Now, strange to tell ! if rural folks say true,
To harden's Rock the Aliffening damfel grew;
No more her shapeless features can be known,
Stone is her body, and her limbs are stone ;
The growing rock invades her beauteous face,
And quickly petrifies each living grace ;
The stone her stature nor her shape retains,
The nymph is vanish'd, but the rock remains.
Yet wou'd her heart its vital spirits keep,
And scorn to mingle with the marble heap.

When babbling Fame the fatal tidings bore,
Grief seiz’d the foul of perjur'd Polydore ;
Despair and horror rob’d his soul of rest,
And deep compunction wrung his tortur'd breast,
Then to the fatal spot in haile he hied,
And plung'd a deadly poinard in his fide :
He bent his dying eyes upon the stone,
And, " Take sweet 'maid” he cried, <

my parting groan.” Fainting, the steel he grasp'd, and as he fell, The

weapon pierc'd the Rock he lov'd so well;
The guiltless steel affail'd the mortal part,
And Itabid the vital, vulnerable heart.
The life-blood issuing from the wounded ftone,
Blends with the crimson current of his own,
And tho' revolving ages fince have paft,
The meeting torrents undiminish'd last';
Still gulhes out the fanguine stream amain,
The itanding wonder of the stranger swain.

Now once a year, fo rustic records tell,
When o'er the hcath resounds the midnight bell;
On eve of Midsummer that foe to sleep,
What time young maids their annual vigils keep.

The * tell-tale shrub freh gather'd to declare
The swains who false, from those who constant are ;
When ghosts in clanking chains the church-yard walk,
And to the wondering car of fancy talk:
When the scar'd maid steals trembling thro' the grove,
To kiss the tomb of him who died for love,
When with long watchings, Care, at length oppreft,
Steals broken pauses of uncertain reft ;
Nay Grief short snatches of repose can take,
And nothing but Despair is quite awake,
Then, at that hour, fo ftill, fo full of fear,
When all things horrible to thought appear,
Is perjur'd Polydore observ'd to rove
A ghaitly spectre thro' the gloomy grove ;
Then to the Rock, the Bleeding Rock repair,
Where sadly fighing, it diffolves to air.

Still when the hour of folemn rites return,
The village train in sad proceffion mourn ;
Pluck every weed which might the spot disgrace,
And plant the faireft field flow'rs in their place.
Around no noxious plant, or floweret grows,
But the first daffodil, and earliest rose :
The snow-drop spreads its whitelt bofom here,
And golden cowslips grace the vernal year;
Here the pale primrose takes a fairer hue,
And every violet boatts a brighter blue.
Here builds the woodlark, here the faithful dove
Laments her loft, or waves her living love.
Secure from harm is every

hallowed neft, The spot is sacred where true lovers rest,

* Midsummer-men, consulted as oracles by village maids.

To guard the Rock from each malignant sprite
A troop of guardian spirits watch by night,
Aloft in air each takes his little stand,
The neighb'ring hill is hence call's Fairy Land. *

[ocr errors]

By contraction Failand, a hill well known in So. mersetshire; not far from this is The Bleeding Rock, from which constantly issues a crimson current.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

was written by Thomas Tickel, Esq; the celebra. ted friend of Mr. Addison, and editor of his works. He was fon of a Clergyman in the north of England, bad his education at Queen's college Oxon, was under-secretary to Mr. Addison and Mr. Cragge, when succesively secre. taries of fate ; and was lafily (in June 1724) appointed fecretary to the Lord Yuffices in Ireland, which place he beld till his death in 1740. He acquired Mr. Addison's patronage by a poem in praise of the opera of Rofamond written while he was at the University,

O Leinifter, fam'd for maidens fair,
Nor e'er did Liffy's limpid stream

Reflect so fair a face.

Till luckless love, and pining care,

Impair'd her rofy hue,
Her coral lips, and damask cheek,

And eyes of glofly blue.

« ElőzőTovább »