« AnteriorContinuar »
When he had better far have stretched his ROBERT SOUTHEY. limbs
1774--1843. Beside a brook in mossy forest dell, By sun or inoonlight, to the influxes
THE TENT OF MOATH. Of shapesand sounds and shifting elements, Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song Nor rich nor poor was Moath; God had And of his fame forgetful. So his fame
given Should share in Nature's immortality, Enough, and blest him with a mind content. A venerable thing! and so his song i No hoarded gold disquieted his dreams; Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself But ever round his station he beheld Be loved like Nature! But 'twill not be so; Camels that knew his voice, And youths and maidens most poetical, And home-birds, grouping at Oneiza's call, Who lose the deepening twilights of the And goats that, morn and eve, spring
Came with full udders to the damsel's hand. In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still Dear child! the tent beneath whose shade Full of meek sympathy must heave their they dwelt sighs
It was her work; and she had twined Oer Philomela's pity-pleading strains. His girdle's many hues; My Friend, and thou, our Sister, we have And he had seen his robe learned
Grow in Oneiza's loom. A different lore: we may not thus profane How often with a memory-mingled joy, Nature s sweet voices, always full of love Which made her mother live before his And joyance. 'Tis the merry nightingale sight,
(woof; That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates He watched her nimble fingers thread the With fast thick warble his delicious notes, Or at the hand-mill, when she knelt and As he were fearful that an April night
toiled, Would be too short for him to utter forth Tossed the thin cake on spreading palm, His love-chant, and disburden his full soul Or fixed it on the glowing oven's side Of all its music!
With bare wet arm, and safe dexterity. And I know a grove Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, 'Tis the cool evening hour: Which the great lord inhabits not; and so The tamarind from the dew This grove is wild with tangling underwood, Sheathes its young fruit, yet green. And the trim walks are broken up,and grass,
Before their tent the mat is spread; Thin grass and king-cups, grow within the The old man's solemn voice paths,
Intones the holy book. But never elsewhere in one place I knew What if beneath no lamp-illumined dome, So many nightingales; and far and near, Its marble walls bedecked with flourished In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, truth,
(word They answer and provoke each other's Azure and gold adornment? Sinks the songs,
With deeper influence from the Imam's With skirmish and capricious passagings,
voice And murmurs musical and swift jug-jug; Where, in the day of congregation, crowds And one, low piping, sounds more sweet Perform the duty-task? than all,
Their father is their priest, Stirring the air with such an harmony,
The stars of heaven their point of prayer, That should you close your eyes, you might And the blue firmament almost
(bushes, The glorious temple, where they feel Forget it was not day. On moonlight The present Deity. Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, You may perchance behold them on the Yet through the purple glow of eve twigs,
[bright and full, Shines dimly the white moon. [lance, Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both The slackened bow, the quiver, the long Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the Rest on the pillar of the tent. [brow, shade
Knitting light palm-leaves for her brother's Lights up her love-torch.
The dark-eyed damsel sits;
The tranquillizing herb.
[face, Then, if the brightening moon that lit his In darkness favoured hers, Oh! even with such a look, as fables say, The mother ostrich fixes on her egg, Till that intense affection Kindle its light of life,
[ness Even in such deep and breathless tenderOneiza's soul is centred on the youth, So motionless, with such an ardent gaze, Save when from her full eyes She wipes away the swelling tears That dim his image there.
Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
How beautiful beneath the bright blue sky The billows heave! one glowing green
expanse, Save where along the bending line of shore Such hue is thrown as when the peacock's
neck Assumes its proudest tint of amethyst Embathed in emerald glory.
EVENING AT ROKEBY.
The sultry summer day is done,
Far in the chambers of the west, The gale had sighed itself to rest;
The moon was cloudless now and clear,
His broidered cap and plume. For royal was his garb and mien ;
His cloak, of crimson velvet piled,
Trimmed with the fur of martin wild ; His vest of changeful satin sheen,
The dazzled eye beguiled; His gorgeous collar hung adown, (crown, Wrought with the badge of Scotland's The thistle brave, of old renown: His trusty blade, Toledo right, Descended from a baldric bright; White were his buskins, on the heel His spurs inlaid of gold and steel; His bonnet, all of crimson fair, Was buttoned with a ruby rare: And Marmion deemed he ne'er had seen A prince of such a noble mien. The monarch's form was middle size; For feat of strength, or exercise,
Shaped in porportion fair; And hazel was his eagle eye, And auburn of the darkest dye
His short curled beard and hair. Light was his footstep in the dance,
And firm his stirrup in the lists;
That seldom lady's heart resists.
I said he joyed in banquet bower; But, 'mid his mirth, 'twas often strange, How suddenly his cheer would change,
His look o'ercast and lower, If, in a sudden turn, he felt The pressure of his iron belt, That bound his breast in penance pain, In memory of his father slain. Even so 'twas strange how, evermore, Soon as the passing pang was o'er, Forward he rushed, with double glee, Into the stream of revelry: Thus, dim-seen object of affright Startles the courser in his flight, And half he halts, half springs aside ; But feels the quickening spur applied, And, straining on the tightened rein, Scours doubly swift o'er hill and plain.
KING JAMES IV.
An easy task it was, I trow,
HEAP on more wood !--the wind is chill;
Each age has deemed the new-born year
Then the grim boar's head frowned on high,
'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale; A Christmas gambol oft could cheer The poor man's heart through half the
And well our Christian sires of old Loved when the year its course had rolled, And brought blithe Christmas back again, With all his hospitable train. Domestic and religious rite Gave honour to the holy night; On Christmas Eve the bells were rung; On Christmas Eve the mass was sung: That only night in all the year Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear. The damsel donned her kirtle sheen; The hall was dressed with holly green; Forth to the wood did merry men go To gather in the mistletoe. Then opened wide the baron's hall To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ; Power laid his rod of rule aside, And Ceremony doffed his pride. The heir, with roses in his shoes, That night might village partner choose ; The lord, underogating, share The vulgar game of “post and pair." * All hailed with uncontrolled delight, And general voice, the happy night, That to the cottage, as the crown, Brought tidings of salvation down.
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide; The huge hall table's oaken face, Scrubbed till it shone, the day to grace, Bore then upon its massive board No mark to part the squire and lord. Then was brought in the lusty brawn By old blue-coated serving-man;
Still linger, in our northern clime, Some remnants of the good old time; And still, within our valleys here, We hold the kindred title dear, Even when, perchance, its far-fetched claim To Southron ear sounds empty name; For course of blood, our proverbs deem, Is warmer than the mountain stream. And thus my Christmas still I hold Where my great grandsire came of old, With amber beard and flaxen hair, And reverend apostolic airThe feast and holy-tide to share, And mix sobriety with wine, And honest mirth with thoughts divine. Small thought was his in after-time E'er to be hitched into a rhyme. The simple sire could only boast That he was loyal to his cost; The banished race of kings revered, And lost his land, -but kept his beard.
In these dear halls, where welcome kind Is with fair liberty combined, Where cordial friendship gives the hand, And flies constraint the magic wand Of the fair dame that rules the land,
* An old game at cards.
Little we heed the tempest drear, While music, mirth, and social cheer Speed on their wings the passing year.
THE BATTLE OF FLODDEN
Inactive on his steed,
His host Lord Surrey lead ? What'vails the vain knight-errant's brand? -Oh, Douglas, for thy leading wand!
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed ! Oh for one hour of Wallace wight, Or well-skilled Bruce, to rule the fight, And cry- "Saint Andrew and our right!". Another sight had seen that morn, From Fate's dark book a leaf been torn, And Flodden had been Bannockbourne!The precious hour has passed in vain, And England's host has gained the plain ; Wheeling their march, and circling still Around the base of Flodden hill. Ere yet the bands met Marmion's eye, Fitz-Eustace shouted loud and high, "Hark! hark! my lord, an English drum! And see ascending squadrons come
Between Tweed's river and the hill, Foot, horse, and cannon :-hap what hap, My basnet to a prentice cap,
Lord Surrey's o'er the Till.
And sweep so gallant by;
And all their armour flashing high !
To see fair England's standards fly. “Stint in thy prate,” quoth Blount,
"thou 'dst best,
Himself he swift on horseback threw,
So Clare shall bide with me.
He ventured desperately;
And stems it gallantly.
Old Hubert led her rein;
The southern bank they gain;
As best they might, the train:
A caution not in vain ;-
Then forward moved his band,
Did all the field command.
Hence might they see the full array
And fronted north and south,
From the loud cannon mouth; Not in the close successive rattle That breathes the voice of modern battle,
But slow and far between.The hillock gained, Lord Marmion stayed : “Here by this Cross,” he gently said,
“You well may view the scene. Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare: Oh, think of Marmion in thy prayer ! Thou wilt not?-well, no less my care Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare, You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard,
With ten picked archers of my train ; With England if the day go hard,
To Berwick speed amain.