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Where woods and groves in solemn grandeur
rise, Where the kite brooding unmolested flies ; The woodcock and the painted pheasant race, And skulking foxes, destined for the chase ; There Giles, untaught and unrepining, stray'd Through every copse, and grove, and winding
glade; There his first thoughts to Nature's charms, in
clined, That stamps devotion on the inquiring mind.
This task had Giles, in fields remote from
home : Oft has he wish'd the rosy morn to come: Yet never famed was he, nor foremost found To break the seal of sleep; his sleep was sound : But when at daybreak summon'd from his bed, Light as the lark that caroll’d o'er his head.His sandy way, deep-worn by hasty showers, O’erarch'd with oaks that form fantastic bowers, Waving aloft their towering branches proud, In borrow'd tinges from the eastern cloud, Gave inspiration, pure as ever flow'd, And genuine transport in his bosom glow'd. His own shrill matin join'd the various notes Of Nature's music from a thousand throats : The Blackbird strove with emulation sweet, And Echo answer'd from her close retreat ; The sporting Whitethroat, on some twig's end
borne, Pour'd hymns to freedom and the rising morn ; Stopt in her song, perchance, the starting Thrush Shook a white shower from the black-thorn bush,
Where dewdrops thick as early blossoms, hung,
Say, ye that know, ye who have felt and seen Spring's morning smiles and soul-enlivening
green ; Say, did ye give the thrilling transport way ? Did your eye brighten when young lambs at play Leap'd o'er your path with animated pride, Or gazed in merry clusters by your side ? Ye who can smile, to wisdom no disgrace, At the arch meaning of a kitten's face: If spotless innocence, and infant mirth, Excite to praise, or give reflection birth ; In shades like these pursue your favourite joy, 'Midst Nature's revels, sports that never cloy.
A few begin a short but vigorous race, And Indolence abash'd soon flies the place ; Thus challenged forth, see thither, one by one, From every side assembling playmates run ; A thousand wily antics mark their stay, A starting crowd, impatient of delay. Like the fond dove, from fearful prison freed, Each seems to say,
" Come, let us try our speed." Away they scour, impetuous, ardent, strong, The green turf trembling as they bound along ; Adown the slope, then up the hillock climb, Where every molehill is a bed of thyme ;
There panting stop ; yet scarcely can refrain ;
DR JOHN LEYDEN.
BORN 1775-DIED 1811.
WITHOUT sustaining a very high or brilliant poetical repu
tation, Leyden is one of those Scottish literary adventurers in whom his country feels a just pride. He was born at Denholm, on the banks of the Teviot, and received the ordinary routine education of the parish-school; but, in his native border-land of song and chivalry, the young and susceptible mind of Leyden was richly stored with legends of Scottish prowess and romance. This early training, aided by antiquarian or black-letter reading, to which he was devoted from the time he came to the Edinburgh university, was soon agreeably displayed in several beautiful romantic ballads, now enrolled in the pages of the Border Minstrelsy, and in his Scenes of Infancy,-a poem which cannot fail to be admired by every lover of Scotland. But verse was only the recreation of Leyden's mind. His acquirements, particularly as a linguist, though probably over-rated both by himself and his admirers, were very considerable ; and in India, whither he went in 1803, promised to be of great advantage to the British service, as well as to his private fortune. These prospects were prematurely blighted by his death, which took place at Java, in 1811, three weeks after he had landed there with the British troops. He died of the horrid fever of Batavia, after an illness of only
three days. His early and illustrious friend, with whose poetical sym
pathies Leyden's taste was strikingly in accordance, has adopted a stanza of his Ode to Flodden Field as the motto of Marmion; and in the LORD OF THE Isles has paid the following affectionate tribute to his memory :
“ His bright and brief career is o'er,
And mute his tuneful strains;
Has Leyden's cold remains."
ODE TO AN INDIAN GOLD COIN,
WRITTEN IN CHERICAL, MALABAR.
SLAVE of the dark and dirty mine!
What vanity has brought thee here ? How can I love to see thee shine
So bright, whom I have bought so dear ?
The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear For twilight-converse, arm in arm ;
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear When mirth and music wont to cheer.
By Chérical's dark wandering streams,
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild, Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams
Of Teviot loved while still a child,
Of castled rocks stupendous piled By Esk or Eden's classic wave,
Where loves of youth and friendships smiled, Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave !
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade !
The perish'd bliss of youth's first prime, That once so bright on fancy play'd,
Revives no more in after-time.
Far from my sacred natal clime, I haste to an untimely grave;
The daring thoughts that soar'd sublime Are sunk in ocean's southern wave.
Slave of the mine! thy yellow light
Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear. A gentle vision comes by night
My lonely widow'd heart to cheer :
Her eyes are dim with many a tear, That once were guiding stars to mine;
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear! I cannot bear to see thee shine.
For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave,
I left a heart that loved me true ! I cross'd the tedious ocean-wave,
To roam in climes unkind and new.
The cold wind of the stranger blew Chill on my wither'd heart : the grave
Dark and untimely met my view And all for thee, vile yellow slave !