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Had I the sweet Orphean lyre,
Which, when attuned of old,
Fill'd even stones with sacred fire;
And taught the mind,
In strains refined,
Whate'er in souls was great or bold;
Then would I sing this awful height,
But my eyes fail me at the sight.
Deep, deep below
The waters flow,
Clusters of rocks impend,
And on the precipice' extremest end
Two verdant bushes grow,
To which no foot did e'er descend,
What lies around to know.
How pleasing does the contrast seem,
Beside the gothic arch to stray,
Which joins the banks of the dull stream,
And smooths the trav'ler's devious way;
How bold and strong the arch appears,
And bears no symptom of decay,
Though 'tis the work of former years.
Hail, Don, thou sombre, lonely river,
I'll bid a long, a long adieu !
And lest again I see thee never,
I'll take at last a lingering view.
And oft, when pensive and alone,
My mind to melancholy prone,
I think of those who wander'd here,
"I'll wet thy mem'ry with a tear."
SPIRIT of heavenly inspiration, come,
And let me with a poet's fire describe
This scene, which memory shall long retain.
'Tis found in Caledonia's eastern shore,
And near the limit of the Grampian hills.
Now had the rigour of the frost declined,
And spring had waked the vegetable growth,
And call'd the latent vigour forth of plants,
Pent up by winter's unrelenting cold,
A pleasing dulless all the air pervades,
Sweetly according with the rugged scene;
For, save a dreary waste of marsh and moor,
No object rose to meet the aching sight,
But what rude rocks and stormy seas afford.
What head so steady, and what eye so keen,
Could bear to pierce the deep abyss below,
Full many a fathom down, nor shudder, struck
Stupid and giddy with the fearful sight.
Methinks I envy not the soul of him
Who can unheeding pass o'er such a scene,
Nor would adventure down these steepy rocks,
To gain the rapture of an upward gaze.
There seem'd a path only by nature form'd,
Whose downward passage was the least abrupt,
'Twas this we chose, and safely gain'd the foot.
An amphitheatre of rocks appear'd,
Whose points stretch'd far into the stormy sea,
And all the conflict of its waves endured.
This part we reach'd, and thence with awe beheld A yawning fissure in the solid rock
Perhaps it was the entrance to some cave,
Where, in the elder superstitious times,
Dwelt some misanthrope, from the world retired,
Whose groans responded to the ocean's roar.
Or there perhaps it was the incursive Dane
Found a safe covert, when, on conquest bent,
He sought to reach the Caledonian shore
Across the deep, when heaven with all its wrath
Gave the rude tempest sway, and wreck'd his sail.
Yes, there he found, unseen, a safe retreat
From the sea's fury, and his foe's revenge.
But rocks abrupt, and crags close imminent,
Make it no longer thus accessible.
Perhaps some earthquake, or tremendous storm
Has rent an opening in the solid mass.
For a deep gulley close adjoins these rocks,
Remote and indistinct its avenues.
Th' adventurer must go with careful step,
For, ever and anon, new dangers rise,
But the wild scene more than repays the toil.
Above, at height immense, the rocks approach,
And meeting, hide him from the face of heaven.
Below are slipp'ry stones, around vast piles
Of rocks stupendous, each on other piled.
ON THE LATE MRS. ELIZABETH M'ALLUM, THE AUTHOR'S
COME now, my soul, and with thyself commune,
And hold high converse with thy sacred source.
Each wandering thought, each low desire depart:
Hail! sacred solitude! how sweet to me
Art thou, and contemplation, heavenly maid,
With thee I love continual to abide ;
Thou dost the soul attune to heavenly thought,
To thought, the privilege of immortal man.
Why, in this sweet seclusion, is my soul
So sad? such grief it is not wont to feel.
The calm composure of th' untroubled mind
No more is mine.
I mourn Eliza's death.
O thou most honour'd, much-lamented shade,
How shall I tell thy worth, or how express
The love I bore thee?-But these tears can tell.
My griefs, so long detain'd within my breast,
Find utterance; the rain is not more grateful
To the dry glebe, than are these tears to me.
Thou guide and guardian of my youthful years,
And shall I never, never see thee more?
O, hadst thou lived to know my filial love,
To know th' affection which for thee I feel!
Till now I knew not half my love for thee.
'Twas thou, kind mother, who with tender care,
Didst soothe th' afflictions of my earliest days,
And with indulgent and maternal love,
The wants of helpless infancy supply.
'Twas thou, kind mother, who with equal care
Didst watch the openings of my vacant mind,
And press instructive precepts on my heart.
Her virtues were retired. Like tender plants
That shun the touch, she coveted the shade,
And with each softer grace she was endued,
A child, a wife, a mother-and in all
These dear relations of domestic life,
Her virtues shone pre-eminently bright.
Is there a friend, to whom the saint was known,
Who loved her converse, and regrets her loss,
Anxious to learn, if through the vale of death
Her path was easy, if her soul beheld
Unmoved her last great enemy's approach?
Know, her last end was peace. No fears assail'd
Her ransom'd spirit, but sweet confidence
And firm assurance of a better state
(A state of blessedness transcending far
Our thoughts the most refined) her soul upheld.
Death had no terrors, and the grave was sweet.
She did not wish to live, nor fear to die.
Calmly she bade adieu, nor grieved to part
With aught this world contain'd save that dear friend,
Her soul's betroth'd, the soother of her care.
When saints approach the mortal goal, their souls
Become enlarged, grow conscious of their powers,
And see the secrets of eternity;
Futurity's dark page to them's unclosed.
'Twas thus with thee, Eliza, thou foresaw'st,
When sadly parting from thy dearer self,
Soon ye should meet again, to part no more,
In happier regions and congenial climes.
'Twas whisper'd by some hov'ring angel too,
That, when thy spirit should be disembodied,
"Twould guard thy friend. Hence didst thou cease to grieve;
Didst soul and body patiently resign
To their Creator, God, and calmly sleep,
Encircled by the mighty arms of Him
Who never sleeps.
SWEET, lovely babe, whose tender frame
Demands a mither's care;
Whose little wants attention claim,
And find attention there.
Sweet, bonny wean, and dost thou smile,
And is that smile for me?
And dost thou too wi' infant wile
Invite thy mou to prie.
And haud my finger wi' thy haun,
And leuk me in the face,
And move thy lips, as ye were gawn
To mak an unco frais.
Sweet be thy rest, and rising hour,
May angels guard thy bed!
And may thy God his blessings shower
On thy defenceless head!
Ah! who so innocent as thee,
Stranger to guilt and shame?
O, may'st thou live frae vice as free,
And grace thy father's name.
Still dost thou smile to hear me speak,
Yet ken'st no what I say?
The grace of God aye may'st thou seek,
And prosper ilka day!
O FOR that harp which erewhile Cowper tuned,
With which he taught the living notes to speak
In accents such as chain'd the list'ning ear,
And won an entrance to the feeling heart.