« PreviousContinue »
Beam ever thus, as beauteously,
Undimmed-save by those gems of feeling-
But vain the thought!-It may not be!
Could prayers avert misfortune's blight,
Here hope for unalloy'd delight,
On guilty heads alone descended,
Then since upon this earth, joy's beams
Are fading-frail, and few in number
That steal upon the mourner's slumber,-
And Time with woman's zone hath bound thee
If, in the path thou'rt doom'd to tread,
The thorns of sorrow lurk, and wound thee,
Be thine that exquisite relief
And like the many-tinted Bow,
Which smiles the show'ry clouds away,
Attend and soothe thee on thy way,
Young Sister of a mortal NINE,
Farewell!-Perchance a long farewell
Woes, Hope may vainly strive to quell,-
So there be bliss for thee and THINE!
ALARIC A. WATTS.*
"In most of the journals," says Mr Watts, "daily, weekly, and monthly, for July, 181, these verses (addressed to the eighth of nine sisters) were ascribed, with very flattering eulogium, to the pen of no less distinguished a poet than Lord Byron; although they had been published a month before, with the author's name, in the Edinburgh Magazine. Their extended circulation (for which they were, of course, entirely indebted to this circumstance) affords a striking proof of the omnipotence of a NAME! The trifle, which with my undignified patronymic might have slumbered unmolested in the pages of a Scottish Magazine until doomsday aided by its factitious appendage, was forthwith ushered into life, light, and po pularity. Well may we say with a slight variation of Pope's couplet :
Ascribe but to a Lord the happy lines,
How the wit brightens how the sense revues !"
ON THE CLYDE.
EVERY ruined edifice in the land has its visitors-but very few persons among those whom one finds about such places have brought a single historical association in their heads, that might not suit as well elsewhere. They all know perhaps the general fact, that for many ages the now bare and cold and empty hall was tapestried from floor to ceiling, and hung round with arms that glittered in the blaze of a well fagoted hearth-that there were lords and ladies —that wine and wassail was the order of the day and night—that there were warders above and captives below-a spanning drawbridge, and a down-right portcullis. To know this, or something like it, to have stock sufficient for luxurious meditation. Antiquaries are for the most part sad bores. With them it is all microscopic work. They are like the Spanish philosopher, who, when he had completed the careful analysis of a celebrated poem, was under the necessity of reading every verse over again, to ascertain what subject he had been examining. Whoever has a heart to feel and a fancy to supply it, will find himself very much at home with any ruin whatever, though they have never been introduced to each other by Captain Grose-and with none more so than with Bothwell Castle. There it stands, magnificent in decay-and still as of old "breathing a spirit o'er the solitude." It has been stated by implication, that historical facts do little to interest us in scenes, whose romantic presence can conjure up a nobler history for themselves in the soul that has "any music."-Apropos of poetry and music. When the heart is warmed with bright fancies, it cannot choose but turn away from cold cautious narrative—but give it music and poetry suited to its mood, and play on for ever. How enviable is he who sang that sweet strain of Roslin!
"'Twas in that season of the year," &c.
And he who sang of Stanley with its snow-mantled turrets, under the "braes of Gleniffer"-And he, the nameless bard, whose spirit breathes around the precincts of Bothwell Castle. These poets are the true historians of the scenes which they celebrate. What other men tell us may leave the memory or lie dormant within it. Their language can never be forgotten. The song associated with Bothwell Castle is one of our oldest and most pathetic. Towards the end of the sixteenth century it had become familiar and delightful to Scottish ears, as the following romantic incident of that period will
A certain Scotsman while travelling through Palestine, either for