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The hour arrived, and from the wretched wife
The guiltless baby struggled into life.---
As night drew on, around her bed, a band
Of friends and kindred kindly took their stand;
In holy prayer they pass'd the creeping time,
Intent to expiate her awful crime.
Their prayers were fruitless.-As the miduight came,
A heavy sleep oppress'd each weary frame.
In vain they strove against the o'erwhelming load,
Some power unseen their drowsy lids bestrode.
They slept, 'till in the blushing eastern sky
The bloomy morning oped her dewy eye;
Then wakening wide they squght the ravish'd bed,
But lo! the hapless Margaret was fled;
And never more the weeping train were doom'd
To view the false one, in the deeps intomb’d.
The neighbouring rustics told that in the night
They heard such screams, as froze them with affright;
And many an infant at its mother's breast,
Started dismayed, from its unthinking rest.
And even now, upon the heath forlorn,
They shew the path, down which the fair was borne,
By the fell demons, to the yawning wave,
Her own, and murder'd lover's, mutual grave.
Such is the tale, so sad, to memory dear,
Which oft in youth has charm'd my listening ear.
That tale, which-bade me find redoubled sweets
In the drear silence of these dark retreats;
And even now, with Melancholy power,
Adds a new pleasure to the lonely hour.
'Mid all the charms by magic Nature given
To this wild spot, this sublunary heaven,
With double joy enthusiast Fancy leans
On the attendant legend of the scenes.
This, sheds a fairy lustre on the floods,
And breathes a mellower gloom upon the woods;
This, as the distant cataract swells around,
Gives a romantic cadence to the sound;
This, and the deep'ning glen, the alley green,
The silver stream, with sedgy tufts between,
The massy rock, the wood-encompass'd leas,
The broom-clad Islands, and the nodding trees,
The lengthening vista, and the present gloom,
The verdant pathway breathing waste perfume;
These are thy charms, the joys which these impart
Bind thee, blest Clifton! close around my heart.
Dear Native Grove! where'er my devious track,
To thee will Memory lead the wantlerer back.
Whether in Arno's polish'd vales I stray,
Or, where “ Oswego's swamps” obstruct the day;
Or wander lone, where wildering and wide,
The tumbling torrent laves St. Gothard's side;
Or, by old Tejo's classic margent muse,
Or stand entranc'd with Pyrenean views;
Still, still to thee, where'er my footsteps roam,
My heart shall point, and lead the wanderer home.
When splendor offers, and when Fame incites,
I'll pause, and think of all thy dear delights,
Reject the boon, and weary'd with the change,
Renounce the wish which first induced to range;
Turn to these scenes, these well-known scenes once more,
Trace once again Old Trent's romantic shore,
And tir'd with worlds, and all their busy ways,
Here waste the little remnant of my days.
But, if the Fates should this last wish deny,
And doom me on some foreign shore to die;
Oh! should it please the world's supernal King,
That weltering waves my funeral dirge shall sing;
Or, that my corse, should on some desert strand,
Lie, stretch'd beneath the Simoöm's blasting hand;
Still, though unwept I find a stranger tomb,
My sprite shall wander through this favorite gloom,
Ride on the wind that
Sigh on the wood-blast of the dark alcove,
Sit, a lorn spectre, on yon well-known grave,
And mix its moanings with the desert wave.