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A gentle hill its side inclines,
Lovely in England's fadeless green,
To meet the quiet stream which winds
Through this romantic scene.
As silently and sweetly still
As when, at evening, on that hill,
While summer's wind blew soft and low,
Seated by gallant Hotspur's side,
His Katherine was a happy bride,
A thousand years ago.
Gaze on the Abbey's ruined pile
Does not the succouring ivy keeping
Her watch around it seem to smile
As o'er a lov'd one sleeping?-
One solitary turret gray
Still tells in melancholy glory,
The legend of the Cheviot day,
The Percy's proudest border story. That day its roof was triumph's arch,
Then rang, from aisle to pictur'd dome, The light step of the soldier's march,
The music of the trump and drum,
And babe and sire, the old, the young,
And the Monk's hymn and Minstrel's song,
And woman's pure kiss, sweet and long,
Welcom'd her warrior home.
Wild roses by the Abbey towers,
Are gay in their young bud and bloom,
They were born of a race of funeral flowers
That garlanded, in long-gone hours,
A Templar's knightly tomb.
He died, the sword in his mailed hand,
On the holiest spot of the Blessed Land,
Where the cross was damp'd with his dying breath,
When blood ran free as festal wine,
And the sainted air of Palestine
Was thick with the darts of death.
Wise with the lore of centuries,
What tales, if there be "tongues in trees,"
Those giant oaks could tell,
Of beings born and buried here,
Tales of the peasant and the peer,
Tales of the bridal and the bier,
The welcome and farewell,
Since, on their boughs, the startled bird,
First, in her twilight slumbers, heard
The Norman's curfew bell.
I wandered through the lofty halls
Trod by the Percys of old fame,
And trac'd upon the chapel walls
Each high, heroic name,
From him who once his standard set
Where now, o'er mosque and minaret,
Glitter the Sultan's crescent moons;
To him who, when a younger son,t
Fought for King George at Lexington,
A Major of Dragoons.
That last half stanza-it has dash'd
From my warm lip the sparkling cup,
The light that o'er my eye-beam flash'd,
The power that bore my spirit up
Above this bank-note world-is gone;
And Alnack's but a market town,
And this, alas, its market day,
And beasts and borderers throng the way,
Oxen, and bleating lambs in lots,
Northumberland boors, and plaided Scots,
Men in the coal and cattle line,
From Teviot's bard and hero land,
From royal Berwick's beach of sand,
From Wooler, Morpeth, Hexam, and
New Castle upon Tyne.
* One of the ancestors of the Percy family was Emperor of Constantinople.
+ The late Duke.
The age of bargaining, said Burke,
Has come-to-day the turban'd Turk,
(Sleep Richard of the lion heart!
Sleep on, nor from your cearments start,)
Is England's fast and firm ally,
The Moslem tramples on the Greek,
And on the Cross, and Altar stone,
And Christendom looks tamely on,
And hears the Christian Maiden shriek,
And sees the Christian father die,
And not a sabre blow is given
For Greece and fame, for faith and heaven,
By Europe's craven chivalry.
You'll ask if yet the Percy lives
In the arm'd pomp of feudal state?
The present representatives
Of Hotspur and his "gentle Kate"
Are some half-dozen serving men,
In the drab coat of William Penn,
A chambermaid, whose lip and eye,
And cheek, and brown hair bright and curling,
Spoke Nature's aristocracy:
And one, half groom, half Seneschal,
Who bow'd me through court, bower, and hall,
From donjon keep to turret wall,
For ten and sixpence sterling.
TO THE ROSE.
BY SIR RICHARD FANSHAW.
Thou blushing Rose! within whose virgin leaves
The wanton wind to sport himself presumes,
Whilst from their rifled wardrobe he receives
For his wings purple, for his breath perfumes!
Blown in the morning, thou shalt fade e'er noon!
What boots a life that in such haste forsakes thee?
Thou'rt wondrous frolic, being to die so soon,
And passing proud a little colour makes thee.
If thee thy little beauty so deceives,
Know then the thing that swells thee is thy bane;
For the same beauty doth in bloody leaves
The sentence of thy early death contain.
Some clown's coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,
If by the careless plough thou shalt be torn,
And many Herods lie in wait each hour,
To murder thee as soon as thou art born,
Nay force thy bud to blow, their tyrant breath
Anticipating life to hasten death.
TO WILLIAM DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN.
The name of the poet of Hawthornden must be familiar to our readers, but that of the author of the following verses is perhaps not equally so. They were written by MARY OXLIE, of Morpeth, a Scotch poetess, and a friend of Drummond; and prefixed to a vare edition of his poems, printed in London in 1656. As a specimen of the taste of that remote period, they are worth republi
I never rested on the Muse's bed,
Nor dipt my quill in the Thessalian fountain;
My rustic Muse was rudely fostered,
And flies too low to reach the double mountain.
Then do not sparks with your bright sun compare,
Perfection in a woman's work is rare;
From an untroubled mind should verses flow,
My discontents make mine too muddy show;
And hoarse encumbrances of household care,
Where these remain, the Muses ne'er repair.
If thou dost extol her hair,
Or her ivory forehead fair
Or those stars whose bright reflection,
Thralls my heart in sweet subjection;
Or, when to display, thou seeks
The snow-mixt roses on her cheeks;
Or those rubies soft and sweet,
Over those pretty rows that meet;
The Chian painter, as ashamed,
Hides his picture, so far famed;
And the queen he carv'd it by,
With a blush her face doth dye;
Since those lines doth limm a creature,
That so far surpass'd her feature.
When thou show'st how fairest Flora
Prank't with pride the banks of Ora*
So thy verse her streams doth honour,
Strangers grow enamour'd on her.
All the Swans that swim in Po,
Would their native brooks forego,
And as loathing Phoebus' beams,
Long to bathe in cooler streams.
Tree-turn'd Daphne would be seen
In her groves to flourish green;
And her boughs would gladly spare
To frame a garland for her hair.
That fairest nymphs with finest fingers,
May thee crown the best of singers.
But when the Muse, dissolv'd in showers,
Wails that peerless Princet of ours;
Cropt by too untimely fate,
Her mourning doth exasperate
Senseless things to see thee moan,
Stones do weep, and trees do groan;
Birds in air, fishes in flood,
Beasts in field forsake their food;
The nymphs, foregoing all their bow'rs,
Tear their chaplets deckt with flowers,
Sol himself, with misty vapour,
Hides from earth his glorious taper,
And, as mov'd to hear thee plain,
Shows his grief in show'rs of rain.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Too, too prophetic, did thy wild note swell,
Impassioned minstrel! when its pitying wail—
Sighed o'er the vernal primrose as it fell
Untimely, withered by the northern gale.
*The mistress of Drummond was a daughter of Cunningham of Barns, who dwelled on the Ora, which Mr. Pinkerton believes to have been the river so called in Fife, running from Loch Orr to Leven river.
Prince Henry, son of James I, on whose death, in 1613, Drummond published an elegiac poem, entitled "Teares on the death of Mœliades."