Page images
PDF

Than sceptered king or laurelled conqueror knows.
Follow this wondrous potentate. Be true,
Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea,
Wafting your charge to soft Parthenope 1

A PLACE OF BURIAL IN THE SOUTH OF
SCOTLAND.

Part fenced by man, part by a ragged steep
That curbs a foaming brook, a graveyard lies;
The hare's best couching-place for fearless sleep;
Which moonlit elves, far seen by credulous eyes,
Enter in dance. Of church, or Sabbath ties,
No vestige now remains; yet thither creep
Bereft ones, and in lowly anguish weep
Their prayers out to the wind and naked skies.
Proud tomb is none; but rudely-sculptured knights,
By humble choice of plain old times, are seen
Level with earth, among the hillocks green:
Union not sad, when sunny daybreak smites
The spangled turf, and neighbouring thickets ring
With jubilate from the choirs of spring I

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;
Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof,
Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer,
Belike less happy.—Stand no more aloof I

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.

THE TROSSACHS.

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
(October's workmanship to rival May)
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
This moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest.

"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,
Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists.
Of far-stretched meres, whose salt flood never rests,
Of tuneful caves and playful waterfalls,
Of mountains varying momently their crests—
Proud be this land 1 whose poorest huts are halls
Where Fancy entertains becoming guests;
While native song the heroic past recalls.
Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught,

The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide
Her trophies, Fancy crouch;—the course of pride
Has been diverted, other lessons taught,
That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head
Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread.

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,
Not one of us has felt, the far-famed sight;
How could we feel it? each the other's blight,
Hurried and hurrying, volatile and loud.
O for those motions only that invite
The ghost of Fingal to his tuneful cave 1
By the breeze entered, and wave after wave
Softly embosoming the timid light 1

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »