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EPITAPH ON MRS. ERSKINE.
That in your service strive not yet in vain?
That, like the Roman in the capitol,
May fix an ancient favourite in your hearts,
O favour'd land! renown'd for arts and arms,
And all that you can hear, or I can tell,
EPILOGUE TO THE APPEAL,
SPOKEN BY MRS. H. SIDDONS.
A CAT of yore (or else old Æsop lied)
Such are the fruits of our dramatic labour
Yes, times are changed, for in your fathers' age
MR. KEMBLE'S FAREWELL ADDRESS,
ON TAKING LEAVE OF THE EDINBURGH STAGE.
As the worn war-horse, at the trumpet's sound,
The future legal sage, 'twas ours to see,
Why should we part, while still some powers re- Doom though unwigg'd, and plead without a fee.
But now astounding each poor mimic elf,
It is necessary to mention, that the allusions in this piece are all local, and addressed only to the Edinburgh audience. The new prisons of the city, on the Calton Hill, are not far from the theatre.
At this time the public of Edinburgh was much agitated by a lawsuit betwixt the magistrates and many of the inhabitants of the city, concerning the range of new buildings on the western side of the North Bridge; which the latter insisted should be removed as a deformity.
"The iron gate is bolted hard,
A corpse amid the alders rank,
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
THERE is a tradition in Tweeddale, that when Niedpath castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick forest. As
the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence, the lady fell into a consumption, and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognizing her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an instanes similar to this traditional tale in count Hamilton's Fleur d'Epine.
All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Till through her wasted hand, at night,
Across her cheek was flying;
She heard her lover's riding; Ere scarce a distant form was kenned, She knew, and waved to greet him; And o'er the battlement did bend,
As on the wing to meet him.
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
Louder, louder chant the lay,
Time, stern huntsman! who can balk, Stanch as hound, and fleet as hawk: Think of this, and rise with day, Gentle lords and ladies gay.
THE VIOLET. THE violet in her green-wood bower, Where birchen boughs with hazles mingle, May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen, or copse, or forest dingle. Though fair her gems of azure hue, Beneath the dew drop's weight reclining, I've seen an eye of lovelier blue,
More sweet through watʼry lustre shining. The summer sun that dew shall dry, Ere yet the day be past its morrow; Nor longer in my false love's eye, Remained the tear of parting sorrow.
TO A LADY,
WITH FLOWERS FROM A ROMAN WALL.
TAKE these flowers, which, purple waving,
Pluck no longer laurels there:
THE BARD'S INCANTATION. WRITTEN UNDER THE THREAT OF INVASION, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1804. THE forest of Glenmore is drear,
It is all of black pine, and the dark oak-tree; And the midnight wind, to the mountain deer, Is whistling the forest lullaby:
The moon looks through the drifting storm,
That mingles with the groaning oak-
And the lake-waves dashing against the rock; There is a voice within the wood, The voice of the bard in fitful mood; His song was louder than the blast,
As the bard of Glenmore through the forest past. "Wake ye from your sleep of death,
Minstrels and bards of other days! For the midnight wind is on the heath,
And the midnight meteors dimly blaze:
To what high strain your harps were strung, When Lochlin ploughed her billowy way,
And on your shores her Norsemen flung?
The forest of Glenmore is haunted by a spirit called Lhamdearg, or Red-hand.
+ Where the Norwegian invader of Scotland received two bloody defeats.
Nor through the pines with whistling change,
By every deed in song enrolled,
For Albion's weal in battle bold;-
The streams were of silver, of diamond the dew, The land was an Eden, for fancy was new.
I had heard of our bards, and my soul was on fire At the rush of their verse and the sweep of their lyre;
To me 'twas not legend, nor tale to the ear,
And renewed the wild pomp of the chase and the hall;
And the standard of Fion flashed fierce from on high,
Like a burst of the sun when the tempest is nigh.
In ancient Irish poetry, the standard of Fion, or Fingal, is called the Sun-burst, an epithet feebly rendered by the Sun-beam of Macpherson,
It seemed that the harp of green Erin once more Could renew all the glories she boasted of yore.Yet why at remembrance, fond heart, should'st thou burn?
They were days of delusion, and cannot return. But was she, too, a phantom, the maid who stood by,
And listed my lay, while she turned from mine eye? Was she, too, a vision, just glancing to view, Then dispersed in the sunbeam or melted to dew? Oh! would it had been so!-O! would that her eye Had been but a star-glance that shot through the sky,
And her voice, that was moulded to melody's
Had learned the sad lesson, to love and to part;
"Take the fame and the riches ye brought in your train,
And restore me the dream of my spring tide again!"
ON THE MASSACRE OF GLENCOE.
Where none may list their melody?
Screams chorus to thy minstrelsy?"
"No, not to these, for they have rest,—
But those for whom I pour the lay,
In guise of hospitality.
To tend her kindly housewifery.
"Long have my harp's best notes been gone, Few are its strings, and faint their tone, They can but sound in desert lone
The friendly hearth which warmed that hand,
"Then woman's shriek was heard in vain,
Far more than southron clemency.
Their gray-haired master's misery. Were each gray hair a minstrel string, Each chord should imprecations fling, Till startled Scotland loud should ring, 'Revenge for blood and treachery
Chief, thy wild tales, romantic Caledon, Wake keen remembrance in each hardy son. Whether on India's burning coasts he toil, Or till Arcadia's winter-fettered soil, He hears with throbbing heart and moistened eyes, And as he hears, what dear illusions rise! It opens on his soul his native dell, The woods wild waving, and the water's swell; Tradition's theme, the tower that threats the plain, The mossy cairn that hides the hero slain; The cot beneath whose simple porch were told, By gray-haired patriarch, the tales of old, The infant group that hushed their sports the while, And the dear maid who listened with a smile. The wanderer, while the vision warms his brain, Is denizen of Scotland once again.
Are such keen feelings to the crowd confined, And sleep they in the poet's gifted mind? Oh no! for she, within whose mighty page Each tyrant passion shows his wo and rage, Has felt the wizard influence they inspire, And to your own traditions tuned her lyre. Yourselves shall judge-whoe'er has raised the sail By Mull's dark coast has heard this evening's tale. The plaided boatman, resting on his oar, Points to the fatal rock amid the roar
whitening waves, and tells whate'er to-night Our humble stage shall offer to your sight; Proudly preferred that first our efforts give Scenes glowing from her pen to breathe and live; More proudly yet, should Caledon approve The filial token of a daughter's love!
FAREWELL TO MACKENZIE,
THE original verses are arranged to a beautiful Gaelic air, of which the chorus is adapted to the double pull upon the oars of a galley, and which is therefore distinct from the ordinary jorams, or boat-songs. They were composed by the family bard upon the departure of the earl of Seaforth, who was obliged to take refuge in Spain, after an unsuccessful effort at insurrection in favour of the Stuart family, in the year 1718.
FAREWELL to Mackenneth, great earl of the North, The lord of Lochcarron, Glenshiel, and Seaforth;
Arcadia, or Nova Scotia.