Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Hence every nobler brute they bite,
And hunt the stranger-dog with spite ;
And hence, the nose’s dictates parrying,
They fly from meat to feed on carrion.
"T is also said, the currish soul
The critic race possesses whole;
As near they come, in thoughts and natures,
As two legg'd can, to four legg'd creatures;
Alike the things they love and blame,
Their voice, and language, much the same.

The muse this subject made her theme,
And told me in a morning dream.
Such dreams you sages may decry ;
But muses know they never lie.
Then hear, from me, in grave narration,
Of these strange facts, the strange occasion.

In Greece Cynethe's village lay,
Well known to all, who went that way,
For dogs of every kindred famed,
And from true doggish manners named.
One morn, a greyhound pass’d the street;
At once the foul-mouth'd conclave met,
Huddling around the stranger ran,
And thus their smart review began.
“What tramper," with a grinning sneer
Bark'd out the clumsy cur, “ is here?
No native of the town, I see;
Some foreign whelp of base degree.
I'd show, but that the record's torn,
We true Welsh curs are better born.
His coat is smooth; but longer hair
Would more become a dog by far.
His slender ear, how straight and sloping!
While ours is much improved by cropping."

“ Right,” cried the blood-hound, “ that straight ear Seems made for nothing but to hear ; 'Tis long agreed, through all the town, That handsome ears, like mine, hang down ; And though his body's gaunt and round, 'T is no true rawboned gaunt of hound. How high his nose the creature carries ! As if on bugs, and flies, his fare is ; I'll teach this strutting stupid log, To smell 's the business of a dog."

[ocr errors]

Baugh-waugh!” the shaggy spaniel cried,
“What wretched covering on his hide!
I wonder where he lives in winter;
His straight, sleek legs too, out of joint are;
I hope the vagrant will not dare
His fledging with my fleece compare.
He never plunged in pond or river,
To search for wounded duck and diver;
By kicks would soon be set a skipping,
Nor take one half 'so well a whipping."

“ Rat me,” the lap-dog yelp’d,“ through nature,
Was ever seen so coarse a creature ?
I hope no lady's sad mishap
E’er led the booby to her lap;
He'd fright Primrilla into fits,
And rob Fooleria of her wits ;
A mere barbarian, Indian whelp!
How clownish, countryish, sounds his yelp!
He never tasted bread and butter,
Nor play'd the petty squirm and flutter;
Nor e’er, like me, has learn’d to fatten,
On kisses sweet, and softest patting.”

“ Some parson's dog, I vow," whined puppy ; “ His rusty coat how sun-burnt! stop ye!” The beagle call’d him to the wood, The bull-dog bellowed, “ Zounds!' and blood !" The wolf-dog and the mastiff were, The muse says, an exception here; Superior both to such foul play, They wish'd the stranger well away.

From spleen the strictures rose to fury, ““ Villain,” growl'd one, “ I can't endure you." “Let 's seize the truant,” snarl'd another, Encored by every foul-mouth'd brother. 66 'Tis done,” bark'd all, “ we ’ll mob the creature, And sacrifice him to ill nature.”

The greyhound, who despised their breath,
Still thought it best to shun their teeth,
Easy he wing’d his rapid flight,
And left the scoundrels out of sight.

Good Juno, by the ancients holden
The genuine notre-dame of scolding,

Sat pleased, because there'd such a fuss been,
And in the hound's place wish'd her husband;
For here, even pleasure bade her own,
Her ladyship was once outdone.
“Hail, dogs," she cried, “ of every kind !
Retain ye still this snarling mind,
Hate all that 's good, and fair, and new,
And I 'll a goddess be to you.

“ Nor this the only good you prove;
Learn what the fruits of Juno's love.
Your souls, from forms, that creep all four on,
I'll raise, by system Pythagorean,
To animate the human frame,
And gain my favorite tribe a name.
Be ye henceforth (so I ordain)
Critics, the genuine curs of men.
To snarl be still your highest bliss,
And all your criticism like this.
Whate'er is great or just in nature,
Of graceful form, or lovely feature;
Whate'er adorns the enobled mind,
Sublime, inventive, and refined;
With spleen, and spite, for ever blame,
And load with every dirty name.
All things of noblest kind and use,
To your own standard vile reduce,
And all in wild confusion blend,
Nor heed the subject, scope, or end.
But chief, when modest young beginners,
'Gainst critic laws, by nature sinners,
Peep out in verse, and dare to run,
Through towns and villages your own,
Hunt them, as when yon stranger dog
Set all your growling crew agog;
Till stunn'd, and scared, they hide from view,
And leave the country clear for you.”

This said, the goddess kind caressing, Gave every cur a double blessing. Each doggish mind, though grown no bigger, Henceforth assumed the human figure : The body walk'd on two, the mind To four still chose to be confined; Still creeps on earth, still scents out foes, Is still led onward by the nose; Hates all the good, it used to hate, The lofty, beauteous, new, and great ;

The stranger hunts with spite quintessent,
And snarls, from that day to the present.

THE WORSHIP OF THE GIBEONITES.

Now o'er the hills red streams began to burn,
And bursting splendors usher'd in the morn;
With living dyes the flowers all beauteous glow'd,
O'er the glad fields etherial odors flow'd;
The forest echoed with a boundless song,
And rising breezes pour’d the strains along.

Adorn'd with green before the palace lay
A spacious square, and smiled upon the day.
Here, ere the dawn the kindling skies illumed,
Or opening flowers the fragrant gales perfumed,
Of

every age, a vast, assembled train
Pour'd from the lofty domes, and filld the plain.

High in the midst two sacred altars shone,
Adorn'd with honors to their God, the Sun.
This, deck'd with art, and bright in royal pride,
With sable gore the quivering victim dyed :
On that, gay flowers in rich profusion lay,
And gales of Eden bore their sweets away.

Here, white with age, in snowy vesture dress’d,
Aradon stood, their monarch, and their priest;
Red in his hand a torch refulgent shone,
And his fix'd countenance watch'd the rising sun.

When first the flaming orb, with glorious rays,
Rolld o'er the hills, and pour'd a boundless blaze;
Charmed at the sight, the monarch stretch'd his hand,
And touch'd the tributės with the sacred brand ;
Through freshen'd air perfumes began to rise,
And curling volumes mounted to the skies.
Thrice to the earth the raptured suppliants bow'd,
Then struck the lyre, and hymn'd the rising god.

“O thou, whose bursting beams in glory rise,
And said, and brighten, through unbounded skies !
The world's great Parent! heaven's exalted King!
Sole source of good! and life's eternal Spring !
All hail, while cloth'd in beauty's endless ray,
Thy face unclouded gives the new-born day!

“ Above all scenes is placed thy heavenly throne;
Ere time began, thy spotless splendor shone ;
Sublime from east to west thy chariot rolls,
Cheers the wide earth, and warms the distant poles ;

Commands the vegetable race to grow,
The fruit to redden, and the flower to blow.
This world was born to change : the hand of Time
Makes, and unmakes the scenes of every

clime.
The insect millions scarce the morn survive;
One transient day the flowery nations live;
A few short years complete the human doom;
Then pale death summons to the narrow tomb.
Lash'd by the flood, the hard rocks wear away ;
Worn by the storm, the lessening hills decay;
Unchanged alone is thine exalted flame,
From endless years to endless years the same;
Thy splendors with immortal beauty shine,
Roll round the eternal heavens, and speak thy name divine.

“When thy bright throne, beyond old ocean's bound,
Through nether skies pursues its destined round,
Lost in the ascending darkness, beauty fades;
Through the blank field, and through the woodland, spreads
A melancholy silence. O’er the plain
Dread lions roam, and savage terrors, reign.

“ And when sad autumn sees thy face retire,
And happier regions hail thy orient fire,
High in the storm imperious winter flies,
And desolation saddens all the skies.
But when once more thy beam the north ascends,
Thy light invigorates, and thy warmth extends ;
The fields rejoice, the groves with transport ring,
And boundless nature hails the sky-born spring.

“Nor even in winter's glocm, or night's sad reign, Darts the warm influence of thy beams in vain.

“ Beyond the main some fairer region lies,
Some brighter isles beneath the southern skies,
Where crimson war ne'er bade the clarion roar,
Nor sanguine billows dyed the vernal shore :
No thundering storm the day's bright face conceals,
No summer scorches, and no frost congeals ;
No sickness wastes, no grief provokes the tear,
Nor tainted vapors blast the clement year.
Round the glad day-star endless beauties burn,
And crowned with rainbows, opes the imperial morn;
A clear unbounded light the skies display,
And purple lustre leads the the changing day.
O'er conscious shades, and bowers of soft repose,
Young breezes spring, and balmy fragrance blows,
The fields all wanton in serenest beams,
Wake fairer flowers, and roll diviner streams;

« AnteriorContinuar »