« FöregåendeFortsätt »
The dewy ground was dark and cold;
Behind, all gloomy to behold;
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
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:
Its power was felt; and while my eye
Was tixed upon the glowing sky,
The echo of the voice inwrought
A human sweetness with the thought
Of travelling through the world that lay
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;
Oh, listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
Such thrilling voice was never heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
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
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,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
ADDRESS TO KILCHURN CASTLE. Child of loud-throated war! the mountain stream Roars in thy hearing; but thy hour of rest Is come,
and thou art silent in thy age; Save when the winds sweep by and sounds are caught Ambiguous, neither wholly thine nor theirs. 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,
Nor by soft peace adopted; though, in place
And in dimension, such that thou mightst seem
But a mere footstool to yon sovereign lord,
Hugh Cruachan,-a thing that meaner hills
Might crush, nor know that it had suffered harm;-
Yet he, not loth, in favour of thy claims
To reverence suspends his own; submitting
All that the God of nature hath conferred,
All that he has in common with the stars,
To the memorial majesty of time
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
Over the pomp and beauty of a scene
Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods, unite
To pay thee homage; and with these are joined,
In willing admiration and respect,
Two hearts, which in thy presence might be called
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 infancy!
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
And quieted in character; the strife,
The pride, the fury uncontrollable,
Lost on the aërial heights of the Crusades.
A FAMOUS man is Robin Hood,
The English ballad-singer's joy!
And Scotland has a thief as good,
An outlaw of as daring mood;
She has her brave Rob Roy!
Then clear the weeds from off his grave,
And let us chant a passing stave
In honour of that hero brave !
Heaven gave Rob Roy a dauntless heart And wondrous length and strength of arm: Nor craved he more to quell his foes,
Or keep his friends from harm.
Yet was Rob Roy as wise as brave;
Forgive me if the phrase be strong ;-
A poet worthy of Rob Roy
Must scorn a timid song.
Say, then, that he was wise as brave;
As wise in thought as bold in deed:
For in the principles of things
He sought his moral creed.
Said generous Rob, “What need of books? Burn all the statutes and their shelves : They stir us up against our kind;
And worse, against ourselves.
“We have a passion, make a law, Too false to guide us or control! And for the law itself we fight
In bitterness of soul.
"And, puzzled, blinded thus, we lose Distinctions that are plain and few : These find I graven on my heart:
That tells me what to do. “The creatures see of flood and field, And those that travel on the wind ! With them no strife can last; they live In peace,
peace of mind. "For why?–because the good old rule Sufficeth them, the simple plan, That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.
“A lesson that is quickly learned,
A signal this which all can see!
Thus nothing here provokes the strong
To wanton cruelty.
All freakishness of mind is checked;
He tamed, who foolishly aspires;
While to the measure of his might
Each fashions his desires,
All kinds and creatures stand and fall
By strength of prowess or of wit:
'Tis God's appointment, who must sway,
And who is to submit.
“Since, then, the rule of right is plain,
And longest life is but a day;
To have my ends, maintain my rights,
I'll take the shortest way.'
And thus among these rocks he lived,
Through summer heat and winter snow;
The eagle, he was lord above,
And Rob was lord below.