Слике страница
PDF
ePub

But these thou muit rencunce, if lui of wealth
E’er win its way to thy corrupted heart;
For, ah! it poisons like a scorpion's dart;
Prompting the ungenerous with, the selfith fcheme.
The ftern resolve, unmov'd by pity's smart,

'The troublous day, and long distrefful dream.Return, my roving Muse, resume thy purposed theme.

XI.
"There livil in Gothic days, as legends tell,
A shepherd-swain, a man of low degree ;
Whose fires, perchance, in Faryland might dwell,
Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady ;
But he, I ween, was of the north countie:
A nation fam'd for song, and beauty's charms ;
Zealous, yet modest ; innocent though free;

Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms,
Inflexible in faith ; invincible in arms.

XII.
The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made,
On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock;
The fickle, scythe, or ploogh, he never sway'!;
An honest heart was almost all his stock ;
His drink the living water from the rock ;
The milky dams fupplied his board, and lent,
Their kindly fleece to bafiłe winter's shock;

And he, though oft with out and sweet besprent, Did guide and guard thtir wanderings whersoe'er they

went.

* There is hardly an ancient Ballad, or Romance, wherein a Miurel or Harper appears, but he is characterised, by way of eminence, to have been “

Of the North countrie." It is probable that under this appellation were 'formerly comprehended all the provinces to the North of the Trent.

See Percy's Essay on the English Minttrels.

XIII.
From labour health, from health contentment springs.
Contentment opes the source of every joy.
He envied not, he never thought of kings;
Nor from these appetites sustain'd annoy,
Which chance may frustrate, or indulgence cloy ;
Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes beguiled;
He mourn'd no recreant friend, nor millress coy,

Tor on his vows the blameless Phæbe smild,
And her alone he loved, and loved her from a child.

XIV.
No jealousy their dawn of love oʻercast,
Nor blafted were their wedded days with frife ;
Each season look'd delightful as it paft,
To the fond husband, and the faithful wife.
Beyond the lowly vale of fhepherd life
They never roam'd ; secure beneath the storm
Which in Ambition's lofty land is rife,

Where peace and love are canker'd by the worin
Of pride, each bud of joy industrious deform.

XV.
The wight whose tale these artless lines unfold,
Was all the offspring of this simple pair.
His birth no oracle or seer foretold:
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air,
Nor aught that might a strange event déclare..
You guess each circumstance of Edwin's birth;
The parent's transport, and the parent's care ;

The Gollip's prayer for wealth, and wit, and worth And one long tummer-day of indolence and mirth.

XVI.
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy ;
Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant

eye.
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor toy,
Save one short pipe of rudeft minstrelly.
Silent when glad ; affectionate, though shy;
And now his look was most demurely sad,

And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none knew why.

The neighbours itar'd and figh'd, yet blelt the lad: Some deein'd him wondrous wise, and some believ'dl him mad.

XVII.
But why should I his childish feats display?
Concourse and noise, and toil he ever fed ;
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray
Of squabbling imps, but to the forelt sped,
Or, roam'd at large the lonely mountain's head;
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd Itream
To deep untrodden groves his footiteps led,

There would he wander wild, 'till Phæbus beam, Shot'from the western cliff, released the weary team.

XVIII. Th'exploit of itrength, dexterity, or speed, To him nor vanity nor joy could bring. His heart, from cruel sport enstranged, would bleed To work the woe of any living thing, By trap, by net, by arrow, or by fling ; These he detested, those he scorn'd to wield: He with'd to be the guardian., not the king,

Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field. And sure the syivan reign unbloody joy might yield.

XIX.
Lo? where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine ;
And sees, on high, amidit th' encircling groves
From cliff to cliff the foaming corrents shine.:
While waters, woods, and winds in concert join,
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign

For aught the huntsmen's puny craft supplies ?
Ah! no: he better knows great Nature's charms to prize.

XX.
And oft he traced the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn,

The crimson clon, blue main, and mountain grey, And lake, dim-gleaming on the finoky lawn'; Far to the west, the long long, vale withdrawn, Where twilight loves to linger for a while; And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn, And villager abroad at early toil.-- (Pinile. But, lo! the sun appears! and heaven, carth, occan

XXI
Anil oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in milt the world below wis loit.
When dreadful pleature! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on defart coaft,
And view th' enormous wate of

vapour,

tost In billows, lengthening to the horizon round, Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mourtains now emboss'd!

And hear the voice of mirth an:) song rebound, Ilocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound !

XXII.
'In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene.
In darkness, and in storm, he found delight:
Nor less, than when an ocean-wave ferebe
The southern sun diffufed his dazzling fhene.
Even sad viciflitusie amused his soul;
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,

And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A ligh, a tear, so sweet, he wilh'd not to controul.

[ocr errors]

XXIII. wild

groves, O where is now your bloom !” ('The Muse interprets thus his tender thought.) Your flowers, your verdure, and your balmy gloom, Of late fo grateful in the hour of drought! Why do the birds, that fong and rapture brought • To all your bowers, their mansions now forsake? * Ah! why has fickle chance this ruin wrought; • For now the storm howls mournful through the brake, And the dead foliage flies in many a shapeless fake.

XXIV. Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and cool, · Andmeads, with life, and mirth, and beauty crown'd! « Ah ! :fee th' unfightly slime, and Nuggith pool, • Have all the folitary vale embrown'd; • Fled each fair form, and mute each melting sound, • The raven croaks forlorn on naked spray: • And, hark! the river, bursting every mound, · Down the vale thunders ; and with wasteful sway, Uproots the grove, and-rolls the shatter'd rocks away.

XXV. it Yet such the destiny of all on earth : - So flourishes and fades majestic mani.

Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth, · And fostering gales a while the nursling fan. "O smile, ye litavens, serene ; ye mildews wan, • Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime, • Nor leífen of his life the little span.

• Born on the fvift, though filent, wings of Time, -Old-age comes on a pace to ravage all the clime.

XXVI. . And be it fo. Let'those deplore their doom, • Whose hopes till grovels in this dark sojourn. • But lofty fouls who look beyond the tomb, - Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn. * Shall spring to these sad scenes no more return? • Is yonder wave the sun’s:eternal bed ?· Soon hall the orient with new lustre burn, • And spring shall foon her vital influence Aed, Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead.

6

XXVII. • Shall I be left abandon'd in the dust, • When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive? « Shall nature's voice, to man

alone unjust, • Bid him, though doom'd to perifli, hope to live? « Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive . With disappointment, penury, and pain ?

« ПретходнаНастави »