« AnteriorContinuar »
I friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,
Where briers wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
And with strong confidence lay bold on thee;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Resign'd to die, or resolute to live :
Prepar'd to kiss the sceptre or the rod,
While God is seen in all, and all in God.
I read his awful name emblazon'd high
With golden letters on th' illumin'd sky :
Nor less the mystic characters I see,
Vi rought in each flow'r, inscrib'd on ev'ry tree :
In ev'ry leaf that trembles to the breeze,
I hear the voice of God among the trees.
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
With thee in busy crowded cities talk ;
In ev'ry creature own thy forming pow'r ;
m each event thy providence adore :
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear control.
Thus shall I rest unmov'd by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.
Then when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye :
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I stand, and stretch my view to either state ;
Teach me to quit this transitory scene,
With decent triumph, and a look serene';
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And, having liv'd to thee, in thee to die.---BARBAULD.
A monodly on the death of lady Lyttelton. Ar length escap'd from ev'ry human eye, From ev'ry duty, ev'ry care, That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share,"' Or force my tears their flowing stream to dry; Beneath the gloom of this embow'ring shade, This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made, I now may give my burden'd heart relief, . And pour forth all my stores of grief;
Of grief surpassing ev'ry other wo,
Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love
Can on th’ ennobled mind bestow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move
Our gross desires, inelegant and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently falling rills,
Ye high o'ershadowing bills,
Ye lawns gay-smiling with perpetual green,
Oft have you my Lucy seen!
But never shall you now behold her more:
· Nor will she now, with fond delight,
And taste refin'd, your rural charms explore :
Clos'd are those beauteous eyes in endless night;
Those beauteous eyes, where beaming us’d to shine
Reason's pure light, and virtue's spark divine...
In vain I look around,
O'er all the well-known ground,
My Lucy's wonted footsteps to descry;
Where oft we us'd to walk ;
Where oft in tender talk,
We saw the summer sun go down' the sky;
Nor by yon fountain's side,
Nor where its waters glide Along the valley, can she now be found; In all the wide stretch'd prospect's ample bound,
No more my mournful eyes
Can aught of her espy,
But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie:
O shades of Hagley, where is now your boast ?
Your bright inhabitant is lost.
You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts,
Where female vanity might wish to shine,
The pomp of cities, and the pride of courts.
Her modest beauties shunnid the public eye :
To your sequester'd dales
And flower embroider'd vales,
From an admiring world she chose to fly :
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's God,
The silent paths of wisdom trod,
And banish'd every passion from her breast;
But those, the gentlest and the best,
Whose holy flames, with energy divine,
The virtuous heart enliven and improve,
The conjugal and the maternal love. ,
Sweet babes ! who, like the little playful fawns, Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns,
By your delighted mocher's side,
Who now your infant steps shall guide ? Ab! where is now the hand, whose tender care To ev'ry virtue would have form'd your youth, And strew'd wiin flow’rs the thorny ways of truth?
O loss beyond repair!
O wretched father! left alone, To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken'd mind oppress'd with wo,
And, drooping o'er thv Lucy's grave, Perform the duties that you doubly owe,
Now she, alas! is gone,
From folly and from vice their helpless age to save ?
Oh! how each beauty of her mind and face
Was brighten'd by some sweet peculiar grace!
How eloquent in ev'ry look,
Thro’ her expressive eyes, her soul distinctly spoke!
How did her manners, by the world refin d,
Leave all the taint of modish vice behind,
And make each charm of polish'd courts agree
With candid truth's simplicity,
And uncorrupted innocence!
To great, to more than manly sense,
She join’d the soft’ning influence
Of more than female tenderness.
How, in the thoughtless days of wealth and joy,
Which oft the care of others' good destroy,
Her kindly-melting heart,
To every want, and every wo,
To guilt itself when in distress,
The balm of pity would impart,
And all relief that bounty could bestow!
E'en for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall;
Tears, from sweet virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But strong and elevated was her mind :
A spirit that, with noble pride,
Could look superior down
On fortune's smile or frown;
That could, without regret or pain,
To virtue's lowest duty sacrifice
Or interest or ambition's highest prize;
That, injur'd or offended, never tried
Its dignity by vengeance to maintain,
But by magnanimous disdain.
A wit that, temperately bright,
With inoffensive light,
All pleasing shone ; nor ever pass'd
The decent bounds that wisdom's sober hand,
And sweet benevolence's mild command,
And bashful modesty, before it cast.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
That nor too little nor too much believ'd;
That scorn'd unjust suspicion's coward fear,
And, without weakness, knew to be sincere.
Such Lucy was, when in her fairest days,
Amidst th' acclaim of universal praise,
In life's and glory's freshest bloom,
Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the tomb.
So where the silent streams of Liris glide,
In the soft bosom of Campania's vale,
When now the wint’ry tempests all are fled,
And genial summer breathes her gentle gale,
The verdant orange lifts its beauteous head;
From ev'ry branch the balmy flow'rets rise.
On ev'ry bough the golden fruits are seen ;
With odours sweet it fills the smiling skies,
The wood-nymphs tend it, and th’ Idalian queen :
But, in the midst of all its blooming pride,
A sudden blast from Apenninus blows,
Cold with perpetual snows ;
The tender-blighted plant shrinks up its leaves, and dies.
O best of women ! dearer far to me
Than when, in blooming life,
My lips first call’d thee wife ;
How can my soul endure the loss of thee ?
How, in the world, to me a desert grown,
Abandon', and alone,
Without my sweet companion can I live?
Without thy lovely smile,
The dear reward of ev'ry virtuous toil,
What pleasures now can pallid ambition give ?
E’en the delightful sense of well-earn'd praise,
Unshar'd by thee, no more my lifeless thoughts could raise,
For my distracted mind
What succour can I find ?
On whom for consolation shall I call ?..
Support me, ev'ry friend ;
Your kind assistance lend,
To bear the weight of this oppressive wo.
Alas ! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, so inuch was thine,
That none has any comfort to bestow,
My books, the best relief
In ev'ry other grief,
Are now with your idea sadden'd all :
Each fav’rite author we together read
My tortur'd mem'ry wounds, and speaks of Lucy dead.
We were the happiest pair of human kind :
The rolling year its various course perform'd,
And back return'd again ;
Another, and another, smiling came,
And saw: our happiness unchang'd remain.
Still in her golden chain
Harmonious Concord did our wishes bind :
Our studies, pleasures, taste, the same.
O fatal, fatal stroke!
That all this pleasing fabric love had rais'd
Of rare felicity,
On which e'en wanton vice with envý gaz'd,
And every scheme of bliss our hearts had formid ,
With soothing hope for many a future day,
In one sad moment broke!
Yet, O my soul ! thy rising murmur stay ;
Nor dare th' all-wise Disposer to arraign, :
Or against his supreme decree
With impious grief complain.
That all thy full-blown joys at once should fade,
Was his most righteous will.and be that will obey'd.
· Would thy fond love his grace to her control;
And, in these low abodes of sin and pain,
Her pure exalted soul,
Unjustly, for thy partial good, detain ?
No-rather strive thy grov'ling mind to raise
Up to that unclouded blaze,
That heav'nly radiance of eternal light,
In which enthron'd, she now with pity sees,
How frail, how insecure, how slight,
Is every mortal bliss ;