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His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,--thou dost arise And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise, Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war ; These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into the yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar. Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free, And
many a tyrant since; their shores obey The stranger, slave, or savage ; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts :-not so thou, Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
The image of Eternity--the throne -
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
THE LAST MINSTREL:
SIR WALTER SCOTT. *
way was long, the wind was cold, The minstrel was infirm and old ; His withered cheek, and tresses gray, Seemed to have known a better day; The harp, his sole remaining joy, Was carried by an orphan boy; The last of all the Bards was he, Who sung of Border chivalry. For well-a-day! their date was fled His tuneful brethren all were dead ; And he, neglected and oppressed, Wished to be with them, and at rest. No more, on prancing palfrey borne, He carolled, light as lark at morn; No longer courted and caressed, High-placed in hall, a welcome guest, He poured to lord and lady gay, The unpremeditated lay ; Old times were changed, old manners gone, A stranger filled the Stuarts' throne; The bigots of the iron time Had called his harmless art a crime. A wandering Harper, scorned and poor, He begged his bread from door to door ; And tuned, to please a peasant's ear, The harp a king had loved to hear.
He passed where Newark's stately. tower Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower; The Minstrel gazed with wishful eyeNo humbler resting-place was nigh.
* This extraordinary and versatile genius and amiable and excellent man (the successful author of a hundred volumes), after dazzling and delighting the whole reading world of two hemispheres during a quarter of a century, gradually sunk to rest in the bosom of his family in 1832,
With hesitating step, at last,
When kindness had his wants supplied,
The humble boon was soon obtained ;
* Ann, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth.
The pitying Duchess praised its chime,
gave him heart, and gave him time,
Amid the strings his fingers strayed.
'Twas thus the Latest Minstrel sung :“ Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land ! Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned, As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand ! If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no Minstrel raptures swell ; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim · Despite those titles, power, and pelf The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living shall forfeit fair renown,
O Caledonia! stern and wild,
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more ;
Along thy wild and willowed shore ; Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill, All, all is peaceful, all is still.
As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they rolled upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn. Unlike the tide of human time,
Which, though it change in ceaseless flow, Retains each grief, retains each crime,
Its earliest course was doomed to know,