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Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,
No more his plumes of sable wave.
When Angus hail'd his eldest born; The vassals round their chieftain's hearth Crowd to applaud the happy morn. They feast upon the mountain deer,
The pibroch raised its piercing note: To gladden more their Highland cheer,
The strains in martial numbers float;
And they who heard the war-notes wild,
Hoped that one day the pibroch's strain Should play before the hero's child,
While he should lead the tartan train.
Another year is quickly past,
And Angus hails another son;
Nor soon the jocund feast was done.
And left their hounds in speed behind.
But ere their years of youth are o'er,
They mingle in the ranks of war; They lightly wheel the bright claymore, And send the whistling arrow far.
Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,
Wildly it stream'd along the gale;
But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,
His dark eye shone through beams of truth; Allan had early learn'd control,
And smooth his words had been from youth,
Both, both were brave: the Saxon spear
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel;
Unworthy with such charms to dwell: Keen as the lightning of the storm,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell. From high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame; With Kenneth's lands to form her dower, Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came;
And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride,
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child.
And still the choral peal prolong.
See how the heroes' blood-red plumes
The pibroch plays the song of peace;
Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease. But where is Oscar? sure 'tis late:
Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame? While thronging guests and ladies wait, Nor Oscar nor his brother came.
At length young Allan join'd the bride:
"Why comes not Oscar?" Angus said; "Is he not here?" the youth replied; "With me he roved not o'er the glado.
Perchance, forgetful of the day, "Tis his to chase the bounding roe; Or ocean's waves prolong his stay;
Yet Oscar's bark is seldom slow." "Oh, no!" the anguish'd sire rejoin'd,
"Nor chase nor wave my boy delay; Would he to Mora seem unkind?
Would aught to her impede his way? "Oh, search, ye chiefs! oh, search around! Allan, with these through Alva fly; Till Oscar, till my son is found,
Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply."
All is confusion-through the vale
The name of Oscar hoarsely rings, It rises on the murmuring gale,
Till night expands her dusky wings; It breaks the stillness or the night,
But echoes through her shades in vain, It sounds through morning's misty light, But Oscar comes not o'er the plain.
Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief For Oscar search'd each mountain cave! Then hope is lost; in boundless grief,
His locks in gray-torn ringlets wave.
"Oscar! ray son !-thou God of bear,
"Yes, on some desert rocky shore
My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie; Then grant, thou God! I ask no more, With him his frantic sire may die ! "Yet he may live-away, despair!
Be calm, my soul! he yet may live ; Tarraign my fate, my voice forbear!
O God! my impious prayer forgive. "What, if he live for me no more,
I sink forgotten in the dust, The hope of Alva's age is o'er;
Alas! can pangs like these be just?" Thus did the hapless parent mourn,
Till Time, which soothes severest wos, Had bade serenity return,
And made the tear-drop cease to flow. For still some latent hope survived
That Oscar might once more appear; His hope now droop'd and now revived, Till Time had told a tedious year.
Days roll'd along, the orb of light
Again had run his destined race; No Oscar bless'd his father's sight,
And sorrow left a fainter trace. For youthful Allan still remain'd,
And now his father's only joy: And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd, For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy. She thought that Oscar low was laid,
And Allan's face was wondrous fair; If Oscar lived, some other maid
Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care.
And Angus said, if one year more
In fruitless hope was pass'd away, His fondest scruples should be o'er,
And he would name their nuptial day. Slow roll'd the moons, but blest at last Arrived the dearly destined morn; The year of anxious trembling past,
What smiles the lovers' cheeks adorn! Mark to the pibroch's pleasing note!
Hark to the swelling nuptial song In joyous strains the voices float.
And still the choral peal prolong.
Again the clan, in festive crowd,
But who is he, whose darken'd brow
The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth.
And tall his plume of gory red;
But light and trackless is his tread.
"Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round,
Sudden the stranger-chief arose,
And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd;
"Old man!" he cried, "this pledge is done;
Now will I claim a pledge from thee.
"While all around is mirth and joy,
Say, why should Oscar be forgot?"
The big tear starting as he spoke, "When Oscar left my hall, or died,
This aged heart was almost broke.
"Thrice has the earth revolved her course
Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight;
Since martial Oscar's death or flight."
""Tis well," replied the stranger stern,
And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye:
"Perchance, if those whom most he loved
For him thy beltane yet may burn.*
Beltane Tree, a Highland festival on the first of May, held near fires lighted for the Occasion
"Fill high the bowl the table round,
Pledge me departed Oscar's health." "With all my soul," old Angus said,
And fill'd his goblet to the brim; "Here's to my boy! alive or dead,
I ne'er shall find a son like him.'
"Bravely, old man, this health has sped; But why does trembling Allan stand? Come, drink remembrance of the dead,
And raise thy cup with firmer hand." The crimson glow of Allan's face
Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue; The drops of death each other chase
Adown in agonizing dew.
Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And thrice his lips refused to taste;
A brother's fond remembrance here?
What might we not expect from fear?" Roused by the sneer, he raised the bowl,
"Would Oscar now could share our mirth !” Internal fear appall'd his soul;
He said, and dash'd the cup to earth. ""Tis he! I hear my murderer's voice!" Loud shrieks a darkly-gleaming form; "A murderer's voice!" the roof replies,
And deeply swells the bursting storm. The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink,
The stranger's gone,-amidst the crew A form was seen in tartan green,
And tall the shade terrific grew.
His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
And thrice he smiled, with his eye so wild,
And thrice he frown'd on a chief on the ground,
The bolts loud roll, from pole to pole
The 'hunders through the welkin ring,
And the gleaming form, through the midst of the storm, Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.