« PreviousContinue »
Oh I thus, the desire in my bosom for famne
Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies : Bids me live but to hope for posterity's praise. but the blazing oaks gleam through the valley. The Could I soar with the phonix on pinions of fame, sons of Lochlin slept: their dreams were of blood. With him I would wish to expire in the blaze. They lift the spear in thought, and Fingal fiics.
Not so the host of Morven. To watch was the post For the life of a Fox, of a Chatham the death,
of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. What censure, what danger, what woe would I were in their hands. Fingal called his chiefs : they brave !
(breath: stood around. The king was in the midst. Grey Their lives did not end when they yielded their were his locks, but strong was the arm of the king. Their glory illumines the gloom of their grave. Age withererl not his powers. “ Sons of Morven,"
said the hero, “ to-morrow we meet the foc. But Yet why should I mingle in Fashion's full herd ? where is Cuthullin, the shield of Erin ?
He rests Why crouch to her leaders, or cringe to her rules ? in the halls of Tura; he knows not of our coming. Why bend to the proud, or applaud the absurd ? Who will speed through Lochlin to the hero, and Why search for delight in the friendship of fools ? call the chief to arms ? The path is by the swords
of foes; but many are my heroes. They are thunI have tasted the sweets and the bitters of love; derbolts of war. Speak, ye chiefs! Who will arise ? " In friendship I early was taught to believe;
“ Son of Trenmor! mine be the deed," said darkMy passion the matrons of prudence reprove ;
liaired Orla, “and mine alone. What is death to I have found that a friend may profess, yet deceive. me? I love the slecp of the mighty, but little is
the danger. The sons of Lochlin dream. I will To me what is wealth ? - it may pass in an hour, seek car-borne Cuthullin. If I fall, raise the song
If tyrants prevail, or if Fortune should frown; of bards; and lay me by the stream of Lubar.” To me what is title ? — the phantom of power ; “ And shalt thou fall alone?” said fair-haired CalTo me what is fashion ?-I seek but renown.
mar. “ Wilt thou leave thy friend afar ? Chief of
Oithona! not feeble is my arm in fight. Could I Deceit is a stranger as yet to my soul ;
see thee dle, and not lift the spear? No, Orla ! ours I still am unpractised to varnish the truth :
has been the chase of the roebuck, and the feast of Then why should I live in a hateful control ?
shells ; ours be the path of danger : ours has been Why waste upon folly the days of my youth ? the cave of Oithona; ours be the narrow dwelling on
1806. the banks of Lubar." “ Calmar,” said the chief of
Oithona,“ why should thy yellow locks be darkened in the dust of Erin ? Let me fall alone. My father
dwells in his hall of air: he will rejoice in his boy ; THE DEATH OF CALMAR AND ORLA. but the blue-eyed Mora spreads the feast for her son
in Morven. She listens to the steps of the hunter AN IMITATION OF MACPHERSON'S Ossiax. 1
on the heath, and thinks it is the tread of Calmar. Dear are the days of youth! Age dwells on their Let him not say, · Calmar has fallon by the steel of remembrance through the mist of time. In the twi. Lochlin: he died with gloomy Orla, the chief of the light he recalls the sunny hours of morn. He lifts
dark brow.' Why should tears dim the azure eye of his spear with trembling hand. « Not thus feebly
Mora ? Why should her voice curse Orla, the did I raise the steel before my fathers !" Past is the destroyer of Calmar? Live, Calmar! Live to raise race of heroes ! But their fame rises on the harp; my stone of moss; live to revenge me in the blood their souls ride on the wings of the wind; they hear
of Lochlin. Join the song of bards above my grave. the sound through the sighs of the storm, and rejoice Sweet will be the song of death to Orla, from the in their hall of clouds! Such is Calmar.
voice of Calmar. My ghost shall smile on the notes stone marks his narrow house. He looks down from
of praise.” “ Orla,” said the son of Mora, “ could I eddying tempests: he rolls his form in the whirlwind,
raise the song of death to my friend ? Could I give and hovers on the blast of the mountain.
his fame to the winds ? No, my heart would speak In Morven dwelt the chief; a beam of war to in sighs : faint and broken are the sounds of sorrow. Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood.
Orla ! our souls shall hear the song together. One Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry spear ; but
cloud shall be ours op high : the bards will mingle mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of his the names of Orla and Calmar." yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor of the
They quit the circle of the chiefs. Their steps night. No maid was the sigh of his soul : his thoughts
are to the host of Lochlin, The dying blaze of oak were given to friendship, - to dark-haired Orla,
dim twinkles through the night. The northern star destroyer of heroes! Equal were their swords in points the path to Tura. Swaran, the king, rests on battle; but ficrce was the pride of Orla : - gentle his lonely hill. Here the troops are mixed : they alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave frown in sleep; their shields beneath their heads. of Oithona.
Their swords gleam at distance in heaps. The fres From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue waves. are faint; their embers fail in smoke. All is hush'd; Erin's sons fell beneath his might. Fingal roused but the gale sighs on the rocks above. Lightly wheel his chiefs to combat. Their ships cover the ocean.
the heroes through the slumbering band. Half the Their bosts throng on the green bills. They come journey is past, when Mathon, resting on his shield, to the aid of Erin.
meets the cye of Orla. It rolls in flame, and glistens
1 It may be necessary to observe, that the story, thoush considerably varied in the catastrophc, is taken froin “Nisus
and Euryalus," of which episode a translation is already given in the present volume.
through the shade. His spear is raised on high. Wnen Swaran was bound, our sails rose on the
Why dost thou bend thy brow, chief of Oithona ?” blue waves. The winds gave our barks to Morven : said fair-haired Calmar: “ we are in the midst of the bards raised the song. foes. Is this a time for delay ?” “ It is a time for “ What form rises on the roar of clouds ? Whose vengeance," said Orla of the gloomy brow. “ Mathon dark ghost gleams on the red streams of tempests ? of Lochlin sleeps : see'st thou his spear ? Its point His voice rolls on the thunder. 'Tis Orla, the is dim with the gore of my father. The blood of brown chief of Oithona. He was unmatched in war. Mathon shall reek on mine ; but shall I slay him Peace to thy soul, Orla! thy fame will not perish. sleeping, son of Mora? No! he shall feel his wound:
Nor thine, Calmar! Lovely wast thou, son of bluemy fame shall not soar on the blood of slumber. eyed Mora ; but not harmless was thy sword. It Rise, Mathon, rise ! The son of Conna calls ; thy hangs in thy cave. The ghosts of Lochlin shrick life is his ; rise to combat." Mathon starts from around its steel. Hear thy praise, Caimar ! It sleep; but did he rise alone ? No: the gathering dwells on the voice of the mighty. Thy name cbiefs bound on the plain. “ Fly! Calmar, fly!” said shakes on the echocs of Morven. Then raise thy dark-haired Orla. “ Nathon is mine. I shall die fair locks, son of Mora. Spread them on the arch in joy: but Lochlin crowds around. Fly through of the rainbow; and smile through the tears of the the shade of night.” Orla turns. The helm of
storm.” 1 Mathon is cleft; his shield falls from his arm : he shudders in his blood. He rolls by the side of the blazing oak. Strumon sees hin fall: his wrath rises : L'AMITIE EST L'AMOUR SAXS AILES. ? his weapon glitters on the head of Orla : but a spear
Why should my anxious breast repine, pierced his eye. His brain gushes through the wound,
Because my youth is fled ? and foams on the spear of Calmar. As roll the waves
Days of delight may still be mine; of the Ocean on two mighty barks of the north, so
Affection is not dead. pour the men of Lochlin on the chiefs. As, breaking
In tracing back the years of youth, the surge in foam, proudly steer the barks of the
One firm record, one lasting truth north, so rise the chiefs of Morven on the scattered
Celestial consolation brings; crests of Lochlin. The din of arms came to the ear
Bear it, ye breezes, to the seat, of Fingal. He strikes his shield; his sons throng
Where first my heart responsive beat, around; the people pour along the heath. Ryno
“ Friendship is Love without his wings!” bounds in joy. Ossian stalks in his arms. Oscar shakes the spear. The eagle wing of Fillan floats on Through few, but deeply chequer'd years, the wind. Dreadful is the clang of death! many are
What moments have been mine! the widows of Lochlin ! Morven prevails in its Now half obscured by clouds of tears, strength.
Now bright in rays dirine ; Jorn glimmers on the hills : no living foe is seen; Howe'er my future doom be cast, but the sleepers are many; grim they lie on Erin. My soul, enraptured with the past, The breeze of ocean Lifts their locks; yet they do
To one idea fondly clings ; not awake. The hawks scream above their prey.
Friendship! that thought is all thine own, Whose yellow locks wave o'er the breast of a Worth worlds of bliss, that thought alone chief ? Bright as the gold of the stranger, they
“ Friendship is Love without his wings !" mingle with the dark hair of his friend.
Where yonder yew-trees lightly Fave Calmar: he lies on the bosom of Orla. Theirs is
Their branches on the gale, one stream of blood. Fierce is the look of the
Unheeded heaves a simple grave, gloomy Orla. He breathes not; but his eye is still
Which tells the common tale; a flame. It glares in death unclosed. His hand is
Round this unconscious schoolboys stray, grasped in Calmar's; but Calmar lives! he lives,
Till the dull knell of childish play though low. “ Rise,” said the king, “ rise, son of
From yonder studious mansion rings : Mora: 't is mine to heal the wounds of heroes.
But here whene'er my footsteps move, Calmar may yet bound on the hills of Morven."
My silent tears too plainly prove, " Never more shall Calınar chase the deer of
“ Friendship is Love without his wings !" Jorven with Orla," said the hero.
« What were the chase to me alone ? Who should share the spoils Oh Love ! before thy glowing shrine of battle with Calmar ? Orla is at rest ! Rough
My early vows were paid; was thy soul, Orla! yet soft to me as the dew of My hopes, my dreams, my heart was thine, morn. It glared on others in lightning: to me a
But these are now decay'd ; silver beam of night. Bear my sword to blue-eyed For thine are pinions like the wind, Jora; let it hang in my empty hall.
It is not pure No trace of thee remains behind, from blood: but it could not save Orla. Lay me
Except, alas ! thy jealous stings. with my friend. Raise the song when I am dark !" Away, away! delusive power,
They are laid by the stream of Lubar. Four Thou shalt not haunt my coming hour; gray stones mark the dwelling of Orla and Calmar. Unless, indeed, without thy wings.
I llarrow. ? [The Earl of Clare. - Sce p. 406.] early the struggle between natural piety and doubt began in
his mind." In reading the celebrated critique of the Edin(The young poet had recently received from Lord Clare,
burgh Review on the "Hours of Idleness," the fact that the an epistle containing this passage : -" I think by your last let.
volume did not include this poem, ought to be kept in mind. ter that you are very much piqued with most of your friends; and, if I am not much inistaken, a little so with me. In one 5 [The poet appears to have had in his mind one of Mr. part you say, 'there is little or no doubt a few years, or Southey's juvenile pieces, beginning, months, will render is as politely indifferent to each other, as
“Go, thou, unto the house of prayer, if we had never passed a portion of our time together:' indeed,
I to the woodlands will repair. Byron, you xronz me ; and I have no doubt - at least I hope
See also Childe Harold, canto iii. st. 91. - you wrong yourself."]
“ Not vainly did the early Persian make * (It is difficult to conjecture for what reason, - but these His altar the high places and the peak stanzas were not included in the publication of 1507 ; though
Of carth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take few will hesitate to place theni higher than any thing given in
A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seck that volume. - Written when the author wils not nineteen
The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak Fears of age, this remarkable poem shows," says Moore, "show
Upreard of human hards," &c.]
Thou, who in wisdom placed me bere,
Who, when thou wilt, can take me hence, Ah! whilst I tread this earthly sphere,
Extend to me thy wide defence.
To Thee, my God, to Thee I call !
Whatever weal or woe betide, By thy command I rise or fall,
In thy protection I confide.
If, when this dust to dust 's restored,
My soul shall float on airy wing, How shall thy glorious name adored
Inspire her feeble voice to sing !
But, if this fleeting spirit share
With clay the grave's eternal bed, 'While life yet throbs, I raise my prayer,
Though doom'd no more to quit the dead.
To Thee I breathe my huinble strain,
Grateful for all thy inercies past, And hope, my God, to thee again This erring life may fly at last.
December 29. 1806. (First published, 1830.]
TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, ESQ. 1
Nil ego contulerim jocundo sanus amico. - Hor.
Dear Long, in this sequester'd scene,
While all around in slumber lie,
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye;
And interrupt the golden dream,
And still indulge my wonted theme.
In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore; Nor through the groves of Ida chase,
Our raptured visions as before, Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion, And Manhood claims his stern dominion Age will not every hope destroy, But yieid some hours of sober joy.
Yes, I will hope that Time's broad wing Will shed around some dews of spring : But if his scythe must sweep the flowers Which bloom among the fairy bowers,
"[This young gentleman, who was with Lord Byron both at Harrow and Cambridge, afterwards entered the Guards, and served with distinction in the expedition to Copenhagen. He was drowned early in 1809, when on his way to join the army in the Peninsula; the transport in which he sailed being run foul of' in the night by another of the convoy. • Long's
Where smiling Youth delights to dwell,
To soothe its wonted heedless flow;
But ne'er forget another's woe.
To you my soul is still the same.
And all my former joys are tame.
Your frowns are gone, my sorrows o'er :
I'll think upon your shade no more.
And caves their sullen roar enclose,
When lull'd by zephyr to repose.
Attuned to love her languid lyre ;
The strains in stolen sighs expire.
E - is a wife, and a mother,
And Mary's given to another ;
Can now no more my love recall :
For Cora's eye will shine on all.
The aid which once improved their light,
Now quenches all their sparks in night;
As many a boy and girl remembers,
Extinguish'd with the dying embers.
But now, dear LONG, 't is midnight's noon,
father," says Lord Byron, "wrote to me to write his son's epitaph. I promised - but I had not the heart to complete it. He was such a good, amiable being as rarely remains long in this world ; with talent and accoinplishments, too, to make him the more regretted.” Byron Diary, 1821.]
If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd :
This cheek now pale from early riot, With passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.
Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
For Nature seem'd to smile before thee; * And once my brcast abhorr'd deceit,
For then it beat but to adore thee.
For why should I the path go o'er,
Has thrice perform'd her stated round,
And chased away the gloom profound, I trust that we, my gentle triend, Shall see her rolling orbit wend Above the dear-loved peaceful seat Which once contain'd our youth's retreat; And then with those our childhood knew, We'll mingle in the festive crew; While many a tale of former day Shall wing the laughing hours away ; And all the flow of souls shall pour The sacred intellectual shower, Nor cease till Luna's waning horn Scarce glimmers through the mist of morn.
But now I seek for other joys :
To think would drive my soul to madness ; In thoughtless throngs and empty noise,
I conquer half my bosom's sadness.
Yet, even in these a thought will steal,
In spite of every vain endeavour, And fiends might pity what I feel,
To know that thou art lost for ever.
TO A LADY. :
OH! had my fate been join'd with thinc,
As once this pledge appear'd a token, These follies had not then been mine,
For then my peace had not been broken. 3
To thee these early faults I owe,
To thee, the wise and old reproving : They know my sins, but do not know
'T was thine to brcak the bonds of loving.
For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
And all its rising fires could smother; But now thy vows no more endure,
Bestow'd by thee upon another.
Perhaps his peace I could destroy,
And spoil the blisses that await him; Yet let my rival smile in joy,
For thy dear sake I cannot hate him.
I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD. I would I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave; The cumbrous pomp of Saxon 5 pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll. Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound ! I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around. Place ine along the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar; I ask but this — again to rove
Through scenes my youth bath known before. Few are my years, and yet I feel
The world was ne'er design'd for me : Ab! why do dark’ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be ?
A visionary scene of bliss :
Awake me to a world like this?
Had friends - my early friends are fled :
When all its former hopes are dead !
Dispel awhile the sense of ill ;
The heart — the heart - is lonely still. 6
Ab! since thy angel form is gone,
My heart no more can rest with any; But what it sought in thec alone,
Attempts, alas ! to find in many.
Then fare thee well, deceitful maid !
"T were vain and fruitless to regret thee; Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
But Pride may teach me to forget thec.
Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures; These varied loves, these matron's fears,
These thoughtless strains to passion's measures
('The tro friends were both passionately attached to Har. row; and sometimes made excursions thither together, to revive their school-boy recollections.) * (Mrs. Musters. See anté, p. 384.)
(" Our union would have healed feuds in which blood had been shed by our fathers - it would have joined lands broad and rich - it would have joined at least one heart, and two persons not ill matched in years (she is two years my elder), and — and- and - what has been the result?"- Byron Diary, 1821.)
* [Our meetings," says Lord Byron. in 1922." mere stolen ones, and a gate leading from Mr. Chaworth's grounds to those of my mother was the place of our interviews. But the
ardour was all on my side. I was scrions ; she was volatile : she liked me as a younger brother, and treated and laughed at me as a boy ; she, however, gave me her picture, and that was soinething to make verses upon. Had I married her, perhaps the whole tenour of my life would have been different.")
» Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or English.
(The imagination all compact," which the greatest poet who erer lived has assigned as the distinguishing badge of his brethren, is in every case a dangerous gift. It exaggerates, indeed, our expectations, and can often bid its possesso: hope, where hope is lost to reason : but the delusive pleasure arising from these visions of imagination resembles that of a child,