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Pretending love, and hymeneal rite,
The treacherous Pict with meditated force,
Bore Ethelind, her country's justest pride,
Peerless and fair; a thousand heroes fought
For her to death, fierce raging round the walls
Of lofty Cameldoun: the guilty prince
Had dearly paid the price of faith forsworn,
But, studious of new frauds, within his walls
He invites the Scotish train, friendly to meet
In amicable talk; fair Ethelind
To be the pledge of future peace, and join
The warring nations, in eternal league
Of love connubial: the unweeting king
Enter'd the hostile gates; with feast and song
The towers resound, till the dark midnight hour
Awake the murderers: in sleep he fell
With all his peers, in early life, and left
His vow'd revenge, and sister unredeem'd,
"Now was the royal virgin left expos'd
To the fell victor's lust, no friend to aid,
Her brother slain, and fierce and mighty chiefs
That warr'd in her defence: how could, alas!
Unshelter'd helpless Innocence resist
Th' infernal ravisher? With stediast mind
She scorn'd his proffer'd love; by virtue's aid
Triumphant o'er his lust. In vain with tears
And rough complaint that spoke a savage heart,
Strove he to gain and woo her to his will:
In vain, enrag'd and ruthless in his love,
He threaten'd. Death disdain'd, force was the last,
But that her arm oppos'd, resolv'd to strike
The poniard in her breast, her virtue's guard.
All arts thus tried in vain, at last, incens'd,
Deep in a dungeon, from the cheerful light
Far, far remov'd, the wretched maid he threw
Deplorable; doom'd in that dwelling drear
To waste her auxious days and sleepless nights,
Anguish extreme! ah, how unlike those hours
That in her father's palace wont to pass
In festival and dance! Her piteous shrieks
Mov'd her stern keeper's heart, secret he frees
Th' imprison'd maid; and to the king relates
Her death, dissembling. Then with fell despite
And rage, inflam'd for unenjoyed love,
The monarch storm'd, he loath'd his food, and fled
All human converse, frustrate of his will. [walls
"Meanwhile the nymph forsakes the hostile
Flying by night; through pathless wilds unknown
Guideless she wanders, in her frighted ears
Still hears the tyrant's voice, in fancy views
His form terrific, and his dreaded front
Severe in frowns; her tender heart is vex'd
With every fear, and oft desires to die.
Now day return'd, and cheerful light began
T'adorn the Heav'ns; lost in the hills, she knew
No certain path; around the dreary waste
Sending her weeping eye, in vain requir'd
ller native fields, Dunstaffnage' well-known tow'rs,
And high Edesta's walls, her father's reign.
"Three days the royal wanderer bore the heat
Intensely fervent, and three lonesome nights
Wet with the chilling dews; the forest oak
Supplied her food, and at the running stream,
Patient, she slak'd her thirst. But when the fourth
Arose; descending from the Ochell height,
The flowery fields beneath, she wander'd long
Erroneous, disconsolate, forlorn.
ferne's stream she pass'd, a rising hill
Stood on the bank oppos'd, adorn'd with trees,
Ailvan scene! Thither she bent her flight,
O'ercome with toil, and gently laid her down
In the embowering shade: the dew of sleep
Fell on her weary eyes; then pleasing dreams
Began to lay the tempest in her mind,
Calming from troubled thoughts: to regal pomp
She seems restor'd, her brother's fate reveng'd,
The tyrant slain: she dream'd till morn arose,
The fifth that rose, since from Cameldoun's walls
She bent her flight; the cheerful day invites,
From fair Dundalgan's ever-sunny towers,
Mildred t' arise, who oft in fields of death
Victorious, led the Picts embattled race,
Illustrious chief! He to the hilly height,
His morning walk, pleas'd with the season fair,
Betakes him musing: there it was he saw
Fair Ethelind, surpris'd as Hengist's son
Elfred asleep beheld, when as she fled
From Saxony, to shun a step-dame's rage
That sought her life, he with prevailing words
Woo'd the consenting maid: nor less amaz'd
The Pictish leader saw the beauteous form.
Fixt in surprise, and ardent gaze, he stood
Wondering! his beating heart with joy o'erflow'd.
He led her blushing from the sacred grove
In bashful modesty, and doubting joy
Chastis'd with fear, alternate in her breast,
Poor lovely mourner! to his parents show'd
The beauteous stranger; they, in age rever'd,
Lift up their trembling hands, and blest the maid,
Best workmanship of Heav'n! The youthful chic
Transported every day his guest beheld,
And every day beheld, with new delight,
Her winning graces mild, and form divine,
That drew with soft attraction. Kindling love
Inflam'd his soul: still new delays he frames
To gain a longer stay, ere he restore
The beauteous exile to her native land,
His promis'd faith. The story of her woes,
He o'er and o'er demands; she pleas'd relates
Her past adventures sad, but, prudent, kept
Unknown her royal race; the ardent youth
Hangs on the speaker's lips, still more and more
Enamour'd of her charms, by courtly deed
He sought the virgin's love; by prayers and vou
Won to consent. The nuptial day arose,
Awak'd by music's sound; the pow'rs invok`d
To bless the hallow'd rite, and happy night
That to his arms bestow'd the much-lov'd maid,
The gift of Heav'n: then gladness fill'd his heart
Unspeakable, as when the sapient king,
The son of David, on the happy day
Of his espousals, when his mother bound
His brow in regal gold, delighted saw
His fair Egyptian bride adorn'd with all
Perfection, blooming in celestial sweets.
"While thus the royal exile liv'd remote,
In Hymen's softest joys, the Scotish chiefs
Prepare for battle, studious to redeem
Their captive queen, unknowing of her fate;
With just success unbless'd, discomfited
They fell in ruthless fight, their mighty men,
Unworthy bondage! helpless exiles sold
To foreign lands. The Pictish king enrag'd
Collects an host, embattled as the sands
Along the Solway coast, from all the bounds
Of his wide empire: Brica's rising towers,
And Jeda's ancient walls, once seat of kings,
With Eden rais'd on rocks, and Camelloun,
Send forth their chiefs and citizens to war, [then,
Pour'd through their lofty gates. What anguish
O royal virgin! vex'd thy tender heart,
When thou, thy husband midst your country's foes
Enroll'dst their leader? Much didst thou adjure
By nuptial ties, much by endearing love,
To spare thy country in the waste of war;
He too, the youthful chief, long doubting stood
'Twixt love and duty, unresolv'd of choice,
Hard conflict! To Dunstaffnage' walls he flies,
And left the weeping fair, intent to drown
The voice of love, soft pleading in his heart,
In sounds of battle: but in vain! his wife,
A beauteous form, still rises to his thoughts
In supplicating tears; he grieves to see
The mingling hosts engage, and dreads to find
Amidst the slain, his kindred new allied.
"But now the Pictish king, with mighty chiefs
Selected from his peers, pursues his way
To raze the Scotish walls. Dundalgan's towers
Receive their monarch, proud to entertain
The mighty guest: exults the haughty king
With savage joy, when first his eyes beheld
The maid so lately lost, again restor'd
Sad victim to his lust: what could she do,
Hopeless of aid? or how, alas! avert
The dire event that from the monarch's lust
Her fears presag'd? 'Twas Heav'n her thoughts in-
In hour of sad extreme: she flies the dome
With two, alone of all her menial train,
Companions of her flight. The king meanwhile,
Fierce with desire and violent to enjoy,
Him nor the bowl delights, nor sprightly mirth,
Nor tale of martial knight in ancient time
Recited: the unfinish'd feast he leaves
With wine inflam'd and ill-persuading lust,
Worst counsellors!-A secret way he found
That to the queen's apartment led unscen;
Thither he flies through many a lofty hall,
Where heroes oft have met in wise consult,
Elate in thought; but Heav'ns! what fell despite,
What raging pain tore his distracted mind,
When first he knew the royal fair was fled?
Desperate in rage, he hopes his absent prey,
Intent to ravish. Hurrying to the camp
He sought the general's tent, begirt around
With noble Picts: there weeping Ethelind,
In soften'd anguish, on the hero's breast
He found reclining, sad: he would have seiz'd
The trembling fair-one from her lover's arms,
Her surest refuge, miserably torn,
Victim to lust obscene, had not the youth
Withstood the dire attempt of sovereign sway.
Haughty the monarch rag'd, and call'd his chiefs
To aid; his chiefs refuse th' unjust command:
Then, impotent of mind, he storm'd, he rav'd,
Outrageous in his ire: then wild uproar,
Tumult, and martial din, sounds o'er the camp,
While these assist the king, and these the youth,
By fearless friendship led: the clash of swords,
Through the still night, heard on the Scotish walls,
Alarins the chiefs in midnight council met:
The boldest of their warrior-train they choose
For secret ambush, sheath'd in jointed mail;
Th' intrepid band beneath a bending hill,
Await the rising dawn; Mildred they seiz'd,
The royal exile, and their social train,
Flying the monarch's rage: the beauteous queen
Rejoices to behold her native walls,
Exil'd so long: her peers with lifted hands
Extoli'd the bounteous pow'rs, their queen return'd,
The wondrous work of Fate; now she relates
Her direful tale; the audience melt in tears.
"Meanwhile the monarch raging in the camp,
Forsook of all his peers, for fierce assault
Prepar'd, attended with a desperate crew
Of men, that shar'd in partnership of crimes,
March'd forward to his fate; the ambush'd train
Rise sudden, round them spread the slaughter'd foe.
Himself, as furious in the front he warr'd,
Bled by a well-aim'd spear; to punish'd ghosts
Of kings perfidious, fled his guilty soul.
"The monarch slain, the Pictish chiefs, that late Forsook the noisy camp, convene within The Scotish walls, the princes joyful plight In leagues of mutual peace; in every fane Each grateful altar blaz'd; to Heaven they paid Their vows, their queen restor'd, and with her peace,
The purchase of her love: through all the town
Public rejoicings reign'd, the voice of mirth
Was heard in every street, that blazing shone
Illuminated bright. The diadem
Instar'd with diamond gems and flaming gold,
Magnificent! by Scotia's monarchs worn
From eldest times, upon her beauteous brow
Plac'd by a mitred priest, in rich array,
Encircling, shines; her native peers around,
Mix'd with the Pictish chiefs, admiring stand,
Pleas'd with her heavenly smiles, her gentle look,
The type of softer rule: then next they gave
The sceptre to her hands; the precious stones
Blaz'd on the beaming point; Hail! queen of
Joyful they cry, hail! to thy own return'd,
Safe from a thousand toils, beyond our hopes,
Crown'd where thy fathers reign'd.' Thus past
In celebrated rites; when morn arose
Th' assembled senate partner of her throne
Elect the noble youth, in times of peace
To aid by counsel, and in war to lead
Her marshall'd chiefs:-thus ended all her woes.
"Bless'd in her husband's, and her subjects' love, Peace flourish'd in her reign: three sons she bore, All men of valour known; well could they bend The bow in time of need. Her eldest, grac'd With all the train of beauties that adorn A prince, succeeded to the Scotish rule His mother's kingdom; in his happy days The Scotish prowess twice o'erthrew the Dane In bloody conflict, from our fatal shore Repuls'd with ignominious rout, disgrac❜d. Her second hope, born to unluckier fate, Matchless in fight and every gallant deed, The terrour of his foes, his country's hope, In ruthless battle by ignoble hands Fell in his prime of youth, for ever wept, For ever honour'd. Athingart, the last, For prudence far renown'd, Elgidra's charms The hero fir'd, as in her father's court A peaceful legate by his brother sent To Pictland's monarch; there the royal youth Graceful, in warlike tournament above His equals shone, and won the princely maid Courted by rival kings: from that embrace Descend a thousand chiefs, that lineal heir'd The virtues of their sire: witness the fields Of Loncart, and the streams that purple ran With stains of Danish blood: the brazen spears And crested helms, and antique shields, the spoils
Of chiefs in battle slain, hung on the roof;
Eternal trophies of their martial deeds,
From son to son preserv'd with jealous care.
My father in his country's quarrel met
A glorious fate, when godlike Wallace fought;
He, firm adherer to the nobler cause,
Shar'd all his toils, and bled in all his fights,
Till Falkirk saw him fall; with Graham he fell,
Wallace his bold compeer, whom, great in arms,
Wallace alone surpast. With martial thoughts
He fir'd my youthful mind, and taught betimes
To build my glory on my country's love,
His great example! To thy native reign
If thee, thy fate propitious to the good,
Restor'd, he enjoin'd me to unite my force,
From foreign victors to retrieve again
Thy ravish'd kingdoms: then this sword he gave
In dangers ever faithful to his arm,
Piedge of paternal love; nor shall the foe
Exult, I ween, to find the dastard son
Degenerate from his sire, to wield in vain
A father's gift. In me, O Bruce! bebold
A willing warrior, from Bodotria's stream
1 lead my native bands, hardy and bold,
In fight distinguish'd by superior deed."
He said and ceas'd; the arm'd assembly stood
Silent in thought, till from his lofty seat
Great Bruce arose-" O noble youth!" he cry'd,
"escended from a line of noble sires,
Accept thy monarch's thanks-Welcome thyself,
Welcome thy sequent chiefs, thy country sore
Oppress'd by dire usurpers, now demands
Warriors like thee, where death and bloodshed reign
In conflict stern; do thou approve thy might
Above thy fellows, by transcendant acts
To Fame endear'd; she, on thy praise well-pleas'd
Constant to dwell, shall rear thee up on high
The loftiest brauch, t' adorn thy ancient stem."
He snake, and gave the youth his plighted hand,
Pledge of benevolence and kind intent;
The chiefs around embrace and glad receive
The youthful champion, worthy of his race.
KING LEAR'S SPEECH TO EDGAR.
TAKING A VIEW OF MAN FROM THE SIDE OF HIS MISERIES.
"Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume:- Ha! here's three of us are sophisticated!-Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.-Off, off, you lendings; come, unbutton here." SHAKSPEARE,
SEE where the solitary creature stands,
Such as he issued out of Nature's hands;
No hopes he knows, no fears, no joys, no cares,
Nor pleasure's poison, nor ambition's snares;
But shares, from self-forg'd chains of life releast,
The forest-kingdom with his fellow beast.
Yes, all we see of thee is nature's part;
Thou art the creature's self;-the rest is art.
For thee, the skilful worm, of specious hue,
No shining threads of ductile radiance drew;
For thee no sun the ripening gem refin'd;
No bleating innocence the fleece resign'd:
The hand of luxury ne'er taught to pour
O'er thy faint limbs the oil's refreshing show'r:
His bed the flinty rock; his drink, his food,
The running brook, and berries of the wood.
What have we added to this plain account?
What passions? what desires? a huge amount!
Cloth'd, fed, warm'd, cool'd, each by his brother's
We live upon the wide creation's spoil. [toil,
Quit, monarch, quit thy vain superfluous pride;
Lay all toy foreign ornaments aside:
Bid art no more its spurious gifts supply;
Be man, mere man; thirst, hunger, grieve, and die.
IN IMITATION OF HAMLET.
My anxious soul is tore with doubtful strife,
And hangs suspended betwixt death and life;
Life! death! dread objects of mankind's debate;
Whether superior to the shocks of fate,
To bear its fiercest ills with stedfast mind,
To Nature's order piously resign'd,
Or, with magnanimous and brave disdain,
Return her back th' injurious gist again.
O! if to die, this mortal bustle o’er,
Were but to close one's eyes, and be no more;
From pain, from sickness, sorrows, safe withdrawn,
In night eternal that shall know no dawn;
This dread, imperial, wondrous frame of man,
Lost in still nothing, whence it first began:
Yes, if the grave such quiet could supply,
Devotion's self might even dare to die,
Lest hapless victors in the mortal strife,
Through death we struggle but to second life.
But, fearful here, though curious to explore,
Thought pauses, trembling on the hither shore:
What scenes may rise, awake the human fear;
Being again resum'd, and God more near;
If awful thunders the new guest appal,
Or the soft voice of gentle mercy call.
This teaches life with all its ills to please,
Afflicting poverty, severe disease;
To lowest infamy gives power to charm,
And strikes the dagger from the boldest arm.
Then, Hamlet, cease; thy rash resolves forego;
God, Nature, reason, all will have it so:
Learn by this sacred horrour, well supprest,
Each fatal purpose in the traitor's breast.
This damps revenge with salutary fear,
And stops ambition in its wild career,
Till virtue for itself begin to move,
And servile fear exalt to filial love.
Then in thy breast let calmer passions rise,
Pleas'd with thy lot on Earth, absolve the skies.
The ills of life see Friendship can divide;
See angels warring on the good man's side.
Alone to Virtue happiness is given,
On Earth self-satisfied, and crown'd in Heaven
WRITTEN IN JUNE, 1746. MYSTERIOUS inmate of this breast, Enkindled by thy flame;
By thee my being's best exprest,
For what thou art I am:
A SERIOUS THOUGHT.
THROUGH life's strange mystic paths how mankind
A contradiction still in all their ways; [strays!
In youth's gay bloom, in wealth's insulting hour,
As Heav'n all mercy was, they live secure;
Yet full of fears, and anxious doubts expire,
And in the awful judge forget the Sire.
Fair virtue then with faithful steps pursue,
Thy good deeds many, thy offences few;
That at the general doom thou may'st appear
With filial hope to soothe thy conscious fear;
Then to perpetual bliss expect to live,
Thy Saviour is thy judge, and may forgive.
Ir join'd to make up virtue's glorious tale,
A weak, but pious aid can aught avail,
Each sacred study, each diviner page
That ouce inspir'd my youth, shall soothe my age.
Deaf to ambition, and to interest's call;
Honour my titles, and enough my all;
No pimp of pleasure, and uo slave of state,
Serene from fools, and guiltless of the great,,
Some calm and undisturb'd retreat I'll choose
Dear to myself and friends. Perhaps the Muse
May grant, while all my thoughts her charms em-
If not a future fame, a present joy,
Pure from each feverish hope, each weak desire;
Thoughts that improve, and slumbers that inspire,
A steadfast peace of mind, rais'd far aboye
The guilt of hate and weaknesses of love;
Studious of life, yet free from anxious care,
To others candid, to my self severe:
Filial, submissive to the Sovereign Will,
Glad of the good, and patient of the ill;
I'll work in narrow sphere what Heaven approves,
Abating hatreds, and increasing loves,
My friendship, studies, pleasures, all my own,
Alike to envy and to fame unknown:
Such in som? blest asylum let ne lie,
Take of my fill of life, and wait, not wish to die.
THRICE happy he! whom thy paternal love
Allows to tread the radiant courts above,
To range the climes where pure enjoyments grow,
Where blessings spring, and endless pleasures flow:
Awful in majesty thy glories shine,
Thy mercy speaks its author all divine.
Thy tender and amazing care is own'd,
Where-e'er old Ocean walks his wavy round;
Those that explore the terrours of the main,
Embroil'd with storms, in search of paltry gain,
Where tides encounter with tumultuons roar,
Derive their safety from thy boundless pow'r:
Within their stated mounds thy nod contains
The lawless waves, where headlong tumult reigns;
At thy despotic call the rebels cease,
Sink to a smiling calm,and all is peace.
Those that inhabit Earth's remotest bound,
Trembling survey thy terrours all around,
When kindling meteors redden in the air,
And shake thy judgments from their sanguine hair;
At thy command fair blushes lead the day,
And orient pearls glow from each tender spray,
Night with her solemn gloom adores a God,
And spreads her sable horrours at his nod,
Whole nature cheerful owns her Maker's voice,
Each creature smiles, and all his works rejoice.
Thy bounty streams in soft descending showers,
And wakens into bloom the drooping flowers;
Pregnant on high thy cloudy cisterns move,
And pour their genial treasures from above;
Earth siniles, array'd in all her youthful charms,
Her flowery infants ope their blushing arms,
And kindling life each vernal blossom warms.
Thus the glad year, with circling mercies crown'd,
Enjoys thy goodness in an endless round.
Whene'er thou smil'st, fresh beauties paint the
And flowers awakçu'd vegetate to birth. [Earth,
The dreary wilds, where no delights are found,
Where never spring adorn'd the sterile ground,
At thy command a pompous dress assume,
Fair roses glow, and opening lilies bloom:
Here verdant hills arise on every side,
And shoot their tops aloft with conscious pride;
There lowing herds adorn the fertile soil,
And crown with fleecy wool the shepherd's toil:
While tender lambs their infant voices raise,
And sweetly bleat th' Almighty Giver's praise.
Here loaded valleys smile with waving corn,
And golden prospects every field adorn;
They shout for joy, and lowly bending sing,
With sweet harmonious notes, their gracious King!
FANCY, bright and winged maid!
In thy night-drawn car convey'd
O'er the green earth and wide-spread main,
A thousand shadows in thy train,
A varied air-embodied host,
To don what shapes thou pleasest most;
Brandish no more thy scorpion stings
Around the destin'd couch of kings;
Nor in Rebellion's ghastly size
A dire gigantic spectre rise:
Cease, for a while, in rooms of state
To damp the slumbers of the great;
In Merit's lean-look'd form t'appear,
And holla "traitor" in their car:
Or Freedom's holier garb belie,
While Justice grinds her axe fast by:
Nor o'er the miser's eye-lids pour
The unrefreshing golden show'r;
Whilst, keen th' unreal bliss to feel,
His breast bedews the ruffian steel.
With these, (when next thou tak'st thy round) The thoughts of guilty Pride confound: These swell the horrours and affright Of Conscience' keen condemning night. For this (nor, gracious pow'r! repine) A gentler ministry be thine: Whate'er inspires the poet's theme, Or lover's hope-enliven'd dream. Monimia's mildest form assume; Spread o'er thy cheeks her youthful bloom; Unfold her eyes' unblemish'd rays, That melt to virtue as we gaze; That Envy's guiltiest wish disarm, And view benign a kindred charm: Call all the Graces from thy store, Till thy creative pow'r be o'er; 'Bid her each breathing sweet dispense, And robe in her own innocence.
My wish is giv'n: the spells begin; Th' ideal world awakes within; The lonely void of still repose Pregnant with some new wonder grows: See, by the twilight of the skies, The beauteous apparition rise; Slow in Monimia's form, along Glides to the harmony of song,
But who is he the virgin leads,
Whom high a flaming torch precedes,
In a gown of stainless lawn,
O'er each manly shoulder drawn?
Who, clad in robe of scarlet grain,
The boy that bears her flowing train?
Behind his back a quiver hung,
A bended bow across is flung;
His head and heels two wings unfold,
The azure feathers girt with goid:-
Hymen! 'tis he who kind inspires
Joys unfeign'd and chaste desires:
And thou, of love deceitful child!
With tiger-heart, yet lamb-like mild,
Fantastic by thyself, and vain,
But seemly seen in Hymen's train;
If Fate be to my wishes kind,
O! may I find you ever join'd;
But if the Fates my wish deny,
My humble roof come ye not nigh.
The spell works on: yet stop the day
While in the house of sleep I stay.
About me swells the sudden grove,
The woven arbourette of love;
Flow'rs spring unbidden o'er the ground,
And more than Nature plants around.
Fancy, prolong the kind repose;
Still, still th' enchanting vision glows;
And now I gaze o'er all her charms,
Now sink transported in her arms.
Oh sacred energy divine!
All these enraptur'd scenes are thine.
Hail! copious source of pure delight;
All hail! thou heaven-revealed rite;
Endearing Truth thy train attends,
And thou and meek-ey'd Peace are friends:
Closer entwine the magic bow'r;
Thick rain the rose-empurpled show'r :
The mystic joy impatient flies
Th' unhallow'd gaze of vulgar eyes.
Unenvied let the rich and great
Turmoil without, and parcel Fate,
Indulging here, in bliss supreme,
Might I enjoy the golden dream:
But, ah! the rapture must not stay;
For see! she glides, she glides away.
Oh Fancy! why didst thou decoy
My thoughts into this dream of joy,
Then to forsake me all alone,
To mourn the fond delusion gone?
O! back again, benigu, restore
The pictur'd vision as before.
Yes, yes: once more I fold my eyes;
Arise, ye dear deceits, arise.
Ideas bland! where do ye rove?
Why fades my visionary grove?
Ye fickle troop of Morpheus' train,
Then will you, to the proud and vain,
From me, fantastic, wing your flight,
T'adorn the dream of false delight?
But now, seen in Monimia's air,
Can you assume a form less fair,
Some idle beauty's wish supply,
The mimic triumphs of her eye?
Grant all to me this live-long night,
Let charms detain the rising light;
For this one night my liveries wear,
And I absolve you for the year.
What time your poppy-crowned god
Sends his truth-telling scouts abroad,