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Three times all in the dead of night
A bell was heard to ring,
And shrieking, at her window thrice
The raven flapped his wing.
Too well the love-lorn maiden knew
The solemn boding sound,
And thus in dying words bespoke
The virgins, weeping round:
'I hear a voice you can not hear,
Which says I must not stay;
I see a hand you can not see,
Which beckons me away.
By a false heart and broken vows
In early youth I die.
Was I to blame because his bride
Was thrice.as rich as I ?
Ah Colin! give not her thy vows,
Vows due to me alone;
Nor thou, fond maid ! receive his kiss,
Nor think him all thy own.
To-morrow in the church to wed,
Impatient both prepare ;
But know, fond maid! and know, false man!
That Lucy will be there.
Then bear my corse, my comrades! bear,
This bridegroom blithe to meet;
He in his wedding trim so gay,
I in my winding sheet.' She spoke ; she died. Her corpse was borne
The bridegroom blithe to meet;
He in his wedding trim so gay,
She in her winding sheet.
Then what were perjured Colin's thoughts ?
How were these nuptials kept?
The bridesmen flocked round Lucy dead,
And all the village wept.
Confusion, shame, remorse, despair,
At once his bosom swell;
The damps of death bedewed his brow;
He shook, he groaned, he fell.
From the vain bride, ah! bride no more!
The varying crimson filed,
When stretched before her rival's corpse
She saw her husband dead.
Then to his Lucy's new-made grave
Conveyed by trembling swains,
One mould with her, beneath one sod,
Forever he remains.
Oft at this grave the constant hind
And plighted maid are seen;
With garlands gay and true love knots
They deck the sacred green.
But, swain foresworn! whoe'er thou art,
This hallowed spot forbear;
Remember Colin's dreadful fate,
And fear to meet him there.
From the ' Elegy' we extract the following lines, which we consider the best it contains :
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone,
Sad luxury! to vulgar minds unknown,
Along the walls where speaking marbles show
What worthies form the hallow'd mould below;
Proud names ! who once the reins of empire held,
In arms who triumphed, or in arts excelled;
Chiefs graced with scars, and prodigal of blood,
Stern patriots, who for sacred freedom stood;
Just men by whom impartial laws were given,
And saints who taught and led the way to heaven.
Ne'er to these chambers where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation came a noble guest;
Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss conveyed
A fairer spirit, or more welcome shade.
In what new region to the just assigned,
What new employments please the embodied mind?
A winged virtue through the ethereal sky,
From world to world unwearied does he fly;
Or curious trace the long laborious maze
Of Heaven's decrees, where wondering angels gaze ?
Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell
How Michael battled, and the dragon fell;
Or, mixed with wilder cherubim, to glow
In hymns of love not ill essayed below ?
Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind ?
A task well suited to thy gentle mind.
Oh! if sometimes thy spotless form descend,
To me thy aid, thou guardian genius! lend.
When rage misguides me, or when fear alarms,
When pain distresses, or when pleasure charms,
In silent whisperings purer thoughts impart,
And turn from ill a frail and feeble heart;
Lead through the paths thy virtue trod before,
Till bliss shall join, nor death can part no more.
That awful form, which, so the Heavens decree,
Must still be loved, and still deplored by me,
In nightly visions seldom fails to rise,
Or roused by Fancy, meets my waking eyes.
If business calls, or crowded courts invite,
The unblemished statesman seems to strike my sight;
If in the stage I seek to soothe my care,
I meet his soul, which breathes in Cato there;
If pensive to the rural shades I rove,
His step o'ertakes me in the lonely grove;
'T was there of just and good he reasoned strong,
Clear'd some great truth, or raised some serious song;
There patient showed us the wise course to steer,
A candid censor, and a friend severe;
There taught us how to live, and (oh! too high
The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.
Thou hill! whose brow the antique structures grace,
Reared by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race;
Why, once so loved, whene'er thy bower appears,
O'er my dim eyeballs glance the sudden tears !
How sweet were once thy prospects fresh and fair,
Thy sloping walks and unpolluted air !
How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees,
Thy noontide shadow, and thy evening breeze!
His image thy forsaken bowers restore,
Thy walks and airy prospects charm no more;
No more the summer in thy glooms allayed,
Thy evening breezes, and thy noonday shade.
Lecture the Twenty-Sixth.
ALEXANDER POPE-JOHN GAY-SIR SAMUEL GARTH-SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE
-ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSIA-MATTHEW GREEN-ALLAN RAMSAY,
one of the most conspicuous of them, was Alexander Pope—a poet, the ease, fluency, and accuracy of whose numbers, has placed him at the very head of the class to which he belongs.
ALEXANDER Pope was the son of a respectable draper, and was born in the city of London, on the twenty-second of May, 1688. Being, from his infancy, of a very delicate frame, he was taught to read at home, by a maiden aunt, and he learned to write by imitating the letters of the little school manual from which he had learned them, and the other primary works that the studies of his childhood placed in his hands. His father, having acquired an independent fortune, retired to Binfield, in Windsor Forest, and as he belonged to the Roman Church, the future poet was placed under the care of one Taverner, the family priest, by whom he was taught the rudiments of the Latin and Greek languages, at the same time. From Taverner's care, Pope was removed to a Catholic seminary at Twyford, near Winchester, and thence to a school near Hyde Park Corner; but he must have been very unfortunate in his teachers, or of uncertain temper; for before he had reached the twelfth year of his age, he quit school altogether, returned to his father's house, and resolved to educate himself.
But we are not to infèr that he was inattentive to his studies ; for the whole of his early life was that of a severe student. He was a poet in his childhood; and in reference to this circumstance he remarks
As yet a child, and all unknown to fame,
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.
Pope early read the works of Spenser, Waller, and Dryden, but he greatly preferred those of the latter; and while a mere boy prevailed upon a friend to accompany him to a celebrated coffee-house, which Dryden was in