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While thus I mused still gazing, gazing still,
On beds of moss that spread the window sill,
I deemed no moss my eyes had ever seen
Had been so lovely, brilliant, fresh, and green,
And guessed some infant hand had pl.ced it there
And prized its hue, so exquisite, so rare,
Feelings on feelings, mingling, doubling rose;
My heart felt everything but calm repose ;
I could not reckon minutes, hours, nor years,
But rose at once, and bursted into tears ;
Then, like a fool, confused, sat down again,
And thought upon the past with shame and pain;
I raved at war and all its horrid cost,
And glory's quagmire, where the brave are lost.
On carnage, fire, and plunder long I mused,
And cursed the murdering weapons I had used.

Two shadows then I saw, two voices heard,
One bespoke age, and one a child's appeared.
In stepped my father with convulsive start,
And in an instant clasped me to his heart.
Close by him stood a little blue-eyed maid ;
And stooping to the child, the old man said:
Come hither, Nancy, kiss me once again.
This is your Úncle Charles, come home from Spain.'
The child approached, and with her fingers light,
Stroked my old eyes, almost deprived of sight.
But why thus spin my tale—thús tedious be?
Happy old soldier! what's the world to me!


JOHN LEYDEN (1775–1811), a distinguished oriental scholar as well as poet, was a native of Denholm, Roxburghshire. He was the son of humble parents, but the ardent Borderer fought his way to learning and celebrity. His parents, seeing his desire for instruction, determined to educate him for the church, and he was entered of Edinburgh College in the fifteenth year of his age. He made rapid progress; was an excellent Latin and Greek scholar, and acquired also the French, Spanish, Italian, and German, besides studying the Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian. He became no mean proficient in mathematics and various branches of science. Indeed, every difficulty seemed to vanish before his commanding talents, his retentive memory, and robust application. His college vacations were spent at home; and as his father's cottage afforded him little opportunity for quiet and seclusion, he looked out for accommodations abroad. In a wild recess,' says Sir Walter Scott, ‘in the den or glen which gives name to the village of Denholm, he contrived a sort of furnace for the purpose of such chemical experiments as he was adequate to performing. But his chief place of retirement was the small parish church, a gloomy and ancient building, generally believed in the neighbourhood to be haunted. To this chosen place of study, usually locked during week-days, Leyden made entrance by means of a window, read there for many hours in the day, and deposited his books and specimens in a retired pew. It was a well-chosen spot of seclusion, for the kirk-rexcepting during divine service—is rather a place of terror to the Scottish rustic, and that of Cavers was rendered more so by many a tale of ghosts and witchcraft of which it was the supposed scene, and to which Leyden, partly to indulge his humour, and partly to secure his retirement, contrived to make some modern additions.

• The nature of his abstruse studies, some specimens of natural history, as toads and adders, left exposed in their spirit-phials, and one or two practical jests played off upon the more curious of the peasantry, rendered his gloomy haunt not only venerated by the wise, but feared by the simple of the parish.' From this singular and romantic study, Leyden sallied forth, with his curious and various stores, to astonish his college associates. He already numbered among his friends the most distinguished literary and scientific men of Edinburgh. On the expiration of his college studies, Leyden accepted the situation of tutor to the sons of Mr. Campbell of Fairfield, whom he accompanied to the university of St. Andrews. There he pursued his own researches connected with oriental learning, and in 1799, published a sketch of the Discoveries and Settlements of the Europeans in Northern and Western Africa.' He wrote also various copies of verse and translations from the northern and oriental languages, which he published in the 'Edinburgh Magazine.' In 1800, Leyden was ordained for the church. He continued, however, to study and compose, and contributed to Lewis's “Tales of Wonder' and Scott's 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.' So ardent was he in assisting the editor of the ‘Minstrelsy,' that he on one occasion walked 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 desire to visit foreign countries induced his friends to apply to government for some appointment for him connected with the learning and languages of the east.

The only situation which they could procure was that of surgeon's assistant; and in five or six months, by incredible labour, Leyden qualified' himself, and obtained his diploma. “The sudden change of his profession,' says Scott, 'gave great amusement to some of his friends. In December 1802, Leyden was summoned to join the Christmas fleet of Indiamen, in consequence of his appointment as assistant-surgeon on the Madras establishment. He finished his poem, the Scenes of Infancy,' descriptive of his native vale, and left Scotland for ever. After his arrival at Madras, the health of Leyden gave way, and he was obliged to remove to Prince of Wales Island. He resided there for some time, visiting Sumatra and the Malayan peninsula, and amassing the curious information concerning the language, literature and descent of the Indo-Chinese tribes, which afterwards enabled him to lay a most valuable dissertation before the Asiatic Society at Calcutta. Leyden quitted Prince of Wales Island, and was appointed a professor in the Bengal College.

This was soon exchanged for a more lucrative appointment, namely, that of a judge in Calcutta. His spare time was, as usual, devoted to oriental manuscripts and antiquities. “I may die in the attempt,” he wrote to a friend, 'but if I die without surpassing Sir William Jones a hundredfold in oriental learning, let never a tear from me profane the eye of a borderer.' The possibility of an early death in a distant land often crossed the mind of the ambitious student. In his ‘Scenes of Infancy,' he expresses his anticipation of such an event:

The silver moon at midnight cold and still,
Looks sad and silent, o'er yon western hill;
While large and pale the ghostly structures grow,
Reared on the confines of the world below.
Is that dull sound the hum of Teviot's stream?
Is that blue light the moon's, or tomb-fire's gleam,
By which a mouldering pile is faintly seen,
The old deserted church of Hazeldean,
Where slept my fathers in their natal clay,
Till Teviot's waters rolled their bones away?
Their feeble voices from the stream they raise-
• Rash youth! unmindful of thy early days,
Why didst thou quit the peasant's simple lot ?
Why didst thou leave the peasant's turf-built cot,
The ancient graves where all thy fathers lie,
And Teviot's stream that long has murmured by ?
And we-when death so long has closed our eyes,
How wilt thou bid us from the dust arise,
And bear our mouldering bones across the main,
From vales that knew our lives devoid of stain ?
Rash youth, beware! thy home-bred virtues save,

And sweetly sleep in thy paternal grave.' In 1811, Leyden accompanied the governor-general to Java. “His spirit of romantic adventure,' says Scott, 'led him literally to rush upon death ; for, with another volunteer who attended the expedition, he threw himself into the surf, in order to be the first Briton of the expedition who should set foot upon Java. When the success of the well-concerted movements of the invaders had given them possession of the town of Batavia, Leyden displayed the same ill-omened precipitation, in his haste to examine a library, or rather a warehouse of books. The apartment had not been regularly ventilated, and either from this circumstance, or already affected by the fatal sickness peculiar to Batavia, Leyden, when he left the place, had a fit of shivering, and declared the atmosphere was enough to give any mortal a fever. The presage was too just: he took his bed, and died in three days (August 28, 1811), on the eve of the battle which gave Java to the British Empire. The Poetical Remains of Leyden' were published in 1819, with a 'Memoir of His Life' by the Rev. James Morton. Sir John Malcolm and Sir Walter Scott both honoured his memory with notices of his life and genius. The Great Minstrel has also alluded to his untimely death in his 'Lord of the Isles':

Scarba's Isle, whose tortured shore
Still rings to Corrieyreckan's roar,
And lonely Colonsoy ;

Scenes sung by him who sings no more,
His bright and brief career is o'er,

And mute his tuneful strains ;
Quenched is his lamp of varied lore,
That loved the light of song to pour;
A distant and a deadly shore

Has Leyden's cold remains. The allusion here is to a ballad by Leyden, entitled “The Mermaid," the scene of which is laid at Corrievreckan, and which was published with another, “The Cout of Keeldar,' in the 'Border Minstrelsy.' His longest poem is his 'Scenes of Infancy,' descriptive of his native vale of Teviot. His versification is soft and musical; he is an elegant rather than a forcible poet. His ballad strains are greatly superior to his ‘Scenes of Infancy' (1803). Sir Walter Scott has praised the opening of the “The Mermaid, as exhibiting a power of numbers which, for mere melody of sound, has seldom been excelled in English poetry

Sonnet on the Sabbath Morning
With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That slowly wakes while all the fields are still;
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur gurgles from the rill ;
And echo answers softer from the hill;
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn;
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
The rooks float silent by in airy drove;
The sun a placid yellow lustre throws;
The gales that lately sighed along the grove
Have hushed their downy wings in dead repose;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move :
So smiled the day when the first morn arose !*

Ode to an Indian Gold Coin.
Slave of the dark and dirty mine!

What vanity has brought thee here?
How can I love to see thee shine

So bright, whom I have bought so dear?

The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear
For twilight converse, arm in arm;

The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
When mirth and music wont to cheer.
By Cherical's dark wandering streams,

Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild,
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams

Of Teviot loved while still a child,

Of castled rocks stupendous piled
By Esk or Eden's classic wave,

Where loves of youth and friendships smiled,
Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave!
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade!

The perished bliss of youth's first prime,

That once so bright on fancy played, * Jeffrey considered (Edinburgh Review, 1805) that Grahame borrowed the opening description in his

Sabbath from the above sonnet by Leyden. The images are common to poetry, besides being congenial to Scottish habits and feelings.

Revives no more in after-time.

Far from my sacred natal clime,
I haste to an untimely grave;

The daring thoughts that soared sublime
Are sunk in ocean's southern wave.
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, ars 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 cold wind of the stranger blew
Chill on my withered heart; the grave,

Dark and untimely, met my view-
And all for thee, vile yellow slave!
Ha! com'et thou now so late to mock!

A wanderer's banished heart forlorn,
Now that his frame the lightning shock

Of sun-rays tipt with death was borne ?

From love, from friendship, country, torn,
To memory's fond regrets the prey ;

Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn!
Go mix thee with thy kindred clay!

From the · Mermaid'
On Jura's heath how sweetly swell Now, lightly poised, the rising oar

The murmurs of the mountain bee; Disperses wide the foamy spray, How softly mourns the writhèd shell And echoing far o'er Crinan's shore, Of Jura's shore, its parent sea!

Resounds the song of Colonsay : But softer floating o'er the deep,

*Softly blow, thou western breeze, The mermaid's sweet sea-soothing lay, Softly rustle through the sail! That charmed the dancing waves to sleep, Soothe to rest the furrowy seas, Before the bark of Colonsay.

Before my love, sweet western gale! Aloft the purple pennons wave,

"Where the wave is tinged with red, As, parting gay from Crinan's shore, And the russet sea-leaves grow, From Morven's wars, the seamen brave Mariners, with prudent dread.

Their gallant chieftain homeward bore. Shun the shelving reefs below.
In youth's gay bloom, the brave Macphail 'As you pass through Jura's sound,

Still blamed the lingering bark's delay ; Bend your course by Scarba's shore ;:
For her be chid the flagging sail,

Shun, O shun, the gulf profound, The lovely maid of Colousay.

Where Corrievreckan's surges roar! 6 And raise,' he cried, 'the song of love, If from that unbottomed deep,

The maiden sung with tearful smile, With wrinkled form and wreathed train,
When first, o'er Jura's hills to rove, O'er the verge of Scarba's steep,
We left afar the lonely isle !

The sea-snake heave his snowy mane. ""When on this ring of ruby red

• Unwarp, unwind his oozy coils, Shall die," she said, “the crimson hue, Sea-green sisters of the main, Know that thy favourite fair is dead. And in the gulf where ocean boils,

Or proves to thee and love untrue,". The unwieldy wallowing monster chain.

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