Obrazy na stronie

At length young Allan join'd the bride,

Why comes not Oscar?» Angus said; « Is he not here?» the youth replied,

« With me he 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 seldom 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 fly,
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 not o'er the plain.
Three days, three sleepless nights, the chief
For Oscar search'd each mountain cave;
Then hope 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 whiten'd bones must lie;
Then, grant, thou God! I ask no more,
With him his frantic sire may die.

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Yet, he may live-away despair; Be calm, my soul! he yet may live; Tarraign 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 hope of Alva's age is o'er;

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

Till Time, 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 roll'd along, the orb of light Again had run his 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 crown'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'er,
And he would name their nuptial day.
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.

Slow roll'd the moons,

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 his 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.

« Old man!» he 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 lot;
Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy?
Say, why 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 my sight;
And Allan is my last resource,

Since martial Oscar's death or flight.»

«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;


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 fill'd his goblet to the brim; « Here's 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 Allan'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 hails

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 appall'd 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 frown'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 borne 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

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

Oh! never more shall Allan rise! Beltane-Tree.-A Highland festival, on the 1st 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 her 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 his vital tide.

And Mora's eye could Allan move,

She bade his wounded pride rebel: Alas! that eyes, which beam'd with love, Should urge the soul to deeds of Hell.

Lo! see'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 his clan's great ashes, stood;
And o'er his corse no banners wave,

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

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

But 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.


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 previons to my departure from H. They were addressed to a young school-fellow of high rank, who had been my frequent companion in some rambles through the neighbouring country; however be never saw the lines, and most probably never will. As, on a reperusal, I found them not worse than some other pieces 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 command1

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.


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-t, let not this seduce thy soul,
To shun fair science, or evade control;
Though passive tutors,' fearful to dispraise
The titled child, whose future breath may
View 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 fawn:
When these declare that pomp alone should wait
On one by birth predestined to be great;
That books were only meant for drudging fools;
That gallant spirits scorn the common rules;>>
Believe them not, 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;
Orif, amidst the comrades of thy youth,
None 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,
But now new scenes invite me far away;
Yes! I have mark'd within that generous mind,
A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind:
Ah! though myself, by nature, haughty, wild,
Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite child,
Though every error stamps me for her own,
And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone.
Though my proud heart no precept now can tame,

I love the virtues which I cannot claim.

Tis 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, | In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot;

While nought divides thee from the vulgar dead,
Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head,
The mouldering scutcheon, or the herald's roll,
That well emblazon'd, but neglected scroll,
Where Lords, unhonour'd, 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,
In records destined never to be read.
Fain would 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 her noblest son.

Allow me to disclaim any personal allusions, even the most distant: I merely mention, generally, what is too often the weakses of preceptors.

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 distinguish'd from the glittering throng,
The pride of Princes, and the boast of Song,
Such were thy Fathers, thus preserve their name,
Not heir to titles only, but to Fame.

The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close,
To me, 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-t! 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 hence may meet, and pass each other by
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.
For me, 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 feclings 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.

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

2 Charles S-k-lle, Earl of D, esteemed the most accomplished man of his day, was alike distinguished in the voluptuous court of Charles II., and the gloomy one of William III. He behaved with great gallantry in the sea-fight with the Dutch, in 1665, on the day previous to which be composed his celebrated song. His character has been drawn in the highest colours, by Dryden, Pope, Prior, and Congreve. Vide ANDERSON's British Poets,






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


An! gentle, fleeting, wavering Sprite, Friend 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.



EQUAL to Jove that youth must be,
Greater than Jove he seems 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 sight, my senses fly;
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 slight 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 veil'd in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.




HE who, sublime, in Epic numbers roll'd,
And he who struck the softer lyre of love,
By death's unequal hand1 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 Tibullas at his decease.



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 sighs, 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 glow, Thou art the cause of all her woe, Receptacle of life's decay.



OH! 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 thine 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 seek some nobler hero's name;
The dying chords are strung anew,
To war, to war my harp is due;

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, songs of bliss, and sighs of flame.



Twas 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 blest repose?»>
Alas!» replies the wily child,
In faltering accents, sweetly mild,
« A hapless infant here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home;
Oh! shield me from the wintry blast,
The mighty 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 flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung
(Ah! 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, his azure wing,

Which droop with nightly showers, I wring:
His shivering limbs the embers warm,
And now, reviving from the storm,
Scarce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow:
I 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:
Then loud the joyous urchin laugh'd,
My bow can still impel the shaft;
Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;
Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?»>

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NISUS the guardian of the portal stood,
Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood;
Well skill'd in fight, 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 Daunian 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 in war united still they move;
Friendship and glory form their joint reward,
And now combined, they hold the nightly guard.
« What god,» exclaim'd the first, « instils this fire?
Or, in itself a god, what great desire?

My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd,
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 twinkling 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-beneath yon rising mound,
Methinks, an easy path perchance were found,
Which past, I speed my way to Pallas' walls,
And lead Eueas from Evander's halls.>>
With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy,
His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy:

<< These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone?
Must all the fame, the peril be thine own?

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