« PoprzedniaDalej »
Your sad complaint. Go, seek the cheerful haunts
Of men, and mingle with the bustling crowd;
Lay schemes for wealth, or power, or fame, the
Of nobier minds, and push them night and day.
Or join the caravan in quest of scenes
New to your eyes, and shifting every hour,
Beyond the Alps, beyond the Apennines.
Or more advent'rous, rush into the field
Where war grows hot; and, raging through the sky,
The lofty trumpet swells the madd'ning soul:
And in the hardy camp and toilsome march
Forget all softer and less manly cares.
How to live happiest; how avoid the pains,
The disappointments, and disgusts of those
Who would in pleasure all their hours employ;
The precepts here of a divine old man
I could recite. Though old, he still retain'd
His manly sense, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wise he was, but not severe;
He still remember'd that he once was young:
His easy presence check'd no decent joy.
Him even the dissolute admir'd; for he
A graceful looseness when he pleas'd put on,
And laughing could instruct. Much had he rest
Much more had seen: he studied from the life,
But most, too passive when the blood runs low, And in th' original perus'd mankind.
Too weakly indolent to strive with pain,
And bravely by resisting conquer fate,
Try Circe's arts; and in the tempting bowl
Of poison'd nectar sweet oblivion swill.
Struck by the powerful charm, the gloom dissolves
In empty air, Elysium opens round;
A pleasing frenzy buoys the lighten'd soul,
And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care;
And what was difficult, and what was dire,
Yields to your prowess and superior stars:
The happiest you of all that e'er were mad,
Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.
But soon your Heaven is gone; a heavier gloom
Shuts o'er your head and as the thund'ring
Swoln o'er its banks with sudden mountain rain,
Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook;
So, when the frantic raptures in your breast
Subside, you languish into mortal man;
You sleep, and waking find yourself undone.
For, prodigal of life, in one rash night
You lavish more than might support three days.
A heavy morning comes; your cares return
With tenfold rage. An anxious stomach well
May be endur'd; so may the throbbing head;
But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
Involves you; such a dastardly despair
Unmans your soul, as madd'ning Pentheus felt,
When, baited round Cytheron's cruel sides,
He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend.
You curse the sluggish port; you curse the wretch,
The felon, with unnatural mixture first
Who dar'd to violate the virgin wine.
Or on the fugitive champaign you pour
A thousand curses, for to Heav'n it wrapt
Your soul, to plunge you deeper in despair.
Perhaps you rue even that diviner gift,
The gay, serene, good-natur'd Burgundy,
Or the fresh fragrant vintage of the Rhine:
And wish that Heaven from mortals had withheld
The grape, and all intoxicating bowls.
Besides, it wounds you sore to recollect
What follies in your loose unguarded hour
Escap'd. For one irrevocable word,
Perhaps that meant no harm, you lose a friend.
Or in the rage of wine your hasty hand
Performs a deed to haunt you to the grave.
Add that your means, your health, your parts, decay;
Your friends avoid you; brutishly transform'd,
They hardly know you; or if one remains
To wish you well, he wishes you in Heaven.
Despis'd, unwept, you fall; who might have left
A sacred-cherish'd, sadly-pleasing name;
A name still to be utter'd with a sigh.
Your last ungrateful scene has quite effac'd
All sense and memory of your former worth.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
He pitied man: and much he pitied those
Whom falsely-smiling fate has curs'd with means
To dissipate their days in quest of joy.
Our aim is happiness; 'tis yours, 'tis mine,"
He said; 'tis the pursuit of all that live:
Yet few attain it, if 't was e'er attain'd.
But they the widest wander from the mark,
Who through the flowery path of sauntering
Seek this coy goddess; that from stage to stage
Invites us still, but shifts as we pursue.
For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings
To counterpoise itself, relentless fate
Forbids that we through gay voluptuous wilds
Should ever roam: and were the fates more kind,
Our narrow luxuries would soon grow stale:
Were these exhaustless, nature would grow sick
And, cloy'd with pleasure, squeamishly complan
That all is vanity, and life a dream.
Let nature rest: be busy for yourself,
And for your friend; be busy even in vain,
Rather than tease her sated appetites.
Who never fasts, no banquet e'er enjoys;
Who never toils or watches, never sleeps.
Let nature rest: and when the taste of joy
Grows keen, indulge; but shun satiety.
"Tis not for mortals always to be blest.
But him the least the dull or painful hours
Of life oppress, whom sober sense conducts.
And virtue, through this labyrinth we tread.
Virtue and sense I mean not to disjoin;
Virtue and sense are one; and, trust me, still
A faithless heart betrays the head unsound.
Virtue (for mere good-nature is a fool)
Is sense and spirit with humanity:
'Tis sometimes angry, and its frown confounds;
'Tis even vindictive, but in vengeance just.
Knaves fain would laugh at it; some great ones dare;
But at his heart the most undaunted son
Of fortune dreads its name and awful charms.
To noblest uses this determines wealth;
This is the solid pomp of prosperous days;
The peace and shelter of adversity.
And if you pant for glory, build your
On this foundation, which the secret shock
Defies of envy and all-sapping time.
The gaudy gloss of fortune only strikes
The vulgar eye; the suffrage of the wise,
The praise that's worth ambition, is attain'd
By sense alone, and dignity of mind.
Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature's favorites; a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor can be transferr'd.
Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn'd;
Or dealt by chance to shield a lucky knave,
Or throw a cruel sun-shine on a fool.
But for one end, one much-neglected use,
Are riches worth your care; (for Nature's wants
Are few, and without opulence supplied ;)
This noble end is, to produce the soul;
To show the virtues in their fairest light;
To make humanity the minister
Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breast
That generous luxury the gods enjoy."
Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly sage Sometimes declaim'd. Of right and wrong he taught| Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard;
And (strange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd.
Skill'd in the passions, how to check their sway,
He knew, as far as reason can control
The lawless powers. But other cares are mine:
Form'd in the school of Pæon, I relate
What passions hurt the body, what improve:
Avoid them, or invite them as you may.
Know then, whatever cheerful and serene
Supports the mind, supports the body too.
Hence, the most vital movement mortals feel
Is hope: the balm and life-blood of the soul.
It pleases, and it lasts. Indulgent Heaven
Sent down the kind delusion, through the paths
Of rugged life to lead us patient on;
And make our happiest state no tedious thing.
Our greatest good, and what we least can spare,
Is hope: the last of all our evils, fear.
But there are passions grateful to the breast,
And yet no friends to life: perhaps they please
Or to excess, and dissipate the soul;
Or while they please, torment.
The ill-tam'd ruffian, and pale usurer,
(If Love's omnipotence such hearts can mould,)
May safely mellow into love; and grow
Refin'd, humane, and generous, if they can.
Love in such bosoms never to a fault
Or pains or pleases. But ye finer souls,
Form'd to soft luxury, and prompt to thrill
With all the tumults, all the joys and pains,
That beauty gives; with caution and reserve
Indulge the sweet destroyer of repose,
Nor court too much the queen of charming cares.
For, while the cherish'd poison in your breast
Ferments and maddens; sick with jealousy,
Absence, distrust, or even with anxious joy,
The wholesome appetites and powers of life
Dissolve in languor. The coy stomach lothes
The genial board: your cheerful days are gone;
The generous bloom that flush'd you cheeks is fled.
To sighs devoted and to tender pains,
Pensive you sit, or solitary stray,
And waste your youth in musing.
Toy'd into care your unsuspecting heart:
It found a liking there, a sportful fire,
And that fomented into serious love;
Which musing daily strengthens and improves
Through all the heights of fondness and romance:
And you're undone, the fatal shaft has sped,
If once you doubt whether you love or no.
The body wastes away; th' infected mind,
Dissolv'd in female tenderness, forgets
Each manly virtue, and grows dead to fame.
Sweet Heaven, from such intoxicating charms
Defend all worthy breasts! not that I deem
Love always dangerous, always to be shunn'd.
Love well repaid, and not too weakly sunk
In wanton and unmanly tenderness,
Adds bloom to health; o'er ev'ry virtue sheds
A gay, humane, a sweet, and generous grace,
And brightens all the ornaments of man.
But fruitless, hopeless, disappointed, rack'd
With jealousy, fatigu'd with hope and fear,
Too serious, or too languishingly fond,
Unnerves the body and unmans the soul.
And some have died for love; and some run mad;
And some with desperate hands themselves have
Some to extinguish, others to prevent,
A mad devotion to one dangerous fair,
Court all they meet; in hopes to dissipate
The cares of love amongst an hundred brides.
Th' event is doubtful; for there are who find
A cure in this; there are who find it not.
"Tis no relief, alas! it rather galls
The wound, to those who are sincerely sick.
For while from feverish and tumultuous joys
The nerves grow languid, and the soul subsides,
The tender fancy smarts with every sting,
And what was love before is madness now.
Is health your care, or luxury your aim?
Be temperate still: when Nature bids, obey;
Her wild impatient sallies bear no curb:
But when the prurient habit of delight,
Or loose imagination, spurs you on
To deeds above your strength, impute it not
To Nature: Nature all compulsion hates.
Ah! let not luxury nor vain renown
Urge you to feats you well might sleep without;
To make what should be rapture a fatigue,
A tedious task; nor in the wanton arms
Of twining Lais melt your manhood down.
For from the colliquation of soft joys
How chang'd you rise! the ghost of what you was
Languid, and melancholy, and gaunt, and wan;
Your veins exhausted, and your nerves unstrung.
Spoil'd of its balm and sprightly zest, the blood
Grows vapid phlegm; along the tender nerves
(To each slight impulse tremblingly awake)
A subtle fiend that mimics all the plagues,
Rapid and restless springs from part to part.
The blooming honors of your youth are fallen;
Your vigor pines; your vital powers decay;
Diseases haunt you; and untimely age
Creeps on; unsocial, impotent, and lewd.
Infatuate, impious epicure! to waste
The stores of pleasure, cheerfulness, and health!
Infatuate all who make delight their trade,
And coy perdition every hour pursue.
Who pines with love, or in lascivious flames
Consumes, is with his own consent undone;
He chooses to be wretched, to be mad;
And warn'd, proceeds, and wilful to his fate.
But there's a passion, whose tempestuous sway
Tears up each virtue planted in his breast,
And shakes to ruins proud philosophy.
For pale and trembling anger rushes in,
With falt'ring speech, and eyes that wildly stare;
Fierce as the tiger, madder than the seas,
Desperate, and arm'd with more than human strength
How soon the calm, humane, and polish'd man
Forgets compunction, and starts up a fiend!
Who pines in love, or wastes with silent cares,
Envy, or ignominy, or tender grief,
Slowly descends and ling'ring, to the shades:
But he whom anger stings, drops, if he dies,
At once, and rushes apoplectic down;
Or a fierce fever hurries him to Hell.
For, as the body through unnumber'd strings
Reverberates each vibration of the soul;
As is the passion, such is still the pain
The body feels: or chronic, or acute.
And oft a sudden storm at once o'erpowers
The life, or gives your reason to the winds.
Such fates attend the rash alarm of fear,
And sudden grief, and rage, and sudden joy.
Where reason proves too weak, or void of wiles
To cope with subtle or impetuous powers,
I would invoke new passions to your
With indignation would extinguish fear;
With fear, or generous pity, vanquish rage:
And love with pride; and force to force oppose.
There is a charm, a power, that sways the brea
Bids every passion revel or be still;
Inspires with rage, or all your cares dissolves;
There are, meantime, to whom the boist'rous fit Can soothe distraction, and almost despair.
Is health, and only fills the sails of life.
For where the mind a torpid winter leads,
Wrapt in a body corpulent and cold,
And each clogg'd function lazily moves on;
A generous sally spurus th' incumbent load,
Unlocks the breast, and gives a cordial glow.
But if your wrathful blood is apt to boil,
Or are your nerves too irritably strung,
Waive all dispute; be cautious, if you joke;
Keep Lent for ever, and forswear the bowl.
For one rash moment sends you to the shades,
Or shatters ev'ry hopeful scheme of life,
And gives to horror all your days to come.
Fate, arm'd with thunder, fire, and ev'ry plague,
That ruins, tortures, or distracts mankind,
And makes the happy wretched in an hour,
O'erwhelms you not with woes so horrible
As your own wrath, nor gives more sudden blows.
While choler works, good friend, you may be wrong.
Distrust yourself, and sleep before you fight.
'Tis not too late to-morrow to be brave;
If honor bids, to-morrow kill or die.
But calm advice against a raging fit
Avails too little; and it braves the power
Of all that ever taught in prose or song,
To tame the fiend, that sleeps a gentle lamb,
And wakes a lion. Unprovok'd and calm,
You reason well; see as you ought to see,
And wonder at the madness of mankind:
Seiz'd with the common rage, you soon forget
The speculations of your wiser hours.
Beset with furies of all deadly shapes,
Fierce and insidious, violent and slow:
With all that urge or lure us on to fate:
What refuge shall we seek? what arms prepare?
That power is music: far beyond the stretch
Of those unmeaning warblers on our stage;
Those clumsy heroes, those fat-headed gods,
Who move no passion justly but contempt:
Who, like our dancers (light indeed and strong!
Do wondrous feats, but never heard of grace
The fault is ours; we bear those monstrous ara;
Good Heaven! we praise them: we, with lones
Applaud the fool that highest lifts his heels;
And with insipid show of rapture, die
Of idiot notes impertinently long.
But he the Muse's laurel justly shares.
A poet he, and touch'd with Heaven's own fre
Who, with bold rage or solemn pomp of sound
Inflames, exalts, and ravishes the soul;
Now tender, plaintive, sweet almost to pain.
In love dissolves you; now in sprightly stras
Breathes a gay rapture through your thrilling breas
Or melts the hearts with airs divinely sad;
Or wakes to horror the tremendous strings.
Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of
Appeas'd the fiend of melancholy Saul.
Such was, if old and heathen fame say true,
The man who bade the Theban domes ascend,
And tam'd the savage nations with his song;
And such the Thracian, whose melodious lyre.
Tun'd to soft woe, made all the mountains weep:
Sooth'd even th' inexorable powers of Hell,
And half-redeem'd his lost Eurydice.
Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and of plague;
And hence the wise of ancient days ador'd
One power of physic melody, and song
JOSEPH WARTON, D. D., born in 1722, was the Pope." Scarcely any work of the kind has afforded eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Warton, poetry-pro- more entertainment, from the vivacity of its refessor at Oxford, and Vicar of Basingstoke. He marks, the taste displayed in its criticisms, and the received his early education under his father, and at various anecdotes of which it became the vehicle; the age of fourteen was admitted on the foundation though some of the last were of a freer cast than at Winchester school. He was afterwards entered perfectly became his character. This reason, perof Oriel College, Oxford, where he assiduously cul- haps, caused the second volume to be kept back till tivated his literary taste, and composed some pieces twenty-six years after. In 1766 he was advanced of poetry, which were afterwards printed. Having to the post of head-master of Winchester school, on taken the degree of B. D., he became curate to his which occasion he visited Oxford, and took the defather at Basingstoke; and in 1746 removed to a grees of bachelor and doctor of divinity. similar employment at Chelsea. In 1748 he was The remainder of his life was chiefly occupied by presented by the Duke of Bolton to the rectory schemes of publications, and by new preferments, of Winslade, soon after which he married. He ac- of the last of which he obtained a good share, though companied his patron in 1751 on a tour to the of moderate rank. In 1793 he closed his long lasouth of France; and after his return he completed bors at Winchester by a resignation of the masteran edition of Virgil, in Latin and English; of ship, upon which he retired to his rectory of Wickwhich the Eclogues and Georgics were his own ham. Still fond of literary employment, he accomposition, the Eneid was the version of Pitt. cepted a proposal of the booksellers to superintend Warton also contributed notes on the whole, and an edition of Pope's works, which was completed, added three preliminary essays, on pastoral, didac- in 1797, in nine vols. 8vo. Other engagements still tie, and epic poetry. When the Adventurer was pursued him, till his death, in his 78th year, Febundertaken by Dr. Hawkesworth, Warton, through ruary, 1800. The Wiccamists attested their regard the medium of Dr. Johnson, was invited to become a contributor, and his compliance with this request produced twenty-four papers, of which the greater part were essays on critical topics.
In 1755 he was elected second master of Winchester school, with the accompanying advantage of a boarding-house. In the following year there appeared, but without his name, the first volume, 8vo., of his "Essay on the Writings and Genius of
to his memory, by erecting an elegant monument over his tomb in Winchester cathedral.
The poems of Dr. Warton consist of miscellaneous and occasional pieces, displaying a cultivated taste, and an exercised imagination, but without any claim to originality. His "Ode to Fancy," first published in Dodsley's collection, is perhaps that which has been the most admired.
O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow,
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
O lover of the desert, hail!
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Mid fall of waters, you reside,
'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between,
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was rear'd,
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest:
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till, suddenly awak'd, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
By the sweetly-soothing sound!
Me, goddess, by the right hand lead
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy and white-rob'd Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads,
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List'ning to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ.
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms, and sigh;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels and the house of woe,
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs, Where each sad night some virgin comes, With throbbing breast, and faded cheek, Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek; Or to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs, Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs, The naked beggar shivering lies, While whistling tempests round her rise, And trembles lest the tottering wall Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre, For my heart glows with martial fire, I feel, I feel, with sudden heat, My big tumultuous bosom beat; The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear, A thousand widows' shrieks I hear; Give me another horse, I cry, Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly! Whence is this rage ?-what spirit, say To battle hurries me away? 'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car, Transports me to the thickest war, There whirls me o'er the hills of slain, Where Tumult and Destruction reign; Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed Tramples the dying and the dead; Where giant Terror stalks around, With sullen joy surveys the ground, And, pointing to th' ensanguin'd field, Shakes his dreadful gorgon shield! O guide me from this horrid scene, To high-arch'd walks and alleys green, Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun The fervors of the mid-day sun; The pangs of absence, O remove! For thou canst place me near my Canst fold in visionary bliss, And let me think I steal a kiss, While her ruby lips dispense Luscious nectar's quintessence! When young-eyed Spring profusely thr w From her green lap the pink and rose, When the soft turtle of the dale To summer tells her tender tale, When Autumn cooling caverns seeks, And stains with wine his jolly cheeks When Winter, like poor pilgrim old, Shakes his silver beard with cold; At every season let my ear Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear. O warm, enthusiastic maid, Without thy powerful, vital aid, That breathes an energy divine, That gives a soul to every line, Ne'er may I strive with lips profane To utter an unhallow'd strain, Nor dare to touch the sacred string. Save when with smiles thou bidd'st me sing O hear our prayer, O hither come From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb, On which thou lov'st to sit at eve, Musing o'er thy darling's grave; O queen of numbers, once again Animate some chosen swain, Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire, May boldly smite the sounding lyre, Who with some new unequal'd song, May rise above the rhyming throng, O'er all our list'ning passions reign, O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain,