Изображения страниц



Breathed from eternity ; for as a dart
Cleaves the blank air, life flies : now every

If these brief records, by the Muses' art
Produced as lonely nature or the strife

Is but a glimmering spoke in the swift

wheel That animates the scenes of public life

Of the revolving week. Away, away, Inspired, may in thy leisure claim a part ; And if these transcripts of the private

heart So timely grace the immortal wing may

All fitful cares, all transitory zeal ; Have gained a sanction from thy falling

heal, tears,

And honour rest upon the senseless clay. Then I repent nut : but my soul hath fears

Memorials of a Tour in Scotland,


DEPARTURE FROM THE VALE OF Then why these lingering steps? A bright

adieu, GRASMERE.

For a brief absence, proves that love is true; AUGUST 1803.

Ne'er can the way be irksome or forlorn,

That winds into itself, for sweet return. The gentlest shade that walked Elysian

plains Might sometimes covet dissoluble chains ; Even for the tenants of the zone that lies TO THE SONS OF BURNS, Beyond the stars, celestial paradise, Methinks 'twould heighten joy, to overleap AFTER VISITING THE GRAVE OF THEIR At will the crystal battlements, and peep

FATHER. Into some other region, though less fair, "The poet's grave is in a corner of the churchTo see how things are made and managed yard. We looked at it with melancholy and there ;

[bold painful reflections, repeating to each other his Change for the worse might please, incursion own verses, 'Is there a man whose judgment Into the tracts of darkness and of cold ;

clear,' etc.'-Extract from the Fournal of

my Fellow- Traveller. O'er Limbo lake with aëry flight to steer,

'Mid crowded obelisks and urns, And on the verge of Chaos hang in sear. Such animation often do I find, (mind,

I sought the untimely grave of Burns ; Power in my breast, wings growing in my Sons of the bard, my heart still mourns Then, when some rock or hill is overpast,

With sorrow true ; Perchance without one look behind me cast, And more would grieve, but that it turns Some barrier with which nature, from the

Trembling to you ! birth

[earth. Through twilight shades of good and ill
Of things, has fenced this fairest spot on Ye now are panting up life's hill,
Oh, pleasant transit, Grasmere! to resign And more than common strength and skill
Such happy fields, abodes so calm as thine;

Must ye display,
Not like an outcast with himself at strife; If ye would give the better will
The slave of business, time, or care for life.

Its lawful sway.
But moved by choice ; or, if constrained in

Hath nature strung your nerves to bear Yet still with nature's freedom at the heart ; Intemperance with less harm, beware ! To cull contentment upon wildest shores, But if the poet's wit ye share, And luxuries extract from bleakest moors; Like him can speed With prompt embrace all beauty to infold, The social hour-for tenfold care And having rights in all that we behold.

There will be need.

Even honest men delight will take

Sad tidings to that noble youth ! To spare your failings for his sake,

For it may be proclaimed with truth, Will flatter you, -and fool and rake

If Bruce hath loved sincerely,
Your steps pursue ;

That Gordon loves as dearly.
And of your father's name will make
A snare for you.

But what is Gordon's beauteous face,

And what are Gordon s crosses, Far from their noisy haunts retire,

To them who sit by Kirtle's braes And add your voices to the quire

Upon the verdant mosses ?
That sanctify the cottage fire

Alas that ever he was born !
With service meet ;

The Gordon, couched behind a thorn, There seek the genius of your sire,

Sees them and their caressing:
His spirit greet ;

Beholds them blest and blessing.
Or where, 'mid " lonely heights and hows,"

Proud Gordon cannot bear the thoughts He paid to nature tuneful vows;

That through his brain are travelling. Or wiped his honourable brows

And, starting up, to Bruce's heart
Bedewed with toil,

He launched a deadly javelin !
While reapers strove, or busy ploughs

Fair Ellen saw it when it came,
Upturned the soil ;

And, stepping sorth to meet the same,

Did with her body cover
His judgment with benignant ray

The youth, her chosen lover.
Shall guide, his fancy cheer, your way :
But ne'er to a seductive lay

And, salling into Bruce's arms,
Let faith be given ;

Thus died the beauteous Ellen,
Nor deem that “light which leads astray,

Thus, from the heart of her true-love, Is light from heaven."

The mortal spear repelling.

And Bruce, as soon as he had slain Let no mean hope your souls enslave :

The Gordon, sailed away to Spain : Be independent, generous, brave ;

And fought with rage incessant
Your father such example gave,

Against the Moorish crescent.
And such revere ;

But many days, and many months,
But be admonished by his grave,

And many years ensuing,
And think, and fear!

This wretched knight did vainly seek
The death that he was wooing:
So coming his last help to crave,

Heart-broken, upon Ellen's grave

His body he extended,

And there his sorrow ended.
FAIR Ellen Irwin, when she sate

Now ye, who willingly have heard Upon the braes of Kirtle,

The tale I have been telling, Was lovely as a Grecian maid

May in Kirkonnel churchyard view
Adorned with wreaths of myrtle.

The grave of lovely Ellen:
Young Adam Bruce beside her lay ; By Ellen's side the Bruce is laid;
And there did they beguile the day And, for the stone upon its head.
With love and gentle speeches,

May no rude hand desace it,
Beneath the budding beeches.

And its forlorn HIC JACET!
From many knights and many squires
The Bruce had been selected ;
And Gordon, fairest of them all,

By Ellen was rejected.


Sweet Highland girl, a very shower * The Kirtle is a river in the southern part of beauty is thy earthly dower! of Scotland, on whose banks the events here re- Twice seven consenting years have shed Lied took place.

Their utmost bounty on thy head:

And these gray rocks; this household lawn; Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its grace
These trees, a veil just half withdrawn; Hath led me to this lonely place.
This fall of water, that doth make Joy have I had ; and going hence
A murmur near the silent lake;

ỉ bear away my recompense. This little bay, a quiet road

In spots like these it is we prize That holds in shelter thy abode;

Our memory, feel that she hath eyes :
In truth together do ye seem

Then, why should I be loth to stir?
Like something fashioned in a dream; I feel this place was made for her ;
Such forms as from their covert peep To give new pleasure like the past,
When earthly cares are laid asleep! Continued long as life shall last.
Yet, dream and vision as thou art,

Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart, I bless thee with a human heart:

Sweet Highland girl ! from thee to part; God shield thee to thy latest years! For I, methinks, till I grow old, I neither know thee nor thy peers;

As fair before me shall behold, And yet my eyes are filled with tears. As I do now, the cabin small,

The lake, the bay, the waterfall ;
With earnest feeling I shall pray

And thee, the spirit of them all!
For thee when I am far away
For never saw I mien, or face,
In which more plainly I could trace

Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.

Here scattered like a random seed,

In this still place; remote from men,
Remote from men, thou dost not need
The embarrassed look of shy distress,

Sleeps Ossian, in the Narrow gien;
And maidenly shamefacedness:

In this still place, where murmurs on Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear

But one meek streamlet, only ore : The freedom of a mountaineer,

He sang of battles, and the breath A face with gladness overspread!

Of stormy war, and violent death ; Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!

And should, methinks, when all was past, And seemliness complete, that sways

Have rightfully been laid at last Thy courtesies, about thee plays;

Where rocks were rudely heaped, and rent With no restraint, but such as springs

As by a spirit turbulent;

(wild, From quick and eager visitings

Where sights were rough, and sounds were Of thoughts, that lie beyond the reach

And every thing unreconciled ; Of thy few words of English speech:

In some complaining, dim retreat, A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife

For fear and melancholy meet ;

But this is calm ; there cannot be
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unnioved in mind,

A more entire tranquillity.
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.

Does then the bard sleep here indeed?
Or is it but a groundless creed !

What matters it?-1 blame them not
What hand but would a garland cull Whose fancy in this lonely spot
For thee, who art so beautiful ?

Was moved ; and in such way expressed Oh, happy pleasure! here to dwell

Their notion of its perfect rest. Beside thee in some heathy dell;

A convent, even a hermit's cell Adopt your homely ways and dress,

Would break the silence of this dell : A shepherd, thou a shepherdess!

It is not quiet ; is not ease : But I could frame a wish for thee

But something deeper far than these : More like a grave reality:

The separation that is here Thou art to me but as a wave

Is of the grave ; and of austere of the wild sea : and I would have

Yet happy feelings of the dead : Some claim upon thee, if I could,

And, therefore, was it rightly said
Though but of common neighbourhood.

That Ossian, last of all his race!
What joy to hear thee, and to see! Lies buried in this lonely place.
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, anything to thee!

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »