« ZurückWeiter »
Saw the grim night diffuse around .
A blacker pall upon the ground:
“ Alas! my fruitless prayer”--the cried,
Sunk on the dew-cold moss, and figh’d.
O'er her fine form disaftrous Sleep
Wav'd his wand wet frooi Lethe's deep,
Dire dreams convuls'd her labouring mind,
And phantoms started from behind :
When, lo! through opening clouds the moon
Shed o'er the vales her lucid 1000,
Silver'd the sable cheeks of night,
And horror fmild at holy light.
Instant awaken’d by the glare
Of glory soft diffus'd through air,
She wonder'd much, with whom, and how,
· Her steps e'er sought these wilds below,
What spirit of the midnight hour
Dragg'ri her from Cona's rock-roofd bower;
When all at once reniembrance dread
Impetuous feiz'd her shudd'ring head.
“ Who comes?” she shriek’d, “who hauuts this vale
“ His looks! his robes of mift! how pale!
66'Tis he! 'tis he! my life ! my love!
" Ye gods who hear me from above,
“ 'Tis my Hidallan !-heaven! he fies,
“ Drinks with unfeeling ear my cries.”
Thrice with impassion'd grief se pray'd,
And thrice she clasp'd the fleeting thade;
But when she saw his buovant feet
Through ether's argent reaims retreat,
Saw Itars dim twinkle în his vest,
And moonshine glimmer through his breaft,
Theo with mad fcot she smote the ground,
Then started at the bursting found;
Wrung with wild hands her shadowy hair,
And star'd, and laugh'd with fierce despair,
Thrill'd with delirious shouts the grove,
As frenzy fann'd the flames of love.
ELINOR, a BOTANY-BAY ECLOGUE.
[From Poems by ROBERT SOUTHEY.)
NCE more to daily toil, once more to wear
The weeds of infamy, from every joy
The heart can feel excluded, I arise
Worn out and faint with unremitting woe;
And once again with wearied steps i trace
The hollow•founding more. The swelling waves
Gleam to the morning fun, and dazzle o'er
With many a splendid hue the breezy strand.
Oh there was once a time when Elinor
Gazed on thy opening beam with joyous eye
Undirmed by guilt and grief! when her full soul
Felt thy mild radiance, and the rising day
Waked but to pleasure! on thy sea-girt verge,
Oft, England ! have my evening steps stole oil,
Oft have mine eyes surveyed the blue expanie,
And mark'd the wild wind swell the ruffled surge,
And seen the upheaved billows' bosomed rage
Rush on the rock; and then my timid soul
Shrunk at the periis of the boundless deep,
And heaved a ligh for suffering mariners.
Ah! lit:le deeming I myself was doom'd
To tempt the perils of the boundless deep,
An outcast-unbeloved and unbewail'd.
Why, stern Remembrance! must thine iron hand
Harrow my soul? wliy calls thy cruel power
The fields of England. to my exil'd eyes,
The joys which once were mine? even now I fee
The lowly lovely dwelling! even now
Behold the woodbine claiping its white walls,
And hear the fearless red-breasts chirp around
• To ask their morning meal:--for I was wont.
With friendly hand to give their morning meal,
Was wont to love their fong, when lingering morn
Streak’d o'er the chilly landscape the dim light,
And thro' the open'd lattice hung my head
To view the snow-drop's bud: and thence at eve
When mildly fading fünk the fammer fun,
Oft have I loved to mark the rook's flow course
And bear his hollow croak, what time he fought
The church-yard elm, whose wide-embowering boughs
Full-foliaged, half conceald the house of God.
There, my dead father! often have I heard
Thy hallowed voice explain the wondrous works
Of Heaven to sinful man. Ah! little deein'd
Thy virtuous bofom, that thy shameless child
So foon should spurn the lesson! link the slave
Of vice and infainy! the hireling prey
Of brutal appetite! at length worn out
With famine, and the avenging scourge of guilt,
Should dare dishonesty-yet dread to die !
Welcome ye favage lands, ye barbarous climes,
Where angry England fends her outcast fons
I hail your joyless fhores ! my weary bark
Long tempeft-toft on Life's inclement fea,
Here hails her haven! welcomes the drear scene,
The marly plain, the briar-entangled wood,
And all the perils of a world unknown.
For Elinor has nothing new to fear
From fickle Fortune! ali her rankling shafts
Barb'd with disgrace, and venom'd with disease,
Have pierced my bofom, and the dart of death
Has lost its terrors to a wretch üke me.
Welcome ye marshy heaths! ye pathless woods,
Where the rude native refts his wearied frame
Beneath the theltering fhade; where, when the storm,
As rough and bleak it rolls along the sky,
Benunibs his naked liinbs, he files to seek
The dripping shelter. Welcome ye wild plains
Unbroken by the plough, undelv'd by hand
Of patient rustic; where for lowing herds,
And for the music of the bleating flocks,
Alone is heard the kangaroo's sad note
Deepening in distance. Welcome ye rude climes,
The realm of Nature! for as yet unknown
The crimes and comforts of luxurious life,
Nature benigoly gives to all enough,
Denies o all a superfinity.
What tho' the garb of infamy I wear,
Tho' day by day along the echoing beach
I cull the wave-worn Thells, yet day by day
I earn in honesty my frugal food,
And lay me down at night to calm repose,
No more condemu'd the mercenary tool
Of brutal lust, while heaves the indignant heart
With Virtue's stifled ligh, to fold my arms
Round the ralik felon, and for daily bread
To hug contagion to my poison'd breast;
On thele wild Thores Repentance' saviour hand
Shall probe my secret soul, shall cleanse its wounds,
And fit the faithful penitent for Heaven.
MARY the Maid of the Inn,
[From the same Work.]
H O is she, the poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
V Seem a heart overcharged to express? She weeps vol, yet often and deeply the fighs; She never complains, but her filence implies
The composure of settled distress.
No aid, no compassion the Maniac will seek;
Cold and hunger awake not her care:
Thro' her rags do the winds of the winter blow bleak
On her poor wither'd bosom half bare, and her cheek
Has the deathly pale bue of despair.
Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the nigbt,
And fast were the windows and door;
Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,
And smoking in silence with tranquil delight
They listen' to hear the wind roar.
" 'Tis pleasant,” cried one, "seated by the fire-side
“ To hear the wind whistle without." « A fine niglit for the Abbey !" his comrade replied, " Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried “ Who should wander the ruins about.
“ I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear
“The boarse ivy Make over nry head; " And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear, “ Some ugly old Abbot's white spirit appear,
“For this wind might awaken the dead!"
66 I'll wager a dinner,” the other one cried,
“ That Mary would venture there now.” " Then wager and lose !" with a sweer he replied, " I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side,
" And faint if she saw a while cow."
u Will Mary this charge on her courage allow.""
His companion exclaim'd with a smile; 6 I Mall win, for I know she will venture there now. “ Aud earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough
“ From the elder that grows in the aisle."
With fearless good humour did Mary comply,
And her way to the Abbey she bent:
The pight it was dark, and the wind it was high,
And as hollowly howling it Iwept thro' the Ny
She Niver'd with cold as the went.
O'er the path so well known still proceeded the Maid
Where the Abbey rose dim on the fight, Thro' the gate way the entered, the felt not afraid, Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their fhade Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night.
All around her was filent, fave when the rude blaft
Howl'd dismally round the old pile;
Over weed.cover'd fragments still fearless the past,
And arrived at the innermost ruin at last
Where the elder-tree grew in the aisle.