Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

And, sooth to say, her pupils ranged around,
Through pious awe, did term it passing rare;

For they in gaping wonderment abound
And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on ground.

Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her iruth,
Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;
Goody, good woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth,
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear :
Yet these she challenged, these she held right dear;
Ne would esteem him act as mought behove,
Who should not honoured eld with these revere;

For never title yet so mean could prove,
But there was eke a mind which did that title love,
One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
The plodding pattern of the busy dame;
Which, ever and apon, iinpelled by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came;
Such favour did her past deportment claim;
And, if neglect had lavished on the ground
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same;

For well she knew, and quaintly could expound,
What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she found

Herbs, too, she knew, and well of each could speak,
That in her garden sipped the silvery dew;
Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy streak,
But herbs for use and physic, not a few,
Of gray renown, within those borders grew :
The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme,
Fresh balm, and marigold of cheerful hue:

The lowly gill, that never dares to climb;
And more i fain would sing, disdaining here to rhyme.

Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve,
Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete;
If winter 'twere, she to her hearth did cleave,
But in her garden found a summer-seat:
Sweet melody ! to hear her then repeat
How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king,
While taunting foemen did a song entreat,

All for the nonce, untuning every string,
Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had they to sing.,

For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore,
And passed much time in truly virtuous deed ;
And in those elfins' ears would oft deplore
The times, when truth by popish rage did bleed,
And tortuous death was true devotion's meed;
And simple faith in iron chains did mourn,
That would on wooden image place her creed;
And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn:
Ah, dearest Lord, forefend thilk days should e'er return!

In elbow-chair (like that of Scottish stem,
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
In which, wheu he receives his diadem,
Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed)
The matron sat; and some with rank she graced
(The source of children's and of courtiers' pride !),
Redressed affronts-for vile affronts there passed;

And warned them not the fretful to deride,
But love each other dear, whatever them betide.

Right well she knew each temper to descry,
To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ;
Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high,
And some entice with pittance small of praise ;
And other some with baleful sprig sbe 'frays:
Even absent, she tbe reins of power doth hold,
While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways;

Forewarued, if little bird their pranks behold.
'Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold.

Lo! now with state she utters her command ;
Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair,
Their books of stature small they take in hand,
Which with pellucid horn secured are,
To save from finger wet the letters fair:
The work so gay, that on their back is seen,
St. George's high achievements does declare;

On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been,
Keps the forthcoming rod-unpleasing sight, I ween!

From 'A Pastoral Ballad'--1743.
Arbusta Lumilesque myricæ.-VIRG.
[Though lowly shrubs and trees that shade the plain.-DRYDEN.]

• ABSENCE. Ye shepherds, so cheerful and gay,

I prized every hour that went by, Whose flocks never carelessly roam; Beyond all that had pleased me before: Should Corydon's happen to stray,

But now they are past, and I sigh, Oh! call the poor wanderers home.

And I grieve that I prize them no Allow me to muse and to sigh,

more.... Nor talk of the change that ye find; None once was so watchful as I;

When forced the fair nymph to forego, I have left my dear Phyllis behind. What anguish I felt at my heart !

Yet I thought-but it inight not he soNow I know what it is to have strove

'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. With the torture of doubt and desire; She gazed as I slowly withdrew, What it is to admire and to love,

My path I could hardly discern;
And to leave her we love and admire. So sweetly she bade me adieu.
Ah! lead forth my flock in the morn,

I thought that she bade me return,
And the damps of each evening repel;
Alas! I am faint and forlorn-

The pilgrim that journeys all day
I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell. To visit some far-distant shrine,

If he bear but a relic away,
Since Phyllis vouchsafed me a look,

Is happy nor heard to repine. I never once dreamt of my vine;

This widely removed from the fair, May I lose both my pipe and my croo

Where my vows. my devotion, I owe; If I knew of a kid that was mine. Soft hope is the relic I bear,

And my solace wherever I go.

ноРЕ. My banks they are furnished with bees, Not a pine in my grove is there seen.

Whose murmur invites one to sleep; But with tendril: of woodbine is bound: My grottoes are shaded with trees,

Not a beech's more beautiful green, And my bills are white over with sheep. But a sweetbriar entwines it around. I seldom bave met with a loss,

Not my fields in the prime of the year Such health do my fountains bestow; More charms than my cattle unfold; My fountains, all bordered with moss, Not a brook that is limpid and clear, Where the harebells and violets grow. But it glitters with fishes of gold.

*This stanza, and the four lines beginning: 'I prized every hour that went by were greatly admired by Johnson, who said: 'If any mind denies its sympathy to them, it bas 20 acquaintance with love or nature.'

[ocr errors]

One would think she might like to retire And when her bright form shall appear,

To the bower I have laboured to rear; Each bird shall harmoniously join
Not a shrub that I heard her admire, In a concert so soft and so clear
But I hasted and planted it there.

As she may not be fond to resign.
O how sudden the jessamine strove
With the lilac to render it gay!

I have found out a gift for my fair, .
Already it calls for my love

I have found where the wood-pigeons
To prune the wild branches away.

breed;

But let me that plunder forbear, From the plains, from the woodlands, She will say, 'twas a barbarous deed. and groves,

For he ne'er could be true, she averred. What strains of wild melody flow:

Who could rob a poor bird of his young; How the nightingaleg warble their loves. And I loved her the more when I heard From thickets of roses that blow !

Such tenderness fall from her tongue..

SOLICITUDE. Why will you my passion reprove ?

For when Paridel tries in the dance Why term it a folly to grieve ?

Any favour with Phyllis to find, Ere I shew you the charins of my love: O how, with one trivial glance, She is fairer than you can believe.

Might she ruin the peace of my mind! with her mien she enamours the brave, In ringlets he dresses his hair, With her wit she engages the free,

And his crook is bestudded around; With her modesty pleases the grave; And his pipe-o my Phy lis, beware She is every way pleasing to me.

Of a magic there is in the sound. O you that have been of her train.

'Tis his with mock passion to glow, Come and join in my amorous lays : 'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold I could lay down my life for the swain, How her face is as bright as the snow,

That wil sing but a song in her praise. And her bosom, be slire, is as cold. When he sings, may the nymphs of the How the nightingales labour the strain, town

With the notes of his charmer to vie; Come trooping, and listen the while; How they vary their accents in vain, Nay, on him let not Phyllida frown,

Repine at her triumphs and die.'.... But I cannot allow her to smile.

DISAPPOINTMENT. Ye shepherds, give ear to my lay,

The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose, And take no more heed of my sheep; The sound of a murmuring stream, They have nothing to do but to stray ; The peace which froin solitude flows, I have nothing to do but to weep.

Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme,
Yet do not my folly reprove :

High transports are shown to the sight,
She was fair, and my passion begun; But we are not to find them our own:
She smiled, and I could not but love: Fate never bestowed such delight,
She is faithless, and I am uindone.

As I with my Phyllis had known.

[ocr errors]

Perhaps I was void of all thought: O ye woods, spread your branches apace;
Perhaps it was plain to foresee,

To your deepest recesses I fly;
That a nymph so complete would be I would hide with the beasts of the chase;
sought

I would vanish from every eye,
By a swain more engaging than me. Yet my reed shall resound through the
Ab I love every hope can inspire;

grove It banishes wisdom the while:

With the same sad complaint it begun; And the lip of the nyinph we admire How she smiled, and I conld not but love;

Seems for ever adorned with a smile..... Was faithless, and I am undone!

Song-Jemmy Dawson.*

Come listen to my mournful tale,

Ye tender hearts and lovers dear :

Nor will von scorn to heave a sigh,

Nor will you blush to shed a tear.

# Captain James Dawson, the amiable and unfortunate subject of these stanzas, was ans of the eight officers belonging to the Manchester regiment of volunteers, in tho set

And thou, dear Kitty, peerless maid, To yonder ignominious tree,
Do thou a pensive ear incline;

Thou shalt not want a faithful friend
For thou canst weep at every woe,

To share thy bitter fate with thee.' And pity every plaint but mine.

O then her mourning-coach w's called, Young Dawson was a gallant youth,

The sledge moved slowly on before ; A brighter never trod the plain;

Though borne in her triumphal car, And well he loved one charming maid, She had not loved her favourite more. And dearly was he loved again.

She followed him, prepared to view One tender maid she loved him dear,

The terrible behests of law; Of gentle blood the damsel came : And the last scene of Jemmy's woes And faultless was her beauteous form, With calm and steadfast eye she saw. Aud spotless was her virgiu fame.

Distorted was that blooming face, But curse on party's hateful strife,

Which she had fondly loved so long; That led the favoured youth astray; And stifled was that tuneful breath, The day the rebel clans appeared

Which in her praise had sweetly sung: O had he never seen that day !

And severed was that beanteous neck, Their colours and their sash he wore, Round which her arms had fondly And in the fatal dress was found;

closed; And now he must that death endure, And mangled was that beauteous breast Which gives tbe brave the keenest On which her love-sick head reposed : wound.

And ravished was that constant heart,
How pale was then his true love's cheek, She did io every heart prefer;
When Jemmy's sentence reached her For though it could its king forget,
ear?

'Twas true and loyal still to her.
For never yet did Alpine snows
So pale or yet so chill appear.

Amid those unrelenting flames

She bore this constant heart to see ; With faltering voice she weeping said: But when 'twas mouldered into dust,

O Dawson, monarch of my heart! • Now, now,' she cried, 'I follow thee. Think not tby death shall end our loves, For thou and I will never part.

My death, my death alone can shew

The pure and lasting love I bore :
• Yet might sweet mercy find a place, Accept, o Heaven of woes like ours,
And bring relief to Jemmy's woes,

And let us, let us weep no more.'
O George! without a prayer for thee,
My orisons should never close.

The dismal scene was o'er and past,

The lover's mournful hearse retired; ,· The gracious prince that gave him life The maid drew back her languid head,

Would crown a never-dying flame; . And, sighing forth his name, expired. And every tender babe I bore Should learn to lisp the giver's name. Though justice ever must prevail,

The tear my Kitty sheds is due; . But thongh, dear youth, thou shouldst be For seldom shall she hear a tale dragged

So sad, so tender, and so true.

vice of the Young Chevalier, who were hanged, drawn, and quartered, on Kennington Common in 1746. The incident occurred as described in the ballad. A pardon was expected, and Dawson was to have been married the same day. The young lady followed him to the scaffold. She got near enough,' as stated in a letter written at the time, 'to see the fire kindled which was to consume that heart which she knew was so much devoted to her, and all the other dreadful preparations for his fate. without being guilty of any of those extravagances which her friends had apprehended. But when all was over, and that she found he was no more, she drew her head back into the cach, and crying out: "My dear, I follow thee- I follow thee! Sweet Jesus, receive both our souls together." fell on the neck of her companion, and expired the very inoment she was peaking.'

Written at an Inn at Henley.
To thee, fair Freedom, I retire

Freedom I love, and form I hate,
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din; And choose my lodgings at an inn.
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot or humble inn,

Here, waiter ! take my sordid ore,

Which lackeys else might hope to win ; "T19 here with boundless power I reign, It buys what courts bave not in store, And every health which I begin

It buys me freedom at an inu.
Converts dull port to bright champagne ;
Such freedoin crowns it at an inn. Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round,

Where'er his stages may have been,
I fly from pomp, I fly from plate,

May sigh to think he still has found I fly froin falsehood's specious grin: The warmest welcome at an iun.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

DAVID MALLET. DAVID MALLET, author of some beautiful ballad stanzas, and some florid unimpassioned poems in blank verse, was a successful but un. principled literary adventurer. He praised and courted Pope while living, and, after experiencing his kindness, traduced his memory when dead. He earned a disgraceful pension by contributing to the death of a brave naval officer, Admiral Byng, who fell a victim to the clamour of faction; and by various other acts of his life, he evinced that self-aggrandisement was his only steady and ruling passion. When Johnson, therefore, states that Niallet was the only Scot whom Scotchmen did not commend, he pays a compliment to the virtue and integrity of the natives of Scotland. The original name of the poet was Malloch, When the clan Macgregor was abolished by an act of the privy-council in 1603, and subsequently by acts of parliament, some of the clansmen took this name of Malloch, of which two Gaelic etymologies have been given. One derives it from Mala, a brow or eyebrow, and another from Mallaich, the cursed or accursed. Mallet's father is said to have kept an inn at Crieff, in Perthshire; but & recent editor of the poet,* upon grounds not merely plausible but very probable, believes him to have been the son of parents of a less humble condition of lite--a family of Mallochs setiled upon the farm of Dunruchun, near Muthill, Perthshire, the bead of which family was one of three on the great estates of Perth who rode on saddles, that being a dignity not permitted or too costly for others.

The Dunruchan Mallochs were concerned in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, and sunk to poverty. David is first found in the situation of janitor of the High School of Edinburgı-a menial oflice rarely given to one so young as Mallet, who was then not more than fifteen or sixteen. He held the office for half a year, his full salary being ten pounds Scots, or 16s. 8d. This was in 1718. He then studied for a time under Professor Ker of Aberdeen, to whose kindness he was much indebted, and he was afterwards received, though without salary, as tutor in the family of Mr. Home of Dreghorn, near Edinburgh. He

* Ballads and Songs by David Mallet. Edited by Dr. Dinsdalo, 1857.

« ZurückWeiter »