Abbildungen der Seite

Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung,
Northumbrian rocks in answer rung;

So far was heard the mighty knell,
The stag sprung up in Cheviot Fell;
Spread his broad nostril to the wind;
Listen'd, before-aside-behind,
Then crouch'd him down beside the hind;
And quaked among the mountain fern,
To hear that sound so dull and stern. 1

By wintry famine roused, from all the tract
Of horrid mountains, which the shining Alps,
And wavy Apennine and Pyrenees,

Branch out stupendous

Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave!

Burning for blood! bony, and gaunt, and grim!
Assembling wolves, in raging troops, descend;
And, pouring o'er the country, bear along,
Keen as the north-wind sweeps the glossy snow.2

On ample pinion

That the Theban eagles bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion,
Thro' the azure depths of air. 3

Meditation here

May think down hours to moments.

1 Marmion, c. ii.

Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, Broad breast, full eyes, small head and nostril wide, High crest, short ears, strait legs and passing strong, Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide;

[blocks in formation]

Look what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider, on so proud a back.1

His nostrils drink the air:

Sometimes he trots, as if he told the steps
With gentle majesty, and modest pride;
Anon he rears upright, curvets, and leaps-

[ocr errors]

Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares,
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind abase he now prepares,

And where he run or fly they know not whither; For through his mane and tail the high wind sings, Fanning the hairs which heave like feather'd strings.2

They stop-they start-they snuff the air,-
Gallop a moment, here and there;
Approach, retire, wheel round and round;
Then plunging back with sudden bound,

They snort-they foam-neigh-swerve aside-
And backward to the forest fly,

[blocks in formation]

"Stand! Bayard, stand!"—the steed obeyed,
With arching neck and bended head,
And glancing eye, and quivering ear,
As if he loved his lord to hear.1

1 Shakspeare (Venus and Adonis, 295.). 3 Mazeppa.

When autumn smiles, all beauteous in decay,
And paints each chequer'd grove with various hues,
My setter ranges in the new-shorn fields,
His nose in air erect; from ridge to ridge
Panting he bounds, his quarter'd ground divides

2 Id.

Lady of the Lake.

In equal intervals, nor careless leaves

One inch untry'd. At length the tainted gales
His nostrils wide inhale; quick joy elates
His beating heart; cautious he creeps,
Low cowering, step by step:- at last attains
His proper distance; there he stops at once,
And points, with his instructive nose,
Upon the trembling prey.'

But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend;
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes, for him alone;
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,

Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth.2

Argus, the dog, his ancient master knew,
He, not unconscious of the voice and tread,
Lifts to the sound his ear, and rears his head;
Now, left to man's ingratitude, he lay,
Unheard, neglected, in the public way.
He knew his lord; he knew, and strove to meet,
In vain he strove, to crawl and kiss his feet;
Yet, (all he could,) his tail, his ears, his eyes,
Salute his master, and confess his joys:-
Soft pity touch'd the grateful3 master's soul,
Adown his cheek a tear, unbidden, stole,

1 Somerville.

[ocr errors]

Stole, unperceiv'd :—he turn'd his head, and dry'd
The drop humane; then thus, impassion'd, cry'd:-
"What noble beast, in this abandon'd state,
Lies here all helpless at Ulysses' gate?-
His bulk and beauty speak no common praise,
If, as it seems, he was in better days;

"Mighty" in the text.

2 Byron.

[ocr errors]

Some care his age

Oh! had you seen him, vig'rous, bold, and young,
Swift as a stag, and as a lion strong;

Him no fell savage on the plain withstood;
None 'scap'd him, bosom'd in the lonely wood;
His eye how piercing, and his scent how true,
To winde the vapour in the tainted dew!-
The dog, whom Fate had granted to behold
His lord, when twenty tedious years had roll'd,
Takes a last look, and, having seen him, dies.
So clos'd, for ever, faithful Argus' eyes.1


[ocr errors]

Never forget the poor African servant-(I disdain to call him slave) — who, when the alternative presented itself whether he, or his master's children, should be taken into the boat (a case of shipwreck) and saved, "Very well, give my duty to my master, and tell him I beg pardon for all my faults;" —then placed the children safely in the boat, and plunged into Eternity.


He who hath bent him o'er the dead,
Ere the first day of death is fled ;-
The first dark day of nothingness-
The last of danger and distress;-
(Before decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,)
And mark'd the mild, angelic air—
The rapture of repose that's there-
The fix'd, yet tender, traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,

[ocr errors]

1 Odyssey, xvii. (Pope's Translation).


And-but for that sad, shrouded eye,

That fires not-wins not-weeps not-now,
And, but for that chill, changeless brow;
-Yes, but for these, and these alone,
Some moments-ay-one treacherous hour,
We still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair so calm-so softly seal'd-
The first-last look-by death reveal'd.1

[ocr errors]

He reach'd his turret door-he paus'd-no sound
Broke from within;-and all was night around.
He knock'd--but faintly-for his trembling hand
Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand;
His steps the chamber gain-his eyes behold
All that his heart believ'd not-yet foretold!
He turn'd not-spoke not-sank not-fix'd his look,
And set the anxious frame that lately shook.

He gazed how long we gaze-despite of pain,
And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain!
In life itself she was so still and fair,

That death, with gentler aspect, wither'd there;
And the cold flowers her colder hand contain'd,

In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd
As if she scarcely felt, but feign'd a sleep,
And made it almost mockery yet to weep:
The long, dark lashes fringed her lids of snow,
And veil'd-thought shrinks from all that lurk❜d below-
Oh! o'er the eye death most exerts his might,
And hurls the spirit from its throne of light!
Sinks those blue orbs in that long, last eclipse,
But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips;
Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile,
And sought repose — but only for a while;
1 The Giaour.

« ZurückWeiter »