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The sun-beams streak the azure (1) skies,
And line with light the mountains brow;
With hounds and horns the hunters rise,
And chase the roebuck (2) thro' the snow.

From rock to rock, with giant bound,
High on their iron poles they pass;
Mute (3) lest the air, convuls’d by sound,
Rend from above a frozen mass.

The goats wind slow their wonted way,
Up craggy (4) steeps and ridges rude;
Mark’d by the wild wolf for his prey,
From desert, care, or hanging wood.

And while the torrent thunders loud,
And as the echoing cliffs reply,
The huts peep o'er the morning cloud,
Perch’d, like an eagle's nest, on high.


(1) Azure_blue.—(2) Roebuck—a small species of deer.

(3) Mute--silent.—(4) Craggy_rough, uneven. The second verse alludes to the manner the hunters jump from rock to rock, viz: by the aid of a pole made of iron, which greatly assists them in their perilous but exciting amusement.


“These shades are still the abodes
Of undissembled (1) gladness: the thick roof
Of green and stirring branches is alive
And musical with birds, that sing and sport
In wantonness (2) of spirit; while below,
The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,

Chirps merrily.

Throngs of insects in the glade
Try their thin wings and dance in the warm beam
That waked them into life. Even the green trees
Partake the deep contentment: as they bend
To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
Looks in, and sheds a blessing on the scene.

Scarce less the cleft-born 3 wild flower seems to enjoy
Existence, than the winged plunderer
That sucks its sweets. The rivulet
Sends forth glad sounds, and tripping o'er its bed
Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks,
Seems with continuous laughter to rejoice,
In its own being.”


(1) Undissembled—not feigned-honest.
(2) Wantonness—-carelessness.
(3) Cleft-born-born in a crevice or cleft.


IIow sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest !
When spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck (1) their hallow'd mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell 2 is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge 3 is sung;
There honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there.


(1) Deck-to adorn or beautify. (2) Knella funeral bell.

(3) Dirge-a mournful or sad anthem or song.


No stir on the air, no swell on the sea,

The ship was still as she might be;
The sails from heaven received no motion,

The keel was steady in the ocean.

With neither sign nor sound of shock,

The waves flow'd o'er the Inchcape Rock ; So little they rose, so little they fell,

They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

The pious Abbot of Aberbrothock,

Had placed that bell on the Inchcape rock ; On the waves of the storm it floated and swung,

And louder and louder its warning rung, When the rock was hid by the tempest swell,

The mariners heard the warning bell, And then they knew the perilous rock,

And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothock. The float of the Inchcape Bell was seen,

A darker spot on the ocean green; Sir Ralph the Rover walk'd the deck,

And he fix'd his eye on the darker speck, His eye was on the Bell and Float,

Quoth he “My men, put down the boat, And row me to the Inchcape Rock, —

I'll plague the priest of Aberbrothock !" The boat was lower'd, the boatmen row,

And to the Inchcape Rock they go, Sir Ralph leant over from the boat,

And cut the bell from off the float. Down sunk the bell with a gurgling 1 sound,

The bubbles rose, and burst around, Quoth he, “Who next comes to the rock,

Won't bless the priest of Aberbrothock!,'
Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away,

He scour’d the sea for many a day,
And now, grown rich with plunder'd store,

He steers his way for Scotland's shore. (1) Gurgling-a deep gushing noise, as made by any heavy body

falling into the water, like the bell in the present instance.

So thick a haze o'erspread the sky,

They could not see the sun on high,
The wind had blown a gale all day,

At evening it hath died away.

“ Can’st hear,” said one, “ the breakers 2 roar ?

For yonder, methinks should be the shore, Now, where we are, I cannot tell,

I wish we heard the Inchcape Bell.”

They heard no sound—the swell is strong,

Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along; Till the vessel strikes with a quivering shock,

“Oh heavens! it is the Inchcape Rock!"

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,

And cursed himself in his despair;
And waves rush in on every side,
The ship sinks fast beneath the tide.

SOUTHEY. (2) Breakers---rocks against which the waves break, as the word


There is a deep moral conveyed in these verses which it would be well to reflect upon for a moment, as no doubt the poet calculated to teach us a very useful lesson in a pleasant manner.

It is impossible to do wrong, or to act rashly without being at some future time punished for our wickedness, or reproved for our rashness. It has been rightly said by a great philosopher, that “ theft never enriches, that falsehood never profiteth, and every bad action is sure to bring with it some sore punishment.” As it was with Sir Ralph the Rover, so it has been with hundreds and thousands of individuals, who out of sheer caprice and in an idle moment, did some malicious act which sometime afterwards they bitterly regretted. Alike the boy and the man when they take that which does not belong to them, or do that which is evil in the sight of God, are sure to be punished in more ways than one, by Him who sees every act, and knows every thought of our minds.

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