Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

And dogs and boys, a gladsome crowd,
That rush even now with clamour loud
Sudden from forth thy topmost cloud,
And by this laugh, and by this tear,
I would, old Skiddaw, she were here !
A lady of sweet song is she,
Her soft blue eye was made for thee!
O ancient Skiddaw, by this tear,

I would, I would that she were here !" Then ancient Skiddaw, stern and proud,

In sullen majesty replying,
Thus spake from out his helm of cloud

(His voice was like an echo dying !) :“ She dwells belike in * scenes more fair, And scorns a mount so bleak and bare."

I only sigh'd when this I heard,
Such mournful thoughts within me stirr'd.
That all my heart was faint and weak,

So sorely was I troubled !
No laughter wrinkled on f my cheek,

But O the tears were doubled !

But ancient Skiddaw green and high
Heard and understood my sigh;
And now, in tones less stern and rude,
As if he wish'd to end the feud,
Spake he, the proud response renewing
(His voice was like a monarch wooing) -

* by—1801.

of now-il.

“Nay, but thou dost not know her might,

The pinions of her soul how strong!
But many a stranger in my height
Hath sung to me her magic song,

Sending forth his ecstasy

In her divinest melody,
And hence I know her soul is free,
She is where'er she wills to be,

Unfetter'd by mortality !
Now to the haunted beach' can fly,

Beside the threshold scourged with waves,
Now where the maniac wildly raves,*
Pale moon, thou spectre of the sky !
No wind that hurries o'er my height
Can travel with so swift a flight.

I too, methinks, might merit
The presence of her spirit!

To me too might belong
The honour of her song and witching melody,

Which most resembles me,
Soft, various, and sublime,
Exempt from wrongs of Time !"

Thus spake the mighty Mount, and I Made answer, with a deep-drawn sigh : “Thou ancient Skiddaw, by this tear,

I would, I would that she were here !" November, 1800.

* Now to the maniac while he raves-1801.

EPIGRAM S.

.

161

TO MR. PYE*

On his Carmen Seculare (a title which has by various

persons who have heard it, been thus translated, “ A Poem an age long).

Your Poem must eternal be,

Eternal ! it can't fail,
For 'tis incomprehensible,

And without head or tail ! †

* Morning Post, Jan. 24, 1800.

+ “The following anecdote will not be wholly out of place here, and may perhaps amuse the reader. An amateur performer in verse expressed to a common friend, a strong desire to be introduced to me, but hesitated in accepting my friend's immediate offer, on the score that “ he was, he must acknowledge, the author of a confounded severe epigram on my Ancient Mariner, which had given me great pain. I assured my friend that if the epigram was a good one, it would only increase my desire to become acquainted with the author, and begged to hear it recited: when, to my no less surprise than amusement, it proved to be one which I had myself some time before written and inserted in the Morning Post. To the author of the Ancient Mariner.

Your poem must eternal be,

Dear sir ! it cannot fail,
For 'tis incomprehensible

And without head or tail.” - Bingraphia Literaria, Lond. 1817, vol. i. p. 28. It would seem, however, from the above that it was an afterthought on the author's part to apply this epigram to himself and his Ancient Mariner.-ED.

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsæt »