Page images
PDF
EPUB

SECTION VI.
I.-- The Shepherd and the Philosopher.
D EMOTE from cities, liv'd a swain,
1e Unvex'd with all the cares of gain.
His head was silver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage ;
In summer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock and pennd the fold;
His hours in cheerfu} labor flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew ;
His wisdom and his honest fame,
Through all the country rais'd his name.

A deep philosopher, (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The shepherd's homely cottage sought;
And thus explor'd his reach of thought.
Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil
O'er books consum'd the midnight oil ?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd,
And the vast sense of Plato weigh'd ?
Hath Socrates thy soul refin'd ?
And hast thou fathom'd Tully's mind ?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown,
By various fates, on realms unknown;
Hast thou through many cities stray'd,
Their customs, laws and manners weigh'd ?.

The shepherd modestly replied,
I ne'er the path of learning try'd ;,-
Nor have'l foam'd in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws and arts ;
For man is practis'd in disguise ;
He cheats the most discerning eyes;
Who by that search shall wiser grow,
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gain'd,
Was all from simple nature drain'd ;
Hence my life's maxims took their rise,
Hence grew my settled hate to vice.

The daily labore of the bee,
Awake my soul to industry,
Who can observe the careful ant, in
And not provide for future want?
My dog, (the truest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind;
I mark his true, his faithful way,

mind :

.

And in my service copy Tray.
In constancy and nuptial love,
I learn my duty from the dove.
The hen, who from the chilly air
With pious wing protects her care,
And every fowl that flies at large,
Instructs me in a parent's charge.

From Dature, too, I take my rule -
To shun contempt and ridicule.
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear;
Can grave and formal pass for wise,
When men the solemn owl despise ?
My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much must talk in vain :.
We from the woody torrent fly:
Who listens to the chattering pie?
Nor would I with felonious fight,
By stealth invade my neighbor's rigtit:
Rapacious animals we hate;
Kites, hawks and wolves deserve their fate.
Dowe not just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind ?
But envy, calumny and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite;
Thus every object of creation
Can furnish bints for contemplation,
And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean. "

Thy fame is just, the sage replies:
Tby virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author's pen;
Books as affected are as men :

But he who studies nature's laws,
• From certain truth his maxims draws;
And those, without our schools, suffice
To make inen moral, good and wise.

II.-Ode to Leven Water....
N Leven's bank, while free to rove

And tune the rural pipe to love, I envied not the happiest swain That ever trod th’ Arcadian plain.. Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave My youthful limbs I'm wont to lave; No torrents stain thy limpid source ; No rocks impede thy dimpling course, That sweetly warbles o'er its bed, With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread;

While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood,
In myriads cleave thy chrystal flood ; -
The springing trout, in speckled pride ;:
The salmon, monarch of the tide ;
The ruthless pike, intent on war ;
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charaing maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch and groves of pine,
And hedges flower'd with eglantine.
- Still on thy banks, so gaily green,
May num'rous herds and filocks be seen :
And lasses, chanting o'er the pail ;
And shepherds piping in the dale ;
And ancient faith, that knows no guile;
And industry, era brown'l with toil ;
And heart resolv'd and hands prepar'd,
The blessings they enjoy to guard.

III. -Ode from the 19th Psalm.
THE spacious firmament on high,
1 With all the blue etherial sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame, :
Their great original proclaim.
Th’unwearied sun from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display ;
And publishes to every land,
The work of an Almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wond'rous tale,
And nightly, to the listning earth,
Repeats the story of her birth; .
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole. .
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball ?
What ihough no real voice nor sound
Amid these radiant orbs be found?
in reason's car they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing, as they shine,
"The hand that made us is divine.”

. IV.- Rural Charms. SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain!

Where health and plenty cheer'd the lab'ring swain ;.

Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd: .
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease!
Seats of my youth, when ev'ry sport could please!
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene !
How often have I paus'd on every charm!
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church, that topp'd the neighboring hill;
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made.
How often have I hless'd the coming day,
When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play,
And all the village train from labor free,
Led up their sporis beneath the spreading tree !
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd :
And many a gambol frolic'd o'er the ground,
And slights of art and feats of strength went round;
And still, ag each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d:
The dancing pair, that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down ;
The swain, mistrustiess of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place;
The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
The matron's glance, that would those looks reprove.

Sweet was the sound, when ost at eveming's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.
There a: I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came sosten'd from below.
The swain responsive as the milkmaid song;
The sover herd that low'd to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool;
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watch dog's voice, that bay'd the whisp'ring wind ;
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;'

These all, in soft confusion, sought the shade,
And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.

V.---The Painter who pleased Nobody and every Body.

T EST men suspect your tale untrue,

1 Keep probability in view ;
The trav’ller, leaping o'er those bounds,
The credit of his book confounds :
Who with his tongue hath armies routed,
Makes e’en his royal courage doubted..

$2.

But flatt'ry never seems absurd ;
The flatter'd always, take your word ;
Impossibilities seem just;
They take the strongest praise on trust.
Hyperboles, though e'er so great,
Will still come short of self conceit.

So very like a painter drew,
That every eye the picture knew ;
He hit complexion, feature, air,
So just thai life itself was there:
No fatt'ry with his colors laid,
The blooin restur'd the faded maid;
Hegave each muscle all its strength ;
The mouth, the chin, the nose's length,
His honest pencil touch'd with truth,
And mark'd the date of age and youth.
He lost his friends; his practice fail'd,
Truth should not always be reveal'd;
In dusty piles his pictures lay,
For no one sent the second day. .

Two busto's, fraught with every grace,
A Venus' and Apollo's face,
He plac'd in view, resolv'd to please,
Whoever sat, he drew from these ;
From these corrected every feature,
"And spirited each awkward creature.

All things were set; the hour was come,
His palette ready o'er his thumb:
My Lord appear'd and seated right,
In proper attitude and light,
The painter look'd, he sketch'd the piece ;
Then dipp'a his pencil, talk'd of Greece,
Or Titian's tints, of Guido's air,
“Those eyes, my Lord, the spirit there,
Might well a Raphael's hand require,
To give them all the native fire;
The features, fraught with sense and wit,

You'll grant, are very hard to hit: * But yet, with patience you shall view As much as paint or art can do: Observe the work."--My Lord replied, “Till now I thought'my mouth was wide ; Besides, my nose is somewhat long; Dear sir, for me 'tis far too youngis "O pardon me,' the artist cried, “ In this, we painters must decide. The piece e'en common eyes must strike; I'll warrant it extremely like." My Lord examin'd it anew, No looking-glass seem'd half so true; ' "

« PreviousContinue »