« 上一頁繼續 »
XXXIX. “ Ay, ficker, (quoth the knight) all flesh is frail, “ To pleasant fin and joyous dalliance bent; “ But let not brutish vice of this avail, “ And think to scape deserved punishment. “ Justice were cruel weakly to relent; “ From Mercy's felf she got her facred glaive; 66 Grace be to those who can, and will, repent ;
“ But penance long, and dreary, to the slave, " Who must in floods of fire his gross foul fpirit lave."
Still tempting heedless men into his snare,
His countenance fell; yet oft his anxious eye Mark'd them, like wily fox who roofted cock doth spy.
And virtue's tender airs o'er weakness fings.
XLII. Elate in thought, he counted them his own, They listen'd lo intent with fix'd delight : But they instead, as if transmew'd to stone, Marvel'd he could with such sweet art unite The lights and shades of manners, wrong and right. Meantime, the silly crowd the charm devour, Wide pressing to the gate. Swift, on the knight
He darted fierce, to drag him to his bower, Who backening shunn’d his touch, for well he knew its XLIII.
[power. As in throng'd amphitheatre, of old, The
wary Retiarius trap'd his foe:
But when he found that nothing could avail,
XLIV. Alarm’d, th' inferior demons of the place Rais'd rueful shrieks and hideous yells around; Black stormy clouds deform’d the welkin's face, And from beneath was heard a wailing sound, As of infernal sprights in cavern bound; A folemn sadness every creature strook, [ground: And lightnings flaihd, and horror rock'd the Huge crowds on crowds out-pour’d, with blemish'd
look, As if on time's last verge this frame of things had shook.
XLV. Soon as the short-liv'd tempeft was 'yspent, Steam'd from the jaws of vext Avernus' hole, And hush'd the hubbub of the rabblement, Sir Industry the first calm moment stole. « There must, (he cry'd) amidft so vast a fhoal, “ Be some who are not tainted at the heart, “ Not poison'd quite by this fame villain's bowl :
« Come then, my bard, thy heavenly fire impart; " Touch soul with soul, till forth the latent spirit start.”
And play'd a prelude to his rising song:
[him throng Thus, ardent, burst his strain.
6 Ye helpless race, « Dire-labouring here to smother reason's ray, " That lights our Maker's image in our face, “ And gives us wide o'er earth unquestion’d fway : " What is th' ador'd Supreme Perfection, say? “ What, but eternal never-resting soul, « Almighty power, and all-directing day;
“ By whom each atom stirs, the planets roll; " Who fills, surrounds, informs, and agitates the whole.
XLVIII. o Come, to the beaming God your hearts unfold ! « Draw from its fountain life! 'Tis thence, alone, “ We can excel. Up from unfeeling mold, “ To seraphs burning round th’ Almighty's throne, “ Life rising still on life, in higher tone, “ Perfection forms, and with perfection bliss. 66 In universal nature this clear shewn, " Nor needeth proof: to prove it were, I wis, prove the beauteous world excels the brute abyss.
XLIX. “ Is not the field, with lively culture green, “ A fight more joyous than the dead morass ? “ Do not the skies, with active ether clean, “ And fann’d by sprighely zephyrs, far furpass “ The foul November fogs, and flumberous mass, “ With which fad nature veils her drooping face! " Does not the mountain-stream, as clear as glass,
“ Gay-dancing on, the putrid pool disgrace? « The same in all holds true, but chief in human race.
L. “ It was not by vile loitering in ease, " That Greece obtain'd the brighter palm of art, “ That soft yet ardent Athens learn’d to please, " To keen the wit, aud to sublime the heart, “ In all supreme complete in every part ! “ It was not thence majestic Rome arose, « And o'er the nations fhook her conquering dart :
“ For Nuggard's brow the laurel never grows ; « Renown is not the child of indolent repose. Vol. I,
LI, “ Had
66 With brother-brutes the human race had graz'd;
[none prais d. • Great Homer's fong had never fir'd the breast “ To thirst of glory, and heroic deeds ; " Sweet Maro's Muse, funk in inglorious reft, “ Had silent flept amid the Mincian reeds : « The wits of modern time had told their beads, < And monkish legends been their only strains; * Our Milton's Eden had lain wrapt in weeds, « Our Shakespeare strolld and laugh’d with Warwick
Through the dark depth of time their vivid flame,
" Who in the public breach devoted stood, 6 And for his country's cause been prodigal of blood?