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Than sceptered king or laurelled conqueror knows.
A PLACE OF BURIAL IN THE SOUTH OF
Part fenced by man, part by a ragged steep
A HIGHLAND HUT.
See what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built cot
Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may,
Shines in the greeting of the sun's first ray
Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot.
The limpid mountain rill avoids it not;
And why shouldst thou? If rightly trained and bred,
Humanity is humble,—finds no spot
Which her heaven-guided feet refuse to tread.
The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof,
Undressed the pathway leading to the door;
But love, as Nature loves, the lonely poor;
COMPOSED IN ROSLIN CHAPEL DURING A STORM.
The wind is now thy organist;—a clank
(We know not whence) ministers for a bell
To mark some change of service. As the swell
Of music reached its height, and even when sank
The notes, in prelude, Roslin ! to a blank
Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof,
Pillars, and arches—not in vain time-proof,
Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
Came those live herbs? by what hand were they sown
Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown?
Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche
Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown,
Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
Though mute, of all things blending into one.
There's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
But were an apt confessional for one
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That life is but a tale of morning grass,
Withered at eve. From scenes of art that chase
That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
Feed it mid Nature's old felicities;
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest,
If from a golden perch of aspen spray
"THE PIBROCH'S NOTE."
The Pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute;
The Roman kilt, degraded to a toy
Of quaint apparel for a half-spoilt boy;
The target mouldering like ungathered fruit;
The smoking steam-boat eager in pursuit,
As eagerly pursued; the umbrella spread
To weather-fend the Celtic herdsman's head—
All speak of manners withering to the root,
And some old honours, too, and passions high:
Then may we ask, tho' pleased that thought should range
Among the conquests of civility,
Survives imagination—to the change
Superior? Help to virtue does it give?
If not, O Mortals, better cease to live!
IN THE GLEN OF LOCH ETIVE.
This Land of Rainbows, spanning glens whose walls,
The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide
IN THE SOUND OF MULL.
Tradition, be thou mute! Oblivion, throw
Thy veil, in mercy, o'er the records hung
Round strath and mountain, stamped by the ancient
tongue On rock and ruin darkening as we go— Spots where a word, ghost-like, survives to show What crimes from hate, or desperate love have sprung; From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong, What feuds, not quenched, but fed by mutual woe: Yet, though a wild vindictive race, untamed By civil arts and labours of the pen, Could gentleness be scorned by these fierce men, Who, to spread wide the reverence that they claimed For patriarchal occupations, named Yon towering Peaks, 'Shepherds of Etive Glen.'
THE CAVE OF STAFFA.
We saw, but surely, in the motley crowd,