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Yet not the senate's thunder thou shalt wield,
To minds of ruder texture these be given-
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;
Now last, but nearest of the social band,
With scarce one speck to cloud the pleasing scene,
Oh! friends regretted, scenes for ever dear,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
It finds an echo in each youthful breast;
A fame beyond the glories of the proud,
Or all the plaudits of the venal crowd.
IDA! not yet exhausted is the theme, Nor closed the progress of my youthful dream. How many a friend deserves the grateful strain! What scenes of childhood still unsung remain ! Yet let me hush this echo of the past, This parting song, the dearest and the last;
And brood in secret o'er those hours of joy,
IDA! still o'er thy hills in joy preside, And proudly steer through time's eventful tide; Still may thy blooming sons thy name revere, Smile in thy bower, but quit thee with a tear,— That tear, perhaps, the fondest which will flow, O'er their last scene of happiness below. Tell me, ye hoary few, who glide along, The feeble veterans of some former throng, Whose friends, like autumn leaves by tempests Are swept for ever from this busy world; [whirl'a, Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth, While Care has yet withheld her venom'd tooth; Say if remembrance days like these endears Beyond the rapture of succeeding years? Say, can ambition's fever'd dream bestow So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe? Can treasures, hoarded for some thankless son, Can royal smiles, or wreaths by slaughter won, Can stars or ermine, man's maturer toys (For glittering baubles are not left to boys), Recall one scene so much beloved to view, As those where Youth her garland twined for you? Ah, no! amidst the gloomy calmn of age You turn with faltering hand life's varied page; 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; Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw, Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu; But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn, Traced by the rosy finger of the morn; When Friendship bow'd before the shrine of Truth, And Love, without his pinion, smiled on Youth.
ANSWER TO A BEAUTIFUL POEM,
Some shall exist beyond the grave.
The record of his deathless name.
The patriot's and the poet's frame
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. All, all must sleep in grim repose,
Collected in the silent tomb;
The old and young, with friends and foes,
The mouldering marble lasts its day,
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
Then do not say the common lot
Of all lies deep in Lethe's wave;
Some few who ne'er will be forgot
TO A LADY
WHO PRESENTED THE AUTHOR WITH THE VEL-
THIS Band, which bound thy yellow hair,
Oh! I will wear it next my heart;
"T will bind my soul in bonds to thee:
The dew I gather from thy lip
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;
In gently waving ringlet curl'd,
The polish'd brow where once you shone,
1806. [First published, 1832.]
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;
Did the senate or camp my exertions require,
The fire in the cavern of Etna conceal'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 phoenix on pinions of flame, With him I would wish to expire in the blaze.
For the life of a Fox, of a Chatham the death,
I have tasted the sweets and the bitters of love;
To me what is wealth?-it may pass in an hour,
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? 1806.
"T IS done!-I saw it in my dreams;
Love, Hope, and Joy, alike adieu!
1806. [First published, 1832.]
THE DEATH OF CALMAR AND ORLA.
AN IMITATION OF MACPHERSON'S OSSIAN. DEAR are the days of youth! Age dwells on their remembrance through the mist of time. In the twilight he recalls the sunny hours of morn. He lifts his spear with trembling hand. "Not thus feebly did I raise the steel before my fathers!" Past is the race of heroes. But their fame rises on the harp; their souls ride on the wings of the wind; they hear the sound through the sighs of the storm, and rejoice in their hall of clouds! Such is Calmar. The gray stone marks his narrow house. He looks down from eddying tempests: he rolls his form in the whirlwind, and hovers on the blast of the mountain.
In Morven dwelt the chief; a beam of war to. Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood. Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry spear; but mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of his yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor of the night. No maid was the sigh of his soul: his thoughts were given to friendship,-to darkhaired Orla, destroyer of heroes! Equal were their swords in battle; but fierce was the pride of Orla: -gentle alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave of Oithona.
From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue waves. Erin's sons fell beneath his might. Fingal roused his chiefs to combat. Their ships cover the ocean. Their hosts throng on the green hills. They come to the aid of Erin.
Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies: but the blazing oaks gleam through the valley. The sons of Lochlin slept: their dreams were of blood. They lift the spear in thought, and Fingal flies. Not so the host of Morven. To watch was the post of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. Their spears were in their hands. Fingal called his chiefs: they stood around. The king was in the midst. Gray were his locks, but strong was the arm of the king. Age withered not his powers. "Sons of Morven," said the hero, "to-morrow we meet the foe. But where is Cuthullin, the shield of Erin? He rests in the halls of Tura; he knows not of our coming. Who will speed through Lochlin to the hero, and call the chief to arms? The path is by the swords of foes; but many are my heroes. They are thunderbolts of war. Speak, ye chiefs! Who will arise?" "Son of Trenmor! mine be the deed," said darkhaired Orla," and mine alone. What is death to me? I love the sleep of the mighty, but little is the danger. The sons of Lochlin dream. I will seek car-borne Cuthullin. If I fall, raise the song of bards; and lay me by the stream of Lubar.""And shalt thou fall alone?" said fair-haired Calmar. "Wilt thou leave thy friend afar? Chief of Oithona! not feeble is my arm in fight. Could I see thee die, and not lift the spear? No, Orla! ours has been the chase of the roe-buck, and the feast of shells; ours be the path of danger: ours has been the cave of Oithona; ours be the narrow dwelling
on the banks of Lubar." "Calmar," said the chief of Oithona," why should thy yellow locks be darkened in the dust of Erin? Let me fall alone. My father dwells in his hall of air: he will rejoice in his boy; but the blue-eyed Mora spreads the feast for her son in Morven. She listens to the steps of the hunter on the heath, and thinks it is the tread of Calmar. Let her not say, 'Calmar has fallen by the steel of Lochlin: he died with gloomy Orla, the chief of the dark brow.' Why should tears dim the azure eye of Mora? Why should her voice curse Orla, the destroyer of Calmar? Live, Calmar! Live to raise my stone of moss; live to revenge me in the blood of Lochlin. Join the song of bards above my grave. Sweet will be the song of death to Orla, from the voice of Calmar. My ghost shall smile on the notes of praise.” “Orla," said the son of Mora, "could I raise the song of death to my friend? Could I give his fame to the winds? No, my heart would speak in sighs: faint and broken are the sounds of sorrow. Orla! our souls shall hear the song together. One cloud shall be ours on high: the bards will mingle the names of Orla and Calmar."
They quit the circle of the chiefs. Their steps are to the host of Lochlin. The dying blaze of oak dim twinkles through the night. The northern star points the path to Tura. Swaran, the king, rests on his lonely hill. Here the troops are mixed: they frown in sleep; their shields beneath their heads. Their swords gleam at distance in heaps. The fires are faint; their embers fail in smoke. All is hushed; but the gale sighs on the rocks above. Lightly wheel the heroes through the slumbering band. Half the journey is past, when Mathon, resting on his shield, meets the eye of Orla. It rolls in flame, and glistens through the shade. His spear is raised on high. "Why dost thou bend thy brow, chief of Oithona?" said fairhaired Calmar: "we are in the midst of foes. Is this a time for delay?" "It is a time for vengeance," said Orla of the gloomy brow. "Mathon of Lochlin sleeps: seest thou his spear? Its point is dim with the gore of my father. The blood of Mathon shall reek on mine; but shall I slay him sleeping, son of Mora? No! he shall feel his wound: my fame shall not soar on the blood of slumber. Rise, Mathon, rise! The son of Conna calls; thy life is his; rise to combat." Mathon starts from sleep; but did he rise alone? No: the gathering chiefs bound on the plain. "Fly! Calmar, fly!" said dark-haired Orla. "Mathon is mine. I shall die in joy: but Lochlin crowds around. Fly through the shade of night." Orla turns. The helm of Mathon is cleft; his shield falls from his arm: he shudders in his blood. He rolls by the side of the blazing oak. Strumon sees him fall: his wrath rises: his weapon glitters on the head of Orla: but a spear pierced his eye. His brain gushes through the wound, and foams on the spear of Calmar. As roll the waves of the Ocean on two mighty barks of the north, so pour the men of Lochlin on the chiefs. As, breaking the surge in foam, proudly 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 ocean lifts their locks; yet they do not awake. The hawks scream above their prey.
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. "Tis 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: 'tis 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 song 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."
L'AMITIÉ EST L'AMOUR SANS AILES.
WHY should my anxious breast repine,
Because my youth is fled?
Affection is not dead.
In tracing back the years of youth,
Through few, but deeply chequer'd years,
Where yonder yew-trees lightly wave
Which tells the common tale;
From yonder studious mansion rings;
Oh, Love! before thy glowing shrine
My hopes, my dreams, my heart was thine,
For thine are pinions like the wind,
Except, alas! thy jealous stings.
Seat of my youth! thy distant spire
My bosom glows with former fire,
In mind again a boy.
Thy grove of elms, thy verdant hill,
Each flower a double fragrance flings;
My Lycus! wherefore dost thou weep?
But, oh, 't will wake again.
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!"
No-from oppressive bonds relieved,
I turn'd to those my childhood knew,
Ye few! my soul, my life is yours,
Unfetter'd in its scope;
From smooth deceit and terror sprung
Fictions and dreams inspire the bard
If laurell'd Fame but dwells with lies,
Whose heart and not whose fancy sings;
THE PRAYER OF NATURE.
Father of Light, on thee I call!
Thou seest my soul is dark within;
No shrine I seek, to sects unknown;
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,
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,
Shall these, by creeds they can't expound,
Yet will I pray, for thou wilt hear!
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,
With clay the grave's eternal bed,
Grateful for all thy mercies past, And hope, my God, to thee again This erring life may fly at last.
December 29, 1806. [First published, 1830.]
TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, ESQ.
"Nil ego contulerim jocundo sanus amico."-HOR.
I hail the sky's celestial bow,
I crush the fiend with malice fraught,