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And gazed and wondered at the giant hulk,
Which heaved from wave to wave its trampling bulk:
The anchor dropped, it lay along the deep,
Like a huge lion in the sun asleep
While round it swarm'd the proas' flitting chain,
Like summer bees that hum around his mane.
XI. The white man landed; need the rest be told! The New World stretched its dusk hand to the Old; Each was to each a marvel, and the tie Of wonder warmed to better sympathy. Kind was the welcome of the sun-born sires, And kinder still their daughters' gentler fires. Their union grew; the children of the storm Found beauty linked with many a dusky form; While these in turn admired the paler glow, Which seemed so white in climes that knew no snow. The chace, the race, the liberty to roam, The soil where every cottage showed a home; The sea-spread net, the lightly-launched canoe, Which stemmed the studded Archipelago, O'er whose blue bosom rose the starry isles; The healthy slumber, earned by sportive toils; The palm, the loftiest Dryad of the woods, Within whose bosom infant Baccbus broods, While eagles scarce build higher than the crest Which shadows o'er the vineyard in her breast; The cava feast, the yam, the cocoa's root, Which bears at once the cup, and milk, and fruit; The bread-tree, which, without the ploughshare, yields The unreaped harvest of unfurrowed fields, And bakes its unadulterated loaves Without a furnace in unpurchased groves,
And flings off famine from its fertile breast,
A priceless market for the gathering guest;
These, with the luxuries of seas and woods,
The airy joys of social solitudes,
Tamed each rude wanderer to the sympathies
Of those who were more happy if less wise,
Did more than Europe's discipline had done,
And civilized civilization's son!
XII. Of these, and there was many a willing pair, Neuha and Torquil were not the least fair: Both children of the isles, though distant far; Both born beneath a sea-presiding star; Both nourish'd amidst Nature's native scenes, Lov'd to the last whatever intervenes Between us and our childhood's sympathy, Which still reverts to what first caught the eye. He who first met the Highlands' swelling blue, Will love each peak that shows a kindred hue, Hail in each crag a friend's familiar face, And clasp the mountain in his mind's embrace. Long have I roam'd through lands which are not mine. Adored the Alp, and loved the Appepine, Revered Parnassus, and beheld the steep Jove's Ida and Olympus crown the deep: But 'twas not all long ages' lore, nor all Their nature held me in their thrilling thrall; The infant rapture still survived the boy, And Loch-na-gar with Ida looked o'er Troy,*
* When very young, about eight years of age, after an attack of the scarlet fever at Aberdeen, I was removed by medical advice into the Highlands. Here I passed occasionally some summers, and from this period i date my love of mountainous countries. I can never forget the effect a few years afterwards in England, of the only thing I had long
Mixed Celtic memories with the Phrygian mount,
And Highland linds with Castalie's clear fount.
Forgive me, Homer's universal shade!
Forgive me, Phæbus! that my fancy strayed;
The North and Nature taught me to adore
Your scenes sublime, from those beloved before.
The love which maketh all things food and fair,
The youth which makes one rainbow of the air, -
The dangers past, that make even man enjoy
The pause in which he ceases to destroy,
The mutual beauty, which the sternest feel
Strike to their hearts like lightning to the steel,
United the half savage and the whole,
The maid and boy, in one absorbing soul.
No more the thundering memory of the fight
Wrapt his weaped bosom in its dark delight;
No more the irksome restlessness of Rest,
Disturbed him like the eagle in her nest,
Whose whetted beak and far-pervading eye
Darts for a victim over all the sky;
His heart was tamed to that voluptuous state,
At once Elysian and effeminate,
Which leaves no laurels o’er the hero's urn;
These wither when for augbt save blood they burn;
Yet when their ashes in their book are laid,
Doth not the myrtle leave as sweet a shade?
Had Cæsar known but Cleopatra's kiss,
Rome bad been free, the world had not been his.
in miniature, of a mountain, in the Malvern Hills. After I returned to Cheltenham, I used to watch them every afternoon at sunset, with a sensation which I cannot describe. This was boyish enough; but I was then only thirteen years of age, and it was in the holidays.
VOL. VI, 6
And what bave Cæsar's deeds, and Cæsar's fame
Done for the earth? We feel them in our shame:
The gory sanction of his glory stains
The rust wbich tyrants cherish on our chains,
Though Glory, Nature, Reason, Freedom, bid
Roused millions do wbat single Brutus did,-
Sweep, these mere mock-birds of the despot's song
From the tall bough where they have perched so long,
Still are we bawked at by such mousing owls,
And take for falcons those ignoble fowls,
When but a word of freedom would dispel
These bugbears, as their terrors show too well.
Rapt in the fond forgetfulness of life,
Neuba, the South Sea girl, was all a wife,
With no distracting world to call her off
From love, with no society to scoff
At the new transient flame; no babbling crowd
Of coxcombry in admiration loud,
Or with adulterous whisper to alloy
Her duty, and her glory, and ber joy;
With faith and feelings naked as her form,
She stood as stands a rainbow in a storm,
Changing its hues with bright variety,
But still expanding lovelier o'er the sky,
How'er its arch may swell, its colours move,
The cloud-compelling harbinger of Love.
Here, in this grotto of the wave-worn shore,
They passed the Tropic's red meridian o'er;
Nor long the hours—they never paused o'er time,
Unbroken by the clock's funereal chime,
Which deals the daily pittance of our span,
And points and mocks with iron laugh at man.
What deemed they of the future or the past?
The present, like a tyrant, held them fast:
Their hour.glass was the sea-sand, and the tide,
Like her smooth billow, saw their moments glide;
Their clock the sun, in his unbounded tower;
They reckoned not, whose day was but an hour;
The nightingale, their only vesper bell,
Sung sweetly to the rose the day's farewell;*
The broad sun set, but not with lingeriog sweep,
As in the North be mellows o'er the deep,
But fiery, full and fierce, as if he left
The world forever, earth of light bereft,
Plunged with red forebead down along the wave,
As dives a hero headlong to his grave.
Thep rose they, looking first along the skies,
And then for light into each other's eyes,
Wondering that summer showed so brief a sun,
And asking if indeed the day were done?
And let not this seem strange; the devotee
Lives not in earth, but in his ecstasy;
Around him days and worlds are beedless driven,
His soul is gone before his dust to heaven.
Is love less potent? No-his path is trod,
Alike uplifted gloriously to God;
Or linked to all we know of heaven below,
The other better self, whose joy or wo
Is more than ours; the all-absorbing flame
Which, kindled by another, grows the same,
The now well-known story of the loves of the nightingale and rose need not be more than alluded to, being sufficiently familiar to the Western as to the Eastern reader.