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SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
To that hoar pile" which still its ruin shows:
But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race, [tides,
Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes en
gage Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest; For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time th' historic page. There, Shakspeare's self, with ev'ry garland crown'd, Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen, In musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrours dress'd the magic scene. From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast! The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceeds nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answering bosom pierce; Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold, The native legends of thy land rehearse; To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse.
Inscenes like these, which, daring to depart
To heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art.
How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd
n each live plant with mortal accents spoke,
And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd swords
"One of the Hebrides is called the Isle of Pigouts; where it is reported that several miniature one of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel there. .* Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near only of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian *ings are interred.
! An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of *hich the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Helrides, chiefly subsist.
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail!
Jons DYER, an agreeable poet, was the son of a solicitor at Aberglasney, in Carmarthenshire, where he was born in 1700. He was brought up at Westminster-school, and was designed by his father for his own profession; but being at liberty, in consequence of his father's death, to follow his own inclination, he indulged what he took for a natural taste in painting, and entered as pupil to Mr. Richardson. After wandering for some time about South Wales and the adjacent counties as an itinerant artist, he appeared convinced that he should not attain to eminence in that profession. In 1727, he first made himself known as a poet, by the publication of his “Grongar Hill,” descriptive of a scene afforded by his native country, which became one of the most popular pieces of its class, and has been admitted into numerous collections. Dyer then travelled to Italy, still in pursuit of profesional improvement; and if he did not acquire this in any considerable degree, he improved his poetical taste, and laid in a store of new images. These he displayed in a poem of some length, published In 1740, which he entitled “The Ruins of Rome,” that capital having been the principal object of his journeyings. Of this work it may be said, that it contains many passages of real poetry, and that the *rain of moral and political reflection denotes a benevolent and enlightened mind.
GRONG AR HILL.
Stor nymph, with curious eyes
His health being now in a delicate state, he was advised by his friends to take orders; and he was accordingly ordained by Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln; and, entering into the married state, he sat down on a small living in Leicestershire. This he exchanged for one in Lincolnshire; but the fenny country in which he was placed did not agree with his health, and he complained of the want of books and company. In 1757, he published his largest work, “The Fleece,” a didactic poem, in four books, of which the first part is pastoral, the second mechanical, the third and fourth historical and geographical. This poem has never been very popular, many of its topics not being well adapted to poetry; yet the opinions of critics have varied concerning it. It is certain that there are many pleasing, and some grand and impressive in the work; but, upon the whole, the general feeling is, that the length of the performance necessarily imposed upon it a degree of tediousness. Dyer did not long survive the completion of his book. He died of a gradual decline in 1758, leaving behind him, besides the reputation of an ingenious poet, the character of an honest, humane, and worthy person.
So of I have, the evening still,
Now, I gain the mountain's brow, What a landscape lies below ! No clouds, no vapours intervene; But the gay, the open scene Does the face of Nature show, In all the hues of Heaven's bow ! And, swelling to embrace the light, Spreads around beneath the sight. Old castles on the cliffs arise, Proudly towering in the skies! Rushing from the woods, the spires Seem from hence ascending fires! Half his beams Apollo sheds On the yellow mountain-heads ! Gilds the fleeces of the flocks, And glitters on the broken rocks! Below me trees unnumber'd rise, Beautiful in various dyes: The gloomy pine, the poplar blue, The yellow beech, the sable yew, The slender fir that taper grows, The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs. And beyond the purple grove, Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love! Gaudy as the opening dawn, Lies a long and level lawn, On which a dark hill, steep and high, Holds and charms the wandering eye! Deep are his feet in Towy's flood, His sides are cloth'd with waving wood, And ancient towers crown his brow, That cast an aweful look below; Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps, And with her arms from falling keeps; So both a safety from the wind On mutual dependence find. 'T is now th' raven's bleak abode; 'T is now the apartment of the toad; And there the fox securely feeds; And there the poisonous adder breeds, Conceal’d in ruins, moss, and weeds; While, ever and anon, there falls Huge heaps of hoary moulder'd walls. Yet Time has seen, that lifts the low, And level lays the lofty brow, Has seen this broken pile complete, Big with the vanity of state; But transient is the smile of Fate! A little rule, a little sway, A sun-beam in a winter's day, Is all the proud and mighty have Between the cradle and the grave. And see the rivers how they run, Through woods and meads, in shade and sun, Sometimes swift, sometimes slow, Wave succeeding wave, they go A various journey to the deep, Like human life, to endless sleep! Thus is Nature's vesture wrought, To instruct our wandering thought; Thus she dresses green and gay, To disperse our cares away. Ever charming, ever new, When will the landscape tire the view The fountain's fall, the river's flow, The woody valleys, warm and low; The windy summit, wild and high, Roughly rushing on the sky! The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tower, The naked rock, the shady bower;
The town and village, dome and farm, Each give each a double charm, As pearls upon an Ethiop's arm. See on the mountain's southern side, Where the prospect opens wide, Where the evening gilds the tide; How close and small the hedges lie! What streaks of meadows cross the eye! A step methinks may pass the stream, So little distant dangers seem; So we mistake the Future's face, Ey'd through Hope's deluding glass; As yon summits soft and fair, Clad in colours of the air, Which to those who journey near, Barren, brown, and rough appear; Still we tread the same coarse way, The present 's still a cloudy day. O may I with myself agree, And never covet what I see; Content me with an humble shade, My passions tam’d, my wishes laid; For, while our wishes wildly roll, We banish quiet from the soul: 'T is thus the busy beat the air, And misers gather wealth and care. Now, ev'n now, my joys run high, As on the mountain-turf I lie; While the wanton Zephyr sings, And in the vale perfumes his wings; While the waters murmur deep; While the shepherd charms his sheep; While the birds unbounded fly, And with music fill the sky, Now, e'en now, my joys run high. . Be full, ye courts; be great who will; Search for Peace with all your skill: Open wide the lofty door, Seek her on the marble floor. In vain you search, she is not there; In vain ye search the domes of Care! Grass and flowers Quiet treads, On the meads, and mountain-heads Along with Pleasure, close ally'd, Ever by each other's side: And often, by the murmuring rill, Hears the thrush, while all is still, Within the groves of Grongar Hill.
THE RUINS OF ROME.
Aspice murorum moles, praeruptaque san",
Mournfully rolls. Yet once again, my Muse, Yet once again, and soar a loftier flight; Lo the resistless theme, imperial Rome. Fall'n, fall'n, a silent heap; her heroes all Sunk in their urns; behold the pride of pomp, The throne of nations fall'n ; obscur'd in dust; E'en yet majestical : the solemn scene Elates the soul, while now the rising Sun Flames on the ruins in the purer air Towering aloft, upon the glittering plain, Like broken rocks, a vast circumference: Rent palaces, crush'd columns, rifled moles, Fanes roll'd on fanes, and tombs on buried tombs. Deep lies in dust the Theban obelisk Immense along the waste; minuter art, Gliconian forms, or Phidian subtly fair, 0'erwhelming; as th’ immense Leviathan The finny brood, when near Ierne's shore Outstretch'd, unwieldy, his island-length appears Above the foamy flood. Globose and huge, Gray mouldering temples swell, and wide o'ercast The solitary landscape, hills and woods, And boundless wilds; while the vine-mantled brows The pendent goats unveil, regardless they Of hourly peril, though the clefted domes Tremble to every wind. The pilgrim oft At dead of night, 'mid his orison hears Aghast the voice of Time, disparting towers, Tumbling all precipitate down-dash'd, Rattling around, loud thundering to the Moon; While murmurs soothe each awful interval Of ever-falling waters; shrouded Nile, Eridanus, and Tiber with his twins, And palmy Euphrates"; they with drooping locks Hang o'er their urns, and mournfully among The plaintive-echoing ruins pour their streams. Yet here, adventurous in the sacred search Of ancient arts, the delicate of mind, Curious and modest, from all climes resort. Grateful society with these I raise The toilsome step up the proud Palatin, Through spiry cypress groves, and towering pine, Waving aloft o'er the big ruin's brows, On numerous arches rear'd : and frequent stopp'd, The sunk ground startles me with dreadful chasm, Breathing forth darkness from the vast profound Of aisles and halls, within the mountain's womb. Northese the nether works; all these beneath, And all beneath the vales and hills around, Extend the cavern'd sewers, massy, firm, As the Sibylline grot beside the dead Lake of Avernus; such the sewers huge, Whither the great Tarquinian genius dooms Each wave impure; and proud with added rains, Hark how the mighty billows lash their vaults, And thunder ; how they heave their rocks in vain' Though now incessant time has roll'd around A thousand winters o'er the changeful world, And yet a thousand since, th’ indignant floods Roar loud in their firm bounds, and dash and swell, In vain; convey'd to Tiber's lowest wave. Hence over airy plains, by crystal founts, That weave their glittering waves with tuneful lapse, Among the sleeky pebbles, agate clear, Cerulean ophite, and the flowery vein Of orient jasper, pleas'd I move along, And vases boss'd, and huge inscriptive stones,
And intermingling vines; and figur'd nymphs,
* Fountains at Rome adorned with the statues
of those rivers.