Page images


[In the spring of 1805, a young gentleman of talents, and of a most amiable disposition, perished by losing his way on the mountain Hellvellyn. His remains were not discovered till three months afterwards, when they were found guarded by a faithful terrierbitch, his constant attendant during frequent solitary rambles through the wilds of Cumberland and Westinoreland.]

I CLIMB'D the dark brow of the mighty Hellvellyn, Lakes and mountains beneath me gleam'd misty and wide;

All was still, save, by fits when the eagle was yelling,

And starting around me the echoes replied. On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was bending,

And Catchedicam its left verge was defending,
One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending,
When I mark'd the sad spot where the wand'rer
had died.

Dark green was that spot mid the brown mountainheather,

Where the Pilgrim of Nature lay stretch'd in decay, Like the corpse of an outcast abandon'd to weather, Till the mountain-winds wasted the tenantless clay. Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, For, faithful in death, his mute fav'rite attended, The much-lov'd remains of her master defended, And chas'd the hill-fox and the raven away.

How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber;

When the wind wav'd his garment, how oft didst thou start;

How many long days and long weeks didst thou number,

Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart? And, Oh! was it meet, that,-no requiem read o'er him,

No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him, And thou, little guardian, alone stretch'd before him,Unhonour'd the Pilgrim from life should depart?

When a Prince to the fate of the Peasant has yielded, The tap'stry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall; With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded, And pages stand mute by the canopied pall: Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming;

In the proudly-arch'd chapel the banners are beaming; Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming, Lamenting a Chief of the People should fall.

But mester for thee, gentle lover of nature,

To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb; When, wilder'd, he drops from some cliff huge in stature,

And draws his last sob by the side of his dam. And more stately thy couch by this desart lake lying, Thy obsequies sung by the grey plover flying, With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying, In the arms of Hellvellyn and Catchedicam.



« PreviousContinue »