Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

If, yet, thy gentle spirit hover nigh

The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie,
Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart,
A grief too deep to trust the sculptor's art.
No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep,
But living statues there are seen to weep;
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb,
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom.
What though thy sire lament his failing line,
A father's sorrows cannot equal mine!
Though none, like thee, his dying hour will cheer,
Yet, other offspring soothe his anguish here:
But who with me shall hold thy former place?
Thine image, what new friendship can efface?
Ah, none! a father's tears will cease to flow,
Time will assuage an infant brother's woe;
To all, save one, is consolation known,
While solitary Friendship sighs alone.

THE TEAR.

A FRAGMENT.

WHEN, to their airy hall, my Fathers' voice
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;
When, poised upon the gale, my form shall ride,
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side;
Oh! may my
shade behold no sculptured urns,
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns:
No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone;
My epitaph shall be my name alone:

If that with honour fail to crown my clay,
Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay;
That, only that, shall single out the spot,
By that remember'd, or with that forgot.

O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros Dacentium ortus ex animo: quater Felix in imo qui scatentem Pectora te, pia Nympha, sensit.

The lips may beguile,

With a dimple or smile,

But the test of affection 's a Tear.

1803.

Too oft is a smile

But the hypocrite's wile,

To mask detestation or fear;
Give me the soft sigh,
Whilst the soul-telling eye

Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear.

WHEN Friendship or Love
Our sympathies move;

When Truth in a glance should appear;

The man doom'd to sail, With the blast of the gale, Through billows Atlantic to steer;

1803.

Mild Charity's glow,
To us mortals below,

Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt,

Where this virtue is felt,

And its dew is diffused in a Tear.

GRAY.

As he bends o'er the wave,
Which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear.
The soldier braves death,
For a fanciful wreath,
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe,
When in battle laid low,

And bathes every wound with a Tear.
If, with high-bounding pride,
He return to his bride,

Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear,
All his toils are repaid,

When embracing the maid

From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.
Sweet scene of my youth,

Seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where love chased each fast-fleeting year,
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,

For a last look I turn'd,

But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear.

Though my vows I can pour, To my Mary no more,

My Mary, to Love once so dear;

In the shade of her bower,

I remember the hour,

She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

By another possest,

May she live ever blest,

Her name still my heart must revere; With a sigh I resign,

What I once thought was mine,

And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

Ye friends of my heart,

Ere from you I depart,

This hope to my breast is most near,

If again we shall meet,

In this rural retreat,

May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

When my soul wings her flight,
To the regions of night,

And my corse shall recline on its bier,
As ye pass by the tomb,
Where my ashes consume,

Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

May no marble bestow The splendour of woe, Which the children of vanity rear;

No fiction of fame

Shail blazon my name,

All I ask, all I wish, is a Tear.

1806.

AN OCCASIONAL PROLOGUE.

Delivered previous to the performance of « The Wheel of Fortune,» at a private theatre.

SINCE the refinement of this polish'd age
Has swept immoral raillery from the stage;
Since taste has now expunged licentious wit,
Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ;

[ocr errors]

!

Since, now, to please with purer scenes we seek,
Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek;
Oh! let the modest Muse some pity claim,
And meet indulgence though she find not fame.
Still, not for her alone we wish respect,
Others appear more conscious of defect;
To-night no veteran Roscii you behold,
In all the arts of scenic action old;
No COOKE, DO KEMBLE, can salute you here,
NO SIDDONS draw the sympathetic tear;
To-night, you throng to witness the debut
Of embryo actors, to the drama new.
flere, then, our almost unfledged wings we try;
Clip not our pinions ere the birds can fly;
Failing in this our first attempt to soar,
Drooping, alas! we fall to rise no more.
Not one poor trembler, only, fear betrays,
Who hopes, yet almost dreads, to meet your praise,

But all our Dramatis Persona wait,

la food suspense, this crisis of their fate.
No venal views our progress can retard,
Your generous plaudits are our sole reward;
For these, each Hero all his power displays,
Each timid Heroine shrinks before your gaze;
Surely the last will some protection find-
None to the softer sex can prove unkind;
Whilst Youth and Beauty form the female shield,
The sternest Censor to the fair must yield.
Yet should our feeble efforts nought avail,
Should, after all, our best endeavours fail,
Sull, let some mercy in
bosoms live,
your
And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive.

ON THE DEATH OF MR FOX.

The following illiberal Impromptu appeared in a Morning Paper.

Ova nation's foes lament on Fox's death,

Eat bless the hour when PITT resign'd his breath; These feelings wide, let Sense and Truth unclue, We give the palm where Justice points it due.

To which the Author of these Pieces sent the following Reply.

On! factious viper! whose envenom'd tooth
Would mangle still the dead, perverting truth;
What, though our «< nation's foes » lament the fate,
With generous feeling, of the good and great;
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name
Of him, whose meed exists in endless fame?
When PITT expired, in plenitude of power,
Though ill success obscured his dying hour,
Pity her dewy wings before him spread,
For noble spirits war not « with the dead,»
His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem gave,
As all his errors slumber'd in the grave;
He sunk, an Atlas, bending 'neath the weight
Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state;
When, lo! a Hercules, in Fox, appear'd,
Who, for a time, the ruin'd fabric rear'd.
He, too, is fallen, who Britain's loss supplied;
With him our fast reviving hopes have died:
Not one great people only raise his urn,
All Europe's far extended regions mourn.

These feelings wide, let Sense and Truth unclue, To give the palm where Justice points it due;>>

Yet let not canker'd calumny assail,

Or round our statesman wind her gloomy veil.
Fox, o'er whose corse a mourning world must weep,
Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep,
For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan,
While friends and foes alike his talents own;
Fox shall in Britain's future anuals shine,
Nor even to PITT the patriot's palm resign,
Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask,
For PITT, and PITT alone, has dared to ask.

STANZAS TO A LADY. With the Poems of Camoens. THIS Votive pledge of fond esteem, Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou'lt prize; It sings of Love's enchanting dream,

A theme we never can despise. Who blames it but the envious fool, The old and disappointed maid? Or pupil of the prudish school,

In single sorrow doom'd to fade.

Then read, dear girl, with feeling read,
For thou wilt ne'er be one of those;
To thee in vain I shall not plead,
In pity for the Poet's woes.

He was, in sooth, a genuine bard;

His was no faint fictitious flame; Like his, may love be thy reward, But not thy hapless fate the same.

TO M**

QH! did those eyes, instead of fire,

With bright but mild affection shine; Though they might kindle less desire,

Love more than mortal would be thine. For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,

Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam, We must admire, but still despair,

That fatal glance forbids esteem.

When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone,
She fear'd that, too divine for earth,

The skies might claim thee for their own. Therefore, to guard her dearest work,

Lest angels might dispute the prize, She bade a secret lightning lurk

Within those once celestial eyes. These might the boldest sylph appal,

When gleaming with meridian blaze; Thy beauty must enrapture all,

But who can dare thine ardent gaze!

'T is said, that Berenice's hair

In stars adorn the vault of heaven; But they would ne'er permit thee there, Thou wouldst so far outshine the seven.

For, did those eyes as planets roll,

Thy sister lights would scarce appear; Een suns, which systems now control, Would twinkle dimly through their sphere. 1806.

TO WOMAN.

WOMAN! experience might have told me,
That all must love thee who behold thee,
Surely, experience might have taught,
Thy firmest promises are nought;
But, placed in all thy charms before me,
All I forget, but to adore thee.

Oh Memory! thou choicest blessing,
When join'd with hope, when still possessing;
But how much cursed by every lover,
When hope is fled, and passion 's over.
Woman, that fair and fond deceiver,
How prompt are striplings to believe her!
How throbs the pulse, when first we view
The eye that rolls in glossy blue,
Or sparkles black, or mildly throws
A beam from under hazel brows!
How quick we credit every oath,
And hear her plight the willing troth!
Fondly we hope 't will last for aye,
When lo! she changes in a day.
This record will for ever stand,

« Woman! thy vows are traced in sand.»

[blocks in formation]

Untutor'd by science, a stranger to fear,

And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew, No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear,

Need I say, my sweet Mary, 't was centred in you? Yet it could not be love, for I knew not the name; What passion can dwell in the heart of a child? But, still, I perceive an emotion the same

As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild: Que image alone on my bosom impress'd,

I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new ; And few were my wants, for my wishes were blest, And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you. I arose with the dawn; with my dog as my guide, From mountain to mountain I bounded along, I breasted' the billows of Dee's rushing tide,

And heard at a distance the Highlander's song: At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose,

No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view, And warm to the skies my devotions arose,

For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you.

I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone,
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more;
As the last of my race, I must wither alone,

And delight but in days I have witness'd before.
Ah! splendour has raised but embitter'd my lot,

More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew; Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not forgot, Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you. When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky, I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen; 3 When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,

I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude scene; When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,

That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue, I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,

The locks that were sacred to beauty and you.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Full oft have we wandered through Ida together,
And blest were the scenes of our youth, I allow;
In the spring of our life, how serene is the weather!
But winter's rude tempests are gathering now.
No more with Affection shall Memory blending

The wonted delights of our childhood retrace;
When Pride steels the bosom, the heart is unbending,
And what would be Justice appears a disgrace.
However, dear S-, for I still must esteem you,
The few whom I love I can never upbraid,
The chance, which has lost, may in future redeem you,
Repentance will cancel the vow you have made.

I will not complain, and though chill'd is affection,
With me no corroding resentment shall live;
My bosom is calm'd by the simple reflection,

That both may be wrong, and that both should forgive.

You knew that my soul, that my heart, my existence,
If danger demanded, were wholly your own;
You knew me unalter'd, by years or by distance,
Devoted to love and to friendship alone.

You knew,—but away with the vain retrospection!
The bond of affection no longer endures;
Too late you may droop o'er the fond recollection,
And sigh for the friend who was formerly yours.

For the present we part,-I will hope not for ever,

For time and regret will restore you at last;

To forget our dissension we both should endeavour;

I ask no atonement, but days like the past.

TO MARY.

On receiving her picture.

Tars faint resemblance of thy charms,
Though strong as mortal art could give,
My constant heart of fear disarms,

Revives my hopes, and bids me live.
Here, I can trace the locks of gold,

Which round thy snowy forehead wave; The cheeks, which sprung from Beauty's mould, The lips, which made me Beauty's slave. Here, I can trace-▬▬▬ah no! that eye, Whose azure floats in liquid fire, Must all the painter's art defy,

And bid him from the task retire.

Here I behold its beauteous hue,

But where's the beam so sweetly straying? Which gave a lustre to its blue,

Like Luna o'er the ocean playing.

Sweet copy! far more dear to me,

Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, Than all the living forms could be,

Save her who placed thee next my heart.

She placed it, sad, with needless fear,

Lest time might shake my wavering soul, Unconscious, that her image, there,

Held every sense in fast controul.

Thro' hours, thro' years, thro' time, 't will cheer;
My hope, in gloomy moments, raise;
In life's last conflict 't will appear,

And meet my fond expiring gaze.

DAMÆTAS.

IN law an infant,' and in years a boy,
In mind a slave to every vicious joy,
From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd,
In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;
Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child,
Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;
Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool,

Old in the world, tho' scarcely broke from school:
Damætas ran through all the maze of sin,
And found the goal, when others just begin;
Even still conflicting passions shake his soul,
And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl;
But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
And, what was once his bliss, appears his bane.

TO MARION.

MARION! why that pensive brow?
What disgust to life hast thou?
Change that discontented air;
Frowns become not one so fair.
'T is not love disturbs thy rest,
Love's a stranger to thy breast;
He in dimpling smiles appears;
Or mourns in sweetly timid tears;
Or bends the languid eyelid down,
But shuns the cold forbidding frown.
Then resume thy former fire,
Some will love, and all admire;
While that icy aspect chills us,
Nought but cold indifference thrills us.
Wouldst thou wandering hearts beguile,
Smile, at least, or seem to smile;
Eyes like thine were never meant
To hide their orbs, in dark restraint;
Spite of all, thou fain wouldst say,
Still in truant beams they play.
Thy lips, but here my modest Muse
Her impulse chaste must needs refuse.
She blushes, curtsies, frowns,-in short she
Dreads, lest the subject should transport me;
And flying off, in search of reason,
Brings prudence back in proper season.
All I shall therefore say (whate'er
I think is neither here nor there),

Is that such lips, of looks endearing,
Were form'd for better things than sneering;
Of soothing compliments divested,
Advice at least 's disinterested;
Such is my artless song to thee,
From all the flow of flattery free;
Counsel, like mine, is as a brother's,
My heart is given to some others;
That is to say, unskill'd to cozen,
It shares itself amongst a dozen.
Marion, adieu! oh! prithee slight not
This warning, though it may delight not;
And, lest my precepts be displeasing
To those who think remonstrance teazing,
At once I 'il tell thee our opinion,
Concerning woman's soft dominion:

[ocr errors]

In law, every person is an infant who has not attained the age of twenty-one.

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

A TALE.

How sweetly shines, through azure skies, The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore, Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,

And hear the din of arms no more. But often has yon rolling moon

On Alva's casques of silver play'd, And view'd, at midnight's silent noon, Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd. And on the crimson'd rocks beneath,

Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow, Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,

She saw the gasping warrior low. While many an eye, which ne'er again

Could mark the rising orb of day, Turn'd feebly from the gory plain, Beheld in death her fading ray. Once, to those eyes the lamp of Love,

They blest her dear propitious light: But now, she glimmer'd from above,

A sad funereal torch of night.

Faded is Alva's noble race,

And grey her towers are seen afar; No more her heroes urge the chase,

Or roll the crimson tide of war. But who was last of Alva's clan?

Why grows the moss on Alva's stone? Her towers resound no steps of man, They echo to the gale alone.

And, when that gale is fierce and high,
A sound is heard in yonder hall,
It rises hoarsely through the sky,

And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall. Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,

It shakes the shield of Oscar brave; But there no more his banners rise,

No more his plumes of sable wave.

Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,

When Angus hail'd his eldest born; The vassals round their chieftain's hearth, Crowd to applaud the happy morn.

The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of Jeronymo and Lorenzo, in the first volume of The Armenian, or Ghost-Seer. It also bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of Macbeth..

They feast upon the mountain deer,

The Pibroch raised its piercing note; To gladden more their Highland cheer, The strains in martial numbers float. And they who heard the war-notes wild, Hoped that, one day, the Pibroch's strain Should play before the Hero's child, While he should lead the Tartan train. Another year is quickly past, And Angus hails another son;

His natal day is like the last,

Nor soon the jocund feast was done. Taught by their sire to bend the bow, On Alva's dusky hills of wind,

The boys in childhood chased the roe, And left their hounds in speed behind.

But, ere their years of youth are o'er,
They mingle in the ranks of war;
They lightly wield the bright claymore,
And send the whistling arrow far.
Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,

Wildly it stream'd along the gale;
But Allan's locks were bright and fair,

And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale. But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,

His dark eye shone through beams of truth; Allan had early learn'd controul,

And smooth his words had been from youth.

Both, both were brave; the Saxon spear,

Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel; And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,

But Oscar's bosom knew to feel. While Allan's soul belied his form,

Unworthy with such charms to dwell; Keen as the lightning of the storm,

On foes his deadly vengeance fell.

From high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame;
With Kenneth's lands to form her dower,
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came:
And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride,
And Angus on his Oscar smiled;
It soothed the father's feudal pride,
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child.
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.

See how the heroes' blood-red plumes,
Assembled wave in Alva's hall;
Each youth his varied plaid assumes,
Attending on their chieftain's call.

It is not war their aid demands,
The Pibroch plays the song of peace;
To Oscar's nuptials throng the bauds,
Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease.
But where is Oscar? sure 't is late:

Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame? While thronging guests and ladies wait, Nor Oscar nor his brother came.

« PoprzedniaDalej »