« AnteriorContinuar »
As when the Force
Of Subterranean Wind transports a Hill,
Torn from Pelorus, or the Diatcer'd Side
Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible
And fuel'd Entrails thence conceiving Fire,
Sublim'd with min'ral Fury aid the Winds,
And leave a finged Bottom all involv'd
With Stench and-Smoke.
How great a Toil to stem the raging Flood,
When Beauty stirs the Mass of youthful Blood ?
When the fwoln Veins with circling Torrents rises
And Softer Paflions speak thro' wishing Eyes.
The Voice of Reason's drown'd; in vain it fpeaks,
Wl.en hasty Anger dies the gloomy Cheeks ;
And vengeful Pride hurries the Mortal on
To Deeds unheard, and Cruelties unknown.
Then ʼgan the Palmer thus ; Most wretched Man,
That to Affections does the Bridle lend :
In their Beginning they are weak and wan,
Buc foon, through Suft'rance, growe to fearfull End
Whiles they are weak, betimes with them contend:
For when they once to perfect Strength do growe,
Strong. Warres they make, and cruel Batı'ry bend,
Gainst Fort of Reason it to overthrowe :
Wrath, Jealousy, Grief, Love, this Squire have laid
Wrath, Jealousy, Griefe, Love, do thus expell:
Wrach is a Fire, and Jealousy a Weede ;
Griefe is a Flood, and Love a Monster fell.
The Fire of Sparke, the Weed of little Seed,
The Flood of Drops, the Monster Filth did breed :
Bat Sparks, Seed, Drops, and Filth có thus decay ;
The Sparks foon quench, the springing Seed out-weed,
The Drops dry up, and Filth wipe clean away; So halt Wrath, Jealousy, Griefe, Love, die and do
(cay. [Spen. Faig Q.
But you may shan Diseases baleful Pow'r,
Nor pine away in an untimely Hour ;
Morose old Age, incurable Disease,
and foon does the frail Being seize ; Tird with himself, he Company desires, Which scornful Aies, for Company he tires. Now pensive on his Staff he' walks alone, Too confcious wl:at himself in Youth has done : So chang'd his Country, that he seems to stand An useless Gazer in a foreign Land. So chang'd himself, he's scarce tlie wicher'd Shade of the proud Thing in Robes of Glory clad. Edward, once active as the joyful Sun, Loaded with Years himself, Luc loads a Throne, The Rays so languid, and the Shadows great, Almolt his English with their Sun was ser. * A fordid Woman's busy Projects stain The splendid Annals of that martial Reign. Still fome Remains of Bliss old Age enjoys ; But Time voracious those Remains destroysg 'Till it can nought but naked Life devour : For this the Dotard weeps, and dreads th’approaching
(Hour. Grim Dearh, regardless, knows not how to save, But drags the trembling Prey to his ungrateful Cive.
But oh! on what imperceptible Strings
Depends th’inconstant State of human Things !
That Face, in which the Gods might take Delight,
Is now grown hideous, and forsakes the sight.
With cruel Scythe, inexorable Time
Mows down her youthly Bloom and Beauty's Prime.
Now wrinkly Ağe begins to draw his Plow
On that once-smooth, once-fnowy, spacious Brow.
Now, where her Teeth took up their Iv'ry-Seat,
Is all an empty Space, or Scene of Jet.
Her Head, which once with golden Tresses Dione,
Is filver'd o’er with Hairs but thinly fowni :
And now the Flame, which on my Marrow prey'd,
Begins to languilh; and the Heat's decay'd.
Phyllis no more can now her Charms employ,
But damps Defire, and frights the Cyprian Boy :
Deforni’d, she cures the Wound her Beauty, gave;
And the, whose Eyes could kill me, now can fave.
The Four A G ES of the World.
GO L DEN A Ġ E.
The Golden Age was first, when Man yet new,
No Rule, but uncorrupted Reason, knew;
And with a native Bent did Good pursue.
Unforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fearo:
His Words were simple, and his soul sincere :
Needless was written Law, where none opprefs'd :
The Law of Man was written in his Breaft.
No fupplian't Crowds before the Judge appear'd,
No Court erected yety, nor Cause was heard ;
But all was safe, for Confcience was their Guard,
The Mountain Trees in distant Profpect please ;.
E'er yet the Pine descended to the Seas ;
È'er Sails were fpread new Oceans to explore,
And happy Mortals, unconcern'd for more,
Confind their Wishes to their native Shore.
No Walls were yet, nor Fence, nor Moat, nor Mound ;
Nor Drum was heard, nor Trumpet's angry Sound;
Nor Swords were forg'd ; but void of Care and Crime,
The soft Creation sept away their Time.
The teeming Earth, yet guiltless of the Plough,
And un provok'd, did fruitful Stores allow.
Content with Food which Nature freely bred,
On Wildings and on Strawberries they fed :
Cornels and Bramble-berries gave the rest,
And falling Acrons furnish'd ont a Feaft.
The Flow'rs unsown, in: Fields and Meadows reign'd,
And Western Winds immortal Spring maintain'd. -
In following Years, the bearded Corn ensu'd
From Earth unalk'd, nor was that Earth renew'd,
From Veins and Vallies Milk and Nectar broke,
And Honey sweated thro' the Pores of Oak.
SILVER A G E. But when Good Şaturn, banish'd from above, Was driv'n to Hell, the World was under fove : Succeeding Times a filver Age behold, Excelling Brass, but more excell’d by Gold. Then Summer,Autumn, Winter, did appear, And Spring was but a Season of the Year. The Sun his annual Course obliquely made, Good Days contracted, and enlarg‘d the bad. The Air with sultry Heats began to glow, The Wings of Winds were clogg'd with Iče and Snow: And fhiv'ring Mortals; into Houses driven, Sought Shelter from th' Inclemency of Heaven, Their Houses then were Caves, or homely Steds, With twining Oziers fenc'd, and Moss their Beds. Then Ploughs for Seed the fruitful Furrows broke, And Oxen labour'd first beneath the Yoke.
BRAZEN A G E.
To this came next in Course the Brazen Age;
A warlike Off-fpring, prope to bloody Rage,
Not in pious yet.
IRON A'G E.".
Hard Sceel succeeded then, And stubborn, as the Metal, were the Men.
Truth, Modesty, and Shame, the World for fook,' 0
Fraud, Avarice, and Force, their Places took:
Then Sails were spread to ev'ry Wind that blew,
Raw were the Sailors, and the Depths were new.
Trees rudely hollow'd did the Waves suitain,
E'er Ships in Triumph plow'd the watry Main.
Then Land-marks limited to each his Right,
For all before was common as the Light :
Nor was the Ground alone requir'd to bear
Her annual Income to the crooked Share ;
But greedy Mortals, rummaging her Store,
Digg'd from her Entrails first the precious Ore ;
(Which next to Hell the prudent Gods had laid)
And that alluring Ill to Sight display'd :
Thus cursed Steel, and more accursed Gold,
Gave Mischief Birth, and made that Mischief bold;
And double Death did wretched Man invade;
By Steel assaulted, and by Gold berray'd.
Now, brandish'd Weapons glitt'ring in their Hands,
Mankind is broken loose from moral Bands.
No Rights of Hospitality remain,
The Guest, by him who harbour'd him, is flair.
The Son-in-Law persues the Father's Life ;
The Wife her Husband murders, he the Wife :
The Scep-dame Piofon for the Son prepares;
The Son enquires into his Father's Years;
Faith fies, and Piety in Exile mourns,
And Justice, here opprefs’d, to Heav'n returns.
E'er this no Peasant vex'd the peaceful Ground, Which only Turfs and Greens for Alcars found : No Fences parted Fields ; nor Marks, nòr Bonnds Distinguish'd Acres of litigious Grounds : But all was common, and che fruitful Earth Was free to give her unexacted Birth. Jove added Venom to the Vipers Brood, And fwell’d with raging Storms the peaceful Flood ;