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The Saxon prince in horror fled
From altars stain'd with human gore;
And Liberty his routed legions led
In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore.
There in a cave asleep she lay,
Lull’d by the hoarse-resounding main :
When a bold savage pass'd that way,
Impeli'd by Destiny, his name Disdain.
Of ample front the portly chief appear'd;
The hunted bear supplied a shaggy vest;
The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard,
And his broad shoulders braved the furious blast.
He stoppd: he gazed: his bosom glow'd,
And deeply felt the impression of her charms :
He seized the advantage Fate allow'd,
And straight compress'd her in his vig'rous arms.
The curlew scream'd, the Tritons blew
Their shells to celebrate the ravish'd rite;
Old Time exulted as he flew,
And Independence saw the light.
The light he saw in Albion's happy plains,
Where, under cover of a flowering thorn,
While Philomel renew'd her warbled strains,
The auspicious fruit of stolen embrace was born
The mountain Dryads, seized with joy,
The smiling infant to their charge consign'd;
The Doric Muse caress’d the favourite boy;
The hermit Wisdom stored his opening mind.
As rolling years matured his age,
He flourish'd bold and sinewy as his sire ;
While the mild passions in his breast assuage
The fiercer flames of his maternal sire.
Accomplish'd thus, he wing'd his way,
And zealous roved from pole to pole,
The rolls of right eternal to display,
And warm with patriot thoughts the aspiring soul.
On desert islets it was he that raised
Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave,
When Tyranny beheld amazed
Fair Freedom's temple, where he mark'd her grave.
He steel'd the blunt Batavian's arms
To burst the Iberian's double chain;
And cities reard, and planted farms,
Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain.
He, with the generous rustics, sate
On Uri's rocks in close divan ;*
And wing'd that arrow, sure as fate,
Which ascertain'd the sacred rights of man.
Arabia's scorching sands he cross'd,
Where blasted Nature pants supine,
Conductor of her tribes adust,
To Freedom's adamantine shrine ;
And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast !
He snatch'd from under fell Oppression's wing;
And taught amid the dreary waste
The all-cheering hymns of Liberty to sing.
He virtue finds, like precious ore,
Diffused through every baser mould,
Even now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore,
And turns the dross of Corsica to gold.
He, guardian genius, taught my youth
Pomp’s tinsel livery to despise :
My lips, by him chastised to truth,
Ne'er paid that homage which the heart denies.
Those sculptured halls my feet shall never tread,
Where varnish'd Vice and Vanity combined,
To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread,
And forge vile shackles for the freeborn mind.
Where Insolence his wrinkled front uprears,
And all the flowers of spurious fancy blow;
And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears,
Full often wreath'd around the miscreant's brow :
Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain,
Presents her cup of stale profession's froth !
And pale Disease, with all his bloated train,
Torments the sons of Gluttony and Sloth.
In Fortune's car behold that minion ride,
With either India's glittering spoils oppress'd ;
So moves the sumpter-mule, in harness'd pride,
That bears the treasure which he cannot taste.
For him let venal bards disgrace the bay,
And hireling minstrels wake the tinkling string;
Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay,
· And all her jingling bells fantastic Folly ring ;
Disquiet, Doubt, and Dread shall intervene;
And Nature, still to all her feelings just,
In vengeance hang a damp on every scene,
Shook from the baneful pinions of Disgust.
Nature I'll court in her sequester'd haunts
By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell,
Where the poised
lark his evening ditty chants,
And Health, and Peace, and contemplation dwell.
There Study shall with Solitude recline,
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains;
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains :
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door,
And Taste unspoild the frugal table spread,
And Industry supply the humble store;
And Sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed:
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night;
And Independence o'er the day preside,
Propitious power! my patron and my pride.
Now lightsome o'er the level mead,
Where midnight fairies rove,
Like them, the jocund dance we'll lead,
Or tune the reed to love:
For see the rosy May draws nigh;
She claims a virgin queen;
And hark, the happy shepherds cry,
'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.
On Carron's side the primrose pale,
Why does it wear a purple hue ? Ye maidens fair of Marlivale,
Why stream your eyes with pity's dew? 'Tis all with gentle Owen's blood
That purple grows the primrose pale ; That pity pours the tender flood
From each fair eye in Marlivale. The evening star sat in his eye,
The sun his golden tresses gave, The north's pure morn her orient dye,
To him who rests in yonder grave! Beneath no high, historic stone,
Though nobly born, is Owen laid, Stretch'd on the green wood's lap alone,
He sleeps beneath the waving shade. There many a flowery race hath sprung,
And fled before the mountain gale, Since first his simple dirge he sung;
Ye maidens fair of Marlivale!