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All thy remaining life should sunshine be;
But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see
"As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
Such was the glorious entry of our king;
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;
With pearly dew was crown'd,
And upon all the quicken'd ground
The fruitful seed of Heaven did brocding lie,
(The men whom through long wanderings he had led) That he would give them ev'n a Heaven of brass :
They look'd up to that Heaven in vain,
The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
'When my new mind had no infusion known, Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own, That ever since I vainly try
To wash away th' inherent dye : Long work perhaps may spoil thy colors quite, But never will reduce the native white:
To all the ports of honor and of gain,
The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy
This was my error, this my gross mistake,
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate,
That bounteous Heaven, which God did not re-Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse! strain
Upon the most unjust to shine and rain
The court, and better king, t' accuse : The heaven under which I live is fair, The fertile soil will a full harvest bear:
"The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Thou didst with faith and labor serve,
And didst (if faith and labor can) deserve,
Of fairer and of richer wives before,
Into the court's deceitful lottery:
But think how likely 'tis that thou,
Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
And my abused soul didst bear
Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plow
Our patient sovereign did attend
To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse!
Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or slow;
Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath,
HYMN TO LIGHT.
FIRST-BORN of Chaos, who so fair didst come
Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,
Thou golden shower of a true Jove! Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth make love!
Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health
Say, from what golden quivers of the sky
"Tis, I believe, this archery to show,
That so much cost in colors thou,
Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow.
Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,
Thou in the Moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,
Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above
The shining pageants of the world attend thy
Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn
(O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the
Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright, And Sleep, the lazy owl of night; Asham'd, and fearful to appear,
All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes,
Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st, Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou go'st.
A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st;
Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light.
The violet, Spring's little infant, stands
Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands.
With flame condens'd thou do'st thy jewels fix,
Ah, goddess! would thou could'st thy hand withhold And be less liberal to gold!
Did'st thou less value to it give,
Of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man relieve!
To me the Sun is more delightful far,
And all fair days much fairer are. But few, ah! wondrous few, there be, Who do not gold prefer, O goddess! ev'n to thee
They screen their horrid shapes with the black Through the soft ways of Heaven, and air, and sea hemisphere.
Which open all their pores to thee, Like a clear river thou dost glide,
With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm, And with thy living stream through the close chan
Of painted dreams a busy swarm:
At the first opening of thine eye
The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,
Creep, conscious, to their secret rests:
Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way.
To shake his wings, and rouse his head:
A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.
At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;
Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.
But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,
But the vast ocean of unbounded day,
In th' empyrean Heaven does stay. Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, From thence took first their rise, thither at last must flow.
HOPE! whose weak being ruin'd is,
To the check color comes, and firmness to the Alike, if it succeed, and if it miss; knee.
Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,
In sympathizing night he rolls his smoky fires.
When, goddess! thou lift'st up thy waken'd head,
Whom good or ill does equally confound,
Vain shadow! which does vanish quite,
The stars have not a possibility
Of blessing thee;
If things then from their end we happy call, "Tis hope is the most hopeless thing of all.
Hope! thou bold taster of delight, [quite! Who, whilst thou should'st but taste, devour'st i'
Thou bring'st us an estate, yet leav'st us poor,
The joys which we entire should wed,
For joy, like wine, kept close does better taste;
Hope! Fortune's cheating lottery!
Thin, empty cloud, which th' eye deceives
Brother of Fear, more gayly clad!
By the strange witchcraft of "anon!"
HOPE! of all ills that men endure,
Hope! thou first-fruits of happiness!
Whether she her bargain break or else fulfil;
Brother of Faith! 'twixt whom and thee
Happiness itself's all one
In thee, or in possession!
Hope! thou sad lovers' only friend!
Thou Way, that may'st dispute it with the End!
Fruition more deceitful is
Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss ;
And that's a pleasant country, without doubt,
CLAUDIAN'S OLD MAN OF VERONA.
DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM
FELIX, qui patriis, &c.
Happy the man, whom the same humble place
WELL, then; I now do plainly see
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
And good as guardian-angels are,
Only belov'd, and loving me!
Oh, fountains! when in you shall I
Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy?
The happy tenant of your shade?
Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Where all the riches lie, that she
Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.
Pride and ambition here
Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear;
Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter, And nought but Echo flatter.
The gods, when they descended, hither From Heaven did always choose their way; And therefore we may boldly say,
That 'tis the way too thither.
How happy here should I,
And one dear she, live, and embracing die!
I should have then this only fear-
FROM THE DAVIDEIS.
AWAKE, awake, my Lyre!
And tell thy silent master's humble tale In sounds that may prevail; Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
JOHN MILTON, a poet of the first rank in eminence, poem, of great elegance. He left Italy by the way was descended from an ancient family, settled at of Geneva, where he contracted an acquaintance Milton, in Oxfordshire. His father, whose deser- with two learned divines, John Diodati and Frederic tion of the Roman Catholic faith was the cause of Spanheim; and he returned through France, having his disinheritance, settled in London as a scrivener, been absent about a year and three months. and marrying a woman of good family, had two On his arrival, Milton found the nation agitated sons and a daughter. John, the eldest son, was by civil and religious disputes, which threatened a born in Bread-street, on December 9, 1608. He crisis; and as he had expressed himself impatient to received the rudiments of learning from a domestic be present on the theatre of contention, it has been tutor, Thomas Young, afterwards chaplain to the thought extraordinary that he did not immediately English merchants at Hamburg, whose merits are place himself in some active station. But his turn gratefully commemorated by his pupil, in a Latin was not military; his fortune precluded a seat in elegy. At a proper age he was sent to St. Paul's parliament; the pulpit he had declined; and for the school, and there began to distinguish himself by bar he had made no preparation. His taste and his intense application to study, as well as by his habits were altogether literary; for the present, poetical talents. In his sixteenth year he was re- therefore, he fixed himself in the metropolis, and moved to Christ's college, Cambridge, where he undertook the education of his sister's two sons, of was admitted a pensioner, under the tuition of Mr. the name of Philips. Soon after, he was applied to W. Chappel. by several parents to admit their children to the Of his course of studies in the university little is benefit of his tuition. He therefore took a comknown; but it appears, from several exercises pre- modious house in Aldersgate-street, and opened an served in his works, that he had acquired extraor- academy. Disapproving the plan of education in dinary skill in writing Latin verses, which are of a the public schools and universities, he deviated from purer taste than any preceding compositions of the it as widely as possible. He put into the hands kind by English scholars. He took the degrees of his scholars, instead of the common classics, such both of Bachelor and Master of Arts; the latter in Greek and Latin authors as treated on the arts and 1632, when he left Cambridge. He renounced his sciences, and on philosophy; thus expecting to inoriginal intention of entering the church, for which stil the knowledge of things with that of words. We he has given as a reason, that, "coming to some are not informed of the result of his plan; but it maturity of years, he had perceived what tyranny will appear singular that one who had himself drunk had invaded it;" which denotes a man early habitu-so deeply at the muse's fount, should withhold the ated to think and act for himself. draught from others. We learn, however, that he per
He now returned to his father, who had retired formed the task of instruction with great assiduity. from business to a residence at Horton, in Buck- Milton did not long suffer himself to lie under inghamshire; and he there passed five years in the the reproach of having neglected the public cause study of the best Roman and Grecian authors, and in his private pursuits; and, in 1641, he publishin the composition of some of his finest miscella-ed four treatises relative to church government, in neous poems. This was the period of his Allegro which he gave the preponderance to the Presbyand Penseroso, his Comus and Lycidas. That his terian form above the Episcopalian. Resuming the learning and talents had at this time attracted con- same controversy in the following year, he numsiderable notice, appears from an application made bered among his antagonists such men as Bishop to him from the Bridgewater family, which pro- Hall and Archbishop Usher. His father, who had duced his admirable masque of "Comus," perform- been disturbed by the king's troops, now came to ed in 1634, at Ludlow Castle, before the Earl of live with him; and the necessity of a female head Bridgewater, then Lord President of Wales; and of such a house, caused Milton, in 1643, to form a also by his "Arcades," part of an entertainment connexion with the daughter of Richard Powell, presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at Esq., a magistrate of Oxfordshire. This was, in Harefield, by some of her family. several respects, an unhappy marriage; for his father
In 1638, he obtained his father's leave to improve in-law was a zealous royalist, and his wife had achimself by foreign travel, and set out for the con- customed herself to the jovial hospitality of that tinent. Passing through France, he proceeded to party. She had not, therefore, passed above a Italy, and spent a considerable time in that seat of month in her husband's house, when, having prothe arts and of literature. At Naples he was kindly cured an invitation from her father, she went to pass received by Manso, Marquis of Villa, who had the summer in his mansion. Milton's invitations long before deserved the gratitude of poets by his for her return were treated with contempt; upon patronage of Tasso; and, in return for a laudatory which, regarding her conduct as a desertion which listich of Manso, Milton addressed to him a Latin broke the nuptial contract, he determined to punish