Page images

Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

And whelun him o'er!
Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has surir'n,
By human pride or cunning driv'n

To Mis'ry's brink,
Till wrench'd of ev'ry slay but Hear'n,

He, ruin'd, sink!
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine – no distant date;
Stern Ruin's plough - share drives, elare,

Full on thy bloom,
Till, crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom!


Oppressid with grief, oppress'd with care,
A burden more than I can bear,

I sit me down and sigh:
O life! ibou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,

To wretches such as I!
Dim - backward as I cast my view,

What sick’ning scenes appear !
What sorrows yet may pierce me thro',
Too justly I may fear!

Still caring, despairing,

Must be my bitter doom:
My woes here shall close ne'er,

But with the closing tomb!
Happy! ye sons of Busy - life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,

No other view regard !
E'en when the wished end's deny'd,
Yet, wbile the busy means are ply'd

They bring their own reward.
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,

Unfitted with an aim,

yet restless,

Meet ev'ry sad returning night-
And joyless morn the saine.
You, bustling and justling,

Forget each grief and pain;

Find ev'ry prospect vai.
How blest the Solitary's lot,
Who, all - forgetting, all- forgot,

Within his liumble cell,
The cavern wild with langling roots,
Sit's o'er his newly- gather'd fruits,

Beside his crystal well!
Or haply to his erning thought,

By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint-collected dream:
While praising, and raising

His thoughts to heav'n on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,

He views the solemn sky.
T'han I, no lonely Hermit plac'il
Where never human footstep trad,

Less fit to play the part,
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop and just to move,

With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,

Which I too keenly lasie,
The Solitary can despise,
Can want,


be blest!
He needs not, lie heeds not,

Or human love or hate;
Wbilst 1 here, must cry here,

At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable early days,
When dancing thoughtless. Pleasures maze,

To Care, to Guilt unknown! How ill exchang'd for riper times, To feel the folling or the crimes

Of others, or my own!

[ocr errors]

Ye tiny elves, that guiltless, sport

Like hinnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,

That active man engage;
The fears all, the tears all,

of dim declining age!


3) JOHN BAR L BY CORN, 1 BALLAD). There was three kings into the east,

Three kings boih great and high,
And they had sworn a solemn oath

John Baileycorn should die.
They took a plough and plough'd him down,
Put'clods, upon

his head.
And they hae **) sworn a solemn oath

John Barleycoru was dead.
But the chearful Spring came kindly ou,

And slow'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,

And sore surpris'd them all.
The 'sultry suns of Summer came,

thick and strong,
His head weel ***) arm'd wi' ****) pointed spears,

That no one should him wrong.
The sober Autumn enter'd mild,

When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head

Show'd he began to fail.
His colour sicken'd more and more,

He faded into age,
And then his enemies began

To show their deadly rage.

And he grew

[ocr errors]

*) This is partly composed on the plan of an old song, koowa by the same name. **) hae, to have. "") weel, well, witb.

****) wi",

They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,

And cut him by the knee;
Then tv'd him fast upon a cart,

Like a rogue for forgerie.
They laid him down upon his back,

And cudgell'd liim full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,

And turn'd him o'er and oe'r.
They filled up a darksonie pit

With water to the brim, They heaved in John Barleycorn,

There let him sink or swim.
They laid him out upon the floor,

To work him farther woe,
And siill, as signs of life appear'd,

They ross'd him to and fro.
They wasted, o'er a scorching flame,

The marrow of his bones;
But a millor us'd him worst of all,

For he crush'd him between two stones,
And they hae taen his very heart's blood,

And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,

Their joy did more abouud.
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,

Of noble entreprise, For if


do but taste his blood, "T will make your courage rise. 'T will make a man forget his woe;

'T will heighten all his joy: 'T will make the widow's heart to sing,

Tho' the tear were in her eye. Then let us toast John Barleycorn,

Each man a glass in hand; And may his great posterity

Ne'er fail in old Scotland.

[ocr errors]

M A S O N.


ILLIAM MASOn wurde im Jahre 1726 zu Hull, wo sein Pater Vicar war, geboren. Er studierte zu Cambridge, wurde Kaplan des Königs, und erhielt bold darauf die sehr eincrägliche Stelle zu Aston in Yorkshire; ausserdem war er einer der vier Canons residentaries zu York. Er starb den 2ten April 1797, zu Aston. In Deutschland ist er durch sein Lehr. gedicht the English Garden, in vier Gesängen, welches in England zwischen den Jahren 1772 und 1781 herauskam, und dessen erste Gesänge auch ins Deutsche von Weisse übersetzt worden sind, am bekanntesten. Man findet das Original in Benzler's poetical library, being a collection of the best modern english poems, chiefly didactic and descriptive, 2 l'ol. Leipzig 1756, 8, ahgedruckt. Bei aller Anerkennung der mannigfaltigen Schönheiten dieses Gedichts (sagt Herr Hofrath Eschenburg im dritten Theil seiner Beispielsamm. lung), wünschten die Englischen Kunstrichter doch einstimmig, dass der l'erfasser lieber den Reim, als die reimlosen Jamhen, oder blankverse, gewählt haben mögte; und seine Erklärung war ihnen nicht ganz befriedigend, dass ihm diese freiere l'ersart für einen Gegenstand, der selbst so viel Freiheit und Mannigfaltigkeit fordert, und für die Schilderung zwangloser Natur, dic schicklichste gedünkt habe." Doch dieses Gedicht ist auch nicht Mason's Hauptwerk. Als solches kann man seine vortrefflichen Elegien, seine beiden dramatischen Arbeiten Elfrida und Cataractus und verschiedene seiner Oden betrachten. Diese Werke haben ihm einen, Rang unter den klassischen Dichtern seiner Nation erworbent. Die Elegien erschienen zuerst 1762; man schützt unter denselben am meisten die auf seine früh verstorbene Gattin und auf den Tod der Lady Coventry. Was seine dramatischen Arbeiten betrifft, so gehören zwar beide zu den glücklichsten Nachahmungen der Griechischen Tragödie, Cataractus indessen wird für die vollendetere gehalten. Von geringer Erheblichkeit ist sein Melodram Sapho and Phaon. Eine seiner Oden betitelt: Ode to Truth, steht im Speaker *); eine an

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*) Der vollständige Titel dieses Buches ist: the Speaker of miscellaneous pieces selected from the best English writers and

« PreviousContinue »