Page images

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. • Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices

Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale? Surely, the soul of the hero rejoices, (vale:

And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland 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. • nl starr'd,* though brave, did no vision's fore

boding, Tell you that Fate had forsaken your cause ?' Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden,t

Victory crown'd not your fall with applause ; Still were you happy in death's earthly slumber,

You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar, The pibrochợ 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 flow'rs has bereft you,

Yet, still are you dearer than Albion's plain :

* I allude here to my maternal ancestors, 'the Gordon's,' 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 Stuarts. George, the second Earl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James the First of Scotland : by her he left four sons : the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors.

+ Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden, I am not certain; but, as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, 'pars pro toto.'

1 A tract of the Highlands so called; there is also a Castle of Braemar.

The bagpipe.

England ! thy beauties are tame and domestic,

To one who has roved on the mountains afar; Oh! for the crags that are wild and 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.
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,

And from thy hall of clouds descend 2
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. * 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 existed beyond the imagination of the poet, the page of an historian, modern novelist.


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 fly, Where Affectation holds her seat,

And sickly Sensibility; Whose siHy tears can never flow

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

To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine. Now join with sable Sympathy,

With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds, Who heaves with thee her simple sigh, Whose breast for


bosom bleeds; And call thy sylvan female choir,

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 flames and phrenzy glow; 1 Say, will you mourn my absent name,

Apostate 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;
E'en now the gulph appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lie.


[ocr errors]

Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,

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

Alas! must perish altogether.

ELEGY ON NEWSTEAD ABBEY.* It is the voice of years that are gone! they roll before me with all their deeds.

Ossian. NEWSTEAD! fast falling, once resplendent dome!

Religion's shrine ! repentant HENRY'st pride! Of warriors, monks, and dames the cloister's tomb;

Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide. Hail to thy pile! more honour'd in thy fall

Than modern mansions in their pillard state; Proudly majestic frowns thy vaulted hall,

Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate. No mail-clad serfst obedient to their lord,

In grim array the crimson crossy demand; Or gay assemble round the festive board,

Their chief's retainers, an immortal band. Else might inspiring Fancy's magic eye

Retrace their progress through the lapse of time, Marking each ardent youth, ordain'd to die

A votive pilgrim in Judea's clime.
But not from thee, dark pile! departs the chief,

His feudal realm in other regions lay;
In thee, the wounded conscience courts relief,

Retiring from the garish blaze of day. * As one poem on this subject is printed in the beginning, the author had, originally, no inteution of inserting the following: it is now added at the particular request of some friends.

+ Henry II. founded Newstead soon after the murder of Thomas à Beckett.

1.This word is used by Walter Scott, in his poem, 'The Wild Huntsman:' synonymous with vassal.

$ The red cross was the badge of the crusaders.

Yes, in thy gloomy cells and shades profound

The monk abjured a world he ne'er could view; Or blood-stain’d guilt repenting solace found,

Or innocence from stern oppression flew. A monarch bade thee from that wild arise, Where Sherwood's outlaws once were wont to

prowl, And Superstition's crimes, of various dyes,

Sought shelter in the priest's protecting cowl. Where now the grass exhales a murky dew,

The humid pall of life-extinguish'd clay, In sainted fame the sacred fathers grew,

Nor raised their pious voices, but to pray. Where now the bats their wavering wings extend,

Soon as the gloaming* spreads her waning shade; The choir did oft their mingling vespers blend,

Or matin orisons to Maryt paid.
Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;

Abbots to abbots, in a line succeed :
Religion's charter, their protecting shield,

Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed. One holy HENRYf reared the gothic walls,

And bade the pious inmates rest in peace; Another HENRY the kind gift recals,

And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease. Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer,

He drives them exiles from their blest abode, To roam a dreary world, in deep despair,

No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God. * As.gloaming,' the Scottish word for twilight,' is far more poetical, and has been recommended by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr. Moore, in his Letters to Burns, I have ventured to use it on account of its harmony.

+ The priory was dedicated to the Virgin. 1 At the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »