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MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.

CANTO THE FIRST.

B

Mary's Voyage from Scotland to France—The Minstrel's Farewell— Arrival at Brest-Proceeds to St. Germain-en-laye—Captives liberated at her approach— Lesly's admiration of her-Description of Night—Marriage with the Dauphin Francis-Death of the French King Henry the Second-Death of Francis–Mary's Adieu to her Mother's Tomb.

CANTO THE FIRST.

1.

Fair breaks the Morn, and rising o'er the lea,
Sheds its first dawn upon the deep-blue sea ;
Its growing light the murky vapours fly,
And the last star is shooting thro' the sky:
The redd'ning Sun, now bursting on the sight,
Bathes the deep skies in floods of living light;
From the clear vault the nightly mists has hurld,
Nor left one cloud to frown

the world.
Oh! it is sweet on such a morn to brave
The slumb’ring terrors of the boundless wave;
To feel our light bark heaving with the tide,
And watch each wave that sports along its side :

upon

Then—when no object meets th' admiring eye,
Save the blue waters, and the bluer sky;
When all is silent, save a transient breeze
That scarce can break the crystal of the seas;
Woo'd by the joyous freshness of the scene,
The heart turns back to pleasures which have been ;
To happier hours, and calmer thoughts descends,
To lost companions, and to absent friends;
While Fancy smiles upon the still dear throng,
And bids us turn our visions into song.

1

II.

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But to my theme ! perchance too long delay'd, To muse on scenes where first my footsteps stray'd ; ! Nor let the poet smile, nor critic deem Such recollections can disgrace my theme:

! For in those scenes my thoughts first learnt to pore O'er the wild tales of legendary lore; First lisp'd the name at which

my

bosom glows, And wept o'er Mary's beauty, and her woes.

Mark ye, where rising o'er the swelling surge,
Yon bark seems ling’ring on th' horizon's verge,
Spreads its white sails majestically slow,
And cleaves the waters with its glittering prow?

There, woo'd by pleasure such as youth beguiles,
The exil'd Queen of Caledonia smiles;(1)
Round her—the daughters of each high-born chief-
Her young companions soothe, or share her grief:(2)
Launch'd into all the novelty of life,
They little reck of sorrow or of strife ;
Nor deem, unconscious of their future doom,

Each moment leads them nearer to the tomb.

And she, in whose young lineaments we trace
The dawning beauties of a woman's grace ;
In youthful wonder o'er the bark reclines,
To mark each ray that in the ocean shines ;
As if already she had learnt the joy
Which Nature breathes when emptier pleasures cloy.

Smile on, young Queen! smile on, securely gay,
Nor weep till grief shall claim thee for his prey:

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