Samuel Rogers.

The poems of Samuel Rogers, with a memoir online

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Steer' d through the waves ; and when hestruclj

the land,
Such in his soul the ardour to explore,
pEUDES-like, be leap'd the first ashora:



300 Roa£Rs*s

*Twa3 ever thus. As now at Virgil's tomb
We bless the shade, and bid the verdure bloom:
60 TuLLY paused, amid the wrecks of Time,
On the rude stone to trace the truth sublime ;
When at his feet, in honour'd dust disclosed,
The immortal Sage of Syracuse reposed.
And as he lon^ in sweet delusion hung.
Where once a Plato taught, a Pindar sung ;
Who now but meets him musing, when he roves
His ruin'd Tusculan's romantic groves !
In Rome's great forum, who but hears him roll
His moral thunders o'er the subject soul I

And hence that calm dehght the portrait gives '.
We gaze on every feature till it lives ".
Still the fond lover sees the absent maid ;
And the lost friend still lingers in the shade !
Say why the pensive Avidow loves to weep.
When on her knee she rocks her babe to sleep?
TrembHngly still, she Ufts his veil to trace
The father's features in his infant face.
The hoary grandsire smiles the hour away,
Won by the raptures of a game at play ;
He bends to meet each artless burst of joy,
Forgets his age, and acts again the boy.

What though the iron school of War erase
Each milder virtue, and each softer grace ;
What though the fiend's torpedo-touch arrest
Bach gentler, finer impulse of tlxe breast ;



tt£kBt R2S Of MEMOXT. 30 J

Stfl/. shall this active principle preside,
And wake the tear to Pity's self denied.
The intrepid Swiss, who guardtsa foreign shore
Condemu'd to cUmbhis mountain-cliffs no more.
If chance he hears the song so sweetly wild.
Which on those cliffs his infant hours beguiled,
Melts at the long-lost scenes that round him rise,
And sinks a martyr to repentant sigha.

Ask not if courts or camps dissolve the charm.
Say why Vespasian loved his Sabine farm ;
Why great Navarre, when France and free-
dom bled,
Sought the lone limits of a forest-shed.
When Diocletian's self-corrected mind
The imperial fasces of a world resign' d.
Say why we trace the labours of his spade,
In calm Solona's philosophic shade.
Say, when contentious Charles renounced a

throne.
To muse with monks unletfer'd and unknown,
What from his soul the parting tribute drew ?
What claim' d the sorrows of a last adieu ?
The still retreats that soothed his tranquil breast
Ere grandeur dazzled, and its cares oppress'd.

Undamp'd by time, the generous Instinct glow*
Far as Angola's sands, as Zembla's snows ;
Gbwsin the tiger's den, the serpent's nest,
On every form of varied life imprest.



302 »0OERS*f

The social tribes its choicest influence hail i—
And when the drum beats briskly in the gale,
The war-worn courser charges at the sound,
And with young vigour wheels the pasture
round.

Oft has the aged tenanrt of the vale
Lean'd on his staff to lengthen out the tale ;
Oft have his Hps the grateful tribute breathed,
From sire to son with pious zeal bequeathed.
When o'er the blasted heath the day declined.
And on the scathed oak warr'd the winter-wind ,
When not a distant taper's twinkUng ray
Gleam'd o'er the furze to light him on his way ;
When not a sheep-bell soothed his hstening ear,
And the big rain-drops told the tempest near ;
Then did his horse the homeward track descry,
The track that shunn'd his sad, enquiring eye ;
And win each wavering purpose to relent,
With warmth so mild, so gently violent,
That his charm'd hand the careless rein resign'd,
And doubts and terrors vanish' d from his mind.

Recall the traveller, whose alter'd form
Has borne the buffet of the mountain-storm !
And who will first his fond impatience meet?
His faithful dog's already at his feet!
Ves, though the porter spurn him from the door,
Though all that knew him, know his fac« no
more,



rLEASrRES OP MEMORY. 303

His faithful dog shall tell his joy to each,
With that mute eloquence which passes speech.
And see, the master but returns to die !
Yet who shall bid the watchful servant fly ?
The blasts of heaven, the drenching dews of

earth,
The wanton insults of unfeeling mirth,
These, when to guard Misfortune's sacrad

grave,
Will firm Fidelity exult to brave.

Led by what chart, transports the timid dove
The wreaths of conquest, or the vows of love ?
Say, through the clouds what compass points

her flight ?
Monarclis have gazed, and nations bless'd the

sight.
Pile rocks on rocks, bid woods and motintains

rise,
Ec'ipse her native shades, her native skies : —
'Tisvain! through Ether's pathless wilds she

goes.
And lights at last where all her cares repose.

Sweet bird! thy truth shall Harlem's walla
attest.
And unborn ages consecrate thy nest.
When with the silent energy of grief,
With looks that asr.'d, yet dared not hope re»



304 ROQEns S PLEASTJUES OP MEMORY.

Want with her babes round generous Valour

clung,
To wring the slow surrender from his tongue,
*Twa3 tliine to animate her closing eye ;
Alas ! 'twas thine perchance the first to die,
Crush'd by her meagre hand, when welcomed

from the sky.

Hark ! the bee Avinds her small but mellow
horn,
Blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn.
O'er thymy downs she bends her busy course,
And many a stream allures her to its source.
'Tisnoon, 'tis night. That eye so finely wrought,
Beyond the search of sense, the soar of thought,
Now vainly asks the scenes she left behind ;
Its orb 80 full, its vision so confined !
Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell ?
Who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell 1
With conscious truth retrace the mazy clue
Of summer-scents, thatcharm'd her as she flew?
Hail Memory, hail ! thy universal reign
Guards the least link of Being's glorious chain.



NOTES

TO

PLEASURES OF MEMORY.



PART I.



P. 72, 1.8.

How oft, when purple efening tiDged the west-

ViBoiL, in one of his Eclogues, describes a romantic
attachment as conceived in such circumstances; and
the description is so true to nature, that we must
surely be indebted for it to some early recollection.
"You were little when I first saw you. You were
with your mother gathering fruit in our orchard, and
I was your puide. I wasjust entering my thirteenth
year, and just able to reach the boughs from the
ground."

So also Zappi, an Italian Poet of the last century.
*'When I used to measure myself with my goat, and
my goat was the tallest, even then I loved Clori."
P. 73, 1.17.

Up springs, at every ttep, to claim a tear.

I came to the place of my birth, ar d cried, "The
friends of my Youth, where are they 1 '—And an echo
answered, " Where are they 1" — From an Arabic .MS.
20 305



30C NOTES TO

P. 76, 1.20.
Awake bat one, and lo, wha.t myriadi rite !

When a traveller, who was surveying the ruins of
Rome, expressed a desire to possess some relic of its
ancient grandeur, Poussin, who attended him,
stooped down, and gathering up a handful of earth
shining with small grains of porphyry, "Take Ihie
home," said he, "for your cabinet; and say boldly,
Questa eRoma Anlica,"

P. 77, 1.27.

The church-yird yews round which his father* sleep.

Everyman like Gulliver in Lilliput, is fastened to
some spot of earth, by the thousand small threads
which habit and association are continually stealing
over him. Of these, perhaps, one of the strongest is
here alluded to.

When the Canadian Indians were once solicited to
emigrate, "What :" they replied, "shall we say to
the bones of our fathers, Arise, and go with us into a
foreign land V

P. 78, 1.7.

So, when he breathed his firm y»t fond adieu.

See Cook's first voyage, book i. chap. 16.

Another very affecting instance of local attachment
is related of his fellow-countryanan Potaveri, who
came to Europe with M. de Bougainville. — See Z


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Online LibrarySamuel RogersThe poems of Samuel Rogers, with a memoir → online text (page 15 of 16)