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Six guilty months had mark'd the false one's crime, When Bateman hail'd once more his native clime. Sure of her constancy, elate he came,
The lovely partner of his soul to claim.
Light was his heart, as up the well-known way
He bent his steps-and all his thoughts were gay.
Oh! who can paint his agonising throes,
When on his ear the fatal news arose !
Chill'd with amazement,-senseless with the blow,
He stood a marble monument of woe;
Till call'd to all the horrors of despair,
He smote his brow, and tore his horrent hair;
Then rush'd impetuous from the dreadful spot,
And sought those scenes, (by memory ne'er forgot)
Those scenes, the witness of their growing flame,
And now like witnesses of Margaret's shame.
'Twas night-he sought the river's lonely shore,
And trac'd again their former wanderings o'er,
Now on the bank in silent grief he stood,
And gazed intently on the stealing flood,
Death in his mien and madness in his eye,
He watch'd the waters as they murmur'd by ;
Bade the base murderess triumph o'er his grave-
Prepar❜d to plunge into the whelming wave.
Yet still he stood irresolutely bent,
Religion sternly stay'd his rash intent.
He knelt.-Cool play'd upon his cheek the wind,
And fann'd the fever of his maddening mind.
The willows wav'd, the stream it sweetly swept,
The paly moonbeam on its surface slept,
And all was peace;-he felt the general calm
O'er his rack'd bosom shed a genial balm :
When casting far behind his streaming eye,
He saw the Grove,-in fancy saw her lie,
His Margaret, lull'd in Germain's* arms to rest,
And all the demon rose within his breast.
Convulsive now, he clench'd his trembling hand,
Cast his dark eye once more upon the land,
Then, at one spring he spurn'd the yielding bank,
And in the calm deceitful current sank.
Sad, on the solitude of night, the sound,
As in the stream he plung'd, was heard around :
Then all was still-the wave was rough no more,
The river swept as sweetly as before,
The willows wav'd, the moonbeam shone serene,
And peace returning brooded o'er the scene.
Now, see upon the perjur'd fair one hang
Remorse's glooms and never-ceasing pang.
Full well she knew, repentant now too late,
She soon must bow beneath the stroke of fate.
But, for the babe she bore beneath her breast,
The offended God prolong'd her life unblest.
But fast the fleeting moments roll'd away,
And near, and nearer drew the dreaded day;
That day, foredoom'd to give her child the light,
And hurl its mother to the shades of night.
* Germain is the traditionary name of her husband.
The hour arrived, and from the wretched wife
The guiltless baby struggled into life.-
As night drew on, around her bed, a band
Of friends and kindred kindly took their stand;
In holy prayer they pass'd the creeping time,
Intent to expiate her awful crime.
Their prayers were fruitless. As the midnight came,
A heavy sleep oppress'd each weary frame.
In vain they strove against the o'erwhelming load,
Some power unseen their drowsy lids bestrode.
They slept, till in the blushing eastern sky
The blooming Morning oped her dewy eye;
Then wakening wide they sought the ravished bed,
But lo! the hapless Margaret was fled;
And never more the weeping train were doom'd
To view the false one, in the deeps intomb❜d.
The neighbouring rustics told that in the night
They heard such screams as froze them with affright;
And many an infant, at its mother's breast,
*Started dismayed, from its unthinking rest.
And even now, upon the heath forlorn,
They shew the path down which the fair was borne,
By the fell demons, to the yawning wave,
Her own, and murder'd lover's, mutual grave.
Such is the tale, so sad, to memory dear,
Which oft in youth has charm'd my listening ear,
That tale, which bade me find redoubled sweets
In the drear silence of these dark retreats,
And even now, with melancholy power,
Adds a new pleasure to the lonely hour.
'Mid all the charms by magic Nature given
To this wild spot, this sublunary heaven,
With double joy enthusiast Fancy leans
On the attendant legend of the scenes.
This sheds a fairy lustre on the floods,
And breathes a mellower gloom upon the woods;
This, as the distant cataract swells around,
Gives a romantic cadence to the sound;
This, and the deep'ning glen, the alley green,
The silver stream, with sedgy tufts between,
The massy rock, the wood-encompass'd leas,
The broom-clad islands, and the nodding trees,
The lengthening vista, and the present gloom,
The verdant pathway breathing waste perfume;
These are thy charms, the joys which these impart
Bind thee, blest Clifton ! close around my heart.
Dear Native Grove! where'er my devious track,
To thee will Memory lead the wanderer back.
Whether in Arno's polish'd vales I stray,
Or where " Oswego's swamps" obstruct the day;
Or wander lone, where, wildering and wide,
The tumbling torrent laves St Gothard's side;
Or by old Tejo's classic margent muse,
Or stand entranc'd with Pyrenean views;
Still, still to thee, where'er my footsteps roam,
My heart shall point, and lead the wanderer home.
When Splendour offers, and when Fame incites,
I'll pause, and think of all thy dear delights,
Reject the boon, and, wearied with the change,
Renounce the wish which first induc'd to range;
Turn to these scenes, these well-known scenes once more,
Trace once again old Trent's romantic shore,
And, tir'd with worlds, and all their busy ways,
Here waste the little remnant of my days,
But, if the Fates should this last wish deny,
And doom me on some foreign shore to die;
Oh! should it please the world's supernal King,
That weltering waves my funeral dirge shall sing;
Or that my corse should, on some desert strand,
Lie stretch'd beneath the Simoöm's blasting hand;
Still, though unwept I find a stranger tomb,
My sprite shall wander through this favourite gloom,
Ride on the wind that sweeps the leafless grove,
Sigh on the wood-blast of the dark alcove,
Sit, a lorn spectre, on yon well-known grave,
And mix its moanings with the desert wave.