Page images
PDF
EPUB

PROFESSOR WILSON.

ADDRESS TO A WILD DEER.

MAGNIFICENT Creature ! so stately and bright!
In the pride of thy spirit pursuing thy flight ;
For what hath the child of the desert to dread,
Wafting up his own mountains that far-beaming

head;

Or borne like a whirlwind down on the vale ? -Hail! King of the wild and the beautiful !

hail ! Hail! Idol divine ! whom Nature hath borne O’er a hundred hill-tops since the mists of the

morn, Whom the pilgrim lone wandering on mountain

and moor,

As the vision glides by him, may blameless adore ; For the joy of the happy, the strength of the free, Are spread in a garment of glory o'er thee.

Up! up to yon cliff! like a king to his throne !
O'er the black silent forest piled lofty and lone
A throne which the eagle is glad to resign
Unto footsteps so fleet and so fearless as thine,
There the bright heather springs up in love of thy

breast-
Lo! the clouds in the depth of the sky are at rest;
And the race of the wild winds is o'er on the hill !
In the hush of the mountains, ye antlers, lie still-

Though your branches now toss in the storm of

delight, Like the arms of the pine on your shelterless

height. One moment—thou bright Apparition !-delay ! Then melt o'er the crags, like the sun from the day.

Aloft on the weather-gleam, scorning the earth,
The wild spirit hung in majestical mirth :
In dalliance with danger, he bounded in bliss,
O’er the fathomless gloom of each moaning abyss ;
O'er the grim rocks careering with prosperous

motion,
Like a ship by herself in full sail o'er the ocean !
Then proudly he turn'd ere he sank to the dell,
And shook from his forehead a haughty fare-

well, While his horns in a crescent of radiance shone, Like a flag burning bright when the vessel is gone.

The ship of the desert hath pass’d on the wind,
And left the dark ocean of mountains behind !
But my spirit will travel wherever she flee,
And behold her in pomp o'er the rim of the sea-
Her voyage pursue-till her anchor be cast
In some cliff-girdled haven of beauty at last.

What lonely magnificence stretches around !
Each sight how sublime ! and how awful each

sound !
All hush'd and serene, as a region of dreams,
The mountains repose ʼmid the roar of the streams,
Their glens of black umbrage by cataracts riven,
But calm their blue tops in the beauty of Heaven.

Here the glory of nature hath nothing to fearAy! Time the destroyer in power hath been

here; And the forest that hung on yon mountain so

high, Like a black thunder-cloud on the arch of the sky, Hath gone, like that cloud, when the tempest

came by. Deep sunk in the black moor, all worn and de

cayd, Where the floods have been raging the limbs are

display'd Of the Pine-tree and Oak sleeping vast in the

gloom, The kings of the forest disturb'd in their tomb.

E'en now, in the pomp of their prime, I behold
O’erhanging the desert the forests of old !
So gorgeous their verdure, so solemn their shade,
Like the heavens above them, they never may

fade.
The sunlight is on them-in silence they sleep
A glimmering glow, like the breast of the deep,
When the billows scarce heave in the calmness of

morn.

-Down the pass of Glen-Etive the tempest is

borne, And the hill-side is swinging, and roars with a

sound In the heart of the forest embosom'd profound. Till all in a moment the tumult is o'er, And the mountain of thunder is still as the shore When the sea is at ebb; not a leaf nor a breath To disturb the wild solitude, steadfast as death.

From his eyrie the eagle hath soar'd with a scream, And I wake on the edge of the cliff from my dream; -Where now is the light of thy far-beaming

brow? Fleet son of the wilderness! where art thou

now? --Again o'er yon crag thou return'st to my sight, Like the horns of the moon from a cloud of the

night! Serene on thy travel-as soul in a dreamThou needest no bridge o'er the rush of the stream. With thy presence the pine-grove is fill'd, as with

light, And the caves, as thou passest, one moment are

bright. Through the arch of the rainbow that lies on the

rock ’Mid the mist stealing up from the cataract's

shock, Thou fling'st thy bold beauty, exulting and free, O'er a pit of grim blackness, that roars like the

sea,

His voyage is o'er !--As if struck by a spell
He motionless stands in the hush of the dell;
There softly and slowly sinks down on his breast,
In the midst of his pastime enamour'd of rest.
A stream in a clear pool that endeth his race-
A dancing ray chain'd to one sunshiny place-
A cloud by the winds to calm solitude driven-
A hurricane dead in the silence of heaven !

Fit couch of repose for a pilgrim like thee ! Magnificent prison enclosing the free !

With rock-wall encircled, with precipice crown'dWhich, awoke by the sun, thou can'st clear at a

bound. 'Mid the fern and the heather kind Nature doth

keep One bright spot of green for her favourite's sleep ; And close to that covert, as clear as the skies When their blue depths are cloudless, a little lake

lies, Where the creature at rest can his image behold Looking up through the radiance, as bright and as

bold ! How lonesome ! how wild ! yet the wildness is rife With the stir of enjoyment—the spirit of life. The glad fish leaps up in the heart of the lake, Whose depths, at the sullen plunge, sullenly

quake ! Elate on the fern-branch the grasshopper sings, And away in the midst of his roundelay springs ; 'Mid the flowers of the heath, not more bright than

himself, The wild-bee is busy, a musical elfThen starts from his labour, unwearied and gay, And, circling the antlers, booms far far away. While high up the mountains, in silence remote, The cuckoo unseen is repeating his note, And mellowing echo, on watch in the skies, Like a voice from some loftier climate replies. With wide-branching antlers a guard to his breast, There lies the wild Creature, even stately in rest ! 'Mid the grandeur of nature, composed and serene, And proud in his heart of the mountainous scene, He lifts his calm eye to the eagle and raven, At noon sinking down on smooth wings to their

haven,

« PreviousContinue »