« AnteriorContinuar »
As we wanton'd the billows came curling in night
2. As I look'd two gay barks from their white halsers broke, With a shout o'er the billows from Barnhourie rock ; Their white penons flaunted, their masts seem'd to bend, As they pass'd the rough headland of cavern'd Colvend; My ancient guide smiled, and his old hand he lay'd On the helm,--and the ship felt his wish and obey'd: Her head from sweet Allanbay suddenly turning, Sprung away--and the billows beneath her seem'd burning. Nigh the sister barks came, and the deep shores were ringing, With a merry wild legend the seamen kept singing, Nor man's voice alone o'er the sea-wave could render Bard's labour so witching, and charming, and tender; For I heard a rich voice through that old legend pour’d, The voice too of Her I long served and adored ; Hard fortune-false friends—and mine ill-destinie, And the dark grave have sunder'd that sweet one from me.
3. Soon the sister barks came, and shout, yelloch, and mirth, Now rung in the water, and rung in the earth; And I saw on the decks, with their merry eyes glancing, And all their fair temple locks heaving and dancing, Not my true love alone; but maids mirthsome and free, And as frank as the wind to the leaf of the tree. There was Katherine Oneen, Lurgan's bonniest daughter, Gay Mally Macbride, from the haunted Bann water, And she who lays all seamen's hearts in embargoes, Who have hearts for to lose, in old kind Carrickfergus. Green Nithsdale had sent me her frank Jenny Haining, With an eye that bean’d less for devotion than sinning; Mary Carson the meek, and Kate Candlish the gay; Two maids from the mountains of blythe Galloway; And Annand, dear Annand, my joys still regarding, Sent her joyous Johnstone, her blythesomer Jardine; And bonnie Dumfries, which the muse loves so well, Came gladdening my heart with her merry Maxwell;
And loveliest and last, lo! a sweet maiden came,
• Many birds, particularly the dove, first lift the left wing to fly, and school-boys cut the tip of that wing alone to preserve their pet-doves from roaming.
The spectre bark shook-'neath my knees seem'd to run
With my Guide and his dread SPECTRE SHALLOP again!
The Travels and Opinions
ON VENICE,--SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE LAST ARTICLE:
BOAT, AND ITS COMPANY: BUONAPARTE AND HIS SYSTEM. I am tempted to add a few words over. The explanation of this cir. more of Venice, before leaving her to cumstance will illustrate the
progress her unfortunate fate. A lady of of the decline of human institutions, rank, now living there, the fascina- from the time of their vigour and tion of whose manners is equalled efficacy, when their influence is proby the hospitality of her receptions, vided for by their intimate associais in possession of the famous ring tion with popular sympathy, and with which the Adriatic used to be their forms are substantial sources of wedded, and I had an opportunity of strength, corresponding with the imlooking upon this remarkable histo- pulses of the social mind and feeling. rical relic. The reader knows that After this period is passed, various this pledge of union was dropped are the stages of degeneracy: men into the sea, as a symbol of having gradually become too knowing to and holding ; he may therefore respect their old customs without wonder how it should happen now being wise enough to do without to be separated from the spouse to them: the upper classes are still whom it had been solemnly made anxious to enforce them upon the VOL. III.
lower as restraints, but the spectacle tor. When the ring could be thus of obedience waxes interrupted, vul- disturbed in its hymeneal bed, and gar, and inconsistent, when it is felt : dragged forth by coarse and irreveas a mark of inferiority, either of in- rend hands to be chattered over at tellect or condition. What the cham- evening parties, it was but too plain pion at the coronation of George the that the marriage was no longer a Fourth will be, that had the husband sacrament, but an empty form : the of the Adriatic become ;-a name; a age of Venetian heroism might then figure of mock-representation, a mere be said to be gone; but worse reaffectation in the eyes of the prin- mained behind. Some of the divers cipal performers in the ceremony, a got drowned in the course of their tawdry raree-show to the gazing greedy annual adventures ; and as crowd. The curse of Europe now the rite itself had dwindled into utter is, that, almost every where, the opi- insignificance, the senators of Venions of men have removed from the nice, who still continued the practice legal and political institutions; that of their dungeons " under the leads, moral harmony between them iš at and their secret executions in the laan end. Prescription and coercion, gune, became touched with humanity have taken the place of credence and for these unfortunate 'ragamuffins, veneration, and the secret has trans- who risked, and occasionally lost, pired that the disbelief of the indic their lives in committing sacrilege viduals who enforce the maxims and for a few pistoles. If the apparatus rules of the state, is quite as gross as for restoring the drowned had been the disobedience of those on whom then invented, they might probably they are enforced. There must be a have contented themselves with or restoration of harmony, in this re- dering a resuscitation-establishment spect, effected, by some means or to be placed on the nearest sandother, before public stability and bank; but the devices of modern tranquillity can be considered as en- philanthropy and morality were then sured.
less elaborately comprehensive than The marriage of the Adriatic was they are now ; even England, a counoriginally a ceremony, whose real try richer in preventatives of vice signification was at least equal to its and misery, and more abounding in parade. Its forms were imposing, both, than any other country of Eubecause they suggested facts that rope, had not then thought either of made the Venetians proud: the ring fire-escapes, humane-society-ladders, was dropped into the bosom of the or safety-coaches. The Venetian gowater,--and, while the sea continued vernment not possessing our present faithful to the republic, no hand advantages, contented itself with prewould have dared to disturb the venting, in a very summary way, the pledge: it was guarded by the reli- occurrence of the accidents in quesgion of patriotism,-it lay in the tion. It was enacted by a solemn deep a small talisman of mighty ef- order of senate, that the marriagefect. But when the inefficacy of the ring should be no longer actually rite was proved by the repeated ex- consigned from the deck of the Buperience of reverses, it was degraded centaur, to the heaving bosom of the from its original elevation in the ever ready bride; but that it should fancy, and came to be considered be simply suffered to touch the as a mere matter of show and curi- water, attached to a string,—by osity. The ring was then no longer means of which, the first magistrate thought of as an anchor of glory, might surely recover it, carry it sunk in the waves, 'but as a bauble back in his pocket, and preserve it of vanity, which might gratify the for acting again in the next yearly childish caprice of the opulent; and farce !—The ring, thus recovered, divers were stimulated by sums of passed from the hands of the Doge money, in offering which the great Mont Cenigo_in whose family palace families of Venice outbid each other, Lord Byron resided—into those of to plunge after it, and bring it up the last of the republican chiefs, who from the bottom after a temporary held the bauble of power when the immersion, to become the prize of state of Venice was broken up by the vainest and wealthiest competi- the French bayonets. From him it