ePub 版

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from his head.

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fix'd,

Sad proof of thy distressful state,
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd,

And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.

With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,

Pale Melancholy sat retired,

And from her wild sequester'd seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,

Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul:

And dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels join'd the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,

Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,

In hollow murmurs died away.

But, 0, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone!
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known:

The oak-crown'd sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,

Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen,

Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial;

He, with viny crown advancing,

First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,

But soon he saw the brisk-awakening viol,

Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.
They would have thought, who heard the strain.
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,

To some unwearied minstrel dancing;

While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round,
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,

And he, amidst his frolic play,

As if he would the charming air repay,

Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.

O Music, sphere-descended maid,
Friend of pleasure, wisdom's aid,
Why, Goddess, why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learn'd in all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, 0 nymph cndear'd,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders, in that god-like age,
Fill thy recording sister's page—
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard aga
E'en all at once together found
Concilia's mingled world of sound—
O, bid our vain endeavors cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece,
Return in all thy simple state!
Confirm die tales her sons relate!


How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
She diere shall dress a sweeter sod,
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By Fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung!
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless die turf that wraps their clay.
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!



O Thou, who sitt'st a smiling bride

By Valor's arm'd and awful side,
Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best adored:

Who oft with songs, divine to hear,

Win'st from his fatal grasp the spear,
And hid'st in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword!

1 The Ode to the Brave, written In 1746, and the Ode to Mercy, seem to have been written on trie same occasion, namely, the Scotch Rebellion of 1748, when the young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, after landing In Scotland and routing the English forces, was utterly defeated at Collodcu The subsequent devastations of the Highlands by the English were dreadful I ad bloody In the highest degree; and well might our girted poet Invoke the genius of Mercy.

Thou whc amidst the deathful field,

By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
Oft with thy bosom bare art found,
Pleading for him the youth who sinks to ground:

See Merry, see, with pure and loaded hands,

Before tliy shrine my country's genius stands,
And decks thy altar still, though pierced with many a wound


When he whom e'en our joys provoke,

The fiend of Nature join'd his yoke,
And rush'd in wrath to make our isle his prey;

Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,

O'ertook him on his blasted road,
And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his rage away.

I see recoil his sable steeds,

That bore him swift to savage deeds,
Thy tender melting eyes they own;
O Maid, for all thy love to Britain shown,

Where Justice bars her iron tower,

To thee we build a roseate bower,
Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's throne 1


In yonder grave a Druid lies

Where slowly winds the stealing wave!
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,

To deck its Poet's sylvan grave 1


In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp* shall now be laid,

That he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds,
May love through life the soothing shade.


Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell,

Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear

To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.


Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore

When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,

And oft suspend the dashing oar
To bid his gentle spirit rest 1

i This ode on the Death of Thomson seems to have been written daring an excursion to Richmond on the Thames. "Collins had skill to complain.** Of that mournful melody, and those tender Images, wlilcn arc the disUnguuihint; excellencies of such pieces as bewail departed friendship or beauty, he was almost an nneqmuled master.

I Ttie harp of JGolus, of which see a descripUon In Thomson's CasUe of Indolence.


And oft as Ease and Health retire

To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
The friend shall view yon whitening spire,1

And 'mid the varied landscape weep.


But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,
Ah 1 what will every dirge avail?

Or tears, which Love and Pity shed
That mourn beneath the gliding sail 1


Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye

Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near?

With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die,
And Joy desert the blooming year.


But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,

Now waft me from the green hill's side
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!


And see, the fairy valleys fade,

Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view!

Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek nature's child, again adieu!


The genial meads4 assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!

Their hinds and shepherd girls shall dress
With simple hands thy rural tomb.


Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes;

01 vales, and wild woods, shall he say;
In yonder grave your Druid lies 1


Samcsi. Richardson-, who may be said to bo the inventor of the modern English novel, was the son of a carpenter in Derbyshire, and was born in 1689. From the limited means of his father, he was restricted to a commonschool education, which is very apparent in the structure of his composition. He early exhibited, however, the most decisive marks of genius, and was re

1 Thomson was burled in Richmond church.

9 Thomson reitded In the neighborhood of Richmond some lime before hi* death

markably partial to letter-writing, and to the company of his young female friends, with whom he maintained a constant correspondence, and even ventured, though only in his eleventh year, to become their occasional monitor and adviser. «As a bashful and not forward boy," he relates, "I was an early favorite with all the young women of taste and reading in the neighborhood. Half a dozen of them, when met to work with their needles, used, when they got a book they liked, and thought I should, to borrow me to read to them; their mothers sometimes with them; and both mothers and daughters used to be pleased with the observations they put me upon making." In this exercise, doubtless, we may see the germ of the future novelist.

At the age of sixteen he was put to the printer's trade, which he chose because it would give him an opportunity for reading. At the termination of his apprenticeship, he became a compositor and corrector of the press, and continued in this office for nearly six years, when he entered into business for himself. By his industry, punctuality, and integrity, he became more and more known, and his business rapidly increased; so that in a few years he obtained the lucrative situation of printer to the House of Commons. He did not, however, neglect to use his pen, and frequently composed prefaces and dedications for the booksellers. He also published a volume of " Familiar Letters," which might serve as models for persons of limited education.

In 1740 he published his first novel, "Pamela," which immediately attracted an extraordinary degree of attention. "It requires a reader," says Sir Walter Scott, u to be in some degree acquainted with the huge folios of inanity over which our ancestors yawned themselves to sleep, ere he can estimate the delight they must have experienced from this unexpected return to truth and nature." Truly original in its plan, it united the interest arising from well-combined incident with the moral purposes of a sermon. Pope praised it as likely to do more good than twenty volumes of sermons; and Dr. Sherlock recommended it from the pulpit.

In 1749 appeared Richardson's second and greatest work, "The History of Clarissa Harlowe," which raised his reputation at once, as a master of fictitious narrative, to the highest point. Dr. Drake calls it "perhaps the most pathetic tale ever published." The admiration it excited was not confined to his own country. It was honored with two versions in French, and Rousseau declared that nothing ever equal, or approaching to it, had been produced in any country.

As, in the character of Clarissa, Richardson had presented a picture of female virtue nnd honor nearly perfect, so in 1753, in the "History of Sir Charles Grandison," he designed to give a character which should combine the elegance of the gentleman with the faith and virtues of the Christian. "This, though not indeed so pathetic as his former work, discovers more knowledge of life and manners, and is perfectly free from that indelicacy and high coloring which occasionally render the scenery of Clarissa dangerous to young minds."'

In 1754 he was elected to the post of master to the Stationers' Company, a situation as lucrative as it was honorable. For some years previous ttf his death he had suffered much from nervous attacks, which at length terminated in an apoplectic stroke, which proved fatal on the 4th of July, 1761.

No character could be freer from vice of every sort, or more perfectly irreproachable, than Richardson. In all the duties of morality and piety he was the most regular and exemplary of men. As a writer, he possessed original

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »