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The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm,
The aspens slept beneath the calm ;
The silver light, with quivering glance,
Play'd on the water's still expanse,–
Wild were the heart whose passions' sway

beneath the sober ray! IIe felt its calm, that warrior guest, While thus he communed with his breast :

Why is it, at each turn I trace
Some memory of that exiled race?
Can I not mountain-maiden spy,
But she must bear the Douglas eye ?
Can I not view a Highland brand,
But it must match the Douglas hand ?
Can I not frame a fever'd dream,
But still the Douglas is the theme?
I'll dream no more-by manly mind
Not even in sleep is will resign’d.
My midnight orisons said o'er,
I'll turn to rest, and dream no more.”
His midnight orisons he told,
A prayer with

bead of gold,
Consigned to heaven his cares and woes,
And sunk in undisturb’d repose ;
Until the heath-cock shrilly crew,
And morning dawn'd on Benvenue.











At morn the black-cock trims his jetty wing,

'Tis morning prompts the linnet's blithest lay, All Nature's children feel the matin spring

Of life reviving, with reviving day ;
And while yon little bark glides down the bay,

Wafting the stranger on his way again,
Morn's genial influence roused a minstrel gray,
And sweetly o’er the lake was heard thy

strain, Mix'd with the sounding harp, O white hair'd

Allan-bane ! 1

i That Highland chieftains, to a late period, retained in their service the bard, as a family officer, admits of very easy proof. The author of the Letters from the North of




“Not faster yonder rowers' might

Flings from their oars the spray,
Not faster yonder rippling bright,
That tracks the shallop's course in light,

Melts in the lake away,

Scotland, an officer of engineers, quartered at Inverness about 1720, who certainly cannot be deemed a favourable witness, gives the following account of the office, and of a bard whom he heard exercise his talent of recitation: “ The bard is skilled in the genealogy of all the Highland families, sometimes preceptor to the young laird, celebrates in Irish verse the original of the tribe, the famous warlike actions of the successive heads, and sings his own lyricks as an opiate to the chief, when indisposed for sleep; but poets are not equally esteemed and honoured in all countries. I happened to be a witness of the dishonour done to the muse, at the house of one of the chiefs, where two of these bards were set at a good distance, at the lower end of a long table, with a parcel of Highlanders of no extraordinary appearance, over a cup of ale.

Poor inspiration! They were not asked to drink a glass of wine at our table, though the whole company consisted only of the great man, one of his near relations, and myself. After some little time, the chief ordered one of them to sing me a Highland song. The bard readily obeyed, and with a hoarse voice, and in a tune of few various notes, began, as I was told, one of his own lyricks; and when he had proceeded to the fourth or fifth stanza, I perceived by the names of several persons, glens, and mountains, which I had known or heard of before, that it was an account of some clan battle. But in his going on, the chief (who piques himself upon his school-learning) at some particular passage, bid him cease, and cried out, "There's nothing like that in Virgil or Homer. I bowed and told him I believed so. This you may believe was very edifying and delightful.”—Letters, ii. 167.

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