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(Written in the neighbourhood of Abbotsford, during the last illness of
Sir Walter Scott.]
SPIRITS! Intelligences! Passions! Dreams!
Ghosts! Genii! Sprites!
Muses, that haunt the Heliconian streams,
Whose intellectual fires, in Scott combined,
Supplied the sun of his omniscient mind!
Ye who have o'er-informed and overwrought
· His teeming soul,
From pole to pole;
Enlightening others till itself grew dark,
A midnight heaven, without one starry spark ;
Spirits of Earth and Air—of Light and Gloom!
Restore the victim ye have made—relume
His darkling eyes.
Wizards! be all your magic skill unfurl’d,
To charm to health the Charmer of the World!
The scabbard, by its sword outworn, repair;
Give to his lips
Their lore, than Chrysostom’s more rich and rare:
Dispel the eclipse
That intercepts his intellectual light,
And saddens all mankind with tears and night,
Not only for the Bard of highest worth,
But best of men,
Do I invoke ye, Powers of Heaven and Earth!
Oh! where and when
Shall we again behold his counterpart
Such kindred excellence of head and heart?
If he must die, how great to perish thus
In Glory's blaze;
A world, in requiem unanimous,
Weeping his praise!
While Angels wait to catch his parting breath
Who would not give his life for such a death?
THE MOTHER'S MISTAKE.
HEARD you that piercing shriek—the throe Of fear and agonising woe?
It is a mother, who with wild
Despairing looks and gasping breath,
Thinks she beholds her only child
Extended on the floor in death!
That darling Babe whose natal cry
Had thrill'd her heart with ecstasy,
As with baptizing tears of bliss
Her nestling treasure she bedew'd,
Then clasp'd him with a silent kiss, ,
And heavenward look’d her gratitude:
That darling babe who, while he press'd
Would steal an upward glance, and bless
With smiles his mother's tenderness;
Confining laughter to his eyes,
Lest he should lose the teeming prize :
That darling Babe who, sleeping, proved,
More than when waking, how she loved.
Then was her ever watchful ear
Prepared to catch the smallest noise,
Which sometimes hope and sometimes fear
Would liken to her infant's voice.
With beating heart and timid flush,
On tiptoe to his cot she crept,
Lifting the curtain with a hush,
To gaze upon him as he slept.
Then would she place his outstretchd arm
Beside his body, close and warm ;
Adjust his scatter'd clothes aright,
And shade his features from the light,
And look a thousand fond caressings
And move her lips in speechless blessings,