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AN ALLEGORICAL POEM.
Such beauty and beneficence combin'd;
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre, Shade, unperceir'd, so softening into shade; Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll. And all so forming an harmonious whole ;
For me, when I forget the darling theme, That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. Whether the blossom blows, the Summer-ray But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze, Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams; Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand, Or Winter rises in the blackening east; That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres; Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more, Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat. The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring : Should Fate command me to the farthest verge Flings from the Sun direct the flaming day ; Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes, Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempests forth ; Rivers unknown to song; where first the Sun And, as on Earth this grateful change revolves, Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam With transport touches all the springs of life. Flames on th’ Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me; Nature, attend ! join every liring soul,
Since God is ever present, ever felt, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In the void waste, as in the city full; In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise
And where he vital breathes, there must be joy. One general song! To him, ye vocal gales, When ev'n at last the solemn hour shall come, Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness breathes: And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, Oh, talk of him in solitary glooms;
I cheerful will obey : there, with new powers,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns;
Myself in him, in Light ineffable;
flowers, In mingled clouds to him ; whose Sun exalts,
Advertisement. Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil
This poem being writ in the manner of Spenser, paints.
the obsolete words, and a simplicity of diction in Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to him;
some of the lines, which borders on the ludicrous, Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
were necessary, to make the imitation more perfect. As home he goes beneath the joyous Moon.
And the style of that admirable poet, as well as the Ye that keep watch in Heaven, as Earth asleep
measure in which he wrote, are, as it were, appre Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
priated by custom to allegorical poems writ in our
language; just as in French the style of Marot, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
who lived under Francis I., has been used in tales, Great source of day! best image here below
and familiar epistles, by the politest writers of the Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round,
age of Louis XIV.
ARCHIMAGE — the chief Deftly - skilfully.
Ay - always.
often afterwards. Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
– sorrow, trouble, Eke - also. The listening shades, and teach the night his praise. misfortune.
Fays — fairies Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, Benempt - named. Gear or geer - furniture, At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all, Blazon — painting, dis
equipage, dress. Crown the great hymn! in swarm.ing cities vast, playing
Glaive - sword. (Fr.) Assembled men, to the deep organ join
Breme - cold, raw. Glee -joy, pleasure. The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear, Carol – to sing songs of Han — have. At solemn pauses, through the swelling base;
Hight — named, called; And, as each mingling flame increases each, Caucus the north-east and sometimes it is In one united ardour rise to Heaven.
used for is called. See Or if you rather chuse the rural shade,
Certes — certainly stanza vü. And find a fame in every secret grove;
Dan — a word prefixed to Idless idleness. There let the shepherd's Aute, the virgin's lay,
EXPLANATION OF THE OBSOLETE WORDS
Eath - easy.
Imp-child, or offspring; Prick'd thro' the forest Was nought around but images of rest:
from the Saxon impan, rode through the forest. Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between ; to graft or plant. Sear — dry, burnt up. And flowery beds that slumberous influence kest, Kest - for cast.
- bright, shining From poppies breath'd ; and beds of pleasant Lad -- for led.
Where never yet was creeping creature seen. meadow.
Soot - sweet, or sweetly. Meantime unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd, Libbard - leopard. Sooth true, or truth. And hurled every where their waters sheen ; Lig - to lie.
Stound--misfortune, pang. That, as they bicker'd through the sunny shade, Losel - a loose idle fellow. Sweltry · sultry, con- Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur Louting - bowing, bend suming with heat.
Swink - to labour. Lithe - loose, lar. Thrall — slave.
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills, Mell — mingle. Transmew'd--transformed Were heard the lowing herds along the vale, Moe Vild — vile.
And flocks loud-bleating from the distant hills, Moil - to labour. Unkempt (Lat. incomp And vacant shepherds piping in the dale : Mote — might.
tus) — unadorned. And now and then sweet Philomel would wail, Muchel or mochel Ween - to think, be of Or stock-doves plain amid the forest deep, much, great. opinion.
That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale ; Nathless — nevertheless. Weet - to know; to weet, And still a coil the grasshopper did keep; to wit.
Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep. Needments necessaries. Whilom - ere-while, forNoursling - a child that merly.
Full in the passage of the vale, above, is nursed. Wight
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood; [move, Noyance -- harm. Wis, for wist — to know, Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to Prankt-coloured, adorn think, understand. As Idless fancy'd in her dreaming mood :
Wonne (a noun) -- dwell And up the hills, on either side, a wood Perdie (Fr. par Dieu) - ing.
Of blackening pines, ay waving to and fro, an old oath. Wroke wreakt.
Sent forth a sleepy horrour through the blood ;*
And where this valley winded out, below, N. B. The letter Y is frequently placed in the The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard,
to flow. heginning of a word by Spenser, to lengthen it a syllable, and en at the end of a word, for the same reason, as withouten, casten, &c.
A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was,
of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye ; Yborn - born. Yfere — together.
"And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, Iblent, or blent blend- Ymolten - melled.
For ever fushing round a summer-sky: ed, mingled.
Yode (preter tense of There eke the soft delights, that witchingly Yelad - clad.
yede) — went.
Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast, Ycleped - called, named.
And the calın pleasures always hover'd nigh;
But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest, Was far far off expell'd from this delicious nest.
The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease,
Where Indolence (for so the wizard hight)---
Close-hid his castlè mid embowering trees,
That half shut out the beams of Phæbus bright,
And made a kind of checker'd day and night; We liv'd right jollily.
Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate,
Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight O MORTAL man, who livest here by toil,
Was plac'd; and to his lute, of cruel fate, [estate. Do not complain of this thy hard estate ; And labour harsh, complainid, lamenting man's . That like an emmet thou must ever moil, Is a sad sentence of an ancient date;
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still, And, certes, there is for it reason great ;
From all the roads of Earth that pass there by : For, tho' sometimes it makes thee weep and wail, For, as they chaunc'd to breathe on neighbouring And curse thy star, and early drudge and late,
hill, Withouten that would come an heavier bale, The freshness of this valley smote their eye, Loose life, unruly passions and diseases pale. And drew them ever and anon more nigh;
Till clustering round th' enchanter false they In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
hung: With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round, Ymolten with his syren melody; A most enchanting wizard did abide,
While o'er th' enfeebling lute his hand he flung, Than whom a fiend more fell is no where found. And to the trembling chords these tempting verses It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground;
sung: And there a season atween June and May, Half prankt with spring, with summer half em “ Behold! ye pilgrims of this Earth, behold ! brown'd,
See all but man with unearn'd pleasure gay: A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, No living wight could work, ne cared ev'n for play. Broke from her wintery tomb in prime of May !
What youthful bride can cqual hier array ? “ What, what is virtue, but repose of mind, Who can with her for easy pleasure vic?
A pure ethereal calm, that knows no stonn; From mcad to mead with gentle wing to stray,
Above the reach of wild ambition's wind, From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly, Above the passions that this world deform, Is all she has to do bencath the radiant sky.
And torture man, a proud inalignant worm?
But here, instead, soft gales of passion play,. “ Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, And gently stir the heart, thereby to form The swarming songsters of the careless grove, A quicker sense of joy; as breezes stray (gas Ten thousand throats! that from the towering Across th’enliven'd skies, and make them still more
thorn Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, “ The best of men have ever lov'd repose : Such grateful kindly raptures them emove : They hate to mingle in the filthy fras; They neither plow, nor sow; ne, fit for flail, Where the soul sours, and gradual rancour grows E'er to the barn the nodden shcaves they drove; Embitter'd more from peevish day to day.
Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, ! Ev'n those whom Fame has lent her fairest ray, Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale. The most renown'd of worthy wights of yore,
From a base world at last have stol'n away: “ Outcast of Nature, man! the wretched thrall So Scipio, to the soft Cumæan shore Of bitter dropping sweat, of sweltry pain, Retiring, tasted joy he never knew before. Of cares that eat away thy heart with gall, And of the vices, an inhuman train,
“ But if a little exercise you chuse, That all proceed from savage thirst of gain : Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. For when hard-hearted Interest first began
Amid the groves you may indulge the Mus, To poison Earth, Astrxa left the plain;
Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year; Guile, violence, and murder, sciz'd on man, Or softly stealing, with your watery gear, And, for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers Along the brook, the crimson spotted fry
You may delude: the whilst, amus’d, you hear
Now the hoarse stream, and now the Zephyr's “ Come, yc, who still the cumberous load of life
sigh, Push hard up hill; but as the farthest steep Attuned to the birds, and woodland melody. You trust to gain, and put an end to strife, Down thunders back the stone with mighty sweep, “ O grievous folly ! to heap up estate, And hurls your labours to the valley deep,
Losing the days you see beneath the Sun ; For ever vain : come, and, withouten fee,
When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting Fate, I in oblivion will your sorrows steep,
And gives th' untasted portion you have woli, Your cares, your toils, will steep you in a sea With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone, Of full delight: 0 come, ye weary wights, to me! To those who mock you gone to Pluto's reign,
There with sad ghosts to pine, and shadows due “ With me, you need not rise at early dawn But sure it is of vanities most vain, To pass the joyless day in various stounds: To toil for what you here untoiling may obtain Or, louting low, on upstart Fortune fawn, And sell fair honour for some paltry pounds; He ceas’d. But still their trembling ears retain'd Or through the city take your dirty rounds, The deep vibrations of his witching song; To cheat, and dun, and lye, and visit pay,
That, by a kind of magic power, constrain'd Now flattering base, now giving secret wounds : To enter in, pell-mell, the listening throng. Or prowl in courts of law for human prey,
Heaps pour'd on heaps, and yet they slipt alory In venal senate thievė, or rob on broad highway. In silent ease : as when beneath the beam
Of summer-moons, the distant woods among, V “ No cocks, with me, to rustic labour call,
Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam, From village on to village sounding clear : The soft-embodied Fays through airy portal stress To tardy swain no shrill-voic'd matrons squall; No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your car ; By the smooth demon so it order'd was, No hammers thump; no horrià blacksmith sear, And here his baneful bounty first began : [pass, Ne noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers start, Though some there were who would not further With sounds that are a misery to hear :
And his alluring baits suspected han. But all is calm, as would delight the heart
The wise distrust the too fair-spoken man. Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art.
Yet through the gate they cast a wishful eye :
Not to move on, perdie, is all they can; “Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent ease, For, do their very best, they cannot fly, Good-natur'd lounging, sauntering up and down: But often each way look, and often sorely sigh. They who are plcas'd themselves must always please;
When this the watchful wicked wizard saw, On cthers' ways they never squint a frown, With sudden spring he leap'd upon them straight: Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town:
And, soon as touch'd by his unhallow'd paw, Thus, from the source of tender indolence, They found themselves within the cursed gate ; With milky blood the heart is overflown,
Full hard to be repass’d, like that of Fate. Is sooth'd and sweeten'd by the social sense; Not stronger were of old the giant crew, For Interest, Envy, Pride, and Strife, are banish'd Who sought to pull high Jove from regal state; hence.
Though fecble wretch he seemd, of sallow hue : Certos, who bides his crasp, will that encounter a
For whomsoe'er the villain takes in hand,
With all the lodges that thereto pertain'd, Their joints unknit, their sinews melt apace ; No living creature could be seen to stray; As lithe they grow as any willow-wand,
While solitude and perfect silence reign'd: And of their vanish'd force remains no trace: So that to think you dreamt you almost was conSo when a maiden fair, of modest grace,
strain'd. In all her buxom blooming May of charms, Is seized in some losel's hot embrace,
As when a shepherd of the Hebrid isles, She waxeth very weakly as she warms,
Plac'd far amid the melancholy main,
Or that aërial beings sometimes deign
A vast assembly moving to and fro:
Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways,
Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays The lad leap'd lightly at his master's call.
What never yet was sung in mortal lays. He was, to weet, a little roguish page,
But how shall I attempt such arduous string, Save sleep and play who minded nought at all, I, who have spent my nights, and nightly days, Like most the untaught striplings of his age. In this soul-deadening place, loose-loitering? This boy he kept each band to disengage, Ah! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing? Garters and buckles, task for him untit, But ill-becoming his grave personage,
Come on, my Muse, nor stoop to low despair, And which his portly paunch would not permit, Thou imp of Jove, touch'd by celestial fire ! o this same limber page to all performed it
Thou yet shalt sing of war, and actions fair,
Which the bold sons of Britain will inspire; Meantime the master-porter wide display'd Of ancient bards thou yet shalt sweep the lyre; Great store of caps, of slippers, and of gowns ;
Thou yet shalt tread in tragic pall the stage, Wherewith he those that enter'd in, array'd Paint love's enchanting woes, the hero's ire, Loose, as the breeze that plays along the downs, The sage's calm, the patriot's noble rage, And waves the summer-woods when evening Dashing corruption down through every worthless frowns.
age. O fair undress, best dress ! it checks no vein, But every flowing limb in pleasure drowns, The doors, that knew no shrill alarming bell, And heightens ease with grace. This done, right Ne cursed knocker ply'd by villain's hand, fain,
Self-open'd into halls, where, who can tell r porter sat him down, and turn’d to sleep again. What elegance and grandeur wide expand
The pride of Turkey and of Persia land ? Thus easy rob'd, they to the fountain sped, Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread, That in the middle of the court up-threw'B And couches stretch'd around in seemly band; A stream, high-spouting from its liquid bed, And endless pillows rise to prop the head; And falling back again in drizzly dew : (drew. So that each spacious room was one full-swelling There each deep draughts, as deep he thirsted,
bed. It was a fountain of Nepenthe rare: (grew, Whence, as Dan Homer sings, huge pleasaunce And every where huge cover'd tables stood, And sweet oblivion of vile carthly care ;
With wines high-favour'd and rich viands air gladsome waking thoughts, and joyous dreams
On the green bosom of this Earth are found,
play'd. And curs'd be he who minds his neighbour's trade ! Here dwells kind Ease and unreproving Joy : ' Here freedom reign'd, without the least alloy ; Le little merits bliss who others can annoy."
Nor gossip's tale, nor ancient maiden's gall,
Nor saintly spleen, durst murmur at our joy, Straight of these endless numbers, swarming And with envenom’d tongue our pleasures pall. round,
For why? there was but one great rule for all ; As thick as idle motes in sunny ray,
To wit, that each should work his own desire, Not one eftsoons in view was to be found,
And eat, drink, study, sleep, as it may fall, But every man strollid off his own glad way, Or melt the time in love, or wake the lyre, Wide o'er this ample court's black area,
And carol what, unbid, the Muses inight inspire.
The rooms with costly tapestry were hung, When sleep was coy, the bard in waiting there, Whero was in woven many a gentle tale;
Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse's love: Such as of old the rural poets sung,
Composing music bade lis dreams be fair, Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale:
And music lent new gladness to the morning air. Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale, Pour'd forth at large the sweetly-tortur'd heart; Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran Or, sighing tender passion, swell’d the gale, Soft-tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell,
And taught charm'd echo to resound their sinart ; And sobbing breezes sigh'd, and oft began While flocks, woods, streams, around, repose and (So work'd the wizard) wintery storms to swell
, peace impart.
As Heaven and Earth they would together mell:
At doors and windows, threatening, seem'd to Those pleas'd the most, where, by a cunning
The demons of the tempest, growling fell, Depainted was the patriarchal age;
Yet the least entrance found they none at all; What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land, Whence sweeter grew our sleep, secure in massy And pastur'd on from verdant stage to stage,
hall. Where fields and fountains fresh could best engage.
And bither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams, Toil was not then. Of nothing took they heed, Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace ; But with wild beasts the sylvan war to wage,
O'er which were shadowy cast Elysian gleams, And o'er vast plains their hierds and flocks to feed: That play'd, in waving lights, from place to Blest sons of Nature they! true golden age indeed!
And shed a roseate smile on Nature's face. Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array, Bade the gay bloom of vernal landskips rise,
So fierce with clouds the pure ethereal space; Or Autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls : Ne could it e'er such melting forms display, Now the black tempest strikes th’astonish'd eyes, As loose on flowery beds all languishingly lay. Now down the steep the flashing torrent fies; The trembling Sun now plays o'er Ocean blue, No, fair illusions ! artful phantoms, no! And now rude mountains frown amid the skies; My Muse will not attempt your fairy-land: Whate'er Lorraine light-touch'd with softening She has no colours that like you can glow : hue,
To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand, Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned Poussin drew. But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band
Than these same guileful angel-seeming sprites, Each sound, too, here, to languishment inclin'd, Who thus in dreams, voluptuous, soft, and bland. Lull'd the weak bosom, and induced ease,
Pour'd all th' Arabian Heaven upon her nights, · Aërial music in the warbling wind,
And bless'd them oft besides with more refin'd At distance rising oft by sınall degrees,
delights. Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving airs, They were in scoth a most enchanting train, As did, alas ! with soft perdition please :
Ev'n feigning virtue ; skilful to unite Entangled deep in its enchanting snares,
With evil, good, and strew with pleasure, pain. The listening heart forgot all duties and all cares. But for those fiends, whom blood and broils delight;
Who hurl the wretch, as if to Hell outright, A certain music, never known before,
Down, down black gulphs, where sullen waters Here lull’d the pensive melancholy mind;
sleep, Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more,
Or hold him clambering all the fearful night But sidelong, to the gently-waving wind,
On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep; To lay the well-tun'd instrument reclin'd; They, till due time should serve, were bid for From which, with airy flying fingers light,
hence to keep Beyond each mortal touch the most refin’d,
The god of winds drew sounds of deep delight : Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear, Whence, with just cause, the harp of Æolus it hight. From these foul demons shield the midnigts
gloom : Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine ? Angels of fancy and of love, be near, Who up the lofty diapason roll
And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom: Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine, Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, Then let them down again into the soul?
And let them virtue with a look impart: Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole But chief, awhile, 0! lend us from the tomb They breath’d, in tender musings, through the These long-lost friends for whom in love we heart;
smart, And now a graver sacred strain they stole, And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the As when seraphic hands an hymn impart,
heart. Wild-warbling Nature all above the reach of Art!
Or are you sportive — Bid the morn of youth Such the gay splendour, the luxurious state, Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days Of caliphs old, who on the Tigris' shore,
Of innocence, simplicity, and truth; In mighty Bagdat, populous and great,
To cares estrang'd, and manhood's thorny ways Held their bright court, where was of ladies store; What transport, to retrace our boyish plays, And verse, love, music, still the garland wore :