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FROM MR. EVANS'S SPECIMENS OF THE WELSH POETRY;
LONDON, 1764, QUARTO.
OWEN's praise demands my song,
Owen swift, and Owen strong;
Fairest flower of Roderic's stem,
Gwyneth's + shield, and Britain's gem.
He nor heaps his brooded stores,
Nor all profusely pours;
Lord of every regal art,
Liberal hand, and open heart.
Big with hosts of mighty name,
Squadrons three against him came;
This the force of Eirin hiding,
Side by side as proudly riding,
On her shadow long and gay
Lochlin plows the watery way:
'There the Norman sails afar
Catch the winds, and join the war;
Black and huge along they sweep,
Burthens of the angry deep.
Dauntless on his native sands
The dragon-son § of Mona stands;
* Owen succeeded his father Griffin in the prin
cipality of North Wales, A. D. 112. was fought near forty years afterwards.
↑ North Wales, Denmark.
The red dragon is the device of Cadwallader which all his descendants bore on their banner.
In glittering arms and glory drest,
High he rears his ruby crest.
There the thundering strokes begin,
There the press, and there the din;
Talymalfra's rocky shore
Echoing to the battle's roar,
Where his glowing eye-balls turn,
Thousand banners round him burn.
Where he points his purple spear,
Hasty, hasty rout is there,
Marking with indignant eye
Fear to stop, and shame to fly.
There Confusion, Terrour's child,
Conflict fierce, and Ruin wild,
Agony, that pants for breath,
Despair and honourable Death.
TOBIAS SMOLLETT, well known in his time for the variety and multiplicity of his publications, was born in 1720, at Dalquhurn, in the county of Dumbarton. He was educated under a surgeon in Glasgow, where he also attended the medical lectures of the University; and at this early period he gave some specimens of a talent for writing verses. As it is on this ground that he has obtained a place in the present collection, we shall pass over his various characters of surgeon's mate, physician, historiographer, politician, miscellaneous writer, and especially novellist, and consider his claims as a minor poet of no mean rank. He will be found, in this collection, as the author of "The Tears of Scotland," the "Ode to Leven-Water," and some other short pieces, which are polished, tender, and picturesque; and, especially, of an "Ode to Independence," which aims at a loftier flight, and perhaps has few superiors in the lyric style.
Smollett married a lady of Jamaica: he was, unfortunately, of an irritable disposition, which involved him in frequent quarrels, and finally shortened his life. He died in the neighbourhood of Leghorn, in October, 1771, in the fifty-first year of his age.
THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND.
MOURN, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!
Thy sons, for valour long renown'd,
Lie slaughter'd on their native ground;
Thy hospitable roofs no more,
Invite the stranger to the door;
In smoky ruins sunk they lie,
The monuments of cruelty.
The wretched owner sees afar
His all become the prey of war;
Bethinks him of his babes and wife,
Then smites his breast, and curses life.
Thy swains are famish'd on the rocks,
Where once they fed their wanton flocks:
Thy ravish'd virgins shriek in vain;
Thy infants perish on the plain.
What boots it then, in every clime,
Through the wide-spreading waste of time,
Thy martial glory, crown'd with praise,
Still shone with undiminish'd blaze?
Thy tow ring spirit now is broke,
Thy neck is bended to the yoke.
What foreign arms could never quell,
By civil rage and rancour fell.
The rural pipe and merry lay
No more shall cheer the happy day:
No social scenes of gay delight
Beguile the dreary winter night :
No strains but those of sorrow flow,
And nought be heard but sounds of woe, While the pale phantoms of the slain Glide nightly o'er the silent plain.
O baneful cause, oh, fatal morn,
Accurs'd to ages yet unborn!
The sons against their fathers stood,
The parent shed his children's blood.
Yet, when the rage of battle ceas'd,
The victor's soul was not appeas'd:
The naked and forlorn must feel
Devouring flames, and murd'ring steel!
The pious mother doom'd to death,
Forsaken wanders o'er the heath,
The bleak wind whistles round her head,
Her helpless orphans cry for bread;
Bereft of shelter, food, and friend,
She views the shades of night descend,
And, stretch'd beneath th' inclement skies,
Weeps o'er her tender babes, and dies.
While the warm blood bedews my veins,
And unimpair'd remembrance reigns,
Resentment of my country's fate
Within my filial breast shall beat;
And, spite of her insulting foe,
My sympathizing verse shall flow:
"Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!"