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Now, from the soporific scene
I'll turn mine eye, as night grows later,
The studious sons of Alma Mater.
The candidate for college prizes
Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
With all the honours of his college,
Thus seek's unprofitable knowledge;
To scan, precisely, metres Attic,
In solving problems mathematic;
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle,
In barbarous Latin3 doom'd to wrangle; 'The Diable Boiteux of LE SAGE, where Asmodeus, the demon, places Don Cleofas on an elevated situation, and unroofs the houses for his inspection.
Renouncing every pleasing page
From authors of historic use; Preferring to the letter'd sage
The square of the hypothenuse.' Still, harmless are these occupations,
That hurt none but the hapless student, Compared with other recreations,
Which bring together the imprudent; Whose daring revels shock the sight,
When vice and infamy combine, When drunkenness and dice unite,
And every sense is steep'd in wine. Not so the methodistic crew,
Who plans of reformation lay: In humble attitude they sue,
And for the sins of others pray. Forgetting that their pride of spirit,
Their exultation in their trial, Detracts most largely from the merit
Of all their boasted self-denial. 'Tis morn,-from these I turn my sight:
What scene is this which meets the eye? A numerous crowd, array'd in white,"
Across the green in numbers fly.
Loud rings, in air, the chapel bell;
'Tis hush'd: What sounds are these I hear? The organ's soft celestial swell
Rolls deeply on the listening ear.
To this is joined the sacred song,
The royal minstrel's hallow'd strain; Though he who hears the music long
Will never wish to hear again. Our choir would scarcely be excused, Even as a band of raw beginners; All mercy, now, must be refused
To such a set of croaking sinners. If David, when his toils were ended,
To us his psalms had ne'er descended,
* Sele's publication on Greek metres displays considerable talent and ingenuity, but, as might be expected in so difficult a work, is not remarkable for accuracy.
'The Latin of the schools is of the CANINE SPECIES, and not very angle. intelligible.
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
In furious mood he would have tore 'em.
The luckless Israelites, when taken
By some inhuman tyrant's order, Were ask'd to sing, by joy forsaken, On Babylonian river's border.
Oh! had they sung in notes like these,
But, if I scribble longer now,
The deuce a soul will stay to read; My pen is blunt, my ink is low,
'T is almost time to stop indeed. Therefore, farewell, old GRANTA's spires, No more like Cleofas, I fly; No more thy theme my Muse inspires, The reader's tired, and so am I.
On a Saint day the students wear surplices in chapel.
The discovery of Pythagoras, that the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled tri
LACHIN Y GAIR.
LACHIN Y GAIR, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Locn NA GARR, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain; be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our Caledonian Alps. Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to the following Stanzas.
AWAY, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Round their white summits though elements war, Though cataracts foam, 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.
<< Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale ?» Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind o'er his own Highland vale: Round Loch na Garr, while the stormy mist gathers, Wiater presides in his cold icy car;
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.
<< Ill-starr'd, though brave, did no visions foreboding Tell you that Fate had forsaken your cause?»> Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden, 3
Victory crown'd not your fall with applause: Still were you happy, in death's early slumber
You rest with your clan, in the caves of Braemar ; 4 The Pibroch resounds to the piper's loud number
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr. Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you; Years must elapse ere I tread you again; Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you, Yet, still, are you dearer than Albion's plain. England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved on the mountains afar; Oh! for the crags that are wild and majestic,
The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr ! This word is erroneously pronounced PLAD: the proper pronunciation (according to the Scotch) is shown by the orthography.
2 I allude here to my maternal ancestors, the GORDONA, many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the STEWARTS. George, the second Earl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stewart, daughter of James the First of Scotland; by her he left four sons: the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors.
3 Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden I am not certain; but as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, pars pro toto.»
4 A tract of the Highlands so called; there is also a Castle of Braemar.
And must we own thee but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend; Nor find a sylph in every dame,
A Pylades in every friend?
To mingling bands of fairy elves:
And friends have feelings for-themselves.
No more on fancied pinions soar:
And think that eye to Truth was dear,
And melt beneath a wanton's tear.
Far from thy motley court I fly,
And sickly Sensibility;
For any pangs excepting thine;
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine:
With cypress crown'd, arrayed in weeds,
To mourn a swain for ever gone,
But bends not now before thy throne.
On all occasions, swiftly flow;
It is hardly necessary to add, that Pylades was the companion of Orestes, and a partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Achilles and Patroc us, Nisus and Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to posterity as remarkable instances of attachments which, in all probability, never existed, beyond the imagination of the poet, the page of an historian, or modern novelist.
Years roll on years-to ages, ages yield—
Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed.
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace; Another HENRY' the kind gift recals,
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease. Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer,
He drives them exiles from their blest abode, To roam a dreary world, in deep despair,
No friend, no home, no refuge but their God. Ilark! how the hall, resounding to the strain,
Shakes with the martial music's novel din ! The heralds of a warrior's haughty reign,
High-crested banners, wave thy walls within.
Still, in that hour the warrior wish'd to strew
Self-gather'd laurels on a self-sought grave; But Charles' protecting genius hither flew,
The monarch's friend, the monarch's hope, to save. Trembling she snatch'd him3 from the unequal strife, In other fields the torrent to repel, For nobler combats here reserved his life,
To lead the band where godlike FALKLAND 4 fell. From thee, poor pile! to lawless plunder given,
While dying groans their painful requiem sound, Far different incense now ascends to heaven
Such victims wallow on the gory ground.
There, many a pale and ruthless robber's corse,
Graves, long with rank and sighing weeds o'erspread,
At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.
2 Newstead sustained a considerable siege in the war between Charles I. and his Parliament.
3 Lord Byron and his brother Sir William held high commands in the royal army; the former was General in Chief in Ireland, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Governor to James Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II. The latter had a principal share in many actions. Vide Clarendon, Hume, etc.
4 Lucius Cary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, was killed at the battle of Newberry, charging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment of cavalry.
Ilush'd is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre,
And sable Horror guards the massy door.
What satellites declare her dismal reign! Shrieking their dirge, ill-omened birds resort To flit their vigils in the hoary fane.
Soon a new morn's restoring beams dispel
And Nature triumphs as the tyrant dies.
He guides through gentle seas the prow of state Hope cheers with wonted smiles the peaceful realm, And heals the bleeding wounds of wearied Hate. The gloomy tenants, Newstead, of thy cells,
Howling resign their violated nest; Again the master on his tenure dwells,
Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptured zest. Vassals within thy hospitable pale,
Loudly carousing, bless their lord's return; Culture again adorns the gladdening vale,
And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn. A thousand songs on tuneful echo float,
Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees; And, hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note, The hunter's cry hangs lengthening on the breeze. Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake:
What fears, what anxious hopes attend the chase! The dying stag seeks refuge in the lake,
Exulting shouts announce the finish'd race.
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers-
Cherish'd affection only bids them flow;
Or gewgaw grottoes of the vainly great;
Thee to eradiate with meridian ray;
TO E. N. L. ESQ.
Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanas amico.
DEAR L-, in this sequester'd scene,
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye:
And still indulge my wonted theme. Although we ne'er again can trace,
In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore, Nor, through the groves of IDA, chase
Our raptured visions as before; Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion, And Manhood claims his stern dominion, Age will not every hope destroy, But yield some hours of sober joy. Yes, I will hope that Time's broad wing Will shed around some dews of spring; Put, if his scythe must sweep the flowers Which bloom among the fairy bowers, Where smiling Youth delights to dwell, And hearts with early rapture swell; If frowning Age, with cold control, Confines the current of the soul, Congeals the tear of Pity's eye, Or checks the sympathetic sigh, Or hears unmoved Misfortune's groan, And bids me feel for self alone; Oh! may my bosom never learn,
To sooth its wonted heedless flow,
But ne'er forget another's woe.
Still, may I rove untutor'd, wild, And, even in age, at heart a child.
Though now on airy visions borne,
To you my soul is still the same, Oft has it been my fate to mourn,
And all my former joys are tame, But, hence! ye hours of sable hue; Your frowns are gone, my sorrow 's o'er; By every bliss my childhood knew,
I'll think upon your shade no more. Thus, when the whirlwind's rage is past,
And caves their sullen roar enclose, We heed no more the wintry blast,
When lull'd by zephyr to repose. Full often has my infant Muse
Attuned to love her languid lyre; But now, without a theme to chuse,
The strains in stolen sighs expire; My youthful nymphs, alas! are flown; E is a wife, and C-- a mother, And Carolina sighs alone,
And Mary's given to another; And Cora's eye, which roll'd on me,
Can now no more my love recal;
And though the sun, with genial rays,
The aid which once improved their light, And bade them burn with fiercer glow,
Now quenches all their sparks in night; Thus has it been with passion's fires,
As many a boy and girl remembers, While all the force of love expires,
Extinguish'd with the dying embers.
But now, dear L-, 't is midnight's noon,
Has thrice perform'd her stated round, Has thrice retraced her path of light,
And chased away the gloom profound, I trust that we, my gentle friend, Shall see her rolling orbit wend Above the dear-lov'd peaceful seat, Which once contain'd our youth's retreat; And then, with those our childhood knew, We ll mingle with the festive crew; While many a tale of former day Shall wing the laughing hours away; And all the flow of soul shall The sacred intellectual shower, Nor cease, till Luna's waning horn Scarce glimmers through the mist of Morn.
Ox! had my fate been join'd with thine,
For then my peace had not been broken.
To thee, the wise and old reproving;
'T was thine to break the bonds of loving.
My heart no more can rest with any; But what it sought in thee alone,
Attempts, alas! to find in many. Then fare thee well, deceitful maid,
"T were vain and fruitless to regret thee; Nor hope nor memory yield their aid,
But pride may teach me to forget thee. Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures, These varied loves, these matron's fears,
These thoughtless strains to passion's measures,
If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd;
This cheek, now pale from early riot, With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet. Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
For nature seem'd to smile before thee; And once my breast abhorr'd deceit,
For then it beat but to adore thee.
But now I seek for other joys;
To think would drive my soul to madness; In thoughtless throngs and empty noise, I conquer half my bosom's sadness.
Yet even in these a thought will steal,
In spite of every vain endeavour; And fiends might pity what I feel, To know that thou art lost for ever.
I WOULD I were a careless child,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave. The cumbrous pomp of Saxon' pride Accords not with the free-born soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll. Fortune! take back these cultured lands, Take back this name of splendid sound! hate the touch of servile hands
I hate the slaves that cringe around:
1 Sassenagh, or Saxon, a Gaelic word signifying either Lowland or English.