Imágenes de páginas

With sparing tem.p'ranee at the needful time,

They drain the scented spring: or, hunger prestf
Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,

And of its eggs despoil the solan's* nest-
Thus, blest in primal innocence they live,

Sufficed, and happy with that frugal fare
Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.

Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare;

Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!

XIII. Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes engage

Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;

For not alone they touch the village breast, But fillM, in elder time, th* historic page.

There, Shaksoear*'* self, with ^v'ry garland crown'd, Flew to those fairy ciimes ins fancy sheen,

Tn musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors drest the magic scene.

From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted and aghast!

The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant past.

Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answ'ring bosom pierce;

Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold, The native legends of thy land rehearse: To muh adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse.


In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to Nature true,
And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view,

Th'heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art!

• Aft aqnatlc bird, on the e?gs of which the Inhabitants of St. Kildfc

another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.

How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd!

When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd sword!

How have I sat, when piped the pensive wind, To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!

Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!

Hence, at each sound, imagination glows! Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here!

Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows! Melting it flows, pure, murm'ring, strong and clear, And fills th'impassion'd heart, and wins th' harmonious ear!


All hail! ye scenes, that o'er my soul prevail!

Ye splrirjid friths and lakes, which, far away,

Are by smooth Annan* iill'd, or past'ral Tay,t
Or Don's}: romantic springs, at distance, hail!
The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread

Your lowly glens, o'erhung with spreading broom; Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led;

Or o'er your mountains creep in awful gloom? Then will I dress once more the faded bower,

Where Jonson$ sat in Drummond's classic shade \ Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower,

And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's laid! Meantime, ye pow'rs that on the plains which bore

The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains, attend!— Where'er Home dwells, on hill, or lowly moor,

To him I love your kind protection lend,

And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my absent friend!

* t t Three rivers in Scotland$ Pen Jon«on paid a visit on loot, in 1619, to the Scotch poet Drrnnmond, at liis seat of Hawthornden, within four niiJe» of Edinburgh.







THOMAS GRAY,the son of Mr. Philip Gray, a scrivener of London, was born in Cornhiil, November 26, 1716. His grammatical education he received at Eton under the care of Mr. Antrobus, his mother's brother, then assistant to Dr. George; and when he left school, in 1734, entered a pensioner at Peterhouse in Cambridge.

The transition from the school to the college is, to most young scholars, the time from which they date their years of manhood, liberty, and happiness* but Gray seems to have been very little delighted with academical qualifications; he liked at Cambridge neither the mode of life nor the fashion of study, and lived sullenly on to the time when his attendance on lectures was no longer required. As he intended to profess the common law, he took no degree.

When he had been at Cambridge about five years, Mr. Horace Walpole, whose friendship he had gained* at Eton, invited him to travel with him as his companion. They wandered through France into Italy • and Gray's ' Letters' contain a very pleasing account of many parts of their journey. But unequal friendships are easily dissolved : at Florence they quarrelled, and parted; and Mr. Walpole is now content to have it told that it was by his fault. If we look, however, without prejudice on the world, we shall find that men, whose consciousness of their own merit sets them above the compliances of servility, are apt enough in

« AnteriorContinuar »