Night is dull and dark,
The clouds rest on the hills;
No star with twinkling beam,
No moon looks from the skies.
I hear the blast in the wood,
But distant and dull I hear it.
The stream of the valley murmurs,
Low is its murmur too.
From the tree at the grave of the dead,
The lonely screech-owl groans.
I see a dim form on the plain,
‘Tis a ghost! it fades, it flies;
Some dead shall pass this way.
From the lowly hut of the hill
The distant dog is howling;
The stag lies by the mountain-well,
The hind is at his side;
She hears the wind in his horns,
She starts, but lies again.
The roe is in the cleft of the rock:
The heath-cock’s head beneath his wing.
No beast, no bird is abroad,
But the owl, and the howling fox;
She on the leafless tree,
He on the cloudy hill.
Dark, panting, trembling, sad,
The traveller has lost his way;
Through shrubs, through thorns he goes,
Beside the gurgling rills;
He fears the rock and the pool,
He fears the ghost of the night.
The old tree groans to the blast;
The falling branch resounds.
The wind drives the clung thorn
Along the sighing grass;
He shakes amid the night.
Dark, dusty, howling, is night,
Cloudy, windy, and full of ghosts;
The dead are abroad; my friends
Receive me from the night.
We present this work in honor of the 225th anniversary of the poet’s death.
If your lass is coquettish and frisky,
Make up to her easy and briskly;
If she frown on ye, turn on your heel,
Make love to another, your heart to recover;
You’ll quickly discover she would keep you her lover,
Tho’ her heart be as hard as the steel.
She will try all her tricks to entice ye,
Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, sometimes spicy;
Affect all these humours yourself,
See that ye vex her, be sure to perplex her,
Provoke her and coax her, roast her and toast her,
She’s as sure in your pouch as your pelf.
If your lassie is modest and shy,
Watch every cast of her eye;
If she blushes, she’s halflings your own;
Approach by degrees, her hand ye may seize,
And give it a squeeze, then down on your knees,
And prefer her to kings, or their crown.
If she answer you no way but flying,
Depend on’t she will be complying,
So follow as fast as you can.
But if coolly she stay, I’m afraid she’ll say nay,
Pray pack up your heart and be gone,
For ye may leave her to some other man.
Blow on, ye death-fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night’s impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.
Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail,
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap’d by the gelid hand of frost;
Thro’ this unbdounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh’d the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.
Yes! I am chang’d.—My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black’ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low’rs the thick’ning gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner’s expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.
Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell—beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.
When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav’n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean’s boiling flood
Thro’ vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o’er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.
Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla’s flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o’er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd’ring own your potent agency.
To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning’s force,
When the keen north-wind’s freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro’ Time’s long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.