Page images

Tho' art's fair works and nature's gifts conspire
To please each sense, and satiate each desire,—
'Tis joyless all, till thy enliv'ning ray
Scatters the melancholy gloom away,
Then opens to the soul a heavenly scene,
Gladness and peace, all sprightly, all serene.

2. Where dost thou deign, say, in what blest retreat,
To choose thy mansion, and to fix thy seat?
Thy sacred presence how shall we explore?
Can avarice gain thee with her golden store?
Can vain ambition, with her boasted charms,
Tempt thee within her wide extended arms?
No, with Content alone canst thou abide,
Thy sister, ever smiling by thy side.

3. When boon companions, void of ev'ry care,
Crown the full bowl, and the rich banquet share,
And give a loose to pleasure-art thou there?
Or when th' assembled great and fair advance
To celebrate the mask, the play, the dance,-
While beauty spreads its sweetest charms around,
And airs ecstatic swell their tuneful sound,
Art thou within the pompous circle found?
Does not thy influence more sedately shine?
Can such tumultuous joys as these be thine?

4. Surely more mild, more constant in their course,
Thy pleasures issue from a nobler source,-
From sweet discretion ruling in the breast,
From passions temper'd, and from lusts represt;
From thoughts unconscious of a guilty smart,
And the calm transports of an honest heart.

5. Thy aid, O ever faithful, ever kind! Through life, through death, attends the virtuous mind; Of angry fate wards from us ev'ry blow, Cures ev'ry ill, and softens ev'ry wo. Whatever good our mortal state desires, What wisdom finds, or innocence inspires; From nature's bounteous hand whatever flows, Whate'er our Maker's providence bestows,By thee mankind enjoys,-by thee repays A grateful tribute of perpetual praise.



Night before the Battle of Waterloo.

1. THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,

Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell—

2. But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell

Did ye not hear it ?—No; 'twas but the wind,

Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfin'd;

No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But, hark!-that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!

Arm! Arm! it is-it is-the cannon's opening roar !

3. Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deem'd it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well,
Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell:
He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.

4. Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since, upon nights so sweet, such awful morn could rise?

5. And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed, The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,

Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder, peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,

Or whispering with white lips-"The foe! They come! they come!"

6. And wild and high the "Cameron's gathering" rose!
The war note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard-and heard, too, have her Saxon foes.-
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instills
The stirring memory of a thousand years;

And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!
7. And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear drops as they pass,
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,

Over the unreturning brave,―alas!

Ere evening to be trodden like the grass

Which now beneath them, but above shall grow

In its next verdure, when this fiery mass

Of living valor, rolling on the foe,

And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low. 8. Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,

Last eve in beauty's circle proudly gay,

The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn, the marshaling in arms, the day,
Battle's magnificently stern array!

The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which, when rent,
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse-friend, foe-in one red burial blent!





Lines written by one who had long been a resident in India, o his return to his native country.

1. I CAME, but they had passed away—
The fair in form, the pure in mind ;-

And, like a stricken deer, I stray

Where all are strange, and none are kindKind to the worn, the wearied soul,

That pants, that struggles for repose: O that my steps had reached the goal Where earthly sighs and sorrows close! 2. Years have passed o'er me, like a dream That leaves no trace on memory's page: I look around me, and I seem

Some relic of a former age. Alone, as in a stranger clime,

Where stranger voices mock my ear,
I mark the lagging course of time,
Without a wish-a hope-a fear!

3. Yet I had hopes-and they have fled;
And fears-and they were all too true;
My wishes too-but they are dead ;
And what have I with life to do?
Tis but to wear a weary load

I may not, dare not, cast away;
To sigh for one small, still abode,
Where I may sleep as sweet as they ;-
4. As they the loveliest of their race,
Whose grassy tombs my sorrows steep,
Whose worth my soul delights to trace,
Whose very loss 'tis sweet to weep,-
To weep beneath the silent moon,
With none to chide, to hear, to see:
Life can bestow no greater boon

On one whom death disdains to free.
5. I leave the world that knows me not,
To hold communion with the dead;
And fancy consecrates the spot

Where fancy's softest dreams are shed.
I see each shade-all silvery white-
I hear each spirit's melting sigh;
I turn to clasp those forms of light,-
And the pale morning chills my eye.
6. But soon the last dim morn shall rise,-
The lamp of life burns feebly now,—
When stranger hands shall close my eyes,
And smooth my cold and dewy brow.
Unknown I lived; so let me die:

Nor stone, nor monumental cross,

Tell where his nameless ashes lie,

Who sighed for gold, and found it dross.


The Winter Night.

1. Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign,
Dark muffled, viewed the dreary plain,
While crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
Rose in my soul,-

When on my ear this plaintive strain
Slow, solemn, stole:-

2" Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
And freeze, thou bitter, biting frost!
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows!
Not all your rage, as now united, shows
More hard unkindness, unrelenting
Vengeful malice, unrepenting,

Than heaven-illumin'd man on brother man bestows!

3. See stern oppression's iron grip,

Or mad ambition's gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
Wo, want, and murder o'er a land!

4. Even in the peaceful rural vale,
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
How pampered luxury,-flattery by her side,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,

With all the servile wretches in the rear,-
Looks o'er proud property, extended wide,
And eyes the simple rustic hind,

Whose toil upholds the glittering show,-
A creature of another kind,

Some coarser substance, unrefined,

Placed for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below.

5. Where, where is love's fond, tender throe, With lordly honor's lofty brow,

The powers you proudly own?
Is there, beneath love's noble name,
Can harbor, dark, the selfish aim,
To bless himself alone?

6. O ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,

« PreviousContinue »