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IN THE FRITH OF CLYDE, AILSA CRAG.
DURING AN ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, JULY 17.
[THE morning of the eclipse was exquisitely beautiful while we passed the Crag as described in the Sonnet. On the deck of the steam-boat were several persons of the poor and labouring class, and I could not but be struck by their cheerful talk with each other, while not one of them seemed to notice the magnificent objects with which we were surrounded; and even the phenomenon of the eclipse attracted but little of their attention. Was it right not to regret this? They appeared to me, however, so much alive in their own minds to their own concerns that I could not look upon it as a misfortune that they had little perception for such pleasures as cannot be cultivated without ease and leisure. Yet, if one surveys life in all its duties and relations, such ease and leisure will not be found so enviable a privilege as it may at first appear. Natural Philosophy, Painting, and Poetry, and refined taste, are no doubt great acquisitions to society; but, among those who dedicate themselves to such pursuits, it is to be feared that few are as happy, and as consistent in the management of their lives, as the class of persons who at that time led me into this course of reflection. I do not mean by this to be understood to derogate from intellectual pursuits, for that would be monstrous : I say it in deep gratitude for this compensation to those whose cares are limited to the necessities of daily life. Among them, self-tormentors, so numerous in the higher classes of society, are rare.]
SINCE risen from ocean, ocean to defy,
His sides, or wreathe with mist his forehead high:
Towering above the sea and little ships;
Each for her haven; with her freight of Care,
Though poor, yet rich, without the wealth of books,
ON THE FRITH OF CLYDE.
(IN A STEAM-BOAT.)
[THE mountain outline on the north of this island, as seen from the Frith of Clyde, is much the finest I have ever noticed in Scotland or elsewhere.]
ARRAN! a single-crested Teneriffe,
A St. Helena next-in shape and hue,
Varying her crowded peaks and ridges blue;
ON REVISITING DUNOLLY CASTLE.
[See former series, "Yarrow Revisited," &c., p. 104.]
THE captive Bird was gone ;-to cliff or moor
An Eagle with stretched wings, but beamless eye—
To call thee so ?) or symbol of fierce deeds
THE DUNOLLY EAGLE.
Nor to the clouds, not to the cliff, he flew
Now, near his master's house in
Look to thy plumage and thy life!-The roe,
Eyeing the sea's blue depths. Poor Bird! even so
WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF MACPHERSON'S
From hope and promise, self-betrayed.
were, I am sorry to say, suggested from apprehensions of the
OFT have I caught, upon a fitful breeze,
With ear not coveting the whole,
Nor felt a wish that heaven would show
What need, then, of these finished Strains?
An abbey in its lone recess,
A temple of the wilderness,
Wrecks though they be, announce with feeling The majesty of honest dealing.
Spirit of Ossian! if imbound
In language thou may'st yet be found,
Or floating on the tongues of men,
In concert with memorial claim
Of old grey stone, and high-born name
Interpret that Original,
And for presumptuous wrongs atone ;—
Hath preyed with ruthless appetite
Of the poetic ecstasy
Into the land of mystery.
No tongue is able to rehearse
One measure, Orpheus! of thy verse;