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I've traversed many a mountain-strand,
Abroad and in my native land,
And it hiis been my lot to tread
Where safety more than pleasure led -,
Thus, many a waste I've wander'd o'er,
Clombc many a crag, cross'd many a moor,
But, by my halidome,
A scene so rude, so wild as this,
Yet so sublime in barrenness,
Ne'er did my wandering footsteps press,
Where'er I happ'd to roam.**—
No marvel thus the Monarch spake;
For rarely human eye has known A scene so stern as that dread lake,
With its dark ledge of barren stone.
Seems that primeval earthquake's sway
Hath rent a strange and shatter'd way
Through the rude bosom of the hill,
And that each naked precipice,
Sable ravine, and dark abyss,
Tells of the outrage still.
The wildest glen, but this, can show
Some touch of Nature's genial glow;
On high Benmore green mosses grow,
And heath-bells bud in deep Glencroe,
And copse on Cruchan-Ben;
But here,—above, around, below,
On mountain or in glen,
Nor tree, nor shrub, nor plant, nor flower,
Nor aught of vegetative power,,
The weary eye may ken.
For all is rocks at random thrown,
Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone,
As if were here denied
The summer sun, the spring's sweet dew,
That clothe with many a varied hue
The bleakest mountain-side.
And wilder, forward as they wound,
Were the proud cliffs and lake profound.
Huge terraces of granite black
Afforded rude and cumber'd track;
For from the mountain hoar,
Hurl'd headlong in some night of fear.
When yell'd the wolf and fled the deer.
Loose crags had toppled o'er;
And some, chance-poised and balanced, lay,
So that a strippling arm might sway
A mass no host could raise,
In Nature's rage at random thrown,
Yet trembling like the Druid's stone
On its precarious base.
The evening mists, with ceaseless change,
Now clothed the mountains' lofty range,
Now left their foreheads bare,
And round the skirts their mantle furl'd,
Or on the sable waters curl'd,
Or, on the eddying breezes whirl'd,
Dispersed in middle air.
And oft, condensed, at once they lower,
When, brief and fierce, the mountain shower
Pours like a torrent down,
And when return the sun's glad beams,
Whiten'd with foam a thousand streams
Leap from the mountain's crown.
"This lake," said Bruce, "whose barriers drear
Are precipices sharp and sheer,
Yielding no track for goat or deer,
Save the black shelves we tread,
How term you its dark waves? and how
Yon northern mountain's pathless brow,
And yonder peak of dread,
That to the evening sun uplifts
The griesly gulphs and slaty rifts,
Which seam its shiver'd head )"
*' Coriskin call the dark lake's name,
Coolin the ridge, as bards proclaim,
From old Cuchullin, chief of fame.
But bards, familiar in our isles
Rather with Nature's frowns than smiles,
Full oft their careless humours please
By sportive names for scenes like these.
I would old Torquil were to show
His Maidens with their breasts of snow,
Or that my noble Liege were nigh
To hear his Nurse sing lullaby!
(The Maids—tall cliffs with breakers white,
The Nurse—a torrent's roaring might,)
Or that your eye could see the mood
Of Corryvrekin's whirpool rude.
When dons the Hag her whiten'd hood—
'Tis thus our islemen's fancy frames,
For scenes so stern, fantastic names."—
REYNOLDS, AS AN ARTIST.
From Mr. Shee's Commemoration of Reynold*.
Tho' Reynolds, long superior and alone,
Possessed in-Art an undisputed throne,
Yet hardly conscious what his powers achieved,
A cold, reluctant homage he received.
By some few minds of sounder judgment awed,
The mob of taste affected to applaud.
But far beyond his age his heart aspired,
And few cou'd tell his worth, though all admired ■
Mistaken praise still mortified Us aim—
Th' applause of Ignorance polluting fame •
With humbled hope he bowed to Fashion's rata
And saw with sorrow he excelled in vain.'
For e'en of those who felt his merits most,—
On whom his labour* were not wholly lost
How few cou'd judge the skill his works impart
Or take his towering altitude of art!
But now with purer eye prepared to gaze,
By Taste as well as Fashion taught to praise
We do him tardy justice and explore
With pride those beauties unobserved before •
Collect the wonders of his hand witli care,'
And estimate as jewels rich and rare;
As brilliant gems of art as ever graced
The Muse of painting from the mine of taste.
No longer echoing envy's idle cry,
Let fools exclaim, "how Reynolds''colours flv<"
Heboid in hues that rival Nature's glow,'
Bright as the sunbeam or celestial bow-
By Time untarnished, and by Genius crowned,
Our British Titian sheds his glory round
While minor stars their weaker rays combine,
And former lights with feeble radiance shine;
His single beam illumes the graphic skies,
And pours a summer's lustre ou our eyes.'
In all his works astonished Nature views
Her silvery splendors and her golden hues;
Sublime in motion, or at rest serene,
Her charms of air and action, all are seen.
There Grace appears in era-varied forms
ihere \ igor animate? and Beauty warms;
While Character displayed in every stage
Of transient life, from infancy to age,
Strong in each line asserts the mind's controul.
And oh the speaking feature stamps the souL
There Imitation scorning dry detail,
Forbids that parts should o'er the whole prevail;
To Dow and Denner leaving all the fame,
The painful polishers of taste can claim,
Tho' free yet faithful to her trust remains,
And wastes no talent while she spares no pains.
And e'en where sometimes pure correctness fails,
A nobler character of form prevails—
A fire-fraught indication of design,
Beyond the mere, cold academic line;
Where Taste her seal affixes to excuse
The faults of Genius in her favourite muse1.
Announcing study, yet concealing art,
Here Execution plays her proper part;
Light, airy, free, the pencil flows at will,
Yet seems to sport unconscious of its skill.
His hand impressed with painting's nobler aim,
Disdained the tribe who flourish into fame.
A spirit pure—in happy mean that move*,
Where practice prompts the sleight which truth approves.
To all his labours lends an air of ease,
And e'en in trifles teaches toil to please.
But chief, endowed in right of Taste he reigns
Supreme o'er all her undefined domains;
Thro' Nature's path's his ardent course she guides,
And with simplicity her sway divides:
Diffusing grace o'er Fashion's awkward forms,
In every touch her magic influence charms:
While all the ruder airs of life refine,
And vulgar shapes avoid her glance divine.
But where to fix amidst the general blaze,
This glowing sphere, this graphic heaven displays!
From star to star the eye delighted flies,
As dazzling round, the beams of Beauty rise.
Toned by one hand to harmony divine,
According tints in coloured concert join;
And strong to truth as each chaste hue adheres,
The mellow majesty of Art appears.
While rapt Attention's eager glance devours-
The pictured scene, and traces all its powers;
What mixed emotions rise as we survey,
This bright assemblage of the Great and Gay!
Of all who late adorned the public stage,
The Wit—the Worth—the Fashion—of their age.
As fixed to view by some Enchanter's power,
In better aspect caught, and happier hour,
Heroes and Statesmen—Bards, and Beauties here,
In living lustre mock the world's career:
And seem assembled to receive with grace,
Their rival visitants—the present race.
But who shall gaze upon the gorgeous train?
And think how few around him now remain,
Reflect—of all, that here in triumph placed,
Partake the immortality of Taste,
How few survive to shew the picture's truth,
And prove in age the identity of youth.
What fires of Genius—fallen in Time's decay!
The Painter—and his Subjects—passed away!
What eye by Art's allurements so engrossed?—
Encircled thus by such a radiant host,
Can view unmoved those forms of life and bloom,
Those Lights so late extinguished—in the tomb?
LINES ON THE DEATH OF OPIE.
(From the same.J
How oft, of late, o'er worth departed shed,
The tears of Britain have embalmed the dead;
Bewailed the Hero's fall—the Sage's fate,
While public Virtue sorrowed thro' the state;
Yet still unsated with the noblest prey,
Ungorged, tho' meaner multitudes decay;
'Gainst Wit and Genius, Death directs his dart,
And strikes thro' Opie's side to Painting's heart.
Fallen from the zenith of his proud career!
Full in his fame, and sparkling in his sphere!
While o'er his Art he shed his brightest rays,
And warmed the world of letters into praise.
No feeble follower of a style or school;
No slave of system, in the chains of rule:
His Genius kindling from within was fired,
And first in Nature's rudest wild aspired.
At her pure shrine his youthful vows he paid,
Secured her smile, and sought no other aid;
Enraptured still her charms alone explored,
And to the last, with lover's faith adored:
Vol. LVJI. 2 S For