« הקודםהמשך »
Each changing season does its poison bring, 49
Rheums chill the winter, agues blast the spring:
Wet, dry, cold, hot, at the appointed hour,
All act subservient to the tyrant's power;
And when obedient nature knows his will,
A fly, a grapestone, or a hair can kill.
For restless Proserpine for ever treads
In paths unseen, o'er our devoted heads,
And on the spacious land, and liquid main,
Spreads slow disease, or darts afflictive pain;
Variety of deaths confirm her endless reign.
On curst Piava's banks the goddess stood, 60
Showed her dire warrant to the rising flood;
When what I long must love, and long must mourn,
With fatal speed was urging his return;
In his dear country to disperse his care,
And arm himself by rest for future war;
To chide his anxious friends' officious fears,
And promise to their joys his elder years.
Oh! destined head; and oh! severe decree,
Nor native country thou, nor friend shalt see;
Nor war hast thou to wage, nor year to come, 70
Impending death is thine, and instant doom.
Hark! the imperious goddess is obeyed:
Winds murmur, snows descend, and waters spread:
Oh! kinsman, friend—Oh! vain are all the cries
Of human voice; strong destiny replies:
Weep you on earth, for he shall sleep below:
Thence none return, and thither all must go.
Whoe'er thou art, whom choice or business leads
To this sad river, or the neighbouring meads;
If thou mayst happen on the dreary shores 80
To find the object which this verse deplores,
Cleanse the pale corpse with a religious hand
From the polluting weed and common sand; 83
Lay the dead hero graceful in a grave,
(The only honour he can now receive)
And fragrant mould upon his body throw,
And plant the warrior-laurel o'er his brow:
Light lie the earth; and flourish green the bough.
So may just Heaven secure thy future life
From foreign dangers, and domestic strife! 90
And when the infernal judge's dismal power
From the dark urn shall throw thy destined hour;
When yielding to the sentence, breathless thou
And pale shalt lie, as what thou buriest now;
May some kind friend the piteous object see,
And equal rites perform to that which once was thee.
SPOKEN AT COURT BEFORE THE QUEEN, ON HER MAJESTY's BIRTHDAY, MDCCIV.
SHINE forth, ye planets, with distinguished light,
As when ye hallowed first this happy night;
Again transmit your friendly beams to earth,
As when Britannia joyed for Anna's birth;
And thou, propitious star, whose sacred power
Presided o'er the monarch's natal hour,
Thy radiant voyages for ever run,
Yielding to none but Cynthia, and the Sun;
With thy fair aspect still illustrate Heaven!
Kindly preserve what thou hast greatly given; 10
Thy influence for thy Anna we implore;
Prolong one life, and Britain asks no more!
For Virtue can no ampler power express,
Than to be great in war, and good in peace;
For thought no higher wish of bliss can frame, 15
Than to enjoy that virtue still the same.
Entire and sure the monarch's rule must prove,
Who founds her greatness on her subjects' love;
Who does our homage for our good require;
And orders that which we should first desire. 20
Our vanquished wills that pleasing force obey,
Her goodness takes our liberty away, -
And haughty Britain yields to arbitrary sway.
Let the young Austrian then her terrors bear,
Great as he is, her delegate in war;
Let him in thunder speak to both his Spains,
That in these dreadful isles a woman reigns.
While the bright queen does on her subjects shower
The gentle blessings of her softer power;
Gives sacred morals to a vicious age, 30
To temples zeal, and manners to the stage;
Bids the chaste Muse without a blush appear,
And wit be that which Heaven and she may hear.
Minerva thus to Perseus lent her shield;
Secure of conquest, sent him to the field:
The hero acted what the queen ordained:
So was his fame complete, and Andromede unchained.
Meantime amidst her native temples sate
The goddess, studious of her Grecians' fate;
Taught them in laws and letters to excel, 40
In acting justly, and in writing well.
Thus while she did her various power dispose,
The world was freed from tyrants, wars, and woes;
Virtue was taught in verse, and Athens' glory rose.
A LETTER TO MONSIEUR BOILEAU DESPREAUX, OCCASIONED BY THE VICTORY AT BLENHEIM, MDCCIV.
Cupidum, pater optime, vires
Deficiunt: neque enim quivis horrentia pilis
Agmina, nec fractā pereuntes cuspide Gallos.
HoR. SAT. I, L. 2.
SINCE hired for life, thy servile Muse must sing
Successive conquests, and a glorious king;
Must of a man immortal vainly boast,
And bring him laurels, whatsoe'er they cost;
What turn wilt thou employ, what colours lay
On the event of that superior day,
In which one English subject's prosperous hand
(So Jove did will; so Anna did command)
Broke the proud column of thy master's praise,
Which sixty winters had conspired to raise? 10
From the lost field a hundred standards brought
Must be the work of Chance, and Fortune's fault:
Bavaria's stars must be accused, which shone
That fatal day the mighty work was done,
With rays oblique upon the Gallic sun.
Some demon envying France misled the fight;
And Mars mistook, though Louis ordered right.
When thy' young Muse invoked the tuneful Nine,
To say how Louis did not pass the Rhine,
What work had we with Wageninghen, Arnheim, 20
Places that could not be reduced to rhyme!
And though the poet made his last efforts,
Wurts—who could mention in heroic—Wurts?
But, tell me, hast thou reason to complain
Of the rough triumphs of the last campaign;
The Danube rescued, and the empire saved, 26
Say, is the majesty of verse retrieved?
And would it prejudice thy softer vein,
To sing the princes, Louis and Eugene?
Is it too hard in happy verse to place
The Vans and Vanders of the Rhine and Maese;
Her warriors Anna sends from Tweed and Thames,
That France may fall by more harmonious names!
Canst thou not Hamilton or Lumley bear!
Would Ingoldsby or Palmes offend thy ear!
And is there not a sound in Marlborough's name,
Which thou, and all thy brethren ought to claim,
Sacred to verse, and sure of endless fame!
Cutts is in metre something harsh to read,
Place me the valiant Gouram in his stead; 40
Let the intention make the number good;
Let generous Sylvius speak for honest Wood.
And though rough Churchill scarce in verse will stand,
So as to have one rhyme at his command;
With ease the bard reciting Blenheim's plain,
May close the verse, remembering but the Dane.
I grant, old friend, old foe (for such we are
Alternate as the chance of peace and war)
That we poetic folks, who must restrain
Our measured sayings in an equal chain, 50
Have troubles utterly unknown to those,
Who let their fancy loose in rambling prose.
For instance now, how hard is it for me
To make my matter and my verse agree!
“In one great day on Hochstet's fatal plain,
French and Bavarians twenty thousand slain,
Pushed through the Danube to the shores of Styx
Squadrons eighteen, battalions twenty-six:
Officers captive made and private men,