페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

When her bonnetted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array-

Wizard. Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal:
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the blood-hounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! anointed by heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!

Now in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
Rise! Rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores;

But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah no! for a darker departure is near;

The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ;
His death-bell is tolling; oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the faggots, that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale
Lochiel. -Down, soothless insulter! I trust not
the tale:

For never shall Albin a destiny meet,

So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.

Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore, Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf beaten shore,

Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,

While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,

With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

CAMPBELL.

XIX.-Alexander's Feast; or, the Power of Music. An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day.

'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son.— Aloft, in awful state,

The godlike hero sat

On his imperial throne.

His valiant peers were plac'd around; Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound; So should desert in arms be crown'd.

The lovely Thais, by his side,

Sat like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth, and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,

None but the brave-deserves the fair.

Timotheus, plac'd on high

Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly joys inspire.—

The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seat above;
Such is the power of mighty love!
A dragon's fiery form belied the god:
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,

When he to fair Olympia press'd,

And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the world. The listening crowd admire the lofty sound:

"A present deity!" they shout around:

"A present deity!" the vaulted roofs rebound.—

With ravish'd ears

The monarch hears,

Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus, then, the sweet musician sung;
Of Bacchus, ever fair, and ever young.

The jolly god in triumph comes!
Sound the trumpets; beat the drums.
Flush'd with a purple grace,

He shows his honest face.

Now give the hautboys breath-he comes! he comes!
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain :
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure:
Rich the treasure;

Sweet the pleasure ;

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;

Fought all his battles o'er again ;

And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain,
The master saw the madness rise;

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And, while he heaven and earth defied,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.-
He chose a mournful muse,

Soft pity to infuse.

He sung Darius, great and good,
By too severe a fate,

Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed,
On the bare earth expos'd he lies,

With not a friend to close his eyes.

With downcast look the joyless victor sat,
Revolving, in his alter'd soul,

The various turns of fate below;
And, now and then, a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smil'd to see
That love was in the next degree:
'Twas but a kindred sound to move;

For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble !
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think it worth enjoying!
Lovely Thais sits beside thee;

Take the good the gods provide thee.

POETRY.

The many rend the skies with loud applause.
So love was crown'd; but music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gaz'd on the fair

Who caus'd his care;

And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again :
At length, with love and wine at once oppress'd,
The vanquish'd victor-sunk upon her breast.
Now, strike the golden lyre again:

A louder yet, and yet a louder strain ;
Break his bands of sleep asunder,

And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark! hark, the horrid sound

Has rais'd up his head,

As awak'd from the dead.

And amaz'd, he stares around.

Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries.-
See the furies arise!

See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair,

And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!
Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand!

These are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain
And, unburied, remain

Inglorious on the plain.

Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew.

Behold how they toss their torches on high,

How they point to the Persian abodes,

And glittering temples of their hostile gods!

The princes applaud with a furious joy;

And the king seiz'd a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey

And, like another Helen, fir'd another Troy.

Thus, long ago,

Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,

While organs yet were mute;

Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre,

Could swell the soul to rage-or kindle soft desire.
At last, divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame.

259

[blocks in formation]

The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarg'd the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,

With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before. Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown:

He rais'd a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down.

DRYDEN.

XX.-On Slavery.

ОH for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,

Might never reach me more! My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report

Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart-
It does not feel for man. That natural bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.

He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own, and, having pow'r
T'enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause,
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey!
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interpos'd
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplor'd,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast!
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,

« 이전계속 »