« FöregåendeFortsätt »
And freely dealt to a’ a footh
O' blame or praise.
An independent mind for me-
For empty fame,
As Steel's my name.
Forgie me, sir, and wi' me bear;
For your reflection;
'Twill stand inspection.
My theme is Roslin, sir, I ween;
And ruins grey,
Lang past away
Of strife, and stratagem, and plot,
Blooms o'er a grave;
Where nettles wave.
A sacred awe the soul inspires;
The past renewin',
Ilk scene of ruin.
But moralizin's out o'time,
Which weel it suits
Ayont a' doubts.
Hence your decision I'll await it,
Deride or spurn it,
An' hidlins burn it.
Meanwhile, immortal Bard, adieu:
The wish is fervent
WRITTEN ON A VISIT TO ROSLIN --1847.
Oh Roslin ! time, war, flood, and fire,
Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void-
Alas! thy lofty Castle, and alas !
When Sinclair made the dagger's edge surpass
EPET other bards on wings of fancy rove
Through foreign regions track their devious ways, And sing each flow'ry dell and myrtled grove
Like florid Thomson pour seraphic praise:
With Milton talk of aromatic bowers
Nursed by eternal summer's genial glow,
And mantling vines in rich profusion grow:
Or, in the ardour of poetic fire,
On every fairy landscape may they dwell On towers and temples' ruins, which inspire
The soul with sadness, and her tumults quell.
'Tis nought to me! I'll sing of Scotia dear,
Her heath-clad mountains and her lovely plains
Each valley, grove, and pebbled stream revere,
And to her classic woodlands pour my strains.
All teems with story of a bygone age
Each sod enwraps a hero bold and brave, Who glorious flourished on life's warlike stage,
His country's freedom, honour, rights to save;
When foul invasion, as the simoom blast
Or fierce volcanoe, menaced everywhere The lives and homes, and hopes of every cast
With sweeping death, destruction, and despair.
Ah! where like Roslin shall the wandering Muse
The vestal breath of inspiration hale; What through the care-struck heart can joy diffuse
If these enchanting sylvan glories fail ?
What art can touch their Eden-borrowed glow?
Or verse yon vales and craggy steeps portray, Swept by the classic Esk’s meand'ring flow,
Immortalised by many a melting lay?
Oh hallowed scenes ! embalmed in every heart,
Which love of country's freedom ever swayed; Where bannered patriots rallied in war's art,
And championed death and danger blade to blade;
Where brave heroic Wallace waved on high
His sword, avenging in his country's cause
For her resolved to conquer or to die,
Abjuring Edward's vile despotic laws.
Nor shall the dauntless Fraser be forgot,
Brave Somerville and Lockhart's deathless fame; The laurels here the fearless Cummin sought,
The glory that enshrined a Sinclair's name.
In Scotia's tale these guardian angels shine,
Presiding over sacred Freedom's van, Triumphing glorious in her cause divine
The cause of God, of nature, and of man.
Methinks I see, in chivalric array,
All panoplied, these champions of our land, Each on his trusty steed, at dawn of day,
'Gainst leagued oppression lead his kilted band.
Ah! well their foes the onset might deplore;
O heaven's eternity! O fatal hour!
With his relentless devastating power.
On, on, they rushed, with fierce and furious yell,
With brandished sword and crimson-gleaming spear; As wheat before the sickle, thousands fell;
The others fled in anarchy and fear.
Chased by the sweeping whirlwind of the brave
Across yon verdant, then a carnaged plain,