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But clouds and envious darkness hide
Less than divine command they spurn;
The man of abject soul in vain
Nor deem that it can aught avail
BRAN, NEAR DUNKELD.
What! Ossian here-a painted thrall,
O Nature, in thy changeful visions, Through all thy most abrupt transitions, Smooth, graceful, tender, or sublime, Ever averse to pantomime, Thee neither do they know nor us, Thy servants, who can trifle thus; Else surely had the sober powers Of rock that frowns, and stream that roars, Exalted by congenial sway Of spirits, and the undying lay, And names that moulder not away, Awakened some redeeming thought
More worthy of this favoured spot •
The effigies of a valiant wight I once beheld, a Templar knight; Not prostrate, not like those that rest On tombs, with palms together pressed, But sculptured out of living stone, And standing upright and alone, Both hands with rival energy Employed in setting his sword free From its dull sheath-stern sentinel Intent to guard St. Robert's cell; As if with memory of the affray Far distant, when, as legends say, The monks of Fountains thronged to force From its dear home the hermit's corse, That in their keeping it might lie, To crown their abbey's sanctity. So had they rushed into the grot Of sense despised, a world forgot, And torn him from his loved retreat, Where altar-stone and rock-hewn seat Still hint that quiet best is found, Even by the living, underground; But a bold knight, the selfish aim Defeating, put the monks to shame, There where you see his image stand Bare to the sky, with threatening brand, Which lingering Nid is proud to show Reflected in the pool below.
Thus, like the men of earliest days, Our sires set forth their grateful praise;
Uncouth the workmanship, and rude!
What though the granite would deny All fervour to the sightless eye; And touch from rising suns in vain Solicit a Memnonian strain; Yet, in some fit of anger sharp, The wind might force the deep-grooved harp To utter melancholy moans Not unconnected with the tones Of soul-sick flesh and weary bones; While grove and river notes would lend, Less deeply sad, with these to blend !
Vain pleasures of luxurious life, For ever with yourselves at strife; Through town and country both deranged By affectations interchanged,
And all the perishable gauds
Thus (where the intrusive pile, ill-graced
THE DEPARTURE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT
FROM ABBOTSFORD FOR NAPLES. A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain, Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height: Spirits of power, assembled there, complain For kindred power departing from their sight: While Tweed best pleased in chanting a blithe strain, Saddens his voice again, and yet again. Lift up your hearts, ye mourners! for the might Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes; Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue