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Why, goddess, why to us denied,
ON THE DEATH OF THE POET THOMSON.
In yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave ; The year's best sweets shall duteous rise
To deck its Poet's sylvan grave!
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp shall now be laid ;
May love through life the soothing shade.
Then maids and youths shall linger here;
And while its sounds at distance swell, Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell. 1 History
tion of which, see the “Castle of In2 The Harp of Æolus, for a descrip- dolence.”
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore,
When Thames in summer wreaths is dressed ; And oft suspend the dashing oar,
To bid his gentle spirit rest!
And, oft as Ease and Health retire
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
And ʼmid the varied landscape weep.
But thou who own'st that earthy bed,
Ah! what will every dirge avail? Or tears which Love and Pity shed,
That mourn beneath the gliding sail!
Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near? With him, sweet bard! may Fancy die ;
And Joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crowned Sisters now attend, Now waft me from the green hill's side,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend.
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
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom. There hinds and shepherd-girls shall dress,
With simple hands, thy rural tomb.
Long, long thy stone and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes: O vales and wild woods! shall he say,
In yonder grave a Druid lies !
1 Richmond Church, where Thomson was buried.
ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
INSCRIBED TO MR. HOME.1
Home! thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads a 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 leav'st 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 : To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail ;
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand,
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett’st thy feet;
Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There, each trim lass that skims the milky store,
To the swart tribes 3 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,
1 The author of “ Douglas,” a tragedy.
That add new conquests to her boundless reign
Where to the pole the Boreall 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 possessed,
Old Runic 2 bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-coloured 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. 'Tis 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 vigour 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
Oft have they seen Fate give the fatal blow!
4 One of the outer Hebrides.
As Boreas threw his
They mourned in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain !
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'lt 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:
His glimmering mazes cheer the excursive sight,
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light:
At those murk 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,
Far from his flocks and smoking hamlet, then!
Shall never look with Pity's kind concern,
O'er its drowned banks, forbidding all return !
To some dim hill that seems uprising near,
2 Will o' Wisp.