Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

SONG.

UNDER the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither;
Here shall he see

No enemy

But Winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun

And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither;
Here shall he see
No enemy

But Winter and rough weather.

SHAKESPEARE.

THE GREENWOOD.

Oh! when 'tis summer weather,
And the yellow bee, with fairy sound,
The waters clear is humming round,
And the cuckoo sings unseen,
And the leaves are waving green—
Oh! then 't is sweet,
In some retreat,

To hear the murmuring dove,

With those whom on earth alone we love,
And to wind through the greenwood together.

COME TO THESE SCENES OF PEACE

Come to these scenes of peace,
Where, to rivers murmuring,
The sweet birds all the Summer sing,
Where cares, and toil, and sadness cease!
Stranger, does thy heart deplore
Friends whom thou wilt see no more?
Does thy wounded spirit prove
Pangs of hopeless, severed love?
Thee, the stream that gushes clear-
Thee, the birds that carol near
Shall soothe, as silent thou dost lie
And dream of their wild lullaby;
Come to bless these scenes of peace,
Where cares, and toil, and sadness cease.

WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES.

THE GARDEN.

How vainly men themselves amaze,
To win the palm, the oak, or bays:
And their incessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb, or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers, and trees, do close,
To weave the garlands of repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow
Society is all but rude

To this delicious solitude.

But when 'tis winter weather,

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name
Little, alas! they know or heed,
How far these beauties her exceed!
Fair trees! where'er your barks I wound,
Of the friends with whom, in the days of No name shall but your own be found.

And crosses grieve,
And friends deceive,
And rain and sleet
The lattice beat,—
Oh! then 'tis sweet
To sit and sing

Spring,

We roamed through the greenwood together. When we have run our passion's heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat.

WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES.

The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that she might laurel grow:
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

THE GARDEN.

What wondrous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine, and curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness.
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was the happy garden state,
While man there walked without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But 't was beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises are in one,
To live in paradise alone.

How well the skilful gard'ner drew
Of flowers, and herbs, this dial new!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned, but with herbs and flowers?

ANDREW MARVELL.

THE GARDEN.

61

HAPPY art thou, whom God does bless, With the full choice of thine own happiness; And happier yet, because thou 'rt blest With prudence, how to choose the best: In books and gardens thou hast placed aright (Things, which thou well dost understand; And both dost make with thy laborious hand) Thy noble, innocent delight;

And in thy virtuous wife, where thou again dost meet

Both pleasures more refined and sweet; The fairest garden in her looks,

And in her mind the wisest books.

Oh, who would change these soft, yet solid joys,

For empty shows and senseless noise; And all which rank ambition breeds, Which seems such beauteous flowers, and are such poisonous weeds?

When God did man to his own likeness make,
As much as clay, though of the purest kind,
By the great potter's art refined,
Could the divine impression take,

He thought it fit to place him, where
A kind of Heaven too did appear,

As far as Earth could such a likeness bear:
That man no happiness might want,
Which Earth to her first master could afford,
He did a garden for him plant

By the quick hand of his omnipotent word.
As the chief help and joy of human life,
He gave him the first gift; first, even before
a wife.

For God, the universal architect
'T had been as easy to erect

A Louvre or Escurial, or a tower
That might with Heaven communication hold,
As Babel vainly thought to do of old:
He wanted not the skill or power;

In the world's fabric those were shown,
And the materials were all his own.

But well he knew, what place would best agree With innocence and with felicity;

And we elsewhere still seek for them in vain; If any part of either yet remain,

If any part of either we expect,
This may our judgment in the search direct;
God the first garden made, and the first city
Cain.

O blessed shades! O gentle cool retreat

From all th' immoderate heat,

In which the frantic world does burn and Who, that has reason and his smell,

sweat!

Would not among roses and jasmine dwell,
Rather than all his spirits choke,
With exhalations of dirt and smoke,

And all th' uncleanness which does drown,
In pestilential clouds, a populous town?
The earth itself breathes better perfumes
here,

Than all the female men, or women, there
Not without cause, about them bear.

This does the Lion-star, ambition's rage;
This avarice, the Dog-star's thirst, assuage;
Every where else their fatal power we see;
They make and rule man's wretched destiny:
They neither set, nor disappear,
But tyrannize o'er all the year;
Whilst we ne'er feel their flame or influence
here.

The birds that dance from bough to bough,
And sing above in every tree,

Are not from fears and cares more free
Than we, who lie, or sit, or walk, below,

And should by right be singers too. What prince's choir of sic can excel

derstood)

His life he to his doctrine brought,

That, which within this shade does dwell? And in a garden's shade that sovereign plea

And a grave bass the murmuring fountains play;

Nature does all this harmony bestow,

But to our plants, art's music too,
The pipe, theorbo, and guitar, we owe;
The lute itself, which once was green and

mute,

When Orpheus strook th' inspired lute,
The trees danced round, and understood
By sympathy the voice of wood.

When Venus would her dear Ascanius keep
A prisoner in the downy bands of sleep,
The odorous herbs and flowers beneath him
spread,

As the most soft and sweetest bed;

These are the spells, that to kind sleep invite,
And nothing does within resistance make,

To which we nothing pay or give;

They, like all other poets, live

Without reward, or thanks for their obliging Vitellius's table, which did hold

pains:

'T is well if they become not prey: The whistling winds add their less artful strains,

Which yet we moderately take;

Who would not choose to be awake,
While he's encompast round with such de-

Not her own lap would more have charmed his head.

light,

To th' ear, the nose, the touch, the taste, and sight!

When Epicurus to the world had taught,

That pleasure was the chiefest good, (And was, perhaps, i' th' right, if rightly un

sure sought:

Whoever a true epicure would be,

May there find cheap and virtuous luxury.

As many creatures as the ark of old;
That fiscal table, to which every day
All countries did a constant tribute pay,
Could nothing more delicious afford

Than Nature's liberality,

Helped with a little art and industry,
Allows the meanest gardener's board.
The wanton taste no fish or fowl can choose,
For which the grape or melon she would
lose;

Though all th' inhabitants of sea and air
Be listed in the glutton's bill of fare,

Yet still the fruits of earth we see
Placed the third story high in all her luxury.

But with no sense the garden does comply,
None courts, or flatters, as it does, the eye.
When the great Hebrew king did almost
strain

The wondrous treasures of his wealth, and

brain,

His royal southern guest to entertain;

[ocr errors]

THE GARDEN.

With all the shining glories of the East;
When lavish Art her costly work had done,
The honor and the prize of bravery
Was by the garden from the palace won
And every rose and lily there did stand

Though she on silver floors did tread,
With bright Assyrian carpets on them spread,
To hide the metal's poverty;
Though she look'd up to roofs of gold,
And nought around her could behold
But silk, and rich embroidery,
And Babylonish tapestry,
And wealthy Hiram's princely dye;
Though Ophir's starry stones met every
where her eye;

Than when we with attention look
Upon the third day's volume of the book?
If we could open and intend our eye,
We all, like Moses, should espy
Ev'n in a bush the radiant Deity.
But we despise these, his inferior ways,

Though she herself and her gay host were (Though no less full of miracle and praise.) drest

Upon the flowers of Heaven we gaze;
The stars of Earth no wonder in us raise;
Though these perhaps do, more than they,
The life of mankind sway.

Better attired by Nature's hand.
The case thus judged against the king we see,
By one, that would not be so rich, though
wiser far than he.

Nor does this happy place only dispense
Such various pleasures to the sense;

Here health itself does live,

That salt of life which does to all a relish give,
Its standing pleasure and intrinsic wealth,
The body's virtue and the soul's good-for-
tune, health.

The tree of life, when it in Eden stood,
Did its immortal head to Heaven rear;
It lasted a tall cedar, till the flood;
Now a small thorny shrub it does appear;
Nor will it thrive too every where:

Of temperance and innocence,

And wholesome labors, and a quiet mind,

Any diseases passage find,

They must not think here to assail

A land unarmed or without a guard;
They must fight for it, and dispute it hard,
Before they can prevail :

Scarce any plant is growing here,
Which against death some weapon does not
bear.

63

Where does the wisdom and the power divine
In a more bright and sweet reflection shine?
Where do we finer strokes and colors see
Of the Creator's real poetry,

Let cities boast that they provide
For life the ornaments of pride;
But 'tis the country and the field,
That furnish it with staff and shield.

Although no part of mighty Nature be
More stored with beauty, power and mystery;
Yet, to encourage human industry,
God has so ordered, that no other part
Such space and such dominion leaves for Art.

It always here is freshest seen,

'Tis only here an evergreen.

If, through the strong and beauteous fence He bids th' ill-natured crab produce

The gentle apple's winy juice,

We nowhere Art do so triumphant see,

As when it grafts or buds the tree.
In other things we count it to excel,
If it a docile scholar can appear
To Nature, and but imitate her well;
It over-rules and is her master, here.
It imitates her Maker's power divine,
And changes her sometimes, and sometimes
does refine.

It does, like grace, the fallen tree restore
To its blest state of Paradise before.
Who would not joy to see his conquering hand
O'er all the vegetable world command?
And the wild giants of the wood receive
What law he's pleased to give?

The golden fruit that worthy is
Of Galatea's purple kiss.

He does the savage hawthorn teach
To bear the medlar and the pear;
He bids the rustic plum to rear
A noble trunk, and be a peach.
Ev'n Daphne's coyness he does mock,
And weds the cherry to her stock,
Though she refused Apollo's suit;
Ev'n she, that chaste and virgin tree,
Now wonders at herself, to see

That she's a mother made, and blushes in her

fruit

Methinks I see great Dioclesian walk
In the Salonian garden's noble shade,
Which by his own imperial hands was made.
I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk
With the ambassadors, who come in vain

T'entice him to a throne again. "If I, my friends," (said he,) "should to you show

All the delights which in these gardens grow, 'Tis likelier, much, that you should with me stay,

Than 'tis that you should carry me away;
And trust me not, my friends, if every day,
I walk not here with more delight
Than ever, after the most happy sight,
In triumph to the Capitol I rode

To thank the gods, and to be thought myself almost a god."

ABRAHAM COWLEY.

INSCRIPTION IN A HERMITAGE.

BENEATH this stony roof reclined,
I soothe to peace my pensive mind;
And while, to shade my lowly cave,
Embowering elms their umbrage wave;
And while the maple dish is mine-
The beechen cup, unstained with wine-
I scorn the gay licentious crowd,
Nor heed the toys that deck the proud.

Within my limits, lone and still,
The black-bird pipes in artless trill;
Fast by my couch, congenial guest,
The wren has wove her mossy nest;
From busy scenes, and brighter skies,
To lurk with innocence, she flies,
Here hopes in safe repose to dwell,
Nor aught suspects the sylvan cell.

At morn I take my customed round,
To mark how buds yon shrubby mound,
And every opening primrose count,
That trimly paints my blooming mount;
Or o'er the sculptures, quaint and rude,
That grace my gloomy solitude,
I teach in winding wreaths to stray
Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.

I

At eve, within yon studious nook,
ope my brass-embossed book,
Portrayed with many a holy deed
Of martyrs, crowned with heavenly meed.
Then, as my taper waxes dim,
Chant, ere I sleep, my measured hymn,
And at the close, the gleams behold
Of parting wings, be-dropt with gold.

While such pure joys my bliss create,
Who but would smile at guilty state?
Who but would wish his holy lot
In calm oblivion's humble grot?
Who but would cast his pomp away,
To take my staff, and amice gray;
And to the world's tumultuous stage
Prefer the blameless hermitage?

THOMAS WARTON.

THE RETIREMENT.

FAREWELL, thou busy world, and may
We never meet again;

Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray,
And do more good in one short day,
Than he who his whole age out-wears
Upon the most conspicuous theatres,
Where nought but vanity and vice appears.

Good God! how sweet are all things here! How beautiful the fields appear!

How cleanly do we feed and lie! Lord! what good hours do we keep! How quietly we sleep!

What peace, what unanimity! How innocent from the lewd fashion, Is all our business, all our recreation!

Oh, how happy here's our leisure!
Oh, how innocent our pleasure!
O ye valleys! O ye mountains!
O ye groves, and crystal fountains!
How I love, at liberty,

By turns to come and visit ye!

Dear solitude, the soul's best friend, That man acquainted with himself dost make, And all his Maker's wonders to intend.

« PoprzedniaDalej »