Page images


(Thomas Campbell.) A chieftain to the Highlands bound,

Cries, " Boatman, do not tarry! And I'll give thee a silver pound

To row us o'er the ferry.” “Now who be ye would cross Loch-Gyle,

This dark and stormy water?"
Oh, I'm the chief of Ulva's Isle,

And this Lord Ullin's daughter. And fast before her father's men

Three days we've fled together; For should he find us in the glen,

My blood would stain the heather; “His horsemen hard behind us ride;

Should they our steps discover, Then who would cheer my bonny bride,

When they have slain her lover ?” Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,

“I'll go, my chief-I'm ready: It is not for your silver bright,

But for your winsome lady:
And, by my word! the bonny bird

In danger shall not tarry ;
So, though the waves are raging white,

I'll row you o'er the ferry."
By this the storm grew loud apace,

The water-wraith was shrieking ;
And, in the scowl of heaven, each face

Grew dark as they were speaking. But still as wilder blew the wind,

And as the night grew drearer,

Adown the glen rode armèd men,

Their trampling sounded nearer.
“O haste thee, haste !" the lady cries,

“Though tempests round us gather,
I'll meet the raging of the skies,
But not an angry

The boat has left a stormy land,

A stormy sea before her -
When, oh! too strong for human hand,

The tempest gathered o'er her.
And still they rowed, amidst the roar

Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore

His wrath was changed to wailing-
For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,

His child he did discover!
One lovely arm was stretched for aid,

And one was round her lover.
“ Come back! come back !” he cried in grief,

“Across this stormy water;
And I'll forgive your Highland chief-
My daughter!-oh! my daughter !"

'Twas vain : the loud waves lashed the shore,

Return or aid preventing :
The waters wild went o'er his child-

And he was left lamenting.

[ocr errors]

A HYMN.—(Thompson.)
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and love.

Wide flush the fields, the softening air is balm ;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles;
And every sense, and every heart, is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year ;
And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks-
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales.
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter, awful Thou! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled,
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, Thou bidd'st the world adore,
And humblest Nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force Divine,
Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art
Such beauty and beneficence combined ;
Shade unperceived, so softening into shade ;
And all so forming an harmonious whole ;
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring:
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth ;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.

Nature, attend ! join every living soul
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise

One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes :
Ah talk of Him in solitary glooms !
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard'afar,
Who shake the astonished world, lift high to

The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage.
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid, and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale ; and thou majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound His stupendous praise, whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.
Soft-roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him-whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil

paints. Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to Him; Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Ye constellations, while your angels strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. Great source of day! best image here below Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round, On nature write with every beam His praise. The thunder rolls: be hushed the prostrate world ; While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. Bleat out afresh, ye hills ; ye mossy rocks,

Retain the sound : the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns ;
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades, and teach the night His praise.
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles,
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities vast;
Assembled men, to the deep organ join
The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base;
And, as each mingling flame increases each
In one united ardour rise to heaven.
Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove;
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of seasons, as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring autumn gleams,
Or winter rises in the blackening cast,
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat !

Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song—where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles—'tis nought to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full ;
And where He vital spreads there must be joy.

« PreviousContinue »