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WBITTEN BBR BATH AN ELM IN TNB CIIURCHI
YARD OF HARROW ON THE VILL.
I hate the touch of servile hands
Which sound to ocean's wildest roar,
SEPT. 2, 1807.
sigh, Few are my years, and yet I feel
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless The world was ne'er design'd for me;
sky; Ah! why do dark’ning shades conceal
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, The hour when man must cease to be?
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; Once I beheld a splendid dream,
With those who, scatter'd far, perchance
deplore, A visionary scene of bliss ; Truth! wherefore did thy hated beam
Like me, the happy scenes they knew before: Awake me to a world like this?
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I loved—but those I loved are gone;
I lay, Had friends — my early friends are And frequent mused the twilight-hours fled;
away ; How cheerless feels the heart alone, Where, as they once were wont, my limbs When all its former hopes are dead !
recline, Though guy companions, o'er the bowl, But ah! without the thoughts which then Dispel awhile the sense of ill,
were mine: Though Pleasure stirs the maddening How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recal the past ; The heart—the heart is lonely still. And seem to whisper, as they gently swell,
“Take, while thou canst, a lingering last
farewell!" How dull to hear the voice of those
When Fate shall chill at length this fever'd Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or
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;
hour, Give me again a faithful few,
If aught may soothe when life resigns her In years and feelings still the same,
power, And I will fly the midnight crew,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
Would hide my bosom where it loved to And Woman! lovely Woman, thou,
dwell; My hope, my comforter, my all!
With this fond dream, methinks 'twere How cold must be my bosom now,
sweet to die, When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
And here it linger’d,here my heart might lie; Without a sigh would I resign
Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose, This busy scene of splendid woe,
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose : To make that calm contentment mine
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling Which Virtue knows,
shade, know. Prest by the turf where once my childhood
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved, Fain would I fly the haunts of men- Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footI seek to shun, not hate mankind;
steps moved ; My breast requires the sullen glen, Blest by the tongues that charm'd my Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
youthful ear, Oh! that to me the wings were given Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged Which bear the turtle to her nest!
here, Then would I cleave the vault of heaven, Deplored by those in early days allied, To fleo away and be at rest.
And unremember'd by the world beside.
A FRA G M E N T.
June, 17, 1816. contradictory and contradicted, that nok 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, ai 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 ceeded in obtaining, to a certain degree ! rendered him to me an object of attention, that common-place intercourse and moderate of interest, and even of regard, which confidence of common and every-day chaneither the reserve of his manners, nor cerns, created and cemented by similarity occasional indications of an inquietude at of pursuit and frequency of meeting, which times nearly approaching to alienation of is called intimacy, or friendship, according mind, could extinguish.
to the ideas of him who uses those words I was yet young in life, which I had to express them. begun early; but ny 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 nue: 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, thongh 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 concen- the East, according to our original destinatred : that his feelings were acute I had suffi- tion ; and it was in my progress through cient opportunities of observing; for, al- those regions that the incident occurred though he could control, he could not alto- upon which will turn what I may have to gether disguise them: still he had a power relate. 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 80 rapidly, though the intervention of any apparent disease: slightly, that it was useless to trace them he had neither cough nor hectic, yet he to their sources. It was evident that he became daily more enfeebled: his habits was a prey to some cureless disquiet; but were temperate, and he neither declined whether it arose froni ambition, love, re- nor complained of fatigue, yet he was evimorse, grief, from one or all of these, or dently wasting away: he became more and merely from a morbid temperament akin to more silent and sleepless, and at length so disease, I could not discover: there were cir- altered, that my alarm grew proportionate cumstances alleged which might have justi- to what I conceived to be his danger. fied the application to each of these causes ; We had determined, on our arrival at but, as I have before said, these were so Smyrna, on an excursion to the mins of
Ephesns and Sardis, from which I endea- To this question I received no answer. voured to dissuade him, in his present state In the mean time, Saleiman returned with of indisposition - but in vain : there ap- the water, leaving the serrugee and the peared to be an oppression on his mind, and horses at the fountain. The quenching of a solemnity in his manner, which ill cor- his thirst had the appearance of reviving responded with his eagerness to proceed on him for a moment; I conceived hopes what I regarded as a mere party of pleasure, of his being able to proceed, or at least to little suited to a valetudinarian; but I op- return, and I urged the attempt.
He was posed him no longer – and in a few days silent-and appeared to be collecting his we set off together, accompanied only by spirits for an effort to speak. He began. a serrugee and a single janizary.
“This is the end of my journey, and of We had passed half-way towards the re- my life--I came here to die: but I have a mains of Ephesus, leaving behind ns the request to make, a command -- for such my more fertile environs of Smyrna, and were last words must be.—You will observe it?" entering upon that wild and tenantless track “Most certainly; but have better hopes." through the marches and defiles which lead “I have no hopes, nor wishes, but thisto the few huts yet lingering over the bro-conceal my death from every human being." ken colamns of Diana - the roofless walls “I hope there will be no occasion; that of expelled Christianity, and the still more you will recover, and—” recent but complete desolation of abandoned “Peace! it must be so: promise this." mosques - when the sudden and rapid ill- “I do." ness of my companion obliged us to halt at “Swear it by all that”—He here dictated a Turkish cemetery, the turbaned tomh- an oath of great solemnity. stones of which were the sole indication that “There is no occasion for this- I will obhuman life had ever been a sojourner in serve your request;- and to doubt me is—." this wilderness. The only caravanserai we “It cannot be helped,-you must swear." had seen was left some hours behind us; I took the oath: it appeared to relieve not a vestige of a town, or even cottage, him. He removed a seal-ring from his was within sight or hope, and this “city finger, on which were some Arabic characof the dead" appeared to be the sole refuge ters, and presented it to me. He proceededfor my unfortunate friend, who seemed on “On the ninth day of the month, at noon the verge of becoming the last of its in- precisely (what month you please, but habitants.
this must be the day), you must fling this In this situation, I looked round for a ring into the salt springs which run into place where he might most conveniently the Bay of Eleusis : the day after, at the repose : - contrary to the usual aspect of same hour, you must repair to the ruins of Mahometan burial-grounds, the cypresses the temple of Ceres, and wait one hour." were in this few in number, and these thinly "Why?” scattered over its extent: the tombstones “You will see." were mostly fallen, and worn with age!- “The ninth day of the month, you say?” upon one of the most considerable of these, “The ninth." 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 changed, and he paused. As he sate, eviashed for water. I had some doubts of our dently becoming more feeble, a stork, with being able to find any, and prepared to go a snake in her beak, perched upon a tombin search of it with hesitating despondency- stone near us, and, without devouring her but he desired me to remain; and, turning prey, appeared to be stedfastly regarding to Suleiman, our janizary, who stood by us. I know not what impelled me to drive us smoking with great tranquillity, he said, it away, but the attempt was useless ; she “Suleiman, verbana su” (i. e. bring some made a few circles in the air, and returned water), and went on describing the spot exactly to the same spot. Darvell pointed where it was to be found with great minute- to it, and smiled : he spoke-I know not ness, at a small well for camels, a few whether to himself or to me- -but the words hundred yards to the right: the janizari were only, “'Tis well!”. obeyed. I said to Darvell,“How did you know “What is well? what do you mean?” this?"—He replied, “From our situation ; “No matter: you must bury me here you must perceive that this place was once this evening, and exactly where that bird inhabited, and could not have been so with is now perched. You know the rest of my out springs: I have also been here before.” injunctions."
“You have been bere before !-How came He then proceeded to give me several you never to mention this to me? and what directions as to the manner in which his could you be doing in a place where no one death might be best concealed. After these would remain a moment longer than they were finished, he exclaimed, “You perceive could help it?"
that bird ?"
that he had no opportunity of receiving it “And the serpent writhing in her beak?" unperceived. The day was declining, the
"Doubtless: there is nothing uncommon body was rapidly altering, and nothing rein it; it is her natural prey. But it is mained but to fulfil his request. With the odd that she does not devour it."
aid of Suleiman's ataghan and my own He smiled in a ghastly manner, and said, sabre, we scooped a shallow grave upon faintly, “It is not yet time!” As he spoke, the spot which Darvell had indicated: the the stork flew away. My eyes followed earth easily gave way, having already re it for a moment, it could hardly be longer ceived some Mahometan tenant.
We dag than ten might be counted. I felt Darvells as deeply as the time permitted us, and weight, as it were, increase upon my throwing the dry earth upon all that reshoulder, and, turning to look upon his mained of the singular being so lately deface, perceived that he was dead !
parted, we cut a few sods of greener tun I was shocked with the sudden certainty from the less withered soil around us, and which could not be mistaken – his coun- laid them upon his sepulchre. tenance in a few minutes became nearly Between astonishment and grief, I was black. I should have attributed so rapid tearless a change to poison, had I not been aware
L ET TER
J. MURRAY, ESQ. ON THE REV. W. L. BOWLES STRICTURES
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF POPE.
"I'll play at Bowls with the sun and moon."
TALES OF MY LANDLORD, vol. u. p. 163.
RAVENNA, February 7th, 1821. Italy ;-I do “remember the circumstance,"
-and have no reluctance to relate it (since DEAR SIR,
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 clas
I shall not avail myself of a "non mi sically furnished mansion, conld I swear ricordo
even after so long a residence in to the very room where the conversation
Occurred, though the "taking doun the" and with some on terms of intimacy ;” and poem seems to fix it in the library. Had that he knew "one family in particular to it been “taken up" it would probably have whom its suppression would give pleasure." been in the drawing-room. I presume also I did not hesitate one moment, it was canthat the “remarkable circumstance” took celled instantly; and it is no fault of mine place after dinner, as I conceive that nei- that it has ever been republished. When ther Mr. Bowles's politeness nor appetite I left England, in April, 1816, with no would have allowed him to detain “the very violent intentions of troubling that rest of the company” standing round their country again, and amidst scenes of various chairs in the other room” while we were kinds to distract my attention-almost my discussing “the Woods of Madeira" instead last act, I believe, was to sign a power of circulating its vintage. Of Mr. Bowles's of attorney, to yourself, to prevent or sup“good humour” I have a full and not un- press any attempts (of which several had grateful recollection; as also of his gentle- been made in Ireland) at a republication. manly manners and agreeable conversa- It is proper that I should state, that the tion. I speak of the whole, and not of par- persons with whom I was subsequently ticulars; for whether he did or did not acquainted, whose names had occurred in use the precise words printed in the pam- that publication, were made my acquaintpblet, I cannot say, nor could he with ances at their own desire, or through the accuracy. Of “the tone of seriousness" I unsought intervention of others. I never, certainly recollect nothing: on the con- to the best of my knowledge, sought a trary, I thought Mr. Bowles rather dis- personal introduction to any. Some of posed to treat the subject lightly; for he them to this day I know only by corressaid (I have no objection to be contradicted pondence; and with one of those it was if incorrect), that some of his good-natured begun by myself, in consequence, however, friends had come to him and exclaimed, of a polite verbal communication from a “Eh! Bowles ! how came you to make the third person. Woods of Madeira tremble?" and that he had I have dwelt for an instant on these cirbeen at some pains and pulling down of cumstances, because it has sometimes been the poem to convince them that he had made a subject of bitter reproach to me never made “the Woods” do any thing of to have endeavoured to suppress that satire. the kind. He was right, and I was wrong, I never shrunk, as those who know mo and have been wrong still up to this ac- know, from any personal consequences knowledgment; for 1 ought to have looked which could be attached to its publication. twice before I wrote that which involved of its subsequent suppression, as I possessed an inaccuracy capable of giving pain. The the copyright, I was the best judge and fact was, that although I had certainly the sole master. The circumstances which before read “the Spirit of Discovery," I occasioned the suppression I have now took the quotation from the Review. But stated; of the motives, each must judge the mistake was mine, and not the Review's, according to his candour or malignity. which quoted the passage correctly enough, Mr. Bowles does me the honour to talk of I believe. I blundered - God knows how “noble mind,” and “generous magnanim--into attributing the tremors of the lovers ity;" and all this because “the circumto the “Woods of Madeira,” by which they stance would have been explained had not were surrounded. And I hereby do fully the book been suppressed." I see no "noand freely declare and asseverate, that the bility of mind” in an act of simple justice; Woods did not tremble to a kiss, and that and I hate the word “magnanimity," bethe lovers did. I quote from memory
cause I have sometimes seen it applied to A kiss
the grossest of impostors by the greatest Stole on the list ning silence,
of fools; but I would have "explained the They (the lovers) trembled,
circumstance,” notwithstanding “the supAnd if I had been aware that this decla- pression of the book,” if Mr. Bowles had ration would have been in the smallest expressed any desire that I should. As the degree satisfactory to Mr. Bowles, I should "gallant Galbraith” says to “Baillie Jarnot have waited nine years to make it, vie,” “Well, the devil take the mistake notwithstanding that “English Bards and and all that occasioned it.” I have had Scotch Reviewers" had been suppressed as great and greater mistakes made about some time previously to my meeting hím me personally and poetically, once a month at Mr. Rogers's. Our worthy host might for these last ten years, and never cared indeed have told him as much, as it was very much about correcting one at his representation that I suppressed it. other, at least after the first eight and A new edition of that lampoon was prepar- forty hours had gone over them. ing for the press, when Mr. Rogers repre- I must now, however, say a word or sented to me, that “I was now acquainted two about Pope, of whom you have my with many of the persons mentioned in it, I opinion more at large in the unpublished