網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

6 And yet, how lovely, in thine age of woe,

Land of lost gods, and godlike men, art thou I
Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow, Proclaim thee Nature's varied favorite now. Thy fanes, thy temples, to thy surface bow,
Commingling slowly with heroic earth;

Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
So perish monuments of mortal birth;
So perish all in turn save well-recorded worth:

7 Save where some solitary column mourns Above its prostrate brethren of the cave;
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave;

Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave, Where the gray stones and unmolested grass Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave, While strangers only, not regardless pass, Lingering, like me, perchance, to gaze and sigh "Alai<"

8 Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;

Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,

And still his honeyed wealth Hymettus yields. There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain air.

Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beams Mendeli's marbles glare:
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.

9 Where'er we tread't is haunted, holy ground;

No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould;
But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing, to behold

The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon.

Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone: Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.

10 Long, to the remnants of thy splendor past,

Shall pilgrims pensive, but unwearied, throng;
Long shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast,
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song.
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;

Boast of the aged! lesson of the young!
Which sages venerate and bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.

XC—THE INFLUENCE OF ATHENS.

Macaulay.

[The following extract is from a review of "Mitford's History of Greece," Juvenal was a Roman satirist. Dante was an illustrious Italian poet, born in 1265. Cervantes was a great Spanish writer, the author of "Don Quixote." Bacon was a great philosopher and writer of England. Butler was the author of " Hudibras," the wittiest poem in the English language. Erasmus was a celebrated scholar, a native of Holland. Pascal was an eminent writer and philosopher of France. Mirabeau was an eloquent French orator, who took a leading part in the early movements of the French revolution. Galileo was an illustrious philosopher and scientific discoverer, a native of Pisa in Italy. Algernon Sidney was an English statesman and patriot, who was executed upon a false charge of treason in the reign of Charles II.]

If we consider merely the subtlety of disquisition, the force of imagination, the perfect energy and elegance of expression, which characterize the great works of Athenian genius, we must pronounce them intrinsically most 5 valuable. But what shall we say when we reflect that from hence have sprung, directly or indirectly, all the noblest creations of the human intellect; that from hence were the vast accomplishments and the brilliant fancy of Cicero, the withering fire of Juvenal, the plastic imagination of Dante, the humor of Cervantes, the comprehension of Bacon, the wit of Butler, the supreme and universal excel5 lence of Shakspeare?

All the triumphs of truth and genius over prejudice and power, in every country and in every age, have been the triumphs of Athens. Wherever a few great minds have made a stand against violence and fraud, in the cause of 10 liberty and reason, there has been her spirit in the midst of them; inspiring, encouraging, consoling; — by the lonely lamp of Erasmus, by the restless bed of Pascal, in the tribune of Mirabeau, in the cell of Galileo, on the scaffold of Sidney.

15 But who shall estimate her influence on private happiness? Who shall say how many thousands have been made wiser, happier, and better, by those pursuits in which she has taught mankind to engage; to how many the studies which took their rise from her have been

20 wealth in poverty, liberty in bondage, health in sickness, society in solitude.

Her power is, indeed, manifested at the bar, in the senate, in the field of battle, in the schools of philosophy. But these are not her glory. Wherever literature consoles

25 sorrow, or assuages pain; wherever it brings gladness to eyes which fail with wakefulness and tears, and ache for the dark house and the long sleep, — there is exhibited, in its noblest form, the immortal influence of Athens. The dervise, in the Arabian tale, did not hesitate to

30 abandon to his comrade the camels with their load of jewels and gold, while he retained the casket of that mysterious juice which enabled him to behold at one glance all the hidden riches of the universe. Surely it is no exaggeration to say, that no external advantage is to be

35 compared with that purification of the intellectual eye, which gives us to contemplate the infinite wealth of tho mental world; all the hoarded treasures of the primeval dynasties, all the shapeless ore of its yet unexplored mines. This is the gift of Athens to man.

Her freedom and her power have, for more than twenty 5 centuries, been annihilated; her people have degenerated into timid slaves; her language, into a barbarous jargon; her temples have been given up to the successive depredations of Romans, Turks, and Scotchmen; but her intellectual empire is imperishable.

tv) And, when those who have rivalled her greatness shall have shared her fate; when civilization and knowledge shall have fixed their abode in distant continents; when the sceptre shall have passed away from England; when, perhaps, travellers from distant regions shall in vain labor

15 to decipher on some mouldering pedestal the name of our proudest chief; shall hear savage hymns chanted to some misshapen idol over the ruined dome of our proudest temple, and shall see a single naked fisherman wash his nets in the river of the ten thousand masts, — her influence and

20 her glory will still survive, fresh in eternal youth, exempt from mutability and decay, immortal as the intellectual principle from which they derived their origin, and over which they exercise their control.

XCL—LOCHIEL'S WARNING.

Campbell.

[In 1745, Charles Edward, grandson of James II, landed in Scotland, and soon gathered around him an army with which he marched into England, in order to regain possession of the throne from which his ancestors had been driven. He was brilliantly successful at first, and penetrated into England as far as Derby; but he was then obliged to retreat, and, after many disasters, his army was entirely defeated by the English, under command of the Duke of Cumberland, at Culloden.

X-ochiel, the head of the warlike clan of the Camerons, was one of the most powerful of the Highland chieftains, and a zealous supporter of the claims of Charles Edward. Among the Highlanders are certain persons supposed to

have the gift of second sight; that is, the power of foreseeing future events Lochiel, on his way to join Charles Edward, is represented as meeting one ol these seers, who endeavors in vain to dissuade him from his purpose.]

[seer, Lochiel.]

1 Seer. Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight:
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?'T is thine, 0 Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watchfire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin ! 0 to death and captivity led!
O weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead;
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave —
Culloden, that reeks with the blood of the brave.

2 Lochiel. Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling

seer;Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear, Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright. b Seer. Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn? Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn: Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north? Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode Companionless, bearing destruction abroad; But down let him stoop from his havoc on high! Ah, home let him speed — for the spoiler is nigh.

* The poetical name of Scotland.

« 上一頁繼續 »