« PreviousContinue »
Nor aught that might a strange event declare. You guess each circumstance of Edwin'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 indolence and
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy,
Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant eye.
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor toy,
Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy :
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 neighbours stared and sigh’d, yet bless'd
the lad; Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and some be-,
lieved him mad.
But why should I his childish feats display?
Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fled ;
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray
Of squabbling imps; but to the forest sped,
Or roam'd at large the lonely mountain's head,
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd stream
To deep untrodden groves his footsteps led.
There would he wander wild, till Phæbus' beam,
Shot from the western cliff, released the weary
The exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed,
To him nor vanity nor could bring.
His heart, from cruel sport estranged, would
bleed To work the wo 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
Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o’erhung with pine,
And sees, on high, amidst the encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine ;
While waters, woods, and winds, in concert
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
And oft he traced the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn,
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain
And lake, dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn :
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for a while ;
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil.
But, lo! the sun appears ! and heaven, earth,
And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost.
What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view the enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to the horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now em-
boss'd ! And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar pro
In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
In darkness, and in storm, he found delight :
Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern sun diffused his dazzling shene.
Even sad vicissitude amused his soul :
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wish'd not to control.
BLANDUSIA ! more than crystal clear !
Whose soothing murmurs charm the ear!
Whose margin soft with flowerets crown'd
Invites the festive band around,
Their careless limbs diffused supine,
To quaff the soul-enlivening wine.
To thee a tender kid I vow,
That aims for fight his budding brow ;
In thought, the wrathful combat proves,
Or wantons with his little loves :
But vain are all his purposed schemes,
Delusive all his flattering dreams,
To-morrow shall his fervent blood
Stain the pure silver of thy flood.
When fiery Sirius blasts the plain,
Untouch'd thy gelid streams remain.
To thee the fainting flocks repair,
To taste thy cool reviving air ;
To thee the ox with toil opprest,
And lays his languid limbs to rest.
As springs of old renown'd, thy name,
Blest fountain ! I devote to fame;
Thus while I sing in deathless lays
The verdant holm, whose waving sprays,
Thy sweet retirement to defend,
High o'er the moss-grown rock impend,
Whence prattling, in loquacious play,
Thy sprightly waters leap away.
This pleasing versifier was a prodigious favourite with the
gentle and courteous readers of the last generation. He
was their Barry Cornwall and Miss Landon united. Langhorne was the son of a beneficed clergyman, and was
born in Westmoreland. He was a popular preacher, an amiable man, and an elegant scholar, who gave himself up to literature with all his heart, and with all the genius he possessed. Peace to the memory of all such! they are good men in their day
IRWAN'S VALE. FAREWELL the fields of Irwan's vale,
My infant years where Fancy led, And soothed me with the western gale,
Her wild dreams waving round my head, While the blithe blackbird told his tale. Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale !
The primrose on the valley's side,
The green thyme on the mountain's head, The wanton rose, the daisy pied,
The wilding's blossom blushing red ; No longer I their sweets inhale. Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale!
How oft, within yon vacant shade,
Has evening closed my careless eye! How oft, along those banks I've stray'd,
And watch'd the wave that wander'd by Full long their loss shall I bewail. Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale !
Yet still, within yon vacant grove,
To mark the close of parting day;
Along yon flowery banks to rove,
And watch the wave that winds away;
Fair Fancy sure shall never fail,
Though far from these and Irwan's vale.