Imágenes de páginas

with inexpressible sweetness and grace, paring for our voyage, and my wife was her father gradually uncovered his ready to accompany me, when a large face, his looks began to brighten, and smuggling cutter cast anchor in a deep uttering a deep sigh, he waved his woody bay which belonged to my eshand, the minstrelsy ceased, and he tate, and as I sat on the top of my thus addressed us :

house, looking towards the sea, a per"I was not always an unhappy man son in a naval dress came and accosted -I had fair domains, a stately house, me. He was, he said, the captain of a beauteous wife, and a sweet daugh- the Free trader lying in the bay, with ter : but it is not what we have, but a cargo of choice wine, and his mariwhat we enjoy, that blesseth man's ners were bold lads and true, had perheart, and makes him as one of the an- iled themselves freely by land and wagels. I dwelt on a wild seacoast, full ter, and often experienced the protecof woods and caverns, the haunt of a tion of Miles Colvine’s bay, and the banditti of smugglers, those fierce, and hospitality of his menials. They had vulgar, and intractable spirits, who find heard of my intention to carry my wife subsistence in fraud and violence, and and daughter to a more genial climate, from a continued perseverance in hos- and, if we wished to touch at Lisbon, tility to human law, become daily more or to go to any of the islands where hardened of heart and fierce of nature. Europeans seek for health, they would I was young then, and romantic, and give us a passage, for they honoured us though I did not approve of the course. next to commerce without law or reof these men's lives, there appeared straint. But I must tell you, that the glimpses of generosity, and courage, chief of this band, knowing my love and fortitude, about them, which shed for marvellous tales, hinted, that he had a halo over a life of immorality and men on board, who, to the traditionary crime. I protected them not, neither lore of their maritime ancestors, added did I associate with them : but they their own adventures and deeds; and soon saw in the passive manner in could, with the romantic ballads of which I regarded their nocturnal in- Denmark and Sweden, mingle the tercourse with the coast, and the ready Troubadour tales of France, the Moorand delighted ear which I lent to the ish legends of Spain, and the singular narratives of their adventures by sea narratives which survive among the and land, that they had nothing to fear peasantry on my native coast. To and much to hope. Their confidence soothe and propitiate my wife he had increased, and their numbers augment- recourse to another charm; from the ed, and they soon found a leader capa- pocket of a long boat-cloak he produble of giving an aim to all their move- ced a mantle of the most precious faments, and who brought something like bric, and spreading it out before her, regular craft and ability to their coun- with all its rich variety of colour, and sels.

Eastern profusion of ornament, offered I was reputed rich, and was rich; it as an humble present from himself my treasures were mostly of gold and and his mariners. I need not prolong silver plate, and bars of the former this part of my narrative, we embarkmetal, the gain of a relative who had ed at twilight, and standing out of the shared with the Buccaneers in the bay, dropped anchor till morning plunder of Panama. I had also been dawn. The captain sat armed beside wedded for a number of years, my us; this excited no suspicion, for he wife was young and beautiful, and our went commonly armed, and related addaughter, an only child, my own May ventures of a trying and remarkable Colvine, here where she sits, was in kind which had befallen him on foreign her thirteenth year, with a frame that shores, with a liveliness, and a kind of seemned much to delicate to survive the maritime grace, which were perfectly disasters she has since been doomed to captivating. All night we heard overhead meet. We were counselled to carry the tramp and the din of sailors passher to warmer climates, and were pre- ing and repassing, and with the grey of

the morning we plucked up our anchor, Her wrongs were remembered, and her spread our sails to a shrill wind, shot shrieks numbered by a POWER far more away seaward, and my native land terrible than man, and a certain doom vanished from my view. ‘All was life and deplorable death was pronounced and gladness, we danced and we sang against them, at the moment their joy on deck, and drained cups of the pur- was fullest. est wine; while the breeze favoured The evening passed away, and us, and the sky remained unclouded morning came, and through a little and serene.

wicket which looked upon the sea, the In about fifteen days the spice groves light showed me that my chamber was of one of the Portuguese islands ap- the treasure-room of the pirates, for peared before us, and as the sun was such they were, as well as smugglers ; setting, it was resolved we should re- at the same moment a hole opened main at the entrance of a bay till day- above, and a piece of bread and an anlight. We were crowded on the deck, tique silver cup filled with wine, were looking on the green and beauteous lowered down. Amid the misery of land, and a gentle seaward wind wafted my situation it seemed but a light evil the perfume of the forest about us. that I recognized the silver vessel to be My wife was then in the bloom of part of the treasure I had left at home, youth and beauty, full of health, and and in seeking for a weapon to force life, and love ; and as she stood lean- the wicket I found that my whole riching on my arm, the sailors smoothed es, in gold as well as silver, had been their rough looks, and refrained from seized and put on board. I could now curses, so much were they touched by measure the extent of my calamity, and her beauty ; but this awe lasted but a prepared myself for a fate, which, little while. The captain was merry among such miscreants, could not be far beyond his usual measure of de- deemed far distant. The morning was light, and drained one wine cup after not much advanced when the sun dipanother to my wife's health and mine ; ped at once into a dark and tempestuhe vowed I was as a god among his ous ocean of clouds, the wind began to 'men, and that my wife was reverenced whistle shriller and shriller among our as a divinity. But come,' said he, sails, and the sea, upturned by sudden “ Miles Colvine, I have a curious and a and heavy gusts of wind, showed as far cunning thing to show you, which you as the eye could reach, the dark and alone deserve to see; I got it among tremendous furrows so fatal to mariners. the Moors, so come, and come alone. The wind was from the land, and I -I rose and followed him, for my cu- could both see and feel that the vessel riosity was unbounded; he conducted was unable to gain the harbour, and me below, and opening a small wicket had sought security from the approachin the wall of his cabin with a key, ing tempest by standing out to sea. I ushered me in, and closing it suddenly heard the wind wax louder, and saw apon me, locked it, and then I heard the billows roll, with a joy that arises him bounding up the stair to the deck. from the hope of revenge : the sky beI stood half imagining this to be a jest, came darker, the sea flashed over the or something, at least, of a light na- decks, and the tempest hurried the ship ture; but shriek after shriek of my onward with a rapidity which alarmed wife, uttered in the piercing agony of the sailors, accustomed as they were to anguish and despair, soon undeceived the element. The seams of the vessel

I called, I entreated, I used force, began to admit the sea,and everywhere and though I was armed by anger and symptoms appeared of her immediate despair, with almost supernatural destruction. might, the door withstood all my efforts. I heard a conversation over head I But why should I dwell upon a scene shall never forget. “ I tell you," said of such unutterable misery ? What I a voice in lowland Scotch, "good can endured, and what the woman I loved never

come of such evil as your and adored suffered, are fit only to be captain and you have wrought ; had imagined, not, surely, to be spoken. you taken Miles Colvine's gold and sil


the re


ver alone the sin had been but small

, pressibly sweet. The captain and five and a grey-headed repentance might sailors, though nearly overcome with bave mended all. But the bonnie lady! wine, were seated on deck ; her voice has been heard to-day, and mainder of the crew had retired below; tremble all you that touched her sweet some shouted, some sang, all blasphebody, for here has come an avenging med, and one loud din of cursing and tempest. The sea will soon devour carousal echoed far and wide: the us, and the mother who bore, and the mingled clamour that ascended from wife who loved me, and the bonnie this scene of wickedness and debauchbabes I have nursed on my knee, will ery partook of all the evil qualities of behold me no more; and all for be- debased minds and the most infamous ing in company with such hell-hounds pursuits, and cannot be described. Disas you.” À voice replied to all this, cord had its full share in the conference in a tone too low and suppressed to be on deck between the captain and his audible; and the Scotchman answered confederates; they were debating about again. Lo, look, did ever eyes be- their shares in the plunder of my hold such a sight, all around us the sea “Share ! by my saul, man," said a is smooth as glass, and other ships pass Scottish sailor to the captain, "your by us under a gentle breeze, without a share in Miles Colvine's pure gold can wetted sail, but we! the anger of hea- be but small; one hour of his sweet ven has found us, for on us the thick lady, a hundred leagues from land, was tempest beats, and the evil-one is pur- worth all the gold that ever shone.”suing us to destruction. O thou villain “ I shall share all fairly," said the cap-captain, shall I call thee no more tain, laying his hand on the hilt of his and you !—you fifteen wretches, who cutlass, “ and first I shall share thy shared with him in his crime, make you scoundrel carcase among the fishes of ready, for that storm will neither leave the sea, if I hear such a word again, you, nor forsake you, till you are bu- Did I plan the glorious plot of carrying ried in the ocean." At the very mo- away the fair lady and her lord's treasment when ruin seemed inevitable the ure, to share either with such a Scot- . tempest ceased, the clouds passed away, tish sawney as thee?" The wrath of and the descending sun shone brightly the Scotchman burnt on his brow, far down, making the shoreless waters redder than the flush of the wine he sparkle as far as the eye could reach. had drunk. “ Fiend seethe my saul, if No bounds were now set to the joy of ye taste na' cauld iron for this !"-And the crew; they crowded the deck, made out came his cutlass as he spoke. a circle round several vessels of wine “ That's my hearty Caledonian," said and baskets of biscuit, and before the one of his comrades, “give him a touch twilight bad passed away a few only of the toasting iron ; didn't he give a were capable of guiding the vessel. blow to the head of my mother's own The night grew very dark, and as I sat son, this blessed morning, for only in utter despair I heard the same friend- playing pluck at the lady's garment. ly voice, that I had so lately heard, say, Ah, give him the cold piece of steel, « Miles Colvine, put your trust in him my hearty." A blow from the capwho can still the tempest, the hour is tain's cutlass was the answer to this ; come.” In a moment the wicket open- several drunkards drew their swords, ed, and the same voice said, “ Take and ill-directed blows, and ineffectual this sword, and come with me. If you stabs, were given and received in the have courage to avenge the miseries dark. Now," said my sailor, laying and the death of your beautiful and his hand on mine, to stay me till I rewretched wife, come, for the hour is atceived his admonition,“ sảy not onhand, and as sure as I hate sin, and word, for words slay not, but glide in love immortal happiness, I shall help among them like a spirit; thrust your

I took the sword and followed blade, for anger strikes, but revenge in silence, and coming on deck, I be- stabs, and I will secure the gangway held a scene which the hope of sure and fight along with you.” I heard and immediate revenge rendered inex- and obeyed, and gliding among them,

[ocr errors]


thrust one of them through and We had entered the Solway sea, when through; a second and a third dropped, the storm, augmenting every moment, ere they saw who was among them. carried us rapidly along, and when The captain attempted to draw a pis- opposite Allanbay, a whirlwind seizing tol, but my sword, and my friend's, en- our ship by the rigging whirled her tered at back and bosom; and though fairly round, and down she went head two yet remained unhurt, I struck my foremost. Even in this moment of exsword a second time through the bosom treme peril, I shall never forget the figof my mortal enemy, as he lay beneath ure that, couched among the slain, me; and the last expiring glance of his started to its feet before me, in health, eye was a look worth remembering. and unhurt. There is a fate in all Ere this was accomplished, the other things: it was that fiend in human two were both lying with their compan- form whom I slew to-night. Revenge ions. I have frequently imagined that is sweetest when it comes unhoped for. a firmness and strength, more than my As we sank, a passing vessel saved my own, were given me during this despe- pretty May Colvine, her murdered rate encounter. Meanwhile the re- mother's image, and her wretched fathmainder of the crew below set no er's love, and saved too the heroic sailbounds to their merriment and shout- or; while the drunken wretches went ing, and seemed as my friend remarked, to the bottom, without the chance of ordained to die by my hand, since their swimming for an existence they deservclamour, by drowning the groans of ed not to prolong." their comrades, prevented them from Such was the narrative of Miles providing for their safety. We fasten- Colvine. He has been dead for seved the cabin door, and barricaded the eral years, and though his daughter gangway, keeping watch with pistol wedded the man who saved her father and sword, with the hope of seeing and her, he refused to forsake the sight some friendly shore, or a compassionate of the Solway and the sound of its sail, while the vessel, urged onward by waters, and was found at his cottage a strong wind, scudded with supernat- door cold and stiff, with his eyes open ural swiftness thro’ the midnight waters. and looking seaward.

Original Poetry.



" Come like shadows, so depart."-Macbeth.

The Diamond, in its native bed,

Hid like a buried star may lie
Where foot of man must never tread,

Seen only by its Maker's eye;
And though imbued with beams to grace
His fairest work in woman's face,

Darkling, its fire may fill the void,
Where fix'd at first in solid night,

Nor, till the world shall be destroy'd,
Sparkle ope moment into light.
The Plant, up springing from the seed,

Expands into the perfect flower ;
The virgin-daughter of the mead,

Woo'd by the sun, the wind, the shower ;
In loveliness beyond compare,
It toils not, spins not, knows no care ;

Train'd by the secret hand that brings
All beauty out of waste and rude,

It blooms a season,--dies,-and flings
Its germs abroad in solitude.

Almighty skill, in ocean's caves,

Lends the light Nautilus a form
To tilt along th' Atlantic waves,

Careless and fearless of the storm ;
But should a breath of danger sound,
With sails quick-furl'd it dives profound,

And far beneath the tempest's path,
In coral grots, defies the foe,

That never brake, in all his wrath,
The sabbath of the deep below.
Up from his dream, on twinkling wings,

The Sky-lark soars amid the dawn,
Yet, while in Paradise he sings,

Looks down upon the quiet lawn,
Where flutters in his little nest
More love than music e'er express'd :

Then, though the nightingale may thrill
The soul with keener ecstasy,

The merry bird of morn can fill
All Nature's bosom with his glee.
The Elephant, embower'd in woods,

Coeval with their trees might seem,
As if he drank, from Indian floods,

Life in a renovating stream;
Ages o'er him have come and fled,
Midst generations born and dead,

His bulk survives,-to feed and range,
Where ranged and fed of old his sires,

Nor knows advancement, lapse, or change,
Beyond their walks, till he expires.
Gem, flower, and fish, the bird, the brute,

Of every kind, occult or known,
(Each exquisitely form’d to suit

Its humble lot, and that alone,)
Through ocean, earth, and air, fulfil,
Unconsciously, their Author's will,

Who gave, without their toil or thought,
Strength, beauty, instinct, courage, speed;

While through the whole his pleasure wrought
Whate'er his wisdom had decreed.

But Man, the master-piece of God,

Man in his Maker's image framed,
Though kindred to the valley's clod,

Lord of this low creation named,-
In naked helplessness appears,
Child of a thousand griefs and fears :

To labour, pain, and trouble, born,
Weapon, nor wing, nor sleight, hath he ;-

Yet, like the sun, he brings his morn;
And is a king from infancy.
For-him no destiny hath bound

To do what others did before,
Pace the same dull perennial round,

And be a man, and be no more !
A man ?-a self-willid piece of earth,
Just as the lion is, by birth;

To hunt his prey, to wake, to sleep,
His father's joys and sorrows share,

His nich in nature's temple keep,
And leave his likeness in his heir.

No,-infinite the shades between

The motley millions of our race ;
No two the changing moon hath seen,

Alike in purpose, or in face ;

« AnteriorContinuar »