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For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team afield! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave,
Await, alike, the inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead-but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise:
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre;
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest;
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide:
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame;
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,
With incense kindled at the muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
(Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray,)
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spell'd by th' unlettered muse, The place of fame and elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say—
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn,
Brushing, with hasty steps, the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now drooping, woeful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
"One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree; Another came, nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.
The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the churchyard path we saw him borne
Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to mis'ry all he had—a tear;
He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode; (There they, alike, in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.
XVIII. LOCHIEL'S WARNING.
Wizard.-Lochiel! Lochiel! beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in flight:
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain !—
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
'Tis thine, oh, Glenullen! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
Oh, weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead:
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave-
Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.
Lochiel.-Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer! Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old, wavering sight,
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.
Wizard. Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn? Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn ;
Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high,
Ah! home let him speed,-for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast›
Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyry, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
Oh, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely, return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood.
Lochiel. False Wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan,
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam, like a wave on the rock!
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array-
Wizard.-Lochiel, Lochiel! beware of the day! For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal, But man cannot cover what God would reveal;