« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
IMITATIONS OF OSSIAN.
Why dost thou not visit my hall, daughter of the gentle Smile? thou art in the hall of joy, the feast of shells is spread; the bards are assembled around. Sad I sit alone, and listen to the beating rain. The gale sounds hollow in the east, but no music comes on the blast, to my solitary ear. The red coals giow suddenly in my grate, but they should blaze cheerfully for thee. Why dost thou not visit my hall, daughter of the gentle Smile ?
• Thy fame shall be heard in the song, for the
bards assemble at thy call. When I go to the narrow house, silence shall rest upon my memory : for lonely I sit all the day, and listen to the dashing rain. The keen wind whistles at my gáte, and drives away the timid guest. Dark boats pass by on the swift stream, but no passenger lands at my hall. Thou, too, O sweet daughter of the Smile,
didst sail by over the blue wave, when the voice * of joy was in the hall of kings. But Therina passed the day silent and solitary. When a thousand oaks flamed beyond the stream, she saw the distant blaze, like the red streaks of the setting sun; she heard the murmur of the distant shouts; and, at last, through the dark air, she saw the approaching torch, that lighted back her friends from the feast of empty shells. She ran to meet them through the lonely hall; and the wind lifted her cloak.
Will no voice reply to my song ? 1, too, have a harp, which the winds sweep with its wings.
• The coronation in 1760. Miss Talbot then was in the 40th year of her age when she wrote this Imitation. Only specimens of the Poems of Ossian had then been published. Fingal was not printed till 1769, and Temora not till the following year.
Daughter of the Song, why is thy look so pensive? Why dost thou regard me with an eye of compassion ?
Carthona. Thy melancholy strain pierced my heart. I view thee already as in the narrow house, where all is silence and darkness. I look upon thee as a diamond buried deep in the rock, when it ought to be flaming on an imperial diadem.
Therina. Partial is thine eye, kind daughter of Harmony, and idly fictitious was my plaintive strain. My expectations look beyond the narrow house, and the view terminates in splendour. Yet I am not a diamond, o Carthona, but a feeble glow-worm of the earth, whose sickly lustre would go out in open day, and is beheld to ad
vantage, only from being judiciously placed amidst obscurity.
Carthona. Lowly daughter of Indolence, thou dost not well to acquiesce in the meanest and most useless form of being, who mightest warble on a bough with the songstresses of the grove, or shine on gay wings with the flutterers of the air.
Therina. I was once a butterfly, 0 Carthona, and my existence was most despicable. The glowworm in its low estate is pleasing to the eye that approaches it near; is useful, sometimes, to direct the steps of the benighted traveller.
Carthona. Daughter of Indolence, thy discourse is idle and ungrateful.
Therina. Hear then, 0 Carthona, the reverse of my plaintive strains, and may it sound sweet in thine ears. Thou art pleased with the tale of Malvina, who attended the blind age of Ossian, emphatically blind! Her form rises elegant to thy mind, and the voice of her praise sounds melodious to thy fancy. Yet what is the fame of Malvina ? And what was the merit of Ossian: The threads of my life, 0 Carthona, though homely, are woven amid others of inestimable tincture. The ties of indissoluble friendship have mingled them among threads of purest gold, the richest purple, and the brightest silver. Such are the durable textures