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John Wolcot (Джон Вулкотт)

Karn-brae, a Druid Ode

While Nature slumbers in the Shade,
And Cynthia cloth'd in paly Light,
Walks her lone Way, the Mount I tread,
Majestic mid the gloom of Night!
With rev'rence to the lofty Hill I bow,
Whence Wisdom, Virtue, taught their Founts to flow.

Wan, on yon Rock's aspiring Steep,
Behold a Druid's Form forlorn!—
I see the white-rob'd Phantom weep—
I hear to Heav'n his wild Harp mourn!
The Temples open'd to the vulgar Eye,
And Oaks departed, wake his inmost Sigh.

O Lover of the twilight Hour,
That calls thee from the Tombs of Death,
To haunt the Cave, the time-struck Tow'r,
The sea-girt Cliff, the stormy Heath;
Sweet is thy Minstrelsy to him whose Lays
First sung this hallow'd Hill of ancient Days.

Yet not this Druid Scene alone
Inspires the gloom-delighted Muse:
Ah! many a Hill, to Fame unknown,
With awe the tuneful Wand'rer views,
And oft whilst Midnight lends her list'ning Ear,
Sings darkling to the solitary Sphere.

Poor Ghost! no more the Druid Band
Shall watch, Devotion-wrap'd, their Fire;
No more high sounding thro' the Land,
To Virtue strike the plauding Lyre:
The Snake along the frowning Fragment creeps,
And Fox obscene beneath its Shadow sleeps.

No more beneath the golden Hook,
The Treasures of the Grove shall fall:
Time triumphs o'er each vanish'd Oak—
The Power, whose might shall crush the Ball!
Yet, yet till Nature droops the Head to die,
Compassion grant each Monument a Sigh.

The Bards in Lays sublime, no more
The Warrior's glorious Deeds relate;
Whose Patriot arm a Thunder bore,
That hurl'd his Country's Foe to Fate:
Lo! mute the Harp near each pale Druid hung!
Mute like the Voice that once accordant sung.

Save when the wand'ring Breeze of Morn,
Or Eve's wild Gale, with wanton Wing,
To hear the note of Sorrow mourn,
Steals to the silent sleeping String;
And wildly brushing, wakes with sweetest Swell
The plaintive Trembling spirit of the Shell.

Here Virtue's awful Voice was heard,
That pour'd th' instructive Truth profound:
Here Cornwall's Sons, that Voice rever'd,
Where sullen Silence sleeps around:
See where she sung, sad Melancholy tread,
A pensive Pilgrim o'er th' unconscious Dead!

She call's on Alda's, Odred's Name,
Sons to the darken'd World of Yore!
Lured by whose Eagle-pinion'd Fame,
The Stranger left his native Shore—
Daring his white Sails to the Wings he gave,
And sought fair Knowledge from the distant Wave.

Tho' few these aweful Rocks revere,
And Temples that deserted lie;
The Muse shall ask the tend'rest Tear
That ever drop'd from Pity's Eye,
T' embalm the Ruins, that her Sighs deplore,
Where Wisdom, Virtue — dwelt, but dwell no more.

John Wolcot's other poems:
  1. Modes of Courtship. Devonshire Hob's Love
  2. Lines intended to be subjoined to Dryden's Ode on Alexander's Feast
  3. In Imitation of Spenser, Written at Santa Cruz
  4. Alexander's Feast
  5. A Pastoral Elegy, on the Death of Jackson, the Musical Composer

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