« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
But my spirit will travel wherever she flee,
What lonely magnificence stretches around !
E'en now, in the pomp of their prime, I behold
From his eyrie the eagle hath soar'd with a scream,
Thou needest no bridge o'er the rush of the stream,
-His voyage is o'er !-As if struck by a spell
Fit couch of repose for a pilgrim like thee! Magnificent prison enclosing the free! With rock-wall encircled-with precipice crown'dWhich, awoke by the sun, thou can'st clear at a bound. 'Mid the fern and the heather kind Nature doth keep One bright spot of green for her favourite's sleep; And close to that covert, as clear as the skies When their blue depths are cloudless, a little lake lies, Where the creature at rest can bis image behold Looking up through the radiance, as bright and as bold! How lonesome! how wild! yet the wildness is rife With the stir of enjoyment-the spirit of life. The glad fish leaps up in the heart of the lake, Whose depths, at the sullen plunge, sullenly quake! Elate on the fern-branch the grasshopper sings, And away in the midst of his roundelay springs : 'Mid the flowers of the heath, not more bright than himself, The wild-bee is busy, a musical elf—
Then starts from his labour, unwearied and gay,
And circling the antlers, booms far far away.
At noon sinking down on smooth wings to their haven,
To his friends of the sky, the joint-heirs of the wild.
Yes! fierce looks thy nature, even hush'd in repose
In the depth of thy desert regardless of foes.
Thy bold antlers call on the hunter afar
In the beams of thy forehead that glitter with death,
High life of a hunter! he meets on the hill
While the thunder below him, that growls from the cloud,
When the clear depth of noon-tide, with glittering motion, O'erflows the lone glens-an aerial ocean
When the earth and the heavens, in union profound,
Lie blended in beauty that knows not a sound
As his eyes in the sunshiny solitude close
Neath a rock of the desert in dreaming repose,
He sees, in his slumbers, such visions of old
O'er the mountains a thousand plum'd hunters are borne,
Yes! child of the desert! fit quarry wert thou
By princes attended with arrow and spear,
In their white-tented camp, for the warfare of deer,
In splendour the tents on the green summit stood,
Not lonely and single they passed o'er the height-
"Fall down on your faces !-the herd is at hand!"
Like a thunder-split oak-tree, that falls in one shock
Wild mirth of the desert! fit pastime for kings!
Oh reign of magnificence! vanish'd for ever!
Whose course hath been chang'd! yet my soul can survey
Yes! the wide silent forest is loud as of yore,
I wake from my trance!-lo! the Sun is declining !
One soft golden gleam ere the twilight prevail !
THE INCONVENIENCES RESULTING FROM
BY CHARLES LAMB.
"To the Editor of the Reflector."*
SIR, I AM one of those unhappy persons whose misfortunes, it seems, do not entitle them to the benefit of pure pity. All that is bestowed upon me of that kindest alleviator of human miseries, comes dashed with a
* London 1810.
double portion of contempt. My griefs have nothing in them that is felt as sacred by the bystanders. Yet is my affliction in truth of the deepest grain. The heaviest task that was ever given to mortal patience to sustain. Time, that wears out all other sorrows, can never modify or soften mine. Here they must continue to gnaw, as long as that fatal mark.
Why was I ever born? Why was innocence in my person suffered to be branded with a stain which was appointed only for the blackest guilt? What had I done, or my parents, that a disgrace of mine should involve a whole posterity in infamy? I am almost tempted to believe, that, in some pre-existent state, crimes to which this sublunary life of mine hath been as much a stranger as the babe that is newly born into it, have drawn down upon me this vengeance, so disproportionate to my actions on this globe.
My brain sickens, and my bosom labours to be delivered of the weight that presses upon it, yet my conscious pen shrinks from the avowal. But out it must
O, Mr Reflector! guess at the wretch's misery who now writes this to you, when, with tears and burning blushes, he is obliged to confess, that he has been-HANGED
Methinks I hear an involuntary exclamation burst from you, as your imagination presents to you fearful images of your correspondent unknown, hanged!
Fear not, Mr Editor. No disembodied spirit has the honour of addressing you. I am flesh and blood, an unfortunate system of bones, muscles, sinews, arteries, like yourself.
Then I presume you mean to be pleasant. That expression of yours, Mr Correspondent, must he taken somehow in a metaphorical sense.. In the plainest sense, without trope or figure. Yes, Mr. Editor, this neck of mine has felt the fatal noose, these hands have tremblingly held up the corroborative prayer-book,-these lips have sucked the moisture of the last consolatory orange,-this tongue has chaunted the doleful cantata which no performer was ever called upon to repeat,-this face has had the veiling night-cap drawn over it.
But for no crime of mine. Far be it from me to arraign the justice of my country, which, though tardy, did at length recognise my innocence. It is not for me to reflect upon the judge or jury, now that eleven years have elapsed since the erroneous sentence was pronounced. Men will always be fallible, and perhaps circumstances did appear at the time a little strong
Suffice it to say, that after hanging four minutes, (as the spectators were pleased to compute it, a man that is being strangled, I know from experience, has altogether a different measure of time from his friends who are breathing leisurely about him, I suppose the minutes lengthen as time approaches eternity, in the same manner as the miles get longer as you travel northward), after hanging four minutes, according to the best calculation of the bystanders, a reprive came, and I was cut
Really, I am ashamed of deforming your pages with these technical phrases, if I knew how to express my meaning shorter.