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"The hand that mingled in the meal
At midnight drew the felon steel,
And give the host's kind breast to feel
Meed for his hospitality!
The friendly heart which warm'd that hand,
At midnight arm'd it with the brand,
That bade destruction's flames expand
Their red and fearful blazonry.
"There woman's shriek was heard in vain,
Nor infancy's unpitied plain,
More than the warrior's groan, could gain
Respite from ruthless butchery!
The winter wind that whistled shrill,
The snows that night that chok'd the hill,
Though wild and pitiless, had still
Far more than Southron clemency.
Long have my harp's best notes been gone, Few are its strings, and faint their tone, They can but sound in desert lone
Their gray-hair'd master's misery. Were each gray hair a minstrel string, Each chord should imprecations fling, Till startled Scotland loud should ring, 'Revenge for blood and treachery!"
ALAS! they had been friends in youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny, and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love,
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanc'd, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother:
ne'er to meet again!
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining.
They stood aloof, the scars remaining
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder.
A dreary sea now flows between,
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once had been.
THE adventurous boy, that asks his little share,
And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer,
Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see
The dear abode of peace and privacy;
And as he turns, the thatch among the trees,
The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze,
The village-common spotted white with sheep,
The church-yard yews round which his fathers sleep;
All rouse Reflection's sadly-pleasing train,
And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again.
So, when the mild TUPIA1 dar'd explore
Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before,
And, with the sons of Science, woo'd the gale
That, rising, swell'd their strange expanse of sail;
The Otaheitan who accompanied Captain Cook in his first voyage, and died at Batavia. - See Cook's First Voyage,
So, when he breath'd his firm yet fond adieu,
Borne from his leafy hut, his carv'd canoe,
And all his soul best lov'd-such tears he shed,
While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled.
Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast,
Long watch'd the streaming signal from the mast;
Till twilight's dewy tints deceiv'd his eye,
And fairy-forests fring'd the evening-sky.
So Scotia's Queen, as slowly dawn'd the day,
Rose on her couch, and gaz'd her soul away.
Her eyes had bless'd the beacon's glimmering
That faintly tipt the feathery surge with light;
But now the morn with orient hues portray'd
Each castled cliff, and brown monastic shade :
All touched the talisman's resistless spring,
And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing!
Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire,
As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire.
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,
Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth.
Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the Patriot's sigh;
This makes him wish to live, and dare to die.
For this young FOSCARI', whose hapless fate
Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate,
When exile wore his blooming years away,
To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey,
He was suspected of murder. Neither the interest of the Doge, his father, nor the intrepidity of conscious innocence, which he exhibited in the dungeon and on the rack, could procure his acquittal. He was banished to the island of Candia for life. But here his resolution failed him. At such a distance from home he could not live; and, as it was a criminal offence to solicit the intercession of any foreign prince, in a fit of despair, he addressed a letter to the duke of Milan, and intrusted it to a wretch whose perfidy, he knew, would occasion his being remanded a prisoner to Venice.
When reason, justice, vainly urg'd his cause,
For this he rous'd her sanguinary laws;
Glad to return, tho' Hope could grant no more,
And chains and torture hail'd him to the shore.
THOU hast thy beauties: sterner ones, I own,
Than those of thy precursors; yet to thee
Belongs the charms of solemn majesty
And naked grandeur. Awful is the tone
Of thy tempestuous nights, when clouds are blown
By hurrying winds across the troubled sky;
Pensive, when softer breezes faintly sigh
Through leafless boughs, with ivy overgrown.
Thou hast thy decorations too; although
Thou art austere: thy studded mantle, gay
With icy brilliants, which as proudly glow
As erst Golconda's: and thy pure array
Of regal ermine, when the drifted snow
Envelopes nature; till her features seem
Like pale, but lovely ones, seen when we dream.
How much of memory dwells amidst thy bloom,
Rose! ever wearing beauty for thy dower!
The Bridal day · the Festival the Tomb-
Thou hast thy part in each,
Therefore with thy soft breath come floating by
A thousand images of love and grief,
Dreams, fill'd with tokens of mortality,
Deep thoughts of all things beautiful and brief.
Not such thy spells o'er those that hail'd thee first
In the clear light of Eden's golden day;
There thy rich leaves to crimson glory burst,
Link'd with no dim remembrance of decay.
Rose! for the banquet gather'd, and the bier; Rose! colour'd now by human hope or pain; Surely where death is not nor change nor fear,
Yet may we meet thee, joy's own flower again! MRS. HEMANS.
BUT scarce again his horn he wound,
When lo! forth starting at the sound,
From underneath an aged oak,
That slanted from the islet rock,
A damsel guider of its way.
A little skiff shot to the bay,
That round the promontory steep
Led its deep line in graceful sweep,
Eddying, in almost viewless wave,
The weeping-willow twig to lave,
And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
The beach of pebbles bright as snow,
The boat had touch'd this silver strand,
Just as the hunter left his stand,
And stood conceal'd amid the brake,
To view this Lady of the Lake.
The maiden paus'd, as if again
She thought to catch the distant strain.