Page images
PDF

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, thv 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 subd-ied

And quieted in character; the strife,

The pride, the fury uncontrollable,

Lost on the aerial 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 I

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 I
And for the law itself we fight
In bitterness of soul.

[graphic]
[graphic]

tld• at least, have been,

htowardness of fate:
■:hen too strong;
a age too late.

f an age too soon?

fold man living now, t flourish in his pride, I on every bough!

1 factors, rights of chase, kirds and their domains, tve seemed but paltry things, fth a moment's pains.

3 never lmgered here, v meagre vales confined; t how wide the world, the times f.irly to his mind!

-word he would have said,
Lv sovereign will enact
land through half the earth!
.u of law and fact!

we should do our part;
it mankind should learn
It to be surpassed
concern.

all are over old,
none are good enough:
t we can help to frame
other stuff.

ve my kings that take
cn of life and death:
II shift about, like clouds,

I my breath."

"And, puzzled, blinded thus, we lose
Distinctions that are plain and few:
These find I graven on my heart:
That tells me what to do.

"The creatures see of flood and field,
And those that travel on the wind!
With them no strife can last; they live
In peace, and peace of mind.

"For why?—because the good old rule
Sufnceth them, the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.

"A lesson that is quickly learned,
A signal this which all can see!
Thus nothing here provokes the strong
To wanton cruelty.

"All freakishness of mind is checked;
He tamed, who foolishly aspires;
While to the measure of his might
Each fashions his desires.

"All kinds and creatures stand and fall
By strength of prowess or of wit:
'Tis God's appointment, who must sway,
And who is to submit.

"Since, then, the rule of right is plain.
And longest life is but a day;
To have my ends, maintain my rights,
I '11 take the shortest way."

And thus among these rocks he lived,
Through summer heat and winter snow;
The eagle, he was lord above,
And Rob was lord below.

« PreviousContinue »