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To see thee, on the battle's eve,
Lamenting take a mournful leave
Of her who loved thee most:
She was the rainbow to thy sight!
Thy sun-thy heaven-of lost delight!
"To-morrow let us do or die!
But when the bolt of death is hurled,
Ah! whither then with thee to fly,
Shall Outalissi roam the world?
Seek we thy once loved home?
The hand is gone that cropt its flowers:
Unheard their clock repeats its hours!
Cold is the hearth within their bow'rs!
And should we thither roam,
Its echoes and its empty tread
Would sound like voices from the dead!
"Or shall we cross yon mountains blue,
Whose streams my kindred nation quaff'd ;
And by my side, in battle true,
A thousand warriors drew the shaft?
Ah! there in desolation cold,
The desert serpent dwells alone,
Where grass o'ergrows each mould'ring bone,
And stones themselves to ruin grown,
Like me, are death-like old.
Then seek we not their camp-for there
The silence dwells of my despair!
"But hark, the trump!-to-morrow thou
In glory's fires shalt dry thy tears:
Even from the land of shadows now
My father's awful ghost appears,
Amidst the clouds that round us roll;
He bids my soul for battle thirst—
He bids me dry the last-the first-
The only tears that ever burst
From Outalissi's soul;
Because I may not stain with grief
The death-song of an Indian chief."
OUR bugles sang truce-for the night-cloud had lowered
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain;
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track;
"T was autumn-and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.
I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life's morning march, when my bosom was young; I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung. Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part; My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.
Stay, stay with us-rest, thou art weary and worn;
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
THERE came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill:
For his country he sighed, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind beaten hill.
But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion,
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh.
Sad is my fate! said the heart-broken stranger,
The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee;
But I have no refuge from famine and danger,
A home and a country remain not to me.
Never again in the green sunny bowers,
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours,
Or cover my harp with the wild woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh!
Erin my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore;
But alas! in a fair foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!
Oh cruel fate! will thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace-where no perils can chase me? Never again, shall my brothers embrace me?
They died to defend me, or live to deplore!
Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?
Sisters and sire! did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom friend, dearer than all?
Oh! my sad heart! long abandoned by pleasure,
Why did it doat on a fast fading treasure!
Tears like the rain-drop, may fall without measure,
But rapture and beauty they cannot recall.
Yet all its sad recollection suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw:
Erin! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers! Erin go bragh!
Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green be thy fields-sweetest isle of the ocean!
And thy harp striking bards sing aloud with devotion-
Erin mavournin!-Erin go bragh!
LINES WRITTEN ON VISITING A SCENE IN ARGYLESHIRE.
AT the silence of twilight's contemplative hour,
I have mused in a sorrowful mood,
On the wind shaken weeds that embosom the bower,
Where the home of my forefathers stood.
All ruined and wild is their roofless abode,
And lonely the dark raven's sheltering tree;
And travelled by few is the grass-covered road,
Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trode
To his hills that encircle the sea,
Yet wandering, I found on my ruinous walk,
By the dial-stone aged and green,
One rose of the wilderness left on its stalk,
To mark where a garden had been.
Like a brotherless hermit, the last of its race,
All wild in the silence of Nature, it drew,
From each wandering sunbeam, a lonely embrace;
For the night-weed and thorn overshadowed the place,
Where the flower of my forefathers grew.
Sweet bud of the wilderness! emblem of all
That remains in this desolate heart!
The fabric of bliss to its centre may fall;
But patience shall never depart!
Though the wilds of enchantment, all vernal and bright,
In the days of delusion by fancy combined,
With the vanishing phantoms of love and delight,
Abandon my soul like a dream of the night,
And leave but a desert behind.
Be hushed, my dark spirit! for wisdom condemns
When the faint and the feeble deplore;
Be strong as the rock of the ocean that stems
A thousand wild waves on the shore!
Through the perils of chance, and the scowl of disdain
May thy front be unaltered, thy courage elate!
Yea! even the name I have worshipped in vain
Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance again;
To bear is to conquer our fate.
YE field flowers! the gardens eclipse you, 't is true,
Yet, wildings of nature, I doat upon you,
For ye waft me to summers of old,
When the earth teem'd around me with fairy delight, And when daisies and buttercups gladden'd my sight, Like treasures of silver and gold.
for lulling me back into dreams Of the blue Highland mountains and echoing streams, And of broken glades breathing their balm,
While the deer was seen glancing in sunshine remote, And the deep mellow crush of the wood pigeon's note Made music that sweeten'd the calm.
Not a pastoral song has a pleasanter tune
Than ye speak to my heart, little wildings of June :
Of old ruinous castles ye tell,
Where I thought it delightful your beauties to find,
When the magic of Nature first breathed on my mind,
And your blossoms were part of her spell.
Even now what affections the violet awakes ;
What loved little islands twice seen in their lakes,
Can the wild water lily restore;
What landscapes I read in the primrose's looks,
And what pictures of pebbled and minnowy brooks
In the vetches that tangled their shore.
Earth's cultureless buds, to my heart ye were dear,
Ere the fever of passion, or ague of fear
Had scathed my existence's bloom;
Once I welcome you more, in life's passionless stage,
With the visions of youth to revisit my age,
And I wish you to grow on my tomb.
CRABBE is a powerful writer, but destitute of elegance or sweetness. He describes with great strength and truth the workings of the morbid passions, and the external appearances of nature and of human society, as it existed in his own "borough." His poetry is like a painting, of which the scene is exceedingly gloomy, and the colours coarsely and roughly applied; but in which every object is expressive, and protrudes strongly from the canvass. The moral lessons to be derived
from his poems are very salutary.
VIEW now the winter-storm! above, one cloud,
Black and unbroken all the skies o'ershroud;
Th' unwieldy porpus through the day before,
Had roll'd in view of boding men on shore;
And sometimes hid, and sometimes show'd his form,
Dark as the cloud and furious as the storm.
All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam,
The breaking billows cast the flying foam
Upon the billows rising-all the deep
Is restless change; the waves so swell'd and steep,
Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells,
Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells:
But nearer land you may the billows trace,
As if contending in their watery chace;
May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach,
Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch;
Curl'd as they come, they strike with furious force,
And then re-flowing, take their grating course,
Raking the rounded flints, which ages past
Roll'd by their rage, and shall to ages last.
Far off the petril in the troubled way
Swims with her brood, or flutters in the spray;
She rises often, often drops again,
And sports at ease on the tempestuous main.
High o'er the restless deep, above the reach
Of gunner's hope, vast flights of wild ducks stretch;
Far as the eye can glance on either side,
In a broad space and level line they glide;
All in their wedge-like figures from the north,
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth.