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The Highland Poor.-From Mrs. Grants Poem of · The Highlander.'
Where yonder ridgy mountains bound the scene,
The narrow opening glens that intervene
Still shelter in some lowly nook obscure,
One poorer than the rest-where all are poor;
Some widowed matron, hopeless of relief,
Who to her secret breast confines her grief;
Dejected sighs the wintry night away,
And lonely muses all the summer day:
Her gallant sons, who, smit with honour's charms,
Pursued the phantom Fame through war’s alarms,
Return no more; stretched on Hindostan's
Or sunk beneath the unfathomable main;
In vain her eyes the watery waste explore
For heroes-fated to return no more!
Let others bless the morning's reddening beam,
Foe to her peace—it breaks the illusive dream
That, in their prime of manly bloom confessed,
Restored the long-lost warriors to her breast;
And as they strove, with smiles of filial love,
Their widowed parent's anguish to remove,
Through her small casement broke the intrusive day,
And chased the pleasing images away!
No time can e'er her banished joys restore,
For ah ! a heart once broken heals no more.
The dewy beams that gleam from pity's eye,
The still small voice of sacred sympathy,
In vain the mourner's sorrows would beguile,
Or steal from weary woe one languid smile;
Yet what they can they do-the scanty store,
So often opened for the wandering poor,
To her each cottager complacent deals,
While the kind glance the melting heart reveals ;
And still, when evening streaks the west with gold,
The milky tribute from the lowing fold
With cheerful haste officious children bring,
And every smiling flower that decks the spring
Ah ! little know the fond attentive train,
That spring and flowerets smile for her in vain :
Yet hence they learn to reverence modest woe,
And of their little alla part bestow.
Let those to wealth and proud distinction born,
With the cold glance of insolence and scorn
Regard the suppliant wretch, and harshly grieve
The bleeding heart their bounty would relieve:
Far different these; while from a bounteous heart
With the poor sufferer they divide a part,
Humbly they own that all they have is given
A boon precarious from indulgent Heaven:
And the next blighted crop or frosty spring,
Themselves to equal indigence may bring ?'
From Mrs. Tighe's ' Psyche.' The marriage of Cupid and Psyche in the Palace of Love. Psyche afterwards gases on Love while asleep, and is banished from the Island of Pleasure.
She rose, and all enchanted gazed
On the rare beauties of the pleasant scenes
Conspicuous far, a lofty palace blazed
Upon a sloping bank of softest green;
A fairer edifice was never seen;
The high-ranged columns own no mortal hand,
But seem a temple meet for beauty's queen;
Like polished snow the marble pillars stand,
In grace-attempered majesty, sublimely grand.
Gently ascending from a silvery flood,
Above the palace rose the shaded hill,
The lofty eminence was crowned with wood,
And the rich lawns, adorned by nature's skill,
The passing breezes with their odours fill ;
Here ever blooming groves of orange glow,
And here all flowers, which from their
Ambrosial dew, in sweet succession blow,
And trees of matchless size a fragrant shade bestow.
The sun looks glorious, 'mid a sky serene,
And bids bright lustre sparkle o'er the tide;
The clear blue ocean at a distance seen,
Bounds the gay landscape on the western side,
While closing round it with majestic pride,
The lofty rocks 'mid citron groves arise ;
'Sure some divinity must here reside,'
As tranced in some bright vision, Psyche cries,
And scarce believes the bliss, or trusts her charmed eyes.
When lo! a voice divinely sweet she hears,
From unseen lips proceeds the heavenly sound;
*Psyche, approach, dismiss thy timid fears,
At length his bride thy longing spouse has found,
And bids for thee immortal joys abound;
For thee the palace rose at his command,
For thee his love a bridal banquet crowned ;
He bids attendant nymphs around thee stand,
Prompt every wish to serve-a fond obedient band.'
Increasing wonder filled her ravished soul,
For now the pompous portals opened wide,
There, pausing oft, with timid foot she stole
high domed, enriched with sculptured pride,
While gay saloons appeared on either side,
In splendid vista opening to her sight;
And all with precious gems so beautified,
And furnished with such exquisite delight,
That scarce the beams of heaven emit such lustre bright.
The amethyst was there of violet hue,
And there the topaz shed its golden ray,
The chrysoberyl, and the sapphire blue
As the clear ažure of a sunny day,
Or the mild eyes where amorous glances play;
The snow-white jasper, and the opal's flaine,
The blushing ruby, and the agate gray,
And there the gem which bears his luckless name
Whose death, by Phæbus mourned, insured him deathless fame.
There the green emerald, there cornelians glow
And rich carbuncles pour eternal light,
With all that India and Peru can shew,
Or Labrador can give so flaming bright
To the charmed mariner's half-dazzled sight;
The coral-paved baths with diamonds blaze;
And all that can the fema e heart delight
Of fair attire, the last recess displays,
And all that luxury can ask, her eye surveys.
Now through the hall melodious music stole,
And self-prepared the splendid banquet stands;
Self-poured, the pectar sparkles in the bowl;
The lute and viol, touched by unseen hands,
Aid the soft voices of the choral bands ;
O'er the full board a brighter lustre beams
Than Persia's monarch at his feast commands:
For sweet refreshment all inviting seems
To taste celestial food, and pure ambrosial streams.
But when meek eve hung out her dewy star,
And gently veiled with gradual hand the sky,
Lo! the bright folding doors retiring far,
Display to Psyche's captivated eye
All that voluptuous ease could e'er supply
To soothe the spirits in serene repose;
Beneath the velvet's purple canopy,
Divinely formed, a downy couch arose,
While alabaster lamps a milky light disclose.
Once more she hears the hymeneal strain;
For other voices now attune the lay:
The swelling sounds approach, a while remain,
And then retiring, faint dissolved away :
The expiring lamps emit a feebler ray,
And soon in fragrant death extinguished lie:
Then virgin terrors Psyche's soul dismay,
When through the obscuring gloom she nought can spy,
But softly rustling sounds declare some being nigh.
Oh, you for whom I write! whose hearts can melt,
At the soft thrilling voice whose power you prove,
You know what charm, unutterably felt,
Attends the unexpected voice of love:
Above the lyre, the lute's soft notes above,
With sweet enchantment to the soul it steals,
And bears it to Elysium's happy grove;
You best can tell the rapture Psyche feels,
When Love's ambrosial lip the vow of Hymen seals.
"'Tis he, 'tis my deliverer! deep imprest'
Upon my heart those sounds I well recall,'
The blushing maid exclaimed, and on his breast
A tear of trembling ecstacy let fall.
But, ere the breezes of the morning call
Aurora from her purple, humid bed,
Psyche in vain explores the vacant hall;
Her tender lover from her arms is fled,
While sleep his downy wings had o'er her eyelids spread.
The Lily.—By Mrs. Tighe.
How withered, perished seems the form Till vernal sung and vernal gales
Of yon obscure unsightly root !
Shall kiss once more her fragrant breast.
Yet from the blight of wintry storm,
It hides secure the precious fruit. Yes, hide beneath the mouldering heap
The undclighting slighted thing;
The careless eye can find no grace, There in the cold earth buried deep,
No beauty in the scaly folds,
In silence let it wait the spring.
Nor see within the dark embrace
What latent loveliness it holds.
Oh! many a stormy night shall close
In gloom upon the barren earth, Yet in that bulb, those sapless scales, While still, in undisturbed repose, The lily wraps her silver vest,
Uninjured lies the future birth :
And Ignorance, with sceptic eye, (view : Unfold thy robes of purest white,
Hope's patient smile shall wondering Unsullied from their darksome grave, Or mock her fond credulity,
And thy soft petals' silvery light As her soft tears the spot bedew.
In the mild breeze unfettered wave Sweet smile of hope, delicious tear! So Faith shall seek the lowly dust
The sun, the shower indeed shall come; Where humble Sorrow loves to lie, The promised verdant shoot appear, And bid her thus her hopes intrust,
And nature bid her blossoms bloom. And watch with patient, cheerful eye; And thou, O virgin queen of spring! And bear the long, cold, wintry night,
Shalt, from thy dark and lowly bed, And bear her own degraded doom; Bursting thy green sheath's silken string, And wait till Heaven's reviving light,
Unveil thy charms, and perfume shed; Eternal spring! shall burst the gloom,
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD. ROBERT BLOOMFIELD (1766–1823), author of the 'Farmer's Boy,' and other poems illustrative of English rural life and customs, was born at Honington, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. His father, a tailor, died whilst the poet was a child, and he was placed under his uncle, a farmer. Here he remained only two years, being too weak and diminutive for field-labour, and he was taken to London by an elder brother, and brought up to the trade of a shoemaker. His two years of country service, and occasional visits to his friends in Suffolk, were of inestimable importance to him as a poet, for they afforded materials for his ‘Farmer's Boy,' and gave a freshness and reality to his descriptions. It was in the shoemaker's garret, however, that his poetry was chiefly composed; and the merit of introducing it to the world belongs to Mr. Capel Lofft, a literary gentleman residing at Troston, near Bury, to whom the manuscript was shewn, after being rejected by several London booksellers. Mr. Lofft warmly befriended the poet, and had the satisfaction of seeing his prognostications of success fully verified. At this time Bloomfield was thirtytwo years of age, was married, and had three children. The *Farmer's Boy’immediately became popular; the Duke of Grafton patronised the poet, settling on him a small annuity, and through the influence of this nobleman,
he was appointed to a situation in the Sealoffice. In 1810, Bloomfield published a collection of 'Rural Tales,' which fully supported his reputation; and to these were afterwards added “Wild Flowers,' 'Hazelwood Hall,' a village drama, and Mayday with the Muses.' The last was published in the year of his death, and opens with a fine burst of poetical, though melancholy feeling.
O for the strength to paint my joy once more!
That joy I feel when winter's reign is o'er;
When the dark despot lifts his hoary brow,
And seeks his polar realm's eternal snow:
Though bleak November's fogs oppress my brain,
Shake every nerve, and struggling fancy chain;
Though time creeps o'er me with his palsied hand,
And frost-like bids the stream passion stand.
The worldly circumstances of the author seem to have been such as to confirm the common idea as to the infelicity of poets. His situation in the Seal-office was irksome and laborious, and he was forced to resign it from ill-health. He engaged in the bookselling business, but was 'unsuccessful.' In his latter years he resorted to making Æolian harps, which he sold among his friends. We have been informed by the poet's son-a modest and intelligent man, a printerthat Mr. Rogers exerted himself to procure a pension for Bloomfield, and Mr. Southey also took much interest in his welfare; but his last days were embittered by ill-health and poverty. So severe were the sufferings of Bloomfield from continual headăche and nervous irritability, that fears were entertained for his reason, when, happily, death stepped in, and released him from the world's poor strife.' He died at Shefford, in Bedfordshire, on the 19th of August 1823. The first remarkable feature in the poetry of this humble bard is the easy smoothness and correctness of his versification. His ear was attuned to harmony, and his taste to the beauties of expression, before he had learned anything of criticism, or had enjoyed opportunities for study. This may be seen from the opening of his principal poem:
O come, blest Spirit! whatsoe'er thou art,
Thou kindling warmth that hover'st round my heart;
Sweet inmate hail ! thou source of sterling joy,
That poverty itself cannot destroy,
Be thou my Muse, and faithful still to me,
Retrace the steps of wild obscurity.
No deeds of arms my humble lines rehearse;
No Alpine wonders thunder through my verse,
The roaring cataract, the snow-topt hill,
Inspiring awe till breath itself stands stíll:
Nature's sublimer scenes ne'er charmed mine eyes,
Nor science led me through the boundless skies;
From meaner objects far my raptures flow :
O point these raptures! bid my bosom glow,
And lead my soul to ecstacies of praise
For all the blessings of my infant days!
Bear me through regions where gay Fancy dwells;
But mould to Truth's fair form what memory tells.
Live, trifling incidents, and grace my song,
That to the
humblest menial belong :
To him whose drudgery unheeded goes,
His joys unreckoned, as his cares or woes :
Though joys and cares in every path are sown,
And youthful minds have feelings of their own
Quick-springing sorrows, transient as the dew,
Delights from trifles, trifles ever new,
'Twas thus with Gilés, meek, fatherless, and poor,
Labour his portion, but he felt no more;
No stripes, no tyranny his stays pursued,
His life was constant, cheerful servitude;
Strange to the world, he wore a bashful look,
The fields his study, nature was his book;: