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Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near?
With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die,
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
Now waft me from the green hill's side,
And see, the fairy valleys fade;
Dun night has veiled the solemn view! Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek Nature's child again adieu!
The genial meads, assigned to bless
Their binds and shepherd-girls shall dress,
Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
0 ! vales and wild woods, shall he say,
ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND;
CONSIDERED AS THE SUBJECT OF POETRY; INSCRIBED TO MR. JOHN HOME.
Home, thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads long
Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay,
;Mid those soft friends, whose hearts, some future day, Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song. Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth
Whom, long endeared, thou leavest by Lavant's side; Together let us wish him lasting truth,
And joy untainted with his destined bride. Go ! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My short-lived bliss, forget my social name; But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand:
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand,
There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;'T is Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;Where still, 't is said, the fairy people meet,
To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows
How, winged with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,
Or, stretched on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe the untutored swain:
Nor thou, though learned, his homelier thoughts neglect; Let thy sweet muse the rural faith sustain;
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding strain.
ill. Even yet preserved, how often may'st thou hear,
Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run,
Taught by the father, to his listening son, Strange lays, whose power had charmed a Spenser's ear At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-colored vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crowned: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat
The choral dirge, that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strewed with choicest herbs his scented grave! Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel,
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans poured forth their brawny swarms, And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's arms.
'T is thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard seer,
Lodged in the wintry cave with Fate's fell spear,
With their own visions oft astonished droop,
They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop. Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Their destined glance some fated youth descry, Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigor seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die. For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair:
And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
Oft have they seen Fate give the fatal blow!
The seer, in Skye, shrieked as the blood did flow, When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay! As Boreas threw his young Aurora forth,
In the first year of the first George's reign And battles raged in welkin of the North,
They mourned in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joyed in Preston's fight,
Saw, at sad Falkirk, all their hopes near crowned! They raved! divining, through their second sight,
Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drowned! Illustrious William ! Britain's guardian name!
One William saved us from a tyrant's stroke; He, for a sceptre, gained heroic fame,
But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast broke, To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke!
These, too, thou'It sing ! for well thy magic muse
Can to the topmost heaven of grandeur soar;
Or stoop to wail the swain that is no more!
Dancing in murky night, o'er fen and lake,
In his bewitched, low, marshy, willow brake! What though far off, from some dark dell espied,
His glimmering mazes cheer the excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking 'mid the unrustling reed,
At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!Whom late bewildered in the dank, dark fen,