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VERSES

TO

A YOUNG LADY.

When half the nation round Almira sighs,
And sense secures the conquest of her eyes,
Why bids the nymph a muse unknown to fame
To grace her numbers with so fair a name?
Or would the maid add lustre to my lays ?
Or shew the world how weakly I can praise ?

The muse disclaimed, and all the powers of song,
The rapture vanished, and the lyre unstrung;
I left to other bards their groves of bays,
And sacrificed my hopes of fame to ease.
Nor Delia's charms could bid my numbers rise,
Nor caught my soul the fire of Chloe's eyes;
On Mira's cheek in vain did roses glow,
And Chloris heaved, unsung, her breast of snow;
Almira only could my breast inflame,
Were but my strength proportioned to my theme.

Grant then I sung, what honour could I pay,
Where every grace displayed prevents the lay?
Thee first in beauty, sighing thousands own;
And thou art stranger to thy worth alone:

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25

Charms after charms in fair succession rise,
Thy wit pursues the progress of thine eyes ;
Each love-sick youth, without the poet's art,
Beholds enough to rob him of his heart;
The muse despairs to make thee brighter shine,
Or give one beauty not already thine.

Permit me then, since useless are my lays,
To give my adoration for my praise ;
With other youths, the pleasing pain to prove ;
Though hope, alas ! can never lodge with love:
Let me admire the charms I'll ne'er possess ;
And eye, in rapture, what I can't express.

30

FRAGMENT

OF

A NORTHERN TALE.

See Preface to the Edition 1773.

Where Harold, with golden hair, spread o'er Lochlin * his high commands; where, with justice, he ruled the tribes, who sunk, subdued, beneath his sword; abrupt rises Gormal + in snow! The tempests roll dark on his sides, but calm, above, his vast forehead appears. White-issuing from the skirt of his storms, the troubled torrents pour down his sides. Joining, as they roar along, they bear the Torno, in foam, to the main.

Grey on the bank and far from men, half-covered by ancient pines from the wind, a lonely pile exalts its head, longshaken by the storms of the north. To this filed Sigurd, fierce in fight, from Harold the leader of armies, when fate had brightened his spear with renown: When he conquered in that rude field, where Lulan's warriors fell in blood, or rose, in terror, on the waves of the main. Darkly sat the grey-haired chief; yet sorrow dwelt not in his soul. Bat

• The Gaëlic name of Scandinavia, or Scandinia.
+ The mountains of Sevo.

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when the warrior thought on the past, his proud heart heaved against his side: Forth flew his sword from its place, he wounded Harold in all the winds.

One daughter, and only one, but bright in form and mild of soul, the last beam of the setting line, remained to Sigurd of all his race. His son, in Lulan's battle slain, beheld not his father's Alight from his foes. Nor finished seemed the ancient line! The splendid beauty of bright-eyed Fithon covered still the fallen king with renown. Her arm was white like Gormal's snow; her bosom whiter than the foam of the main, when roll the waves beneath the wrath of the winds. Like two stars were her radiant eyes, like two stars that rise on the deep, when dark tumult embroils the night. Pleasant are their beams aloft, as stately they ascend the skies.

Nor Odin forgot, in aught, the maid. Her form scarce equalled her lofty mind. Awe moved around her stately steps. Heroes loved-but shrunk away in their fears. Yet midst the pride of all her charms, her heart was soft, and her soul was kind. She saw the mournful with tearful eyes. Transient darkness arose in her breast. Her joy was in the chace. Each morning, when doubtful light wandered dimly on Lulan's waves, she rouzed the resounding woods, to Gormal's head of snow. Nor moved the maid alone, &c.

TIIE SAME VERSIFIED.

WHERE fair-haired Harold o'er Scandinia reigned,
And held, with justice, what his valour gained,
Sevo, in snow, his rugged forehead rears,
And, o'er the warfare of his storms, appears .

Abrupt and vast. White-wandering down his side
A thousand torrents, gleaming as they glide,
Unite below; and pouring through the plain
Hurry the troubled Torno to the main. '

Grey, on the bank, remote from human kind,
By aged pines half sheltered from the wind,
A homely mansion rose, of antique form,
For ages battered by the polar storm.
To this fierce Sigurd fled from Norway's lord,
When fortune settled on the warrior's sword,
In that rude field where Suecia’s chiefs were slain;
Or forced to wander o'er the Bothnic main.
Dark was his life, yet undisturbed with woes;
But when the memory of defeat arose,
His proud heart struck his side; he graspt the spear,
And wounded Harold in the vacant air.'

One daughter only, but of form divine,
The last fair beam of the departing line,
Remained of Sigurd's race. His warlike son
Fell in the shock which overturned the throne.
Nor desolate the house! Fionia's charms
Sustained the glory, which they lost in arms.
White was her arm, as Sevo's lofty snow,
Her bosom fairer than the waves below,
When heaving to the winds. Her radiant eyes
Like two bright stars, exulting as they rise,
O’er the dark tumult of a stormy night,
And gladdening heaven, with their majestic light.

In nought is Odin to the maid unkind,
Her form scarce equals her exalted mind;
Awe leads her sacred steps where'er they move,
And mankind worship where they dare not love.
But, mixed with softness, was the virgin's pride,
Her heart had feelings which her eyes denied.
Her bright tears started at another's woes,
While transient darkness on her soul arose.

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