Puslapio vaizdai


It was the wisdom and the will of Heaven,
That, in a lonely tent, had cast
The lot of Thalaba.

There might his soul develope best
Its strengthening energies;
There might he from the world
Keep his heart pure and uncontaminate,
Till at the written hour he should be found
Fit servant of the Lord, without a spot.

Years of his youth, how rapidly ye fled
In that beloved solitude!

Is the morn fair, and doth the freshening breeze
Flow with cool current o'er his cheek?
Lo! underneath the broad-leav'd sycamore
With lids half-clos'd he lies,
Dreaming of days to come.

His dog beside him, in mute blandishment,
Now licks his listless hand;
Now lifts an anxious and expectant eye,
Courting the wonted caress.

Or comes the father of the rains
From his caves in the uttermost west,
Comes he in darkness and storms?
When the blast is loud,
When the waters fill

The traveller's tread in the sands,
When the pouring shower
Streams adown the roof,

When the door-curtain hangs in heavier folds,
When the outstrain'd tent flags loosely,
Within there is the embers' cheerful glow,
The sound of the familiar voice,

The song that lightens toil,—
Domestic peace and comfort are within.
Under the common shelter, on dry sand,
The quiet camels ruminate their food;
From Moath falls the lengthening cord,
As patiently the old man

Entwines the strong palm-fibres; by the hearth
The damsel shakes the coffee-grains,
That with warm fragrance fill the tent;
And while, with dexterous fingers, Thalaba
Shapes the green basket, haply at his feet
Her favourite kidling gnaws the twig,
Forgiven plunderer, for Öneiza's sake!




Or when the winter torrent rolls

Down the deep-channell❜d rain-course, foamingly,
Dark with its mountain spoils,

With bare feet pressing the wet sand,
There wanders Thalaba,

The rushing flow, the flowing roar,
Filling his yielded faculties;
A vague, a dizzy, a tumultuous joy.
Or lingers it a vernal brook

Gleaming o'er yellow sands?

Beneath the lofty bank reclin'd,
With idle eye he views its little waves,
Quietly listening to the quiet flow;
While, in the breathings of the stirring gale,
The tall canes bend above.
Floating like streamers on the wind
Their lank uplifted leaves.

Nor rich, nor poor, was Moath; God had given
Enough, and blest him with a mind content.
No hoarded gold disquieted his dreams;
But ever round his station he beheld
Camels that knew his voice,

And home-birds, grouping at Oneiza's call,
And goats that, morn and eve,
Came with full udders to the damsel's hand.
Dear child! the tent beneath whose shade they dwelt
It was her work; and she had twin'd
His girdle's many hues;
And he had seen his robe

Grow in Oneiza's loom.

How often, with a memory-mingled joy
Which made her mother live before his sight,
He watch'd her nimble fingers thread the woof!
Or at the hand-mill, when she knelt and toil'd,
Tost the thin cake on spreading palm,

Or fix'd it on the glowing oven's side
With bare wet arm, and safe dexterity.

"T is the cool evening hour:
The tamarind from the dew
Sheathes its young fruit, yet green.
Before their tent the mat is spread,
The old man's awful voice

Intones the holy book.

What if beneath no lamp-illumin'd dome,
Its marble walls bedeck'd with flourish'd truth,

Where in the day of congregation, crowds
Perform the duty-task?

Their father is their priest,

The stars of heaven their point of prayer,
And the blue firmament

The glorious temple, where they feel
The present deity!

Yet through the purple glow of eve
Shines dimly the white moon.

The slacken'd bow, the quiver, the long lance,
Rest on the pillar of the tent.
Knitting light palm-leaves for her brother's brow,
The dark-eyed damsel sits;
The old man tranquilly
Up his curl'd pipe inhales
The tranquillizing herb.

So listen they the reed of Thalaba,

While his skill'd fingers modulate
The low, sweet, soothing, melancholy tones.


SCOTT's poetry possesses nearly the same qualities for which his novels are remarkable. It abounds in romantic narrative, picturesque description, and characters admirably delineated; and sometimes has scenes of deep feeling. His versification is easy and rapid in its flow, and his pages are full of bustling, various, vivid intererst, which his power in the display of true human nature enables him to excite and continue, almost without artifice or effort, in the mind of his reader.

His poetry is pure in its moral spirit, just in its sentiments, affectionate, noble, and friendly in its thoughts and feelings.


If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;

For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.

When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;

When silver edges the imagery,

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,

And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave,
Then go-but go alone the while-
Then view St David's ruin'd-pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

THE POET'S FAREWELL TO HIS HARP. HARP of the north, farewell! the hills grow dark, On purple peaks a deeper shade descending! In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark, The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending. Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending, And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blending, With distant echo from the fold and lea,

And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.

Yet, once again, farewell, thou minstrel harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp

May idly cavil at an idle lay.

Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,
Through secret woes the world has never known,
When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone.

That I o'er live such woes, Enchantress! is thine own.

Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string!
"T is now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
"T is now the brush of fairy's frolic wing.
Receding now, the dying numbers ring

Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell,
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell-
And now, 't is silent all!-Enchantress, fare thee well!


In the spring of 1805, a young gentleman of talents, and of a most amiable disposition, perished by losing his way on the mountain Hellvellyn. His remains were not discovered till three months afterwards, when they were found guarded by a faithful terrier bitch, his constant attendant during frequent solitary rambles through the wilds of Cumberland and Westmoreland.

I CLIMBED the dark brow of the mighty Hellvellyn,

Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty and

All was still, save, by fits, when the eagle was yelling,
And startling around me the echoes replied.

On the right, Stridenedge round the Redtarn was bending,
And Catchedicam its left verge was defending,

One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending,

When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer had died.

Dark green was that spot mid the brown mountain heather,
Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay,
Like the corpse of an outcast abandoned to weather,
Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay.
Nor yet quite deserted though lonely extended,
For, faithful in death, his mute favourite attended,
The much loved remains of her master defended,
And chased the hill fox and the raven away.

How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber; When the wind waved his garment, how oft didst thou


How many long days and long weeks didst thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart?
And, O! was it meet, that, no requiem read o'er him,
No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him,
And thou, little guardian, alone stretched before him,
Unhonored the pilgrim from life should depart?

When a prince to the fate of the peasant has yielded,
The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall;
With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded,

And pages stand mute by the canopied pall:

Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming.

In the proudly arched chapel the banners are beaming ;
Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming,
Lamenting a chief of the people should fall.

But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature,

To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb;

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