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REAS'NING at every step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way,
One silent eve I wander'd late,
And heard the voice of love; The turtle thus address'd her mate,
And sooth'd the list’ning dove :
Our mutual bond of faith and truth
No time shall disengage, Those blessings of our early youth
Shall cheer our latest age.
While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere, Shall fill the circles of those eyes,
And mine can read them there;
He shouted: nor his friends had failed
To check the vessel's course,
That, pitiless perforce,
And such as storms allow,
Delayed not to bestow.
Their haste himself condemn,
Alone could rescue them;
In ocean, self-upheld;
His destiny repelled;
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more:
Of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear :
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date :
No light propitious shone,
We perished, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.
Those ills that wait on all below,
Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt and only so,
As being shared with thee.
When lightnings flash among the trees,
Or kites are hov'ring near,
And know no other fear.
'Tis then I feel myself a wife,
And press thy wedded side, Resolved an union form'd for life.
Death never shall divide.
But oh! if fickle and unchaste
(Forgive a transient thought) Thou couldst become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot,
No need of lightnings from on high,
Or kites with cruel beak, Denied th' endearments of thine eye
This widow'd heart would break.
Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,
Soft as the passing wind, And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
“Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
“Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew, .
None invincible as they."
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
Religion! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word ! More precious than silver and gold,
Or all that this earth can afford. But the sound of the church-going bell
These valleys and rocks never heard Never sigh’d at the sound of a knell,
Or smiled when a Sabbath appear’d. Ye winds that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore Some cordial endearing report
Of a land I shall visit no more. My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me? O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died;
Dying hurl'd them at the foe.
How fleet is a glance of the mind !
Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-winged arrows of light. When I think of my own native land,
In a moment I seem to be there; But, alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest;
The beast is laid down in his lair;
And I to my cabin repair.
every place; And mercy, encouraging thought! Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
1735-1803. (JAMES BEATTIE was born at Laurencekirk in 1735, and died at Aberdeen in 1803. He pub lished his first volume of poems in 1761, The Fudgment of Paris in 1765, and Some Lines on the Proposed Monument to Churchill in 1766. The first part of The Minstrel appeared in 1770, the second in 1774.] EDWIN.
And he, though oft with dust and [From The Minstrel.]
sweat besprent, THERE liv'd in gothic days, as legends
Did guide and guard their wandertell,
ings, wheresoe'er they went. A shepherd-swain, a man of low degree;
From labor health, from health contentWhose sires, perchance, in Fairyland ment springs, might dwell,
Contentment'opes the source of every Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady. joy; But he, I ween, was of the north coun- He envied not, he never thought of,
kings; A nation fam'd for song, and beauty's Nor from those appetites sustain'd charms;
annoy, Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though
That chance may frustrate, or indulgence free;
cloy: Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms;
Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes Inflexible in faith; invincible in arms. beguild;
He mourn'd no recreant friend, nor The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made,
For on his vows the blameless Phæbe On Scotia's mountains fed his little snil'd, flock;
And her alone he lov'd, and lov'd her The sickle, scythe, or plough, he never
from a child. sway'd; An honest heart was almost all his No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast, stock;
Nor blasted were their wedded days His drink the living water from the with strife; rock:
Each season, look'd delightful, as it The milky dams supplied his board, past, and lent
To the fond husband, and the faithful Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's wife; shock;
Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life
They never roam'd; secure beneath
the storm Which in ambition's lofty land is rife, Where peace
and love are canker'd by the worm Of pride, each bud of joy industrious
The wight, whose tales these artless
lines unfold, Was all the offspring of this humble
pair : His birth no oracle or seer foretold:
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air, Nor aught that might a strange event
declare. You guess each circumstance of Ed
win's birth; The parent's transport, and the parent's
care; The gossip's prayer for wealth, and
wit, and worth; And one long summer-day of indo
lence and mirth.
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy;
Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd
stream To deep untrodden groves his footsteps
the weary team. Th'exploit of strength, dexterity, or
speed, To him nor vanity nor joy could
bring: His heart, from cruel sport estrang'd,
would bleed To work the woe of any living thing, By trap or net, by arrow or by sling; These he detested, those he scorn'd
to wield; He wish'd to be the guardian, not the
king, Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field : And sure the sylvan reign unbloody
joy might yield. Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in won
der, roves Beneath the precipice o'erhung with
pine; And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling
groves, From cliff to cliff the foaming tor
rents shine: While waters, woods, and winds, in
concert join, And Echo swells the chorus to the
skies. Would Edwin this majestic scene resign For aught the huntsman's puny craft
supplies? Ah! no: he better knows great
Nature's charms to prize. And oft he trac'd the uplands, to
survey, When o'er the sky advanc'd the kind
ling dawn, The crimson cloud, blue main, and
mountain gray, And lake, dim gleaming on the
smoky lawn; Far to the west the long long vale with
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor
toy, Save one short pipe of rudest min
strelsy. Silent, when glad; affectionate, though
shy; And now his look was most demurely
sad, And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none
knew why; The neighbors star'd and sigh’d, yet
bless'd the lad; Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and
some believ'd him mad. But why should I his childish feats dis
play? Concourse, and noise, and toil he ever
fled; Nor car'd to mingle in the clamorous
fray Of squabbling imps, but to the forest
spcd, Or roam’d at large the lonely mountain's
Where twilight loves to linger for a “Your flowers, your verdure, and your while;
balmy gloom, And now he faintly kens the bounding Of late so grateful in the hour of fawn,
drought! And villager abroad at early toil. - Why do the birds, that song and rapture But lo! the sun appears! and heaven, brought earth, ocean, smile.
To all your bowers, their mansions
now forsake? And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to
Ah! why has fickle chance this ruir. climb,
wrought? When all in mist the world below was
For now the storm howls mournful lost :
through the brake, What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand And the dead foliage flies in many a sublime,
shapeless flake. Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
“ Where now the rill, melodious, pure, And view th’ enormous waste of vapor and cool, tost
And meads, with life, and mirth, and In billows, lengthening to th' horizon
beauty crown'd! round,
Ah! see, th’ unsightly slime, and slugNow scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains
gish pool, now emboss'd!
Have all the solitary vale imbrown'd; And hear the voice of mirth and song Fled each fair form, and mute each rebound,
melting sound, Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the The raven croaks fororn on naked hoar profound !
spray: In truth he was a strange and wayward And, hark! the river, bursting every wight,
Down the vale thunders; and with Fond of each gent) 2, and each dread
ful scene: In darkness, and in storm, he found
Uproots the grove, and rolls the shat
ter'd rocks away. delight; Nor less, than when on ocean-wave
“ Yet such the destiny of all on earth; The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling
So Aourishes and fades majestic
Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul : And if a sigh would sometimes inter
And fostering gales a while the nursvene, And down his cheek a tear of pity
ling fan: roll,
O smile, ye heavens, serene; ye mil. A sigh, a tear so sweet, he wish'd not to control.
Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his
balmy prime, Nor lessen of his life the little span:
Borne on the swift, though silent wings EDWIN'S MEDITATIONS IN
of Time, AUTUMN.
Old age comes on apace to ravage all “O YE wild groves, O where is now the clime.
your bloom!” (The Muse interprets thus his tender “And be it so. Let those deplore their thought)