« PreviousContinue »
He that is lonely hither let him roam, And gaze complacent on congenial earth. Greece is no lightsome land of social mirth; But he whom sadness sootheth may abide, And scarce regret the region of his birth, When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side, Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died.
THE VISIONS OF FANCY.
OH! yet, ye dear, deluding visions, stay!
Fond hopes, of innocence and fancy born!
For you I'll cast these waking thoughts away,
For one wild dream of life's romantic morn.
Ah! no: the sunshine o'er each object spread
By flattering hope, -the flowers that blew so fair,Like the gay gardens of Armida fled,
And vanished from the powerful rod of care.
So the poor pilgrim, who, in rapturous thought,
Plans his dear journey to Loretto's shrine,
Seems on his way by guardian seraphs brought,-
Sees aiding angels favour his design.
Ambrosial blossoms,--such of old as blew
By those fresh founts on Eden's happy plain,
And Sharon's roses,-all his passage strew:
So fancy dreams; but fancy's dreams are vain,
Wasted and weary on the mountain's side,
His way unknown, the hapless pilgrim lies;
Or takes some ruthless robber for his guide,
prone beneath his cruel sabre dies.
Life's morning landscape gilt with orient light,
Where hope, and joy, and fancy hold their reign,The grove's green wave, the blue stream sparkling bright, The blithe hours dancing round Hyperion's wain,-
In radiant colours youth's free hand portrays,
Then holds the flattering tablet to his eye;
Nor thinks how soon the vernal grove decays,
Nor sees the dark cloud gathering o'er the sky.
Hence fancy, conquered by the dart of pain,
And wandering far from her Platonic shade,
Mourns o'er the ruins of her transient reign,
Nor unrepining sees her visions fade.
Their parent banished, hence her children fly,
Their fairy race that filled her festive train;
Joy rears his wreath, and hope inverts her eye,
And folly wonders that her dream was vain.
WRITTEN ON VISITING A SCENE IN ARGYLESHIRE.
Ar the silence of twilight's contemplative hour,
I have mused in a sorrowful mood,
On the wind-shaken weeds that embosom the bower,
Where the home of my forefathers stood.
All ruined and wild is their roofless abode,
And lonely the dark raven's sheltering tree: And travelled by few is the grass-covered road, Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trode To his hills that encircle the sea.
Yet wandering, I found on my ruinous walk,
By the dial-stone aged and green,
One rose of the wilderness left on its stalk,
To mark where a garden had been.
Like a brotherless hermit, the last of its race,
All wild in the silence of Nature, it drew,
From each wandering sun-beam, a lonely embrace
For the night-weed and thorn overshadowed the place,
Where the flower of my forefathers
Sweet bud of the wilderness! emblem of all
That remains in this desolate heart!
The fabric of bliss to its centre may fall,
But patience shall never depart!
Though the wilds of enchantment, all vernal and bright,
In the days of delusion by fancy combined
With the vanishing phantoms of love and delight,
Abandon my soul, like a dream of the night,
And leave but a desert behind.
Be hushed, my dark spirit! for wisdom condemns
When the faint and the feeble deplore;
Be strong as the rock of the ocean that stems
A thousand wild waves on the shore!
Through the perils of chance, and the scowl of disdain,
May thy front be unaltered, thy courage elate!
Yea! even the name I have worshipped in vain
Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance again :
To bear is to conquer our fate.
THE INFLUENCE OF HOPE AT THE CLOSE
UNFADING HOPE! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return!
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes! Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day--
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin,
And all the phoenix spirit burns within!
Oh! deep-enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes!
Yet half I hear the panting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun!
Where Time's far-wandering tide has never run,
From your unfathomed shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears.
"Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud!
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss !
Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er-the pangs of Nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze,
On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!
How sweet to the heart is the thought of to-morrow,
When hope's fairy pictures bright colours display,
How sweet, when we can from futurity borrow,
A balm for the griefs that afflict us to-day!
When wearisome sickness has taught me to languish
For health, and the comforts it bears on its wing,
Let me hope, oh, how soon it would lessen my anguish !
That to-morrow will ease and serenity bring.
When travelling alone, quite forlorn, unbefriended,
Sweet hope that to-morrow my wandering will cease;
That at home then with care sympathetic attended,
I shall rest unmolested and slumber in peace.
Or when from the friends of my heart long divided,
The fond expectation with joy how replete ;
That from far distant regions, by Providence guided,
To-morrow may see us most happily meet.
When six days of labour, each other succeeding,
With hurry and toil have my spirits oppressed,
What pleasure to think, as the last is receding,
To-morrow will be a sweet sabbath of rest.
And when the vain shadows of time are retiring,
When life is fast fleeting, and death is in sight,
The Christian believing, exulting, aspiring,
Beholds a to-morrow of endless delight!
But the infidel then, he sees no to-morrow :
Yet he knows that his moments are hastening away;
Poor wretch! can he feel, without heart-rending sorrow,
That his joys and his life will expire with to-day!
THE THREE BLACK CROWS.
Two honest tradesmen, meeting in the Strand,
One took the other briskly by the hand;
"Hark ye," said he, "'tis an odd story this
About the crows!"-"I don't know what it is,
Replied his friend.- "No! I'm surprised at that;
Where I come from, it is the common chat;