« AnteriorContinuar »
VV HILST some affect the sun, and some the shade; Some flee the city, some the hermitage; · Their aims as various as the roads they take In journeying through life; the task be mine To paint the gloomy horrors of the tonib: Th' appointed place of rendezvous, where all These trav'llers meet. Thy succours I implore, ' Eternal King! whose potent ärm sustains The keys of hell and death. The Grave, dread thing! Men shiver when thou’rt nam’d: Nature appal'd Shakes off her wonted firmness. Ah ! how dark Thy long.extended realms, and rueful wastes :'. Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark night, :pot Dark as was Chaos ere the infant sun Was rollid together, or had tried its beams Athwart the gloom profound! the sickly taper By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults, Furr'd round with inouldy damps, and ropy slime, Lets fall a supernumerary horror, And only serves to make the night more irksome. Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew,
Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell
'Midst sculls and coffins, epitaphs and worms;
Where light heeld ghosts, and visionary shades,
Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports
Embodied thick perform their mystic rounds.
No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
See yonder hallow'd fane! the pious work
Of names once fam’d, now dubious or forgot;
And, buried 'midst the wreck of things that were,
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead.
The wind is up; hark ! how it howls! methinks,
Till now, I never heard a sound so dreary;
Doors creak, and windows.clap, and night's foul bird
Rook'd in the spire screams loud: the gloomy ailes
Black plaister'd, and hung round with shreds of scutch-
And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound [eons
Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, ;.
The mansions of the dead. Rous'd from their slumbers,
In grim array the grizly spectres rise,
Grin horrible, and obstinately sullen
Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. . .
Again! the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious sound!
I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms,
Coæval near with all that ragged shew,
Long lash'd by the rude winds: some rift half down
Their branchless trunks: others so thin a-top
That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree.
Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd here;
Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs;
Dead men have come again and walk'd about;
And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd.
Whistling stripping, and with Ilie below:hears,
Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping, :'" When it draws near to witching time of night.
Oft' in the lone church-yard at night I've seen
By glimpse of moon-shine, checqu’ring through the trees,
The school-boy, with his satchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below;
Sudden he starts! and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of soinething purring at his heels:
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
Who walks at dead of night, or takes his stand .
O’er some new open'd grave; and, strange to telll
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
The new inade widow too I've sometimes spied,
Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead:
Listless she crawls along in doleful black,
While bursts of sorrow gush from either eye,
Fast falling down her now untasted cheek.
Prone on the lonely grave of the dear man
She drops; whilst busy meddling memory,
In barbarojis succession, musters up
The past endearments of their softer hours,
Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks
She sees him, and indulging the fond thought,
Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf,
Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.
Invidious grave! how dost thou rend'in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made oned ;. A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul! Sweet'ner of life! and solder of society! I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Ofi' have I prov'd the labours of thy love, i And the warm efforts of the gentle heart Anxious to please. O! when my friend and I In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye; and sat us down Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank, , ; Where the pure limpid stream has slid along In grateful errors through the under-wood Sweet murm'ring; methought, the shrill-tongu'd thrush Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd ev'ry note; The eglantine smell’d sweeter, and the rose Assum'd a dye more deep; whilst ev'ry flower Vied with its fellow-plant in luxury Of dress. O! then the longest summer's day Seem'd too, too much in haste; still the full heart Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed, Not to return, how painful the remembrance!
Dull grave! thou spoil'st the dance of youthful blood, Strik'st out the dimple from the cheek of mirth, And ev'ry smirking feature from the face; Branding our laughter with the name of madness, Where are the jesters now? the men of health Complexionally pleasant? where the droll,
Whose ev'ry look and gesture was a joke :
To clapping theatres and shouting crowds,
And made ev'n thick lipp'd musing malancholy
To gather up her face into a smile. .
Before she was aware? Ah! sullen now,
And dumb as the green turf that covers them!
Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war,
The Roman Cæsars and the Græcian chiefs,
The boast of story? where the hot-braind youth,
Who the tiara at his pleasure tore
From kings of all the then discover'd globe;
And cried, forsooth, because his arm was hamper'd,
And had not room enough to do its work?
Alat! how slitn, dishonorably slim!
And cramm’d into a space we blush to name.
Proud royalty! how alter'd in thy looks!
How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue!
Son of the morning! whither art thou gone?
Where hast thou hid thy many-spangled head,
And the majestic menace of thine eyes
Felt from afar? pliant and pow'rless now;
Like new-born infant bound up in his swathes,
Or victim tumbled flat upon his back,
That throbs beneath the sacrificer's knife;
Mute must thou bear the strife of little tongues,
And coward insults of the base-born crowd,
T'hat grudge a privilege thou never hadst, .. .
But only hop'd for in the peaceful Grave,
Of being unmolested and alone.
Araby's gums and odoriferous drugs,
And honors by the heralds duly paid