I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment.
If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God.
You Can Find Your Beauty
Find your beauty
Outside the mirror
You don't even have to look at the mirror
Because I can prove it
There are some you can find.
When you prove or feel
That you are higher than
Someone, you are content.
In a flight of steps when you stand,
You can find such persons below.
You Can Find Me
You can find me if you want to find
You can come to me if you want to come
You can go if you want to go.
The mountain the cornfield
The cow the crow the sea the sky
The air the light all are in touch
And I am going all alone hill top.
If you like you may come and join lily
While you find yourself in folly.
Looking For God
you speak of looking for God...
my child, God is not lost!
it is we who are lost....
before we can find God...
we have to first find ourselves!
then, and only then,
we will be able to know
the God within us....
and in every living being
it is not God who is blind...
it is us! .... my child,
open your eyes...
salvation is as near
as your own soul!
In no poems I can find something
In no poems I can find something
to describe that which is between us,
to bring the wondrous experience
on paper to words
and when I look at you I am half blinded
in contemplation as if in the darkness
and have to come to the confession:
my thoughts are devoured
as if I myself cannot get words
to catch the light in your eyes,
the loveliness coming deep from the soul,
to let hang that which is between us
in a few words
and about it I feel wordless and mute.
Love Can Find Me Now
Every moment in
Your life you see
How beautiful love
Can truly be
And I know that I
Need to take my chance
And I know somehow
Love can find me now
That's how I
Used to feel
And what is real
Now what I
Got is real
And I know
This guy makes me feel
Be his girl
And I know
I change his world
Now I know what I
Feel is very real
You can't take it away
I would not let you
I want you to stay
Here with me today
Do not go away
I want you to stay
And every moment in
Your life you see
How beautiful love
Can truly be
And I knew that I
Had to take this chance
And I knew somehow
Love would fine me now
Love can find me now
Love can find me now
Love can find me now
Love found me now
Raise Your Head Fearlessly Above Shade!
Look at the Nature around,
whether trees and plants know or not,
Their roots surly know,
water that quench their thirst,
where they can find minerals for growth,
Are in this soil and in the Nature!
Animals live in nature's garden,
birds and butterfly,
Know where they can be happy!
O man, know for sure
tender plants with tender roots,
Need shade and care,
no tree can grow under shade of another tree,
Come out of shades and shadows,
Once roots become firm,
once you absorb essence wanted,
Raise your head fearlessly above shades,
Breath the fresh air Rain and sunshine,
feel the heat and cold to become free,
The potential is there in you,
Open the packet of reasoning and wisdom,
Never bury it,
What Almighty had embedded in your heart!
The fountain of infinite bliss is within you,
Never thereafter you feel thirsty,
More you can share the fruits,
With that sweet knowledge,
Whoever thirsty can sip it till his own roots grow,
You are done,
you have done!
God or nature?
I do often wonder God or nature
Which is my soul nurturer?
Nature; everything in you moves me in awe
The fruitful orchards, the roseate echo
Of pastorals in midday summer bowers
The grandeur of dawns welcomed by birds’ choirs
The solemn ruefulness of sunsets at dusk
The summer’s haze canopies the forest foliage tops
I used to laugh at art
Scorn songs debase verse
Ancient temples and spiraled towers
Cathedrals spread across empty skies
Arrogance and ignorance led me
To see good men and evil ones with identical eyes
I must admit the guilt
That nature is my guide
I do not believe in God
I deny and abjure all thought
As mankind’s false utter naught
And as far as love that old
Elusive irony, a tale so many times told
I would never be warring to search and to reinvent
It again and again until my final end
Yet I am not air or fire
Weary of living, fearing to die the end so dire
Like a torn tattered bark toyed by time tides
My soul to dread disaster seems to ride
copy rights 2010
Watching Unto God In The Night Season
Sleep at last has fled these eyes,
Nor do I regret his flight,
More alert my spirits rise,
And my heart is free and light.
Nature silent all around,
Not a single witness near;
God as soon as sought is found;
And the flame of love burns clear.
Interruption, all day long,
Checks the current of my joys;
Creatures press me with a throng,
And perplex me with their noise.
Undisturbed I muse all night,
On the first Eternal Fair;
Nothing there obstructs delight,
Love is renovated there.
Life, with its perpetual stir,
Proves a foe to love and me;
Fresh entanglements occur--
Comes the night, and sets me free.
Never more, sweet sleep, suspend
My enjoyments, always new:
Leave me to possess my friend;
Other eyes and hearts subdue.
Hush the world, that I may wake
To the taste of pure delights;
Oh the pleasures I partake--
God, the partner of my nights!
David, for the selfsame cause,
Night preferred to busy day;
Hearts whom heavenly beauty draws,
Wish the glaring sun away.
Sleep, self–lovers, is for you--
Souls that love celestial know
Fairer scenes by night can view
Than the sun could ever show.
A wake up call! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Has our planet ever charged rent for living on it?
It shared its bounty, though some rules were implicit
How could we be so short-sighted and full of greed.
We may have to pay a price for this, God forbid.
Recklessness propelled us to break all the laws
And make plans in the name of progress full of flaws.
Now we have to face the inevitable consequences
Are floods, hurricanes nature’s way of taking vengeance?
Plants, animals and birds are completely confused,
They used to instinctively follow nature’s cues.
Sombrely, new inquiry commissions are being set
To examine global warming and the environment.
How does one go about checking pollution?
Take steps to damage control and find a solution?
You ought to be filled with remorse and penitence
Safe planet was coming generations’ inheritance.
its our reponsibility is to be a good ancestor, 'said John Salk.
but who cares we have got used to tight rope walk.
Our callousness and unmindfulness had no end.
What will we tell our children in our defence?
What will you say when your children accuse you.
Can you look them in the eye and say anything on the issue?
There is still time to deal with the looming crisis.
If we seriously want to avoid meeting our nemesis.
Is it true, sins of the parents fall on the children?
There is no time to waste answering this question…
let's take a pledge today to save our planet.
There is no more time to be really compacent.
John Salk was the person who invented polio vaccine
Everywhere I Go
Today is quiet except for the sounds of my footsteps,
Cardinals singing and wild geese calling from the sky above-
Trees are my foremost companions and
Roses and azaleas blossoming would
Open their petals within a gust of wind-
It seems as if for the moment they are
Looking into my eyes and was almost as if they are laughing, and
Their laughter is ringing in the humid late spring air-echoing throughout
The fortress of my mind… Everywhere that I go
Nature seems to be calling and
The trees, flowers, rabbits, deer and squirrels
Are my sole companions and I am feeling free as
I can imagine, as I am the last person alive upon the face of the earth-
Animals and plants in the wild are my friends and
People have been none but intruders,
Following every step that I take but today
I can call myself the queen of the woods and
I call myself the one who rules and controls-
I am the one who can dream and inside the
World of my dreams I can fly and inside the
World of my fantasies I can run with the deer-
Often I have wondered if I were not truly human as
Humans have always been a threat to my existence,
Lacking empathy, true love and congeniality?
I have heard and read about dreams coming true and
Fantasies becoming reality- in books I read as a child and
Fairy tales my mother read me many years ago?
Today is quiet except for the sounds of my footsteps and
I believe I hear the wild geese calling as they fly across the sky above-
As the late spring's breeze blows I lift my own imaginary wings and fly-
I know it is all within a reverie from which I hope I shall never awaken- and if I do,
I shall only run forward, not backward, never looking behind at
The past where people have hurt, slighted and scorned me?
I see treetops scraping the sky and as I watch the sun set I totally lose myself in a trance-
Past this horizon is the place I long to live where animals and plants
Find their homes, free from hatred, pain and cruelty and
I remember reading in a storybook as a very young child, "close your eyes and after you
Fall asleep, one day you shall awaken and all of your dreams shall come true-"and
I believe I have been set free, as I walk towards the horizon in every step that I take-
The Stolen God--Lazarus To Dives
We do not clamour for vengeance,
We do not whine for fear;
We have cried in the outer darkness
Where was no man to hear.
We cried to man and he heard not;
Yet we thought God heard us pray;
But our God, who loved and was sorry -
Our God is taken away.
Ours were the stream and the pasture,
Forest and fen were ours;
Ours were the wild wood-creatures,
The wild sweet berries and flowers.
You have taken our heirlooms from us,
And hardly you let us save
Enough of our woods for a cradle,
Enough of our earth for a grave.
You took the wood and the cornland,
Where still we tilled and felled;
You took the mine and quarry,
And all you took you held.
The limbs of our weanling children
You crushed in your mills of power;
And you made our bearing women toil
To the very bearing hour.
You have taken our clean quick longings,
Our joy in lover and wife,
Our hope of the sunset quiet
At the evening end of life;
You have taken the land that bore us,
Its soil and stone and sod;
You have taken our faith in each other -
And now you have taken our God.
When our God came down from Heaven
He came among men, a Man,
Eating and drinking and working
As common people can;
And the common people received Him
While the rich men turned away.
But what have we to do with a God
To whom the rich men pray?
He hangs, a dead God, on your altars,
Who lived a Man among men,
You have taken away our Lord
And we cannot find Him again.
You have not left us a handful
Of even the earth He trod . . .
You have made Him a rich man's idol
Who came as a poor man's God.
He promised the poor His heaven,
He loved and lived with the poor;
He said that the rich man's shadow
Should never darken His door:
But bishops and priests lie softly,
Drink full and are fully fed
In the Name of the Lord, who had not
Where to lay His head.
This is the God you have stolen,
As you steal all else--in His name.
You have taken the ease and the honour,
Left us the toil and the shame.
You have chosen the seat of Dives,
We lie where Lazarus lay;
But, by God, we will not yield you our God,
You shall not take Him away.
All else we had you have taken;
All else, but not this, not this.
The God of Heaven is ours, is ours,
And the poor are His, are His.
Is He ours? Is He yours? Give answer!
For both He cannot be.
And if He is ours--O you rich men,
Then whose, in God's name, are ye?
The God And The Bayadere - An Indian Legend
MAHADEVA, Lord of earth
For the sixth time comes below,
As a man of mortal birth,--
Like him, feeling joy and woe.
Hither loves he to repair,
And his power behind to leave;
If to punish or to spare,
Men as man he'd fain perceive.
And when he the town as a trav'ller hath seen,
Observing the mighty, regarding the mean,
He quits it, to go on his journey, at eve.
He was leaving now the place,
When an outcast met his eyes,--
Fair in form, with painted face,--
Where some straggling dwellings rise.
"Maiden, hail!"--"Thanks! welcome here!
Stay!--I'll join thee in the road.'
"Who art thou?"--"A Bayadere,
And this house is love's abode."
The cymbal she hastens to play for the dance,
Well skill'd in its mazes the sight to entrance,
Then by her with grace is the nosegay bestow'd.
Then she draws him, as in play,
O'er the threshold eagerly:
"Beauteous stranger, light as day
Thou shalt soon this cottage see.
I'll refresh thee, if thou'rt tired,
And will bathe thy weary feet;
Take whate'er by thee's desired,
Toying, rest, or rapture sweet."--
She busily seeks his feign'd suff'rings to ease;
Then smiles the Immortal; with pleasure he sees
That with kindness a heart so corrupted can beat.
And he makes her act the part
Of a slave; he's straight obey'd.
What at first had been but art,
Soon is nature in the maid.
By degrees the fruit we find,
Where the buds at first obtain;
When obedience fills the mind,
Love will never far remain.
But sharper and sharper the maiden to prove,
The Discerner of all things below and above,
Feigns pleasure, and horror, and maddening pain.
And her painted cheeks he kisses,
And his vows her heart enthrall;
Feeling love's sharp pangs and blisses,
Soon her tears begin to fall.
At his feet she now must sink,
Not with thoughts of lust or gain,--
And her slender members shrink,
And devoid of power remain.
And so the bright hours with gladness prepare
Their dark, pleasing veil of a texture so fair,
And over the couch softly, tranquilly reign.
Late she falls asleep, thus bless'd,--
Early wakes, her slumbers fled,
And she finds the much-loved guest
On her bosom lying dead.
Screaming falls she on him there,
But, alas, too late to save!
And his rigid limbs they bear
Straightway to their fiery grave.
Then hears she the priests and the funeral song,
Then madly she runs, and she severs the throng:
"Why press tow'rd the pile thus? Why scream thus, and rave?"
Then she sinks beside his bier,
And her screams through air resound:
"I must seek my spouse so dear,
E'en if in the grave he's bound.
Shall those limbs of grace divine
Fall to ashes in my sight?
Mine he was! Yes, only mine!
Ah, one single blissful night!"
The priests chaunt in chorus: "We bear out the old,
When long they've been weary, and late they've grown cold:
We bear out the young, too, so thoughtless and light.
"To thy priests' commands give ear!
This one was thy husband ne'er;
Live still as a Bayadere,
And no duty thou need'st share.
To deaths silent realms from life,
None but shades attend man's frame,
With the husband, none but wife,--
That is duty, that is fame.
Ye trumpets, your sacred lament haste to raise
Oh, welcome, ye gods, the bright lustre of days!
Oh, welcome to heaven the youth from the flame!"
Thus increased her torments are
By the cruel, heartless quire;
And with arms outstretching far
Leaps she on the glowing pyre.
But the youth divine outsprings
From the flame with heav'nly grace,
And on high his flight he wings,
While his arms his love embrace.
In the sinner repentant the Godhead feels joy;
Immortals delight thus their might to employ.
Lost children to raise to a heavenly place.
Prometheus - Christ
LASHED to the planet, glaring at the sky,
An eagle at his heart—the Pagan Christ!
Why is it, Mystery? O, dumb Darkness, why
Have always men, with loving hearts themselves,
Made devils of their gods?
The whirling globe
Bears round man's sweating agony of blood,
That Might may gloat above impotent Pain!
Man's soul is dual—he is half a fiend,
And from himself he typifies Almighty.
O, poison-doubt, the answer holds no peace:
Man did not make himself a fiend, but God.
Between them, what? Prometheus stares
Through ether to the lurid eyes of Jove—
Between them, Darkness!
But the gods are dead-
Ay, Zeus is dead, and all the gods but Doubt,
And Doubt is brother devil to Despair!
What, then, for us? Better Prometheus' fate,
Who dared the gods, than insect unbelief—
Better Doubt's fitful flame than abject nothingness!
O, world around us, glory of the spheres!
God speaks in ordered harmony—behold!
Between us and the Darkness, clad in light,—
Between us and the curtain of the Vast,—two Forms,
And each is crowned eternally—and One
Is crowned with flowers and tender leaves and grass,
And smiles benignly; and the other One,
With sadly pitying eyes, is crowned with thorns:
O Nature, and O Christ, for men to love
And seek and live by—Thine the dual reign—
The health and hope and happiness of men!
Behold our faith and fruit!—
What demon laughs?
Behold our books, our schools, our states,
Where Christ and Nature are the daily word;
Behold our dealings between man and man,
Our laws for home, our treaties for abroad;
Behold our honor, honesty, and freedom,
And, last, our brotherhood! For we are born
In Christian times and ruled by Christian rules!
Bah! God is mild, or he would strike the world
As men should smite a liar on the mouth.
Shame on the falsehood! Let us tell the truth—
Nor Christ nor Nature rules, but Greed and Creed
And Caste and Cant and Craft and Ignorance.
Down to the dust with every decent face,
And whisper there the lies we daily live.
O, God forgive us! Nature never can;
For one is merciful, the other just.
Let us confess: by Nations first—our lines
Are writ in blood and rapine and revenge;
Conquest and pride have motive been and law—
Christ walks with us to hourly crucifixion!
As Men? Would God the better tale were here:
Atom as whole, corruption, shrewdness, self.
Freedom? A juggle—hundreds slave for one,—
That one is free, and boasts, and lo! the shame,
The hundreds at the wheel go boasting too.
Justice? The selfish only can succeed;
Success means power—did Christ mean it so?—
And power must be guarded by the law,
And preachers preach that law must be obeyed,
Ay, even when Right is ironed in the dock,
And Rapine sits in ermine on the bench!
Mercy? Behold it in the reeking slums
That grow like cancers from the palace wall;
Go hear it from the conquered—how their blood
Is weighed in drops, and purchased, blood for gold;
Go ask the toiling tenant why he paid
The landlord's rent and let his children starve;
Go find the thief, whose father was a thief,
And ask what Christian leech has cured his sin?
Honesty? Our law of life is Gain—
We must get gold or be accounted fools;
The lovable, the generous, must be crushed
And substituted by the hard and shrewd.
What is it, Christ, this thing called Christian life,
Where Christ is not, where ninety slave for ten,
And never own a flower save when they steal it,
And never hear a bird save when they cage it?
Is this the freedom of Thy truth? Ah, woe
For those who see a higher, nobler law
Than his, the Crucified, if this be so!
O, man's blind hope—Prometheus, thine the gift-
That bids him live when reason bids him die!
We cling to this, as sailors to a spar—
We see that this is Truth: that men are one,
Nor king nor slave among them save by law;
We see that law is crime, save God's sweet code
That laps the world in freedom: trees and men
And every life around us, days and seasons,
All for their natural order on the planet,
To live their lives, an hour, a hundred years,
Equal, content, and free—nor curse their souls
With trade's malign unrest, with books that breed
Disparity, contempt for those who cannot read;
With cities full of toil and sin and sorrow,
Climbing the devil-builded hill called Progress!
Prometheus, we reject thy gifts for Christ's!
Selfish and hard were thine; but His are sweet—
'Sell what thou hast and give it to the poor!'
Him we must follow to the great Commune,
Reading his book of Nature, growing wise
As planet-men, who own the earth, and pass;
Him we must follow till foul Cant and Caste
Die like disease, and Mankind, freed at last,
Tramples the complex life and laws and limits
That stand between all living things and Freedom!
I Want To Make A Contribution
I want to make a contribution.
I want to leave something on the stairs of the temple
in the dead of the night and steal away like a shadow,
hoping my small gift of a gift is well-received.
That the stars don't think they're wasting their light
to shine down upon it. Nor the wind resent the seeds it carries.
Fifty years of poetry. Painting the picture-music
the darkness pours into my heart and my heart conveys to my ears.
I can taste thousands of wildflowers like eyes in my blood.
I can taste the homelessness of the rogue stars in my tears,
and pull the wounded swords I cull like thorns of the rose
from the stone of my brain that fell in the farmer's field
like a rock through the window of the abyss
and make it clear as Merlin locked in his tower of glass,
that the stars only look fixed from a distance,
up close and intimate as atoms they're in a frenzy of creation
like a cloud of gnats in the last rapture of the sunset
radioactive with the bliss of being alive to know this.
That we're all longing for home in the lap of an expansive awareness
that threw the starmaps away the moment we were born
into the radiance of things that let go of the light
as if they knew something they just couldn't keep to themselves
without doing great injury to the flowers of life
that space was mind, and time was its emotional life
and as the dark mother said to her last incarnation
as it was stepping through the doorway into a stranger,
we're just going to wing it from here on end.
I want to be a strong storm tree twisted and bent by the wind
like the last letter of a sacred alphabet with no alpha or omega
to mark where things begin and end like death in life.
And wind up like a windfall of sweet fruit without end.
I want to make something of my falling, I want to honour
the table I eat at like iron and carbon and oxygen
by bringing something back for what I have received
without asking, or making a decision when I was not aware
of some unimaginable god that holds me personally responsible for it.
What a sleight to humans everywhere matter enjoins them
in a common labour to resonate so perfectly with the light
that lucidity isn't the exclusive property of the unknown,
and just because it's dark, the new moon of the black swan
shedding the feathers of the white, doesn't mean, it's not enlightened.
Though I come like a bird to a windowsill, though I pass
like a star from the window, though I sing of death
on the green bough, though I sing of life on the dead,
though I have been a dragon, a kitten, and a bee,
though I have floundered in sorrows like a lifeboat
way over my head, and lived through starless nights of fear
pulled down like executioners hoods over my eyes,
waiting to see what the morning brings that's vital,
I have not trafficked with my life like a pimp in a flower bed.
I have endured whatever excruciating transfigurations
I've ever had to go through, naked as a knife of light
unsheathed from the ore of this body that can no more
be cast off on the slag heap, than my spirit can paint in blood
a mural of all the changes we've been through like stars and mud.
I want to deepen the roots of the flowering night.
I want to beseech the poppies with my eyes
for more luminous experiences of cadmium red light
for more mystery among the stars than even they're aware of,
for more moons in the apple, more suns in the bread,
for more crazy wisdom than there is the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
I want to show the pine-cones they're pagodas as well
and point out where the mourning doves nest under their eyelids
and the shamans dwell in the upper branches of their evergreens
waiting to see if down will come cradle, baby and all,
or the next ascent is a red-tailed hawk at liberty
to fall upon whatever it likes, raising the snake of the lowest
up into the mystic delirium of the highest
to feather its scales in boas of oxymoronic light.
I want to intensify the dark until people can find
their way home by it, stars that broke into themselves
like morning glory tangled in an old bicycle wheel.
A pine-cone would do, a locket of sky, a piece of straw,
I could offer anything I wanted to, all those nests and pockets
I made in my pillow for years like a cat with a catcher's mitt
trying to find the perfect spot for its nightmare to sleep.
Or any one of a hundred cornerstones that were never built upon
or were torn down before the first brick laid.
Or I could lay my life down like a grain of wheat
among millions, at the feet of a silo so immaculately empty
it's never needed a single one of us, or all the animals
that bleated and bellowed and bled upon the earth
because we started drinking blood long before
we turned to bread like a better body to sacrifice.
Or my eyes like little thumb-drives of everything they've seen.
A gift of a gift as was given to me without a giver,
the ashes of a dead butterfly on a pyre of autumn leaves,
without ritual, celestial spin, I just want to come by myself
like a human in confusion we make the labour of our lives
as if I were stepping out of the trees like a white-tailed buck
come down to the river to drink from the moonlight
and add my reflection to the water that gave it to me,
with my head bowed toward the earth like a broken branch
heavy with the scarred fruits of life that have sweetened
like the moon over the years, poems I can recite by heart,
like the names of the stars and the flowers and the birds
and the ghosts of all those sad, passionate women who
tried so hard to be happy their tears clung like eyes
to the mystery of the windows they kept looking through
as if they were resilvering the mirrors of old telescopes
with the dew of a morning from a long time ago
witching in the dark for stars to explain their loss.
I want to bring a word that's been so deeply hidden in the open
like the flower of a rootless tree, it's got no colour of its own,
no seed, no leaf, no humming bird or bee, the tuning fork
of the nightbird, but no song, no honey, no nectar,
no likeness anywhere to compare it with, demonic or benign,
no meaning no mouth has ever wrapped itself around
like the atmosphere of a habitable planet, though the wind has tried,
a word so indelibly original it can't be washed out
like the whisper of a watercolour in the ear of a solar flare,
a word so private it gets said over the graves of the sacred syllables
that died in the mouths of men like the names of their gods,
not a prayer, not a mantra, not the shriek of a war-cry,
not a curse, not a blessing, not the answer to anything,
and I want to say the unsayable so unsayably free of veils
no junkie in the snakepit of a burning spoon, no lover
thawing virgin watersheds in the nunnery of Madame Moon
has ever stood so naked in their own eyes
even the emptiness inside felt overdressed for the occasion.
J'aime le souvenir de ces époques nues (I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago)
J'aime le souvenir de ces époques nues,
Dont Phoebus se plaisait à dorer les statues.
Alors l'homme et la femme en leur agilité
Jouissaient sans mensonge et sans anxiété,
Et, le ciel amoureux leur caressant l'échine,
Exerçaient la santé de leur noble machine.
Cybèle alors, fertile en produits généreux,
Ne trouvait point ses fils un poids trop onéreux,
Mais, louve au coeur gonflé de tendresses communes
Abreuvait l'univers à ses tétines brunes.
L'homme, élégant, robuste et fort, avait le droit
D'être fier des beautés qui le nommaient leur roi;
Fruits purs de tout outrage et vierges de gerçures,
Dont la chair lisse et ferme appelait les morsures!
Le Poète aujourd'hui, quand il veut concevoir
Ces natives grandeurs, aux lieux où se font voir
La nudité de l'homme et celle de la femme,
Sent un froid ténébreux envelopper son âme
Devant ce noir tableau plein d'épouvantement.
Ô monstruosités pleurant leur vêtement!
Ô ridicules troncs! torses dignes des masques!
Ô pauvres corps tordus, maigres, ventrus ou flasques,
Que le dieu de l'Utile, implacable et serein,
Enfants, emmaillota dans ses langes d'airain!
Et vous, femmes, hélas! pâles comme des cierges,
Que ronge et que nourrit la débauche, et vous, vierges,
Du vice maternel traînant l'hérédité
Et toutes les hideurs de la fécondité!
Nous avons, il est vrai, nations corrompues,
Aux peuples anciens des beautés inconnues:
Des visages rongés par les chancres du coeur,
Et comme qui dirait des beautés de langueur;
Mais ces inventions de nos muses tardives
N'empêcheront jamais les races maladives
De rendre à la jeunesse un hommage profond,
— À la sainte jeunesse, à l'air simple, au doux front,
À l'oeil limpide et clair ainsi qu'une eau courante,
Et qui va répandant sur tout, insouciante
Comme l'azur du ciel, les oiseaux et les fleurs,
Ses parfums, ses chansons et ses douces chaleurs!
I Love to Think of Those Naked Epochs
I love to think of those naked epochs
Whose statues Phoebus liked to tinge with gold.
At that time men and women, lithe and strong,
Tasted the thrill of love free from care and prudery,
And with the amorous sun caressing their loins
They gloried in the health of their noble bodies.
Then Cybele, generous with her fruits,
Did not find her children too heavy a burden;
A she-wolf from whose heart flowed boundless love for all,
She fed the universe from her tawny nipples.
Man, graceful, robust, strong, was justly proud
Of the beauties who proclaimed him their king;
Fruits unblemished and free from every scar,
Whose smooth, firm flesh invited biting kisses!
Today, when the Poet wishes to imagine
This primitive grandeur, in places where
Men and women show themselves in a state of nudity,
He feels a gloomy cold enveloping his soul
Before this dark picture full of terror.
Monstrosities bewailing their clothing!
Ridiculous torsos appropriate for masks!
Poor bodies, twisted, thin, bulging or flabby,
That the god Usefulness, implacable and calm,
Wrapped up at tender age in swaddling clothes of brass!
And you, women, alas! pale as candies,
Whom Debauch gnaws and feeds, and you, virgins,
Who trail the heritage of the maternal vice
And all the hideousness of fecundity!
Degenerate races, we have, it's true,
Types of beauty unknown to the ancient peoples:
Visages gnawed by cankers of the heart
And what one might say were languor's marks of beauty;
But these inventions of our backward Muses
Will never prevent unhealthy races
From paying to their youth deep and sincere homage,
— To holy youth, with serene brow and guileless air,
With eyes bright and clear, like a running brook,
Which goes spreading over all things, as free from care
As the blue of the sky, the birds and the flowers,
Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet ardor!
— Translated by William Aggeler
I Love the Thought of Those Old Naked Days
I love the thought of those old naked days
When Phoebus gilded torsos with his rays,
When men and women sported, strong and fleet,
Without anxiety or base deceit,
And heaven caressed them, amorously keen
To prove the health of each superb machine.
Cybele then was lavish of her guerdon
And did not find her sons too gross a burden:
But, like a she-wolf, in her love great-hearted,
Her full brown teats to all the world imparted.
Bold, handsome, strong, Man, rightly, might evince
Pride in the glories that proclaimed him prince —
Fruits pure of outrage, by the blight unsmitten,
With firm, smooth flesh that cried out to be bitten.
Today the Poet, when he would assess
Those native splendours in the nakedness
Of man or woman, feels a sombre chill
Enveloping his spirit and his will.
He meets a gloomy picture, which be loathes,
Wherein deformity cries out for clothes.
Oh comic runts! Oh horror of burlesque!
Lank, flabby, skewed, pot-bellied, and grotesque!
Whom their smug god, Utility (poor brats!)
Has swaddled in his brazen clouts 'ersatz'
As with cheap tinsel. Women tallow-pale,
Both gnawed and nourished by debauch, who trail
The heavy burden of maternal vice,
Or of fecundity the hideous price.
We have (corrupted nations) it is true
Beauties the ancient people never knew —
Sad faces gnawed by cancers of the heart
And charms which morbid lassitudes impart.
But these inventions of our tardy muse
Can't force our ailing peoples to refuse
Just tribute to the holiness of youth
With its straightforward mien, its forehead couth,
The limpid gaze, like running water bright,
Diffusing, careless, through all things, like the light
Of azure skies, the birds, the winds, the flowers,
The songs, and perfumes, and heart-warming powers.
— Translated by Roy Campbell,
I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago
I love the naked ages long ago
When statues were gilded by Apollo,
When men and women of agility
Could play without lies and anxiety,
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines,
As it exercised its noble machine.
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then,
Would not place on her daughters a burden,
But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people,
Would feed creation from her brown nipples.
Men, elegant and strong, would have the right
To be proud to have beauty named their king;
Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking,
Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite!
The Poet today, when he would convey
This native grandeur, would not be swept away
By man free and woman natural,
But would feel darkness envelop his soul
Before this black tableau full of loathing.
O malformed monsters crying for clothing!
O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise!
O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size,
Children that the god of the Useful swaths
In the language of bronze and brass!
And women, alas! You shadow your heredity,
You gnaw nourishment from debauchery,
A virgin holds maternal lechery
And all the horrors of fecundity!
We have, it is true, corrupt nations,
Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients:
Faces that gnaw through the heart's cankers,
And talk with the cool beauty of languor;
But these inventions of our backward muses
Are never hindered in their morbid uses
Of the old for profound homage to youth,
—To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth,
To the eye as limpid as the water current,
To spread out over all, insouciant
Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers,
Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.
Translated by William A. Sigler
THE PARTING HOUR.
Minutely trace man's life; year after year,
Through all his days let all his deeds appear,
And then though some may in that life be strange,
Yet there appears no vast nor sudden change:
The links that bind those various deeds are seen,
And no mysterious void is left between.
But let these binding links be all destroyed,
All that through years he suffer'd or enjoy'd,
Let that vast gap be made, and then behold -
This was the youth, and he is thus when old;
Then we at once the work of time survey,
And in an instant see a life's decay;
Pain mix'd with pity in our bosoms rise,
And sorrow takes new sadness from surprise.
Beneath yon tree, observe an ancient pair -
A sleeping man; a woman in her chair,
Watching his looks with kind and pensive air;
Nor wife, nor sister she, nor is the name
Nor kindred of this friendly pair the same;
Yet so allied are they, that few can feel
Her constant, warm, unwearied, anxious zeal;
Their years and woes, although they long have
Keep their good name and conduct unreproved:
Thus life's small comforts they together share,
And while life lingers for the grave prepare.
No other subjects on their spirits press,
Nor gain such int'rest as the past distress:
Grievous events, that from the mem'ry drive
Life's common cares, and those alone survive,
Mix with each thought, in every action share,
Darken each dream, and blend with every prayer.
To David Booth, his fourth and last-born boy,
Allen his name, was more than common joy;
And as the child grew up, there seem'd in him
A more than common life in every limb;
A strong and handsome stripling he became,
And the gay spirit answer'd to the frame;
A lighter, happier lad was never seen,
For ever easy, cheerful, or serene;
His early love he fix'd upon a fair
And gentle maid--they were a handsome pair.
They at an infant-school together play'd,
Where the foundation of their love was laid:
The boyish champion would his choice attend
In every sport, in every fray defend.
As prospects open'd, and as life advanced,
They walk'd together, they together danced;
On all occasions, from their early years,
They mix'd their joys and sorrows, hopes and fears;
Each heart was anxious, till it could impart
Its daily feelings to its kindred heart;
As years increased, unnumber'd petty wars
Broke out between them; jealousies and jars;
Causeless indeed, and follow'd by a peace,
That gave to love--growth, vigour, and increase.
Whilst yet a boy, when other minds are void,
Domestic thoughts young Alien's hours employ'd.
Judith in gaining hearts had no concern,
Rather intent the matron's part to learn;
Thus early prudent and sedate they grew,
While lovers, thoughtful--and though children,
To either parents not a day appeard,
When with this love they might have interfered.
Childish at first, they cared not to restrain;
And strong at last, they saw restriction vain;
Nor knew they when that passion to reprove,
Now idle fondness, now resistless love.
So while the waters rise, the children tread
On the broad estuary's sandy bed;
But soon the channel fills, from side to side
Comes danger rolling with the deep'ning tide;
Yet none who saw the rapid current flow
Could the first instant of that danger know.
The lovers waited till the time should come
When they together could possess a home:
In either house were men and maids unwed,
Hopes to be soothed, and tempers to be led.
Then Allen's mother of his favourite maid
Spoke from the feelings of a mind afraid:
'Dress and amusements were her sole employ,'
She said--'entangling her deluded boy;'
And yet, in truth, a mother's jealous love
Had much imagined and could little prove;
Judith had beauty--and if vain, was kind,
Discreet and mild, and had a serious mind.
Dull was their prospect.--When the lovers met,
They said, 'We must not--dare not venture yet.'
'Oh! could I labour for thee,' Allen cried,
'Why should our friends be thus dissatisfied;
On my own arm I could depend, but they
Still urge obedience--must I yet obey?'
Poor Judith felt the grief, but grieving begg'd
At length a prospect came that seem'd to smile,
And faintly woo them, from a Western Isle;
A kinsman there a widow's hand had gain'd,
'Was old, was rich, and childless yet remain'd;
Would some young Booth to his affairs attend,
And wait awhile, he might expect a friend.'
The elder brothers, who were not in love,
Fear'd the false seas, unwilling to remove;
But the young Allen, an enamour'd boy,
Eager an independence to enjoy,
Would through all perils seek it,--by the sea, -
Through labour, danger, pain, or slavery.
The faithful Judith his design approved,
For both were sanguine, they were young, and loved.
The mother's slow consent was then obtain'd;
The time arrived, to part alone remain'd:
All things prepared, on the expected day
Was seen the vessel anchor'd in the bay.
From her would seamen in the evening come,
To take th' adventurous Allen from his home;
With his own friends the final day he pass'd,
And every painful hour, except the last.
The grieving father urged the cheerful glass,
To make the moments with less sorrow pass;
Intent the mother look'd upon her son,
And wish'd th' assent withdrawn, the deed undone;
The younger sister, as he took his way,
Hung on his coat, and begg'd for more delay:
But his own Judith call'd him to the shore,
Whom he must meet, for they might meet no more; -
And there he found her--faithful, mournful, true,
Weeping, and waiting for a last adieu!
The ebbing tide had left the sand, and there
Moved with slow steps the melancholy pair:
Sweet were the painful moments--but, how sweet,
And without pain, when they again should meet!
Now either spoke as hope and fear impress'd
Each their alternate triumph in the breast.
Distance alarm'd the maid--she cried, ''Tis far
And danger too--'it is a time of war:
Then in those countries are diseases strange,
And women gay, and men are prone to change:
What then may happen in a year, when things
Of vast importance every moment brings!
But hark! an oar!' she cried, yet none appear'd -
'Twas love's mistake, who fancied what it fear'd;
And she continued--'Do, my Allen, keep
Thy heart from evil, let thy passions sleep;
Believe it good, nay glorious, to prevail,
And stand in safety where so many fail;
And do not, Allen, or for shame, or pride,
Thy faith abjure, or thy profession hide;
Can I believe his love will lasting prove,
Who has no rev'rence for the God I love?
I know thee well! how good thou art and kind;
But strong the passions that invade thy mind -
Now, what to me hath Allen, to commend?'
'Upon my mother,' said the youth,' attend;
Forget her spleen, and, in my place appear,
Her love to me will make my Judith dear,
Oft I shall think (such comforts lovers seek),
Who speaks of me, and fancy what they speak;
Then write on all occasions, always dwell
On hope's fair prospects, and be kind and well,
And ever choose the fondest, tenderest style.'
She answer'd, 'No,' but answer'd with a smile.
'And now, my Judith, at so sad a time,
Forgive my fear, and call it not my crime;
When with our youthful neighbours 'tis thy chance
To meet in walks, the visit, or the dance,
When every lad would on my lass attend,
Choose not a smooth designer for a friend:
That fawning Philip!--nay, be not severe,
A rival's hope must cause a lover's fear.'
Displeased she felt, and might in her reply
Have mix'd some anger, but the boat was nigh,
Now truly heard!--it soon was full in sight; -
Now the sad farewell, and the long good-night;
For see!--his friends come hast'ning to the beach,
And now the gunwale is within the reach:
'Adieu!--farewell!--remember!'--and what more
Affection taught, was utter'd from the shore.
But Judith left them with a heavy heart,
Took a last view, and went to weep apart.
And now his friends went slowly from the place,
Where she stood still, the dashing oar to trace,
Till all were silent!--for the youth she pray'd,
And softly then return'd the weeping maid.
They parted, thus by hope and fortune led,
And Judith's hours in pensive pleasure fled;
But when return'd the youth?--the youth no more
Return'd exulting to his native shore;
But forty years were past, and then there came
A worn-out man with wither'd limbs and lame,
His mind oppress'd with woes, and bent with age his
Yes! old and grieved, and trembling with decay,
Was Allen landing in his native bay,
Willing his breathless form should blend with
In an autumnal eve he left the beach,
In such an eve he chanced the port to reach:
He was alone; he press'd the very place
Of the sad parting, of the last embrace:
There stood his parents, there retired the maid,
So fond, so tender, and so much afraid;
And on that spot, through many years, his mind
Turn'd mournful back, half sinking, half resign'd.
No one was present; of its crew bereft,
A single boat was in the billows left;
Sent from some anchor'd vessel in the bay,
At the returning tide to sail away.
O'er the black stern the moonlight softly play'd,
The loosen'd foresail flapping in the shade;
All silent else on shore; but from the town
A drowsy peal of distant bells came down:
From the tall houses here and there, a light
Served some confused remembrance to excite:
'There,' he observed, and new emotions felt,
'Was my first home--and yonder Judith dwelt;
Dead! dead are all! I long--I fear to know,'
He said, and walk'd impatient, and yet slow.
Sudden there broke upon his grief a noise
Of merry tumult and of vulgar joys:
Seamen returning to their ship, were come,
With idle numbers straying from their home;
Allen among them mix'd, and in the old
Strove some familiar features to behold;
While fancy aided memory: --'Man! what cheer?'
A sailor cried; 'Art thou at anchor here?'
Faintly he answer'd, and then tried to trace
Some youthful features in some aged face:
A swarthy matron he beheld, and thought
She might unfold the very truths he sought:
Confused and trembling, he the dame address'd:
'The Booths! yet live they?' pausing and oppress'd;
Then spake again: --'Is there no ancient man,
David his name?--assist me, if you can. -
Flemings there were--and Judith, doth she live?'
The woman gazed, nor could an answer give,'
Yet wond'ring stood, and all were silent by,
Feeling a strange and solemn sympathy.
The woman musing said--'She knew full well
Where the old people came at last to dwell;
They had a married daughter, and a son,
But they were dead, and now remain'd not one.'
'Yes,' said an elder, who had paused intent
On days long past, 'there was a sad event; -
One of these Booths--it was my mother's tale -
Here left his lass, I know not where to sail:
She saw their parting, and observed the pain;
But never came th' unhappy man again:'
'The ship was captured'--Allen meekly said,
'And what became of the forsaken maid?'
The woman answer'd: 'I remember now,
She used to tell the lasses of her vow,
And of her lover's loss, and I have seen
The gayest hearts grow sad where she bas been;
Yet in her grief she married, and was made
Slave to a wretch, whom meekly she obey'd,
And early buried--but I know no more:
And hark! our friends are hast'ning to the shore.'
Allen soon found a lodging in the town,
And walk'd a man unnoticed up and down,
This house, and this, he knew, and thought a face
He sometimes could among a number trace:
Of names remember'd there remain'd a few,
But of no favourites, and the rest were new:
A merchant's wealth, when Allen went to sea,
Was reckon'd boundless.--Could he living be?
Or lived his son? for one he had, the heir
To a vast business, and a fortune fair.
No! but that heir's poor widow, from her shed,
With crutches went to take her dole of bread:
There was a friend whom he had left a boy,
With hope to sail the master of a hoy;
Him, after many a stormy day, he found
With his great wish, his life's whole purpose,
This hoy's proud captain look'd in Allen's face, -
'Yours is, my friend,' said he, 'a woeful case;
We cannot all succeed: I now command
The Betsy sloop, and am not much at land:
But when we meet, you shall your story tell
Of foreign parts--I bid you now farewell!'
Allen so long had left his native shore,
He saw but few whom he had seen before;
The older people, as they met him, cast
A pitying look, oft speaking as they pass'd -
'The man is Allen Booth, and it appears
He dwelt among us in his early years:
We see the name engraved upon the stones,
Where this poor wanderer means to lay his bones,'
Thus where he lived and loved--unhappy change! -
He seems a stranger, and finds all are strange.
But now a widow, in a village near,
Chanced of the melancholy man to hear;
Old as she was, to Judith's bosom came
Some strong emotions at the well-known name;
He was her much-loved Allen, she had stay'd
Ten troubled years, a sad afflicted maid;
Then was she wedded, of his death assured.
And much of mis'ry in her lot endured;
Her husband died; her children sought their bread
In various places, and to her were dead.
The once fond lovers met; not grief nor age,
Sickness nor pain, their hearts could disengage:
Each had immediate confidence; a friend
Both now beheld, on whom they might depend:
'Now is there one to whom I can express
My nature's weakness, and my soul's distress.'
Allen look'd up, and with impatient heart -
'Let me not lose thee--never let us part:
So heaven this comfort to my sufferings give,
It is not all distress to think and live.'
Thus Allen spoke--for time had not removed
The charms attach'd to one so fondly loved;
Who with more health, the mistress of their cot,
Labours to soothe the evils of his lot.
To her, to her alone, his various fate,
At various times, 'tis comfort to relate;
And yet his sorrow--she too loves to hear
What wrings her bosom, and compels the tear.
First he related how he left the shore,
Alarm'd with fears that they should meet no more.
Then, ere the ship had reach'd her purposed course,
They met and yielded to the Spanish force;
Then 'cross th' Atlantic seas they bore their prey,
Who grieving landed from their sultry bay:
And marching many a burning league, he found
Himself a slave upon a miner's ground:
There a good priest his native language spoke,
And gave some ease to his tormenting yoke;
Kindly advanced him in his master's grace,
And he was station'd in an easier place;
There, hopeless ever to escape the land,
He to a Spanish maiden gave his hand;
In cottage shelter'd from the blaze of day,
He saw his happy infants round him play;
Where summer shadows, made by lofty trees,
Waved o'er his seat, and soothed his reveries;
E'en then he thought of England, nor could sigh,
But his fond Isabel demanded, 'Why?'
Grieved by the story, she the sigh repaid,
And wept in pity for the English maid:
Thus twenty years were pass d, and pass'd his views
Of further bliss, for he had wealth to lose:
His friend now dead, some foe had dared to paint
'His faith as tainted: he his spouse would taint;
Make all his children infidels, and found
An English heresy on Christian ground.'
'Whilst I was poor,' said Allen, 'none would care
What my poor notions of religion were;
None ask'd me whom I worshipp'd, how I pray'd,
If due obedience to the laws were paid:
My good adviser taught me to be still,
Nor to make converts had I power or will.
I preach'd no foreign doctrine to my wife,
And never mention'd Luther in my life;
I, all they said, say what they would, allow'd,
And when the fathers bade me bow, I bow'd;
Their forms I follow'd, whether well or sick,
And was a most obedient Catholic.
But I had money, and these pastors found
My notions vague, heretical, unsound:
A wicked book they seized; the very Turk
Could not have read a more pernicious work;
To me pernicious, who if it were good
Or evil question'd not, nor understood:
Oh! had I little but the book possess'd,
I might have read it, and enjoy'd my rest.'
Alas! poor Allen--through his wealth was seen
Crimes that by poverty conceal'd had been:
Faults that in dusty pictures rest unknown,
Are in an instant through the varnish shown.
He told their cruel mercy; how at last,
In Christian kindness for the merits past,
They spared his forfeit life, but bade him fly,
Or for his crime and contumacy die;
Fly from all scenes, all objects of delight:
His wife, his children, weeping in his sight,
All urging him to flee, he fled, and cursed his
He next related how he found a way,
Guideless and grieving, to Campeachy-Bay:
There in the woods he wrought, and there, among
Some lab'ring seamen, heard his native tongue:
The sound, one moment, broke upon his pain
With joyful force; he long'd to hear again:
Again he heard; he seized an offer'd hand,
'And when beheld you last our native land!'
He cried, 'and in what country? quickly say.'
The seamen answer'd--strangers all were they;
Only one at his native port had been;
He, landing once, the quay and church had seen,
For that esteem'd; but nothing more he knew.
Still more to know, would Allen join the crew,
Sail where they sail'd, and, many a peril past,
They at his kinsman's isle their anchor cast;
But him they found not, nor could one relate
Aught of his will, his wish, or his estate.
This grieved not Allen; then again he sail'd
For England's coast, again his fate prevailed:
War raged, and he, an active man and strong,
Was soon impress'd, and served his country long.
By various shores he pass'd, on various seas,
Never so happy as when void of ease. -
And then he told how in a calm distress'd,
Day after day his soul was sick of rest;
When, as a log upon the deep they stood,
Then roved his spirit to the inland wood;
Till, while awake, he dream'd, that on the seas
Were his loved home, the hill, the stream, the
He gazed, he pointed to the scenes: --'There stand
My wife, my children, 'tis my lovely land.
See! there my dwelling--oh! delicious scene
Of my best life: --unhand me--are ye men?'
And thus the frenzy ruled him, till the wind
Brush'd the fond pictures from the stagnant mind.
He told of bloody fights, and how at length
The rage of battle gave his spirits strength:
'Twas in the Indian seas his limb he lost,
And he was left half-dead upon the coast;
But living gain'd, 'mid rich aspiring men,
A fair subsistence by his ready pen.
'Thus,' he continued, 'pass'd unvaried years,
Without events producing hopes or fears.'
Augmented pay procured him decent wealth,
But years advancing undermined his health;
Then oft-times in delightful dream he flew
To England's shore, and scenes his childhood knew:
He saw his parents, saw his fav'rite maid,
No feature wrinkled, not a charm decay'd;
And thus excited, in his bosom rose
A wish so strong, it baffled his repose:
Anxious he felt on English earth to lie;
To view his native soil, and there to die.
He then described the gloom, the dread he found,
When first he landed on the chosen ground,
Where undefined was all he hoped and fear'd,
And how confused and troubled all appear'd;
His thoughts in past and present scenes employ'd,
All views in future blighted and destroy'd:
His were a medley of be wild'ring themes,
Sad as realities, and wild as dreams.
Here his relation closes, but his mind
Flies back again some resting-place to find;
Thus silent, musing through the day, he sees
His children sporting by those lofty trees,
Their mother singing in the shady scene,
Where the fresh springs burst o'er the lively
So strong his eager fancy, he affrights
The faithful widow by its powerful flights;
For what disturbs him he aloud will tell,
And cry--''Tis she, my wife! my Isabel!
Where are my children?'--Judith grieves to hear
How the soul works in sorrows so severe;
Assiduous all his wishes to attend,
Deprived of much, he yet may boast a friend;
Watch'd by her care, in sleep, his spirit takes
Its flight, and watchful finds her when he wakes.
'Tis now her office; her attention see!
While her friend sleeps beneath that shading tree,
Careful, she guards him from the glowing heat,
And pensive muses at her Allen's feet.
And where is he? Ah! doubtless in those scenes
Of his best days, amid the vivid greens.
Fresh with unnumber'd rills, where ev'ry gale
Breathes the rich fragrance of the neighb'ring
Smiles not his wife, and listens as there comes
The night-bird's music from the thick'ning glooms?
And as he sits with all these treasures nigh,
Blaze not with fairy-light the phosphor-fly,
When like a sparkling gem it wheels illumined by?
This is the joy that now so plainly speaks
In the warm transient flushing of his cheeks;
For he is list'ning to the fancied noise
Of his own children, eager in their joys:
All this he feels, a dream's delusive bliss
Gives the expression, and the glow like this.
And now his Judith lays her knitting by,
These strong emotions in her friend to spy
For she can fully of their nature deem -
But see! he breaks the long protracted theme,
And wakes, and cries--'My God! 'twas but a dream.'
- quotes about mother language
- quotes about sadness
- quotes about melancholy
- quotes about elders
- quotes about diversity
- quotes about friendship
- quotes about heresy
- quotes about strength
- quotes about Belgium
The Pleasures of Imagination: Book The Second
When shall the laurel and the vocal string
Resume their honours? When shall we behold
The tuneful tongue, the Promethéan hand
Aspire to ancient praise? Alas! how faint,
How slow the dawn of beauty and of truth
Breaks the reluctant shades of Gothic night
Which yet involve the nations! Long they groan'd
Beneath the furies of rapacious force;
Oft as the gloomy north, with iron-swarms
Tempestuous pouring from her frozen caves,
Blasted the Italian shore, and swept the works
Of liberty and wisdom down the gulph
Of all-devouring night. As long immur'd
In noon-tide darkness by the glimmering lamp,
Each muse and each fair science pin'd away
The sordid hours: while foul, barbarian hands
Their mysteries profan'd, unstrung the lyre,
And chain'd the soaring pinion down to earth.
At last the muses rose, and spurn'd their bonds,
And wildly warbling, scatter'd, as they flew,
Their blooming wreaths from fair Valclusa's bowers
Arno's myrtle border and the shore of soft Parthenope.
But still the rage of dire ambition and gigantic power,
From public aims and from the busy walk
Of civil commerce, drove the bolder train
Of penetrating science to the cells,
Where studious ease consumes the silent hour
In shadowy searches and unfruitful care.
Thus from their guardians torn, the tender arts
Of mimic fancy and harmonious joy,
To priestly domination and the lust
Of lawless courts, their amiable toil
For three inglorious ages have resign'd,
In vain reluctant: and Torquato's tongue
Was tun'd for slavish pæans at the throne
Of tinsel pomp: and Raphael's magic hand
Effus'd its fair creation to enchant
The fond adoring herd in Latian fanes
To blind belief; while on their prostrate necks
The sable tyrant plants his heel secure.
But now behold! the radiant æra dawns,
When freedom's ample fabric, fix'd at length
For endless years on Albion's happy shore
In full proportion, once more shall extend
To all the kindred powers of social bliss
A common mansion, a parental roof.
There shall the virtues, there shall wisdom's train,
Their long-lost friends rejoining, as of old,
Embrace the smiling family of arts,
The muses and the graces. Then no more
Shall vice, distracting their delicious gifts
To aims abhorr'd, with high distaste and scorn
Turn from their charms the philosophic eye,
The patriot-bosom; then no more the paths
Of public care or intellectual toil,
Alone by footsteps haughty and severe
In gloomy state be trod: the harmonious Muse
And her persuasive sisters then shall plant
Their sheltering laurels o'er the bleak ascent,
And scatter flowers along the rugged way.
Arm'd with the lyre, already have we dar'd
To pierce divine philosophy's retreats,
And teach the Muse her lore; already strove
Their long-divided honours to unite,
While tempering this deep argument we sang
Of truth and beauty. Now the same glad task
Impends; now urging our ambitious toil,
We hasten to recount the various springs
Of adventitious pleasure, which adjoin
Their grateful influence to the prime effect
Of objects grand or beauteous, and inlarge
The complicated joy. The sweets of sense,
Do they not oft with kind accession flow,
To raise harmonious fancy's native charm?
So while we taste the fragrance of the rose,
Glows not her blush the fairer? While we view
Amid the noontide walk a limpid rill
Gush through the trickling herbage, to the thirst
Of summer yielding the delicious draught
Of cool refreshment; o'er the mossy brink
Shines not the surface clearer, and the waves
With sweeter music murmur as they flow?
Nor this alone; the various lot of life
Oft from external circumstance assumes
A moment's disposition to rejoice
In those delights which at a different hour
Would pass unheeded. Fair the face of spring,
When rural songs and odours wake the morn,
To every eye; but how much more to his
Round whom the bed of sickness long diffus'd
Its melancholy gloom! how doubly fair,
When first with fresh-born vigour he inhales
The balmy breeze, and feels the blessed sun
Warm at his bosom, from the springs of life
Chasing oppressive damps and languid pain!
Or shall i mention, where cœlestial truth
Her awful light discloses, to bestow
A more majestic pomp on beauty's frame?
For man loves knowledge, and the beams of truth
More welcome touch his understanding's eye,
Than all the blandishments of sound his ear,
Than all of taste his tongue. Nor ever yet
The melting rainbow's vernal-tinctur'd hues
To me have shone so pleasing, as when first
The hand of science pointed out the path
In which the sun-beams gleaming from the west
Fall on the watry cloud, whose darksome veil
Involves the orient; and that trickling shower
Piercing through every crystalline convex
Of clustering dew-drops to their flight oppos'd,
Recoil at length where concave all behind
The internal surface of each glassy orb
Repells their forward passage into air;
That thence direct they seek the radiant goal
From which their course began; and, as they strike
In different lines the gazer's obvious eye,
Assume a different lustre, through the brede
Of colours changing from the splendid rose
To the pale violet's dejected hue.
Or shall we touch that kind access of joy,
That springs to each fair object, while we trace
Through all its fabric, wisdom's artful aim
Disposing every part, and gaining still
By means proportion'd her benignant end?
Speak, ye, the pure delight, whose favour'd steps
The lamp of science through the jealous maze
Of nature guides, when haply you reveal
Her secret honours: whether in the sky,
The beauteous laws of light, the central powers
That wheel the pensile planets round the year;
Whether in wonders of the rowling deep,
Or the rich fruits of all-sustaining earth,
Or fine-adjusted springs of life and sense,
Ye scan the counsels of their author's hand.
What, when to raise the meditated scene,
The flame of passion, through the struggling soul
Deep-kindled, shows across that sudden blaze
The object of its rapture, vast of size,
With fiercer colours and a night of shade?
What? like a storm from their capacious bed
The sounding seas o'erwhelming, when the might
Of these eruptions, working from the depth
Of man's strong apprehension, shakes his frame
Even to the base; from every naked sense
Of pain or pleasure dissipating all
Opinion's feeble coverings, and the veil
Spun from the cobweb fashion of the times
To hide the feeling heart? Then nature speaks
Her genuine language, and the words of men,
Big with the very motion of their souls,
Declare with what accumulated force,
The impetuous nerve of passion urges on
The native weight and energy of things.
Yet more: her honours where nor beauty claims,
Nor shews of good the thirsty sense allure,
From passion's power alone our nature holds
Essential pleasure. Passion's fierce illapse
Rouzes the mind's whole fabric; with supplies
Of daily impulse keeps the elastic powers
Intensely poiz'd, and polishes anew
By that collision all the fine machine:
Else rust would rise, and foulness, by degrees
Incumbering, choak at last what heaven design'd
For ceaseless motion and a round of toil.
—But say, does every passion thus to man
Administer delight? That name indeed
Becomes the rosy breath of love; becomes
The radiant smiles of joy, the applauding hand
Of admiration: but the bitter shower
That sorrow sheds upon a brother's grave,
But the dumb palsy of nocturnal fear,
Or those consuming fires that gnaw the heart
Of panting indignation, find we there
To move delight?—Then listen while my tongue
The unalter'd will of heaven with faithful awe
Reveals; what old Harmodius wont to teach
My early age; Harmodius, who had weigh'd
Within his learned mind whate'er the schools
Of wisdom, or thy lonely-whispering voice,
O faithful nature! dictate of the laws
Which govern and support this mighty frame
Of universal being. Oft the hours
From morn to eve have stolen unmark'd away,
While mute attention hung upon his lips,
As thus the sage his awful tale began.
'Twas in the windings of an ancient wood,
When spotless youth with solitude resigns
To sweet philosophy the studious day,
What time pale autumn shades the silent eve,
Musing i rov'd. Of good and evil much,
And much of mortal man my thought revolv'd;
When starting full on fancy's gushing eye
The mournful image of Parthenia's fate,
That hour, o long belov'd and long deplor'd!
When blooming youth, nor gentlest wisdom's arts,
Nor Hymen's honours gather'd for thy brow,
Nor all thy lover's, all thy father's tears
Avail'd to snatch thee from the cruel grave;
Thy agonizing looks, thy last farewel
Struck to the inmost feeling of my soul
As with the hand of death. At once the shade
More horrid nodded o'er me, and the winds
With hoarser murmuring shook the branches. Dark
As midnight storms, the scene of human things
Appear'd before me; desarts, burning sands,
Where the parch'd adder dies; the frozen south,
And desolation blasting all the west
With rapine and with murder: tyrant power
Here sits enthron'd with blood; the baleful charms
Of superstition there infect the skies,
And turn the sun to horror. Gracious heaven!
What is the life of man? Or cannot these,
Not these portents thy awful will suffice?
That, propagated thus beyond their scope,
They rise to act their cruelties anew
In my afflicted bosom, thus decreed
The universal sensitive of pain,
The wretched heir of evils not its own!
Thus I impatient; when, at once effus'd,
A flashing torrent of cœlestial day
Burst through the shadowy void. With slow descent
A purple cloud came floating through the sky,
And pois'd at length within the circling trees,
Hung obvious to my view; till opening wide
Its lucid orb, a more than human form
Emerging lean'd majestic o'er my head,
And instant thunder shook the conscious grove.
Then melted into air the liquid cloud,
And all the shining vision stood reveal'd.
A wreath of palm his ample forehead bound,
And o'er his shoulder, mantling to his knee,
Flow'd the transparent robe, around his waist
Collected with a radiant zone of gold
Æthereal: there in mystic signs ingrav'd,
I read his office high and sacred name,
Genius of human kind. Appall'd i gaz'd
The godlike presence; for athwart his brow
Displeasure, temper'd with a mild concern,
Look'd down reluctant on me, and his words
Like distant thunders broke the murmuring air.
Vain are thy thoughts, o child of mortal birth!
And impotent thy tongue. Is thy short span
Capacious of this universal frame?
Thy wisdom all-sufficient? Thou, alas!
Dost thou aspire to judge between the Lord
Of nature and his works? to lift thy voice
Against the sovran order he decreed,
All good and lovely? to blaspheme the bands
Of tenderness innate and social love,
Holiest of things! by which the general orb
Of being, as by adamantine links,
Was drawn to perfect union and sustain'd
From everlasting? Hast thou felt the pangs
Of softening sorrow, of indignant zeal
So grievous to the soul, as thence to wish
The ties of nature broken from thy frame;
That so thy selfish, unrelenting heart
Might cease to mourn its lot, no longer then
The wretched heir of evils not its own?
O fair benevolence of generous minds!
O man by nature form'd for all mankind!
He spoke; abash'd and silent i remain'd,
As conscious of my tongue's offence, and aw'd
Before his presence, though my secret soul
Disdain'd the imputation. On the ground
I fix'd my eyes; till from his airy couch
He stoop'd sublime, and touching with his hand
My dazling forehead, Raise thy sight, he cry'd
And let thy sense convince thy erring tongue.
I look'd, and lo! the former scene was chang'd;
For verdant alleys and surrounding trees,
A solitary prospect, wide and wild,
Rush'd on my senses. 'Twas an horrid pile
Of hills with many a shaggy forest mix'd,
With many a sable cliff and glittering stream.
Aloft recumbent o'er the hanging ridge,
The brown woods wav'd; while ever-trickling springs
Wash'd from the naked roots of oak and pine
The crumbling soil; and still at every fall
Down the steep windings of the channel'd rock,
Remurmuring rush'd the congregated floods
With hoarser inundation; till at last
They reach'd a grassy plain, which from the skirts
Of that high desart spread her verdant lap,
And drank the gushing moisture, where confin'd
In one smooth current, o'er the lilied vale
Clearer than glass it flow'd. Autumnal spoils
Luxuriant spreading to the rays of morn,
Blush'd o'er the cliffs, whose half-incircling mound
As in a sylvan theatre inclos'd
That flowery level. On the river's brink
I spy'd a fair pavilion, which diffus'd
Its floating umbrage 'mid the silver shade
Of osiers. Now the western sun reveal'd
Between two parting cliffs his golden orb,
And pour'd across the shadow of the hills,
On rocks and floods, a yellow stream of light
That cheer'd the solemn scene. My listening powers
Were aw'd, and every thought in silence hung,
And wondering expectation. Then the voice
Of that cœlestial power, the mystic show
Declaring, thus my deep attention call'd.
Inhabitant of earth, to whom is given
The gracious ways of providence to learn,
Receive my sayings with a stedfast ear—
Know then, the sovran spirit of the world,
Though self-collected from eternal time,
Within his own deep essence he beheld
The bounds of true felicity complete;
Yet by immense benignity inclin'd
To spread around him that primæval joy
Which fill'd himself, he rais'd his plastic arm,
And sounded through the hollow depth of space
The strong, creative mandate. Strait arose
These heavenly orbs, the glad abodes of life
Effusive kindled by his breath divine
Through endless forms of being. Each inhal'd
From him its portion of the vital flame,
In measure such, that, from the wide complex
Of coexistent orders, one might rise,
One order, all-involving and intire.
He too beholding in the sacred light
Of his essential reason, all the shapes
Of swift contingence, all successive ties
Of action propagated through the sum
Of possible existence, he at once,
Down the long series of eventful time,
So fix'd the dates of being, so dispos'd,
To every living soul of every kind
The field of motion and the hour of rest,
That all conspir'd to his supreme design,
To universal good: with full accord
Answering the mighty model he had chosen,
The best and fairest of unnumber'd worlds
That lay from everlasting in the store
Of his divine conceptions. Nor content,
By one exertion of creative power
His goodness to reveal; through every age,
Through every moment up the tract of time
His parent-hand with ever-new increase
Of happiness and virtue has adorn'd
The vast harmonious frame: his parent-hand,
From the mute shell-fish gasping on the shore,
To men, to angels, to cœlestial minds
For ever leads the generations on
To higher scenes of being; while supply'd
From day to day with his enlivening breath,
Inferior orders in succession rise
To fill the void below. As flame ascends,
As bodies to their proper center move,
As the pois'd ocean to the attracting moon
Obedient swells, and every headlong stream
Devolves its winding waters to the main;
So all things which have life aspire to God,
The sun of being, boundless, unimpair'd,
Center of souls! Nor does the faithful voice
Of nature cease to prompt their eager steps
Aright; nor is the care of heaven withheld
From granting to the task proportion'd aid;
That in their stations all may persevere
To climb the ascent of being, and approach
For ever nearer to the life divine.
That rocky pile thou seest, that verdant lawn
Fresh-water'd from the mountains. Let the scene
Paint in thy fancy the primæval seat
Of man, and where the will supreme ordain'd
His mansion, that pavilion fair-diffus'd
Along the shady brink; in this recess
To wear the appointed season of his youth,
Till riper hours should open to his toil
The high communion of superior minds,
Of consecrated heroes and of gods.
Nor did the sire omnipotent forget
His tender bloom to cherish; nor withheld
Cœlestial footsteps from his green abode.
Oft from the radiant honours of his throne,
He sent whom most he lov'd, the sovran fair,
The effluence of his glory, whom he plac'd
Before his eyes for ever to behold;
The goddess from whose inspiration flows
The toil of patriots, the delight of friends;
Without whose work divine, in heaven or earth,
Nought lovely, nought propitious comes to pass,
Nor hope, nor praise, nor honour. Her the sire
Gave it in charge to rear the blooming mind,
The folded powers to open, to direct
The growth luxuriant of his young desires,
And from the laws of this majestic world
To teach him what was good. As thus the nymph
Her daily care attended, by her side
With constant steps her gay companion stay'd,
The fair Euphrosyné, the gentle queen
Of smiles, and graceful gladness, and delights
That cheer alike the hearts of mortal men
And powers immortal. See the shining pair!
Behold, where from his dwelling now disclos'd
They quit their youthful charge and seek the skies.
I look'd, and on the flowery turf there stood
Between two radiant forms a smiling youth
Whose tender cheeks display'd the vernal flower
Of beauty; sweetest innocence illum'd
His bashful eyes, and on his polish'd brow
Sate young simplicity. With fond regard
He view'd the associates, as their steps they mov'd;
The younger chief his ardent eyes detain'd,
With mild regret invoking her return.
Bright as the star of evening she appear'd
Amid the dusky scene. Eternal youth
O'er all her form its glowing honours breath'd;
And smiles eternal from her candid eyes
Flow'd, like the dewy lustre of the morn
Effusive trembling on the placid waves.
The spring of heaven had shed its blushing spoils
To bind her sable tresses: full diffus'd
Her yellow mantle floated in the breeze;
And in her hand she wav'd a living branch
Rich with immortal fruits, of power to calm
The wrathful heart, and from the brightening eyes,
To chase the cloud of sadness. More sublime
The heavenly partner mov'd. The prime of age
Compos'd her steps. The presence of a god,
High on the circle of her brow inthron'd,
From each majestic motion darted awe,
Devoted awe! till, cherish'd by her looks
Benevolent and meek, confiding love
To filial rapture soften'd all the soul.
Free in her graceful hand she pois'd the sword
Of chaste dominion. An heroic crown
Display'd the old simplicity of pomp
Around her honour'd head. A matron's robe,
White as the sunshine streams through vernal clouds,
Her stately form invested. Hand in hand
The immortal pair forsook the enamel'd green,
Ascending slowly. Rays of limpid light
Gleam'd round their path; cœlestial sounds were heard,
And through the fragrant air æthereal dews
Distill'd around them; till at once the clouds
Disparting wide in midway sky, withdrew
Their airy veil, and left a bright expanse
Of empyréan flame, where spent and drown'd,
Afflicted vision plung'd in vain to scan
What object it involv'd. My feeble eyes
Indur'd not. Bending down to earth i stood,
With dumb attention. Soon a female voice,
As watry murmurs sweet, or warbling shades,
With sacred invocation thus began.
Father of gods and mortals! whose right arm
With reins eternal guides the moving heavens,
Bend thy propitious ear. Behold well-pleas'd
I seek to finish thy divine decree.
With frequent steps I visit yonder seat
Of man, thy offspring; from the tender seeds
Of justice and of wisdom, to evolve
The latent honours of his generous frame;
Till thy conducting hand shall raise his lot
From earth's dim scene to these æthereal walks,
The temple of thy glory. But not me,
Not my directing voice he oft requires,
Or hears delighted: this inchanting maid,
The associate thou hast given me, her alone
He loves, o Father! absent, her he craves;
And but for her glad presence ever join'd,
Rejoices not in mine: that all my hopes
This thy benignant purpose to fulfil,
I deem uncertain; and my daily cares
Unfruitful all and vain, unless by thee
Still farther aided in the work divine.
She ceas'd; a voice more awful thus reply'd.
O thou! in whom for ever i delight,
Fairer than all the inhabitants of heaven,
Best image of thy author! far from thee
Be disappointment, or distaste, or blame;
Who soon or late shalt every work fulfil,
And no resistance find. If man refuse
To hearken to thy dictates; or allur'd
By meaner joys, to any other power
Transfer the honours due to thee alone;
That joy which he pursues he ne'er shall taste,
That power in whom delighteth ne'er behold.
Go then, once more, and happy be thy toil;
Go then! but let not this thy smiling friend
Partake thy footsteps. In her stead, behold!
With thee the son of Nemesis i send;
The fiend abhorr'd! whose vengeance takes account
Of sacred order's violated laws.
See where he calls thee, burning to be gone,
Fierce to exhaust the tempest of his wrath
On yon devoted head. But thou, my child,
Controul his cruel phrenzy, and protect
Thy tender charge; that when despair shall grasp
His agonizing bosom, he may learn,
Then he may learn to love the gracious hand
Alone sufficient in the hour of ill,
To save his feeble spirit; then confess
Thy genuine honours, o excelling fair!
When all the plagues that wait the deadly will.
Of this avenging dæmon, all the storms
Of night infernal, serve but to display
The energy of thy superior charms
With mildest awe triumphant o'er his rage,
And shining clearer in the horrid gloom.
Here ceas'd that awful voice, and soon i felt
The cloudy curtain of refreshing eve
Was clos'd once more, from that immortal fire
Sheltering my eye-lids. Looking up, i view'd
A vast gigantic spectre striding on
Through murmuring thunders and a waste of clouds,
With dreadful action. Black as night his brow
Relentless frowns involv'd. His savage limbs
With sharp impatience violent he writh'd,
As through convulsive anguish; and his hand,
Arm'd with a scorpion-lash, full oft he rais'd
In madness to his bosom; while his eyes
Rain'd bitter tears, and bellowing loud he shook
The void with horror. Silent by his side
The virgin came. No discomposure stirr'd
Her features. From the glooms which hung around
No stain of darkness mingled with the beam
Of her divine effulgence. Now they stoop
Upon the river-bank; and now to hail
His wonted guests, with eager steps advanc'd
The unsuspecting inmate of the shade.
As when a famish'd wolf, that all night long
Had rang'd the Alpine snows, by chance at morn
Sees from a cliff incumbent o'er the smoke
Of some lone village, a neglected kid
That strays along the wild for herb or spring;
Down from the winding ridge he sweeps amain,
And thinks he tears him: so with tenfold rage,
The monster sprung remorseless on his prey.
Amaz'd the stripling stood: with panting breast
Feebly he pour'd the lamentable wail
Of helpless consternation, struck at once,
And rooted to the ground. The queen beheld
His terror, and with looks of tenderest care
Advanc'd to save him. Soon the tyrant felt
Her awful power. His keen, tempestuous arm
Hung nerveless, nor descended where his rage
Had aim'd the deadly blow: then dumb retir'd
With sullen rancour. Lo! the sovran maid
Folds with a mother's arms the fainting boy,
Till life rekindles in his rosy cheek;
Then grasps his hands, and cheers him with her tongue.
O wake thee, rouze thy spirit! Shall the spite
Of yon tormentor thus appall thy heart,
While i, thy friend and guardian, am at hand
To rescue and to heal? O let thy soul
Remember, what the will of heaven ordains
Is ever good for all; and if for all,
Then good for thee. Nor only by the warmth
And soothing sunshine of delightful things,
Do minds grow up and flourish. Oft misled
By that bland light, the young unpractis'd views
Of reason wander through a fatal road,
Far from their native aim: as if to lye
Inglorious in the fragrant shade, and wait
The soft access of ever-circling joys,
Were all the end of being. Ask thyself,
This pleasing error did it never lull
Thy wishes? Has thy constant heart refus'd
The silken fetters of delicious ease?
Or when divine Euphrosyné appear'd
Within this dwelling, did not thy desires
Hang far below the measure of thy fate,
Which i reveal'd before thee? and thy eyes,
Impatient of my counsels, turn away
To drink the soft effusion of her smiles?
Know then, for this the everlasting sire
Deprives thee of her presence, and instead,
O wise and still benevolent! ordains
This horrid visage hither to pursue
My steps; that so thy nature may discern
Its real good, and what alone can save
Thy feeble spirit in this hour of ill
From folly and despair. O yet belov'd!
Let not this headlong terror quite o'erwhelm
Thy scatter'd powers; nor fatal deem the rage
Of this tormentor, nor his proud assault,
While i am here to vindicate thy toil,
Above the generous question of thy arm.
Brave by thy fears and in thy weakness strong,
This hour he triumphs: but confront his might,
And dare him to the combat, then with ease
Disarm'd and quell'd, his fierceness he resigns
To bondage and to scorn: while thus inur'd
By watchful danger, by unceasing toil,
The immortal mind, superior to his fate,
Amid the outrage of external things,
Firm as the solid base of this great world,
Rests on his own foundations. Blow, ye winds!
Ye waves! ye thunders! rowl your tempest on;
Shake, ye old pillars of the marble sky!
Till all its orbs and all its worlds of fire
Be loosen'd from their seats; yet still serene,
The unconquer'd mind looks down upon the wreck;
And ever stronger as the storms advance,
Firm through the closing ruin holds his way,
Where nature calls him to the destin'd goal.
So spake the goddess; while through all her frame
Cœlestial raptures flow'd, in every word,
In every motion kindling warmth divine
To seize who listen'd. Vehement and swift
As lightening fires the aromatic shade
In Æthiopian fields, the stripling felt
Her inspiration catch his fervid soul,
And starting from his languor thus exclaim'd.
Then let the trial come! and witness thou,
If terror be upon me; if i shrink
To meet the storm, or faulter in my strength
When hardest it besets me. Do not think
That i am fearful and infirm of soul,
As late thy eyes beheld: for thou hast chang'd
My nature; thy commanding voice has wak'd
My languid powers to bear me boldly on,
Where'er the will divine my path ordains
Through toil or peril: only do not thou
Forsake me; o be thou for ever near,
That i may listen to thy sacred voice,
And guide by thy decrees my constant feet.
But say, for ever are my eyes bereft?
Say, shall the fair Euphrosyné not once
Appear again to charm me? Thou, in heaven!
O thou eternal arbiter of things!
Be thy great bidding done: for who am i,
To question thy appointment? Let the frowns
Of this avenger every morn o'ercast
The cheerful dawn, and every evening damp
With double night my dwelling; i will learn
To hail them both, and unrepining bear
His hateful presence: but permit my tongue
One glad request, and if my deeds may find
Thy awful eye propitious, o restore
The rosy-featur'd maid; again to cheer
This lonely seat, and bless me with her smiles.
He spoke; when instant through the sable glooms
With which that furious presence had involv'd
The ambient air, a flood of radiance came
Swift as the lightening flash; the melting clouds
Flew diverse, and amid the blue serene
Euphrosyné appear'd. With sprightly step
The nymph alighted on the irriguous lawn,
And to her wondering audience thus began.
Lo! i am here to answer to your vows,
And be the meeting fortunate! i come
With joyful tidings; we shall part no more—
Hark! how the gentle echo from her cell
Talks through the cliffs, and murmuring o'er the stream
Repeats the accents; we shall part no more.
O my delightful friends! well-pleas'd on high
The father has beheld you, while the might
Of that stern foe with bitter trial prov'd
Your equal doings; then for ever spake
The high decree: that thou, cœlestial maid!
Howe'er that griesly phantom on thy steps
May sometimes dare intrude, yet never more
Shalt thou, descending to the abode of man,
Alone endure the rancour of his arm,
Or leave thy lov'd Euphrosyné behind.
She ended; and the whole romantic scene
Immediate vanish'd; rocks, and woods, and rills,
The mantling tent, and each mysterious form
Flew like the pictures of a morning dream,
When sun-shine fills the bed. A while i stood
Perplex'd and giddy; till the radiant power
Who bade the visionary landscape rise,
As up to him i turn'd, with gentlest looks
Preventing my enquiry, thus began.
There let thy soul acknowledge its complaint
How blind, how impious! There behold the ways
Of heaven's eternal destiny to man,
For ever just, benevolent and wise:
That virtue's awful steps, howe'er pursu'd
By vexing fortune and intrusive pain,
Should never be divided from her chaste,
Her fair attendant, pleasure. Need i urge
Thy tardy thought through all the various round
Of this existence, that thy softening soul
At length may learn what energy the hand
Of virtue mingles in the bitter tide
Of passion swelling with distress and pain,
To mitigate the sharp with gracious drops
Of cordial pleasure? Ask the faithful youth,
Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd
So often fills his arms; so often draws
His lonely footsteps at the silent hour,
To pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
O! he will tell thee, that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego
That sacred hour, when, stealing from the noise
Of care and envy, sweet remembrance sooths
With virtue's kindest looks his aking breast,
And turns his tears to rapture.—Ask the croud
Which flies impatient from the village-walk
To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when far below
The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the coast
Some helpless bark; while sacred pity melts
The general eye, or terror's icy hand
Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair;
While every mother closer to her breast
Catches her child, and pointing where the waves
Foam through the shatter'd vessel, shrieks aloud
As one poor wretch that spreads his piteous arms
For succour, swallow'd by the roaring surge,
As now another, dash'd against the rock,
Drops lifeless down: o! deemest thou indeed
No kind endearment here by nature given
To mutual terror and compassion's tears?
No sweetly-melting softness which attracts,
O'er all that edge of pain, the social powers
To this their proper action and their end?
—Ask thy own heart; when at the midnight hour,
Slow through that studious gloom thy pausing eye
Led by the glimmering taper moves around
The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs
Of Grecian bards, and records writ by fame
For Grecian heroes, where the present power
Of heaven and earth surveys the immortal page,
Even as a father blessing, while he reads
The praises of his son. If then thy soul,
Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days,
Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame;
Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view,
When rooted from the base, heroic states
Mourn in the dust and tremble at the frown
Of curst ambition; when the pious band
Of youths who fought for freedom and their sires,
Lie side by side in gore; when ruffian pride
Usurps the throne of justice, turns the pomp
Of public power, the majesty of rule,
The sword, the laurel, and the purple robe,
To slavish empty pageants, to adorn
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes
Of such as bow the knee; when honour'd urns
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust
And storied arch, to glut the coward-rage
Of regal envy, strew the public way
With hallow'd ruins; when the Muse's haunt,
The marble porch where wisdom wont to talk
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarse jargon of contentious monks,
Or female superstition's midnight prayer;
When ruthless rapine from the hand of time
Tears the destroying scythe, with surer blow
To sweep the works of glory from their base;
Till desolation o'er the grass-grown street
Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall,
Where senates once the price of monarchs doom'd,
Hisses the gliding snake through hoary weeds
That clasp the mouldering column; thus defac'd,
Thus widely mournful when the prospect thrills
Thy beating bosom, when the patriot's tear
Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm
In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove
To fire the impious wreath on Philip's
Or dash Octavius from the trophied car;
Say, does thy secret soul repine to taste
The big distress? Or would'st thou then exchange
Those heart-ennobling sorrows for the lot
Of him who sits amid the gaudy herd
Of mute barbarians bending to his nod,
And bears aloft his gold-invested front,
And says within himself, “i am a king,
“And wherefore should the clamorous voice of woe
“Intrude upon mine ear?—” The baleful dregs
Of these late ages, this inglorious draught
Of servitude and folly, have not yet,
Blest be the eternal ruler of the world!
Defil'd to such a depth of sordid shame
The native honours of the human soul,
Nor so effac'd the image of its sire.