« FöregåendeFortsätt »
The ardour of young ELDRED's flame
But ill cou'd brook delay,
A speedy nuptial day.
The fond impatience of his breast
'Twas all in vain to hide, But she his eager suit represt
With modeft, maiden pride.
When oft Sir ELDRED press'd the day
Which was to crown his truth,
“ O happy state of youth!
6. It little recks the woes which wait
• To scare its dreams of joy, " Nor thinks to-morrow's alter'd fate
“ May all those dreams destroy.
6. And tho' the flatterer, Hope, deceives,
“ And painted prospects shews ; “ Yet man, still cheated, ftill believes
“ Till death the bright scene close.
« So look'd my bride, so sweetly mild,
“ On me her beauty's slave; “ But whilft she look’d, and whilft she smild, " She sunk into the
“ Yet, О forgive an old man's care,
“ Forgive a father's zeal : " Who fondly loves must greatly fear,
" Who fears must greatly feel.
« Once more in soft and sacred bands
«6. Shall Love and Hymen meet ; - To-morrow shall unite your hands,
“ And-be your bliss complete !"
The rising fun inflam'd the sky,
The golden orient blush'd,
A brighter crimfon flush'd.
The Priest, in milk-white vestments clad,
Perform'd the mystic rite;
To Hymen's chaite delight.
How feeble language were to speak
Th'immeafurable joy That fir'd Sir Eldren's ardent check,
And triumph'd in his eye!
Sir ARDOLPH's pleasure stood confeft,
A pleasure all his own ;
Which many a grief had known.
'Twas such a sober sense of joy
As Angels well might keep; A joy chastis'ul by piety,
A joy prepar'd to weep.
To recollect her scatter'd thought,
And fun the noon-tide hour, The lovely bride in secret fought
The coolness of her bower.
Long the remain dm-th' enamour'd Knight,
Impatient at her stay, And all unfit to taste delight
When Birtha was away.
Betakes him to the secret Bower;
His footsteps softly move ; Impellid by every tender power, He steals
o, horror ! horror! blafting fight !
He sees his Birtha's charms, Reclin'd with melting fond delight,
Within a stranger's arms.
Wild frenzy fires his frantic hand,
Diftracted at the fight,
And ftabs the stranger Knight.
“ Die traitor, die, thy guilty flames
“ Demand th' avenging steel”" It is my brother, the exclaims,
" 'Tis Eowy-Oh farewell !
An aged peasant, Edwy's guide,
The good old ARDOLPH fought ; He told him that his bosom's pride,
His Eowy, he had brought.
O how the father's feelings melt!
How faint and how revive !
To find his son alive.
“ Let me behold my darling's face,
" And bless him ere I die ! Then with a swift and vigorous pace,
He to the the Bower did hie.
O sad reverse !funk on the , r ind
His Naughter'd son he view
In brother's blood imbru'd.
Cold, speechless, senseless ELDRED near
Gaz'd on the deed he'd done : Like the blank statue of Despair,
Or Madness grav'd in itone.
The father law-fo Jepthah ftood,
So turn’d his woe-fraught eye, When the dear, destin'd child he view'd,
His zeal had doom'd to die.
He look'd the woe he could not speak,
And on the pale corse prest
And filent, sunk to rest.
Then Birtha faintly rais'd her eye,
Which long had ceas’d to stream, On Eldred fix'd with many a figh
Its dim, departing beam.
The cold, cold dews of hattening death
Upon her pale face stand; And quick and short her failing breath,
And tremulous her hand.
The cold, cold dews of hastening death,
The dim, departing eye,
He view'd-and did not die.
He saw her spirit mount in air,
Its kindred skies to seek !
And yet it would not break.
The mournful Muse forbears to tell
How wretched ELDRED died :
The vast distress to hide.
Yet Heaven's decrees are just and wise,
And man is born to bear, Joy is the per.ion of the skies,
Beneath them, all is care.
* In the celebrated Picture of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia, Timanthes having exhausted every image of grief in the by-standers, threw a veil over the face of the father, whose sorrow he was utterly unable to express. Plin. Book XXXV.
Τ Η Ε Ε Ν D.