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The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
With my loved lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay
Sung in the silent green-wood shade;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.
Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light;
And, where the flowers of Paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening-sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstasy!
-Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept.
And such is man; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day!
BLUE was the loch, the clouds were gone,
Ben-Lomond in his glory shone,
When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze
Bore me from thy silver sands,
Thy kirk-yard wall among the trees,
Where, grey with age, the dial stands;
That dial so well-known to me!
-Tho' many a shadow it had shed,
Beloved Sister, since with thee
The legend on the stone was read.
The fairy-isles fled far away;
That with its woods and uplands green,
Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,
And songs are heard at close of day;
That too, the deer's wild covert, fled,
And that, the asylum of the dead :
While, as the boat went merrily,
Much of Rob Roy the boat-man told;
His arm that fell below his knee,
His cattle-ford and mountain-hold.
Tarbat, thy shore I climbed at last; And, thy shady region passed, Upon another shore I stood, And looked upon another flood; + Great Ocean's self! ('Tis He who fills That vast and awful depth of hills ;) Where many an elf was playing round, Who treads unshod his classic ground; And speaks, his native rocks among, As FINGAL spoke, and Ossian sung.
* Signifying in the Gaelic language an Isthmus. + Loch-Long
Night fell; and dark and darker
That narrow sea, that narrow sky,
As o'er the glimmering waves we flew;
The sea-bird rustling, wailing by.
And now the grampus, half-descried,
Black and huge above the tide;
The cliffs and promontories there,
Front to front, and broad and bare;
Each beyond each, with giant-feet
Advancing as in haste to meet;
The shattered fortress, whence the Dane
Blew his shrill blast, nor rushed in vain,
Tyrant of the drear domain;
All into midnight-shadow sweep-
When day springs upward from the deep! *
Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendour; and the oar,
That rose and fell unseen before,
Flashes in a sea of light!
Glad sign, and sure! for now we hail
Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale;
And bright indeed the path should be,
That leads to Friendship and to Thee!
Oh blest retreat, and sacred too!
Sacred as when the bell of prayer
Tolled duly on the desert air,
And crosses decked thy summits blue.
* A phenomenon described by many navigators.