Page images
PDF
EPUB

'Tis moro : from these I turn my sight;

What scene is this which meets the eye? A numerous crowd, array'd in white, *

Across the green in numbers ily. Loud rings in air the chapel bell;

'Tis hush'd—what sounds are these I hear? The organ's soft celestial swell

Rolls deeply on the listening ear. To this is joined the sacred song,

The royal minstreľs hallow'd strain;
Though he who hears the music long

Will never wish to hear again.
Our choir would scarcely be excused,

Even as a band of raw beginners;
All mercy, now, must be refused

To such a set of croaking sinners. If David, when his toils were ended,

Had heard these blockheads sing before him, To us his Psalms had ne'er descended

In furious mood he would have tore 'em. The luckless Israelites, when taken,

By some inhuman tyrant's order,
Were asked to sing, by joy forsaken,

On Babylonian river's border,
Oh! had they sung in potes like these,

Inspired by stratagem or fear,
They might have set their hearts at ease-

The devil a soul had stay'd to hear.
But, if I scribble longer now,

The deuce a soul will stay to read ; My pen is blunt, my ink is low

'Tis almost time to stop, indeed. Therefore, farewell, old Granta's spires !

No more, like Cleofas, I fly;
No more thy theme my Muse inspires-

The reader's tired, and so am I.

1806.

On a Saint's day the students wear surplices in chapel.

LACHIN Y. GAIR.

Lachin y. Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Gaelic, Loch na Garr, towers proudly

pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain : be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our • Caledonian Alps. Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y. Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to the following stanzas :

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses !
In you

let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me the rocks where the snow-fake reposes,

Though still they are sacred to freedom and love.
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,

Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam, 'stead of smooth flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

Ab! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd,

My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid ; *
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd,

As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade.
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory

Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story,

Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

your voices

•Shades of the dead! bave I not heard

Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale ?"
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,

And rides on the wind o'er his own Highland vale.
Round Loch na Garr, while the stormy mist gathers,

Winter presides in his cold icy car;
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers,

They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

This word is erro usly pronounced 'plad;" the proper pronunciation, according to the Scotch, is shown by the orthography.

[ocr errors]

Ill starr'd,* though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell
you

that Fate had forsaken your cause ??
Ah! were you destin'd to die at Colloden,

Victory crowu'd not your fall with applause:
Still, were you happy, in death's earthy slamber,

You rest with your clan, in the caves of Braemar;t
The pibrochę resounds, to the piper's loud number,

Your deeds, on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr!

Years have rolld on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,

Years must elapse ere I tread you again;
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,

Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic

To one who has roved on the mountains afar;
Oh! for the crags that are wild anıl majestic-

The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr !

TO ROMANCE.

Parent of golden dreams, Romance!

Auspicious queen of childish joys!
Who lead'st along in airy dance

Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,

I break the fetters of my youth ;
No more I tread thy mystic round,

But leave thy realms for those of Truth.

I allude here to my maternal ancestors, 'the Gordons,'many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the Stewarts. George, the second Earl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stewart, datghter of James I. of Scotland; by her he left four sous : the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitora.

+ Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden I am not certain ; but, as maay fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, 'pars ptg tota,

A tact of the Highlands so called; there is also a castle of Braemar. | The bagpipe,

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams

Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,

Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,

And all assume a varied hue;
When virgins seem no longer vain,

And even Woman's smiles are true.

And must we own thee but a name,

Aud from thy hall of clouds descend;
Nor find a sylph in every dame,

A Pylades* in every friend;
But leave, at once, thy realms of air

To mingling bands of fairy elves;
Confess that Woman's false as fair,

And friends have feeling for themselves ?

With shame I own I've felt thy sway;

Repentant, now thy reign is o'er,
No more thy precepts I obey,

No more on fancied pinions soar.
Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,

And think that eye to Truth was dear-
To trust a passing wanton's sigh,

And melt beneath a wanton's tear!

Romance ! disgusted with deceit,

Far from thy motley court I ny,
Where Affectation holds her seat,

And sickly Sensibility;
Whose silly tears can never flow

For any pangs excepting thine;
Who turns aside from real woe,

To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.

It is hardly necessary to add that Pylades was the companion of Orestes, and a partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Achilles and Patroclus, Nisus and Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to posterity as remarkable instances of attachments which, in all probability, never eristed beyond the imagination of the poet, the page of an historian, or modern povelista

Now join with sable Sympathy,

With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
Who beaves with thee her simple sigh,

Whose breast for every bosom bleeds;
And call thy sylvan female quire

To mourn a swain for ever gone,
Who once could glow with equal fire,

But bends not now before thy throne.

Ye genial nymphs, whose ready tears

On all occasions swiftly flow;
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,

With fancied fames and frenzy glow;
Say, will you mourn my absent name,

A postate from your gentle train ?
An infant bard, at least, may claim

From you a sympathetic strain.

Adieu ! fond race, a long adieu!

The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
Even now the golf appears in view,

Where, unlamented, you must lie:
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,

Convulsed by gales you cannot weather,
Where you, and eke your gentle queen,

Alas! must perish altogether.

CHILDISH RECOLLECTIONS. 'I cannot but remember such things were, and were most dear to me.'

MACBETH
• Et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.'— Virgil.
When slow Disease, with all her host of pains,
Chills the warm tide which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin’d,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind :
What grisly forms, the spectre train of woe !
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,

« PreviousContinue »