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Long now have slept the fierce and brave,
#. here war's crimson flag unfurled;
Now peaceful rolls thy classic wave \
By lover's haunt and patriot's grave:-
Near other streams the bolt is hurled,
And mortal strife deforms a distant world.
And from that vale where rivers meet,t
And hawthorn shades embower the green,
I hear the west wind’s rustle sweet,
. Soft as the sound of fairy feet;
And shadowy forms are faintly seen,
While curfew chimes float through the air serene.
Now I must leave this lovely spot,
The arching grove—the ruined tower-
Tho? j; a hermit’s grot,
And holy as a vestal’s lot;
But soon may come a soul-felt hour'
When midst these shades I’ll hail th’ inspiring power.
Yes, oft at sacred eventide,
When dying winds just move the pine,
As down the odorous vale they glide—
When Evening's Gem is new descried,—
My roving limbs shall here recline,
And ******* wake his minstrel harp with mine.
* The Gothic ruin of Kelso Abbey.
+ The Tweed and Teviot unite immediately opposite Kelso.
WRITTEN IN THE CAVE OF FINGAL,
Dark Staffa, in thy grotto wild,
How my rapt soul is taught to feels
O well becomes it Nature’s child -
Low in her stateliest shrine to kneel!
Thou art no fiend's nor giant’s home—
Thy piles of dark and solemn grain
Bespeak thy dread and sacred dome,
Great temple of the western main :
For the harp of the air is heard in thee,
Sounding its holiest lullaby.
Far in thy vaults the mermaid sings,
And the sea-bird’s note responsive rings;
Yes, the hymn of the winds, and the ocean's roar,
Are heard in thee for evermore o
SPOKEN By MR ELLISTON AT THE openING of THE NEw THEATRE Royal DRURY LAN.E.
IN one dread night your city saw, and sighed,
Bowed to the dust, the drama’s tower of pride;
In one short hour, beheld the blazing fane,
Apollo sink, and Shakespeare cease to reign.
Ye who beheld, oh sight, admired and mourned,
Whose radiance mocked the ruin it adorned ;
Through clouds of fire, the massy fragments riven,
Like Israel’s pillar, chase the night from heaven,
Saw the long column of revolving flames
Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,
While thousands, thronged around the burning dome,
Shrank back appalled, and trembled for their home;
As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone /
The skies, with lightnings awful as their own;
Till blackening ashes .# the lonely wall -
Usurped the muse's realm, and marked her fall;
Say—shall this new nor less aspiring pile,
Reared where once rose the mightiest in our isle,
Know the same favour which the former knew,
A shrine for Shakspeare—worthy him and you !
Yes—it shall be—The magic of that name
Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame,
On the same spot still consecrates the scene,
And bids the drama be where she hath been .
This fabric’s birth attests the potent spell,
Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well ?
As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Oh! might we draw our omens from the past,
Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast
Names such as hallow still the dome we lost.
On Drury first your Siddons’ thrilling art
O'erwhelmed the gentlest, stormed the sternest heart;
On Drury Garrick's latest laurels grew ;
Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
Sighed his last thanks, and wept his last adieu:
But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom,
That only waste their odours o'er the tomb.
Such Drury claimed and claims, nor you refuse
One tribute to revive his slumbering muse.
With garlands deck your own Menander's head,
Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead. . .
Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
Ere Garrick fled or Brinsley ceased to write,
Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs,
Vain of our ancestry, as they of theirs.
While thus remembrance borrows Banquo’s glass
To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass,
And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine
Immortal names, emblazoned on our line,
Pause—ere their feebler offspring you condemn,
Reflect how hard the task to rival them.
Friends of the stage—to whom both players and plays,
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise,
Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
The boundless power to cherish or reject,
If e'er frivolity has led to fame,
And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
If e'er the sinking stage could condescend
To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend,
All past reproach may present scenes refute,
And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute,<
Oh! since your fiat stamps the drama's laws,
Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause—
So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers,
And Reason’s voice be echoed back by ours—
This greeting o'er—the ancient rule obeyed,
The Drama's homage by her herald paid,
Receive our welcome too—whose every tone
Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own.
The curtain rises—May our stage unfold
Scenes not unworthy Drury’s days of old—
Britons our judges, Nature for our guide,
Still may we please, long—long may you preside.
SPOKEN BY MRS SIDDONS, ON LEAVING THE STAGE 29TH of JUNE, 1812, WRITTEN BY HORACE TWISS, ESQ.
WHo has not felt, how growing use endears
The fond remembrance of our §: years 2 * Who has not sigh'd, when doom'd to leave at last
The hopes of youth, the habits of the past,
The thousand ties and interests, that impart
.A second nature to the human heart,
And, wreathing round it close, like tendrils, climb,
Blooming in age, and sanctified by time 2
Yes! at this moment crowd upon my mind Scenes of bright days for ever left behind, Bewildering visions of enraptured youth, When hope and fancy wore the hues of truth, And long-forgotten years, that almost seem The faded traces of a morning dream : Sweet are those mournful thoughts: for they renew The pleasing sense of all I owe to you— For each inspiring smile, and soothing tear- For those full honours of my long career, That cheered my earliest hope, and chased my latest fear ! J
And though, for me, those tears shall flow no more,
And the warm sunshine of your smile is o'er,
Though the bright beams are fading fast away
That shone unclouded through my summer-day ;
Yet grateful memory shall reflect their light
O'er the dim shadows of the coming night,
And lend to later life a softer tone,
A moon-light tint, a lustre of her own.
Judges and friends ! to whom the tragic strain Of nature’s feeling never spoke in vain, Perhaps your hearts, when years have glided by, And past emotions wake a fleeting sigh, May think on her, whose lips have pour’d so long The charmed sorrows of your Shakespeare’s song :— On her, who, parting to return no more, Is now the mourner she but seemed before.— Herself subdued, resigns the melting spell, And breathes, with swelling heart, her long, her last farewell!