Page images


Forlorn he must and persecuted fly,

In the still shades of Death : for dread and pain, Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lic, And griefs, will find their shafts elanc'd in vain, And often ask, and be refus'd, to die.

And their points broke, retorted from the head, For ever, from his manly toil, are known Safe in the grave, and free among the dead. The weight of power, and anguish of a crown. Yet tell me, frighted Reason ! what is death? What tongue can speak the restless monarch's woes, Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath; When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes? The utmost limit of a narrow span, When every object his offence revild,

And end of motion, which with life began. The husband murder'd, and the wife defild, As smoke that rises from the kindling fires The parent's sins impress'd upon the dying child ? Is seen this moment, and the next expires; What heart can think the grief which he sustain'd, As empty clouds by rising winds are tost, When the king's crime brought vengeance on the Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost;

So vanishes our state, so pass our days; And the inexorable prophet's voice (choice? So life but opens now, and now decays; Gave famine, plague, or war, and bid him fix his The cradle and the tomb, alas ! so nigh,

He dy'd; and, oh! may no reflection shed To live, is scarce distinguish'd from to die. Its poisonous venom on the royal dead !

Cure of the miser's wish, and coward's fear, Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd, Death only shows us what we knew was near. Which long has labour'd in this pensive breast : With courage, therefore, view the pointed hour, Dying, he added to my weight of care ;

Dread not Death's anger, but expect his power; He made me to his crimes undoubted heir; Nor Nature's law with fruitless sorrow mourn, Left his unfinish'd murder to his son,

But die, O mortal man ! for thou wast born. And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah's crown.

Cautious thro' doubt, by want of courage wise, Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil

To such advice the reasoner still replies. The cruel dictates of my parent's will.

Yet measuring all the long-continued space, Of his fair deeds a distant view I took,

Every successive day's repeated race, But turn'd the tube, upon his faults to look, Since Time first started from his pristine goal, Forgot his youth, spent in his country's cause, Till he had reach'd that hour wherein my soul, His care of right, his reverence to the laws; Join'd to my body, swell’d the womb; I was But could with joy his years of folly trace,

(At least I think so) nothing : must I pass Broken and old in Bathsheba's embrace;

Again to nothing, when this vital breath, Could follow him, where'er he stray'd from good, Ceasing, consigns me o'er to rest and death? And cite his sad example, whilst I trod

Must the whole man, amazing thought! return Paths open to deceit, and track'd with blood. To the cold marble, or contracted urn ? Soon docile to the secret acts of ill,

And never sh those particles agree, With smiles I could betray, with temper kill; That were in life this individual he? Soon in a brother could a rival view,

But, sever'd, must they join the general mass, Watch all his acts, and all his ways pursue. Through other forms and shapes ordain'd to pass, In vain for life he to the altar fled :

Nor thought nor image kept of what he was? Ambition and revenge have certain speed.

Does the great Word, that gave him sense, ardain Ev’n there, my soul, ev'n there he should have fell, That life shall never wake that sense again? But that my interest did my rage conceal.

And will no power his sinking spirits save Doubling my crime, I promise, and deceive, From the dark caves of Death, and chambers of the Purpose to slay, whilst swearing to forgive.

Treaties, persuasions, sighs, and tears, are vain ; Each evening I behold the setting Sun,
With a mean lie curs’d vengeance I sustain, With downward speed, into the Ocean run:
Join fraud to force, and policy to power,

Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours) Till, of the destin’d fugitive secure,

Exerts his vigour, and renews his powers; In solemn state to parricide I rise,

Starts the bright race again : his constant flame And, as God lives, this day my brother dies. Rises and sets, returning still the same. Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse;

I mark the various fury of the winds; In vain I would forget, in vain excuse,

These neither seasons guide, nor order binds; . Fraternal blood by my direction spilt ;

They now dilate, and now contract their force ; In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt ;

Various their speed, but endless is their course. The deed was acted by the subject's hand;

From his first fountain and beginning ouze, The sword was pointed by the king's command. Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows: Mine was the murder; it was mine alone :

Though sundry drops or leave or swell the stream, Years of contrition must the crime atone;

The whole still runs, with equal pace, the surre; Nor can my guilty soul expect relief,

Still other waves supply the rising urns, But from a long sincerity of grief.

And the eternal flood no want of water mourns With an imperfect hand, and trembling heart, Why then must man obey the sad decree, Her love of truth superior to her art,

Which subjects neither sun, nor wind, nor sea ? Already the reflecting Muse has trac'd

A flower, that does with opening morn arise, The mournful figures of my actions past.

And, flourishing the day, at evening dies; The pensive goddess has already taught

A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought; The ocean's brow, and sinking on the shore ; From growing childhood to declining age,

A fire, whose flames through crackling stubble fly, How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage. A meteor shooting from the summer sky; This course of vanity almost complete,

A bowl adown the bending mountain rollid; Tir'd in the field of life, I hope retreat

A bubble breaking, and a fable told;

A noon-tide shadow, and a midnight dream ; Select from vulgar herds, with garlands gay,
Are emblems which, with semblance apt, proclaim, A hundred bulls ascend the sacred way.
Our earthly course : but, O my soul ! so fast The artful youth proceed to form the choir ;
Must life run off, and death for ever last ?

They breathe the flute, or strike the vocal wire. This dark opinion, sure, is too confin'd;

The maids in comely order next advance ; Else whence this hope, and terrour of the mind ? They beat the timbrel, and instruct the dance. Does something still, and somewhere, yet remain, Follows the chosen tribe from Levi sprung, Reward or punishment, delight or pain?

Chanting, by just return, the holy song. Say: shall our relics second birth receive ?

Along the choir in solemn state they past: Sleep we to wake, and only die to live ?

The anxious king came last. When the sad wife has clos'd her husband's eyes, The sacred hymn perform'd, my promis'd vow And pierc'd the echoing vault with doleful cries, I paid ; and, bowing at the altar low, Lies the pale corpse not yet entirely dead,

“ Father of Heaven!" I said, “and Judge of The spirit only from the body fled;

Earth! The grosser part of heat and motion void,

Whose word call'd out this universe to birth; To be by fire, or worm, or time, destroy'd ; By whose kind power and influencing care The Soul, immortal substance, to remain,

The various creatures move, and live, and are ; Conscious of joy, and capable of pain ?

But ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power, And, if her acts have been directed well,

They move, (alas !) and live, and are no more: While with her friendly clay she deign’d to dwell, Omniscient Master, omnipresent King, Shall she with safety reach her pristine seat? To thec, to thee, my last distress I bring. Find her rest endless, and her bliss complete ? “ Thou, that canst still the raging of the seas, And, while the bury'd man we idly mourn, Chain up the winds, and bid the tempests cease! Do angels joy to see his better half return ? Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gusts But, if she has deform'd this earthly life

Of cruel passion and deceitful lusts : With murderous rapine, and seditious strife, From storms of rage, and dangerous rocks of pride, Amaz’d, repuls’d, and by those angels driven Let thy strong hand this little vessel guide From the ethereal seat, and blissful Heaven, (It was thy hand that made it) through the tide In everlasting darkness must she lie,

İmpetuous of this life : let thy command Still more unhappy, that she cannot die ?

Direct my course, and bring me safe to land ! Amid two seas, on one small point of land, “ If, while this weary'd flesh draws fleeting Weary'd, uncertain, and amaz’d, we stand :

On either side our thoughts incessant turn; Not satisfy'd with life, afraid of death,
Forward we dread, and looking back we mourn ; It haply be thy will, that I should know
Losing the present in this dubious haste,

Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious woe! And lost ourselves betwixt the future and the past. From Now, from instant Now, great Sire ! dispel

These cruel doubts contending in my breast, The clouds that press my soul; from Now reveal My reason staggering, and my hopes oppress'd, A gracious beam of light; from Now inspire “Once more," I said, “ once more I will inquire,' My tongue to sing, my hand to touch the lyre; What is this little, agile, pervious fire,

My open thought to joyous prospects raise,
This fluttering motion, which we call the Mind ? And for thy mercy let me sing thy praise.
How does she act ? and where is she confin'a ? Or, if thy will ordains I still shall wait
Have we the power to guide her as we please ? Some new hereafter, and a future state,
Whence then those evils that obstruct our ease ? Permit me strength, my weight of woe to bear,
We happiness pursue; we fly from pain;

And raise my mind superior to my care,
Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight, is vain : Let me, howe'er unable to explain
And, while poor Nature labours to be blest, The secret labyrinths of thy ways to man,
By day with pleasure, and by night with rest,

With humble zeal confess thy awful power; Some stronger power eludes our sickly will, Still weeping hope, and wondering still adore, Dashing our rising hope with certain ill;

So in my conquest be thy might declar'd, And makes us, with reflective trouble, see

And for thy justice be thy name rever'd.” That all is destin'd, which we fancy free. mind, My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom

“ That Power superiour then, which rules our Darkens the air ; loud thunder shakes the dome. Is his decree by human prayer inclin'd?

To the beginning miracle succeed Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease ?

An awful silence and religious dread. And can our tears reverse his firm decrees? Sudden breaks forth a more than common day; Then let Religion aid, where Reason fails; The sacred wood, which on the altar lay, Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales; Untouch'd, unlighted, glows And let the silent sanctuary show,

Ambrosial odour, such as never flows What from the babbling schools we may not know, From Arab's gum, or the Sabæan rose, How man may shun or bear his destin'd part of woe. Does round the air evolving scents diffuse :

“ What shall amend, or what absolve, our fate? The holy ground is wet with heavenly dews : Anxious we hover in a mediate state,

Celestial music (such Jessides' lyre, Betwixt infinity and nothing, bounds,

Such Miriam's timbrel, would in vain require) Or boundless terms, whose doubtful sense confounds. Strikes to my thought through my admiring ear, Unequal thought! whilst all we apprehend With ecstacy too fine, and pleasure hard to bear. Is, that our hopes must rise, our sorrows end, And lo! what sees my ravish'd eye? what feels As our Creator deigns to be our friend."

My wond'ring soul ? An opening cloud reveals I said ; - and instant bad the priests prepare An heavenly form, embody'd, and array'd The ritual sacrifice and solemn pr.

With robes of light. I heard. The angel said :

[ocr errors]

And with new lustre pierce the neighbouring skies

« Cease, man of woman born, to hope relief “ Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down, From daily trouble and continued grief ;

Fast by the stream where Babel's waters run; Thy hope of joy deliver to the wind,

Their harps upon the neighbouring willows hung, Suppress thy passions, and prepare thy mind; Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue, Free and familiar with misfortune grow

Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppressid, Be us'd to sorrow, and inur'd to woe;

Their weary'd limbs aspiring but to rest. By weakening toil and hoary age o'ercome, In the reflective stream the sighing bride, See thy decrease, and hasten to thy tomb;

Viewing her charms impair'd, abash'd, shall hide Leave to thy children tumult, strife, and war, Her pensive head; and in her languid face Portions of toil, and legacies of care;

The bridegroom shall foresee his sickly race, Send the successive ills

through ages down, While ponderous fetters vex their close embrace. And let each weeping father tell his son,

With irksome anguish then your priests shall mourn That deeper struck, and more distinctly griev'dy Their long-neglected feasts' despair'd return, He must augment the sorrows he receiv'd.

And sad oblivion of their solemn days. “ The child to whose success thy hope is bound, Thenceforth their voices they shall only raise, Ere thou art scarce interr’d, or he is crown'd, Louder to weep. By day, your frighted seers To lust of arbitrary sway inclin'd,

Shall call for fountains to express their tears, (That cursed poison to the prince's mind!) And wish their eyes were floods; by night

, from Shall from thy dictates and his duty rove,

dreams And lose his great defence, his people's love; Of opening gulphs, black storms, and raging fames

, Ill-counsell’d, vanquish’d, fugitive, disgrac'd, Starting amaz’d, shall to the people show Shall mourn the fame of Jacob's strength effac'd; Emblems of heavenly wrath, and mystic types of woe. Shall sigh the king diminish'd, and the crown “ The captives, as their tyrant shall require With lessen'd rays descending to his son ; That they should breathe the song, and touch the Shall see the wreaths, his grandsire knew to reap

lyre, By active toil and military sweat,

Shall say : Can Jacob's servile race rejoice, Pining, incline their sickly leaves, and shed Untun'd the music, and disus'd the voice? Their falling honours from his giddy head; What can we play' (they shall discourse,) how sing By arms or prayer unable to assuage

In foreign lands, and to a barbarous king? Domestic horrour and intestine rage,

We and

our fathers, from our childhood bred Shall from the victor and the vanquish'd fear, To watch the cruel victor's eye, to dread From Israel's arrow, and from Judah's spear ; The arbitrary lash, to bend, to grieve, Shall cast his weary'd limbs on Jordan's flood, (Out-cast of mortal race !) can we conceive By brother's arms disturb’d, and stain'd with Image of aught delightful, soft, or gay? kindred-blood.

[race, Alas! when we have toild the longsome day, Hence labouring years shall weep their destin'd The fullest bliss our hearts aspire to know Charg'd with ill omens, sully'd with disgrace. Is but some interval from active woe, Time, by necessity compell'd, shall go

In broken rest and startling sleep to mourn, Through scenes of war, and epochas of woe. Till morn, the tyrant, and the scourge, return. The empire, lessen'd in a parted stream,

Bred up in grief, can pleasure be our theme? Shall lose its course -

Our endless anguish does not Nature claim! Indulge thy tears: the Heathen shall blaspheme; Reason and sorrow are to us the same. Judah shall fall, oppress'd by grief and shame, Alas! with wild amazement we require, And men shall from her ruins know her fame. If idle Folly was not Pleasure's fire ?

“ New Egypts yet and second bonds remain, Madness, we fancy, gave an ill-tim'd birth A harsher Pharaoh, and a heavier chain.

To grinning Laughter, and to frantic Mirth." Again, obedient to a dire command,

“ This is the series of perpetual woe, Thy captive sons shall leave the promis'd land. Which thou, alas! and thine, are born to know. Their namne more low, their servitude more vile, Illustrious wretch! repine not, nor reply : Shall on Euphrates' bank renew the grief of Nile. View not what Heaven ordains with Reason's eyes “ These pointed spires, that wound the ambient Too bright the object is ; the distance is too high sky,

The man, who would resolve the work of Fate, (Inglorious change!) shall in destruction lie

May limit number, and make crooked straight :
Low, levell’d with the dust ; their heights unknown, Stop thy inquiry then, and curb thy sense,
Or measur'd by their ruin. Yonder throne, Nor let dust argue with Omnipotence.
For lasting glory built, design’d the seat

'Tis God who must dispose, and man sustain, Of kings for ever blest, for ever great,

Born to endure, forbidden to complain. Remov'd by the invader's barbarous hand,

Thy sum of life must his decrees fulfil; Shall grace his triumph in a foreign land.

What derogates from his command, is ill; The tyrant shall demand yon sacred load And that alone is good which centres in his will. Of gold, and vessels set apart to God,

“ Yet, that thy labouring senses may not droops Then, by vile hands to common use debas'd, Lost to delight, and destitute of hope, Shall send them flowing round his drunken feast, Remark what I, God's messenger, aver With sacrilegious taunt, and impious jest.

From him, who neither can deceive nor err. “ Twice fourteen ages shall their way complete; The land, at length redeem’d, shall cease to moura Empires by various turns shall rise and set; Shall from her sad captivity return. While thy abandon'd tribes shall only know Sion shall raise her long-dejected head, A different master, and a change of woe,

And in her courts the law again be read. With down-cast eye-lids, and with looks aghast, Again the glorious temple shall arise, Shall dread the future, or bewail the past.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The promis'd seat of empire shall again

The squire, whose good grace was to open the Cover the mountain, and command the plain ;


(begin: And, from thy race distinguish’d, one shall spring, Seem'd not in great haste that the show should Greater in act than victor, more than king

Now fitted the halter, now travers'd the cart, In dignity and power, sent down from heaven, And often took leave, but was loth to depart. To succour Earth. To him, To him, 'tis given, Derry down, &c. Passion, and care, and anguish, to destroy. Through him, soft peace, and plenitude of joy, “ What frightens you thus, my good son ?” says Perpetual o'er the world redeem'd shall flow;

the priest : No more may man inquire, nor angel know. “ You murder'd, are sorry, and have been confest."

“Now, Solomon ! remembering who thou art, “ () father! my sorrow will scarce save my bacon ; Act through thy remnant life the decent part. For twas not that I murder'd, but that I was taken.",, Go forth: be strong : with patience and with care Derry down, &c. Perform, and suffer : to thyself severe, Gracious to others, thy desires suppress'd,

“ Pough! pr’ythee ne'er trouble thy head with Diffus'd thy virtues; first of men ! be best.

such fancies : Thy sum of duty let two words contain;

Rely on the aid you shall have from Saint Francis : (O may they graven in thy heart remain !)

If the money you promis'd be brought to the chest, Be humble, and be just." The angel said : You have only to die: let the church do the rest. With upward speed his agile wings he spread;

Derry down, &c.
Whilst on the holy ground I prostrate lay,
By various doubts impell’d, or to obey,

“ And what will folks say, if they see you afraid? Or to object; at length (my mournful look It reflects upon me, as I krew not my trade : Heaven-ward erect) determind, thus I spoke : Courage, friend; for to-day is your period of sorrow; “ Supreme, all-wise, eternal Potentate !

And things will go better, believe me, to-morrow. Sole Author, sole Disposer of our fate !

Derry down, &c.
Enthron'd in light and immortality,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see !

“ To-morrow!" our hero replied, in a fright: Original of beings! Power divine !

“ He that's hang'd before noon, ought to think of Since that I live, and that I think, is thine !


(truss'd up, Benign Creator ! let thy plastic hand

“ Tell your beads," quoth the priest, “and be fairly Dispose its own effect; let thy command

For you surely to-night shall in Paradise sup." Restore, Great Father! thy instructed son ;

Derry down, &c. And in my act may thy great will be done!"

“ Alas !" quoth the squire, “ howe'er sumptu

ous the treat,
Parbleu! I shall have little stomach to eat;

I should therefore esteem it great favour and grace, THE THIEF AND THE CORDELIER, Would you be so kind as to go in my place."

Derry down, &c. To the Tune of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury.

“ That I would,” quoth the father, “and thank

you to boot; Who has e'er been at Paris, must needs know the But our actions, you know, with our duty must suit. Grève,

The feast I propos'd to you, I cannot taste; The fatal retreat of th' unfortunate brave;

For this night, by our order, is mark'd for a fast.” Where Honour and Justice most oddly contribute Derry down, &c. To ease heroes' pains by a halter and gibbet. Derry down, down, hey derry down.

Then, turning about to the hangman, he said,

“ Dispatch me, I prythee, this troublesome blade; There Death breaks the shackles which Force had For thy cord and my cord both equally tie, put on,

[begun; And we live by the gold for which other men die." And the hangman completes what the judge but Derry down, &c. There the squire of the pad, and the knight of the post,

(po more crost. Find their pains no more balk’d, and their hopes

Derry down, &c.
Great claims are there made, and great secrets

are known;

(own. And the king, and the law, and the thief, has his

In vain you tell your parting lover, But my hearers cry out, “ What a deuce dost thou

You wish fair winds may waft him over. ail?

Alas! what winds can happy prove,

That bear me far from what I love ?
Cut off thy reflections, and give us thy tale."
Derry down, &c.

Alas! what dangers on the main

Can equal those that I sustain, 'Twas there then, in civil respect to harsh laws,

From slighted vows, and cold disdain ?
And for want of false witness to back a bad cause,
A Norman, though late, was obliged to appear ;

Be gentle, and in pity choose
And who to assist, but a grave Cordelier !

To wish the wildest tempests loose :


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

That, thrown again upon the coast
Where first my shipwreck'd heart was lost,
I may once more repeat my pain;
Once more in dying notes complain
Of slighted vows, and cold disdain.


The pride of every grove I chose,

The violet sweet and lily fair, The dappled pink, and blushing rose,

To deck my charming Chloe's hair,

At morn the nymph vouchsaf'd to place

Upon her brow the various wreath; The flowers less blooming than her face,

The scent less fragrant than her breath.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The flowers she wore along the day:

And every nymph and shepherd said, That in her hair they look'd more gay

Than glowing in their native bed. Undrest at evening, when she found

Their odours lost, their colours past; She chang'd her look, and on the ground

Her garland and her eye she cast. That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,

As any Muse's tongue could speak, When from its lid a pearly tear

Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek. Dissembling what I knew too well,

“ My love, my life," said I, “ explain This change of humour : pr'ythee tell :

That falling tear - what does it mean ?”

The reason of the thing is clear,
Would Jove the naked truth aver.
Cupid was with him of the party,
And show'd himself sincere and hearty;
For, give that whipster but his errand,
He takes my lord chief justice' warrant :
Dauntless as Death, away he walks ;
Breaks the doors open, snaps the locks;
Searches the parlour, chamber, study;
Nor stops till he has culprit's body.

“ Since this has been authentic truth,
By age deliver'd down to youth;
Tell us, mistaken husband, tell us,
Why so mysterious, why so jealous ?
Does the restraint, the bolt, the bar,
Make us less curious, her less fair ?
The spy, which does this treasure keep,
Does she ne'er say her prayers, nor sleep?
Does she to no excess incline ?
Does she fly music, mirth, and wine?
Or have not gold and flattery power
To purchase one unguarded hour?

“ Your care does further yet extend:
That spy is guarded by your friend. -
But has this friend nor eye nor heart?
May he not feel the cruel dart,
Which, soon or late, all mortals feel?
May he not, with too tender zeal,
Give the fair prisoner cause to see,
How much he wishes she were free?
May he not craftily infer
The rules of friendship too severe,
Which .chain him to a hated trust;
Which make him wretched, to be just ?
And may not she, this darling she,

Youthful and healthy, flesh and blood,
Easy with him, ill us'd by thee,

Allow this logic to be good?"

“Sir, will your questions never end? I trust to neither spy nor friend. In short, I keep her from the sight Of every human face.” _ “ She'll write.". “ From pen and paper she's debarr’d.” – “ Has she a bodkin and a card ? She'll prick her mind.". 6 She will, you say: But how shall she that mind convey? I keep her in one room : I lock it: The key, (look here,) is in this pocket."“ The key-hole, is that left?”.

tain.' “ She'll thrust her letter through, sir Martin."

“ Dear, angry friend, what must be done? “ Is there no way?”

—“ There is but one. Send her abroad : and let her see, That all this mingled mass, which she, Being forbidden, longs to know, Is a dull farce, an empty show, Powder, and pocket-glass, and beau ; A staple of romance and lies, False tears and real perjuries : Where sighs and looks are bought and sold, And love is made but to be told : Where the fat bawd and lavish heir The spoils of ruin'd beauty share; And youth, seduc'd from friends and fame, Must give up age to want and shame. Let her behold the frantic scene, The women wretched, false the men : And when, these certain ills to shun, She would to thy embraces run;


She sigh'd ; she smil'd; and, to the flowers

Pointing, the lovely moralist said : “ See, friend, in some few fleeting hours,

See yonder, what a change is made !

[ocr errors]

“ Ah, me! the blooming pride of May,

And that of Beauty, are but one : At môrn both flourish bright and gay ;

Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.

-"Most ar

“ At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung;

The amorous youth around her bow'd : At night her fatal knell was rung ;

I saw, and kiss'd her in her shroud.

[ocr errors]

• Such as she is, who died to-day ;

Such I, alas! may be to-morrow : Go, Damon, bid thy Muse display

The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

AN ENGLISH PADLOCK. Miss Danaë, when fair and young, (As Horace has divinely sung,) Could not be kept from Jove's embrace By doors of steel, and walls of brass,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »