« PreviousContinue »
A land of promise and of pride
Ah! see her helpless charge! inclosed
The more I looked, I wondered more—
So be it!—but let praise ascend
THE BROWNIE'S CELL—LOCH LOMOND.
To barren heath and quaking fen,
Or depth of labyrinthine glen;
Or into trackless forest set
With trees, whose lofty umbrage met;
World-wearied men withdrew of yore,
Penance their trust, and prayer their store;
And in the wilderness were bound
To such apartments as they found;
Or with a new ambition raised;
That God might suitably be praised.
High lodged the warrior, like a bird of prey;
Or where broad waters round him lay;
But this wild ruin is no ghost
Of his devices—buried, lost!
Within this little lonely isle
There stood a consecrated pile;
Where tapers burned, and mass was sung,
For them whose timid spirits clung
To mortal succour, though the tomb
Had fixed, for ever fixed, their doom!
Upon those servants of another world
He, struggling in the net of pride,
The future scorned, the past defied;
Still tempering from the unguilty forge
Of vain conceit, an iron scourge!
Proud remnant was he of a fearless race,
Who stood and flourished face to face
With their perennial hills ;—but crime
Hastening the stern decrees of time,
Brought low a power, which from its home
Burst when repose grew wearisome;
And taking impulse from the sword,
And mocking its own plighted word,
Had found, in ravage widely dealt,
Its warfare's bourne, its travel's belt!
All, all were dispossessed, save him whose smile
Shot lightning through this lonely isle!
No right had he but what he made
To this smalt spot, his leafy shade;
But the ground lay within that ring
To which he only dared to cling;
Renouncing here, as worse than dead,
The craven few who bowed the head
Beneath the change, who heard a claim,
How loud! yet lived in peace with shame.
From year to year this shaggy mortal went
(So seemed it) down a strange descent;
Till they, who saw his outward frame,
Fixed on him an unhallowed name;
Him—free from all malicious taint,
And guiding, like the Patmos samt,
A pen unwearied—to indite,
In his lone isle, the dreams of night;
Impassioned dreams, that strove to span
The faded glories of his clan!
Suns that through blood their western harbour sought,
And stars that in their courses fought,—
Towers rent, winds combating with woods—
Lands deluged by unbridled floods,—
And beast and bird that from the spell
Of sleep took import terrible,
These types mysterious (if the show
Of battle and the routed foe
Had failed) would furnish an array
Of matter for the dawning day!
How disappeared he?—ask the newt and toad,
Inheritors of his abode;
The otter crouching undisturbed,
In her dank cleft;—but be thou curbed,
O froward fancy! mid a scene
Of aspect winning and serene;
For those offensive creatures shun
The inquisition of the sun 1
And in this region flowers delight,
And all is lovely to the sight.
Spring finds not here a melancholy breast,
When she applies her annual test
To dead and living; when her breath
Quickens, as now, the withered heath ;—
Nor flaunting summer—when he throws
His soul into the briar-rose;
Or calls the lily from her sleep;
Prolonged beneath the bordering deep:
Nor Autumn, when the viewless wren
Is warbling near the Brownie's den.
Wild relic! beauteous as the chosen spot
Young Bacchus was conveyed—to He
Safe from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Where bud, and bloom, and fruitage glowed,
Close crowding round the infant god,
All colours, and the liveliest streak
A foil to his celestial cheek!
COMPOSED AT CORRA LINN,
In Sight Of Wallace's Tower.
Pleased in refreshing dews to steep *
The little trembling flowers that peep
Hence all who love their country, love