תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

To the dear Memory of my honoured Friend, Thomas Gunston, Esg. Who died November 11,1700, when he had just finished his Seat at Newington.

OF blasted hopes, and of short withering joys,
Sing, heav'nly muse. Try tbine etherial voice
In funeral numbers and a doleful song ;
Gunston, the just, the generous aud the young,
Gunston, the friend, is dead, O empty name
Of earthly bliss ! 'tis all an airy dream,
All a vain thought! Our soaring fancies rise
On treach'rous wings, and hopes that touch the skies
Drag but a longer ruin thro’the downward air,
And plunge the falling joys still deeper in despair.

How did our souls stand flatter'd and prepar'd
To shout bim welcome to the seat he rear'd!
Tbere the dear man should see bis hopes complete,
Smiling, and tasting ev'ry lawful sweet
That peace and plenty brings, while num'rous years
Circling delightful, play'd around the spheres :
Revolving suns should still renew bis strength,
And draw th' uncommon thread to an unusual length,
But hasty fate thrusts her dread shears between,
Cuts the young life off, and shuts up the scene:
Thus airy pleasure dances in our eyes,
And spreads false images in fair disguise,
T'allure our souls, till just within our arms
The vision dies, and all the painted charms
Flee quick away from the pursuing sight,
'Till they are lost in shades, and mingle with the night.

Muse, stretch thy wings, and thy sad journey bead
To the fair Fabric that thy dying friend
Built, nameless : 'twill suggest a thousand things
Mournful and soft as my Urania sings.

How did he lay the deep foundation strong,
Marking the bounds, and rear the walls along
Solid, and lasting; there a numerous train
Of happy Gunstons might in pleasure reign,
While nations perish, and long ages run,
Nations unborn, andagés unbegun:
Not time itself should waste the blest estate,
Nor the tentb race rebuild the ancient seat.
How fond our fancies are ! the founder dies
Childless; bis sisters weep and close his eyes,
And wait upon his hearse with never-ceasing cries.
Lofty and slow it moves to meet the tomb,
While weighty sorrow nods on ev'ry plume;
A thousand groans bis dear remains convey
To his cold lodging in a bed of elay,
His country's sacred tears well-watering all the way.
See the duil wheels roll on the sabie load;
But po dear son to tread the mournful road,
And fondly kind drop bis young sorrows there,
The father's urn bedewing with a filial tear.
O bad he left us one behind, to pay
Wanton about the painted ball, and say,
“This was my father's,” with impatient joy
In my fond arms I'd clasp the smiling boy,
And call him my young friend: but awful fate,
Desigo'd the mighty stroke as lasting as 'twas great,

And must this building then, this costly frame,
Stand here for strangers ? must some unknown name
Possess these rooms, the labours of my friend ?!
Why were these walls rais'd for this hapless end ?
Why these apartments all adorn’d so gay?
Why his rich fancy lavish'd thus away!
Muse, view the paintings, how the hov'ring light
Plays o'er the colours in a wanton flight,
And mingled shades wrought in by soft degrees,
Give a sweet foil to all the cbarming piece;
But night, eternal night, hangs black around
The dismal chambers of the hollow ground,
And solid shades unmingled round his bed
Stand bideous: Earthly fogs embrace his head,
And noisome vapours glide along his face
Rising perpetual. Muse, forsake the place,
Flee the raw damps of the unwholesome clay,
Look to his airy spacious hall, and say,
“ How bas he chang'd it for a lonesome cave,
“ Confip'd and crowded in a narrow grave."

Th’ unhappy house looks desolate and mourns,
And ev'ry door groans doleful as it turns ;
The pillars languish ; and each lofty wall
Stately in grief, laments the

master's fall,
In drops of briny dew; the fabric bears
His faint resemblance, and renews my tears.
Solid and square it rises from below:
A noble air without a gaudy show
Reigns thro' the model, and adorns the whole,
Manly and plain. Such was the bụilder's soul.

O how I love to view the stately frame,
That dear memorial of the best-lov'd name!
Then could I wish for some prodigious cave
Vast as his seat, and silent as his grave;
Where the tall shades stretch to the hideous roof,
Forbid the day, and guard the sun-beams off ;
Thither, my willing feet, should be drawn
At the grey twilight, and the early dawn.
There sweetly sad should my soft minutes roll,
Numb'ring the sorrows of my drooping soul.
But these are airy thoughts : substantial grief
Grows by these objects that should yield relief;
Fond of my woes I beave my eyes around,
My grief from ev'ry prospect courts a wound;
Views the green gardens, views the smiling skies
Still my heart sinks, and still my cares arise ;
My wand'ring feet round the fair mansion rove,
And there to soothe my sorrows I indulge my love.

Oft have I laid the awful.Calvin by,
And the sweet Cowley, with impatient eye
To see those walls, pay the sad visit there,
And drop the tribute of an hourly tear :
Still I behold some melancholy scene,
With many a pensive thought, and many a sigh between.
Two days ago we took tbe evening air,
1, and my grief, and my Urania there;
Say, my Urania, how the western sun
Broke from black clouds, and in full glory shone,

ye

Gilding the roof, then dropt into the sea,
And suddeo niglit devour'd the sweet remains of day;
I hus the bright youth just rear'd his shining head
From th' obscure shades of life, and supk among the dead.
The rising sun, adorn'd rvith all his light,
Smiles on these walls again : bnt endless night
Reigns uncontrol'd where the dear Gunston lies,
He's set for ever, and must never rise.
Then why the beams, unseasonable star,.
These lightsome smiles descending from afar,
To greet a mourning house ? In vain the day
Breaks thro' the windows with a joyful ray,
And marks a shining path along the floors,
Bounding the evening and the morning bours ;,
In vain it bounds 'em : while vast emptiness
And hollow silence reigns thro' all tbe place,
Nor heeds the cheerful change of nature's face.
Yet nature's wheels will on without control,
The sun will rise, the tuneful spheres will roll,
And the two nightly bears walk round and watch the pole.

See, while I speak, high on her sable wheel
Old night advancing, climbs the eastern hill :
Troops of dark clouds prepare her way; behold,
How their brown pinions, edg’d with evening gold,
Spread shadowing o'er the bouse, and glide away,
Slowly pursuing the declining day;
O'er the broad roof they fly their circuit still,
Thus days before they did, and days to come they will';
But the black cloud that shadows o'er bis eyes,
Hangs there anmoveable, and never flies :
Fain would I bid the envious gloom be gone ,
Ab fruitless wish! how are his curtains drawn
For a long evening that despairs the dawn!

Muse, view the turret : jusi beneath the skies Lonesome it stands, and fixes my sad eyes, As it would ask a tear. O sacred seat, Sacred to friendship ! O divine retreat! Here did I hope my happy hours t'employ, Add fed before-hand on the promis'd joy. When weary of the noisy town, my friend From mortal cares retiring, should ascend And lead me thither. We alone would sit, Free and secure of all intruding feet : Our thoughts should stretch their longest wings, and rise, Nor bound their soarings by the lower skies : Our tongues should aim at everlasting themes, And speak what mortals dare, of all the paines Of boundless joys and glories, thrones and seals Built high in heav'n for souls. We'd trace the streets Of golden pavement, walk each blissful field, And climb and taste the fruits the spicy mountains yield: Then would we swear to keep the sacred road, And walk right upwards to that blest abode ; We'd charge our parting spirits there to meet, There hand in hand approach th' almighty seat, And bend our heads adoring at our Maker's feet. Thus should we mount on bold advent'rous wings Io high discourse, and dwell on heav'nly things.

}

a

a

a

While the pleas'd hours in sweet succession move,
And minutes, measur'd as they are above,
By ever-circling joys, and ever-shining love.

doon our thoughts shou'd lower their lofty flight
Sink by degrees, and take a pleasing sigbt,
A large round prospect of the spreading plain,
The wealthy river, and his winding train,
The smoky city, and the busy men.
How we should smile to see degenerate worms
Lavish their lives, and fight for airy forms
Of painted honour, dreams of empty sound,
Till envy rise, and shoot a secret wound
At swelling glory, straight the bubble breaks,
And the scenes yanish, as the man awakes ;
Then the tall titles insolent and proud
Sipk to the dust, and mingle with the crowd.

Man is a restless thing : Still vain and wild,
Lives beyond sixty, nor outgrows the child :
His hurrying lusts still break the sacred bound
To seek new pleasures on forbidden ground,
And buy them all too dear. Unthinking fool,
For a short dying joy to sell a deathless soul !
'Tis but a grain of sweetness they can sow,
And reap the long sad barvest of immortal woe.

Another tribe toil in a different strife,
And banish all the lawful sweets of life,
To sweat and dig for gold, to hoard the ore,
Hide the dear dust yet darker than before,
And never dare to use a grain of all the store.

Happy the man that knows the value just
Of earthly things, nor is enslav'd to dust.
"Tis a rich gift the skies but rarely send
To fav’rite souls. Then happy thou, my friend,
For thou hadst learnt to manage and command
The wealth that heav'n bestow'd with liberal hand:
Hence this fair structure rose ; and hence this seat,
Made to invite my not unwilling feet :
In vain 'twas made! for we shall never meet,
And smile, and love, and bless each other here;
The envious tomb forbids thy face t'appear, .
Detains thee, Gunston, from my longing eyes,
And all my hopes lie bury'd where my Gunston lies.

Come hither, all ye tend'rest souls, that know
The heights of fondness, and the depths of woe;
Young mothers, who your darling babes have found
Untimely murder'd with a gbastly wound;
Ye frighted nymphs, who on the bridal bed
Clasp'd in your arms your lovers cold and dead;
Come, in the pomp of all your wild despair,
With flowing eye-lids, and disorder'd hair,
Death in your looks ; come, mingle grief with me,
And drowo your little streams in my unbounded sea.

You sacred mourners of a nobler mould,
Boro for a friend, whose dear embraces hold
Beyond all nature's ties; you that have known
Two bappy souls made intimately one,
And felt a partiog stroke : "Tis you must tell
The smart, the twinges, and the racks I feel

:

This soul of mine that dreadful wound has borne,
Of from its side its dearest half is torn,
The rest lies bleeding, and but lives to mourn.
O infinite distress ! such raging grief
Should command pity, and despair relief.
Passion, methinks, should rise from all my groans,
Give sepse to rocks, and sympatby to stones.

Ye dusky woods and echoing hills around,
Repeat my cries with a perpetual sound:
Be all ye flow'ry vales with thorns o’ergrond,
Assist my sorrows, and declare your own;
Alas! your lord is dead. The humble plain
Must ne'er receive bis courteous feet again.
Mourn, ye gay smiling meadows, and be seen
lo wintry robes, instead of youthful green;
And bid the brook, that still runs warbling by,
Move silent on, and weep bis useless channel dry.
Hither methinks the lowing herd should come,
And moaning turtles murmur o'er his tomb :
The oak shall wither, and the curling bine
Weep his young life out, while his arms untwine
Their amorous folds, and mix his bleeding soul with mine.
Ye stately elms, in your long order mouro*,
Strip off your pride to dress your master's urn:
Here gently drop your leaves, instead of tears:
Ye elms, the reverend growth of ancient years,
Stand tall and naked to the blustering rage
Of the mad windo: thus it becomes your age
To shew your sorrows. Often ye have seen
Our heads reelin'd upon the rising green;
Beneath your sacred shade diffus'd we lay,
Here Friendship reign'd with an unbounded sway:
Hither our souls their constant off'rings brought,
The burdens of the breast and labours of the thought:
Our opening bosoms on the conscious ground
Spread all the sorrows and the joys we found
And mingled ev'ry care ; nor was it known
Which of the pains and pleasures were our own ;
Then with an equal band and honest soul
We share the beap, yet both possess the whole,
And all the passions there tbro' both our bosoms roll;
By turns we comfort, and by turns complain,
And bear and ease by turns the sympathy of pain.

Friendship! mysterious thing, what magic pow'rs
Support thy sway, and charm these minds of ours?
Bound to thy foot we boast our birth-right still,
And dream of freedom, when we've lost our will,
And chang'd away our souls: At thy command
We snatch new mis’ries from a foreign hand,
To call them ours; and, thoughtless of our ease,
Plague the dear self that we were born to please.
Thou tyranness of minds whose cruel throne
Heaps on poor mortals sorrows not their own;
As though our mother nature could no more
Find woes sufficient for each sou sbe bore,

Friendship divides the shares, and lengthens out the store. • There was a long row of tall elms then standing where some years after the lower garden was made.

« הקודםהמשך »