« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
I HATE the Drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace and glitt'ring arms;
And, when ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.
I hate that Drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it speaks of ravag'd plains,
And burning towns, and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widows' tears, and orphans' moans;
And all that misery's hand bestows
To fill the catalogue of human woes.
MAN, to this narrow sphere confin'd,
Dies when he but begins to live.
Oh! if there be no world on high
To yield his powers unfetter'd scope;
If man be only born to die,
Whence this inheritance of hope?
Wherefore to him alone were lent
Riches that never can be spent?
Enough, not more, to all the rest,
For life and happiness, was giv'n;
To man, mysteriously unblest,
Too much for any state but heav'n.
It is not thus;-it cannot be,
That one so gloriously endow'd
With views that reach eternity,
Should shine and vanish like a cloud:
Is there a God? All nature shows
There is and yet no mortal knows:
The mind that could this truth conceive,
Which brute sensation never taught,
No longer to the dust would cleave,
But grow immortal with the thought.
Not worlds on worlds, in phalanx deep,
Need we to prove a God is here;
The Daisy, fresh from Nature's sleep,
Tells of his hand in lines as clear.
For who but HE who arch'd the skies,
And pours the day-spring's living flood,
Wond'rous alike in all he tries,
Could raise the Daisy's purple bud—
Mould its green cup, its wiry stem,
Its fringed border nicely spin,
And cut the gold-embossed gem
That, set in silver, gleams within-
And fling it, unrestrain'd and free,
O'er hill and dale, and desert sod,
That man, where'er he walks, may see
In ev'ry step the stamp of God?
That pil'd these stones, and with a mossy sod
First cover'd o'er, and taught this aged tree
With its dark arms to form a circling bow'r,
I well remember.-He was one who own'd
No common soul. In youth by science nurs'd,
And led by nature into a wild scene
Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
A favour'd Being, knowing no desire
Which genius did not hallow-'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And scorn-against all enemies prepar'd-
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Ow'd him no service: wherefore he at once
With indignation turn'd himself away,
And with the food of pride sustain'd his soul
In solitude. Stranger! these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him; and here he lov'd to sit,
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper:
And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath,
And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o'er,
Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour
A morbid pleasure nourish'd, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life;
And, lifting up his head, he then would
On the more distant scene-how lovely 'tis
Thou seest—and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor, that time,
When nature had subdued him to herself,
Would he forget those beings, to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,
The world, and human life, appear❜d a scene
Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh
With mournful joy, to think that others felt
What he must never feel and so, lost man!
On visionary views would fancy feed,
Till his eye stream'd with tears. In this deep vale
He died this seat his only monument.
If thou be one whose heart the holy forms
Of young imagination have kept pure,
Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe'er disguis'd in its own majesty,
Is littleness; that he who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of nature's works-one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, thou!
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love.
True dignity abides with him alone,
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.
THE way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old;
His wither'd cheek and tresses gray,
Seem'd to have known a better day;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy;
The last of all the bards was he,
Who sung of Border chivalry.
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppress'd,
Wish'd to be with them, and at rest.
No more, on prancing palfry borne,
He caroll'd, light as lark at morn;
No longer courted and caress'd,
High plac'd in hall, a welcome guest,
He pour'd, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay:
Old times were chang'd, old manners gone;
A stranger fill'd the Stuart's throne:
The bigots of the iron time
Had call'd his harmless art a crime.
A wand'ring harper, scorn'd and poor,
He begg'd his bread from door to door;
And tun'd, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp, a king had lov'd to hear.
The clouds hang thick and heavy o'er the deep;
And heavily upon the long low swell,
The vessel labour'd on the labouring sea.
The reef-points rattled on the shiv'ring sail;
At fits, the sudden gust howl'd ominous,
Anon, with unremitting fury rag'd.
High roll'd the mighty billows, and the blast