« PreviousContinue »
There taught us how to live, and (oh! too high
The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.
Thou hill, whose brow the antique structures grace, Rear'd by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race, Why, once so lov'd, whene'er thy bow'r appears, O'er my dim eye-balls glance the sudden tears! How sweet were once thy prospects, fresh and fair, Thy sloping walks, and unpolluted air! How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees, Thy noon-tide shadow, and thy ev'ning breeze! His image thy forsaken bow'rs restore; Thy walks and airy prospects charm no more; No more the summer in thy gloom's allay'd, Thy evening breezes, and thy noon-day shade, From other ills, however Fortune frown'd, Some refuge in the Muse's art I found; Reluctant, now, I touch the trembling string, Bereft of him who taught me how to sing; And these sad accents, murmur'd o'er his urn, Betray that absence they attempt to mourn. O! must I, then, (now fresh viy bosom bleeds, And Craggs in death to Addison succeeds) The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong, And weep a second in th' unfinish'd song!
These works divine, which on his death-bed laid, To thee, O Craggs, th' expiring sage convey'd, Great, but ill-omen'd monument of fame, Nor he surviv'd to give, nor thou to claim. Swift after him thy social spirit flies, And close to his, how soon! thy coffin lies. Blest pair! whose union future bards shall tell In future tongues; each other's boast, farewel! Farewel! whom join'd in fame, in friendship try'd, No chance could sever, nor the grave divide.
COLIN and Lucy.
OF Leinster, fam'd for maidens fair,)
Bright Lucy was the grace;
Nor e'er did Liffy's limpid stream
Reflect a fairer face;
Till luckless love, and pining care,
Impair'd her rosy hue,
Her coral lips, and damask cheeks,
And eyes of glossy blue.
Oh! have you seen a lily pale,
When beating rains descend?
So droop'd the slow-consuming maid,
Her life now near its end.
By Lucy warn'd, of flatt'ring swains
Take heed, ye easy fair :
Of vengeance due to broken vows,
Ye perjur'd swains, beware.
Three times, all in the dead of night,
A bell was heard to ring;
And, shrieking at her window thrice,
The raven flapp'd his wing:
Too well the love-lorn maiden knew
The solemn boding sound;
And thus, in dying words, bespoke,
The virgins weeping round:
"I hear a voice you cannot hear,
Which says, I must not stay;
I see a hand you cannot see,
Which beckons me away.
By a false heart, and broken vows,
In early youth I die':
Was I to blame, because his bride
Was thrice as rich as I?
"Ah Colin! give not her thy vows, Vows due to me alone::
Nor thou, fond maid, receive his kiss,
Nor think him all thy own.
To-morrow, in the church to wed,
Impatient, both prepare!
But know, fond maid and know, false man,
That Lucy will be there!
"Then bear my corse, ye comrades dear,
This bridegroom blithe to meet;
He in his wedding-trim so gay,
I in my winding-sheet."
She spoke, she dy'd; her corse was borne,
The bridegroom blithe to meet,
He in his wedding trim so gay,
She in her winding-sheet.
Then what were perjur'd Colin's thoughts?
How were these nuptials kept?
The bride-men flock'd round Lucy dead,
And all the village wept.
Compassion, shame, remorse, despair,
At once his bosom swell:
The damps of death bedew'd his brow;
He groan'd, he shook, he fell.
From the vain bride, ah bride no more,
The varying crimson fled,
When, stretch'd beside her rival's corse,
She saw her husband dead.
He to his Lucy's new-made grave,
Convey'd by trembling swains,
In the same mould, beneath one sod,
For ever now remains.
Oft, at this place, the constant hind,
And plighted maid, are seen;
With garlands gay, and true-love knots,
They deck the sacred green:
But, swain forsworn, whoe'er thou art,
This hallow'd ground forbear;
Remember Colin's dreadful fate,
And fear to meet him there.
EDWIN and EMMA..
FAR in the windings of a vale, .⠀ ⠀
Fast by a sheltering wood,
The safe retreat of health and peace,
A humble cottage stood...
There beauteous EMMA flourish'd fair,
Beneath a mother's eye,
Whose only wish on earth was now
To see her blest, and die.
The softest blush that nature spreads
Gave colour to her cheek;
Such orient colour smiles thro' heav'n
When May's sweet mornings break.
Nor let the pride of great ones scorn
This charmer of the plains;
That sun which bids their diamond blaze,
To deck our lily deigns.
Long had she fill'd each youth with love,
Each maiden with despair;
And tho' by all a wonder own'd,
Yet knew not she was fair;
Till EDWIN came, the pride of swains,
A soul that knew no art,
And from whose eyes, serenely mild,
Shone forth the feeling heart.
A mutual flame was quickly caught,
Was quickly too reveal'd;
For neither bosom lodg'd a wish,
Which virtue keeps conceal'd.
What happy hours of heart-felt bliss
Did love on both bestow!
But bliss too mighty long to last,
Where fortune proves a foe.
His sister, who, like envy form'd,
Like her in mischief joy'd,
To work them harm, with wicked skill,
Each darker art employ'd.
The father too, a sordid man,
Who love nor pity knew,
Was all unfeeling as the clod
From whence his riches grew.
Long had he seen their mutual flame,
And seen it long unmov'd
Then with a father's frown, at last
He sternly disapprov'd.
In EDWIN's gentle heart a war
Of differing passions strove;
His heart, which durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.
Deny'd her sight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,
To snatch a glance, to mark the spot,
Where EMMA walk'd and wept.
Oft too in Stanmore's wintry waste,
Beneath the moonlight shade,
In sighs to pour his soften'd soul
The midnight mourner stray'd.
His cheeks, where love with beauty glow'd,
A deadly pale o'ercast;
So fades the fresh rose in its prime,
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed,
And weary'd Heav'n with fruitless pray'rs,
And fruitless sorrows shed.
'Tis past, he cry'd; but if your souls
Sweet mercy yet can move,
Let these dim eyes once more behold
What they must ever love.
She came; his cold hand softly touch'd,
And bath'd with many a tear;
Fast falling o'er the primrose pale
So morning dews appear..
But oh! his sister's jealous care
(A cruel sister she!)
Forbad what EMMA came to say,
My EDWIN, live for me.
Now homeward as she hopeless went,
The church-yard path along,
The blast blew cold, the dark owl scream'd
Her lover's fun'ral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
In ev'ry bush his hovering shade,
His groan in ev'ry sound..
Alone, appall'd, thus had she pass'd
The visionary vale,
When lo! the death-bell smote her ear,
Sad sounding in the gale.
Just then she reach'd, with trembling steps,
Her aged mother's door;
He's gone, she cry'd, and I shall see
That angel face no more.
I feel, I feel this breaking heart
Beat high against my side:
From her white arm down sunk her head,
She shiver'd, sigh'd, and died.