« PoprzedniaDalej »
Are unforeseen, unregistered by me :
peace, which in the end, all life will share. This is the meed of virtue ; happy Soul,
Ascend the car with me!
Its rays of rapid light
Dashed from the boiling surge
The chains of earth's immurement
Fell from Ianthe's spirit ;
She knew her glorious change,
New raptures opening round:
That closed each well-spent day,
The silver clouds disparted ;
Again the speechless music swelled,
Again the coursers of the air
Shaking the beamy reins,
The magic car moved on.
Earth's distant orb appeared
Whilst round the chariot's way
An ever-varying glory.
Like worlds to death and ruin driven ; Some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed,
Eclipsed all other light.
Spirit of Nature ! here !
Even soaring fancy staggers,
Yet not the lightest leaf
Is less instinct with thee :
Yet not the meanest worm That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead
Less shares thy eternal breath.
Spirit of Nature ! thou !
Here is thy fitting temple !
The magic car moved on.
Just o'er the eastern wave
The magic car moved on
From the celestial hoofs The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew,
And where the burning wheels
Was traced a line of lightning.
The utmost verge of earth,
Lowered o'er the silver sea.
Far, far below the chariot's path,
Calm as a slumbering babe,
Tremendous Ocean lay.
The pale and waning stars,
That canopied the dawn.
Seemed it, that the chariot's way
With shades of infinite colour,
And thou hast lingered there,
Until the sun's broad orb
Thou must have marked the lines
Hung o'er the sinking sphere:
Towering like rocks of jet
When the sun's highest point
Shaded with deepest purple, gleam
Like islands on a dark blue sea ;
And furled its wearied wing
Nor the feathery curtains
Paving that gorgeous dome,
The magic car moved on.
As they approached their goal,
The sun's unclouded orb
Yet likest evening's vault, that fairy Hall!
The Fairy pointed to the earth.
Its kindred beings recognized.
The thronging thousands, to a passing view,
Seemed like an ant-hill's citizens.
How wonderful ! that even
That moves the finest nerve, Looked o'er the immense of Heaven.
And in one human brain
Causes the faintest thought, becomes a link
In the great chain of nature.
Behold, the Fairy cried,
Palmyra's ruin'd palaces ! -
Behold! where grandeur frowned ; Beneath the azure canopy,
Behold ! where pleasure smiled ;
What now remains l_ the memory
Of senselessness and shame-
What is immortal there? Through that unearthly dwelling,
Nothing-it stands to tell Yielded to every movement of the will.
A melancholy tale, to give Upon their passive swell the Spirit leaned,
An awful warning: soon And, for the varied bliss that pressed around, Oblivion will steal silently Used not the glorious privilege
The remnant of its fame.
Monarchs and conquerors there
Proud o’er prostrate millions trod-
The earthquakes of the human race,-
Like them, forgotten when the ruin
That marks their shock is past.
Beside the eternal Nile
The Pyramids have risen.
Nile shall pursue his changeless way; Of changeless nature would be unfulfilled.
Those Pyramids shall fall ;
Yea ! not a stone shall stand to tell
The spot whereon they stood ;
Their very site shall be forgotten,
As is their builder's name !
Behold yon sterile spot;
Where now the wandering Arab's tent Below lay stretched the universe !
Flaps in the desert-blast. There, far as the remotest line
There once old Salem's haughty fane That bounds imagination's flight,
Reared high to heaven its thousand golden domes, Countless and unending orbs
And in the blushing face of day In mazy motion intermingled,
Exposed its shameful glory. Yet still fulfilled immutably
Oh! many a widow, many an orphan cursed Eternal Nature's law.
The building of that fane ; and many a father,
Worn out with toil and slavery, implored
The poor man's God to sweep it from the earth,
And spare his children the detested task Each with undeviating aim,
Of piling stone on stone, and poisoning
The choicest days of life,
To soothe a dotard's vanity.
There an inhuman and uncultured race
Howled hideous praises to their Demon-God ; That twinkled in the misty distance :
They rushed to war, tore from the mother's womb
The unborn child,-old age and infancy
Promiscuous perished ; their victorious arms
Left not a soul to breathe. Oh! they were And in no other place
fiends : But that celestial dwelling, might behold
But what was he who taught them that the God Each action of this earth's inhabitants.
Of nature and benevolence had given
A special sanction to the trade of blood ?
His name and theirs are fading, and the tales And all-prevailing wisdom, when it reaps
Of this barbarian nation, which imposture The harvest of its excellence, o'erbounds
Recites till terror credits, are pursuing Those obstacles, of which an earthly soul
Itself into forgetfulness. Fears to attempt the conquest.
And perisheth ere noon,
Is an unbounded world; I tell thee that those viewless beings, Whose mansion is the smallest particle Of the impassive atmosphere,
Think, feel and live like man ; That their affections and antipathies,
Like his, produce the laws
And the minutest throb
The slightest, faintest motion,
The Fairy paused. The Spirit, In ecstacy of admiration, felt All knowledge of the past revived ; the events
Of old and wondrous times,
In just perspective to the view ;
The Spirit seemed to stand
Above, and all around
Where Athens, Rome, and Sparta stood,
Seem like a well-known tune,
Remembered now in sadness.
Of human nature there !
Then, shuddering, meets his own.
Prays, curses, and deceives.
Have scarcely passed away,
Wakes the unholy song of war,
Arose a stately city, Metropolis of the western continent :
There, now, the mossy column-stone,
Which once appeared to brave
There the wide forest scene,
Of gardens long run wild,
Chance in that desert has delayed,
Yet once it was the busiest haunt,
Once peace and freedom blest
But wealth, that curse of man,
Worthy a soul that claims
But once was living man ;
But flowed in human veins :
How strange is human pride!
That springeth in the morn
Fixed her ethereal eyes,
Experience from his folly:
Requires no other heaven.
Turn thee, surpassing Spirit !
For every living soul.
Heeds not the shriek of penury; he smiles Against a king's employ? No—'tis not strange, At the deep curses which the destitute
He, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts and lives Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy
Just as his father did; the unconquered powers Pervades his bloodless heart when thousands groan Of precedent and custom interpose But for those morsels which his wantonness
Between a king and virtue. Stranger yet, Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save
To those who know not nature, nor deduce All that they love from famine: when he hears The future from the present, it may seern, The tale of horror, to some ready-made face
That not one slave, who suffers from the crimes Of hypocritical assent he turns,
Of this unnatural being; not one wretch, Smothering the glow of shame, that, spite of him, Whose children famish, and whose nuptial bed Flushes his bloated cheek.
Is earth's unpitying bosom, rears an arm
To dash him from his throne!
Now to the meal Of silence, grandeur, and excess, he drags
Those gilded flies His palled unwilling appetite. If gold,
That basking in the sunshine of a court, Gleaming around, and numerous viands culled Fatten on its corruption !-what are they ? From every clime, could force the loathing sense
- The drones of the community; they feed To overcome satiety,—if wealth
On the mechanic's labour; the starved hind The spring it draws from poisons not,-or vice,
For them compels the stubborn glebe to yield Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not
Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid form, Its food to deadliest venom; then that king
Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes Is happy; and the peasant who fulfils
A sunless life in the unwholesome mine, His unforced task, when he returns at even,
Drags out in labour a protracted death, And by the blazing faggot meets again
To glut their grandeur; many faint with toil, Her welcome for whom all his toil is sped,
That few may know the cares and woe of sloth. Tastes not a sweeter meal.
Whence, thinkest thou, kings and parasites arose?
Behold him now Whence that unnatural line of drones, who heap Stretched on the gorgeous couch ; his fevered brain Toil and unvanquishable penury Reels dizzily awhile : but ah! too soon
On those who build their palaces, and bring (vice; The slumber of intemperance subsides,
Their daily bread ?-From vice, black loathsome
Revenge, and murder.–And when reason's voice,
The nations; and mankind perceive that vice
Is discord, war, and misery; that virtue Oh! must this last for ever! Awful death,
Is peace, and happiness and harmony; : I wish yet fear to clasp thee! Not one moment When man's maturer nature shall disdain Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessed peace! The playthings of its childhood ;-kingly glare Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity
Will lose its power to dazzle; its authority In penury and dungeons! wherefore lurkest
Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne With danger, death, and solitude: yet shunn'st Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall, The palace I have built thee ! Sacred peace! Fast falling to decay; whilst falsehood's trade Oh visit me but once, and pitying shed
Shall be as hateful and unprofitable One drop of balm upon my withered soul.
As that of truth is now. Vain man! that palace is the virtuous heart,
Where is the fame And peace defileth not her snowy robes
Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he mutters;
Seek to eternize! Oh! the faintest sound His slumbers are but varied agonies,
From time's light foot-fall, the minutest wave They prey like scorpions on the springs of life.
That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing There needeth not the hell that bigots frame
The unsubstantial bubble. Aye! to-day To punish those who err: earth in itself
Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze Contains at once the evil and the cure;
That flashes desolation, strong the arm And all-sufficing nature can chastise
That scatters multitudes. To-morrow comes ! Those who transgress her law,-she only knows
That mandate is a thunder-peal that died How justly to proportion to the fault
In ages past; that gaze, a transient flash The punishment it merits.
On which the midnight closed, and on that arm
The worm has made his meal.
Is it strange
The virtuous man Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug
Who, great in his humility, as kings
And stands amid the silent dungeon-depths
To bind the impassive spirit ;—when he falls, That mau's inild nature rises not in war
Ilis mild eye beams benevolence no more:
Withered the hand outstretched but to relieve; Thine the tribunal which surpasseth
The show of human justice,
Spirit of Nature! thou
Soul of that smallest being, [silence lie; Its well-spent pilgrimage on earth,
The dwelling of whose life Shall never pass away.
Is one faint April sun-gleam ;
Man, like these passive things, Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;
Thy will unconsciously fulfilleth: The subject, not the citizen: for kings
Like theirs, his age of endless peace, And subjects, mutual foes, for ever play
Which time is fast maturing, A losing game into each other's hands,
Will swiftly, surely, come; Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man And the unbounded frame, which thou pervadest, Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Will be without a flaw
Marring its perfect symmetry.
How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh,
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear, High over flaming Rome, with savage joy
Were discord to the speaking quietude Lowered like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon The shrieks of agonising death, beheld
Studded with stars unutterably bright, [vault, The frightful desolation spread, and felt
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur A new-created sense within his soul
Seems like a canopy which love has spread (rolls, Thrill to the sight, and vibrate to the sound; To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills, Thinkest thou his grandeur had not overcome Robed in a garment of untrodden snow; The force of human kindness? and, when Rome, Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend, With one stern blow, hurled not the tyrant down, So stainless that their white and glittering spires Crushed not the arm, red with her dearest blood, Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep, Had not submissive abjectness destroyed
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower Nature's suggestions?
So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace ;-all form a scene
The orb of day,
In southern climes, o'er ocean's waveless field
Sinks sweetly smiling: not the faintest breath All but the outcast, Man. He fabricates The sword which stabs his peace; he cherisheth
Steals o'er the unruffled deep; the clouds of eve The snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up
Reflect unmoved the lingering beam of day; The tyrant, whose delight is in his woe,
And vesper's image on the western main Whose sport is in his agony. Yon sun,
Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes : Lights it the great alone? Yon silver beams,
Cloud upon cloud, in dark and deepening mass,
Roll o'er the blackened waters; the deep roar Sleep they less sweetly on the cottage thatch,
Of distant thunder mutters awfully;
Tempest unfolds its pinion o'er the gloom
That shrouds the boiling surge; the pitiless fiend,
With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey; A mother only to those puling babes Who, nursed in ease and luxury, make men
The torn deep yawns,-the vessel finds a grave The playthings of their babyhood, and mar,
Beneath its jagged gulf. In self-important childishness, that peace
Ah! whence yon glare Which men alone appreciate ?
That fires thearch of heaven!--that dark red smoke
Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched Spirit of Nature ! no!
In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow The pure diffusion of thy essence throbs Gleams faintlythrough the gloom that gathers round. Alike in every human heart.
Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals Thou, aye, erectest there
In countless echoes through the mountains ring, Thy throne of power unappealable:
Startling pale midnight on her starry throne! Thou art the judge beneath whose nod Now swells the intermingling din; the jar Man's brief and frail authority
Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb; Is powerless as the wind
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, That passeth idly by.
The ceaseless clangor, and the rush of men