Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

published poem on the growth and revolutions of an individual mind by Wordsworth :

- an Orphic tale indeed,
A tale divine of high and passionate thoughts,
To their own music chaunted !"

GROWTH OF GENIUS FROM THE INFLUENCES OF NATURAL OBJECTI
ON THE IMAGINATION IN BOYHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH.

Wisdom and spirit of the universe !
Thou soul, that art the eternity of thought !
And giv’st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion ! not in vain,
By day or starlight, thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul,
Nor with the mean and vulgar works of man,
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature : purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear, until we recognize
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.

Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
With stinted kindness. In November days,
When vapors rolling down the valleys made
A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods
At noon, and ʼmid the calm of summer nights,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake,
Beneath the gloomy hills I homeward went
In solitude, auch intercourse was mine ;
’T was mine among the fields both day and night,
And by the waters all the summer long.

And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,

I heeded not the summons. Happy time
It was indeed for all of us, to me
It was a time of rapture : clear and loud
The village clock tolled six ;—I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting, like an untired horse
That cared not for its bome.—All shod with steel,
We hiss'd along the polish'd ice, in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures, the resounding horn,
The pack loud bellowing, and the hunted bare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle: with the din
Meanwhile the precipices rany aloud,
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron, while the distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy—not unnoticed, while the stars,
Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng, To cut across the image of a star That gleam'd upon the ice ; and oftentimes, When we had given our bodies to the wind, And all the shadowy banks on either side Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once Have I, reclined back upon my heels, Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs Wheel'd by me even as if the earth had rollid With visible motion her diurnal round : Behind me did they stretch in solemn train Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watch'd Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.

333.—THE OLD AND YOUNG COURTIER.

ANONYMOUS. [The whole of the sixteenth century was marked by important changes of every kind-political, religious, and social. The wars with France, and the internal contests of the Roses were over, and the energy of the nation was directed to new objects. Trade and commerce were extended; fresh sources of wealth were developed ; and new classes of society sprung up into importance, whose riches enabled them to outvie the old landed gentry, but who had few of their hereditary tastes and habits. Hence the innovation of old customs, and the decay of ancient manners, to which the gentry themselves were compelled to conform. The following old song, which is printed in the 'Percy Reliques,' from an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection,' is a lament over the changes which had taken place in the early part the seventeenth century, as compared with the days of Queen Elizabeth.) An old song made by an aged old pate, Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a great estate, That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate, And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate :

Like an old courtier of the queen's,

And the queen's old courtier. With an old lady, whose anger one word assuages, That every quarter paid their old servants their wages, And never knew what belong'd to coachmen, footmen, nor pages, But kept twenty old fellows with blue coats and badges;

Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old study fill’d full of learned old books,
With an old reverend chaplain, you might know him by his looks;
With an old buttery hatch, worn quite off the hooks,
And an old kitchen that maintain'd half-a-dozen old cooks ;

Like an old courtier, &c.
With an old hall hung about with pikes, guns, and bows,
With old swords, and bucklers, that had borne many shrewd blows,
And an old frieze coat to cover his worship's trunk hose ;
And a cup of old sherry to comfort his copper nose ;

Like an old courtier, &c.

With a good old fashion, when Christmas was come,
To call in all his old neighbors with bagpipe and drum,
With good cheer enough to furnish every old room,
And old liquor able to make a cat speak and a man dumb;

Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old falconer, huntsman, and a kennel of hounds,
That never hawk'd nor hunted but in his own grounds,
Who, like a wise man, kept himself within his own bounds,
And when he died gave every child a thousand good pounds;

Like an old courtier, &c.

But to his eldest son his house and lands he assign'd,
Charging him in his will to keep the old bountiful mind,
To be good to his old tenants, and to his neighbors be kind;
But in the ensuing ditty you shall hear how he was inclined;

Like a young courtier of the king's

And the king's young courtier.
Like a flourishing young gallant, newly come to his land,
Who keeps a brace of painted madams at his command,
And takes up a thousand pounds upon his father's land,
And gets drunk in a tavern till he can neither go nor stand ;

Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new-fangled lady, that is dainty, nice, and spare,
Who never knew what belong’d to good house-keeping, or care ;
Who buys gaudy-color'd fans to play with wanton air,
And seven or eight different dressings of other women's bair;

Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new-fashion'd hall, built where the old one stood,
Hung round with new pictures that do the poor no good ;
With a fine marble chimney, wherein burns neither coal nor wood,
And a new smooth shovel-board, whereon no victuals ne'er stood;

Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new study stuffed full of pamphlets and plays,
And a new chaplain that swears faster than he prays,

With a new buttery hatch that opens once in four or five days, And a new French cook to devise fine kickshaws and toys;

Like a young courtier, &c. With a new fashion, when Christmas is drawing on, And a new journey to London straight we all must be gone, And leave none to keep house but our new porter John, Who relieves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone ;

Like a young courtier,.&c.
With a new gentleman usher, whose carriage is complete ;
With a new coachman, footman, and pages to carry up the meat;
With a waiting gentlewoman, whose dressing is very neat,
Who, when her lady has dined, lets the servants not eat;

Like a young courtier, &c.
With new titles of honor, bought with his father's old gold,
For which sundry of his ancestors' old manors are sold ;
And this is the course most of our new gallants hold,
Which makes that good house-keeping is now grown so cold,

Among our young courtiers of the king,
Or the king's young courtiers, .

334.-OF HIS OWN STUDIES.

Milton. (In Milton's Prose Writings, controversial as most of them are, we find the most interesting morsels of autobiography. The following is from "The Reason of Church Government.')

Concerning this wayward subject against prelaty, the touching whereof is so distasteful and disquietous to a number of men; as, by what hath been said, I may deserve of charitable readers to be credited, that neither envy nor gall hath entered me on this controversy ; but the enforcement of conscience only, and a preventive fear, lest the omitting of this duty should be against me, when I would store up to myself the good provision of peaceful

« PředchozíPokračovat »