« AnteriorContinuar »
Now drops at once the pride of awful state,
Speak thou whose thoughts at humble peace repine,
On what foundation stands the 'warrior's pride, How just his hopes let Swedish Charles decide. A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, No dangers fright him, and no labours tire; O’er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, Unconquered lord of pleasure and of pain ; No joys to him pacific sceptres yield, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field; Behold surrounding kings their power combine, And one capitulate, and one resign; Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain ; “ Think nothing gained,” he cries, “till naught remain, On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, And all be mine beneath the polar sky." The march begins in military state, And nations on his eye suspended wait; Stern famine guards the solitary coast, And winter barricades the realms of frost; He comes-nor want, nor cold, his course delay; Hide, blushing glory, hide Pultowa's day: The vanquished hero leaves his broken bands, And shows his miseries in distant lands :
Condemned a needy supplicant to wait,
In gay hostility and barbarous pride, With half mankind embattled at his side, Great Xerxes came to seize the certain prey, And starves exhausted regions in his way! Attendant flattery counts his myriads o'er, Till counted myriads soothe his pride no more; Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his mind, The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind; New powers are claimed, new powers are still bestowed, Till rude resistance lops the spreading god; The daring Greeks deride the martial show, And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe; The insulted sea with humbler thoughts he gains, A single skiff to speed his flight remains; The encumbered oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast Through purple billows and a floating host.
But grant, the virtues of a temperate prime
Yet even on this her load misfortune flings, To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;
New sorrow rises as the day returns,
But few there are whom hours like these await, Who set unclouded in the gulfs of fate. From Lydia's monarch should the search descend, By Solon cautioned to regard his end, In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Fears of the brave and follies of the wise ? From Marlborough's eyes the streams of dotage flow, And Swift expires a driveller and a show.
Where then shall hope and fear their objects find ? Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind? Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate ? Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise, No cries invoke the mercies of the skies? Inquirer, cease! petitions yet remain, Which heaven may hear, nor deem religion vain. Still raise for good the supplicating voice, But leave to heaven the measure and the choice. Safe in his power, whose eyes discern afar, The secret ambush of a specious prayer. Implore his aid, in his decisions rest, Secure whate'er he gives he gives the best. Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will resigned ;
For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
THE TEMPTATIONS OF ST. ANTHONY.
T. H. S.
And a book was in his hand ;
. We will woo,” said the imp, “St. Anthony's eyes
Off from his holy book:
That he upon us may look.”
The Devil was in the best humour that day
That ever his highness was in: And that's why he sent out his imps to play, And he furnished them torches to light their way, Nor stinted them incense to burn as they may,
Sulphur, and pitch, and rosin.
So they came to the Saint in a motley crew,
A heterogeneous rout;
And twisted themselves about;
And had they exhibited thus to you,
Or so should myself, I doubt.
There were some with feathers, and some with scales,
And some with warty skins;
And some had gills and fins.
Some rode on skeleton beasts, arrayed
In gold and velvet stuff,
Were colder than enough.
And spiders big from the ceiling hung,
From every creek and nook:
Seemed welling from their look.
Beetles and slow-worms crawled about,
And toads did squat demure;