« AnteriorContinuar »
The noisy world around is changing all;
War follows peace, and kingdoms rise and fall :
France rages now, and Spain, and now the Turk;
Now victory sounds;—but there he sits at work!
A man might see him so, then bid adieu,
Make a long voyage to China or Peru;
There traffic, settle, build; at length might come,
Alter'd, and old, and weather-beaten home,
And find him on the same square foot of floor,
On which he left him twenty years before.
—The selfsame bench, and attitude, and stool,
The same quick movement of his cunning tool;
The very distance 'twixt his knees and chin,
As though he had but stept just out and in.
-Such is his fate—and yet you might descry
A latent spark of meaning in his eye.
That crowded shelf beside his bench, contains
One old, worn volume that employs his brains :
With algebraic lore its page is spread,
Where A and B contend with X and Z:-
Sold by some student from an Oxford hall,
Bought by the pound upon a broker's stall.
On this it is his sole delight to pore,
Early and late, when working time is o'er :
But oft he stops, bewilder'd and perplex’d,
At some hard problem in the learned text,
Pressing his hand upon his puzzled brain,
At what the dullest school-boy might explain.
- From needful sleep the precious hour he saves,
To give his thirsty mind the stream it craves :
There, with his slender rush beside him plac'd,
He drinks the knowledge in with greedy haste.
At early morning, when the frosty air
Brightens Orion and the Northern Bear,
His distant window 'mid the dusky row,
Shews a dim light to passenger below.
-A light more dim is flashing on his mind,
That shews its darkness, and its views confin'd.
Had science shone around his early days,
How had his soul expanded in the blaže!
But penury bound him, and his mind in vain
Struggles and writhes beneath her iron chain.
-At length the taper fades, and distant cry
Of early sweep bespeaks the morning nigh:
Slowly it breaks, and that rejoicing ray
That wakes the healthful country into day,
Tips the green hills, slants o'er the level plain,
Reddens the pool, and stream, and cottage pane,
And field, and garden, park, and stately hall,
Now darts obliquely on his wretched wall.
He knows the wonted signal; shuts the book,
Slowly consigns it to its dusty nook ;
Looks out awhile, with fix'd and absent stare,
On crowded roofs seen through the foggy air ;
the embers, takes his sickly draught, Sighs at his fortunes, and resumes his craft.
When, thoughtful, to the vault of heaven
I lift my wond'ring eyes,
And see the clear and quiet even
To night resign the skies,-
The moon, in silence, rear her crest,
The stars in silence shine,-
A secret rapture fills my breast,
That speaks its birth divine.
Unheard, the dews around me fall,
And heav'nly influence shed, And, silent, on this earthly ball,
Celestial footsteps tread. Aerial music wakes the spheres,
Touch'd by harmonious powers : With sounds, unheard by mortal ears,
They charm the ling’ring hours. Night reigns, in silence, o'er the pole,
And spreads her gems unheard : Her lessons penetrate the soul,
Yet borrow not a word. Noiseless the sun emits his fire,
And pours his golden streams;
And silently the shades retire
Before his rising beams.
The hand that moves, and regulates,
And guides the vast machine,-
governs wills, and times, and fates,--
Retires and works unseen.
Angelic visitants forsake
Their amaranthine bowers;
On silent wing their stations take,
And watch the allotted hours.
Sick of the vanity of man,-
His noise, and pomp, and show,I'll move upon great Nature's plan,
And, silent, work below. With inward harmony of soul,
I'll wait the upper sphere; Shining, I'll mount above the pole,
And break my silence there.
HAPPY the man, who sees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that chequer life!
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme !
Did not His eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns (since from the least
The greatest oft originate ;) could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be surpris’d, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And, having found his instrument, forgets,
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the power that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men,
That live an atheist life; involves the heavens
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the skin,
And putrefy the breath of blooming health.
He calls for famine, and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his shrivell’d lips,
And taints the golden ear. He springs his mines
And desolates a nation at a blast.
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects;
Of action and re-action : he has found
The source of the disease that nature feels,
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause
Suspend th' effect, or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means, since first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means
Form'd for his use, and ready at his will? Cowper.
The spearmen heard the bugle sound,
And cheerly smild the morn;
And many a brach, and many a hound,
Attend Llewllyn's horn:
And still he blew a louder blast,
a louder cheer:
“ Come, Gelert, why art thou the last,
Llewellyn's horn to hear?
« O where does faithful Gelert roam,
The flower of all his race?
So true, so brave—a lamb at home,
A lion in the chase!”
'Twas only at Llewellyn's board
The faithful Gelert fed ;
He watch'd, he serv'd, he cheer'd his lord,
And sentinell'd his bed.
In sooth he was a peerless hound,
The gift of royal John;
But now no Gelert could be found,
And all the chase rode on,