Sidor som bilder

The ardour of young ELDRED's flame

But ill cou'd brook delay,
And oft he press'd the maid to name

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,
The thoughtful Sire would figh, and say,

“ 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,
But Birtha's cheeks a sweeter die,

A brighter crimfon flush'd.

The Priest, in milk-white vestments clad,

Perform'd the mystic rite;
Love lit the hallow'd torch that led

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 ;
The guarded rapture of a breast

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


his love.

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,
He flies to where the lovers stand,

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 !
Just so the Hebrew Patriarch felt,

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.

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O sad reverse !funk on the , r ind

His Naughter'd son he view
And dying Birtha close he found

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
His wan, discolour'd, dying cheek,

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,
The quivering hand, the short quick breath

He view'd-and did not die.

He saw her spirit mount in air,

Its kindred skies to seek !
His heart its anguihe could not bear,

And yet it would not break.

The mournful Muse forbears to tell

How wretched ELDRED died :
She draw's the Grecian * Painter's veil,

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.

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