« PoprzedniaDalej »
Silent and sad I walk about all day,
As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure's gone! why do I stay?
He was my friend, the truest friend on earth;
A strong and mighty influence join'd our birth;
Nor did we envy the most sounding name
By friendship given of old to fame.
None but his brethren he and sisters knew,
Whom the kind youth preferr'd to me;
And ev'n in that we did agree,
For much above myself I lov'd them too.
Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unweary'd have we spent the nights,
Till the Ledaean stars, so fam'd for love,
Wonder'd at us from above
We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine;
But search of deep Philosophy,
Wit, Eloquence, and Poetry,
Arts which I lov'd, for they, my friend, were thine.
Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say
Have ye not seen us walking every day?
Was there a tree about which did not know
The love betwixt us two
Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade;
Or your sad branches thicker join,
And into darkesome shades combine,
Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid :
Henceforth, no learned youths beneath you sing,
Till all the tuneful birds to your boughs they bring;
No tuneful birds play with their wonted chear,
• And call the learned youths to hear;
No whistling winds through the glad branches fly:
But all, with sad solemnity,
Mute and unmoved be,
Mute as the grave wherein my friend does lie.
To him my Muse made haste with every strain,
Whilst it was new and warm yet from the brain:
He lov'd my worthless rhymes, and, like a friend,
Would find out something to commend.
Hence now, my Muse! thou canst not me delight:
Be this my latest verse,
With which I now adorn his hearse;
And this my grief, without thy help, shall write.
Had I a wreath of bays about my brow,
I should contemn that flourishing honour now;
Condemn it to the fire, and joy to hear
It rage and crackle there.
Instead of bays, crown with sad cypress me;
Cypress, which tombs does beautify:
Not Phoebus griev'd, so much as I,
For him who first was made that mournful tree.
Large was his soul; as large a soul as e'er
Submitted to inform a body here;
High as the place’t was shortly’ in heaven to have, But low and humble as his grave:
So high, that all the Virtues there did come,
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great ;
So low, that for me too it made a room.
He scorn'd this busy world below, and all
That we, mistaken mortals' pleasure call;
Was fill'd with innocent gallantry and truth,
Triumphant o'er the sins of youth.
He, like the stars, to which he now is gone,
That shine with beams like flame,
Yet burn not with the same,
Had all the light of youth, of the fire none.
Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught,
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought:
Nor did more Learning ever crowded lie
In such a short mortality.
Whene'er the skilful youth discours'd or writ,
Still did the notions throng
About his eloquent tongue,
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.
So strong a wit did Nature to him frame,
As all things but his judgment overcame ;
His judgment like the heavenly moon did show,
Tempering that mighty sea below.
Oh! had he liv'd in Learning's world, what bound
Would have been able to control
His over-powering soul!
We 'ave lost in him arts that not yet are found.
WOL. I. P
His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;
And, when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retir'd, and gave to them their due :
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o'er
As if wise Nature had made that her book.
So many virtues join'd in him, as we
Can scarce pick here and there in history;
More than old writers' practice e'er could reach;
As much as they could ever teach.
These did Religion, Queen of virtues' sway;
And all their sacred motions steer,
Just like the first and highest sphere,
Which wheels about, and turns all heaven one way.
With as much zeal, devotion, piety,
He always liv'd, as other saints do die.
Still with his soul severe account he kept,
Weeping all debts out ere he slept:
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the sun's laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night,
Unsullied with his journey of the day.
Wondrous young man! why wert thou made so good,
To be snatch'd hence ere better understood
Snatch'd before half of thee enough was seen
Thou ripe, and yet thy life but green'
Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell;
But danger and infectious death
Maliciously seiz'd on that breath
Where life, spirit, pleasure, always us’d to dwell.
But happy thou, ta'en from this frantic age,
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage 1
A fitter time for heaven no soul ere chose,
The place now only free from those.
There 'mong the blest thou dost for ever shine,
And, wheresoe'er thou casts'st thy view,
- Upon that white and radiant crew,
See'st not a soul cloth'd with more light than thine.
And, if the glorious saints cease not to know
Their wretched friends who fight with life below,
Thy flame to me does still the same abide,
Only more pure and rarefy'd.
There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
Thou dost with holy pity see
Our dull and earthly poesy,
Where grief and misery can be join'd with verse.