« PreviousContinue »
These eyelids open to the rising ray,
And close, when Nature bids, at close of day.
Here, at the dawn, the kindling landscape glows;
There noon-day levees call from faint repose.
Here the flushed wave flings back the parting light;
There glimmering lamps anticipate the night.
When from his classic dreams the student steals,
Amid the buzz of crowds, the whirl of wheels,
To muse unnoticed-while around him
The meteor-forms of equipage and dress;
Alone, in wonder lost, he seems to stand
A very stranger in his native land!
And (tho' perchance of current coin possest,
And modern phrase by living lips exprest)
Like those blest Youths, forgive the fabling page,
Whose blameless lives deceived a twilight age,
Spent in sweet slumbers; till the miner's spade
Unclosed the cavern, and the morning played.
Ah, what their strange surprise, their wild delight!
New arts of life, new manners meet their sight!
In a new world they wake, as from the dead;
Yet doubt the trance dissolved, the vision fled!
O come, and, rich in intellectual wealth,
Blend thought with exercise, with knowledge health ;
* Ingenium, sibi quod vacuas desumsit Athenas,
Et studiis annos septem dedit, insenuitque
Libris et curis, statuâ taciturnius exit
Long, in this sheltered scene of lettered talk,
With sober step repeat the pensive walk;
Nor scorn, when graver triflings fail to please,
The cheap amusements of a mind at ease;
every care in sweet oblivion cast, And many an idle hour—not idly passed.
No tuneful echoes, ambushed at my gate, Catch the blest accents of the wise and great. Vain of its various page, no Album breathes The sigh that Friendship or the Muse bequeaths. Yet some good Genii o'er my hearth preside, Oft the far friend, with secret spell, to guide; And there I trace, when the grey evening lours, A silent chronicle of happier hours !
When Christmas revels in a world of snow, And bids her berries blush, her carols flow; His spangling shower when Frost the wizard Alings; Or, borne in ether blue, on viewless wings, O'er the white pane his silvery foliage weaves, And gems with icicles the sheltering eaves; -Thy muffled friend his nectarine-wall pursues, What time the sun the yellow crocus woos, Screened from the arrowy North ; and duly hies * To meet the morning-rumour as it flies; To range the murmuring market-place, and view The motley groups that faithful Teniers drew.
* Fallacem circum, vespertinumque pererro
When Spring bursts forth in blossoms thro' the vale,
And her wild music triumphs on the gale,
Oft with my book I muse from stile to stile;
Oft in my porch the listless noon beguile,
Framing loose numbers, till declining day
Thro' the green trellis shoots a crimson ray;
Till the West-wind leads on the twilight hours,
And shakes the fragrant bells of closing flowers.
Nor boast, O Choisy, seat of soft delight,
The secret charm of thy voluptuous night.
Vain is the blaze of wealth, the pomp of power!
Lo, here, attendant on the shadowy hour,
Thy closet-supper, served by hands unseen,
Sheds, like an evening-star, its ray serene,
To hail our coming. Not a step profane
Dares, with rude sound, the cheerful rite restrain;
And, while the frugal banquet glows revealed,
Pure and unbought, t-the natives of my field;
While blushing fruits thro' scattered leaves invite,
Still clad in bloom, and veiled in azure light;-
With wine, as rich in years as Horace sings,
With water, clear as his own fountain flings,
The shifting side-board plays its humbler part,
Beyond the triumphs of a Loriot's art.
Thus, in this calm recess, so richly fraught
With mental light, and luxury of thought,
* Tantôt, un livre en main, errant dans les préries . . -BOILEAU. + Dapes inemtas
My life steals on; (0 could it blend with thine !)
Careless my course, yet not without design.
So thro' the vales of Loire the bee-hives glide,
The light raft dropping with the silent tide;
So, till the laughing scenes are lost in night,
The busy people wing their various flight,
Culling unnumbered sweets from nameless flowers,
That scent the vineyard in its purple hours.
Rise, ere the watch-relieving clarions play,
Caught thro' St. James's groves at blush of day;
Ere its full voice the choral anthem flings
Thro' trophied tombs of heroes and of kings.
Haste to the tranquil shade of learned ease,
Tho' skilled alike to dazzle and to please;
Tho' each gay scene be searched with anxious eye,
Nor thy shut door be passed without a sigh.
If, when this roof shall know thy friend no more, Some, formed like thee, should once, like thee, explore; Invoke the lares of his loved retreat, And his lone walks imprint with pilgrim-feet; Then be it said, (as, vain of better days, Some grey domestic prompts the partial praise) “ Unknown he lived, unenvied, not unblest; Reason his guide, and Happiness his guest. In the clear mirror of his moral page, We trace the manners of a purer age.
Innocuas amo delicias doctamque quietem.
His soul, with thirst of genuine glory fraught,
Scorned the false lustre of licentious thought.
—One fair asylum from the world he knew,
One chosen seat, that charms with various view!
Who boasts of more (believe the serious strain)
Sighs for a home, and sighs, alas! in vain.
Thro' each he roves, the tenant of a day,
And, with the swallow, wings the year away!"