Слике страница

The scenes of former life return;
Ere, sunk beneath the morning star,
We left our parent climes afar,

Immured in mortal forms to mourn.
Or if, as ancient sages ween,
Departed spirits, half unseen,

Can mingle with the mortal throng ; 'Tis when from heart to heart we roll The deep-toned music of the soul,

That warbles in our Scottish song.
I hear, I hear, with awful dread,
The plaintive music of the dead !

They leave the amber fields of day:
Soft as the cadence of the wave,
That murmurs round the mermaid's grave,

They mingle in the magic lay. Sweet siren, breathe the powerful strain! “Lochroyan's damsel” sails the main;

The crystal tower enchanted see! “Now break,” she cries, “ye fairy charms !" As round she sails with fond alarms,

“Now break, and set my true love free !" Lord Barnard is to greenwood gone, Where fair“Gil Morrice” sits alone,

And careless combs his yellow hair ; Ah! mourn the youth, untimely slain! The meanest of Lord Barnard's train

The hunter's mangled head must bear. Or, change these notes of deep despair, For love's more soothing tender air:

Sing how, beneath the greenwood-tree, “ Brown Adam's” love maintain'd her truth, Nor would resign the exiled youth

For any knight the fair could see.
And sing" the hawk of pinion gray,"
To southern climes who wing'd his way,

Vol. II.

For he could speak as well as fly; Her brethren how the fair beguiled, And on her Scottish lover smiled,

As slow she raised her languid eye. Fair was her cheek's carnation glow, Like red blood on a wreath of snow;

Like evening's dewy star her eye; White as the sea-mew's downy breast, Borne on the surge's foamy crest,

Her graceful bosom heaved the sigh. In youth's first morn, alert and gay, Ere rolling years had pass'd away,

Remember'd like a morning dream, I heard these dulcet measures float, In many a liquid winding note,

Along the banks of Teviot's stream. Sweet sounds! that oft have sooth'd to rest The sorrows of my guileless breast,

And charm'd away mine infant tears : Fond memory shall your strains repeat, Like distant echoes, doubly sweet,

That in the wild the traveller hears.

And thus, the exiled Scotian maid,
By fond alluring love betray'd

To visit Syria's date-crown'd shore ;
In plaintive strains, that sooth'd despair,
Did “Bothwell's banks that bloom so fair,"

And scenes of early youth deplore.
Soft siren! whose enchanting strain
Floats wildly round my raptured brain,

I bid your pleasing haunts adieu !
Yet, fabling fancy oft shall lead
My footsteps to the silver Tweed,

Through scenes that I no more must view.

[blocks in formation]

WAERE Bortha hoarse, that loads the meads with Rolls her red tide to Teviot's western strand, (sand, Through slaty hills, whose sides are shagg’d with

thorn, Where springs, in scatter'd tufts, the dark-green Towers wood-girt Harden, far above the vale, (corn, And clouds of ravens o'er the turrets sail. A hardy race, who never shrunk from war, The Scott, to rival realms a mighty bar, Here fixed his mountain-home; a wide domain, And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain; But what the niggard ground of wealth denied, From fields more bless'd his fearless arm supplied.

The waning harvest-moon shone cold and bright; The warder's horn was heard at dead of night ; And as the massy portals wide were flung, With stamping hoofs the rocky pavement rung. What fair, half veil'd, leans from her latticed hall, Where red the wavering gleams of torchlight fall ? 'Tis Yarrow's fairest flower, who, through the gloom, Looks, wistful, for her lover's dancing plume. Amid the piles of spoil that strew'd the ground, Her ear, all anxious, caught a wailing sound; With trembling haste the youthful matron flew, And from the hurried heaps an infant drew.

Scared at the light, his little hands he flung Around her neck, and to her bosom clung ; While beauteous Mary sooth’d, in accents mild, His fluttering soul, and clasp'd her foster child. Of inilder mood the gentle captive grew, Nor loved the scenes that scared his infant view; In vales remote, from camps and castles far, He shunn’d the fearful, shuddering joy of war;

Content the loves of simple swains to sing,
Or wake to fame the harp's heroic string.

His are the strains, whose wandering echoes thrill
The shepherd, lingering on the twilight hill,
When evening brings the merry folding hours,
And sun-eyed daisies close their winking flowers.
He lived o'er Yarrow's flower to shed the tear,
To strew the holly-leaves o'er Harden's bier:
But none was found above the minstrel's tomb,
Emblem of peace, to bid the daisy bloom :
He, nameless as the race from which he sprung,
Saved other names, and lest his own unsung.

[blocks in formation]

Long lay the ocean-paths from man conceal'd : Light came from heaven—the magnet was reveald, A surer star to guide the seaman's eye Than the pale glory of the northern sky; Alike ordaind to shine by night and day, Through calm and tempest, with unsetting ray; Where'er the mountains rise, the billows roll, Still with strong impulse turning to the pole, True as the sun is to the morning true, Though light as film, and trembling as the dew.

Then man no longer plied with timid oar And failing heart along the windward shore ; Broad to the sky he turn’d his fearless sail, Defied the adverse, woo'd the favouring gale, Bared to the storm his adamantine breast, Or soft on ocean's lap lay down to rest ; While free, as clouds the liquid ether sweep, [deep; His white-wing'd vessels coursed the unbounded

From clime to clime the wanderer loved to roam, The waves his heritage, the world his home.

Then first Columbus, with the mighty hand
Of grasping genius, weigh'd the sea and land;
The floods o'erbalanced : where the tide of light,
Day after day, roll'd down the gulf of night,
'There seem'd one waste of waters : long in vain
His spirit brooded o’er the Atlantic main ;
When sudden, as creation burst from naught,
Sprang a new world, through his stupendous thought,
Light, order, beauty! While his mind explored
The unveiling mystery, his heart adored ;
Where'er sublime imagination trod,
He heard the voice, he saw the face of God.

Far from the western cliffs he cast his eye
O'er the wide ocean stretching to the sky:
In calm magnificence the sun declined,
And left a paradise of clouds behind :
Proud at his feet, with pomp of pearl and gold,
The billows in a sea of glory roll'd.

“Ah! on this sea of glory might I sail,
Track the bright sun, and pierce the eternal veil
That hides those lands, beneath Hesperian skies,
Where daylight sojourns till our morrow rise !"

Thoughtful he wander'd on the beach alone; Mild o'er the deep the vesper planet shone, The eye of evening, brightening through the west Till the sweet moment when it shut to rest : “Whither, oh golden Venus ! art thou fled ? Not in the ocean-chambers lies thy bed ; Round the dim world thy glittering chariot drawn, Pursues the twilight or precedes the dawn; Thy beauty noon and midnight never see, The morn and eve divide the year with thee.”

Soft fell the shades, till Cynthia's slender bow Crested the farthest wave, then sunk below :

« ПретходнаНастави »