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Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief
For Oscar search'd each mountain cave; Then hope is lost; in boundless grief,
His locks in gray-torn ringlets wave.
“ Oscar ! my son !- thou God of Heav'n
Restore the prop of sinking agc ! Or if that hope no more is given,
Yield his assassin to my rage.
“ Yes, on some desert rocky shore
My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie ; Then grant, thou God! I ask no more,
With him his frantic sire may dic !
“ Yet he may live,-away, despair!
Be calm, my soul ! he yet may live; T'arraign my fate, my voice forbear !
O God ! my impious prayer forgive.
“ What, if he live for me no more,
I sink forgotten in the dust, The hope of Alva's age is o'er ;
Alas! can pangs like these be just ?"
Thus did the hapless parent mourn,
Til Time, which soothes severest woc, Had bade serenity return,
And made the tear-drop cease to flow.
For still some latent hope survived
That Oscar might once more appear; His hope now droop'd and now revived,
Till Time had told a tedious year.
Days roll'd along, the orb of light
Again had run his destined race; No Oscar bless'd his father's sight,
And sorrow left a fainter trace.
For youthful Allan still remain'd,
And now his father's only joy : And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd,
For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy.
She thought that Oscar low was laid,
And Allan's face was wondrous fair; If Oscar lived, some other maid
Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care.
And Angus said, if one year more
In fruitless hope was pass'd away, His fondest scruples should be o'er,
And he would name their nuptial day.
Slow roli'd the moons, but blest at last
Arrived the dearly destined morni; The year of anxious trembling past,
What smiles the lovers' cheeks adorn!
Loth, both were brave: the Saxon spear
Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel; And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel ;
While Allan's soul belied his form,
Unworthy with such charms to dwell ; Keen as the lightning of the storm,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell.
From high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame ; With Kenneth's lards to forın her dower,
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came ;
And Oscar claim'd the beautcous bride,
And Angus on his Oscar smiled : It soothed the father's feudal pride
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child.
Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note !
Hark to the swelling nuptial song ! In joyous strains the voices float,
And still the choral peal prolong.
See how the heroes' blood-red plumes
Assembled wave in Alva's hall; Each youth his varied plaid assumes,
Attending on their chieftain's call.
It is not war their aid demands,
The pibroch plays the song of peace ; To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands,
yet the sounds of plea cease.
But where is Oscar ? sure 't is late :
Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame ? While thronging guests and ladies wait,
Nor Oscar nor his brother came.
At length young Allan join'd the bride :
Why comes not Oscar," Angus said : “ Is he not here ? " the youth replied ;
“ With me he roved not o'er the glade :
“ Perchance, forgetful of the day,
"T is his to chase the bounding roe; Or ocean's waves prolong his stay ;
Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow."
“ Oh, no!" the anguish'd sire rejoind,
“ Nor chase nor wave my boy delay; Would he to Mora seem unkind ?
Would aught to her impede his way?
“ Oh, search, ye chiefs ! oh, search around !
Allan, with these through Alva fly; Till Oscar, till my son is found,
Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply."
All is confusion - through the vale
The name of Oscar hoarsely rings, It rises on the murmuring gale,
Till night expands her dusky wings ; It breaks the stillness of the night,
But cchocs through her shades in vain, It sounds through morning's misty light,
But Oscar comes not o'er the plain.
Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note!
Hark to the swelling nuptial song ! In joyous strains the voices float,
And still the choral peal prolong. Again the clan, in festire crowd,
Throng through the gate of Alva's hall ; The sounds of mirth re-echo loud, And all their former joy recall.
The crimson glow of Alau's face
Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue ;
Adown in agonizing dew.
Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And thrice his lips refused to taste ;
On his with deadly fury placed.
“ And is it thus a brother hails
A brother's fond remembrance here?
What might we not expect from fear ?"
Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl,
" Would Oscar now could share our mirth!" Internal fear appallid his sou ;
He said, and dash'd the cup to earth.
“ 'Tis he! I bear my murderer's voice !"
Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming form, “ A murderer's voice !" the roof replies,
And deeply swells the bursting storm.
The tapers wink, the chieftains surink,
The stranger's gone, -amidst the crew
And tall the shade terrific grew.
His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
His plume of sable stream'd on high ; But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye.
And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild,
On Angus bending low the knee ; And thrice he frown'd on a chief on the ground,
Whom shivering crowds with horror see.
The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole,
The thunders through the welkin ring, And the gleaming form, through the mist of the storin,
Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.
Cold was the feast, the revel ceased,
Who lies upon the stony floor ?
At length his life-pulse throbs once more.
“ Away, away! let the leech essay
To pour the light on Allan's eyes :
Oh! never more shall Allan rise !
But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,
His locks are lifted by the gale :
With him in dark Glentanar's vale.
And whence the dreadful stranger came,
Or who, no mortal wight can tell ;
For Alva's sons knew Oscar well.
the fire of Baal, and the name still preserves the primeval origin of this Celtic superstition.]
Ambition nerved young Alan's hand,
Exulting demons wing'd his dart; While Envy waved her burning brand,
And pour'd ber venom round his heart.
Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow;
Whose streaming life-blood stains his side ? Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,
The dart has drunk bis vital tide.
The love of fame with this can ill accord,
And Mora's eye could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel; Alas! that eyes which beam'd with love
Should urge the soul to deeds of hell.
Lo! seest thou not a lonely tomb
Which rises o'er a warrior dead ? It glimmers through the twilight gloom ;
Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bod.
Far, distant far, the noble grave
Which held his clan's great ashes stood ; And o'er his corse no banners wave,
For they were stain'd with kindred blood.
With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy, His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy :“ These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone ? Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own? Am I by thee despised, and left afar, As one unfit to share the toils of war? Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught; Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought; Not thus, when Ilion fell by heavenly hate, I track'd Æneas through the walks of fate : Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fcar, And hostile lifc-drops dim my gory spear. Here is a soul with hope immortal burns, And life, ignoble life, for glory spurns. Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath: The price of honour is the sleep of death."
What minstrel gray, what hoary bard,
Shall Alan's deeds on harp-strings raise ? The song is glory's chief reward,
But who can strike a murderer's praise ?
Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand,
No minstrel dare the theme awake; Guilt would benumb his palsied hand,
His harp in shuddering chords would break.
No lyre of fame, no hallow'd versc,
Shall sound his glories high in air : A dying father's bitter curse,
A brother's death-groan echoes there.
THE EPISODE OF NISUS AND EURYALUS,
A PARAPHRASE FROM THE ÆNEID, LIB. IX.
Nisus, the guardian of the portal, stood,
Then Nisus, -“ Calm thy bosom's fond alarms, Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms. More dear thy worth and valour than my own, I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne ! So may I triumph, as I speak the truth, And clasp again the comrade of my youth ! But should I fall, - and he who dares advance Through hostile legions must abide by chance, If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow, Should lay the friend who ever loved thee low, Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve, Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve. When humbled in the dust, let some one he, Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me; Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force, Or wealth redeem from foes my captive corse ; Or, if my destiny these last deny, If in the spoiler's power my ashes lie, Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb, To mark thy love, and signalize my doom. Why should thy doting wretched mother weep Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep ? Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dared, Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shared ; Who braved what woman never braved before, And le her native for the Latian shore." “ In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,” Replied Euryalus ; " it scorns control ! Hence, let us haste !"- their brother guards aruse, Roused by their call, nor court again repose ; The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing, Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king.
“ What god." exclaim'd the first, “ instils this fire ? Or, in itself a god, what great desire ? My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd, Abhors this station of inglorious rest;
Now o'er the carth a solemn stillness ran, And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man;
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold
But when the hostile chiefs at length bow down,
“ With patience” (thus llyrtacides began) “ Attend, nor judge from youth our humble plan. Where yonder beacons half espiring beam, Our slumbering foes of future conquest dream, Nor heed that we a secret path have traced, Between the ocean and the portal placed. Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke, Whose shade securely our design will cloak ! If you, ye chiefs, and fortune will allow, We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow, Where Pallas' walls at distance meet the sight, Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night. Then shall Æneas in his pride return, While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn; And Latian spoils and purpled heaps of dead Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread. Such is our purpose, not unknown the way ; Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray, Oft have we seen, when hunting by the strcam, The distant spires above the valleys gleam."
Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed, Moved by the speech, Alethcs here exclaim'd, “ Ye parent gods ! who rule the fate of Troy, Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy ; When minds like these in striplings thus ye raise, Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise ; In gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive, And Ilion's wonted glories still survive." Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd, And, quivering, strain'd them to his aged breast ; With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd, And, sobbing, thus bis first discourse renewd: “What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize Can we bestow, which you may not despise ? Our deities the first best boon have given Internal virtues are the gift of Heaven. What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth, Doubtless await such young, exalted worth. Eneas and Ascanius shall combine To yield applause far, far surpassing mine." Iulus then :-“ By all the powers above ! By those Penates who iny country love ! By hoary Vesta's sacred fane, I swear, My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair ! Restore my father to my grateful sight, And all my sorrows yield to one delight. Nisus ! two silver goblets are thine own, Saved from Arisba's stately domes o'erthrown ! My sire secured them on that fatal day, Nor left such bowls an Argive robber's prey : Two massy tripods, also, shall be thine ; Two talents polish'd from the glittering mine; An ancient cup, which Tyrian Dido gave, While yet our vessels press'd the Punic wave :
To him Euryalus : -“ No day shall shame The rising glories which from this I claim. Fortune may favour, or the skies may frown, But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown. Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart, One boon I beg, the nearest to my heart : My mother, sprung from Priam's royal line, Like thine ennobled, hardly less divine, Nor Troy nor king Acestes' realms restrain Her feeble age from dangers of the main; Alone she came, all selfish fears above, A bright example of maternal love. Unknown the secret enterprise I brave, Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave; From this alone no fond adieus I seek, No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek ; By gloomy night and thy right hand I vow Her parting tears would shake my purpose now: Do thou, my prince, her failing nge sustain, In thee her much loved child may live again ; Her dying hours with pious conduct bless, Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress : So dear a hope must all my soul inflamc, To rise in glory, or to fall in fame." Struck with a filial care so deeply felt, In tears at once the Trojan warriors melt : Faster than all, lulus' eyes o'erflow; Such love was his, and such had been his woe. “ All thou hast ask'd, receive," the prince replied ; “ Nor this alone, but many a gift beside. To cheer thy mother's years shall be my aim, Creusa's 1 style but wanting to the dame. Fortune an adverse wayward course may run, But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son. Now, by my life ! - my sire's most sacred oath To thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth, All the rewards which once to thee were vow'd, If thou shouldst fall, on her shall be bestow'd." Thus spoke the weeping prince, then forth to view A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew; Lycaon's utmost skill hud graced the steel, For friends to envy and for foes to feel : A tawny hide, the Mvorish lion's spoil, Slain 'midst the forest, in the hunter's toil, Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestows, And old Alethes' casque defends his brows.
I The mother of lulus, lost on the night whea Troy wax taken.
Aim'd, thence they go, while all th' assembled train,
“ Hence let us huste, the dangerous path is pass'd ;
With silver arms, with various art emboss'd, What bowls and mantles in confusion toss'd, They leave regardless ! yet one glittering prize Attracts the younger hero's wandering eyes ; The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt, The gems which stud the monarch's golden belt: This from the pallid corse was quickly torn, Once by a line of former chieftains worn. Th' exulting boy the studded girdle wears, Messapus' helm his head in triumph bears ; Then from the tents their cautious steps they bend, To seek the vale where safer paths extend.
The trench is passed, and, favour'd by the night, Through sleeping foes they wheel their wary flight. When shall the slecp of many a foe be o'er ? Alas ! somnc slumber who shall wake no more ! Charlots and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen ; And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between : Bacchus and Mars to rule the camp combine ; A mingled chaos this of war and wine. “ Now," cries the first, “ for deeds of blood prepare, With me the conquest and the labour share : Herc lics our path; lest any hand arise, Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dics : I'll carve our passage through the hecdless foc, Andi clear thy road with many a deadly blow.” His whispering accents then the youth repress'd, Anil pierced proud Rhanncs through his panting
breast : Stretch'd at his case, th' incautious king reposed; Debauch, and not fatigue, his eyes had closed : To Turnus dear, a prophet and a prince, His omens more than augur's skill evince; But he, who thus foretold the fate of all, Could not avert bis own untimely fall. Next Remus' armour-bearer, hapless, fell, And three unhappy slaves the carnage swell ; The charioteer along his courser's sides Expires, the steel his sever'd neck divides ; And, last, his lord is number'd with the dead : Bounding convulsive, flies the gasping head; From the swoll'n veins the blackening torrents pour; Stain'd is the couch and earth with clotting gore. Young Lamyrus and Lamus next expire, And gay Serranus, fill'd with youthful firc; Half the long night in childish games was pass'd ; Lulld by the potent grape, he slept at last : Ah ! happier far had he the morn survey'd, And till Aurora's dawn his skill display'd.
Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse To Turnus' camp pursue their destined course : While the slow foot their tardy march delay, The knights, impatient, spur along the way: Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led, To Turnus with their master's promise sped : Now they approach the trench, and view the walls, When, on the left, a light reflection falls ; The plunder'd helmet, through the waning night, Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright. Volscens with question loud the pair alarms : “ Stand, stragglers ! stand ! why early thus in arms ? From whence, to whom ?"—He meets with no reply? Trusting the covert of the night, they fy: The thicket's depth with hurried pace they tread, While round the wood the hostile squadron spread.
In slaughter'd fold, the keepers lost in sleep, His hungry fangs a lion thus may steep ; 'Mid the sad flock, at dead of night he prowls, With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls : Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roams; In seas of gore the lordly tyrant foams.
With brakes entangled, scarce a path between, Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene : Euryalus his heavy spoils impede, The boughs and winding turns his steps mislead; But Nisus scours along the forest's maze To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze, Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend, On every side they seek his absent friend. “ O God I my boy," he cries, “ of me bereft, In what impending perils art thou left!" Listening he runs — above the waving trees, Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze ; The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground. Again he turns, of footsteps hears the noise ; The sound elates, the sight his hope destroys : The hapless boy a ruffian train surround, While lengthening shades his weary way confound; Him with loud shouts the furious knights pursue, Struggling in vain, a captive to the crew. What can his friend 'gainst thronging numbers
dare? Ah! must he rush, his comrade's fate to share ? What force, what aid, what stratagem essay, Back to redeem the Latian spoiler's prey ? His life a votive ransom nobly give, Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live ? Poising with strength his lifted lance on high, On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye : “ Goddess serene, transcending every star! Queen of the sky, whose beams are seen afar! By night heaven owns thy sway, by day the grove, When, as chastc Dian, here thou deign'st to rove;
Nor less the other's deadly vengeance came, But falls on feeble crowds without a name; His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel, Yet wakeful Rhusus sees the threatening steel ; His coward breast behind a jar he hides, And vainly in the weak defence confides ; Full in bis heart, the falchion scarched his veins, Thc recking weapon bears alternate stains ; Through wine and blood, commingling as they flow, One feeble spirit seeks the shades below. Now where Messapus dwelt they bend their way, Whose tires emit a faint and trernbling ray ; There, unconfined, behold each grazing steed, Unwatch'n, unheeded, on the herbage feed : Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm, Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm :