[ocr errors]

Anticipation in their eyes

Looks forward to a distant day, When he to manhood shall arise,

And all their weary cares repay. Sweet innocent, fair title-page,

Perhaps of some long glorious tale ; Perhaps to brave the ocean's

rage, And spread Britannia's conquering sail, While playing on the grassy sod,

While wantoning along the lea, Touch not the thistle, though it nod

Its purple-crowned head to thee. It is a tyrant, touch it not,

No tyrant breathes in Britain's isle, He's strangled at his cradle-foot,

We care not for his witching smile. It is a tyrant, touch it not,

Tho' it be Scotia's emblem dear, 'Twill wound thy hand and naked foot,

Tho' it educe the patriot's tear.
Here gather softest sweetest flowers,

The daisies white and daffodil,
The foxglove here its blossoms lowers

Thy little dimpled hand to fill.
I'll lead thee where the browing bee

Deposits all her honey store, l'll rob her honey store for thee,

I'll rob it and I'll seek for more. Enjoy, enjoy thy passing hour,

For lo ! he comes with eyes severeHe comes who checks the truant's course,

Who wantons free as summer's air. Ah! oft he'll beat thy tender palm,

And oft the tear will blind thine e'e: Quick fly the day my little lamb,

When thou art held in slavery. Condemn’d to sit by yonder wall,

And yelp and spell the livelong day, And still the other threat’ning call

From yonder crusty sage so gray. Enjoy, enjoy thy passing hour,

For soon thy merry wandering eye, Condemn'd to pore o'er learning's page,

Shall watch no more the butterfly. Nor shalt thou view her airy flights,

White, like a ship in distant sky; Nor cap in hand, when she alights,

Arrest her with a step so sly.

Before thou taste the lip of love,

Or warm when beauty treads the green, Full many a toil thou hast to prove,

Full many an aching heart I ween.

Now Spring returns; but not to me returns

The vernal joy my better years have known.
Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns,
And all the joys of life with health are flown.

Mute in the dust, by Seotia's muse deplor’d,
The tuneful tongue these plaintive numbers pour'd :*

In hope his ashes sleep.
To brighter worlds his gentle spirit soar'd,

And left the muse to weep.
When sinks the manly form into the tomb,
When fades the damask rose of virgin bloom,

Doom'd to an early grave,
What can the strength restore, the eye relume ?

What from the spoiler save?
The shades, the spectres of their better years,
No breeze invigorates, no season cheers,

'Tis Heav'n alone can save.
Med'cine their pain may sooth, and faith their fears,

Not disappoint the grave.
Her pensive son, the pride of Leven's plains,
Now mourns the Muse, in elegiac strains,

From her embraces torn;
And will, lamented youth! with Leven's swains,

T'hy loss for ever mourn.
'Twas Heav'n's high will the blessing to recall,
Sincerely priz'd, sincerely wept by all,

Our loss thy greater gain,
Now high in bliss above this durkling ball,

This land of sin and pain.
Again to animate thy mouldering clay,
Would'st thou descend from empyrean day?

From mortal ills secure,
Would'st thou again the debt of nature pay,

Or all her ills endure?
No; but no more by mortal ills oppressid,
May I, sweet bard ! with thee for ever blcst,

The choirs angelic join,
In realms of light and love, God's promis'd rest,

In ecstasy divine !
Thrice has returning Spring, with zephyrs bland,
Breath'd health and fragrance o'er a smiling land;

Thrice wak'd the vocal groves ;
Yet pine I under His paternal hand,

Who chastens whom He loves.
His genial warmth the smiling cun may shed;
Her mantle green may Spring o’er Nature spread,

Fann'd by the zephyrs' breath ;
But ah! can they reanimate the dead,

Or stay the hand of death ?

.“ A young man of genius, in a deep consumption, at the age of 21, feeling himself every moment going faster to decline, is an object sufficiently interesting ; but how much must every feeling on the occasion be heightened, when we know, that this per son possessed so much dignity and composure of mind, as not only to contemplate his approaching fate, but even to write a poem on the subject." - Mirror, No. 36.

A morn serene, a clear but temperate noon,
An evening promis'd, placid, blithe, and boon;

But, in a sullen cloud
And troubled sky, descends my sun, and soon

I'll slumber in my shroud.
Ye kindred souls, who, with the human frame,
Own human hearts, your sympathy I claim !

He who can this withhold, -
This tribute to misfortune, to his shame,

Is of no gentle mould.
Yet earthly friends, though faithful and sincere,
No aid can yield, when death at last draws near.

Lord! in that darksome hour,
Into my heart, my parting soul to cheer,

The balm of comfort pour !
Not burning seraphim around thy throne,
Of spotless purity on earth unknown,

Are in thy presence pure;
And shall polluted dust, to evil prone,

Thy scrutiny endure.
In human strength hath mortal ever stood ?
In human merit

who is pure or good ? Wilt Thou the guilty clear? Wash'd in the fountain of atoning blood,

May I at doom appear!
Grant me from pain a refuge in the tomb,
Or, health restor'd, my duties to resume,

As shall to Thee seem best ;
But O, receive me, Lord ! at death and doom,

Into thy promis'd rest!


The dark red sun was sinking down,
'Mid alpine clouds of rainbow hue,
That seem'd in crowded glory met,
To greet him as he slowly set ;-
'Twas only thus th' undazzld eye,
His glittering rays could then defy,
For thousand clouds around did seem,
Each brighten'd with a borrow'd beam.
As deeper sank the lamp of day,
Those lovely tints slow died away,
And when each line was faint, or fled,
'Twas like the rose without its red,
Or like young beauty's fainting cheek,
With here and there a crimson streak,
Which still reluctant seems to part,
And backward rush into the heart.
Now o'er the sun a crescent crown,
Choice, sweet, and quiet to the view,
A silver moon, of scarce six days,
Above him shed her virgin rays,
Which every moment gleamed more bright,
As quicker ebb’d the tide of light,
And sweetly watched the wearied sun,
To cheer him when his course was run,
And thus complete to mortal eyes
The grandeur of Italian skies.




tiades ?-or who would stop to gaze on Thermopylæ, bleak, barren, and

sterile as it is, but for the well-reMR EDITOR,

“Life,” says Dr Johnson, “ has membered self-devotion of Leonidas few things better than to be rapidly and his invincible Spartans ? This is whirled about in a post chaise.” This, the great master-charm that elicits for ought i know, may be very cor

our emotions, as we survey individual rect, and very descriptive of a pecu- spots of earth hallowed by the recolliar and undefinable feeling : but I am

lection of great actions, and associated quite sure that, had the Doctor lived to with those events in human history, be“ rapidly whirled” on the top of a which make their way to all hearts

, stage coach, contending for the palm and exert a certain influence on the of victory with a newly established understandings of all. What can be rival on the road, his well known re- finer-grander-more romantic, than gard for his neck, and the valuable the pass of Killikrankie, (or Runruaro, head which it supported withal, would

as the Highlanders call it,) yet, it is have considerably cooled his enthusiasm not saying too much to aver, that the in favour of“ rapid whirling," wbich I arrantest view-hunter who ever sallied take to be one of thequeerest things ima- forth, with knapsack on back, and ginable, particularly where one has left well-greased shoon on feet, never at home a wife and some half dozen trode that wild and romantic solibudding liege subjects of our sovereign tude without heaving a reluctant sigh Lord the King. It was my fate to

to the memory of the brave Viscount

Dundee. experience this delectable and thril

What then would Ellisland ling sensation, and to entertain the be without Burns ? To me, I concomfortable anticipation, that the very

fess, the very ground seemed holy. next turn would, to a certainty, hum- I was now treading the identical spots ble the pride of the lofty, and verify the had trode so often before me, and I

of earth which that immortal bard memorable words of scripture," he that exalteth himself shall be abased.”

felt disposed to claim acquaintance The gods willed it otherwise; and we

with every stone and every tree on reached Dumfries without the dis- which his eye had rested in his solie tinction of broken bones, or acquiring tary musings. I thought of his una title to constitute an action of das dying fame, and of his productions almages against Messieurs Piper and ready identified with the habits, feelCompany

ings, joys, sorrows, national preju. I chose this, in preference to the tive land; and, above all, I thought

dices and distinctions of our dear namore direct road to Carlisle, that I of those noble lyriccompositions, which might have it in my power to visit the have cheered the hearts of his countryclassic farm of Ellisland, and muse, men in all regions, and in all climates

, for a moment, beside the mausoleum from Spitzbergen to the Equator, of the inimitable and unfortunate from the Ohio and Orinooco to the Burns. To the sentimental voyager, Indus and the Ganges,---from who feels within himself a spark of the divine soul of poetry, and kindles, hope I shall be forgiven this enthu

RIVER to the ends of the earth." I with generous but indignant enthu

siasm. I am not convereant with that siasm, at the recollection of HIM, whose genius will be the delight and half-nothing slang, which is now-a

half-metaphysical, half-sentimental, the boast of his ungrateful native land, days yclept® fine writing,” and which to the remotest ages, Ellisland pos- has been brought into some repute by sesses attractions far more powerful, hair-brained Lakists and expelled and indestructible, than what arise Oxonians ; but I cannot refuse my from the scenery alone, consisting of passing tribute to that mighty spirit the beautiful and well wooded banks whose numbers, as they were my earof the deep-flowing Nith, in the fore- liest delight, so will probably be aground, and an amphitheatre of distant hills

, in the back, giving amplitude mong my latest recollections. and even sublimity to the scene. Na- Dumfries with a congenial spirit,* who

After a pleasant evening spent in ture is only powerful over the human heart, by the witchery of association

* Mr J. M‘Diarmid, Author of the and remembrance. What, for ex

“ Life of Cowper," &c. and Editor of the ample, would be the fine scenery of Dumfries Courier, by far the best provinMarathon, without the glories of Mil cial newspaper published in Scotland.


is at once the ornament and delight impossibility. In a trice the parof the circle in which he moves, and suers were at us, and a scene ensued who is no less distinguished for the which beggars all attempts at descripamiable qualities of his heart than for tion, roaring_imprecating curses richness and delicacy of fancy, con- blows — confusion - blasphemy-enjoined with a sound, vigorous, and treaty—all commingled in strange independent judgment, I set out for wise, and all for a little to no purpose; Carlisle on the following morning, for Old Crusty was in such a towering and met with no adventure worth passion, and the postillions were in mentioning, till we reached Gretna such a pother, that they did nothing Green, " of buckling celebrity.” but run about knocking their dunHere, however, a little incident oc derheads against one another. Dur. curred which must always form a sorting the melée, however, I thought I of era in my monotonous existence. noticed that the postillions were by We had passed this notorious scene of no means so hearty in the cause renegade matrimony about a mile and of the father as I had seen those who a half

, when we were met by a chaise were in that of his daughter ;-they and four, the horses all in a foam, the made a world of noise,-swore dread postillions whipping and spurring like fully unprofitable oaths,-ran about the very devil, and a gentleman of yelling like drunken demons,—but did very interesting and manly appear nothing. At length, after delaying ance on the box cheering them on to them for about eight minutes, we got still greater exertions, and more un our ponderous vehicle turned once merciful Aagellations. They had clear more in the line of march, and off we ed the winning post, (by which I set, accompanied by a volley of oaths, mean the little river Sark, the boun- which, “ could curses kill," would be dary of the two kingdoms, and only no joke, I assure. Our interference, at a little distance from Gretna,) and however, had done the gallant guod it was now neck or nothing, for the service, for before the father and his pursuit had been conducted with such myrmidons arrived at

" Johnson's animation and perseverance, that the Tavern," (the Temple of Hymen at gallant had not started a minute and Gretna,) the priest, always on the aa half from the Bush Inn at Carlisle, lert, and the law of Scotland ever kind when the father of the fair fugitive to lovers in haste, had rendered all furdrove up to the door. Horses were ther efforts on the part of the father shifted in less than three minutes, so to recover his fugitive child perfectly that the advantage of time in favour of fruitless ;-she had become a wife! the fugitives might be estimated at less On the evening of the same day the than five minutes. When we met young married couple returned to the the first chaise the race had reached Bush, Carlisle, where, just as they the very acmé of interest. It was im were descending from their chaise, possible to remain passive. Some now no longer alarmed by the dread thing must be done, and that instant of being overtaken, the coachman ly, the pursuers were already in who had so properly and prudently sight. In this extremity, and prompt suffered himself to be disposted by ed by a spirit of sympathy, which I myself and the other gentleinan, and hope you have too much gallantry had thereby done them so seasonable to condemn, I seized the reins from service, approached the gallant, and the hands of the coachman, and, with begged his honour's pleasure in conthe aid of a spruce young blood, who sideration of his signal merit in deentered into the joke toto corde, we laying the pursuit for these all-iminstantly descended, turned the horses portant eight minutes; explaining, at and coach right across the road, and the same time, with the accustomed commenced fumbling among the veracity of his trade, that he had done traces, as if something had been broken the deed of his own proper motion, and required immediate repair. I and at his own personal risk. A coushould mention that we chose our ple of sovereigns rewarded his appliground with considerable judgment, cation. I happened to pass at the for, at the place where we set the same instant on my way to the White coach across the road, it was so nar Hart, one of the best houses of enrow, that to pass us with any reason tertainment in England. I do not able degree of safety was an utter know what process had been ela


[ocr errors]
« 上一页继续 »