« PoprzedniaDalej »
which must be supposed to have been narrated in the first and second parts, is as follows. Edward, a young farmer, meets, at the house of Tllen, her bosom-friend. Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, and by the advice of their corninon friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and intentions to Mary's Mother, a widow-woman bordering on her fortieth year, and from constant health, the possession of a competent property, and from having had no other children but Mary and another daughter (the Father died in their infancy}, retaining, for the greater part. her personal attractions and earneliness of appearance; but a woman of low education and violent temper. The answer which she at once returned to Edward's application was remarkable—“Well, Edward: you are a handsome young fellow, and you shall have my Daughter.” From this time all their wooing passed under the Mother's eye; and, in fine, she became herselfonamoured of her future Son-in-law, and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumny, to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. The outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no very distant date, though the author has purposely altered the names and the scene of action, as well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the incidents.) Edward, how erer, though perplexed by her strange detraction from her daughter's good qualities, yet in the innocence of his own heart still mistaking her increasing fondness for motherly affection : she, at length overcome by her miserable passion, aster much abuse of Mary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with
violenternation—“0 Edward! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for "
you—she has not a heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love you : Marry me, Edward' and I will this very day
ettle ail my property on you."—The Lover's eyes were now opened: and thus taken by surprise, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt, acting as it were hysterically on his nervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the sense of the proposal in the feeling of its strangeness and absurdity, he flung her from him and burst into a fit of laughter. Irritated
by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell on her knees, and in a |
loud voice that approached to a scream, she prayed for a Curse both on him and on her own Child. Mary happened to be in the room directly above them, heard Edward’s laugh and her Mother's blasphemous prayer, and sainted away. He, hearing the sail, ran up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her off to Ellen's home; and after some fruitless attempts on her part toward a reconciliation with her Mother, she was married to him.—And here the third part of the Tale begins. I was not led to choose this story from any partiality to tragic. much less to monstrous events (though at the time that I composed the verses, somewhat more than twelve years ago, I was less averse to such subjects than at present), but from finding in it a striking proof of the possible effect on the imagination, from an idea violently and suddenly impressed on it. I had been readinz Bryan Edwards's account of the effect of the ohm witchcraft on the Negroes in the West Indies, and Hearne's deeply interesting Anecdotes of similar workings on the imagination of the Copper Indians (those of my readers who have it in their power will be well repaid for the trouble of referring to those works for the passages alluded to), and I conceived the design of showing that instances of this kind are not perusiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of illustrating the made in which the mind is affected in these cases, and the prorress and symptoms of the morbid action on the fancy from the beginning. [The Tale is supposed to be narrated by an old Sexton, in n country church-yard, to a Traveller whose curiosity had been awakened by the appearance of three graves, close by each other, to two only of which there were grave-stones. On the first of these were the name, and dates, as usual: on the second, no name, but only a date, and the words, The Mercy of God is
- - - - - - - - - o PART III.
THE grapes upon the vicar's wall
And yellow leaves in sun and wind
Made happy by compulsion!
Within this arbor, which was still
"Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis sweet To hear the Sabbath-bell,
"Tis sweet to hear then both at once, Deep in a woody dell.
His limbs along the moss, his head Upon a mossy heap,
With shut-up senses, Edward lay:
That brook e'en on a working day Might chatter one to sleep.
And he had pass'd a restless night, And was not well in health;
The women sat down by his side, And talk'd as 't were by stealth.
“The sun peeps through the close thick leaves,
"Tis in the leaves, a little sun,
“A tiny sun, and it has got
Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,
Make up a glory, gay and bright,
And then they argued of those rays,
Says this, “they're mostly green;” says that,
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts Were troubling Edward's rest;
But soon they heard his hard quick pants, And the thumping in his breast.
“A Mother too!” these self-samo words
His face was drawn back on itsels,
Both groan'd at once, for both knew well What thoughts were in his mind;
When he waked up, and stared like one That hath been just struck blind.
He sat upright; and ere the dream Had had time to depart,
“O God forgive me ! (he exclaim'd) I have torn out her heart.”
Then Ellen shriek'd, and forthwith burst
And Mary shiver'd, where she sat,
Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow! and To-morrow! and To-morrow :
Late, late yestreen, I saw the new Moon,
I. WELL! if the Bard was weather-wise, who made The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes, Or the dull sobbing draught, that moans and rakes Upon the strings of this AFolian lute, Which better far were mute. For lo! the New-moon winter-bright! And overspread with phantom light, (With swimming phantom light o'erspread But rimm'd and circled by a silver thread) I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling The coming on of rain and squally blast.
And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,
And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast!
Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed, And sent my soul abroad, Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live! II. .
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassion'd grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tear—
O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
And its peculiar tint of yellow green:
My genial spirits fail,
And what can these avail To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?
It were a vain endeavor,
Though I should gaze for ever, On that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
IV. O Lady! we receive but what we give, And in our life alone does nature live:
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
- V. O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me What this strong music in the soul may be: What, and wherein it doth exist, This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, This beautiful and beauty-making power. Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given, Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, Life, and Life's Effluence, Cloud at once and Shower, Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower A new Earth and new Heaven, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud— Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloudWe in ourselves rejoice' And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, All melodies the echoes of that voice, All colors a suffusion from that light.
There was a time when, though my path was
VII. Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, Reality's dark dream!
I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
Which long has raved unnoticed. What a screat, Of agony by torture lengthen'd out That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that ravest
Bare crag, or mountain-tairn,” or blasted tree, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, Or lonely house, long held the witches' home,
Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, Mad Lutanist' who in this month of showers, Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
Makest Devils' yule, with worse than wintry song,
VIII. "T is midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep: Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep! Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of healing, And may this storm be but a mountain-birth, May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling, Silent as though they watch'd the sleeping Earth! With light heart may she rise, Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice: To her may all things live, from Pole to Pole, Their life the eddying of her living soul! O simple spirit, guided from above, Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice, Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.
ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE,
on The TWENTY-Fourth stanza iN her “pass AGE overt Mount Goth ARD."
And hail the Chapel' hail the Platform wild
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child,
or's fondly foster'd child! And did you hail the Platform wild, Where once the Austrian fell Beneath the shaft of Tell? O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure! Whence learnt you that heroic measure ?
Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
* Tairn is a small lake, generally, if not always, applied to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and
in a mountainous country.
Detain'd your eye from nature : stately vests,