« PředchozíPokračovat »
Shall even she confess old age, and halt
And, palsy-smitten, shake her starry brows?
Shall foul Antiquity with rust and drought,
And Famine, vex the radiant worlds above?
Shall Time's unsated maw crave and ingulf
The very heavens, that regulate his flight?
And was the Sire of all able to fence
His works, and to uphold the circling worlds,
But, through improvident and heedless haste,
Let slip the occasion ?—so then—all is lost-
And in some future evil hour, yon arch
Shall crumble and come thundering down, the poles
Jar in collision, the Olympian king
Fall with his throne, and Pallas, holding forth
The terrors of the Gorgon shield in vain,
Shall rush to the abyss, like Vulcan hurl'd
Down into Lemnos, through the gate of heaven.
Thou also, with precipitated wheels,
Phoebus! thy own son's fall shalt imitate,
With hideous ruin shalt impress the deep
Suddenly, and the flood shall reek, and hiss,
At the extinction of the lamp of day.
Then too shall Hæmus, cloven to his base,
Be shatter'd, and the huge Ceraunian hills,
Once weapons of Tartarean Dis, immersed
In Erebus, shall fill himself with fear.
No. The Almighty Father surer laid
His deep foundations, and providing well
For the event of all, the scales of Fate
Suspended in just equipoise, and bade
His universal works, from age to age,
One tenour hold, perpetual, undisturb'd.
Hence the prime mover wheels itself about Continual, day by day, and with it bears In social measure swift the heavens around. Not tardier now is Saturn than of old, Nor radiant less the burning casque of Mars. Phoebus, his vigour unimpair'd, still shows The effulgence of his youth, nor needs the god A downward course, that he may warm the vales; But ever rich in influence, runs his road, Sign after sign, through all the heavenly zone. Beautiful, as at first, ascends the star
From odoriferous Ind, whose office is
To gather home betimes the ethereal flock,
them o'er the skies again at eve,
And to discriminate the night and day.
Still Cynthia's changeful horn waxes, and wanes,
Alternate, and with arms extended still,
She welcomes to her breast her brother's beams.
Nor have the elements deserted yet
Their functions: thunder, with as loud a stroke
As erst, smites through the rocks, and scatters them.
The east still howls, still the relentless north
Invades the shuddering Scythian, still he breathes
The winter, and still rolls the storms along.
The king of ocean, with his wonted force,
Beats on Pelorus; o'er the deep is heard
The hoarse alarm of Triton's sounding shell;
Nor swim the monsters of the Ægean sea
In shallows, or beneath diminish'd waves.
Thou too, thy ancient vegetative power
Enjoy'st, O Earth! Narcissus still is sweet,
And, Phœbus! still thy favourite, and still
Thy favourite, Cytherea! both retain
Their beauty; nor the mountains, ore-enrich'd For punishment of man, with purer gold Teem'd ever, or with brighter gems the deep.
Thus, in unbroken series, all proceeds; And shall, till wide involving either pole, And the immensity of yonder heaven, The final flames of destiny absorb The world, consumed in one enormous pyre!
AS IT WAS UNDERSTOOD BY ARISTOTLE.
YE sister powers, who o'er the sacred groves
Preside, and thou, fair mother of them all,
Mnemosyne and thou, who in thy grot
Immense, reclined at leisure, hast in charge
The archives, and the ordinances of Jove,
And dost record the festivals of heaven,
Eternity!-inform us who is He,
That great original by nature chosen
To be the archetype of human kind,
Unchangeable, immortal, with the poles
Themselves coeval, one, yet every where,
An image of the god who gave him being?
Twin-brother of the goddess born from Jove,
He dwells not in his father's mind, but, though
Of common nature with ourselves, exists
Apart, and occupies a local home.
Whether, companion of the stars, he spend
Eternal ages, roaming at his will
From sphere to sphere the tenfold heavens; or dwell
On the moon's side that nearest neighbours earth;
Or torpid on the banks of Lethe sit
Among the multitude of souls ordain'd
To flesh and blood, or whether (as may chance)
That vast and giant model of our kind
In some far distant region of this globe
Sequester'd stalk, with lifted head on high
O'ertowering Atlas, on whose shoulders rest
The stars, terrific even to the gods.
Never the Theban seer, whose blindness proved
His best illumination, him beheld
In secret vision; never him the son
Of Pleione, amid the noiseless night
Descending, to the prophet-choir reveal'd;
Him never knew the Assyrian priest, who yet
The ancestry of Ninus chronicles,
And Belus, and Osiris, far-renown'd;
Nor even thrice great Hermes, although skill'd
So deep in mystery, to the worshippers
Of Isis show'd a prodigy like him.
And thou, who hast immortalized the shades
Of Academus, if the schools received
This monster of the fancy first from thee,
Either recall at once the banish'd bards
To thy republic, or thyself evinced
A wilder fabulist, go also forth.
TO HIS FATHER.
OH that Pieria's spring would through my breast
Pour its inspiring influence, and rush
No rill, but rather an o'erflowing flood!
That, for my venerable Father's sake
All meaner themes renounced, my muse, on wings
Of duty borne, might reach a loftier strain.
For thee, my Father! howsoe'er it please,
She frames this slender work, nor know I aught
That may thy gifts more suitably requite;
Though to requite them suitably would ask
Returns much nobler, and surpassing far
The meagre stores of verbal gratitude :
But, such as I possess, I send thee all.
This page presents thee in their full amount
With thy son's treasures, and the sum is nought;
Nought, save the riches that from airy dream
In secret grottos, and in laurel bowers,
I have, by golden Clio's gift, acquired.
Verse is a work divine; despise not thou Verse therefore, which evinces (nothing more) Man's heavenly source, and which, retaining still Some scintillations of Promethean fire,
Bespeaks him animated from above.
The Gods love verse; the infernal Powers themselves
Confess the influence of verse, which stirs
The lowest deep, and binds in triple chains
Of adamant both Pluto and the Shades.
In verse the Delphic priestess, and the pale
Tremulous Sibyl, make the future known,