« PreviousContinue »
Aerial music in the warbling wind, At distance rising oft, by small degrees Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving As did alas! with soft perdition please: [airs, Entangled deep in its enchanting snares, The list ning heart forgot all duties and all cares.
A certain music, never known before, Here lull'd the pensive melancholy mind, Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more, But sidelong, to the gently-waving wind, To lay the well-tun'd instrument reclin'd; From which with airy flying fingers light, Beyond each mortal touch the most refin'd, The god of winds drew sounds of deep delight: Whence, with just cause, the Harp of olus* it hight.
Ah me! what hand can touch the string so
And now a graver sacred strain they stole, As when seraphic hands a hymn impart Wild warbling nature all, above the reach of art! Such the gay splendor, the luxurious state Of caliphs old, who on the Tygris' shore, In mighty Bagdat, populous and great, [store; Held their bright court, where was of ladies And verse, love, music still the garland wore: When sleep was coy, the bard in waiting there Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse'slore; Composing music bade his dreains be fair, And music lent new gladness to the morning air t.
No, fair illusions! artful phantoms, no! My Muse will not attempt your fairy land : She has no colors that like you can glow; To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand. But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band [rites, Than these same guileful angel-seeming spiWho thus in dreams voluptuous, softandbland, Pour'd all the Arabian heaven upon our nights, And bless'd them oft besides with nore refin'd delights.
They were, in sooth, a most enchanting train,
Who hurt the wretch, as if to hell outright, Down, downblack gulphs, where sullen waters sleep,
Or hold him clamb'ring all the fearful night On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep: They, till due time should serve, were bid far hence to keep.
Ye guardian spirits, to whom inan is dear, From these foul demons shield the midnight Angels of fancy and of love be near, [gloom: And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom: Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, And let them virtue with a look impart : But chief, awhile, oh lend us from the tomb Those long-lost friends for whom in love we smart, [heart. And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the Or, are you sportive, bid the morn of youth Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days Of innocence, simplicity, and truth, [ways. To cares estrang'd, and manhood's thorny What transport, to retrace our boyish plays, Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied; The woods, the mountains, and the warbling [wide,
Of the wild brooks!-But, fondly wand'ring My Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee abide.
One great amusement of our household was,
When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater
Of vanity the mirror this was call'd:
This is not an imagination of the author; there being in fact such an instrument, called Æolus's Harp, which, when placed against a little rushing or current of air, produces the effect here described. The Arabian caliphs had poets among the officers of their court, whose office it was to do what is here mentioned,
Firin to this scoundrel maxim keepeth lie,
All glossy gay; enamell'd all with gold,
His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while, Seesthis,whichmoredamnation doesuponhimpile. This globe portray'd the race of learned men, Still at their books, and turning o'er the page Backwards and forwards: oft they snatch the As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage; [pen, Then write and blot, as would your ruthengage. Why, Authors, all this scrawl and scribbling
To lose the present, gain the future age, Praised to be when you can hear no more, And much enrich'd with fame when useless worldly store.
Then would a splendid city rise to view, With carts, and cars, and couches roaring all. Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew : See how they dash along from wall to wall! At ev'ry door, hark! how they thund'ring call! Good Lord! what can this giddy rout excite? Why on each other with fell tooth to fall; A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight, And make new tiresome parties for the coming night.
The puzzling sons of party next appear'd, In dark cabals and nightly juntos met; [rear'd And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging The important shoulder; then, as if to get New light, their twinkling eyes were inward No sooner Lucifer* recals affairs, [set. Than forth they various rush in mighty fret! When, lo! push'd up to pow'r, and crown'd their cares, [staire In comes another set, and kicketh them down But what most show'd the vanity of life, Was to behold the nations all on fire,
In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife: Most Christian kings, inflam'd by black desire! With honorable ruffians in their hire, Cause war to rage, and blood around to pour : Of this sad work when each begins to tire, Theysit them down just where they were before, Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force restore.
To number up the thousands dwelling here, An useless were, and eke an endless task; From kings, and those who at the helm appear, To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask. Yea many a man, perdie, I could unmask, Whose desk and table make a solemn show,
With tape-tied trash, and suits of fools that ask For place or pension, laid in decent row; But these I passen by, withnamelessnumbersmoe. Of all the gentle tenants of the place, There was a man of special grave remark: A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face, Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd not dark. As sooth this man could sing as inorning lark, And teach the noblest morals of the heart; But these his talents were yburied stark; Of the fine stores he nothing would impart, Whichorbootnature gave,of nature-painting art. To noon-tide shades incontinent he ran, Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound.
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began, Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground, Where the wild thymeand camomile are found: There would he linger, till the latest ray Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound; Thenhomewardthro'thetwilightshadowsstray, Saunteringandslow. So had he passed manyaday. Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past, For oft the heavenly fire that lay conceal'd Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast, And all its native light anew reveal'd: Oft as he travers'd the coerulean field, [wind, And mark'd the clouds that drove before the Ten thousand glorious systems would he build, Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind; But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace behind.
With him wassometimes join'd in silent walk (Profoundly silent, for they never spoke) One shyer still, who quite detested talk: Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke Togrovesof pine,andbroado'ershadowingoak; There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone, And on himself his pensive fury wroke, Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone The glittering star of eve-"Thank heaven!` "the day is done."
Here lurch'da wretch who had not crept abroad
We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look.
Another guest there was, of sense refin'd, Who felt each worth, for ev'ry worth life had, Serene yet warm, humane yet firm his mind, As little touch'd as any man's with bad; Him thro' their inmost walks the Muses lad, To him the sacred love of nature leant, And sometimes would he make our valley glad: When as we found he would not here be pent, To him the better sort this friendly message sent: "Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, come!
"But if, alas! we cannot thee persuade "To ly content beneath our peaceful dome, "Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade; "Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid "Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly "spark,
"Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade, "Then to indulge the Muse, and nature mark: "We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley
Oft moralising sage: his ditty sweet He loathed much to write, he cared to repeat. Full oft by holy feet our ground was trod, Of clerks good plenty here you mote espy. A little, round, fat, oily man of God, Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry; He had a roguish twinkle in his eye, And shone all glittering with ungodly dew, If a tight damsel chanc'd to trippen by; Which when observ'd, he shrunk into his new, And staight would recollect his piety anew.
A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems;
• Mr. Quin.
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought
Their oracles break forth mysterious as of old.
Here languid beauty kept her pale-fac'd court: Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree, From every quarter hither made resort; Where from gross mortal care and business free, They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury. Or should they a vain show of work assume, Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be? Butfariscastthedistaff, spinning-wheel, and loom. To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom: Their only labor was to still the time: And labor dire it is,, and weary woe. They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme : Then rising sudden, to the glass they go, Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow; This soon too rude an exercise they find; Straight on the couch their limbs again they throw,
Where hours on hours they sighingly reclin'd, And count the vapory god soft-breathing in
Now must I mark the villany we found,
Diseas'd and loathsome, privily were thrown. Far from the light of heaven, they languish'd Unpitied, uttering many a bitter groan; [there Forofthose wretches taken was no care: [were. Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, their only nurses Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest To this dark den, where sickness toss'd alway. Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep opprest, Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay, Heaving his sides, and snored night and day! To stir him from his trance it was not eath, And his half-open'd eye he shut straightway: He led, I wot, the softest way to death, And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the breath.
+ The following lines of this stanza were written by a friend of the author.
Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound, Soft-swoln and pale, here lay the Hydrophy: Unweildy man; with belly monstrous round, For ever fed with watery supply; For still he drank, and yet he still was dry. And moping here did Hypochondria sit, Mother of spleen, in robes of various dye, Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit, [a wit. And some her franticdeem'd, andsomeherdeem'd
A lady proud she was, of antient blood, Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low: She felt, or fancied in her fluttering mood, All the diseases which the spittals know. And sought all physic which theshops bestow, And still new leeches and new drugs would try, Her humor ever wavering to and fro: [cry, For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes Then sudden waxed wroth; and all she knew not why.
Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd, [ings;
A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings; Whilstapoplexycramm'dintemp'rancek nocks Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.
The Knight of Arts and Industry,
That, by this castle's overthrow, Secur'd and crowned were.
ESCAP'D the castle of the sire of sin, Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find? For all around, without, and all within, Nothing save what delightful was and kind, Of goodness favoring and a tender mind, E'er rose to view. But now another strain, Of doleful note, alas! remains behind; I now must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain, And of the false inchanter Indolence complain.
Come then, my Muse, and raise a bolder song; Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,, Dragging the lazy languid line along, Foud to begin, but still to finish loth; Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the inoth: Arise, and sing that generous imp of fame, Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth, To sleep away this human lumber came, Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumberingflame. In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old, Of features stern, Selvagio yclep'd;
A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold, But wond'rous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd,
Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd; In hunting all his days away he wore ; Nowscorch'dbyJune,nowinNovembersteep'd, Now pinch'd by biting January sore, He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar.
As he one morning, long before the dawn, Prick'd thro' the forest to dislodge his prey, Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn, [ray, With wood wild-fringed, he mark'd a taper's That from the beating rain, and wint'ry fray, Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy;
There, up to carn the needments of the day, He found dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy: Her he compress'd, and fill'd her with a lusty boy.
Amid the green-wood shade this boy was bred, And grew at last a knight of muchel fame, Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed, The Knight of Arts and Industry by name. Earth was hisbed, the boughs his roofdidframe; He knew no beverage but the flowing stream; His tasteful well-earn'd food the sylvan game, Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands [breme. The same to him glad summer, or the winter
Yclad in steel and bright with burnish'd mail, Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome their golden Hestrain'd the bow,ortoss'd thesounding pear, Successive, had; but now in ruins grey [times Or darting on the goal outstripp'd the gale,They ly to slavish sloth and tyranny a prey. Or wheel'd the chariot in its mid career, To Or stenuous wrestled hard with many a tough crown his toils, Sir Industry then spread The swelling sail, and made for Britain's coast. A sylvan life till then the natives led, In the brown shades and greenwood forest lost, All careless rambling where it lik'd them most: Their wealth the wild deer bouncing thro' the glade:
At other times he pried thro' nature's store,
Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap.
To solace then these rougher toils, he tried
They lodg'd at large, and liv'd at nature's cost; Save spear and bow, withouten other aid; Yet not the Roman steel their naked breast dis
He lik'd the soil, he lik'd the clement skies,
Here, by degrees, his master-work arose, Whatever arts and industry can frame; Whatever finish'd agriculture knows, [came, Fair queen of arts! from heaven itself who When Eden flourish'd in unspotted fame. And still with her sweet innocence we find And tender peace, and joys without a name, That, while they ravish, tranquillize the mind, Nature and art at once, delight and use combin'd. Then towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts, And bade the fervent city glow with toil; Bade social commerce raise renowned marts, Join land to land, and marry soil to soil, Unite the poles, and without bloody spoil Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous stores; Or, should despotic rage the world embroil, Bade tyrants tremble on remotest shores; While o'er th' encircling deep Britannia's thunder roars.
The drooping Muses then he westward call'd,
Yet the fine arts were what he finish'd least.
Unless, as seldom chances, it should fall,