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CASTLES IN THE AIR.
They, who content on earth to stay,
To earth their views confine; With rapture, Miller, will survey
This Paradise of thine!
1, too, my willing voice would raise,
And equal rapture shew; But that the scenes which others praise;
For me are much too low.
I grant the hills are crown’d with trees,
I grant the fields are fair ;
But what is really there.
True taste ideal prospects feigns,
Whilst on poetic wings; ’Bove earth, and all that earth contains,
Unbounded fancy springs.
To dwell on earth, gross element,
Let groveling spirits bear; But I, on nobler plans intent,
Build castles in the air.
No neighbour there can disagree,
Or thwart what I design; For there, not only all I see,
But all I wish is mine.
No surly landlord's leave I want,
To make or pull down fences;
Regardless of expenses.
One thing, 'tis true, excites my fear,
Nor let it seem surprising; Whilst ministers, from year to year,
New taxes are devising.
Lest earth being tax’d, as soon it may,
Beyond what earth can bear; Our financier a tax should lay
On castles in the air.
Well with the end the means would suit,
Would he, in these our days,
THE FIELD OF BATTLE.
Faintly bray'd the battle's roar,
Distant down the hollow wind; Panting terror fled before,
Wounds and death were left behind.
The war-fiend curs’d the sunken day,
That check'd his fierce pursuit too soon; While scarcely lighting to the prey,
Low hung and lour'd the bloody moon.
The field, so late the hero's pride,
Was now with various carnage spread; And floated with a crimson tide,
That drench'd the dying and the dead.
O'er the sad scene of dreariest view,
Abandon'd all to horrors wild, With frantic step Maria flew,
Maria, sorrow's early child.
By duty led, for every vein
Was warm’d by Hymen's purest flame; With Edgar o'er the wintry main,
She, lovely, faithful, wanderer, came.
For well she thought a friend so dear,
In darkest hours might joy impart; Her warrior, faint with toil, might cheer,
Or sooth her bleeding warrior's smart.
*Tho'look'd for long, in chill affright,
(The torrent bursting from her eye) She heard the signal for the fight,
While her soul trembled in a sigh.
She heard, and clasp'd him to her breast,
Yet scarce could urge th' inglorious stay; His manly heart the charm confess’d,
Then broke the charm, and rush'd away.
"Too soon, in few, but deadly words,
Some flying straggler breath'd to tell, That, in the foremost strife of swords,
The young, the gallant Edgar fell.
She press’d to hear she caught the tale
At every sound her blood congeald; With terror bold-with terror pale,
She sprung to search the fatal field.
O’er the sad scene in dire amaze
She went, with courage not her own; O'er many a corpse she cast her gaze,
And turn'd her ear to many a moan.
Drear anguish urged her to press . ..
Full many a hand, as wild she mourn’d;
The damp, chill, dying hand return'd.
Her ghastly hope was well nigh fled,
When late pale Edgar's form she found,
And bord with many a grisly wound.
She knew she sunk-the night bird scream'd,
The moon withdrew her troubled light,
'Tho' the oak be the pride and the prince of the grove,