« PreviousContinue »
High on a mountain's lofty brow, 'Mid clouds and storms, has glory fix'd her seat;
Rock'd by the roaring winds that blow, The lightnings blast it, and the tempests beat.
Within the sun-gilt vale beneath, More moderate Hope with sweet Contentment dwells;
While gentler breezes round them breathe, And softer showers refresh their peaceful cells.
To better genius ever blind,
Man quits the path by heaven design’d,
Our native powers we scorn to know ; With stedfast error still the wrong pursue ;
Instruct our forward ills to grow ; While sad successes but our pain renew.
In vain heaven tempers life with sweet,
If dupes to passion, and deceit,
Few can on Grandeur's stage appear,
No common virtue safe can steer
Then happiest he, whose timely hand To cool Discretion has the helm resign'd;
Enjoys the calm, in sight of land, From changing tides secure, and trustless wind.
And wilt thou, Romeo, still maintain That Beauty holds a boundless reign?
Soft power, by all confest! See'st thou the coward and the brave, The free-born Briton and the slave,
With equal rapture blest?
The Gods, indulgent to mankind,
With frugal hands dispense ;
The finer joys of sense.
Mark but the ruthless Indian's soul, Which no ingenuous thoughts control,
Where pity never dwelt; By Beauty, Fancy's loveliest child, 'Mid lorn savannahs waste and wild,
With human feelings melt!
Behold the powerful charm assuage
He owns the wanton fire;
To feed the loose desire !
But wouldst thou feel a purer flame Than ev’n the warmest wish can frame,
By much too fine to cloy; Far, far beyond that aching breast, With which the village hind's opprest,
Who idly terms it joy?
Has heaven, indulgent to thy make,
Blith hope, or frantic fear ?
Can pity draw the tear :
Canst thou with wild Othello glow
By Love's dark doubts distrest?
That wound his guilty breast :
Tell me, can Pindar's lofty strain,
The noblest thoughts infuse?
To Sappho's plaintive muse?
See'st thou the warmth, the grace divine,
By heaven's peculiar care?
Or Julio's godlike air ?
Say, does thy heart with rapture spring, When Handel strikes the magic string,
With transport do you hear ? Or dost thou languish into pain When soft Correlli's tender strain
Subdues the ravish'd ear?