Abbildungen der Seite

• Forth from the thicket burst a hind in flight, • White as the snow on proud Plinlimmon's height;

And through the glade her trembling speed. renews, While close behind a ravenous wolf pursues.

[ocr errors]


Compassion touch'd me, and my pointed dart * Had reach'd, with certain aim, the monster's heart; • But sudden thunder shook the woods around, • Blue lightnings gleam’d, and earthquake rock'd the

ground, * Dire yells were heard, and shrieks of wild affright, * And all the vision vanish'd from my sight.

Wondering I stood, with sacred horror fillid, • In ev'ry vein the vital current chill'd; • When, lo, a female form divinely bright, · Like the mild radiance of the queen of night, * Rose on the shade. A lucid robe she wore, *A golden wand her rosy fingers bore; ? But when the smiling nymph her silence broke, · Celestial music warbled as she spoke.'

" Receive," she cried, “Oh youth for ever dear, "My thanks, my love, and to my words give ear. “ By thee preserv'd, I draw the vital air, “My wonted shape, my wonted power I bear..

“ Bound by strong spells, a milk-white hind I seem'd,

« Till by thy prowess from the wolf redeem'd.
A false magician Archimago nam’d,
My favour sought, by mighty love inflam’d;
“ But sought in vain, I loath'd his impious kind,
“ Still prone to mischief, still to blood inclin'd.
“ Hence in his breast relentless hate he bore,
" But veil'd his purpose, for he fear'd my pow'r.
“ For know that not of mortal seed I came,
“Of fairy race, Melissa is my name.
“One day surpriz’d, defenceless, o'er my head,
“ While yet I slept, the mutter'd charm he read.
“ Starting I fled. Where'er my steps he viewd
A fiend, in likeness of a wolf, pursu'd.
“Oh, could my art a length of years bestow,
“ Exempt from pain, and ev'ry human woe,

“ The boon were thine! But thou submiss attend.

[ocr errors]

“The bliss of man must on himself depend. - - Such is the will of fate. One choice is giv'n “Of good, or ill, by all disposing Heav'n. . “ Fair be thy lot! But if thy judgment fail, “ Know patient courage may at length prevail,.. “ To milder doom the favouring powers dispose, And fix the period of thy toils and woes. “ But for th' ignoble herd; the dastard crew, “ Afraid to choose, or choosing to pursue ; “ By men despis’d, nor more of gods the care; “Their lot is pain and anguish, and despair.” • The fairy spoke, and shook her flowing hair. • That heavenly fragrance fill'd the circling air. • Light breezes now through trembling oziers play;

And lengthen'd shadows tell the closing day; * A pleasing languor crept through all my frame, * And sleep resistless o'er my senses came :

But when awake at length I raise my eyes, - What charming scenes, what new elysiums rise !

* Here the thick forest spreads profoundest night; * Here opening glades admit the chequer'd light;

Pours the swift torrent from the sounding hill; Or winds along the dale the murmuring rill; · Through parting boughs now bursts the blazing day, • Distinct and clear appears the streaming ray, * The distant trees reflect the vivid beam,

• And all the glowing forest seems to flame:

* At length the glory of the plain is seen,
• A thousand beauties deck the varied scene;
*Slow through enamell’d meadows glides the stream,
* And distant lakes with silvery lustre gleam :
• Alone, majestic, here the oak ascends,
“ Himself a wood, and wide his shade extends :
Of softer beauty, and inferior size,

• Here mix'd with fir, the graceful birch arise,

Whose drooping boughs, when zephyr wakes the dawn, i Sweep the light drops that glitter on the lawn. 'Th' expanse beyond presents its varying dyes, • Farms, temples, cities, turret-crown'd, arise.

Blue hills that hide in clouds the lofty head, • Rocks, fields, and woods, in bright confusion spread. * Here while I gaz'd, Melissa stood beside, * And press'd my hand, while smiling thus she cry'd :' “ If shady groves, and flow'ry plains delight, “Well may these groves and plains attract the sight:

But soon the scene shall other joys dispense, " And charms superior greet thy ravish'd sense.” • Then through a winding path, with boughs o'erspread,

Yet unexplor'd, my willing steps she led, * To where the turf with brighter verdure glows, * Proud to display the beauty of the rose,

- Which summer's warm embraces blushing meets,

* And yields reluctant her unrivall’d sweets.
• There blooms the violet beneath the shade,

By the light zephyr's balmy theft betray’d;
* The bright carnation, and the lily pale,
· With aromatic fragrance scent the gale:
• There ev'ry shrub to buxom Flora dear,
* There all the treasures of the ripening year.

« ZurückWeiter »