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Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran Soft tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell, And sobbing breezes sighed, and oft began (So worked the wizard) wintry storms to swell, As heaven and earth they would together mell; At doors and windows threatening seemed to call The demons of the tempest, growling fell, Yet the least entrance found they none at all; Whence sweeter grew our sleep, secure in massy hall.
And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams,
So fierce with clouds, the pure ethereal space; Ne could it e'er such melting forms display, As loose on flowery beds all languishingly lay.
No, fair illusions! artful phantoms, no! My muse will not attempt your fairy land; She has no colours that like you can glow; To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand. But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band Than these same guileful angel-seeming sprights, Who thus in dreams voluptuous, soft, and bland, Poured all the Arabian heaven upon our nights, And blessed them oft besides with more refined delights.
They were, in sooth, a most enchanting train, Even feigning virtue; skilful to unite With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain. But for those fiends whom blood and broils delight, Who hurl the wretch, as if to hell outright, Down, down black gulfs, where sullen waters sleep; Or hold him clambering all the fearful night On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep; They, till due time should serve, were bid far hence to keep.
Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear, From these foul demons shield the midnight gloom; Angels of fancy and of love be near, And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom; Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, And let them virtue with a look impart : But chief, awhile, oh lend us from the tomb Those long-lost friends for whom in love we smart, And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt wo the heart.
When Britain first at Heaven's command,
And guardian angels sung the strain: Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves! Britons never shall be slaves.
The nations not so blest as thee,
Must in their turn to tyrants fall, Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free, The dread and envy of them all. Rule Britannia, &c.
Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke; As the loud blast that tears the skies, Serves but to root thy native oak. Rule Britannia, &c.
Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; All their attempts to bend thee down Will but arouse thy generous flame, And work their wo and thy renown. Rule Britannia, &c.
To thee belongs the rural reign;
The muses, still with freedom found,
JOHN DYER, a picturesque and moral poet, was a native of Wales, being born at Aberglasslyn, Carmarthenshire, in 1700. His father was a solicitor, and intended his son for the same profession. The latter, however, had a taste for the fine arts, and rambled over his native country, filling his mind with a love of nature, and his portfolio with sketches of her most beautiful and striking objects. The sister art of poetry also claimed his regard, and during his excursions he wrote Grongar Hill, the production on which his fame rests, and where it rests securely. Dyer next made a tour to Italy, to study painting. He does not seem to have excelled his return in 1740, he published another poem, The as an artist, though he was an able sketcher. On Ruins of Rome, in blank verse. One short passage, often quoted, is conceived, as Johnson remarks, 'with the mind of a poet:'
The pilgrim oft
At dead of night, 'mid his orison, hears, Aghast, the voice of time, disparting towers, Tumbling all precipitate down dashed, Rattling around, loud thundering to the moon. Seeing, probably, that he had little chance of succeeding as an artist, Dyer entered the church, and obtained successively the livings of Calthrop, in Leicestershire, of Conningsby, in Huntingdonshire, and of Belchford and Kirkby, in Lincolnshire. He published in 1757 his longest poetical work, The Fleece, devoted to
The care of sheep, the labours of the loom. The subject was not a happy one. How can a man write poetically, as was remarked by Johnson, of serges and druggets? One critic asked Dodsley how old the author of The Fleece' was; and learning that he was in advanced life, He will,' said the critic, be buried in woollen.' The poet did not long survive the publication, for he died next year, on the 24th of July 1758. The poetical pictures of Dyer are happy miniatures of nature, correctly drawn, beautifully coloured, and grouped with the taste of an artist. His moral reflections arise naturally out of his subject, and are never intrusive. All bear evidence of a kind and gentle heart, and a true poetical fancy.
Silent nymph, with curious eye,
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Sat upon a flowery bed,
With my hand beneath my head;
From house to house, from hill to hill, Till contemplation had her fill.
About his chequered sides I wind,
Now I gain the mountain's brow,
Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Below me trees unnumbered rise,
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
A little rule, a little sway,
And see the rivers, how they run
When will the landscape tire the view!
Sce, on the mountain's southern side,
O may I with myself agree,
Now, even now, my joys run high,
Be full, ye courts; be great who will;
In vain you search, she is not there;
*Byron thought the lines here printed in Italics the original of Campbell's far-famed lines at the opening of The Plea sures of Hope:'
• "Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue.'
WILLIAM HAMILTON of Bangour, a Scottish gentleman of education, rank, and accomplishments, was born of an ancient family in Ayrshire in 1704. He was the delight of the fashionable circles of his native country, and became early distinguished for his poetical talents. In 1745, struck, we may suppose, with the romance of the enterprise, Hamilton joined the standard of Prince Charles, and became the volunteer laureate' of the Jacobites, by celebrating the battle of Gladsmuir. On the discomfiture of the party, Hamilton succeeded in effecting his escape to France; but having many friends and admirers among the royalists at home, a pardon was procured for the rebellious poet, and he was soon restored to his native country and his paternal estate. He did not, however, live long to enjoy his good fortune. His health had always been delicate, and a pulmonary complaint forced him to seek the warmer climate of the continent. He gradually declined, and died at Lyons in 1754.
Hamilton's first and best strains were dedicated to lyrical poetry. Before he was twenty, he had assisted Allan Ramsay in his 'Tea-Table Miscellany.' In 1748, some person, unknown to him, collected and published his poems in Glasgow; but the first genuine and correct copy did not appear till after the author's death, in 1760, when a collection was made from his own manuscripts. The most attractive feature in his works is his pure English style, and a somewhat ornate poetical diction. He had more fancy than feeling, and in this respect his amatory songs resemble those of the courtier poets of Charles II.'s court. Nor was he more sincere, if we may credit an anecdote related of him by Alexander Tytler in his life of Henry Home, Lord Kames. One of the ladies whom Hamilton annoyed by his perpetual compliments and solicitations, consulted Home how she should get rid of the poet, who she was convinced had no serious object in view. The philosopher advised her to dance with him, and show him every mark of her kindness, as if she had resolved to favour his suit. The lady adopted the counsel, and the success of the experiment was complete. Hamilton wrote a serious poem, entitled Contemplation, and a national one on the Thistle, which is in blank verse:
How oft beneath
Its martial influence have Scotia's sons,
In everlasting blushes seen,
Others of his amatory strains are full of quaint conceits and exaggerated expressions, without any trace of real passion. His ballad of The Braes of Yarrow is by far the finest of his effusions: it has real nature, tenderness, and pastoral simplicity. As the cause of the composition of Wordsworth's three beautiful poems, Yarrow Unvisited,' 'Yarrow Visited,' and Yarrow Revisited,' it has, moreover, some external importance in the records of British literature. The poet of the lakes has copied some of its lines and images.
The Braes of Yarrow.
A. Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride, Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow! Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride,
And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow.
B. Where gat ye that bonny bonny bride?
Where gat ye that winsome marrow ? A. I gat her where I darena weil be seen, Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow. Weep not, weep not, my bonny bonny bride,
Weep not, weep not, my winsome marrow! Nor let thy heart lament to leave
Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
B. Why does she weep, thy bonny bonny bride?
Lang maun she weep, lang maun she, maun she
Lang maun she weep with dule and sorrow, And lang maun I nae mair weil be seen
Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
For she has tint her lover lover dear,
Her lover dear, the cause of sorrow, And I hae slain the comeliest swain
That e'er poued birks on the Braes of Yarrow. Why runs thy stream, O Yarrow, Yarrow, red?
And why yon melancholious weeds
Hung on the bonny birks of Yarrow?
What's yonder floats on the rueful rueful flude? What's yonder floats? O dule and sorrow! 'Tis he, the comely swain I slew
Upon the duleful Braes of Yarrow.
Wash, oh wash his wounds his wounds in tears, His wounds in tears with dule and sorrow, And wrap his limbs in mourning weeds,
And lay him on the Braes of Yarrow.
Then build, then build, ye sisters sisters sad,
His helpless fate on the Braes of Yarrow. Curse ye, curse ye, his useless useless shield, My arm that wrought the deed of sorrow, The fatal spear that pierced his breast,
His comely breast, on the Braes of Yarrow.
Did I not warn thee not to lue,
And warn from fight, but to my sorrow;
O'er rashly bauld a stronger arm
Thou met'st, and fell on the Braes of Yarrow.
Sweet smells the birk, green grows, green grows the
Yellow on Yarrow bank the gowan, Fair hangs the apple frae the rock, Sweet the wave of Yarrow flowan.
Flows Yarrow sweet? as sweet, as sweet flows Tweed,
The apple frae the rock as mellow.
Fair was thy love, fair fair indeed thy love, In flowery bands thou him didst fetter; Though he was fair and weil beloved again, Than me he never lued thee better.
Busk ye, then busk, my bonny bonny bride,
C. How can I busk a bonny bonny bride,
How can I busk a winsome marrow, How lue him on the banks of Tweed, That slew my love on the Braes of Yarrow.
O Yarrow fields! may never never rain,
My love, as he had not been a lover. The boy put on his robes, his robes of His purple vest, 'twas my ain sewing, Ah! wretched me! I little little kenned He was in these to meet his ruin.
The boy took out his milk-white milk-white steed,
He lay a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow.
I sang, my voice the woods returning,
That slew my love, and left me mourning.
How canst thou, barbarous man, then woo me?
My happy sisters may be may be proud; With cruel and ungentle scoffin,
May bid me seek on Yarrow Braes My lover nailed in his coffin.
My brother Douglas may upbraid, upbraid,
And strive with threatening words to move me, My lover's blood is on thy spear,
How canst thou ever bid me love thee?
Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of love, With bridal sheets my body cover, Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door,
Let in the expected husband lover.
But who the expected husband husband is?
Comes, in his pale shroud, bleeding after?
And crown my careful head with willow. Pale though thou art, yet best yet best beloved, O could my warmth to life restore thee! Ye'd lie all night between my breasts,
No youth lay ever there before thee.
Pale pale, indeed, O lovely lovely youth,
Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter, And lie all night between my breasts,
No youth shall ever lie there after. 4. Return, return, O mournful mournful bride, Return and dry thy useless sorrow: Thy lover heeds nought of thy sighs,
He lies a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow.