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High is our calling, friend! Creative art
Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part,
Heroically fashioned-to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
And oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward,
And in the soul admit of no decay,
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness;
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard !

From the dark chambers of dejection freed,
Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care,
Rise, Gillies, rise: the gales of youth shall bear
Thy genius forward like a winged steed.
Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed
In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air,
Yet a rich guerdon waits on minds that dare,
If aught be in them of immortal seed,
And reason govern that audacious flight
Which heavenward they direct. Then droop not thou,
Erroneously renewing a sad vow
In the low dell mid Roslin's faded grove:
A cheerful life is what the muses love,
A soaring spirit is their prime delight.

“FAIR PRIME OF LIFE.” Fair prime of life! were it enough to gild With ready sunbeams every straggling shower;

And, if an unexpected cloud should lower,
Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build
For Fancy's errands,-then, from fields half-tilled
Gathering green weeds to mix with poppy flower,
Thee might thy minions crown, and chant thy power,
Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled.
Ah! show that worthier honours are thy due;
Fair prime of life! arouse the deeper heart;
Confirm the spirit glorying to pursue
Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim;
And, if there be a joy that slights the claim
Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.

THE SONG OF THE DYING SWAN, I HEARD (alas! 'twas only in a dream) Strains--which, as sage antiquity believed, By waking ears have sometimes been received Wafted adown the wind from lake or stream; A most melodious requiem,-a supreme And perfect harmony of notes, achieved By a fair swan on drowsy billows heaved, O'er which her pinions shed a silver gleam. For is she not the votary of Apollo? And knows she not, singing as he inspires, That bliss awaits her which the ungenial hollow Of the dull earth partakes not, nor desires? Mount, tuneful bird, and join the immortal quires ! She soared-and I awoke,-struggling in vain to follow.

If the whole weight of what we think and feel,
Save only far as thought and feeling blend
With action, were as nothing, patriot friend !
From thy remonstrance would be no appeal!

But to promote and fortify the weal
Of our own being, is her paramount end;
A truth which they alone shall comprehend
Who shun the mischief which they cannot heal.
Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss ;
Here, with no thirst but what the stream can slake,
And startled only by the rustling brake,
Cool air I breathe ; while the unincumbered mind,
By some weak aims at services assigned
To gentle natures, thanks not heaven amiss.


CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem:
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray.
Where'er I liked ; and finally array
My temples with the muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth,
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great,
In my past verse: or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate-
It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived youth!
To think how much of this will be thy praise.

THE SONNET. Scorn not the sonnet; critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honours ;--with this key Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; Camöens soothed with it an exile's grief;

The sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glowworm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from fairyland
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The thing became a trumpet, whence he blew
Soul-animating strains-alas, too few!

THE PEACEFUL MUSE. Not love, nor war, nor the tumultuous swell Of civil conflict, nor the wrecks of change, Nor duty struggling with afflictions strange, Not these alone inspire the tuneful shell; But where untroubled peace and concord dwell, There also is the muse not loth to range, Watching the blue smoke of the elmy grange, Skyward ascending from the twilight dell. Meek aspirations please her, lone endeavour, And sage content, and placid melancholy; She loves to gaze upon a crystal river, Diaphanous, because it travels slowly; Soft is the music that would charm for ever; The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.

SEPTEMBER, 1815. While not a leaf seems faded, -while the fields, With ripening harvest prodigally fair, In brightest sunshine bask,-this nipping air, Sent from some distant clime where winter wields His icy scimitar, a foretaste yields Of bitter change and bids the flowers beware; And whispers to the silent birds, “Prepare Against the threatening foe your trustiest shields."

For me, who under kindlier laws belong
To nature's tuneful quire, this rustling dry
Through leaves yet green, and yon crystalline sky,
Announce a season potent to renew,
Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song,
And nobler cares than listless summer knew.

NOVEMBER. How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright The effluence from yon distant mountain's head, Which, strewn with snow as smooth as heaven can shed, Shines like another sun-on mortal sight Uprisen, as if to check approaching night, And all her twinkling stars. Who now would tread, If so he might, yon mountain's glittering headTerrestrial--but a surface, by the flight Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing, Unswept, unstained ! Nor shall the aërial powers Dissolve that beauty-destined to endure, White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure, Through all vicissitudes—till genial spring Have filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.

COMPOSED DURING A STORM. ONE who was suffering tumult in his soul Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer, Went forth-his course surrendering to the care Of the fierce wind, while midday lightnings prowl Insidiously, untimely thunders growl; . While trees, dim seen, in frenzied numbers tear The lingering remnant of their yellow hair, And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl As if the sun were not. He raised his eye Soul-smitten-for, that instant, did appear

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