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There was a gallant featur'd youth,
Who like a hero fought;
He kiss'd a bracelet on his wrist,
And every danger sought.
And in a vassal's garb disguis'd
Unto the knight she sues,
And tells him she from Britain comes,
And brings unwelcome news.
That three days ere she had embark'd,
His love had given her hand, Unto a wealthy Thane :--and thought
Him dead in holy land,
And to have seen how he did writhe
When this her tale she told,
It would have made a wizard's blood
Within his heart run cold.
Then fierce he spurr'd his warrior steed,
And sought the battle's bed : And soon all mangled o'er with wounds
He on the cold turf bled.
And from his smoking corse, she tore
His head, half clove in two, She ceas'd, and from beneath her garb,
The bloody trophy drew.
The eyes were starting from their socks,
The mouth it ghastly grion'd, And there was a gash across the brow,
The scalp was nearly skinn'd.
"Twas BERTRAND'S HEAD!! With a terrible scream,
The maiden gave a spring, And from her fearful hiding-place
She fell into the ring.
The lights they fled,--the cauldron sunk,
Deep thunders shook the dome, And hollow peals of laughter came
Resounding through the gloom.
Insensible, the maiden lay
Upon the hellish ground:
And still mysterious sounds were heard
At intervals around.
She woke,—she half arose,—and wild,
She cast a horrid glare,
The sounds had ceas'd, the lights bad Aed,
And all was stillness there.
And through an awning in the rock,
The moon it sweetly shone, And shew'd a river in the cave
Which dismally did moan.
The stream was black, it sounded deep
As it rush'd the rocks between, It offer'd well, for madness fired
The breast of Gondoline.
She plunged in, the torrent moan'd
With its accustomed sound, And hollow peals of laughter loud
Again rebellow'd round.
The maid was seen po more.—But oft
Her ghost is known to glide, At midnight's silent, solemn hour,
Along the ceau's side.
WRITTEN ON A SURVEY OF THE HEAVENS,
In the Morning before Day-break.
YE many-twinkling stars, who yet do hold
Your brilliant places in the sable vault
Of night's dominions!—Planets, and central orbs
Of other systems !-big as the burning sun,
Which lights this nether globe, --yet to our eye,
Small as the glow-worm's lamp!—To you I raise
My lowly orisons, while all bewilder'd,
My vision strays o'er your etherial hosts.
Too vast, too boundless, for our narrow mind.
Warp'd with low prejudices, to infold,
And sagely comprehend. Thence higher soaring;
Through ye, I raise my solemn thoughts to hiin!
The mighty founder of this wondrous maze,
The great Creator! Hin! who now sublime
Wrapt in the solitary amplitude
Of boundless space, above the rolling spheres
Sits on his silent throne, and meditates.
The angelic hosts in their inferior Heaven,
Hymn to their golden barps his praise sublime,
Repeating loud, “The Lord our God is great."
In varied harmonies.—The glorious sounds
Roll o'er the air serene—The Æolian spheres,
Harping along their viewless boundaries,
Catch the full note, and cry, “ The Lord is great"
Responding to the Seraphim.-O'er all,
From orb to orb, to the remotest verge
Of the created world, the sound is borne
Till the whole universe is full of Him.
Oh! 'tis this heavenly harmony which now
In fancy strikes upon my listening ear
And thrills my inmost soul. It bids me smile
On the vain world, and all its bustling cares,
And gives a shadowy glimpse of future bliss.
Oh! what is man, when at ambition's height,
What even are kings, when balanced in the scale
Of these stupendous worlds! Almighty God!
Thou, the dread author of these wond'rous works!
Say, canst thou cast on me, poor passing worm,
One look of kind benevolence ?-Thou canst :
For thou art full of universal love,
And in thy boundless goodness wilt impart
Thy beams as well to me, as to the proud,
The pageant insects, of a glittering hour.
Oh! when reflecting on these truths sublime,
How insignificant do all the joys,
The gaudes, and honours of the world appear!
How vain ambition !--Why has my wakeful lamp
Outwatch'd the slow-pac'd night?- Why on the page,
The schoolman's labour'd page, have I employ'd
The hours devoted by the world to rest,
And needful to recruit exhausted nature ?
Say, can the voice of narrow Fame repay
The loss of health ? or can the hope of glory,
Lend a pew throb into my languid heart,
Cool, even now, my feverish, aching brow,
Relume the fires of this deep-sunken eye,
Or paint new colours on this pallid cheek?
Say, foolish one--can that unbodied Fame,
For which thou barterest health and happiness,
Say, can it soothe the slumbers of the grave ?
Give a vew zest to bliss ? or chase the pangs
Of everlasting punishment condign?
Alas! how vain are mortal man's desires !