Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ing comfort, when, alas ! I had only opened from that we were in, and the sympathy to bestow. The conflict of young mother crept softly towards the winds and waves was indeed tremen- bed of her sleeping infants. She was dous, and I felt too forcibly convinced, still bending over them, when the outer that if the poor Campbells were indeed door was suddenly dashed open, and exposed to it; in their little fishing Campbell-Campbell himself, burst boat, nothing short of a miracle could into the cottage. Oh! with what a save them from a watery grave. There shriek of ecstacy was he welcomed ! was a chance, however, that the land. With what a rapture of inarticulate ing of the contraband goods might have words, clinging embraces, and tearful been effected by the crew of the lug- smiles ! But the joy was transient, and ger, without help from shore, and, in succeeded by a sudden chill of namethat case, the prolonged absence of less apprehensions ; for, disengaging the father and son might arise from himself almost roughly froin the arms their having proceeded with them to of his wife and daughter, he staggered some inland place of concealment. The towards his own old chair, and finging probability of this suggestion was ea- himself back in it, covered his face gerly caught at by the conseious pair, with his clasped hands. One only but the ray of hope gleamed with tran- cause for this tearful agitation suggestsient brightness : A gust of wind, more ed itself to his trembling wife. awful than any which had preceded son ! my son!” she shrieked out, it, rushed past with deafening uproar, grasping her husband's arins, “ what and as it died away, low sobs, and have you done with bim ? He is dead ! shrill moaning lamentations, seemed he is murdered! Oh! I knew it would mingled with its sleep bass. We were come to this.”—“ Peace, woman!" all silent, now straining our sight from shouted Campbell, in a voice of thunthe cabin door into the murky gloom der, uncovering his face, as he started without, - now gathering together up wildly from his chair, with a look round the late blazing hearth, where of appalling fierceness--- Peace, wothe neglected embers emitted only a man ! your son is safe;" then his tone fitful glimmer. The wind rushing suddenly dropping to a low hoarse through every chink and cranny, wa- murmur, he added, This is not his ved to and fro the fanne of the small blood,” and he flung on the table his candle, declining in its socket, and at broad white belt, on which the tokens last the hour of twelve was struck by of a deadly fray were frightfully apthe old clock that “ ticked behind the parent. “ Campbell!” I cried, undoor" in its dark heavy case. At that happy man! what have you done? to moment a large venerable looking book, what have you brought your wretched that lay with a few others on a hang- family? For their sakes, escape, escape ing shelf, near the chimney, slipped for your life, while the darkness favours from the edge on which it rested, and you.” He trembled, and looked irrefell with a dull heavy sound at Marga- solute for a moment, but iminediately ret's feet. It was the Bible that had resuming the voice and aspect of desbelonged to her husband's mother, and perate sternness, replied, "It is too late as she stooped to pick it up, and re they are at my heels--they tracked place it, she perceived that it had fallen me home;" and while he yet spoke, open at the leaf, where, twenty-two years the trampling of feet, and the shout of back from that very day, the venerable loud voices was heard ; the door burst parent had recorded, with pious grati- open, and several rough looking men, tude, the birth of her son's first born. in the garb of sailors, rushed into the "Ah, my dear son! my good Mau- cottage.“ Ah! we have you, my rice !” ejaculated the heartstruck no man,” they vociferated— we have you ther ; " I was not used to forget the at last, though the young villain has day God gave thee to me-Thou wert given us the slip.”—"Villain!" shoutthe first to leave me, and now”. ed Campbell ; who dares call my son She was interrupted by the low inar- a villain?” But checking himself inticulate murmur of a human voice, stantaneously, he added, in a subdued that sounded near us. We all started, quiet tone, is but I am in your power but Amy's ear was familiarized to the now, you may do what you will," and tone-it was that of one of her little once more he seated himself in sullen ones talking and moaning in its sleep. submissiveness. The women clung The small chainber where they lay weeping round him, his unhappy wife

nor lifted

up

his eyes

[ocr errors]

exclaiming, “Oh! what has he done? by the rash hand of the wretched cule If there has been mischief, it is not prit before us, whose aim was not the his fault-he would not hurt a fly- less fatal, for having been almost unFor all his rough way, he is as tender consciously taken in the bustle of a hearted as a child-Richard! Richard ! desperate conflict. « We've missed speak to them-tell them 'tis a mis our boat, and we could not let him liet take.” He neither spoke nor moved, bleeding on the beach,” said one of

from the ground the new comers, in reply to an exclaon which they were fixed. “No mis- mation of surprise from those who be take at all, mistress," said one of the fore occupied the cottage. Campbell's men, “ he has only shot one of our agitation was dreadful-He turned

, al people, that's all, and we must just fit shuddering, from the sight of his vic.com him with a couple of these new brace- tim. The women stood petrified with. lets.” And so saying, he began fasten- horror. I alone retaining some selfing a pair of handcuffs round Camp- possession, advanced to examine if human bell's wrists. He offered no resistance, man aid might yet avail to save the ne and seemed indeed almost unconscious poor youth, who was laid (apparentlya of what was doing, when the eldest of corpse) on three chairs, near the door

. A Amy's children, & pretty little girl of Comprehending my purpose, the hua four years old, who having been awa mane tenderness of poor Margaret's K kened by the noise, had crept softly nature surmounted her agonizing feelfrom her bed, and made her way un- ings, and she came trembling to assist i perceived towards her grandfather, in the painful examination. The young in burst into a fit of loud sobbing, and man's face was turned from us towards Til climbing up upon his knees, and clasp- the wall, and almost covered by the ing her little arms about his neck, and luxuriant hair, (a sailor's pride) which, laying her soft cheek to his dark rough escaping from the confining ribbon, one, lisped out, “ Send away naughty had fallen in dark wet masses over his men, grandad—naughty, men fright. cheek and brow. His right hand hung en Amy."

down from his side, and on taking it The springs of sensibility that seem into mine, I found that it was already ed frozen up in Campbell's

bosom were cold as marble, and that no pulse was touched electrically by the loving tones perceptible in the artery, Margaret and caresses of his little darling. He had, as expeditiously as her agitation hugged her to his bosom, which began would permit, unclosed his sailor's to heave with deep convulsive sobs, jacket, and checked shirt, and though and for a moment the tears of the old she started and shuddered at the sight man and the child mingled in touch- of blood thickly congealed over his boing silence. As he clasped her thus, som, she persisted heroically in her the handcuff that was already fastened trying task. His neck handkerchief to his left wrist, pressed painfully on her had been previously untied, and stufftender arms, and as she shrunk from ed down as a temporary pledget into the it, he seemed first to perceive the igno- wounded breast. In removing it, Marminious fetter. His brow was wrung garet's finger became entangled by a with a sudden convulsion, but its dis- black string passed round the youth's tortion was momentary, and turning neck, to which a small locket was susto his weeping daughter, he said quiet- pended. She was hastily moving it aside, ly, " Amy, my dear child ! take the when the light held by one of the sailors poor baby; I little thought, deaf lamb! fell upon the medallion, (a perforatel she would ever find hurt or harm in gold pocket piece) and her eye glancing her old grandfather's arms. It was a towards it at the same moment, a half touching seene-even the rough sail- choaked exclamation burst from her ors seemed affected by it, and they lips, and, looking up, I saw her standwere more gently executing their task ing moti uless, breathless, her hands of fitting on the other manacle, when clasped together with convulsive eneragain steps and voices approached ; a- gy, and her eyes almost starting from gain the door opened, and a second their sockets, in the stare of indescriband appeared at it, a group of sailors bable horror with which they were likewise, bearing amongst them a rivetted on the suspended token. At ghastly burthen, the lifeless body of last, a shriek (such a one as my ears the unfortunate young man who had never before heard, the recollection of been shot in the execution of his duty, which still curdles the blood in my

[ocr errors]

veins) burst from her lips, and brought spair. Once more she repeated, in the her daughter and husband (even the same calm deliberate tone, Who is unfortunate man himself) to the spot that, Richard ?" and suddenly leaning where she stood absorbed in that forward, dashed aside from the face of fearful contemplation. She looked up the corpse the dark locks that had hitowards her husband (on whose brow therto concealed it. “ There, there!” cold drops of agony were thickly ga. she shrieked~" I knew it was my thering, whose white lips quivered son!” and bursting into a frenzied with the workings of a tortured spirit) laugh, she called out, " Amy! Amy! she gazed up in his face with such a your brother is come home! come look as I shall never forget. It was home on his birth-day ! Will nobody one of horrid calmness, more fearful to bid him welcome ? Richard, wont you behold than the wildest expressions of speak to your son, to our dear Maupassionate agony, and grasping his fet, rice! wont you bless him on his birthtered hand firmly in one of her's, and day?” And snatching her husband's with the other pointing to the perfo. hand, she endeavoured to drag him rated gold piece, as it lay on the man- towards the pale face of the dead. He gled bosom of the dead youth, she to whom this heart-rending appeal was said in a slow steady voice, “ Look addressed, replied only by one deep there! what is that?-Who is that, groan, which seemed to burst up the Richard ?" His eyes rivetted them- very fountains of feeling and of life. selves with a ghastly stare on the ob- He staggered back a few paces-his ject to which she pointed, then wan- eyes closed--the convulsion of a modered wildly over the lifeless form be- ment passed over his features, and he fore him; but the tremulous agitation of fell back as inanimate as the pale corpse his frame ceased, the convulsive work, that was still clasped with frantic raping of the muscles of his face changed ture to the heart of the brainstruek into rigid fixedness, and he stood like mother. one petrified in the very burst of dea

C.

NOVEMBER,
In Sic Sonnets.

No. I.
Slowly the glittering morning star declines,

As, from his cloudy shrine in eastern skies,
The sun comes forth with a forlorn uprise,
And on the grass a pearly hoar-frost shines;
Athwart the bosom of the waveless lake,

In volumed mass, a thin blue vapour broods ;

Still, and immotioned are the leafless woods,
And not one bill to music is awake :
Where, oh! ye minstrels of the early morn,

Where are ye fled, that thus the dawn of day

Is silent, and the hills, in bare array,
Look down on fields of all their honours shorn
No marvel that the heart should feel forlorn,
When even the silence tells us of decay !

No. II.
How chill and cheerless is this barren scene !

With haze and cloud the pale sky ever glooms,

And the shorn sun, with powerless ray, illumes
Forest and field, where beauty erst hath been.
The golden grain, and honied clover flowers

Have disappeared ; and, on the breezes borne,

Sere yellow leaves from the dark branches torn
Dance dizzily among the faded bowers ;
Prone o'er the steep its swoln and muddy tide,

From bleak and barren hills, the river pours,

And, downward to the ocean as it roars,
Washes lone perish'd flowers on either side:

Above-beneath-the wandering eye deplores
Ravage and ruin, everywhere descried !!

No. III.
What art thou, Beauty, but a baseless dream?

A gilded halo that beguiles the eye;

A glorious rainbow, spanning earth and sky,
To fail and fade a momentary gleam!
It seems but yesterday, when these bure walks

With flowers of every tint and hue were spread;
When, from a thousand branches overhead,
The ripening fruitage hung-now tangled stalks
And leafless boughs that, to the wintry air,
Lift up their heads, all shelterless and bare,

Alone are left of summer's gaudy store;
The robin, with red breast, and jet black eye,
Pours forth his melancholy minstrelsy,
A funeral dirge for pride that is no more !!

No. IV. .
A dim blue haziness o'erbangs the sea,

While here and there, upon the surgy tide,

With bellied sails, the ressels, dim descried,
Against the opposing blast toil heavily:
On sullen wing the sea-gull wheels away

To isles remote, in crevice dank to dwell

Of bleakest rock, beyond the utmost swell
Of billow, lashing high its dizzy spray:-
The wild waves curl their bleak and foamy heads;

From the cold north the wind impatient raves ;
Tumultuous murmurs through the ocean caves
Ring dismal ; while the gloomy tempest spreads

A thwart the joyless deep; the showers down pour,
Toss the rough main, and drench the sandy shore.

No. V.
The sun descends, his long and feeble ray

Lies on the waters; the forsaken glades,

The cottages, and trees long heavy shades
Behind them cast, as sinks the lingering day;
The labourer leaves his toil, and homeward wends ; ,

The oxen low 'mid pastures brown and bare;

And, fitful, on the chill and biting air,
A plaintive cry the widow'd partridge sends.
Season of deepest thought! what eye can turn

Untouch'd to gaze thy fading scenes ? what heart,
As to the past regretful memory strays,

Struck with a change so mournful, would not start;
Dread lessons to us, who are few of days,
November ! thou art fitted to impart!!

No. VI.
Now when the shortening day its crimson eye

Closes iu haste, a calm delight it yields

To wander lonely through the twilight fields, And mark the evening star gleam out on high ! While, mournfully, a twilight mantle lowers

On hill and vale, dim forest, and blue stream;

And cottage windows, with a casual gleam, Speak of domestic peace.-Oh, fading bowers!

Oh, shortning days! and nights of dreary length!
How emblematic of the fate of man

Are ye, and of his fast declining strength,
His chequered lot, frail life, and fleeting span?
Thousands have fall’n since joyous spring began
Its smiling course,-say, shall the next be ours !

A

NOVEMBEB BBBATHINGS." “ The leafless trees my fancy please,

Their fate resembles mine."---Burns.

THERE are a few fine days, which darkness increase, the domestic affeca generally occur about the end of Oc- tions are awakened anew by a closer tober or beginning of November, and and more lengthened converse. The immediately before the setting in of father is now once more in the midst winter, which, as far back as I can re of his family ;-the child is now once collect, have possessed a peculiar, and more on the knee of its parent;-and though melancholy, somewhat plea. She, in whose happiness his heart is sing influence, over my feelings. There principally interested, is again permitis an en feebled but soothing mildness ted, by the blessed privileges of the in the light of day, nearly allied to the season, to increase, and to participate effect of moon-light. A kind of Sab- his enjoyment. bath pause, interrupted only at inter. It is now that the Husbandman is vals by the call of the cow-herd, or the repaid for his former risk and anxiety, thud of the fowling-piece, prevails. that having waited patiently for the The fields and inclosures are just clear- former, and the latter rain," he builds ed of their harvest treasure, and the up his sheaves, loads his waggons, web of the gossamer extends in unbro- steeks his stiles," and replenishes his ken and floating pathway over stubble barns,--that he is prepared, or at least and lea. Vegetation is every where authorized to exclaim, in the fulness passing rapidly into decay; and the of a grateful heart" Soul, take thy brown-breast, and solitary chirp of the rest, for the work of the season is ac“Robin,” accord well with the wither complished, and the year hath been ed fern and seared leaf,—with that crowned with the Great Creator's sombre aspect of colouring, which tree bounty." and forest every where put on. In the It is now that the Moon begins appropriate and picturesque language again to renew her claims to the graof Scripture" The earth mournech titude of the rustic Lover, as he traand languisheth-Lebanon is asham- vels fearlessly on through glen and ed, and withereth away-Sharon is over heath, up to the very window, like a wilderness—and Bashan and and close to the very secret corner, Carinel shake off their fruits." There where the fair object of his Travel is are a great many reflections, which not waiting to acknowledge the long-exonly spontaneously, but as it were ur- pected signal. gently, offer theinselves to 'one's con It is now that men of study and lisideration at this season, all closely terary pursuit are adınonished of the associated with the appearance of ex season best suited for the acquisition ternal nature. A few of these which of knowledge. Learning is opening decurred to me, or which, upon reflec- her gates, and night is fast advancing tion, I can now imagine actually did her claims to the renewed labours of occur, when I was a few days ago ena the Student-to those evening hours gaged in a solitary, and somewhat of of watching and reflection, and invesa protracted ramble, I shall endea- tigation, which will so amply repay your to recal. It is in fact by such si- the trouble. To those individuals lent and occasional communings with whom a love of knowledge has reone's self, that the heart is quieted and deemed from a world sunk in senmade better; and it is in the hope suality, and in the pursuit of gain, that some of your readers may happen this season is heard to address herself to be of the same opinion, that I have in the words of sacred inspirationthus presumed on your attention. “ If thou criest after knowledge, and

It is now that the Labourer is about liftest up thy voice for understanding, to enjoy a temporary mitigation of if thou seekest her as for silver, and the Season's toil. His little store of searchest for her as for hidden treasure, winter provision, having been hardly she shall undoubtedly promote thee earned, and safely lodged, his counte- yea, she shall bring thee to honournance brightens, and his heart warms she shall give to thine head an ornawith the anticipation of winter comforts. ment of grace--a crown of glory shall As the day shortens, and the hours of she deliver to thee."

« AnteriorContinuar »