Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

There beat her heart, and heav'd her breaft,

And pleaded every sense;
And there the glowing breath of lust

Did blaft her innocence.
But when the fragrant beans began

Their fallow blooms to shed,
Her sparkling eyes their lustre lost;

Her cheek its roses fled:
And when she saw the pods increase,

The ruddier cherries stain,
She felt her silken robe grow tight,

Her waist new weight sustain.
And when the mowers went a-field,

The yellow corn to ted,
She felt' her burden stir within,

And shook with tender dread.
And when the winds of autumn hiss'd

Along the stubble field;
Then could the damsel's piteous plight

No longer be conceal'd.
Her fire, a harsh and angry man,

With furious voice revil'd: “ Hence from my sight! I'll none of thee

I harbour not thy child."
And fast amid her flutt'ring hair,

With clenched fist he gripes,
And seiz'd a leathern thong, and lash'd

Her fide with sounding stripes.
Her lily skin, so soft and white,

He ribb’d with bloody wales; And thrust her out, though black the night,

Though sleet, and storm, assails.
Up the harsh rock, on flinty paths,

The maiden had to roam ;
On tott'ring feet she grop'd her way,

And fought her lover's home.
" A mother thou hast made of me,

Before thou mad'st a wife; For this, upon my tender breast

These livid stripes are rife :

a

“ Behold." —And then, with bitter sobs,

She sank upon the floor“ Make good the evil thou hast wrought;

“My injur’d name restore." “ Poor soul; I'll have the hous'd and nurs'd:

Thy terrors I lament.
Stay here; we'll have some further talk,

The old one shall repent."
“ I have no time to rest and wait;

That saves not my good name:
If thou with honest soul haft sworn,

Oh, leave me not to shame;
But at the holy altar be

Our union sanctify'd;
Before the people and the priest

Receive me for thy bride !"
“ Unequal matches must not blot

The honours of my line :
Art thou of wealth or rank for me,

To harbour thee as mine?
What's fit and fair I'll do for thee;

Shalt yet retain my love
Shalt wed my huntsman-and we'll then

Our former transports prove."
“ Thy wicked soul, hard-hearted man,

May pangs in hell await!
Sure if not suited for thy bride,

I was not for thy mate.
Go, seek a spouse of nobler blood,

Nor God's just judgments dread
So shall, ere long, some base-born wretch

Defile thy marriage bed.
Then, traitor, feel how wretched they

In hopeless shame immerst;
Then smite thy forehead on the wall,

While horrid curses burst.
Roll thy dry eyes in wild despair--

Unfooth'd thy grinning woe:
Through thy pale temples fire the ball,

And sink to fiends below."

Collected then, she started up,

And through the hilling fleet, Through thorn and briar, through flood and mire,

She fled with bleeding feet. " Where now," she cry'd, “my gracious God!

What refuge have I left?”
And reach'd the garden of her home,

Of hope in man bereft.
On hand and foot she feebly crawld

Beneath the bow'r unbleft;
Where with’ring leaves and gath’ring snow,

Prepar'd her only reft.
There rending pains and darting throes

Assail'd her shudd'ring frame;
And from her womb a lovely boy,

With wail and weeping came.
Forth from her hair a filver pin,

With hafty hand she drew,
And press'd against its tender heart,

And the sweet babe she slew.
Erst when the act of blood was done,

Her soul its guilt abhorr'd:
“ My Jesus! what has been my

deed ? Have mercy on me, Lord !" With bloody nails, besides the pond,

Its shallow grave she tore:
6. There reft in God; there shame and want

Thou canst not suffer more :
Me vengeance waits. My poor, poor child,

Thy wound fhall bleed afresh,
When ravens from the gallows tear

Thy mother's mould'ring flesh."
Hard by the bow'r her gibbet stands :

Her skull is still to show;
It seems to eye the barren grave,

Three spans in length, below.
That is the spot where grows no grass ;

Where falls no rain nor dew :
Whence steals along the pond of toads

A hov'ring fire so blue.

And nightly, when the ravens come,

Her ghost is seen to glide;
Pursues

and tries to quench the flame,
And pines the pool beside.

ON HEALTH.

BY THOMSON.

A ?

H! what avail the largest gifts of Heav'n,
How tasteless then whatever can be giv'n!

Health is the vital principle of bliss,
And exercise of health. In proof of this,

Behold the wretch who slugs his life away;
Soon swallow'd in disease's fad abyss ;

While he whom toil has brac'd, or manly play, Has light as air each limb, each thought as clear as day. O! who can speak the vig’rous joys of health ?

Unclogg'd the body, unobscur'd the mind :
The morning rises gay; with pleasing stealth,

The temp’rate ev'ning falls serene and kind.
In health the wiser brutes true gladness find.

See! how the younglings frilk along the meads,
As May comes on, and wakes the balmy wind !

Rampant with life, their joy all joy exceeds:
Yet what, but high-strung health, this dancing pleasance

breeds?

MORTALITY.

WIFT o'er the high grass sweeps the blast,

the green; The gale is paft,

No more the silver shade is seen. Saw

ye the lightning flash along the fky? Save yonder blasted oak,

A drear memorial of the with’ring Aroke, It leaves no trace to guide the foll’wing eye.

Children of men! and such your lot;

Ye live your little hour, and die and are forgot! What, then, avail the jewell’d crown of Pow'r,

Pomp's ermin'd robe, or Glory's death-red sword?

What, then, the Wise one's dreams, the Miser's hoard? When Death proclaims th’ irrevocable hour,

Life's vain distinctions cease; th' eternal doom

Bids all the sons of clay be equal in the tomb. What though Earth's millions the dark realms explore,

No cheering tidings reach mankind from thence, For there the eye of Wisdom sees no more,

And silent is the tongue of Eloquence. For no one of th’ innumerable dead

Revisits men from that obscure abode; For never spirit twice could tread

The dark, the dreadful road.

Why sleeps the poet—he whose magic song
Leads charmed Fancy those wild realms along,

Whose shadowy portals bear the ominous line, • Quit ev'ry hope, all ye who enter here !"

Why sleeps the bard divine,
Whose spirit “ far beyond the visible sphere,

“ Soar'd on the seraph wings of Extasy?”
Why sleeps the feer,
Who
gave

the laws of nature to our eye,
Fill'd with a portion of divinity ?
For me, be mine, when Fate shall free
This spirit from mortality,
Catching Mem'ry's mellow'd figh,
Still o'er my wonted haunts to fly;
In gentle visions to defcend,
The guardian angel of my

friend.
To ease the last long-lingʻring breath,
Breathe joy prophetic in the hour of death,
Embrace, 'in air, the new-born sprite,
And guide it to the realms of light!
Enthusiast !-if thou canst-explore
The vale of life that lies before.
Dark is the vale of years,

« ПредишнаНапред »