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When lull'd by zephyr to repose. Full often has my infant Muse,
Attuned to love her languid lyre: But now, without a theme to choose,
The strains in stolen sighs expire;
And Mary's given to another;
These last should be confined to one.
As many a boy and girl remembers,
Extinguish'd with the dying embers.
But now dear L-, 'tis midnight's noon,
Has thrice perform'd her stated round, Has thrice retraced her path of light,
And chased away the gloom profound, I trust that we, my gentle friend, Shall see her rolling orbit wend, Above the dear loved peaceful seat Which once contain'd our youth's retreat; And then, with those our childhood knew, We'll mingle with the festive crew; While many a tale of former day Shall wing the laughing hours away; And all the flow of soul shall pour The sacred intellectual shower, Nor cease, till Luna's waning horn Scarce glimmers through the mist of Morn.
On! had my fate been join'd with thine,
To thee these early faults I owe,
To thee, the wise and old reproving; They know my sins, but do not know
Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.
For once my soul, like thine, was pure, And all its rising fires could smother; But now thy vows no more endure, Bestow'd by thee upon another.
Perhaps his peace I could destroy,
Ah! since thy angel-form is gone,
My heart no more can rest with any; But what it sought in thee alone, Attempts, alas! to find in many.
Then fare thee well, deceitful maid,
"Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee; Nor hope nor memory yield their aid, But Pride may teach me to forget thee.
Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures, These varied loves, these matron's fears, These thoughtless strains to Passion's
If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd; This cheek how pale from early riot, With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd, But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.
Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
For nature seem'd to smile before thee; And once my breast abhorr'd deceit, For then it beat but to adore thee.
But now I seek for other joys,
To think would drive my soul to madness; In thoughtless throngs and empty noise, I conquer half my bosom's sadness.
Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,
I WOULD I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild, Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave. The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
Fortune! take back these cultured lands, Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the touch of servile hands
I hate the slaves that cringe around:
Which sound to ocean's wildest roar,
Few are my years, and yet I feel
The world was ne'er design'd for me; Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be?
A visionary scene of bliss ;
I loved-but those I loved are gone; Had friends - my early friends fled;
How cheerless feels the heart alone,
WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCH-
SEPT. 2, 1807.
SPOT of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
Like me, the happy scenes they knew before;
are And frequent mused the twilight-hours
When all its former hopes are dead!
The heart-the heart is lonely still.
How dull to hear the voice of those
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs
When Fate shall chill at length this fever'd breast, And calm its cares and passions into rest, Have made, though neither Friends or Foes, Oft have I thought 'twould soothe my dying Associates of the festive hour; Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
If aught may soothe when life resigns her power,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell;
With this fond dream, methinks 'twere
And here it linger'd,here my heart might lie;
Prest by the turf where once my childhood
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved, Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved;
Blest by the tongues that charm'd my
Deplored by those in early days allied,
June, 17, 1816. |contradictory and contradicted, that none In the year 17-, having for some time could be fixed upon with accuracy. Where determined on a journey through countries there is mystery, it is generally supposed not hitherto much frequented by travellers, that there must also be evil: I know not I set out, accompanied by a friend, whom how this may be, but in him there certainly I shall designate by the name of Augustus was the one, though I could not ascertain Darvell. He was a few years my elder, the extent of the other- and felt loth, as and a man of considerable fortune and an- far as regarded himself, to believe in its cient family-advantages which an exten-existence. My advances were received with sive capacity prevented him alike from un-sufficient coldness; but I was young, and dervaluing or overrating. Some peculiar not easily discouraged, and at length succircumstances in his private history had rendered him to me an object of attention, of interest, and even of regard, which neither the reserve of his manners, nor occasional indications of an inquietude at times nearly approaching to alienation of mind, could extinguish.
ceeded in obtaining, to a certain degree, that common-place intercourse and moderate confidence of common and every-day concerns, created and cemented by similarity of pursuit and frequency of meeting, which is called intimacy, or friendship, according to the ideas of him who uses those words to express them.
I was yet young in life, which I had begun early; but my intimacy with him Darvell had already travelled extensively, was of a recent date: we had been educa- and to him I had applied for information ted at the same schools and university; but with regard to the conduct of my intended his progress through these had preceded journey. It was my secret wish that he mine, and he had been deeply initiated into might be prevailed on to accompany me: what is called the world, while I was yet it was also a probable hope, founded upon in my noviciate. While thus engaged, 1 the shadowy restlessness which I had obhad heard much both of his past and present served in him, and to which the animation life; and, although in these accounts there which he appeared to feel on such subjects, were many and irreconcilable contradic- and his apparent indifference to all by which tions, I could still gather from the whole he was more immediately surrounded, gave that he was a being of no common order, fresh strength. This wish I first hinted, and one who, whatever pains he might take and then expressed his answer, though I to avoid remark, would still be remarkable. had partly expected it, gave me all the I had cultivated his acquaintance subse- pleasure of surprise - he consented; and, quently, and endeavoured to obtain his after the requisite arrangements, we comfriendship, but this last appeared to be un-menced our voyages. After journeying attainable; whatever affections he might through various countries of the south of have possessed seemed now, some to have Europe, our attention was turned towards been extinguished, and others to be concentred: that his feelings were acute I had sufficient opportunities of observing; for, although he could control, he could not altogether disguise them: still he had a power of giving to one passion the appearance of The constitution of Darvell, which must, another in such a manner that it was diffi- from his appearance, have been in early cult to define the nature of what was work-life more than usually robust, had been for ing within him; and the expressions of his some time gradually giving way, without features would vary so rapidly, though the intervention of any apparent disease: slightly, that it was useless to trace them to their sources. It was evident that he was a prey to some cureless disquiet; but whether it arose from ambition, love, remorse, grief, from one or all of these, or merely from a morbid temperament akin to disease, I could not discover: there were circumstances alleged which might have justified the application to each of these causes; but, as I have before said, these were so
the East, according to our original destination; and it was in my progress through those regions that the incident occurred upon which will turn what I may have to relate.
he had neither cough nor hectic, yet he became daily more enfeebled: his habits were temperate, and he neither declined nor complained of fatigue, yet he was evidently wasting away: he became more and more silent and sleepless, and at length so altered, that my alarm grew proportionate to what I conceived to be his danger.
We had determined, on our arrival at Smyrna, on an excursion to the ruins of
Ephesns and Sardis, from which I endeavoured to dissuade him, in his present state of indisposition but in vain: there appeared to be an oppression on his mind, and a solemnity in his manner, which ill corresponded with his eagerness to proceed on what I regarded as a mere party of pleasure, little suited to a valetudinarian; but I opposed him no longer and in a few days we set off together, accompanied only by a serrugee and a single janizary.
We had passed half-way towards the remains of Ephesus, leaving behind us the more fertile environs of Smyrna, and were entering upon that wild and tenantless track through the marches and defiles which lead to the few huts yet lingering over the broken columns of Diana the roofless walls of expelled Christianity, and the still more recent but complete desolation of abandoned mosques - when the sudden and rapid illness of my companion obliged us to halt at a Turkish cemetery, the turbaned tombstones of which were the sole indication that human life had ever been a sojourner in this wilderness. The only caravanserai we had seen was left some hours behind us; not a vestige of a town, or even cottage, was within sight or hope, and this "city of the dead" appeared to be the sole refuge for my unfortunate friend, who seemed on the verge of becoming the last of its inhabitants.
To this question I received no answer. In the mean time, Suleiman returned with the water, leaving the serrugee and the horses at the fountain. The quenching of his thirst had the appearance of reviving him for a moment; I conceived hopes of his being able to proceed, or at least to return, and I urged the attempt. He was silent-and appeared to be collecting his spirits for an effort to speak. He began.
"This is the end of my journey, and of my life-I came here to die: but I have a request to make, a command-for such my last words must be.-You will observe it?"
“Most certainly; but have better hopes.” "I have no hopes, nor wishes, but this→ conceal my death from every human being.” "I hope there will be no occasion; that you will recover, and—”
"Peace! it must be so: promise this.” "I do."
“Swear it by all that”—He here dictated an oath of great solemnity.
"There is no occasion for this-I will observe your request; -- and to doubt me is—" "It cannot be helped,—you must swear.” I took the oath: it appeared to relieve him. He removed a seal-ring from his finger, on which were some Arabic characters, and presented it to me. He proceeded
"On the ninth day of the month, at noon precisely (what month you please, but this must be the day), you must fling this ring into the salt springs which run into the Bay of Eleusis: the day after, at the same hour, you must repair to the ruins of the temple of Ceres, and wait one hour." "Why?"
"You will see."
"The ninth day of the month, you say?" "The ninth."
In this situation, I looked round for a place where he might most conveniently repose: contrary to the usual aspect of Mahometan burial-grounds, the cypresses were in this few in number, and these thinly scattered over its extent: the tombstones were mostly fallen, and worn with age!— upon one of the most considerable of these, and beneath one of the most spreading trees, As I observed that the present was the Darvell supported himself, in a half-reclin-ninth day of the month, his countenance ing posture, with great difficulty. He asked for water. I had some doubts of our being able to find any, and prepared to go in search of it with hesitating despondency but he desired me to remain; and, turning to Suleiman, our janizary, who stood by us smoking with great tranquillity, he said, "Suleiman, verbana su" (i. e. bring some water), and went on describing the spot where it was to be found with great minuteness, at a small well for camels, a few hundred yards to the right: the janizari obeyed. I said to Darvell,"How did you know this?" He replied, "From our situation; you must perceive that this place was once inhabited, and could not have been so without springs: I have also been here before.” | injunctions." "You have been here before!-How came you never to mention this to me? and what could you be doing in a place where no one would remain a moment longer than they could help it?"
changed, and he paused. As he sate, evidently becoming more feeble, a stork, with a snake in her beak, perched upon a tombstone near us, and, without devouring her prey, appeared to be stedfastly regarding us. I know not what impelled me to drive it away, but the attempt was useless; she made a few circles in the air, and returned exactly to the same spot. Darvell pointed to it, and smiled: he spoke-I know not whether to himself or to me but the words were only, ""Tis_well!"
"What is well? what do you mean?" "No matter: you must bury me here this evening, and exactly where that bird is now perched. You know the rest of my
He then proceeded to give me several directions as to the manner in which his death might be best concealed. After these were finished, he exclaimed, “You perceive that bird?"
"And the serpent writhing in her beak?" "Doubtless: there is nothing uncommon in it; it is her natural prey. But it is odd that she does not devour it."
He smiled in a ghastly manner, and said, faintly, "It is not yet time!" As he spoke, the stork flew away. My eyes followed it for a moment, it could hardly be longer than ten might be counted. I felt Darvell's weight, as it were, increase upon my shoulder, and, turning to look upon his face, perceived that he was dead!
I was shocked with the sudden certainty which could not be mistaken his countenance in a few minutes became nearly black. I should have attributed so rapid a change to poison, had I not been aware
that he had no opportunity of receiving it
J. MURRAY, ESQ. ON THE REV. W. L. BOWLES' STRICTURES
RAVENNA, February 7th, 1821. | Italy;-I do "remember the circumstance,"
-and have no reluctance to relate it (since called upon so to do) as correctly as the In the different pamphlets which you distance of time and the impression of inhave had the goodness to send me, on the tervening events will permit me. In the Pope and Bowles controversy, I perceive year 1812, more than three years after the that my name is occasionally introduced publication of "English Bards and Scotch by both parties. Mr. Bowles refers more Reviewers," I had the honour of meeting than once to what he is pleased to consider Mr. Bowles in the house of our venerable "a remarkable circumstance," not only in host the author of "Human Life," the last his letter to Mr. Campbell, but in his Argonaut of classic English poetry, and the reply to the Quarterly. The Quarterly Nestor of our inferior race of living poets. also and Mr. Gilchrist have conferred on Mr. Bowlescalls this "soon after" the pubme the dangerous honour of a quotation; lication; but to me three years appear and Mr. Bowles indirectly makes a kind of a considerable segment of the immortality appeal to me personally, by saying, "Lord of a modern poem. I recollect nothing of Byron, if he remembers the circumstance, "the rest of the company going into another will witness-(witness IN ITALIC, an omin-room”-nor, though I well remember the ous character for a testimony at present.) topography of our host's elegant and clasI shall not avail myself of a "non mi sically furnished mansion, could I swear ricordo” even after so long a residence into the very room where the conversation