Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]

At length young Allan join'd the bride,

Why comes noc Oscar?» Angus said; als he not here?» the youth replied,

« With me le roved not o'er the glade.
** Perchance, forgetful of the day,

T is his to chase the bounding roe;
Or Ocean's waves prolong his stay,

Yet Oscar's bark is se om slow.»
«Oh! no!» the anguish'd sire rejoin'd,

« Nor chase nor wave my boy delay;
Would he to Mora seem unkind?

Would aught to her impede his way? « Oh! search, ye chiefs! oh, search around!

Allan, with these through Alva tly, Till Oscar, till my son is found,

Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply.» All is confusion through the vale

The name of Oscar hoarsely rings, It rises on the murmuring gale,

Till night expands her dusky wings. It breaks the stillness of the night,

But echoes through her shades in vain; It sounds through morning's misty light,

But Oscar comes pot o'er the plain. Three days, three sleepless nights, the chief

For Oscar search'd cach mountain cave; Theo bope is lost in boundless grief,

His locks in grey torn ringlets wave.
Oscar! my Son!—Thou God of heaven!

Restore the prop of sinking age;
Or, if that hope no more is given,

Yield his assassin to my rage. « Yes, on some desert rocky shore,

My Oscar's whitend bones must lie; Then, grant, thou God! I ask no more, With bim his frantic sire


die. Yet, he may live--away despair;

Be calm, my soul! he yet may live; T arraign my fate, my voice forbear;

O God my impious prayer forgive. What, if he live for me no more,

I sink forgotten in the dust, The bope of Alva's age is o'er;

Alas! can pangs like these be just ?» Thus did the hapless parent mourn,

Till Tiine, who soothes severest woe, Had bade serenity return,

And made the tear-drop cease to flow. For still some latent hope survived,

That Oscar might once more appear; His hope now droop'd, and now revived, Till Time had told a tedious

year. Days rolld along, the orb of light

Again had run bis destined race; No Oscar bless'd his father's sight,

And sorrow left a fainter trace. For youthful Allan still remain'd,

And, now, his father's only joy: And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd,

For beauty crowo'd the fair-hair'd boy.

She thought that Oscar low was laid,

And Allan's face was wondrous fair, If Oscar lived, some other maid

Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care. And Angus said, if one year more

In fruitless hope was pass'd away, His fondest scruple should be o'cr,

And he would name their nuptial day. Slow roll'd the moons, but blest at last,

Arrived the dearly destined morn; The year of anxious trembling past,

What smiles the lover's cheeks adorn! Hark to the Pibroch's pleasing note!

Hark to the swelling nuptial song! In joyous strains the voices float,

And still the choral peal prolong. Again the clan, in festive crowd,

Throng through the gate of Alva's hall;
The sounds of mirth re-echo loud,

And all their former joy recal.
But who is he, whose darken'd brow

Glooms in the midst of general mirth!
Before bis eye's far fiercer glow

The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth. Dark is the robe which wraps his form,

And tall his plume of gory red; His voice is like the rising storm,

But light and trackless is his tread. 'T is noon of night, the pledge goes round,

The bridegroom's health is deeply quaft; With shouts the vaulted roofs resound,

And all combine to hail the draught. Sudden the stranger chief arose,

And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd; And Angus' cheek with wonder glows,

And Mora's tender bosom blush'd,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« Old man!» be cried, « this pledge is done,'

Thou saw'st 't was duly drunk by me, It hail'd the nuptials of thy son;

Now will I claim a pledge from thee. «While all around is mirth and joy,

To bless thy Allan's happy lol; Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy?

Say, wliy should Oscar be forgot ?» « Alas!» the hapless sire replied,

The big tear starting as he spoke; «When Oscar left my hall, or died,

This aged heart was almost broke. « Thrice has the earth revolved her course,

Since Oscar's form has blest And Allan is my last resource,

Since martial Oscar's death or flight.»

my sight;

« 'T is well,» replied the stranger stern,

And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye; Thy Oscar's fate I fain would learn;

Perhaps the hero did not die. « Perchance if those whom most he loved,

Would call, thy Oscar might return;

[ocr errors]

Perchance the chief has only roved,

For him thy Beltane' yet may burn.
« Fill high the bowl, the table round,

We will not claim the pledge by stealth,
With wine let every cup be crown'd,

Pledge me departed Oscar's health.»
« With all my soul,» old Angus said,

And filld his goblet to the brim;
« Here is to my boy! alive or dead,

I ne'er shall find a son like him,»
« Bravely, old man, this health has sped,

But why does Allan trembling stand?
Come, drink remembrance of the dead,

And raise thy cup with firmer haud.»
The crimson glow of Alan's face

Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue;
The drops of death each other chase,

Adown in agonizing dew.
Thrice did he raise the goblet high,

And thrice his lips refused to taste;
For thrice he caught the stranger's eye,

On his with deadly fury placed.
« And is it thus a brother bails

A brother's fond remembrance here?
If thus affection's strength prevails,

What might we not expect from fear?»
Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl;

« Would Oscar now could share our mirth!»
Internal fear appallid his soul,

He said, and dash'd the cup to earth. « 'T is he! I hear my murderer's voice,»

Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming Form;
«A murderer's voice!» the roof replies,

And deeply swells the bursting storm.
The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink,

The stranger's gone, amidst the crew
A Form was seen, in tartan green,

And tall the shade terrific grew.
His waist was bound with a broad belt round,

His plume of sable stream'd on high;
But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,

And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye.
And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild,

On Angus, bending low the knee;
And thrice he frowo'd on a Chief on the ground,

Whom shivering crowds with horror see.
The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole,

The thunders through the welkin ring; And the gleaming Form, through the mist of the storm, Was bornc on high by the whirlwind's wing. Cold was the feast, the revel ceased; Who lies

upon the stony floor?
Oblivion prest old Angus' breast,

At length his life-pulse throbs once more.
« Away, away, let the leech essay

the light on Allan's eyes;»
llis sand is done,-his race is run,

Oh! never more shall Allan rise! Beliane-Tree.- A Highland festival, on the ist of May, held near fires lighted for the occasion.

But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,

His locks are lifted by the gale, And Allan's barbed arrow lay,

With him in dark Glentanar's vale. And whence the dreadful stranger came,

Or who, no mortal wight can tell; But no one doubts the Form of Flame,

For Alva's sons knew Oscar well. Ambition nerved young Allan's hand,

Exulting demons wing'd his dart, While Envy waved her burning brand,

And pour'd hier venom round his heart, Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow :

Whose streaming life-blood stains his side? Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,

The dart has drunk bis vital tide. And Mora's


could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel :
Alas! that eyes, which beam'd with love,


the soul to deeds of Hell. Lo! sec'st thou not a lonely tomb,

Which rises o'er a warrior dead!
It glimmers through the twilight gloom;

Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bed.
Far, distant far, the noble grave,

Which held bis clan's great ashes, stood; And o'er bis corse no banners wave,

For they were stain'd with kindred blood. What minstrel grey, what hoary bard,

Shall Allan's deeds on harp-stri raise? The song is glory's chief reward,

Bul who can strike a murderer's praise? Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand,

No minstrel dare the theme awake; Guilt would benumb his palsied hand,

His harp in shuddering chords would break. No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse,

Shall sound his glories high in air, A dying father's bitter curse,

A brother's death-groan echoes there.

[ocr errors]


In looking over my papers, to select a few additional Poems for the

second edition, I found the following lines, which I had totally forgotten, composed in the summer of 1805, a short time previous to my departure from 11 - They were addressed to a young. school-fellow of hish rank, who had been my frequent companion in some rawbles through the neighbouring country; however be never saw the lines, and most probably never will. As, on a reperasal, I found them not worse than some other pioces in the collection, I have now published them, for the first time, after a slight revision.

D-R-T! whose early steps with mine have stray'd,
Exploring every path of Ida's glade,
Whom, still, affection taught me to defend,
And made me less a tyrant than a friend;
Though the harsh custom of our youthful band
Bade thee obey, and gave me to commandı

At every public school, the junior boys are completely subservient to the upper forms, till they attain a seat in the higher classes. From this state of probation, very properly, no rank is exempt; but after a certain period, they command, in turn, those who succeed.

preserve their

To me,

Thee, on whose head a few short years will shower The gift of riches, and the pride of power; Even now a name illustrious is thine own, Renown'd in rank, not far beneath the throne. Yet, D-r-1, let not this seduce thy soul, To shon fair science, or evade control; Though passive tutors,' fearful to dispraise The titled child, whose future breath may raise, Vies ducal errors with indulgent eyes, And wink at faults they tremble to chastise. When youthful parasites, who bend the knee To wealth, their golden idol, -not to thee! And, even in simple boyhood's opening dawn, Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawa: When these declare that pomp alone should wait Op one by birth predestined to be great; That books were only meant for drudging fools ; That e gallant spirits scorn the common rules ;» Brieve them noi,—they point the path to shame, And seek to blast the honours of thy name: Turn to the few, in Ida's early throng, Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong; Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth, Sone dare to raise the sterner voice of truth, Ask thine own heart! 't will bid thee, boy, forbear, For well I know that virtue lingers there. Tes! I have mark'd thee many a passing day, Bat now new scenes invite me far away ; Yes! I have mark'd within that generous mind, A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind: Al' though myself, by nature, haughty, wild, Whom Indiscretion haild her favourite child, Though every error stamps me for her own, And dooms my fall, I fajn would fall alone. Tbougli my proud heart no precept now can tame, I love the virtues which I cannot claim. T is not enough, with other Sons of power, To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour, To swell some peerage page in feeble pride, With long-drawn names, that grace no page beside; Then share with titled crowds the common lot, lo life just gazed at, in the grave forgot; While pought divides thee from the vulgar dead, Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head, The mouldering scutcheon, or the herald's roll, Thar sell emblazon'd, but neglected scroll, Where Lords, unhonourd, in the tomb may find One spot to leave a worthless name behind:There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults; A race with old armorial lists o'erspread, la records destined never to be read, Fain sould I view thee, with prophetic eyes, Exalted more among the good and wise ; A glorious and a long career pursue, As first in Rank, the first in Talent too; Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun, Not Fortune's minion, but ber noblest son.

Turn to the annals of a former day,-
Bright are the deeds thine earlier Sires display;
One, though a Courtier, liv'd a man of worth,
And call'd, proud boast! the British Drama forth."
Another view! not less renown'd for Wit,
Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit;
Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine,
In every splendid part ordain'd to shine;
Far, far distinguislid from the glittering throng,
The pride of Princes, and the boast of Song.2
Such were thy Fathers, thus

Not heir to titles only, but to Fame.
The hour draws nighi, a few brief days wiil close,

this little scene of joys and woes; Each knell of Time now warns me to resign Shades, where Hope, Peace, and Friendship, all were

Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue,
And gild their pinions as the moments flew;
Peace, that reflection never frown'd away,
By dreams of ill to cloud some future day;
Friendship whose truth let childhood only tell-
Alas! they love not long who love so well.
To these adieu! nor let me linger o'er
Scenes hail'd, as exiles hail their native shore,
Receding slowly through the dark blue deep,
Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep.
D-r-i! farewell! I will not ask one part
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart;
The coming morrow from thy youthful mind
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind.
And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year,
Since chance has thrown us in the self-same sphere,
Since the same senate, nay, the same debate,
May one day claim our suffrage for the state,
We leuce may meet, and pass each other by
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.

in future, neither friend nor foe,
A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe;
With thee no more again I hope to trace
The recollection of our early race;
No more, as once, in social hours, rejoice,
Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice.
Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught
To veil those feelings which, perchance, it ought;
If these, ---but let me cease the lengthen'd strain,
Oh! if these wishes are not breathed in vain,
The Guardian Seraph, who directs thy fate,
Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great.

1. Thomas S-k-lle, Lord B-k-st, created Earl of D-by James the First, was one of the earliest and brightest ornaments to the poetry of his country, and the first who produced a regalar drama..-ANDERSON's British Poets.

2 Charles S-klle, Earl of Desteemed the most acromplished man of his day, was alihe distinguished in the voluptuous court of Charles II., and the gloomy one of William III. He behaved with great gallantry in he sea-fight with the Dutch, in 3665, on the day previous to which be composed his celebrated song. His character has beun drawn in the highest colours, by Dryden, Pope, Prior, and Congrere. Vide Andrasox's British Poets,

" Allow me to disclaim any personal allusions, even the most distant: 1 merely mention, Generally, what is too often the weakbea ef preceptors.







ANIMULA! vagula, blandula,
Hospes, comesque, corporis,
Quæ nunc abibis in loca?
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos.

TRANSLATION. An! gentle, fleeting, wavering Sprite, Eriend and associate of this clay!

To what unknown region borne, Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight? No more, with wonted humour gay,

But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.

Ye Cupids, droop each little head,
Nor let your wings with joy be spread;
My Lesbia’s favourite bird is dead,

Whom dearer than her eyes she loved;
For he was gentle, and so true,
Obedient to her call he flew,
No fear, no wild alarm he knew,

But lightly o'er her bosom moved :
And softly fluttering here and there,
He never sought to cleave the air;
But chirrup'd oft, and free from care,

Tuned to her ear his grateful strain.
Now having past the gloomy bourne,
From whence he never can return,
His death, and Lesbia's grief, I mourn,

Who sighis, alas! but sighs in vain.
Oh! curst be thou, devouring grave!
Whose jaws eternal victims crave,
From whom no earthly power can save,

For thou hast ta'en the bird away: From thee my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow, Her swollen cheeks with weeping clow, Thou art the cause of all her woe,

Receptacle of life's decay.





Equal to Jove that youth must be,
Greater than Jove he scems to me,
Who, free from Jealousy's alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms;
That cheek, which ever dimpling glows,
That mouth from whence such music flows,
To him alike are always known,
Reserved for him, and him alone.
Ah! Lesbia! though 't is death to me,
I cannot chuse but look on thee;
But, at the siglat, my senses lly;
I needs must gaze, but gazing die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch'd to the throat, my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slighit support;
Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And life itself is on the wing;
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veild in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.

Ou! might I kiss those eyes of fire,
A million scarce would quench desire;
Still would I steep my lips in bliss,
And dwell an age on every kiss ;
Nor then my soul should sated be,
Still would I kiss and cling to thee:
Nought should my kiss from thive dissever,
Still would we kiss, and kiss for ever;
E'en though the number did exceed
The yellow harvest's countless seed;
To part would be a vain endeavour.
Could I desist?-ah! never-never.






I wish to tune my quivering lyre,
To deeds of fame, and notes of fire;
To echo from its rising swell,
How heroes fought, and nations fell;
When Atreus' sons advanced to war,
Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar;
But still, to martial strains unknown,
My lyre recurs to love alone.
Fired with the hope of future fame,
I seck some nobler hero's name;
The dying chords are strung anew,
To war, to war my harp is due ;

He who, sublime, in Epic numbers rolld,

And he who struck the softer lyre of love,
By death's unequal handi alike controll'd,

Fit comrades in Elysian regions move. The hand of Death is said to be unjust, or unequal, as Virgil was considerably older than Tibullus at his decease.


[ocr errors]

With glowing strings, the epic strain To Jove's great son I raise again; Alcides and his glorious deeds, Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds : All, all in vain, my wayward lyre Wakes silver notes of soft desire. Adieu! ye chiefs renown'd in arms! Adieu! the clang of war's alarms. To other deeds my soul is strung, And sweeter notes shall now be sung; My harp shall all its powers reveal, To tell the tale my heart must feel; Love, love alone my lyre shall claim, In songs of bliss, and sighs of flame.

FROM THE PROMETHEUS VINCTUS OF ESCHYLUS. Great Jove! to whose Almighty throne

Both gods and mortals homage pay,
Ne'er may my soul thy power disown,

Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall
In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall;
My voice shall raise no impious strain
'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.

How different now thy joyless fate,

Since first Hesione thy bride, When placed aloft in godlike state,

The blushing beauty by thy side, Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smiled, And mirthful strains the hours beguiled; The nymphs and Tritons danced around, Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove relentless frown'd.

Harrow, Dec. 1, 1804.


ODE III. I was now the hour, when Night had driven Her car half round you sable heaven; Bootes, only, seemed to roll His Arctic charge around the Pole; While mortals, lost in gentle sleep, Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep; At this lone hour, the Paphian boy, Descending from the realms of joy, Quick to my gate directs his course, And knocks with all his little force: My visions fled, alarm'd I rose; What stranger breaks my

repose ?» - Alas', replies the wily child, In faltering accents, sweetly mild, « A hapless infant here I roam, Far from my dear maternal bome; Oh! sbield me from the wintry blast, The mighly storm is pouring fast; No prowling robber lingers here, A wandering baby who can fear ?» I heard his seeming artless tale, I heard his sighs upon the gale; My breast was never pity's foe, But felt for all the baby's woe; I drew the bar, and by the light, Young Love, the infant, met my sight; His bow across his shoulders tlung, And thence his fatal quiver hung (Ab! little did I think the dart Would rankle soon within my heart); With care I tend my weary guest, His little fingers chill my breast; His glossy curls, bis azure wing, Which droop with nightly showers, I wring: His shivering limbs the embers warm, And now, reviving from the storm, Searce had he felt his wonted glov, Than swift he seized his slender bow: «l fain would know, my gentle host,» He cried, « if this its strength has lost; I fear, relax'd with midnight dews, The strings their former aid refuse :-) With poison tipt, his arrow flies, Deep in my tortured heart it lies: Theo loud the joyous urchio laugh'd, e My bow can still impel the shaft; T is firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it; Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it ?»


A PARAPHRASE FROM THE ÆNEID, LIB. 9. Nisus the guardian of the portal stood, Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood; Well skill'd in tight, the quivering lance to wield, Or pour his arrows through th' embattled field; From Ida torn, he left his sylvan cave, And sought a foreign home, a distant grave; To watch the movements of the Daugian host, With him Euryalus sustains the post : No lovelier mien adorn'd the ranks of Troy, And beardless bloom yet graced the gallant boy; Though few the seasons of his youthful life,

As yet a novice in the martial strife, | 'T was his, with beauty, valour's gift to share, A soul heroic, as his form was fair ; These burn with one pure flame of generous love, In peace, in war united still they move; Friendship and glory form their joint reward, And now combined, they hold the nighty guard. «What god,» exclaim'd the first, « instils this fire? Or, in itself a god, what great desire? My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppressid, Abhors this station of inglorious rest; The love of fame with this can ill accord, — Be't mine to seek for glory with my sword. Seest thou yon camp, with torches (winkling dim, Where drunken slumbers wrap each lazy limb? Where confidence and ease the watch disdain, And drowsy Silence holds her sable reign? Then hear my thought:-In deep and sullen grief, Our troops and leaders mourn their absent chief; Now could the gifts and promised prize be thine (The deed, the danger, and the fame be mine); Were this decreed-beneatli yon rising mound, Methioks, an easy path perchance were found, Which past, I speed my way to Pallas' walls, And lead Æneas from Evander's halls.» With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy, His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy: « These decus, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone ? Must all the fame, the peril be thine own?

« PoprzedniaDalej »