Page images
PDF

Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, anything to thee!

Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; and going hence
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our memory, feel that she hath eyes:
Then, why should I be loth to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland girl ! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And thee, the spirit of them all!

GLEN-ALMAIN, OR, THE NARROW GLEN.

In this still place, remote from men,
Sleeps Ossian, in the Narrow Glen;
In this still place, where murmurs on
But one meek streamlet, only one,
He sang of battles, and the breath
Of stormy war, and violent death;
And should, methinks, when all was past,
Have rightfully been laid at last
Where rocks were rudely heaped, and rent
As by a spirit turbulent;
Where sights were rough, and sounds were wild,
And every thing unreconciled;

In some complaining, dim retreat,
For fear and melancholy meet;
But this is calm; there cannot be
A more entire tranquillity.

Does then the bard sleep here indeed ?
Or is it but a groundless creed!
What matters it?-I blame them not
Whose fancy in this lonely spot
Was moved; and in such way expressed
Their notion of its perfect rest.
A convent, even a hermit's cell
Would break the silence of this dell:
It is not quiet; is not ease;
But something deeper far than these :
The separation that is here
Is of the grave; and of austere
Yet happy feelings of the dead :
And, therefore, was it rightly said
That Ossian, last of all his race!
Lies buried in this lonely place.

STEPPING WESTWARD.
What! you are stepping westward?"* l'ea."
'Twould be a wildish destiny,
If we, who thus together roam
In a strange land, and far from home,
Were in this place the guests of chance;
Yet who would stop, or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a sky to lead him on?

• The words of a woman's greeting to the poet by the side of Loch Katrine.

Nor by soft peace adopted; though, in place
And in dimension, such that thou mightst seem
But a mere footstool to yon sovereign lord,
Hugh Cruachan,-a thing that meaner hills
Might crush, nor know that it had suffered harm;
Yet he, not loth, in favour of thy claims
To reverence suspends his own; submitting
All that the God of nature hath conferred,
All that he has in common with the stars,
To the memorial majesty of time
Impersonated in thy calm decay!

Take then, thy seat, vicegerent unreproved !
Now, while a farewell gleam of evening light
Is fondly lingering on thy shattered front,
Do thou, in turn, be paramount; and rule
Over the pomp and beauty of a scene
Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods, unite
To pay thee homage; and with these are joined,
In willing admiration and respect,
Two hearts, which in thy presence might be called
Youthful as spring. Shade of departed power,
Skeleton of unfleshed humanity,
The chronicle were welcome that should call
Into the compass of distinct regard
The toils and struggles of thy infancy!
Yon foaming flood seems motionless as ice;
Its dizzy turbulence eludes the eye,
Frozen by distance; so, majestic pile,
To the perception of this age, appear
Thy fierce beginnings, softened and subdued
And quieted in character ; the strife,
The pride, the fury uncontrollable,
Lost on the aërial heights of the Crusades.

ROB ROY'S GRAVE.
A FAMOUS man is Robin Hood,
The English ballad-singer's joy!
And Scotland has a thief as good,
An outlaw of as daring mood;
She has her brave Rob Roy!
Then clear the weeds from off his grave,
And let us chant a passing stave
In honour of that hero brave!

Heaven gave Rob Roy a dauntless heart And wondrous length and strength of arm : Nor craved he more to quell his foes,

Or keep his friends from harm.

Yet was Rob Roy as wise as brave;
Forgive me if the phrase be strong:-
A poet worthy of Rob Roy

Must scorn a timid song.

Say, then, that he was wise as brave;
As wise in thought as bold in deed:
For in the principles of things

He sought his moral creed.
Said generous Rob, “What need of books?
Burn all the statutes and their shelves :
They stir us up against our kind;

And worse, against ourselves,

We have a passion, make a law, Too false to guide us or control! And for the law itself we fight

In bitterness of soul.

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »