« VorigeDoorgaan »
241. WILLIAM FALCONER. 1730-1769. (Manual, p. 359.)
FROM "THE SHIPWRECK.”
ERASMUS DARWIN, 1731–1802. (Manual, p. 360.)
FROM "THE BOTANIC GARDEN."
JAMES MACPHERSON. 1738-1796. (Manual, p. 361.)
243. THE SONGS OF SELMA.
Star of descending night! fair is thy light in the west! thou liftest thy unshorn head from thy cloud; thy steps are stately on thy hill. What dost thou behold in the plain? The stormy winds are laid. The murmur of the torrent comes from afar. Roaring waves climb the distant rock. The flies of evening are on their feeble wings; the hum of their course is on the field. What dost thou behold, fair light? But thou dost smile and depart. The waves come with joy around thee: they bathe thy lovely hair. Farewell, thou silent beam! let the light of Ossian's soul arise!
And it does arise in its strength! I behold my departed friends. Their gathering is on Lora, as in the days of other years. Fingal comes like a watery column of mist; his heroes are around. And see the bards of song, gray-haired Ullin! stately Ryno! Alpin with the tuneful voice! the soft complaint of Minona! How are ye changed, my friends, since the days of Selma's feast, when we contended, like gales of spring, as they fly along the hill, and bend by turns the feebly whistling grass!
Minona came forth in her beauty, with downcast look and tearful eye. Her hair flew slowly on the blast, that rushed unfrequent from the hill. The souls of the heroes were sad when she raised the tuneful voice. Often had they seen the grave of Salgar, the dark dwelling of white-bosomed Colma. Colma left alone on the hill, with all her voice of song! Salgar promised to come; but the night descended around. Hear the voice of Colma, when she sat alone on the hill!
Colma. — It is night; I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms. The wind is heard in the mountain. The torrent pours down the rock. No hut receives me from the rain; forlorn on the hill of winds!
Rise, moon, from behind thy clouds! Stars of the night, arise ! Lead me, some light, to the place, where my love rests from the chase alone! his bow near him, unstrung! his dogs panting around him. But here I must sit alone by the rock of the mossy stream. The stream and the wind roar aloud. I hear not the voice of my love. Why delays my Salgar, why the chief of the hill, his promise! Here is the rock, and here the tree! here is the roaring stream! Thou didst promise with night to be here. Ah, whither is my Salgar gone? With thee I would fly from my father; with thee from my brother of pride. Our race have long been foes; we are no foes, O Salgar!
Cease a little while, O wind! stream, be thou silent a while! let my voice be heard around. Let my wanderer hear me! Salgar, it is Colma who calls. Here is the tree, and the rock. Salgar, my love! I am here. Why delayest thou thy coming? Lo! the calm moon comes forth. The flood is bright in the vale. The rocks are gray on the steep. I see him not on the brow. His dogs come not before him, with tidings of his near approach. Here I must sit alone!
Who lie on the heath beside me? Are they my love and my brother? Speak to me, O my friends! To Colma they give no reply. Speak to me; I am alone! My soul is tormented with fears! Ah, they are dead! Their swords are red from the fight. O my brother, my brother, why hast thou slain my Salgar? why, O Salgar, hast thou slain my brother? Dear were ye both to me! What shall I say in your praise? Thou wert fair on the hill among thousands! he was terrible in fight. Speak to me: hear my voice; hear me, sons of my love. They are silent, silent forever! Cold, cold are their breasts of clay! O, from the rock on the hill; from the top of the windy steep, speak, ye ghosts of the dead! speak, I will not be afraid ! Whither are ye gone to rest? In what cave of the hill shall I find the departed? No feeble voice is on the gale; no answer half-drowned in the storm!
I sit in my grief! I wait for morning in my tears! Rear the tomb, ye friends of the dead! Close it not till Colma come. My life flies away like a dream; why should I stay behind? Here shall I rest with my friends, by the sounding rock. When night comes on the hill; when the loud winds arise; my ghost shall stand in the blast, and mourn the death of my friends. The hunter shall hear from his booth. He shall fear but love my voice! For sweet shall my voice be for my friends; pleasant were her friends to Colma!
Such was thy song, Minona, softly blushing daughter of Torman. Our tears descended for Colma, and our souls were sad! Ullin came with his harp: he gave the song of Alpin. The voice of Alpin was pleasant; the soul of Ryno was a beam of fire! But they rested in the narrow house; their voice had ceased in Selma. Ullin had returned, one day, from the chase, before the heroes fell. He heard their strife on the hill; their song was soft but sad! They mourned the fall of Morar, first of mortal men! His soul was like the soul of Fingal; his sword like the sword of Oscar. But he fell, and his father mourned; his sister's eyes were full of tears.
Minona's eyes were full of tears, the sister of car-borne Mórar. She retired from the song of Ullin, like the moon in the west, when she foresees the shower, and hides her fair head in a cloud. I touched the harp with Ullin; the song of mourning rose !
Ryno. — The wind and the rain are past; calm is the noon of day. The clouds are divided in heaven. Over the green hills flies the inconstant sun. Red through the stony vale comes down the stream of the hill. Sweet are thy murmurs, O stream! but more sweet is the voice I hear. It is the voice of Alpin, the son of song. Why alone on the silent hill? Why complainest thou, as a blast in the wood, as a wave on the lonely shore?
Alpin. — My tears, O Ryno, are for the dead; my voice for those that have passed away. Tall thou art on the hill; fair among the sons of the vale. But thou shalt fall like Morar; the mourner shall sit on the tomb. The hills shall know thee no more; thy bow shall lie in thy hall, unstrung!
Thou wert swift, O Morar! as à roe on the desert; terrible as a meteor of fire. Thy wrath was as the storm. Thy sword in battle, as lightning in the field. Thy voice was a stream after rain; like thunder on distant hills. Many fell by thy arm; they were consumed in the flames of thy wrath. But when thou didst return from war, how peaceful was thy brow! Thy face was like the sun after rain; like the moon in the silence of night; calm as the breast of the lake when the loud wind is laid.
Narrow is thy dwelling now! dark the place of thine abode! With three steps I compass thy grave, O thou who wast so great before. Four stones, with their heads of moss, are the only memorial of thee. A tree with scarce a leaf, long grass which whistles in the wind, mark to the hunter's eye the grave of the mighty Morar. Morar, thou art low indeed. Thou hast no mother to mourn thee; no maid with her tears of love. Dead is she that brought thee forth. Fallen is the daughter of Morglan.
Who on his staff is this? who is this whose head is white with age? whose eyes are red with tears? who quakes at every step? It is thy father, O Morar! the father of no son but thee. He heard of thy fame in war; he heard of foes dispersed. He heard of Morar's renown; why did he not hear of his wound? Weep, thou father of Morar, weep, but thy son heareth thee not. Deep is the sleep of the dead; low their pillow of dust. No more shall he hear thy voice; no more awake at thy call. When shall it be morn in the grave, to bid the slumberer awake? Farewell, thou bravest of men! thou conqueror in the field! but the field shall see thee no more; nor the dark wood be lightened with the splendor of thy steel. Thou hast left no son. The song shall preserve thy name. Future times shall hear of thee; they shall hear of the fallen Morar!
THOMAS CHATTERTON. 1752-1770. (Manual, p. 362.)
O God, whose thunder shakes the sky,
this atom globe surveys;
Thy mercy in thy justice praise.
The mystic mazes of thy will,
The shadows of celestial light,
But what th' Eternal acts is right.
O, teach me in the trying hour,
When anguish swells the dewy tear,
Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.
If in this bosom aught but thee,
Encroaching sought a boundless sway,
And Mercy look the cause away.
Why drooping seek the dark recess?
For God created all to bless.
But, ah! my breast is human still;
The rising sigh, the falling tear,
The sickness of my soul declare.
But yet, with fortitude resigned,
I'll thank th' inflicter of the blow,
Nor let the gush of misery flow.
The gloomy mantle of the night,
Which on my sinking spirit steals,
Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.
GEORGE CRABBE. 1754–1832. (Manual, p. 364.)
FROM "THE BOROUGH.” 245. THE DYING SAILOR.
Yes! there are real mourners. — I have seen