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And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity, at his side,

Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his

head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed,

Sad proof of thy distressful state;
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed,
And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sate retired,
And from her wild sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;

And, dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound:
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,

Round an holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.

But O how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call, to faun and dryad known!
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,

Satyrs, and sylvan boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;

Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial:

He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,

Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.

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They would have thought, who-heard the strain,
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,
Amidst the festal-sounding shades,

To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,

Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round;
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,

And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.

O Music! sphere-descended maid!
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid!
Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?
As in that loved Athenian bower
You learned an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
Arise as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording sister's page:
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
O bid our vain endeavours cease:
Revive the just designs of Greece;
Return in all thy simple state;
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF

THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND

CONSIDERED AS THE SUBJECT OF POETRY

I

H—, thou return'st from Thames, whose naiads long

Have seen thee lingering, with a fond delay,

'Mid those soft friends, whose hearts, some future day, Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song. Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth

Whom, long-endeared, thou leav'st by Levant's side; Together let us wish him lasting truth,

And joy untáinted, with his destined bride. Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast

My short-lived bliss, forget my social name; But think, far off, how on the Southern coast

I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Fresh to that soil thou turn’st, whose every vale

Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand :
To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;

Thou need'st but take the pencil to thy hand,
And paint what all believe who own thy genial land.

II

There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;

'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett’st thy feet,

Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet Beneath each birken shade on mead or hill. There each trim lass that skims the milky store

To the swart tribes their creamy bowł allots; By night they sip it round the cottage door,

While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There every herd, by sad experience, knows

How, winged with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly; When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,

Or, stretched on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutored swain:

Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts neglect; Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain:

These are the themes of simple, sure effect,

That add new conquests to her boundless reign,
And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding strain.

III

Even yet preserved, how often may'st thou hear,

Where to the pole the boreal mountains run,

Taught by the father to his listening son, . Strange lays, whose power had charmed a Spenser's ear. At every pause, before thy mind possessed,

Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-coloured vest,

Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crowned : Whether thou bid'st the well-taught hind repeat

The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,

And strewed with choicest herbs his scented grave; Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel,

Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war’s alarms, When, at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,

The sturdy clans poured forth their bony swarms, And hostile brothers met to prove each other's arms.

IV

'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,

In Skye's lone isle the gifted wizard seer,

Lodged in the wintry cave with [Fate's fell spear;]
Or in the depth of Uist's dark forests dwells:
How they whose sight such dreary dreams engross,

With their own visions oft astonished droop,
When o'er the watery strath or quaggy moss

They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop; Or if in sports, or on the festive green,

Their [destined] glance some fated youth descry, Who, now perhaps in lusty vigour seen

And rosy health, shall soon lamented die. For them the viewless forms of air obey,

Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair.
They know what spirit brews the stormful day,

And, heartless, oft like moody madness stare
To see the phantom train their secret work prepares

[To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,

Oft have they seen Fate give the fatal blow!

The seer, in Skye, shrieked as the blood did flow, When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay! As Boreas threw his young Aurora forth,

In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles raged in welkin of the North,

They mourned in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joyed in Preston's fight, Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crov

owned, They raved, divining, through their second sight,

Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drowned ! Illustrious William! Britain's guardian name!

One William saved us from a tyrant's stroke; He, for a sceptre, gained heroic fame;

But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast broke, To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke!

VI

These, too, thou’lt sing! for well thy magic Muse

Can to the topmost heaven of grandeur soar!

Or stoop to wail the swain that is no more!
Ah, homely swains! your homeward steps ne'er lose;
Let not dank Will mislead you to the heath:

Dancing in mirky night, o'er fen and lake,
He glows, to draw you downward to your death,

In his bewitched, low, marshy willow brake!] What though far off, from some dark dell espied, His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,

Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For, watchful, lurking 'mid th' unrustling reed,

At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,

And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes,
If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.

VII
Ah, luckless swain, o’er all unblest indeed!

Whom, late bewildered in the dank, dark fen,

Far from his flocks and smoking hamlet then, To that sad spot [where hums the sedgy weed:]

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