Imágenes de páginas
PDF

340 ARETHUSA.

She leapt down the rocks With her rainbow locks Streaming among the streams; — Her steps paved with green The downward ravine, Which slopes to the western gleams:And gliding and springing She went, ever singing In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The Earth seemed to love her, And Heaven smiled above her,
As she lingered towards the deep. Then Alpheus bold, On his glacier cold,
With his trident the mountains strook;And opened a chasm In the rocks; — with the spasm
All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind It concealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below:The beard and the hair Of the river-god were
Seen through the torrent's sweep, As he followed the light Of the fleet nymph's flight
To the brink of the Dorian deep.

"O, save me! O, guide me,
And bid the deep hide me i

For he grasps me now by the hair!"
The loud Ocean heard,
To its blue depth stirred,

And divided at her prayer;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter Fled like a sunny beam;

Behind her descended

Her billows unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream.

Like a gkomy stain

On the emerald main, Alpheus rushed behind,—

As an eagle pursuing

A dove to its ruin
Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

Under the bowers

Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearled thrones,—

Through the coral woods

Of the weltering floods,
Over heaps of unvalued stones, —

Through the dim beams

Which amid the streams Weave a net-work of colored light,

And under the caves

Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest's night: —

Outspeeding the shark,

And the sword-fish dark, Under the ocean-foam,

And up through the rifts

Of the mountain clifts
They passed to their Dorian home.

And now from their fountains

In Enna's mountains, Down one vale where the morning basks 3

Like friends once parted,

Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.

842 THE COTTEITS SATURDAY NIGHT.

At sunrise they leap

From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill;

At noontide they flow

Through the woods below,
And the meadows of Asphodel;

And at night they sleep

In the rocking deep
Beneath the Ortygian shore ;—

Like spirits that lie

In the azure sky,
When they love, but live no more.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. Bums,

INSCRIBED TO ROBERT AIKEN, ESQ,.

My loved, my honored, much respected friend!

No mercenary bard his homage pays; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end:

My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise i To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequestered scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;

What Aiken in a cottage would have been; Ah! tho' his worth unknown, far happier there,, 1

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;

The shortening winter-day is near a close; The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,

The blackening trains o' craws to their repose?

The toil-worn cotter frae his labor goes,—

This night his weekly moil is at an end, — Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary o'er the moor his course does homeward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin', stacher thro'

To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise and glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wine's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does all his weary, karking care beguile,
An1 makes him quite forget his labor an' his toil.

Belyve, the elder bairns come drapping in, At service out, among the farmers roun';
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin A cannie errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown, In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,

Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

With joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for other's welfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed fleet;

Each tells the unco's that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;

Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Their master's an' their mistress's command

The younkers a' are warned to obey; And mind their labors wi' an eydent hand,

An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play; "And, O, be sure to fear the Lord alway!

And mind your duty, duly, morn and night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,

Implore his counsel and assisting might: They never sought in vain, that sought the Lord aright!"

But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. The wily mother sees the conscious flame

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; With heart-struck, anxious care inquires his name,

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worthless rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;

A strappan youth; he takes the mother's eye; Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill-ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows with joy,

But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy

What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.

0 happy love, where love like this is found!

O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!

1 've paced much this weary, mortal round,

And sage experience bids me this declare: —

« AnteriorContinuar »