Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

THE

POETICAL WORKS

OF

MA T T H E W PRIOR.

WITH A LIFE,

BY REV. JOHN MITFORD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOLUME I.

BOSTON:

LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY.

NEW YORK : PEINNEY, BLAKEMAN AND MASON.

M.DCCC.LX.

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE :

STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY

H. O. HOUGHTON.

LINES TO

SENT WITH THIS VOLUME,

IN ALL OBEDIENCE, AS COMMANDED.

• Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Upon the hours and times of your desire ?
I have no precious time at all to spend,

Nor services to do, till you require.'

SHAKSPEARE.

Look from thy flowery lattice ;-let me gaze
On that rich brow, that eye like morning bright,
That even sorrow wears a face of smiles
When thou art near ;-forth from thy lattice look,
My gentle

: and that golden day
Recall, when first by Deben's seaward shores,
Following the curving of his banks, we stray'd ;
Hand link'd in hand-sweet pilgrimage--and fill'd
With phantasies as sweet :-o'er ferny dell
We trode, and fields by reeking coulter torn,
And many a brook-fed mead, and islet green
With waving samphire—there the silver wave,
Obedient to the ocean's breath, just crept
To kiss the dewy margent:~so we pass’d

vi

Pinnace, and barge, and fisher's skiff, whence flung
The thin net sway'd along, and to the shore
The boatman's carol sounded-farther now,
Following the inland waters, and our hearts
Surrendering to the genial influences
Of sun, and airs by soft Favonius breath'd ;
Say, how we linger'd, pleasure gathering up
As children chase the insects o'er the plain,
From every sight and sound.—The bee's wild hun,
His wing in some rude foliature encag'd,
The beetle with its scaly habergeon
Fretting the margin of the pool-the path
Of the grey lizard to its sinuous home;
Or watch'd the seamew's silvery pennons shine
Above the sparkling waters; or far off
Following their flight,—the birds of nobler plume
High-wing'd, and journeying to their distant home.

So on the river's crisped marge we stood,
Gazing the broad expanse, that like a lake
Lay folded in the mountain's soft embrace,
Fit haunt of nymph, or naiad.—Onward now
(What could we less, sweet nature's self our guide),
Up that dear path to vulgar eyes unseen,
With its grey shrine, and rural chapel crown'd,
Threading the oaken coppice, soon we gain'd
A little sylvan lawn, that 'mid the embrace
Of close-embowering trees, its tender green
Nurs’d with perennial dews :—the silent glade
To us, methought, was dedicate, and our's

vii

It seem'd, alone its beauty :-to and fro,
The wild-rose shadows by the Summer's breath
Were moving ;-from the gnarled boughs above
The ring-dove pour'd its amorous plaint, and there
No more on man dependent, ’mid the leaves,
The red-breast built its Summer nest secure.

Fit spot,' I cried, 'for Grecian bard to feign Panisk, or fawn, amid the noonday heat Reposing, or a band of paranymphs, Such is the poet's high record, at eve Discoursing in their soft Helladian tongue. Or here, perchance, the silver-footed fays, Tripping to moonlight minstrelsy, might start The aged shepherd hastening down the glen.'— Thou in this sylvan bower, 'mid tufted moss And wrinkled fern, with colour'd weeds commix'd, And glossy leaves of velvet texture, laid, With hazel, and with hawthorn blossoms hung, Like to a Tuscan lady in her bloom Of richest beauty, as by Arno's vale, Or where his shaded waters Arbia spreads, Stepping from forth her princely halls, to taste The breeze, entranc'd I've seen—thou, there reOr as some gentle Dryad, who at eve [clin'd; Just stealing from her timid covert, hears Young Zephyr breathe his vow.—The day was

clos'd.; The morning's roseate glow- The golden blaze Meridian, and the eve's purpureal sky.

« PoprzedniaDalej »