« ZurückWeiter »
Which blasts each endeavour to please?
Save love, I am free from disease. No Graces my mansion have fled,
No Muses have broken my lyre;
And Laughter is cheer'd at my fire.
among; I've appetite e'en for the old,
And spirit enough for the young. Believe me, sweet girl, I speak true,
Or else put my love to the test;
FROM THE KING OF PRUSSIA TO VOLTAIRE.
1775. VOLTAIRE, believe me, were I now In private life's calm station placed, Let Heaven for nature's wants allow, With cold indifference would I view Departing Fortune's winged haste, And laugh at her caprice like you. The' insipid farce of tedious state, Imperial duty's real weight,
The faithless courtier's supple bow,
Voltaire, within his private cell
HYMN TO HEALTH.
WRITTEN IN SICKNESS.
SWEET as the fragrant breath of genial May,
Come, fair Hygeia! goddess heavenly born, More lovely than the sun's returning ray,
To northern regions, at the half year's morn. Where shall I seek thee? in the wholesome grot,
Where Temperance her scanty meal enjoys ? Or Peace, contented with her humble lot,
Beneath her thatch the’inclement blast defies? Swept from each flower that sips the morning dew,
Thy wing besprinkles all the scenes around; Where'er thou fliest the blossoms blush anew,
And purple violets paint the hallow'd ground. Thy presence renovated nature shows;
By thee each shrub with varied hue is dyed, Each tulip with redoubled lustre glows,
And all creation smiles with flowery pride.
But in thy absence joy is felt no more,
The landscape wither'd e'en in spring appears, The morn lours ominous o'er the dusky shore,
And evening suns set half extinct in tears. Ruthless disease ascends, when thou art gone,
From the dark regions of the’abyss below, With pestilence, the guardian of her throne,
Breathing contagion from the realms of woe. In vain her citron groves Italia boasts,
Or Po, the balsam of his weeping trees; In vain Arabia's aromatic coasts
Perfume the pinions of the passing breeze. No wholesome scents impregn the western gale,
But noxious stench exhaled by scorching heat, Where gasping swains the poisonous air inhale,
That once diffused a medicinal sweet. Me, abject me with pale disease oppress'
Heal with the balm of thy prolific breath, Rekindle life within my clay-cold breast,
And shield my youth from cankerworms of death. Then on the verdant turf, thy favourite shrine,
Restored to thee a votary I'll come, Grateful to offer to thy power
divine Each herb that grows round Æsculapius' tomb.
The nymph that I loved was as cheerful as day, And as sweet as the blossoming hawthorn in May, Her temper was smooth as the down on the dove, And her face was as fair as the mother's of love.
Though mild as the pleasantest zephyr that sheds,
Her mind was unsullied as new fallen snow,
The sweets that each virtue or grace had in store She cull'd as the bee would the bloom of each
flower: Which treasured for me, O! how happy was I, For though hers to collect, it was mine to enjoy.
SONG TO WINIFREDA.
Away, let nought to love displeasing,
My Winifreda! move thy fear;
Nor squeamish pride nor gloomy care.
With pompous titles grace our blood :
And to be noble, we'll be good.
No mighty treasures we possess,
And be content without excess.