Imatges de pàgina

tie intended to continue his poem, and he did in fact write a second canto sometime afterwards, but it is very inferior to the first. Edwin haying attained manhood, takes walks “ of wider circuit" than before.

« One evening, as he fram'd the careless rhyme,
It was his chance to wander far abroad,
And o'er a lonely eminence to climb,
Which heretofore his foot had never trod;
A vale appear'd below, a deep retired abode.

Thither he hied, enamour'd of the scene,
For rocks on rocks pil'd, as by magic spell,
Here scorch'd with lightening, there with ivy green,
Fenc'd from the north and east this savage dell.
Southward a mountain rose with easy swell,
Whose loug long groves eternal murmur made;
And toward the western sun a streamlet fell,
Where, thro' the cliffs, the eye, remote, survey'd,
Blue hills, and glitt'ring waves, and skies in gold array'd.

Along this narrow valley you might see
The wild deer sporting on the meadow ground,
And, here and there, a solitary tree,
Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crown'd.

Oft did the cliffs reverberate the sound
Of parted fragments tumbling from on high ;
And from the summit of that craggy mound
The perching engle oft was heard to cry,
Or on resounding wings to shoot athwart the sky,

One cultivated spot there was, that spread
Its flow'ry bosom to the noon-day beam,
Where many a rose-bud rears its blushing head,
And herbs for food with future plenty teem.
Sooth'd by the lulling sound of grove and stream,
Romantic visions swarm on Edwin's soul :
He minded not the sun's last trembling gleam,
Nor heard from far the twilight curfew toll;
When slowly on his ear these moving accents stole."

It is the voice of an aged hermit, who after having known the illusions of the world, has buried himself in this retreat, for the purpose

of indulging in meditation, and singing the praises of his Creator. This venerable old man instructs the young troubadour, and reveals to him the secret of his own genius. It is evident that this was a most happy idea, but the execution has not answered the first design of the author. The

hermit speaks too long, and makes very trite observations with regard to the grandeur and misery of human life. Some passages are, however, to be found in this second book which recal the charm created by the first. The last strophes of it are consecrated to the memory of a friend, whom the poet had lost. It

appears that Beattie was often destined to feel the weight of sorrows. The death of his only son affected him deeply and withdrew him entirely from the service of the Muses. He still lived on the rocks of Morven, but these rocks no longer inspired his song. Like Ossian, after the death of Oscar, he suspended his harp on the branches of an oak. It is said that his son evinced great poetical talents ; perhaps he was the young minstrel, whom a father had feelingly described, and whose steps he too soon ceased to trace upon the summit of the mountain.

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