« PoprzedniaDalej »
JOSEPH ADDISON, a person in the foremost ranks | superior efforts, has deserved that degree of praise, of wit and elegant literature, was the son of the which, in general estimation, has been allotted to Reverend Lancelot Addison, at whose parsonage at him. It cannot be doubted that playful and huMilston, near Ambrosbury, Wiltshire, he was born morous wit was the quality in which he obtained in May, 1672. At the age of fifteen he was entered almost unrivalled pre-eminence; but the reader of of Queen's College, Oxford, where he distinguished his poem to Sir Godfrey Kneller will discover, in himself by his proficiency in classical literature, the comparison of the painter to Phidias, a very especially in Latin poetry. He was afterwards happy and elegant resemblance pointed out in his elected a demy of Magdalen College, where he took verse. His celebrated tragedy of "Cato," equally the degrees of bachelor and master of arts. In his remarkable for a correctness of plan, and a sustained twenty-second year he became an author in his own elevation of style, then unusual on the English language, publishing a short copy of verses addressed stage, was further distinguished by the glow of its to the veteran poet, Dryden. Other pieces in verse sentiments in favor of political liberty, and was and prose succeeded; and in 1695 he opened the equally applauded by both parties. career of his fortune as a literary man, by a com- A very short account will suffice for the remainplimentary poem on one of the campaigns of King der of his works. His connexion with Steele enWilliam, addressed to the Lord-keeper Somers. A gaged him in occasionally writing in the Tatler, the pension of 300l. from the crown, which his patron Spectator, and the Guardian, in which his producobtained for him, enabled him to indulge his incli- tions, serious and humorous, conferred upon him nation for travel; and an epistolary poem to Lord immortal honor, and placed him deservedly at the Halifax in 1701, with a prose relation of his travels, head of his class. Some other periodical papers, published on his return, are distinguished by the decidedly political, were traced to Addison, of which spirit of liberty which they breathe, and which, dur- The Freeholder was one of the most conspicuous. ing life, was his ruling passion. The most famous of In 1716 he married the Countess-Dowager of Warhis political poems, "The Campaign," appeared in wick, a connexion which is said not to have been 1704. It was a task kindly imposed by Lord Halifax, who intimated to him that the writer should not lose his labor. It was accordingly rewarded by an immediate appointment to the post of commissioner of appeals.
remarkably happy. In the following year he was raised to the office of one of the principal secretaries of state; but finding himself ill suited to the post, and in a declining state of health, he resigned it to Mr. Craggs. In reality, his constitution was This will be the proper place for considering the suffering from an habitual excess in wine; and it is merits of Addison in his character of a writer in a lamentable circumstance that a person so generally verse. Though Dryden and Pope had already se- free from moral defects, should have given way to cured the first places on the British Parnassus, and a fondness for the pleasures of a tavern life. Addiother rivals for fame were springing to view, it will son died in June, 1719, leaving an only daughter scarcely be denied that Addison, by a decent medi- by the Countess of Warwick.
Me into foreign realms my fate conveys
Through nations fruitful of immortal lays,
Where the soft season and inviting clime
Conspire to trouble your repose with rhyme.
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground;
For here the Muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung,
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.
How am I pleas'd to search the hills and woods
For rising springs and celebrated floods!
To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course,
And trace the smooth Clitumnus to his source,
To see the Mincio draw his watery store,
Through the long windings of a fruitful shore,
And hoary Albula's infected tide
O'er the warm bed of smoking sulphur glide.
Fir'd with a thousand raptures, I survey
Eridanus through flowery meadows stray,
The king of floods! that, rolling o'er the plains,
The towering Alps of half their moisture drains,
And proudly swoln with a whole winter's snows,
Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows.
Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
I look for streams immortaliz'd in song,
That lost in silence and oblivion lie,
(Dumb are their fountains and their channels dry,)
Yet run for ever by the Muse's skill,
And in the smooth description murmur still.
Sometimes to gentle Tiber I retire,
And the fam'd river's empty shores admire,
That destitute of strength derives its course
From thrifty urns and an unfruitful source;
Yet sung so often in poetic lays,
With scorn the Danube and the Nile surveys;
So high the deathless Muse exalts her theme!
Such was the Boyne, a poor inglorious stream,
That in Hibernian vales obscurely stray'd,
And, unobserv'd, in wild meanders play'd;
Till by your lines and Nassau's sword renown'd,
Its rising billows through the world resound,
Where'er the hero's godlike acts can pierce,
Or where the fame of an immortal verse.
Oh, could the Muse my ravish'd breast inspire
With warmth like yours, and raise an equal fire,
Unnumber'd beauties in my verse should shine,
And Virgil's Italy should yield to mine!
See how the golden groves around me smile,
That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle,
Or, when transplanted and preserv'd with care,
Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air.
Here kindly warmth their mountain juice ferments
To nobler tastes, and more exalted scents:
E'en the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bear me, some god, to Baia's gentle seats,
Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats;
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride:
Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers together rise,
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
Immortal glories in my mind revive,
And in my soul a thousand passions strive,
When Rome's exalted beauties I descry
Magnificent in piles of ruin lie.
An amphitheatre's amazing height
Here fills my eye with terror and delight,
That on its public shows unpeopled Rome,
And held, uncrowded, nations in its womb:
Here pillars rough with sculpture pierce the
And here the proud triumphal arches rise,
Where the old Romans deathless acts display'd,
Their base degenerate progeny upbraid:
Whole rivers here forsake the fields below, [flow.
And wondering at their height through airy channels
Still to new scenes my wandering Muse retires,
And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires:
Where the smooth chisel all its force has shown,
And soften'd into flesh the rugged stone.
In solemn silence, a majestic band,
Heroes, and gods, and Roman consuls stand.
Stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown,
And emperors in Parian marble frown:
While the bright dames, to whom they humbly sued,
Still show the charms that their proud hearts sub-
Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse,
And show th' immortal labors in my verse,
Where, from the mingled strength of shade and light
A new creation rises to my sight,
Such heavenly figures from his pencil flow,
So warm with life his blended colors glow.
From theme to theme with secret pleasure tost,
Amidst the soft variety I'm lost :
Here pleasing airs my ravish'd soul confound
With circling notes and labyrinths of sound;
Here domes and temples rise in distant views,
And opening palaces invite my Muse.
How has kind Heaven adorn'd the happy land,
And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand!
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that Heaven and Earth impart,
The smiles of Nature, and the charms of Art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The reddening orange and the swelling grain:
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines:
Starves in the midst of Nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.
O Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eas'd of her load, Subjection grows more light,
And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of Nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the Sun, and pleasure to the day.
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the Sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine,
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies,
Nor at the coarseness of our Heaven repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine:
"Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak moun
Others with towering piles may please the sight,
And in their proud aspiring domes delight;
A nicer touch to the stretcht canvas give,
Or teach their animated rocks to live:
skies,"Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate,
And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
And answer her afflicted neighbor's prayer.
The Dane and Swede, rous'd up by fierce alarms,
Bless the wise conduct of her pious arms:
Soon as her fleets appear, their terrors cease,
And all the northern world lies hush'd in peace.
Th' ambitious Gaul beholds with secret dread
Her thunder aim'd at his aspiring head,
And fain her godlike sons would disunite
By foreign gold, or by domestic spite :
But strives in vain to conquer or divide,
Whom Nassau's arms defend and counsels guide.
Fir'd with the name, which I so oft have found
The distant climes and different tongues resound,
I bridle-in my struggling Muse with pain,
That longs to launch into a bolder strain.
But I've already troubled you too long,
Nor dare attempt a more adventurous song.
My humble verse demands a softer theme,
A painted meadow, or a purling stream;
Unfit for heroes: whom immortal lays,
And lines, like Virgil's, or like yours, should praise.
That sees her bravest son advanc'd so high,
And flourishing so near her prince's eye;
Thy favorites grow not up by fortune's sport,
Or from the crimes or follies of a court;
On the firm basis of desert they rise,
From long-tried faith, and friendship's holy ties:
Their sovereign's well-distinguish'd smiles they
Her ornaments in peace, her strength in war;
The nation thanks them with a public voice;
By showers of blessings Heaven approves their
Envy itself is dumb, in wonder lost,
And factions strive who shall applaud them most.
Soon as soft vernal breezes warm the sky,
Britannia's colors in the zephyrs fly;
Her chief already has his march begun,
Crossing the provinces himself had won,
Till the Moselle, appearing from afar,
Retards the progress of the moving war.
Delightful stream, had Nature bid her fall
In distant climes far from the perjur'd Gaul;
TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH, 1705. But now a purchase to the sword she lies,
-Rheni pacator et Istri.
Omnis in hoc uno variis discordia cessit
Ordinibus; lætatur eques, plauditque senator,
Votaque patricio certant plebeia favori.
Claud. de Laud. Stilic.
Esse aliquam in terris gentem quæ suâ impensâ, suo labore ac periculo, bella gerat pro libertate aliorum. Nec hoc finitimis, aut propinquæ vicinitatis hominibus, aut terris continenti junctis præstet. Maria trajiciat: ne quod toto orbe terrarum injustum imperium sit, et ubique jus, fas, lex, poten
WHILE crowds of princes your deserts proclaim,
Proud in their number to enrol your name;
While emperors to you commit their cause,
And Anna's praises crown the vast applause;
Accept, great leader, what the Muse recites,
That in ambitious verse attempts your fights.
Fir'd and transported with a theme so new,
Ten thousand wonders opening to my view
Shine forth at once; sieges and storms appear,
And wars and conquests fill th' important year:
Rivers of blood I see, and hills of slain,
An Iliad rising out of one campaign.
The haughty Gaul beheld, with towering pride,
His ancient bounds enlarg'd on every side;
Pyrene's lofty barriers were subdued,
And in the midst of his wide empire stood;
Ausonia's states, the victor to restrain,
Oppos'd their Alps and Apennines in vain,
Nor found themselves, with strength of rocks
Her harvests for uncertain owners rise,
Each vineyard doubtful of its master grows,
And to the victor's bowl each vintage flows.
The discontented shades of slaughter'd hosts,
That wander'd on her banks, her heroes' ghosts,
Hop'd, when they saw Britannia's arms appear,
The vengeance due to their great deaths was near
Our godlike leader, ere the stream he past,
The mighty scheme of all his labors cast,
Forming the wondrous year within his thought;
His bosom glow'd with battles yet unfought.
The long laborious march he first surveys,
And joins the distant Danube to the Maese,
Between whose floods such pathless forests grow,
Such mountains rise, so many rivers flow:
The toil looks lovely in the hero's eyes,
And danger serves but to enhance the prize.
Big with the fate of Europe, he renews
His dreadful course, and the proud foe pursues!
Infected by the burning Scorpion's heat,
The sultry gales round his chaf'd temples beat,
Till on the borders of the Maine he finds
Defensive shadows, and refreshing winds.
Our British youth, with inborn freedom bold,
Unnumber'd scenes of servitude behold,
Nations of slaves, with tyranny debas'd,
(Their Maker's image more than half defac'd.)
Hourly instructed, as they urge their toil,
To prize their queen, and love their native soil.
Still to the rising Sun they take their way
im-Through clouds of dust, and gain upon the day.
When now the Neckar on its friendly coast
With cooling streams revives the fainting host,
That cheerfully his labors past forgets,
The midnight watches, and the noon-day heats.
O'er prostrate towns and palaces they pass
(Now cover'd o'er with woods, and hid in grass,)
Breathing revenge; whilst anger and disdain
Fire every breast, and boil in every vein :
Here shatter'd walls, like broken rocks from far,
Rise up in hideous views, the guilt of war;
Whilst here the vine o'er hills of ruin climbs,
Industrious to conceal great Bourbon's crimes.
Behind their everlasting hills secur'd;
The rising Danube its long race began,
And half its course through the new conquests ran;
Amaz'd and anxious for her sovereign's fates,
Germania trembled through a hundred states;
Great Leopold himself was seiz'd with fear;
He gaz'd around, but saw no succor near;
He gaz'd, and half-abandon'd to despair
His hopes on Heav'n, and confidence in prayer.
To Britain's queen the nations turn ther eyes,
On her resolves the western world relies,
Confiding still, amidst its dire alarms,
In Anna's councils, and in Churchill's arms.
Thrice happy Britain, from the kingdoms rent,
To sit the guardian of the continent!
At length the fame of England's hero drew
Eugenio to the glorious interview.
Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn;
A sudden friendship, while with stretch'd-out rays
They meet each other, mingling blaze with blaze.
Polish'd in courts, and harden'd in the field,
Renown'd for conquest, and in council skill'd,
Their courage dwells not in a troubled flood
Of mountain spirits, and fermenting blood;
Lodg'd in the soul, with virtue over-rul'd,
Inflain'd by reason, and by reason cool'd,
In hours of peace content to be unknown,
And only in the field of battle shown:
To souls like these, in mutual friendship join'd,
Heaven dares intrust the cause of human-kind.
Britannia's graceful sons appear in arms,
Her harass'd troops the hero's presence warms,
Whilst the high hills and rivers all around
With thundering peals of British shouts resound:
Doubling their speed, they march with fresh delight,
Eager for glory, and require the fight.
So the staunch hound the trembling deer pursues,
And smells his footsteps in the tainted dews,
The tedious track unravelling by degrees:
But when the scent comes warm in every breeze,
Fir'd at the near approach he shoots away
On his full stretch, and bears upon his prey.
Nor hazard thus, confus'd in crowds of foes,
Britannia's safety, and the world's repose;
Let nations anxious for thy life abate
This scorn of danger, and contempt of fate:
Thou liv'st not for thyself; thy queen demands
Conquest and peace from thy victorious hands;
Kingdoms and empires in thy fortune join,
And Europe's destiny depends on thine.
At length the long-disputed pass they gain,
By crowded armies fortified in vain;
The war breaks in, the fierce Bavarians yield,
And see their camp with British legions fill'd.
So Belgian mounds bear on their shatter'd sides
The sea's whole weight increas'd with swelling
But if the rushing wave a passage finds,
Enrag'd by watery moons, and warring winds,
The trembling peasant sees his country round
Cover'd with tempests, and in oceans drown'd.
The few surviving foes disperst in flight,
(Refuse of swords, and gleanings of a fight,)
In every rustling wind the victor hear,
And Marlborough's form in every shadow fear,
Till the dark cope of night with kind embrace
The march concludes, the various realms are past; Befriends the rout, and covers their disgrace.
Th' immortal Schellenberg appears at last:
Like hills th' aspiring ramparts rise on high,
Like valleys at their feet the trenches lie;
Batteries on batteries guard each fatal pass,
Threatening destruction; rows of hollow brass,
Tube behind tube, the dreadful entrance keep,
Whilst in their wombs ten thousand thunders sleep:
Great Churchill owns, charm'd with the glorious
His march o'er-paid by such a promis'd fight.
The western Sun now shot a feeble ray,
And faintly scatter'd the remains of day:
Ev'ning approach'd; but oh what host of foes
Were never to behold that evening close!
To Donavert, with unresisted force,
The gay victorious army bends its course.
The growth of meadows, and the pride of fields,
Whatever spoils Bavaria's summer yields,
(The Danube's great increase,) Britannia shares,
The food of armies and support of wars:
With magazines of death, destructive balls,
And cannon doom'd to batter Landau's walls,
The victor finds each hidden cavern stor'd,
And turns their fury on their guilty lord.
Deluded prince! how is thy greatness crost,
And all the gaudy dream of empire lost,
That proudly set thee on a fancied throne,
And made imaginary realms thy own!
Thickening their ranks, and wedg'd in firm array,Thy troops, that now behind the Danube join,
The close-compacted Britons win their way;
In vain the cannon their throng'd war defac'd
With tracts of death, and laid the battle waste;
Still pressing forward to the fight, they broke
Through flames of sulphur, and a night of smoke,
Till slaughter'd legions fill'd the trench below,
And bore their fierce avengers to their foe.
High on the works the mingling hosts engage;
The battle, kindled into tenfold rage,
With showers of bullets and with storms of fire
Burns in full fury; heaps on heaps expire,
Nations with nations mix'd confus'dly die,
And lost in one promiscuous carnage lie.
How many generous Britons meet their doom,
New to the field, and heroes in the bloom!
Th' illustrious youths, that left their native shore
To march where Britons never march'd before,
(O fatal love of fame! O glorious heat,
Only destructive to the brave and great!)
After such toils o'ercome, such dangers past,
Stretch'd on Bavarian ramparts breathe their last:
But hold, my Muse, may no complaints appear,
Nor blot the day with an ungrateful tear:
While Marlborough lives, Britannia's stars dispense
A friendly light, and shine in innocence.
Plunging through seas of blood his fiery steed,
Where'er his friends retire, or foes succeed:
Those he supports, these drives to sudden flight,
And turns the various fortune of the fight.
Forbear, great man, renown'd in arms, forbear
To brave the thickest terrors of the war,
Shall shortly seek for shelter from the Rhine,
Nor find it there! Surrounded with alarms,
Thou hop'st the assistance of the Gallic arms;
The Gallic arms in safety shall advance,
And crowd thy standards with the power of France;
While, to exalt thy doom, th' aspiring Gaul
Shares thy destruction, and adorns thy fall.
Unbounded courage and compassion join'd,
Tempering each other in the victor's mind,
Alternately proclaim him good and great,
And make the hero and the man complete.
Long did he strive th' obdurate foe to gain
By proffer'd grace, but long he strove in vain;
Till, fir'd at length, he thinks it vain to spare
His rising wrath, and gives a loose to war.
In vengeance rous'd, the soldier fills his hand
With sword and fire, and ravages the land,
A thousand villages to ashes turns,
In crackling flames a thousand harvests burns.
To the thick woods the woolly flocks retreat,
And mixt with bellowing herds confus'dly bleat;
Their trembling lords the common shade partake,
And cries of infants sound in every brake:
The listening soldier fixt in sorrow stands,
Loth to obey his leader's just commands;
The leader grieves, by generous pity sway'd,
To see his just commands so well obey'd.
But now the trumpet terrible from far
In shriller clangors animates the war;
Confederate drums in fuller concert beat,
And echoing hills the loud alarm repeat: