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AT BALA-SALA, ISLE OF MAN.
(Supposed to be written by a Friend.)
BROKEN in fortune, but in mind entire
And sound in principle, I seek repose
Where ancient trees this convent-pile inclose,*
In ruin beautiful. When vain desire
Intrudes on peace, I pray the Eternal Sire
To cast a soul-subduing shade on me,
A gray-haired, pensive, thankful Refugee;
A shade, but with some sparks of heavenly fire
Once to these cells vouchsafed. And when I note
The old Tower's brow yellowed as with the beams
Of sunset ever there, albeit streams
Of stormy weather-stains that semblance wrought,
I thank the silent Monitor, and say,
"Shine so, my aged brow, at all hours of the day!"
ONCE on the top of Tynwald's formal mound
(Still marked with green turf circles narrowing
Stage above stage) would sit this Island's King,
The laws to promulgate, enrobed and crowned;
While, compassing the little mound around,
Degrees and Orders stood, each under each:
Now, like to things within fate's easiest reach,
The power is merged, the pomp a grave has found.
Off with yon cloud, old Snafell! that thine eye
Over three Realms may take its widest range;
And let, for them, thy fountains utter strange
Voices, thy winds break forth in prophecy,
If the whole State must suffer mortal change,
Like Mona's miniature of sovereignty.
DESPOND Who will, — I heard a voice exclaim, "Though fierce the assault, and shattered the de
It cannot be that Britain's social frame,
The glorious work of time and providence,
Before a flying season's rash pretence
Should fall; that she, whose virtue put to shame,
When Europe prostrate lay, the Conqueror's aim,
Should perish, self-subverted. Black and dense
The cloud is; but brings that a day of doom
To Liberty? Her sun is up the while,
That orb whose beams round Saxon Alfred shone:
Then laugh, ye innocent Vales! ye Streams,
Nor let one billow of our heaven-blest Isle
Toss in the fanning wind a humbler plume."
IN THE FRITH OF CLYDE, AILSA CRAG.
(During an Eclipse of the Sun, July 17.)
SINCE risen from ocean, ocean to defy,
Appeared the Crag of Ailsa, ne'er did morn
With gleaming lights more gracefully adorn
His sides, or wreathe with mist his forehead high:
Now, faintly darkening with the sun's eclipse,
Still is he seen, in lone sublimity,
Towering above the sea and little ships;
For dwarfs the tallest seem while sailing by,
Each for her haven; with her freight of Care,
Pleasure, or Grief, and Toil that seldom looks
Into the secret of to-morrow's fare;
Though poor, yet rich, without the wealth of books,
Or aught that watchful Love to Nature owes
For her mute Powers, fix'd Forms, or transient
ARRAN! a single-crested Teneriffe,
A St. Helena next,
Varying her crowded peaks and ridges blue;
Who but must covet a cloud-seat, or skiff
Built for the air, or wingèd Hippogriff,
That he might fly, where no one could pursue,
From this dull Monster and her sooty crew;
And, as a God, light on thy topmost cliff?
Impotent wish! which reason would despise
If the mind knew no union of extremes,
No natural bond between the boldest schemes
Ambition frames, and heart-humilities.
Beneath stern mountains many a soft vale lies,
And lofty springs give birth to lowly streams.
ON REVISITING DUNOLLY CASTLE.
[See former series, Vol. III. p. 280.]
THE captive Bird was gone;
Perchance had flown, delivered by the storm;
Or he had pined, and sunk to feed the worm:
Him found we not: but, climbing a tall tower,
There saw, impaved with rude fidelity
Of art mosaic, in a roofless floor,
An Eagle with stretched wings, but beamless
An Eagle that could neither wail nor soar.
Effigy of the vanished,- (shall I dare
To call thee so?) or symbol of fierce deeds
And of the towering courage which past times
Rejoiced in, take, whate'er thou be, a share
Not undeserved, of the memorial rhymes
That animate my way where'er it leads!
NOT to the clouds, not to the cliff, he flew ;
But when a storm, on sea or mountain bred,
Came and delivered him, alone he sped
Into the castle-dungeon's darkest mew.
Now, near his master's house in open view
He dwells, and hears indignant tempests howl,
Kennelled and chained. Ye tame domestic fowl,
Look to thy plumage and thy life! — The roe,
Fleet as the west wind, is for him no quarry ;
Balanced in ether he will never tarry,
Eyeing the sea's blue depths. Poor Bird! even so
Doth man of brother man a creature make
That clings to slavery for its own sad sake.
WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF MACPHERSON'S
OFT have I caught, upon a fitful breeze,
Fragments of far-off melodies,
With ear not coveting the whole,
A part so charmed the pensive soul: