תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Thee I revisit now with bolder Wing,
Escap'd the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure Sojourn, while in my Flight
Through utter and through middle Darkness born
With other Notes than to th' Orphe an Lyre
I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
Taught by the Heavenly Muse to venture down
The

dark Descent, and up to re-ascend,
Though hard and rare: Thee I revisit fafe,
And feel thy Sovreign Vital Lamp; but thou
Revisitst not these Eyes, that rowl in vain
To find thy piercing Ray, and find no Dawn;
So thick a Drop serene hath quench'd their Orbs,
Or dim Suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cea fe I to wander where the Muses haunt

Clear Spring, or shady Grove, or funny Hill,
Smit with the love of sacred Song; but chief
Thee Sion and the flowry Brooks beneath
That wath thy hallow'd Feet, and warb'ling flow,
Nightly I visit: Nor sometimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
So were I equal'd with them in Renown,
Blind Thamyris and Blind Meonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old.
Then feed on Thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious Numbers; as the wakeful Bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn,
Or fight of vernal Bloom, or Sunimer's Rose,
Or Flocks, or Herds, or Human Face Divine;
But Cloud instead, and ever-during Dark
Surrounds me, from the chearful Ways of Men
Cut off, and for the Book of Knowledge fair
Presented with a Universal Blank

Of

Of Nature's Works to me expung'd and ras'd,
And Wisdom at one Entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou Celestial Light
Shine inward, and the Mind thro’all her Powers.
Irradiate, there plant Eyes, all Mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may fee and tell
Of things invisible to mortal Sight.

Milton Parach last, 1. 3.

CIV.

The Four Ages of the World.

The Golden Age.

THE
HE Golden Age was first : when Man yet new

No Rule but uncorrupted Reason knew;
And, with a Native Bent, did Good pursue.
Unforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fear,
His Words were simple, and his Soul sincere :
Needless was written Law where none opprest:
The Law of Man, was written in his Breast :
No Suppliant Crowds, before the Judge appear’d,
No Court erected yet, nor Cause was heard,
But all was fafe, for Conscience was their Guard.)
The Mountain Trees in distant Prospect please
E're yet the Pine descended to the Seas:
E’re Sails were spread, new Oceans to explore;
And happy Mortals, unconcern'd for more,
Confind their Wishes to their Native Shoar.
NoWalls, were yet; nor Fence,nor Mote nor Mound,
Nor Drum was heard, nor Trumpet's angry found.
Nor Swords were forg'd; but void of Care & Crime,
The soft Creation past away their Time.

The

}

The teeming Earth, yet guiltless of the Plough,
And unprovok'd, did fruitful Stores allow :
Content with Food which Nature freely bred,
On Wildings, and on Strawberries they fed.
Cornels and Bramble-Berries gave the rest,
And falling Acorns furnisht out a Feast,
The Flow'rs unfown in Fields and Meadows reign'd:
And Western Winds iwniortal Spring maintain's.
In following Years, the bearded Corn ensu’d,
From Earth unask'd, nor was that Earth renew'd.
From Veins of Vallies Milk and Nestar broke
And Honey Sweating through the Pores of Oak.

CV.

The Silver Age.

BUT when good Saturn banish'd from above,

Was driv'n to Hell, the World was under Jove. Succeeding Times a Silver Age behold, Excelling Brass, but more excell'd by Gold. Then Summer, Autumn, Winter, did appear, And Spring was but a Season of the Year. The Sun his Annual Course obliquely made, Good Days contracted and enlarg'd the bad. Then Air with sultry Heats began to glow; The Wings of Winds were clogg'd with Ice and Snow And shivering Mortals, into Houses driv'n Sought Shelter from th' Inclemency of Heav'n. Those Houses, then, were Caves, or honely Sheds; With twining Oziers fenc'd, and Moss their Beds. Then Ploughs, for Seed, the fruitful Furrows broken And Oxen labour'd first beneath the Yoke.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

CVI.

The Brazen Age. то O this came next in Course the Brazen Age,

ArWarlike Offspring, prompt to Bloody Rage, Not impious yet

The Iron Age.

[ocr errors]

H

ARD Steel succeeded then :
And stubborn as the Mettal, were the Men.
Truth, Modesty, and Shame, the World forfook,
Fraud, Avarice, and Force, their Places took.
Then Sails were spread to every Wind that blew.
Raw were the Sailors, and the Depths were new :
Trees rudely hollow'd did the Waves fustain ;
E're Ships in Triuniph plough'd the Watry Plain.

Then Land-Marks limited to each his Right,
For all bofore was cominion, as the Light.
Nor was the Ground alone requir'd to bear
Her annual Income to the crooked Share;
But greedy Mortals rummaging her Store,
Diggd from her Entrails first the precious Oar;
Which next to Hell the prudent Gods had laid;
And that alluring III, to Sight displaid.
Thus cursed Steel, and more accursed Gold,
Gave mischief Birth, and made that mischief bold;
And double Death did wretched Man invade,
By Steel assaulted, and by Gold betray'd.
Now (brandish'd Weapons glittering in their Hands)
Mankind is broken loose from Moral Bands;

No

[ocr errors]

No Rights of Hospitality remain :
The Guest by him, who harbour'd him, is slain.
The Son-in-Law pursues the Father's Life ;
The Wife her Husband Murders, he the Wife.
The Step-Dame Poyson for the Son prepares;
The Son inquires into his father's years.
Frith flies, and Piety in Exile mourns ;
And Justice, hera opprest, to Heav'n Returns.

Dryden from Ovid.

CVIII.

The Story of Midas.
MIDAS the King, as in * his Book appears,

By Phæbus was endow'd with Afles Ears,
Which under his long Locks, he well conceaid,
(As Monarch's Vices must not be reveald)
For fear the People have 'em in the Wind,
Who long ago were neither Dumb nor Blind;
Nor apt to think from Heav'n their Title Springs,
Since Jove and Mars left oft begetting Kings.
This Midas knew; and durft communicate
To none but to his Wife, his Ears of State :
One must be trusted, and he thought her fit, !
As passing prudent, and a parlous Wit.
To this sagacious Confeffor he went,
And told her what a Gift the Gods had sent:
But told it under Matrimonial Seal,
With strict Injunction never to reveal.
The Secret heard she plighted him her Troth,
(And sacred fure is every Woman's Oath)

* Ovid.

0.2

Th.

« הקודםהמשך »