From the Times1863-01-2828 January 1863. On the 6th Inst at the Aged Governeſſes Asylum Kentish Town Miſs Dorothy Primrose Campbell aged 70. for many years an inhabitant of Shetland.
In the anxious wish to prevent any further disappointment as to the promised period of publication, the following Poems are issued before the necessary number of Subscribers’ names has been obtained: Miss Campbell therefore begs leave most respectfully to inform her Friends and the Public that these names will continue to be thankfully received by the following Booksellers:—
Messrs. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Browne; Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; and Sherwood, Neeley, and Jones; Paternoster-row:— Mr. Murray, Albermarle-street;— Mr. Chapple, Pall-Mall;— Messrs. Hookham and Sons, Bond-street;— Mr. E. Lloyd, Harley-street;— Mr. Carpenter, 314 Holborn;— Messrs. Cowie and Co. Poultry;—Mr. Richardson, and Mr. Chapple, Royal- Exchange, Cornhill;— Mr. Wilson, 45, Gracechurch-street;—Messrs. A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-street;— Messrs. Dean and Munday, 35, Threadneedle-street;— Mr. T. Blanchard, No. 14, City Road; London:—and Messrs. John Ballentyne and Co. Edinburgh.
As soon as the requisite number of names shall be procured, the remaining copies now on hand, will be punctually forwarded, and a new list of the Subscribers prefixed to each.
Subscription price 10s. 6d. to be paid on delivery of the work.
Printed for the Authoress;
and Published by
Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, Paternoster-Row. 18161816.
To Walter Scott, Esq. the following Poems are, with his kind permission, most humbly and respectfully inscribed, by Dorothea Primrose Campbell.
It is more from the frequency of the practice, than from any wish to obtrude herself upon the notice of the Public, that the Authoress of the following pages considers it necessary to attempt saying a few words by way of preface. To such, therefore, as may enquire the motives which have prompted her to appear in her present character, she begs leave to make this apology—that, deprived in early youth of a most beloved and affectionate parent, whose last days were clouded by undeserved and unforseen misfortunes, she has been actuated by no other view than the hope of alleviating the many deep distresses which his untimely and lamented death has entailed upon his afflicted family. To say more would be painful—she will only add, that not enjoying the advantages attached to happier situations in life, and having written the greater part of these poems under circumstances of severe domestic calamity, she would fain flatter herself with the consoling belief, that, having no ambition to gratify, and no presumption to answer for, the eye of criticism will be lenient in its judgment, and sparing in its scrutiny.
List of Subscribers.
- Mr. Richard Arnold, Merton Place, Walworth
- Mrs. Adie, Walls
- Dr. Adie, ditto
- His Grace the Duke of Buccleugh, 2 copies
- Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart. Pall Mall
- Mr. J. M. B. Buckingham
- Mr. Wm. Bromley
- Rev. Mr. Budsworth, High Laven, Essex.
- Mr. Bennett, Tewkesbury
- Mrs. Beaurain
- Mrs. Baker, Buckland House
- Miss Bolt, Lerwick, 2 copies
- Dr. Barland, R. N. 4 copies
- Rev. T. Case, A. B. Jesus’ College, Cambridge, 2 copies
- Mr. J. Creasy, Drawing Master, Greenwich
- Mr. Chater, Cornhill
- Rev. S. H. Cassan, A. B. Magdalen College, Oxford
- Mr. J. Clarke, Academy, Enfield
- Mr. P. Campbell, 23, Jewry Street, Aldgate
- Mr. J. Chappell, jun. Walworth
- Mr. E. Cook, Symond’s Inn
- Mr. William Henry Catman
- Mr. L. H. Cove, White Friars, 2 copies
- Mr. Richard Fredk. Coultart, Upper Thornhaugh-street
- Miss Coultart, ditto
- Major Dugald Campbell, Royal Artillery, Woolwich
- Mrs. Campbell, Cadogan Place
- Mr. A. Cheyne, Hillswick
- Mr. Cluness, North Isles
- Charlotte, Lerwick
- Capt. Cathcart, R. N. 2 copies
- Mr. Campbell, Royal Marines
- Capt. Campbell, R. N. 2 copies
- Miss Cragie, Leith
- Capt. Cator, R. N. 2 copies ii A7v ii.
- Mr. Chapman, Basinghall-st.
- Captain Archibald Campbell, Hon. E. I. C.’s Service, 6, Suffolk-street, Haymarket
- Mr. Donald Currie, 6, Haymarket
- Mr. S. Dobell, Cranbrook
- Miss R. E. Delannoys, Langdon
- Mr. Wm. Dallas, 6, Cumming Street, Pentonville
- Mr. Davenport, Rawstonestreet, Islington Road
- Miss M. Dudley, Camberwell
- Mr. Charles S. Dudley, ditto
- Mr. George Dudley, Islington
- Miss Davey, Clapham Common, 2 copies
- Mr. J. Davis, Shrewsbury
- Mrs. A Duncan, Lerwick
- Mrs. Earle, Kentish Town
- Arthur Edmondstone, M.D. Lerwick
- Mr. H. Finn
- Mr. Charles Fiest, Goldsmith’s Row, Hackney Fields
- Lieutenant Frazer, 93 Regt.
- Mr. I. Gall, 44, Weymouth-st.
- Mr. Gribble, Old Jewry
- Mr. Thomas Godfrey, 20, Houghton-street, Strand
- Mrs. R. G.
- Miss Goodchild, Tooley-street
- Mr. George Gregory, Middle Temple Lane
- Mr. Alex. Gordon, Strand
- Mrs. Gifford, Busta, 4 copies
- Mr. A. Grierson, Lerwick
- Mr. Gilbert Gandon, ditto
- Mr. Thomas Gifford
- Mrs. Grant, late of Duthell, 2 copies
- Major Grant, late of 97th Regiment, 2 copies
- Messrs. Guthrie and Tait, Edinburgh
- Mr. Richard Hatt, Author of the Hermit, Lyrics, &c.
- Miss Hopkinson, Doncaster
- Rev. John Harris, 57, Hatton Garden
- Mr. E. Hardy
- Mrs. Hilton, Gray’s Inn Coffee House
- Mrs. Haskoll, Newport, Isle of Wight
- Lady Hamley, Bodmin, Cornwall, 2 copies
- Mrs. Henderson, of Gloup, Edinburgh, 2 copies
- Mrs. Hay, Lerwick
- Mr. G. J. Lloyd’s Coffee House
- Mr. Thomas Irvine, Midbrake, Zetland
- Mr. Alexander Ledwick Irvine, Asylum for Deaf and Dumb, Kent Road
- Mrs. Jamieson, Lerwick
- Miss Kitmer, Swaffham, Norfolk
- Mr. Robert B. Kay
- Mr. J. Key, Abchurch Lane
- Mr. J. M. Lacey
- Mr. C. W. Lovill
- Mr. G. Linklater, Lerwick
- Mr. Leisk, Lunna
- Mr. Thomas Leisk, jun.
- Mr. James Lockyer, Tottenham Court Road
- Mr. W. Mill, 70, London Wall
- Mr. T. C. M. Stock Exchange
- Mr. R. M. Deptford
- Miss Murray
- Mr. Millard, 2, Alfred Place
- Mr. Duncan McNab, 3 copies
- Miss Macdonald, Albemarlestreet
- Capt. Donald Macpherson, 2d Garrison Battalion
- Colonel McDowall, 14, Suffolk-street, Haymarket
- Mrs. Monat, Gardy
- Mrs. Monat, Belmont
- Capt. Macdonnell, Gordon Hall, Aberdeen
- Mrs. Muir, Caldwell, Ayrshire
- Miss Eliza Mitchell, Camden Town
- Capt. McDermond, 6th Regiment, V. B. Fort George
- Capt. Gideon Nicolson, Royal Marines, Chatham
- Mr. A. Nicolson, Lochend, 4 copies
- Lieut. Gen. Robert Nicholson, York Place, Portman Square, 2 copies
- Mrs. Nicholson, ditto
- Miss Ann Newman, Peckham
- Mr. Thomas Newman, ditto
- Mr. C. Ogilvy, Lerwick
- Mr. S. Orchard, Coal Exchange, 2 copies
- ***** 3 copies
- Mr. John Parry, Berner’s-st. 2 copies iv A8v iv
- Mr. Wm. Palling, Kennington
- Mr. Page, Gray’s Inn Coffee- House
- Mr. A. Purse, 70, London Wall
- Mr. W. P. St. Swithin’s Lane
- Mr. John Pontifex, John-st. Bedford Row
- Miss Eliz. Pryor, Baldock
- Mr. Pollock, North Shields
- Mr. Phillips, R. N.
- Mrs. Pigue
- Miss Peake, Pitt-street, Old Thanet Road, Southwark
- Miss Renou, 33, Queen-street, Bristol
- Mr. John Rawlingson, New Place, Alresford
- Mrs. Robertson, Gossaburgh 2 copies
- Mr. G. Ross, Lerwick
- Miss Rosenberg, Lambeth
- Mr. Walter Scott, Castlestreet, Edinburgh, 4 copies
- Mr. J. Scott, jun. Scalloway
- Rev. T. W. Stoney, A. B. Jesus’ College, Cambridge
- Capt. D. Smith, Dock-House, Grand Surrey Canal
- Mr. J. Storer, Hoxton Square
- Mr. T. G. S. Custom-House
- Mr. Gilbert Sandison,
- Mr. G. Smith
- Miss Stone, Hastings
- Mrs. Stanley, Thayer-street, Manchester Square
- Mr. Wm. Spence, Lerwick
- Mr. S. Sturge, Newington- Butts
- Mr. Stephens, R. N.
- Mr. Smith, Quality Court, Chancery Lane
- Miss Eliza Tooth, Cranbrook
- Miss Ann Taylor, ditto
- Miss Eliza Taylor, ditto
- Mr. I. Turton, Liverpool
- Miss Tisdall, 2 copies
- Mr. Telfris, Edinburgh
- Capt. Tait, R. N.
- Mrs. Towers, 6, Warner’s-st. Clerkenwell
- Mr. S. Thompson, Walworth
- Mr. R. Tyerman, Ratcliff Cross
- Mr. Wm. Watson, Mabledon Place, Russell Square
- Mr. Hugh Wilson, 64, Aldermanbury
- Mr. Wainwright, 2 copies
- Mr. George Wood, Stock Exchange
- M. T. Williams, Hill-street, Finsbury
The Spirits of the Hill. The Inhabitants of Zetland suppose their hills to be haunted by certain fantastical beings, whom they denominate Bokies, and Fairy-folk, or Fairies: the former of whom are imagined to be spirits of Evil, and the latter spirits of Good.
It was on Burray’s seabeat Isle,
Where Fairies dwelt in days of yore,
That Richard’s lowly cottage stood,
Near where old Neptune’s briny flood
Loud dash’d the sounding shore.
Though Richard’s hair was blanch’d by time,
And Richard’s furrow’d cheek was pale,
Yet pity’s gentle pow’r he felt,
And still his kind old heart could melt
At sorrow’s tender tale.
To him in early youth were giv’n,
To soothe the many cares of life,
Two sons, dear objects of his love;
A daughter, gentle as the dove;
A fond industrious wife.
But, ah! tempestuous was the night
When on the distant stormy wave,
His sons, within their little bark,
Were driv’n amid the tempest dark,
And found a wat’ry grave.
Thy will, O Heav’nly Pow’r! be done;
The suffering father cried.
But, ah! beneath the killing stroke,
His faithful Jenny’s heart was broke,—
She sicken’d, droop’d, and died.
Oh! who shall paint the husband’s woe,
Or who the father’s anguish tell!
Now one dear pledge alone remain’d,
And still on earth his heart detain’d—
His ever lovely Belle.
She, milder than the breath of eve,
When the blue billows gently play;
And fairer than the Nereids bright
That dance upon the sands at night
To Cynthia’s silver ray:
To soothe his heart, to cheer his woes,
With tender love and filial care,
Her pious efforts yet were giv’n:
For him she lives, for him to Heav’n
She breathes the fervent pray’r.
And neat his little cabin seem’d,
Decked by the lovely maiden’s hand;
And still as age came stealing on,
His fading eye with pleasure shone,
Nor felt its with’ring hand.
One early morn the verdant grass
Glitt’ring with many a dew-drop lay;
The sun just rising from the wave,
To nature all his radiance gave,
And chac’d dun night away:
When from the deep and sound repose
That Labour’s wearied sons enjoy,
The aged Richard rais’d his head,
And rising from his peaceful bed,
Breath’d the pure air with joy.
Where is my Isabelle? he cried;
Oh! dearest daughter, hither haste!
Oh! come, my child, for now to Heav’n
Our orisons should first be giv’n;
The wonted hour is past.
Oh! come, my child, thy guiltless hands
With me in warm devotion raise;
With me for mercies past rejoice;
And let again thy softer voice
Resound thy Maker’s praise.
Slow, slow, the anxious morning past,
Nor yet the gentle maid was seen;
Trembling he search’d each fav’rite spot,
And ask’d at ev’ry neighb’ring cot
If there his child had been?
No one had seen the gentle maid;
And fruitless ev’ry effort prov’d
To stop his unavailing tears,
To still his bosom’s anxious fears,
And find the child he lov’d.
Now sober eve, in mantle grey,
Veil’d ev’ry scene in twilight’s gloom;
When, all his weary wand’rings vain,
He sought his lonely home again;
Mourning his hapless doom.
How chang’d, alas!—no daughter’s care
To smooth the restless couch of age;
No pious child’s endearing smile,
The woe-worn father to beguile,
And all his griefs assuage.
Now night, with her attendant stars,
Her drowsy empire ’gan to keep;
Waving her wand o’er Burray’s Isle,
She woo’d the sons of want and toil
To sweet repose and sleep.
And all were sunk in balmy rest,
When by his peat-fire’s dying gleam
The sighing Richard mourning sat,
Revolving o’er his fearful fate,
Renouncing hope’s wild dream!
By fits the trembling light was cast
Around on objects faintly seen,
When soft unlatch’d the cottage door,
And lighter footsteps press’d the floor,
Than earthly steps, I ween.
Advancing, thus the Spirit said:—
Old man! let grief no more annoy;
Pale victim of despair, arise,
And dry the tears that dim thine eyes;
Arise to life and joy!
Curse on thy dreams of heav’n and bliss,
Old dotard, with the locks of grey!
Then, while the rising tempests blow,
The spirit, mutt’ring vengeance low,
Flew on the winds away.
When night again her ebon wand
Wav’d over nature’s wide domain,
While deep her murky shadow low’rs
The Bokian monarch call’d his pow’rs,
And thus address’d the train:—
Shall we, oh chieftains! far renown’d,
And known on many a distant hill,
Be thus out-brav’d by vulgar swain?
How my breast swelling with disdain,
Dark thoughts of vengeance fill!
Go, quick your elfin shafts prepare,
His cow, his sheep, his dogs to slay;
Destroy each comfort of his age:
And this, the mandate of my rage,
Be done ere dawns the day.
The maid, in stony fetters bound,
By magic arts shall here remain,—
My love to deadly hate doth turn:
Here long confin’d, she’ll deeply mourn
Her obstinate disdain.
He spoke, and lowly to the ground
His abject slaves submissive bend:—
Great monarch, thou shalt be obey’d!—
When quick, each flutt’ring wing display’d,
The airy sprites ascend.
To where fair Isabelle forlorn,
Her pale cheeks bath’d in sorrow’s dew,
Sat in a cave, where jewels bright,
And glow-worms shed their mingled light,
The Bokian monarch flew.
Oh, peerless beauty! why thus drench
In such a silv’ry show’r of care,
Thy starry eyes, so heav’nly bright?—
No twinklers in the vault of night
May boast a beam so fair!
Match’d with thy cheeks’ celestial bloom,
The brilliant conch’s gay tints must fail;
Thy golden locks delight the view,
Thy lips are of the coral’s hue,
Thy breath like Arab’s gale.
Oh! dry these tears, and sweetly smile,
Nor grieve me thus with proud disdain;—
Oh, lovely mortal! share my throne,
My heart, my realms, are all thine own;
Their empress thou shalt reign!
Thy queen! base tyrant! know this heart
Will sooner ev’ry torture bear!
Hence! for thy flatt’ry ne’er can move;
Nor with thy base, detested love,
Again pollute mine ear!
Ha!—tremble then to dare my rage,
And turn my love to deadly hate;
In burning torturing chains confin’d,
Here thou remain’st!—but, yet be kind,
Nor rashly tempt thy fate.
Proud tyrant! all thy magic charms,
And hellish witchery combin’d,
Shall never bring th’ immortal soul
Beneath thy curs’d and dark controul,
Nor chain the unfetter’d mind.
Madden’d with rage, the tyrant king
Summon’d his hideous cruel train;
And to a cavern’s dismal shade
They fiercely drag the trembling maid,
And leave her to complain.
While there she pines, in darkness pent,
And weeps her melancholy doom,
To Richard’s dreary cot of care,
The Bokians swiftly cleave the air,
Veil’d in night’s murky gloom.
And fatal night that night had been,
To all poor Richard’s hard-earn’d store;
But virtue’s ready guardians still,
The green-rob’d fairies of the hill,
Watch’d at his lowly door.
’Twas their’s, wherever sorrow wept,
To come unseen and wipe the tear;
Or by the mountain’s dang’rous side
The midnight trav’ller’s steps to guide,
And sinking soul to cheer.
Oft on the wand’ring peasant’s ear,
When passing by some haunted hill,
Such soothing melody has stole,
As did his rude untutor’d soul
With heav’nly visions fill.
Or, when by wicked demons led
Far o’er the desert heath astray,
Quick burst upon his startled sight
Their little forms so heav’nly bright,
And shew’d the safer way.
And now, round Richard’s humble home
Their glitt’ring ranks embattled stood;
And march’d with firm undaunted mien,
As slowly on the dewy green,
Descends th’ infernal brood.
Stop, stop! they shout, with one accord;
Bokians! your wicked work forbear;
Swift to your cruel, bloody king,
Again ascend on hasty wing,
Or dread to meet us here!
What! here again, our ancient foes!
Their sable chieftain, Obin, cried;
How dare ye still to thwart our way,
And rob us of our lawful prey?—
Your vengeance is defied!
Sudden, with wild, determin’d air,
Each warrior grasp’d his well-tried bow;
And while their deadly arrows fly,
Mad frenzy lights each gleaming eye,
And scowls on ev’ry brow.
The frighted Nereids drop their shells,
Rush to their sea-caves, shrieking loud,
And tremble in their native streams,
While Cynthia veils her sick’ning beams
Behind a sable cloud.
And wilder still the battle rag’d;—
The burn ran red with Fairy gore,
And many a gasping Bokian lay,
The life-blood ebbing fast away,
Upon that fatal shore.
But soon the shouts of vict’ry rise;
Vain is the vanquish’d Bokian’s grief,
For Richard’s guardian friends succeed;
Dismay’d the routed squadrons bleed,
And captive is their chief!
In magic chains our pris’ners bind!
The Fairy-leader shouted bold;
Some warriors now on swiftest wing,
Fly instant to the Bokian king,
And thus our will be told:
Tell him, not one of all his train,
Not Obin’s self, that fiend ador’d,
He e’er again must hope to see,
Till the fair Isabelle is free,
And to her sire restor’d.
Soon to the Bokian court they flew,
On flutt’ring pinions light convey’d:
The proud king curs’d the hard decree,
Yet glad to set his vassals free,
Releas’d the captive maid.
Oh! how her gentle bosom throbb’d,
As pois’d in air she quickly flew,
And reach’d once more her native cot;—
But, ah! upon the bloody spot,
What horrors met her view!
Start not, sweet maid! the conqueror cried;
In virtue’s cause we bleed with joy;
Nor fear again the Bokian pow’r
Shall reach thee in an evil hour,
And all our work destroy.
He ceas’d, and quickly from her sight
They vanish’d like a passing dream;
No more was seen the bloody stain,
The dew-drop sparkled on the plain,
Unsullied flow’d the stream.
Now blue-ey’d peace, and rose-lip’d joy,
Again on Richard’s cottage smil’d;
Yet oft he shook his silv’ry head,
And told with fear and solemn dread,
The story of his child.
With grateful heart he knelt to Heav’n,
Nor night nor morn his praises cease;
And, many a happy year gone by,
Poor Richard breath’d his latest sigh,
And clos’d his days, in peace.
Retribution; or, The Hall of St. Garvin.
Ah! me, what mournful train is yon,
That sadly winds along the vale?
How sadly sounds the fun’ral dirge,
Dull floating on the ev’ning gale!
Why do the lovely maidens weep,
Distracted o’er yon sable bier?
Why do the gentle shepherds sigh?
And why the aged drop the tear?
And why, as on the coffin’s lid
The new-rais’d earth again doth fall,
Thus breaks such lamentation loud
Responsive from the lips of all?
But now a cold and breathless corse
In yonder grave Elfrida lies.
Good Heav’n! the starting stranger cried,
With madness flashing from his eyes.
In vain the stranger strove to hide
The pangs that in his bosom bleed;
But soon he check’d the rising groan,
And bade the wond’ring swain proceed.
And didst thou know the hapless fair
That sleeps in yonder lowly bed?
Oh! then for her, the child of grief!
Do thou the tear of pity shed.
Five years their annual course have run,
Since first Rinaldo, noble youth,
(Sir Edgar’s brother), woo’d the maid,
And vow’d eternal love and truth.
But, ah! Elfrida’s matchless charms
Had won the guilty Edgar’s heart;
Rous’d the wild passions of his breast,
And bade him act the villain’s part.
For while to all he seem’d to bow
At purest friendship’s hallow’d fane,
He did but plot the coward scheme
Her plighted hand to falsely gain.
But now the direful trump of war
Invok’d each brother to the field;
Rinaldo left the maid he lov’d,
For glitt’ring helmet, spear, and shield.
They parted, and Elfrida mourn’d
Her absent love with streaming eyes;
But, ah! that lover ne’er return’d
To hush the maiden’s ceaseless sighs.
For, oh! that chief in battle fell;
But when the proud Sir Edgar came,
With joy and triumph, base and bold,
He soon confess’d th’ unhallow’d flame.
And did the perjur’d false one yield!
With wilder looks the stranger cried;—
Ah! no, but faithful still and true,
She scorn’d his love, the swain replied.
Oh! where has Heav’n his lightning stay’d,
That doth not flash the tyrant’s doom!
It lingers not (the stranger cried),
The hour of retribution’s come.
With wild amaze, and deep surprise,
Aghast the wond’ring peasant stands;
Then sobbing sunk upon his knees,
And bath’d with tears Rinaldo’s hand.
But, come, the warrior fiercely cried;
I follow vengeance’ bloody call!
Then with quick step, and frantic mien,
He sought St. Garvin’s ancient hall.
There ’mid his guests, Sir Edgar sat,
With splendid dress and haughty air;020 B10v 20
But anguish gnawing at his heart,
Black seat of horror and despair!
He started up with wild affright,
His brother’s faded form he view’d;
Down dropp’d the goblet from his hand,
And cold damp drops his forehead dew’d!
Just Heav’n! what ghastly spectre yon!
Why hast thou left thy bloody tomb?
Or dost thou, dreadful vision! come
To warn me of approaching doom?
If I’m a spectre of the tomb,
What hand prepar’d that tomb for me?
What ruffian broke Elfrida’s heart?
Say, do I now that ruffian see?
Forgive! forgive! Sir Edgar cried,
While terror fix’d his stony eye!
Thy brother’s crime, oh! yet forgive;
Forgive, Rinaldo—for I die!
Rinaldo check’d his lifted arm,
He sheath’d the glitt’ring sword again;
For tender mercy touch’d his soul,
But touch’d too late, and pleads in vain.
For cold and chill was Edgar’s heart,
A freezing pang congeal’d his breath;
And down, with many a horrid groan,
The guilty traitor sunk in death.
Rinaldo sought the cloister’s gloom,
Far from the busy haunts of men;
Where meek religion, calm repose,
And holy quiet sooth’d his pain.
Agnes and the Water-Sprite.
’Twas on a gloomy April day,
On Brassa’s hills the mist was grey,
And cold and chilling was the wind;
When Agnes on the rocky shore
Sat list’ning to the billow’s roar,
In musing pensiveness reclin’d.
Fair Agnes was the loveliest maid
That e’er o’er Brassa’s mountains stray’d;
For fairy form, and angel face,
And auburn tresses unconfin’d
That sported wanton to the wind,
Had deck’d her with each outward grace.
Oft while the gentle Agnes sung,
The rocks with vocal music rung;
While Echo, from her mossy cave,
Catching the wild notes, warbled high,
Or softly as they seem’d to die,
Repeats them to the list’ning wave.
Oh! why, she sings, does Donald stay,
From me, from love, from friends away,
A truant thus from sweet repose,
To roam the sea’s inconstant breast,
Whose angry billows never rest,
The sport of every storm that blows!
Thus Agnes sung in artless lays,
Her Donald’s love, her Donald’s praise,
Nor dream’d a list’ning ear was nigh;023 B12r 23
When, lo! beside the billowy flood
A brighter form than mortal stood,
And view’d her with enraptur’d eye.
Like golden threads, or sunny beams,
His hair in many a ringlet streams
Adown his shoulders fair;
Bright was his bloom, and his dark eye
Like star in bleak December’s sky,
And heav’nly was his air.
A jetty courser, dark as night,
Beside him stood in harness bright,
And neighing paw’d the sand;
With wild impatience toss’d his mane,
While gracefully the silken rein
Slung from his master’s hand.
While Agnes gaz’d with wond’ring eyes,
And thought some angel from the skies
Had deign’d on earth to tread,
The graceful stranger silence broke,
Soft music warbled as he spoke,
And thus address’d the maid:—
Shalt thou, oh! loveliest of thy kind!
Be to this wint’ry isle confin’d,
And in some lowly cell,
With all these bright immortal charms,
Be doom’d to some rude native’s arms,
With want and woe to dwell?
Oh! fly with me, my lovely maid,
Nor be by vulgar fools betray’d;—
Fly on the wings of love
With me to some more blessed clime,
Where forests rear their heads sublime,
Where waves the spicy grove.
Why wilt thou here the absence mourn
Of one who never may return?
Perhaps the wand’rer now
From thy lov’d image falsely flies,
And for another fair-one sighs,
Forgetful of his vow.
Not such the youth who bows before
Thy matchless charms, and shall adore
While life his bosom warms;
Oh! come, and bless my happy land,
Where all shall bow at thy command,
And worship all thy charms.
The sands upon my shores are gold,
Where ocean’s gentlest waves are roll’d,
The rocks refulgent shine
With coral, pearl, and sapphire blue,
And precious stones of ev’ry hue,
And diamonds from the mine.
There orange groves extend their shade,
To screen thy beauties, lovely maid,
From noon-day’s scorching heat:025 C1r 25
And pleasant bow’rs of rare perfume,
Where nature’s loveliest roses bloom,
Shall be thy cool retreat.
He ceased,—to Agnes’ inmost soul
The voice of adulation stole,
And won her changing heart;
Yet conscience whisper’d Donald’s name
With all his worth, and constant flame;
While rising to depart.
The stranger seiz’d her yielding hand,
And lightly springing from the strand,
With Agnes at his side,
With many a soothing word of love
He strove her terrors to remove,
As o’er the sands they ride.
With hope and dread her bosom burn’d,
And many a wistful look she turn’d
Upon her native shore;—
Scenes of my childish days, farewell
In happier clime shall Agnes dwell,
And never see you more.
The courser left the sandy shore,
And sprung amid the ocean’s roar,
With many a hideous yell:
Chang’d was the spirit’s heav’nly form,
His native waves and roaring storm
Had broke the magic spell.
Mix’d with the waves the courser seem’d;
In trembling agony she scream’d,
And gaz’d with wild affright,
While the dark fiend the waves did quaff,
And with a loud and hellish laugh,
Evanish’d from her sight.
Dread was the storm, and hoarse the wave
Rebellow’d ’neath the rocky cave,
While echo sadly moans;
And oft amid the tempest’s roar
Was heard upon the dreary shore,
The dying Agnes’ groans.
And oft at midnight’s moony scene
A faded form of ghastly mien
Across the waves doth glide;
And oft upon the passing gales
A plaintive voice the ear assails,
When wand’ring by the tide.
Far on the ocean’s lonely bed
Where rude Orcadean Islands lie,
In nature’s wildest robe array’d
Beneath an ever clouded sky;
Where round each coast, with hollow roar,
The rude winds keep their viewless court;
Where ceaseless billows dash the shore,
And spirits of the storm resort;
On wild North-Mavin’s rocky beach,
Poor Eric’s lowly cottage stood,
And brav’d alike the fearful reach
Of howling winds and foaming flood.
His Tamir, partner of his joys,
Of all his grief, and all his care—
His elder hopes, two hardy boys—
The infants prattling round his chair—
These sooth’d his labours, cheer’d his heart;
These bound him to his humble cot;
The noblest feelings, void of art,
Endear’d to him the lonely spot.
Long with misfortune’s gloomy train,
And want and poverty he strove;
Yet shrunk not back from toil nor pain,
Bless’d with these objects of his love.
Oft in his little fragile bark
For them he roam’d the billowy tide,
And many a night, forlorn and dark,
Upon the stormy wave would ride.
And soon his boys increas’d his store,
For all his dangers now they shar’d;028 C2v 28
And often to the wand’ring poor
Their scanty pittance have they spa’d.rr’d.
Content and health his cottage bless’d,
And plenty still labour crown’d;
Calm pleasure fill’d his pious breast,
And peace and comfort smil’d around.
But short is pleasure’s fleeting day,
And like the sun-beam on the deep
That glitters bright, then fades away,
And leaves the trembling wretch to weep.
The weary cares of day were o’er,
And tranquil slept the busy world;
The billows slumber’d on the shore,
And scarce a breeze the waters curl’d.
When Eric, rous’d from happy dreams,
Light started from the arms of rest,
And by the pale moon’s glimm’ring beams
Embark’d upon the ocean’s breast.
The merry lads were at his side;
And told him many a cheerful tale,
As swiftly o’er th’ unruffled tide
Soft zephyrs waft their swelling sail.
The morning rose with smiles serene;
They set their lines with anxious care,
And joyful hail’d the prosp’rous scene;
The deep so still, the heav’ns so fair.
And fair the distant landscape seem’d,
While yet the radiant sun on high
Far o’er the glassy ocean stream’d,
And blaz’d amid the azure sky.
The awful calm that breath’d around,
As if all nature’s pulse were still,—
The silence broke not by a sound,—
With pious awe their bosoms fill.
But soon that awe was chang’d to dread,
When rush’d the tempest wild and loud,
For sudden storm began to spread,
And lightnings darted from the cloud.
The rolling thunder peal’d afar;
In rushing torrents fell the rain;
The jarring elements at war,
With horrid tumult shook the main.
All-gracious Heav’n! avert their doom;—
They drive before th’ unsparing gale;
Still darker frowns the gath’ring gloom,
And ev’ry cheek is deadly pale.
Close to his panting heart, the sire
With anguish press’d his hopes, his pride—
Quick flash’d across the blue-wing’d fire,
And laid them breathless at his side!
My boys! my boys! he madly cries,
While louder still the tempest blows:C3 030 C3v 30
On the wild winds his voice but dies;
They only mock the father’s woes.
The boat is whelm’d amid the wave;
Dark horror sits on Eric’s soul—
My wife, my babes! Almighty! save――
He sinks,—the surges round him roll.
Oh! soft may hapless Eric rest
Upon his coral grave reclin’d;
And mingling with the sainted blest
His spirit mount upon the wind!
But who shall hush his Tamir’s sighs,
And rear his little helpless train?
Oh! who shall stay their orphan-cries?
Or who relieve their wants and pain?
No more the heart-broke Tamir joys
To see them happy, blythe, and gay;
No household care her hand employs—
But all is ruin and dismay!
Oft on the shore with aching brow
She marks the angry billows’ rave;
And weeps for him who silent now
Lies cold beneath the distant wave.
May Charity, with aspect bland,
Some mild angelic form assume,
And shed sweet blessings from her hand,
To mitigate the mourner’s doom.
The Zetland Fisherman.
Oh! fair arose the summer dawn,
No sullen mist was seen to lour;
Night’s dreary shadows were withdrawn,
And morning brought her golden hour.
Soft was the air, and breathing balm;
The sea-fowl clamour’d on the shore;
The sky serene, the ocean calm,
And hush’d the breakers’ deaf’ning roar.
And slowly in the glitt’ring east,
His orient head the Sun uprais’d;
His beamy splendours round him cast,
On rock and steep refulgent blaz’d.
A trembling stream of glory lay
Across the ocean’s rippling bed,
And quick his bright beams sipp’d away
The dew-drop from each grassy blade.
The soaring lark had mock’d the eye,
But still was heard his matin song;
The sea-gull floats with restless cry;
The hungry raven flits along;
And heard was many a female voice,
That echo’d o’er the rocky shore,
And lisping children gay rejoice,
And listen for the distant oar.
At length the six-oar’d boat appears,
Slow moving o’er th’ unruffled tide;
Their long, long stay with artless tears,
The little prattlers fondly chide—
How couldst thou stay so long at sea?
High blew the wind, and mammy wept;
We could not sleep, but thought on thee,
Though sweetly little Mary slept.
Anxious the wife her husband views,
Who weary drags his limbs along;
Hey, bonnie Kate! he cries, what news!
Then carols blythe his morning song.
Oh! wherefore, William, stay so long
Upon the dark and stormy sea,
Where tempests howl, and dangers throng,
So far from thy dear babes and me?
For dark and dismal was the night,
And fearful was the billows’ roar;
And many a sheeted ghost, and sprite,
Shriek’d wildly on the sea-beat shore.
I listen’d fearful to the wind,
And heard a groan in ev’ry blast;033 C5r 33
Ten thousand fears disturb’d my mind,
E’en when the raging storm was past.
But we’ve successful been, dear Kate;
Behold, my lass, that plenteous load!—
To day I mean to dine in state—
On haddock, turbot, ling and cod.
The hardy swain, with raptur’d eyes,
Kisses in turn his babes, and Kate,
Then to his humble cottage hies,
And blesses Heav’n with heart elate.
The scanty produce of the soil
Smokes on his platter clean and neat;
And though his fare be coarse, yet toil
Hath made the well-earn’d morsel sweet.
Then on his straw bed careless thrown,
He sinks into the arms of sleep;
Leaves it to paltry wealth to groan,
And pamper’d luxury to weep.
Ianthe to Her Harp.
Come, gentle Harp, sweet soother of my woes!
And in some sadly pleasing strain
Teach Ianthe to complain;
While at each melancholy closeC5 034 C5v 34
Dove-ey’d pity hov’ring near,
On each cheek a pearly tear,
Droops her snowy plumes and sighs;—
And responsive to the sound
From hollow rock, or cave around,
Echo, sportive nymph, replies.
Soft-ton’d Harp! Ianthe’s treasure,
Slower yet thy solemn measure—
In more lengthen’d notes of woe,
Teach the numbers how to flow,
Mournful as the moaning wind,
Gentle as the rippling stream,
Waking the fairy visions of the mind,
And lulling to romantic dream—
Till the music of thy notes,
Stealing o’er the gurgling rill,
Far on ether’s bosom floats,
Till thy murmurs gently flowing,
Wake the echoes of the hill.
Heav’nly sounds! sweet peace bestowing,
Bid each raging grief be still—
Sing such sadder lays as ne’er
Stole upon the slumb’ring ear
Of the azure mantled night;
While the Moon in cloudless glory,
Throws around her silver light,
List’ning to the plaintive story
From her starry mansion bright.
Sweet Echo, in thy deep domain,
Each sadly swelling note detain,
And when Ianthe’s hand is cold,
And when her voice is still and mute,
And when her griefs no more are told
To warbling harp, or breathing lute,
Sound again thy silver shell,
Solemn silence sweetly breaking,
By rushy stream and tangled dell,
All thy sister echoes waking,
Till ev’ry nymph of ev’ry brook,
Rising from the limpid waves,
Through their shadowy tresses look,
And tiny fairies quit their mountain-caves.
And if Ianthe’s Harp, unstrung,
Should ’mid these tuneless bow’rs be hung,
Wilt thou revive the mournful strain,
And wake its trembling notes again?
Ah! no, this grotto would be still,
And mute the valley, mute the hill,
Forgotten all the tender theme
Of Edwin’s love, of Edwin’s fame—
But, why, alas! complain of thee?
Though on the bark of ev’ry tree
This hand has ’grav’d my lover’s name,
The faithless trunk will soon decay,
And ev’ry vestage wear away,
E’en as the shadowy tints that deck life’s morning dream!
Fond cares upon my earlier years,
A father’s anxious heart bestow’d:036 C6v 36
With all a parent’s hopes and fears,
His kind paternal bosom glow’d.
But, ah! too soon Sir Edwin came,
Blooming in manly youth and grace,
The gentlest of his noble name,
The bravest of his warlike race.
We met; and from that fated hour
In either heart love glow’d divine;
My Edwin sigh’d beneath its pow’r,
And more than mutual pangs were mine.
How oft enraptur’d on thy strains,
Oh, soft-ton’d Harp! has Edwin hung;
And oft of parted lovers’ pains,
In boding accents sweetly sung;
And when my ready starting tear
Stream’d at the mournful story,
Quick would he change the tale of fear,
And sing the dazzling charms of glory,
While ev’ry eager look express’d
The martial fires that warm’d his breast.
My father saw—a parent’s curse
Destroy’d the hopes we dar’d to nurse,
Forbad the love our bosoms felt,
Nor pray’rs could move, nor tears could melt;
With threat’ning fury undisguis’d
He chid the foul disgrace,
For, oh! my haughty sire despis’d
Young Edwin and his race:
Long had each house with hatred burn’d,
Long at each proffer’d union spurn’d,037 C7r 37
And cherish’d so their jealous fears,
That malice grew with coming years.
Too soon, alas! our hapless fate,
A deadlier feud supplies,
Confirms their unrelenting fate,
And our’s the sacrifice!
They tore me from my mother’s breast,
They tore me from that sacred home
Where all my childish days were blest,
And dragg’d me to yon cloister’s gloom.
Oh! thou, who bear’st a father’s name,
To whose dear arms so oft I’ve sprung,
When from the battle-field you came,
And round your neck delighted hung—
How could thy lips pronounce my doom,
And force me to this living tomb!
My Edwin’s frantic last adieu
Still hangs upon mine ear;
Still on his manly cheek I view
The agonizing tear.
Ianthe, ev’ry hope adieu!
For hope and pleasure die with you:
I go to share the battle’s toil,
To mingle in its thickest broil;
Assur’d I never shall return
Thy loss in ling’ring grief to mourn!
Oh! when amid the war-strife driv’n
The welcome wound at length is giv’n
That sets my spirit free;—038 C7v 38
The last faint pray’r I breathe to Heav’n
Shall fondly whisper thee!
Adieu! my brave, my gallant knight!
Thy sun hath set in early night—
In Palestine’s unhallow’d ground,
Deform’d with many a ghastly wound,
Thy mould’ring limbs are laid;
Nor can Ianthe’s footsteps tread
Thy place of rest among the dead,
To sing sweet requiems to thy parted shade.
And now the storm of grief is o’er,
Yet melancholy’s dewy eye
Still sheds its slow and silent show’r
And still I heave the ceaseless sigh;
And oft to this sequester’d spot
At midnight’s solemn hour I steal,
To teach the echoes of the grot
My tales of sorrow to reveal;
And muse on joys that ne’er return.—
But Echo will forget to mourn;
And soon Ianthe’s Harp unstrung,
Tuneless shall ’mid these bow’rs be hung.
But, hark! I hear the matin bell
Summon the holy train to pray’rs;—
Immers’d in yonder gloomy cell,
My thoughts, my heart, no more must dwell
On wordly griefs, on worldly cares:
Nor e’er the name of him I love
Mix in my pray’rs to Heav’n above.
Melodious lyre! and must we part?
Sweet solace of my hours of pain!
’Tis conscience whispers to my heart,
And bids me cease the mournful strain.
The sacred veil that round me flows,
Reminds me of my solemn vow;
Nor must my heart indulge in woes,
My tongue not dares to utter now.
Deep, deep within that constant heart
My Edwin’s image lies,
Nor from my struggling soul shall part,
In death’s last agonies.
But, ah! his dear forbidden name
No more must tremble on my tongue;
Nor grief like our’s, and melancholy tale,
Again by vestal lips be sung.
Soft-ton’d Harp! Ianthe’s treasure,
Farewell to thy dulcet measure!
Though soft and slow
Thy numbers flow,
Ne’er again must sorrow’s child
Listen to thy music wild;
Ah! never, never!
But take my last, long, ling’ring view;—
And now thy trembling notes are still,
And hush’d the echoes of the hill;—
Again, sweet Harp! again adieu!
Farewell, for ever!
The blush of morn was on the sky,
The fields were fair and green,
The rippling streamlet murmur’d by,
And bright was ev’ry scene;
Fresh o’er the fields the zephyr blows,
Each eye with rapture shone;
But vain the cloudless morning rose,
And beam’d on orphan Joan.
Pale was her cheek, and wild her eye,
Loose flow’d her yellow hair,
And oft her bosom heav’d the sigh;—
Poor daughter of despair!
And cold and cheerless was the maid
As thus she made her moan—
Is there no friend, no pitying aid,
To save poor orphan Joan.
Thus all day long the mourner sat,
Like drooping dying flow’r,
And wept and mourn’d her hapless fate,
Till ev’ning’s silent hour.042 C9v 42
At length a stranger passing by
Was startled by her groan;
He turn’d, with pity in his eye,
To look on orphan Joan.
Oh! gentle maid! what heavy grief,
Thus swells thy labouring breast,
Say, can I bring thy woes relief,
Or give thy sorrows rest?
Ah! no relief my pangs can know,
To hush my bosom’s moan,—
Yet soon my tears shall cease to flow,
For Death will pity Joan.
With wild amaze the stranger gaz’d
Upon the weeping maid,
When slow her sinking head she rais’d,
And thus dejected said:—
Yet, think not gratitude denied,
To thee, that all unknown――
Eternal Heav’n! the youth replied,
’Tis she,—my sister Joan!
He press’d her to his beating breast;—
Oh! ever lov’d and dear!
Revive, and once again be blest,
And dry each falling tear.
And is it thus that thou art found
Neglected and alone;
No friend to soothe the pangs that wound
The gentle heart of Joan?
But honour, wealth, and fame are mine;
Nor Heav’n in vain bestow’d,
For, ah! to make those blessings thine,
How oft this heart has glow’d!
Then let it be my tend’rest care
To hush each anxious moan—
And, oh! may fond affection’s pray’r
Restore sweet health to Joan.
Soft as the balmy dews of night
His cheering accents fell,
And bade once more each dear delight
The orphan’s bosom swell.
Fraternal love, domestic care,
For all her griefs atone;
And plenty, comfort, love, and peace,
Now smile on happy Joan.
The silver Moon, pale queen of starry night,
Hangs in the firmament her crescent bright;
Millions of stars the azure concave stud,
And tiny fairies trip along the wood;
The streamlet gurgling o’er its shallow bed,
To Cynthia glances through the chequer’d shade;044 C10v 44
All, all is hush’d in soft and calm repose,
And scarce a zephyr wooes the fragrant rose;
And mortal eyes in heavy slumber seal’d,
Now trace in dreams the future fate reveal’d.
And is each eye in heavy slumber clos’d?
And is each form on tranquil couch repos’d?—
Does no rude sorrow banish gentle sleep,
And leave the wretch through the long night to weep?
Ah, me! from many an eye the dewy charm
Is wash’d away by tears, and wild alarm!
Remorseless mem’ry holds unwearied sway,
And gives to night the restlessness of day.
But who is she, that with her beauteous arms
Cross’d on her heaving bosom’s snowy charms,
Thus with quick step and throbbing breast is seen,
Wand’ring like airy sprite the dewy green?
But she can shed no tear, and breathe no sigh;—
See! vacant frenzy flashes in her eye!
Oh! why should reason and her happy train
Forsake that soul unsullied by a stain?—
Poor Eloiza was no vulgar maid,
Though nurs’d by nature in the rural shade;
Her face and form were lovely, and her mind
Was virtuous, modest, noble, frank, and kind;—
No lurking ill her spotless bosom knew;
Her virtues many, and her errors few.—
And could not beauty, worth, and youth combin’d,
Insure their blessings to so pure a mind!—
Young Hargrave came, the abject slave of gold,
And in her ear deceitful story told;
With subtle fraud assum’d each grace refin’d,
And only prais’d the beauties of her mind;
Practis’d each wily stratagem to move
Her tender pity, and to win her love;
Nor woo’d in vain; and Eloiza’s heart
Too soon confess’d the triumph of his art.
But when he found no weatlh could e’er reward
His boasted passion, and his feign’d regard,
He fled— and left her wretched and betray’d,
To court a richer, not a lovelier maid.
And now, alas! when heav’n’s refulgent fires
Are lighted up, and weary man retires
To taste the pleasures of refreshing sleep,
Poor Eloiza wakes to watch and weep.—
Beneath yon wood’s impervious shade she roves,
The gloomy haunt that Eloiza loves;
Or by yon cataract’s tremendous height,
That sparkling, flashing to the moon’s pale light,
Roars down its rocky channel; and at eve,
Where rippling waves the sandy sea-beach lave,
Oft is she seen her hasty steps to urge
Along the margin of the murm’ring surge;
Or, careless hanging o’er some craggy steep,
Wash’d by the foamy billows of the deep,
List’ning, with vacant eye, to the loud roar
Of restless waves against the rocky shore.
No parent now remains her griefs to soothe,
No youthful friend her rugged couch to smooth,046 C11v 46
No brother’s aid her wand’ring steps to guide,
No cheering home her wretched limbs to hide;
Alone, uncomforted, her feeble form
Is left unshelter’d to the ruthless storm.
But thou, oh, Hargrave! author of her woes,
Canst thou enjoy the sweetness of repose?
Say, does not oft that faded form appear
Beside thy bed, and claim the gushing tear;
Telling thy dreams the woe she doth endure,
Griefs without hope, and pangs without a cure?
For say, canst thou her blighted peace restore,
Or bid distemper’d reason shine once more?—
Ah! no,—remorse and anguish soon shall seize
Thy faithless heart, and break thy fancied ease;—
Her wrongs, her woes, shall haunt thee night and day,
And drive each comfort from thy soul away;
While she above each earthly care shall rise,
And pitying, view thee from her native skies.
William and Susan.
How happy are the charming pair
That live in yon romantic glen!
For Susan is the loveliest fair,
And William is the best of men.
When spring or summer decks the year,
When lambkins urge their joyful pranks,
And flow’rs their budding beauties rear,
On the smooth streamlet’s grassy banks;
From ev’ry shrub that scents the air,
He plucks a blossom wet with dew,
And with it forms a garland fair,
To grace the chesnut locks of Sue.
Then on the turf supinely laid,
No ruffling care to vex his mind,
He sings his lovely cottage-maid,
For ever fair, for ever kind.
The song is simple as the swain;
He chaunts in wild untutor’d lays,
The pleasures of the rural plain,
And chaunts them all to Susan’s praise.
Oh! come, my love! the spring returns;
I hear her herald in the grove,
The shepherd’s breast with rapture burns,
And all is harmony and love.
What countless beauties paint the scene,
The rural scene still form’d to please;
Where virtue, love, and friendship reign,
Where dwell contentment, health, and ease!
We’ll wander up yon woodland hill,
Where spring’s sweet infant breezes blow;048 C12v 48
And seated by some murm’ring rill,
Muse on the varied charms below.
The stream that smoothly winds along,
On whose blue breast the zephyrs sleep;
The shepherd’s pipe, the milk-maid’s song,
The distant valley white with sheep!
The fairest flow’rs that Flora yields,
To deck thy wavy locks I’ll bring;
For thee I’ll rove the dewy fields,
And gather all the sweets of spring.
And there the violet shall try
To match thine eyes’ celestial blue;
The rose-bud’s op’ning blush shall vie
With thy fair cheek’s soft vermeil-hue.
The mountain-daisy there shall spread
Its bosom white as Alpine snow,
To match thy neck, my lovely maid,
But, ah! ’twill want that breathing glow.
And all their rival charms combin’d
Their varied sweets and mingled grace,
Alike shall emulate thy mind,
E’en as they emulate thy face!
Thus William sang—the echoing hills
Reply the raptures of the swain,
And smoother flow the murm’ring rills,
While smiling Sue approves the strain.
No jealous doubts disturb his heart,
Where easy truth delights to dwell;
For simple she, and void of art,
The modest maid he loves so well.
Nor let the pride of pow’r and wealth
Despise their humble birth and fame,
For their’s are competence and health;
And what are titles but a name?
An empty name, as light as air,
Unless with worth and virtue join’d;—
Can titles break the bonds of care?
Can these enlarge the narrow mind?
But virtue, like the tow’ring oak,
Lifts her tall head, the forest’s pride;
The raging storm, the whirlwind’s shock,
Fall weak and harmless at her side.
Vice, like some frail and gaudy flow’r,
Spreads her broad bosom to the sun,
but ere the ev’ning’s silent hour,
Is wither’d, perish’d, and undone.
The Distracted Mother.
Peace forsakes my throbbing bosom—
Reason flies my bursting brain—
Mercy, Heav’n! and must I lose him;
Never see my child again!
Hark! yon shriek that loudly floated
On the gale, so piercing wild—
’Tis the voice on which I doated—
’Tis my darling, only child!
Still I see his bosom bleeding—
Stretch’d upon his early bier:—
Mothers! when my tale is reading,
Drop the sympathetic tear.
Edward was my pride and pleasure;
Graceful grew my manly boy;
All his mind a fund of treasure—
Seat of innocence and joy.
But my Edward, fir’d by glory,
Fled my fond protecting arms;
Sigh’d for fame in honour’s story,
Sigh’d for battle’s wild alarms.
Hark! I hear the battle raging;
Groans of anguish rend the air;—
Now my boy the war is waging,
Deaf to all my wild despair.
On Corunna’s plain surrounded
By the fierce relentless foe,
There I saw him, pale and wounded,
Sink beneath the fatal blow.
See Death’s tyrant hand is shading
Darkly now each matchless grace;
See the roses, quickly fading,
Vanish from my Edward’s face!
Oh! my heart will burst with sighing;
Bleeds my bosom’s inmost core—
There I saw him pale and dying,
Stiff’ning, welt’ring in his gore.
All my steps are mark’d with slaughter,
Blood of him I call’d my Son:
See, his pale form follows after;—
Edward, Edward, art thou gone!
Come, my child—but ah! what sadness
Sits upon thy youthful front?
Hide those bloody wounds!—Oh, madness!
Hide that rapier’s streaming point!
Shall I never more behold thee,
Dearest treasure of my breast,
Never in my arms enfold thee,
Never to thy lips be prest?
Yet my starting eyes are tearless,
And my burning cheeks are dry;
Raging frenzy makes me fearless—
Whither, whither, shall I fly?
Mark! a radiant train attending,
Edward mounts the vaulted sky;—
See the blazing pomp ascending,
Far above the stars they fly.
Stop, my child, I come to meet thee—
Stop, my love, my darling boy!
Keep thy sweetest smile to greet me
In those realms of endless joy.
There no bloody hand shall part us,
There no ruffian force I’ll fear,—
Angels there shall safely guard us,
Hush each sigh, and dry each tear.
The Soldier’s Widow at the Grave of Her Only Child.
In vain for me may summer’s glow
Make blooming nature smile;
In vain may all the charms of spring
Adorn our happy isle;
In vain for me may zephyrs kiss
The lily’s spotless breast;
In vain for me the blushing rose
In beauty’s garb be dress’d;
In vain for me may pebbly brooks
And winding streamlets run;
In vain for me the rising morn,
In vain the setting sun.
My world is yonder little grave,
My all its narrow space;
My only child reposes there,
Lock’d in Death’s cold embrace.
Yet peace is thine, sweet innocent!
By care nor grief oppress’d;
Thou sleep’st regardless of the pangs
That rend thy mother’s breast.
Unconscious babe! I would not wish
Thy deep repose to break;
Better in peace to slumber there,
Than like thy mother wake.
Sleep on, sleep on, my darling babe!
Till Heav’n’s resistless voice
Shall rouse the slumb’rers of the tomb,
And bid thy soul rejoice.
Sweet child! thine infant eyes had scarce
Beheld life’s op’ning dawn,
Than thou wert fatherless, and I
A widow left forlorn.
Nor e’en the last sad grief was giv’n,
His dying form to see;
He fell upon a foreign shore,
Unwept by all but me.
Henry! thy nature suited ill
The battle’s stormy rage—
Then wherefore go, my only love,
The bloody war to wage!
How happier I, didst thou repose
Beside our infant son,
Than buried thus in field of strife,
Where bloody deeds were done.
But, ah! to heav’n’s eternal throne
My ceaseless pray’r shall rise,
That yet our parted souls may meet
In yonder blissful skies.
She paus’d— for now the glimm’ring east
Disturb’d the friendly gloom;
Then slowly sought with bleeding heart
Her chang’d and cheerless home.
Say, pensive fair one, whither bound?
Whose jetty locks, with cypress crown’d,
Throw round they face a mournful gloom,
That ill-befits thy rosy bloom.
Dost thou not know, the maid reply’d,
How Lewis bled—how Lewis died—
And in the silent grave was laid,
And sleeps beneath the cypress shade?
She said; and where yon grey oaks spread
Their leafy shade she bow’d her head,
And, sinking on the green earth, sigh’d
Her murder’d lover’s name, and died!
The Rural Walk.
Come, Sarah, let us range the grove,
And taste the sweets that nature yields;
Admire her charms where’er we rove—
O’er mountain top, or verdant fields.
Behold yon cliffs where groves of pine
Scarce wave their dark-green drooping heads;
Behold yon blooming fertile meads
Where straggling wild flow’rs make their beds;
And see, my Sarah, yonder rose
Protected by its native thorns—
Sweet emblem of the lovely maid
Whom virtue guards, and truth adorns.
And see yon stream so bright and smooth,
Where oft, as carelessly we rove,
You’ve vow’d in Sarah’s list’ning ear
Eternal constancy and love.
Her hand the swain enraptur’d caught;—
Dear maid, that stream shall cease to flow
Ere Richard can forget those vows,
Or Sarah’s matchless charms forego!
The maiden smil’d and from her breast
A little blooming nosegay drew—
These flow’rs may wither, droop, and fade,
But ne’er this heart shall prove untrue.
Calm as yon stream’s pellucid breast,
That down the winding valley flows,
By health and innocence caress’d,
The dayspring of my life arose.
My looks were fresh as yonder flow’r
That blushes on its parent thorn,
Peace smil’d upon my midnight hour,
And waken’d with the purple morn.
But, ah! disguis’d in friendship’s mien,
Insidious love assail’d my breast;
Destroy’d each brighter, fairer scene,
And robb’d my soul of peace and rest.
I found him full of anxious fears,
Of cares and doubts an endless train;
The herald of my future tears,
The harbinger of future pain.
The verdant fields, the azure skies,
The dimpled brook, and leafy grove,
Have been the witness of his sighs,
The list’ners of his plighted love.
But since he falsely can forsake
The heart ’twas once his pride to gain,
That heart shall now in silence break,
Nor let him triumph in its pain.
Perhaps, when death these eyes shall close,
My faithless Edward yet may mourn,
May think him then of all my woes,
And weep, too late, on Harriet’s urn.
In vain, bright Sun! thou shinest here,
For him thou canst not shine upon,
That to this aching breast was dear,
And, ah! for ever, ever gone!
The long, dull ev’ning pleases more,
When in some dark sequester’d room
I sit, and hear the tempest roar,
And mourn amid th’ unsocial gloom.
He was the dearest, tend’rest friend!
With him each joy, each pleasure dies;
Ah me! what pangs my bosom rend—
Cold in his bloody grave he lies.
Oh! fate too early and severe!
Detested war! the work was thine;
And never maiden’s gushing tear
Bewail’d a loss so deep as mine.
Oh! do not mock my downcast eye,
Nor rudely scoff with bitter scorn,
To hear th’ involuntary sigh
Burst from a heart with anguish torn.
Oh! Slander, let thy tongue be still,—
Yet speak—thy tort’ring pow’r is o’er;
Revile, and load with ev’ry ill
The heart which thou canst pain no more.
’Tis past—but can it be a crime
To weep a lover’s timeless end,
And dedicate life’s early prime
To mourn so true, so dear a friend?
Why o’er a friend’s cold ashes mourn?
Why weep a parent’s death to see?
Why languish at a husband’s urn?—
Oh! he was all and all to me.
Then wound not more my broken peace,
Nor trample thus on bruised reed;
For, ah! till life, till mem’ry cease,
This widow’d heart must ever bleed.
And thou, bright Sun, withdraw thy rays;
Nor hope, nor solace, they impart;—
Unjoyous scenes, and cheerless days,
Are fitter for an aching heart.
Thus, all dejected, weak, and pale,
The mourning Ethelinda lay;
And sigh’d her moanings to the gale
That temper’d now the sultry day.
Her once so fair and polish’d form,
On the green turf was careless laid;
And on her cheek, grief’s canker-worm
Had beauty’s half-blown rose decay’d.
In vain for her the summer sun
With more than wonted splendour shone;
To her his beams were dark and dun—
With Arthur all her hopes had gone!
She rose to quit the smiling scene,—
For her, alas! no charms it wore;
And slowly pac’d the flow’ry green
So oft had Arthur trod before.
When, lo! before the mournful maid
Bent a poor aged son of war,
Wrapp’d in his tatter’d Highland plaid,
And seam’d with many a ghastly scar.
Oh, lady! gentle lady! stay,
A poor old soldier bends the knee;
Weary and long has been the way,
And youth and strength have gone from me.
From Spain’s ensanguin’d fields I roam,
Where valour’s desp’rate deeds are done;
Where glory’s greenest laurels bloom
Around the brows of Wellington
Wounded and weak, I wend my way
To my dear native Highland land;—
Yet, ere I go, this charge convey
In safety, lady, to your hand.
Heav’ns! what emotions shook her frame,
When her own picture met her view;
The same—oh, yes!—the very same
She gave him with her last adieu!
She wept; her snowy hands she rung,
And call’d in anguish on his name,—
Till round the woodland echoes rung,
And sadly sigh’d—Oh! Arthur Graham!
She gaz’d upon the soldier’s face—
His trembling hand the mask withdrew—
And blooming bright in youthful grace,
Her Arthur’s form again she knew.
He threw the Highland plaid aside,
And clasp’d her to his gallant breast:—
Oh! my best love, my promis’d bride!—
And am I then so sweetly blest!
Now roseate blushes once again
Mantle on Ethelinda’s face,
Joy sparkled in her alter’d mien,
And wak’d once more each vanish’d grace.
Soon to his native Highland land,
Young Arthur led his beauteous bride;
And love and glory, hand in hand,
Walk’d by the youthful chieftain’s side.
And loud the Highland echoes rung
From hill to hill, with mirth and joy;
The old bard woke his harp, and sung
The mountain tale of days gone by.
And praise and blessings flow’d around
From humble love, and high-born pride;
Nor could a happier pair be found
Than Arthur and his lovely bride.
The Fairy of the Wood.
Ah! wherefore droops yon lovely flow’r,
The pride of Highland hill and glade,
That blush’d erewhile in Ronald’s bow’r,
And smil’d amid the green-wood shade?
And why those blue eyes sunk, and sad,
And fled those blushes like the morn,
With which her lily cheek was clad,
Bright as the red-rose on its thorn?
And why, with pensive steps and slow,
Loves she to wander all alone,
Where loud the mountain torrents flow,
And deep winds through the forest groan?
Ah! why, but that these woods among,
As deep entranc’d in thought she stood,
Unearthly music round her rung,
Wak’d by the Fairy of the Wood?
All ear she stood, to list the strain,
That softly floated on the breeze;—
Sweeter than aught that poets feign
Of mermaid’s song o’er moonlight seas.
Where’er she turn’d, where’er she mov’d,
Still on her ear the witch-notes rung;
And hapless Mary sigh’d and lov’d,
While thus the unseen spirit sung:—
Oh! come, thou loveliest, sweetest flow’r,
That ever met the sunny beam;
The fairest thing in mortal bow’r,
And purer than the mountain stream!
Oh! I have watch’d thy rising morn,
With anxious love and tender care;
Have shown the rose—but hid the thorn,
And led thy steps from ev’ry snare.
Oh! wilt thou come, and share the bow’r,
Prepar’d for thee by viewless hand,
And thou shall bloom the sweetest flow’r,
That ever smil’d in Fairy land.
I’ll bear thee on the zephyr’s wing,
While yet the moon is glimm’ring pale,
To regions of eternal spring,
Where music breathes in ev’ry gale.
I’ll waft thee o’er the murm’ring sea,
Soft on some fleecy cloud reclin’d,
To dwell in Fairy vales with me,
And leave the haunts of humankind.
No jarring strife shall there molest,
But Spirits gentle as thy own
Shall greet thee to their bow’rs of rest,
With golden harps of heav’nly tone.
There streams of living waters flow,
And gales of incense breathe around;
There genial suns for ever glow,
And flow’rs that fade not strew the ground;
There beauty blooms with angel mien,
And virtue smiles immortal there;
No sighs are heard, no tears are seen,
Nor want, nor pain, nor toilsome care.
Then haste, and share the fragrant bow’r,
Prepar’d for thee by viewless hand,
And thou shalt live the sweetest flow’r
That ever bloom’d in Fairy land.
Here ceas’d the harp’s wild notes to sing,
Yet still on Mary’s heart they stray’d;
And much she wish’d to see the string,
And see the magic hand that play’d.
Soft, soft it fell, as summer show’rs,
When languid nature drooping lies;
Sweet as the breath of balmy flow’rs,
When o’er their breast the zephyr sighs.
But—shall she from her home depart,
To range in quest of worlds unknown?
Say, shall she pierce her mother’s heart,
And leave her aged sire to groan?
Ah! no, it cannot, must not be;—
Cease, cease thou tempter! cease to play!
The Spirit sigh’d, and fled away.
She heard the softly-rustling wing
Light winnowing the ambient air;
She touch’d the passing wild-harp’s string—
And pale she turn’d as lily fair.
From that sad hour she wanders still
Where torrents roll, and deep winds groan,
And seems to hear from distant hill
Her fairy-lover’s wild-harp’s tone.
Oh! was it but some airy dream,
A vision of the fever’d mind,
The murmur of the distant stream,
Or moaning of the passing wind?
Ah! no,— it was no airy dream,
No vision of the fever’d mind,
No murmur of the distant stream,
Nor moaning of the passing wind.
It was a voice, a voice of love!
It was a harp of heav’nly tone,
It was a sound the soul to move,
A spirit, Mary! like thine own.
But never more did Mary hear
The wild-harp echoing through the wood;
Though still she weeps and wanders there,
And pines in melancholy mood.
Thus droops and fades the lovely flow’r,
The pride erewhile of hill and glade,
That blush’d so sweet in Ronald’s bow’r,
And smil’d amid the green-wood shade.
The Maid of Thule.
Farewell for ever, best belov’d!—
His voice shall meet mine ear no more,—
Too long believ’d, too faithless prov’d,
He hastens from this friendly shore.
And soon, in England’s happy land,
A richer, fairer nymph shall find;
But, ah! not one to yield her hand,
With warmer heart, or purer mind.
Be still, thou deep;—ye fav’ring gales
Breathe lightly o’er the murm’ring wave;
Fill with soft breath my lover’s sails,
And waft him far from Ellen’s grave.
Ah! wherefore did ye waft him here,
To rend a luckless maiden’s heart?
But I will wipe the gushing tear:—
He cannot act so base a part!
Not many moons have lit the sky,
Nor silver’d yonder peaceful sea,
Since first I saw the vessel nigh,
That bore such joy, such grief to me.
Long had th’ Atlantic billows beat
Their gallant bark on wintry seas;
And long had been their cruise, and bleak,
Till spring awoke the western breeze.
Then safely anchor’d in this bay,
Too well their young commander strove
To steal my simple heart away,
And cloud my future days with love.
And will he spurn each plighted vow,
And leave me broken-hearted here?
But, hush, my doubts and terrors now—
He comes my drooping soul to cheer!
Thus Ellen, on the beach reclin’d,
View’d the tall bark, with dewy eye,
Her sails unfurling to the wind
That from the north came whistling by.
And as she gaz’d in wild despair,
The boat advances to the land;
She sees the gallant hero there,
And soon he springs upon the strand.
His was each youthful, manly grace,
But his the giddy wand’ring mind,
That found a love in ev’ry place,
And shifted with the shifting wind.
Poor Ellen’s was the fondest heart,
Form’d all to tenderness and love,
And free from ev’ry little art,
And mild and gentle as the dove.
Farewell, sweet maid! farewell! he cried,
On you may love and rapture smile,
While I the boist’rous billows ride,
Far, far from you, and Thule’s isle.
Old Ocean’s bosom is my home,
And war the mistress I must woo;
For you may thornless roses bloom—
Sweet Thulean maid! adieu, adieu!
No weak complaint escap’d her lip,
For burning pride suppress’d the sigh;
Till far, far off the gallant ship
Seem’d fading in the distant sky.
But stretch’d on the lone beach she lay,
Watching the slowly fading sail,
Till ev’ning wrapp’d in shadows grey
The mossy hill, and misty vale.
Pale grew her cheek, more deadly pale!
And lustreless her closing eye;
And there the moaning midnight gale
Receiv’d the Thulean maid’s last sigh.
Ah! vain essay, to cheat the heavy hour
With music’s charms— it cannot, will not be!
Too well, alas! this bosom feels thy pow’r,
And ev’ry thought concentrates still in thee.
Oh, Henry! shall I never tear thy form
From this believing and deluded heart—
Still must my soul endure the mental storm,
And weep for thee till life itself depart!
When on this faded cheek, this heaving breast,
Death’s icy hand with fatal touch is laid;
Say wilt thou wander by my bed of rest,
And drop one tear o’er thy forsaken maid?
Say, when eternal slumber seals those eyes,
That scarcely dar’d thy tender glance to meet,
Will yet a thought within thy bosom rise
Of her who moulders in her winding sheet?
When cold the hand, oft fondly press’d in vain,
That trembled still thy pressure to return,
That feebly pens this last sad parting strain,
Shall lie inactive in a nameless urn;
Wilt thou not weep? or can thy harden’d heart
Nor aught of love, nor tender pity, feel
For her who sinks the victim of thy art,
And dies her wrongs and anguish to conceal!
Behold me hast’ning to the silent tomb,
And thou, the murd’rer of my peace and fame;
Yet uncomplaining will I bear my doom,
Nor load with one reproach thy cherish’d name.
May Heav’n forgive thee, as I now forgive,
And love and joy yet wait, dear youth! on thee:
Yet, oh! my Henry! when I cease to live,
Think, sometimes think, upon my love and me!
Poor Ida ceas’d—for through her shudd’ring frame
The blood ran cold, the pulse forgot to play;
O’er her dim closing eyes dark shadows came,
And pale in death the lovely victim lay.
Beneath this turf poor Ida’s form is laid—
Stop, gentle fair! the pitying tear is due;
For know, that once the broken-hearted maid
Was happy, fair, and innocent as you!
The Spectre of the Lake.
The moon-beams shone on the silent lake,
The night was deadly still;
Not a breath of wind made the tall trees shake,
Not a sound was heard the echoes to wake,
As the mist crept over the hill.
Sir Gerald, a knight from the Holy Land,
Journeying his course alone,
Led his weary horse o’er the moonlight sand;
Since last he had trod the well-known strand,
Full seven long years were gone.
He had left a wife of matchless charms,
And matchless goodness too;
With their infant son in her circling arms,
When he sought the battle’s wild alarms
Where the holy banner flew.
And wilt thou leave me? she madly cried,
And this infant pledge of bliss!—
O Gerald, Gerald! woe will betide
The hour I am sever’d from thy side,
And receive thy parting kiss!
Those lips thou shalt never kiss again—
Oh! hush thee, my dearest life!
Would Emma her Gerald’s honour stain,
And thus with a tear his steps detain,
From the glorious field of strife?
Drooping and pale as the lily flow’r
Lady Emma blanch’d away;
While he invok’d each heavenly pow’r
To guard and watch her in evil hour;
Then tore himself quick away.
On Palestine’s plain he had fought and bled,
And long a captive lay;
And now with sweet hopes, and a heart right glad,
Homeward his weary way he sped,
To his native mountains grey.
His heart beat high, as a castle gay
Peep’d through the leaves so green
Of a wood, that skirted the mountain grey,
At whose foot the broad lake slumb’ring lay,
And reflected the tranquil scene.
For the lofty tow’rs that shone so bright
In the moonshine, were his own;
And faster he urg’d with a fond delight,—
When, lo! the silence of the night
Was broke by a heavy moan.
It floated o’er the stilly wave
On the viewless wings of air,
Like the wailings from some unhallow’d grave,
When th’ unrequiem’d spirit is heard to rave,
O’er the mould’ring body there.
And slowly appear’d on the silvery lake
A phantom, gaunt and dread;
In Sir Gerald’s bosom what horrors wake,
As its bloody tresses it seem’d to shake,
And rose from its oozy bed!
Its shadowy form was wrapp’d in white,
All stain’d and spotted with gore,
And round it a pale sepulchral light
Gleam’d, while the moon hid her lustre bright,
As the Spectre advanc’d to the shore.
Livid and pale in her gory vest
A murder’d babe was laid;
Its infant form seem’d fondly press’d,
With many a sigh, to her bleeding breast,
As thus to the knight she said:—
Haste! haste thee, belov’d one! the murd’rer is there,
And blood for blood must flow;
’Tis Robert, false Robert, thy kinsman and heir:
Oh! haste thee—the furies his mansion prepare
In the courts of death below.
Behold this wound in thy Emma’s breast!
Behold thy murder’d son!—
No holy grave have our bodies press’d,
No requiem been sung for our spirits’ rest,
Since the deed of death was done.
For when silence and slumber wrapp’d the world
In midnight’s deepest gloom,
Thy hapless wife and thy babe were hurl’d,
Far on the lake where the blue-wave curl’d,
To sleep in a wat’ry tomb.
But my hour is pass’d, and I must be gone—,
Oh, Gérald! remember me!—
Remember thy wife, and thy infant son,
And let masses be said, and due rites be done
As Heav’n shall have mercy on thee!
And holy and just be thy actions here,
Fitting thy faith and creed!
Stay the widow’s moan, and the orphan’s tear,
And the weary pilgrim with welcome cheer,
And thou shalt be bless’d indeed.
And I will prepare, as thus thou prove,
An unfading chaplet for thee;
And thy boy shall greet thee in realms above,
And there we shall live in eternal love,
From guilt and from sorrow free.
The lily of death on her cheek gave place
To more than mortal charms;
And beauty beam’d with celestial grace,
On her seraph form and angel face,
While a cherub smil’d in her arms.
Brighter than day’s meridian glow
Her garments swept the ground,
O’er her polish’d neck, more dazzling than snow,
Her golden tresses profusely flow,
And breathe rich fragrance round.
From a thousand strings harmonious strains
Seem’d all around to wake;
Sounds that might soothe the direst pains,
Floated afar o’er the hills and plains,
As she vanish’d away on the lake.
Cold the dews of morning shone
On the fragrant shrubs and flow’rs,
When Sir Gerald, with many a heavy moan,
Spurr’d his weary courser on,
Till he reach’d his castle tow’rs.
Sir Gerald’s sword was sharp and bright,
And blood for blood must flow;
His arm was strong, for his cause was right,
And in combat he slew the murd’rous knight,
Sir Robert, his deadly foe.
His wide domains to the church he gave;
And in solitude and pray’r,
In a monastry built by the lake’s blue wave,
He sigh’d, and thought on his Emma’s grave—
And soon he join’d her there.
Peace to the soul of Sir Gerald the brave,
And Emma the fair and good!
Near yonder ruins, where pine-trees wave,
The peasants point to Sir Gerald’s grave,
And Emma’s beneath the flood.
The Wedding-Day of Albert;
A Northern Tale.
Bright sparkled Albert’s dark-blue eye,
Like the lake’s pure breast, when all is still,
And not a breeze is heard to sigh
O’er the marshy moor, or the mossy hill.
Graceful and tall was his manly form,
As the pine on the banks of his native Glomin;
And but for the sun-beam, or winter storm,
His blush had been bright as the blush of woman.
But these a manlier brown had spread
O’er the snowy white and the ruby red—
Yet still was the native tint display’d
Where the parted curls profusely play’d.
Bright as the day, at Albert’s side,
Matilda sat, his beauteous bride;
The wealthiest maid on northern strand—
A monarch might have sought her hand!
Her princely port and lofty air,
And her eye of piercing jet, declare
The haughty heart that ill could brook
On less than a prince with love to look—
But love had tam’d her soul of pride,
And soften’d her heart of stone;
And long had she sigh’d to be Albert’s bride,
And sigh’d for him alone.
Pledge of a dying mother’s love,
A doating father’s richest treasure,
Long had her moments been taught to move
In one continued round of pleasure!
Torn from the bosom of the mine
For her the diamond lent its glow;
And Ocean’s pearly gems entwine
Her polish’d arms and neck of snow,
Or sparkle in her raven hair,
Whose spiral tresses darkly waving
Perfum’d the gently flutt’ring air,
That fann’d her bosom, proudly heaving.
Though Danish lord, and Swedish knight,
And many a Norway baron bold,
Essay’d to win this lady bright,
To tempt her ear, to charm her sight,
Still, still her heart was proud and cold:
No answ’ring throb of love she felt,
Nor sigh, nor tear, her soul could melt.
From woods and wilds where Glomin roll’d
His broad blue billows to the main,
Young Albert came, a warrior bold,
In good Lord Norman’s gallant train:
And in the bloody field of strife,
Had won a name, by birth denied,
And twice had sav’d Lord Norman’s life,
When bravely fighting by his side.
The aged warrior’s heart was warm,
Though time unnerv’d his stalwart arm—
Charm’d with his deeds of valour done,
He lov’d young Albert as his son;
Nor lov’d him less because his mind
Was noble, tender, and refin’d;
Nor frown’d to hear Matilda sigh,
Or mark her alter’d down-cast eye.
Sweet flow’r! the last that’s left to bloom
On ancient Norman’s with’ring tree;
And shall thy father harshly doom
A life of hopeless love to thee?
Ah, no! though mean young Albert’s birth,
His soul is noble as thy own;
The proudest princess on the earth
Might raise such virtue to her throne.
He join’d their hands—Matilda’s eye
Downcast through tears of rapture beam’d,—
But whence, oh, Albert! was the sigh
That struggling with thy being seem’d?
The sigh was hush’d—th’ incautious boy
Resum’d again a lover’s joy;
With more than equal warmth express’d
The rapture kindling in his breast;
Clasp’d her soft hand, then at her feet,
With graceful ardour bent the knee—
Behold thy slave! his happiness complete—
Heav’n gives him worlds, oh! more than worlds in thee!
The voice of joy is heard in Norman’s halls,
And music echoes through his castle walls;
His festive vassals, on the flow’ry green,
Lead up the dance, the circling groves between,E5 082 E5v 82
Where mingling leaves and blossoms wave around,
And fairy streamlets, murmuring, join the sound
Of mirth and music, as they loudly float,
Wak’ning on hill and dale the echo’s mimic note.
But who is she, that, brighter than the day,
Moves with superior grace the dance along?—
The loves and graces in her dark eyes play,
Her breath is fragrance, and her voice is song;
Though youth, and rank, and beauty too, are there,
Dim are their beams beside Livonia’s star—
Where smiles Lord Norman’s daughter, who seems fair?
She, fairest of the fair, surpassing far!
Bright sparkled Albert’s dark-blue eye,—
Yet seem’d his bosom lab’ring with a sigh;
And while from a menial’s hand he took
A golden cup, his own convulsive shook;
Yet, turning to his bride, with smiling air
He bow’d, and to his lips the goblet rais’d—
This is to thee! he cried—a stranger fair
His view that moment caught, as on his face she gaz’d.
Amid the gay and festive band
Her fairy form was seen to stand,
A wildness in her hasty glance
That spoke the soul in mournful trance;
Pale, ’mid the giddy sons of mirth,
She look’d not like a thing of earth!
The wildness in her azure eye
Quench’d not its beauty-beaming lustre;
And the quick throb, and frequent sigh,
Heav’d her modest bosom high
Round which her fair long tresses cluster,083 E6r 83
While her polish’d cheek with ev’ry breath
Assum’d the rose’s glow, or lily hue of death.
In her fair hand with anxious care
A pale and wither’d rose she bare;
Which sometimes to her lip she press’d,
Then hid it, smiling, in her breast—
Ah! me, that smile! though still a nameless charm,
Play’d round her lovely mouth and dimpled cheek,
It faded in a look of wild alarm,
And seem’d of madness more than joy to speak!
She came, and stood at Albert’s side,
And gaz’d on him, and on his bride,—
Her lovely hand across her forehead drew;
The parted curls display’d its snowy hue,
And the soul-touching eye of softest blue.
Albert! they said I was betray’d—
Left and abandon’d for a wealthier maid!
But, oh, my love! I knew it could not be,
And they who told the story knew not thee;—
They did not know thy soul—thy faith sincere,
And all that made thee to this heart so dear!
They watch’d my steps—they told me I was wild,
And would not let me go my love to seek;
But I at length their watchfulness beguil’d,—
And I am here—but, Albert, I am weak,
And sick at heart, for I had far to rove—
I could not find thee, Albert, in the grove
Where last we rested, while the setting sun—
Ah, me! I wander—lady, I have done—
I will away—she turn’d her to depart—
The rose he gave, is wither’d quite and gone;
And thou art wither’d too, poor broken heart!084 E6v 84 Yet stay, one moment stay, dear injur’d maid! My sick’ning soul is struggling to be free; Lo! the stern debt of gratitude is paid— Yon friendly cup restores me back to thee!— Matilda, hear!— from early youth we lov’d; On Glomin’s banks, her shady groves among, My youthful heart love’s tender passion prov’d, And fair Christina still inspir’d my song. For her I chac’d the lynx through forests brown, His glossy fur at her dear feet to lay; Unfelt the danger, and my toil’s best crown To meet Christina’s smile at close of day! Where Ocean roar’d below, and storms above, Eager ’mid black’ning rocks I careless sprung The wild-bird’s nest to plunder for my love, But spar’d, at her request, the callow young. With her a Paradise the vale appear’d, When summer shed her short-liv’d fervours there, And winter’s lengthen’d reign was more than cheer’d, With all on earth that’s happy, good, or fair. Lord Norman’s fost’ring friendship brought me here; Thy smile, alas! more fatal than thy frown, Rais’d me at once to honour and renown;— Thou know’st the rest— and oh! thou hadst been dear, Had this poor blighted flow’ret ne’er been known! But she was my betroth’d, and I was all her own. And think not, lady! that ambition burning In Albert’s bosom quench’d so pure a flame— Loaded with favours, hopeless of returning, I gave—oh! more than gratitude could claim— My plighted love to agony and mourning, My spotless honour to eternal shame! 085 E7r 85 But, ah, farewell! the debt is dearly paid— For thee may happier scenes unclouded rise— Oh! where, my poor Christina! hast thou stray’d? Return, my first, best love! and close these dying eyes!
My love, my lord!—oh, Heav’n!— he faints! he falls!
Ah! stay thee yet, nor leave me here to pine—
It is thy bride—’tis thy Matilda calls!
Oh, fatal word! I am not, was not thine;—
That all too noble heart was never, never mine!
The voice so pleasing to her ear,
So long belov’d, so early dear,
Struck on Christina’s soul—she came,
And fault’ring forth her lover’s name,
Sunk in his out-stretch’d arms, and there
Breath’d her last sigh on the summer-air:
Clos’d her blue eyes to the beams of day,
And, like a with’ring flow’r, she droop’d and died away.
Oh! linger yet, my only bride,
Thy long-betroth’d is at thy side;
Oh! close not yet thine eyes of blue,
Till, Albert’s eyes shall sleep for ever;
For, oh! this heart is freezing too,
And we have met, and will not sever!
Thus in a first, a last embrace
Thy form I circle, and thy faded charms;
Thus kiss thy dear adored face,
Nor death itself tear thee from my arms.—
He press’d her cold cheek closer to his own,
And flew to greet her in the world unknown.086 E7v 86
Ill fated bride! unbraid thy raven hair,
Give it abroad upon the winds to flow;
For ill such splendour suits with thy despair;
And tear those circling diamonds from thy brow:
Where is thy bridegroom,—where thy lover now?
Poor widow’d bride! if thou would’st weep
Where Albert’s bones for ever sleep,
Go seek them at Christina’s urn,
And o’er thy rival’s ashes mourn;
For there, in mournful silence laid,
Thy plighted bridegroom, and his Norway maid
In one low grave together rest.—
Will the cold dews that fall around,
Like tear-drops on the sacred ground,
E’er quench the fever raging in thy breast?
Or the chill breezes, as they blow,
Cool thy parch’d lip and burning cheek?—ah, no!—
The Fair Captive.
Upon a wild and rugged coast,
Where loud the ocean surges tost,
A solitary watch-tow’r stood,
And frown’d upon the restless flood.
In many a wild fantastic shape
Rose the rude cliff and jutting cape;
Behind, a lone, deep valley green,
And woody mountains clos’d the scene.
Seldom in that deep valley’s green
Was print of human footstep seen,
And seldom were the echoes woke
But the wild sea-bird’s cry to mock.
Save when the lawless pirate crew
To this, their rude retreat, withdrew;
Then Echo, from her inmost cell,
Return’d the rev’llers mingled yell.
No female footstep ever trod
The solitary bleak abode;
Nor aught was heard of woman fair—
Save one—and she was captive there.
There, day by day, she wept and sigh’d
And still the swelling billows ey’d;
And when fair Summer deck’d the vale,
Her sad song floated on the gale.—
Oh! Heav’n, how irksome ’tis to view
The summer-sky’s delightful blue,
From this dull prison, day by day;
And waste my life in sighs away!
How irksome too, to hear the wave
The level beach so softly lave;
While my parch’d lips can scarce inhale
Thy gentle breath, sweet western gale.
Oh! come again, sweet cooling breeze,
On viewless wings across the seas;
Breathe softer than a lover’s sigh,
This prison’s lofty window by.
Oh, me! how oft by fancy led,
My native flow’ry fields I tread;
Then start from the dear soothing dream,
Rous’d by the passing sea-bird’s scream.
Far distant from this rugged strand
Spread thy fair plains, my native land!
But never more these eyes shall see
That native land so dear to me!
Oh, fatal hour! oh, fatal day!
That bore me from those plains away,
A pirate’s slave—a pirate’s love—
Oh, worse than slavery to prove!
Beneath Iberia’s genial skies
I open’d first these languid eyes;
And wealth was mine, and high degree—
Ah! what avail’d they—am I free?
’Mid orange groves, and citron bow’rs,
How swiftly flew my happy hours!
What made those hours so swiftly move?
’Twas Henry’s smile! ’twas Henry’s love!
But Henry was no mighty lord;
His all—his honour and his sword—
Sprung from a haughty, ancient line,
A stern and cruel sire was mine.
We fled—ah! what could lovers do,
Or what but ruin could ensue?—
A father’s curse, a mother’s wail,
I heard in ev’ry passing gale!
We fled, to seek fair Albion’s land,
And left at night Laredo’s strand;
The star-beams twinkled on the wave—
Destin’d, alas! for Henry’s grave!
The stars were hid,— the storm came forth,
Loud blust’ring from the angry North;
Driv’n far to sea, the shatter’d bark
Rode the rude billows through the dark.
And when the orient morn arose
So bright—in mock’ry of our woes—
O’er the calm’d billows azure sheen
The pirate’s blood-red flag was seen.
I cannot, cannot tell the rest—
I saw the life-blood stain his vest—
I saw him die—I shriek’d, I fell—
Would then had toll’d my fun’ral knell!
But many a morn, to these sad eyes
Black with despair, was yet to rise;
To this dark den of robbers borne,
From hope, from life, from freedom torn.
The pirate’s love—the pirate’s slave—
Oh! worse than torture and the grave!—
When, when will Death these eye-lids seal,
When shall this bosom cease to feel!
But hush! the western breeze is fled;
The foamy billow rears its head,
And fast athwart the low’ring sky
The gath’ring clouds in tumult fly.
Oh! Heav’n! that now the tempest’s pow’r
Would shatter wide this hateful tow’r,
And set me free from thraldom sore,
Or crush me here to weep no more!
Hark! far above, the thunder’s crash—
See through the gloom the lightning’s flash—
The tow’r rocks wildly to the storm,
And freedom comes in death’s pale form!
The captive’s voice was heard no more,
The tow’r’s huge fragments strew’d the shore;
And nought was seen where once it stood,
But the rude cliff above the flood.
And many a year has now gone by
Since the rude watch-tow’r frown’d on high,
Nor voy’ger’s boat, nor pirate band,
E’er tread the long-deserted strand.
Yet when the seaman anchors there,
Fresh water from the spring to bear;
In lone valley’s gloomiest green
A strange and shadowy form is seen.
Sudden along the heaving tide,
The passing spirit seems to glide—
So ghastly pale—so dimly fair—
Then mixes with the viewless air.
Gavin the False.Again I feel my bosom glow With love, with rapture, and delight; His faith is prov’d, his love I know, Nor time can cool, nor absence blight. 092 E10v 92 I hasten now, with trembling joy, To meet him by the river’s side; No fearful doubts my breast annoy, For I shall soon be Gavin’s bride.
My parents smile upon us too,
And love my Gavin as their child!
Thus youthful Rosa sung, and flew
To meet him in the flow’ry wild.
’Twas morning hour, the sunny beams
Had scarcely sipp’d the dews away;
Bright were the fields, the woods, and streams,
And loud the sweet lark’s matin lay.
Serenely bloom’d the landscape round,
And rapture throbb’d in Rosa’s heart,
For there no vice had entrance found,
But all was pure and void of art.
She tripp’d along the verdant vale,
And almost reach’d the destin’d grove,
When, lo! upon the whisp’ring gale
Breath’d a soft voice—the voice of love.
She stopp’d—for well she knew that voice—
Alas! to whom can Gavin speak?
To meet me here was Gavin’s choice
And deeper blushes dy’d her cheek.
She saw him through the chequer’d shade—
She mark’d the rapture in his eye—
She saw a lovely stranger maid,
That smil’d, and gave him sigh for sigh.
She heard him all his vows repeat;
Quick throbb’d her heart—she heard no more,
But swiftly turn’d her trembling feet,
And sought the river’s fatal shore.
Gavin! she cried—he caught the word;
Echo return’d the desp’rate cry—
But, ah! too late false Gavin heard,
He only came to see her die.
Stretch’d on the river’s brink she lay;
An aged shepherd rais’d her head,
And sadly shook his tresses grey,
And sorrow’d o’er the dying maid.
Her fading eye was dim with death,
Her drenched ringlets loosely flow,
And short and quick the parting breath
Upheav’d her bosom’s virgin snow.
He would have spoke—but conscious guilt
And wild remorse his bosom wrung;
And more than death the traitor felt
As o’er the injur’d maid he hung.
Her quiv’ring lips no more could say;
To happier realms the spirit flew—
To realms of everlasting day!
Poor Rosa! in the grave was laid;
But frantic Gavin, far and wide,
Long, long, a houseless maniac stray’d,
Still raving on his murder’d bride.
And she, whose base, detested fraud
Had lur’d his erring heart astray,
Despis’d, deserted, and abhor’d,
In friendless mis’ry pines away.
The Valley of Tow. A beautiful and romantic valley in Coningsburgh, Zetland; the property of A. Duncan, esq.
In an isle of the North, where the keen ocean breeze
Whistles shrilly and wild o’er the heath-cover’d hills,
Where the rude cliffs are wash’d by the merciless seas,
Where bleak are the valleys and scanty the rills;095 E12r 95
Yet, where sometimes ye mark, the bare mountains among,
A green fertile vale spreading fair to the view;
Where the mountain stream rushes in beauty along,
Like the murmuring burn throught the valley of Tow.
On the banks of this burn, when the moonshine was bright
On the green fields of corn, and the cottages round,
Poor William! alone, in the silence of night,
Mix’d his tears with the dew-drops that spangled the ground.
He gaz’d on the mountains, the valley, the burn
As it flow’d on to mix with the ocean’s wave blue;
And cried, in despair—I shall never return
To wander again through the valley of Tow!
The blood-tinctur’d sea-wave my pillow shall be,
The wild bird shall shriek o’er its desolate prey,
And my woes find a tomb in the depths of the sea—
Far, far from thy grave, dearest Ellen! away.
The north wind was high, and the billow’s rude swell,
While he heard at a distance his messmates’ halloo;
And there stream’d in his last look a fatal farewell,
As he left, with a sigh, the sweet valley of Tow.
The Death of Leander.
Leander in the bloom of youth
Was deck’d with ev’ry grace,
For honour, worth, and spotless truth,
Were beaming in his face.
But ye who all the soul would know,
And search its inmost part—
Say, did those matchless virtues glow
As brightly in his heart?
’Mid flow’ry lawns, and gardens trim,
His stately mansion stood;
Where many a fountain’s sparkling brim
Was fring’d with waving wood.
And all that charms the ear and eye,
From earth, or sea, or air—
That art could frame, or wealth supply,
To please the sense—was there.
His hours in one continued round
Of mirth and pleasure flew;
And ev’ry want and wish was crown’d—
If want or wish he knew.
No wand’ring beggar sought in vain
His hospitable door,
And injur’d virtue told its pain,
To feel that pain no more.
Still to his slightest promise true;
A friend sincere and kind;
A lover firm, and tender too,
And just to all mankind—
Accomplish’d, learned, great and wise,—
Was not Leander bless’d?
Oh! yes, he was—to mortal eyes—
But pause, and hear the rest.
Leander, though so highly rais’d
Above the sons of earth,
Nor bow’d, nor worshipp’d, thank’d, nor prais’d,
From whence those gifts had birth.
Oh! say, can such a creature be,
Nor gratitude hath warm’d?
A soul from vice so seeming free,
And yet so much deform’d!
Ah, me! I fear that many such
The stage of life have trod;
Who seem to worship virtue much,
But worship not their God.
’Tis heav’n’s own ray that falls in vain
Around their stubborn soul—
So cheerless stand amid the main,
The ice-rocks of the pole!
So glitter in the sunny light
With many a frozen wreath—
The surface all is dazzling bright,
But all is cold beneath!
At length, while yet his pulse was high,
And pleasure danc’d around,
Disease, with poison’d dart, came by,
And gave the fatal wound.
Alas! how chang’d the brilliant scene
That late Leander view’d!
Forlorn he lies in racking pain,
With anguish-drops bedew’d.
Ah! tell me, what avails it now,
That he was great and wise?—
Can greatness smooth that ruffled brow,
Or check those lab’ring sighs?
Can all the aid that man may give,
The failing pulse restore;
Or bid the wretched sinner live
For one short moment more!
He would attempt—but all in vain—
To lift his hopes on high!
Repentance weeps in fruitless pain,
And judgement threatens nigh.
Now conscience wakes the ling’ring smart,
And bids delusion cease;
Remorse and terror rend his heart,
And agonize his peace.
The world, and all he trusted there,
Is fading from his sight;
And closing fast in dread despair,
His eyes are dim with night.
The stubborn knees, that would not bow
In pray’r before his God,
Are stiff, and cold as marble now,
Beneath the silent sod.
Ah! what avails it, that his form
Was deck’d with ev’ry grace—
That truth, and love, and friendship warm,
Glow’d in his manly face?
Alas! they glow’d not in his soul;—
But, as a fleeting shade,
Across his darken’d path they stole,
And no impression made.
Oh! come, ye young and thoughtless! come;
View where Leander lies—
Pause o’er the wretched sinner’s doom,
And pausing, yet be wise!
An Address to Zetland.
The land of Cakes A name frequently applied to Scotland has oft been sung,
In many a poet’s strain;
But never might the land of Fish
Such proud distinction gain.
Then I will lift the voice of praise;
To thee my strains belong;—
Thy misty hills, and humid vales,
First woke my infant song.
Oft wand’ring by thy sea-beat shore
I woo’d the pensive Muse;
Nor will the Genii of thy rocks
This votive lay refuse.
Long be thy banks, romantic Sound! A beautiful spot, near the town of Lerwick; the property of Mr. Nicholson, of Lochend. It was here, according to tradition, that some Norwegian prince, of high celebrity, formerly landed.
Industry’s happy seat;
And long thy fame remember’d be;—
First trod by princely feet!
May commerce oft with spreading sail,
To Lerwick’s coast repair;
And gentle peace, on halcyon plume,
For ever linger there.
And long the nymphs of Lerwick shine,
Devoid of modish art;
With beauty deck’d, and ev’ry charm
That wins the gallant heart.
And fertile prove your barren fields,
Adorn’d with waving grain,
Where nought was seen but noisome weeds,
And dreary desert plain.
And may that source of half your wealth,
The ocean’s finny race,103 F4r 103
Reward the honest fisher’s toil,
And long your tables grace.
And oh! ye Zetland lairds be kind,
And shield th’ industrious poor
From hard oppression’s iron rod,
And tyranny of pow’r.
Oh! think how noble ’tis to smooth
The couch of want and care;
To bid the honest tenant smile,
And sweet contentment share.
Oh! think what fond and fervent zeal
Shall sanctify your cause,
When never forc’d by pining want
To break your rigid laws.
How sweet the meed of conscious worth,
More dear than public fame!
How sweet the blessings that repose
Upon a good man’s name!
Then rule with mercy—so shall Heav’n
Your fondest wishes speed;
And joy, and peace, and plenty reign
From Scaw Scaw, in Urst, the most northern of the Zetland isles. to Sumburghead. Sumburghead, the southernmost point of Zetland.
Oh! Laxford, dear! thy barren hills
Fond mem’ry still must love;
To thee my wand’ring fancy turns,
Where’er my footsteps rove.
Oh! scenes by happy childhood bless’d,
When grief was all unknown—
But dearer now, and treasur’d more,
Your joys for ever flown.
’Twas there, oh, Scott! thy presence cheer’d
Thine hospitable hall;
’Twas there thou gav’st with friendly smile
A welcome unto all.
Beneath thy roof each wand’rer found
A refuge from the storm;
And frequent hast thou shelter’d there
The orphan’s trembling form.
Now in the cold and silent tomb
Thy mould’ring dust is laid,
And yet no marble stone is rear’d
To point thy lowly bed.
But, oh! within the grateful breast
Thy mem’ry long shall dwell;
Nor ask of art its feeble aid,
Thy honour’d name to tell.
And thou whom sorrow’s chilling breath
Destroy’d in beauty’s bloom,
How oft shall friendship’s sacred tear
Bedew thy early tomb!
Oh, Isabella! ever dear,
How oft has fancy rov’d
With thee by Laxford’s moonlight stream,
And all the haunts we lov’d!
With thee I never more shall rove
By Laxford’s bounding wave—
Thy spirit sought its kindred skies,
Thy form its peaceful grave.
When o’er thy bed a husband hung,
And dropt the fruitless tear;
When thy lov’d infant’s feeble voice
Rung on thy dying ear;
With all the eloquence of sighs,
And all the warmth of pray’r,
The kneeling friends around thy bed
Besought of Heav’n to spare.—
’Twas vain—thy blameless course was run,
The blow of death was giv’n;
And angels hover’d o’er thy head,
To waft thy soul to heav’n.
Adieu to thee, and all the friends
That happy childhood knew;—
By absence some, yet more by death,
Snatch’d sudden from my view!
And Laxford’s winding stream, adieu!
Adieu, thy sea-beach wild,
Where oft I’ve rov’d with careless feet,
Untutor’d nature’s child!
I dream’d not that a fairer spot
On earth’s broad bosom lay;
Nor ever wish’d my wand’ring feet
Beyond its bounds to stray.
And when I read of fairer fields
Beyond the northern main;
And tow’ring trees, whose leafy arms
Spread o’er the flow’ry plain;
Of rivers, through the verdant vale
Meandering smooth and clear;
Or where cascades their torrents dash
O’er precipices drear:
I read—and fancy cloth’d thy steps
With darkling groves of pine;
Bright bloom’d thy flow’rs, smooth flow’d thy streams,
And ev’ry charm was thine.
Soft on the weedy sea-beach stole
The wave with murmur low;
And o’er the undulating tide
Serener zephyrs blow.
And there the moon, in radiance pale,
Her mildest lustre threw;
Silv’ring the rocks of Tuinna-taing,
And Ocean’s bosom blue.
The fields of Hammerslain were gay
With flow’rs of simple dye;
And primrose there and daisy bloom’d
Beneath a brighter sky.
Oh, Laxford! once my happy home,
Farewell thy rocky shore!
The wand’rer that has fled from thee
Returns, alas! no more.
Oh! Hammerslain’s romantic fields,
Take, take my last farewell!—
Another now shall rove your banks,
And in Scott’s-Hall shall dwell;
Another now shall nurse the flow’rs
I rear’d with anxious care;
Another range the sandy beach,
And cull the sea-shells there.
Another, by the burn reclin’d,
O’er some sad tale shall weep;
Or list’ning to its murm’ring voice,
Be softly lull’d to sleep.
Another now by Severspool
At purple dawn shall stray,
And on the mossy ward-hill Many of the high hills in Zetland, upon which are yet to be seen the ruins of ancient watch towers, are thus denominated by the inhabitants. mark
The sportive lambkins play.
Farewell, ye scenes of dear delight,
A long, a last adieu!
For never more your distant charms
These aching eyes shall view.
And, Laxford! thou my once lov’d home,
A long farewell to thee—
The blissful hour of sweet return
Shall never smile on me!
Yet mem’ry oft with pious tear,
As changing seasons roll,
Shall consecrate thy parted joys;
And bind thee to my soul.
Address to Pleasure.
I know thee not, oh, nymph so fair!
With sparkling eyes and golden hair;
Thy skin more white than winter snows,
Thy blushes brighter than the rose;
And breath more fragrant than the breeze
That gently sighs on summer-trees;
The blue of midnight’s vaulted skies
Not equals thine expressive eyes,
Whose brilliant glance is like the star
That trembles through the clouds afar;
Thy airy form more graceful seems
Than willow bending o’er the streams;
And thou art swifter than the roe
On breezy mountain’s craggy brow.
Oh! nymph so fair, and heav’nly bright!
Thou art a stranger to my sight;
Since happy childhood’s early day
A stranger to my weary way!
How lightly flew those joyous hours,
That saw me ’tend my op’ning flow’rs;
The tulip gay, the lily white,
Then gave my simple soul delight;
And I could watch, with glad surprise,
The moss-rose’ lovely tints arise;
Sweet-william op’ning to the ray,
And closing with the closing day.
Too soon those happy moments fled,
And ev’ry blissful scene was dead;
Creation’s bloom did but annoy,
And sighs and tears were all my joy,
And solitude the only charm
That could this pensive bosom warm.
Oft in the deep sequester’d shade
I woo’d the melancholy maid;
And when pale Cynthia rode the sky,
Gaz’d on her beams, and almost wish’d to die.
But thou, with Hope, art now return’d;
Welcome, long-lost, and deeply mourn’d!
With joy thy beauteous face I see,
For, ah! thy smiles are bent on me;
Forsake me not, sweet nymph! again,
Nor leave my soul the slave of pain:
And thou, whose sister-form is nigh,
Enchanting Hope, with eagle-eye!
Withdraw no more thy soothing dreams,
Nor hide again the golden beams
That open now with welcome light,
Like morning on the skirts of night!
But stay to gild my future years,
And wipe at last these falling tears.
Lubin to Sylvia.
Alas! that beauty, like the rose,
Should live but for a summer’s day;
And like that fairest flow’r disclose
A blossom only to decay!
When time shall dim that sparkling eye,
And wrinkle Sylvia’s brow so fair,
And bid those blooming blushes die,
And silver o’er that auburn hair;
When ev’ry charm you boast shall fade
By cruel fate’s severe decree;
What then remains, my lovely maid,
Ah, Sylvia! what remains for me?
When that fair form shall cease to charm,
And ev’ry beauty shall depart;
What then the lover’s breast shall warm—
Oh! what shall rivet Lubin’s heart?
Turn from thy treach’rous glass awhile;
Thy soul’s neglected culture see!
Let that with virtue’s radiance smile,
And Lubin only lives for thee.
For looks it well in wedded wife
To laugh, to flirt, to dress, and stare?
I want, dear maid, a friend for life,
To crown its joy, and soothe its care.
The lover’s eye perchance they bless,—
But when the gordian knot is tied,
Farewell to folly, glare, and dress;
Adieu to vanity and pride!
Far other scenes demand thy care;
Let these alone thy thoughts employ;
Then, e’en in age, I’ll think thee fair,
And in thee find perpetual joy.
Address to the Winds.
Softly, ye wildly-wand’ring gales!
Spare in your rage the leafless tree;
Breathe not your fury o’er the vales,
Nor heave the billows of the sea.
All nature mourns your tyrant reign;
Stripp’d are the honours of the grove;
And tempests through the aerial plain,
Borne on your viewless pinions rove.
Restrain, oh winds! your blust’ring force;
Ye tempests stop your mad career,
Nor strew each gallant sailor’s corse
Untimely on a wat’ry bier.
Spare, oh, ye winds! the widow’s moan,
Nor wake the tear in beauty’s eye;
But waft our warriors safely home,
In love and friendship’s arms to die.
For, toss’d upon the welt’ring wave,
Far from each friend, and far from home,
No stone can mark the hero’s grave,
No tear bedew the lover’s tomb.
Yet, gallant spirits! shall each name
Be dear to ev’ry British heart;
E’en when we triumph in your fame,
The sigh shall rise—the tear shall start.
Illustrious, to the end of time,
Each dauntless hero’s name shall be,
Who fell in manhood’s hardy prime—
Who fought—who bled—for liberty!
Speed on, oh time! the happy day
That lays at last oppression low;
Then peace her olive shall display,
And patriot-blood no more shall flow.114 F9v 114
How sweet—how soothing is the thought!
When battle’s stormy rage is o’er,
That peace again, though dearly bought,
Shall smile upon our native shore.
Then cheerful o’er our cliffs we’ll rove,
And watch the peacefull bark glide by;
And safely through her orange grove
Again th’Iberian fair shall hie.
Exulting shouts the heav’ns shall rend,
When war’s detested flag is furl’d;
And trade shall flourish—wealth extend,
And commerce navigate the world.
They, treach’rous, tell thee love is sweet,
And yet my Mary’s cheek is wet
With many a pearly tear:
Ah! tell me then, my lovely maid!
From whence that liquid wand’rer stray’d,
And whence those sighs I hear?
Can love, so gentle and so fair,
Put on the semblance thus of care,
And cloud thy youthful days?
Say, can he bid thy breast assume
The suit of woe, the pensive gloom,
That only grief should raise?
Alas! thy bosom’s heaving swell,
The tears that from thine eye-lids fell,
Relate a mournful tale:
The rose of beauty is decay’d,
And on thy cheek, sweet lovely maid!
Now reigns the lily pale.
Go, treach’rous love—I bid thee go—
Thou art the source of many a woe,
And short thy boasted joy;
Thy trembling sighs, thy streaming tears,
Thy anxious hopes, and jealous fears,
My Mary’s peace destroy.
I come in friendship’s purest guise,
To chace those tear-drops from her eyes,
And hush those sighs of woe:
Oh, Love! restore my Mary’s peace,
And let thy busy tumult cease,
Or wonted joy bestow.
To the Evening Star. 18031803.
Bright trav’ller of yon blue expanse,
Throwing through clouds thy silv’ry glance,
The dewy ev’ning to adorn;
Say, on what shore shall I appear,
When thou, as wheels the rolling year,
Shalt usher in the morn?
Still must these barren plains and hills,
These rugged rocks, and scanty rills,
My narrow prospects bound?
Must I, where nature’s bounteous hand
Dresses in smiles the favour’d land,
Be never, never found?
Still on these plains, where scant’ly spread,
The modest daisy lifts its head,
Or lurks amid the broom;
Still with pall’d eye behold again,
Thin scatter’d on the stony plain,
The primrose scarcely bloom?
Oft fancy wanders many a mile,
To scenes where nature loves to smile,
And scatters charms around;
Where rocky mounts on mounts arise,
Whose tow’ring summits kiss the skies,
With leafy forests crown’d;
Or where the dreadful cat’ract roars,
Or where through meads of honied flow’rs
Soft murm’ring rivers glide;
Or where the lake expands to view,
Reflecting on its bosom blue,
The mountain’s woody side.
But, ah! this ocean’s liquid round
My dreary prospect still must bound;
And fancy dreams in vain
Of distant shores, that only shine
For other, happier, eyes than mine,
Beyond the stormy main.
To Jesse of Yell.
Heav’nly angels! hover round thee,
Guard thy innocence, sweet maid!
Virtue’s radiant train surround thee,
In celestial robes array’d!
On thy cheek of youthful beauty,
Long may health’s fair roses bloom;
Long may filial love and duty,
Bind thee to thy humble home.
May thy swain prove fond and faithful,
May your loves together bloom;
But if false, may justice wrathful
Drive th’ inconstant to his doom.
Heav’nly angels! hover round thee,
Guard thy innocence, sweet maid!
Oh! may falsehood never wound thee,
Never grief thy breast invade.
But if Jessy find that treasure—
Him whose heart is fond and true—
Yours be ev’ry earthly pleasure,
Ever smiling, ever new!
Go, and dwell, each bliss enjoying,
In thy long-lov’d native isle;
Purest raptures never cloying—
On your blissful union smile!
Then no cares, no woes gigantic,
E’er shall wander where you dwell,
On the sea-beat shore romantic,
In thy native isle of Yell.
I took thee, faithless! to my breast;
And as a sweet and welcome guest
I lodged thee in my inmost heart,
And held thee as its dearest part.
But hence, thou fickle girl, away!
No more that faithful heart betray;
Go, find a bosom like thy own—
A haughty mind, a heart of stone.
For, ah! to banish my repose,
Thy winning friendship sweetly rose,
With gentle looks, and manners free,
That won my purest love to thee.
But, Charlotte! since I’m once deceiv’d,
Since friendship feign’d this heart has griev’d,
I scorn thy falsehood to deplore,—
Proud girl! I’ll never love thee more.
Yet think not that without a tear
I banish’d all my love sincere,
Or thought that thou wert false to me—
But—this is my last sigh for thee.
To Miss Clementina Houston, on Her Leaving School.
From Scotia’s wild romantic fields
A blooming garland let me bring,
Each flow’r that vale or mountain yields,
Or blossoms on the breast of spring.
And, Clementina! round thy brow
The blooming garland let me twine;
It cannot, envy must allow,
Deck a more placid brow than thine.
Yet, should I praise thy lovely mien,
Or tell thee that thy face was fair,
Thou’dst view my verse with proud disdain,
Nor think my friendship worth thy care.
Long may’st thou bloom in youth and health,
Thy friends sincere, thy lover true;
And long thy path be strew’d with wealth,
For then the poor are blessed too!
In that dear home thy smile shall cheer,
Content and happiness be thine;
No sorrow wake thy gushing tear,
Nor bid thy gentle heart repine.
No dark disease with pois’nous breath
Infect for thee the liquid air;
And distant far the hour of death,
Yet peaceful as thy midnight pray’r!
The friendship which I felt for thee,
Thy sorrowing tears did first bedew;
And when they sympathised with me,
The infant bud took root and grew.
Oh! never may it be our doom
To see that op’ning flow’r decay,
But fresher, lovelier, may it bloom,
As year on year shall roll away.
And though by fate’s severe decree
Apart we many a mile should stray,
My faithful heart shall cherish thee,
And love thee still, though far away.
To a Wealthy Man.
Go, man of wealth! and seek the shade
Where Sickness’ pining form is laid;
Where honest worth neglected lies,
And wasted sorrow droops and dies.
Go, raise the mourner’s drooping head,
And round his dwelling comfort shed;
Go, hush pale mis’ry’s doleful cry,
Assuage the tear, and hush the sigh.
Go, bring yon weary wand’rer here,
Where peace and plenty crown the year;
Go, bid his woes and wand’rings cease,
And close his aged eyes in peace.
Go, soothe the pang yon widow feels,
That o’er her babe despairing kneels;
Say, that her children thou’lt protect,
Nor e’en the mother’s woes neglect.
Go, tell yon trembling orphan pale,
At ev’ry door that sobs her tale,
Thy wealth shall yield a parent’s home,
Nor future wants compel to roam.
Go, search the prison’s noisome cell,
Where guilt, disease, and anguish dwell;
Where suff’ring innocence complains,
And man, thy fellow, walks in chains!
There set the pining debtor free,
And blessings shall be pour’d on thee;
Relieve each want, console each care,
And blunt the sorrows of despair.
So may thy blosom ne’er repine,
So may sweet peace be ever thine;
Unnumber’d joys thy life attend,
Virtue thy guide, and God thy friend!
So, long and happy may’st thou live,
With all the bliss that life can give;
And die a death devoid of fear,
And leave a name to thousands dear!
To Miss B. Ogilvy; Zetland.
Dost thou remember, gentle maid,
The hours that we have spent together;
When by the Watchwell hill we stray’d,
Regardless of the frowning weather?
Hast thou forgot each artless prank,
When friendship’s flow’ry fetters bound us;
When on the Knabb’s projecting bank
The misty morning oft has found us?
Or when the summer-sun glow’d high,
And winds and waves were seen in motion,
To Twagoe’s pebbled shore we’d hie,
And lave, like sea-nymphs, in the ocean?
Or, when our school-day task was o’er,
As through the garden’s sweets we’d ramble,
The butterfly, from flow’r to flow’r,
Pursue with many a sportive gambol?
Oh! these are scenes of infancy
Which mem’ry ever loves to treasure;
The happy hours of thoughtless glee,
Of short-liv’d pain, and purest pleasure:
The hours when mirth’s tumultuous sway
Dries up the new-fall’n tears of sorrow;
Enjoys the pleasures of to-day,
Nor dreads to meet the coming morrow.
As farther on life’s rugged way,
With anxious footstep quickly pressing,
The more from childhood’s haunts we stray,
The dearer seems each faded blessing.
Say, if, untainted still, thy mind
Each gentle virtue makes its dwelling;
And if thy heart, still true and kind,
With sympathy’s warm throb is swelling?
When sorrow’s mournful tale is told,
Are tear-drops from thine eye-lids stealing;
Or has thine heart, grown hard and cold,
Turn’d callous to each tender feeling?
But, ah! my friend, forgive the fear
Which thus in friendship’s warmth arises;
For yet, as in each earlier year,
My heart that friendship fondly prizes.
The school-boy, from its verdant tree
The op’ning rose-bud rudely sweeping,
Its guardian thorn soon checks his glee,
And leaves the thoughtless urchin weeping;
And smarting from the recent pain,
Though near its fragrant sweets he’ll linger,
He dreads to pluck it, lest again
The jealous thorn should wound his finger.
Thus when the heart is wrung with pain
By faithless friends, we’re ever dreading
To trust to friendship, lest again
It leaves the wounded bosom bleeding.
But our’s was friendship’s purest flame,
Nor time its flow’ry bands shall sever;
Oh! let me think thee still the same,
Oh! let me love and trust thee ever!
To Eliza Matilda.
Adieu to the scenes where the fairies have rov’d,
Where the narrow burn rush’d down the moss-cover’d hill;
Adieu to the haunts where so lately we lov’d
By twilight, or moonlight, to wander at will!
Matilda! those pleasures for ever have fled,
No time shall restore them again to our sight;
No more on the banks of the smooth-flowing rill
We shall sit, while the ev’ning around us is still,
And gaze on her planet so bright.
On the lap of affection indulgently laid,
And nurs’d on the bosom of love,
We knew not, we thought not, how soon they might fade,
Or how far from our haunts they would rove;
For like dreams of romance that will gladden the soul,
Or like some soothing vision of rapture and bliss,
Around us awhile the enchantment was wove,
Nor dream’d we, Matilda! how soon we might prove
All the sorrows of care and distress.
Oh! how blest and how happy, unmindful of wealth,
The world, and its woes, and its pleasures forgot,
We could dwell, the meek children of virtue and health,
Contentment our fortune, our dwelling—a cot!127 G4r 127
Again, my Matilda! how pleas’d would we stray
By the moss-cover’d mountain, or smooth-flowing rill;
Where, bless’d with each other, we’d look up to heav’n,
Our wishes confin’d to the lot that was giv’n,
And the sphere we were destin’d to fill.
But, alas! how I wander,—wild Fancy, away!
Why picture a scene that’s so bright and so fair?
Why tell me we ever again shall be gay,
Poor victims of sorrow, and daughters of care!
Adieu, my Matilda! to visions like these,
That mock the sad heart, and can only annoy;—
Let us dwell on the hope, with a rapture sincere,
That we soon shall be freed from the wretchedness here,
And mount to the regions of joy!
To Miss Sophia Headle.
Say, dear Sophia! gentle friend,
Wilt thou to Orkney’s sea-beat strand
Again thy wand’ring footsteps bend,
And leave fair England’s happy land?
When o’er the murm’ring billows borne,
As whisp’ring breezes waft you there,
Wilt thou with fond rememberance turn
To her, that did thy pillow share?
When summer clothes each hill and dell
Of Ronaldsha, with verdant sweets;
And Echo, from her sacred cell,
The murmurs of the wave repeats;
As through our favourite haunts you stray,
Will mem’ry waken in thy mind,
And fancy by thy side pourtray,
The friend whom thou hast left behind!
And when the merry Lammas Fair
Shall bid each country belle and beau
To Kirkwall’s crowded street repair,
Their wond’rous finery to show;
There, while the lively dance you join,
Or list to music’s melting strain—
Say, will one passing thought be mine
Amid the gay and jocund train?
How oft, when wand’ring by the shore
To catch the gentle ocean-breeze,
In many a sigh my soul I pour
To thee, across the murm’ring seas!
I think upon thy tender cares,
Sophia, with a tearful smile;
Pleasure and pain alternate shares
The feelings of my breast the while.
’Twas thine, my sorrowing soul to soothe,
When rack’d and torn by many a grief,
My rugged, slipp’ry path to smooth,
And give my swelling heart relief.
Farewell, my friend! may peace be thine,
Content, and health, and love, and joy;
And never may a grief like mine,
Dear girl! thy bosom’s peace alloy!
To Eliza L. G. Sutherland. 18101810.
The sky is blue, the fields are gay,
And calm the bosom of the deep;
Then wilt thou come with me, and stray
By Tomnahurich’s haunted steep?
When gain’d the steep ascent we’ll pause,
And rest us on the mossy ground,
While fancy’s ready pencil draws
The little fairies dancing round.
Though high the scorching sun may glow,
And steep and weary is the way,
The lovely scenes that spread below
Shall all our labour well repay.
See, at our feet, how soft and slow
Fair Nessa rolls her silver stream—
There, deep and clear, how smooth the flow;
There rippling in the sunny beam!
There the green isle, where eve and morn
The mavis swells his warbling throat;
And perch’d upon the lowly thorn,
The linnet tunes the thrilling note.
Its little grove, a cluster’d group,
That smiles in ev’ry varied green,
As low the pendant branches droop,
Reflected in the wat’ry sheen.
The busy manufacturer see
Rears on its banks his useful dome;
Keeps many a hand from mischief free,
And gilds with joy each humble home.
And Charity has rear’d yon pile,
That stands upon the level plain,
Where tender cares the hours beguile
Of those that suffer tort’ring pain.
Mild Pity by their couch doth stand,
And fever’s burning pangs allay,
Or gives the draught with ready hand,
That soothes their agonies away.
And there the town of Inverness,
Where scenes of busy life prevail—
And the fair damsel’s airy dress
Scarce shields her from the passing gale.
Among our Highland lasses sweet,
There are, that like their dames of old,
With dauntless courage bravely meet
Our Northern climate’s piercing cold.
Yet through these streets I oft have seen
Some mild and tender beauty stray,
Have mark’d the sweetly modest mien,
And cheek that blush’d like dawning day.
Some in our ancient tartan clad,
The fleece their native hills supply,
Blooming celestial rosy-red,
The winter’s frost and storm defy.
Superior far to robes of gold,
That come from India’s gaudy looms;—
Wrapp’d in its warm and graceful fold,
Health smiles secure, and beauty blooms.
But, see! what closer wins the eye—
Thy happy home, in yonder street;
Where oft with eager haste I fly,
Thee, and my long-lov’d friends, to greet!
See, there the Kessek ferry lies,
Its murmuring billows hush’d to rest;
And see Morena’s steep arise,
Majestic, from its placid breast.
There, as along their native hills,
The wild Morena’s snowy pride
Are straggling o’er the verdant fields,
Or nibbling on the mountain’s side.
And there Fort-Rose is just in sight,
Where Learning still delights to dwell—
Where Mitchell Scott, that wond’rous wight,
Was bred, as ancient stories tell.
And there, as if by magic plac’d,
Upon the ocean’s murm’ring surge,
With many a rounded bastion fac’d,
Appear the ramparts of Fort-George.
Culloden, Stewart, Darcus too,
Craigphadrick, by the Muse renown’d,
And many an object worth thy view,
Adorns the varied landscape round.
Then come, my friend, and arm in arm
The fairy-hill together climb;
Below, the spreading vale shall charm—
Above, the mountain’s height sublime.
Then come, my friend, oh! come away;
Soon will the summer day be gone—
It fades in ev’ning-shadows grey,
And dreary night comes hast’ning on.
So must the sunny morn of youth,
In feeble age lose all its bloom,—
Then follows dark—oh, mournful truth,
A night of silence in the tomb!
To Lady Hamley; Bodmin, Cornwall.
Ah! wherefore is this starting tear?
Back, lucid wand’rer! back again;—
When love, and joy, and hope are near
This grief is idle, selfish, vain.
Say, is it that my friend is bless’d
In all that faithful love bestows,
That sighs of sorrow swell my breast,
And the big tear unbidden flows?
Ah! no,—but I have cause to grieve;
A dear, and early valued friend,
Too soon her native isle must leave,
Far, far from hence her way to bend.
But I will dash the tear away,
And tune my harp to strains of joy;
Care must not cloud this happy day,
Nor selfish grief thy bliss annoy.
Oh! may my pray’rs to Heav’n ascend,
And bring life’s choicest treasures down
On thee and thine, my early friend!
And all your days with pleasure crown.
And in your Hamley’s happy home
May love, and peace, and pleasure dwell;
There may the social virtues come,
And ev’ry lurking ill repel.
For sure I am, thy choice must be,
My friend, the worthiest and the best!
Or he had ne’er been lov’d by thee,
Had ne’er thy feeling heart possess’d.
And as the brightest gift of God,
He’ll cherish thee with tend’rest love,
Make easy all life’s thorny road,
And grief’s complaining pangs remove.
You go—again the tear-drops glide,
And sighs my lab’ring bosom swell;
Oh! how shall I my sorrows hide!
Or how pronounce the word—farewell!
Yet, fare ye well!—for part we must—
Eternal joy your bosoms share!
Oh! may the Muse not vainly trust
That Heav’n propituous hears the pray’r!
To Mrs. Grant, of Duthell.
On Reading Her Intellectual Education.
The pleasing task, to rear the tender thought,
And fix the gen’rous purpose in the soul,
Has long been your’s, and gradual time has taught
The truth and blessings of your mild controul.
From the sweet baby smiling through its tears,
To frolic childhood, laughing, frank and free,
Each varying shape that dawning reason wears
Has long been known, respected friend! to thee.
To watch the mind’s young blossoms, and to guard
The lovely plants from ev’ry noxious blight,
Hath been your care, and now your rich reward
To see them bloom around in ev’ry virtue bright!
Nor pain, nor grief your ardour could subdue,
Though deadliest pangs your tortur’d bosom wrung,
And bitter drops of anguish would bedew
The lovely faded form o’er which you hung.136 G8v 136
Oh! I have seen you with a saint-like smile,
Though sickly sorrow wore your life away,
With cheering praise your pupil’s tasks beguile,
And charm each lurking evil fear away:
And many a heart with mine will now attest,
How priz’d your ceaseless care at such a time;
When she, the loveliest, dearest, and the best,
Was snatch’d away by Death, in beauty’s early prime!
Oh, most respected! and, oh, best belov’d!
What arm’d your soul to bear such heavy grief?—
’Twas pious faith, and meek religion, prov’d
Your certain solace, and your sure relief:
Nor your’s alone—you spread the blessing round,
And lifted up our youthful hearts to heav’n;
And in your bright example still we found
How good and lovely ev’ry precept giv’n!
And in your moral page shall others find
Whate’er improves or dignifies the soul;
Shall learn to form and mould the infant mind,
And free the lovely babe from terror’s false controul.
The youthful mother with delight shall read,
And make each useful maxim there her own;
While pow’rful nature in her breast shall plead,
To ’tend herself the precious charge alone:
No hireling’s breast her baby’s cheek shall press,
Her children’s plaint not other voice shall still;
No other soothe their infantine distress,
Or check, with tend’rest care, the froward will.137 G9r 137
And oh! for this, for all her anxious days,
And sleepless nights, her rich reward shall be,
To see them walk in wisdom’s pleasant ways,
When from her guardian hand in riper age set free.
The brightest patterns then of female worth
Her lov’d and lovely daughters shall appear;
Her sons add lustre to the noblest birth,
For ev’ry manly grace and virtue dear.
Whatever path ordain’d by fate to tread,
Honour shall be the guardian of their way—
Virtue shall deck the wisdom of the head,
And reason calm the passion’s madd’ning play.
Like the sweet rose, the beauteous queen of flow’rs,
Bright shall they bloom in fairest garb array’d,
And when expir’d on earth their measur’d hours,
Shall leave a name behind whose lustre cannot fade.
Address to the British Navy. 18131813.
Ye gallant souls! that nobly brave,
Still guard Britannia’s happy shore,
Or vent’rous plough the trackless wave
From Arctic to Antarctic’s roar—
How shall a simple Northern lyre
Attempt such proud and lofty strain,
As dares to sing your dauntless fire
And triumphs on the subject main?138 G9v 138
So bold a theme might well demand
Oh, wond’rous Scott! thy matchless hand.
The humbled pow’rs of Europe own
Your sov’reign empire on the sea;
’Tis there you rear Brittania’s throne,
And stamp her ’mong the nations free.
The roaring deep, the ’whelming storm,
Ne’er yet could British courage quell;
For still ye worshipp’d Freedom’s form,
And conquer’d in her cause, or fell;
And Ocean’s waters, as they roll,
Tell of your fame from pole to pole.
And turn our view to elder time,
When Britain’s glory Alfred plann’d;
And rear’d a bulwark thus sublime,
To centinel her happy land:—
Oh! mighty warrior! mighty king!
How bright on gothic darkness rose
Thy soaring genius’ dazzling wing,
And shook down ruin on thy foes—
Ordain’d to wield, oh, best of men!
The sword, the sceptre, and the pen.
In later years, Iberia’s pow’r
In vain its boasted strength display’d;
She fled from Britain’s guarded shore,
All vanquish’d, ruin’d, and dismay’d:
Then pressing on th’ astonish’d view,
What scenes of naval glories glide!139 G10r 139
Old Ocean, on his bosom blue,
Bears your proud fleets with conscious pride,
And speeds, triumphantly unfurl’d,
Britannia’s ensign round the world.
Still may that ensign, proudly spread,
Wave glorious on the ocean-breeze;
Humble our foes, protect our trade,
And hold our empire on the seas:
Still conquerors on the subject deep,
May distant nations own your claim—
And when in glory’s arms you sleep,
Ye die not—deathless is your fame!
How bright the naval hero’s doom—
A grateful nation mourning o’er his tomb!
Nor deem that one unwept can fall,
For ever to your country dear!
She honours, and she mourns you all,
And gems your laurels with a tear.
And dearer far than public praise,
For you, at nature’s sacred shrine
Her tears maternal anguish pays,
And friendship mourns, and love divine.—
In life renown’d, in mem’ry blest,
Sweet is the patriot’s place of rest!
For you the mother hourly prays,
And bends to Heav’n the pious knee;
For you what anxious thousands gaze,
Trembling, upon the changeful sea.140 G10v 140
For you, from beauty’s downcast eye,
The pearly drop is seen to stray;
And the fair bosom’s secret sigh
Mourns but the sailor far away—
Oh! that propitious Heav’n may spare,
And grant ye to a nation’s pray’r!
And when the din of war is o’er,
And glory’s bright career is run,
Return, ye warriors! to that shore
From whence your brilliant course begun:
Whether to England’s Druid groves,
Or Caledonia’s mountain-rills,
Or where the ancient Briton roves
By Cambria’s rude gigantic hills:
Or where the brave Hibernian strays—
Where Shannon’s sparkling water plays!
Return—the sweets of peace to find,
To bask in love and friendship’s smile,
The laurel round your brows to bind,
To rest from danger and from toil;
Again inhale the mountain breeze,
And rear, upon your native land,
Those oaks, that yet upon the seas
Your children’s children shall command;
For distant ages, yet to time unknown,
Brittania’s empire on the deep shall own!
Is it, because upon my breast
The heavy hand of sorrow lies,
That smiling peace, and balmy rest
Far from my thorny pillow flies—
It is, because the cheerful day
Is painful to my aching sight,
And ev’ry prospect I survey
Dark as the deepest shades of night—
Is it, for these, oh, man of God!
That stern contempt is in thine eye?—
Thy counsel might relieve the load,
And fix my hopes beyond the sky!
The heart where secret sorrow reigns,
May well demand thy pitying care;
For what can soothe the mourner’s pains
Like pious counsel—holy pray’r.
Or, wouldst thou judge the soul within!
Presumptuous mortal! search thy own
Enough, to know that all have sin;
But God that sees, shall judge alone.
Is it for erring man to frown
Thus proudly on his sister-worm,
To crush the wretched mourner down,
And trample sorrow’s prostrate form?
Oh! judge not thus—lest thou be judg’d!
But, meekly glowing in thy breast,
Let Christian charity be lodg’d—
So, Heav’n is pleas’d, and thou art blest!
Then bright and perfect, holy man!
Rever’d thy character shall be—
But never, never, harshly scan
The heart thou mayst not judge, and cannot see.
Inchdorrock. Inchdorrock, or Inchdarrach, (the corner or place of oaks); a beautiful and romantic spot, on the banks of the river Ness, Inverness shire. It is the property of Mr. Young, Bookseller, of Inverness: a gentleman to whom the Authoress is most deeply and lastingly indebted.
Inchdorrock, through thy fairy glade,
By heav’nly contemplation led,
The young enthusiast oft shall rove,
And must within thy Druid grove.143 G12r 143
And once among thy groves I stray’d,
And by thy swiftly rushing river;
But I no more shall seek thy shade—
Adieu, sweet grove, and vale, for ever!
Thy wilderness of shrubs and flow’rs,
That drink the balmy summer show’rs,
And forest-branches bending low
To catch the breezes as they blow;
All beam as bright on fancy’s eye,
As when, amid thy beauties straying,
I mark’d fair Nessa gliding by,
The sun-beams on her blue-waves playing:
Or clamb’ring up the mountain’s side,
To pull the briar-rose’ blushing pride;
Or the wild strawb’rry, ruby red,
To gather from its verdant bed;
Or further down the deep’ning way,
My soul to pensive thought resigning,
Where the sweet woodbine’s blossom’d spray
Round the dark Scottish fir was twining.
Delightful spot!—ah, never more
These feet shall press thy verdant shore;
Or mark they wild-flow’rs as they spring,
Or hear thy woodland-warblers sing!
Then why recal these fairy scenes,
With such a tender, fond emotion?
Oh! they must charm while mem’ry reigns,
Or Nessa’s blue-waves seek the ocean!
Yet wherefore sing their beauties here,
’Mid barren rocks, and vallies drear?
Ah! why, but that they paint so fair
The lovelier scenes remember’d there:
For still, thy Druid groves among,
(Altars to worth and virtue rearing),
Fancy pourtrays the taste of Young,
In many a moral charm appearing.
Though all unskilful is the hand
That strikes the lyre on Thule’s strand,
Long since, best patron! but for thee,
That hand and lyre had ceas’d to be—
And spurn not thou, though late, the lay
Of liveliest gratitude the token—
The lyre is strung, far, far away—
The hand is weak—the heart is broken!
Full soon, these barren rocks among,
That simple lyre shall lie unstrung;
Sorrow awoke its earliest lay,
And sorrow shrouds its closing day.
Among Inchdorrock’s rising groves,
Where health with ev’ry breeze is blending,
Be thine, with happiness to rove,
Virtue and peace thy steps attending!
And there may happier lyres be strung,
And happier lays for thee be sung,
Float o’er the stream, and sweetly swell
The echoes of thy fairy dell.145 H1r 145
And may that lov’d and lovely flow’r Hugh Frazer Young, Mr. Young’s only child—a very interesting and promising boy.
Thy fond paternal hand is rearing,
Acquire new graces ev’ry hour,
And ev’ry charm and grace endearing.
Oft through Inchdorrock’s fragrant grove,
With him, may youth and beauty rove—
And seldom may his wand’ring feet
Be lur’d from such a calm retreat:
Or if his youthful heart beats high
To leave awhile his native mountains—
To rove beneath a brighter sky,
Through foreign groves, by foreign fountains—
Oh! may they but enhance the more
Britannia’s wave-encircled shore,
Dear Caledonia’s mountain rills,
Her forests brown, and misty hills:
And when thy closing hour is near,
Upon his filial breast reposing
May Death as fair and calm appear
As if sweet sleep thine eyes were closing!
Inchdorrock! heave thy branches high,
And bid thy balmiest zephyrs sigh;
Unfold thy flowers of ev’ry hue,
And roll, sweet stream! thy waters blue:H 146 H1v 146
Wave, ye fair fields! with golden corn,
Ye fruit trees! with your load be bending;
And o’er the valley, eve and morn,
Be dews prolific still descending!
Inchdorrock! to thy groves adieu!
These eyes no more thy groves shall view;
Save when perchance, in midnight dream
To wander ’neath their shade I seem;
Or think I climb thy flow’ry brae,
Or hear the murmur of thy river—
But, ah! the vision flits with night away—
Adieu, sweet spot! adieu for ever!
Address to Fancy.
Now busy Fancy plumes her wing,
And flies to many a distant clime,
Pursues the fleeting bloom of Spring,
And mocks the ravages of time;
’Tis her’s to lead me wide and far,
To realms beyond the polar star,
O’er the unfathom’d ocean’s breast—
Nor stops her weary wing to rest.
When Spring, with all her blossoms gay,
Retires as summer flow’rs appear;
And Summer, stealing soft away,
To Autumn leaves the rip’ning year:
And e’en when Winter’s stormy breath
Consigns the flow’ry world to death,
To other realms we’ll swiftly go,
Where still the summer-sun doth glow.
Nor distance, danger, time, nor space,
Bright Spirit! shall our steps confine;
From Pole to Pole we’ll urge the race—
The world, the mighty world, is thine!
Thou wand’rest down into the deep,
Where the wreck’d mariner doth sleep;
Where diamonds gild the dusky wave,
And mermaid rears her coral cave.
Thou soarest up to yonder heav’n,
And while the chaste moon glimmers there,
By sportive breeze at random driv’n,
Sailest upon the clouds of air;
Nor beetling cliff, nor forest dread,
But still thy daring foot may tread—
Then stretch thy wildest wing for me,
And I will range the globe with thee!
Far to the North, where the faint Sun
Scarce darts his few and straggling rays;
Where deep retir’d in caverns dun
The Greenland native hides his days;148 H2v 148
There, Fancy! will we speed our flight;
And waste, in caves, the lengthen’d night;
Share the wild native’s gloomy ease,
And find e’en savage sports can please.
High in the pure cerulean sky
We’ll see the Northern lights arise,
And mark their mingled squadrons fly
Like warring armies through the skies:
Where Cynthia, in her silver car,
And ev’ry planet, ev’ry star,
With double lustre brightly glow,
Reflected in the frost below.
Till, when the winter-solstice comes,
The natives quit their realms of night;
We’ll listen then their noisy drums,
That welcome the returning light:
While their untutor’d bards rehearse
With gesture wild, in flowing verse,
The noble actions of their sires,
Or hail the Sun’s rekindled fires.
For now the rapid chace once more
They’ll urge along their moors again;
Or jocund leave the rocky shore,
To hunt the tenants of the main.
Now night and day the sunny beam
Dances on ocean, rock, and stream;
While, ev’ry want and wish confin’d,
Contentment cheers the native’s mind.149 H3r 149
Then to Spitzbergen we will hie,
Where em’rald rocks fantastic swell,
And frozen mountains, lifted high,
The Arctic ocean’s rage repel.
There, for no human form is near,
We’ll wander with the polar bear,
With rein-deer o’er the deserts haste,
And smile amid the horrid waste.
Or turn to Iceland’s lonely isle,
Surrounded by the dashing surge,
Where flaming Hecla, many a mile,
Doth still her fiery torrents urge;
And flings around her fearful light,
Amid the ebon shades of night,
While Gieser’s boiling fountains stream,
Reflecting bright the lurid gleam.
Or rove on Lapland’s moon-light shore,
And mark the Sun’s departing beam;
Hear the hoarse billow’s angry roar,
And startle at the sea-fowl’s scream.—
But, Fancy, check thy airy plume,
And leave these realms of savage gloom,
Where Winter holds his joyless court;
And to some softer clime resort—
Where Spring, with flow’ry garlands crown’d,
Trips lightly o’er the dewy plain;
Or ardent Summer throws around
The purple fruit and yellow grain;150 H3v 150
To where the eastern islands rest
Like gems on ocean’s billowy breast;
Where the Sun darts his fev’rish beam,
And flows the Ganges’ sacred stream.
Where Indus, like the flood of time,
Rolls his broad waters to the deep;
Where the tall palm-tree nods sublime,
And graceful plaintain crowns the steep:
Where ’neath the bamboo’s cool retreat,
The panting native shuns the heat;
Where oft the deadly snake is laid,
And tiger couches in the shade.
Or where the hungry leopards rage
’Mid deserts wild, and forests rude,
Or elephants, from age to age,
Range ’mid the awful solitude.
Or on Arabia’s burning sands,
Where faint the camel-driver stands,
Nor sees one cooling spring arise,
While his sad heart within him dies.
And when we’ve travell’d ev’ry plain,
And when our airy journey’s o’er,
We’ll turn, with heartfelt joy, again
To visit Britain’s sea-girt shore:
There patriot-worth and truth appear,
There liberty to all is dear;
And still her sons united vie,
To conquer in her cause—or die!
To An Hypocrite.
Thy heart is hard—thou hast no tear
Like that which drops from Pity’s eye,
Her angel voice was never dear,
Nor can thy bosom heave the sigh,
The tender sigh! for other’s anguish,—
Then, haste thee—to thy pleasures fly,
And leave me here in grief to languish.
Yet, thou hast said—perhaps hast sworn—
Thy soul was tenderness and truth!
Go, Hypocrite!—thou canst not mourn
O’er a bruis’d heart, and blighted youth,
With’ring away with grief and sorrow!
Or, if thou dost, I fear, in sooth,
’Tis but the semblance thou dost borrow.
Yet thou canst talk, oh, wondrous well!
Of sympathy and feeling too;
And bid thy changeful bosom swell
With pity that it never knew,
And seem all tenderness and passion!
Yes! to thy baser nature true,
Thou weep’st, and why?— it is the fashion!
Lines Addressed to Mrs. D*****;
Oh! close not thus thy languid eyes,
Nor look so deathlike, and so pale!
Nor heave such deep desponding sighs—
Life yet may bloom, and joy prevail.
Oh! surely, to thy husband’s pray’r,
And to thy helpless infants’ tears,
The God of mercy yet will spare,
And crown thee still with health and years;
For their sweet sakes around thy bed,
Will hear a mother’s anxious sighs:
Then raise once more that drooping head,
And lift again those languid eyes.
Oh! who would nurse their tender age,
And rear them up for heaven above,
Or guide their steps on life’s rough stage,
Depriv’d of fond maternal love!
Long may that pious love be their’s,
And long their future years repay
The ceaseless watch, the ceaseless cares,
That led them safe in childhood’s day.
But soon the summer-sun shall rise,
And health shall breathe in ev’ry gale;
And flow’ry meads, and cloudless skies,
Invite thee to the rural vale.
There, while the limpid streamlets flow,
In gentle murmurs o’er the plain,
Again thy faded cheek shall glow,
And life shall throb in ev’ry vein.
Again thy trembling feet shall tread
The dewy earth’s delightful green;
And, grief and pain with winter fled,
Thy heart shall hail and bless the scene.
Thy children prattling in thy arms,
Or near thee sporting, shall be found;
And health again her brightest charms
Diffuse on ev’ry object round.
And long may health and peace be thine,
And all that we on earth can know
Of love and happiness divine—
Till death shall close the scene below.
Then, full of holy love and joy,
May’st thou on wings of faith ascend,
Where pain shall never more annoy,
But rapture smile without an end!
To the Misses *******.
Sweet flow’rs! that in the rural shade
Have blown so spotless and so fair,
By nature’s lavish hand array’d,
And rear’d with fond parental care—
Health, innocence, and beauty glow
Upon each fair and blushing cheek;
And yellow tresses on each brow
Veil the blue eye that seems to speak.
Alas! their kind protecting shade
Has fall’n too early to the ground;
And, in the house of mourning laid,
His tender flow’rets droop around.
And shall the blasts of sorrow bend
These lovely, fragile blossoms low?
No,—pitying Heav’n will still befriend,
And shield their gentle hearts from woe!
Forlorn and drear, sweet girls! by you
Perhaps each coming hour is seen;
But life will brighten on your view,
And nature wear her brightest green.
And faith with patience still endures—
Then sink not under grief and care,
For youth and innocence like your’s,
Shall claim e’en Heav’n’s protecting care!
To the Northern Islander.
As sweet and grateful as the balmy show’r
On scorch’d Arabia’s dewless plains descending,
When ev’ry fragrant shrub, and lovely flow’r,
All faint and with’ring, to the earth are bending;
As soft and sweetly on my pensive soul
The soothing voice of approbation stole!
I felt my grief-chill’d bosom glow again
With long-forgotten pleasure at the strain.
Minstrel! the harp which thou hast deign’d to praise,
Ere yet its humble notes are hush’d for ever,
Would gladly thank thee for thy gen’rous lays—
Then sleep in silence, and awaken never:
Nor hung in these enchanting fragrant groves,
Haunts of the joyous Muse, and laughing loves!
But rudely thrown in some dark humid cave,
Where the lone echo mocks the hoarse sea-wave.
To these blue isles may’st thou in joy return,
Heav’n, and the Muse, and love, thy lot befriending;
And never, never, Minstrel! may’st thou mourn
Thy early hopes, thy treasur’d friendships ending:
But peace, and joy, and welcome, wait thee here;
And ev’ry tie to feeling bosoms dear,
Still warm thy heart, and bind thy fancy more
To these rude isles and this wild sea-beat shore.
On Hearing Some of Walter Scott’s Poems
recited by Mr. E*****, Advocate, Edinburgh. Lerwick, 18141814.
Oft has my soul in rapt attention hung,
Oh! northern harp! upon thy witch-notes wild;
Harp! by the Muse of Caledonia strung,
And giv’n alone to Scott, her darling child!
The Poet’s fame, to time’s remotest age,
Till taste and genius the wide world forsake,
Shall glow undying in thy deathless page,
Renown’d, and matchless Lady of the Lake!
And still I deem’d that nothing could bestow
Such soothing pleasure on my pensive breast,
As o’er thy page to let the tear-drop flow,
Glow with delight, or sink with fears oppress’d.
Till E*****, e’en to thy immortal verse,
Such unimagin’d loveliness could give,
That while I heard him thy sweet lays rehearse
’Twas then, and only then, I seem’d to live!
’Twas then, that many a charm unfelt before,
With brighter grace, and sweeter pathos flow’d,
While E*****’s lips unlock’d their honied store,
And in his face the friend, the poet glow’d!
Long may the poet friendship’s sweets enjoy!
Long may the poet’s harp the friend delight!
Their fame, nor time, nor envy can destroy,
Till Feeling, and the Muse, are sunk in deepest night.
On the Death of Henrietta Duncan;
An Infant Cousin.
O’er the cold grave, where infant beauties rest,
Soft let me pause, and drop the silent tear;
The new-laid turf lies lightly on her breast,
And guardian angels seem to hover near.158 H7v 158
Unhappy, she who gave thee birth,
And fondly on thy beauties smil’d,
Resigns thee to thy parent earth,
And takes the last look of her child;
And sure thou wast the sweetest flow’r,
That deck’d thy sorrowing father’s bow’r!
Dark and unlovely to thy infant view,
Appear’d this life, for scarce the gift was giv’n,
Ere with a smile thou bad’st the world adieu,
And wing’d again thy spotless soul to Heav’n.
But once I clasp’d thee to my breast,
And fondly held thee in my arms;
But once thy ruby lips I press’d,
And gaz’d upon thy op’ning charms:—
Yet that one look did win my heart,
And from thee I was loth to part.
Heart-struck with sorrow, o’er thy little urn
See thy sad mother bend, with streaming eye;
But, ah! ’tis vain—’tis impious—thus to mourn
Her child, a cherub in the starry sky!—
When past is ev’ry wint’ry storm,
And summer flow’rs begin to bloom,
A simple fragrant wreath I’ll form,
And hang it on thy early tomb:
While tears of soft regret bedew
The turf that hides thee from my view.
’Tis night, and the moon faintly chequers the stream,
And throws her pale lustre on Rosa’s cold urn,—
While pensive I wander beneath her pale beam,
And sigh for the days that can never return.
For, oh! she was lovely, and gentle as fair
With a form and a mind that an angel might wear;
But now she is gone—she has left me to mourn,
And I grieve for the days that can never return.
I mingle my tears with the waves as they flow,
Sweet Echo I call from her caverns to mourn;
To me all fair nature seems clouded with woe,
While I weep for the days that can never return.
The damp earth my bed, and my pillow this stone,
No pleasure I’ll court since my Rosa is gone;
But till life’s latest moment my spirit shall mourn,
And grieve for the days that can never return.
To Her Youthful Friend.
Oh! lovely maid! with youth and beauty bless’d,
With riches, health, and pleasure in thy train,
By friends admir’d, by partial friends caress’d—
With pity listen to the widow’s strain.
What contrast sad between thy fate and mine!
Endearing friends surround thee morn and eve;
’Tis mine, in hopeless anguish to repine,
’Tis mine, for ever to lament and grieve.
Thou see’st with smiles the op’ning dawn appears,
The brilliant Sun seems rising from the sea;
Morning hath shed around her dewy tears,
And gayest blossoms hang on ev’ry tree.
Can I feel pleasure at the op’ning dawn?
Can shed the Sun one beam of joy for me?
Can peace come smiling from yon flow’ry lawn,
Or can love blossom on life’s with’ring tree?
The light of joy, alas! can never dawn,
The sun of pleasure never smile on me;
For fate my ev’ry solace has withdrawn,
And lopt the branches from the parent tree.
Go, lovely maid! and pluck the rose of life;
Soon will it droop and languish on its thorn;
Smooth flow thy days, unvex’d by cares or strife,
Thy ev’ning calm, and smiling as thy morn!
Of wives the happiest, most belov’d, was I,
The envied mother of two lovely boys—
But death, unheedful of affection’s sigh,
In one wide grave has buried all my joys.
Pale is my cheek, and blanch’d with many a tear,
While thou art jocund as the summer’s day;
My form is faded, and my heart is drear,
While health is thine, and beauty’s bright array.
Oh, Julia! fair, and innocent as fair!
May no ungentle sorrow blight thy bloom,
When I, the victim of distress and care,
Shall shroud my sorrows in the welcome tomb.
Nor can I wish to pour into thy breast
Woes that might pierce a bosom hard as steel:—
Go, go,—enjoy the moments that are blest,
And leave me to the agonies I feel.
Enough, that now my sorrows touch thine ear,
And win the gen’rous pity that is due;
Enough, if Julia drop the friendly tear,
And o’er my grave the simple flow’ret strew.
To that lone grave, where all my hopes are laid,
Where mingling sleeps the dust of sire and son;
Say, wilt thou see Louisa’s form convey’d,
And life’s last honours to her ashes done?
For there at last shall blessed peace be giv’n,
Stretch’d by my Arnold and each clay-cold boy;
And when thou diest, we will stoop from heav’n,
And greet thy spirit to the realms of joy.
On the Death of the Amiable and Lovely Miss Georgina N. A. T. Grant.
At thy lone tomb, Georgina dear!
The pious knee shall lowly bend,
And there affection’s warmest tear
In dewy showers shall oft descend.
Oh! what avails it that thy form
In beauty’s perfect mould was cast?
The fairest flow’r must meet the storm,
And wither in the angry blast.
Such was Georgina—fairest flow’r
That ever woo’d the morning gale;
But, ah! beneath the tempest’s pow’r
Soon droop’d the pride of yonder vale.
Though on her cheek health’s roseate glow,
But lately blush’d so fresh and fair,
Death’s cruel messenger of woe
Soon plac’d the sickly lily there.
Though rich in ev’ry youthful grace,
By nature’s bounteous hand design’d,
Faint were the beauties of her face
Compar’d to those that deck’d her mind.
That mind no selfish passion sway’d,
’Twas mild and gentle as the dove;
And ev’ry smiling look display’d
The soul of tenderness and love.
To make that mind more lovely still
Religion came, divine employ!
To calm each agonizing thrill,
And shed her meek and holy joy;
Taught her on wings of love and faith
To heav’n’s bright mansions to ascend;
To smile at the approach of death,
And hail her suff’rings in their end.
But weep not o’er yon lonely tomb,—
The lov’d Georgina sleeps not there;
Yon starry heav’n is now her home,
An angel’s bliss is now her share.
What thought Georgina’s mould’ring dust
Is laid beneath yon grassy sod,
Her soul, with millions of the just,
Rejoices round the throne of God!
On the Return of Spring. 18101810.
Though youth and health their genial blessings bring,
And nature hails the glad return of Spring,
Whose lavish hand new clothes the naked ground,
And slumb’ring vegetation wakes around;
Ah! what avails it, when the deep controul
Of sorrow flings a winter o’er the soul?
On death’s cold cheek can life and beauty bloom,
Or Spring revive the ashes of the tomb?
All nature smiles; the gaily painted flow’r
Springs into life, and hails the vernal hour;
But man, when once his little span is o’er,
Nor Spring nor Summer can again restore.165 H11r 165
Revive, ye woods! your leafy honours spread,
In green luxuriance o’er the wand’rer’s head;
Perch’d on the boughs, ye feather’d warblers sing,
And greet, with glad accord, returning Spring:
No more in icy chains, ye Naiads! mourn,
But pour the sparkling stream from many an urn.
Would selfish grief the charms of Spring destroy?—
Though I may mourn, yet millions may enjoy:
Was wide creation only meant for me—
No other heart to feel, nor eye to see?
No! let me hope that many a mortal bless’d,
Can boast the brighter sun-shine of the breast.
For such, oh, Spring! return in all thy joy,
No envious fate their fleeting bliss destroy!
Nor will I waste in sorrowing strains my breath
To chill that sunbeam with the gloom of death;
But all my anguish, to my breast confin’d,
Shall prey unshar’d upon my sinking mind,
And gently steal me to the silent grave,
Where mem’ry dies, and grief forgets to rave.
Adieu each fair and blooming scene,
For Delia’s feeble feet no more
Shall press your turf’s delightful green,
Nor ramble by the winding shore.
Ye fragrant blossoms, never more
Shall I inhale your sweet perfume,
Nor wander at pale ev’ning’s hour
Enjoying nature’s solemn gloom.
Nor at the peep of early dawn
Shall brush the dew-drops from the spray;
Nor loiter through yon flow’ry lawn,
Nor through the grove nor forest stray—
As when this form was wont to rove
In sprightly health, and void of pain;
When gayer blossoms deck’d each grove,
And fresher verdure strew’d the plain!
But now with listless eye I see
The Spring and all her charms return;
In vain the Spring returns to me
That weak with pain and sickness mourn.
I’ve lov’d to mark with wond’ring eyes
The forked lightning’s vivid flash;
To watch the howling tempest rise,
And hear the whelming billows dash.
The awful grandeur of the storm,
The morning’s blush, the ev’ning’s gloom,
Shall wake no more this languid form,
That soon shall press an early tomb.
Adieu! ye haunts of peace and joy,
Where once so carelessly I stray’d,
My tranquil moments to employ,
In yonder grove’s sequester’d shade.
But sullen now, and cheerless all,
Is ev’ry object that I see;
Nor can their lovliest charms recall
The parted joys of health to me.
For in the cold and silent tomb
Soon, soon shall Delia’s form be laid;
Unheedful there of vernal bloom,
Of summer sun, and winter shade;
And there, by all the world forgot,
In peace my mould’ring form shall rest;
Though scarce a tear bedew the spot
Where lies the green turf on my breast.
Lines Written on a Stormy Night. 18131813
Wild o’er the hollow-groaning main
Flies furious the Spirit of the storm;
Tempests and howling blasts compose his hideous train,
And clouds of darkness wrap his giant form.
The billows heaving to the skies,
Then tumbling low as many fathoms deep—
Mix’d with the horrid roar the drowning seaman’s cries,
As down he sinks to everlasting sleep!
Be still, my heart,—methinks I hear
The shriek of anguish on the moaning gale;
And frightful, dismal scenes of pain and death appear,
Struggles for parting life, and breathless corses pale!
Oh! wretched she, whose arms no more
Shall clasp her son —oh! more than wretched wife,
That widow’d long shalt live in anguish to deplore
The fate of him far dearer than thy life!
Ye lovely babes! now wrapp’d in sleep,
Peaceful and calm, while howls the passing storm!
Ah! little do ye dream that the tempestuous deep,
Rolls o’er your late fond father’s lifeless form.
Oh, hapless maid! who hear’st the crash
Of winds and waves, and see’st in Fancy’s eye
O’er thy pale lover’s corse the foamy billows dash—
Doom’d in his death a thousand deaths to die!
If sleep her burning eye-lids close,
She sees the youth in some mysterious dream,
Breathless and pale, while o’er his ghastly visage flows
The life-blood mingling with the briny stream.
She starts with horror, and awakes
To list the dying gust with deeper dread—
The Spirit of the Storm the troubled air forsakes,
As loth to break the silence of the dead!
And ye The Doris, of Lerwick, was lost on the coast of Aberdeen, in the month of 1813-02February, 1813. Besides the pecuniary loss sustained by many of the inhabitants of the Zetland isles, several gentlemen of property, and of the first respectability in the place, were lost; and mothers, wives, and children, were suddenly plunged into distress and sorrow of the most melancholy and afflicting nature. who lately left this shore,
Ah! doom’d no more your native shore to see—
Your last faint groans were lost amid the tempest’s roar,
And your cold stormy bed the wintry sea.
Ye sank the victims of the deep,
The cruel, treach’rous deep, and ruthless storm!
Far, far beneath its waves on coral beds ye sleep,
And sea-green plants enshroud each lifeless form.
Ah! never more th’ expecting friend
Shall greet the luckless Doris’ distant sail;
Each cherish’d hope, alas! and boding fear must end,
As time confirms the melancholy tale.
And thou, oh, Melby! art thou gone—
In life’s meridian snatch’d so soon away!
For thee, but all in vain, love, wealth and pleasure shone,
Nor could th’ appointed hour one moment stay.
And, Duncan, thou, whose soul refin’d
From worldly dross, had long been fix’d above,
Far, far beyond the stars, in happier realms to find
The beauteous object of thy early love—
Thy spirit ’rapt in praise and pray’r,
Serene, though death and horror glar’d around,
Consign’d with glowing faith thy babes to Heav’n’s sweet care;
Then sunk to rest amid the deep profound!
Poor Henderson! sure many storms,
Ere this, had pass’d all scathless o’er thy head;
But now the fatal blast its destiny performs,
And numbers thee too early with the dead.
And ye, a mother’s only prop,
Kept from her widow’d heart in blooming youth!
In your cold wat’ry bed sinks down her ev’ry hope,
And the fair promise of your worth and truth.
Hope, too, had whisper’d in thine ear,
Ill-fated Angus! many a rapturous tale
Of love and joy to come—now on a wat’ry bier
Floats thy disfigur’d form all ghastly pale.
Sinclair, in vain thy bride shall wait
The sail that wafts thee o’er the wat’ry plain—
In place of love, and joy for thee, ah! hapless fate!
A grave beneath the dark and stormy main
Oh! my heart bleeds these babes to see,
Smiling unconscious of their father’s doom:
Long shall the prattlers wait to ken with noisy glee
The bark that bears the worthy Cragie home.
Oh, lovely infants! ’tis in vain—
Your widow’d mother never more shall view
Your fond and worthy sire e’er reach this shore again;
His last――it was indeed, a last adieu!
Nor these alone, ah, me! are mourn’d—
What other widows, other orphans weep
For those that parted hence, and never more return’d—
Rock’d in the waves to everlasting sleep!
But, oh! may Heav’n the healing balm
Of peace and comfort pour into their wounds,
And through their grief-fraught hearts breathe a pure holy calm,
And lift their thoughts beyond earth’s narrow bounds.
Now faint and fainter on mine ear
Comes the loud ocean-swell, and tempest’s roar;
Pale in the cloudy east I see the dawn appear
And the long Thulean night at length is o’er.
The morning, peering o’er the hill,
Tinges with wat’ry light the dark green seas,
Whose waves are hush’d to rest, while the wind soft and still
Sinks to the whisper of a summer breeze.
So shall another rising day
Beam on those eyes clos’d by Death’s chilly hand;
The world, the mighty deep, and all shall pass away—
But they shall live again at God’s command.
Oh! may these souls recall’d by Thee,
In thy good time to happier life arise,
And round thy throne rejoice, from sin and sorrow free,
In glorious realms, far, far above the skies!
On the Death of Miss Ursula Edmondstone, of Zetland.
Where low thou li’st, lamented Fair!
The Virtues and the Graces weep,
And viewless beings hover there
To watch thy long and dreamless sleep.
For thou wast pure in heart and mind,
As is the dewy tear of morn,
And ev’ry outward grace combin’d
Thy faultless person to adorn.
Oh! born to charm the willing soul
With native sweetness free from guile,
And bend it to thy soft controul
With youthful beauty’s witching smile—
Those lips where magic sweetness play’d
Delight the list’ning ear no more,—
Silent, and cold—lamented maid!
Thy short and blameless course is o’er.
O’er thy sad couch with looks of love
Thy angel sister A lovely and amiable sister who died some years before. seem’d to bend,
And pointing to the realms above,
She warn’d thee of thy coming end.
Lovelier than ever mortal eye
Beheld, or mortal heart conceiv’d,
She hover’d o’er thee, while the sigh
Still from thy anguish’d bosom heav’d.
When on affection’s throbbing breast,
Thy last, faint, fluttering sigh was giv’n,
When thy rack’d frame sunk down to rest,
She bore thee to thy native heav’n.
Ye mourning parents cease to weep;
Her suff’rings and her pangs are o’er,
And sweet and tranquil is her sleep
Where pain can never reach her more.
And to that blissful, happy land,
The stream of time shall waft you on,
And bring you there by Heav’n’s command,
When some few fleeting years are gone.
And when in death ye close your eyes,
Your children shall descend from heav’n,
And waft your spirits to the skies,
Where Virtue’s blest reward is giv’n.
On the Death of M**** N*******.
The Son of Captain N*******.
The genial season comes with balmy dews,
And western breezes sporting in her train;
Deck’d in her flowing robe of rainbow hues,
She paints with lavish hand the hill and plain.
Th’ unfolding blossoms load the gentle gale
With mingling sweets; the sky-lark soars on high,
Ere yet the waning moon her crescent pale
Hath quite extinguish’d in the kindling sky.
Fair is the promise of the days to come,
Th’ incumbent harvest soon shall load the ground,
And rising youth in health and strength shall bloom,
And smiling hope be with fruition crown’d.
Oh! trust not these—they are deceitful all;
The storm may rise, the east wind’s chilling breath
May blast thy hopes, and blooming youth may fall,
’Mid all its vigour, in the arms of death.
E’en prattling childhood while it lisps its joy,
And blooms far sweeter than the sweetest flow’r,
May drop as thou hast done—oh, beauteous boy!
And pain embitter ev’ry ling’ring hour.
No more thy little foot’s elastic tread
Shall from the green grass brush the morning dew,
Nor bounding o’er the pavement’s level bed,
With wild delight the flying ball pursue.
No more those sparkling eyes of loveliest blue,
Through which thy guiltless soul would almost speak,
Shall beam with rapture, nor the blushing hue
Of rosy health adorn thy dimpled cheek.
Pale, pale that cheek, and languid is that eye,
And quick, yet faint, th’ unequal pulses play;
Oft from thy little bosom bursts the sigh,
And life itself is ebbing fast away.
Yet thou shalt bloom when ev’ry flow’r shall fade—
Thy God, thy heav’nly Father calls thee home,
Commission’d angels hover o’er thy bed,
Whisp’ring in accents soft, Sweet cherub, come!
On Seeing a Lady at the Grave of Her Infant Son.
Discons’late at thy infant’s tomb,
While ev’ning wraps the world in gloom,
Why, lovely mourner, art thou laid?
Nought here remains but mould’ring clay—
To realms of everlasting day,
Th’ immortal soul has fled!
Oh! think upon the many cares
That might have dimm’d his future years,
Had the dear, cherish’d boy been spar’d,—
But pain and sorrow’s ghastly band
Can never reach the blessed land
For happy souls prepar’d.
Then quit this dark and mournful scene,
And seek thy social home again,
Where thy surviving babes shall smile,
And clasp thee in their little arms,
And with a thousand artless charms
Thy ev’ry care beguile.
Be thine the task to lead their youth
Through all the paths of moral truth;—
To thee the solemn charge is giv’n,
To watch their steps through ev’ry snare,
To rear them with a mother’s care,
And fit their souls for heav’n!
The Grave of a Man of Worth.
Hail, lonely spot of holy ground!
Where sleep, in death’s cold fetters bound,
The relics of a man of worth—
Tread lightly on the sacred earth
That wraps his lowly pillow’d head,
And presses on his throbless breast;
And view with rev’rence meet, the bed
Where the soul’s earthly mansion sinks to rest.
The very winds of heav’n do blow
Softly, as if they fear’d to break
The slumbers of the dead below;
And even sorrow here forbears to make
Her wailings wild, but soothed to solemn woe
Drops the mute tear unseen—while from above
Angelic beings bend with smiles of love.
Let no unhallow’d foot intrude
Upon this sacred solitude!
All pure must be the tear, as summer show’rs,
That falls, oh Allen! on thy peaceful bed—
Pure as dew upon the simple flow’rs
That o’er thy turf their grateful fragrance shed.
Pure as that dew was thy unspotted mind,
Where bright relgion held unrivall’d sway;
And charity, and love to human kind,
And ev’ry virtue cheer’d thy little day,179 I6r 179
That glow’d as ’twere but with a morning light,
Then faded fast, and set in early night!
But not for ever set—a day shall rise
When the broad face of heav’n shall melt away,
The world with all her wonders shall decay,
And nature tremble at her final doom;
But thou shalt live in the eternal skies,
Victorious over death, triumphant o’er the tomb!
The Grave of Abbot. Montague Abbot, an officer of marines, who was carried from on board the Venus frigate, in the last stage of a consumption; and died at Lerwick, in the spring of 18111811.
From Erin’s isle a stranger came;
Sunk was his cheek, and dim his eye,
And the still fair but wasted frame,
Spoke the last hour of suff’ring nigh.
His youth was like a lovely spring
Foretelling summer’s joyful time—
But fell disease was on the wing,
And blasted Abbot’s hopeful prime;
Laid all his graces in the dust,
And cropt his honours in their bloom;—
But Abbot’s was the Christian’s trust—
He look’d with faith beyond the tomb!180 I6v 180
Nurtur’d amid the sons of war
He acted there a gallant part,
Yet, his were graces lovelier far—
The softer virtues of the heart!
His was the bosom taught to glow
With friendship warm and passion true,
And he would sigh for others’ woe,
Nor less relieve, than pity too.
Poor stranger! o’er thy bed of death
Strangers with love and pity hung—
And watch’d with grief thy parting breath,
And the last faulter of thy tongue.
They watch’ed thine eye so mild and meek,
Where faith and resignation beam’d;
And saw when on thy pallid cheek
The tear, for youthful follies, gleam’d.
And, Stranger, o’er thy narrow bed
A pensive stranger drops the tear,
And where, unmark’d, thy gentle head
Is pillow’d, weeps and wanders near.
And they who knew thy early worth,
Abbot, shall weep thy mournful doom;
And shade thy consecrated earth
With the dark marble’s sable gloom;
To show the distant, humble grave
Where lies the turf on Abbot’s breast—
For he, like Erin’s sons, was brave—
Then honour’d be his bed of rest!
How happy they, who, blest with health,
Can tread the flow’r-enamelled plain,
Nor heave one sigh for pomp or wealth,
Nor waste their days in search of gain.
The happiest of their kind they roam,
From heart-corroding-anguish free;
Their’s is a humble, happy home,
Oh!—had such bliss been stor’d for me!
Cheerless I see the sun arise;
And listless mark his setting beam
With crimson paint the western skies;
And still of faded pleasures dream.
Pleasures that never can return;
Yet, ah! while mem’ry holds her place,
Their rapid flight shall Ella mourn,
And still those faded pleasures trace.
Thoughts on a Beautiful Night.
The moon in cloudless majesty,
Her silv’ry tresses streaming round,
Illumes the gently heaving sea,
And dew-drops sparkle on the ground.
Oh! ’tis a night when mis’ry lifts
Her streaming eyes from earth-born care;
Searching for happiness, and peace,
She looks to heav’n, and finds them there.
Deluded mortals vainly hope
Immortal joys on earth to find;
Eager at airy shadows grasp—
But grasp, alas! the empty wind!
Deluded mortals! search no more—
Far from your touch the vision flies;
In heav’n alone the seraph dwells—
Then seek her in the starry skies.
Enthusiast, go! with panting breast,
On proffer’d friendship’s truth rely,—
Thy friend shall wring thy simple heart,
And break through ev’ry tender tie.
In early life’s unsullied morn,
When hope the lover’s breast beguiles,
How fair the op’ning world appears,
How gay each flatt’ring prospect smiles!
But, ah! beware—for broken vows
May deeply rend thy feeling soul!
Love’s barbed arrows rankle there,
And anguish rules without controul.
Now man enjoys his sweetest hours,
And sunk in soft and calm repose,
Kind sleep awhile the curtain draws
Of sweet oblivion o’er his woes.
For oft the roseate morning brings
A num’rous train of rising ills;
And oft the mildly pensive eve
The breaking heart with anguish fills.
Come, Morpheus! king of airy dreams,
Oh! come, my drowsy eye-lids close;
Let me forget each worldly care,
And on thy downy breast repose.
For yet no crime my bosom stains,
My conscience from remorse is free;—
All day disturb’d, oppress’d with cares,
I court forgetfulness and thee!
On Hearing Mournful Music.
Sweet minstrel of the harp of woe!
Whoe’er thou art that pour’st the strain,
Such sweetness in thy numbers flow,
Say, can the source be real pain?
Methinks, as on my pensive ear
The dulcet harp’s wild wailings flow,
I mark the frequent gushing tear
Stream o’er the pallid cheek of woe.
Bard of the lyre of mournful sound!
Oh! give that mournful lyre to me,
And when pale ev’ning steals around,
My sad companion it shall be.
Then, seated by some murm’ring stream,
Beneath some old tree’s ample shade,
To paint some sad and mournful dream
I’ll court thy harp’s melodious aid.
Since hope again from heav’n descends,
And from thy bosom drives despair,
And bright each waking morn attends—
Be mine alone the Harp of Care.
For I to ev’ry joy am dead,
With me the nymph, sweet pleasure! dies,
And hope and happiness have fled
To seek their distant native skies.
’Tis thine, whom hope once more shall cheer,
To bid thy harp symphonious ring
With rapturous music on the ear;
And love and beauty’s praise to sing.
’Tis mine to bid each trembling wire,
Reverb’rate to the notes of woe,
And wake to sadder tones the lyre,
That even yet were heard to flow.
While list’ning to its dying falls,
Soothing the last dread parting pain,
My soul shall burst its prison-walls,
And soar to heav’n upon the strain.
Give me, kind Heav’n! I ask no more,
In some sequester’d grove,
A cottage neat, before whose door
Meandering streamlets rove;
Where ’mid the boughs, the feather’d race
Oft perch and sweetly sing;
Wild warbled music fill the place,
And through the woodlands ring;
Where Flora doth each path adorn
With flow’rs of ev’ry hue—
The blushing rose upon the thorn,
The violet darkly blue;
Primroses on the banks be seen,
Where murm’ring waters play;
Let simple daisies gem the green,
And ev’ry spot be gay;
The lily cloth’d in purest white,
The pansy, gold and blue,
Spread her gay leaves to catch the light;
The yellow cowslip too.
To crown the whole, some gentle fair
Whose heart can truly love,
To share with me each anxious care,
And all my pleasures prove.
Then smiles shall smooth the path of life,
And time shall only blend
The tend’rest mother, tend’rest wife,
The best and dearest friend!
There, void of care, our days shall roll
In tranquil peace and love;
Till death shall free th’ immortal soul
To brighter realms above!
Now midnight draws her murky veil,
Now the sad Spirit of the gale
Within his humid rocky cave
Sits moaning to the dashing wave;
The angry demons of the deep
Are gone to rest—the storm’s asleep;
And ev’ry sound is hush’d to rest,
Save zephyr rippling Ocean’s breast.
How full and round the moon appears!
O’er the ward-hill her head she rears,
While on the smooth and glassy streams,
Lightly dance her silv’ry beams.
The fairies, deck’d with daisies trim,
Dance upon the clear loch’s brim,
On the grassy border play,
And bask them in the lunar ray.
Or where green ocean’s billow laves,
Some sea-nymph charms the list’ning waves,
And seated on some rocky steep
Sings the dangers of the deep;
She sings of many a gallant tar,
That oft had brav’d the dubious war,188 I10v 188
Returning home to greet once more
His lov’d and long-lost native shore,
And fly to her whose image dear
In ev’ry toil had yet been near;
Like some attending angel-pow’r
Had sooth’d him in each fearful hour,
When battle rag’d, or hurtling storm
Howl’d o’er the vessel’s dusky form,
And still had cheer’d with sacred beam
His daily thought and nightly dream.
A fair wind fills the swelling sails,
And joy o’er ev’ry heart prevails,
As on they speed to Britain’s isle
Where Freedom, Peace, and Valour smile.
But ah! the flatt’ring calm is o’er,—
Sailors! ye see your homes no more!
The demons of the storm arise,
And, lo! a wreck the vessel lies.
In vain the trembling maid shall mourn,
And chide her sailor’s slow return:
That hero, dash’d on rugged shore,
To her, alas! returns no more,
But lock’d in death’s long, dreary sleep,
Slumbers in the oozy deep!
His grave by sea-green nymphs is deck’d,
Nor shall the pensive choir neglect
To sing his requiem, sad and clear,
And soothe the Spirit wandering near;
And oft when night’s deep shadows lour
Their heav’n-taught melody shall pour
O’er the broad ocean’s stormy breast,
And charm the swelling waves to rest.
Sad is thy voice, thou hollow moaning gale!
Departed Spirits seem to linger near;
E’en now, methinks! some sheeted spectre pale,
Stalks by my side, and whispers in mine ear.
The life-blood freezes in my trembling frame,
As the dim waning moon her pallid glare
Cast on those clayey features!—’tis the same—
And this is all that is, of what was once so fair!
Beware, she sighs, beware of ev’ry art,
That man will use to steal thy peace away;
For his the plotting head, the guileful heart,
And his the lips that smile but to betray.
When last we met I blush’d in beauty’s bloom—
A father’s hope, a father’s fond delight;—
But view me now—the tenant of the tomb!
My star for ever set, that lately rose so bright.
Oh! steel thy bosom ’gainst th’ insidious foe,
And dread the poison of a lover’s sigh;—
For what can poor deserted woman do—
Conceal her anguish, break her heart, and die!
Hope not their breast with love or truth can glow,
Slaves to the world, the sordid slaves of gold!
Such A****** was, and I am laid full low!
But see! the morning gleams—my mournful tale is told.
And now she glides away, and mingles slow
With the deep shades—my awful fears depart,
And now again I feel the life-blood glow,
That almost stopp’d and curdled at my heart.
Ill-fated, lovely Ann!—yes, I will keep
Thy mournful story treasur’d in my breast;
And oft will muse upon thy fate, and weep
O’er the cold narrow bed where thou dost rest!
The Dawn of Day.
1813-09-30September 30, 1813.
The dewy morn so soft and still,
Peeps over Brassa’s heath-clad hill:
Nor may the slightest breath of breeze
Break the broad mirror of the seas,
That shows the rudely pencil’d Baard, Baard is a very high rock, covered to its giddy edge by a beautiful green-sward.
And thy dark brow, majestic Ward,
Rising from the azure wave,
That scarcely dares thy feet to lave!
But though so stilly and so deep,
At thy green base the billows sleep,
The Baas Baas are rocks overflowed by the sea, but visible at low water. Those alluded to above, take their name from a place called Boister, in the Island of Brassa, on the coast of which they are situated. The roar of the waves over them is heard, even in the calmest night, at Lerwick; and the awful effect it produces, when no living object interrupts the tranquillity of the scene, and every other sound is hushed, may be more easily imagined than described. of Boister’s sullen roar
Echo along the rocky shore.
The silver moon, far in the west,
Sinks in her cloudy bed to rest,
Where deeper hang the gath’ring shades,
As by degrees her pale light fades:
Soft show’rs unheard, and scarcely seen,
Descend upon the with’ring green;
Slow rolling mists the landscape shroud,
And kerchief’d in a homely cloud,
The dewy morn, through twilight pale,
Smiles, sadly sweet, on hill and dale.
Oh! loveliest scene, and yet so sad,—
More dear to me than sun-shine glad!
The bitter, troublous cares of life,
And all their turmoil, all their strife,
Seem slumb’ring with the glare of day,
And meditation’s holy sway,
Sublimes to loftier views the mind,
To wonder, love, and praise resign’d.
Where now, the proud, the scornful look,
That timid sorrow scarce can brook—
The bitter taunt, the cruel sneer,
That even friendship’s face can wear—
And cold neglect, that day by day
Consumes the mourner’s life away?
Where now, the agony of heart
That faithless friendship can impart?
oh! it is worse than all the rest,—
It poisons, while it wounds the breast!
And neither time, nor reason’s sway
Can pluck the fatal thorn away.
Now like some dark distressful dream
That cross’d the brain, these sorrows seem;
And ’mid this heav’nly breathing calm
If tears are shed, such tears are balm!—
Such tears are mine――although they flow
From sources of severest woe,
They fall as softly as the show’rs
Fall on the fading grass and flow’rs.
Oh! Thou, whose grace can thus impart,
Ease to a bruis’d and bleeding heart,
Accept the praise my lips would give,
And let me to thy glory live!
From Thee each blessing I have known,
Each warm regard that friends have shown,
From Thee, alone, oh God! they came,
And shalt not Thou, thine own reclaim!
If the full tide of bitter woe
Has made these aching eyes o’erflow;
If to my lips with deep-drawn sighs
One impious murmur e’er did rise,193 K1r 193
Forgive me, bright Omnipotence!
And to this erring heart dispense
The grace to feel, the faith to know,
That whom thou lov’st, thou chast’nest so.
And when the snares of busy day
Again beset my weary way,
Oh! let thy pow’r, my God! controul
The warring passions of my soul;
Give me to see, and choose the right,
And guard me both by day and night!
Proudly thou swell’st almost to bursting—
Wilt thou not break at once, poor wounded heart!
Too softly fram’d—too fondly trusting—
Thou bleed’st, the victim of another’s art!
As one by one the tears are stealing
From thy blue eyes, the life-blood in thy breast
Fell sorrow’s fatal touch congealing,
It freezes there—and now thou art at rest.
Farewell, thou blighted one, for ever!
The secret grief thou bad’st my soul revere,
That crush’d thee at the last, shall never
Break from my lip, nor breathe on mortal ear.
I read the language of thine eyes,
And feel my bosom proudly swell—
I can thy narrow mind despise,
And all thy little thoughts can tell.
No hoarded stores of gold I boast,
Nor lands, nor tenements, are mine;
Yet, nor for all on India’s coast,
Would I possess a soul like thine!
Then go,—enjoy thy valued wealth,
And still thy fav’ring smiles refuse:
Kind Heav’n will grant me peace and health,
And leave me virtue and the Muse.
Yes, thou hast come again, with joy and love,
All smiling Summer!—beauteous are thy scenes,
Though here, nor darksome wood, nor fragrant grove
From the hot sun the pensive wand’rer screens.
’Neath the high cliff, that o’er the murm’ring wave
Projecting hangs, my languid form I lay—
To muse upom my journey’s end—the grave!
And all the scenes of life now pass’d away.
Pass’d are the days, when sportive childhood here
Tripp’d with light step, and lighter heart, the shore,
And pass’d the days, when my rude harp was dear
To many a list’ning friend that lists no more.
Oh! days, for ever gone—and friends! no more
Your love shall soothe me, or your praise delight—
Till glad ye greet me on that happy shore
Far, far beyond these gloomy realms of night.
Unconscious childhood! best and happiest time!
When life is new, and joy and fancy young;
Then nature blooms in all her vernal prime,
And sweet the music of Hope’s syren tongue.
Free as the breeze that wings its viewless way,
The infant fancy still delights to rove;
With boundless rapture hails the dawning day,
And dreams of friendship confidence and love.
Fatal repose!—that but more keenly wakes
The sigh of anguish, and the burning tear,
When hope, and friendship too, the soul forsakes,
And leaves the world all cheerless, void, and drear!
Enliv’ning Summer! sweet thy breezes blow;
O’er the blue waves they shake the dewy wing;
Thy frangrant wild-flowers in the meadows glow,
And feather’d warblers bid the echoes ring.
Fair as thou art, fair Summer! thou must die—
Short in this cloudy region, is thy reign;
The howling storm shall darken o’er the sky,
And wither all thy flow’rets on the plain.
And shorter still our fleeting summer day!
Too soon, alas! life’s wintry storms arise—
Then let us fix our hopes, where best we may,
And look for comfort, only, in the skies.
Friendship and Love.
What is Friendship—what is Love?—
Say, did they ever deign to smile
On man, or quit the realms above
To sweeten all his care and toil?
Friendship is a lovely flow’r,
That gaily blooms to summer-skies;
But ah! in sorrow’s trying hour
The sickly blossom droops and dies.
Love is the shadow of a shade,
A nothing of the brain—a dream—
A tale by fabling poets made,
False as the false moon’s changeful beam!
Oh! dear native country, where first I drew breath,
Dear Hall, which belong’d to my grandsires of yore,
Dear shade, where I’ve vow’d to be constant till death
To the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor;
Dear objects, adieu! I must leave you awhile,
And wander away to some far distant shore,
Yet I’ll think of each look, and I’ll cherish each smile,
Of the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor.
Though orange groves breathe a rich gale of perfume,
And a fragrance unknown to our cold Northern shore,
Yet I’ll sigh for our woodlands, and forests’ deep gloom,
And the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor.
Adieu to our woodlands, our forests, adieu!
Yet still my fond bosom their loss shall deplore;
And my heart, unestrang’d, shall for ever be true
To the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor.
For what though I’m forc’d, oh! my Laura, to roam
From thee far away, and my dear native shore,
Love shines like a star, and shall soon guide me home
To the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor.
Then, happy indeed! in my own native land
I’ll fix my abode, and will wander no more;
Bless’d with more than a crown, in the heart and the hand
Of the maid of the cottage that stands on the moor.
Sweet, Hope! enchanting nymph, appear!
And bring thy laughing train with thee;
Illume the dreary coming year,
And set the wild nymph, Fancy, free.
For Spring has fled this many a day,
Bright Summer dwells on happier plains;
E’en yellow Autumn fades away,
And gloomy Winter only reigns;
Yet, what though gloomy Winter reign
A despot o’er the blasted year,
Shall I dull melacholy feign,
Or heave a sigh, or shed a tear?
Away then, dark despondency!
This breast shall never harbour thee!
Though fortune frown, though nature lour,
Remorse that comes like deadly foe,
And dark despair’s afflicting pow’r,
The guiltless heart, can never know!
Then, what though fortune on me frown,
Shall sorrow’s tear descend for this?
Hope shall the humble prospect crown,
And point to scenes of future bliss—
Hilarity and mirth shall lead,
In jocund bands, the circling year,
Till Spring again shall deck the mead,
And Winter’s horrors disappear.
Away then, dark despondency!
This breast shall never harbour thee!
Hope! thou sweet, yet faithless fair!
Ne’er wake again thy smiles for me;
For I am doom’d the slave of care,
The daughter of Despondency.
I hail’d thee, like the op’ning morn,
From gloomy night’s dark phantoms free;—
But thou hast left me more forlorn—
The daughter of Despondency!
Sweet is the balmy breath of morn,
When Summer sheds her rich perfume;
And sweet the dew-drops that adorn
The op’ning rose-bud’s crimson bloom.
But sweeter are the sighs I hear,
That Clara’s pitying heart reveal;
And lovelier is the falling tear
That down her tender cheek doth steal.
Go, tell the beauteous girl I love,
That I upbraid her long delay;
Tell her, no joy can William prove,
While dear Eliza is away.
Alas! dear maid, if fav’ring gales
To-morrow kiss the rippling sea,
Soft sighing through our swelling sails,
They’ll waft me far from love and thee.
Now the trembling moonbeams sleep
On the dew-bespangled ground;
By thy narrow bed I weep,
While the Virtues mourn around.
On the damp, cold earth I lie,
Calling on my Mary’s name;
There lies buried all my joy—
All my early hopes and fame.
Can the world delight me more?
What is all the world to me!
My sun is set, my day is o’er—
Now, my love, I haste to thee.
Sweet, my Mary, is thy sleep,
In thy dark, cold, narrow bed;
There I soon shall cease to weep,
There shall rest my weary head.
High on a rock whose rugged brow
Far o’er the murm’ring sea wave hung,
Orlando sat, the child of woe!
And thus the dying mourner sung—
His humble harp of simplest tone
Lean’d careless on a mossy stone;
The tears of sorrow dimm’d his fading eye,
But pride suppress’d the groan, and hush’d the lab’ring sigh.—
Go, sleep in silence evermore,
Sweet solace thou, my hapless lyre!
Go, moulder on the storm-beat shore,
And bid thy ev’ry note expire:
Oh! I have woo’d the world too long,
And tamely bow’d to many a wrong;
Curb’d the indignant spirit in my breast,
And stoop’d degenerate down to folly’s gilded crest.
Too long has fancy lov’d to dream
That hearts were warm, and friends were true;
’Twere better trust the fickle gleam
Of sunshine on the billows blue,
Than hope on earthly soil to find
The nobler virtues of the mind;
For sordid int’rest warps the love of truth,
Alike in frigid age and tender blooming youth.203 K6r 203
One miser thirst pervades the whole,
Unheedful of another’s care;
One narrow selfishness of soul
That blunts each softer passion there.—
But sleep, my harp! for ever rest:
The sun is trembling in the west;
And ere that sun illumes to-morrow’s sky,
Cold on the winds of morn shall breathe my latest sigh.
In vain the tears of pity flow
For him who pour’d the pensive lay;
From toil escap’d, and want, and woe,
In yon bright heav’n’s eternal day
Orlando lives;—by the rude stone
His once lov’d harp is careless thrown;
Yet oft responsive, as the breezes fly,
The trembling strings awake their mournful melody.
And oft the sea-boy’s list’ning ear
Doth catch the wild and plaintive sound,
As sails the lonely vessel near,
At midnight, when the waves around
Are hush’d, and Cynthia’s placid beam
Slumbers along the level stream;
Upward he looks with wond’ring eye,
And thinks some spirit of the sky
Steals o’er the tranquil bosom of the deep,
And sings their solemn dirge that in the ocean sleep.
On Hearing of the Death of Georgina Charlotte Gordon Booker,
Niece to His Grace the Duke of Gordon. 18151815.
And are thy blue eyes, Charlotte, clos’d in death?
And his pale signet stamp’d upon thy face;
And hush’ed, for ever hush’d, that tuneful breath,
And thy fair form despoil’d of ev’ry grace?—
And art thou laid in thy last resting place?
Ah! envied rest!—Yet thou wast in the bloom
Of early life, and lodg’d in the embrace
Of friends and fortune:—now the mournful tomb
Enshrines thee in its dark sepulchral gloom.
Farewell, sweet Charlotte! gentle friend, adieu!
Few were thy days, and short thy sojourn here;
But, yet unmark’d by sorrows as they flew,
Or aught of grief, save pity’s tender tear—
For pity to thy feeling heart was dear,
And thine the sigh that heav’d for other’s woes;
The gentler Virtues mourn around thy bier,
And guard the hallow’d spot of thy repose,
While frienship’s purest tear profusely flows!
On the Death of Miss Ann Grant, of Birdsyards.
When last we parted, gentlest friend!
Thy streaming tears bedew’d my cheek,
And sighs, that seem’d thy heart to rend,
Confess’d the grief thou could’st not speak;
And when we breath’d a sad adieu,
Thou saidst that we should meet no more—
Ah! wherefore were thy words so true—
We meet not till this life is o’er!
Thine is the silence of the tomb,
And thine that calm and peaceful sleep
Where sorrow cannot pierce its gloom,
Nor weary nature wake to weep.
Then should I wish thee ling’ring here,
The bitter dregs of life to drain?
Ah! no,—I check the gushing tear,
And ev’ry selfish wish restrain.
Yet mem’ry still, dear parted maid!
Shall hover round thy grassy tomb;
And deck the spot where thou art laid,
With simple flow’rs of freshest bloom;
The flow’rs I mean, are love and truth,
Warm off’rings from a heart sincere!
And such as thy translated youth
And angel-state, may deign to hear.
Warm-hearted, gen’rous, tender friend!
Adieu!—yet, not a long adieu—
For soon this mortal state shall end,
And I shall be at rest like you.
A few and evil years gone by,
No longer toss’d on life’s rough wave,
The mourner and mourn’d shall lie
Together in the peaceful grave.
I sigh not for the charms of pow’r,
Not glitt’ring stores of wealth;
I sigh for peace in some lone bow’r,
With competence and health.
I sigh to wander unconfin’d,
Where noise shall never come,
Nor Envy’s weak and narrow mind
Disturb my humble home.
Yet think not, that by purling stream
I’d muse my hours away,
Or waste, as in some useless dream,
Life’s transitory day.
Oh! rather let my active soul
My active hands employ;
And teach my lips, where’er I stroll,
To greet the poor with joy.
That so my thoughts may still ascend,
And all-adoring rise,
To Him who lives, my God and Friend—
My Saviour in the skies!
To the Sun.
Thou lovely orb, whose golden beam,
In floods of glory, shines supreme,—
Once could I view, with raptur’d glance,
The circling seasons round thee dance,
Could own the joy that nature felt,
And feel my soul in rapture melt.
But now, sad change! I fly thy light,
And plunge amid the shades of night;
Or, if thy soul-enliv’ning ray
Upon my weary eyelids play,
’Tis only to increase the pain,
The burning fever in my brain.
But soon this scene of sorrow o’er,
My bursting heart shall feel no more;
Soon shall thy lovely beam be shed
Upon my dark, cold, narrow bed,
And all that lives beneath thy light
Be shut forever from my sight.
Ah! why thus reclin’d on the beach, in mute sorrow,
Dost thou strain thy dim eyes o’er the wide roaring sea;
Perhaps the wish’d bark may arrive here to-morrow,
And the winds now be wafting thy lover to thee.
Oh, no! she exclaim’d, while the tear-drops were streaming,
And the deeply drawn sob swell’d her labouring breast,
No longer of love, or of happiness dreaming,
I look to the grave as the place of my rest.
Thus ceasing, she cast a last look on the billow,
As murmring slow on the sea-beach it roll’d;
Then sank her fair head on the cliff’s rocky pillow,
And the rent heart of Mary was silent and cold.
Ye lovely orbs, that in your courses roll,
Spangling the firmament with living light,
In countless millions spread from pole to pole,
And streaming through the shadows of the night,—
How can my ravish’d soul, in love and wonder lost,
Enough adore the hand that form’d your glitt’ring host!
Oft, through the silence of the starlight hour,
When other eyes are clos’d in gentle sleep,
When I, a stranger to her healing pow’r,
O’er the dim lamp my midnight vigils keep;
Sick of the gloomy scene, and the pale quivering light,
That saddens all my soul, and tires my aching sight—
Softly I steal me to the open air,
To breathe awhile the balmy breath of heav’n,
Look round that world, supported by his care,
And all the various blessings widely giv’n:
’Rapt with the glorious view, my soul essays
Hosannas to his name, his mighty name to raise!
Oh! if thy heart is doom’d to know
Aught of calamity or woe,
If on misfortune’s stormy sea
A dang’rous path is mark’d for thee,
May guardian angels round thee tend,
And God and virtue be thy friend:
Superior to the ills of life,
Above its pleasures, or its strife,
May’st thou with equal eye behold,
Or glitt’ring heaps of tempting gold—
Or the low solitary cell,
Where modest worth is doom’d to dwell;
And thy own breast a temple prove,
Sacred to honour, peace, and love.
Oh! may my prayers ascend to heav’n!
And prosp’rous days to thee be giv’n—
May every sorrow melt away,
As dew beneath the solar ray,
And Hope with seraph smiles appear,
To welcome in another year:
May Heav’n with coming hours restore
Wealth, comfort, joy, a plenteous store,
Illume thy darken’d path again,
And ever shield thy heart from pain.
Sweeter than cooling springs in Arab’s waste,
To the poor traveller, fainting as he goes,
And sweeter far than nectar to the taste,
Or to the smell the fragrance of the rose;
Lovelier than aught that in the garden grows,
Fairer than lilies bath’d in morning dew;
Softer then zephyr when he softest blows,
Sporting with halcyon on the billows blue,—
So soft, so sweet, so lovely didst thou seem,
Enchantress Hope! to charm my youthful view—
Yet were thy whispers but a passing dream,
A fairy scene that Fancy’s pencil drew,
Like beauteous frost-work ’neath the solar beam,
And fleeting as the drops of moring dew!
E’en in Lapland’s land of snow,
Lilies spring, and roses blow;
E’en on Arab’s desert sand
Show’rs refresh the thirsty land;213 K11r 213
God is present ev’ry where,
Making ev’ry place his care,
Looking from his throne above,
With a parent’s tender love.
Child of sorrow! cease to weep,
For his mercy cannot sleep;
Goodness, love, and care divine,
Through the whole creation shine.
He who marks a sparrow’s fall,
Looks with tenderness on all;
Child of woe! then cease to weep,
For his mercy cannot sleep.
Holy source of purest pleasure,
Bliss that never knows alloy!
Be thy precepts all our treasure,
And thy practice all our joy!
Lead us through this vale of sorrow,
Safely to the darksome tomb;
There an everlasting morrow
Dawning shall dispel the gloom!
What dying fall from more than mortal string
Steals on mine ear so soft and slow?
From upper realms of air it seems to fling
Its mournful sweetness on the world below.—
Such strains do seraphs chaunt, when the still hour
Of solemn midnight breathes its gloom around,
What time from harps of heaven they love to pour
Their hymns of joy; and such the blissful sound
That welcomes home from scenes of earthly pain
Some pure and happy spirit—such the strain
That whispers peace before the blessed die,
And on the closing ear makes distant melody!
’Tis thine, Elvira! angels bear thee hence;
Peril and pain shall visit thee no more,
No more shall anguish wring thy tortur’d sense,
Nor doom thy soul to sorrow’s with’ring pow’r.
Yet I must weep—but not that thou art free,
For bliss is thine beyond conception great;
I weep—but, oh! I weep to follow thee,
And rather envy than deplore thy fate.
The dew hangs on my yellow hair,
While wearily I pace the grove;—
Cold, cold, and chilly is the air;
Ah! me, what can detain my love!
Oh! linger in the dark-blue sky,
Thou lovely orb, to lovers true;
For loud the torrent rushes by,
And slipp’ry is the path with dew.
Yet oft we steal us to this grove,
Remote from folly’s noisy throng,
Sacred to virtue and to love!
And breathe our vows these wilds among.
Oh! what can make my lover stay?
He is not wont to linger long:
Sweet angels! guide him on his way—
His dang’rous way, yon cliffs along!
As this fair Isabella said,
The wind sigh’d hollow through the wood;
And mournfully its deep green shade
Waved o’er the darkly rushing flood.
Tumbling the yawning chasm through,
The torrent burst its headlong way,
And down the steep path damp with dew
Her Edward’s dang’rous footing lay.
The low’ring clouds, with angry sweep,
Obscur’d by fits the lunar beam,
And echoing down the sullen steep,
The bird of night was heard to scream.
The storm was up—the lightnings glare—
The thunder groans with hollow sound,
The dark grove heav’d its branches bare,
The trembling mountains rock’d the ground.
And ever and anon was borne
The wail of anguish on the air;
And the groves deepest echoes torn
With the wild laughter of despair.
’Twas Isabella, luckless maid!
Who wildly urg’d her desp’rate way,
Till the emerging moon display’d
Where Edward’s mangled body lay.
The storm was o’er, the wind was still,
The moon shed wide her wat’ry beam,
O’er drenched valley, vap’rous hill,
O’er drooping grove, and rushing stream.
There Edward lay, his bosom gored,
And mangled all his beauteous face;
And there the maiden he adored,
Enfolds him in her cold embrace.
Her hands were cold, her lips were pale,
Her heart had ceas’d its frenzied throb;
And o’er her fair form, in the gale,
Stream’d her dark hair and blood-stain’d robe.
In yonder urn, the torrent near,
Where darkly waves the willow-grove,
They sepulchred the hapless pair—
Yon marble stone records their love.
And still the willow’s drooping head,
O’er the lone spot, is seen to wave;
And still the peasant’s tears are shed
At the true lovers’ mournful grave.
The setting sun with burning gold
Had clad the western sky,
And fair Erema softly roll’d
Her limpid waters by.
With balmy breath the wanton breeze
Sigh’d o’er the vernal vale,
Disportive shook the trembling trees,
And kiss’d their blossoms pale.
A captive knight of high degree,
In fam’d Segovia’s tow’r,
Cried, Happy breeze! would I, like thee,
Could sport from flow’r to flow’r!
As thus in dark disdainful mood
He watch’d the close of day,
And saw on river, tow’r, and wood,
The sun’s departing ray,—
Night’s shadows slowly gather’d round;
While pensive, cold, and pale,
The moonbeam kiss’d the dewy ground,
And sadly sigh’d the gale.
Sudden was heard through court and yard,
The noise of tramping steed,
And loud the massy bolts unbarr’d—
Oh! fly with instant speed!
Quick they unclasp’d the galling chains,
The captive knight is free:
They quit the castle, scour the plains,
And reach the roaring sea.
There, anchor’d in a lonely bay,
A bark roll’d on the sea—
Speak, speak, my friend, oh! speak, I pray,
And tell who sets me free.
Forbear the thought—I may not breathe
That all-mysterious name!
But fly thee hence—the hero’s wreath
Be thine, and deathless fame!
Now, by mine honour, till I know
By whom this aid is giv’n,
From hence I must not, will not go,
So hear, and help me, Heav’n!
Then list! a lady sets thee free;
But spare that lady’s name,
Nor give to her who rescues thee
A load of guilt and shame.
It matters not to tell thee now
Her equal pow’r and will—
Enough that Heav’n has heard my vow
To wait and tend thee still.
The pleasing task at length is mine,
Nor spurn my help I pray;
But quit these bloody foes of thine—
Already dawns the day!
The boat was near—the rower strain’d
With sinewy arms the oar;
But ere the sandy beach he gain’d,
Fierce horsemen lin’d the shore.
Return, proud rebel-slave, return,
Return thou traitress too!
Alonzo felt his hot blood burn,
And quick his bright sword drew.
But round his neck in anguish clung
The page—the heaving breast,
The voice, the locks dishevell’d hung,
Her softer sex confess’d.
They shall not touch thy gallant heart,
Or only reach through mine;
In life, in death, we will not part,
For I am only thine.
Farewell, farewell, the ruffian steel
Has pierc’d my bosom through,
But, ah! the only death I feel
Is parting, love! from you.
Deride me not, nor brand with scorn,
When I am laid in earth,
Nor think me one inglorious born,
For royal was my birth.
The daughter I of scepter’d king,
The Spanish monarch’s child,
But fled the court on eager wing,
By love for thee beguil’d.
Stay, wond’rous saint! a moment stay;
My soul is bursting free,
And oh! if death such love repay,
’Tis bliss to die with thee!
Commingling in a purple stream
Together flow’d their blood,
While dewy morning’s first wan beam
Glanc’d on the heaving flood.
All hail! thou solitary star!
To me how dear thy dewy ray,
Which kindly streaming from afar,
Illumes a pensive wand’rer’s way.
By this sequester’d nameless stream,
Which strays the lonely valley through,
And trembles to thy fairy beam,
Thee and the tranquil hour I woo.
For while beneath thy lovely light,
The misty mountains round me rise,
The world receding leaves my sight,
And daring fancy mounts the skies.
Forgetful of my sorrows here,
Entranced, I muse on joys to come,—
And far above thy lucid sphere
My trembling spirit seeks her home.
Then sweetly shine, thou ev’ning star!
And long, with dewy radiance pale,
Beam on these tow’ring hills afar,
And light this solitary vale.
Blithe as the birds that wing the air,
Erewhile my mountain lyre I strung;
And deem’d the rudest scenes an Eden fair,
Through which its wild notes rung;—
The sterile vale, the green inconstant sea,
And barren heath-clad hills were all to me.
But now no more they give delight,
As in departed days, I ween;
For gloomy sorrow’s long and starless night
Envelopes ev’ry scene:
The zephyr’s wing, that gently flutters by,
Scatters in air the frequent sigh.
Then, faithless flatt’rer, Hope, adieu!
Thy song no more can soothe my heart;
Thy fairy pencil, dipp’d in rainbow hue,
No longer can impart
To this deluded breast one moment’s joy;
There pangs of cureless woe thy loveliest scenes destroy.
Ah! wherefore should this feeble hand
Essay again to srike the lyre;
No cherish’d friendship shall the lay demand,
Responsive to the wire;
No seraph-voice of love, or friendship dear,
Shall steal, like strains from heav’n, upon mine ear.
O’er the rough path, through this dark vale of tears,
Trembling, and faint, my weary way I wend;
While disappointed hopes, and cares, and fears,
A mournful train, upon my steps attend.
No guardian hand to lead my wand’ring feet
From fatal error’s wide and wild’ring way;
No gentle voice, in accents soft and sweet,
To warn my heart of passion’s dangerous sway.
No sympathizing breast, to which my soul
May cling for comfort, when distress is nigh;—
But, ah! forbear!—each fruitless wish controul—
Patience and faith suppress each rising sigh.
Fountain of life, oh! everlasting God!
Forgive the murmurs I have dar’d to make;
I feel thy justice, kiss thy chast’ning rod,
Nor hope for mercy, but for Jesus’ sake.
Teach me to bow submissive to thy will,
Let gentle patience pour her healing balm
O’er my rack’d heart, bid ev’ry throb be still,
And breathe around a pure and holy calm.
Teach this sad heart to know thy mercy sure,
That strong and pow’rful is thine arm to save;
So shall my soul these utmost pangs endure,
And look beyond the confines of the grave.
Then looking heav’nward, with the eye of faith,
Where dearer hopes in bright succession rise,
Submissive wait, till the strong arm of Death,
By thy command, translate me to the skies.
The winds of heav’n are hush’d—and mild—
E’en as the breath of slumb’ring child!
The western breezes’ balmy sigh
Breaks not the mist-wreaths as they lie,
Veiling the tall cliff’s rugged brow,
Nor dimples the green waves below.
Such stillness round—such silence deep—
That nature seems herself to sleep!
The full moon, mounted in the sky,
Looks from her cloudless place on high;
And trembling stars, like fairy gleams,
Twinkle their many-colour’d beams,226 L5v 226
Spangling the world of waters o’er
With mimic gems from shore to shore,
Till ocean, burning on the view,
Glows like another heav’n of blue,
And its broad bosom, as a mirror bright,
Reflects their lucid path, and all the fields of light.
To an Old Musical Instrument.
While some, of their fictitious lyres,
A mournful farewell take,
Deep tones of sorrow from thy wires,
My trembling fingers wake:
What though thy tones were wild and rude,
Yet oft they pleas’d mine ear,
They charm’d my hours of solitude,
And sweeten’d ev’ry tear!
Partner of many a lonely hour,
And soother of its pain,
Farewell!――thy soft consoling pow’r
Shall never charm again!
Then fare-thee-well!—for we must part,—
A lighter hand, a gayer heart
May wake thy notes with better skill;—
With more of music’s melting art,
A sadder never will!
Dean and Munday, Printers, 35, Threadneedle street, London.