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TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, Esq.
Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico.-HORACE DEAR LONG, in this sequester'd scene,
While all around in slumber lie,
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye;
And interrupt the golden dream,
And still indulge my wonted theme,
In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore ; Nor through the groves of Ida chase
Our raptured visions as before ; Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion, And Manhood claims his stern dominion, Age will not every hope destroy, But yield some hours of sober joy,
Yes, I will hope that Time's broad wing Will shed around some dews of spring : But if his scythe must sweep the flowers Which bloom among the fairy bowers, Where smiling youth delights to dwell, And hearts with early rapture swell ; If frowning Age, with cold control, Confines the current of the soul, Congeals the tear of Pity's eye, Or checks the sympathetic sigh, Or hears unmoved misfortune's groan, And bids me feel for self alone; Oh, may my bosom never learn
To soothe its wonted heedless flow;
But ne'er forget another's woe.
To you my soul is still the same.
Oft has it been my fate to mourn,
And all my former joys are tame. But, hence ! ye hours of sable hue !
Your frowns are gone, my sorrows o'er : By every bliss my childhood knew,
I'll think upon your shade no more. Thus, when the whirlwind's rage is past,
And caves their sullen roar inclose, We heed no more the wintry blast,
When lull’d by zephyr to repose. Full often has my infant Muse
Attuned to love her languid lyre ; But now without a theme to choose,
The strains in stolen sighs expire. My youthful nymphs, alas ! are flown :
E is a wife, and a mother, And Carolina sighs alone,
And Mary's given to another;
Can now no more my love recall :
For Cora's eye will shine on all.
The aid which once improved their light, And bade them burn with fiercer glow,
Now quenches all their sparks in night; Thus has it been with passion's fires,
As niany a boy and girl remembers, While all the force of love expires,
Extinguish'd with the dying embers. But now, dear Long, 'tis midnight's noon, And clouds obscure the watery moon, Whose beauties I shall not rehearse, Described in every stripling's verse; For why should I the path go o'er, Which every bard has trod before? Yet ere yon silver lamp of night
Has thrice perform'd her stated round, Has thrice retraced her path of light,
And chased away the gloom profound, I trust that we, my gentle friend, Shall see her rolling orbit wend Above the dear-loved peaceful seat Which once contain'd our youth's retreat ;
And then with those our childhood knew,
TO A LADY.
OA! had my fate been join'd with thine,
As once this pledge appear'd a token, These follies had not then been mine,
For then my peace had not been broken. To thee these early faults I owe,
To thee, the wise and old reproving: They know my sins, but do not know
'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving. For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
And all its rising fires could smother; But now thy vows no more endure,
Bestow'd by thee upon another. Perhaps his peace I could destroy,
And spoil the blisses that await him; Yet let my rival smile in joy,
For thy dear sake I cannot hate him. Ah! since thy angel form is gone,
My heart no more can rest with any ; But what it sought in thee alone,
Attempts, alas! to find in many. Then fare thee well, deceitful maid !
"Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee; Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
But Pride may teach me to forget thee. Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures ; These varied loves, these matron's fears,
These thoughtless strains to passion's measuresIf thou wert mine, had all been hush'd :
This cheek now pale from early riot, With passion's hectic ne'er had dush'd,
But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet. Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
For Nature seem'd to smile before thee; And once my breast abhorr'd deceit, -
For then it beat but to adore thee.
But now I seek for other joys :
To think would drive my soul to madness; In thoughtless throngs and empty noise,
I conquer half my bosom's sadness. Yet, even in these a thought will steal,
In spite of every vain endeavour,And fiends might pity what I feel,
To know that thou art lost for ever.
I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD.
Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
Through scenes my youth hath known before.
The world was ne'er design'd for me :
The hour when man must cease to be ?
A visionary scene of bliss :
Awake me to a world like this?
Had friends-my early friends are fled :
When all its former hopes are dead !
Dispel awhile the sense of ill ;
The heart—the heart-is lonely still.
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
Associates of the festive hour.
• Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or English
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
My hope, my comforter, my all!
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall !
This busy scene of splendid woe,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know.
I seek to shun, not hate mankind ;
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
to her nest !
To flee away, and be at rest.*
WHEN I ROVED A YOUNG HIGHLANDER.
And climb'd thy steep summit, O Morven, of snow!+
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below, I
And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew,
Need I say, my sweet Mary, 'twas center'd in you !
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child ?
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild :
I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new;
And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you.
From mountain to mountain I bounded along;
" And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove ; for then would I fly away, and be at rest."-Psalm lv. 6. This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
† Morven, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. “ Gormal of snow," is an expression frequently to be found in Ossian.
This will not appear extraordinary to those who have been accustomed to the mountains. It is hy no means uncommon, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-y-Bourd, &c., to perceive, between the summit and the valley, clouds pouring down rain, and occasionally accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down upon the sturm, perfectly secure from its effects.