Слике страница
PDF
ePub

MAY-EVE ; OR, KATE OF ABERDEEN.

The silver moon's enamour'd beam

Steals softly through the night,
To wanton with the winding stream,

And kiss reflected light.
To beds of state go, balmy sleep,

('Tis where you've seldom been) May's vigil while the shepherds keep

With Kate of Aberdeen.

Upon the green the virgins wait,

In rosy chaplets gay,
Till Morn unbar her golden gate,

And give the promis'd May.
Methinks I hear the maids declare,

The promis'd May, when seen, Not half so fragrant, half so fair,

As Kate of Aberdeen.

Strike

up

the tabor's boldest notes, We'll rouse the nodding grove; The nested birds shall raise their throats,

And hail the maid I love:
And see—the matin lark mistakes,

He quits the tufted green:
Fond bird ! 'tis not the morning breaks,

'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

Now lightsome o'er the level mead,

Where midnight fairies rove,
Like them, the jocund dance we'll lead,

Or tune the reed to love :
For see the rosy May draws nigh;

She claims a virgin queen;
And hark, the happy shepherds cry,

'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

GEORGE LORD LYTTLETON.

BORN 1709.-DIED 1773.

This nobleman's public and private virtues, and his merits as the historian of Henry II. will be remembered when his verses are forgotten. By a felicity very rare in his attempts at poetry, the kids and fawns of his Monody do not entirely extinguish all appearance of that sincere feeling with which it must have been composed. Gray, in a letter to Horace Walpole, has justly remarked the beauty of the stanza beginning " In vain I look around.” “ If it were all like this stanza," he continues, “ I “ could be pleased." Nature, and sorrow, and tenderness are the true genius of such things (monodies). Poetical ornaments are foreign to the purpose, for they only shew a man is not sorry, and devotion worse, for it teaches him that he ought not to be sorry, which is all the pleasure of the thing.

FROM THE MONODY.

At length escap'd from every human eye,

From every duty, every care, That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share, Or force my tears their flowing stream to dry; Beneath the gloom of this embowering shade, This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made, I now may give my burden'd heart relief, And

pour forth all my stores of grief; Of grief surpassing every other woe, Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love

Can on th' ennobled mind bestow,

Exceeds the vulgar joys that move Our gross desires, inelegant and low.

*

In vain I look around

O'er all the well-known ground,
My Lucy's wonted footsteps to descry;

Where oft we us'd-to walk,

Where oft in tender talk
We saw the summer sun go down the sky;

Nor by yon fountain's side,
Nor where its waters glide

Along the valley, can she now be found :
In all the wide-stretch'd prospects' ample bound

No more my mournful eye

Can aught of her espy, But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie.

Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns, Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns

By your delighted mother's side,

Who now your infant steps shall guide ? Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care To every virtue would have form'd your youth, And strew'd with flowers the thorny ways of truth?

O loss beyond repair! O wretched father! left alone, To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken'd mind, oppress'd with woe,

And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave, Perform the duties that you doubly owe!

Now she, alas ! is gone, From folly and from vice their helpless age to save?

O best of wives! O dearer far to me

Than when thy virgin charms

Were yielded to my arms,
How can my soul endure the loss of thee?
How in the world, to me a desert

grown, Abandon'd and alone,

Without my sweet companion can I live?

Without thy lovely smile,
The dear reward of every virtuous toil,
What pleasures now can pall'd ambition give?

Ev’n the delightful sense of well-earn’d praise, Unshar'd by thee, no more my lifeless thoughts could

raise.

For my distracted mind

What succour can I find?
On whom for consolation shall I call ?
Support me, every friend ;

Your kind assistance lend,
To bear the weight of this oppressive woe.

Alas! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, so much was thine,
That none has

any

comfort to bestow.
My books, the best relief

In every other grief,
Are now with

your

idea sadden'd all : Each favourite author we together read My tortur'd memory wounds, and speaks of Lucy

dead.

We were the happiest pair of human kind;
The rolling year its varying course perform'd,

And back return'd again;
Another and another smiling came,
And saw our happiness unchang'd remain :

Still in her golden chain

« ПретходнаНастави »