« PreviousContinue »
WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of life!
There now the matin-bell is rung;
The "Miserere!" duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer, groan for groan.
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wildly wanders there,
The mother in her long despair,
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping;
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river rolled.
WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND,
BLUE was the loch, the clouds were gone,
Ben-Lomond in his glory shone,
When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze
Bore me from thy silver sands,
Thy kirk-yard wall among the trees,
Where, gray with age, the dial stands;
That dial so well known to me!
Though many a shadow it had shed,
Beloved sister, since with thee
The legend on the stone was read.
The fairy-isles fled far away;
That with its woods and uplands green,
Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,
And songs are heard at close of day;
That too, the deer's wild covert, fled,
And that, the asylum of the dead :
While, as the boat went merrily,
Much of ROB ROY the boatman told;
His arm that fell below his knee,
His cattle-ford and mountain-hold.
Tarbat,29 thy shore I climbed at last;
And, thy shady region passed,
Upon another shore I stood,
And looked upon another flood;
Great Ocean's self! (T is He who fills.
That vast and awful depth of hills);
Where many an elf was playing round,
Who treads unshod his classic ground;
And speaks, his native rocks among,
As FINGAL spoke, and OSSIAN sung.
Night fell; and dark and darker grew
That narrow sea, that narrow sky,
As o'er the glimmering waves we flew;
The sea-bird rustling, wailing by.
And now the grampus, half-descried,
Black and huge above the tide;
The cliffs and promontories there,
Front to front, and broad and bare;
Each beyond each, with giant-feet
Advancing as in haste to meet;
The shattered fortress, whence the Dane
Blew his shrill blast, nor rushed in vain,
Tyrant of the drear domain;
All into midnight-shadow sweep
When day springs upward from the deep!31
Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendor; and the oar,
That rose and fell unseen before,
Flashes in a sea of light!
Glad sign, and sure! for now we hail
Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale;
And bright indeed the path should be,
That leads to Friendship and to thee!
O blest retreat, and sacred too!
Sacred as when the bell of prayer
Tolled duly on the desert air,
And crosses decked thy summits blue.
Oft, like some loved romantic tale,
Oft shall my weary mind recall,
Amid the hum and stir of men,
Thy beechen-grove and waterfall,
Thy ferry with its gliding sail,
And her―the Lady of the Glen!
SLEEP on, and dream of Heaven a while. Though shut so close thy laughing eyes, Thy rosy lips still wear a smile,
And move, and breathe delicious sighs!
Ah! now soft blushes tinge her cheeks,
And mantle o'er her neck of snow.
Ah! now she murmurs, now she speaks,
What most I wish and fear to know.
She starts, she trembles, and she weeps!
Her fair hands folded on her breast.
And now, how like a saint she sleeps!
A seraph in the realms of rest!
Sleep on secure! Above control,
Thy thoughts belong to Heaven and thee!
And may the secret of thy soul
Remain within its sanctuary!
AN INSCRIPTION IN THE CRIMEA.
SHEPHERD, or Huntsman, or worn Mariner,
Whate'er thou art, who wouldst allay thy thirst,
Drink and be glad. This cistern of white stone,
Arched, and o'erwrought with many a sacred verse,
This iron-cup chained for the general use,
And these rude seats of earth within the grove,
Were given by FATIMA. Borne hence a bride,
"T was here she turned from her beloved sire,
To see his face no more. O, if thou canst
('T is not far off), visit his tomb with flowers;
And with a drop of this sweet water fill
The two small cells scooped in the marble there,
That birds may come and drink upon his grave,
Making it holy
AN INSCRIPTION FOR A TEMPLE DEDICATED TO THE GRACES.34
Whose dwelling-place is Heaven. Daughters of Jove, From them flow all the decencies of life;
Without them nothing pleases, Virtue's self
Admired, not loved: and those on whom they smile,
Great though they be, and wise, and beautiful,
Shine forth with double lustre.
MAN to the last is but a froward child;
So eager for the future, come what may,
And to the present so insensible!
O, if he could in all things as he would,
Years would as days and hours as moments be;
He would, so restless is his spirit here,
Give wings to Time, and wish his life away!
ALAS! to our discomfort and his own,
Oft are the greatest talents to be found
In a fool's keeping. For what else is he,
However worldly wise and worldly strong,
Who can pervert and to the worst abuse
The noblest means to serve the noblest ends
Who can employ the gift of cloquence,
That sacred gift, to dazzle and delude;
Or, if achievement in the field be his,