ePub 版

And blest are they who sleep; and we that know, While in a spot like this we breathe and walk, That all beneath us by the wings are covered Of motherly humanity, outspread And gathering all within their tender shade, Though loth and slow to come! A battle-field, In stillness left when slaughter is no more, With this compared, makes a strange spectacle ! A dismal prospect yields the wild shore strewn With wrecks, and trod by feet of young and old Wandering about in miserable search Of friends or kindred, whom the angry sea Restores not to their prayer! Ah! who would think That all the scattered subjects which compose Earth's melancholy vision through the space Of all her climes—these wretched, these depraved, To virtue lost, insensible of peace, From the delights of charity cut off, To pity dead, the oppressor and the opprest; Tyrants who utter the destroying word, And slaves who will consent to be destroyedWere of one species with the sheltered few, Who, with a dutiful and tender hand, Lodged, in a dear appropriated spot, This file of infants ; some that never breathed The vital air; others, which, though allowed That privilege, did yet expire too soon, Or with too brief a warning, to admit Administration of the holy rite That lovingly consigns the babe to the arms Of Jesus, and his everlasting care. These that in trembling hope are laid apart; And the besprinkled nursling, unrequired

Till he begins to smile upon the breast
That feeds him; and the tottering little-one
Taken from air and sunshine when the rose
Of infancy first blooms upon his cheek;
The thinking, thoughtless, school-boy; the bold youth
Of soul impetuous, and the bashful maid
Smitten while all the promises of life
Are opening round her; those of middle age,
Cast down while confident in strength they stand,
Like pillars fixed more firmly, as might seem,
And more secure, by very weight of all
That, for support, rests on them; the decayed
And burthensome; and lastly, that poor few
Whose light of reason is with age extinct;
The hopeful and the hopeless, first and last,
The earliest summoned and the longest spared-
Are here deposited, with tribute paid
Various, but unto each some tribute paid;
As if, amid these peaceful hills and groves,
Society were touched with kind

And gentle 'Nature grieved, that one should die;'
Or, if the change demanded no regret,
Observed the liberating stroke-and blessed.

And whence that tribute ? wherefore these regards ? Not from the naked Heart alone of Man (Though claiming high distinction upon earth As the sole spring and fountain-head of tears, His own peculiar utterance for distress Or gladness)-No," the philosophic Priest Continued, “'tis not in the vital seat Of feeling to produce them, without aid From the pure soul, the soul sublime and pure ;

With her two faculties of


The one by which a creature, whom his sins
Have rendered prone, can upward look to heaven;
The other that empowers him to perceive
The voice of Deity, on height and plain,
Whispering those truths in stillness, which the WORD,
To the four quarters of the winds, proclaims.
Not without such assistance could the use
Of these benign observances prevail :
Thus are they born, thus fostered, thus maintained;
And by the care prospective of our wise
Forefathers, who, to guard against the shocks
The fluctuation and decay of things,
Embodied and established these high truths
In solemn institutions :-men convinced
That life is love and immortality,
The being one, and one the element.
There lies the channel, and original bed,
From the beginning, hollowed out and scooped
For Man's affections—else betrayed and lost,
And swallowed up

'mid deserts infinite !
This is the genuine course, the aim, and end
Of prescient reason; all conclusions else
Are abject, vain, presumptuous, and perverse.
The faith partaking of those holy times,
Life, I repeat, is energy of love
Divine or human ; exercised in pain,
In strife, and tribulation; and ordained,
If so approved and sanctified, to pass,
Through shades and silent rest, to endless joy."



ARGUMENT. Poet's Address to the State and Church of England–The Pastor not

inferior to the ancient Worthies of the Church-He begins his Narratives with an instance of unrequited Love-Anguish of mind subdued, and how-The lonely Miner-An instance of perseveranceWhich leads by contrast to an example of abused talents, irresolution, and weakness-Solitary, applying this covertly to his own case, asks for an instance of some Stranger, whose dispositions may have led him to end his days here-Pastor, in answer, gives an account of the harmonising influence of Solitude upon two men of opposite principles, who had encountered agitations in public life-The rule by which Peace may be obtained expressed, and where—Solitary hints at an overpowering Fatality—Answer of the Pastor-What subjects he will exclude from his Narratives--Conversation upon this-Instance of an unamiable character, a Female, and why given-Contrasted with this, a meek sufferer, from unguarded and betrayed love Instance of heavier guilt, and its consequences to the OffenderWith this instance of a Marriage Contract broken is contrasted one of a Widower, evidencing his faithful affection towards his deceased wife by his care of their female Children.

HAIL to the crown by Freedom shaped—to gird
An English Sovereign's brow! and to the throne
Whereon he sits! Whose deep foundations lie
In veneration and the people's love;
Whose steps are equity, whose seat is law.
-Hail to the State of England! And conjoin
With this a salutation as devout,
Made to the spiritual fabric of her Church;
Founded in truth; by blood of Martyrdom
Cemented; by the hands of Wisdom reared
In beauty of holiness, with ordered pomp,

Decent and unreproved. The voice, that greets
The majesty of both, shall pray for both;
That, mutually protected and sustained,
They may endure long as the sea surrounds
This favoured Land, or sunshine warms her soil.

And O, ye swelling hills, and spacious plains ! Besprent from shore to shore with steeple-towers, And spires whose 'silent finger points to heaven ; ' Nor wanting, at wide intervals, the bulk Of ancient minster lifted above the cloud Of the dense air, which town or city breeds To intercept the sun's glad beams-may ne'er That true succession fail of English hearts, Who, with ancestral feeling, can perceive What in those holy structures ye possess Of ornamental interest, and the charm Of pious sentiment diffused afar, And human charity, and social love. -Thus never shall the indignities of time Approach their reverend graces, unopposed; Nor shall the elements be free to hurt Their fair proportions; nor the blinder rage Of bigot zeal madly to overturn; And, if the desolating hand of war Spare them, they shall continue to bestow, Upon the thronged abodes of busy men (Depraved, and ever prone to fill the mind Exclusively with transitory things) An air and mien of dignified pursuit ; Of sweet civility, on rustic wilds.

The Poet, fostering for his native land

« 上一頁繼續 »