Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

N all my wanderings round this world of care, In all my griefs-and God has given my shareI still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting by repose;
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to show my book-learned skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw ;

And, as a hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
Here to return-and die at home at last.

O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreats from care, that never must be mine,
How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep;
Nor surly porter stands in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate :
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending Virtue's friend ;
Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past.

Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;

[OLIVER GOLDSMITH was born at Pallas, in the county of Longford, in Ireland, in 1728; studied at Dublin and Edinburgh; got into disgrace with the authorities; travelled over part of Europe in most poetic indigence, and at length established himself in London, as a contributor to various magazines, and a stock writer for the booksellers. His first poem, "The Traveller," took the town by


There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came soften'd from below:
The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung,
And sober 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 whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frowned:
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declared how much he knew,
'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e'en the story ran-that he could gauge:


surprise; and "The Deserted Village" established his reputation as the first poet of his day. The charm of his style, both in poetry and prose, has obtained for his works an appreciation which will last as long as the language in which they were written. He died, in embarrassed circumstances, in 1774.]



In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,

For e'en though vanquish'd, he could argue still;
While words of learned length, and thundering sound,
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around ;

And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.


From an Elegy on Cowley.

LD mother Wit and Nature gave

Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have ;
In Spenser and in Jonson, art

Of slower nature got the start;

But both in him so equal are,

None knows which bears the happiest share :

To him no author was unknown,

Yet what he wrote was all his own;

Horace's wit and Virgil's state

He did not steal, but emulate!

And when he would like them appear,

Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear.


[SIR JOHN DENHAM, a brave and right loyal cavalier, and an unflinching supporter of the Stuarts, was born in Dublin, in 1615. His father was the Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland. During the troubles of Charles the First's reign he was made governor of Fareham Castle, which fortress he held for the king. He subsequently performed many good offices for the royal family in their adversity. It was he who took the young prince James to France. After the Restoration, he was appointed Surveyor of the King's Buildings. His chief works are "Cooper's Hill," "The Sophy," and "The Progress of Learning." He died in 1668, and was buried by Cowley's side.]

[graphic][merged small]

O longer mourn for me when I am dead,
Than you shall hear the surly, sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand that writ it; for I love you so,

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
Oh, if, I say, you look upon this verse,
When I, perhaps, compounded am with clay,

[The works of this transcendent genius are too well known to require a word of comment. SHAKESPEARE was born at Stratford-on-Avon, in 1564; came to London, where he gained a moderate competency and undying fame; and ended his days in peace in his native town, dying on his birthday, April 23rd, 1616.]


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »