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Or bends the languid eyelid down,
With silly whims and fancies frantic, But shuns the cold, forbidding frown.
Merely to make our love romantic ? Then resume thy former fire,
Why should you weep like Lydia Languish, Some will love, and all admire;
And fret with self-created anguish; While that icy aspect chills us,
Or doom the lover you have chosen, Nought but cool indifference thrills us.
On winter nights to sigh half-frozen; Wouldst thou wandering hearts beguile,
In leafless shades to sue for pardon, Smile at least, or seem to smile.
Only because the scene's a garden ? Eyes like thine were never meant
For gardens seem, by one consent, To hide their orbs in dark restraint ;
Since Shakspeare set the precedent, Spite of all thou fain wouldst say,
Since Juliet first declared her passion, Still in truant beams they play.
To form the place of assignation. Thy lips-but here my modest Muse
Oh! would some modern muse inspire, Her impulse chaste must needs refuse :
And seat her by a sea-coal fire ; She blushes, curt'sies, frowns-in short, she
Or had the bard at Christmas written, Dreads lest the subject should transport me ;
And laid the scene of love in Britain, And flying off in search of reason,
He surely, in commiseration, Brings prudence back in proper season.
Had changed the place of declaration. All I shall therefore say (whate'er
In Italy I've no objection: I think, is neither here nor there)
Warm nights are proper for reflection; Is, that such lips, of looks endearing,
But here our climate is so rigid, Were form'd for better things than sueering :
That love itself is rather frigid: Of soothing compliments divested,
Think on our chilly situation, Advice at least's disinterested ;
And curb this rage for imitation ; Such is my artless song to thee,
Then let us meet, as oft we've done, From all the flow of flattery free;
Beneath the influence of the sun; Counsel like mine is like a brother's,
Or, if at midnight I must meet you, My heart is given to some others;
Within your mansion let me greet you: That is to say, unskill'd to cozen,
There we can love for hours together, It shares itself among a dozen.
Much better, in such snowy weather, Marion, adieu ! oh, pr'ythee slight not
Than placed in all th' Arcadian groves This warning, though it may delight not ;
That ever witnessed rural loves; And, lest my precepts be displeasing
Then, if my passion fail to please, To those who think remonstrance teasing,
Next night I'll be content to freeze; At once I'll tell thee our opinion
No more I'll give a loose to laughter,
But curse my fate for ever after,
OSCAR OF ALVA.
HOW sweetly shines through azure skies, It is not too severe a stricture
The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore; To say they form a pretty picture ;
Where Alva's hoary turrets rise, But wouldst thou see the secret chain
And hear the din of arms no more! Which binds us in your humble train,
But often has yon rolling moon To hail you queens of all creation,
On Alva's casques of silver play'd; Know, in a word, 'tis ANIMATION.
And view'd at midnight's silent noon,
Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd :
And on the crimson'd rocks beneath,
Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow, WHO PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR A LOCK OF
Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,
She saw the gasping warrior low;
While many an eye which ne'er again
Could mark the rising orb of day, THESE locks, which fondly thus entwine,
Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,
Beheld in death her fading ray.
* The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the Nor time, nor place, nor art have moved it;
story of Jeronyme and Lorenzo,' in the first volume
of Schiller's Armenian; or, The Ghost-Seer. It also Then wherefore should we sigh and whine, bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of With groundless jealousy repine,
The Jer Armeniance
Once to those eyes the lamp of Love,
And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel ;
While Allan's soul belied his form,
Unworthy with such charms to dwell: Faded is Alva's noble race,
Keen as the lightning of the storm,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell.
Froin high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame; But who was last of Alva's clan!
With Kenneth's lands to form her dower, Why grows the moss on Alva's stone ?
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came, Her towers resound no steps of man, They echo to the gale alone.
And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride,
And Angus on his Oscar smiled; And when that gale is fierce and high,
It soothed the father's feudal pride
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's chiki.
Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note !
Hark to the swelling nuptial song! Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,
In joyous strains the voices float,
And still the choral peal prolong.
See how the heroes' blood-red plumes
Assembled wave in Alva's hali ! Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,
Each youth his varied plaid assumes,
Attending on their chieftain's cail.
It is not war their aid demands,
The pibroch plays the song of peace; They feast upon the mountain deer,
To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands, The pibroch raised its piercing note
Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease. To gladden more their highland cheer, The strains in martial numbers float:
But where is Oscar? sure 'tis late :
Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame? And they who heard the war-notes wild,
While thronging guests and ladies wait, Hoped that one day the pibroch's strain
Nor Oscar nor his brother came.
At length young Allan join'd the bride ;
Why comes not Oscarť Angus said: Another year is quickly past,
'Is he not here?' the youth replied; And Angus hails another son ;
• With me he roved not o'er the glade. His natal day is like the last, Nor soon the jocund feast was done..
• Perchance, forgetful of the day,
'Tis his to chase the bounding roe; Taught by their sire to bend the bow,
Or ocean's waves prolong his stay ;
Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow.'
Oh, no!' the anguish'd sire rejoind,
Nor chase lior wave my boy delay; But ere their years of youth are o'er,
Would he to Mora seem unkind? They mingle in the ranks of war;
Would aught to her impede his way? They lightly wheel the bright claymore, And send the whistling arrow far,
Oh, search, ye chiefs! oh, search around!
Allan, with these through Alva fly; Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair.
Till Oscar, till my son is found, Wildly it stream'd along the gale;
Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply. But Allan's locks were bright and fair, And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale.
All is confusion--through the vale
The name of Oscar hoarsely rings; But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,
It rises on the murmuring gale, His dark eye shone through beams of truth;
Till night expands her dusky wings. Allan had early learn'd control, And smooth his words had been from youth. It breaks the stillness of the night,
But echoes through her shades in vain; Both, both were brave: the Saxon spear
It sounds through morning's misty light, Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel;
But Oscar comes not o'er the plain.
Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief
The sounds of mirth re-echo loud,
And all their former joy recall.
But who is he, whose darken'd brow
Glooms in the midst of general mirth? Oscar, my son !-thou God of heaven
Before his eyes' far fiercer glow Restore the prop of sinking age !
The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth. Or if that hope no more is given,
Dark is the robe which wraps his form, Yield his assassin to my rage:
And tall his plume of gory red;
His voice is like the rising storm, "Yes, on some desert rocky shore My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie;
But light and trackless is his tread. Then grant, thou God! I ask no more,
'Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round, With him his frantic sire may die!
The bridegroom's health is deeply quaft'd ; "Yet he may live-away, despair !
With shouts the vaulted roofs resound, Be calm, my soul! he yet may live;
And all combine to hail the draught. T' arraign my fate, my voice forbear!
Sudden the stranger chief arose, O God ! my impious prayer forgive.
And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd ; • What, if he live for me no more,
And Angus' cheek with wonder glows, I sink forgotten in the dust,
And Mora's tender bosom blush'd. The hope of Alva's age is o'er;
Old man l' he cried, 'this pledge is done ; Alas! can pangs like these be just ?'
Thou saw'st 'twas duly drunk by me: Thus did the hapless parent mourn,
It hail'd the nuptials of thy son: Till Time, which soothes severest woe,
Now will I claim a pledge from thee. Had bade serenity return,
While all around is mirth and joy, And made the tear-drop cease to flow.
To bless thy Allan's happy lot, For still some latent hope survived
Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy? That Oscar might once more appear :
Say, why should Oscar be forgot!' His hope now droop'd and now revived,
* Alas!' the hapless sire replied, Till Time had told a tedious year,
The big tear starting as he spoke, Days roll'd along; the orb of light
•When Oscar left my hall, or died,
This aged heart was almost broke.
• Thrice has the earth revolved her course And sorrow left a fainter trace.
Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight; For youthful Allan still remain d,
And Allan is my last resource,
Since martial Oscar's death or flight.'
• Tis well,' replied the stranger stern, For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy.
And fiercely flashed his rolling eye;
•Thy Oscar's fate I fain would learn :
Perhaps the hero did not die.
• Perchance, if those whom most he loved Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care.
Would call, thy Oscar might return;
Perchance the chief has only roved;
For him thy beltane yet inay burn.*
• Fill high the bowl the table round, And he would name their nuptial day.
We will not claim the pledge by stealth;
With wine let every cup be crown'd;
Pledge me departed Os'ar's health.'
"With all my soul,' old Angus said, What smiles the lover's cheeks adorn!
And fill'd is goblet to the brim;
Here's to my büy! alive or dead,
I ne'er shall find a son like him."
“Bravely, old man, this health has sped; And still the choral peal prolong.)
But why does Allan trembling stand!
Again the clan, in festive crowd,
Throng through the gate of Alva's hall;
* Beltane Tree, a Highland festival on the first of May, held near fires lighted for the occasion
Corne, drink remembrance of the dead,
Ambition nerved young Allan's hand, And raise thy cup with firmer hand.'
Exulting demons wing'd his dart;
While Envy waved her burning brand,
And pour d her venom round his heart.
Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow;
Whose streaming life-blood stains his side ?
Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,
The dart has drunk his vital tide.
And Mora's eye could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel;
Alas! that eyes which beam'd with love
Should urge the soul to deeds of hell.
Lo! seest thou not a lonely tomb
Which rises o'er a warrior dead?
It glimmers through the twilight gloom:
Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bed.
Far, distant far, the noble grave
Which held his clan's grea: ashes stood;
And o'er his corse no banners wave, 'Tis heI hear my murderer's voice!'
For they were stain'd with kindred blood,
What minstrel grey, what hoary bard,
Shail Allan's deeds on harp-strings raise ?
The song is glory's chief reward,
But who can strike a murderer's praise !
Unstrung, untouch'd the harp must stand,
No minstrel dare the theme awake;
Guilt would benumb his palsied hand, His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
His harp in shuddering chords would break. His plume of sable stream'd on high; But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
No lyre of fame, no hallowd verse, And fixed was the glare of his glassy eye.
Shall sound his glories high in air:
A dying father's bitter curse,
A brother's death-groan echoes there."
THE EPISODE OF NISUS AND EURYALUS. The bolts loud roll from pole to pole,
A PARAPHRASE FROM THE ÆNEID, LIB. IX. The thunders through the welkin ring: And the gleaming form, through the mist of the storm, Nisus, the guardian of the portal, stood, Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.
Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood;
Well skill'd in fight the quivering lance to wield, Cold was the feast, the revel ceased.
Or pour his arrows through th' embattled field : Who lies upon the stony floor?
From Ida torn, he left his sylvan caye, Oblivion press'd old Angus' breast,
And sought a foreign home, a distant grave. At length his life-pulse throbs once more.
To watch the movements of the Daunian host,
With him Euryalus sustains the post; Away! away ! let the leech essay
No lovelier mien adorn'd the ranks of Troy, To pour the light on Allan's eyes :'
And beardless bloom yet graced the gallant boy; His sand is done-his race is run;
Though few the seasons of his youthful life, Oh! never more shall Allan rise!
As yet a novice in the martial strife,
'Twas his, with beauty, valour's gifts to share But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,
A soul heroic, as his form was fair:
These burn with one pure flame of generous love; With him in dar. Glentanar's vale.
In peace, in war, united still they move;
Friendship and glory form their joint reward; And whence the dreadful stranger came,
And now combined they hold their nightly guard. Or who, no mortal wight can tell ;
What god, exclaim'd the first, 'instils this fire ? But no one doubts the form of Aame,
Or, in itself a god, what great desire ? For Alva's sons knew Oscar well.
My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd,
Abhors this station of inglorious rest;
Now o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran, The love of fame with this can ill accord,
And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man; Be't mine to seek for glory with my sword.
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold Seest thou yon camp, with torches twinkling dim, Alternate converse, and their plans unfold. Where drunken slumbers wrap each lazy limb ? On one great point the council are agreed, Where confidence and ease the watch disdain, An instant message to their prince decreed; And drowsy Silence holds her sable reign?
Each lean'd upon the lance he well could wield, Then hear my thought : In deep and sullen grief And poised with easy arm his ancient shield ; Our troops and leaders mourn their absent chief: When Nisus and his friend their leave request Now could the gifts and promised prize be thine To offer something to their high behest. (The deed, the danger, and the fame be mine), With anxious tremors, yet unawed by fear, Were this decreed, beneath yon rising mound, The faithful pair before the throne appear: Methinks, an easy path perchance were found: Iulus greets them; at his kind command, Which pass'd, I speed my way to Pallas' walls, The elder first addressed the hoary band. And lead Æneas from Evander's halls.'
With patience' (thus Hyrtacides began) With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy,
| Attend, nor judge from youth our humble plan. His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy;
Where yonder beacons half expiring beam, *These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone ?
Our slumbering foes of future conquests dream, Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own?
Nor heed that we a secret path have traced, Ain I by thee despised, and left afar,
Between the ocean and the portal placed. As one unfit to share the toils of war?
Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke, Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught;
Whose shade securely our design will cloak, Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought;
If you, ye chiefs, and fortune will allow,
We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow,
Where Pallas' walls at distance meet the sight, Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fear,
Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night: And hostile life-drops dim my gory spear,
Then shall Æneas in his pride return, Here is a soul with hope immortal burns,
When hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn; And life, ignoble life, for glory spurns.
And Latian spoils and purpled heaps of dead Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath :
Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread. The price of honour is the sleep of death."
Such is our purpose, not unknown the way; Then Nisus : 'Calm thy bosom's fond alarms, Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray, Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms.
Oft have we seen, when hunting by the stream, More dear thy worth and valour than my own, The distant spires above the valleys gleam." I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne! So may I triumph, as I speak the truth,
Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed, And clasp again the comrade of my youth!
Moved by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd: But should I fall- and he who dares advance
• Ye parent gods! who rule the fate of Troy, Through hostile legions inust abide by chance
Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy: If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow,
When minds like these in striplings thus ye raise, Should lay the friend who ever loved thee low,
Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise ; Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve,
In gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive, Thy budding years a lengthend term deserve.
And Ilion's wonted glories still survive.' When humbled in the dust, let soine onc be
Then in his warm embrace the boys he pressid, Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me;
And quivering, straind them to his aged breast; Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force,
With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd, Or wealth redeem from foes iny captive corse ;
And, sobbing, thus his first discourse renewid: Or, if my destiny these last deny,
What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize. If in the spoiler's power my ashes lie,
Can we bestow, which you may not despise ? Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb,
Our deities the first best boon have givenTo mark thy love, and signalise my doom.
Internal virtues are the gift of heaven, Why should thy doting wretched mother weep
What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth, Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep?
Doubtless await such young, exalted worth, Who for thy sake the tempest's fury dared,
Æneas and Ascanius shall combine Who for thy sake war's deadly peril shared;
To yield applause far, far surpassing mine," Who braved what woman never braved before,
Iulus then : By all the powers above! And left her native for the Latian shore.'
By those Penates who my country wve! In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,'
By hoary Vesta's sacred fane, I swear, Replied Euryalus: 'it scorns control!
My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair! Hence, let us haste!'-their brother guards arose, Restore my father to my grateful sight, Roused by their call, nor court again repose;
And all my sorrows yield to one delight. The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing, Nisus ! two silver goblets are thine own, Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king. Saved from Arisba's stately domes o'erthown!