Abbildungen der Seite



grade the anniversary of the birth of THE MERMAID. A SCOTTISH BALLAD, the poet of universal nature, with any narrow-minded prejudices. Let our

"O) WHERE won ye my bonny lass, sentiments, as well as our toasts, be

Wi’ look sаe wild an' cheery ? universal, and as liberal and unre There's something in that witching face strained as his whose name we revere. That I lo'e wonder dearly. He was, indeed, in a more particular “ I live where the harebell never grew ; manner, the poctical historian of Eng Where the streamlet never ran ; land, but he was the bard of all na Where the winds of Heaven never blew ture, and of all nations; and in a

Now find me gin ye can.". very eminent degree the bard of Scot

“ 'Tis but your wild an’ wily way, land, Is it not evident that he dwells The gloaming makes you eiry ; with peculiar delight on every excela Ye are the lass o' the Braken Brae, lence in our national character? Wit An' nae lad maun come near ye. ness his Malcom, his Macduff, and his But I am sick, and very sick, Douglas on the field of Shrewsbury.

Wj' a passion strange and new, w! Let us bé proud, therefore, of the ap- For ae kiss o' thy rosy cheek, 1: pellation of our society, as we are to

An' lips o' the coral hue." uphold its honour and respectability. “O laith, laith wad a wanderer be, It began with our youth, but it will To do your youth sic wrang ! not terminate with our lives; and Were you to reave a kiss frae mě, since it has been deemed suitable to

Your life would not be lang. distinguish it by the name of a poet,

Go hie you from this lonely brake, there is but one abore, all others to

Nor dare your walk renew,

For I'm the maid of the mountain lake, whom that distinction is due. To

And I come wi' the falling dew.". his memory let us consecrate this glass. The memory of our revered, “Be you the maid of the crystal wave, immortal Shakespeare; the poet of

Or she of the Braken Brae, universal nature !!!

One tender kiss I mean to have, The toast was drank with the silent

You shall not say me nay. honours and every token of enthu- Por beauty's like the daisy's vest,

That shrinks frae the early dew, siasm ; approbation gleamed in every But soon it opes its bonny breast, eye, and the company seemed animat

An’ sae may it fare wi' you." ed with a temporary elevation, proud of the object of their meeting, and

Kiss but this hand I humbly sue; more so of this, that the celebration

Ev'n there I'll rue the stain, of the birth of the greatest poet the the breath of man will dim its huen, in world ever saw should be left solely For passion's like the burning beal

'Twill ne'er be pure again! to them.

Upon the mountain's brow, On the rest of the company sitting That wastes itself to ashes pale, down, the croupier continued to stand, And so will it fare with you. and recited with great effect an original ode to the genius of Shakespeare; but as that has already found its way

“O mother, mother, make my bed, into some newspapers, we decline giv

And make it soft and easy ; ing it here. Several members then . And with the cold dew bathe my head, joined in singing The WarwICK

Por pains of anguish seize me. SHIRE Lab, which was received with Or stretch me in the chill blae lake, 217, po loud applause, and three times encor. And lay me by yon rueful brake,

To quench this bosom's burping: ed. The MULBERRY TRÉE ; and se

For hope there's none veral other songs and recitations from the works of Shakespeare followed I've been where man should not have been, these.

Oft in my lanely roaming; There is certainly an enthusiasm, And seen what man should not have seen animation, and liberality in all this

By green-wood in the gloaming !

O passion's deadlier than the grave, that does great credit to our country; men of Alloa. It is what we could The maiden of the mountain wate

A human thing's undoing! scarcely have expected from any pro Has lured me to my rutin... 217" vincial trading town, subject to the "Tis now an hundred years and more, same local disadvantages.

And all these scenes are over, The speech which followed shall Since rose his grave on yonder shore, appear in our next Numher.

Beneath the wild-wood cover; 13

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And late I saw the maiden there,

Steelbarred its loop-holes, narrow, dark, Just as the daylight faded,

and dun, Braiding her locks of gowden hair, Admit the tempest, but exclude the sun ; And singing as she braided.

Slow and suspicious is its iron gate,
That closes on the wretched, fixed as fate.

There never enters the fresh breeze of The Mermaid's Song.

spring, LIE still, my love, lie still, and sleep, With health and living spirits on its wing ; Long is thy night of sorrow !

The twilight's gloom, at day's meridian Thy maiden of the mountain deep

height, Shall meet thee on the morrow.

Hangs dimly there, blends it with the But oh! when shall that morrow be

night. That my true love shall waken? The gathering filth of centuries is there, When shall we meet, refined and free, No brush disturbs the spider in his lair, Amid the moorland braken?

That, unmolested, fattens on his race,

For every sunlight insect flies the place ; Full low and lonely is thy bed,

Even the foul bat would scorn it as a home, The worm ev'n flies thy pillow !

And seek the shelter of a holier dome. Where now the lips so comely red,

It tortures every sense ; compared to this, That kiss'd me 'neath the willow ? The vile hyena's den were cleanliness, 0 I must laugh, do as I can,

A pest-house, where the taint , of every Ev'n 'mid my song of mourning,

clime At all the fuming freaks of man

Strikes a deep root, and festers into crime; To which there's no returning !

The fountain of impurities and lies, Lie still, my love, lie still, and sleep!

Of imprecations and of blasphemies. Hope lingers o'er thy slumber !

In its dark purlieus human harpies prowl, What though thy years beneath the steep

With fangs of iron and with demon scowl. Should all its flowers outnuniber;

Ah ! hapless they whose doon is there to lie, Though moons steal o'er, and seasons fly,

Exiled from the green earth, and from the On Time's swift wing unstaying;

sky, Yet there's a spirit in the sky

4. From the sweet music of the billow's flow, That live's o'er thy decaying!

From the morn's ruby tints, from even

ing's glow, No more I'll come at gloaming tide From the fresh brooks that feed the sum, By this green shore to hover,

mer flowers, And see the maid cling to the side

From the bright rainbow weeping vernal Of her dismayed lover;

showers, To meet the fairy by the bower,

And from the glorious characters of light, The kelpy by the river,

That people as with gods the realms of Or brownie by the baron's tower,...

night ; O vanish'd all for ever!

And what is lovelier than all the rest, !|

Bereft of which man never may be blest, Still my lov'd lake from fading day The charities on life a balm that breathe, The purple gleam shall borrow,

But slumber there as in eternal death. And heath-fowl from his mountain grey From their dark eye the light of joy is filed,

Sing to the dawn good morrow ! No bosom yearns for them-no tear is But on a land so dull and drear

shed, No joy hath my attendance;

No lover's vow is made—no prayer ascends, Fled all the scenes in Scotia dear,

On their horizon even kind hope descends, When filed her independence !

Its blessed beam for them extinct for aye,

That cheers all else on life's fatiguing way. In dome beneath the water springs No end hath my sojourning;

No being cares for them in the wide earth,

None kindred claims ;-even she that gave And to this land of fading things

them birth, Far hence be my returning.

Wretched and crazed, and grey before her I leave this grave, and glassy deep,

time, A long last farewell taking :

Curses in bitterness of heart their crime. Lie still, my love, lie still, and sleep, Aliens from good, as in the grave forgot, Tby day is near the breaking !

They pass the bourne from which return

[ocr errors]

is not,

Shipwrecked---on the black stream of ruin THE PRISON HOUSE.

hurled THERE is a dismal mansion that appears Like limbs incurable lopt from the world. Black with the smoke of many hundred Unheard of curses, altercations loud, years,

Are ever ringing from the unholy crowd, Its sooty roof a threatening turret crowns - Where grey hair'd villains young offenders And, grimly as the gathering thunder, meet,

And train them up in all the arts to cheat ;

frowns ;


This is the school in which they learn their And o'er thein draw her sister's veil

To cheat the gossip of her tale ;
Studious to leave each rival in the shade, If yonder orb that seems to rest
For here they may not lose the precious His ample disk on Crittle's * breast,

Gilding with rays of burnished gold,
But imp their pinions for a bolder crime. Each object on the dewy wold,
The very atmosphere with vice is dense, Till far the village spire I view,
Ind every inhalation pestilence,

Peer from the welkin's belt of blue : And he who pure that atinosphere can If this green earth, and yon blue sky, breathe,

Are dearer to thy roving eye May scape the wings of thunder without Than crowds of rival belles and beaux, scathe.

Where open friends are secret focs, Even woman here, the gentle and the fair, And midst the vain parade of art, Contracts a haggard and ferocious air ; “ The joy can scarcely reach the heart," The eye relenting as the sky of spring, Then honoured stranger hither come, The fountains of fair pity opening, And make this mossy scat thy home, W'hose star-beam is the living light of love, Straight cross our threshold, taste cur lifting the willing soul to heaven above,

cheer, Is sunk, and leaden; or a tiery scowl For stranger thou art welcome here! Flumes with the fury pussions of her soul ; 7th May 1819.

J. MD. 'The cheek that every shade of feeling

blends, And with the emotions of the heart con

INSCRIPTION FOR A CAVE AT tends, Than morning tints, more changing, and

more bright, When she relumnes her palaces of light,

STRANGER ! all welcome !—for, whatever

mood Scattering her roses o'er the earth and sea, Is harsh, and fixed, and scaled with lepro. No step profane these rocky precincts fear,

Have brought thee to this distant solitude, sy;

And none but Nature's children en ter here. The gentle accents flowing from her tongue, Thrillivg the listner's earlike plaintive song,

The rural pride, and beauty's gentle

hien, Or angel's voice to dreaming hermit's

Perchance have charm'd thee in a softer soul,

scene, In the harsh yellings of a demon roll.

Where modest Stour's translucent waters Her beauty and her symmetry of form Are wrecked as by a desolating storm.

glide, Or Thames, majestic, rolls his kingly tide.

Perchance the classic love of ancient lore INSCRIPTIONS.

Hath led thy steps to Cumæ's sunbright

shore; Inscription for a Hermitage.

Or thou hast stray'd fair Mincio's banks aSTRANGER, who may'st hither stray,

long, Rest not till thou read this lay.

Lost in sweet musings on the Mantuan If there lurk within thy breast

song. Crimes unrepented, unconfest,

- These caves are sacred too. Here reigns

sublime Or if ambition headlong, blind, Or love of lucre, taint thy mind ;

The lovely genius of a dreary clime. It moth-like thou art canght with glare,

Though here no Halcyons skin the wat'ry And fashion is thy darling care ;

way, Or snitten with the pride of birth,

No Nereids and no Dolphins love to play,

Yet the brown seal, the shag's discordant 'Thou spurnst cach brother worm of earth, That boasts not of his ancestry,


And screams redoubling from the sea-gull's And struts a titled fool like thee;

throat, lí ctiquette's unnumbered rules

Pleasure unfelt before shall justly give, And custom, oracle of tools,

And soothe that soul where Nature loves to Couspire to deadlen and control

live. Each gen'rous purpose of thy soul, 'I hen turn thee, stranger! do not rest,

Here, too,—nor deem it vain,--the Muses' For here thou art no welcome guest!

power But it from av’rice, vanity,

One poet woo'd in no unfriendly hour; And ev'ry sordid passion free,

Unwonted numbers taught these caves to Sense, independence, talents, worth,

gwell, 'Thou deem'st the noblest gems on earth;

And lur'd a voice from Echo's_viewless If mis’ry's plaint commanded e'er,


J. P. It rich tlly purse, if poor thy tear, And pity; with averted eye,

• A celebrated mountain in DumfriesBids dee a brother'o fallingo fts,


[ocr errors]


His careless air that scorns disgrace, An English Story, founded on faet.

These can't be told, they must be gucss'd.

But, friends, forgive this erring brother, SINCE Beppo found such ready reading, For know he had a step-mother.

When Beppo lived so far away, Sure all must relisli my proceeding,

Long kept at home without a dinner,

And all the pan,s of hunger feeling, When English Beppo I display, And, though he boast not such fine breed. Poor Joe betimes became a sinner,

Andi got from coveting to stealing. ing, so

The first exploits of this beginner As good a Beppo, I dare say.

Were boues and raw potatoe-peeling. But we'll not call him Beppo,-10,

For thefts like chese, and all his other, We'll speak out plain, and call him Joe!

Hang, if you will, his step-mother.
And, as we English, to our shamc,
Without a friendly note at hand,

But, since I cannot feel a doubt
Might have admired Beppo's name,

That all my worthy readers know (For when folks cannot understand,

That boys are mischievous without You'll mostly find them do the same,)

My taking pains to tell them so, Perhaps, in some far distant land, I will say nothing more about Strangers who read this tale of mine

Such peccadilloes of poor Joe, May think that Joe means something fine.

Who, starved and scolded, bumped and

banged, But, fine or not, his name is Joe;

Was told, For certain you'll be liang'd." And now, that mighty matter over, For all are eager names to know,

There never was a tale invented, I next will hasten to discover

But it contained a full detail His birth and parentage, and so ;

Of cots or villas ornamented, But don't expect a gentle lover,

Of wood and mountain, hill and dale, Such as in soft Italian skies

Of neighbourhoods “ all richly scented Sings sonnets to his lady's eyes.

With flowers that load the passing gale ;"'. How unlike Joe, who, luckless wight,

But, readers, don't be in a passion,

If here I am not in the fashion.
Was a poor peasant's starveling brat!
So poor and starved, that, in his sight, For, task my genius as I will,
A jolly farmer, sleek and fat,

I can't declare in this my ditty,
Was at the top of all delight ;

That wood or mountain,-dale or hill, 0, could he but attain to that!

Made Joey's habitation pretty. So far the subject co my story

Of water he might have his fill
From all the dreams of love or glory. Up to his ears,--the more's the pity ;

For waters in the winter cover
Had he been raised a little higher,
Ambition, never satisfied,

All the flat flooded fields quite over.
Would soon have found some new desire, His is a land of toast and butter,

Some house to have, some horse to ride, A land of grazing, fatting, feeding, Or to outshine some neighb'ring squire : A land where mobs will mouth and For still we covet what's denied.

And fall to riotous proceeding; Nay, reader dear, don't shut your eyes, Where men grow fat, while thus they I promise not to moralize.


And all their poverty are pleading. But I delayed, because, in sooth,

Such was his land, so far I show it, The Muse would gladly have denied,

Now tell me reader,-Do you know it? To trace my hero's erring youth ;

But now for Joe, and if I can
But, when an author's trade is tried,
He then is bound to tell the truth,

My whilome promise to fulfil,

I will not say how he outran
And pity must be cast aside.

All other little boys in ill:
Now, I'm a would-be author,-0
Here ends all pity for poor Joe.

But briefly state, he grew a man,

Which proves that cuffing will not kill ; Those who have mark'd upon the green

Still physiognomists could spy Some little village vagabond,

His boyish cunning in his With grimy visage, lank and lean, Joe had a taste, which was not common, Searing the geese upon a pond,

And it so happened, that, hard by With shoes that once may shoes have been, There lived an ancient widow woman And coat and shirt to correspond ;

Who kept a shop, and far and nigh To those this sketch will quite suffice, Folks come and to the counter summon; They see Joe's picture in a trice.

Joe fancied her, I can't tell why, But no! unless you see his face,

Perhaps he thought that widow Locket Joe's picture can't be quite expressid ;

Had got some money in her pocket. His daring eye, his pert grimace,

Joe was not hasty, was not rash, His smile or sob as suits him best,

The pro's and con's were all in sight; VOL. Ir.




66 How


The love and courtship was a fash,

But Joe's adventures must be told, But pounds and pence were his delight : So patience reader if you please, He liked the lady, loved the cash,

And hear, how by success grown bold, The matter was determined quite ;

He learned to manufacture teas ; But little better than his betters,

And such a precious medley sold, Who love the cash and hate the fetters! That being guessed at by degrees, The courtship very soon was over,

He was convicted, fined, and hated, “ Will you,” he said,She said, “I For selling “ tea adulterated.” will,"

Let him who knows not what he sips, And Joe was made the happy lover, Expect no more to sip in peace : But not before the counter till

With hawthorn leaves and hawthorn hips, This wealthy widow did uncover,

With sloe leaves curled with artifice, Which sight made Joe grow fonder still. Tinged with Dutch pink and Logwood Behold him now, thanks to ambition,

chips, A shopkeeper of good condition !

And above all with verdigris, But do not fancy such a shop

Do folks contrive in this our clever age, As in the street of some great city

To brew this wholesome beverage. Makes every gaping traveller stop Joe might have been well satisfied, And lift his eyes, and say,

Had he been found no worse defaulter,

But he was taken, charged, and tried, Look from the bottom to the top,

For various frauds; he scorned to palter, And sigh, and think it is a pity

And nothing of the charge denied : He has not money in his coffers

'Twas proved ; but he escaped a halter, To buy each charming thing which offers. And you must own the miss was narrow, Joe's shop was such as you may see

For he was tried by Justice G-1-". In every village you explore,

The Judge the prisoner exhorted, “ Tobacco, coffee, snuff, and tea,”

Told him he ought to lose his life, All signified upon the door;

But should in mercy be transported. Such outwardly it seems to be,

In vain was argument or strife, Enter and you find something more,

To these Joe never once resorted; Soap, candles, penny-loaves, and pease, For seven years to leave his wife! Treacle, and stay laces, and cheese. Possessions ! friends! Joe's turn of mind Those who expect the critic's smack,

Some comfort even here could find. Will go, I think, the wisest way, Possessions, save his wife, he'd not any, To be before them in a crack,

And they could bear the separation. And find out faults as soon as they ; And as for friends if he had got any, Men who thus guard against attack, He had a strong anticipation May live to write another day;

That he should meet with them at Botanys For when a critic can't discover

Such were his grounds of consolation ; Faults first himself, the joy is over. And then some comfort sprung from Then e're the critics lay the lash on,

hence, I'll say what they will say of me,

He should see the world at the King's er. They'll swear I am not in the fashion,

pence. Have never kept “ good company ;” Not having shared his transportation, Have no detail of love or passion,

Particulars I can't declare, But much of vulgar roguery.

But, reader, hear this declaration, So say the critics, so express it,

I'll tell you all when I've been there And I, poor poet, quite confess it.

Meantime I come in my narration,

To that deserted female fair,
I am not one of your fine people
Who go to London in the season,

Now once again a widow--seeing,
Revel all night, by daylight sleep all;

She had no spouse for the time being. Who go to Paris, and there seize on So tedions was his absence found Goods, which the Custom House will keep To her the seven years seemed twenty, all,

And here in vain would she look round Nor give them either rhyme or reason ; For some kind “ Cavalier servente," But one who goes to bed at ten,

Such as in Italy abound, And who at six gets up again.

Thanks be, they are not here so plenty, One who has never smuggled yet,

But had they been, I do not know Who dines upon plain beef and mutton, That any would have rivalled Joe. Who can't the name of dandy get,

For many years

his faithful Kattern Because great coats I never put on, Deplored her Lord so far away, Unless 'tis likely to be wet ;

For his dear sake she went a slattern, Because no eye-glass decks my button. For him she murmur'd lack-3-day! Guilty of such vulgarity,

For him, of wives the pink and pattern, How can I hope for charity ?

Despite what spiteful neighbours say.

« ZurückWeiter »