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Curious around the airy height we gaze,
There the great well it's ample round difplays,
A vaft circumference, and depth profound,
Now fill'd with ruins of the falling mound.
There ftood the paláce, rais'd in air fublime,
On rows of vaults that seem'd to mock at Time;
Yet he afferts his power, and claims his prey;
They break, they fall! what can refift his fway!
Here, thro' innumerable vaults we run,
Cold, dreary, damp, impervious to the fun,
Brown with the ruft of years; and from their tops
Inceffantly the oozing moisture drops.
We leave the gloom, the wheeling steps afcend,
Our walk along the rooflefs palace bend;
Here, thro' the long apartments as we pass,
The foft wind whistles thro' the waving grafs,
That cloaths the pavement, crowns the naked walls,
Of broken turrets and deferted halls.
Here, once the feat of many a mighty name,
The jack-daws chatter, and the fea-fowl fcream!
Here dwelt great Ogilvie, and held the tower,
The laft that yielded to th' ufurper's power;
By honeft craft from hence the crown convey'd,
And Caledonia's gems in fafety laid :
Nor hopes of favour, nor the threats of power,
Could shake his foul, or his fix'd heart allure.
Firm as the rocks, he and his daring wife
Endur'd the torture, fcorning fhameful life;
And kept the charge, till Heav'n their king restor❜d;
Then fent, uninjur'd, to their rightful lord.
Glorious defenders of the regal gold,
Illuftrious Caledonians, patriots bold!
With joy your heroifm I rehearse,
And give your mem'ry all I can-a verse.
O may this land your guardian care engage,
Your great example fire with gen'rous rage,
And rouze to glorious deeds each future age!
Thou, Barras, hear! and deign t' approve the lays,
That aim thy valiant ancestors to praise !
Now turning from the walls, high o'er the steep
Impending cliff, we view the boundless deep;
All round the winding coaft, black rocks arise,
And with uncouth variety furprize :
The waves roll flow and filent to the shore,
Then lafh the craggy beach, and fullen roar;
'From rock to rock the breaking furge rebounds,
While endless echoes catch and fwell the founds.
The green fea here with ceaseless fury raves,
And toffes high in air her raging waves ;
Bursting they fall with loud repeated shock,
And in white torrents pour along the rock;
Whilft oft from fhore in peace the ocean lies,
Ting'd with the colour of the glowing skies,
The gentle breezes fport upon the deep,
And, murm'ring foft, the vaft expansion sweep;
Refulgent Phœbus, in meridian height,
Enrobes the lucid waves with mellow light;
The sparkling beams on the fmall furface play,
And ftreams of foam float on the wat'ry way.
Here let defcription cease; but ftill prolong
Thy task, O Muse! and moralize the song.
Think, all who gaze on fam'd Dunnotter's wall,
Like it shall all terreftrial glories fall!
Youth flies apace, frail beauty meets decay;
The mighty's ftrength, like ice, shall melt away.
Riches take wings; and Fame's far-founding boast,
Shall die away-the pride of pow'r be loft.
Health, pleasure, life, fhall pafs, a fading flow'r,
Sport of a day, and pageant of an hour!
Fix not on these thy heart; but rife fublime,
And seek a bliss, unmov'd by fate or time:
Virtue alone can give eternal joy,
No chance can alter, no poffeffion cloy!
Virtue, like this great rock, stands firmly brave,
And fcorns the ebb or flow of Fortune's wave;
Unmov'd the storms of life can calmly bear,
Collected in itself, and void of fear!
E'en when these rocks and feas fhall pass away,
And that bright orb no longer rule the day,
Virtue shall stand the teft, like gold refin'd,
And beam immortal radiance on the mind;
Thro' endless ages gain increafing store
Of light and life, of joy, and active pow'r,
And bloom when time and nature are no more!
ON THE DEATH OF LADY COVENTRY.
HE midnight clock has toll'd; and hark, the bell
Of death beats flow! heard ye the note profound?
It paufes now; and now, with rifing knell,
Flings to the hollow gale it's fullen found.
Yes; Coventry is dead. Attend the ftrain,
Daughters of Albion! ye that, light as air,
So oft have tripp'd in her fantastick train,
With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair ;
For fhe was fair beyond your brightest bloom;
(This Envy owns, fince now her bloom is fled ;)
Fair as the forms that, wove in Fancy's loom,
Float in light vifion round the poet's head.
Whene'er with foft ferenity she smil'd,
Or caught the orient blush of quick furprize,
How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild,
The liquid luftre darted from her eyes!
Each look, each motion, wak'd a new-born grace,
That o'er her form it's tranfient glory caft:
Some lovelier wonder foon ufurp'd the place,
Chas'd by a charm ftill lovelier than the laft.
That bell again! It tells us what fhe is;
On what she was, no more the ftrain prolong :
Luxuriant Fancy paufe! an hour like this,
Demands the tribute of a ferious fong.
Maria claims it from that fable bier,
Where cold and wan the flumb'rer refts her head
In ftill fmall whifpers to Reflection's ear,
She breathes the folemn dictates of the dead.
O catch the awful notes, and lift them loud!
Proclaim the theme, by fage, by fool rever'd;
Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud!
'Tis Nature fpeaks, and Nature will be heard.
Yes; ye fhall hear, and tremble as you hear,
While, high with health, your hearts exulting leapi
E'en in the midst of Pleasure's mad career,
The mental monitor fhall wake and weep!
For fay, than Coventry's propitious ftar,
What brighter planet on your births arose ;
Or gave of Fortune's gifts an ampler fhare,
In life to lavish, or by death to lofe!
Early to lofe; while borne on bufy wing,
Ye fip the nectar of each varying bloom:
Nor fear, while basking in the beams of spring,
The wint'ry ftorm that sweeps you to the tomb.
Think of her fate! revere the heav'nly hand
That led her hence, tho' foon, by steps fo flow
Long at her couch Death took his patient ftand,
And menac'd oft, and oft witheld the blow;
To give Reflection time, with lenient art,
Each fond delufion from her foul to ftcal;
Teach her from Folly peaceably to part,
And wean her from a world fhe lov'd fo well.
Say, are ye fure his mercy fhall extend
To you fo long a span? Alas, ye figh!
Make then, while yet ye may, your God
And learn with equal ease to fleep or die!
Nor think the Mufe, whofe fober voice ye hear,
Contracts with bigot-frown her fullen brow;
Cafts round Religion's orb the mists of fear,
Or fhades with horrors, what with fmiles fhould glow.
No; fhe would warm you with seraphick fire,
Heirs as ye are of heav'n's eternal day;
Would bid you boldly to that heav'n afpire,
Not fink and flumber in your cells of clay.
Know, ye were form'd to range yon azure field,
In yon etherial founts of blifs to lave;
Force then, fecure in Faith's protecting shield,
The fting from Death, the vict'ry from the Grave!
Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye Vain,
Your hopes, your fears in doubt, in dulness steep: Go foothe your fouls in fickness, grief, or pain, With the fad folace of eternal fleep!
Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are,
More than thofe preachers of your fav'rite creed,
Who proudly fwell the brazen throat of war,
Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed ;
Nor wifh for more: who conquer, but to die.
Hear, Folly, hear! and triumph in the tale!
Like you they reafon, not like you enjoy
The breeze of blifs that fills your filken fail:
On Pleasure's glitt'ring ftream ye gaily steer
Your little course to cold Oblivion's fhore;
They dare the ftorm, and thro' th' inclement year,
Stem the rough furge, and brave the torrent's roar.
Is it for glory? That juft Fate denies :
Long muft the warrior moulder in his fhroud,
Ere from her trump the heav'n-breath'd accents rise,
That lift the hero from the fighting crowd!