« ZurückWeiter »
SISTERS! sisters ! who sent you here?
SLAUGHTER, (to FIRE.) I will whisper it in her ear.
No! no! no!
No! no! no! Spirits hear what spirits tell: 'Twill make a holiday in hell!
Sisters! I from Ireland came !
BOTH. Who bade you do't?
The same! the same! Letters four do form bis name. He let me loose, and cried Halloo ! To him alone the praise is due.
Whisper it, sister! so and so! In a dark hint, soft and slow.
He let us loose, and cried Halloo ! How shall we yield him honour due?
He came by stealth, and unlock'd my den,
Wisdom comes of lack of food,
Who bade you do it?
The same! the same!
FIRE. O thankless beldames and untrue ! And is this all that you can do For him who did so much for you? Ninety months he, by my troth ! Hath richly cater'd for you both; And in an hour would you repay An eight years' work ?-Away! away! I alone am faithful! I Cling to bim everlastingly.
ILLUSTRATED IN THE STORY OF THE MAD OX
Whisper it, sister! in our ear.
An ox, long fed with musty hay,
And work'd with yoke and chain, Was turn'd out on an April day, When fields are in their best array, And growing grasses sparkle gay,
At once with sun and rain.
The grass was fine, the sun was bright,
With truth I may aver it;
Much like a beast of spirit. “Stop, neighbours ! stop! why these alarms ?
The ox is only glad.”
Halloo! the ox is mad.
Plunge! through the hedge he drove-
He's mad, he's mad, by Jove !
A sage of sober hue,
And, damme! who are you?”
And curse him o'er and o'er-
Of a Presbyterian w-re! “ You'd have him gore the parish-priest,
And run against the altarYou fiend!”—The sage his warnings ceased, And north, and south, and west, and east, Halloo ! they follow the poor beast,
Mat, Dick, Tom, Bob, and Walter.
Stood trembling in his shoes;
Aud gave him his death's bruise.
The gospel scarce more true is-
A tear for good old Lewis.
All follow'd, boy and dad,
They drove the poor od mad.
Why e'en a rat might plague you: There's no philosopher but sees
That rage and fear are one disease
They're both alike the ague.
Faced round like any bull-
But had his belly-full.
Old Nicholas to a tittle!
Squirt out some fasting-spittle.*
The Trojans he could worry-
The mob fled hurry-skurry.
Through his hedge and through her hedge,
That had more wrath than courage.
He made for these poor ninnies,
A sight of golden guineas.
The man that kept his senses.
For all the parish fences.
What means this coward fuss ?
See, here's my blunderbuss !"
The ox was only glad, Let's break his Presbyterian head !" “ Hush !” quoth the sage, “ you've been misled, No quarrels now let's all make head
You drove the poor oz mad.'
With the morning's wet vewspaper,
Our pursy woollen-draper.
* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated * According to the superstition of the west countries, if ad about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring you meet the devil, you may either cut him in half with rom the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on a straw, or you may cause him instantly to disappear by corners,
spilling over his horns.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stir this mortal frame, All are but ministers of love,
And feed his sacred flame.
0! ever in my waking dreams,
I dwell upon that happy hour, When midway on the mount I sate,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
She listen'd with a fitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.
Upon his shield a burning brand;
The ladie of the land :
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE
DARK LADIE. The following poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now even a simple story, wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hubbub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible.-S. T. C.
Dec. 21, 1799.
I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone With which I sung another's love,
Interpreted my own.
She listen’d with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!
O LEAVE the lily on its stem;
O leave the rose upon the spray ;
And listen to my lay.
This morn around my harp you twined, Because it fashion’d mournfully
Its murmurs in the wind.
A woful tale of love I sing;
And trembles on the string.
It sighs and trembles most for thee!
Befell the Dark Ladie.
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve !
The songs that make her grieve.
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed this bold and lonely knight, And how he roam'd the mountain woods,
Nor rested day or night; And how he cross'd the woodman's paths,
Through briers and swampy mosses beat; How boughs rebounding scourged bis limbs,
And low stubs gored his feet;
And sometimes from the darksorne shade, And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade ;
There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
This miserable knight!
He icapt amid a lawless band,
The ladie of the land!
And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees;
And how she tended him in vain And meekly strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain :
LEWTI, OR THE CIRCASSIAN LOVE
And how she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away, When on the yellow forest leaves
A dying man he lay:
At midnight by the stream I roved,
His dying words—but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturb'd her soul with pity!
The moon was high, the moonlight gleam
And the shadow of a star
But the rock shone brighter far,
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilld my guiltless Genevieve; The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherish'd long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and maiden shame; And, like the murmurs of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.
I saw a cloud of palest hue,
Onward to the moon it pass'd;
Till it reach'd the moon at last:
And with such joy I tind my Lewti:
Drinks in as deep a fiush of beauty ! Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind, If Lewti never will be kind.
I saw her bosom heave and swell,
Heave and swell with inward sighs-I could not choose but love to see
Her gentle bosom rise.
Her wet cheek glow'd : she stept aside
As conscious of my look she stepp'd : Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She flew to me and wept.
She half-enclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace; And bending back her head, look'd up,
And gazed upon my face.
The little cloud-it floats away,
Away it goes ; away so soon?
Away it passes from the moon !
Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky
And now 'tis whiter than before ! As white as my poor cheek will be,
When, Lewti! on my couch I lie, A dying man for love of thee. Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind And yet thou didst not look unkind.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art, That I might rather feel than see
The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride; And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride.
And now once more a tale of wo,
A woful tale of love I sing: For thee, my Genevieve! it sighs,
And trembles on the string.
I saw a vapour in the sky,
Thin, and white, and very high ; I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud
Perhaps the breezes that can fly
Now below and now above,
Of lady fair-that died for love.
When last I sang the cruel scorn
That crazed this bold and lonely Knight And how he roand the mountain woods,
Nor rested day or night
I promised thee a sister tale
Of man's pertidious cruelty: Come, then, and hear what cruel wrong Befell the Dark Ladie.
Hush! my heedless feet from under
Slip the crumbling banks for ever: Like echoes to a distant thundei,
They plunge into the genile river. The river-swans have heard my tread, And startle from their reedy bed.
O beauteous birds ! methinks ye measure Easily caught, ensnare him, 0 ye nymphs,
Your movements to some heavenly tune! Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! beauteous birds ! 'tis such a pleasure
And you, ye earth-winds! you that make at morn To see you move beneath the moon,
The dew-drops quiver on the spider's webs! I would it were your true delight
You, O ye wingless airs ! that creep between To sleep by day and wake all night.
The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze,
Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon I know the place where Lewti lies,
The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bedWhen silent night has closed her eyes :
Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, It is a breezy jasmine bower,
Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. The nightingale sings o'er her head:
Chase, chase him, all ye fays, and elfin goomes ! Voice of the night! had I the power
With prickles sharper than his darts berock That leafy labyrinth to thread,
His little godship, making him perforce And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's I then might view her bosom white
back. Heaving lovely to my sight,
This is my hour of triumph! I can now As these two swans together heave
With my own fancies play the merry fool, On the gently swelling wave.
And laugh away worse folly, being free.
Here will I seat myself, beside this old, 0! that she saw me in a dream,
Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine And dreamt that I had died for care ;
Clothes as with network : here will I couch my All pale and wasted I would seem,
limbs, Yet fair withal, as spirits are !
Close dy this river, in this silent shade, I'd die, indeed, if I might see
As safe and sacred from the step of man Her bosom heave, and heave for me!
As an invisible world—unheard, unseen, Soothe, gentle image! soothe my mind! And listening only to the pebbly brook To-morrow Lewti may be kind.
That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound; 1795.
Or to the bees, that in the neighbouring trunk
The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow, THE PICTURE, OR THE LOVER'S
And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek; RESOLUTION.
Ne'er played the wanton-never half-disclosed THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted under- The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence wood
Eye-poisons for some love-distemper’d youth, I force my way; now climb, and now descend Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen grove O'er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart Crushing the purple whorts; wbile oft unseen, Sball flow away like a dissolving thing. Hurrying along the drifted forest leaves,
Sweet breeze! thou only, if I guess aright, The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil, Liftest the feathers of the robin's breast, I know not, ask not whither! A new joy, That swells its little breast, so full of song, Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust,
Singing above me, on the mountain ash.
Though clear as lake in latest summer eve,
The face, the form divine, the downcast look The fir trees, and th’ unfrequent slender oak, Contemplative! Behold! her open palm Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake Presses her cheek and brow! her elbow rests Soar up, and form a melancholy vault
On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree, High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea. That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile
Here wisdom might resort, and here remorse ; Had from her countenance turn'd, or look'd by Here too the lovelorn man who, sick in soul,
stealth, And of this busy human heart aweary,
(For fear is true love's cruel nurse,) be now Worships the spirit of unconscious life
With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, In tree or wild-flower. Gentle lunatic !
Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes If so he might not wholly cease to be,
Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain, He would far rather not be that, he is;
E'en as that phantom world on which he gazed, But would be something that he knows not of, But not unheeded gazed ! for see, ah! see, In winds, or waters, or among the rocks !
The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks But hence, fond wretch! breathe not contagion The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, here!
Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells : No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves And suddenly, as one that toys with time, Where love dare loiter! If in sullen mood Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore Is broken--all that phantom world so fair His dainty feet, the brier and the thoru
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird And each misshapes the other. Stay a while