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For fear and melancholy meet;

But this is calm; there cannot be 15

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 20

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; 25

But something deeper far than these:
The separation that is here
Is of the grave; and of austere
Tet happy feelings of the dead:
And, therefore, was it rightly said 30

That Ossian, last of all Ms race!
Lies buried in this lonely place.



While my Fellow-traveller and I were walking by the side of Loch Ketterine, one fine evening after sunset, in our road to a Hut where, in the course of our Tour, we had been hospitably entertained some weeks before, we met, in one of the loneliest parts of that solitary region, two well-dressed Women, one of whom said to us, byway of greeting, " What, you are stepping westward?''

"What, you are stepping westward?"—" Yea." —'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: 5
Tet who would stop, or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a sky to lead him on?

The dewy ground was dark and cold;
Behind, all gloomy to behold; 10

And stepping westward seemed to be
A kind of heavenly destiny:
I liked the greeting; 'twas a sound
Of something without place or bound;
And seemed to give me spiritual right 15
To travel through that region bright.

The voice was soft, and she who spake

Was walking by her native lake:

The salutation had to me

The very sound of courtesy: 20

Its power was felt; and while my eye

Was fixed upon the glowing Sky,

The echo of the voice enwrought

A human sweetness with the thought

Of travelling through the world that lay 25

Before me in my endless way.



Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain

0 listen! for the Vale profound Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt

More welcome notes to weary bands 10

Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard

In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas 15

Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings ?—

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:

Or is it some more humble lay,

Familiar matter of to-day?

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang 25

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o'er the sickle bending;—

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill, 30

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.


"From the top of the hill a most impressive scene opened upon our view,—a ruined Castle on an Island (for an Island the flood had made it) at some distance from the shore, backed by a Cove of the Mountain Cruachan, down which came a foaming stream. The Castle occupied every foot of the Island that was visible to us, appearing to rise out of the water,— mists rested upon the mountain side, with spots of sunshine; there was a mild desolation in the low grounds, a solemn grandeur in the mountains, and the Castle was wild, yet stately—not dismantled of turrets—nor the walls broken down, though obviously a ruin."—Extract from the Journal of my Companion.

Child of loud-throated War! the mountain

Stream Eoars in thy hearing; but thy hour of rest Is come, and thou art silent ifl thy age; Save when the wind sweeps by and sounds are

caught Ambiguous, neither wholly thine nor theirs. 5 Oh! there is life that breathes not; Powers

there are That touch each other to the quick in modes Which the gross world no sense hath to perceive, No soul to dream of. What art Thou, from care Cast off—abandoned by thy rugged Sire, 10 Nor by soft Peace adopted; though, in place And in dimension, such that thou might'st seem

But a mere footstool to yon sovereign Lord, Huge Cruachan, (a thing that meaner hills Might crush, nor know that it had suffered

harm;) 15

Yet he, not loth, in favour of thy claims
To reverence, suspends his own; submitting
All that the Gk>d of Nature hath conferred,
All that he holds in common with the stars,
To the memorial majesty of Time 20

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 25
Over the pomp and beauty of a scene
Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods,

To pay thee homage; and with these are joined,
In willing admiration and respect,
Two Hearts, which in thy presence might be

called 30

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 infant years! 35
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 40
And quieted in character—the strife,
The pride, the fury uncontrollable,
Lost on the aerial heights of the Crusades!l

1 The tradition is, that the Castle was built by a Lady during the absence of her Lord in Palestine.

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