« PreviousContinue »
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocian claims, These massy columns in a circle rise,
So large it spread, and swellid to such a height.
And lucid amber easts a golden gleam. Faiher of verse! in holy fillets drest,
With various-color'd light the pavement shone,
With her, the temple every moment grew,
A golden column next in rank appear'd, Such was her form, as ancient bards have told, On which a shrine of purest gold was rear'd; Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold; Finish the whole, and labor'd every part, A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears, With patient touches of unwearied Art:
And thousand open eyes, and thousand listening 'The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate, Composid his posture, and his look sedate ; Beneath, in order rang'd, the tuneful Nine On Blomer still he fix'd a reverent eye,
(Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine: Great without pride, in modest majesty.
With eyes on Fame for ever fix'd, they sing; In living sculpture on the sides were spread For Fame they raise their voice, and tune the string; 'The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead; With Time's first birth began the heavenly lays, Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre,
And last, eternal, through the length of days. Eneas bending with his aged sire:
Around these wonders as I cast a look, Troy flam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, ARMS AND THE MAN in golden ciphers shone. And all the nations, summond at the call,
Four swang sustain a car of silver bright, From different quarters fill the crowded hall: With heads advanc'd, and pinions stretch'd for flight: Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard; Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode, In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear’d; And seem'd to labor with th' inspiring god. Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew Across the harp a careless hand he flings, Their flowery toils, and sip the fragrant dew, And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky, The figur'd games of Greece the column grace, O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly, Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race. Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield, The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run; And a low murmur runs along the field. The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone; Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend, The champions in distorted postures threat; And all degrees before the goddess bend ; And all appear'd irregularly great.
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage, Here happy Horace tun'd th' Ausonian lyre And boasting youth, and narrative old-age. To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire : Their pleas were different, their request the same Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage to infuse For good and bad alike are fond of Fame. The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honors crown'd The polish'd pillar different sculptures grace ; Unlike successes equal merits found. A work outlasting monumental brass.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear, And undiscerning scatters crowns and chains. The Julian star and great Augustus here.
First at the shrine the learned world appear, The doves that round the infant poet spread And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer. Myrtles and bays, hung hovering o'er his head. “ Long have we sought t'instruct and please manHere, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
kind, Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite ; With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind; His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none, And various animals his sides surround;
We here appeal to thy superior throne His piercing eyes, crect, appear to view
On wit and learning the just prize bestow, Superior worlds, and look all Nature through. For Fame is all we must expect below." With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise The Roman rostra deck'd the consul's throne : The golden trumpet of eternal Praise : Gathering his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound, In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his hand. That fills the circuit of the world around , Behind, Rome's genius waits with civic crowns, Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud ; Aind the great father of his country owns. The notes at first were rather sweet than lond :
By just degrees they every moment rise,
Hither," they cried, “ direct your eyes, and see Fill the wide Earth, and gain upon the skies. The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry; At every breath were balmy odors shed,
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays; Which still grew sweeter, as they wider spread: Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days; Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales, Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing care Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
To pay due visits, and address the fair: Next these the good and just, an awful train, In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could persuade, Thus on their knees address the sacred fane. But still in fancy vanquish'd every maid ; " Since living virtue is with envy cursid,
Of unknown duchesses lewd tales we tell, And the best men are treated like the worst,
Yet, would the world believe us, all were well. Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, The joy let others have, and we the name, And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth." And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame." “ Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd,” | The queen assents, the trumpet rends the skies, (Said Fame)" but high above desert renown's : And at each blast a lady's honor dies. Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze, Pleas'd with the same success, vast numbers prest And the loud clarion labor in your praise.”
Around the shrine, and made the same request : This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd "What you!" (she cried)“ unlearnid inarts to please, Preferr'd the same request, and lowly bow'd; Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigu'd with ease, The constant tenor of whose well-spent days Who lose a length of undeserving days, No less deserv'd a just return of praise.
Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought praise ! But straight the direful trump of Slander sounds; To just coniempt, ye vain pretende fall, Through the big dome the doubling thunder The people's fable, and the scorn of all.” bounds;
Straighi the black clarion sends a horrid sound, Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies, Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scofis fly round, The dire report through every region flies, Whispers are heard, with taunis reviling loud, In every ear incessant rumors rung,
And scornful hisses run through all the crowd. And gathering scandals grew on every tongue. Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done, From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Enslave their country, or usurp a throne ! Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling smoke : Or who their glory's dire foundation laid The poisonous vapor blots the purple skies, On sovereigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd : And withers all before it as it flies.
Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix, A troop came next, who crowns and armor wore, of crooked counsels and dark politics; And proud defiance in their looks they bore : Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne, “For thee” (they cried), " amidst alarms and strife, And beg to make th' immortal treasons known. We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life ; The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire, For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood, With sparks that seem'd to set the world on fire. And swam to empire through the purple flood. At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghast, Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own;
And startled Nature trembled with the blast. What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone."
This having heard and seen, some power un“Ambitious fools!" (the queen replied, and frown'd)
known “ Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd; Straight chang'd the scene, and snatch'd me from There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
the throne. Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown!" Before my view appear'd a structure fair, A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my Its site uncertain, is in earth or air; sight,
With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round; And each majestic phantom sunk in night.
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound; Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen; Not less in number were the spacious doors, Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien. Than leaves on trees, or sands upon the shores ; “Great idol of mankind! we neither claim Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day, The praise of merit, nor aspire to Fame!
Pervious to winds, and open every way. But, sa se in deserts from th' applause of men, As Names by nature to the skies ascend, Would die upheard of, as we liv'd unseen. As weighty bodies to the centre tend, "Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight As to the sea returning rivers roll, Those acts of goodness which themselves requite. And the touch'd needle trembles to the Pole; O let us still the secret joys partake,
Hither, as to their proper place, arise To follow Virtue ev'n for Virtue's sake."
All various sounds from earth, and seas, and skies " And live there men, who slight immortal Fame ? Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear; Who then with incense shall adore our name? Nor ever silence, rest, or peace, is here. But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride, As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes To blaze those virtues which the good would hide. The sinking stone at first a circle makes; Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath ; The trembling surface, by the motion stirr'd, These must not sleep in darknoss and in death." Spreads in a second circle, then a third ; She said : in air the trembling music floats, Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance, And on the winds triumphant swell the notes ; Fill all the watery plain, and to the margin dance. So soft, though high, so loud, and yet so clear, Thus every voice and sound, when first they break. Ev'n listening angels lean from Heaven to hear : On neighboring air a soft impression make; To farthest shores th' ambrosial spirit flies,
Another ambient circle then they move;
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd, Through undulating air the sounds are sent,
There various news I heard of love and strife, Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway, Of peace and war, health, sickness, death, and life, And follow still where Fortune leads the way; Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,
Or if no basis bear my rising name, Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
But the fall'n ruins of another's fame; Of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays, Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair, Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise ; Of turns of fortune, changes in the state,
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown; The falls of favorites, projects of the great, Oh, grant an honest fame, or grant me none !" of old mismanagements, taxations new : All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
Above, below, without, within, around,
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
FROM OVID'S METAMORPHOSES, BOOK IX.
That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms. Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
A lake there was, with shelving banks around, And lowers and temples sink in floods of fire. Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd.
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung, These shades, unknowing of the Fates, she sought, Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue, And to the Naiads flowery garlands brought; Through thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest And rush in millions on the world below;
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course, Not distant far, a watery lotos grows; Their date determines, and prescribes their force. The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs, Sume to remain, and some to perish soon: Adorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vie Or wane and wax alternate like the Moon. In glowing colors with the Tyrian dye: Around a thousand winged wonders fly, (the sky. Of these she cropp'd to please her insant son ; Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd through And I myself the same rash act had done ;
There, at one passage, oft you might survey But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood) A lie and truth contending for the way ;
The violated blossoms drop with blood. And long 'twas doubtful, though so closely pent, Upon the tree I cast a frightful look ; Which first should issue through the narrow vent: The trembling tree with sudden horror shook. At last agreed, together out they fly,
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true), Inseparable now the truth and lie;
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew, The strict companions are for ever join'd,
Forsook her form ; and, fixing here, became And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find. A Rowery plant, which still preserves her name. While thus I stood, intent to see and hear,
This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear: My trembling sister strove to urge her flight: "What could thus high thy rash ambition raise ? And first the pardon of the nymphs implor'd, Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise ?" And those offended sylvan powers ador'd :
“ 'Tis true," said I, “not void of hopes I came, But when she backward would have fled, she found For who so fond as youthful bards of Fame ? Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground: But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,
In vain to free her fastening feet she strove, So hard to gain, so easy to be lost.
And, as she struggles, only moves above; How vain that second life in others' breath, She feels th' encroaching bark around her grow Th' estate which wits inherit after death! By quick degrees, and cover all below: Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, Surpris'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves (Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!) To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves : The great man's curse, without the gains, endure, Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen Be envied, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor;
To rise, and shade her with a sudden green. All luckless wits their enemies profest,
The child Amphissus, to her bosom press'd, And all successful, jealous friends at best. Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast, Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favors call; And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all. Their milky moisture, on a sudden dried. But if the purchase costs so dear a price I saw, unhappy! what I now relate, As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice :
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew,
These cares alone her virgin breast employ, Appear, and for their Dryope inquire ;
Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy. A springing tree for Dryope they find,
Her private orchards, wall'd on every side,
And old Silenus, youthful in decay,
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair!
To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears : “ If to the wretched any faith be given, And first a reaper from the field appears ; I swear by all th' unpitying powers of Heaven, Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred ; O'ercharge the shoulders of the seeming swain. In mutual innocence our lives we led :
Oft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid, If this be false, let these new greens decay, And wreaths of hay his sun-burnt temples shade Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears, And crackling flames on all my honors prey ! Like one who late unyok'd the sweating steers. But from my branching arms this infant bear, Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines, Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care : And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines. And to his mother let him oft be led,
Now gathering what the bounteous year allows Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed ; He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs. Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame A soldier now, he with his sword appears ; Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, A fisher next, his trembling angle bears : To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes, Each shape he varies, and each art he tries, Within this plant my hapless parent lies : On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes. And when in youth he seeks the shady woods, A female form at last Vertumnus wears, Oh, let him fly the crystal lakes and floods, With all the marks of reverend age appears, Nor touch the fatal flowers; but warn’d by me, His temples thinly spread with silver hairs : Believe a goddess shrin'd in every tree.
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes, My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell! A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows. If in your breasts or love or pity dwell,
The god, in this decrepit fornı array'd, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel The gardens enter'd, and the fruit survey'd ; The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel. And “Happy you !" (he thus address'd the maid) Farewell! and since I cannot bend to join
Whose charms as far all other nymphs outshine My lips to yours, advance at least to mine. As other gardens are excell'd by thine!" My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive, Then kiss'd the fair; (his kisses warmer grow While yet thy mother has a kiss to give. Than such as women on their sex bestow ;) I can no more; the creeping rind invades Then, plac'd beside her on the flowery ground, My closing lips, and hides my head in shades : Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd. Remove your hands; the bark shall soon susfice An elm was near, to whose embraces led, Without their aid to seal these dying eyes." The curling vine her swelling clusters spread :
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be ; He view'd her twining branches with delight, And all the nymph was lost within the tree; And prais'd the beauty of the pleasing sight. Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, • Yet this tall elm, but for his vine” (he said) And long the plant a human heat retain'd. “ Had stood neglected, and a barren shade ;
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Ah, beauteous maid ! let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love :
Deign to be lov'd, and every heart subdue !
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you ? The fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign :
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaur's arms, Of all the virgins of the sylvan train,
Ulysses' queen, nor Helen's fatal charms. None taught the trees a nobler race to bear, Ev'n now, when silent scorn is all they gain, Or more improv'd the vegetable care.
A thousand court you, though they court in vain, To her the shady grove, the flowery field, A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods, The streams and fountains, no delights could yield; That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods. 'Twas all her joy the ripening fruits to tend, But if you 'll prosper, mark what I advise, And see the boughs with happy burthens bend. Whom age and long experience render wise, The hook she bore instead of Cynthia's spear, And one whose tender care is far above To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
All that these lovers ever felt of love, To decent form the lawless shoots to bring, (Far more than e'er can by yourself be guess'd) And teach th' obedient branches where to spring. Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the rest. Now the cleft rind inserted graffs receives, For his firm faith I dare engage my own; And yields an offspring more than Nature gives; Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
the place of God, and judging of the fitness or Like you, contented with his native groves; unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or inNor at first sight, like most, admires the fair; justice, of his dispensations. V. The absurdity For you he lives ; and you alone shall share of conceiting himself the final cause of the creaHis last affection, as his early care.
tion, or expecting that perfection in the moral Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
world, which is not in the natural. VI. The un. With youth immortal, and with beauty blest. reasonableness of his complaints against Provi. Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
dence, while on the one hand he demands the And tries all forms that may Pomona please. perfection of the angels, and on the other the But what should most excite a mutual flame, bodily qualifications of the brutes; though, to Your rural cares and pleasures are the same. possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
degree, would render him miserable. VII. That (A pleasing offering when 'ris made by you,) throughout the whole visible world, an universal He values these ; but yet (alas !) complains,
order and gradation in the sensual and mental That still the best and dearest gift remains.
faculties is observed, which causes a subordinaNot the fair fruit that on yon branches glows tion of creature to creature, and of all creatures to With that ripe red th' autumnal sun bestows; man. Thegradations of sense, instinct, thought, reNor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise, flection, reason; that reason alone countervails all Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies;
the other faculties. VIII. How much farther this You, only you, can move the god's desire :
order and subordination ofliving creatures may exOh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
tend above and below us; were any part of which Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind; broken, not that part only, but the whole conThink, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind;
nected creation, must be destroyed. IX. The exSo may no frost, when early buds appear,
travagance, madness, and pride of such a desire. Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
X. The consequence of all the absolute submisNor winds, when first your florid orchard blows, sion due to Providence, both as to our present and Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!" future state.
This when the various god had urg'd in vain, He straight assum'd his native form again; AWAKE, my St. John! leave all meaner things Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears, To low ambition and the pride of kings. As when through clouds th' emerging Sun appears, Let us (since life can little more supply And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Than just to look about us, and to die) Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day. Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man; Force he prepar’d, but check'd the rash design: A mighty maze! but not without a plan: For when, appearing in a form divine,
A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot;
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
And catch the manners living as they rise :
But vindicate the ways of God to man.
I. Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know? IN FOUR EPISTLES,
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer? TO H. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE. Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be
known, EPISTLE I.
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce, OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RE- See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heaven bas made us as we are. Of man in the abstract.-I. That we can judge only But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the strong connexions, nice dependencies, the relations of systems and things. II. That man Gradations just, has thy pervading soul is not to be deemed imperfect, but a being suited Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole ? to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, to the general order of things, and conformable And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee? to ends and relations to him unknown. III. That II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou it is partly upon his ignorance of future events,
find, and partly upon the hope of a future state, that why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind ? all his happiness in the present depends. IV. The First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretend. Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ? ing to more perfection, the cause of man's error Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made and misery. The impiety of putting himself in Taller or weaker than the weeds they shade ?
SPECT TO THE UNIVERSE.