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Blithe was his song, a song of yore;
But where the rock is rent in two,
And the river rushes through,
His voice was heard no more !
'Twas but a step! the gulf he passed ;
But that step-it was his last !
As through the mist he winged his way,
(A cloud that hovers night and day,)
The hound hung back, and back he drew
The Master and his merlin too.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of Life!
There now the matin-bell is
The “ Miserere !” duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer, groan
groan. The child before thee is thy own. And she who wildly wanders there, The mother in her long despair, Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping, Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping; Of those who would not be consoled When red with blood the river rolled.
THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND,
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; t
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.
Night fell; and dark and darker grew 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;
• Signifying in the Gaelic language an Isthmus. + Loch-Long.
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.
Oft, like some loved romantic tale,
Oft shall my weary mind recall,
Amid the hum and stir of men,
Thy beechen grove and waterfall,
Thy ferry with its gliding sail,
And Her—the Lady of the Glen!
• A phenomenon described by many navigators.