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Curious around the airy height we gaze,
There the great well it's ample round displays,
A vaft circumference, and depth profound,
Now fill'd with ruins of the falling mound.
There stood the palace, rais'd in air fublime,
On rows of vaults that seem'd to mock at Time;
Yet he asserts his power, and claims his prey ;
They break, they fall! what can refift his sway!
Here, thro' innumerable vaults we run,
Cold, dreary, damp, impervious to the fun,
Brown with the rust of years; and from their tops
Incessantly the oozing moisture drops.
We leave the gloom, the wheeling steps ascend,
Our walk along the rooflefs palace bend;
Here, thro' the long apartments as we pass,
The soft wind whistles thro' the waving grass,
That cloaths the pavement, crowns the naked walls,
Of broken turrets and deserted halls.
Here, once the seat of many a mighty name,
The jack-daws chatter, and the fea-fowl scream!
Here dwelt great Ogilvie, and held the tower,
The last that yielded to th' usurper's power ;
By honest craft from hence the crown convey'd,
And Caledonia's gems in safety laid :
Nor hopes of favour, nor the threats of power,
Could shake his soul, or his fix'd heart allure.
Firm as the rocks, he and his daring wife
Endur'd the torture, scorning thameful life ;
And kept the charge, till Heav'n their king restor'd;
Then sent, uninjur'd, to their rightful lord.
Glorious defenders of the regal gold,
Illustrious Caledonians, patriots bold !
With joy your heroism 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 coast, black rocks arise,
And with uncouth variety surprize :
The waves roll flow and silent to the shore,
Then lash the craggy beach, and fullen roar;
*From rock to rock the breaking surge rebounds,
While endless echoes catch and swell the sounds.
fea here with ceaseless fury raves,
And tosses high in air her raging waves ;
Bursting they fall with loud repeated shock,
And in white torrents pour along the rock ;
Whilft oft from shore in peace the ocean lies,
Ting'd with the colour of the glowing skies,
The gentle breezes sport upon the deep,
And, murm’ring soft, the vast expansion sweep;
Refulgent Phæbus, in meridian height,
Enrobes the lacid waves with mellow light;
The sparkling beams on the small surface play,
And streams of foam float on the wat’ry way.
Here let description cease; but still prolong
Thy talk, O Muse! and moralize the fong.
Think, all who gaze on fam'd Dunnotter's wall,
Like it shall all terrestrial glories fall!
Youth flies apace, frail beauty meets decay ;
The mighty's strength, 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, shall pafs, a fading flow's,
Sport of a day, and pageant of an hour !
Fix not on these thy heart ; but rise sublime,
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 scorns 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 seas thall pass away,
And that bright orb no longer rule the day,
Virtue shall stand the test, like gold refin’d,
And beam immortal radiance on the mind;
Thro' endless ages gain increasing store
Of light and life, of joy, and active pow'r,
And bloom when time and nature are no more!
HE midnight clock has tollid; and hark, the bell
Of death beats flow! heard ye the note profound? It pauses now; and now, with rifing knell,
Flings to the hollow gale it's sullen found. Yes; Coventry is dead. Attend the strain,
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 she was fair beyond your brightest bloom ;
(This Envy owns, fince now her bloom is fed ;) Fair as the forms that, wove in Fancy's loom,
Float in light vision round the poet's head.
Whene'er with soft ferenity she smild,
Or caught the orient blush of quick surprize,
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 transient glory caft: Some lovelier wonder foon usurp'd the place,
Chas’d by a charm still lovelier than the last. That bell again! It tells us what she is ;
On what she was, no more the strain prolong :
Luxuriant Fancy pause! an hour like this,
Demands the tribute of a serious fong.
Maria claims it from that fable bier,
Where cold and wan the slumb'rer refts her head
i In still finall whispers to Reflection's ear,
She breathes the solemn 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 speaks, and Nature will be heard. Yes; ye shall hear, and tremble as you hear,
While, high with health, your hearts exulting leap i 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 share,
In life to lavish, or by death to lose !
Early to lose ; while borne on busy wing,
Ye fip the nectar of each varying bloom :
Nor fear, while balking in the beams of spring,
The wint'ry storm that sweeps you to the tomb.
Think of her fate! revere the heav'nly hand
That led her hence, tho' foon, by steps fo llow Long at her couch Death took his patient stand,
And menac'd oft, and oft witheld the blow; To give Reflection time, with lenient art,
Each fond delusion from her foul to steal ; Teach her from Folly peaceably to part,
And wéan her from a world she lov'd fo well.
Say, are ye sure his mercy shall extend
To you so long a span? Alas, ye figh! Make then, while yet ye may, your God your friend,
And learn with equal ease to sleep or die ! Nor think the Muse, whose fober voice ye
Contracts with bigot-frown her fullen brow; Casts round Religion's orb the mists of fear,
Or fades with horrors, what with smiles should glow, No; she would warm you with seraphick fire,
Heirs as ye are of heav'n's eternal day;
Would bid you boldly to that heav'n aspire,
Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay.
Know, ye were form’d to range yon azure field,
etherial founts of bliss to lave;
Force then, secure 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 soothe your souls in sickness, grief, or pain,
With the sad solace of eternal sleep! Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are,
More than those preachers of your fav’rite creed, Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war,
Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed; Nor wish for more: who conquer, but to die.
Hear, Folly, hear! and triumph in the tale! Like you they reason, not like you enjoy
The breeze of bliss that fills your filken fail :
On Pleasure's glitt'ring stream ye gaily steer
Your little course to cold Oblivion's shore ;
They dare the storm, and thro' th’inclement year,
Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's roar.
Is it for glory? That just Fate denies :
Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud,
Ere from her trump the heav'n-breath'd accents rise,
That lift the hero from the fighting crowd !