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O, write it not, my hand-the name appears
And bids them make mistaken mortals groan, Already written-wash it out, my tears!
Who seek in love for aught but love alone. In vain lost Eloïsa weeps and prays,
Should at my feet the world's great master fall, Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys. Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all :
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains Not Cæsar's empress would I deign to prove; Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains :
No, make me mistress to the man I love. Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn; If there be yet another name more free, Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn! More fond than mistress, make me that to thee! Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep; Oh, happy state! when souls each other draw, And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep! When love is liberty, and Nature law: Though cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown, All then is full, possessing and possessid, I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
No craving void left aching in the breast : All is not Heaven's while Abelard has part, Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part, Still rebel Nature holds out half my heart; And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart. Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain, This sure is bliss (if bliss on Earth there be) Nor tears, for ages taught to flow in vain.
And once the lot of Abelard and me. Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise ! That well-known name awakens all my woes. A naked lover bound and bleeding lies! Oh, name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Where, where was Eloïsa ? her voice, her hand, Still breath'd in sighs, still usher'd with a tear. Her poniard had oppos d the dire command. I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Barbarian, stay! that bloody stroke restrain ; Some dire misfortune follows close behind. The crime was common, common be the pain. Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow, I can no more; by shame, by rage suppress'd, Led through a sad variety of woe :
Let tears and burning blushes speak the rest. Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom, Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day, Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!
When victims at yon altar's foot we lay? There stern Religion quench'd th' unwilling flame, Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell, There died the best of passions, love and fame. When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ?
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join As with cold lips I kiss’d the sacred veil, Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine. The shrines all trembled and the lamps grew pale: Nor foes nor Fortune take this power away ;
Heaven scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'd, And is my Abelard less kind than they?
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made. Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare, Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew, Love but demands what else were shed in prayer; Not on the cross my eyes were fix’d, but you : No happier task these faded eyes pursue ; Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call; To read and weep is all they now can do. And if I lose thy love, I lose my all.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief; Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief. Those still at least are left thee to bestow. Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid, Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie, Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid ; [spires, Still drink delicious poison from thy eye, They live, they speak, they breathe what love in- Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd ; Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires, Give all thou canst—and let me dream the rest. The virgin's wish without her fears impart, Ah, no! instruct me other joys to prize, Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, With other beauties charm my partial eyes, Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul, Full in my view set all the bright abode, And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
And make my soul quit Abelard for God. Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame, Ah! think at least thy flock deserves thy care, When Love approach'd me under Friendship’s name; Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer. My fancy form’d thee of angelic kind,
From the false world in early youth they fled, Some emanation of th' All-beauteous Mind. By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led. Those smiling eyes, attempering every ray, You rais'd these hallow'd walls; the desert smild. Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day. And Paradise was open'd in the wild. Guiltless I gaz'd; Heaven listen'd while you sung; No weeping orphan saw his father's stores And truths divine came mended from that tongue. Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors; From lips like those what precept fail'd to move ? No silver saints, by dying misers given, Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to love: Here bribe the rage of ill-requited Heaven; Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran, But such plain roofs as Piety could raise, Nor wish'd an angel whom I lov'd a man. And only vocal with the Maker's praise, Dim and remote the joys of saints I see,
In these lone walls, (their days eternal bound) Nor envy them that Heaven I lose for thee. These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crown'd
Ilow oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said, Where awful arches make a noon-day night, Curse on all laws but those which love has made! And the dim windows shed a solemn light; Love, free as air, at sight of human ties
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day. Let wealth, let honor, wait the wedded dame, But now no face divine contentment wears, August her deed, and sacred be her fame; 'Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears. Before true passion all those views remove; See how the force of others' prayers I try, Fame, wealth, and honor! what are you to love ? O pious fraud of amorous charity!) The jealous god, when we profane his fires, But why should I on others' prayers depend ? Those restless passions in revenge inspires, Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend!
Ah, let thy handmaid, sister, daughter, move, Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee.
O curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night! The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze ; How glowing guilt exalis the keen delight! No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Provoking demons all restraint remove, Or lull to rest the visionary maid :
And stir within me every source of love. But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves, I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms, Long-sounding aisles, and intermingled graves, And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms. Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws I wake :- no more I hear, no more I view, A death-like silence, and a dread repose ;
The phantom flies me, as unkind as you. Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene, I call aloud ; it hears not what I say:
Shades every flower and darkens every green, I stretch my empty arms; it glides away. | Deepens the murmur of the falling floods, To dream once more I close my willing eyes; And breathes a browner horror on the woods. Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise! Yet here for ever, ever must I stay ;
Alas, no more! methinks we wandering go Sad proof how well a lover can obey!
Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe Death, only Death, can break the lasting chain; Where round some mouldering tower pale ivy creeps. And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain ; And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps. Here all its frailties, all its flames resign,
Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies: And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thine. Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
Ah, wretch! believ'd the spouse of God in vain, I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find, Confess'd within the slave of love and man. And wake to all the griefs I left behind. Assist me, Heaven! but whence arose that prayer? For thee the Fates, severely kind, ordain Sprung it from piety, or from despair ?
A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain; Ey'n here where frozen Chastity retires,
Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd repose : Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows. I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought; Still as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow, I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
Or moving spirit bade the waters flow; I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiven, Repent old pleasures, and solicit new;
And mild as opening gleams of promis'd Heaven. Now turn'd to Heaven, I weep my past offence,
Come, Abelard! for what hast thou to dread ? Now think of thee, and curse my innocence.
The torch of Venus burns not for the dead. Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
Nature stands check'd; Religion disapproves; 'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
Ev’n thou art cold—yet Eloïsa loves. How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, Ah, hopeless, lasting flames! like those that burn And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence ? To light the dead, and warm th' unfruitful urn. How the dear object from the crime remove, What scenes appear where'er I turn my view! Or how distinguish penitence from love?
The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue,
Rise in the grove, before the altar rise,
I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee,
Thy image steals between my God and me; How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear, Conceal, disdain,-do things but forget! With every bead I drop too soft a tear. But let Heaven seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd : When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll, Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd! And swelling organs lift the rising soul, Oh, come, oh, teach me Nature to subdue, One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight, Renounce my love, my life, myself—and you. Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight: Fill my sond heart with God alone, for he In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd, Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round. How happy is the blameless vestal's lot;
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie, The world forgetting, by the world forgot! Kind, virtuous drops just gathering in my eye, Eternal sun-shine of the spotless mind !
While, praying, trembling, in the dust I roll, Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd; And dawning grace is opening on my soul : Labor and rest that equal periods keep;
Come, if thou dar'st, all charming as thou art! Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;" Oppose thyself to Heaven ; dispute my heart; Desires compos'd, affections ever even;
Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes, Tears that delight, and sighs that wast to Heaven. Blot out each bright idea of the skies ; Grace shines around her with serenest beams, Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those tears : And whispering angels prompt her golden dreams. Take back my fruitless penitence and prayers : For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms, Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode ; And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes; Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God! For her the spouse prepares the bridal ring;
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole! For her white virgins hymenæals sing:
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll! To sounds of heavenly harps she dies away, Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me, And melts in visions of eternal day.
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign!
Such, if there be, who loves so long, so well; Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine. Let him our sad, our tender story tell! Fair eyes, and tempting looks, (which yet I view !) The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost; Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu !
He best can paint them who shall feel them most!
THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
Written in the Year 1711.
ledgment. The reader, who would compare this Here Grief forgets to groan, and Love to weep; with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Ev'n Sur stition loses every fear;
Fame, there being nothing in the two first books For God, not man, absolves our frailties here." that answers to their title.
I come! I come! prepare your roseate bowers, The poem is introduced in the manner of the ProCelestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers.
vençal poets, whose works were for the most part Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
visions, or pieces of imagination, and constantly Where flames refin’d in breasts seraphic glow; descriptive. From these, Petrarch and Chaucer Thou, Abelard. the last sad office pay,
frequently borrowed the idea of their poems. And smooth my passage to the realms of day; See the Trionfi of the former, and the Dream, See my lips tremble, and my eyeballs roll,
Flower and the Leat, &c. of the latter. The Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul! author of this therefore chose the same sort of Ah, no-in sacred vestments may'st thou stand, exordium. The hallow'd ta per trembling in thy hand, Present the cross before my lifted eye,
In that soft season, when descending showers Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flowers ; Ah, then thy once-lov'd Eloïsa see!
When opening buds salute the welcome day, It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
And earth relenting feels the genial ray; See from my cheek the transient roses fly! As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest, See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
And love itself was banish'd from my breast, Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er; (What time the morn mysterious visions brings, And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no more.
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings,) O Death all eloquent! you only prove
A train of phantoms in wild order rose, What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love. And join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
Then too, when Fate shall thy fair frame destroy I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and, skies; (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy,) The whole creation open to my eyes : In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd, In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below, Rright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round. Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow; from opening skies may streaming glories shine, Here naked rocks, and empty wastes, were seen; And saints embrace thee with a love like mine! There towering cities, and the forests green:
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes! Ind graft my love immortal on thy fame! There trees and intermingled temples rise : Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er, Now a clear sun the shining scene displays ; When this rebellious heart shall beat no more; The transient landscape now in clouds decays. If ever chance two wandering lovers brings O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around, To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs, Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound, O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, Like broken thunders that at distance roar, And drink the falling tears each other sheds; Or billows murmuring on the hollow shore: Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd,
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, "O, may we never love as these have lov'd !" Whose towering summit ambient clouds conceal'd. From the full choir, when loud hosannas rise, High on a rock of ice the structure lay. And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Steep its ascent, and slippery was the way ; Amid that scene if some relenting eye
The wondrous rock like Parian marble shone, Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie, And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone. Devotion's self shall steal a thought from Heaven, Inscriptions here of various names I view'd, One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven. The greater part by hostile time subdued; And sure if Fate some future bard shall join Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past, In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
And poets once had proinis'd they should last. Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore, Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of wits renown'd; And image charms he must behold no more : I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
Of talismans and sigils knew the power,
Who taught that useful science, to be good.
But on the south, a long majestic race But felt the approaches of too warm a sun; Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace, For Faine, impatient of extremes, decays
Who measur'd Earth, describ’d the starry spheres Not more by Envy, than excess of Praise. And trac'd the long records of lunar years. Yet part no injuries of Heaven could feel, High on his car Sesostris struck my view, Like faithful to the graving steel :
Whom sceptred slaves in golden harness drew: The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade, His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold; Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade. His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold. 'Their names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past Between the statues obelisks were plac'd, From Time's first birth, with Time itself shall last; And the learn'd walls with hieroglyphics grac'd. These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Of Gothic structure was the northern side, Spread and grow brighter with the length of days. O’erwrought with ornaments of barbarous pride.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost) There huge Colosses rose, with trophies crown'd, Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast; And Runic characters were grav'd around. Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
There sat Zamolxis with erected eyes, And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play ; And Odin here in mimic trances dies. Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
There on rude iron columns, smeard with blood, Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky; The horrid forms of Scythian heroes stood, As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
Druids and bards (their once loud harps unstrung) The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
And youths that died to be by poets sung. On this foundation Fame's high temple stands; These and a thousand more of doubtsul fame, Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands. To whom old fables gave a lasting name, Whate'er proud Rome or ariful Greece beheld, In ranks adorn'd the temple's outward face; Or elder Babylon, its frame excell’d.
The wall in lustre and effect like glass, Four faces had the dome, and every face Which, o'er each object casting various dyes, Of various structure, but of equal grace!
Enlarges some, and others multiplies : Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high, Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall, Salute the different quarters of the sky.
For thus romantic Fame increases all. Here fabled chiefs in darker ages born,
The temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold, Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn, Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold : Who cilies rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race, Rais'd on a thousand pillars wreath'd around The walls in venerable order grace:
With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd: Heroes in animated marble frown,
Of bright transparent beryl were the walls, And legislators seem to think in stone.
The friezes gold, and gold the capitals : Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd, As Heaven with stars, the roof with jewels glows, On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
And ever-living lamps depend in rows.
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
There Cæsar, grac'd with both Minervas, shone; And half the mountain rolls into a wall :
Cæsar, the world's great master, and his own; There might you see the lengthening spires ascend, Unmov'd, superior still in every state, The dome swell up, the widening arches bend, And scarce detested in his country's fate. The growing towers like exhalations rise,
But chief were those, who not for empire fought, And the huge columns heave into the skies But with their toils their people's safety bought:
The eastern front was glorious to behold, High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood; With diamond flaming, and Barbaric gold. Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood; There Ninus shone, who spread th’ Assyrian fame, Bold Scipio, savior of the Roman state, And the great founder of the Persian name : Great in his triumphs, in retirement great; There in long robes the royal Magi stand, And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand: With boundless power unbounded virtue join'd, The sage Chaldæans robd in white appear'd, His own strict judge, and patron of mankind. And Brachmans, deep in desert woods rever'd. Much-suffering heroes next their honors claini, These stopp'd the Moon, and call’d the unbodied Those of less noisy, and less guilty fame, shades
Fair Virtue's silent train : supreme of these To midnight banquets in the glimmering glades; Here ever shines the godlike Socrates; Made visionary fabrics round them rise,
He whom ungrateful Athens could expel, And aimy spectres skim before their eyes;
At all times just, but when he sign'd the shell
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocian claims, These massy columns in a circle rise,
So large it spread, and swell’d to such a height.
With jewels blaz’d, magnificently great; Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand, The vivid emeralds there revive the eye, Hold the chief honors, and the fane command. The flaming rubies show their sanguine dye, High on the first, the mighty Homer shone ; Bright azure rays from lively sapphires stream, Eternal adamant compos'd his throne ;
And lucid amber casts a golden gleam. Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
With various-color'd light the pavement shone,
With her, the temple every moment grew,
A golden column next in rank appear'd, Such was her form, as ancient bards have told,
And thousand open eyes, and thousand listening The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate, Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate ; Beneath, in order rang'd, the tuneful Nine On Homer still he fix'd a reverent eye,
(Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine: Great without pride, in modest majesty.
With eyes on Fame for ever fix'd, they sing; In living sculpture on the sides were spread For Fame they raise their voice, and tune the string; The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead; With Time's first birth began the heavenly lays, Eliza stretch'd upon the funeral pyre,
And last, eternal, through the length of days. Æneas bending with his aged sire:
Around these wonders as I cast a look, Troy flam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, ARMS AND THE MAN in golden ciphers shone. And all the nations, summon'd at the call,
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, From different quarters fill the crowded hall : With heads advanc'd, and pinions stretch'd for flight: Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard; Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode, In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd; And seem'd lo labor with th' inspiring god. Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew Across the harp a careless hand he fings, Their flowery toils, and sip the fragrant dew, And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky, The figur'd games of Greece the column grace, O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly, Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race. Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield, The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run; And a low murmur runs along the field. The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone; Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend, The champions in distorted postures threat; And all degrees before the goddess bend ; And all appear'd irregularly great.
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage, Here happy Horace tun'd th’ Ausonian lyre And boasting youth, and narrative old-age. To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire: Their pleas were different, their request the same Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage to infuse For good and bad alike are fond of Fame. The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honors crown'd The polish'd pillar different sculptures grace ; Unlike successes equal merits found. A work outlasting monumental brass.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear, And undiscerning scatters crowns and chains. The Julian star and great Augustus here.
First at the shrine the learned world appear, The doves that round the infant poet spread And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer. Myrtles and bays, hung hovering o'er his head. " Long have we sought t' instruct and please man Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
kind, Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite; With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind; His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none, And various animals his sides surround;
We here appeal to thy superior throne His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
On wit and learning the just prize bestow, Superior worlds, and look all Nature through. For Fame is all we must expect below." With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise The Roman rostra deck'd the consul's throne: The golden trumpet of eternal Praise : Gathering his fowing robe, he seem'd to stand From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound, In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his hand. That fills the circuit of the world around , Behind, Rome's genius waits with civic crowns, Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud; And the great father of his country owns.
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud.