Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

CONCLUSION.

Breathed from eternity ; for as a dart

Cleaves the blank air, life flies : now every TO

day If these brief records, by the Muses' art

Is but a glimmering spoke in the swift Produced as lonely nature or the strife

wheel That animates the scenes of public lise

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,

1803.

FATHER

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 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 ! 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
part,

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.

Sad tidings to that noble youth !
For it may be proclaimed with truth,
If Bruce hath loved sincerely,
That Gordon loves as dearly.

Even honest men delight will take
To spare your failings for his sake,
Will flatter you, -and fool and rake

Your steps pursue ;
And of your faiher's name will make

A snare for you.
Far from their noisy haunts retire,
And add your voices to the quire
That sanctify the cottage fire

With service meet ;
There seek the genius of your sire,

His spirit greet;
Or where, 'mid "lonely heights and hows,"
He paid to nature tuneful vows ;
Or wiped his honourable brows

Bedewed with toil,
While reapers strove, or busy ploughs

Upturned the soil ;
His judgment with benignant ray
Shall guide, his fancy cheer, your way;
But ne'er to a seductive lay

Let faith be given ;
Nor deem that “light which leads astray,

Is light from heaven."
Let no mean hope your souls enslave :
Be independent, generous, brave ;
Your faiher such example gave,

And such revere :
But be admonished by his grave,

And think, and fear!

But what is Gordon's beauteous face,
And what are Gordon s crosses,
To them who sit by Kirtle's braes
Upon the verdant mosses ?
Alas that ever he was born !
The Gordon, couched behind a thorn,
Sees them and their caressing:
Beholds them blest and blessing.
Proud Gordon cannot bear the thoughts
That through his brain are travelling. -
And, starting up, to Bruce's heart
He launched a deadly javelin !
Fair Ellen saw it when it came,
And, stepping forth to meet the same,
Did with her body cover
The youth, her chosen lover.
And, falling into Bruce's arms,
Thus died the beauteous Ellen,
Thus, from the heart of her true-love,
The mortal spear repelling.
And Bruce, as soon as he had slain
The Gordon, sailed away to Spain:
And fought with rage incessant
Against the Moorish crescent.
But many days, and many months,
And many years ensuing,
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.

ELLEN IRWIN, OR THE BRAES

OF KIRTLE.

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 deface 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,

TO A HIGHLAND GIRL.
By Ellen was rejected.

(AT INVERSNAID, UPON LOCH LOMOND.)

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;

I 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

GLEN-ALMAIN, OR THE NARROW
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.

GLEN.
Here scattered like a random seed,
Remote from men, thou dost not need

In this still place; remote from men,
The embarrassed look of shy distress,

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

In this still place, where murmurs on

But one meek streamlet, only orie:
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer.

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

Of stormy war, and violent death;

And should, methinks, when all was past, Soft smiles, by human kindness bred! 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 sear 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 ince 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 Or 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][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »