« AnteriorContinuar »
Yet not the senate's thunder thou shalt wield, And brood in secret o'er those hours of joy,
To me a silent and a sweet employ,
While future hope and fear alike unknown, Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven. I think with pleasure on the past alone; Haply, in polish'd courts might be thy seat, Yes, to the past alone my heart confine, But that thy tongue could never forge deceit: And chase the phantom of what once was mine. The courtier's supple bow and sneering smile, The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
IDA! still o'er thy hills in joy preside, Would make that breast with indignation burn, And proudly steer through time's eventful tide; And all the glittering snares to tempt thee spurn.
Still may thy blooming sons thy name revere, Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Smile in thy bower, but quit thee with a tear,Sacred to love, unclouded e'er by hate;
That tear, perhaps, the fondest which will tlow, The world adınire thee, and thy friends adore ; O'er their last scene of happiness below. Ambition's slave alone would toil for more.
Tell me, ye hoary few, who glide along,
The feeble veterans of some former throng, Now last, but nearest of the social band,
Whose friends, like autumn leaves by tempests See honest, open, generous CLEON stand;
Are swept for ever from this busy world; (whirl's, With scarce one speck to cloud the pleasing scene, Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth, No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
While Care has yet withheld her venom'd tooth; On the same day our studious race begun,
Say if remembrance days like these endears On the same day our studious race was run;
Beyond the rapture of succeeding years ? Thus side by side we pass'd our first career,
Say, can ambition's fever'd dream bestow Thus side by side we strove for many a year; So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe? At last concluded our scholastic life,
Can treasures, hoarded for some thankless son, We neither conquer'd in the classic strife :
Can royal smiles, or wreaths by slaughter won, As speakers each supports an equal name,
Can stars or ermine, man's maturer toys And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
(For glittering baubles are not left to boys), To soothe a youthful rival's early pride,
Recall one scene so much beloved to view, Though Cleon's candour would the palm divide, As those where Youth her garland twined for you? Yet candour's self compels me now to own
Ah, no! amidst the gloomy calm of age Justice awards it to my friend alone.
You turn with faltering hand life's varied page; Oh! friends regretted, scenes for ever dear,
Peruse the record of your days on earth,
Unsullied only where it marks your birth;
Still lingering pause above each chequer'd leaf,
And blot with tears the sable lines of grief; To trace the hours which never can return;
Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw, Yet with the retrospection loves to dwell,
Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu ; And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn, Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
Traced by the rosy finger of the morn; As infant laurels round my head were twined,
When Friendship bow'd before the shrine of Truth, When PROBUS' praise repaid my lyric song,
And Love, without his pinion, smiled on Youth. Or placed me higher in the studious throng; Or when my first harangue received applause, His sage instruction the primeval cause, What gratitude to him my soul possest, While hope of dawning honours fill'd my breast !
ANSWER TO A BEAUTIFUL POEM, For all my humble fame, to him alone
ENTITLED “THE COMMON LOT."
MONTGOMERY! true, the common lot
Of mortals lies in Lethe's wave; To him my muse her noblest strain would give :
Yet some shall never be forgot, The song might perish, but the theme night live.
Some shall exist beyond the grave. Yet why for him the needless verse essay ?
“Unknown the region of his birth," His honour'd name requires no vain display:
The hero rolls the tide of war; By every son of grateful IDa blest,
Yet not unknown his martial worth, It finds an echo in each youthful breast;
Which glares a meteor from afar. A fame beyond the glories of the proud,
His joy or grief, his weal or woe, Or all the plaudits of the venal crowd.
Perchance may 'scape the page of same;
Yet nations now unborn will know
The record of his deathless name.
Must share the common tomb of all :
Their glory will not sleep the same; This parting song, the dearest and the last;
That will arise, though empires fall.
ADDRESSED TO THE REV. J. T. BECHER, ON HIS ADVISING THE AUTHOR TO MIX MORE WITH SOCIETY.
DEAR Becher, you tell me to mix with mankind;
I cannot deny such a precept is wise; But retirement accords with the tone of my mind:
I will not descend to a world I despise.
Did the senate or camp my exertions require,
Ambition might prompt me, at once, to go forth; When infancy's years of probation expire,
Perchance I may strive to distinguish my birth.
The lustre of a beauty's eye
Assumes the ghastly stare of death; The fair, the brave, the good must die,
And sink the yawning grave beneath. Once more the speaking eye revives,
Still beaming through the lover's strain ; For Petrarch's Laura still survives:
She died, but ne'er will die again. The rolling seasons pass away,
And Time, untiring, waves his wing; Whilst honour's laurels ne'er decay,
But bloom in fresh, unfading spring.
Collected in the silent tomb;
Fest'ring alike in shrouds, consume.
Yet falls at length an useless fane; To ruin's ruthless fangs a prey,
The wrecks of pillar'd pride remain. What, though the sculpture be destroy'd,
From dark oblivion meant to guard ; A bright renown shall be enjoy'd
By those whose virtues claim reward. Then do not say the common lot
Of all lies deep in Lethe's wave; Some few who ne'er will be forgot Shall burst the bondage of the grave.
The fire in the cavern of Etna conceal'd
Still mantles unseen in its secret recess: At length, in a volume terrific reveal'd,
No torrent can quench it, no bounds can repress.
Oh ! thus, the desire in my bosom for fame
Bids me live but to hope for posterity's praise. Could I soar with the phenix on pinions of flame,
With him I would wish to expire in the blaze.
TO A LADY
For the life of a Fox, of a Chatham the death, What censure, what danger, what woe would I brave!
(breath; Their lives did not end when they yielded their
Their glory illumines the gloom of their grave. Yet why should I mingle in Fashion's full herd ?
Why crouch to her leaders, or cringe to her rules? Why bend to the proud, or applaud the absurd ?
Why search for delight in the friendship of fools? I have tasted the sweets and the bitters of love;
In friendship I early was taught to believe; My passion the matrons of prudence reprove; I have found that a friend may profess, yet de
WHO PRESENTED THE AUTHOR WITH THE VEL
VET BAND WHICH BOUND HER TRESSES.
To me what is wealth ?-it may pass in an hour,
If tyrants prevail, or if Fortune should frown: To me what is title?-the phantom of power;
To me what is fashion ?- I seek but renown.
THIS Band, which bound thy yellow hair,
Is mine, sweet girl! thy pledge of love; It claims my warmest, dearest care,
Like relics left of saints above. Oh! I will wear it next my heart;
'T will bind my soul in bonds to thee: From me again 't Will ne'er depart,
But mingle in the grave with me. The dew I gather from thy lip
Is not so dear to me as this; That I but for a moment sip,
And banquet on a transient bliss: This will recall each youthful scene,
E'en when our lives are on the wane; The leaves of Love will still be green
When Memory bids them bud again.
In gently waving ringlet curl'd,
I would not lose you for a world.
The polish'd brow where once you shone, Like rays which gild a cloudless morn, Beneath Columbia's fervid zone.
1806. (First published, 1832.)
Deceit is a stranger as yet to my soul :
I still am unpractised to varnish the truth : Then why should I live in a hateful control? Why waste upon folly the days of my youth?
TIS done!--I saw it in my dreams;
My days of happiness are few :
Love, Hope, and Joy, alike adieu!
1806. (First published, 1832.)
on the banks of Lubar." “Calmar," said the chief THE DEATH OF CALMAR AND ORLA.
of Oithona, " why should thy yellow locks be dark
ened in the dust of Erin ? Let me fall alone. My AN IMITATION OF MACPHERSON'S OSSIAN.
father dwells in his hall of air: he will rejoice in DEAR are the days of youth! Age dwells on his boy; but the blue-eyed Mora spreads the feast their remembrance through the mist of time. In for her son in Morven. She listens to the steps of the twilight he recalls the sunny hours of morn. the hunter on the heath, and thinks it is the tread He lifts his spear with trembling hand. “Not of Calmar. Let her not say, 'Calmar has fallen by thus feebly did I raise the steel before my fathers!”
the steel of Lochlin: he died with gloomy Orla, the Past is the race of heroes. But their fame rises chief of the dark brow.' Why should tears dim the on the harp; their souls ride on the wings of the azure eye of Mora? Why should her voice curse wind; they hear the sound through the sighs of the Orla, the destroyer of Calmar? Live, Calmar! Live storm, and rejoice in their hall of clouds! Such is to raise my stone of moss; live to revenge me in Calmar. The gray stone marks his narrow house. the blood of Lochlin. Join the song of bards above He looks down from eddying tempests : he rolls my grave. Sweet will be the song of death to his form in the whirlwind, and hovers on the blast Orla, from the voice of Calmar. My ghost shall of the mountain.
smile on the notes of praise.” “Orla," said the son In Morven dwelt the chief; a beam of war to. of Mora, “could I raise the song of death to my Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood. friend? Could I give his fame to the winds ? No, Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry spear; but my heart would speak in sighs: faint and broken mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of are the sounds of sorrow. Orla ! our souls shall his yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor hear the song together. One cloud shall be ours on of the night. No maid was the sigh of his soul : high: the bards will mingle the names of Orla and his thoughts were given to friendship,-to dark- Calmar." haired Orla, destroyer of heroes! Equal were their They quit the circle of the chiefs. Their steps swords in battle; but fierce was the pride of Orla: are to the host of Lochlin. The dying blaze of oak -gentle alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in dim twinkles through the night. The northern the care of Oithona.
star points the path to Tura. Swaran, the king, From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue
rests on his lonely hill. Here the troops are mixed: waves. Erin's sons fell beneath his might. Fingal they frown in sleep; their shields beneath their poused his chiefs to combat. Their ships cover the heads. Their swords gleam at distance in heaps. ocean. Their hosts throng on the green hills. They the fires are faint; their embers fail in smoke. come to the aid of Erin.
All is hushed; but the gale sighs on the rocks Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies:
above. Lightly wheel the heroes through the slumbut the blazing oaks gleam through the valley. bering band. Half the journey is past, when The sons of Lochlin slept: their dreams were of Mathon, resting on his shield, meets the eye of blood. They lift the spear in thought, and Fingal Orla. It rolls in flame, and glistens through the flies. Not so the host of Morven. To watch was shade. His spear is raised on high. “Why dost the post of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. Their thou bend thy brow, chief of Oithona?” said fairspears were in their hands. Fingal called his chiefs: / haired Calmar: "we are in the midst of foes. Is they stood around. The king was in the midst. this a time for delay?” “It is a time for vengeGray were his locks, but strong was the arm of the ance,” said Orla of the gloomy brow. “Mathon of king. Age withered not his powers. “Sons of Lochlin sleeps: seest thou his spear? Its point is Morven," said the hero, “to-morrow we meet the dim with the gore of my father. The blood of foe. But where is Cuthullin, the shield of Erin ? Mathon shall reek on mine; but shall I slay him He rests in the halls of Tura; he knows not of our sleeping, son of Mora? No! he shall feel his wound: coming. Who will speed through Lochlin to the my fame shall not soar on the blood of slumber. hero, and call the chief to arms? The path is by Rise, Mathon, rise! The son of Conna calls; thy the swords of foes; but many are my heroes. They life is his; rise to combat.” Mathon starts from are thunderbolts of war. Speak, ye chiefs! Who sleep; but did he rise alone? No: the gathering will arise ?"
chiefs bound on the plain. "Fly! Calmar, fly!” “Son of Trenmor! mine be the deed," said dark
said dark-haired Orla. “Mathon is mine. I shall haired Orla," and mine alone. What is death to die in joy: but Lochlin crowds around. Fly through me? I love the sleep of the mighty, but little is the the shade of night.” Orla turns. The helm of danger. The sons of Lochlin dream. I will seek Mathon is cleft; his shield falls from his arm : he car-borne Cuthullin. If I fall, raise the song of shudders in his blood. He rolls by the side of the bards; and lay me by the stream of Lubar."- blazing oak. Strumon sees him fall: his wrath "And shalt thou fall alone?” said fair-haired Cal. rises: his weapon glitters on the head of Orla: but mar. “Wilt thou leave thy friend afar? Chief of a spear pierced his eye. His brain gushes through Oithona! not feeble is my arm in fight. Could I the wound, and foams on the spear of Calmar. As see thee die, and not lift the spear? No, Orla! ours roll the waves of the Ocean on two mighty barks has been the chase of the roe-buck, and the feast of of the north, so pour the men of Lochlin on the shells ; ours be the path of danger: ours has been chiefs. As, breaking the surge in foam, proudly the care of Oithona ; ours be the narrow dwelling I steer the barks of the north, so rise the chiefs
of Morven on the scattered crests of Lochlin. The din of arms came to the ear of Fingal. He strikes his shield; his sons throng around; the people pour along the heath. Ryno bounds in joy. Ossian stalks in his arms. Oscar shakes the spear. The eagle wing of Fillan floats on the wind. Dreadful is the clang of death! many are the widows of Lochlin! Morven prevails in its strength.
Morn glimmers on the hills: no living foe is seen; but the sleepers are many; grim they lie on Erin. The breeze of occan lifts their locks; yet they do not awake. The hawks scream above
In tracing back the years of youth,
Celestial consolation brings;
“Friendship is Love without his wings!”
Through few, but deeply chequer'd years,
What moments have been mine! Now half obscured by clouds of tears,
Now bright in rays divine; Howe'er my future doom be cast, My soul, enraptured with the past,
To one idea fondly clings; Friendship! that thought is all thine own, Worth worlds of bliss, that thought alone
“Friendship is Love without his wings!”
Where yonder yew-trees lightly wave
Their branches on the gale, Unheeded heaves a simple grave,
Which tells the coinmon tale; Round this unconscious schoolboys stray, Till the dull knell of childish play
From yonder studious mansion rings; But here whene'er my footsteps move, My silent tears too plainly prove
“Friendship is Love without his wings!
Whose yellow locks wave o'er the breast of a chief? Bright as the gold of the stranger, they mingle with the dark hair of his friend. "T is Calmar: he lies on the bosom of Orla. Theirs is one stream of blood. Fierce is the look of the gloomy Orla. He breathes not; but his eye is still a flame. It glares in death unclosed. His hand is grasped in Calmar's; but Calmar lives! he lives, though low. "Rise," said the king, “rise, son of Mora: 't is mine to heal the wounds of heroes. Calmar may yet bound on the hills of Morven."
“Never more shall Calmar chase the deer of Morven with Orla," said the hero.
" What were the chase to me alone? Who should share the spoils of battle with Calmar? Orla is at rest! Rough was thy soul, Orla! yet soft to me as the dew of morn. It glared on others in lightning: to me a silver beam of night. Bear my sword to blue-eyed Mora ; let it hang in my empty hall. It is not pure from blood: but it could not save Orla. Lay me with my friend. Raise the soug when I am dark !"
They are laid by the stream of Lubar. Four gray stones mark the dwelling of Orla and Calmar. When Swaran was bound, our sails rose on the blue waves. The winds gave our barks to Morven :-the bards raised the song.
“What form rises on the roar of clouds? Whose dark ghost gleams on the red streams of tempests? His voice rolls on the thunder. 'Tis Orla, the brown chief of Oithona. He was unmatched in war. Peace to thy soul, Orla! thy fame will not perish. Nor thine, Calmar! Lovely wast thou, son of blue-eyed Mora; but not harmless was thy sword. It hangs in thy cave. The ghosts of Lochlin shriek around its steel. Hear thy praise, Calmar! It dwells on the voice of the mighty. Thy name shakes on the echoes of Morven. Then raise thy fair locks, son of Mora. Spread them on the arch of the rainbow; and smile through the tears of the storm."
Oh, Love! before thy glowing shrine
My early vows were paid;
But these are now decay'd;
Except, alas! thy jealous stings.
Unless, indeed, without thy wings.
Seat of my youth! thy distant spire
Recalls each scene of joy;
In mind again a doy.
Each flower a double fragrance flings;
“Friendship is Love without his wings!” My Lycus! wherefore dost thou weep?
Thy falling tears restrain; Affection for a time may sleep,
But, oh, 't will wake again. Think, think, my friend, when next we meet, Our long-wish'd interview, how sweet!
From this my hope of rapture springs; While youthful hearts thus fondly swell, Absence, my friend, can only tell,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!” In one, and one alone deceived,
Did I my crror mourn?
I left the wretch to scorn.
L'AMITIÉ EST L'AMOUR SANS AILES.
WHY should my anxious breast repine,
Because my youth is fled?
Affection is not dead.
I turn'd to those my childhood knew,
Twined with my heart's according strings;
Friendship, the power deprived of wings!
My memory and my hope;
Unfetter'd in its scope;
Let Adulation wait on kings;
"Friendship is Love without his wings!" Fictions and dreams inspire the bard
Who rolls the epic song;
To me no bays belong;
Whose heart and not whose fancy sings;
Shall these, by creeds they can't expound,
Prepare a fancied bliss or woe?
Their great Creator's purpose know?
Whose years float on in daily crimeShall they by Faith for guilt atone,
And live beyond the bounds of Time ? Father! no prophet's laws I seek,
Thy laws in Nature's works appear;I own myself corrupt and weak,
Yet will I pray, for thou wilt hear! Thou, who canst guide the wandering star
Through trackless realms of æther's space; Who calm'st the elemental war,
Whose hand from pole to pole I trace: Thou, who in wisdom placed me here,
Who, when thou wilt, canst take me hence, Ah! whilst I tread this earthly sphere,
Extend to me thy wide defence. To Thee, my God, to thee I call!
Whatever weal or woe betide,
In thy protection I confide.
My soul shall float on airy wing,
Inspire her feeble voice to sing ! But, if this fleeting spirit share
With clay the grave's eternal bed, While life yet throbs I raise my prayer,
Though doom'd no more to quit the dead. To Thee I breathe my humble strain,
Grateful for all thy mercies past, And hope, my God, to thee again This erring life may fly at last.
December 29, 1606. (First published, 1830.)
THE PRAYER OF NATURE.
FATHER of Light! great God of Heaven!
Hear'st thou the accents of despair? Can guilt like man's be e'er forgiven?
Can vice atone for crimes by prayer ? Father of Light, on thee I call!
Thou seest my soul is dark within ;
Avert from me the death of sin.
Oh, point to me the path of truth!
Spare, yet amend, the faults of youth. Let bigots rear a gloomy fane,
let superstition hail the pile, Let priests, to spread their sable reign,
With tales of mystic rites beguile. Shall man confine his Maker's sway
To Gothic domes of mouldering stone ? Thy temple is the face of day;
Earth, ocean, heaven, thy boundless throne. Shall man condemn his race to hell,
Unless they bend in pompous form? Tell us that all, for one who fell,
Must perish in the mingling storm ? Shall each pretend to reach the skies,
Yet doom his brother to expire, Whose soul a different hope supplies,
Or doctrines less severe inspire ?
TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, ESQ. “Nil ego contulerim jocundo sanus amico."-HOR. DEAR LONG, in this sequester'd scene,
While all around in slumber lie,
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye;
And interrupt the golden dream,
And still indulge my wonted theme.