, that fire not while ye warm,

Nor rack th' exulting frame, but gently move!

* But Fancy soothes no more, if stern Remorse

With iron grasp the tortured bosom wring. Ah then, even Fancy speeds the venom's course, Even Fancy points with rage the maddening sting.

'Her wrath a thousand gnashing fiends attend, And roll the snakes, and toss the brands of He»I;

The beam of Beauty blasts: dark Heavens impend Tottering: and Music thrills with startling ytiil.

* What then avails, that with exhaustless store

Obsequious Luxury loads thy glittering shrine? What then avails, that prostrate slaves adore, And Fame proclaims thee matchless and divine?

'What though bland Flattery all her arts apply— Will these avail to calm th' infuriate brain?

Or will the roaring surge, when heaved on high, Headlong hang, hush'd, to hear the piping swain?

* In health how fair, how ghastly in decay

Man's lofty form! how heavenly fair the mind
Sublimed by Virtue's sweet enlivening sway!
But ah, to Guilt's outrageous rule resign'd,

'How hideous and forlorn! when ruthless Care With cankering tooth corrodes* the seeds of life,

And deaf with passion's storms when pines Despair, And howling furies rouse th' eternal strife.

'O, by thy hopes of joy that restless glow,

Pledges of Heaven ! be taught by Wisdom's lore •

With anxious haste each doubtful path forego,
And life's wild ways with cautious fear explore.

'Straight be thy course : nor tempt the maze that leads Where fell Remorse his shapeless strength conceals,

And oft Ambition's dizzy cliff lie treads,

And slumbers oft in Pleasure's flowery vales.

'Nor linger unresolved: Heaven prompts the choice' Save when Presumption shuts the ear of Pride:

With grateful awe attend to Nature's voice,
The voice of Nature Heaven ordain'd thy guide.

'Warn'd by her voice, the arduous path pursue,
That leads to Virtue's fane a hardy band:

What, though no gaudy scenes decoy their view,
Nor clouds of fragrance roll along the land 1

'What, though rude mountains heave the flinty way?

Yet there the soul drinks light and life divine, And pure aerial gales of gladness play,

Brace every nerve, and every sense refine.

'Go, prince, be virtuous, and be blest. The throne Rears not its state to swell the couch of Lust:

Nor dignify Corruption's daring son,

T' o'erwhelm his humbler brethren of the dust.

'But yield an ampler scene to Bounty's eye,
An ampler range to Mercy's ear expand:

And, 'midst admiring nations, set on high
Virtue's fail model, framed by Wisdom's hand.


'Go, then: the moan of Woe demands thine aid: Pride's licensed outrage claims thy slumbering ire .

Pale Genius roams the bleak neglected shade,
And battening Avarice mocks his tuneless lyre.

'Even Nature pines by vilest chains oppress'd i
Th' astonish'd kingdoms crouch to Fashion's nod.

O ye pure inmates of the gentle breast,

Truth, Freedom, Love, O where is your abode?

'0 yet once more shall Peace from Heaven return. And young Simplicity with mortals dwell!

Nor Innocence th' august pavilion scorn,
Nor meek Contentment fly the humble cell!

'Wilt thou, my prince, th* beauteous train implore,
'Midst Earth's forsaken scenes once more to bide?

Then shall the shepherd sing in every bower,

And Love with garlands wreath the domes of Pride.

'The bright tear starting in th* impassion'd eyes

Of silent gratitude; the smiling gaze Of gratulation, faltering while he tries

With voice of transport to proclaim thy praise;

'Th' ethereal glow that stimulates thy frame,

When all th' according powers harmonious move,

And wake to energy each social aim,
Attuned spontaneous to the will of Jove j

'Be these, O man, the triumphs of thy soul;

And all the conqueror's dazzling glories slight, That, meteor like, o'er trembling nations roll,

To sink at once in deep and dreadful night.

'Like thine, yon orb's stupendous glories burn With genial beam; nor, at th' approach of even,

In shades of horror leave the world to mourn,

But gild with' lingering light th' impurpled Heaven.

Thus while she spoke, her eye, sedately meek,
Look'd the pure fervour of maternal love.

No rival zeal intemperate flush'd her cheek—
Can Beauty's boast the soul of Wisdom move?

Worth's nob^e pride can Envy's leer appal,
Or staring Folly's vain applauses soothe?

Can jealous Fear Truth's dauntless heart inthral?
Suspicion lurks not in the heart of Truth.

And now the shepherd raised his pensive head:
Yet unresolved and fearful roved his eyes,

Scared at the glances of the awful maid;

For young unpractised Guilt distrusts the guise

Of shameless Arrogance—His wav'ring breast,

Though warm'd by Wisdom, own'd no constant fire.

While lawless Fancy roam'd afar, unblest,
Save in the oblivious lap of soft Desire.

When thus the queen of soul-dissolving smiles:
'Let gentler fate my darling prince attend j

Joyless and cruel are the warrior's spoils,
Dreary the path stern Virtue's sons ascend.

'Of human joy full snort is the career,

And the dread verge still gains upon your sight:

While idly gazing, far beyond your sphere,
Ye scan the dream of unapproach'd delight:

'Till every sprightly hour, and blooming scene,
Of life's gay morn unheeded glides away,

And clouds of tempests mount the blue serene,
And storms and ruin close the troublous day.

'Then still exult to hail the present joy;

Thine be the boon that comes unearn'd by toil; No froward vain desire thy bliss annoy,

No flattering hope thy longing hours beguile.

« AnteriorContinuar »