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IN SIR ANTHONY LOVE, OR THE RAMBLING LADY.
PURSUING Beauty, men descry
The distant shore, and long to prove Still richer in variety
The treasures of the land of love.
We women, like weak Indians, stand
Inviting from our.golden coast The wand'ring rovers to our land;
But she who trades with them is lost.
With humble vows they first begin,
Stealing unseen into the heart; But by possession settled in,
They quickly play another part.
For beads and baubles we resign,
In ignorance, our shining store ; Discover nature's richest mine,
And yet the tyrants will have more.
Be wise, be wise, and do not try
be won ; For love is but discovery;
When that is made the pleasure's done.
BORN 1699.-DIED 1747.
Robert Blair was minister of the parish of Athelstaneford, in East Lothian. His son, who died not many years ago, was a very high legal character in Scotland. The eighteenth century has produced few specimens of blank verse of so powerful and simple a character as that of the Grave. It is a popular poem, not merely because it is religious, but because its language and imagery are free, natural, and picturesque. The latest editor of the poets has, with singularly bad taste, noted some of this author's most nervous and expressive phrases as vulgarisms, among which he reckons that of friendship “ the solder of society." Blair may be a homely and even a gloomy poet in the eye of fastidious criticism ; but there is a masculine and pronounced character even in his gloom and homeliness that keeps it most distinctly apart from either dulness or vulgarity. His style pleases us like the powerful expression of a countenance without regular beauty.
WHILST some affect the sun, and some the shade,
night, Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun Was rolld together, or had tried his beams Athwart the gloom profound.The sickly taper, By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults, (Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime) Lets fall a supernumerary horror, And only serves to make thy night more irksome. Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Cheerless, unsocial plant; that loves to dwell 'Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms: Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades, Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports)
Embodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
See yonder hallow'd fane ;-the pious work
'scutcheons And tatter'd coats of
send back the sound Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead. -Rous'd from their
slumbers, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of Night. Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious sound! I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms, (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd. (Such tales their cheer at wake or gossiping, When it draws near to witching time of night.)
here: Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs : Dead men have come again, and walk'd about ;
Oft, in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moon-shine chequering through the
trees, The school-boy, with his satchel in his hand, Whistling aloud to bear his courage up, And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones, (With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown), That tell in homely phrase who lie below. Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears, The sound of something purring at his heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him, Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows; Who gather round, and wonder at the tale Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly, That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand O'er some new open'd grave; and (strange to tell!) Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
Invidious grave!-how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ? A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious ceinent of the soul; Sweetner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me, Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of the gentle heart,