صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

In whose small vaults a pigmy folk is found,

Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wondering, from the hallow'd


Or thither, where beneath the showery west, The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid: Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,

No slaves revere them, and no wars invade: Yet frequent now, at midnight's solemn hour, The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power, In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aereal council hold.

But, oh! o'er all, forget not Kilda's race, [tides,
On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting
Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides.
Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace!
Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,
Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,
And all their prospect but the wintry main.

With sparing temperance, at the needful time, They drain the scented spring: or, hunger-press'd, Along the' Atlantic rock undreading climb, And of its eggs despoil the solan's + nest.

Thus, bless'd in primal innocence they live, Sufficed and happy with that frugal fare

Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give: Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare; Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!

* [colmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are interred.

↑ An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.

Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes en


Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possess'd; For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd, in elder time, the' historic page.


There Shakspeare's self, with every garland crown'd,

Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,

In musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors dress'd the magic scene. From them he sung, when mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted and aghast,

The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answering bosom pierce; Proceed, in forceful sounds and colour bold, The native legends of thy land rehearse; To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse.

In scenes like these, which, daring to depart From sober truth, are still to Nature true, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view, The' heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art;

How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd!

When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheaved the vanish'd sword! How have I sat, when piped the pensive wind, To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!

Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind Believed the magic wonders which he sung; Hence, at each sound, imagination glows! Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here!

Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows!

Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and


And fills the' impassion'd heart, and wins the' harmonious ear!

All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail;
Ye splendid friths and lakes which, far away,

Are by smooth Annan* fill'd, or pastoral Tay *, Or Don's* romantic springs, at distance hail! The time shall come when I, perhaps, máy tread Your lowly glens + o'erhung with spreading broom;

Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led:
Or o'er your mountains creep in awful gloom!
Then will I dress once more the faded bower
Where Jonson ‡ sat in Drummond's classic shade;
Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower,

And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's

Meantime, ye powers that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth,on Lothian's plains§, attend !—
Where'er Home dwells, on hill or lowly moor,
To him I love your kind protection lend,
And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my
absent friend!

* Three rivers in Scotland.


+ Valleys.

Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to the Scottish poet Drummond, at his seat of Hawthornden, within four miles of Edinburgh. See an account of a conversation which passed between them, in Drummond's Works, 1711.

Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh University, which is in the county of Lothian.




I. 1.

HENCE to the realms of Night, dire demon, hence! Thy chain of adamant can bind

That little world, the human mind, And sink its noblest powers to impotence. Wake the lion's loudest roar,

Clot his shaggy mane with gore,

With flashing fury bid his eyeballs shine,
Meek is his savage sullen soul to thine!


Thy touch, thy deadening touch has steel'd the [smiled, Whence, through her rainbow shower, soft Pity Has closed the heart each godlike virtue bless'd To all the silent pleadings of his child.

At thy command he plants the dagger deep, At thy command exults, though Nature bids him


I. 2.

When, with a frown that froze the peopled earth +,
Thou dartedst thy huge head from high,
Night waved her banners o'er the sky,
And, brooding, gave her shapeless shadows birth.
Rocking on the billowy air,

Ha! what withering phantoms glare!

As blows the blast with many a sudden swell, At each dead pause what shrill toned voices yell!

* An allusion to the sacrifice of Iphigenia.

+ Lucretius, I. 63.

The sheeted spectre, rising from the tomb,
Points at the murderer's stab, and shudders by;
In every grove is felt a heavier gloom,
That veils its genius from the vulgar eye:
The spirit of the water rides the storm,
And, through the mist, reveals the terrors of his

I. 3..

O'er solid seas, where Winter reigns,
And holds each mountain wave in chains,
The fur-clad savage, ere he guides his deer*,
By glistering starlight through the snow,
Breathes softly in her wondering ear
Each potent spell thou badest him know.
By thee inspired, on India's sands +,
Full in the sun the Bramin stands;
And, while the panting tigress hies
To quench her fever in the stream,
His spirit laughs in agonies ‡,

Smit by the scorchings of the noontide beam,
Mark who mounts the sacred pyre,
Blooming in her bridal vest;

She hurls the torch! she fans the fire!
To die is to be bless'd §:

She clasps her lord to part no more,
And, sighing, sinks! but sinks to soar.

* When we were ready to set out, our host muttered some words in the ear of our cattle.-See a Voyage to the North of Europe in 1653.

+ The Bramins expose their bodies to the intense heat of the


Ridens moriar. The conclusion of an old Runic Ode.

In the Vedas, or sacred writings of the Hindoos, it is written, She who dies with her husband shall live for ever with him in heaven.'

« السابقةمتابعة »