Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

All those idle thoughts and phantasies, Devices, dreams, opinions unsound, Shows, visions, soothsays, and prophecies, And all that feigned is, as leasings, tales, and lies. Chap. xiii.


"FLORA had exchanged the measured and monotonous recitative of the bard for a lofty and uncommon Highland air, which had been a battle-song in former ages. A few irregular strains introduced a prelude of a wild and peculiar tone, which harmonized well with the distant water-fall, and the soft sigh of the evening breeze in the rustling leaves of an aspen which overhung the seat of the fair harpress. The following verses convey but little idea of the feelings with which, so sung and accompanied, they were heard by Waverley:"

There is mist on the mountain, and night on the vale.
But more dark is the sleep of the sons of the Gael.
A stranger commanded—it sunk on the land,
It has frozen each heart, and benumb'd every hand!

The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust,
The bloodless claymore is but redden'd with rust;
On the hill or the glen if a gun should appear,
It is only to war with the heath-cock or deer.

The deeds of our sires if our bards should rehearse, Let a blush or a blow be the meed of their verse! Be mute every string, and be hush'd every tone, That shall bid us remember the fame that is flown.

But the dark hours of night and of slumber are past,
The morn on our mountains is dawning at last;
Glenaladale's peaks are illumed with the rays,
And the streams of Glenfinnan leap bright in the

O hign-minded Moray!—the exiled-the dear!—
In the blush of the dawning the STANDARD uprear!
Wide, wide on the winds of the north let it fly,
Like the sun's latest flash when the tempest is nigh

Ye sons of the strong, when that dawning shall break,
Need the harp of the aged remind you to wake?
That dawn never beam'd on your forefathers' eye,
But it roused each high chieftain to vanquish or die.

O sprung from the Kings who in Islay kept state, Proud chiefs of Clan-Ranald, Glengary, and Sleat! Combine like three streams from one mountain of


And resistless in union rush down on the foe

[blocks in formation]


"THE letter from the Chief contained Flora's lines on the fate of Captain Wogan, whose enterprising character is so well drawn by Clarendon. He had originally engaged in the service of the Parliament, but had abjured that party upon the execution of Charles I.; and upon hearing that the royal standard was set up by the Earl of Glencairn and General Middleton in the Highlands of Scotland, took leave of Charles II., who was then at Paris, passed into England, assembled a body of cavaliers in the neighbourhood of London, and traversed the kingdom, which had been so long under domination of the usurper, by marches conducted with such skill, dexterity, and spirit, that he safely united his handful of horsemen with the body of Highlanders then in arms. After several months of desultory warfare, in which Wogan's skill and courage gained him the highest reputation, he had the misfortune to be wounded in a dangerous manner, and no surgical assistance being within reach, he terminated his short but glorious career." The Verses were inscribed,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

But follow, follow me,

While glow-worms light the lea,

I'll show ye where the dead should beEach in his shroud,

While winds pipe loud,

upon the oars of a galley, and which is therefore distinct from the ordinary jorrams, or boat-songs. They were composed by the Family Bard upon the departure of the Earl of Seaforth, who was obliged to take refuge in Spain, after an unsuccessful effort at insurrection in favour of the Stuart family, in the year 1718.

FAREWELL to Mackenneth, great Earl of the North, The Lord of Lochcarron, Glenshiel, and Seaforth; To the Chieftain this morning his course who began, Launching forth on the billows his bark like a swan. For a far foreign land he has hoisted his sail, Farewell to Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail!

O swift be the galley, and hardy her crew,
May her captain be skilful, her mariners true,
In danger undaunted, unwearied by toil,
Though the whirlwind should rise, and the ocean
should boil:

On the brave vessel's gunnel I drank his bonail,'
And farewell to Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail!

Awake in thy chamber, thou sweet southland gale!
Like the sighs of his people, breathe soft on his sail;

And the red moon peeps dim through the cloud. Be prolong'd as regret, that his vassals must know,

[blocks in formation]

1 Bonail, or Bonallez, the old Scottish phrase for a feast at He was a nobleman of extraordinary talents, who must have parting with a friend.

These verses were written shortly after the death of Lord Seaforth, the last male representative of his illustrious housc.

made for himself a lasting reputation, had not his political exertions been checked by the painful natural infirmities alluded to in the fourth stanza.-See Life of Scott, vol. v., pp. 18, 19


No, son of Fitzgerald: in accents of woe,

The song thou hast loved o'er thy coffin shall flow, And teach thy wild mountains to join in the wail That laments for Mackenzie, last Chief of Kintail.

In vain, the bright course of thy talents to wrong,
Fate deaden'd thine ear and imprison'd thy tongue;
For brighter o'er all her obstructions arose
The glow of the genius they could not oppose;
And who in the land of the Saxon or Gael,
Might match with Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail?

Thy sons rose around thee in light and in love,
All a father could hope, all a friend could approve;
What 'vails it the tale of thy sorrows to tell,-
In the spring-time of youth and of promise they fell!
Of the line of Fitzgraled remains not a male,
To bear the proud name of the Chief of Kintail.

And thou, gentle Dame, who must bear, to thy grief,
For thy clan and thy country the cares of a Chief,
Whom brief rolling moons in six changes have left,
Of thy husband, and father, and brethren bereft,
To thine ear of affection, how sad is the hail,
That salutes thee the Heir of the line of Kintail!

War-Song of Lachlan,




This song appears to be imperfect, or, at least, like many of the early Gaelic poems, makes a rapid transition from one subject to another; from the situation, namely, of one of the daughters of the clan, who opens the song by lamenting the absence of her lover, to an eulogium over the military glories of the Chieftain. The translator has endeavoured to imitate the abrupt style of the original.

A WEARY month has wander'd o'er
Since last we parted on the shore;
Heaven! that I saw thee, Love, once more,
Safe on that shore again !-
'Twas valiant Lachlan gave the word:
Lachlan, of many a galley lord:

He call'd his kindred bands on board,
And launch'd them on the main.

1 The Honourable Lady Hood, daughter of the last Lord Seaforth, widow of Aliniral Sir Samuel Hood, now Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth and Glasserton.-1833.

Clan-Gillian is to ocean gone
Clan-Gillian, fierce in foray known;
Rejoicing in the glory won

In many a bloody broil:

For wide is heard the thundering fray,
The rout, the ruin, the dismay,
When from the twilight glens away
Clan-Gillian drives the spoil.

Woe to the hills that shall rebound
Our banner'd bag-pipes' maddening sound;
Clan-Gillian's onset echoing round,

Shall shake their inmost cell.
Woe to the bark whose crew shall gaze,
Where Lachlan's silken streamer plays!
The fools might face the lightning's blaze
As wisely and as well!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Ner then, with more delighted ear,

The circle round her drew, Than ours, when gather'd round to hear Our songstress' at Saint Cloud.

Few happy hours poor mortals pass,Then give those hours their due, And rank among the foremost class Our evenings at Saint Cloud.

The Bance of Beath.




NIGHT and morning were at meeting
Over Waterloo ;

Cocks had sung their earliest greeting;
Faint and low they crew,
For no paly beam yet shone

On the heights of Mount Saint John;
Tempest-clouds prolong'd the sway
Of timeless darkness over day;
Whirlwind, thunder-clap, and shower,
Mark'd it a predestined hour.
Broad and frequent through the night
Flash'd the sheets of levin-light;
Muskets, glancing lightnings back,
Show'd the dreary bivouac

Where the soldier lay,

Chill and stiff, and drench'd with rain,
Wishing dawn of morn again,

Though death should come with day.


'Tis at such a tide and hour,
Wizard, witch, and fiend have power,

And ghastly forms through mist and shower

Gleam on the gifted ken;
And then the affrighted prophet's ear
Drinks whispers strange of fate and fear
Presaging death and ruin near

Among the sons of men ;-
Apart from Albyn's war-array,
'Twas then grey Allan sleepless lay;
Grey Allan, who, for many a day,

Had follow'd stout and stern,

Where, through battle's rout and real,
Storm of shot and hedge of steel,
Led the grandson of Lochiel,

Valiant Fassiefern.

Through steel and shot he leads no more,
Low laid 'mid friends' and foemen's gore-
But long his native lake's wild shore,
And Sunart rough, and high Ardgower,
And Morven long shall tell,
And proud Bennevis hear with awe,
How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurra
Of conquest as he fell.


'Lone on the outskirts of the host,
The weary sentinel held post,
And heard, through darkness far aloof,
The frequent clangs of courser's hoof,
Where held the cloak'd patrol their course,
And spurr'd 'gainst storm the swerving horse
But there are sounds in Allan's ear,
Patrol nor sentinel may hear,
And sights before his eye aghast
Invisible to them have pass'd,

When down the destined plain,
'Twixt Britain and the bands of France,
Wild as marsh-borne meteor's glance,
Strange phantoms wheel'd a revel danco,
And doom'd the future slain.-

Such forms were seen, such sounds were heal
When Scotland's James his march prepared

For Flodden's fatal plain;
Such, when he drew his ruthless sword,
As Choosers of the Slain, adored

The yet unchristen'd Dane.
An indistinct and phantom band,
They wheel'd their ring-dance hand in hand,
With gestures wild and dread;

The Seer, who watch'd them ride the storm,
Saw through their faint and shadowy formi
The lightning's flash more red;
And still their ghastly roundelay
Was of the coming battle-fray,
And of the destined dead.



"Wheel the wild dance While lightnings glance,

And thunders rattle loud, And call the brave To bloody grave,

To sleep without a shroud.

These lines were written after an evening spent at Saint Cloud with the late Lady Alvinlev and her daughters, one of whom was the songstress alluded to in the text.

2 Originally published in 1815, in the Edinburgh Annual Registor, vol. v.

8 MS.-" Dawn and darkness."

4 See note, ante, p. 505.

5 MS.-" Oft came the clang." &c.

6 See ante, Marmion, canto 7., stanzas 24, 25, 26 and Ap. pendix, Note 4 A., p. 165.

« AnteriorContinuar »