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A name for ages through the world revered,
By Scotia loved, by all her en'mies feared;
Now falling, dying, lost to all but fame,
And only living in the hero's name.
See! the proud halls they once possessed, decayed,
The spiral tow'rs depend the lofty head;
Wild ivy creeps along the mould'ring walls,
And with each gust of wind a fragment falls;
While birds obscene at noon of night deplore,
Where mighty heroes kept the watch before.
On Mem'ry's tablet mankind soon decay,
On Time's swift stream their glory slides away;
But, present in the voice of deathless Fame,
Keith lives, eternal, in his glorious name:
While ages far remote his actions show;
And mark with them the way their chiefs should go;
While sires unto their wond'ring offspring tell,
Keith lived in glory, and in glory fell.
LAMENTED shade! thy fate demands a tear,
An offering due to thy untimely bier;
Accept then, early tenant of the skies,
The genuine drops that flow from friendship's eyes!
Those eyes which raptured hung on thee before,
Those eyes which never shall behold thee more:
So early hast thou to the tomb retired,
And left us mourning what we once admired.
For this did beauty's fairest hand arise
On all your shape, and kindle in your eyes?
For this did virtue form your infant mind,
And make thee best, as fairest of thy kind?
Did all the powers for this their gifts bestow,
And only charm us to increase our woe?
A moment bless us with celestial day,
Then envious snatch the sacred beam away?
Recall the beauteous prize they lately gave,
And bid our tears descend on ANNA's grave?
First published with Macpherson's initials (J. M'P.), in the Scots Magazine for May 1749, and reprinted with his name in BLACKLOCK'S Collection, V. Il. p. 176. Edin. 1762.
How did the mother see her daughter rise,
A lovely plant to bless her aged eyes!
How oft in thought her future pleasure trace,
Appoint her husband, and enjoy her race!
But now no husband shall enjoy that bloom,
Nor offspring rise from the unfruitful tomb.
An unexpected gift the virgin came,
The last, but fairest, of a falling name;
A ray to light a father's eve she shone,
And healed the loss of many a buried son:
But soon invading darkness chased away
The beauteous setting of a glorious day;
Soon Heaven, which gave, again resumed its own;
And of his family he remains alone.
His thoughts in her refined no more he'll trace,
Or view his features softened in her face;
No more in secret on her beauty gaze,
Or hide his gladness when he hears her praise:
Mute is the tongue which pleased his soul before,
And beauty blushes in that cheek no more.
Peace, gentle shade, attend thy balmy rest,
And earth sit lightly on thy snowy breast;
Let guardian angels gently hover round,
And downy silence haunt the hallowed ground:
There let the Spring its sweetest offspring rear,
And sad Aurora shed her earliest tear.
Some future maid perhaps, as she goes by,
Shall view the place where her cold reliques lie:
Folly for once may
sadden into care,
And pride, unconscious, shed one generous tear;
While this big truth is swelling in the breast,
That death nor spares the fairest nor the best;
That virtue feels the unalterable doom,
And beauty's self must moulder in the tomb.
AN OFFICER KILLED BEFORE QUEBEC'.
АH me! what sorrow are we born to bear!
How many causes claim the falling tear!
In one sad tenor life's dark current flows,
And every moment has its load of woes:
In vain we toil for visionary ease,
Or hope for blessings in the vale of peace :
Coy happiness ne'er blesses human eyes,
Or but appears a moment, and she flies.
itself can seldom dry the tear,
What floods demand the dreary wastes of war!
Where undistinguished ruin reigns o'er all,
At once the truant and the valiant fall;
Where timeless shrouds inwrap the great and brave,
And DAPHNIS sinks into a nameless grave.
Inserted with the initials (J. M'P.), in the Scots Magazine for October 1759, and reprinted with the name in BLACK LOCK's Collection, Vol. II. p. 134.
Dear hapless youth, cut off in early bloom,
A fair, but mangled victim to the tomb!
No friendly hand to grace thy fall was near,
No parent's eye to shed one pious tear;
No favoured maid to close thy languid eyes,
And send thee mindful of her to the skies:
On some cold bank thy decent limbs were laid;
Oh! honoured living, but neglected dead!
So soon forsake us, dear lamented shade,
To mix obscurely with the nameless dead!
Thus baulk the rising glory of thy name,
And leave unfinished an increasing fame!
Thus sink for ever from a parent's eyes !
Wert thou not cruel? or ye partial, skies?
But what can bound, O thou by all approved!
The sad, sad sorrows of the friend you loved?
A friend who doted on thy worth before!
A friend who never shall behold thee more!
Who saw, combined, thy manly graces rise,-
To please the mind and bless the ravished eyes;
A soul replete with all that's great and fair,
A form which cruel savages might spare.
If, in the midnight hour, lamented shade, You view the place where thy remains are laid;
If pale you hover o'er your secret grave,
Or viewless flit o'er Hoshelega's wave;
O! when my troubled soul is sunk in rest,
And peaceful slumbers sooth my anxious breast,
To fancy's eyes in all thy bloom appear,
Once more thy own unsullied image wear;
Unfold the secrets of your world to me,
Tell what thou art, and what I soon shall be.
He comes! he comes! but O how changed of late! How much deforms the leaden hand of fate!