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Where oft the mastiff skulks with half-shut eye,
Shaking his matted mane on high, And rouses at the stranger passing by ;
The grazing colt would raise his head, While unrestrained the social converse flows,
Or timorous doe would rushing fly, And every breast Love's powerful impulse knows,
And leave to me her grassy bed; And rival wits with more than rustic grace
Where, as the azure sky
appeared Confess the presence of a pretty face.
Through bowers of ever-varying form,
The daring progress of the storm.
How would each sweeping ponderous bough A spring, o'erhung with many a flower,
Resist, when straight the whirlwind cleaves, The gray sand dancing in its bed,
Dashing in strengthening eddies through
A roaring wilderness of leaves ?
How would the prone descending shower
From the green canopy rebound? I caught her blue eyes' modest beam;
How would the lowland torrents pour?
How deep the pealing thunder sound?
But peace was there : no lightnings blazed ; The water heedless passed away;
No clouds obscured the face of heaven;
Down each green opening while I gazed,
My thoughts to home and you were given. To meet and bless the lovely maid.
minds ! in life's gay morn, I met her where beneath our feet
Some clouds must dim your coming day; Through downy moss the wild thyme grew; Yet bootless pride and falsehood scorn, Nor moss elastic, flowers though sweet,
And peace like this shall cheer your way. Matched Hannah's cheek of rosy hue.
Now, at the dark wood's stately side,
Well pleased I met the sun again ;
Here fleeting fancy travelled wide ;
My seat was destined to the main.
For many an oak lay stretched at length,
Whose trunks—with bark no longer sheathed Our plighted vows to heaven are flown;
Had reached their full meridian strength
Before your father's father breathed!
Perhaps they 'll many a conflict brave,
And many a dreadful storm defy;
Then, groaning o'er the adverse wave,
Bring home the flag of victory.
Go, then, proud oaks; we meet no more ! in August 1800.
Go, grace the scenes to me denied,
The white cliffs round my native shore,
And the loud ocean's swelling tide.
Description of a Blind Youth.
For from his cradle he had never seen
Soul-cheering sunbeams, or wild nature's green. The glories of thy silvan reign.
But all life's blessings centre not in sight;
For Providence, that dealt him one long night, Thy dells by wintry currents worn,
Had given, in pity, to the blooming boy
Feelings more exquisitely tuned to joy.
Fond to excess was he of all that grew ; No ear to hear, no eye to see.
The morning blossom sprinkled o'er with dew, Their honoured leaves the green oaks reared,
Across his path, as if in playful freak,
Would dash his brow and weep upon his cheek ; While answering through the vale was heard
Each varying leaf that brushed where'er he came, Each distant heifer's tinkling bell.
Pressed to his rosy lip he called by name ;
He grasped the saplings, measured every bough, Hail, greenwood shades, that, stretching far,
Inhaled the fragrance that the spring's months throw Defy e'en summer's noontide power,
Profusely round, till his young heart confessed When August in his burning car
That all was beauty, and himself was blessed.
Or clear brook side, he felt a transient pain;
The keen regret of goodness, void of pride,
To think he could not roam without a guide.
May-day with the Muses. Roared echoing through the solemn scene. From my charmed heart the numbers sprung, Though birds had ceased the choral lay;
Banquet of an English Squire. I poured wild raptures from my tongue,
Then came the jovial day, no streaks of red And gave delicious tears their way.
O'er the broad portal of the morn were spread, Then, darker shadows seeking still,
But one high-sailing mist of dazzling white,
A screen of gossamer, a magic light,
Doomed instantly, by simplest shepherd's ken, Sweet Emma's love, 'the Nut-brown Maid.' To reign a while, and be exhaled at ten.
O'er leaves, o'er blossoms, by his power restored,
The Soldier's Home.
"The topic is trite, but in Mr Bloomfield's hands it almost assumes Too strong for utterance. Thus the infant boy,
a character of novelty. Burns's Soldier's Return is not, to our taste, With rosebud cheeks, and features tuned to joy,
one whit superior.'— PROFESSOR WILSON. Weeps while he struggles with restraint or pain ; My untried Muse shall no high tone assume, But change the scene,
and make him laugh again, Nor strut in arms-farewell my cap and plume! His heart rekindles, and his cheek appears
Brief be my verse, a task within my power;
But what an hour was that when from the main Was that high-swelling lawn, that destined green,
I reached this lovely valley once again! Which shadowless expanded far and wide,
A glorious harvest filled my eager sight, The mansion's ornament, the hamlet's pride ;
Half shocked, half waving in a flood of light; To cheer, to order, to direct, contrive,
On that poor cottage roof where I was born, Even old Sir Ambrose had been up at five;
The sun looked down as in life's early morn. There his whole household laboured in his view I gazed around, but not a soul appeared ; But light is labour where the task is new.
I listened on the threshold, nothing heard ; Some wheeled the turf to build a grassy throne I called my father thrice, but no one came ; Round a huge thorn that spread his boughs alone, It was not fear or grief that shook my frame, Rough-ringed and bold, as master of the place ; But an o'erpowering sense of peace and home, Five generations of the Higham race
Of toils gone by, perhaps of joys to come. Had plucked his flowers, and still he held his The door invitingly stood open wide ; sway,
I shook my dust, and set my staff aside.
Beneath my elbow, on the solid frame,
Appeared the rough initials of my name,
Caught the old dangling almanacs behind,
And up they flew like banners in the wind; From prison darkness into cheerful light,
Then gently, singly, down, down, down they went, And fenced him round with cans; and others bore And told of twenty years that I had spent
Far from my native land. That instant came Well corked, well flavoured, and well taxed, that A robin on the threshold ; though so tame, came
At first he looked distrustful, almost shy, From Lusitanian mountains dear to fame,
And cast on me his coal-black steadfast eye, Whence Gama steered, and led the conquering way And seemed to say-past friendship to renewTo eastern triumphs and the realms of day.
* Ah ha! old worn-out soldier, is it you?' A thousand minor tasks filled every hour,
Through the room ranged the imprisoned humble bee, Till the sun gained the zenith of his power,
And bombed, and bounced, and struggled to be free ; When every path was thronged with old and young, Dashing against the panes with sullen roar, And many a skylark in his strength upsprung
That threw their diamond sunlight on the floor; To bid them welcome. Not a face was there
That floor, clean sanded, where my fancy strayed, But, for May-day at least, had banished care ;
O'er undulating waves the broom had made ;
Reminding me of those of hideous forms
Where high and loud they break, and peace comes Such scenes were England's boast in days gone by.
never; Beneath the thorn was good Sir Ambrose found, They roll and foam, and roll and foam for ever. His guests an ample crescent formed around;
But here was peace, that peace which home can yield; Nature's own carpet spread the space between,
The grasshopper, the partridge in the field, Where blithe domestics plied in gold and green. And ticking clock, were all at once become The venerable chaplain waved his wand,
The substitute for clarion, fife, and drum. And silence followed as he stretched his hand :
While thus I mused, still gazing, gazing still, The deep carouse can never boast the bliss,
On beds of moss that spread the window sill,
I deemed no moss my eyes had ever seen
And guessed some infant hand had placed it there, The heyday of enjoyment found repose;
And prized its hue, so exquisite, so rare. The worthy baronet majestic rose.
Feelings on feelings mingling, doubling rose; They viewed him, while his ale was filling round, My heart felt everything
but calm repose ; The monarch of his own paternal ground.
I could not reckon minutes, hours, nor years, His cup was full, and where the blossoms bowed But rose at once, and bursted into tears ; Over his head, Sir Ambrose spoke aloud,
Then, like a fool, confused, sat down again, Nor stopped a dainty form or phrase to cull.
And thought upon the past with shame and pain ; His heart elated, like his cup was full :
I raved at war and all its horrid cost, *Full be your hopes, and rich the crops that fall ? And glory's quagmire, where the brave are lost. Health to my neighbours, happiness to all.'
On carnage, fire, and plunder long I mused, Dull must that clown be, dull as winter's sleet, And cursed the murdering weapons I had used. Who would not instantly be on his feet :
Two shadows then I saw, two voices heard, An echoing health to mingling shouts give place, One bespoke age, and one a child's appeared. 'Sir Ambrose Higham and his noble race !
In stepped my father with convulsive start,
Close by him stood a little blue-eyed maid ; burgh Magazine. In 1800, Leyden was ordained And stooping to the child, the old man said : for the church. He continued, however, to study "Come híther, Nancy, kiss me once again.
and compose, and contributed to Lewis's Tales of This is your uncle Charles, come home from Spain.'
Wonder and Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish The child approached, and with her fingers light, Stroked my old eyes, almost deprived of sight.
Border. So ardent was he in assisting the editor But why thus spin my tale-thus tedious be?
of the Minstrelsy, that he on one occasion walked Happy old soldier ! what's the world to me!
between forty and fifty miles, and back again, for the sole purpose of visiting an old person who
possessed an ancient historical ballad. His strong JOHN LEYDEN.
desire to visit foreign countries induced his friends
to apply to government for some appointment for JOHN LEYDEN (1775-1811), a distinguished ori- him connected with the learning and languages of ental scholar as well as poet, was a native of the east. The only situation which they could Denholm, Roxburghshire. He was the son of procure was that of surgeon's assistant; and in humble parents, but the ardent Borderer fought five or six months, by incredible labour, Leyden his way to learning and celebrity. His parents, qualified himself, and obtained his diploma. The seeing his desire for instruction, determined to sudden change of his profession,' says Scott, gave educate him for the church, and he was entered of great amusement to some of his friends. In Edinburgh College in the fifteenth year of his age. December 1802, Leyden was summoned to join He made rapid progress ; was an excellent Latin the Christmas fleet of Indiamen, in consequence and Greek scholar, and acquired also the French, of his appointment as assistant-surgeon on the Spanish, Italian, and German, besides studying Madras establishment. He finished his poem, the the Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian. He became Scenes of Infancy, descriptive of his native vale, no mean proficient in mathematics and various and left Scotland for ever. After his arrival at branches of science. Indeed, every difficulty seemed Madras, the health of Leyden gave way, and he to vanish before his commanding talents, his re- was obliged to remove to Prince of Wales Island. tentive memory, and robust application. His He resided there for some time, visiting Sumatra college vacations were spent at home; and as his and the Malayan peninsula, and amassing the father's cottage afforded him little opportunity for curious information concerning the language, literaquiet and seclusion, he looked out for accommoda- ture, and descent of the Indo-Chinese tribes, which tions abroad. 'In a wild recess,' says Sir Walter afterwards enabled him to lay a most valuable Scott, ' in the den or glen which gives name to the dissertation before the Asiatic Society at Calcutta. village of Denholm, he contrived a sort of furnace Leyden quitted Prince of Wales Island, and was for the purpose of such chemical experiments as appointed a professor in the Bengal College. This he was adequate to performing. But his chief was soon exchanged for a more lucrative appointplace of retirement was the small parish church, a ment, namely, that of a judge in Calcutta. His gloomy and ancient building, generally believed spare time was, as usual, devoted to oriental in the neighbourhood to be haunted. To this manuscripts and antiquities. I may die in the chosen place of study, usually locked during week- attempt,' he wrote to a friend, but if i die without days, Leyden made entrance by means of a window, surpassing Sir William Jones a hundredfold in read there for many hours in the day, and depos-oriental learning, let never a tear for me profane ited his books and specimens in a retired pew. the eye of a Borderer.' The possibility of an early It was a well-chosen spot of seclusion, for the kirk death in a distant land often crossed the mind of -excepting during divine service-is rather a place the ambitious student. In his Scenes of Infancy, of terror to the Scottish rustic, and that of Cavers he expresses his anticipation of such an event : was rendered more so by many a tale of ghosts and witchcraft of which it was the supposed scene,
The silver moon at midnight cold and still, and to which Leyden, partly to indulge his humour,
Looks, sad and silent, o'er yon western hill ; and partly to secure his retirement, contrived to
While large and pale the ghostly structures grow, make some modern additions. The nature of
Reared on the confines of the world below.
Is that dull sound the hum of Teviot's stream? his abstruse studies, some specimens of natural
Is that blue light the moon's, or tomb-fire's gleam, history, as toads and adders, left exposed in their
By which a mouldering pile is faintly seen, spirit-phials, and one or two practical jests played
The old deserted church of Hazeldean, off upon the more curious of the peasantry, Where slept my fathers in their natal clay, rendered his gloomy haunt not only venerated by Till Teviot's waters rolled their bones away? the wise, but feared by the simple of the parish Their feeble voices from the stream they raiseFrom this singular and romantic study, Leyden “Rash youth ! unmindful of thy early days, sallied forth, with his curious and various stores, Why didst thou quit the peasant's simple lot ? to astonish his college associates. He already Why didst thou leave the peasant's turf-built cot, numbered among his friends the most distinguished
The ancient graves where all thy fathers lie, literary and scientific men of Edinburgh. On the
And Teviot's stream that long has murmured by ? expiration of his college studies, Leyden accepted
And we-when death so long has closed our eyes, the situation of tutor to the sons of Mr Campbell
How wilt thou bid us from the dust arise,
And bear our mouldering bones across the main, of Fairfield, whom he accompanied to the univer
From vales that knew our lives devoid of stain ? sity of St Andrews. There he pursued his own Rash youth, beware ! thy home-bred virtues save, researches connected with oriental learning, and And sweetly sleep in thy paternal grave.' in 1799, published a sketch of the Discoveries and Settlements of the Europeans in Northern and In 1811, Leyden accompanied the governorWestern Africa. He wrote also various copies general to Java. ‘His spirit of romantic adof verses and translations from the northern and venture,' says Scott, 'led him literally to rush oriental languages, which he published in the Edin- upon death; for, with another volunteer who
attended the expedition, he threw himself into the How can I love to see thee shine surf, in order to be the first Briton of the expedi So bright, whom I have bought so dear? tion who should set foot upon Java. When the
The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear success of the well-concerted movements of the
For twilight converse, arm in arm ; invaders had given them possession of the town
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
When mirth and music wont to cheer. of Batavia, Leyden displayed the same ill-omened precipitation, in his haste to examine a library, or By Cherical's dark wandering streams, rather a warehouse of books. The apartment had
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild, not been regularly ventilated, and either from Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams this circumstance, or already affected by the fatal
Of Teviot loved while still a child, sickness peculiar to Batavia, Leyden, when he
Of castled rocks stupendous piled left the place, had a fit of shivering, and declared
By Esk or Eden's classic wave,
Where loves of youth and friendships smiled, the atmosphere was enough to give any mortal
Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave ! a fever. The presage was too just : he took his bed, and died in three days (August 28, 1811), on
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade! the eve of the battle which gave Java to the The perished bliss of youth's first prime, British empire.' The Poetical Remains of Leyden That once so bright on fancy played, were published in 1819, with a Memoir of his Life,
Revives no more in after-time. by the Rev. James Morton. Sir John Malcolm
Far from my sacred natal clime, and Sir Walter Scott both honoured his memory
I haste to an untimely grave ; with notices of his life and genius. The Great The daring thoughts that soared sublime Minstrel has also alluded to his untimely death in
Are sunk in ocean's southern wave. his Lord of the Isles :
Slave of the mine ! thy yellow light
Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear.
A gentle vision comes by night
My lonely widowed heart to cheer:
Her eyes are dim with many a tear,
That once were guiding stars to mine ;
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear !
I cannot bear to see thee shine.
For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave,
I left a heart that loved me true!
I crossed the tedious ocean-wave,
To roam in climes unkind and new. The allusion here is to a ballad by Leyden,
The cold wind of the stranger blew entitled The Mermaid, the scene of which is laid
Chill on my withered heart ; the grave, at Corrievreckan, and which was published with
Dark and untimely, met my viewanother, The Cout of Keeldar, in the Border And all for thee, vile yellow slave ! Minstrelsy. His longest poem is his Scenes of
Ha! com'st thou now so late to mock
A wanderer's banished heart forlorn,
Now that his frame the lightning shock elegant rather than a forcible poet. His ballad
Of sun-rays tipt with death was borne ? strains are greatly superior to his Scenes of In
From love, from friendship, country, torn, fancy (1803). Sir Walter Scott has praised the
To memory's fond regrets the prey; opening of The Mermaid, as exhibiting a power of Vile slave, thy yellow dross Í scorn! numbers which, for mere melody of sound, has Go mix thee with thy kindred clay ! seldom been excelled in English poetry.
From the 'Mermaid.'
On Jura's heath how sweetly swell
The murmurs of the mountain bee ! That slowly wakes while all the fields are still;
How softly mourns the writhèd shell
Of Jura's shore, its parent sea !
But softer floating o'er the deep,
The mermaid's sweet sea-soothing lay, The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
That charmed the dancing waves to sleep, Hail, light serene! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
Before the bark of Colonsay,
Aloft the purple pennons wave,
As, parting gay from Crinan's shore, Have hushed their downy wings in dead repose ;
From Morven's wars, the seamen brave The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move :
Their gallant chieftain homeward bore. So smiled the day when the first morn arose ! *
In youth's gay bloom, the brave Macphail Ode to an Indian Gold Coin.
Still blamed the lingering bark's delay : Slave of the dark and dirty mine!
For her he chid the flagging sail,
The lovely maid of Colonsay.
* And raise,' he cried, 'the song of love, Jeffrey considered (Edinburgh Review, 1805) that Grahame borrowed the opening description in his Sabbath from the above
The maiden sung with tearful smile, sonnet by Leyden. The images are common to poetry, besides
When first, o'er Jura's hills to rove, being congenial to Scottish habits and feelings.
We left afar the lonely isle ! 40
"When on this ring of ruby red
The murmurs sink by slow degrees, Shall die," she said, "the crimson hue,
No more the waters round him rave; Know that thy favourite fair is dead,
Lulled by the music of the seas, Or proves to thee and love untrue.”)
He lies within a coral cave. ... Now, lightly poised, the rising oar
No form he saw of mortal mould ; Disperses wide the foamy spray,
It shone like ocean's snowy foam ; And echoing far o'er Crinan's shore,
Her ringlets waved in living gold, Resounds the song of Colonsay :
Her mirror crystal, pearl the comb. Softly blow, thou western breeze,
Her pearly comb the siren took, Softly rustle through the sail !
And careless bound her tresses wild; Soothe to rest the furrowy seas,
Still o'er the mirror stole her look, Before my love, sweet western gale!
As on the wondering youth she smiled. "Where the wave is tinged with red,
Like music from the greenwood tree, And the russet sea-leaves grow,
Again she raised the melting lay; Mariners, with prudent dread,
'Fair warrior, wilt thou dwell with me, Shun the shelving reefs below.
And leave the maid of Colonsay?
*Fair is the crystal hall for me "As you pass through Jura's sound,
With rubies and with emeralds set; Bend your course by Scarba's shore ;
And sweet the music of the sea Shun, Oʻshun, the gulf profound,
Shall sing, when we for love are met. Where Corrievreckan's surges roar !
*How sweet to dance with gliding feet If from that unbottomed deep,
Along the level tide so green, With wrinkled form and wreathed train,
Responsive to the cadence sweet O’er the verge of Scarba's steep,
That breathes along the moonlight scene ! The sea-snake heave his snowy mane,
And soft the music of the main Unwarp, unwind his oozy coils,
Rings from the motley tortoise-shell, Sea-green sisters of the main,
While moonbeams o'er the watery plain And in the gulf where ocean boils,
Seem trembling in its fitful swell.' ... The unwieldy wallowing monster chain.
Proud swells her heart! she deems at last Softly blow, thou western breeze,
To lure him with her silver tongue, Softly rustle through the sail !
And, as the shelving rocks she passed, Soothe to rest the furrowed seas,
She raised her voice, and sweetly sung. Before my love, sweet western gale!'
In softer, sweeter strains she sung,
Slow gliding o'er the moonlight bay, Thus all to soothe the chieftain's woe,
When light to land the chieftain sprung,
To hail the maid of Colonsay.
O sad the Mermaid's gay notes fell,
And sadly sink remote at sea ! The lonely deck he paces o'er,
So sadly mourns the writhed shell Impatient for the rising day,
Of Jura's shore, its parent sea. And still from Crinan's moonlight shore,
And ever as the year returns, He turns his eyes to Colonsay.
The charm-bound sailors know the day ;
For sadly still the Mermaid mourns
The lovely chief of Colonsay.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE,
HENRY KIRKE WHITE, a young poet, who has That sea-maid's form, of pearly light,
accomplished more by the example of his life than Was whiter than the downy spray, And round her bosom, heaving bright,
by his writings, was a native of Nottingham, Her glossy yellow ringlets play.
where he was born on the 21st of August 1785.
His father was a butcher-an 'ungentle craft, Borne on a foamy crested wave,
which, however, has had the honour of giving to She reached amain the bounding prow,
England one of its most distinguished churchmen, Then clasping fast the chieftain brave,
Cardinal Wolsey, and the two poets, Akenside She, plunging, sought the deep below.
and White. Henry was a rhymer and a student
from his earliest years. He assisted at his father's Ah! long beside thy feigned bier,
business for some time, but in his fourteenth year The monks the prayer of death shall say;
was put apprentice to a stocking-weaver. DislikAnd long for thee, the fruitless tear,
ing, as he said, 'the thought of spending seven Shall weep the maid of Colonsay !
years of his life in shining and folding up stock
ings, he wanted something to occupy his brain, But downward like a powerless corse,
and he felt that he should be wretched if he conThe eddying waves the chieftain bear; tinued longer at this trade, or indeed in anything He only heard the moaning hoarse
except one of the learned professions.' He was at Of waters murmuring in his ear.
length placed in an attorney's office, and applying