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Thomson., durchaus unbemerkt geblieben sind, u. f. f. Effay on Pope's Genius, Vol. I. p. 42. ff. Auch in Dr. Johnson's Les bensbeschreibung unsers Dichters findet man eine scharfsinnige Charakteristik seines Gedichts. (Vol. IV. p. 271. M.). Auch verdient darüber Dr. Blair in seiner 40ften Vorlesung nachgelesen zu werden; und vorzüglich Aikin's Essay on the Plan and Character of Thomson's Seasons, vor seiner, auch in Deutschland nachgedruckten Ausgabe derselben. Eine Ues bersehung dieses Verfuchs, s. in meinem Brittischen Muz feum für die Deutschen, B. V. S. 376.
SPRING; v. 960—1173.
Flufh'd by the spirit of the genial year,
Now from the virgin's cheek a fresher bloom
Shoots, lefs and leis, the live carnation round;
Her lips bluth deeper fweets; fhe breathes of
The fhining moisture fwells into her eyes
In brighter flows; her wifhing bofom heaves,
With palpitations wild; kind tumults feize
Her veins, and all her yielding foul is love.
From the keen gaze her lover turns away,
Full of the dear extatic power, and fick
With fighing languifhment. Ah then, ye fair!
Be greatly cautious of your fliding hearts
Dare not th' infectious figh; the pleading look,
Down caft, and low, in meek fubmiffion dreft,
But full of guile. Let not the fervent tongue,
Prompt to deceive, with adulation fmooth,
Gain on your purpos'd will. Nor in the bower,
Where woodbins flaunt, and roses shed a couch,
While evening draws her crimíon curtains round,
Truft your foft minutes with betraying Man.
And let th' aspiring youth beware of love,
Of the fmooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
When on his heart the torrent-foftnefs pours.
Then wisdom proftrate lies, and fading fame`
Diffolves in air away; while the fond foul,
Wrapt in gay vifions of unreal blifs,
Still paints th' illufive form; the kindling grace;
Th' inticing fimile; the modeft-feeming eye,
Beneath whofe beauteous beams, belying heaven,
Lurk fearchlefs cunning, cruelty and death;
And ftill, falfe-warbling in his cheated ear,
Her fyren voice, enchanting, draws him on
To guileful fhores, and meads of fatal joy.
Even prefent, in the fatal lap of love
Inglorious laid; while mufic flows around,
Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours;
Amid the roses fierce Repentance rears
Her fnaky creft; a quick-returning pang
Shoots thro' the conscious heart; where honour
And great defign, against the oppreffive load
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
But abfent, what fantastic woes, arrous'd
Rage, in each thought, by restless musing fed,
Chill the warm cheek, and blaft the bloom of life!
Neglected fortune flies; and 1liding swift,
Prone into ruin, fall his fcorn'd affairs.
'Tis nought but gloom around: the darkened fun
Loofes his light: the rofy-bofom'd Spring
To weeping fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
Contracted, bends into a dufky vault.
All Nature fades extinct; and fhe alone
Heard, felt, and feen, poffeffes every thought,
Fills every fenfe, and pants in every vein.
Books are but formal dulnefs, tedious friends;
And fad amid the focial band he fits,
Lonely, and unattentive. From his tongue
Th' unfinish'd period falls: while borne away
On fwelling thought, his wafted fpirit flies
To the vain bofom of his distant fair;
Thomson. And leaves the femblance of a lover, fix'd
In melancholy fite, with head declin’d,
And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,
Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
To glimmering fhades, and fympathetic glooms;
Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling ftream,
Romantic, hangs; there thro' the penfive dufk
Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation loft,
Indulging all to love; or on the bank
Thrown, amid drooping lilies, fwells the breeze
With fighs unceafing, and the brook with tears,
Thus in foft anguifh he confumes the day,
Nor quits his deep retirement, till the Moon
Peeps thro' the chambers of the fleecy eaft,
Enlightened by degrees, and in her train
Leads on the gentle hours; then forth he walks,
Beneath the trembling languifh of her beam,
With foftened foul, and wooes the bird of eve
To mingle woes with his: or, while the world
And all the fons of Care lie hufh'd in fleep,
Affociates with the midnight fhadows drear;
And, fighing to the lonely taper, pours
His idly-tortur'd heart into the page,
Meant for the moving meffenger of love;
Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
With rifing frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
Delirious flung, fleep from his pillow flies.
All night he tofles, nor the balmy power
In any posture finds; till the grey morn
Lifts her pale luftre on the paler wretch,
Exanimate by love; and then perhaps
Exhaufted Nature finks a while to rest,
Still interrupted by distracted dreams,
That o'er the fick imagination rife,
And in black colours paint the mimic fcene.
Oft with th' enchantrels of his foul he talks;
Sometimes in crouds diftrefs'd; or if retir'd
To fecret winding flower-enwoven bowers,
Far from the dull impertinence of Man,
Juft as he, credulous, his endless cares
Begins to lofe in blind oblivious love,
Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not
Thro' forefts huge, and long untravel'd heaths
With defolation brown, he wanders wafte,
In night and tempeft wrapt; or fhrinks aghaft,
Back, from the bending precipice; or wades
The turbid stream below, and ftrives to reach
The farther fhore; where fuccourlefs, and fad,
She with extended arms his aid implores;
But strives in vain: borne by th' outrageous flood
To diftance down, he rides the ridgy wave,
Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy finks.
Thefe are the charming agonies of love,
Whofe mifery delights. But thro' the heart
Should jealoufy its venom once diffuse,
'Tis then delightful mifery no more,
But agony unmix'd, inceffant gall,
Corroding every thought, and blasting all
Love's paradife. Ye fairy profpects, then,
Ye beds of rofes, and ye bowers of joy,
Farewel! Ye gleamings of departed peace,
Shine out your laft! the yellow-tinging plague
Internal vifion taints, and in a night
Of livid gloom imagination wraps.
Ah! then, inftead of love-enlivened cheeks,
Of funny features, and of ardent eyes
With flowing rapture bright, dark looks fucceed,
Suffus'd, and glaring with untender fire;
A clouded afpect, and a burning cheek,
Where the whole poifon'd foul, malignant, fits,
And frightens love away. Ten thoufand fears
Invented wild, ten thoufand frantic views
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms
For which he melts in fondness, eat him up
With fervent anguish, and confuming rage.
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid,
Deceitful pride, and refolution frail,
Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours,
Thomson. Afresh, her beauties on his bufy thought,
Her first endearments twining round the foul,
With all the witchcraft of enfnaring love.
Straight the fierce ftorm involves his mind anew,
Flames thro' the nerves, and boils along the veins';
While anxious doubts diftract the tortur'd heart:
For even the fad affurance of his fears
Were eafe to what he feels.
Thus the warm
Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds,
Thro' flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
Of fevered rapture, or of cruel care;
His brightest flames extinguifh'd all, and all
His brightest moments running down to wafte.
But happy they! the happieft of their Kind!
Whom gentler ftars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings
'Tis not the coarfer tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their paffions into love;
Where friendship full-exerts her fofteft
Perfect esteem, enlivened by defire
Ineffable, and fympathy of foul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing
With boundless confidence: for nought but love
Can anfwer love, and render blifs fecure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from fordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well merited, confume his nights and days:
Let barbarous nations, whofe inhuman love
Is wild defire, fierce as the funs they feel,
Let eastern tyrants, from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bofom flaves, meanly poffefs'd
Of a mere, lifeless, violated form:
While thofe, whom love cements in holy faith,