Imágenes de página



Book ! as fair S-forms the varied line
Sad sighs or sweetest sympathies are thine
From pity's lids the glittering tear-drops part,
Or joy's warm surges eddy round the heart,
Ín louder tones convulsive anguish mourns,
Gay Satyrs dance, and laughter roars by turns.

Book ! o'er her desk should whispering sorrows lean,
Or melancholy guide her hand, unseen,
Erase the blotted leaves, with gall impressed,
And soothe with softer notes her gentle breast ;
Light round her chair when mirth fantastic moves
With tip-toe graces linked and laughing loves,
O! bid thy page the sweet effusion drink,
Smooth glide the pen, and glossy shine the ink.

Book ! may no canker, no corroding worm,
Or mildew damp thy sacred folds deform;
Be thine to register, in folds sublime,
To the last hour of all-subduing time,

round S darts his arrowy rays, A silver halo cireling beauty's blaze.



Stranger! who sleeps in yonder nameless grave ?

I saw thee pause and linger o'er the tomb, Where to the gale those thorns their branches wave,

And evening deepens on that yew-tree's gloom.

• There sleeps my friend,' the pensive stranger cried :

« O’er the blank stone have twenty winters past : Yet, as the gale amid that yew-tree sighed,

Methought again I heard him breathe his last.

Yes ! for I saw the last convulsive start,

That spoke the struggle closed of life and death : Felt the last pulse that trembled from his heart;

And heard the sigh that told his parting breath.

[ocr errors]

. Fixed in his breast the adverse weapon

stood Stranger! when died he in his country's cause ? Blest be the man whose pure and generous blood

Flows for his country's liberty and laws!'

• O why the grief of other days recall ?

Alas ! he died not for his country's sake.

Wielding unhallowed arms 'twas his to fall :

'Twas his in death his country's laws to break.

• One word, one careless word, escaped his tongue ; One careless word, from guile, from anger

free. Blood, blood must cleanse the unsuspected wrong

Meet on the heath, beside the lonely tree'

So spake the foe ; nor, parting, did he hide

The muttered threat, nor glance of scorn behind. Too well

my friend the glance of scorn descried ; And thus explored his own uncertain mind.

- What shall I do? custom ! thy tyrant sway,

To laws of earth or heaven untaught to yield, And thine, whose nod the brave, the base, obey,

Ideal honour ! urge me to the field.

That field perchance consigns thee to the dead,

Affection cries, forbear, forbear the strife ; Think on thy childless mother's hoary head:

Think on thy orphan babes, thy widowed wife !

[ocr errors]

• Yes, throbs of naturel through my inmost soul,

From nerve to nerve your strong vibrations dartHark, duty speaks--Rebellious pride control,

And bow to heaven's behest the swelling heart.

• What though, be witness heaven ! nor vengeful hate Nor hostile



bosom burn : How can I guiltless tread the brink of fate,

And dare the grief from whence is no return ?

• Though from his breast who braves me to the fight,

Guarding my own, my sword aloof I wave ; What praise, while yet against his lawless might

I stake the sacred trust my Maker gave ?

[ocr errors]

• How mid assembled angels shall I dare

For judgment throned the Son of God to see ; Afraid for him the sting of scorn to bear,

Who bore the sting of scorn and death for me?

• And is it then so deep a crime to die,

Shielding from taint my yet unspotted name ? Away, vain sophistry! a Christian I,

And fear at duty's call to risk my fame?

Yet how, proud foe, thy cold' insulting eye,

Shunning the offered combat, shall I face? Where hide


head while slander's envious cry, Roused at thy bidding, trumpets my disgrace?


My native woodlands shall I seek, the sneer
Even in their shades on every brow to meet ?

Or háunt the town, in every wind to hear

• There skulks the coward,' murmur through the street ?

• What, live to infamy, of fools the scorn,

The dastard's butt, the bye-word of the brave ? No: farewell doubt!'_Beneath the waving thorn,

Go, learn his fate at yonder nameless grave.

'Stranger ! if trials like to his are thine,

Hark to the voice that whispers from his sod. Shame dost thou dread ? the shame of sin decline : Talk'st thou of valour ? dare to fear thy God.'




On a Skeleton found in Dalkeith Park, at the time when the

Duke of Buccleugh was raising his Fencible Regiment.

Reader ! the mortal part is here interred
Of one whose name the poet never heard ;
Thou mayest indulge imagination here,
And shed for fancied woes a generous teat.
If emulation ever fill thy mind,
Deem him a warrior of the bravest kind,

« AnteriorContinuar »