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Ah! what will every dirge avail !
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimm'ring near;
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!
And see, the fairy valleys fade,
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view !
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom !
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes :
In yonder grave your Druid lies !
* Mr. Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death,
Written on a Paper which contained a piece of
By search profane shall find this hallow'd cake,
Nor dare a theft, for love and pity's sake! This precious relic, form’d by magic power,
Beneath the shepherd's haunted pillow laid,
The secret present of a matchless maid,
Each nice ingredient chose with happiest art;
And pains that please, are mixt in every part. With rosy hand the spicy fruit she brought,
From Paphian hills, and fair Cytherea's isle ; And temper'd sweet with these the melting thought,
The kiss ambrosial, and the yielding smile. Ambiguous looks, that scorn and yet relent,
Denials mild, and firm unalter'd truth; Reluctant pride, and amorous faint consent,
And meeting ardours, and exulting youth. Sleep, wayward god! hath sworn, while these remain,
With flattering dreams to dry his nightly tear, And cheerful Hope, so oft invoked in vain,
With fairy songs shall soothe his pensive ear. If, bound by vows to Friendship’s gentle side,
And fond of soul, thou hop'st an equal grace, If youth or maid thy joys and griefs divide,
0, much entreated, leave this fatal place! Sweet Peace, who long hath shunn'd my plaintive lay,
Consents at length to bring me short delight; Thy careless steps may scare her doves away,
And grief with raven note usurp the night,
POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGH
LANDS OF SCOTLAND.
I. Home! thou return’st from Thames, whose Naiads long
Have seen thee ling'ring with a fond delay,
Mid those soft friends, whose hearts some future day Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song. Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth,*
Whom, long endear’d, thou leavest by Lavant's side; Together let us wish him lasting truth,
And joy untainted, with his destined bride. Go ! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My short-lived bliss, forget my social name ; But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where ev'ry vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand :
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand,
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;
Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There each trim lass, that skims the milky store,
To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage-door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows
How, wing'd with Fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,
Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. * A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins,
Such airy beings awe th' untutor'd swain : [neglect ;
Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain';
These are the themes of simple, sure effect,
Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run,
Taught by the father to his list'aing son, (ear. Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's At ev'ry pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat
The choral dirge, that mourns some chieftain brave, When ev'ry shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented grave; Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel, *
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny swarms, And hostile brothers met to prove each others' arms.
IV. 'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer,
Lodged in the wintry cave, with Fate's fell spear, Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells :
How they, whose sight such dreary dreams engross, With their own visions oft astonish'à droop,
When, o'er the watry strath or quaggy moss,
Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigour seen,
• A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.
For them the viewless forms of air obey, Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair:
They know what spirit brews the stormful day,
They view the lurid signs that cross the sky, • Where, in the west, the brooding tempests lie : * And hear their first, faint, rustling pendons sweep. • Or in the arched cave, where deep and dark
• The broad, unbroken billows heave and swell, * In horrid musings wrapt, they sit to mark
• The lab'ring moon; or list the nightly yell • Of that dread spirit, whose gigantic form
• The seer's entranced eye can well survey, • Through the dim air who guides the driving storm,
* And points the wretched bark its destined prey. Or him who hovers on his flagging wing
• O'er the dire whirlpool, that, in ocean's waste, • Draws instant down whate'er devoted thing
The failing breeze within its reach hath placed• The distant seaman hears, and flies with trembling
• Or, if on land the fiend exerts his sway,
•Silent he broods o'er quicksand, bog, or fen,
• Far from the sheltring roof and haunts of men, "When witched darkness shuts the eye of day, • And shrouds each star that wont to cheer the
night; Or, if the drifted snow perplex the way, • With treach'rous gleam he lures the fated wight, And leads him flound'ring on and quite astray.'
Oft have they seen Fate give the fatal blow.!
The seer, in Sky, shriek'd as the blood did flow, When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay!