Page images

Whom time and honest scars another made;-
And friendly, hope long plac'd among the deads;
At first his fire looks with indifference on,
But soon he knows, and hangs upon his son.

So all the chiefs the royal youth embrace ;;
While joys, tumultuous, rend the lofty place.

While thus the king, and noble chiefs rejoice, Harmonious bards exalt: the tuneful voice: A select band by INDULPH's bounty fed, To keep in song the mem'ry of the dead ! They handed down the ancient rounds of time, In oral story and recorded rhyme.

The vocal quire in tuneful concert sings Exploits of heroes, and of antient kings:How first in FERGUS CALEDONIA rose; What hosts the conquer'd, and repell?d what foes. Thro' time in reg'lar series they decline, And touch cach name of the FERGUSIAN line; Great CARACTACUS, FERGUS' awful sword; That bravely lost his country, this restor'd: HIBERNIA's fpoils, GREGORIUS' martial fire; The stern avenger of his murder'd fire: Beneath his sword, as yet, whole armies groan, And a whole nation paid the blood of One.

At length defcend the rough impetuous strains: To valiant DuffUs, and the Naughter'd. DANES:: The battle lives in verse ; in song they wound ;: And falling squadrons thunder on the ground:

Thus, in the strain, the bards impetuous roll, And quaff the gen'rous fpirit of the bowl; At length from the elab’rate song respire ; The chiefs remove, and all to reft retiré..

End of Canto fifth


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Ow, in the blushing cast, the morn arose';

Its lofty head, in grey, the palace shows.
Within, the king and valiant chiefs prepare
To urge the chace, and wage the mountain-war.
The busy menials thro' the palace go ;
Some whet the shaft, and others try the bow;
This view'd the toils; that taught the horn to sound;
Another animates the sprightly hound..

For the feet chace the fair CULENA arms,
And from the gloom of forrow 'wakes her charms:
The Hero's royal birth had reach'd her ear,
And sprightly hope assum?d the throne of care :
Around her sender waist the cincture flides;
Her mantle Aows behind in crimson tides.
Bright rings of gold. her braided ringlets bind ;.
The rattling quiver, laden,, hangs behind.
She seiz’d, with snowy, hand, the polish'd bow,
And mov'd before, majestically now.
The chiefs behind advance their fable forms;
And with dark contrast heighten all her,charms.

Thus, on expanded plains of heavenly blue,
Thick-gather'd clouds the queen of night pursue;



And as they croud behind their sable lines,
The virgin-light with double luftre fhines.

The maid her glowing charms thus onward bears,
His manly height, aside, young Duffus rears.
Her beauty he, his manhood the admires;
Both mov'd along, and fed their filent fires.

The HUNTERS to the lofty, mountains came: Their eager breasts anticipate the game : The forest they divide, and found the horn; The gen'rous hounds within their bondage burn : Struggle for freedom, long to ftretch away, And in the wind already scent the prey.

At the approaching noife the starting deer Croud on the heath, and stretch away in fear; Wave, as they spring, their branchy heads on high, Skim o'er the wild, and leave the aching eye.. The eager hounds, unchain'd, devour the heath; They shoot along, and pant a living death: Gaining upon their journey, as they dart, Each from the herd selects a flying hart. Some 'urg'd the bounding stag a different way, And hung with open




prey : Now they traverse the heath, and now affaile rising hill, now skim along the vale :


Now they appear, now leave the aching eyes,
The master follows with exulting cries:;
Fits, as he flies, the arrow to the string.;
The rest within the rattling quiver ring :
He, as they shoot the lofty mountains o'er,
Pursues in thought, and sends his soul before.
Thus they with supple joints the chace pursue,
Rise on the hills, and vanish on the brow.

On the blue heav'ns arose a night of clouds;
The radiant lord of day his glory shrouds:
The rushing whirlwind speaks with growling breath,

Roars thro' the hill, and fcours along the heath: ( Deep rolling thunder, rumbling from afar,

Proclaims with murm'ring voice th' aerial war :
Fleet lightnings flash in awful freams of light,
Dart thro’the gloom, and vanish from the sight :
The bluft'ring winds thro' heav'ns black concave

Rain batters earth, and (mokes along the ground.
Down the steep hill the rushing torrents run,
And cleave with headlong rage their journey on;
The lofty mountains echo to the fall ;
A muddy deluge stagnates on the vale.


« PreviousContinue »