Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 !*
Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendour ; and the oar,
That rose and fell unseen before,
Flashes in a sea of light!

* A phenomenon described by many navigators.

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!

Oh 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!

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, 'Twas here she turned from her beloved sire, To see his face no more.*

* Oh, if thou canst, ('Tis 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 holyt

.

* 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,
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.

WRITTEN IN 1834.

WELL, when her day is over, be it said
That, though a speck on the terrestrial globe,
Found with long search and in a moment lost,
She made herself a name—a name to live
While science, eloquence, and song divine,

,

* At Woburn Abbey.

And wisdom, in self-government displayed,
And valour, such as only in the Free,
Shall among men be honoured.

Every sea
Was covered with her sạils, in every port
Her language spoken ; and, where'er you went,
Exploring, to the east or to the west,
Even to the rising or the setting day,
Her arts and laws and institutes were there,
Moving with silent and majestic march,
Onward and onward, where no pathway was ;
There her adventurous sons, like those of old,
Founding vast empires*_empires in their turn
Destined to shine thro' many a distant age
With sunlike splendour.'

Wondrous was her wealth, The world itself her willing tributary ;

* 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 phalanx of Alexander refused to proceed”-a dominion over a people for ages civilized and cultivated, while we were yet in the woods.

« PreviousContinue »