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Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen,
To that sad spot
Shall never look with pity's kind concern,
O’er its drown'd bank, forbidding all return. Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape
To some dim hill that seems uprising near, To his faint eye the grim and grisly shape,
In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear. Meantime, the wat’ry surge shall round him rise,
Pour'd sudden forth from ev'ry swelling source. What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs ?
His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless
For him, in vain, his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way; For him, in vain, at to-fall of the day,
His babes shall linger at th' unclosing * gate ! Ah, ne'er shall he return! Alone, if night
Her travellid limbs in broken slumbers steep, With dropping willows drest, his mournful sprite
Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep: Then he, perhaps, with moist and wat'ry hand,
Shall fondly seem to press her shudd'ring cheekt And with his blue swoln face before her stand,
And, shiv'ring cold, these piteous accents speak :
* First written, cottage.
+ First written, Shail seem to press her cold and shudd'ring cheek.
Pursue *, dear wife, thy daily toils pursue
At dawn or dusk, industrious as before ; Nor e'er of me one hapless thought renew,
While I lie welt'ring on the ozier'd shore, Drown'd by the KAELPIE's wrath, nor e'er shall aid
UNBOUNDED is thy range; with varied stile
Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle, To that hoar pile which still its ruins shows :
In whose small vaults a pigmy-folk is found, Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd
ground! Or thither where beneath the show'ry west
The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid ; Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest.
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade : Yet frequent now, at midnight's solemn hour,
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sov'reign pow'r
In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aerial council hold.
BUT O! o'er all, forget not KILDA's race,
Go, just, as they, their blameless manners trace !
* First written, Proceed.
Then to my ear transmit some gentle song
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,
And all their prospect but the wintry main. With sparing temprance, at the needful time,
They drain the sainted spring, or, hunger-prest, Along th’ Atlantic rock undreading climb,
And of its eggs despoil the Solan's nest. Thus blest in primal innocence they live,
Suffic'd and happy with that frugal fare Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare : Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!
Nor need'st thou blush, that such false themes engage
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest; For not
alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time th' historic page. There SHAKESPEARE's self, with ev'ry garland crown'd,
In musing hour, his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors drest the magic scene.
From them he sung, when mid his bold design, Before the Scot afflicted and aghast,
The shadowy kings of BANQUO's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant past.
Proceed, nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answ'ring bosom pierce;
Proceed, in forceful sounds and colours bold The native legends of thy land rehearse ; To such adapt thy lyre and suit thy powerful verse.
In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to nature true,
And call forth fresh delight to fancy's view,
Th'heroic muse employ'd her Tasso's art !
Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd;
And the wild blast up-heav'd the vanish'd sword! * How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind,
To hear his harp, by British FAIRFAX strung. Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind
Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung! Hence, at each sound, imagination glows;
Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows: Melting it flows, pure, num'rous, strong and clear, And fills th' impassion'd heart, and wins th' har
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail,
friths and lakes which, far away, Are by smooth ANNAN filld, or pastral Tay,
Or Don's romantic springs, at distance, hail ! The time shall come when I, perhaps, may tread
Your lowly glens, o'erhung with spreading broom, Or o'er your stretching heaths by fancy led : Then will I dress once more the faded bow'r,
Where JOHNSON sat in DRUMMOND's -shade ;
Like him I stalk'd, and all his passions felt;
Bark'd in each plant a talking spirit dwelt ! + These lines were originally written thus :Hence, sure to charm, his early numbers flow,
Though strong, yet sweet
Hence, with each theme, he bids the bosom glow,
from Tiviots dale each And mourn on Yarrow's banks Meantime, ye Pow'rs, that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on LOTHIAN's plains attend, Where'er he dwell, on hill, or lowly muir,
To him I lose, your kind protection lend, And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my absent