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"Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see
The lovely Flora of Glengyle,
Unmindful of her charge and me,
Hang on thy notes, 'twixt tear and smile.
"Or, if she choose a melting tale,
All underneath the green-wood bough,
Will good St. Oran's rule prevail,
Stern huntsman of the rigid brow ?"—
"Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death,
No more on me shall rapture rise,
Responsive to the panting breath,
Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.
"E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe,
Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,
I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,
On me the Seer's sad spirit came.
"The last dread curse of angry heaven,
With ghastly sights and sounds of woe,
To dash each glimpse of joy, was given-
The gift, the future ill to know.
"The bark thou sawst, yon summer morn,
So gaily part from Oban's bay,
My eye beheld her dashed and torn,
Far on the rocky Colonsay.
"Thy Fergus too-thy sister's son,
Thou sawst, with pride, the gallant's power,
As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe,
He left the skirts of huge Benmore.
"Thou only sawst their tartans wave,
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,
Heardst but the pibroch, answering brave
To many a target clanking round.
"I heard the groans, I marked the tears,
I saw the wound his bosom bore,
When on the serried Saxon spears
He poured his clan's resistless roar.
f St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was buried in Icolmkill. His pretensions to be a saint were rather dubious. Ac. cording to the legend, he consented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed; when Oran, to the horro and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost despatch. The chapel, however, and the cemetery, was called Reilig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.
The full Highland dress, made of the checkered stuff so termed.
And thou, who bidd'st me think of bliss,
And bidd'st my heart awake to glee,
And court, like thee, the wanton kiss,-
That heart, O Ronald, bleeds for thee!
"I see the death-damps chill thy brow;
I hear thy Warning Spirit cry;
The corpse-lights dance-they're gone, and now...
No more is given to gifted eye!"-
"Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams,
Sad prophet of the evil hour!
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams,
Because to-morrow's storm may lour?
"Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe,
Clangillian's chieftain ne'er shall fear;
His blood shall bound at rapture's glow,
Though doomed to stain the Saxon spear.
"E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,
My Mary's buskins brush the dew;"-
He spoke, nor bade the chief farewell,
But called his dogs, and gay withdrew.
Within an hour returned each hound;
In rushed the rousers of the deer;
They howled in melancholy sound,
Then closely couch beside the seer.
No Ronald yet; though midnight came,
And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams,
As, bending o'er the dying flame,
He fed the watch-fire's quivering gleams.
Sudden the hounds erect their ears,
And sudden cease their moaning howl;
Close pressed to Moy, they mark their fears
By shivering limbs, and stifled growl.
Untouched, the harp began to ring,
As softly, slowly, oped the door;
And shook responsive every string,
As light a footstep pressed the floor.
And by the watch-fire's glimmering light,
Close by the minstrel's side was seen
A huntress maid, in beauty bright,
All dropping wet her robes of green.
All dropping wet her garments seem;
Chilled was her cheek, her bosom bare,
As, bending o'er the dying gleam,
She wrung the moisture from her hair. With maiden blush she softly said,
"O gentle huntsman, hast thou seen,
In deep Glenfinlas' moon-light glade,
A lovely maid in vest of green:
"With her a chief in Highland pride;
His shoulders bear the hunter's bow,
The mountain dirk adorns his side,
Far on the wind his tartans flow?"
"And who art thou? and who are they?"
All ghastly gazing, Moy replied:
"And why, beneath the moon's pale ray,
Dare ye thus roam Glenfinlas' side ?"
Where wild Loch-Katrine pours her tide,
Blue, dark, and deep, round many an isle,
Our father's towers o'erhang her side,
The castle of the bold Glengyle.
"To chase the dun Glenfinlas deer,
Our woodland course this morn we bore,
And haply met, while wandering here,
The son of great Macgillianore.
"O aid me, then, to seek the pair,
Whom, loitering in the woods, I lost; Alone, I dare not venture there,
Where walks, they say, the shrieking ghost."
"Yes, many a shrieking ghost walks there;
Then first, my own sad vow to keep,
Here will I pour my midnight prayer,
Which still must rise when mortals sleep."
"O first, for pity's gentle sake,
Guide a lone wanderer on her way!
For I must cross the haunted brake,
And reach my father's towers ere day."
"First, three times tell each Ave bead,
And thrice a Pater-noster say;
Then kiss with me the holy reed;
So shall we safely wind our way."
O shame to knighthood, strange and foul!
Go, doff the bonnet from thy brow,
And shroud thee in the monkish cowl,
Which best befits thy sullen vow.
"Not so, by high Dunlathmon's fire,
Thy heart was froze to love and joy,
When gaily rung thy raptured lyre,
To wanton Morna's melting eye.'
Wild stared the Minstrel's eyes of flame,
And high his sable locks arose,
And quick his colour went and came,
As fear and rage alternate rose.