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A TALE.

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DAMÆTAS.

To those who think remonstrance teazing, In law an infant, and in years a boy,

At once I'll tell thee our opinion, In mind a slave to every vicious joy,

Concerning woman's soft dominion : From every sense of shame and virtue Howe'er we gaze with admiration,

wean'd,

On eyes of blue, or lips carnation ; In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;

Howe'er the flowing locks attract us, Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child,

Howe'er those beauties may distract us ; Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild ;

Still fickle, we are prone to rove, Woman his dupe, his heedless friend á tool, These cannot fix our souls to love; Old in the world, tho’ scarcely broke from It is not too severe a stricture,

school;

To say they form a pretty picture.
Damætas ran through all the maze of sin, But wouldst thou see the secret chain,
And found the goal, when others just begin; Which binds us in your humble train,
Even still conflicting passions shake his soul, To hail you queens of all creation,
And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's Know, in a word, 'tis AnimatION.

bowl: But, pall'd with vice, he breaks

his former chain,

OSCAR OF ALVA. And, what was once his bliss, appears

his bane.

How gweetly shines, through azure skies,

The lamp of Heaven on Lora's shore ;
TO MARION.

Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
MARION ! why that pensive brow ?

And hear the din of arms no more.
What disgust to life hast thou ?
Change that discontented air;

But often has yon rolling moon
Frowns become not one so fair.

On Alva's casques of silver play'd, Tis not love disturbs thy rest,

And view'd, at midnight's silent noon,
Love's a stranger to thy breast;

Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd.
He in dimpling smiles appears,
Or mourns in sweetly timid tears; And, on the crimson'd rocks beneath,
Or bends the languid eyelid down,

Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow,
But shuns the cold forbidding frown. Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,
Then resume thy former fire,

She saw the gasping warrior low.
Some will love, and all admire ;
While that icy aspect chills us,

While many an eye, which ne'er again
Nought but cool indifference thrills us. Could mark the rising orb of day,
Wouldst thou wandering hearts beguile, Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,
Smile, at least, or seem to smile;

Beheld in death her fading ray.
Eyes like thine were never meant
To hide their orbs, in dark restraint; Once, to those eyes the lamp of Love,
Spite of all, thou fain wouldst say,

They blest her dear propitious light:
Still in truant beams they play.

But, now, she glimmer'd from above,
Thy lips,- but here my modest Muse A sad funereal torch of night.
Her impulse chaste must needs refuse.
She blushes, curtsies, frowns,-in short she Faded is Alva's noble race,
Dreads, lest the subject should transport me, And gray her towers are seen afar;
And flying off, in search of reason, No more her heroes urge the chase,
Brings prudence back in proper season. Or roll the crimson tide of war.
All I shall therefore say (whate'er
I think is neither here nor there),

But, who was last of Alva's clan?
Is that such lips, of looks endearing, Why grows the moss on Alva's stone ?
Were form’d for better things,than sneering. Her towers resound no steps of man,
Of soothing compliments divested,

They echo to the gale aloue.
Advice at least's disinterested ;
Such is my artless song to thee,

And, when that gale is fierce and high,
From all the flow of Dattery free;

A sound is heard in yonder hall, Counsel, like mine, is as a brother's, It rises hoarsely through the sky, My heart is given to some others;

And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall. That is to say, unskill'd to cozen, It shares itself amongst a dozen.

Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs, Marion ! adicu! oh! prithee slight not It shakes the shield of Oscar brave; This warning, though it may delight not; But there no more his banners rise, And, lest my precepts be displeasing No more his plumes of sable wave.

Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth, See, how the heroes' blood-red plumes

When Angus hail'd his eldest-born; Assembled wave in Alva's hall; The vassals round their chieftain's hearth Each youth his varied plaid assumes,

Crowd to applaud the happy morn. Attending on their chieftain's call.

They feast upon the mountain-deer,

The pibroch raised its piercing note,
To gladden more their Highland cheer,
The strains in martial numbers float,

It is not war their aid demands,

The pibroch plays the song of peace; To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands,

Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease.

And they who heard the war-notes wild,

Hoped that, one day, the pibroch's strain
Should play before the hero's child,

While he should lead the Tartan train.

But where is Oscar? sure 'tis late :

Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame? While thronging guests and ladies wait,

Nor Oscar nor his brother came.

R

15

Another year is quickly past,

At length young Allan join'd the bride : And Angus hails another son,

“Why comes not Oscar ?" Angus said; His natal day is like the last,

“Is he not here?" the Youth replied,
Nor soon the jocund feast was done. “With me he roved not o'er the glade.
Taught by their sire to bend the bow, Perchance, forgetful of the day,
On Alva's dusky hills of wind,

'Tis his to chase the bounding roe ; The boys in childhood chased the roe, Or Ocean's waves prolong his stay,

And left their hounds in speed behind. Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow." But, ere their years of youth are o'er, “Oh! no!” the anguish'd Sire rejoin'd,

They mingle in the ranks of war ; “Nor chase, nor wave my Boy delays They lightly wield the bright claymore, Would he to Mora seem unkind?

And send the whistling arrow far. Would aught to her impede his way? Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,

Oh! search, ye Chiefs ! oh! search around! Wildly it streamed along the gale; Allan, with these, through Alva fly, But Allan's locks were bright and fair, Till Oscar, till my son is found;

And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale. Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply."
But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,

All is confusion,-through the vale,
His dark eye shone through beams of truth; The name of Oscar hoarsely rings,
Allan had early learn'd controul,

It rises on the murmuring gale,
And smooth his words had been from Till Night expands her dusky wings.

youth.

It breaks the stillness of the night,
Both, both were brave: the Saxon spear But echoes through her shades in vain ;

Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel; It sounds through morning's misty light,
And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,

But Oscar comes not o'er the plain. But Oscar's bosom knew to feel.

Three days, three sleepless nights, the
While Allan's soul belied his form,

Chief
Unworthy with such charms to dwell; For Oscar search'd each mountain-cave;
Keen as the lightning of the storm, Then hope is lost in boundless grief,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell.

His locks in gray torn ringlets wave.
From high Southannon's distant tower “Oscar! my Son! - Thou God of Heaven!
Arrived a young and noble dame;

Restore the prop of sinking age;
With Kenneth's land to form her dower, Or, if that hope no more is given,
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came:

Yield his assassin to my rage.
And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride, Yes, on some desert rocky shore,
And Angus on his Oscar smiled;

My Oscar’s whiten’d bones must lie ;
It soothed the father's feudal pride, Then grant, thou God! I ask no more,
Thus to obtain Glenalyon's child.

With him his frantic Sire

may

die.

Hark! to the pibroch's pleasing note,

Hark! to the swelling, nuptial song ;
In joyous strains the voices float,

And still the choral peal prolong.

Yet, he may live,-away despair;

Be calm, my soul! he yet may live: T' arraign my fate, my voice forbear; O God! my impious prayer forgive.

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Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note ! "With all my soul,” old Angus said,
Hark to the swelling nuptial song!

And fillid his goblet to the brim ;
In joyous strains the voices float,

“Here's to my boy! alive or dead, And still the choral peal prolong.

I ne'er shall find a son like him." Again the clan, in festive crowd,

“Bravely old man, this health has sped, Throng through the gate of Alva's hall; But why does Allan trembling stand ? The sounds of mirth re-echo loud,

Come, drink remembrance of the dead, And all their former joy recal.

And raise thy cup with firmer hand." But, who is he, whose darken'd brow The crimson glow of Allan's face

Glooms in the midst of general mirth ? Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue;
Before his eye's far fiercer glow

The drops of death each other chase,
The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth. Adown in agonizing dew.
Dark is the robe which wraps his form, Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And tall his plume of gory red ;

And thrice his lips refused to taste;
His voice is like the rising storm,

For thrice he caught the stranger's eye, But light and trackless is his tread: -- On his with deadly fury placed. "Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round, “And is it thus a brother hails

The bridegroom's health is dceply quaft; A brother's fond remembrance here? With shonts the vaulted roofs resound, If thus affection's strength prevails,

And all combine to hail the draught. What might we not expect from fear?"

Roused by the sneer, he rais'd the bowl; And Mora's eye could Allan move,
“ Would Oscar now could share our She bade his wounded pride rebel:

mirth!”

Alas! that eyes, which beam'd with love, luternal fear appall'd his soul,

Should urge the soul to deeds of Hell. He said, and dash'd the cup to earth.

Lo! seest thou not a lonely tomb, “'Tis he! I hear my murderer's voice," Which rises o'er a warrior dead !

Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming Form; It glimmers through the twilight gloom; “A murderer's voice !" the roof replies, Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bed. And deeply swells the bursting storm.

Far, distant far, the noble grave, The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink, Which held his clan's great ashes, stood;

The stranger's gone,– amidst the crew And o'er his corse no banners wave, A Form was seen, in tartan green,

For they were staind with kindred blood. And tall the shade terrific grew.

What minstrel gray, what hoary bard, His waist was bound with a broad belt round, Shall Allan's deeds on harp-strings raise ?

His plume of sable stream'd on high ; The song is glory's chief reward, But his breast was bare, with the red But who can strike a murderer's praise ?

wounds there, And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye. Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand,

No minstrel dare the theme awake; And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild, Guilt would benumb his palsied hand,

On Angus, bending low the knee; His harp in shuddering chords would And thrice he frown'd on a Chief on the

break. ground, Whom shivering crowds with horror see. No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse,

Shall sound his glories high in air, The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole, A dying father's bitter curse,

The thunders through the welkin ring; A brother's death-groan echoes there. And the gleaming Form, through the mist

of the stori, Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.

TO THE DUKE OF DORSET.

In looking over my papers, to select a few adCold was the feast, the revel ceased; ditional Poems for the second edition, I found Who lies upon the stony floor?

the following lines, which I had totally for

gotten, composed in the Summer of 1805, a short Oblivion prest old Angus' breast,

time previous to my departure from Harrow. At length his life-pulse throbs once more. They were addressed to a young school-fellow

of high rank, who had been my frequent compa

nion in some rambles through the neighbouring “Away, away, let the leech essay,

country; however, he never saw the lines, and To pour the light on Allan's eyes;” most probably never will. As, on a reperusal, His sand is done, - his race is run,

I found them not worse than some other pieces Oh! never more shall Allan rise!

in the collection, I have now published them,

for the first time, after a slight revision. But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,

Dorset! whose early steps with mine have His locks are listed by the gale,

stray'd, And Allan's barbed arrow lay,

Exploring every path of Ida's glade, With him in dark Glentanar's vale. Whom, still, affection taught me to defend,

And made me less a tyrant than a friend; And whence the dreadful stranger came, Though the harsh custom of our youthful Or who, no mortal wight can tell;

band But no one doubts the Form of Flame, Bade thee obey, and gave me to command For Alva's sons knew Oscar well. Thee, on whose head a few short years will

shower Ambition nerved young Allan's hand, The gift of riches, and the pride of power;

Exulting demons wing'd his dart, Even now a name illustrious is thine own, While Envy waved her burning brand, Renown'd in rank,not far beneath the throne. And pour'd her venom round his heart. Yet, Dorset, let not this seduce thy soul,

To-shun fair science, or evade control; Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow: Though passive tutors, fearful to dispraiso Whosc streaming life-blood stains his The titled child, whose future breath may side ?

raise, Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,

View ducal errors with indulgent eyes, The dart has drunk his vital tide. | And wink at faults they tremble to chastise.

When youthful parasites, who bend the Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun,

knee

Not Fortune's minion, but her noblest son. To wealth, their golden idol,- not to thee! Turn to the annals of a former day, And, even in simple boyhood's opening dawn, Bright are the deeds thine earlier Sires Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawn:

display; When these declare, “that pomp alone One, though a Courtier,lived a man of worth,

should wait And call’d, proud boast ! the British Drama On one by birth predestined to be great;

forth. That books were only meant for drudging Another view! not less renown'd for Wit,

fools,

Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fitz That gallant spirits scorn the common rules;" Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine, Believe them not,- they point the path to In every splendid part ordain'd to shine;

shame,

Far, far distinguish'd from the glittering And seek to blast the honours of thy name:

throng, Turn to the few, in Ida's early throng, The pride of Princes, and the boast of Song, Whose souls disdain not to condemn the Such were thy Fathers, thus preserve their wrong ;

name, Or, if amidst the comrades of thy youth, Not heir to titles only, but to Fame. None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth, The hour draws nigh, a few brief days Ask thine own heart! 'twill bid thee, boy,

will close, forbear,

To me, this little scene of joys and woes; For well I know that virtue lingers there. Each knell of Time now warns me to resiga

Shades, where Hope, Peace and Friendship,

all were mine; Yes! I have mark'd thee many a passing Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue,

day,

And gild their pinions, as the moments flew; But now new scenes invite me far away ; Peace, that reflection never frown'd away, Yes! I have mark'd, within that generous By dreams of ill, to cloud some future day;

mind,

Friendship, whose truth let childhood only A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind;

tell, Ah! though myself by nature haughty, wild, Alas! they love not long, who love so well. Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite To these adieu! nor let ine linger o'er

child;

Scenes hail'd,as exiles hail their native shore, Though every error stamps me for her own, Receding slowly through the dark blue deep, And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone; Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep. Though my proud beart no precept now

can tåme, I love the virtues which I cannot claiin. Dorset! farewell! I will not ask one part 'Tis not enough, with other Sons of power, Of sad remenbrance in so young a heart; To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour, The coming morrow from thy youthful mind, To swell some peerage-page in feeble pride, Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace With long-drawn names , that grace no

behind. page beside;

And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year, Then share with titled crowds the common Since chance has thrown us in the selflot,

same sphere, In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot; Since the same senate, nay, the same debate, While nought divides thee from the vulgar May one day claim our suffrage for the state,

dead,

We hence may meet, and pass each other by Except the dull cold stone that hides thy With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.

head,

For me, in future, neither friend or foe, The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the Herald's A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe;

roll,

With thee no more again I hope to trace That well-emblazon'd, but neglected scroll, The recollection of our early race ; Where Lords, unhonour'd, in the tomb may No more, as once, in social hours, rejoice,

find

Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known Onespot to leave a worthless name behind;

voice. There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught That veil their dust, their follies, and To veil those feelings, which perchance, their faults;

it ought; A race, with old armorial lists o'erspread, If these, – but let me cease the lengthen'd In records destined never to be read.

strain, Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes, Oh! if these wishes are not breathed in vain, Exalted more among the good and wise; The Guardian Seraph, who directs thy fate, A glorious and a long career pursue, Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee As first in Rank, the first in Talent too;

great.

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