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Hark to the pibroch's pleasing note!
Hark to the swelling nuptial song! In joyous strains the voices float,
And still the choral peal prolong. Again the clan, in festire crowd,
Throng through the gate of Alva's hall ; The sounds of mirth re-echo loud, And all their former joy recall.
The crimson glow of Alau's face
Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue ;
Adown in agonizing dew.
Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And thrice his lips refused to taste ;
On his with deadly fury placed.
“ And is it thus a brother hails
A brother's fond remembrance here?
What might we not expect from fear ?"
Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl,
" Would Oscar now could share our mirth!" Internal fear appallid his sou ;
He said, and dash'd the cup to earth.
“ 'Tis he! I bear my murderer's voice !"
Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming form, “ A murderer's voice !" the roof replies,
And deeply swells the bursting storm.
The tapers wink, the chieftains surink,
The stranger's gone, -amidst the crew
And tall the shade terrific grew.
His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
His plume of sable stream'd on high ; But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye.
And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild,
On Angus bending low the knee ; And thrice he frown'd on a chief on the ground,
Whom shivering crowds with horror see.
The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole,
The thunders through the welkin ring, And the gleaming form, through the mist of the storin,
Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.
Cold was the feast, the revel ceased,
Who lies upon the stony floor ?
At length his life-pulse throbs once more.
“ Away, away! let the leech essay
To pour the light on Allan's eyes :
Oh! never more shall Allan rise !
But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,
His locks are lifted by the gale :
With him in dark Glentanar's vale.
And whence the dreadful stranger came,
Or who, no mortal wight can tell ;
For Alva's sons knew Oscar well.
the fire of Baal, and the name still preserves the primeval origin of this Celtic superstition.]
Ambition nerved young Alan's hand,
Exulting demons wing'd his dart; While Envy waved her burning brand,
And pour'd her venom round his heart.
Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow;
Whose streaming life-blood stains his side ? Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,
The dart bas drunk bis vital tide.
The love of fame with this can ill accord,
And Mora's eye could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel ; Alas! that eyes which beam'd with love
Should urge the soul to deeds of hell.
Lo! seest thou not a lonely tomb
With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy,
His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy :It glimmers through the twilight gloom ; “ These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone ? Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bed.
Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own ?
Am I by thee despised, and left afar, Far, distant far, the noble grave
As one unfit to share the toils of war?
Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought ;
I track'd Æneas through the walks of fate :
Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fear,
Here is a soul with hope immortal burns,
Fame, fame is cheaply earn’d by fleeting breath : Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand, The price of honour is the sleep of death.”
No minstrel dare the theme awake;
—“ Calm thy bosom's fond alarms,
Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms. No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse,
More dear thy worth and valour than my own, Shall sound his glories high in air :
I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne ! A dying father's bitter curse,
So may I triumph, as I speak the truth,
And clasp again the comrade of my youth !
But should I fall, — and he who dares advance
If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow,
Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve, A PARAPHRASE FROM THE ÆNEID, LIB. IX.
Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve. Nisus, the guardian of the portal, stood,
When humbled in the dust, let some one be, Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood;
Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me ; Well skill'd in fight the quivering lance to wield,
Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force, Or pour his arrows through th' embattled field :
Or wealth redeem from foes my captive corse ; From Ida torn, he left his sylvan cave,
Or, if my destiny these last deny,
If in the spoiler's power my ashes lie,
To mark thy love, and signalize my doom.
Why should thy doting wretched mother weep And beardless bloom yet graced the gallant boy; Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep ? Though few the seasons of his youthful life,
Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dared, As yet a novice in the martial strife,
Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shared ; 'Twas his, with beauty, valour's gifts to share —
Who braved what woman never braved before, A soul heroic, as his form was fair :
And left her native for the Latian shore.” These burn with one pure flame of generous love ; .
“ In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,” In peace, in war, united still they move ;
Replied Euryalus ; “ it scorns control ! Friendship and glory form their joint reward ;
Hence, let us haste !”— their brother guards arose, And now combined they hold their nightly guard.
Roused by their call, nor court again repose ;
The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing, “What god.” exclaim'd the first, “ instils this fire? Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king. Or, in itself a god, what great desire ? My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd, Now o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran, Abhors this station of inglorious rest;
And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man ;
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold
But when the hostile chiefs at length bow down,
“ With patience" (thus Myrtacides began) “ Attend, nor judge from youth our humble plan. Where yonder beacons half espiring beam, Our slumbering foes of future conquest dream, Nor heed that we a secret path have traced, Between the ocean and the portal placed. Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke, Whose shade securely our design will cloak ! If you, ye chiefs, and fortune will allow, We 'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow, Where Pallas' walls at distance meet the sight, Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night. Then shall Æneas in his pride return, While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn; And Latian spoils and purpled heaps of dead Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread. Such is our purpose, not unknown the way; Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray, Oft have we seen, when hunting by the strcam, The distant spires above the valleys gleam."
Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed, Moved by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd,“ Ye parent gods! who rule the fate of Troy, Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy ; When minds like these in striplings thus ye raise, Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise ; In gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive, And Ilion's wonted glories still survive." Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd, And, quivering, straind them to his aged breast; With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd, And, sobbing, thus bis first discourse renew'd : “ What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize Can we bestow, which you may not despise ? Our deities the first best boon have given Internal virtues are the gift of Heaven. What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth, Doubtless await such young, exalted worth. Eneas and Ascanius shall combine To yield applause far, far surpassing mine." Iulus then:-“ By all the powers above ! By those Penates who mny country love ! By hoary Vesta's sacred fane, I swear, My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair ! Restore my father to my grateful sight, And all my sorrows yield to one delight. Nisus ! two silver goblets are thine own, Saved from Arisba's stately domes o'erthrown ! My sire secured them on that fatal day, Nor left such bowls an Argive robber's prey: Two massy tripods, also, shall be thine ; Two talents polish'd from the glittering mine ; An ancient cup, which Tyrian Dido gave, While yet our vessels press'd the l'unic wave :
To him Euryalus : -“ No day shall shame The rising glories which from this I claim. Fortune may favour, or the skies may down, But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown. Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart, One boon I beg, the nearest to my heart : My mother, sprung from Priam's royal line, Like thine ennobled, hardly less divine, Nor Troy nor king Acestes' realms restrain Her feeble age from dangers of the main; Alone she came, all selfish fears above, A bright example of maternal love. Unknown the secret enterprise I brave, Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave; From this alone no fond adieus I seek, No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek ; By gloomy night and thy right hand I vow Her parting tears would shake my purpose now: Do thou, my prince, her failing age sustain, In thee her much loved child may live again ; Her dying hours with pious conduct bless, Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress : So dear a hope must all my soul inflamc, To rise in glory, or to fall in fame.” Struck with a filial care so deeply felt, In tears at once the Trojan warriors melt : Faster than all, Iulus' eyes o'ertlow ; Such love was his, and such had been his woe. “ All thou hast ask'd, receive," the prince replied ; “ Nor this alone, but many a gift beside. To cheer thy mother's years shall be my aim, Creusa's style but wanting to the dame, Fortune an adverse wayward course may run, But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son. Now, by my life !- my sire's most sacred oath To thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth, All the rewards which once to thee were vow'd, If thou shouldst fall, on her shall be bestow'd." Thus spoke the weeping prince, then forth to view A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew; Lycaon's utmost skill had graced the steel, For friends to envy and for foes to feel : A tawny hide, the Moorish lion's spoil, Slain 'midst the forest, in the hunter's toil, Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestows, And old Alethes' casque defends his brows.
1 The mother or lulus, lost on the night whea Troy was taken.
Arm'd, thence they go, while all th' assembled train, “ Hence let us haste, the dangerous path is pass'd ; To aid their cause, implore the gods in vain.
Full foes enough tv-night have breathed their last : More than a boy, in wisdom and in grace,
Soon will the day those eastern clouds adorn ; Iulus holds amidst the chiefs his place :
Now let us speed, nor tempt the rising morn.
With silver arms, with various art embossid,
What bowls and mantles in confusion toss'd, The trench is passed, and, favour'd by the night, They leave regardless ! yet one glittering prize Through sleeping foes thcy wheel their wary flight. Attracts the younger hero's wandering eyes ; When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er ?
The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt,
This from the pallid corse was quickly torn,
Messapus' helm his head in triumph bears ; “ Now," cries the first, “ for deeds of blood prepare,
Then from the tents their cautious steps they bend, With me the conquest and the labour share :
To seek the vale where safer paths extend. Here lies our path; lest any hand arise, Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dies : Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse I'll carve our passage through the heedless foc, To Turnus' camp pursue their destined course : And clear thy road with many a dcadly blow.”
While the slow foot their tardy march delay, His whispering accents then the youth repress'd, The knights, impatient, spur along the way : And pierced proud Rhamnes through his panting Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led, breast :
To Turnus with their master's promise sped : Stretch'd at his case, th' incautious king reposed; Now they approach the trench, and view the walls, Debauch, and not fatigue, his eyes had closed : When, on the left, a light reflection falls; To Turnus dear, a prophet and a prince,
The plunder'd helmet, through the waning night, His onens more than augur's skill evince ;
Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright. But he, who thus foretold the fate of all,
Volscens with question loud the pair alarms : Could not avert his own untimely fall.
“ Stand, stragglers ! stand ! why early thus in arms ? Next Remus' arniour-bearer, hapless, fell,
From whence, to whom ?”—He meets with no reply? And three unhappy slaves the carnage swell ;
Trusting the covert of the night, they ily: The charioteer along his courser's sides
The thicket's depth with hurried pace they tread, Expires, the steel his sever'd neck divides ;
While round the wood the hostile squadron spread. And, last, his lord is number'd with the dead : Bounding convulsive, flies the gasping head ;
With brakes entangled, scarce a path between, From the swoll'n veins the blackening torrents pour; Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene : Stain'd is the couch and earth with clotting gore. Euryalus his heavy spoils impede, Young Lamyrus and Lamus next expire,
The boughs and winding turns his steps míslead; And gay Serranus, fill'd with youthful fire ;
But Nisus scours along the forest's maze Half the long night in childish games was pass'd;
To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze, Lull'd by the potent grape, he slept at last :
Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend, Ah! happier far had he the morn survey'd,
On every side they seek his absent friend. And till Aurora's dawn his skill display'd.
“ O God I my boy,” he cries, “ of me bereft,
In what impending perils art thou left !”
Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze; 'Mid the sad flock, at dead of night he prowls,
The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls :
Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground. Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roams ; Again he turns, of footsteps hears the noise ; In seas of gore the lordly tyrant foams.
The sound elates, the sight his hope destroys :
The hapless boy a ruffian train surround, Nor less the other's deadly vengeance came,
While lengthening shades his weary way confound; But falls on feeble crowds without a name ;
Him with loud shouts the furious knights pursue, His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel,
Struggling in vain, a captive to the crew. Yet wakeful Rhæsus sees the threatening steel ; What can his friend 'gainst thronging numbers His coward breast behind a jar he hides,
dare? And vainly in the weak defence confides ;
Ah! must be rush, his comrade's fate to share ?
Back to redeem the Latian spoiler's prey ?
Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live ?
On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye: There, unconfined, behold each grazing steed,
“ Goddess serene, transcending every star! Unwatch'd, unheeded, on the herbage feed :
Queen of the sky, whose beams are seen afar ! Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm,
By night heaven owns thy sway, by day the grove, Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm : When, as chastc Dian, here thou deign'st to rove;