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When nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone, She fear’d that, too divine for earth,
The skies might claim thee for their own.
Therefore, to guard her dearest work,
Lest angels might dispute the prize, She bade a secret lightning lurk
Within those once celestial eyes.
These might the boldest sylph appal,
When gleaming with meridian blaze; Thy beauty must enrapture all,
But who can dare thine ardent gaze?
T'is said, that Berenice's hair,
In stars adorn the vault of heaven; But they would ne'er permit thee there,
Thou would'st so far outshine the seven.
For, did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister lights would scarce appear: E'en suns, which systems now control, Would twinkle dimly through their sphere.
1806. TO WOMAN.
WOMAN! experience might have told me,
(1) The last line is almost a literal translation from a Spanish proverb.
TO M. S. G.
WuĚn I dream that you love me, you'll surely forgive,
Extend not your anger to sleep;
I rise, and it leaves me to weep.
Then, Morpheus! envelope my faculties fast,
Shed o'er me your languor benign;
What rapture celestial is mine!
They tell us that Slumber, the sister of Death,
Mortality's emblem is given;
If this be a foretaste of Heaven.
Ah ! frown not, sweet Lady, unbend your soft brow,
Nor deem me too happy in this ;
Thus doom'd, but to gaze upon bliss.
Tho’in visions, sweet Lady, perhaps, you may smile,
Oh! think not my penance deficient;
To awake will be torture sufficicnt.
When I rov'd, a young Highlander, o'er the dark heath, And climb'd thy steep summit, oh! Morven of Snow (1), To gaze on the torrent, that thunder'd beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below (2); Untutor’d by science, à stranger to fear,
And rude as the rocks, where my infancy grew, No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear,
Need I say, my sweet Mary, 'was ceutred in you?
Yet, it could not be love, for I knew not the name,
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child? But, still, I perceive an emotion the same
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild : One image, alone, on my bosom imprest,
I lov'd my bleak regions, nor panted for new, And few were my wants, for my wishes were blest,
And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you.
(1) Morren, a lofty Mountain in Aberdeenshire : « Gormal of Snow, » is an expression frequently to be found in Ossian.
(2) This will not appear extraordinary to those who have been accustomed to the mountains ; it is by no means uncommon on attaining the top of Ben e vis, Ben y bourd, etc., to perceive, between the summit and the valley, clouds pouring down rain , and, occasionally, accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down on the storm, perfectly secure from its effects.
I arose with the dawn, with my dog as my guide,
From mountain to mountain I bounded along,
No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view, And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you.
I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone,
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more; As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
And delight but in days I have witness'd before ; Ah! splendour bas rais'd, but embitter'd my lot,
More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew ; Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not forgot, Tho'cold is my heart, still it lingers with you.
5. When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen (3); When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
I think of those eyes that endear’d the rude scene; When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,
That faintly resemble ny Mary's in hue, I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you.
(1) « Breasting the lofty surge. » SHAKESPEARE.
(2) The Dee is a beautiful river , which rises near Mar Logde , and falls into the sea , at New Aberdeen.
(3) Colbleen is a mountain near the verge of the Higl. lands, not far from the ruins of Dee Castle.