Imatges de pÓgina
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The story which must be supposed to have been narrated in the first and second parts is as follows. Edward, a young former, meets at the house of Ellen, her bosomfriend. Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which ends in a natual attachment. With her consent, and by the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and intentions to Mary'. Mother, a widow-woman bordering on her fortieth year, and from constant health, the possession of a competent property. and from having had no other children but Mary and another dan:hter (the Father died in their infancy), retaining, for the greater part, her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance; but a woman of low education and violent temper. The answer -bich she at once returned to Edward's application was remarkable-- well, Edward: you nre a handsome young fellow, and you •ball have my Daughter.- From this time all their wooing passed under the Mother's eye; and, in fine, she became herself enamoured of her future son-in-law, and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumny, to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. (The outlines of the Tale are positive ficts, and of no very distant date, though the author has purposely altered the names and the scene of action, well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the incidents.) Edward. bo-ever, though perple-ed by her strange detractions from her dau:lster's good qualities. yet in the innocence of his own heart in; fondness for motherly affection; she, oth overcome by her miserable passion, after much abuse of *ary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with violent emotion--0 Ealward: indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you--she has not • **art to love you as you deserve. It is 1 that love you : Marry *. Edward and I will this very day settle all my property on you.--The Lover's eyes were now opened ; and thus taken by surPrio, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt, acting as " **re hysterically on his nervous system, or that at the first mo*** ***, the sense of guilt of the proposal in the feeling of its *trangeness aud absurdity, be flung her from him and burst into a fit of lau, hier. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell *** ****, and in a loud voice that approached to a scream. she Pro-1 for a Curse both on him and on her own Child. Mary harpened to be in the room directly above them, heard Edward's *** *d her Mother's blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. He, *****o the fall, ran up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried bet off to Ellen's ho and after some fruitless attempts on her

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Part toward a reconciliation with her Mother, she was married to

| *-*ad here be third part of the Tale begins.

'*** not led to chuse this story from any partiality to tragic, * * *o monstrous events (though at the time that i composed ** ****, somewhat more than twelve years ago, I was less a verse * -uch aubjects than at present), but from finding in it a striking ** of the possible effect on the imagination, from an Idea vio|-atly and *denly impressed on it. I had been reading Bryan **ards” account of the enect of the oby Witchcraft on the Ne*** **, west-Indies, and Ilearne's deeply interesting Ance******* **rkings on the imagination of the copper indians (** of my reader, who have it in their power will be well reP*.* the trouble of referring to those works for the passages *"aded to), and 1 conceived the design of showing that instances of this kind are not peculiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of *g the woole in which the mind is affected in these cases, *d the progress and •ymptoms of the morbid action on the fancy from the beginning.

The Tale is supposed to be narrated by an old Sexton, in a **ry church-yard, to a Traveller whose curiosity had leen awa**ned by the appearance of three graves, close by ench other, to *** *** of which there were grave-stones. On the first of these *** * name, and dates, as usual: on the second, no name, but *ly a date, and the words, The Mercy of God is infinite.]

- - - - - pA it T i I i.

The grapes upon the vicar's wall were ripe as ripe could be;

And yellow leaves in sun and wind Were falling from the tree.

On the hedge-elms in the narrow lane Still swung the spikes of corn:

Dear Lord! it seems but yesterday— Young Edward's marriage-morn.

Up through that wood behind the church,
There leads from Edward's door

A mossy track, all over-bough'd
For half a mile or more.

And from their house-door by that track
The Bride and Bridegroom went;

Sweet Mary, though she was not gay,
Seem'd cheerful and content.

But when they to the church-yard came,
I've heard poor Mary say,

As soon as she stepp'd into the sun,
Her heart it died away.

And when the vicar join'd their hands,
Her limbs did creep and freeze;

But when they pray'd, she thought she saw
Her mother on her knees. -

And o'er the church-path they return’d—
I saw poor Mary's back,

Just as she stepp'd beneath the boughs
Into the mossy track.

Her feet upon the mossy track
The married maiden set:

That moment—I have heard her say—
She wish'd she could forget.

The shade o'er-flush'd her limbs with heat—
Then came a chill like death :

And when the merry bells rang out,
They seem'd to stop her breath.

Beneath the foulest Mother's curse
No child could ever thrive:

A Mother is a Mother still,
The holiest thing alive.

So five months pass'd : the Mother still
Would never heal the strife;

But Edward was a loving man,
And Mary a fond wife.

“My sister may not visit us,
My mother says her nay:

O Edward! you are all to me,

I wish for your sake I could be More lifesome and more gay.

• I'm dull and sad! indeed, indeed I know I have no reason 1

Perhaps I am not well in health,
And t is a gloomy season.”

T was a drizzly time—no ice, no snow!, And on the few fine days

She stirr'd not out, lest she might meet Her Mother in the ways.

But Ellen, spite of miry ways
And weather dark and dreary,

Trudged every day to Edward's house,
And made them all more cheery.

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'T is sweet to hear a brook, "t is sweet
To hear the Sabbath-bell,
'T is sweet to hear them both at once,
Deep in a woody dell.

His limbs along the moss, his head Upon a mossy heap,

With shut-up senses, Edward lay:

That brookeen on a working day Might chatter one to sleep.

And he had pass'd a restless night, And was not well in health;

The women sat down by his side, And talk'd as 't were by stealth.

• The sun peeps through the close thick leaves, See, dearest Ellen! see!

'T is in the leaves, a little sun,
No bigger than your e'e;

• A tiny sun, and it has got A perfect glory too;

Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,

Make up a glory, gay and bright,
Round that small orb, so blue."

And then they argued of those rays,
What colour they might be:

Says this, “ they're mostly green;” says that, • They're amber-like to me."

So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts Were troubling Edward's rest;

But soon they heard his hard quick pants, And the thumping in his breast.

a A Mother too ! - these self-same words Did Edward mutter plain;

His face was drawn back on itself,
With horror and huge pain.

Both groan'd at once, for both knew well What thoughts were in his mind;

When he waked up, and stared like one That hath been just struck blind.

DEJ ECTION ;

AN olde.

Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,
With the old Moon in her arms;
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
We shall have a deadly storm.
Ballad of Sir Patrick Srems.

WELL! If the Bard was weather-wise, who made
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
Than those which mould yon cloud in lary flakes,
Or the dull sobbing draught, that moans and rakes
Upon the strings of this Folian lute,
Which better far were mute.
For lo! the New-moon winter-bright!
And overspread with phantom light,
(With swimming phantom light o'erspread
But rimined and circled by a silver thread)
I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
The coming on of rain and squally blast.
And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,
And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast!
Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed,
And sent my soul abroad,
Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,
Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live!

- II. A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, A stilled, drowsy, unimpassion'd grief, Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, In word, or sigh, or tearO Lady! in this wan and heartless mood, To other thoughts by yonder throstle wood, All this long eve, so balmy and serene, Have I been gazing on the western sky, And its peculiar tint of yellow green: And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye! And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, That give away their motion to the stars; | Those stars, that glide behind them or between, | Now sparkling, now bedimm’d, but always seen: ! Yon crescent Moon, as fix’d as if it grew

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Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow!

and To-morrow ; and To-morrow!—

I see them all so excellently fair, I see, not feel how beautiful they are: - iii. My genial spirits fail, And what can these avail To lift the smothering weight from off my breast? It were a vain endeavour, Though I should baze for ever On that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.

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V. 0 pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me What this strong music in the soul may be! what, and wherein it doth exist, This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, This beautiful and beauty-making power. Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given, Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, Life, and Life's Effluence, Cloud at once and Shower, Jov, Lady! is the spirit and the power, Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower A new Earth and new Heaven, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud— Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud— We in ourselves rejoice! And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, All melodies the echoes of that voice, All colours a soffusion from that light.

Wi. There was a time when, though my path was rough, This joy within me dallied with distress, And all misfortunes were but as the stuff whence Fancy inade me dreams of happiness: For hope grew round me, like the twining vine, And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed inine. But now afflictions how me down to earth : Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth, But oh each visitation Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, My shaping spirit of Imagination. For not to think of what I needs must feel, But to be still and patient, all I can : And haply by abstruse research to steal Fronomy own nature all the natural ManThis was my sole resource, my only plan: Till that which suits a part infects the whole, And now is almost grown the habit of Iny Soul. .

Wii. Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, Reality's dark dream! 1 turn from you, and listen to the wind, which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream of agony by torture lengthend out That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that ravest without, Rare crat, or mountain-tzirn,' or blasted tree, or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, or lonely house, long held the witches' home, Methinks were fitter instruments for thee,

• Tairn is a small lake, generally, if not always, applied to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not appear extravatant to those who lave heard it at night, and in a mountainous country.

Mad Lutanist! who in this month of showers, Of dark brown gardens, and of peeping flowers, Makest Devils yule, with worse than wintry song, The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among. Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds! Thou mighty Poet, een to Frenzy hold What tell'st thou now about? 'T is of the Rushing of an Host in rout, With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds— At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold : But hush! there is a pause of deepest silences And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd, With groans, and tremulous shudderings—all is over— It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud! A tale of less affright, And temper'd with delight, As Otway's self had framed the tender lay, "T is of a little child Upon a lonesome wild, Not far from home, but she hath lost her way: And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.

Wiii. 'T is midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep: Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep ! Visit her, tentle Sleep! with wings of healing, And may this storm be but a mountain-birth, May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling, Silent as though they watch'd the sleeping Earth! With light heart may she rise, Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice: To her may all things live, from Pole to Pole, Their life the eddying of her living soul! O simple spirit, guided from above, Dear Lady friend devoutest of my choice, Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.

ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE, on the twenty-Four inth STANZA i N lien a passacre ow ER Mo UNT Goth Aird. "

And hail the Chapel' hail the Platform wild : where Tell directed the avenging Dart,

With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child, Then aim d the arrow at the Tyrant's heart.

Splendour's fondly foster'd child!

And did you hail the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell ?

0 Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure! hence learnt you that heroic measure?

Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
From all that teaches Brotherhood to Man ;
Far, far removed' from want, from hope, from fear !
Enchanting music lull'd your infant ear,
Obeisance, praises soothed your infant heart:

Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
With many a bright obtrusive form of art,

Detain'd your eye from nature: stately vests,

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