Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
And all thy threads with magic art
Have wound themselves about this heart,

My Mary!

Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter'd in a dream ;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary!

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,

My Mary!

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,

My Mary!

Partakers of thy sad decline
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet gently press'd, press gently mine,

My Mary!

Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st
That now at every step thou mov'st
Upheld by two ; yet still thou lov’st

My Mary!

And still to love, though press'd with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,

My Mary!

And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past
Thy worn-out heart will break at last-
My Mary!

W. CowPER.

163. THE DYING MAN IN HIS GARDEN.

Why, Damon, with the forward day
Dost thou thy little spot survey,
From tree to tree, with doubtful cheer,
Pursue the progress of the year,
What winds arise, what rains descend,
When thou before that

year

shalt end?

What do thy noontide walks avail,
To clear the leaf, and pick the snail,
Then wantonly to death decree
An insect usefuller than thee?
Thou and the worm are brother-kind,
As low, as earthy, and as blind.

Vain wretch ! canst thou expect to see
The downy peach make court to thee?
Or that thy sense shall ever meet
The bean-flower's deep-embosom'd sweet
Exhaling with an evening blast ?
Thy evenings then will all be past!

Thy narrow pride, thy fancied green
(For vanity's in little seen),

All must be left when Death appears,
In spite of wishes, groans, and tears ;
Nor one of all thy plants that grow
But Rosemary will with thee go.

G. SEWELL.

164. TO-MORROW.
In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,

May my lot no less fortunate be
Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,

And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;
With an ambling pad-pony to pace o'er the lawn,

While I carol away idle sorrow,
And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn

Look forward with hope for to-morrow. With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade

too, As the sunshine or rain may prevail ; And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade

too, With a barn for the use of the flail : A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,

And a purse when a friend wants to borrow; I'll envy no nabob his riches or fame,

Nor what honours await him to-morrow.

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be

completely Secured by a neighbouring hill ; And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly

By the sound of a murmuring rill :
And while peace and plenty I find at my board,

With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what to-day may afford,

And let them spread the table to-morrow.

And when I at last must throw off this frail covering

Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering,

Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again : But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow ; As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare to-day May become everlasting to-morrow.

COLLINS.

165.

Life ! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part ;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.

Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear-
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear ;
_Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night,-but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good Morning.

A. L. BARBAULD.

FOURTH BOOK.

SUMMARY.

It proves sufficiently the lavish wealth of our own age in Poetry, that the pieces which, without conscious departure from the standard of Excellence, render this Book by far the longest, were with very few exceptions composed during the first thirty years of the nineteenth century. Exhaustive reasons can hardly be given for the strangely sudden appearance of individual genius : but none, in the Editor's judgment, can be less adequate than that which assigns the splendid national achievements of our recent poetry to an impulse from the frantic follies and criminal wars that at the time disgraced the least essentially civilised of our foreign neighbours. The first French Revolution was rather, in his opinion, one result, and in itself by no means the most important, of that far wider and greater spirit which through enquiry and doubt, through pain and triumph, sweeps mankind round the circles of its gradual development: and it is to this that we must trace the literature of modern Europe. But, without more detailed discussion on the motive causes of Scott, Wordsworth, Campbell, Keats, and Shelley, we may observe that these Poets, with others, carried to further perfection the later tendencies of the Century preceding, in simplicity of narrative, reverence for human Passion and Character in every sphere, and impassioned love of Nature :—that, whilst maintaining on the whole the advances in art made since the Restoration, they renewed the half-forgotten melody and depth of tone which marked the best Elizabethan writers :--that, lastly, to what was thus inherited they added a richness in language and a variety

« НазадПродовжити »