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So was it-would, at least, have been,
He came an age too late.
With buds on every bough!
Not worth a moment's pains. Rob Roy had never lingered here, To these few meagre vales confined; But thought how wide the world, the times
How fairly to his mind!
Judge thou of law and fact !
In fatherly concern.
A world of other stuff.
Obedient to my breath."
And, if the word had been fulfilled,
And we our own Rob Roy!
Oh, say not so ! compare them not;
Here standing by thy grave.
For thou, although with some wild thoughts,
The liberty of man.
And, had it been thy lot to live
And battled for the right.
For thou wert still the
man's stay, The poor man's heart, the poor man's hand; And all the oppressed, who wanted strength,
Had thine at their command.
Bear witness many a pensive sigh
Loch Veol's heights,
And, far and near, through vale and hill,
At sound of Rob Roy's name.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, LANDING AT THE MOUTH OF THE DERWENT,
WORKINGTON. Dear to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed, The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore: And to the throng how touchingly she bowed That hailed her landing on the Cumbrian shore; Bright as a star (that, from a sombre cloud Of pine-tree foliage poised in air, forth darts, When a soft summer gale at evening parts The gloom that did its loveliness enshroud) She smiled; but Time, the old Saturnian Seer, Sighed on the wing as her foot pressed the strand, With step prelusive to a long array Of woes and degradations hand in hand, Weeping captivity and shuddering fear, Stilled by the ensanguined block of Fotheringay.
COMPOSED AT CASTLE. DEGENERATE Douglas! oh, the unworthy lord ! Whom mere despite of heart could so far please, And love of havoc (for with such disease Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word, To level with the dust a noble horde, A brotherhood of venerable trees, Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these, Beggared and outraged! Many hearts deplored The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain The traveller, at this day, will stop and gaze On wrongs which Nature scarcely seems to heed : For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays, And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed, And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
IN THE PASS OF KILLIECRANKIE,
AN INVASION BEING EXPECTED, 1803. Six thousand veterans practised in war's game, Tried men, at Killiecrankie were arrayed Against an equal host that wore the plaid, Shepherds and herdsmen. Like a whirlwind came The Highlanders, the slaughter spread like Alame; And Garry, thundering down his mountain road, Was stopped, and could not breathe beneath the load Of the dead bodies. 'Twas a day of shame For them whom precept and the pedantry Of cold mechanic battle do enslave. Oh, for a single hour of that Dundee, Who on that day the word of onset gave! Like conquest would the men of England see; And her foes find a like inglorious grave.
THE MATRON OF JEDBURGH AND HER
Age! twine thy brows with fresh spring flowers,
Nay! start not at that figure-there! Him who is rooted to his chair! Look at him-look again! for he Hath long been of thy family. With legs that move not, if they can, And useless arms, a trunk of man, He sits, and with a vacant eye; A sight to make a stranger sigh! Deaf, drooping, that is now his doom: His world is in this single room; Is this a place for mirthful cheer? Can merrymaking enter here?
The joyous woman is the mate Of him in that forlorn estate! He breathes a subterraneous damp; But bright as Vesper shines her lamp; He is as mute as Jedburgh tower; She jocund as it was of yore, With all its bravery on; in times When all alive with merry chimes, Upon a sun-bright morn of May, It roused the vale to holiday.
I praise thee, matron! and thy due Is praise; heroic praise, and true! With admiration I behold Thy gladness unsubdued and bold: Thy looks, thy gestures, all present The picture of a life well spent: This do I see; and something more; A strength unthought of heretofore! Delighted am I for thy sake; And yet a higher joy partake. Our human nature throws away Its second twilight, and looks gay;