Page images
PDF
EPUB

Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning, When passion first wak'd a new life thro' his frame,

And his soul — like the wood that grows precious in burning — Gave out all its sweets to love's exquisite flame!

FILL THE BUMPER FAIR.

"PILL the bumper fair!

Every drop we sprinkle
O'er the brow of Care

Smooths away a wrinkle.
Wit's electric flame

Ne'er so swiftly passes,
As when through the frame

It shoots from brimming glasses.
Fill the bumper fair!

Every drop we sprinkle
O'er the brow of Care

Smooths away a wrinkle.

Sages can, they say,

Grasp the lightning's pinions,
And bring down its ray

From the starr'd dominions,•—
So we, Sages, sit

And 'mid bumpers bright'ning.
From the heaven of Wit

Draw down all its lightning.

Wouldst thou know what first

Made our souls inherit This ennobling thirst

For wine's celestial spirit? It chanced upon that day,

"When, as bards inform us, Prometheus stole away

The living fires that warm us. The careless Youth, when up

To Glory's fount aspiring, Took nor urn nor cup

To hide the pilfer'd fire in.— But 0 his joy! when, round

The halls of heaven spying, Among the stars he found

A bowl of Bacchus lying.

Some drops were in that bowl,

Remains of last night's pleasure, With which the Sparks of Soul

Mix'd their burning treasure. Hence the goblet's shower

Hath such spells to win us; Hence its mighty power

O'er that flame within us. Fill the bumper fair!

Every drop we sprinkle O'er the brow of Care

Smooths away a wrinkle.

DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY.

TYEAR Harp of my Country! in darkness I found ** thee,

The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long,* When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,

And gave all thy chords to light, freedom and song! The warm lay of love, and the light note of gladness

Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill; But so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness,

That e'en in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.

Dear Harp of my Country ! farewell to thy numbers,

This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine I Go, sleep with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers,

Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine. If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,

Have throbb'd at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone; I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,

And all the wild sweetness I wak'd was thy own.

* In that rebellious but beautiful song, " When Erin first rose,' there is, if I recollect right, the following line —

1 The dark chain of silence was thrown o'er the deep.'

The Chain of Silence was a sort of practical figure of rhetoric among the ancient Irish. Walker tells us of" a celebrated contention for precedence between Finn and Gaul, near Finn's palace at Almhaim, where the attending bards, anxious, if possible, to produce a cessation of hostilities, shook the Chain of Silence, and flung themselves among the ranks." See also the Ode to.Gaul, in Miss Brookes's Reliques of Irish Poetry. K2

MY GENTLE HAKP.

M"Y gentle Harp! once more I waken

The sweetness of thy slumbering strain; In tears our last farewell was taken,

And now in tears we meet again.. No light of joy hath o'er thee broken,

But, like those Harps whose heavenly skill Of slavery, dark as thine, hath spoken,

Thou hang'st upon the willows still.

And yet, since last thy chord resounded,

An hour of peace and triumph came, And many an ardent bosom bounded

With hopes — that now are turn'd to shame. Yet even then, while peace was singing

Her halcyon song o'er land and sea, Though joy and hope to others bringing,

She only brought new tears to thee.

Then, who can ask for notes of pleasure,

My drooping Harp, from chords like thine? Alas, the lark's gay morning measure

As ill would suit the swan's decline! Or how shall I, who love, who bless thee,

Invoke thy breath for Freedom's strains, When ev'n the wreaths in which I dress thee

Are sadly mix'd — Half flowers, half chains? But come,— if yet thy frame can borrow

One breath of joy, O breathe for me, And show the world, in chains and sorrow,

How sweet thy music still can be; How gaily, ev'n 'mid gloom surrounding

Thou yet canst wake at pleasure's thrill — Like Memnon's broken image sounding,

'Mid desolation, tuneful still.*

AS SLOW OUR SHIP.

AS slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back

To that dear isle 'twas leaving :—
So loath we part from all we love,

From all the links that bind us; So turn our hearts, as on we rove,

To those we've left behind us.

When, round the bowl, of vanish'd years

We talk, with joyous seeming,—
With smiles that might as well be tears,

So faint, so sad, their beaming;
While memory brings us back again

Each early tie that twin'd us,
Oh, sweet's the cup that circles then

To those we've left behind us!

* Dimidio magicse resonant ubi Memnone chordae." JuvvBAh.

« PreviousContinue »