« ZurückWeiter »
Ah! see the pheasant fluttering in the brake,
Green, azure, gold, but undistinguish'd gore ! Yet spare the tenants of the silver lake!
I call in vain—They gasp upon the shore. A yet ignobler band is guarded round
With dogs of war—the spurning bull their prize : And now he bellows, humbled to the ground,
And now they sprawl in howlings to the skies. You too must feel their missile weapon's power,
Whose clarion charms the midnight's sullen air; Thou, the morn's harbinger, must mourn the hour
*Vigil to fasts and penitence and prayer. Must fatal wars of human avarice wage,
For milder conflicts, Love their palm, design'd: Now sheath'd in steel, must rival Reason's rage,
Deal mutual death and emulate mankind.
Are these your sovereign joys, Creation's lords?
Is death a banquet for a godlike soul? Have rigid hearts no sympathizing chords
For concord, order, for the’ harmonious whole? Nor plead necessity, thou man of blood ! Heaven tempers power with mercy-Heaven
revere! Yet slay the wolf for safety, lamb for food ;
But shorten misery's pangs, and drop a tear ! Ah! rather turn, and breathe this evening gale,
Uninjured, and uninjuring Nature's peace. Come, draw best nectar from the foaming pail, Come,pen the fold,and count the flock's increase !
• Shrove Tuesday.
See pastaring heifers with the bull, who wields
Yet budding horns, and wounds alone the soil; Or see the panting spaniel try the fields,
While bursting coveys mock his wanton toil!
Now feel the steed with youth's elastic force
Spontaneous bound, yet bear thy kind control; Nor mangle all his sinews in the course,
And fainting, staggering, lash him to the goal!
Now sweetly pensive, bending o’er the stream,
Mark the gay floating myriads, nor molest Their sports, their slumbers, but inglorious dream
Of evil fled and all Creation bless'd!
Or else, beneath thy porch, in social joy
Sit and approve thy infant’s virtuous haste, Humanity's sweet tones while all employ
To lure the wing'd domestics to repast!
There smiling see a fop in swelling state,
The turkey, strut with valour's red pretence, And duck row on with waddling honest gait,
And goose mistake solemnity for sense!
While one with front erect, in simple pride,
Full firmly treads, his consort waits his call; Now deal the copious barley, waft it wide,
That each may taste the bounty meant for all !
Yon basbful songsters, with retorted eye
Pursue the grain, yet wheel contracted flight; While he, the bolder sparrow, scorns to fly;
A son of freedom claiming Nature's right.
Liberal to him; yet still the wafted grain,
Choicest for those of modest worth, dispense; And blessing Heaven that wakes their grateful
strain, Let Heaven's best joy be thine, benevolence! While flocks'soft bleatings, echoing high and clear,
The neigh of steeds responsive o'er the heath; Deep lowings sweeter melt upon thy ear
Than screams of terror and the groans of death. Yet sounds of woe delight a giant brood :
Fly then mankind, ye young, ye helpless old! For not their fury, a consuming flood,
Distinguishes the shepherd, drowns the fold. But loosen once thy gripe, avenging law!
Eager on man, a nobler chase, they start; Now from a brother's side the dagger draw,
Now sheath it deeper in a virgin's heart. See, as they reach Ambition's purple fruits,
Their reeking hands in nations' carnage died ! No longer bathing in the blood of brutes,
They swim to empire in a human tide.
But see him, see the fiend that others stung,
With scorpion conscience lash himself the last! See festering in the bosom where they sprung
The fury passions that laid Nature waste !
Behold the self-tormentor drag his chains,
And weary Heaven with many a fruitless groan! By pining fasts, by voluntary pains,
Revenging Nature's cause, he pleads his own.
Yet prostrate, suppliant to the throne above,
He calls down Heaven in thunders to pursue Heaven's fancied foes-O God of peace and love,
The voice of thunder is no voice from you ! Mistaken mortal! 'tis that God's decree
To spare thy own, nor shed another's blood : Heaven breathes benevolence to all, to thee; Each being's bliss consummates general good.
RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE
OUT OF NORFOLK.
THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANNE BODHAM.
O THAT those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see, The same that oft in childhood solaced me; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!'
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead,
more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,