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Full well she knew, repentant now too late,
She soon must bow beneath the stroke of fate.
But, for the babe she bore beneath her breast,
The offended God prolonged her life unbless'd.
But fast the fleeting moments roll’d away,
and nearer drew the dreaded day;
That day, foredoom'd to give her child the light,
And hurl its mother to the shades of night.
The hour arrived, and from the wretched wife
The guiltless baby struggled into life.-
As night drew on, around her bed a band
Of friends and kindred kindly took their stand;
In holy prayer they pass'd the creeping time,
Intent to expiate her awful crime.
Their prayers were fruitless.-As the midnight came,
A heavy sleep oppress'd each weary frame.
In vain they strove against the o'erwhelming load,
Some power unseen their drowsy lids bestrode.
They slept, till in the blushing eastern sky
The blooming morning oped her dewy eye;
Then wakening wide, they sought the ravish'd bed,
But lo! the hapless Margaret was fled;
And never more the weeping train were doom'd
To view the false one, in the deeps intomb'd.
The neighbouring rustics told, that in the night They heard such screams as froze them with affright; And many an infant, at its mother's breast, Started dismay'd, from its unthinking rest. And even now, upon the heath forlorn, They shew the path down which the fair was borne, By the fell demons, to the yawning wave, Her own, and murder'd lover's, mutual grave.
Such is the tale, so sad, to memory dear, Which oft in youth has charm'd my listening ear,
That tale, which bade me find redoubled sweets
In the drear silence of these dark retreats ;
And even now, with melancholy power,
Adds a new pleasu
sure to the lonely hour.
'Mid all the charms by magic Nature given
To this wild spot, this sublunary heaven,
With double joy enthusiast Fancy leans
On the attendant legend of the scenes.
This sheds a fairy lustre on the floods,
And breathes a mellower gloom upon the woods ;
This, as the distant cat’ract swells around,
Gives a romantic cadence to the sound;
This, and the deepening glen, the alley green,
The silver stream, with sedgy tufts between,
The massy rock, the wood-encompass'd leas,
The broom-clad islands, and the nodding trees,
The lengthening vista, and the present gloom,
The verdant pathway breathing waste perfume;
These are thy charms, the joys which these impart
Bind thee, bless'd Clifton! close around my heart.
Dear native Grove! where'er my devious track, To thee will Memory lead the wanderer back. Whether in Arno's polish’d vales I stray, Or where Oswego's swamps' obstruct the day; Or wander lone, where, wildering and wide, The tumbling torrent laves St. Gothard's side; Or by old Tejo's classic margent muse, Or stand entranced with Pyrenean views; Still, still to thee, where'er my footsteps roam, My heart shall point, and lead the wanderer home. When Splendour offers, and when Fame incites, I'll pause, and think of all thy dear delights, Reject the boon, and, wearied with the change, Renounce the wish which first induced to range;
Turn to these scenes, these well-known scenes once
Trace once again old Trent's romantic shore, [more,
And, tired with worlds, and all their busy ways,
Here waste the little remnant of my days.
But if the Fates should this last wish deny,
And doom me on some foreign shore to die;
Oh! should it please the world's supernal King
That weltering waves my funeral dirge shall sing;
Or that my corse should, on some desert strand,
Lie stretch'd beneath the Simöom's blasting hand;
Still, though unwept I find a stranger tomb,
My sprite shall wander through this favourite gloom,
Ride on the wind that sweeps the leafless grove,
Sigh on the wood-blast of the dark alcove,
Sit, a lorn spectre on yon well-known grave,
And mix its moanings with the desert waye.
The night it was still, and the moon it shone
Serenely on the sea,
And the waves at the foot of the rifted rock
They murmur'd pleasantly,
When Gondoline roam'd along the shore,
A maiden full fair to the sight;
Though love had made bleak the rose on her cheek,
And turn'd it to deadly white.
Her thoughts they were drear, and the silent tear
It fill'd her faint blue eye,
As oft she heard, in Fancy's ear,
Her Bertrand's dying sigh.
Her Bertrand was the bravest youth
Of all our good king's men,
And he was gone to the Holy Land
To fight the Saracen.
And many a month had pass'd away,
And many a rolling year,
But nothing the maid from Palestine
Could of her lover hear.
Full oft she vainly tried to pierce
The ocean's misty face;
Full oft she thought her lover's bark
She on the wave could trace.
And every night she placed a light
In the high rock's lonely tower, To guide her lover to the land,
Should the murky tempest lower. But now despair had seized her breast,
And sunken is her
.0! tell me but if Bertrand live,
And I in peace will die.'
She wander'd o'er the lonely shore,
The curlew scream'd above,
She heard the scream with a sickening heart
Much boding of her love.
Yet still she kept her lonely way,
And this was all her cry,
- Oh! tell me but if Bertrand live,
And I in peace shall die.'
And now she came to a horrible rift,
All in the rock's hard side,
A bleak and blasted oak o'erspread
The cavern yawning wide.
And pendant from its dismal top
The deadly nightshade hung;
The hemlock and the aconite
Across the mouth were flung.
And all within was dark and drear,
And all without was calm ;
Yet Gondoline entered, her soul upheld
By some deep-working charm.
And as she enter'd the cavern wide,
The moonbeam gleamed pale, And she saw a snake on the craggy rock,
It clung by its slimy tail.
Her foot it slipped, and she stood aghast,
She trod on a bloated toad;
Yet, still upheld by the secret charm,
She kept upon her road.
And now upon her frozen ear
Mysterious sounds arose;
So, on the mountain's piny top,
The blustering north wind blows.
Then furious peals of laughter loud
Were heard with thundering sound, Till they died away in soft decay,
Low whispering o'er the ground. Yet still the maiden onward went,
The charm yet onward led, Though each big glaring ball of sight
Seemed bursting from her head.
But now a pale blue light she saw,
It from a distance came;
She followed, till upon her sight
Burst full a flood of flame.