Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

sun; and the oftener I made it return, the more easily I could make it return again. And at length, by only repeating this, without looking any more upon the sun, I made such an impression on my eyes, that if I looked upon the clouds, or a book, or any bright object, I saw upon it a round bright shape like the sun; and, which is still stranger, though I looked on the sun with my right eye only, and not with my left, yet my fancy began to make the impression upon my left eye as well as upon my right; for if I shut my right eye, and looked upon a book or the clouds with my left eye, I could see the spectrum of the sun almost as plain as with my right eye, if I did but intend my fancy a little while upon it; for at first, if I shut my right eye, and looked with my left, the spectrum of the sun did not appear till I intended my fancy upon it; but by repeating, this appeared every time more easily; and now, in a few hours' time, I had brought my eyes to such a pass, that I could look upon no bright object with either eye but I saw the sun before me, so that I durst neither write nor read; but to recover the use of my eyes, shut myself up in my chamber, made dark, for three days together, and used all means to divert my imagination from the sun; for if I thought upon him, I presently saw his picture, though I was in the dark. But by keeping in the dark, and employing my mind about other things, I began in three or four days to have some use of my eyes again, and by forbearing a few days longer to look upon bright objects, recovered them pretty well; though not so well but that, for some months after, the spectrum of the sun began to return as often as I began to meditate upon the phenomenon, even though I lay in bed in midnight, with my curtains drawn. But now I have been very well for many years, though I am apt to think, that if I durst venture my eyes, I could still make the phantasm return by the power of my fancy.

CHAPTER XIV.

POPE, SWIFT, AND THE POETS IN THE REIGNS OF QUEEN ANNE,

GEORGE I., AND GEORGE II.

ALEXANDER POPE. 1688–1744. (Manual, pp. 265-272.)

170. FROM THE “ESSAY ON CRITICISM."

PRIDE.
Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth denied,
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!
For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind.
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right reason drives that cloud away
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,
Make use of every friend - and every foe.
A little learning is a dangerous thing!
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanced, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise !
So pleased at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky:
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last :

But, those attained, we tremble to survey
The growing labors of the lengthened way;
Th’increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

SOUND AN ECHO TO THE SENSE.

'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an Echo to the sense :
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow:
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o’er th’unbending corn, and skims along the main.

171. FROM THE ESSAY ON MAN."

THE SCALE OF BEING.
Far as Creation's ample range extends,
The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends:
Mark how it mounts to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass;
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam:
Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious on the tainted green;
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles through the vernal wood;
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line :
In the nice bee, what sense, so subtly true,
From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew?
How Instinct varies in the grovelling swine,
Compared, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
'Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier!
Forever separate, yet forever near!
Remembrance and Reflection, how allied;
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide !
And Middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass the insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee?
The powers of all, subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all these powers in one?

OMNIPRESENCE OF THE DEITY.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns;
To Him, no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all.

ADDRESS TO BOLINGBROKE.

Come then, my Friend, my Genius, come along;
O master of the poet and the song!
And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends,
To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends,
Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
To fall with dignity, with temper rise;
Formed by thy converse, happily to steer
From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,
Intent to reason, or polite to please.
O! while, along the stream of time, thy name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame,
Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes,
Shall then this verse to future age pretend
.Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend?
That, urged by thee, I turned the tuneful art
From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart;
For wit's false mirror held up nature's light;
Showed erring pride, whatever is, is right?
That reason, passion, answer one great aim;
That true self-love and social are the same;
That VIRTUE only makes our bliss below;
And all our knowledge is, OURSELVES TO KNOW?

FROM 66 THE RAPE OF THE LOCK."

172. DESCRIPTION OF BELINDA.
Not with more glories, in th' ethereal plain,
The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Than issuing forth, the rival of his beams,
Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames.
Fair Nymphs and well-dressed Youths around her shone,
But every eye was fixed on her alone.
On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfixed as those.
Favors to none, to all she smiles extends;
Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the sun, her yes the gazers strike,
And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide;
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.

This Nymph, to the destruction of mankind,
Nourished two Locks, which graceful hung behind
In equal curls, and well conspired to deck,
With shining ringlets, the smooth ivory neck.
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,
And mighty hearts are held in slender chains.
With hairy springes we the birds betray;
Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey;
Fair tresses man's imperial race insnare,
And beauty draws us with a single hair.

113. THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.

Vital spark of heavenly, flame,
Quit, О quit, this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying-
O the pain, the bliss of dying !
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!

Hark! they whisper; Angels say,
Sister spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite ?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight?
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

« VorigeDoorgaan »