« PreviousContinue »
Thou by the passions nurs'd; I greet
By old Miletus * who so long
* Alluding to the Milesian tales, some of the earliest romances.
The Milesian and Tuscan romances were by no means distinguished for humour; but as they were the models of that species of writing in which humour was afterwards employed, they are, probably, for that reason only, mentioned here.-L.
| Le Sage, author of the incomparable adventures of Gil Blas de Santillane, who died in Paris in the year 1747.
Who drew the sad Sicilian maid,
O Nature boon, from whom proceed Each forceful thought, each prompted deed ; If but from thee I hope to feel, On all my heart imprint thy seal ! Let some retreating Cynic find Those oft-turn'd scrolls leave behind, The Sports and I this hour agree, To rove thy scene-full world with thee!
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
* The Story of Blanche (see Gil Blas, b. 2, ch.4,) has more to do with the high passions than with manpers.-B.
By turns they felt the glowing mind
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own'd his secret stings, In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair.
Low sullen sounds his grief beguilid, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts, 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
Still it whisper'd promis'd pleasure,
And bad the lovely scenes at distance hail! Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She call’d on Echo still thro' all the song ;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close, And Hope enchanted smild, and way'd her golden hair.
And longer had she sung --but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose,
And, with a withering look,
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
Dejected Pity at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, [head. While each strain’d ball of sight seem'd bursting from his
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd,
Sad proof of thy distressful state,
And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.
With eyes up-rais'd, as one inspir'd,
And dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,
Round an holy calın diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.
But 0, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone!
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm’d with morning dew,
The hunters' call to Faun and Dryad known;
Peeping from forth their alleys green ;
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd his bcechen spear.
Last came Joy's extatic trial,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,