صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

"His head is on the wood-moss laid;

I did not wake his slumber deepSweet sings the redbreast o'er the shadeWhy, gentle lady, would you weep?” As flowers that fade in burning day,

At evening find the dew-drop dear, But fiercer feel the noon-tide ray,

When soften'd by the nightly tear; Returning in the flowing tear,

This lovely flower, more sweet than they, Found her fair soul, and, wandering near, The stranger, Reason, cross'd her way. Found her fair soul-Ah! so to find

Was but more dreadful grief to know! Ah! sure the privilege of mind

Can not be worth the wish of woe.

On melancholy's silent urn

A softer shade of sorrow falls, But Ellen can no more return,

No more return to Moray's halls. Beneath the low and lonely shade

The slow, consuming hour she'll weep, Till Nature seeks her last-left aid,

In the sad, sombrous arms of Sleep. "These jewels, all unmeet for me,

Shalt thou," she said, "good shepherd, take; These gems will purchase gold for thee,

And these be thine for Ellen's sake.

"So fail thou not, at eve and morn,

The rosemary's pale bough to bring-
Thou know'st where I was found forlorn-
Where thou hast heard the redbreast sing.
"Heedful I'll tend thy flocks the while,
Or aid thy sheperdess's care,
For I will share her humble toil,

And I her friendly roof will share. "
And now two longsome years are past
In luxury of lonely pain-
The lovely mourner, found at last,
To Moray's halls is borne again.

Yet has she left one object dear,
That wears Love's sunny eye of joy-
Is Nithisdale reviving here?

Or is it but a shepherd's boy?
By Carron's side, a shepherd's boy,

He binds his vale-flowers with the reed;
He wears Love's sunny eye of joy,
And birth he little seems to heed,
But ah! no more his infant sleep

Closes beneath a mother's smile,
Who, only when it clos'd, would weep,
And yield to tender woe the while.
No more, with fond attention dear,

She seeks th' unspoken wish to find;
No more shall she, with pleasure's tear,
See the soul waxing into mind.
Does Nature bear a tyrant's breast?

Is she the friend of stern Controul?
Wears she the despot's purple vest?
Or fetters she the free-born soul?
Where, worst of tyrants, is thy claim
In chains thy children's breasts to bind ?
Jav' thon the Promethean flame?
The incommunicable mind?

Thy offspring are great Nature's-free,
And of her fair dominion heirs ;
Each privilege she gives to thee;

Know, that each privilege is theirs.
They have thy feature, wear thine eye,
Perhaps some feelings of thy heart;
And wilt thou their lov'd hearts deny
To act their fair, their proper part?
The lord of Lothian's fertile vale,

Ill-fated Ellen, claims thy hand;
Thou know'st not that thy Nithisdale
Was low laid by his ruffian-band.
And Moray, with unfather'd eyes,

Fix'd on fair Lothian's fertile dale,
Attends his human sacrifice,

Without the Grecian painter's veil.
O married Love! thy bard shall own,
Where two congenial souls unite,
Thy golden chain inlaid with down,


Thy lamp with Heaven's own splendour bright;
But if no radiant star of love,

O Hymen! smile on thy fair rite,
Thy chain a wretched weight shall prove,
Thy lamp a sad sepulchral light.

And now has Time's slow wandering wing

Borne many a year unmark'd with speed-
Where is the boy by Carron's spring,

Who bound his vale-flowers with the reed?
Ah me! those flowers he binds no more;
No early charm returns again;
The parent, Nature, keeps in store
Her best joys for her little train.
No longer heed the sun-beam bright
That plays on Carron's breast he can,
Reason has lent her quivering light,
And shown the chequer'd field of man.
As the first human heir of Earth
With pensive eye himself survey'd,
And, all unconscious of his birth,

Sate thoughtful oft in Eden's shade;
In pensive thought so Owen stray'd

Wild Carron's lonely woods among,
And once, within their greenest glade,

He fondly fram'd this simple song:
"Why is this crook adorn'd with gold?
Why am I tales of ladies told?
Why does no labour me employ,
If I am but a shepherd's boy?
"A silken vest like mine so green
In shepherd's hut I have not seen→→→
Why should I in such vesture joy,
If I am but a shepherd's boy?
"I know it is no shepherd's art
His written meaning to impart
They teach me, sure, an idle toy,
If I am but a shepherd's boy.

"This bracelet bright that binds my arm-
It could not come from sheperd's farm ;
It only would that arm annoy,
If I were but a shepherd's boy.
"And O thou silent picture fair,
That lov'st to smile upon me there,
O say, and fill my heart with joy,
That I am not a shepherd's boy"


Ah, lovely youth! thy tender lay
May not thy gentle life prolong:
See'st thou yon nightingale a prey?
The fierce hawk hovering o'er his song?
His little heart is large with love:

He sweetly hails his evening star,
And fate's more pointed arrows move,
Insidious, from his eye afar.


he shepherdess, whose kindly care

Had watch'd o'er Owen's infant breath, Must now their silent mansions share,

Whom time leads calmly down to death. "O tell me, parent if thou art,

[ocr errors]

What is this lovely picture dear? Why wounds its mournful eye my heart? Why flows from mine th' unbidden tear ›" "Ah! youth! to leave thee loth am I, Tho' I be not thy parent dear; And would'st thou wish, or ere I die, The story of thy birth to hear ? "But it will make thee much bewail,

And it will make thy fair eye swe!l:"-
She said, and told the woesome tale,

As sooth as sheperdess might tell.
The heart, that sorrow doom'd to share,
Has worn the frequent seal of woe,

Its sad impressions learns to bear,
And finds full oft its ruin slow.

But when that seal is first imprest,
When the young heart its pain shall try,
From the soft, yielding, trembling breast,
Oft seems the startled soul to fly:
Yet fled not Owen's-wild amaze

In paleness cloth'd, and lifted hands,
And horrour's dread, unmeaning gaze,
Mark the poor statue, as it stands.
The simple guardian of his life

Look'd wistful for the tear to glide;
But when she saw his tearless strife,
Silent, she lent him one, and died.
"No, I am not a shepherd's boy,"

Awaking from his dream, he said: "Ah, where is now the promis'd joy Of this?-for ever, ever fled ! "O picture dear!-for her lov'd sake How fondly could my heart bewail! My friendly shepherdess, O wake,

And tell me more of this sad tale: "O tell me more of this sad tale

No; thou enjoy thy gentle sleep! And I will go to Lothian's vale,

And more than all her waters weep. Owen to Lothian's vale is fled

Earl Barnard's lofty towers appear― "O! art thou there," the full heart said, "O art thou there, my parent dear ?"

[ocr errors]

Yes, she is there; from idle state
Oft has she stole her hour to weep;
Think how she by thy cradle sate,'
And how she fondly saw thee sleep'
Now tries his trembling hand to frame
Full many a tender line of love;
And still he blots the parent's name,
For that, he fears, might fatal prove.
O'er a fair fountain's smiling side

Reclin❜d a dim tower, clad with moss,
Where every bird was wont to bide,
That languish'd for its partner's loss.
This scene he chose, this scene assign'd
A parent's first embrace to wait,
And many a soft fear fill'd his mind,
Anxious for his fond letter's fate.
The hand that bore those lines of love,
The well-informing bracelet bore-
Ah! may they not unprosperous prove!
Ah! safely pass yon dangerous door!
"She comes not ;-can she then delay!
Cried the fair youth, and dropt a tear—
"Whatever filial love could say,

[ocr errors]

To her I said, and call'd her dear." "She comes-Oh! no-encircled round 'Tis some rude chief with many a spear, My hapless tale that earl has found

Ah me! my heart !-for her Ifear."
His tender tale that earl had read,

Or ere it reach'd his lady's eye,
His dark brow wears a cloud of red,
In rage he deems a rival nigh.
'Tis o'er-those locks that wav'd in gold,

That way'd adown those cheeks so fair,
Wreath'd in the gloomy tyrant's bold,

Hang from the sever'd head in air!
That streaming head he joys to bear
In horrid guise to Lothian's halls ;
Bids his grim ruffians place it there,
Erect upon the frowning walls.
The fatal tokens forth he drew-

"Know'st thou these-Ellen of the vale?" The pictur'd bracelet soon she knew,

And soon her lovely cheek grew pale.
The trembling victim straight he led,
Ere yet her soul's first fear was o'er:
He pointed to the ghastly head—

She saw-and sunk to rise no more.

See the ancient Scottish ballad, called G. Morrice.

[blocks in formation]



As duteous to the place of prayer,

Within the convent's lonely walls, The holy sisters still repair,

What time the rosy morning calls: So fair, each morn, so full of grace, Within their little garden rear'd, The flower of Phoebus turn'd her face

To meet the power she lov'd and fear'd,

And where, along the rising sky,

Her god in brighter glory burn'd, Still there ber fond observant eye,

And there her golden breast she turn'd. When calling from their weary height

On western waves his beams to rest, Still there she sought the parting sight, And there she turn'd her golden breast. But soon as night's invidious shade

Afar his lovely looks had borne, With folded leaves and drooping head, Full sore she griev'd, as one forlorn. Such duty in a flower display'd

The holy sisters smil'd to see,
Forgave the pagan rites it paid,
And lov'd its fond idolatry.

But painful still, though meant for kind,
The praise that fails on Envy's ear,
O'er the dim window's arch entwin'd,
The canker'd Ivy chanc'd to hear.

And "See," she cried, "that specious flower,
Whose flattering bosom courts the Sun,
The pageant of a gilded hour,

The convent's simple hearts hath won!
"Obsequious meanness! ever prone
To watch the patron's turning eye;
No will, no motion of its own!
'Tis this they love, for this they sigh:
"Go, splendid sycophant! no more
Display thy soft seductive arts!
The flattering clime of courts explore,
Nor spoil the convent's simple hearts.
"To me their praise more justly due,

Of longer bloom, and happier grace! Whom changing months unalter'd view, And find them in my fond embrace." "How well," the modest flower replied, "Can Envy's wrested eye elude The obvious bounds that still divide Foul Flattery from fair Gratitude.

"My duteous praise each hour I pay,
For few the hours that I must live,
And give to him my little day,

Whose grace another day may give.
"When low this golden form shall fall

And spread with dust its parent plain;
That dust shall hear bis genial call,

And rise, to glory rise again.
"To thee, my gracious power, to thee
My love, my heart, my life are due!
Thy goodness gave that life to be;

Thy goodness shall that life renew.
"Ah me! one moment from thy sight
That thus my truant-eye should stray!
The god of glory sets in night!

His faithless flower has lost a day."
Sore griev'd the flower, and droop'd her head;
And sudden tears her breast bedew'd:
Consenting tears the sisters shed,

And, wrapt in holy wonder, view'd.
With joy, with pious pride elate,

"Behold," the aged abbess cries,
"An emblem of that happier fate

Which Heaven to all but us denies.

"Our hearts no fears but duteous fears,
No charm but duty's charm can move?
We shed no tears but holy tears

Of tender penitence and love.
"See there the envious world pourtray'd
In that dark look, that creeping pace!
No flower can bear the Ivy's shade;

No tree support its cold embrace.
"The oak that rears it from the ground,
And bears its tendrils to the skies,
Feels at his heart the rankling wound,
And in its poisonous arms he dies."
Her moral thus the matron read,
Studious to teach her children dear,
And they by love, or duty led,

With pleasure heard, or seem'd to hear.
Yet one less duteous, not less fair,

(In convents still the tale is known)
The fable heard with silent care,

But found a moral of her own.
The flower that smil'd along the day,

And droop'd in tears at evening's fall;
Too well she found her life display,

Too well her fatal lot recall.
The treacherous Ivy's gloomy shade,
That murder'd what it most embrac'd,
Too well that cruel scene convey'd
Which all her fairer hopes effac'd.

Her heart with silent horrour shook;
With sighs she sought her lonely cell:
To the dim light she cast one look;
And bade once more the world farewell.


THERE are that love the shades of life,
And shun the splendid walks of fame;
There are that hold it rueful strife

To risk ambition's losing game;
That far from Envy's lurid eye

The fairest fruits of genius rear,
Content to see them bloom and die,

In Friendship's small but kindly sphere.
Than vainer flowers tho' sweeter far,
The evening Primrose shuns the day;
Blooms only to the western star,

And loves its solitary ray.

In Eden's vale an aged hind,

At the dim twilight's closing hour,
On his time-smoothed staff reclin'd,
With wonder view'd the opening flower.
"Ill-fated flower, at eve to blow,"

In pity's simple thought he cries, "Thy bosom must not feel the glow Of splendid suns, or smiling skies. "Nor thee, the vagrants of the field, The hamlet's little train behold; Their eyes to sweet oppression yield,

When thine the falling shades unfold.
"Nor thee the hasty shepherd heeds,
When love has fill'd his heart with cares,
For flowers he rifles all the meads,

For waking flowers-but thine forbears.
"Ah! waste no more that beauteous bloom
On night's chill shade, that fragrant breath:
Let smiling suns those gems illume!

Fair flower, to live unseen is death."

Soft as the voice of vernal gales

That o'er the bending meadow blow, Or streams that steal thro' even vales, And murmur that they move so slow : Deep in her unfrequented bower,

Sweet Philomela pour'd her strain; The bird of eve approv'd her flower,

And answered thus the anxious swain.
"Live unseen!

By moonlight shades, in valleys green,
Lovely flower, we'll live unseen.
Of our pleasures deem not lightly,
Laughing Day may look more sprightly,

But I love the modest mien,

Still I love the modest mien

Gliding o'er thy yielding mind,
Leave sweet serenity behind,
While all disarm'd, the cares of day
Steal thro' the falling gloom away?
Love to think thy lot was laid
In this undistinguish'd shade.
Far from the world's infectious view,
Thy little virtues safely blew.

Go, and in day's more dangerous hour,
Guard thy emblematic flower."


THE reed that once the shepherd blew
On old Cephisus' hallow'd side,
To Sylla's cruel bow apply'd,

Its inoffensive master slew.

Stay, bloody soldier, stay thy hand,
Nor take the shepherd's gentle breath:
Thy rage let innocence withstand;

Let music soothe the thirst of death.
He frown'd-he bade the arrow fly-

The arrow smote the tuneful swain;
No more its tone his lip shall try,

Nor wake its vocal soul again.

Cephisus, from his sedgy urn,

With woe beheld the sanguine deed;
He mourn'd, and, as they heard him mourn,
Assenting sigh'd each trembling reed.

"Fair offspring of my waves," he cried;
"That bind my brows, my banks adorn,
Pride of the plains, the river's pride,

For music, peace, and beauty born!
"Ah! what, unheedful have we done?

What demons here in death delight? |
What fiends that curse the social Sun?
What furies of infernal night?

"See, see my peaceful shepherds bleed!
Each heart in harmony that vy'd,
Smote by its own melodious reed,
Lies cold, along my blushing side.
"Back to your urn, my waters, fly;
Or find in earth some secret way;
For horrour dims yon conscious sky,
And Hell has issu'd into day."
Thro' Delphi's holy depth of shade
The sympathetic sorrows ran;
While in his dim and mournful glade
The Genius of her groves began:
"In vain Cephisus sighs to save
The swain that loves his watry mead,
And weeps to see his reddening wave,
And mourns for his perverted reed:

Of gentle Evening fair, and her star-train'd "In vain my violated groves


"Didst thou, shepherd, never find,

Pleasure is of pensive kind?
Hast thy cottage never known
That she loves to live alone?
Dost thou not at evening hour
Feel some soft and secret power,

Must I with equal grief bewail,
While desolation sternly roves,

And bids the sanguine hand assail.

I The reeds on the banks of the Cephisus, of which the shepherds made their pipes, Sylla's soldiers used for arrows.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


"As Dee, whose current, free from stain,
Glides fair o'er Merioneth's plain,
By mountains forc'd his way to steer,
Along the lake of Pimble Mere,
Darts swiftly thro' the stagnant mass,
His waters trembling as they pass,
And leads his lucid waves below,
Unmix'd, unsullied as they flow-
So clear thro' life's tumultuous tide,
So free could Thought and Fancy glide;
Could Hope as sprightly hold her course,
As first she left her native source,
Unsought in her romantic cell
The keeper of her dreams might dwell.
"But ah! they will not, will not last-
When life's first fairy stage is past,
The glowing hand of Hope is cold;
And Fancy lives not to be old.
Darker, and darker all before;
We turn the former prospect o'er;
And find in Memory's faithful eye
Our little stock of pleasures lie.

"Come, then; thy kind recesses ope!
Fair keeper of the dreams of Hope!
Come with thy visionary train,
And bring my morning scenes again!
To Enon's wild and silent shade,
Where oft my lonely youth was laid;
What time the woodland Genius came,
And touch'd me with his holy flame.-
"Or, where the hermit, Bela, leads
Her waves thro' solitary meads;
And only feeds the desert-flower,

Where once she sooth'd my slumbering hour:
Or rous' by Stainmore's wintry sky,
She wearies Echo with her cry;
And oft, what storms her bosom tear,
Her deeply-wounded banks declare.—
"Where Eden's fairer waters flow,
By Milton's bower, or Osty's brow,
Or Brockley's alder-shaded cave,
Or, winding round the Druid's grave,
Silently glide, with pious fear
To sound his holy slumbers near.-

"To these fair scenes of Fancy's reign,
O Memory! bear me once again:
For, when life's varied scenes are past,
'Tis simple Nature charms at last.”

[blocks in formation]

So marvell'd much in Enon's shade
The flowers that all uncultur'd grew,
When there the splendid Rose display'd
Her swelling breast and shining hue.
Yet one, that oft adorn'd the place

Where now her gaudy rival reign'd,
Of simpler bloom, but kindred race,

The pensive Eglantine complain'd.— "Mistaken youth," with sighs she said,

"From Nature and from me to stray!
The bard, by splendid forms betray'd,
No more shall frame the purer lay.
"Luxuriant, like the flaunting Rose,
And gay the brilliant strains may be,
But far, in beauty, far from those,
That flow'd to Nature and to me."
The poet felt, with fond surprise,
The truths the sylvan critic told;

And, "Though this courtly Rose," he cries, "Is gay, is beauteous to behold;

"Yet, lovely flower, I find in thee

Wild sweetness which no words express,

And charms in thy simplicity,

That dwell not in the pride of dress."



SHEPHERD, if near thy artless breast
The god of fond desires repair;
Implore him for a gentle guest,

Implore him with unwearied prayer.
Should beauty's soul-enchanting smile,
Love-kindling looks, and features gay,
Should these thy wandering eye beguile,
And steal thy wareless heart away;
That heart shall soon with sorrow swell,
And soon the erring eye deplore,
If in the beauteous bosom dwell
No gentle virtue's genial store.
Far from his hive one summer-day,
A young and yet unpractis'd bee,
Borne on his tender wings away,
Went forth the flowery world to see.

« السابقةمتابعة »