Imágenes de páginas

And adjurations of the God in Heaven), ·

On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd We send our mandates for the certain death Like fancy points and fringes, with the robe Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, Pull'd off at pleasure. Fondly these attach And women, that would groan to see a child A radical causation to a few Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,

Poor drudges of chastising Providence, The best amusement for our morning-meal! Who borrow all their hues and qualities The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers From our own folly and rank wickedness, From curses, who knows scarcely words enough Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father,

meanwhile, Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute

Dote with a mad idolatry ; and all And technical in victories and defeats,

Who will not fall before their images,
And all our dainty terms for fratricide ;

And yield them worship, they are enemies
Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues Even of their country!
Like mere abstractions, empty sounds, to which
We join no feeling and attach no form!
As if the soldier died without a wound;

Such have I been deem'd As if the fibres of this godlike frame

But, О dear Britain! O my Mother Isle ! Were gored without a pang; as if the wretch,

Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,

To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd :

A husband, and a father! who revere As though he had no wife to pine for him,

All bonds of natural love, and find them all No God to judge him! Therefore, evil days

Within the limits of thy rocky shores. Are coming on us, O my countrymen!

O native Britain! O my Mother Isle ! And what if all-avenging Providence,

How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and Strong and retributive, should make us know

holy The meaning of our words, force us to feel

To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, The desolation and the agony

Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, of our fierce doings!

Have drunk in all my intellectual life,
All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,

All adoration of the God in nature,
Spare us yet awhile,

All lovely and all honorable things,
Father and God! 0! spare us yet awhile!

Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
Oh ! let not English women drag their flight The joy and greatness of its future being ?
Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes,

There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday

Unborrow'd from my country. O divine Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all And beauteous island! thou hast been my sole Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms And most magnificent temple, in the which Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells

Loving the God that made me!
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure!
Stand forth: be men! repel an impious foe,

May my fears,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,

My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth And menace of the vengeful enemy
With deeds of murder; and still promising

Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free,

In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart

In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes
And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth;
Render them back upon the insulted ocean,

But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad
And let them toss as idly on its waves

The fruit-like perfume of the golden surze :
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast The light has left the summit of the hill,
Swept from our shores! And oh! may we return Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful,
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot!
So fierce a foe to frenzy!

On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill,
Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recall'd

From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me,
I have told,

I find myself upon the brow, and pause O Britons ! O my brethren! I have told

Startled! And after lonely sojourning Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.

In such a quiet and surrounding nook, Nor deem my zeal or factious or mistimed ;

This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, For never can true courage dwell with them, Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look

Of that huge amphitheatre of rich At their own vices. We have been too long

And elmy fields, seems like societyDupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,

Conversing with the mind, and giving it
Groaning with restless enmity, expect

A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
All change from change of constituted power; And now, beloved Stowey! I behold
As if a Government had been a robe,

Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elma Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend,

Letters four do form his name.
And close behind them, hidden from my view, He let me loose, and cried Halloo !
Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe

To him alone the praise is due.
And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With light
And quicken'd footsteps thitherward I tend,

Remembering thee, O green and silent dell!
And grateful, that, by nature's quietness

Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled,

Their wives and their children faint for bread.
And solitary musings, all my heart
Is soften'd, and made worthy to indulge

I stood in a swampy field of battle;

lith bones and sculls I made a rattle, Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human-kind.

To frighten the wolf and carrion crow,
Nether Slowey, April 28th, 1798.

And the homeless dog—but they would not go.
So off I flew; for how could I bear
To see them gorge their dainty fare?

I heard a groan and a peevish squall,

And through the chink of a cottage-wall

Can you guess what I saw there?


Whisper it, sister! in our ear. The Scene a desolated Tract in La Vendée. FAMINE

is discovered lying on the ground ; to her enter FIRE

A baby beat its dying mother.
I had starved the one, and was starving the other!

[blocks in formation]

No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell:
'Twill make a holiday in Hell.

No! no! no!
Myself, I named him once below,
And all the souls, that damned be,
Leap'd up at once in anarchy,
Clapp'd their hands and danced for glee.
They no longer heeded me;
But laugh'd to hear Hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters !

No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell!
"T will make a holiday in Hell!

Sisters! I from Ireland came!
Hedge and corn-fields all on flame,
I triumph'd o'er the setting sun!

And all the while the work was done,
On as I strode with my huge strides,
I flung back my head and I held my sides,
It was so rare a piece of fun
To see the swelter'd cattle run
With uncouth gallop through the night,

Scared by the red and noisy light!
By the light of his own blazing cot
Was many a naked rebel shot:
The house-stream met the flame and hiss'd,

While crash! fell in the roof, I wist,
On some of those old bedrid nurses,
That deal in discontent and curses.

FAMINE, Whisper it, sister! so and so! In a dark hint, soft and slow.

SLAUGHTER. Letters four do form his nameAnd who sent you?


Who bade you do't?


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Wisdom comes with lack of food,
I'll gnaw, I'll gnaw the multitude,

. See Appendix to "Sibyllinc Leaves."

[blocks in formation]

* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated According to the superstition of the West Countries, if you had about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring from meet the Devil, you may either cut him in half with a straw, or the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on the you may cause him instantly to disappear by spitting over his



Alas! to mend the breaches wide

He made for these poor ninnies, They all must work, whate'er betide, Both days and months, and pay beside (Sad news for Avarice and for Pride)

A sight of golden guineas.

presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas ! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly,that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now even a simple story,wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hub bub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest wh ispering becomes distinct ly audible.

S. T. C.
Dec. 21, 1799.

But here once more to view did pop

The man that kept his senses. And now he cried—“ Stop, neighbors ! stop! The Ox is mad! I would not swop, No, not a school-boy's farthing top

For all the parish fences.

O LEAVE the lily on its stem;

O leave the rose upon the spray; O leave the elder bloom, fair maids!

And listen to my lay.

“ The Ox is mad! Ho! Dick, Bob, Mat!

What means this coward fuss ? Ho! stretch this rope across the plat'T will trip him up—or if not that, Why, damme! we must lay him flat

See, here's my blunderbuss !"

A cypress and a myrtle-bough

This morn around my harp you twined, Because it fashion d mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


DARK LADIE. The following Poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old Ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perbaps may be induced to admit a forco and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, ho should

I play'd a sad and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that fitted well

That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace; For well she knew, I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand; And how for ten long years he wood The Ladie of the Land :

[blocks in formation]

And hopes and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherish'd long!

She wept with pity and delight,

She blush'd with love and maiden-shame; And, like the murmurs of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.
I saw her bosom heave and swell,

Heave and swell with inward sighs—
I could not choose but love to see

Her gentlę bosom rise.

I saw a cloud of palest hue,

Onward to the moon it pass'd ;
Still brighter and more bright it grew,
With floating colors not a few,

Till it reach'd the moon at last :
Then the cloud was wholly bright
With a rich and amber light!
And so with many a hope I seek

And with such joy I find my Lewti : And even so my pale wan cheek

Drinks in as deep a flush of beauty! Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind, If Lewti never will be kind.

« AnteriorContinuar »