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Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
Harp of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,
Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending, With distant echo from the fold and lea,
And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.
Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp!
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way, Through secret woes the world has never known, When on the weary night dawned wearier day, And bitterer was the grief devoured alone. That I o'erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire, Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string! 'Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire, 'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. Receding now, the dying numbers ring Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell,
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring A wandering witch-note of the distant spellAnd now, 'tis silent all-Enchantress, fare-thee-well!
THE following poem is founded upon a Spanish tradition, particularly detailed in the notes; but bearing, in general, that Don Roderick, the last Gothic King of Spain, when the invasion of the Moors was impending, had the temerity to descend into an ancient vault, near Toledo. the opening of which had been denounced as fatal to the Spanish monarchy. The legend adds, that his rash curiosity was mortified by an emblematical representation of those Saracens who, in the year 714, nefeated him in battle, and reduced Spain under their dominion 1 have presumed to prolong the vision of the revolutions of Spain down to the present eventful crisis of the Peninsula; and to divide it, by a supposed change of scene, into three periods. The first of these represents the invasion of the Moors, the defeat and death of Roderick, and closes with the peaceful occupation of the country by the victors. The second period embraces the state of the Peninsula, when the conquests of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East and West Indies had raised to the highest pitch the renown of their arms; sullied, however, by superstition and cruelty An allusion to the inhumanities of the Inquisition terminates this picture. The last part of the poem opens with the tate of Spain previous to the unparalleled treachery of Buonaparte; gives a sketch of the usurpation attempted upon that unsuspicious and friendly kingdom, and terminates with the arrival of the British succours. It may be farther proper to mention, that the object of the poem is less to commemorate or detail particular incidents, than to exhibit a general and impressive picture of the several periods brought upon the
I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, especially by one who has already experienced more than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the inferiot of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to mention, that, while I was hasti y executing a work, written for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the task was inst cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of Lord President Blair, and Lord Viscount Melville. In those distinguished charac ters, I had not only to regret persons whose lives were most im portant to Scotland, but also whose notice and patronage honoured my entrance upon active life; and I may add, with melancholy pride, who permitted my more advanced age to claim no common share in their friendship. Under such interruptions, the following verses, which my best and happiest efforts must have left far u worthy of their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence and incoherence, which, in other circumstances, I might have been able to remove,
EDINBURGH, June 24, 1811.
LIVES there a strain, whose sounds of mounting May rise distinguish'd o'er the din of war, [fire, Or died it with yon master of the lyre,
Who sung beleaguer'd Ilion's evil star?
Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, Wafting its descant wide o'er Ocean's range; Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood could mar,
All as it swell'd twixt each loud trumpet-change, That clangs to Britain victory, to Portugal revenge!
Yes! such a strain, with all-o'erpowering measure, Might melodize with each tumultuous sound, Each voice of fear or triumph, woe or pleasure, That rings Mondego's ravaged shores around; The thundering cry of hosts with conquest crown'd, The female shriek, the ruin'd peasant's moan, The shout of captives from their chains unbound, The foil'd oppressor's deep and sullen groan, A nation's choral hymn for tyranny o'erthrown.
But we weak minstrels of a laggard day,
Timid and raptureless, can we repay
The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age?
While sea and land sha" est; for Homer's rage
Ye mountains stern! within whose rugged breast
Returning from the field of vanquish'd foes;
And Cattraeth's glens with voice of triumph
And mystic Merlin harp'd, and grey-hair'd Llywarch sung.
O! if your wilds such minstrelsy retain,
As sure your changeful gales seem oft to say, When sweeping wild and sinking soft again, Like trumpet-jubilee, or harp's wild sway; If ye can echo such triumphant lay,
Then lend the note to him has loved Who pious gather'd each tradition grey,
That floats your solitary wastes along,
For not till now, how oft soe'er the task
Of truant verse hath lighten'd graver care,
Much of the ancient poetry, preserved in Wales, refers to events which happened in the North-west of England and Southwest of Scotland, where the Britons for a long time made a stand against the Saxons.-Llywarch, the celebrated barn and monarch, was Prince of Argoon, in Cumberland; and his youthful exploits were performed upon the Border, although in his age he was driven into Powys by the successes of the Anglo-Saxons. As for Merlin Wyllt, or the Savage, his name of Caledonian, and his retreat into the Caledonian wood, appropriates him to Scotland