Page images
PDF

I do not, love ! suspect your truth,

With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;

Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.

No, no, my flame was not pretended;

For, oh 1 I loved you most sincerely; And — though our dream at last is ended —

My bosom still esteems you dearly.

No more we meet In yonder bowers;

Absence has made me prone to roving; But older, firmer hearts than ours

Have found monotony in loving.

Tour cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties still are daily bright'ning,

Your eye for conquest beams prepared,
The forge of love's resistless lightning.

Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed.
Many will throng to sigh like me, love!

More constant they may prove, indeed;
Fonder, alas ! they ne'er can be, love!

LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.

[As the author was discharging his pistols In a garden, two ladles ]iassing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a bullet hissing near them; to one of w hom the following stanzas were addressed the next morning.]1

Doubtless, sweet girl! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charms,

And hurtling 2 o'er thy lovely head.
Has flll'd that breast with fond alarms.

Surely some envious demon's force,
Vex'd to behold such beauty here,

Impell'd the bullet's viewless course,
Diverted from its first career.

Yes! in that nearly fatal hour

The ball obey'd some hell-born guide;

But Heaven, with interposing power.
In pity turn'd the death aside.

Yet, as perchance one trembling tear

Upon that thrilling bosom fell;
Which I, th' unconscious cause of fear,

Extracted from its glistening cell:

Say, what dire penance can atone
For such an outrage done to thee?

Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne,
What punishment wilt thou decree?

Might I perform the judge's part.

The sentence I should scarce deplore;

It only would restore a heart

Which but belong'd to thee before.

The least atonement I can make

Is to become no longer free;
Henceforth I breathe but for thy sake,

Thou shalt be all in all to me.

1 [The occurrence took place nt Southwell, and the beautiful lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss Houcon.]

But thou, perhaps, may'st now reject

Such expiation of my guilt: Come then, some other mode elect;

Let it be death, or what thou wilt.

Choose then, relentless ! and I swear
Nought shall thy dread decree prevent;

Yet hold — one little word forbe«r!
Let it be aught but banishment.

LOVE'S LAST ADIEU.

Ail 2' /M $VjyU. — ANAC8EON.

The roses of love glad the garden of life,

Though nurtured 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,

Till time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife.
Or prunes them for ever, in love's last adieu!

In vain with endearments we soothe the sad heart,
In vain do we vow for an age to be true;

The chance of an hour may command us to part.
Or death disunite us in love's last adieu!

Still Hope, breathing peace through the grief-swollen breast,

Will whisper, "Our meeting we yet may renew With this dream of deceit half our sorrow's represt. Nor taste we the poison of love's last adieu:

Oh ! mark you yon pair: in the sunshine of youth Love twined round their childhood his flow'rs as they grew;

They flourish awhile in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of love's last adieu!

Sweet lady ! why thus doth a tear steal its way
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue?

Yet why do I ask ? —to distraction a prey,

Thy reason has perish'd with love's last adieu!

Oh 1 who is yon misanthrope, shunning mankind?

From cities to caves of tic forest he flew: There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;

The mountains reverberate love's last adieu!

Now hate rules a heart which in love's easy chains
Once passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;

Despair now Inflames the dark tide of his veins;
He ponders in frenzy on love's last adieu!

How he envies the wretch with a soul wrapt in steel:
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few,

Who laughs at the pang which he never can feel.
And dreads not the anguish of love's last adieu!

Youth flies, life decays, even hope Is o'ercast;

No more with love's former devotion we sue: He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;

The shroud of affection is love's last adieu!

• This word is used by Cray, in his poem to the Fatal Sisters:—

"Iron sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles through the darken'd air."

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

In this life of probation for rapture divine,
Aftrea declares that some penance is due;

From him who has worshipp'd at love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample in love's last adieu!

Who kneels to the god, on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:

Ills myrtle, an emblem of purest delight;
His cypress, the garland of love's last adieu!

DAM.ETAS.

Is law an infantand in years a boy,

In mind a slave to every vicious joy;

From every sense of shame and virtue wcan'J;

In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;

Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child;

Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;

Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;

Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;

Bamafas ran through all the maze of sin,

And found the goal when others just begin:

Even still conflicting passions shake his soul.

And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl;

But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,

And what was once his bliss appears his bane.

TO MARION.

Mario*! why that pensive brow?
What disgust to life hast thou?
Change that discontented air;
Frowns become not one so fair.
T is not love disturbs thy rest,
Love's a stranger to thy breast;
He in dimpling smiles appears,
Or mourns in sweetly timid tears,
Or bends the languid eyelid down.
But shuns the cold forbidding frown.
Then resume thy former fire,
Some wiU love, and all admire;
While that icy aspect chills us,
Nought but cool indifference thrills us.
Wouldst thou wandering hearts beguile,
Smile at least, or seem to smile.
Eyes like thine were never meant
To hide their orbs in dark restraint.
Spite of all thou fain wouldst say,
Still in truant beams they play.
Thy Hps — but here my modest Muse
Her impulse chaste must needs refuse:
She blushes, curt'sics, frowns — in short she
Dreads lest the subject should transport me;
And flying off in search of. reason,
Brings prudence back in proper season.

] In law every person is an infant who has not attained the age of twenty-one.

1 [" When I wentup to Trinity, In 1805, at the age of seventeen and a halt, T>M miserable and untoward to a degree. I was wretched at leaving Harrow — wretched at going to Cambridge instead of Oxford — wretched from some private domestic circumstances of different kinds; and, consequently, ahout as unsocial as a wolf taken from tho troop." — Diary. Mr. Moore adds," The sort of life which young Byron led at this period, between the dissipations of London and of Cambridge, without a home to welcome, or even the roof oi a single relative to receive him, was but little calculated

Oh! would some modem muse inspire,
And seat her by a sea-coal fire;
Or had the bard at Christmas written,
And laid the scene of love in Britain,
He surely, in commiseration,
Had changed the place of declaration.
In Italy I've no objection;
Warm nights are proper for reflection;
But here our climate is so rigid,
That love itself is rather frigid:
Think on our chilly situation,
And curb this rage for imitation;
Then let us meet, as oft we've done,
Beneath the influence of the sun;
Or, if at midnight I must meet you,
Within your mansion let me greet you:
There we can love for hours together,
Much better, in such snowy weather.
Than placed in all th' Arcadian groves
That ever witness'd rural loves;
Then, if my passion fail to please,
Next night 111 be content to freeze;
No more I 'U give a loose to laughter,
But curse my fate for ever after. 1

OSCAR OF ALVA. =

A TALE.

How sweetly shines through azure skies,
The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore;

Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
And hear the din of arms no more I

But often has yon rolling moon
On Alva's casques of silver play'd j

And view'd, at midnight's silent noon.
Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd:

And on the crlmson'd rocks beneath,
Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow,

Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,
She saw the gasping warrior low;

While many an eye which ne'er again
Could mark the rising orb of day,

Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,
Beheld in death her fading ray.

Once to those eyes the lamp of Love,
They blest her dear propitious light;

But now she glimmer'd from above,
A sad, funereal torch of night.

Faded is Alva's noble race,

And gray her towers arc seen afar;

alteration of her name, into an English damsel, walking in a garden of their own creation, during the month of December, In a village where the author never passed a winter. Such has been the candour of some Ingenious critics. We would advise these liberal commentators on taste and arbiters of decorum to read Shaktpcare.

1 Having heard that a very severe and Indelicate censure has been passed on the above poem, 1 beg leave to reply in a quotation from an admired work, " Carr's Stranger in France." — " As we were contemplating a painting on a Urge scale. In which, among other figures, is the uncovered whole length of a warrior, a prudish-looking lady, who seemed to have touched the age or desperation, after having attentively surveyed it through her glass, observed to her party, that

No more her heroes urge the chase,
Or roll the crimson tide of war.

But who was last of Alva's clan?

Why grows the moss on Alva's stone? Her towers resound no steps of man,

They echo to the gale alone.

And when that gale is fierce and high,

A sound is heard In yonder hall; It rises hoarsely through the sky,

And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall.

Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs.
It shakes the shield of Oscar brave;

But there no more his banners rise,
No more his plumes of sable wave.

Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,
When Angus hall'd his eldest born;

The vassals round their chieftain's hearth
Crowd to applaud the happy mom.

They feast upon the mountain deer,
The pibroch raised its piercing note :'

To gladden more their highland cheer,
The strains in martial numbers float:

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.

Another year is quickly past.

And Angus halls another son; His natal day is like the last,

Nor soon the jocund feast was done.

Taught by their sire to bend the bow,

On Alva's dusky hills of wind,
The boys in childhood chased the roe.

And left their hounds in speed behind.

But ere their years of youth are o'er,
They mingle in the ranks of war;

They lightly wheel the bright claymore.
And send the whistling arrow far.

Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair.
Wildly it stream'd along the gale;

But Allan's locks were bright and fair,
And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale.

But Oscar own'd a hero's soul.

His dark eye shone through beams of truth; Allan had early learo'd control.

And smooth his words had been from youth.

there was a great deal of indecorum in that picture. S. shrewdly whispered in my ear,' that the indecorum was In the remark.'"

* The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of " Jeronyme and Lorenio," in the first volume of Schiller's " Armenian, or the Ghost-Seer." It also bears some

resemblance to a scene in the third act of'

9 [Lord Byron falls Into a very common error, that of mistaking pibroch, which means a particular sort of tune, for rite instrument on which It Is played, the bagpipe. Almost rrrrr foreign tourist, Nodlcr. for example, does the same- The reader will find this little slip noticed in the article from the Edinburgh Review appended to these pages.]

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Both, both were brave: the Saxon spear
Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel;

And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel;

While Allan's soul belied his form,
Unworthy with such charms to dwell:

Keen as the lightning of the storm,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell.

From high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame;

With Kenneth's lands to form her dower,
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came j

And Oscar clalm'd the beauteous bride,
And Angus on his Oscar smiled:

It soothed the father's feudal pride
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child.

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.

See how the heroes' blood-red plumes
Assembled wave in Alva's hall;

Each youth his varied plaid assumes,
Attending on their chieftain's call.

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.

But where is Oscar? sure't is late:
Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame?

While thronging guests and ladies wait,
Nor Oscar nor his brother came.

At length young Allan join'd the bride:
"Why comes not Oscar," Angus said:

"Is he not here?" the youth replied;
"With me he roved not o'er the glade:

"Perchance, forgetful of the day,
'T is his to chase the bounding roe;

Or ocean's waves prolong his stay;
Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow."

"Oh, no!" the anguish'd sire rejoin'd,
"Nor chase nor wave my boy delay;

Would he to Mora seem unkind?
Would aught to her impede his way?

"Oh, search, ye chiefs! oh, search around!

Allan, with these through Alva fly; Till Oscar, till my son is found,

Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply."

All is confusion—through the vale
The name of Oscar hoarsely rings,

It rises on the murmuring gale,
Till night expands her dusky wings;

It breaks the stillness of the nlgft,
But echoes through her shades in vain,

It sounds through morning's misty light,
But Oscar comes not o'er the plain.

But who Is he, whose darken'd brow

Glooms in the midst of general mirth?
Before his eyes' far fiercer glow

The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth.

Dark is the robe which wraps his form,

And tall his plume of gory red;
His voice is like the rising storm,
But light and trackless is his tread.

T is noon of night, the pledge goes round,

The bridegroom's health is deeply quaff'd;
With shouts the vaulted roofs resound,
And all combine to hail the draught.

Sudden the stranger-chief arose,

And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd;
And Angus' cheek with wonder glows,
And Mora's tender bosom blush'd.

"Old man !" he cried, "this pledge is done;

Thou saw'st't was duly drunk by me:
It hail'd the nuptials of thy son:

Now will I claim a pledge from thee.

"While all around is mirth and joy,

To bless thy Allan's happy lot,
Say, had'st thou ne'er another boy?

Say, why should Oscar be forgot?"

"Alas!" the hapless sire replied,
The big tear starting as he spoke,

*' When Oscar left my hall, or died,
This aged heart was almost broke.

"Thrice has the earth revolved her course
Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight;

And Allan is my last resource,

Since martial Oscar's death or flight."

""T is well," replied the stranger stern,
And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye:

"Thy Oscar's fate I fain would learn;
Perhaps the hero did not die.

"Perchance, if those whom most he loved
Would call, thy Oscar might return;

Perchance the chief has only roved;
For him thy beltane yet may burn, i

"Fill high the bowl the table round,
We will not claim the pledge by stealth.;

With wine let every cup be crown'd;
Pledge me departed Oscar's health."

«' With all my soul," old Angus said,
And fill'd his goblet to the brim;

"Here's to my boy 1 alive or dead,
I ne'er shall find a son like him."

"Bravely, old man, this health has sped;

But why does Allan trembling stand?
Come, drink remembrance of the dead,

And raise thy cup with firmer hand."

1 Beltane Tree, a Highland festival on the first of May, held near fires lighted for the occasion. [Utai-tain means

The crimson glow of Allan's face
Was tum'd at once to ghastly hue;

The drops of death each other chase
Adown in agonizing dew.

Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And thrice his hps refused to taste;

For thrice he caught the stranger's eye
On his with deadly fury placed.

I

"And is it thus a brother hails

A brother's fond remembrance here?

If thus affection's strength prevails,
What might we not expect from fear>"

Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl,
M Would Oscar now could share our mirth:"

Internal fear appall'd his soul;

He said, and dash'd the cup to earth.

"'Tis he! I hear my murderer's voice!"

Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming furm. "A murderer's voice !" the roof replies,

And deeply swells the bursting storm.

The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink.
The stranger's gone,—amidst the prtw

A form was seen in tartan green.
And tall the shade terrific grew.

His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
His plume of sable stream'd on high;

But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
And flx'd was tic glare of his glassy eye.

And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild,

On Angus bending low the knee; And thrice he frown'd on a chief on the ground,

Whom shivering crowds with horror see.

The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole,
The thunders through the welkin ring,

And the gleaming form, through the mist of the storm.
Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.

Cold was the feast, the revel ceased,

Who lies upon the stony floor? Oblivion press'd old Angus' breast,

At length his life-pulse throbs once more.

"Away, away: let the leech essay
To pour the light on Allan's eyes: *

His sand is done,—his race is run;
Oh 1 never more shall Allan rise!

But Oscar's breast Is cold as clay.

His locks are lifted by the gale: And Allan's barbed arrow lay

With him in dark Glentanar's vale.

And whence the dreadful stranger came.
Or who, no mortal wight can tell;

But no oA doubts the form of flame.
For Alva's sons knew Oscar well.

the fire of Baal, and the name still origin of this Celtic superstition.]

« PreviousContinue »