Imágenes de páginas

Malcolm, come forth!"-And, at the word,
Down kneeled the Græme to Scotland's Lord.
"For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may Vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile,
And sought amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlawed man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.-
Fetters and warder for the Græme!"-
His chain of gold the King unstrung,
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung,
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.

Harp of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.
Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy;
Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea,

And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.

Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp

May idly cavil at an idle lay.

Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,
Through secret woes the world has never known,
When on the weary night dawned wearier day,
And bitterer was the grief devoured alone.

That I o'erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own.

Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string!
"Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire,
'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing.
Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell,
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell-
And now, 'tis silent all!-Enchantress, fare thee well!



A Poem.



"Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris,

[blocks in formation]




THE following Poem is founded upon a Spanish Tradition, parti. cularly detailed in the Notes; but bearing, in general, that Don Roderick, the last Gothic King of Spain, when the Invasion of the Moors was impending, had the temerity to descend into an ancient vault near Toledo, the opening of which had been denounced as fatal to the Spanish monarchy. The legend adds, that his rash curiosity was mortified by an emblematical representation of those Saracens who, in the year 714, defeated him in battle, and reduced Spain under their dominion. I have presumed to prolong the Vision of the Revolutions of Spain down to the present eventful crisis of the Peninsula; and to divide it, by a supposed change of scene, into THREE PERIODS. The FIRST of these represents the Invasion of the Moors, the Defeat and Death of Roderick, and closes with the peaceful occupation of the country by the Victors. The SECOND PERIOD embraces the state of the Peninsula, when the conquests of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East and West Indies had raised to the highest pitch the renown of their arms; sullied, however, by superstition and cruelty. An allusion to the inhumanities of the Inquisition terminates this picture. The LAST PART of the Poem opens with the state of Spain previous to the unparalleled treachery of BUONAPARTE; gives a sketch of the usurpation attempted upon that unsuspicious and friendly kingdom, and terminates with the arrival of the British succours. It may be farther proper to mention, that the object of the Poem is less to commemorate or detail particular incidents, than to exhibit a general and impressive picture of the several periods brought upon the stage.

I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, especially by one who has already experienced more than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the inferiority of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to mention, that, while I was hastily executing a work, written for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the task was most cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of Lord President BLAIR,a and Lord Viscount MELVILLE. In those distinguished characters, I had not only to regret persons whose lives were most important to Scotland, but also whose notice and patronage honoured my entrance upon active life; and I may add, with melancholy pride, who permitted my more advanced age to claim no common share in their friendship. Under such interruptions, the following verses, which my best and happiest efforts must have left far unworthy of their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence and incoherence, which, in other circumstances, I might have been able to remove.

EDINBURGH, June 24th, 1811.

a Robert Blair, Lord President of the Court of Session. He was the son of the Rev. R. Blair, author of "The Grave." He died at Edinburgh, May 28, 1811.-Ann. Reg. 1811.

b Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville. He died at Edinburgh, May 27, 1811.-Ann. Reg. 1811. In the Edinburgh Annual Register for 181 Blair is stated to have died May 20, and Lord Melville May 29; and this appears to be the correct account.





LIVES there a strain, whose sounds of mounting fire May rise distinguished o'er the din of war, Or died it with yon Master of the Lyre, Who sung beleaguered Ilion's evil star? Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, Wafting its descant wide o'er Ocean's range; Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood could mar All as it swelled 'twixt each loud trumpet change, That clangs to Britain, victory, to Portugal, revenge!


Yes! such a strain, with all-o'erpowering measure, Might melodize with each tumultuous sound, Each voice of fear or triumph, woe or pleasure, That rings Mondego's ravaged shores around; The thundering cry of hosts with conquest crowned The female shriek, the ruined peasant's moan, The shout of captives from their chains unbound, The foiled oppressor's deep and sullen groan, A Nation's choral hymn for tyranny o'erthrown.


But we, weak minstrels of a laggard day,
Skilled but to imitate an elder page,

Timid and raptureless, can we repay

The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age? Thou givest our lyres a theme, that might engage Those that could send thy name o'er sea and land, While sea and land shall last; for Homer's rage A theme; a theme for Milton's mighty handHow much unmeet for us, a faint degenerate band!

« AnteriorContinuar »