Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

And freely dealt to a’ a footh

O' blame or praise.

An independent mind for me-
As swees the buss I spurn to swee;
The cringing look, the bended knee,

For empty fame,
I loathe, and glory to be free,

As Steel's my name.

Forgie me, sir, and wi' me bear;
Your patience hae I taxed ance mair,
And sent ye aff some chosen ware

For your reflection;
Your honest verdict dinna spare-

'Twill stand inspection.

My theme is Roslin, sir, I ween;
Lang famed and classic has it been;
Whase banks and braes o' deep'nin' green,

And ruins grey,
Speak loud o'mony a moving scene

Lang past away

Of strife, and stratagem, and plot,
Of laurels won and battles fought:
There ilka wee bit gowany spot

Blooms o'er a grave;
And buried splendours sleep, forgot,

Where nettles wave.

A sacred awe the soul inspires;
Ilk baser passion there expires;
While busy Fancy never tires,

The past renewin',
And lightens wi' her mystic fires

Ilk scene of ruin.

But moralizin's out o'time,
Hence ye perceive my subject's prime,
Brave and heroic like the rhyme,

Which weel it suits
Pathetic, sconic, chaste, sublime,

Ayont a' doubts.

Hence your decision I'll await it,
Be't guid or bad, I trust ye'll state it;
But to contempt, sir, should ye fate it,

Deride or spurn it,
I'll curse that day a blockhead wrate it,

An' hidlins burn it.

Meanwhile, immortal Bard, adieu:
Lang may ye yet the Muse pursue,
And fame and success smile on you;

The wish is fervent
Frae your devoted, ever true,

Obedient servant.

WRITTEN ON A VISIT TO ROSLIN --1847.

Oh Roslin ! time, war, flood, and fire,
Have made your glories star by star expire;-

Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void-
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light-
And say, Here was, or is, where all is doubly night?

Alas! thy lofty Castle, and alas !
Thy trebly hundred triumphs, and the day

When Sinclair made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away."

Lord Byron.

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,
Where waves the pine, the mellow orange towers,

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!
Revenge seemed glutted—Death could do no more

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,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »