« 上一頁繼續 »
Keep, lovely May,' as if by touch
Of self-restraining art,
This modest charm of not too much,
Part seen, imagined part!
AGES elapsed ere Homer's lamp appeared,
And charms the woodland scenes, and wilds unknown,
But seldom (as if fearful of expense)
(1) Keep lovely May, &c.-The most satisfactory test of superlative excellence, in point of composition, of such lines as this and the following, would be afforded by the attempt to improve them by the alteration or addition of even a single word. The success of Horace himself in such an endeavour would have been extremely doubtful.
(2) Mantuan swan-Virgil, so called because he was born at Mantua, in Italy. A particular species of swans had the reputation among the ancients of singing very beautifully-hence poets were figuratively styled swans.
(3)" Colours dipt in heaven "-an expression borrowed from "Paradise Lost."
A soul exalted above earth; a mind
MORAL MAXIMS, EPIGRAMS, &c.
I. LIVE WHILE YOU LIVE!
"LIVE while you live," the epicure would say,
Lord! in my views let both united be;
II. LINES UNDER MILTON'S PORTRAIT.
THREE poets in three distant ages born,
THE wretch, condemned with life to part,
And every pang that rends the heart
Bids expectation2 rise.
(1) Dr. Johnson has pronounced this epigram the finest in the language.
(2) Expectation-is here employed in precisely the same sense as hope; for the distinction between them, see note 1, p. 203.
Hope, like the1 glimmering taper's light,
And still, as darker grows the night,
IV. LINES WRITTEN BY LORD BYRON IN HIS BIBLE.2
WITHIN this awful volume lies
V. VIGOUR OF MIND.
THE wise and active conquer difficulties
O'ER crackling ice, o'er gulfs profound,
O'er treacherous pleasure's flowery ground,
VII. GUARD THE TONGUE.
IF thou wishest to be wise,
Keep these words before thine eyes:-
Of whom to whom-when-and where.
(1) Like the, &c.-It is scarcely necessary to point out the singular beauty of this stanza," which," as Mr. Montgomery has remarked, "like the taper itself, grows clearer and brighter the more it is contemplated."
(2) These lines may be found in one of Sir Walter Scott's tales; their application to a worthier subject is said to be originally due to Lord Byron, as above stated.
THE SAME SUBJECT.
From the Persian of Hafiz.
IX. CONQUER BY KINDNESS.
SAFER to reconcile a foe, than make
WHAT stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
XI. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR.
XIV. CARPE DIEM.
From the Latin of Martial.
TO-MORROW I will live," the fool doth say
To-day itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday.
XV. LET TRUE WORTH BE SEEN.
To hide true worth from public view,
THERE is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
WHAT is grandeur, what is power?
Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasures sweet,
Sweet Music's melting fall; but sweeter yet
WHо read a chapter when they rise,
Who shuts his hand hath lost his gold;