Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

ELEGY,

OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF MR. GILL, WHO WAS DROWNED IN THB

RIVER TRENT, WHILE BATHING, AUGUST, 1802.

He sunk-the impetuous river rolled along,

The sullen wave betrayed his dying breath; And rising sad the rustling sedge among,

The gale of evening touched the chords of death. Nymph of the Trent! why didst not thou appear,

To snatch the victim from thy felon-wave! Alas! too late thou camest t embalm his bier,

And deck with water-flags his early grave. Triumphant riding o'er its tumid prey,

Rolls the red stream in sanguinary pride; While anxious crowds, in vain, expectant stay,

And ask the swoln corse from the murdering tide. The stealing tear-drop stagnates in the eye,

The sudden sigh by friendship’s bosom proved, I mark them rise-I mark the general sigh;

Unhappy youth! and wert thou so beloved? On thee, as lone I trace the Trent's green brink,

When the dim twilight slumbers on the glade, On thee my thoughts shall dwell, nor Fancy shrink

To hold mysterious converse with thy shade. Of thee, as early I, with vagrant feet,

Hail the grey-sandaled morn in Colwick’s vale, Of thee, my sylvan reed shall warble sweet,

And wild-wood echoes shall repeat the tale. And, oh! ye nymphs of Pæon! who preside

O’er running rill and salutary stream, Guard ye in future well the halcyon tide,

From the rude death shriek, and the dying scream.

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

When marshalled on the nightly plain,

The glittering host bestud the sky,
One star alone, of all the train,

Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.

Hark! hark! To God the chorus breaks,

From every host, from every gem;
But one alone the Saviour speaks,

It is the Star of Bethlehem.
Once on the raging seas I rode,

The storm was loud, the night was dark,
The ocean yawned, and rudely blowed

The wind that tossed my foundering bark:
Deep horror then my vitals froze,

Death-struck, I ceased the tide to stem;
When suddenly a star arose, -

It was the Star of Bethlehem,
It was my guide, my light, my all,

It bade my dark forebodings cease;
And, through the storm and danger's thrall,

It led me to the port of peace.
Now safely moored, my perils o'er,

I'll sing, first in night's diadem,
For ever and for evermore,

The Star! the Star of Bethlehem!

SIR WALTER SCOTT Was born in Edinburgh, A.D. 1771, and educated at the High School and University of Edinburgh, after which he was admitted as an advocate to the Scottish bar. Released from the drudgery of professional labour by the acquisition of two lucrative situations, and the possession of a handsome fortune, Scott was enabled to devote himself to literary pursuits His first publications were translations from the German; but that which opened his path to fame was the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. In 1805 The Lay of the Last Minstrel appeared, which at once stamped his fame as the poet of chivalry. It was followed by Marmion, The Lady of the Lake, Rokeby, The Lord of the Isles, and some others of less note. Finding that his later works did not attain the popularity of the preceding, Scott chose a new department of literature, and, concealing his name, commenced the series now commonly called The Waverley Novels. The rapidity with which these magnificent fictions succeeded each other was truly surprising. Beside the above, Scott produced a Life of Napoleon, some smaller historical works, and some dramas, and edited the works of Dryden, and several others. He was created a baronet in 1820. Sir Walter chiefly resided at his seat at Abbotsford, which he had built, but at length unfortunately sustaining some severe pecuniary losses, his health was shaken, and he was advised to visit Italy. He died at Abbotsford, shortly after his return, on September 21, 1832.

The design of Scott in his poems was to blend the energetic spirit and wild adventure of the ancient minstrels with the graces of modern refinement; and his highest praise is that he completely succeeded.

PITT NELSON-FOX.

To mute and to material things,
New life revolving summer brings;
The genial call dead nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But, oh! my country's wintry state,
What second spring shall renovate?
What powerful call shall bid arise
The buried warlike and the wise ;
The mind that thought for Britain's weal,
The hand that grasped the victor-steel?
The vernal sun new life bestows,
E'en on the meanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine,
Where glory weeps o’er Nelson's shrine,
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowed tomb!

Deep graved in every British heart, Oh! never let those names depart! Say to your sons-Lo, here his grave! Who victor died on Gadite? wave; To him, as to the burning levin, Short, bright, resistless course was given; Where'er his country's foes were found, Was heard the fated thunder's sound, Till burst the bolt on yonder shore, Rolled, blazed, destroyed, and was no more.

Nor mourn ye less his perished worth,
Who bade the conqueror go forth.
And launched that thunderbolt of war
On Egypt, Hafnia*, Trafalgar;
Who, born to guide such high emprize,
For Britain's weal was early wise;
Alas! to whom the Almighty gave,
For Britain's sins, an early grave;
His worth, who, in his mightiest hour,
A bauble held the pride of power,
Spurned at the sordid lust of pelf,
And served his Albion for herself;

1 Gadite, belonging to Cadiz, near which is Cape Trafalgar.

2 Hafnia, the classical name of Copenhagen.

Who, when the frantic crowd amain
Strained at subjection's bursting rein,
O'er their wild mood full conquest gained,
The pride he would not crush restrained,
Showed their fierce zeal a worthier cause,
And brought the freeman's arm to aid the freeman's laws.

Hadst thou but lived, though stripped of power,
A watchman on the lonely tower,
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land,
When fraud or danger were at hand;
By thee, as by the beacon-light,
Our pilots had kept course aright;
As some proud column, though alone,
Thy strength had propped the tottering throne.
Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon light is quenched in smoke,
The trumpet's silver sound is still,
The warder silent on the hill!

Oh! think how to his latest day,
When Death, just hovering, claimed his prey,
With Palinure's unaltered mood,
Firm at his dangerous post he stood;
Each call for needful rest repelled,
With dying hand the rudder held,
Till, in his fall, with fateful sway,
The steerage of the helm gave way;
Then, while on Britain's thousand plains,
One unpolluted church remains,
Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around
The bloody tocsin's maddening sound,
But still upon the hallowed day,
Convoke the swains to praise and pray;
While faith and civil peace are dear,
Grace this cold marble with a tear,-
He who preserved them, Pitt, lies here.

Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
Because his rival slumbers nigh;
Nor be thy requiescat* dumb,
Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb,
For talents mourn, untimely lost,

When best employed and wanted most; 3 Palinure, the pilot of Æneas, whom 4 requiescat in pace, “may he rest Virgil describes as clinging to the helm in peace!" a common prayer for the

even in death.

dead.

Mourn genius high and lore profound,
And wit that loved to play, not wound;
And all the reasoning powers divine,
To penetrate, resolve, combine;
And feelings keen, and fancy's glow,-
They sleep with him who sleeps below:
And, if thou mournst they could not save
From error him who owns this grave,
Be every harsher thought suppressed,
And sacred be the last long rest.
Here, where the end of earthly things,
Lay heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue,
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung;
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke again,
All peace on earth, good will to men;
If ever from an English heart,
Oh! here let prejudice depart,
And, partial feeling cast aside,
Record, that Fox a Briton died!
When Europe crouched to France's yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
And the firm Russian's purpose brave,
Was bartered by a timorous slave;
E'en then dishonour's peace he spurned,
The sullied olive-branch returned,
Stood for his country's glory fast,
And nailed her colours to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion

this honoured grave;
And ne'er held marble in its trust,
Of two such wondrous men the dust.

CORONACH".

From THE LADY OF THE LAKE.

He is gone on the mountain,

He is lost to the forest,
Lik e a summer-dried fountain,

When our need was the sorest.

3 Coronach, a funeral song.

« ПредишнаНапред »