« FöregåendeFortsätt »
The lion trampled by an ass !
From its vast bed profound with heaving throws This noble man must cross the main,
The mighty waste of weltering waters rose, And answer his foul charge to cold, ungrateful O'er countless waves, now mounting, now deprest, Spain.
The ridgy surges swell with foaming crest,
Like Alpine barriers of some distant shore,
Now seen, now lost amidst the deafening roar ; By India's gentle race alone
While, higher still, on broad and sweepy base, Was pity to his suffering shown.
Their growing bulk the mountain billows raise, They on his parting wait,
Each far aloft in lordly grandeur rides, And looks of kindness on him cast,
With many a vassal wave roughening his furrow'd Or touch'd his mantle as he past,
sides. And mourn'd his alter'd state.
Heaved to its height, the dizzy skiff "May the Great Spirit smooth the tide
Shoots like an eagle from his cliff With gentle gales, and be thy guide !"
Down to the fearful gulf, and then And when his vessel wore from land,
On the swoln waters mounts again, With meaning nods and gestures kind
A fearful way! a fearful state He saw them still upon the strand
For vessel charged with living freight!
Within, without, the tossing tempest's rage :
This was, of all his earthly pilgrimage, Feel but the pain of present ill.
The injured hero's fellest, darkest hour, He saw the fate he could not now control,
Yet swiftly pass'd its gloomy power ; And groan'd in bitter agony of soul.
For as the wild winds louder blew,
His troubled breast the calmer grew;
And, long before the mighty hand,
That rules the ocean and the land, And oft survey'd bis rankling chain.
Had calm'd the sea, with pious reverence fillid The ship's brave captain grieved to see
The warring passions of his soul were still’d. Base irons his noble prisoner gall,
Through softly parting clouds the blue sky peer'd, And kindly sued to set him free;
And heavenward turn’d his eye with better feelBut proudly spoke the lofty thrall,
ings cheer'd. “ Until the king whom I have served,
Meek are the wise, the great, the good ; Who thinks this recompense deserved,
He sighd, and thought of Him, who died on holy Himself command th' unclasping stroke,
rood. These gyved limbs will wear their yoke.
No more the angry tempest's sport,
The vessel reach'd its destined port. As token, long preserved of black ingratitude !"
A town of Christendom he greets,
And treads again its well-known streets ;
A sight of wonder, grief, and shame
To those who on his landing came.
And he before his sovereign dame
The silence of his smother'd flame, Utters the storm its awful sound.
In words that all his inward anguish spoke. It groans upon the distant waves ;
The gentle queen's more noble breast O'er the mid-ocean wildly raves ;
Its generous sympathy exprest; Recedes afar with dying strain,
And as his varied story show'd That sadly through the troubled air
What wrongs from guilefu) malice flow'd, Comes like the wailings of despair,
Th' indignant eye and flushing cheek And with redoubled strength returns again : Did oft her mind's emotion speak. Through shrouds and rigging, boards and mast, The sordid king, with brow severe, Whistles, and howls, and roars th' outrageous blast. Could, all unmoved, his pleadings hear; 48
Save, that, in spite of royal pride,
XLIX. But if, at length, tired of their guests, Consuming like those hateful pests, Locusts or ants, provisions stored For many days, they will afford No more, withholding fresh supplies, And strife and threatening clamours rise, Columbus' gentle craft pursues, And soon their noisy wrath subdues. Thus speaks the chief,“ Refuse us aid From stores which Heaven for all hath made! The moon, your mistress, will this night From you withhold her blessed light, Her ire to show; take ye the risk.” Then, as half frighten'd, half in jest, They turn'd their faces to the east, From ocean rose her broaden'd disk ; But when the deep eclipse came on, By science sure to him foreknown, How cower'd each savage at his feet, Like spaniel couching to his lord, Awed by the whip or angry word, His pardon to entreat! “ Take all we have, thou heavenly man! And let our mistress smile again !"
L. Or, should the ship, above, below, Be fill'd with crowds, who will not go ; Again to spare more hurtful force, To harmless guile he has recourse. “Ho! gunner! let these scramblers know The power we do not use :" when, lo ! From cannon's mouth the silvery cloud Breaks forth, soft curling on the air, Through which appears the lightning's glare, And bellowing roars the thunder loud.
Quickly from bowsprit, shroud, or mast,
LIII. And thus the Hero's sun went down, Closing his day of bright renown. Eight times through breeze and storm he past O’er surge and wave th’ Atlantic vast; And left on many an island fair Foundations which the after care Of meaner chieftains shortly rear'd To seats of power, serv'd, envied, fear'd. No kingly conqueror, since time began The long career of ages, hath to man A scope so ample given for trade's bold range, Or caused on earth's wide stage such rapid, mighty change.
LIV. He, on the bed of sickness laid, Saw, unappallid, death's closing shade; And there, in charity and love To man on earth and God above, Meekly to heaven his soul resign'd, His body to the earth consign'd. 'Twas in Valladolid he breathed his last, And to a better, heavenly city pass'd; But St. Dominga, in her sacred fane Doth his blest spot of rest and sculptured tomb
LV. There burghers, knights, adventurers brave, Stood round in funeral weeds bedight; And bow'd them to the closing grave, And wish'd his soul good night.
The brightest rays of cheering shed,
That point to immortality ?
LXII. Tenants of many a clime, who wont to come, (So fancy trows,) when vex'd with worldly coil,
A twinkling speck, but fix'd and bright, And linger sadly by his narrow home ;
To guide us through the dreary night, Repentant enemies, and friends that grieve
Each hero shines, and lures the soul In self-upbraiding tenderness, and say,
To gain the distant happy goal. “Cold was the love he did from us receive,"
For is there one who, musing o'er the grave The fleeting, restless spirits of a day,
Where lies interr'd the good, the wise, the brave, All to their dread account are pass'd away.
Can poorly think, beneath the mouldering heap,
That noble being shall for ever sleep?
No; saith the generous heart, and proudly swells,Silence, solemn, awful, deep,
“ Though his cered corse lies here, with God his Doth in that hall of death her empire keep;
LADY GRISELD BAILLIE.
WHEN, sapient, dauntless, strong, heroic man ! “ Ha! tread my feet so near that sacred ground !”
Our busy thoughts thy noble nature scan, He stops and bows his head :-“ Columbus resteth Whose active mind, its hidden cell within,
Frames that from which the mightiest works begin ; here!"
Whose secret thoughts are light to ages lending, LVIII.
Whose potent arm is right and life defending, Some ardent youth, perhaps, ere from his home
For helpless thousands, all on one high soul deHe launch his venturous bark, will hither come,
pending :Read fondly o’er and o'er his graven name
We pause, delighted with the fair survey, With feelings keenly touchd,—with heart of flame; And haply in our wistful musings say, Till wrapp'd in fancy's wild, delusive dream,
What mate, to match this noble work of heaven, Times past and long forgotten, present seem. Hath the all-wise and mighty master given ? To his charm'd ear, the east wind rising shrill, One gifted like himself, whose head devises Seems through the Hero's shroud to whistle still.
High things, whose soul at sound of battle rises, The clock's deep pendulum swinging, through the who with glaved hand will through arm’d squadblast
rons ride, Sounds like the rocking of his lofty mast;
And, death confronting, combat by his side;
And all the cares of chieftain, kingly state?
When cares of empire or strong impulse swell
The generous breast, and to high deeds impel; 0! who shall lightly say that fame
For who can these as meaner times upbraid, Is nothing but an empty name!
Who think of Saragossa's valiant maid? Whilst in that sound there is a charm
But she of gentler nature, softer, dearer, The nerve to brace, the heart to warm,
Of daily life, the active, kindly cheerer ; As, thinking of the mighty dead,
With generous bosom, age, or childhood shielding, The young, from slothful couch will start,
And in the storms of life, though moved, unyieldAnd vow, with lifted hands outspread, Like them to act a noble part?
Strength in her gentleness, hope in her sorrow,
Whose darkest hours some ray of brightness borrow LX.
From better days to come, whose meek devotion 0! who shall lightly say that fame
Calms every wayward passion's wild commotion ; Is nothing but an empty name!
In want and suffering, soothing, useful, sprightly, When, but for those, our mighty dead,
Bearing the press of evil hap so lightly, All ages past, a blank would be,
Till evil's self seems its strong hold betraying Sunk in oblivion's murky bed,
To the sweet witchery of such winsome playing; A desert bare, a shipless sea ?
Bold from affection, if by nature fearful, They are the distant objects seen,
With varying brow, sad, tender, anxious, cheerful, The lofty marks of what hath been.
This is meet partner for the loftiest mind,
With crown or helmet graced,-yea, this is womanLXI.
kind! 0! who shall lightly say that fame
Come ye, whose grateful memory retains Is nothing but an empty name!
Dear recollection of her tender pains Then memory of the mighty dead
To whom your oft-conn'd lesson, daily said, To earth-worn pilgrim's wistful eye
With kiss and cheering praises was repaid ;
To gain whose smile, to shun whose mild rebuke, With stealthy steps I gaind the shade
But little dreaming in his mind
ventured.” Like the slight willow, now aloft, now bending,
With well-known characters, she took,
And with an eager, joyful look Feel manly pride, and think of other days,
Her eyes up to his visage cast,
His changing countenance to scan,
She saw his eyes through teardrops raise
Had to the sternest, darkest skeptic given And to my short and faithful lay give ear. Some love of human kind, some faith in righteous
What blessings on her youthful head
Were by the grateful patriot shed, Where, from the lofty window fell,
(For such he was, good and devoted, Through grated bars, the sloping beam,
And had at risk of lise promoted Defined, but faint, on couch of stone,
His country's freedom and her faith, There sat a prisoner sad and lone,
Nor reckoning made of worldly skathe,) Like the dim tenant of a dismal dream.
How warm, confiding, and sincere, Deep in the shade, by low-arch'd door,
He gave to her attentive ear With iron nails thick studded o'er,
The answer which her cautious sire Whose threshold black is cross'd by those
Did to his secret note require :Who here their earthly being close,
How after this with 'quiries kind, Or issue to the light again
He ask'd for all she left behind A scaffold with their blood to stain,
In Redbraes' tower, her native dwelling, Moved something softly. Wistful ears
And set her artless tongue a-telling, Are quick of sense, and from his book
Which urchin dear had tallest grown, The prisoner raised his eyes with eager look,
And which the greatest learning shown, “ Is it a real form that through the gloom appears?" of lesson, sermon, psalm, and note, II.
And Sabbath questions learnt by rote, It was indeed of flesh and blood,
And merry tricks and gambols play'd The form that quickly by him stood;
By evening fire, and forfeits paid, Of stature low, of figure light,
I will not here rehearse, nor will I say, In motion like some happy sprite;
How, on that bless'd and long-remember'd day, Yet meaning eyes and varying cheek,
The prisoner's son, deserving such a sire, Now red, now pale, seem'd to bespeak
First saw the tiny maid, and did admire, Of riper years the cares and feeling
That one so young, and wise, and good, and fair, Which with a gentle heart were dealing.
Should be an earthly thing that breathed this nether
air. “Such sense in eyes so simply mild !
E’en let my reader courteously suppose,
Suppose the prisoner from his thraldom freed,
And with our lay proceed. « No; from the Redbraes' tower I come ; My father is Sir Patrick Hume ;
VII. And he has sent me for thy good,
The damsel, glad her mission'd task was done His dearly honour'd Jerviswood.
Back to her home long since had blithely gone ; Long have I round these walls been straying And there remain'd, a meek and duteous child As if with other children playing ;
Where useful toil, with play between, Long near the gate have kept my watch
And pastime on the sunny green, The sentry's changing time to catch,
The weeks and months of passing years beguiled.
XIII. Scotland the while convulsive lay
Pleased had you been to have beheld, Beneath a hateful tyrant's sway;
Like fire-sparks from the stricken stone, For James's bigot mind th' ascendant gain’d, Like sunbeams on the raindrop thrown, And fiercely raged blind ruthless power ;
The kindling eye of sweet Griseld, While men, who true to conscience' voice remain's, When thus her mother spoke, for known Were forced in caves and dens to cower ;
Was his retreat to her alone. Bereft of home, or hold, or worldly wealth, The wary dame to none beside Upon the bleak and blasted heath,
The dangerous secret might confide.
Betide me good or ill:
Nor witch-fires, dancing in the dark,
For I will think, the while, I do God's blessed will.
I'll be his active Brownie sprite,
To bring him needful food, and share his lonely And there our former thrall, the good,
night." The firm, the gentle Jerviswood
And she, ere stroke of midnight bell,
Did bound her for that dismal cell;
And took that haunted, fearful way
Which, till that hour, in twilight gray
She never by herself had past,
Or e'en athwart its copse-wood cast
A hasty glance, for dread of seeing
The form of some unearthly being. The place where cheerful friends resort,
far other forms of fear And travellers rest and children sport,
To her sacred sight appear, To lay him on the mouldering earth ;
And, like a sudden fit of ague, move her ; Through days of lonely gloom to rest his head
The stump of some old, blasted tree, With them, who, in those times unblest,
Or upright stone, or colt broke free Alone had sure and fearless rest,
To range at will the dewy lea,
Seem lurking spy or rustic lover,
Who may, e'en through the dark, her secret drift Sad was his hiding place, I ween,
discover. A fearful place, where sights had been,
She pauses oft.-—“What whispers near?
The babbling burn sounds in my ear.
Some hasty form the pathway crosses :-
'Tis but a branch the light wind tosses. A place, where midnight lights had shone
What thing is that by churchyard gate, Through charnel windows, and the glancing
That seems like spearman tall to wait ?
'Tis but the martyr's slender stone
The vault's black door is near.”
And she with icy fingers knock'd, That climbing rank the lintels screen,
And heard with joy the door unlock'd, What time the moon is riding high
And felt the yawning fence give way, The very hounds went cowering by,
As deep and harsh the sounding hinges bray. Or watch'd afar with howling moan;
Tears shed unseen, affection utter'd
In broken words, and blessings mutter'd,
With many a kiss and kindly greeting, A heart of heavy cheer had then,
I know not; would my feeble skill Listening her household's hum of life,
Were meeter yokemate to my will! And thinking of his silent den.
XVII. *0! who will to that vault of death, At night's still watch repair,
Then from the struck flint flew the spark, The dark and chilly sky beneath,
And lighted taper, faint and small, And needful succour bear?
Gave out its dun rays through the dark, Many his wants, who bideth lonely there !" On vaulted roof and crusted wall: