« EelmineJätka »
E'en yet preserv'd, how often may'st thou hear, Where to the Pole the Boreal mountains run, Taught by the father, to his listening son; Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-color❜d vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented grave; Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel,
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny
And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's arms.
'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer, Lodg'd in the wintry cave with Fate's fell spear, Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells: How they, whose sight such dreary dreams engross, With their own vision oft astonish'd droop; When, o'er the watery strath, or quaggy moss, They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop. Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Their destin'd glance some fated youth descry, Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigor seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die. For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair. They know what spirit brews the stormful day, And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
In the first year of the first George's reign,
Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crown'd! They rav'd! divining through their second-sight, Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drown'd!
Illustrious William! Britain's guardian name!
But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast broke,
To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke!
* By young Aurora, Collins undoubtedly meant the first appearance of the northern lights, which happened about the year 1715; at least, it is most highly probable, from this peculiar circumstance, that no ancient writer whatever has taken any notice of them, nor even any one modern, previous to the above period.
† Second-sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.
These, too, thou 'lt sing! for well thy magic Muse
Let not dank Will mislead you to the heath:
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light;
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen, Far from his flocks, and smoking hamlet, then! To that sad spot where hums the sedgy weed: On him, enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood,
Shall never look with pity's kind concern, But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return! Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape,
To some dim hill that seems uprising near, To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape,
In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear. Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise,
Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force,
And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse!
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way;
Her travell'd limbs in broken slumbers steep, With drooping willows drest, his mournful sprite Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand, Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep:
Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek, And with his blue-swoln face before her stand,
And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: "Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,
At dawn or dusk, industrious as before; Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew, Drown'd by the Kelpie's wrath, nor e'er shall aid While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore,
Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which spring
From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle,
§ A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lantern, &c. It hovers in The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pre- the air over marshy and fenny places. tender at the battle of Culloden.
To that hoar pile* which still its ruin shows:
In whose small vaults a Pigmy-folk is found, Whose bores the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd ground!
Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade :
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power, In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aerial council hold.
But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,
How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind,
Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!
Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here! Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows! Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and clear,
And fills the impassion'd heart, and wins th' harmonious ear!
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail!
Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away, Are by smooth Anan fill'd, or past'ral Tay, Or Don's romantic springs, at distance, hail!
On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread
Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides. Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace! Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,
And all their prospect but the wintry main. With sparing temperance at the needful time
They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-prest, Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,
And of its eggs despoil the solan's nest. Thus blest in primal innocence they live,
Suffic'd and happy with that frugal fare Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare; Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!
Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes en
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest; For not alone they touch the village breast,
But fill'd in elder time th' historic page.
Your lowly glenst o'erhung with spreading broom; Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led;
Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom!
Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore
THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
There, Shakspeare's self, with ev'ry garland crown'd, The scene of the following Stanzas is supposed to lie on the
Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,
In musing hour; his wayward sisters found,
And with their terrors dress'd the magic scene. From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast!
The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line
Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told,
Could once so well my answering bosom pierce; Proceed, in forceful sounds, and color bold,
The native legends of thy land rehearse; To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse. In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to Nature true, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view, Th' heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art. How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd! When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd sword!
*One of the Hebrides is called the Isle of Pigmies; where it is reported that several miniature bones of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel there.
† Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are in
An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.
Thames, near Richmond.
And oft as Ease and Health retire
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,
Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!
* Mr. Thomson was buried in Richmond church.
And see, the fairy valleys fade,
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view! Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek Nature's child, again adieu!
The genial meadst assign'd to bless
Long, long, thy stone, and pointed clay Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes, "O! vales, and wild woods," shall he say, "In yonder grave you. Druid lies!"
MT min esided thighb hot `. and some time before his death
JOHN DYER, an agreeable poet, was the son of a His health being now in a delicate state, he was solicitor at Aberglasney, in Carmarthenshire, where advised by his friends to take orders; and he was he was born in 1700. He was brought up at West- accordingly ordained by Dr. Thomas, Bishop of minster-school, and was designed by his father for his Lincoln; and, entering into the married state, he own profession; but being at liberty, in consequence sat down on a small living in Leicestershire. This of his father's death, to follow his own inclination, he exchanged for one in Lincolnshire; but the fenny he indulged what he took for a natural taste in country in which he was placed did not agree with painting, and entered as pupil to Mr. Richardson. his health, and he complained of the want of books After wandering for some time about South Wales and company. In 1757, he published his largest and the adjacent counties as an itinerant artist, he work, "The Fleece," a didactic poem, in four books, appeared convinced that he should not attain to of which the first part is pastoral, the second meeminence in that profession. In 1727, he first made chanical, the third and fourth historical and geohimself known as a poet, by the publication of his graphical. This poem has never been very popu"Grongar Hill," descriptive of a scene afforded by lar, many of its topics not being well adapted to his native country, which became one of the most poetry; yet the opinions of critics have varied popular pieces of its class, and has been admitted concerning it. It is certain that there are many into numerous collections. Dyer then travelled to pleasing, and some grand and impressive passages Italy, still in pursuit of professional improvement; in the work; but, upon the whole, the general and if he did not acquire this in any considerable feeling is, that the length of the performance degree, he improved his poetical taste, and laid in a necessarily imposed upon it a degree of tediousstore of new images. These he displayed in a poem ness. of some length, published in 1740, which he entitled Dyer did not long survive the completion of his "The Ruins of Rome," that capital having been the book. He died of a gradual decline in 1758, leavprincipal object of his journeyings. Of this work ing behind him, besides the reputation of an ingeniit may be said, that it contains many passages of ous poet, the character of an honest, humane and real poetry, and that the strain of moral and politi-worthy person.
cal reflection denotes a benevolent and enlightened
SILENT nymph, with curious eye!
Draw the landscape bright and strong;
For the modest Muses made,
So oft I have, he evening still,
While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
The mountains round, unhappy fate!
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads;
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen hill.
Now, I gain the mountain's brow,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs.
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
But transient is the smile of Fate!
A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have
And see the rivers how they run,
Ever charming, ever new,
The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tower,
The town and village, dome and farm,
See on the mountain's southern side,
O may I with myself agree,
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
Be full, ye courts; be great who will; Search for Peace with all your skill: Open wide the lofty door,
Seek her on the marble floor.
In vain you search, she is not there;
THE RUINS OF ROME.
Aspice murorum moles, præruptaque saxa,
ENOUGH of Grongar and the shady dales