« הקודםהמשך »
For ah! it poisons like a scorpion's dart ;
But why should I his childish seats display? Prompting th' ungenerous wish, the selfish scheme, Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fed; The stern resolve unmov'd by pity's smart,
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray The troublous day, and long distressful dream, Of squabbling imps; but to the forest sped, Return, my roving Muse, resume thy purpos'd Or roam'd at large the lonely mountain's head, theme.
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd stream
To deep untrodden groves his footsteps led, There lived in Gothic days, as legends tell,
There would he wander wild, till Phæbus' beam, A shepherd-swain, a man of low degree ;
Shot from the western cliff, releas'd the weary Whose sires, perchance, in Fairy-land might dwell,
team. Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady; But he, I ween, was of the north countrie ; Th' exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed, A nation fam'd for song, and beauty's charms ; To him nor vanity nor joy could bring. Zealous, yet modest ; innocent, though free; His heart, from cruel sport estranged, would bleed Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms;
To work the woe of any living thing, Inflexible in faith; invincible in arms.
By trap, or net; by arrow, or by sling;
These he detested ; those he scorn'd to wield. The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made,
He wish'd to be the guardian, not the king, On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock ;
Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field. The sickle, scythe, or plow, he never sway'd ;
And sure the sylvan reign unbloody joy might yield. An honest heart was almost all his stock; His drink the living water from the rock :
Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves The milky dams supplied his board, and lent
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine ; Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's shock;
And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling groves, And he, though oft with dust and sweat besprent,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine : Did guide and guard their wanderings, wheresoe'er While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join, they went.
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign From labor health, from health
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies ?
contentment springs :
Ah! no: he better knows great Nature's charms Contentment opes the source of every joy.
to prize. He envied not, he never thought of, kings; Nor from those appetites sustain'd annoy,
And oft he traced the uplands, to survey, That chance may frustrate, or indulgence cloy :
When o'er the sky advanc'd the kindling dawn, Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes beguiled ;
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain grey, He mourn'd no recreant friend, nor mistress coy,
And lake, dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn : For on his vows the blameless Phæbe smild,
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn, And her alone he lov’d, and lov'd her from a child. Where twilight loves to linger for a while ;
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil. No jealonsy their dawn of love o'ercast,
But lo! the Sun appears ! and heaven, earth, ocean, Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife ;
smile. Each season look'd delightful as it past, To the fond husband and the faithful wife.
And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb, Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd-life
When all in mist the world below was lost. They never roam'd ; secure beneath the storm
What dreadful pleasure there to stand sublime, Which in Ambition's lofty land is rise,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast, Where peace and love are canker'd by the worm
And view th' enormous waste of vapor, tost Of pride, each bud of joy industrious to deform.
In billows, length’ning to the horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now emThe wight, whose tale these artless lines unfold,
boss'd! Was all the offspring of this humble pair :
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, His birth no oracle or seer foretold ;
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar proNo prodigy appear'd in earth or air,
found ! Nor aught that might a strange event declare. You guess each circumstance of Edwin's birth; In truth he was a strange and wayward wight, The parent's transport, and the parent's care ; Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene. The gossip's prayer for wealth, and wit, and worth ; In darkness, and in storm, he found delight: And one long summer-day of indolence and mirth. Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern Sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen. And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy,
Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul : Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant eye. And if a sigh would sometimes intervene, Dainties he heeded not, nor gaud, nor toy,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll, Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy ;
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wish'd not to control. Silent when glad ; affectionate, though shy; And now his look was most demurely sad ; O ye wild groves, 0 where is now your bloom ! And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none knew why. (The Muse interprets thus his tender thought,) The neighbors star'd and sigh'd, yet bless'd the lad: * Your flowers, your verdure, and your balmy Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and some be
gloom, liev'd him mad.
Of late so grateful in the hour of drougni!
Why do the birds, that song and rapture brought See, in the rear of the warm sunny shower
And, lo! in the dark east, expanded high,
Fond fool, that deem'st the streaming glory nigh, “Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and cool, How vain the chase thine ardor has begun! And meads, with life, and mirth, and beauty "Tis fled afar, ere half thy purpos'd race be run.
crown'd? Ah! see, th' unsightly slime, and sluggish pool, Yet couldst thou learn, that thus it fares with age, Have all the solitary vale embrown'd;
When pleasure, wealth, or power, the bosom warm Fled each fair form, and mute each melting sound, This baffled hope might tame thy manhood's rage, The raven croaks forlorn on naked spray:
And disappointment of her sting disarm. And hark! the river, bursting every mound, But why should foresight thy fond heart alarm ? Down the vale thunders, and with wasteful sway Perish the lore that deadens young desire; Uproots the
and rolls the shatter'd rocks Pursue, poor imp, th' imaginary charm, away.
Indulge gay hope, and Fancy's pleasing fire :
Fancy and Hope too soon shall of themselves expire “ Yet such the destiny of all on Earth : So flourishes and fades majestic Man.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth, Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale, And fostering gales awhile the nursling fan. Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star, O smile, ye Heavens, serene; ye mildews wan, Lingering and listening, wander'd down the vale. Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime, There would he dream of graves, and corses pale ; Nor lessen of his life the little span.
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng, Borne on the swist, though silent, wings of Time, And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail, Old age comes on apace, to ravage all the clime. Till silenc'd by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering isles along “And be it so. Let those deplore their doom, Whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn : Or, when the setting Moon, in crimson dyed, But losiy souls, who look beyond the tomb, Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep, Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn. To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied, Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more return? Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep; Is yonder wave the Sun's eternal bed ?
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn, A vision brought to his entranced sight. And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed, And first, a wildly-murmuring wind 'gan creep Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead. Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of night • Shall I be left forgotten in the dust, When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive ? Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch Shall Nature's voice, to man alone unjust,
Arose ; the trumpet bids the valves unfold : Bid him, though doom'd to perish, hope to live? And forth an host of little warriors march, Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive
Grasping the diamond-lance, and targe of gold. With disappointment, penury, and pain?
Their look was gentle, their demeanor bold, No: Heaven's immortal Spring shall yet arrive, And green their helms, and green their silk attire ; And man's majestic beauty bloom again,
And here and there, right venerably old, Bright through th' eternal year of Love's triumphant The long-rob'd minstrels wake the warbling wire, reign."
And some with mellow breath the martial pipe in
spire. This truth sublime his simple sire had taught ; In sooth, 'twas almost all the shepherd knew. With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear, No subtle nor superfluous lore he sought,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance; Nor ever wish'd his Edwin to pursue.
The little warriors doff the targe and spear, " Let man's own sphere," said he, "confine his view, And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance. Be man's peculiar work his sole delight."
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance; And much, and oft, he warn’d him to eschew To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze ; Falsehood and guile, and aye maintain the right, Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then glance By pleasure unseduc'd, unaw'd by lawless might. Rapid along : with many-color'd rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze "And from the prayer of Want, and plaint of Woe, O never, never turn away thine ear!
The dream is filed. Proud harbinger of day, Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below,
Who scar d'st the vision with thy clarion shrill, Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear? Fell chanticleer! who oft hath reft away To others do (the law is not severe)
My fancied good, and brought substantial ill! What to thyself thou wishest to be done.
O to thy cursed scream, discordant still, Forgive thy foes; and love thy parents dear, Let Harmony aye shut her gentle ear: And friends, and native land ; nor those alone; Thy boastful mirth let jealous rivals spill, All human weal and woe learn thou to make thine Insult thy crest, and glossy pinions tear, own."
And ever in thy dreams the ruthless fox appear.
Forbear, my Muse. Let Love attune thy line. Various and strange was the long-winded tale ;
But when to horror his amazernent rose,
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes,
The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce
O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce
That heart, by lust of lucre seard to stone ?
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse,
To latest time shall tender souls bemoan
Behold, with berries smear'd, with brambles torn,
The babes now famish'd lay them down to die : l'he whistling plowman stalks afield; and, hark !
Amidst the howl of darksome woods forlorn,
Nor friend, nor stranger, hears their dying cry:
For from the town the man returns no more." The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;.
But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar’st defy,
This deed with fruitless tears shalt soon deplore,
When Death lays waste thy house, and flames con.
sume thy store.
A stifled smile of stern vindictive joy
Brighten'd one moment Edwin's starting tear,
" But why should gold man's feeble mind decoy, To sing thy glories with devotion due!
And innocence thus die by doom severe ?
O Edwin! while thy heart is yet sincere,
Th'assaults of discontent and doubt repel :
Dark even at noontide is our mortal sphere;
But let us hope ; to doubt is to rebel;
Nor be thy generous indignation check'd,
Nor checkd the tender tear to Misery given;
From Guilt's contagious power shall that protect,
This soften and refine the soul for Heaven.
But dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has driven
To censure Fate, and pious Hope forego : First gave you form! Hence! lest the Muse should like yonder blasted boughs by lightning riven, deign,
Perfection, beauty, life, they never know,
Shall be, whose birth, maturity, and age,
Scarce fill the circle of one summer day,
Shall the poor gnat, with discontent and rage,
If but a momentary shower descend ?
Wide through unnumber'd worlds, and ages without
Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain, One part, one little part, we dimly scan
Through the dark medium of life's severish dream;
Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem;
O then renounce that impious self-esteem,
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies :
3 S 2
Thus Heaven enlarg'd his soul in riper years. of elegance as yet he took no care ;
By chance, or search, was offer'd to his view, Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain blun- He scann'd with curious and romantic eye. ders wit.
Whate'er of lore tradition could supply
From Gothic tale, or song, or sable old, Nor was this ancient dame a fue to mirth:
Rous'd him, sull keen to listen and to pry. Her ballad, jest, and riddle's quaint device At last, though long by penury controlid, Oft cheer'd the shepherds round their social hearth ; And solitude, her soul his graces 'gan unfold. Whom levity or spleen could ne'er entice To purchase chat, or laughter, at the price Thus on the chill Lapponian's dreary land, Of decency. Nor let it faith exceed,
For many a long month lost in snow profound, That Nature forms a rustic taste so nice.
When Sol from Cancer sends the season bland, Ah! had they been of court or city breed,
And in their northern cave the storms are bound; Such delicacy were right marvellous indeed. From silent mountains, straight, with startling sound,
Torrents are hurl’d; green hills emerge ; and lo, oft when the winter storm had ceas'd to rave, The trees with foliage, cliffs with flowers are crown'd; He roam'd the snowy waste at even, to view Pure rills through vales of verdure warbling go; The cloud stupendous, from th' Atlantic wave And wonder, love, and joy, the peasant's heart o'ertlow. High-towering, sail along th' horizon blue: Where, 'midst the changeful scenery, ever new, Here pause, my Gothic lyre, a little while. Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries, The leisure hour is all that thou canst claim. More wildly great than ever pencil drew,
But on this verse if Montague should smile, Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size, New strains ere-long shall animate thy frame. And glitt'ring cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts And her applause to me is more than fame ; rise.
For still with truth accords her taste refin'd.
At lucre or renown let others aim,
Of chance or change O let not man complain, And o'er Heav'n's rending arch the ratiling thunder Else shall he never, never cease to wail;
For, from the imperial dome, to where the swain
Rears the lone cottage in the silent dale, Responsive to the sprightly pipe, when all
All feel th' assault of Fortune's fickle gale ; In sprightly dance the village youth were join'd,
Art, empire, Earth itself, to change are doom'd; Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall,
Earthquakes have rais'd to Heaven the humble vale, From the rude gambol far remote reclin'd,
And gulfs the mountain's mighty mass entomb'd;
And where th' Atlantic rolls, wide continents have Sooth'd with the soft notes warbling in the wind.
bloom'd.* Ah then, all jollity seem'd noise and folly, To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refind,
But sure to foreign climes we need not range, Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
Nor search the ancient records of our race, When with the charm compar'd of heavenly melan- To learn the dire effects of time and change, choly !
Which in ourselves, alas! we daily trace.
Yet at the darken'd eye, the wither'd face, Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
Or hoary hair, I never will repine:
But spare, 0 Time, whate'er of mental grace,
Whate'er of fancy's ray or friendship's flame is mine
So I. obsequious to Truth's dread command, Mope o'er the schoolman's peevish page; or mourn, Shall here without reluctance change my lay, And delve for life in Mammon's dirty mine; And smite the Gothic lyre with harsher hand; Sneak with the scoundrel fox, or grunt with glutton Now when I leave that flowery path for aye swine.
Of childhood, where I sported many a day,
Warbling and sauntering carelessly along; For Edwin, Fate a nobler doom bad plannid;
Where every face was innocent and gay, Song was his favorite and first pursuit.
Each vale romantic, tuneful every tongue, The wild harp rang to his advent'rous hand, Sweet, wild, and artless all, as Edwin's infant song. And languish'd to his breath the plaintive Aute. His infant Muse, ibough artless, was not mute :
* See Plato's Timeus.
“ Perish the lore that deadens young desire,” Vain man! is grandeur giv'n to gay attire ? Is the soft tenor of my song no more.
Then let the butterfly thy pride upbraid : Edwin, tho' lov'd of Heaven, must not aspire To friends, attendants, armies, bought with hire ? To bliss, which mortals never knew before. It is thy weakness that requires their aid : On trembling wings let youthful fancy soar, To palaces, with gold and gems inlaid ? Nor always haunt the sunny realms of joy : They fear the thief, and tremble in the storm : But now and then the shades of life explore ; To hosts, through carnage who to conquest wade ? Though many a sound and sight of woe annoy, Behold the victor vanquish'd by the worm ! And many a qualm of care his rising hopes destroy. Behold, what deeds of woe the locust can perform! Vigor from toil, from trouble patience grows.
" True dignity is his, whose tranquil mind The weakly blossom, warm in summer-bower,
Virtue has rais'd above the things below; Some tints of transient beauty may disclose ;
Who, every hope and fear to Heaven resign'd, But soon it withers in the chilling hour.
Shrinks not, though Fortune aim her deadliest blow." Mark yonder oaks! Superior to the power
This strain from 'midst the rocks was heard to flow, Of all the warring winds of Heaven, they rise,
In solemn sounds. Now beam'd the evening star; And from the stormy promontory tower,
And from embattled clouds emerging slow And toss their giant arms amid the skies,
Cynthia came riding on her silver car; While each assailing blast increase of strength sup- And hoary mountain-cliffs shone faintly from afar. plies.
Soon did the solemn voice its theme renew:
(While Edwin wrapt in wonder listening stood) And walks of wider circuit were his choice,
Ye tools and toys of tyranny, adieu,
Ye only can engage the servile brood
Of Levity and Lust, who all their days, And o'er a lonely eminence to climb,
Asham'd of truth and liberty, have wood, Which heretofore his foot had never trode ;
And hugg'd the chain, that, glittering on their gaze, A vale appear'd below, a deep retir'd abode.
Seems to outshine the pomp of Heaven's empyreal
blaze. Thither he hied, enamour'd of the scene. For rocks on rocks pild as by magic spell,
* Like them, abandon'd to Ambition's sway, Here scorch'd with lightning, there with ivy green,
I sought for glory in the paths of guile; Fenc'd from the north and east this savage dell.
And fawn'd and smil'd, to plunder and betray, Southward a mountain rose with easy swell,
Myself betray'd and plunder'd all the while ; Whose long, long groves eternal murmur made :
So gnaw'd the viper the corroding file; And toward the western sun a streamlet fell,
But now, with pangs of keen remorse, I rue Where, through the cliffs, the eye, remote, survey'd Those years of trouble and debasement vile. Blue hills, and glittering waves, and skies in gold Yet why should I this cruel theme pursue ? array'd.
Fly, Ay, detested thoughts, for ever from my view! Along this narrow valley you might see
" The gusts of appetite, the clouds of care, The wild deer sporting on the meadow ground,
And storms of disappointment, all o'erpast, And, here and there, a solitary tree,
Henceforth no earthly hope with Heaven shall share Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crown'd. This heart, where peace serenely shines at last. Oft did the cliffs reverberate the sound
And if for me no treasure be amass'd, Of parted fragments tumbling from on high ;
And if no future age shall hear my name, And from the summit of that craggy mound
lurk the more secure from fortune's blast, The perching eagle oft was heard to cry,
And with more leisure feed this pious flame, Or on resounding wings, to shoot athwart the sky.
Whose rapture far transcends the fairest hopes of
fame. One cultivated spot there was, that spread Its flowery bosom to the noonday beam,
“ The end and the reward of toil is rest. Where many a rose-bud rears its blushing head,
Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace. And herbs for food with future plenty teem.
Of wealth and fame, of pomp and power possessid Sooth'd by the lulling sound of grove and stream,
Who ever felt his weight of woe decrease? Romantic visions swarm on Edwin's soul:
Ah! what avails the lore of Rome and Greece, He minded not the Sun's last trembling gleam,
The lay heaven-prompted, and harmonious string, Nor heard from far the twilight curfew toll ;
The dust of Ophir, or the Tyrian fleece, When slowly on his ear these moving accents stole : All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring,
If envy, scorn, remorse, or pride, the bosom wring ! “ Hail, awful scenes, that calm the troubled breast, And woo the weary to profound repose !
"Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb Can passion's wildest uproar lay to rest,
With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown, And whisper comfort to the man of woes ?
In the deep dungeon of some Gothic dome, Here Innocence may wander, safe from foes, Where night and desolation ever frown. And Contemplation soar on seraph wings.
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down; O solitude! the man who thee foregoes,
Where a green grassy turf is all I crave, When lucre lures him, or ambition stings,
With here and there a violet bestrown, Shall never know the source whence real grandeur Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave; springs.
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave