Page images
PDF
EPUB

Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idæan vine,
The clematis, the favour'd flower
Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine's keen and searching air.
An instant in this porch she stay'd,
And gaily to the stranger said,
On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall !”

My hope, my heaven, my trust must be, My gentle guide, in following thee.” He cross'd the threshold-and a clang Of angry steel that instant rang. To his bold brow his spirit rush'd, But soon for vain alarm he blush’d, When on the floor he saw display'd Cause of the din, a naked blade Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless flung Upon a stag's huge antlers swung; For all around, the walls to grace, Hung trophies of the fight or chase : A target there, a bugle here, A battle-axe, a hunting spear, And broadswords, bows, and arrows store, With the tusk'd trophies of the boar. Here grins the wolf as when he died, And there the wild-cat's brindled hide The frontlet of the elk adorns, Or mantles o'er the bison's horns; Pennons and flags, defaced and stain'd, That blackening streaks of blood retain'd, And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white, With otter's fur and seal's unite, In rude and uncouth tapestry all, To garnish forth the sylvan hall. SCOTT.

ELLEN'S SONG.

“SOLDIER, rest! thy warfare o'er,

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking: Dream of battled fields no more,

Days of danger, nights of waking. In our isle's enchanted hall,

Hands unseen thy couch are strewing, Fairy strains of music fall,

Every sense in slumber dewing.
Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
Dream of fighting fields no more:
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

“ No rude sound shall reach thine ear,

Armour's clang, or war-steed champing, Trump nor pibroch summon here

Mustering clan or squadron tramping, Yet the lark's shrill fife may come

At the day-break from the fallow, And the bittern sound his drum,

Booming from the sedgy shallow. Ruder sounds shall none be near, Guards nor warders challenge here, Here's no war-steeds' neigh and champing, Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.

“Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done,

While our slumbrous spells assail ye, Dream not, with the rising sun,

Bugles here shall sound reveillé.

Sleep! the deer is in his den ;

Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying;
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen,

How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done,
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye,
Here no bugles sound reveillé."

SCOTT.

ALEXANDER'S FEAST.

'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son,
Aloft, in awful state,
The god-like hero sate

On his imperial throne.
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound:
So should desert in arms be crown'd.

The lovely Thaïs, by his side,
Sat like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth, and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair !

None but the brave,

None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.

Timotheus, placed on high,

Amid the tuneful choir,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre ;

The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly joys inspire.

Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;

Fought all his battles o'er again ; And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew

the slain ! The master saw the madness rise ;

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;
And while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand, and check'd his pride.

He chose a mournful muse,
Soft pity to infuse:
He sung Darius, great and good!

By too severe a fate,
Fallen! fallen! fallen ! fallen!

Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood.

Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed,
On the bare earth exposed he lies,

With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast look the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul

The various turns of fate below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,

And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smiled, to see
That love was in the next degree:
'Twas but a kindred sound to move;
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble ;

Honour, but an empty bubble ;
Never ending, still beginning,

Fighting still, and still destroying, If the world be worth thy winning,

Think, oh think it worth enjoying! Lovely Thaïs sits beside thee,

Take the good the gods provide thee. The many rend the skies with loud applause : So love was crown'd; but music won the cause.The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,

Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again;
At length, with love and wine at once oppressid,
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast !

Now strike the golden lyre again !
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain !
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder !

Hark! hark! the horrid sound

Has raised up his head,

As awaken'd from the dead;
And, amazed, he stares around.
Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries-

See the furies arise !
See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !

Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand !

« PreviousContinue »