« 前へ次へ »
Her thus immers'd in anxious thought profound
When-as the Knight perceivd, he nearer drew
To weet what bitter bale did her astound,
And whence th'occasion of her anguish grew.
For that right noble MATRON Well he knew;
And many perils huge, and labours fore
Had for her fake endured ; her vafsal true,
Train'd in her love, and practiced evermore
Her honour to respect, and reverence her lore.
LXXII. O deareft drad ! he cried, fair isand queen! Mother of heroes ! empress of the main ! What means that stormy brow of troublous teen? Sith heav'n-born Peace, with all her smiling train Of sciences and arts, adorns thy reign With wealth and knowledge, splendour and renown? Each
port how throng'd! how fruitful every plain ! How blithe the country! and how gay the town! While Liberty secures and heightens every boon!
LXXIII. Awaken'd from her trance of pensive woe By these fair flattering words, she rais'd her head;
And bending on the Knight her frowning brow, Mock'st thou my sorrows, Fairy's Son ? she said. • Sith, fince.
Or is thy judgment by thy heart milled
To deem that certain, which thy hopes suggest?
To deem them full of life and lustihead,
Whose cheeks in Hebe's vivid tints are drest,
And with Joy's carelessmien, and dimpled smiles imprest?
Thy unsuspecting heart how nobly good
I know, how fanguine in thy country's cause !
And mark'd thy virtue, singly how it stood
Th' assaults of mighty Custom, which o'er-awes
The faint and timorous mind, and oft withdraws
From Reason's lore th' ambitious and the vain
By the sweet lure of popular applause,
Against their better knowledge, to maintain
The lawless throne of Vice, or Folly's childish reign.
How vast his influence ! how wide his sway!
Thy self ere-while by proof didst understand:
And faw'st, as through his realms thou took'st thy way,
How Vice and Folly had o'er-spread the land.
And can'lt thou then, O Fairy's Son, demand
The reason of my woe? or hope to ease
The throbbings of my heart with speeches bland,
And words more apt my sorrows to increase, The once-dear names of Wealth, and Liberty, and Peace ? Luftihead, strong health, vigour.
LXXVI. Peace, Wealth, and Liberty, that noblest boon, Are blessings only to the wife and good. To weak and vicious minds their worth unknown, And thence abused but serve to furnish food For riot and debauch, and fire the blood With high-spiced luxury; whence strife, debate, Ambition, envy, Faction's vip'rous brood,
Contempt of order, manners profligate ;
The symptoms of a foul, diseased and bloated state.
Ev'n Wit and Genius, with their learned train
Of Arts and Muses, though from heav'n above
Descended, when their talents they prophane
To varnish folly, kindle wanton love,
And aid excentric sceptic Pride to rove
Beyond cælestial Truth's attractive sphere,
This moral system's central sun, aye prove
To their fond votaries a curse fevere,
And only make mankind more obstinately err.
And stand my sons herein from censure clear?
Have They consider'd well, and understood
The use and import of those blessings dear,
Which the great Lord of Nature hath bestow'd
As well to prove, as to reward the good ?
Whence are these torrents then, these billowy seas
Of vice, in which, as in his proper flood,
The fell leviathan licentious plays,
And upon ship-wreck'd faith, and finking virtue preys ?
To you, ye Noble, Opulent and Great!
With friendly voice I call, and honest zeal !
Upon your vital influences wait
The health and sickness of the common-weal;
The maladies you cause, yourselves must heal.
In vain to the unthinking harden'd crowd
Will Truth and Reason make their just appeal ;
In vain will facred Wisdom cry aloud;
And Justice drench in vain her vengeful fword in blood,
With You must reformation first take place :
You are the head, the intellectual mind
Of this vast body politic; whose base,
And vulgar limbs, to drudgery consign’d,
All the rich stores of Science have resign'd
To You, that by the craftsman's various toil,
The sea-worn mariner, and sweating hind,
and amuence maintain'd, the while You, for yourselves and them, may dress the mental soil.
Bethink you then, my children, of the trust
In you repos’d; ne let your heav'n-born mind
Consume in pleasure, or unactive rust;
But nobly rouse you to the task assign'd,
The godlike task to teach and mend mankind:
Learn that ye may instruct : to virtue lead
Yourselves the way: the herd will crowd behind,
And gather precepts from each worthy deed :
Example is a lesson, that all men can read.”
But if (to All or Moft I do not speak)
In vain and sensual habits now grown old,
The strong Circæan charın you cannot break,
Nor re-assume at will your native 8 mould,
Yet envy not the state, you could not hold :
And take compassion on the rising age :
In them redeem your errours manifold ;
And, by due discipline and nurture fage,
In Virtue's lore betimes your docile sons engage.
You chiefly, who like me in secret mourn
The prevalence of Custom lewd and vain ;
And you, who, though by the rude torrent borne
Unwillingly along you yield with pain
8 Mould, shape, form,