Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

1

The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he givin in vain the heavenly Muse?
Night and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar*

[war. Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of

[ocr errors]

II. 2.

tin climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom

To cheer the shivering Native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the od'rous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage Youth repeat In loose numbers wildly sweet Their feather-cinctur'd Chief, and dusky Loves. Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, [flame. The' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy

II. 3.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep, Isles, that crown the Ægean deep,

• Or seen the morning's well-appointed star Come marching up the eastern bilis afar.

Cowley. + Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it. I'Extra anni solisque vias

Virgil.
Tutta lontana dal camin del sole.'

Petrarch, Canzon, 2. s Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to

Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,

Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering lab'rinths creep,

How do your tuneful Echoes languish,

Mute but to the voice of Anguish! Where each old poetic Mountain

Inspiration breath'd around ;
Every shade and hallow'd Fountain

Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion ! next, thy sea-encircled

coast.

III. 1.

Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling* laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face : the dauntless Child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year :
Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy ;

England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat had travelled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spenser imitated the Italian writers, and Milton improved on them; but this school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French model, which has subsisted ever since.

• Shakspeare.

Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.

III, 2.

Nor second He, that rode sublime* Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstacy, The secrets of the Abyss to spy. He pass'd the the flaming bounds of Place and

Time,t
The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where Angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw ; but, blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd bis eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two Coursers of ethereal race,ll [ing pace.f
With necks in thunder cloth’d, and long-resound.

III. 3.
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
Bright-ey'd Fancy hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.**

* Milton,
t-flammantia monia mundi.

Lucretius. For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord. Ezekiel, i. 20. 26. 28. 9 Οφθαλμων μεν αμερσε· διδε δ' ηδειαν αοιδην.

Hom, Od. | Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.

Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Job. ** Words that weep, and tears that speak. Cowley.

But ah! 'tis heard no more*.

Oh ! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit

Wakes thee now! Though he inherit Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,

That the Theban Eagle bear.t
Sailing with supreme dominion

Through the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:

Yet shall he mount and keep his distant way, Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, [Great. Beneath the Good how far-but far above the

* We have had in our language no other odes of the sublime kind, than that of Dryden on St. Cecilia's day.

t scos cargos ogrigese daloy. Olymp. 2. Pindar compares him. self to that bird, and his enemies to ravens that croak and clamour in vain below, while it pursues its flight, regardless of their noise.

37

THE BARD.

A PINDARIC ODE.**

I. 1.

• Ruin seize thee, ruthless King :

Confusion on thy banners wait ;
Though fann’d by Conquest's crimson wing,

They mock the air with idle state.t

Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail, Nor e’en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail

* This Ode is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward the first, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the Bards that fell into his hands to be

put to death.

The original argument of this Ode, as its author had set it down on one of the pages of his common-place book, was as follows: "The army of Edward I. as they march through a deep valley, are suddenly stopped by the appearance of a venerable figure seated on the summit of an inaccessible rock, who, with a voice more than human, reproaches the king with all the misery and desolation which he had brought on his country; foretels the misfortunes of the Norman race, and with prophetic spirit de. clares, that all his cruelty shall never extinguish the noble ar: dour of poetic genius in this island; and that men shall nerer be wanting to celebrate true virtue and valour in immortal strains, to expose vice and infamous pleasure, and boldly censure tyranny and oppression. His song ended, he precipitates him. self from the mountain, and is swallowed up by the river that rolls at its foot. + Mocking the air with colours idly spread.

Shakspeare's King John. | The hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail that sat close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion. Vol. XXIX,

D

« PředchozíPokračovat »