« PreviousContinue »
With parrot tongue perform’d the scholar’s part,
Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Then compromise had place, and scrutiny
Became stone blind; precedence went in truck,
And he was competent whose purse was so:
A dissolution of all bonds ensued;
The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts
Grew rusty by disuse; and massy gates
Forgot their office, opening with a touch;
Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade,
The tassel'd cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mockery of the world. What was learned,
If aught was learned in childhood, is forgot;
And such expense, as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the liberal hand of love,
Is squandered in pursuit of idle sports
And vicious pleasures; buys the boy a name,
That sits a stigma on his father's house,
And cleaves thro’ life inseparably close
To him that wears it.
Now blame we most the nurslings or the nurse?
The children crook'd, and twisted, and deformed,
Through want of care; or her, whose winking eye
And slumbering oscitancy mars the brood?
The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
She needs herself correction; needs to learn,
That it is dangerous sporting with the world,
With things so sacred as a nation's trust,
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge.
All are not such. I had a brother once-
Peace to the memory of a man of worth,
A man of letters and of manners too!
Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears,
When gay good nature dresses her in smiles.
He graced a college, in which order yet
Was sacred; and was honoured, loved and wept,
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mixed
With such ingredients of good sense, and taste
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst
With such a zeal to be what they approve,
That no restraints can circumscribe them more
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake.
Nor can example hurt them: what they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their just esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge
Pure from so soul a pool to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth
Exposed their inexperience to the snare,
And left them to an undirected choice.
ODE TO DISAPPOINTMENT.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Come, Disappointment, come.
Not in thy terrors clad;
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise;
Thy chastening rod but terrifies
The restless and the bad.
But I recline
Beneath thy shrine,
And round my brow resign'd, thy peaceful cypress
Though Fancy flies away
Before thy hollow tread,
Yet meditation, in her cell,
Hears with faint eye, the lingering knell,
That tells her hopes are dead;
And though the tear
By chance appear, Yet she can smile and say, my all was not laid here.'
Come Disappointment, come.
Though from Hope's summit hurld
Still rigid nurse thou art forgiven
For thou severe wert sent from heaven
To wean me from the world:
To turn my eye
From vanity And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die.
What is this passing scene?
A peevish April day!
A little sun, a little rain,
And then night sweeps along the plain,
And all things fade away.
Man (soon discuss'd)
his trust, And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust.
Oh! what is Beauty's power
It flourishes and dies;
Will the cold earth its silence break,
To tell how soft, how smooth a cheek
Beneath its surface lies?
Mute, mute is all
O'er Beauty's fall; Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her
The most beloved on earth
Not long survives to day;
So music past is obsolete,
And yet 'twas sweet 'twas passing sweet,
But now tis gone away.
Thus does the shade
In memory fade,
When in forsaken tomb the form beloved is laid.
Then since this world is vain,
And volatile and fleet,
Why should I lay up earthly joys
Where rust corrupts, and moth destroys,
And cares and sorrows eat?
Why fly from ill
With anxious skill, When soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart
Come Disappointment, come!
Thou art not stern to me:
Sad monitress! I own thy sway;
A votary sad in early day,
I bend my knee to thee,
From sun to sun
My race will run,
I only bow and say, My God thy will be done.
MEETING OF SATAN AND DEATH AT THE GATE OF HELL,
*MILTON. Meanwhile the adversary of God and man, Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design, Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell Explores his solitary flight: sometimes He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left, Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars Up to the fiery concave towering high. As when far off at sea a fleet descried Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles Or Tennate and Tidore, whence merchants bring Their spicy drugs; they, on the trading flood, Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape, Ply stemming nightly toward the pole: so seemed Får off the flying fiend. At last appear Hell hounds, high reaching to the horrid roof, And thrice three fold the gatės: three folds were brass, Three iron, three of adamantine rock Impenetrable, impaled with circling fire, Yet unconsumed. Before the gates there sat On either side a formidable shape; The one seemed woman to the waist, and fair, But ended foul in many a scaly fold Voluminous and vast, a serpent armed With mortal sting; about her middle round A cry of hell-hounds, never ceasing, barked With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung
A hideous peal. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
Nor uglier follow the night hag, when, called
In secret, riding through the air she comes,
Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape,
If shape it might be called that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint or limb;
Or substance might be called that shadow seemed;
For each seemed either; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell,
And shook a dreadful dart; what seemed his head
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
Satan was now at hand; and from his seat
The monster moving, onward came as fast
With horrid strides; Hell trembled as he strode.
The undaunted fiend what this might be admired,
Admired, not feared: God and his son except
Created thing naught valued he, nor shunned.
And with disdainful look thus first began.
“ Whence and what art thou, execrable shape!
That dar’st, though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gates? through them I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave asked of thee:
Retire, or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,
Hell-born! not to contend with spirits of Heaven!”
To whom the goblin, full of wrath replied.
W Art thou that traitor angel, art thou he,
Who first broke peace in heaven, and faith, till then
Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's sons
Conjured against the Highest, for which both thou
And they, outcast from God, are here condemned
To waste eternal days in woe and pain?
And reckonest thou thyself with spirits of Heaven,
Hell-doomed! and breath'st defiance here and scorn,
Where I reign king, and, to inflame thee more,
Thy king and lord? Back to thy punishment,