Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][ocr errors]

Why weep ye by the tide 2
I'll wed ye to my youngest son,
And ye sall be his bride:
And ye sall be his bride, ladie,
Sae comely to be seen,”—
But aye she loot the tears down fa'
For Jock of Hazeldean.

Now let this wilful grief be done,
And dry that cheek so pale;
Young Frank is chief of Errington,
And lord of Langley-dale;
His step is first in peaceful ha',
His sword in battle keen,”—
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
For Jock of Hazeldean.

[ocr errors]

A chain o' gold ye sall not lack,
Nor braid to bind your hair;
Nor mettled hound, mor managed hawk,
Nor palfrey fresh and fair:
And you, the foremost o' them a',
Sall ride our forest queen,”—
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
For Jock of Hazeldean.

The kirk was deck'd at morning-tide,
The tapers glimmer'd fair;
The priest and bridegroom wait the bride,
And dame and knight are there.
They sought her both by bower and ha,’
The ladie was not seen 1
She's o'er the Border, and awa’
Wi' Jock of Hazeldean.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

For all the gold, for all the gear,
And all the lands both far and near,
That ever valour lost or won,
I would not wed the earlie's son.”

A maiden's vows,” old Callum spoke,
Are lightly made, and lightly broke;
The heather on the mountain's height
Begins to bloom in purple light:
The frost-wind soon shall sweep away
That lustre deep from glen and brae;
Yet Nora, ere its bloom be gone,
May blithely wed the earlie's son.”

The swan,” she said, “the lake's clear breast
May barter for the eagle's nest;
The Awe's fierce stream may backward turn,
Ben-Cruaichan fall, and crush Kilchurn,
Our kilted clans, when blood is high,
Before their foes may turn and fly;
But I, were all these marvels done,
Would never wed the earlie's son.”

Still in the water-lily's shade
Her wonted nest the wild swan made ;
Ben-Cruaichan stands as fast as ever,
Still downward foams the Awe's fierce river:
To shun the clash of foeman's steel,
No Highland brogue has turn'd the heel;
But Nora's heart is lost and won,
She's wedded to the earlie's son 1

WILLIAM Sorii EBY, the eldest son of Colonel Sotheby, of the Guards, was born in London, on the 9th of November, 1757. He was educated at Harrow; and at the age of seventeen purchased a commission in the 10th Dragoons:—his taste for literature was cultivated with great assiduity while in “country quarters” with his regiment. In 1780, he quitted the army, and purchased Beirs Mount, near Southampton, a place which had been celebrated as the residence of the Earl of Peterborough, and by the frequent visits of Pope, to whom allusion is made by Mr. Sotheby in one of the most

graceful of his Sonnets:–

“Underneath the gloom
Ofyon old oak a skilled magician sung:
Ott at his call these sunny glades among,
Thy guardian sylphs, Belinda, sportive play'd :
And Eloisa sigh'd in yon sequestered shade.”

Here Mr. Sotheby lived for several years, devoting his time to the more diligent study of the Classics, to the translation of many of the minor Greek and Latin Poets, and to the production of original compositions. His desire for literary society and distinction, however, induced him, in 1791, to fix his permanent residence in the Metropolis. He was soon elected a fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies; and in 1798, published a translation of the Oberon of Wieland. This was one of the earliest attempts to introduce the English reader to the poetry of Germany: its reception encouraged Mr. Sotheby to proceed in the path he had chosen: he subsequently translated the Georgics, and, at a very advanced period of life, the Iliad and the Odyssey. His poetical works are numerous: they afford proofs of an elegant taste and a matured judgment; and if they failed in obtaining extensive popularity, happily for the writer he was placed under circumstances which rendered the approbation of a circle of accomplished friends a sufficient recompense for his labours. In 1816, he visited Italy; and wrote a series of Poems, which, a few years afterwards, he published under the general title “Italy.” Mr. Sotheby died in London, on the 30th of December, 1833. Few men have been more warmly esteemed in private life; and, although we should unduly estimate the character of his mind if we described it as of a very high order, his writings afford abundant proofs, of an elegant and refined taste, and a true relish for all that is sound and excellent in literature. He presents a remarkable instance of industry and energy in old age. He had passed his seventieth year before he commenced his translation of Homer, which he lived to complete. To this extraordinary undertaking, it is not our province to refer; but we feel assured that all who are acquainted with the poem, “Italy,” will consider us justified in classing him among the better and more enduring of the Poets of Great Britain. Of a long list of poetical productions, this, however, is the only one to which especial reference may be made. He was seldom happy in his choice of subjects; and wrote, as we have intimated, only because composition afforded an agreeable employment. He appears to have been but little anxious for extended fame; and of course had no desire to render his labour profitable. While in London, he was usually surrounded by those whose tastes were similar to his own; and, it is said, that the less prosperous professors of literature and science found in him a generous and sympathizing friend. He was, we believe—and unhappily the character is as rare as it is admirable—a patron to whom we can trace but few acts of patronage; one of those who

“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”

The plan of his poem necessarily led him among all the grander and more beautiful objects of Nature, in the classic land through which he travelled. He describes them in a manner at once graceful and graphic; and it would be difficult to find any writer who more clearly and distinctly brings them before the reader. It is, however, in allusions to the ancient histories of the Italian cities that he most excels. At times, he rises into absolute sublimity: there are passages in his poem that would not lose by comparison with the most vigorous and energetic compositions in the language. He was a scholar, and “a ripe and good one;” occasionally, the hue academic is over his page, but he never renders it repulsive. It will not be easy now-a-days, to obtain readers for his volume; but we venture to assert, that those who may be induced to peruse it, will marvel that his popularity should have been so limited.

WHERE stood Salvator, when with all his storms
Around him winter rav'd,
When being, none save man, the tempest brav'd 2
When on her mountain crest
The eagle sank to rest,
Nor dar'd spread out her pennons to the blast:
Nor, till the whirlwind passed,
The famish’d wolf around the sheep-cote prowl'd :
Where stood Salvator, when the forest howl'd,
And the rock-rooted pine in all its length
Crash'd, prostrating its strength 2

Where stood Salvator, when the summer cloud
At noon-day, to Ausonia direr far
Than winter, and its elemental war,
Gather'd the tempest, from whose ebon shroud,
That cross'd like night a sky of crimson flame,
Stream'd ceaselessly the fire-bolts' forked aim :
While hurricanes, whose wings were frone with hail,
Cut sheer the vines, and o'er the harvest vale
Spread barrenness Where was Salvator found,
When all the air a bursting sea became,
Deluging earth 2—On Terni's cliff he stood,
The tempest sweeping round.
I see him where the spirit of the storm
His daring votary led :
Firm stands his foot on the rock's topmost head,
That reels above the rushing and the roar
Of deep Vellino.—In the glen below,
Again I view him on the reeling shore,
Where the prone river, after length of course,
Collecting all its force,
An avalanche cataract, whirl’d in thunder o'er
The promontory's height,
Bursts on the rock: while round the mountain brow,
Half, half the flood rebounding in its might,
Spreads wide a sea of foam evanishing in light.


I saw the ages backward roll'd,
The scenes long past restore:
Scenes that Evander bade his guest behold,
When first the Trojan stept on Tyber's shore—
The shepherds in the forum pen their fold;
And the wild herdsman, on his untamed steed,
Goads with prone spear the heifer's foaming speed,
Where Rome, in second infancy, once more
Sleeps in her cradle. But—in that drear waste,
In that rude desert, when the wild goat sprung
From cliff to cliff, and the Tarpeian rock
Lour'd o'er the untended flock,
And eagles on its crest their ačrie hung :

« AnteriorContinuar »