صور الصفحة



So, from the way in which he was train'd up,
His feet departed not; he toil'd and moil'd,
Poor muckworm ! through his three-score years and ten;
And when the earth shall now be shovell’d on him,
If that which served him for a soul were still
Within its husk, 'twould still be dirt to dirt.



Thy summer woods
Are lovely, O my mother Isle! the birch
Light bending on thy banks, thy elmy vales,
Thy venerable oaks! ... But there, what forms
Of beauty clothed the inlands and the shore !
All these in stateliest growth, and mixt with these
Dark spreading cedar, and the cypress tall,
Its pointed summit waving to the wind
Like a long beacon flame; and loveliest
Amid a thousand strange and lovely shapes,
The lofty palm, that with its nuts supplied
Beverage and food ; they edg’d the shore, and crown'd
The far off highland summits, their straight stems
Bare without leaf or bough, erect and smooth,
Their tresses nodding like a crested helm,
The plumage of the grove.

Will ye believe
The wonders of the ocean ? how its shoals
Sprung from the wave, like flashing light, . . took wing,
And, twinkling with a silver glitterance,
Flew through the air and sunshine ? Yet were these
To sight less wond'rous than the tribe who swam,
Following, like fowlers with uplifted eye,
Their falling quarry: .. language cannot paint
Their splendid tints; though in blue ocean seen,
Blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,
In all its rich variety of shades,
Suffused with glowing gold.

Heaven, too, had there Its wonders : ... from a deep black heavy cloud, What shall I say? . . a shoot .. a trunk . . an arm, Came down : .. yea! like a demon's arm, it seized The waters, Ocean smoked beneath its touch, And rose like dust before the whirlwind's force. But we sail'd onward over tranquil seas, Wafted by airs so exquisitely mild, That even to breathe became an act of will, And sense, and pleasure. Not a cloud by day

With purple islanded the dark-blue deep;
By night the quiet billows heaved and glanced
Under the moon, . . that heavenly moon! so bright,
That many a midnight bave I paced the deck,
Forgetful of the hours of due repose;
Yea, till the sun in his full majesty
Went forth, like God beholding his own works.




How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshuess fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,

Breaks the serene of heaven:
In full orb'd glory yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue depths :
Beneath her steady ray

The desert-circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.

How beautiful is night!



None hath seen its secret fountain ;
But on the top of Merŭ mountain,

Which rises o'er the hills of earth,
In light and clouds, it bath its mortal birth.

Earth seems that pinnacle to rear

Sublime above this worldly sphere,
Its cradle, and its altar, and its throne;

And there the new-born river lies
Outspread beneath its native skies,
As if it there would love to dwell

Alone and unapproachable.
Soon flowing forward, and resigned

To the will of the Creating Mind,
It springs at once, with sudden leap,

Down from the immeasurable steep;
From rock to rock, with shivering force rebounding,

The mighty cataract rushes : heaven around, Like thunder, with the incessant roar resounding,

And Merŭ's summit shaking with the sound.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Wide spreads the snowy foam, the sparkling spray

Dances aloft ; and ever there at morning
The earliest sunbeams haste to wing their way,
With rainbow wreaths the holy stream adorning :

And duly the adoring moon at night
Sheds her white glory there,

And in the watery air
Suspends her halo-crowns of silver light.

[ocr errors]

They sin who tell us Love can die.
With life all other passions fly,

All others are but vanity.
In Heaven Ambition cannot dwell,
Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell;

Earthly, these passions are of earth,
They perish where they have their birth :

But Love is indestructible.
Its holy flame for ever burneth;
From Heaven it came, to Heaven returneth;

Too oft on earth a troubled guest,
At times deceived, at times opprest,

It here is tried and purified,
Then hath in Heaven its perfect rest :

It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of Love is there.



A countless multitude they came;
Syrian, Moor, Saracen, Greek renegade,
Persian, and Copt, and Tatar, in one bond
Of erring faith conjoined, . . strong in the youth
And heat of zeal, a dreadful brotherhood,
In whom all turbulent vices were let loose ;
While conscience, with their impious creed accurst,
Drunk, as with wine, had sanctified to them
All bloody, all abominable things.

1 Count Julian, a Spanish noble, for an injury done him by the Gothic king Roderic, invited the Moors of the Caliphate from Africa to avenge him. The Gothic king was defeated at the fatal battle of Xeres in 713, and a great part of the country subjected for about eight centuries to the Mohammedan dominion. The last Moorish kingdom, Grenada, fell before the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The incidents in Southey's poem turn on the tradition that the defeated Roderic survived the engagement. _2 The Arab Mohammedans; an epithet of the Arabians understood to imply plunderers. The Copts have been alleged to be the descendants of the ancient Egyptians.

Thou, Calpe, sawest their coming: ancient Rock
Renowned, no longer now shalt thou be called,
From gods and heroes of the years of yore,
Kronos, or hundred-handed Briareus,
Bacchus, or Hercules ; bnt doomed to bear
The name of thy new Conqueror, and thenceforth
To stand bis everlasting monument.
Thou sawest the dark-blue waters flash before
Their ominous way, and wbiten round their keels ;
Their swarthy myriads darkening o'er thy sands.
There on the beach the misbelievers spread
Their banners, flaunting to the sun and breeze:
Fair shone the sun upon their proud array ;
White turbans, glittering armour, shields engrailed
With gold, and scymitars of Syrian steel;
And gently did the breezes, as in sport,
Curl their long flags outrolling, and display
The blazoned scrolls of blasphemy.

[merged small][ocr errors]

LITERATURE has seldom to mourn more truly over genius early blighted by death than in the case of John Leyden. He was the son of humble parents, and born at Denholm, on the banks of the Teviot in Roxburghshire. His powerful talents, while he was yet young, amassed a singular amount of classical and oriental literature. He was destined for the church, but suddenly exchanged his profession for that of medicine, on a prospect of obtaining an appointment in the East. He proceeded to India, and acted in different capacities in various quarters of that country for several years, hiving up daily stores of oriental learning. He died of fever during the English expedition against Java in 1811.

“A distant and a deadly shore

Holds Leyden's cold remains."-Scott, “ Lord of the Isles." Leyden's principal poem is "Scenes of Infancy ;" he left also a number of ballads, sonnets, &c., and translations from various European and oriental languages. He is an elegant and pleasing writer.

Calpe (Gibraltar Rock) is said to be the same word, with a guttural aspiration, as Abyla or Alyba (Cape Serra), the Carthaginian name of the opposite African promontory, which itself is a Punic appellative for any high mountain, and contains the root of Alp.--Anthon's Lempriore. Gibrallar, from árab. Djibel, a hill, and Tarik, the name of the invading Moorish general, who landed there in 710.-See Gibbon, ch. li. The mythological tale of the rending of the capes by Hercules originated the name Pillars of Hercules. The classics do not seem to contain any associations of Kronos or Briareus with Calpe : Southey refers to the "Historia de Gibraltar, by Don Ignacio Lopez de Ayala."

" Verses of the Koran were inscribed on the Mohammedan standards.

3 His knowledge of ancient traditions rendered him a valuable contributor to Scott's Border Minstrelsy.

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

I hear, I hear, with awful dread,
The plaintive music of the dead!

They leave the amber fields of day :
Soft as the cadence of the wave,
That murmurs round the mermaid's grave,

They mingle in the magic lay.

Sweet sounds! that oft have sooth'd to rest
The sorrows of my guileless breast,

And charm'd away mine infant tears :
Fond memory shall your strains repeat,
Like distant echoes, doubly sweet,

That in the wild the traveller hears.

1 lanthe (Gr. ion-anthos), violet flower.
2 The Flathipnis, or Celtic paradise ; innis (inch) is island.

3 “ The effect of music is explained by the Hindús as recalling to our memory the airs of paradise, heard in a state of pre-existence." Compare Wordsworth's Ode, &c., see p. 371.

« السابقةمتابعة »