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THE POACHER. A frt AGMENT.

Welcome, grave stranger, to our green retreats,
Where health with exercise and freedom meets :
Thrice welcome, sage, whose philosophic plan
By Nature's limits metes the rights of man;
Generous as he, who now for freedom bawls,
Now gives full value for true Indian shawls;
O'er court, o'er custom-house, his shoe who flings,
Now bilks excisemen, and now bullies kings,
Like his, I ween, thy comprehensive mind
Holds laws as mouse-traps baited for mankind;
Thine eye, applausive, each sly vermin sees,
That baulks the snare, yet battens on the cheese;
Thine ear has heard, with scorn instead of awe,
Our buckskin'd justices expound the law,
Wire-draw the acts that fix for wires the pain,
And for the netted partridge noose the swain;
And thy vindictive arm would fain have broke
The last light fetter of the feudal yoke,
To give the denizens of wood and wild,
Nature's free race, to each her free-born child.
Hence hast thou mark'd, with grief, fair London's race
Mock'd with the boon of one poor Easter chace,
And long'd to send them forth as free as when
Pourd o'er Chantilly the Parisian train,
When musket, pistol, blunderbuss combined,
And scarce the field-pieces were left behind!
A squadron's charge each leveret's heart dismay’d,
On every covey fired a bold brigade:
La Douce Humanité approved the sport,
For great the alarm indeed, yet small the hurt;
Shouts patriotic solemnized the day,
And Seine re-echo'd Pive la Liberté !
But mad Citoyen, meek Monsieur again,
With some few added links resumes his chain;
Then since such scenes to France no more are known,
Come, view with me a hero of thine own
One, whose free actions vindicate the cause
Of sylvan liberty oer feudal laws.

Seek we yon glades, where the proud oak o'ertops Wide-waving seas of birch and hazel copse, Leaving between deserted isles of land, Where stunted heath is patch'd with ruddy sand; And lonely on the waste the yew is seen, Or straggling hollies spread a brighter greenIIere, little worn, and winding dark and steep, Our scarce-mark'd path descends yon dingle deep : Follow—but heedful, cautious of a trip. In earthly mire philosophy may slip, Step slow and wary o'er that swampy stream, Till, guided by the charcoal's smothering steam, We reach the frail yet barricaded door Of hovel form'd for poorest of the poor; No hearth the fire, no vent the smoke receives, The walls are wattles, and the covering leaves; For, if such hut, our forest statutes say, Rise in the progress of one night and day (Though placed where still the Conqueror's hests o'er

awe,

And his son's stirrup shines the badge of law),
The builder claims the unenviable boon,
To tenant dwelling, framed as slight and soon

As wigwam wild, that shrouds the native frone On the bleak coast of frost-barr'd Labrador."

Approach, and through the unlatticed window peep, Nay, shrink not back, the inmate is asleep; Sunk mid yon sordid blankets, till the sun Stoop to the west, the plunderer's toils are done. Loaded and primed, and prompt from desperate hand, Rifle and fowling-piece beside him stand, While round the hut are in disorder laid The tools and booty of his lawless trade; For force or fraud, resistance or escape, The crow, the saw, the bludgeon, and the crape. His pilfer'd powder in yon nook he hoards, And the filch'd lead the church's roof affords— (Hence shall the rector's congregation fret, That while his sermon 's dry, his walls are wet.) The fish-spear barb'd, the sweeping net are there, Doe-hides, and pheasant plumes, and skins of hare, Cordage for toils, and wiring for the snare. Barter'd for game from chase or warren won, Yon cask holds moonlight,” run when moon was none: And late-snatch'd spoils lie stow'd in hutch apart, To wait the associate higgler's evening cart.

Look on his pallet foul, and mark his rest: * What scenes perturb’d are acting in his breast : His sable brow is wet and wrung with pain, And his dilated nostril toils in vain, For short and scant the breath each effort draws, And 'twixt each effort Nature claims a pause. Beyond the loose and sable neckcloth stretch'd, His sinewy throat seems by convulsion twitch'd, While the tongue falters, as to utterance loth, Sounds of dire import—watch-word, threat, and oath. Though, stupified by toil and drug;'d with gin, The body sleep, the restless guest within Now plies on wood and wold his lawless trade, Now in the fangs of justice wakes dismay’d.—

« Was that wild start of terror and despair, Those bursting eye-balls, and that wilder'd air, Signs of compunction for a murder'd hare: Do the locks bristle and the eye-brows arch,

For grouse or partridge massacred in March?»

No, scoffer, no! Attend, and mark with awe, There is no wicket in the gate of law! He, that would c'er so lightly set ajar That awful portal must undo each bar; Tempting occasion, habit, passion, pride, will join to storm the breach, and force the barrier wide.

That ruffian, whom true men avoid and dread. whom bruisers, poachers, smugglers, call Black Ned, Was Edward Mansell once;—the lightest heart, That ever play'd on holiday his part! The leader he in every Christmas game, The harvest feast grew blither when he came,

* Such is the law in the New Forest, Hampshire, tending greatly to increase the various settlements of thieves, smugglers, and deerstealers, who infest it. In the forest courts the presiding judge wears as a badge of office an antique stirrup, said to have been that of william Rufus. See Mr Willian Rose's spirited poem, entitled . The Red King."

* A cant name for smuggled spirits.

And liveliest on the chords the bow did glance,
When Edward named the tune and led the dance.
Kind was his heart, his passions quick and strong,
Hearty his laugh, and jovial was his song;
And if he loved a gun, his father swore,
“'T was but a trick of youth would soon be o'er;
Himself had done the same some thirty years before.”

But he, whose humours spurn law's awful yoke, Must herd with those by whom law's bonds are broke. The common dread of justice soon allies The clown, who robs the warren or excise, With sterner felons train'd to act more dread, Een with the wretch by whom his fellow bled. Then, as in plagues the foul contagions pass, Leavening and festering the corrupted massGuilt leagues with guilt, while mutual motives draw, Their hope impunity, their fear the law; Their foes, their friends, their rendezvous the same, Till the revenue baulk'd, or pilfer'd game, Flesh the young culprit, and example leads To darker villany and direr deeds.

Wild howl'd the wind the forest glades along, And of the owl renew'd her dismal song; Around the spot where erst he felt the wound, Red William's spectre walk'd his midnight round. When o'er the swamp he cast his blighting look, From the green marshes of the stagnant brook The bittern's sullen shout the sedges shook; The waning moon, with storm-presaging gleam, Now gave and now withheld her doubtful beam; The old oak stoop'd his arms, then flung them high, Bellowing and groaning to the troubled sky— "T was then, that, couch'd amid the brushwood sere In Malwood-walk, young Mansell watch'd the deer: The fattest buck received his deadly shot— The watchful keeper heard, and sought the spot. Stout were their hearts, and stubborn was their strife, O'erpower'd at length the outlaw drew his knife! Next morn a corpse was found upon the fell— The rest his waking agony may tell!

THE DANCE OF DEATH.

Night and morning were at meeting
Over Waterloo;
Cocks had sung their earliest greeting,
Faint and low they crew,
For no paly beam yet shone
On the heights of Mount Saint John;
Tempest-clouds prolong d the sway
Of timeless darkness over day;
Whirlwind, thunder-clap, and shower,
Mark'd it a predestined hour.
Broad and frequent through the night
Flash'd the sheets of levin-light;
Muskets, Blancing lightnings back,
Show'd the dreary bivouack
Where the soldier lay,
Chill and stiff, and drench'd with rain,
Wishing dawn of morn again,
Though death should come with day.

T is at such a tide and hour,
Wizard, witch, and fiend have power,
And ghastly forms through mist and shower,
Gleam on the gifted ken;
And then the affrighted prophet's ear
Drinks whispers strange of fate and fear,
Presaging death and ruin near
Among the sons of men:—
Apart from Albyn's war-array,
T was then gray Allan sleepless lay;
Gray Allan, who, for many a day, -
Had follow'd stout and stern,
Where through battle's rout and reel,
Storm of shot and hedge of steel,
Led the grandson of Lochiel,
Valiant Fassiefern.
Through steel and shot he leads no more,
Low-laid 'mid friends and foemen's gore—
But long his native lake's wild shore,
And Sunart rough, and high Ardgower,
And Morven long shall tell,
And proud Ben Nevis hear with awe,
How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurra
Of conquest as he fell. -
- -

'Lone on the outskirts of the host,
The weary sentinel held post,
And heard, through darkness far aloof,
The frequent clang of courser's hoof,
Where held the cloak'd patrole their course,
And spurr'd gainst storm the swerving horse;
But there are sounds in Allan's ear,
Patrole nor sentinel may hear,
And sights before his eye aghast
Invisible to them have pass'd,
When down the destined plain
Twixt Britain and the bands of France,
Wild as marsh-borne meteors glance,
Strange phantoms wheel'd a revel dance,
And doom'd the future slain.— -
Such forms were seen, such sounds were heard,
When Scotland's James his march prepared
For Flodden's fatal plain;
Such, when he drew his ruthless sword,
As Chusers of the Slain, adored
The yet unchristen’d Dane.
An indistinct and phantom band,
They wheel'd their ring-dance hand in hand,
With gesture wild and dread;
The seer, who watch'd them ride the storm,
Saw through their faint and shadowy form
The lightning's flash more red; -
And still their ghastly roundelay
Was of the coming battle-fray,
And of the destined dead.

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Our airy feet, - -
So light and fleet,
They do not bend the rye,
That sinks its head when whirlwinds rave,
And swells again in eddying wave,
As each wild gust blows by;
But still the corn, -
At dawn of morn,
Our fatal steps that bore,
At eve lies waste,
A trampled paste
Of blackening mud and gore.

Wheel the wild dance,
While lightnings glance,
And thunders rattle loud,
And call the brave
To bloody grave,
To sleep without a shroud.

Wheel the wild dance,
Brave sons of Frances
For you our ring makes room;
Makes space full wide
For martial pride,
For banner, spear, and plume. -
Approach, draw near,
Proud cuirassier!
Room for the men of steel !
Through crest and plate,
The broadsword's weight
Both head and heart shall feel.

Wheel the wild dance,
While lightnings glance,
And thunders rattle loud,
And call the brave
To bloody grave,
To sleep without a shroud.

Sons of the spear!
You feel us near,
In many a ghastly dream;
With fancy's eye
Our forms you spy,
And hear our fatal scream.
With clearer sight
Ere falls the night,
Just when to weal or woe
Your disembodied souls take flight
On trembling wing—each startled sprite
Our choir of death shall know.

Wheel the wild dance,
While lightnings glance,
And thunders rattle loud,
And call the brave
To bloody grave,
To sleep without a shroud.

Burst, ye clouds, in tempest showers, Redder rain shall soon be ours—

See, the east grows wan—

Yield we place to sterner game,
Ere deadlier bolts and drearier flame

Shall the well&in's thunders shame;
Elemental rage is tame
To the wrath of man.

At morn, gray Allan's mates with awe
Heard of the vision'd sights he saw,
The legend heard him say;
But the seer's gifted eye was dim,
Deafen'd his ear, and stark his limb,
Ere closed that bloody day—
He sleeps far from his Highland heath,<-
But often of the Dance of Death
His comrades tell the tale
On piquet-post, when ebbs the night,
And waning watch-fires glow less bright,
And dawn is glimmering pale.

FAREWELL TO The MUSE. *

Ench ANTREss, farewell, who so oft hast decoy'd me,
At the close of the evening through woodlands to roam,
Where the forester, lated, with wonder espied me
Explore the wild scenes he was quitting for home.
Farewell, and take with thee thy numbers wild speaking,
The language alternate of rapture and woe;
Oh! none but some lover, whose heart-strings are
breaking,
The pang that I feel at our parting can know.

Each joy thou couldst double, and when there came
sorrow,
Or pale disappointment, to darken my way,
What voice was like thine, that could sing of to-morrow,
Till forgot in the strain was the grief of to-day!
But when friends drop around us in life's weary waning,
The grief, queen of numbers, thou canst not assuage:
Nor the gradual estrangement of those yet remaining,
The languor of pain, and the chillness of age.

‘Twas thou that once taught me, in accents bewailing,
To sing how a warrior lay stretch'd on the plain,
And a maiden hung o'er him with aid unavailing,
And held to his lips the cold goblet in vain;
As vain those enchantments, O queen of wild numbers,
..To a bard when the reign of his fancy is o'er,
And the quick pulse of feeling in apathy slumbers—
Farewell then–Enchantress!—I meet thee no more.

EPITAPH ON MRS FRSKINE.

Plain, as her native dignity of mind,
Arise the tomb of her we have resign'd:
Unflaw'd and stainless be the marble scroll,
Emblem of lovely form, and candid soul.—
But, oh! what symbol may avail, to tell
The kindness, wit, and sense, we loved so well!
What sculpture show the broken ties of life,
Here buried with the parent, friend, and wife'
Or, on the tablet, stamp each title dear,
By which thine urn, Euphewi A, claims the tear!
Yet, taught, by thy meek sufferance, to assume
Patience in anguish, hope beyond the tomb,
Resign'd, though sad, this votive verse shall flow,
And brief, alas! as thy brief span below.

MR KEMBLE'S FAREWELL ADDRESS, on taking leave of the Edinburgh stage.

As the worn was horse, at the trumpet's sound, Erects his mane, and neighs, and paws the ground— Disdains the ease his generous lord assigns,

And longs to rush on the embattled lines, So I, your plaudits ringing on mine ear, Can scarce sustain to think our parting near;

To think my scenic hour for ever past,
And that those valued plaudits are my last.
Why should we part, while still some powers remain,
That in your service strive not yet in vain?
Cannot high zeal the strength of youth supply,
And sense of duty fire the fading eye?
And all the wrongs of age remain subdued
Beneath the burning glow of gratitude :
Ah no! the taper, wearing to its close,
Oft for a space in sitful lustre glows;
But all too soon the transient gleam is past, -
It cannot be renew d, and will not last;
Even duty, zeal, and gratitude, can wage
But short-lived conflict with the frosts of age.
Yes! It were poor, remembering what I was,
To live a pensioner on your applause,
To drain the dregs of your endurance dry,
And take, as alms, the praise I once could buy, .
Till every sneering youth around inquires,
“Is this the man who once could please our sires!»
And scorn assumes compassion's doubtful mien,
To warn me off from the encumber'd scene.
This must not be;—and higher duties crave
Some space between the theatre and the grave;
That, like the Roman in the Capitol,
I may adjust my mantle ere I fall:
My life's brief act in public service flown,
The last, the closing scene, must be my own.

Here, then, adieu' while yet some well-graced parts May fix an ancient favourite in your hearts, Not quite to be forgotten, even when You look on better actors, younger men: And if your bosoms own this kindly debt Of old remembrance, how shall mine forget— O, how forget !—how oft I hither came In anxious hope, how oft return'd with fame! Iłow oft around your circle this weak hand Has waved immortal Shakspeare's magic wand, Till the full burst of inspiration came, And I have felt, and you have fann'd the flame! By memory treasured, while her reign endures, Those hours must live—and all their charms are yours.

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But spied a mouse upon her marriage day,
Forgot her spouse and seized upon her prey;
Even thus my bridegroom lawyer, as you saw,
Threw off poor me and pounced upon papa.
His neck from Hymen's mystic knot made loose,
He twisted round my sire's the literal noose.
Such are the fruits of our dramatic labour,
Since the New Jail became our next door neighbour."

Yes, times are changed, for in your fathers' age The lawyers were the patrons of the stage; However high advanced by future fate, There stands the bench (points to the Pit) that first received their weight. The future legal sage, 't was ours to see, . Doom though unwigg'd, and plead without a fee.

But now astounding each poor mimic elf, Instead of lawyers comes the Law herself; Tremendous neighbour, on our right she dwells, Builds high her towers and excavates her cells; While on the left, she agitates the town With the tempestuous question, Up or down?” Twixt Scylla and Charybdis thus stand we, Law's final end and law's uncertainty. Eut soft! who lives at Rome the pope must flatter, And jails and lawsuits are no jesting matter. Then—just farewell! we wait with serious awe, Till your applause or censure gives the law, Trusting our humble efforts may assure ye, We hold you court and counsel, judge and jury.

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Enough, after absence to meet me again,
Thy steps still with ecstasy move;

Enough, that those dear sober glances retain
For me the kind language of love!

-

THE PALMER.

« O open the door, some pity to show,
Keen blows the northern wind ;
-

It is necessary to mention, that the allusions in this piece are all local, and addressed only to the Edinburgh audience. The new prisons of the city, on the Calton Hill, are not far from the Theatre.

* At this time the public of Edinburgh was much agitated by a lawsuit betwixt the magistrates and many of the inhabitants of the city, concerning the range of new buildings on the western side of the North Bridge; which the latter insisted should be removed as a deformity.

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The glen is white with the drifted snow, And the path is hard to find.

« No outlaw seeks your castle gate,
From chasing the king's deer, -

Though even an outlaw's wretched state
Might claim compassion here.

• A weary Palmer, worn and weak, I wander for my sin;

O open, for Our Lady's sake,
A pilgrim's blessing win!

• I'll give you pardons from the pope, And reliques from o'er the sea,

Or if for these you will not ope,
Yet open for charity.

«The hare is crouching in her form,
The hart beside the hind;

An aged man, amid the storm,
No shelter can I find.

& You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar, Dark, deep, and strong is he,

And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
Unless you pity me.

«The iron gate is bolted hard,
At which I knock in vain;

The owner's heart is closer barr'd,
Who hears me thus complain.

• Farewell, farewell ! and Mary grant, When old and frail you be,

You never may the shelter want,
That's now denied to me.”

The ranger on his couch lay warm,
And heard him plead in vain;

But oft, amid December's storm, -
He ‘ll hear that voice again:

For lo, when through the vapours dank,
Morn shone on Ettrick fair,

A corpse amid the alders rank,
The Palmer welter'd there.

The MAID of NEIDPATH

There is a tradition in Tweeddale, that when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence, the lady fell into a consumption, and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family,

that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognizing her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an instance similar to this traditional tale in Count Hamilton's Fleur d'Épine.

O Loyers' eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers ears in hearing;
And love, in life's extremity,
Can lend an hour of cheering.
Disease had been in Mary's bower,
And slow decay from mourning,
Though now she sits on Neidpath's tower,
To watch her love's returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Her form decay’d by pining,
Till through her wasted hand, at night,
You saw the taper shining.
By fits, a sultry hectic hue
Across her cheek was flying;
By fits, so ashy pale she grew,
Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear
Seem'd in her frame residing;
Before the watch-dog prick'd his ear,
She heard her lover's riding;
Ere scarce a distant form was kenn'd,
She knew, and waved to greet him;
And o'er the battlement did bend,
As on the wing to meet him. i

He came—he pass'd—an heedless gaze, As o'er some stranger, glancing; Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase, Lost in his courser's prancing— The castle arch, whose hollow tone Returns each whisper spoken, Could hardly catch the feeble moan, Which told her heart was * WANDERING WILLIE. All joy was bereft me the day that you left me, And climb'd the tall vessel to sail yon wide sea; O weary betide it! I wander'd beside it, And bann'd it for parting my Willic and me.

Far o'er the wave hast thou follow'd thy fortune,
Oft fought the squadrons of France and of Spain;

Ae kiss of welcome 's worth twenty at parting,
Now I hae gotten my Willie again.

When the sky it was mirk, and the winds they were
wailing,
I sat on the beach wi' the tear in my ee,
And thought o' the bark where my Willie was sailing,
And wish'd that the tempest could a blaw on me.

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