Page images
PDF
EPUB

298

REMARKS ON THE SPEECH OF M. DUPONT.

heart of one man. Give them not finally over to their own corrupt imaginations, to their own hearts' lusts. But after having made them a fearful example to all the nations of the earth, what a people can do, who have cast off the fear of Thee, do Thou graciously bring them back to a sense of that law which they have violated, and to a participation of that mercy which they have abused; so that they may happily find, while the discovery can be attended with hope and consolation, that “ doubtless there is a reward for the righteous; verily there is a God who judgeth the earth."

SIR ELDRED OF THE BOWER;

A LEGENDARY TALE.

IN TWO PARTS.

Of them who, wrapped in earth so cold

No more the smiling day shall view,
Should many a tender tale be told,
For many a tender thought is due.

Langhorne.

[FIRST PRINTED IN 1774.]

PART I.

O nostra Vita, ch'e si bella in vista!
Com' perde agevolmente in un momento,
Quel, ch'en molt anni a grand pena s'acquista!

Petrarca.

THERE was a young and valiant knight;

Sir Eldred was his name; And never did a worthier wight

The rank of knighthood claim.

Where gliding Tay her streams sends forth

To feed the neighboring wood, The ancient glory of the north,

Sir Eldred's castle stood.

The knight was rich as knight might be

In patrimonial wealth;
And rich in nature's gifts was he

In youth, and strength, and health.

He did not think, as some have thought,

Whom honor never crowned, The fame a father dearly bought i

Could make the son renowned.

He better thought, a noble sire,

Who gallant deeds had uone, To deeds of hardihood should fire

A brave and gallant son.

The fairest ancestry on earth

Without desert is poor;
And every deed of fofiner worth

Is but a claim for more.

Sir Eldred's heart was ever kind,

Alive to pity's call;
A crowd of virtues graced his mind;

He loved and felt for all. ;

When merit raised the sufferer's name,

He showered his bounty then; And those who could not prove that claim

He succored stili as men.

But sacred truth the muse compels

His errors to impart;
And yet the muse reluctant tells

The fault of Eldred's heart.

Though mild and soft as infant love

His fond affections melt;
Though all that kindest spirits prove

Sir Eldred keenly felt;

Yet if the passions stormed his soul,

By jealousy led on, The fierce resentment scorned control,

And bore his virtues down.

Not Thule's waves so wildly break,

To drown the northern shore ; Not Etna's entrails fiercer shake,

Or Scythia's tempests roar.

As when, in summer's sweetest day,

To fan the fragrant morn, The sighing breezes softly stray

O'er fields of ripened corn.

Sudden the lightning's blast descends,

Deforms the ravaged fields; At once the various ruin blends,

And all resistless yields.

But when, to clear his stormy breast,

The sun of reason shone,
And ebbing passions sunk to rest,

And showed what rage had done,

O then what anguish he betrayed !

His shame how deep, how true! He viewed the waste his rage had made,

And shuddered at the view.

The meek-eyed dawn, in saffron robe,

Proclaimed the opening day; Up rose the sun to gild the globe

And hail the new-born May;

The birds their vernal notes repeat,

And glad the thickening grove, And feathered partners fondly greet

With many a song of love ;

When pious Eldred early rose

The Lord of all to hail,
Who life with all its gifts bestows,

Whose mercies never fail !

That done—he left his woodland glade,

And journeyed far away ;
He loved to court the distant shade,

And through the lone vale stray.

[merged small][ocr errors]

While many a prouder castle fell,

This safely did endure : The house where guardian virtues dwell

Is sacred and secure.

Of eglantine an humble fence

Around the mansion stood, Which served at once to charm the sense,

And screen an infant wood.

[blocks in formation]

One darling daughter soothed his cares,

A young and beauteous dame, Sole comfort of his failing years,

And Birtha was her name.

« PreviousContinue »