Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

Earl Barnard was of high degree,

And lord of many a lowland hind, And long for Ellen love bad he,

Had love, but not of gentle kind. From Moray's halls her absent hour

He watch'd with all a miser's care; The wide domain, the princely dower

Made Ellen more than Ellen fair. Ah wretch ! to think the liberal soul

May thus with fair affection part ! Though Lotbian's vales thy sway control,

Know, Lothian is not worth one heart. Studious he marks her absent hour,

And, winding far where Carron flows, Sudden he sees the fated bower,

And red rage on his dark brow glows. For who is he? _Tis Nithisdale!

And that fair form with arm reclin'd On his Tis Ellen of the vale,

'Tis she (O powers of vengeance !) kind. Should be that vengeance swift pursue ?

No—that would all his hopes destroy ; Moray would vanish from his view,

And rob him of a miser's joy. Unseen to Moray's halls he hies

He calls his slaves, his ruffian band, And, “ Haste to yonder groves,” he cries,

" And ambush'd lie by Carron's strand. 6. What time ye mark from bower or glen

A gentle lady take her way,
To distance due, and far from ken,

Allow her length of time to stray.
" Then ransack straight that range of groves -

With hunter's spear, and vest of green, If chance, a rosy stripling roves,

Ye well can aim your arrows keen.” And now the ruffian slaves are nigh,

And Ellen takes her homeward way: Thougb stay'd by many a tender sigh,

She can no longer, longer stay. Pensive, against yon poplar pale

The lover leans his gentle heart, Revolving many a tender tale,

And wondering still how they could part. Three arrows pierc'd the desert air,

Ere yet his tender dreams depart; And one struck deep his forehead fair,

And one went through his gentle heart.
Love's waking dream is lost in sleep

He lies beneath yon poplar pale;
Ah ! could we marvel ye should weep,

Ye maidens fair of Marlivale !
When all the mountain gales were still,

And the wave slept against the shore,
And the Sun, sunk beneath the hill,

Left his last smile on Lemmermore; Sweet Ellen takes her wonted way

Along the fairy-featur'd vale; Bright o'er his waye does Carron play,

And soon she'll meet her Nithisdale. She'll meet him soun--for at her sight

Swist as the mountain deer he sped; The evening shades will sink in night,

Where art thou, loitering lover, fled ?

10! she will chide thy trifling stay,
| E'en now the soft reproach she frames :
“ Can lovers brook such long delay?

Lovers that boast of ardent flames!"
He comes not-weary with the chase,

Soft Slumber o'er his eyelids throws
Her veil-we'll steal one dear embrace,

We'll gently steal on bis repose.
This is the bower-we'll softly tread-

He sleeps beneath yon poplar pale
Lover, if e'er thy heart has bled,

Thy heart will far forego my tale !
Ellen is not in princely bower,

She's not in Moray's splendid train;
Their mistress dear, at midnight hour,

Her weeping maidens seek in vain.
Her pillow swells not deep with down ;

For her no balms their sweets exhale:
Her limbs are on the pale turf thrown,

Press'd by her lovely cheek as pale.
On that fair cheek, that Aowing hair,

The broom its yellow leaf bath shed,
And the chill mountain's early air

Blows wildly o'er her beauteous head.
As the soft star of orient day,

When clouds involve bis rosy light,
Darts thro' the gloom a transient ray,

And leaves the world once more to night;
Returning life illumes ber eye,

And slow its languid orb unfolds
What are those bloody arrows nigh?

Sure, bloody arrows she beholds !
What was that form so ghastly pale,

That low beneath the poplar lay-
'Twas some poor youth " ah Nithisdale !"

She said, and silent sunk away.
The morn is on the mountains spread,

The wood-lark trills his liquid strain
Can mora's sweet music rouse the dead,

Give the set eye its soul again ?
A shepherd of that gentler mind

Which Nature not profusely yields,
Seeks in these lonely shades to find

Some wanderer from his little fields.
Aghast he stands and simple fear

O'er all his paly visage glides-
"Ah me! what means this misery here,

What fate this lady fair betides?”
He bears her to his friendly home,

When life, he finds, has but retir'd;
With haste he fraines the lorer's tomb,

For his is quite, is quite expir'd!
“ O hide me in my humble bower,"

Returning late to life she said;
“I'll bind thy crook with many a flower;

With many a rosy wreath thy head.
Good shepherd, haste to yonder grove,

And, if my love asleep is laid,
Oh! wake him not; but softly more

Some pillow to that gentle head.
“ Sure, thou wilt know him, sbepherd swain,

Thou know'st the sun-rise o'er the sea.
But oh! no lamb in all thy train

Was e'er so mild, so mild as he."

“ His head is on the rood-moss laid ;

Thy offspring are great Nature's-free, I did not wake his slumber deep

And of her fair dominion heirs ; Sweet sings the redbreast o'er the shade

Each privilege she gives to thee; • Why, gentle lady, would you weep?"

Know, that each privilege is theirs. As flowers that fade in burning day,

They have thy feature, irear thine eye, At evening find the dew-drop dear,

| Perhaps some feelings of thy heart; But fiercer feel the noon-tide ray,

And wilt thou their lov'd hearts deny When soften'd by the nightly tear;

To act their fair, their proper part ? , Returning in the Aowing tear,

The lord of Lothian's fertile vale, This lovely flower, more sweet than they, Ill-fated Ellen, claims thy hand; Found her fair soul, and, wandering near, Thou know'st not that thy Nithisdale The stranger, Reason, cross'd her way.

Was low laid by his ruffian-band. Found her fair soul-Ah ! so to find

And Moray, with unfatherd eyes, Was but more dreadful grief to know !

Fix'd on fair Lothian's fertile dale, Ah ! sure the privilege of mind

Attends bis human sacrifice, Can not be worth the wish of woe.

Without the Grecian painter's veil. On melancholy's silent urn

O married Love! thy bard shall own, A softer shade of sorrow falls,

Where two congenial souls unite, But Ellen can no more retur,

Thy golden chain inlaid with down, No more return to Moray's halls.

I'hy lamp with Heaven's own splendour bright; Beneath the low and lonely shade

But if no radiant star of love, The slow, consuming hour she'll weep,

O Hymen ! smile on thy fair rite, Till Nature seeks her last-left aid,

| Thy chain a wretched weight shall prove, In the sad, sombrous arms of Sleep.

Thy lamp a sad sepulchral light. “ These jewels, all unmeet for me,

And now has Time's slow wandering wing Shalt thou,” she said, “good shepherd, take; / Borne many a year unmark'd with speedThese gems will purchase gold for thee,

Where is the boy by Carron's spring, And these be thine for Ellen's sake.

Who bound his vale-flowers with the reed ? “ So fail thou not, at eve and morn,

Ah me! those flowers he binds no more; The rosemary's pale bough to bring

No early charm returns again; Thou know'st where I was found forlorn

The parent, Nature, keeps in store Where thou hast heard the redbreast sing. Her best joys for her little train. “ Heedful I'll tend thy flocks the while,

No longer heed the sun-beam bright Or aid thy sheperdess's care,

That plays on Carron's breast he can, Por I will share her humble toil,

Reason has lent her quivering light, And I her friendly roof will share."

And shown the chequer'd field of man. And now two longsome years are past

As the first human heir of Earth In luxury of lonely pain

With pensive eye himself survey'd, The lovely mourner, found at last,

And, all unconscious of his birth, To Moray's halls is borne again.

Sate thoughtful oft in Eden's shade; Yet has she left one object dear,

In pensive thought so Owen stray'd That wears Love's sunny eye of joy

Wild Carron's lonely woods among, Is Nithisdale reviving here?

And once, within their greenest glade, Or is it but a shepherd's boy?

He fondly fram'd this simple soug: By Carron's side, a shepherd's boy,

• Why is this crook adorn'd with gold ? He binds his vale-flowers with the reed; Why am I tales of ladies told? He wears Love's sunny eye of joy,

Why does no labour me employ, And birth he little seems to heed.

If I am but a shepherd's boy? But ah ! no more his infant sleep

“ A silken vest like mine so green Closes beneath a mother's smile,

In shepherd's hut I have not seen Who, only when it clos'd, would weep,

Why should I in such Vesture joy, And yield to tender woe the while.

If I am but a shepherd's boy? No more, with fond attention dear,

“ I know it is no shepherd's art She seeks th' unspoken wish to find;

His written meaning to impartNo more shall she, with pleasure's tear,

They teach me, sure, an idle toy, See the soul waxing into mind.

If I am bat a shepherd's boy. Does Nature bear a tyrant's breast ?

“ This bracelet bright that binds my armIs she the friend of stern Controul ?

It could not come from sheperd's farm; Wears she the despot's purple vest ?

It only would that arm annoy, Or fetters she the free-born soul ?

If I were but a shepherd's buy. Where, worst of tyrants, is thy claim

" And O thou silent picture fair, In chains thy children's breasts to bind ? That lov'st to smile upon me there, Gav'st thon the Promethean flame?

O say, and fill my heart with joy, The incommunicable mind ?

That I am not a shepherd's boy ”

Ah, lovely youth! thy tender lay

Yes, she is there ; from idle state May not thy gentle life prolong:

Oft has she stole her hour to weep; See'st thou yon nightingale a prey ?

Think how she ' by thy cradle sate,' The fierce hawk hovering o'er bis song?

And how she' fondly saw thee sleep'.' His little heart is large with love:

Now tries his trembling hand to frame He sweetly hails his evening star,

Full many a tender line of love ; And fate's more pointed arrows move,

And still he blots the parent's name, Insidious, from his eye afar.

For that, he fears, might fatal prore. 'he shepherdess, whose kindly care

O'er a fair fountain's smiling side Had watch'd o'er Owen's infant breath,

Reclin'd a dim tower, clad with moss, Must now their silent mansions share,

Where every bird was wont to bide, Whom time leads calmly down to death.

That languish'd for its partner's loss. “O tell me, parent if thou art,

This scene be chose, this scene assign'd What is this lovely picture dear?

A parent's first embrace to wait, Why wounds its mournful eye my heart

And many a soft fear fillid his mind, Why flows from mine th' unbidden tear >> Anxious for his fond letter's fate. “ Ah ! youth ! to leave thee loth am I,

The hand that bore those lines of love, Tho'l be not thy parent dear;

The well-informing bracelet boreAnd would'st thou wish, or ere I die,

Ah ! may they not unprosperous prove! The story of thy birth to hear ?

Ah! safely pass yon dangerous door! " But it will make thee much bewail,

" She comes not ;-can she then delay!” And it will make thy fair eye swe!l:"

Cried the fair youth, and dropt a tearShe said, and told the woesome tale,

" Whatever filial love could say, As sooth as sheperdess might tell.

To her I said, and call'd her dear." The heart, that sorrow doom'd to share,

« She comes-Oh! nomencircled round Has worn the frequent seal of woe,

"Tis some rude chief with many a spear, Its sad impressions learns to bear,

My hapless tale that earl has found And finds full oft its ruin slow,

Ab me ! my heart !- for her Ifear." But when that seal is first imprest,

His tender tale that earl had read, When the young heart its pain shall try,

Or ere it reach'd his lady's eye, From the soft, yielding, trembling breast,

His dark brow wears a cloud of red, Oft seems the startled soul to fly:

In rage he deems a rival nigh. Yet fed not Owen's-wild amaze

'Tis o'er--those locks that way'd in gold, In paleness cloth'd, and lifted hands,

That wav'd adown those cheeks so fair, And horrour's dread, unmeaning gaze,

Wreath'd in the gloomy tyrant's bold, Mark the poor statue, as it stands.

Hang from the sever'd head in air ! The simple guardian of his life

That streaming head he joys to bear Look'd wistful for the tear to glide ;

In horrid guise to Lothian's halls; But when she saw his tearless strife,

Bids bis grim ruffians place it there, Silent, she lent him one,- and died.

Erect upon the frowning walls. “No, I am not a shepherd's boy,”

The fatal tokens forth be drewAwaking from his dream, he said :

“Know'st thou these-Ellen of the vale ?" "Ah, where is now the promis'd joy

The pictur'd bracelet soon she knew, Of this ?--for ever, ever fled !

And soon her lovely cheek grew pale. “O picture dear!-for her lov'd sake

The trembling victim straight he led, How fondly could my heart bewail!

Ere yet her soul's first fear was v'er: My friendly shepberdess, O wake,

He pointed to the ghastly headAnd tell me more of this sad tale:

She saw—and sunk to rise no more. "O tell me more of this sad taleNo; thou enjoy thy gentle sleep!

* See the ancient Scottish ballad, called Gill And I will go to Lotbian's vale,

Morrice,
And more than all her waters weep."
Owen to Lothian's vale is fled-

Earl Barnard's lofty, towers appear-
"O! art thou there," the full heart said,

“ O art thou there, my parent dear ?"

[blocks in formation]

1“ My duteous praise each hour I pay, FABLE I.

For few the hours that I must live,

And give to him my little day,
THE SUN-FLOWER AND THE IVY | Whose grace another day may give.
As duteous to the place of prayer,

“When low this golden form shall fall. Within the convent's lonely walls,

And spread with dust its parent plain; The holy sisters still repair,

Tbat dust shall hear bis genial call, What time the rosy morning calls:

And rise, to glory rise again. So fair, each morn, so full of grace,

“To thee, my gracious power, to thee Within their little garden rear'd,

My love, my heart, my life are due ! The flower of Phæbus turn'd her face

Thy goodness gave that life to be; To meet the power she lov'd and fear'd.

Thy goodness shall that life renew. And where, along the rising sky,

“ Ah me! one moment from thy sight Her god in brighter glory burn'd,

That thus my truant-eye should stray ! Still there ber fond observant eye,

The god of glory sets in night! And there her golden breast she turn'd.

His faithless flower has lost a day.” When calling from their weary height

Sore griev'd the flower, and droop'd her head ; On western waves his beams to rest,

And sudden tears her breast bedew'd : Still there she sought the parting sight,

Consenting tears the sisters shed, And there she turn’d her golden breast.

And, wrapt in holy wonder, view'd. But soon as night's invidious shade

With joy, with pious pride elate, Afar his lovely looks bad borne,

“ Behold,” the aged abbess cries, With folded leaves and drooping head,

“An emblem of that happier fate Full sore she griev'd, as one forlorn.

Which Heaven to all but us denies. Such duty in a flower display'd

“ Our hearts no fears but duteous fears, The holy sisters smil'd to see,

No charm but duty's charm can move? Forgave the pagan rites it paid,

We shed no tears but holy tears And lov'd its fond idolatry,

Of tender penitence and love. But painful still, though meant for kind,

“ See there the envious world pourtray'd The praise that falls on Envy's ear,

In that dark look, that creeping pace! O'er the dim window's arch entwin'd,

No flower can bear the Ivy's shade;
The canker'd lvy chanc'd to hear.

No tree support its cold embrace.
And “See," she cried, “ that specious flower, " The oak that rears it from
Whose flattering bosom courts the Sun,

And bears its tendrils to the skies,
The pageant of a gilded hour,

Feels at his heart the rankling wound, The convent's simple hearts hath won! .

Alid in its poisonous arms he dies.” “ Obsequious meapness ! ever prone

Her moral thus the matron read, To watch the patron's turving eye;

Studious to teach her children dear, No will, no motion of its own!

And they by love, or duty led, 'Tis this they love, for this they sigh:

With pleasure heard, or seem'd to hear. "Go, splendid sycophant! no more

Yet one less duteous, not less fair, Display thy soft seductive arts !

(In convents still the tale is known) The flattering cline of courts explore,

The fable heard with silent care, Nor spoil the convent's simple hearts.

But found a moral of her own. “ To me their praise more justly due,

The flower that smil'd along the day, Of longer bloom, and happier grace!

And droop'd in tears at evening's fall; Whom changing months unalter'd view,

Too well she found her life display, And find them in my fond embrace.”

Too well her fatal lot recall. " How well,” the modest flower replied,

The treacherous Ivy's gloomy shade, “ Can Euvy's wrested eye elude

That murder'd what it most embrac'd, The obvious bounds that still divide

Too well that cruel scene convey'd Foul Flattery from fair Gratitude.

Which all her fairer hopes effac'd.

Her heart with silent horrour shook ;

With sighs she sought her lonely cell: To the dim light she cast one look;

And bade once more the world farewell.

Gliding o'er thy yielding mind,
Leave sweet serenity behind,
While all disarm'd, the cares of day
Steal thro' the falling gloom away?
Love to think thy lot was laid
In this undistinguish'd shade.
Far from the world's infectious view,
Thy little virtues safely blew.
Go, and in day's more dangerous hour,
Guard thy emblematic flower.”'

FABLE II.
THE EVENING PRIMROSE.
There are that love the shades of life,

And sbun the splendid walks of fame;
There are that hold it ruefal strife

To risk anıbition's losing game; That far from Envy's lurid eye

The fairest fruits of genius rear, Content to see thern bloom and die,

In Friendship's small but kindly sphere. Than vainer flowers tho sweeter far,

The evening Primrose shuns the day; Blooms only to the western star,

And loves its solitary ray. In Eden's vale an aged bind,

At the dim twilight's closing hour, On his time-smoothed staff reclined,

With wonder view'd the opening flower. " Il-fated Power, at eve to blow,"

In pity's simple thought he cries, " Thy bosom must not feel the glow

Of splendid suns, or smiling skies. “ Nor thee, the vagrants of the field,

The hamlet's little train behold; Their eyes to sweet oppression yield,

When thine the falling shades unfold. “ Nor thee the hasty shepherd heeds,

When love has fill'd his heart with cares, For flowers he rifles all the meads,

For waking flowers-but thine forbears. “ Ah! waste no more that beauteous bloom

On night's chill shade, that fragrant breath: Let smiling suns those gems illume !

Fair flower, to live unseen is death." Soft as the voice of vernal gales

That o'er the bending meadow blow, Or streams that steal thro'even vales,

And murmur that they move so slow :
Deep in her unfrequented bower,

Sweet Philomela pour'd her strain;
The bird of eve approv'd her flower,
And answered thus the anxious swain.

" Live unseen!
By moonlight shades, in valleys green,

Lovely flower, we'll live unseen.
Of our pleasures deem not lightly,
Laughing Day may look more sprightly, .

But I love the modest mien,

Still I love the modest mien Of gentle Evening fair, and her star-train'd

queen.
“ Didst thou, shepherd, never find,

Pleasure is of pensive kind ?
Hast thy cottage never known
That she loves to live alone?
Dost thou not at evening hour
Feel some soft and secret power,

FABLE III. THE LAUREL AND THE REED. The reed' that once the shepherd blew

On old Cephisus' hallow'd side,
To Sylla's cruel bow apply'd,

Its inoffensive master slew.
Stay, bloody soldier, stay thy hand,

Nor take the shepherd's gentle breath :
Thy rage let innocence withstand;

Let music soothe the thirst of death, He frown'd-he bade the arrow fly

The arrow smote the tuneful swain; No more its tone his lip shall try,

Nor wake its vocal soul again. Cephisus, from his sedgy urn,

With woe beheld the sanguine deed; He mourn'd, and, as they heard him mouin,

Assenting sigh'd each trembling reed. “ Fair offspring of my waves," he cried;

“That bind my brows, my banks adom, Pride of the plains, the river's pride,

For music, peace, and beauty born! “ Ah! what, unheedful bave we done?

What demons here in death delight?) What fiends that curse the social San?

What furies of infernal night? “ See, see my peaceful shepherds bleed!

Each heart in harmony that vy'd, Smote by its own melodious reed,

Lies cold, along my blashing side. “ Back to your urn, my waters, fly;

Or find in earth some secret way; For horrour dims yon conscious sky,

And Hell has issu'd into day." Thro' Delpbi's holy depth of shade

The sympathetic sorrows rap; While in his dim and mournful glade

The Genius of her groves began : “ In vain Cephisus sighs to save

The swain that loves his watry mead, And weeps to see his reddening wave,

And mourns for his perverted reed: “ In vain my violated groves

Must I with equal grief bewail, While desolation sternly roves,

And bids the sanguine hand assail.

" The reeds on the banks of the Cepbisus, of which the shepherds made their pipes, Sylla's soldiers used for arrows.

« EelmineJätka »