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SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
To that hoar pile* which still its ruin shows:
How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind,
To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!
Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind
In whose small vaults a Pigmy-folk is found,
Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows,
And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd
Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!
Hence, at each sound, imagination glows!
Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west
The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid:
Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,
Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here!
Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows!
Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade: Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,
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 aërial council hold.
But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,
On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting
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
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!
The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread
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! Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
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!
† Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are in terred.
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade ;‡ Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower,
And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's laid!
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;
For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time th' historic page. There, Shakspeare's self, with ev'ry garland crown'd, The scene of the following Stanzas is supposed to lie on the
THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen, In musing hour; his wayward sisters found,
Thames, near Richmond.
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,
* 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.
An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.
Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains attend!
Where'er Home dwells, on hill or lowly moor,
To him I lose, your kind protection lend,
And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my
IN yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave: The year's best sweets shall duteous rise, To deck its poet's sylvan grave.
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp || shall now be laid,
That he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds,
May love through life the soothing shade.
Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell, Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,
And oft suspend the dashing oar
To bid his gentle spirit rest!
Three rivers in Scotland.
Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to the Scotch poet, Drummond, at his seat of Hawthornden, within four miles of Edinburgh.
§ Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh University, which is in the county of Lothian.
The harp of Æolus, of which see a description in the Castle of Indolence.
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 "The Ruins of Rome," that capital having been the principal object of his journeyings. Of this work it may be said, that it contains many passages of real poetry, and that the strain of moral and political reflection denotes a benevolent and enlightened mind.
SILENT nymph, with curious eye!
Who, the purple evening, lie
On the mountain's lonely van,
Beyond the noise of busy man;
Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings;
Or the tuneful nightingale
Charms the forest with her tale;-
Come, with all thy various dues,
Come and aid thy sister Muse;
Now, while Phoebus riding high,
Gives lustre to the land and sky!
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose mossy cells
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose silent shade,
For the modest Muses made,
Dyer did not long survive the completion of his book. He died of a gradual decline in 1758, leaving behind him, besides the reputation of an ingenious poet, the character of an honest, humane and worthy person.
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill,
Sate upon a flowery bed,
With my hand beneath my head;
While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
Over mead and over wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
Till Contemplation had her fill.
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind,
And groves, and grottoes where I lay,
And vistas shooting beams of day.
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal:
The mountains round, unhappy fate!
Sooner or later, of all height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise:
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, What a landscape lies below! No clouds, no vapors intervene ; But the gay, the open scene Does the face of Nature show, In all the hues of Heaven's bow! And, swelling to embrace the light, Spreads around beneath the sight.
Old castles on the cliffs arise, Proudly towering in the skies! Rushing from the woods, the spires Seem from hence ascending fires! Half his beams Apollo sheds On the yellow mountain-heads! Gilds the fleeces of the flocks, And glitters on the broken rocks!
Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
Beautiful in various dyes:
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beach, the sable yew,
The slender fir that taper grows,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs.
And beyond the purple grove,
Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love!
Gaudy as the opening dawn,
Lies a long and level lawn,
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
Holds and charms the wandering eye!
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood,
And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;
Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
And with her arms from falling keeps;
So both a safety from the wind
On mutual dependence find.
"Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
And there the fox securely feeds;
And there the poisonous adder breeds,
Conceal'd in ruins, moss, and weeds;
While, ever and anon, there falls
Huge heaps of hoary moulder'd walls.
Yet Time has seen, that lifts the low,
And level lays the lofty brow,
Has seen this broken pile complete,
Big with the vanity of state;
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
Between the cradle and the grave.
And see the rivers how they run,
Through woods and meads, in shade and sun,
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,
Wave succeeding wave, they go
A various journey to the deep,
Like human life, to endless sleep!
Thus is Nature's vesture wrought,
To instruct our wandering thought;
Thus she dresses green and gay,
To disperse our cares away.
Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view!
The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
The woody valleys, warm and low;
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushing on the sky!
The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tower,
The naked rock, the shady bower;
The town and village, dome and farm,
Each give each a double charm,
As pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.
See on the mountain's southern side,
Where the prospect opens wide,
Where the evening gilds the tide ;
How close and small the hedges lie!
What streaks of meadows cross the eye!
A step methinks may pass the stream,
So little distant dangers seem;
So we mistake the Future's face,
Ey'd through Hope's deluding glass;
As yon summit soft and fair,
Clad in colors of the air,
Which to those who journey near,
Barren, brown, and rough appear;
Still we tread the same coarse way
The present's still a cloudy day.
O may I with myself agree,
And never covet what I see;
Content me with an humble shade,
My passions tam'd, my wishes laid;
For, while our wishes wildly roll,
We banish quiet from the soul:
"Tis thus the busy beat the air,
And misers gather wealth and care.
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
As on the mountain-turf I lie;
While the wanton Zephyr sings,
And in the vale perfumes his wings;
While the waters murmur deep;
While the shepherd charms his sheep;
While the birds unbounded fly,
And with music fill the sky,
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;
In vain you search the domes of Care!
Grass and flowers Quiet treads,
On the meads, and mcuntain-heads,
Along with Pleasure, close allied,
Ever by each other's side;
And often, by the murmuring rill,
Hears the thrush, while all is still,
Within the groves of Grongar Hill.
THE RUINS OF ROME.
Aspice murorum moles, præruptaque saxa,
Obrutaque horrenti vesta theatra situ :
Hæc sunt Roma. Viden' velut ipsa cadavera tantæ
Urbis adhuc spirent imperiosa minas?
ENOUGH of Grongar and the shady dales
Of winding Towy: Merlin's fabled haunt
I sing inglorious. Now the love of arts,
And what in metal or in stone remains
Of proud antiquity, through various realms
And various languages and ages fam'd,
Bears me remote, o'er Gallia's woody bounds,
O'er the cloud-piercing Alps remote; beyond
The vale of Arno purpled with the vine,
Beyond the Umbrian and Etruscan hills,
To Latium's wide champain, forlorn and waste,
Where yellow Tiber his neglected wave
Mournfully rolls. Yet once again, my Muse,
Yet once again, and soar a loftier flight;
Lo, the resistless theme, imperial Rome.
Fall'n, fall'n, a silent heap; her heroes all
Sunk in their urns; behold the pride of pomp,
The throne of nations fall'n; obscur'd in dust;
E'en yet majestical: the solemn scene
Elates the soul, while now the rising Sun
Flames on the ruins in the purer air
Towering aloft, upon the glittering plain,
Like broken rocks, a vast circumference:
Rent palaces, crush'd columns, rifled moles,
Fanes roll'd on fanes, and tombs on buried tombs.
And intermingling vines; and figur'd nymphs,
Floras and Chloes of delicious mould,
Cheering the darkness; and deep empty tombs,
And dells, and mouldering shrines, with old decay
Rustic and green, and wide-embowering shades,
Shot from the crooked clefts of nodding towers.
A solemn wilderness! with error sweet,
Of Cæsar raptur'd with the charm of rule
And boundless fame; impatient for exploits,
His eager eyes upcast, he soars in thought
Above all height: and his own Brutus see,
Desponding Brutus, dubious of the right,
In evil days, of faith, of public weal,
Solicitous and sad. Thy next regard
Be Tully's graceful attitude; uprais'd,
His outstretch'd arm he waves, in act to speak
Before the silent masters of the world,
And Eloquence arrays him. There behold,
Prepar'd for combat in the front of war,
The pious brothers; jealous Alba stands
In fearful expectation of the strife,
Deep lies in dust the Theban obelisk
Immense along the waste; minuter art,
Gliconian forms, or Phidian subtly fair,
O'erwhelming; as th' immense Leviathan
The finny brood, when near Ierne's shore
Outstretch'd, unwieldy, his island-length appears
Above the foamy flood. Globose and huge,
Grey mouldering temples swell, and wide o'ercast
The solitary landscape, hills and woods,
And boundless wilds; while the vine-mantled brows Pompey superb, the spirit-stirring form
The pendent goats unveil, regardless they
Of hourly peril, though the clefted domes
Tremble to every wind. The pilgrim oft
At dead of night, 'mid his orison hears
Aghast the voice of Time, disparting towers,
Tumbling all precipitate down-dash'd,
Rattling around, loud-thundering to the Moon;
While murmurs soothe each awful interval
Of ever-falling waters; shrouded Nile,
Eridanus, and Tiber with his twins,
And palmy Euphrates* they with drooping locks
Hang o'er their urns, and mournfully among
The plaintive-echoing ruins pour their streams.
Yet here, adventurous in the sacred search
Of ancient arts, the delicate of mind,
Curious and modest, from all climes resort.
Grateful society! with these I raise
The toilsome step up the proud Palatin,
Through spiry cypress groves, and towering pine,
Waving aloft o'er the big ruin's brows,
On numerous arches rear'd: and frequent stopp'd,
The sunk ground startles me with dreadful chasm,
Breathing forth darkness from the vast profound
Of aisles and halls, within the mountain's womb.
Nor these the nether works; all these beneath,
And all beneath the vales and hills around,
Extend the cavern'd sewers, massy, firm,
As the Sibylline grot beside the dead
Lake of Avernus; such the sewers huge,
Whither the great Tarquinian genius dooms
Each wave impure; and proud with added rains,
Hark how the mighty billows lash their vaults,
And thunder; how they heave their rocks in vain!
Though now incessant time has roll'd around
A thousand winters o'er the changeful world,
And yet a thousand since, th' indignant floods
Roar loud in their firm bounds, and dash and swell,
In vain; convey'd to Tiber's lowest wave.
And youthful Rome intent: the kindred foes
Fall on each other's neck in silent tears;
In sorrowful benevolence embrace-
Howe'er, they soon unsheath the flashing sword,
Their country calls to arms;-now all in vain
The mother clasps the knee, and e'en the fair
Now weeps in vain; their country calls to arms.
Such virtue Clelia, Cocles, Manlius, rous'd:
Such were the Fabii, Decii; so inspir'd,
The Scipios battled, and the Gracchi spoke :
So rose the Roman state. Me now, of these
Deep musing, high ambitious thoughts inflame
Greatly to serve my country, distant land,
And build me virtuous fame; nor shall the dust
Of these fall'n piles with show of sad decay
Avert the good resolve, mean argument,
The fate alone of matter.-Now the brow
We gain enraptur'd; beauteously distinct
The numerous porticoes and domes upswell,
With obelisks and columns interpos'd,
And pine, and fir, and oak: so fair a scene
Sees not the dervise from the spiral tomb
Of ancient Chammos, while his eye beholds
Proud Memphis' relics o'er th' Egyptian plain :
Nor hoary hermit from Hymettus' brow,
Though graceful Athens in the vale beneath.
Along the windings of the Muse's stream,
Lucid Ilyssus weeps her silent schools,
Hence over airy plains, by crystal founts,
That weave their glittering waves with tuneful lapse,
Among the sleeky pebbles, agate clear,
Cerulean ophite, and the flowery vein
Of orient jasper, pleas'd I move along.
And vases boss'd, and huge inscriptive stones,
I wind the lingering step, where'er the path
Mazy conducts me, which the vulgar foot
O'er sculptures maim'd has made; Anubis, Sphinx
Idols of antique guise, and horned Pan,
Terrific, monstrous shapes! preposterous gods
Of Fear and Ignorance, by the sculptor's hand
Hewn into form, and worshipp'd; as e'en now
Blindly they worship at their breathless mouthst
In varied appellations: men to these
(From depth to depth in darkening error fall'n)
At length ascrib'd th' inapplicable name.
How doth it please and fill the memory
With deeds of brave renown, while on each hand
Historic urns and breathing statues rise,
And speaking busts! Sweet Scipio, Marius stern,
† Several statues of the Pagan gods have been convert. ed into images of saints.
↑ From the Palatin hill one sees most of the remarkable antiquities.