« PreviousContinue »
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 boat-man told; His arm that fell below his knee, His cattle-ford and mountain-hold.
Tarbat,* 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! ('Tis 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 ;
* Signifying in the Gaelic language an Isthmus. + Loch-long.
The cliffs and promontories there,
Oh blest retreat and sacred too!
* A phenomenon described by many navigators.
IN THE CRIMEA.
SHEPHERD, or Huntsman, or worn Mariner,
* There is a beautiful story, delivered down to us from antiquity, which will here perhaps occur to the reader.
Icarius, when he gave Penelope in marriage to Ulysses, endeavoured to persuade him to dwell in Lacedæmon; and, when all he urged was to no purpose, he entreated his daughter to remain with him.
When Ulysses set out with his bride for Ithaca, the old man followed the chariot, till, overcome by his importunity, Ulysses consented that it should be left with Penelope to decide whether she would proceed with him or return with her father. It is related, says Pausanias, that she made no reply, but that she covered herself with her veil; and that Icarius, perceiving at once by it that she inclined to Ulysses, suffered her to depart with him.
A statue was afterwards placed by her father as a memorial in that part of the road where she had covered herself with her veil. It was still standing there in the days of Pausanias, and was called the statue of Modesty.
† A Turkish superstition.
AN INSCRIPTION FOR A TEMPLE
DEDICATED TO THE GRACES.*
APPROACH with reverence. There are those within,
WRITTEN IN 1834.
Well, when her day is over, be it said
a name to live
| At Woburn-Abbey.
Moving with silent and majestic march,
Wondrous was her wealth,
* North America speaks for itself; and so indeed may we say of India, when such a territory is ours in a region so remote—"a territory larger and more populous than Great Britain and France and Spain, and Germany and Italy together;" when a company of merchants, from such small beginnings, have established a dominion so absolute, “where Trajan never penetrated and where the phalans of Alexander refused to proceed” – a dominion over a people for ages civilized and cultivated, while we were yet in the woods.
† Alluding to the battle of Waterloo. The illustrious Man who commanded there on our side, and who, in his anxiety to do justice to others, never fails to forget himself, said many years afterwards to the Author with some agitation, when relating an occurrence of that day, “ It was a battle of giants !”