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Then, if my passion fail to please,
Next night I'll be content to freeze ;
No more I'll give a loose to laughter,
But curse my fate for ever after. *

OSCAR OF ALVA.+

A TALE.

How sweetiy shines through azure skies

The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore ; Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,

And hear the din of arms no more. But often has yon rolling moon

On Alva's casques of silver play'd ; And view'd at midnight's silent noon

Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd : And on the crimson'd rocks beneath,

Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow, Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,

She saw the gasping warrior low; While many an eye which ne'er again

Could mark the rising orb of day, Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,

Beheld in death her fading ray. Once to those eyes the lamp of Love,

They bless'd her dear propitious light; But now she glimmer'd from above,

A sad, funereal torch of night. Faded is Alva's noble race,

And gray her towers are seen afar; No more her heroes urge the chase,

Or roll the crimson tide of war. But who was last of Alva's clan?

Why grows the moss on Alva's stone ? Her towers resound no steps of man,

They echo to the gale alone.
And when that gale is fierce and high,

A sound is heard in yonder hall ;
It rises hoarsely through the sky,

And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall.

• Having heard that a very severe and indelicate censure has been passed on the above poem, I beg leave to reply, in a quotation from an adınired work,-* Carr's Stranger in France."- As we were contemplating a painting on a large scale, in which, among other figures, is the uncovered whole-length of a warrior, a prudish-looking lady, who seemed to have touched the age of desperation, after having attentively surveyed it through her glass, observed to her party, that there was a great deal of indecorum in that picture. Madame S. shrewdly whispered in my ear that the indecorum was in the remark."

| The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of “ Jeronyme and Lorenzo," in the first volume of Schiller's “ Armenian, or the Ghost-Seer." It also bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of " Macbeth."

Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,

It shakes the shield of Oscar brave; But there no more his banners rise,

No more his plumes of sable wave. Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,

When Angus hail'd his eldest born ; The vassals round their chieftain's hearth

Crowd to applaud the happy morn. They feast upon the mountain deer,

The pibroch raised its piercing note : To gladden more their Highland cheer,

The strains in martial numbers float; And they who heard the war-notes wild,

Hoped that one day the pibroch's strain Should play before the hero's child,

While he should lead the tartan train. Another year is quickly past,

And Angus hails another son ; His natal day is like the last,

Nor soon the jocund feast was done.
Taught by their sire to bend the bow,

On Alva's dusky hills of wind,
The boys in childhood chased the roe,

And left their hounds in speed behind.
But ere their years of youth are o'er,

They mingle in the ranks of war; They lightly wheel the bright claymore,

And send the whistling arrow far. Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,

Wildly it stream'd along the gale; But Allan's locks were bright and fair,

And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale. But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,

His dark eye shone through beams of truth; Allan had early learn'd control,

And smooth his words had been from youth. Both, both were brave: the Saxon spear

Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel ; And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,

But Oscar's bosom knew to feel ; While Allan's soul belied his form,

Unworthy with such charms to dwell: Keen as the lightning of the storm,

On foes his deadly vengeance fell.
From high Southannon's distant tower

Arrived a young and noble dame;
With Kenneth's lands to form her dower,

Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came;

And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride,

And Angus on his Oscar smiled ; It soothed the father's feudal pride

Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child. Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note!

Hark to the swelling nuptial song! In joyous strains the voices float,

And still the choral peal prolong. See how the heroes' blood-red plumes

Assembled wave in Alva's hall; Each youth his varied plaid assumes,

Attending on their chieftain's call. It is not war their aid demands,

The pibroch plays the song of peace; To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands,

Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease. But where is Oscar ? sure 'tis late :

Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame?
While thronging guests and ladies wait,

Nor Oscar nor his brother came.
At length young Allan join'd the bride :

“Why comes not Oscar ?" Angus said ; • Is he not here?" the youth replied ;

“With me he roved not o'er the glade. Perchance, forgetful of the day,

'Tis his to chase the bounding roe; Or ocean's waves prolong his stay ;,

Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow." “Oh, no!” the anguish'd sire rejoin'd,

“Nor chase nor wave my boy delay; Would he to Mora seem unkind ?

Would aught to her impede his way? Oh, search, ye chiefs ! oh, search around!

Allan, with these through Alva fly; Till Oscar, till my son is found,

Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply." All is confusion-through the vale

The name of Oscar hoarsely rings, It rises on the murmuring gale,

Till night expands her dusky wings ; It breaks the stillness oi the night,

But echoes through her shades in vain, It sounds through morning's misty light,

But Oscar comes not o'er the plain. Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief

For Oscar search'd each mountain cave ! Then hope is lost ; in boundless grief,

His locks in gray-torn ringlets wave.

D

“ Oscar! my son !—thou God of hear'n,

Restore the prop of sinking age ! Or if that hope no more is given,

Yield his assassin to my rage. “Yes, on some desert rocky shore

My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie; Then grant, thou God! I ask no more,

With him his frantic sire may die ! “Yet he may live-away, despair !

Be calm, my soul! he yet may live ; T arraign my fate, my voice forbear!

O God! my impious prayer forgive. What, if he live for me no more,

I sink forgotten in the dust, The hope of Alva's age is o'er ;

Alas! can pangs like these be just ?” Thus did the hapless parent mourn,

Till Time, which soothes severest woe, Had bade serenity return,

And made the tear-drop cease to flow. For still some latent hope survived

That Oscar might once more appear; His hope now droop'd and now revived,

Till Time had told a tedious year. Days roll'd along, the orb of light

Again had run his destined race; No Oscar bless'd his father's sight,

And sorrow left a fainter trace. For youthful Allan still remain'd,

And now his father's only joy : And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd,

For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy. She thought that Oscar low was laid,

And Allan's face was wondrous fair ; It Oscar lived, some other maid

Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care, And Angus said, if one year more

In fruitless hope was pass'd away, His fondest scruples should be o'er,

And he would name their nuptial day. Slow rolld the moons, but blest at last

Arrived the dearly destined morn ; The year of anxious trembling past,

What smiles the lovers' cheeks adorn! Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note !

Hark to the swelling nuptial song ! In joyous strains the voices float,

And still the choral peal prolong.

Again the clan, in festive crowd,

Throng through the gate of Alva's hall;
The sounds of mirth re-echo loud,

And all their former joy recall.
But who is he, whose darken'd brow

Glooms in the midst of general mirth?
Before his eyes' far fiercer glow

The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth.
Dark is the robe which wraps his form,

And tall his plume of gory red ;
His voice is like the rising storm,

But light and trackless is his tread.
'Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round,

The bridegroom's health is deeply quaff”d ;
With shouts the vaulted roofs resound,

And all combine to hail the draught.
Sudden the stranger-chief arose,

And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd ;
And Angus' cheek with wonder glows,

And Mora's tender bosom blush'd.
Old man !” he cried, "this pledge is done ;

Thou saw'st 'twas duly drunk by me :
It hail'd the nuptials of thy son :

Now will I claim a pledge from thee.
“ While all around is mirth and joy,

To bless thy Allan's happy lot,
Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy?

Say, why should Oscar be forgot?”
“ Alas !” the helpless sire replied,

The big tear starting as he spoke,
“When Oscar left my hall, or died,

This aged heart was almost broke.
“ Thrice has the earth revolved her course

Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight;
And Allan is my last resource,

Since martial Oscar's death or flight."
C'Tis well,” replied the stranger stern,

And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye:
Thy Oscar's fate I fain would learn :

Perhaps the hero did not die.
Perchance, if those whom most he loved

Would call, thy Oscar might return;
Perchance the chief has only roved ;

For him thy beltane yet may burn.*
Beltane Tree, a Highland festival on the first of May, held near fires lighted for the

Occasion.

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