Изображения страниц

How excellent that life they ne'er will lead.
Time lodg'd in their own hands is folly's vails;
That lodged in fate's, to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone.
"Tis not in folly, not to scorn a fool;

And scarce in human wisdom to do more. 3 All promise is poor dilatory man;

And that thro' ev'ry stage. When young, indeed, In full content we sometimes nobly rest, Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish, As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; At fifty, chides his infamous delay; Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; In all the magnanimity of thought, Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same. 4 And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but themselves; Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate Strikes thro' their wounded hearts the sudden dread; But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon close; where, past the shaft, no trace is found. As from the wing no scar the sky retains; The parted wave no furrow from the keel; So dies in human hearts the thought of death. Ev'n with the tender tear which Nature sheds O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.-YOUNG, SECTION X.

That philosophy, which stops at secondary causes, reproved. APPY the man who sees a God employ'd

Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns; (since from the least
The greatest oft originate ;) could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be surpris'd, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth, philosophy, though eagle-ey'd
In nature's tendencies, oft o'erlooks;

And having found his instrument, forgets
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the pow'r that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men
That live an atheist life: involves the heav'n
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the skin,

And putrefy the breath of blooming health;
He calls for famine, and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his shrivel'd lips,
And taints the golden ear; he springs his mines,
And desolates a nation at a blast:

Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects,
Of action and re-action.

He has found
The source of the disease that nature feels;
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discov'ry of the cause
Suspend th' effect, or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means,
Form'd for his use, and ready at his will?
Go, dress thine eyes with eye-salve; ask of him,
Or ask of whomsoever he has taught;

And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.

Indignant sentiments on national prejudices and hatred ; and on slavery.

H, for a lodge in some vasi wilderness,

Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more! My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man. The nat❜ral bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd, as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.

8 He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r
T'enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interpos'd,
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
5 Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
4 Then what is man! And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd.
5 No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation priz'd above all price;
1 had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home-then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos'd.
• Slaves cannot breathe in England: if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire; that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.—cowPER,




The morning in summer.

THE meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,


Till far o'er ether spreads the wid'ning glow ; .
And from before the lustre of her face

in apace,

White break the clouds away. With quicken'd step,
Brown night retires: young day pours
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
2 The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Exe thro' the dusk, the smoking currents shine;
And from the bladed field, the fearful hare
Limps, awkward: while along the forest-glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of urdissembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
s Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaveS
His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells;
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives
His flock to taste the verdure of the morn.

Falsely luxurious, will not man awake; And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song?

4 For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life;
Total extinction of th' enlighten'd soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,

Wilder'd, and tossing thro' distemper'd dreams ?
Who would, in such a gloomy state, remain
Longer than nature craves; when ev'ry muse
And every blooming pleasure, waits without,
To bless the wildly devious morning walk?

[ocr errors]

N restore

Rural sounds, as well as rural sights, delightful.
OR rural sights alone, but rural sounds


The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds,
That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood,
Of ancient growth, make music, not unlike
The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind,
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves fast flutt'ring all at once,
Nor less composure waits upon the roar
Of distant floods; or on the softer voice
Of neighb'ring fountain; or of rills that slip
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall


Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length In matted grass, that, with a livelier green, Betrays the secret of their silent course. Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds; But animated nature sweeter still, To sooth and satisfy the human ear. 3 Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one The live-long night. Nor these alone, whose notes Nice finger'd art must emulate in vain, But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime, In still repeated circles, screaming loud ; The jay, the pye, and ev'n the boding owl, That hails the rising moon, have charms for me. Sounds inharmonious in themselves, and harsh, Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns, And only there, please highly for their sake.-cOWPER.


The rose.


HE rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower, Which Mary to Anna convey'd; The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower, And weigh'd down its beautiful head

2 The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
SI hastily seiz'd it, unfit as it was

For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd;
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
I snapp'd it-it fell to the ground.

4 And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part.
Some act by the delicate mind;
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart,
Already to sorrow resign'd.


Care of birds for their young.


5 This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,

Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile:
And the tear that is wip'd with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.-cowPER.

Not to be tempted from her tender task,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »