Page images
PDF
EPUB

When thou would'st build; no quarry sent its stores T'enrich thy walls : but thou didst hew the floods, And make thy marble of the glassy wave. In such a palace Ariftæus found Cyrene, when he bcre the plaintive tale Of his lost bees to her maternal ear : In such a palace poetry might place The armoury of winter ; where his troops, The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy fleet, Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail, And snow that often blinds the tray'ller's course, And wraps him in an unexpected tomb. Silently as a dream the fabric rose ; No found of hammer or of faw was there. Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts Were foon conjoin'd, nor other cement ask'd Than water interfus'd to make them one. Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues, Illumin'd ev'ry side: a wat’ry lighe Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seem'd

Another

Another moon new risen; or meteor fall'n
From heav'n to earth, of lambent flame serene.
So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth
And Nipp’ry the materials, yet frost-bound
Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within,
That royal residence might well befit,
For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths
Of flow'rs, that fear'd nd enemy but warmth,
Blush'd on the pannels. Mirrour needed none
Where all was vitreous; but in order due

Convivial table and commodious feat

(What seem'd at least commodious seat) were there,
Sofa, and couch, and high-built throne august.
The same lubricity was found in all,
And all was moist to the warm touch; a scene
Of evanescent glory, once a stream,
And soon to side intò a stream again.
Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
Of undesign’d severity, that glanc'd,
(Made by a monarch) on her own estate,

On

On human grandeur and the courts of kings.
'Twas transient in its nature, as in show
"Twas durable; as worthless, as it seem'd
Intrinsically precious ; to the foot
Treach'rous and falfe ; it smil'd, and it was cold.

ز

Great princes have great playthings. Some have play'd At hewing mountains into men, and some At building human wonders mountain-high, Some have amus'd the dull, fad years of life, Life spent in indolence, and therefore fad, With fchemes of monumental fame ; and fought By pyramids and mausolæan pomp, Short-liv'd themselves, t' immoralize their bones, Some seek diversion in the tented field, And make the sorrows of mankind their sport. But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at. Nations would do well T'extort their truncheons from the puny hands Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds

Are

Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil,
Because men fuffer it, their toy the world.

When Babel was confounded, and the great Confed'racy of projectors wild and vain Was split into diversity of tongues, Then, as a shepherd separates his flock, These to the upland, to the valley those, God drave asunder, and assign’d their lot To all the nations. Ample was the boon He gave them, in its distribution fair And equal, and he bade them dwell in peace. Peace was awhile their care: they plough'd and sow'd, And reap'd their plenty without grudge or strife. But violence can never longer sleep Than human passions please. In ev'ry heart Are fown the sparks that kindle fiery war ; Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze. Cain had already shed a brother's blood : The deluge walh'd it out ; but left unquench'd

The

The feeds of murder in the breast of man.

Soon, by a righteous judgment, in the line
Of his descending progeny was found
The first artificer of death; the shrewd
Contriver who first sweated at the forge,
And forc'd the blunt and yet unbloodied steel
To a keen edge, and made it bright for war.
Him, Tubal nam'd, the Vulcan of old times,
The sword and faulchion their inventor claim,

And the first smith was the first murd'rer's son.

His art surviv'd the waters; and ere long,
When man was multiplied and spread abroad
In tribes and clans, and had begun to call
These meadows and that range of hills his own,
The tasted sweets of property begat
Desire of more; and industry in some
T'improve and cultivate their just demesne,
Made others covet what they saw so fair.
Thus war began on earth : these fought for spoil,
And those in self-defence. Savage at first,

The

« PreviousContinue »