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Go, let oblivion's curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall
Life's tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretch'd in disease's shapes abhorr’d,
Or moan in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.
E'en I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire; Test of all sumless agonies,
Behold not me expire. My lips that speak thy dirge of death Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast. The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall, The majesty of darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost !
This spirit shall return to Him
That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark!
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,
By him recall’d to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robb’d the grave of Victory,
And took the sting from Death
Go sun, while mercy holds me up
On Nature's awful waste
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,
On Earth's sepulchral clod,
The dark’ning universe defy
To quench his Immortality,
Or shake his trust in God!
WHETHER the story of Melachlin's daughter be true or not, it is related in the History of Ireland almost literally as the poet describes it here ; and it is not a little remarkable that stories founded in history, even when they are originally mere fictions of the itinerant bard, or historical Senachee, are still more interesting to all readers, than those which the poet himself immediately invents. The fact is, that we are always more willing to sympathize with real than with imaginary characters, and all historical characters, descriptions, and events, appear real to us, whether they be so or not.-ED.
TURGESIUS, the chief of a turbulent band,
Came over from Norway and conquer'd the land;
Rebellion hath smooth’d the invader's career,
The natives shrank from him, in hate, or in fear;
While Erin's proud spirit seemed slumbering in peace,
In secret it panted for death-or release.
The tumult of battle was hush'd for a while,
Turgesius was monarch of Erin's fair isle ;
The sword of the conqueror slept in its sheath,
His triumphs were honour'd with trophy and wreath;
The princes of Erin despair'd of relief,
And knelt to the lawless Norwegian Chief.
His heart knew the charm of a woman's sweet smile,
But ne'er, till he came to this beautiful Isle,
Did he know with what mild, yet resistless controul,
That sweet smile can conquer a conqueror's soul-
And oh!'mid the sweet smiles most sure to enthrall,
He soon met one-whom he thought sweetest of all.
The brave prince of Meath had a daughter as fair
As the pearls from Loch Neagh, which encircled her hair;
The Tyrant beheld her, and cried, “She shall come
To reign as the Queen of my gay mountain home;
Ere sunset to-morrow hath crimson’d the sea
Melachlin, send forth thy young daughter to me!”
Awbile paused the prince-too indignant to speak,
There burn'd a reply in his glance-on his cheek;
But quickly that hurried expression was gone,
And calm was his manner, and mild was his tone,
He answer'd—“ Ere sunset has crimson'd the sea,
To-morrow—I'll send my young daughter to thee!
“ At sunset to-morrow your palace forsake,
With twenty young chiefs seek the Isle on yon lake;
And there, in its coolest and pleasantest shades,
My child shall await you with twenty fair maids;
Yes—bright as my armour the damsels shall be,
Whom I send with my daughter, Turgesius, to thee.”
Turgesius return’d to his palacc;—to him
The sports of that evening seem'd languid and dim;
And tediously long was the darkness of night,
And slowly the morning unfolded its light;
The sun seem'd to linger—as if it would be
An age ere his setting would crimson the sea.
At length came the moment the King and his band
With rapture push'd off their light boat from the land;
And bright shone the gems on their armour, and bright
Flash'd their fast-moving oars in the setting sun's light;
And long ere they landed, they saw through the trees,
The maidens' white garments that waved in the breeze.
More strong in the lake was the dash of each oar,
More swift the gay vessel flew on to the shore,
Its keel touch'd the pebbles—but over the surf
The youths in a moment had leap'd to the turf,
And rush'd to a shady retreat in the wood,
Where many veil'd forms mute and motionless stood.
“ Say, which is Melachlin's fair daughter?-away
With these veils,” cried Turgesius, “no longer delay;
Resistance is vain, we will quickly behold
Which robe hides the loveliest face in its fold;
These clouds shall no longer o'ershadow our bliss,
Let each seize a veil-and my trophy be this!”
He seized a white veil, and before him appear'd
No fearful weak girl--but a foe to be fear'd!
A youth-who sprang forth from his female disguise,
Like lightning that flashes from calm summer skies;
His hand grasp'd a weapon, and wild was the joy
That shone in the glance of the Warrior-Boy.
And under each white robe a youth was conceal'd,
Who met his opponent with sword and with shield.
Turgesius was slain—and the maidens were blest, Melachlin's fair daughter more blithe than the rest; And ere the last sunbeam had crimson’d the sea, They hail'd the Boy-Victors--and Erin was free!
TRANSLATED FROM THE DUTCH OF TOLLENS.
Without being super-critical, we can perceive only three faults in the following lines. They are called “ Birth-day Verses,” though they do not contain even an allusion to such a day. They would more properly take their title from the last than from the first day of our existence. The second is, that they are spoken by a young man of twenty-five. Would not the solemn character of the observations which he makes, and the wishes in which he indulges, be better suited to him at forty-five? The last line is prosaic and unworthy of all its predecessors. If the expression “in God's name," be poetry, we know not what is prose. -Ed.
RESTLESS Time! who ne'er abidest,
Driver! who life's chariot guidest
O'er dark hills and vales that smile,
Let me, let me breath awhile:
Whither dost thou hasten? say!
Driver ! but an instant stay.
What a viewless distance thou,
Still untired, hast travell’d now;
Never tarrying-rest unheeding.“
Over thorns and roses speeding,
Through lone places unforeseen-
Cliff and vast abyss between,