Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

What sweet delight a quiet life affords,
And what it is to be from bondage free;
Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discords,
Sweet flow'ry place, I first did learn of thee.

Ah! if I were mine own, your dear resorts
I would not change with princes' statelier courts.

DRUMMOND.
Claudian's Old Man of Verona.
HAPPY the man who his whole time does bound
Within th' inclosure of his little ground,
Happy the man whom the same humble place
(Th' hereditary cottage of his race)
From his first rising infancy has known
And by degrees sees gently bending down,
With natural propension to that earth
Which both presery'd his life and gave him birth;
Him no false distant lights by fortune set,
Could ever into foolish wandering get;
He never dangers either saw or fear'd;
The dreadful storms at sea he never heard :
He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar,
No change of consuls mark to him the year ;
The change of seasons is his calendar:
The cold and heat, winter and summer shews,
Autumn by fruits, and Spring by flow'rs he knows;
He measures time by land-marks, and has found
For the whole day the dial of his ground;
A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees,
And loves his old contemporary trees :
He's only heard of near Verona's name,
And knows it like the Indies but by fame;
Does with a like concernment notice take
Of the Red Sea and of Benacu's lake.
Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys,
And sees a long posterity of boys:
About the spacious world let others roam,
The
voyage life is longest made at home.

COWLEY.

* When, of these truths thy happier knowledge lies,
More in thine ears than in thine eyes.

HERRICK. The Country Life.To his Brother.

FRESH fields and woods! the earth's fair face!
God's footstool and man's dwelling-place!
I ask not why the first believer
Did choose to be a country liver,
Who to secure pious content
Did pitch by groves and wells his tent,
Where he might view the boundless sky, *
And all the glorious lights on high,
With flying meteors, mists and showers,
Subjected hills, trees, meads, and flowers,
And
every

minute bless the King
And wise Creator of each thing.

H. VAUGHAN. Indamora. WHOM Heav'n would bless, from pomp it will

remove,
And make their wealth in privacy and love.

DRYDEN. Aurenge-Zebe, Act II.

ALCHEMY, ALCHEMY may be compared to the man who told his sons he had left them gold buried somewhere in his vineyard ; where they by digging found no gold, but by turning up the mould, about the roots of their vines, procured a plentiful vintage. So the search and endeavours to make gold, have brought many useful inventions, and instructive experiments to light.

BACON.

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.
On turning one down with the plough.
WEE, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou's met me in an evil hour :
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare

thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonnie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet

Wi' speckl'd breast,
When upward-springing, blithe to greet

The purpling east.

* Who thinks of self when gazing on the sky?

BYRON, The Island,

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north *
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield
High shelt'ring woods and wa’s maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield,

O clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble field,

Unseen, alane. There in thy scanty mantle clad The snawie bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise ; But now the share uptears thy bed

And low thou lies !

BURNS.

WITH little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy ! oft I talk to thee,

For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace

Which love makes for thee !
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all degrees,

Thoughts of thy raising ;

.

* When soothed a while by milder airs,

Thee Winter in the garland wears
That thinly shades his few grey hairs;

Spring cannot shun thee;
Whole Summer fields are thine by right,
And Autumn, melancholy wight,
Doth in thy crimson head delight
When rains are on thee.

WORDSWORTH.

And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee for praise or blame
As is the humour of the game,

While I am gazing.

*

A little Cyclops, with one eye,
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next-and instantly

The freak is over.
The shape will vanish, and behold !
A silver shield with boss of gold
That spreads itself, some fairy bold

In flight to cover.

Sweet Flower! for by that name at last
When all my reveries are past
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,

Sweet silent creature!
That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness and a share
Of thy meek nature !

WORDSWORTH.

ADVERSITY AND PROSPERITY. The principal virtue of Prosperity is Temperance, and of Adversity Fortitude, which in morality is allowed the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, Adversity of the New, which is greater and affords a clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament we find David's harp played as many dirges as carols: and the pencil of the Holy Ghost has more fully described the afflictions of Job, than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity has its fears and distastes; Adversity its hopes and comforts.* In embroidery we find it

* Still where rosy Pleasure leads,

See a kindred Grief pursue;
Behind the steps that Misery treads

Approaching Comfort view :
The hues of bliss more brightly glow
Chastised by sabler tints of woe,

more pleasing to have a lively work upon a solemn ground, than a dark work upon a light ground, whence we may judge of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like some perfumes that are most fragrant when burnt or bruised,* for Prosperity best discovers Vicent but Adversity Virtue. I

BACON. Essays.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,

Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and torturing hour,

The bad affright, afflict the best !
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,

And purple tyrants vainly groan
With

pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth

Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth

And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged Nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore :

What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
Scared at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild laughter, noise, and thoughtless joy,

And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe;

By vain prosperity received
To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.

GRAY. Hymn to Adversity.

And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.

GRAY. Ode on Vicissitude. * Mr. Bettenham (reader of Gray's Inn) said that virtuous men were like some herbs and spices, that give not out their sweet smell till they be broken or crushed.

Bacon. Apophthegms. + It is the bright day that brings forth the adder.

JULIUS CÆSAR. A noble heart, like the sun, showeth its greatest countenance in its lowest estate.

SIR P. SIDNEY.

« AnteriorContinuar »