Page images

Ah! see her helpless Charge! enclos'd
Within himself, as seems; compos'd;
To fear of loss, and hope of gain,
The strife of happiness and pain,
Utterly dead! yet, in the guise
Of little Infants, when their eyes
Begin to follow to and fro
The persons that before them go,
He tracks her motions, quick or slow.
Her buoyant Spirit can prevail
Where common cheerfulness would fail :
She strikes upon him with the heat
Of July Suns; he feels it sweet;
An animal delight though dim!
'Tis all that now remains for him !

I look'd, I scann'd her o'er and o'er;
The more I look’d I wonder'd more :
When suddenly I seem'd to espy
A trouble in her strong black eye ;

A remnant of uneasy light,
A flash of something over-bright!
And soon she made this matter plain ;
And told me, in a thoughtful strain,
That she had borne a heavy yoke,
Been stricken by a twofold stroke;
Ill health of body; and had pin'd
Beneath worse ailments of the mind.

So be it! but let praise ascend
To Him who is our Lord and Friend !
Who from disease and suffering
Hath call’d for thee a second Spring ;
Repaid thee for that sore distress
By no untimely joyousness;
Which makes of thine a blissful state;
And cheers thy melancholy Mate!


(At Inversneyde, upon Loch Lomond.)

Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head :
And these gray Rocks; this household Lawn;
These Trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
This fall of water, that doth make
A murmur near the silent Lake;
This little Bay, a quiet Road
That holds in shelter thy Abode;
In truth together ye do seem
Like something fashion'd in a dream;

Such Forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Yet, dream and vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years !
I neither know thee nor thy peers;
And yet my eyes are fill’d with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away :
For never saw I mien, or face,
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here, scatter'd like a random seed,
Remote from men, Thon dost not need
The embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacedness :

Thou wear’st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a Mountaineer.
A face with gladness overspread !
Sweet looks, by human kindness bred !
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts, that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech :
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmov'd in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.

[ocr errors]

What hand but would a garland call
For thee who art so beautiful ?


« PreviousContinue »