Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

And still it spreads. See Germany send forth
Her song* to pour it on the farthest north ; ".
Fir'd with a zeal peculiar, they defy
The rage and rigour of a polar sky,
And plant successfully sweet Sharon's rose
On icy plains, and in eternal snows.

Oh, blest within th' enclosure of your rocks,
Nor herds have ye to boast, nor bleating flocks?
No fertilizing streams your fields divide,
That show, revers'd, the villas on their side ;
No groves have ye ; no cheerful sound of bird,
Or voice of turtle, in your land is heard ;
Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell
Of those that walk at evening where ye dwell :
But winter, arm’d with terrors here unknown,
Sits absolute on his unshaken throne ;
Piles up his stores amidst the frozen waste,
And bids the mountains he has built stand fast
Beckons the legions of his storms away
'From happier scenes, to make your land a prey ;
Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won,
And scorns to share it with the distant sun.
-Yet truth is yours, remote, unenvied isle !
And peace, the genuine offspring of her smile !
The pride of letter'd ignorance, that binds
In chains of error our accomplish'd miods,
That decks, with all the splendour of the true,
A false religion, is unknown to you.

• The Moravian Missionaries in Greenland. Vide Krantz.

Wherever found, (and all men need thy care)
Nor age nor infancy could find thee there.
The land that slew, till it could slay no more,
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indian gore.
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Trick'd out of all his royalty by art,
That stripp'd him bare, and broke his honest heart,
Died, by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil that intercepts the blaze
Of Heaven's mysterious purposes and ways !
God stood not, though he seem'd to stand, aloof;
And at this hour, the conqueror feels the proof:
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse,
The fretting plague is in the public purse,
The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starv'd by that indolence their minds create.
Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain !
Art thou too fallen, Iberia ? Do we see
The robber and the murderer weak as we?
Thou, that hast wasted earth, and dar'd despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thine avarice has made !
We come with joy from our eternal rest,
To see th' oppressor in his turn oppress’d.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand
Rollid over all our desolated land,

The wretch, who once sang wildly, danc'd and laugh'd,
And suck'd in dizzy madness with his draught,
Has wept a silent flood, revers’d his ways,
Is sober, meek, benevolent, and prays ;
Feeds sparingly, communicates his store,
Abhors the craft he boasted of before-
And he that stole, has learnt to steal no more. J
Well spake the prophet, Let the desert sing,
Where sprang the thorn the spiry fir shall spring,
And where unsightly and rank thistles grew,
Shall grow the mirtle and luxuriant yew.

Go now, and with important tone demand
On what foundation virtue is to stand,
If self-exalting claims be turn'd adrift,
And grace be grace indeed, and life a gift.
The poor reclaim'd inhabitant, his eyes
Glistening at once with pity and surprise,
Amaz'd that shadows should obscure the sight
Of one whose birth was in a land of light,
Shall answer, Hope, sweet hope, has set me free,
And made all pleasures else mere dross to me.

These, amidst scenes as waste as if denied
The common care that waits on all beside,
Wild as if nature there, void of all good,
Play'd only gambols in a frantic mood,
(Yet charge not heavenly skill with having plann'd
A play-thing world, unworthy of his hand !)
Can see his love, though secret evil lurks
In all we touch, stamp'd plainly on his works ;

Deem life a blessing with its numerous woes,
Nor spurn away a gift a God bestows.
Hard task, indeed, o'er arctic seas to roam !
Is hope exotic? grows it not at home ?
Yes, but an object, bright as orient morn,
May press the eye too closely to be born ;
A distant virtue we can all confess,
It hurts our pride and moves our envy less.

Leuconomus (beneath well sounding Greek I slur a name a poet must not speak) Stood pilloried on infamy's high stage, And bore the pelting scorn of half an age ; The very butt of slander, and the blot For every dart that malice ever shot. The man that mention'd him at once dismiss'd All mercy from his lips, and sneer'd and hissid ; His crimes were such as Sodom never knew, And perjury stood up to swear all true ; His aim was mischief, and his zeal pretence, His speech rebellion against common sense ; A knave, when tried on honesty's plain rule, And, when by that of reason, a mere fool; The world's best comfort was, his doom was pass'd ; Die when he might, he must be damn'd at last.

Now, truth, perform thine office ; waft aside The curtain drawn by prejudice and pride, Reveal (the man is dead) to wondering eyes This more than monster in his proper guise.

That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands,
A herald of God's love to

pagan

lands.
But, ah ! what wish can prosper, or what prayer,
For merchants, rich in cargoes of despair,
Who drive a loathsome traffic, gage, and span,
And buy, the muscles and the bones of man?
The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
All bonds of nature, in that moment end ;
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A stroke, as fatal as the scythe of death.
The sable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Loses in tears the far receding shore.
But not the thought that they must meet no more ;
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resign'd,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind;
Puts off his generous nature ; and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.

Oh, most degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate !
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure ;
Grief is itself a medicine, and bestow'd
T'improve the fortitude that bears the load,
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace ;
But slavery! virtue dreads it as her grave :
Patience itself is meanness in a slave.

« PoprzedniaDalej »