Imágenes de páginas


Yell'd on the view the opening pack;
Rock, glen, and cavern, paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once
The awaken'd mountain gave response.
A hundred dogs bay'd deep and strong,
Clatter'd a hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
A hundred voices join'd the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild halloo,
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew. '
Far from the tumult fled the roe,
Close in her covert cower'd the doe,
The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering eye,
Till far beyond her piercing ken
The hurricane had swept the glen.
Faint, and more faint, its failing din
Return'd from cavern, cliff, and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.


Less loud the sounds of silvan war
Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var,

[Benvoirlich, a mountain comprehended in the cluster of the Grampians, at the head of the valley of the Garry, a river which springs from its base. It rises to an elevation of 3330 feet above the level of the sea.]

And roused the cavern, where, 'tis told,
A giant made his den of old;

For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stay'd perforce,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer,
Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
So shrewdly on the mountain side,
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.


The noble stag was pausing now,
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wander'd o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And ponder'd refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard' or Aberfoyle,

["About a mile to the westward of the inn of Aberfoyle, Lochard opens to the view. A few hundred yards to the east of it, the Avendow, which had just issued from the lake, tumbles its waters over a rugged precipice of more than thirty feet in height, forming, in the rainy season, several very magnificent


"The first opening of the lower lake, from the east, is uncommonly picturesque. Directing the eye nearly westward, Benlomond raises its pyramidal mass in the background. In nearer prospect, you have gentle eminences, covered with oak and birch

But nearer was the copsewood grey,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.

to the very summit; the bare rock sometimes peeping through amongst the clumps. Immediately under the eye, the lower lake, stretching out from narrow beginnings, to the breadth of about half a mile, is seen in full prospect. On the right, the banks are skirted with extensive oak woods, which cover the mountain more than half way up.

"Advancing to the westward, the view of the lake is lost for about a mile. The upper lake, which is by far the most extensive, is separated from the lower by a stream of about 200 yards, in length. The most advantageous view of the upper lake presents itself from a rising ground near its lower extremity, where a foot-path strikes off to the south, into the wood that overhangs this connecting stream. Looking westward, Benlomond is seen in the back-ground, rising, at the distance of six miles, in the form of a regular cone, its side presenting a gentle slope to the N. W. and S. E. On the right is the lofty mountain of Benoghrie, running west, towards the deep vale in which Lochcon lies concealed from the eye. In the foreground, Lochard stretches out to the west in fairest prospect; its length three miles and its breadth a mile and a half. On the right, it is skirted with woods; the northern and western extremity of the lake is diversified with meadows, and corn fields, and farm houses. On the left, few marks of cultivation are to be seen.

"Farther on, the traveller passes along the verge of the lake under a ledge of rock, from thirty to fifty feet high; and standing immediately under this rock, towards its western extremity, he has a double echo, of uncommon distinctness. Upon pronouncing, with a firm voice, a line of ten syllables, it is returned, first from the opposite side of the lake; and when that is finished, it is repeated with equal distinctness from the wood on the east. The day must be perfectly calm, and the lake as smooth as glass, for

Fresh vigour with the hope return'd,'
With flying foot the heath he spurn'd,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.


'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er,
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more;
What reins were tighten'd in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air; 3
Who flagg'd upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunn'd to stem the flooded Teith,-4
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.


otherwise no human voice can be returned from a distance of at least a quarter of a mile."-GRAHAM'S Sketches of Perthshire, 2d edit. p. 182, etc.


[MS.-"Fresh vigour with the thought return'd,

With flying hoof the heath he spurn'd."]

2 [Cambus-more, within about two miles of Callender, on the wooded banks of the Keltie, a tributary of the Teith, is the seat of a family of the name of Buchanan, whom the poet frequently visited in his younger days.]

3 [Benledi is a magnificent mountain, 3009 feet in height, which bounds the horizon on the north-west from Callender. The name, according to Celtic etymologists, signifies the mountain of God.]

4 [Two mountain streams, the one flowing from Loch Voil, by the pass of Lenny; the other from Loch Katrine, by Loch Achray and Loch Vennachar, unite at Callender, and the river thus formed thenceforth takes the name of Teith. Hence the designation of the territory of Menteith.]


Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reach'd the lake of Vennachar; !
And when the Brigg of Turk was won,'
The headmost horseman rode alone.


Alone, but with unbated zeal,

That horseman plied the scourge and steel;
For jaded now, and spent with toil,
Emboss'd with foam, and dark with soil,
While every gasp with sobs he drew,
The labouring stag strain'd full in view.
Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,
Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed, 3


[Loch Vennachar, a beautiful expanse of water of about five miles in length, by a mile and a half in breadth."-GRAHAM.]


["About a mile above Loch Vennachar, the approach (from the east) to the Brigg or Bridge of Turk (the scene of the death of a wild-boar famous in Celtic tradition,) leads to the summit of an eminence, where there bursts upon the traveller's eye a sudden and wide prospect of the windings of the river that issues from Loch Achray, with that sweet lake itself in front; the gently-rolling river pursues its serpentine course through an extensive meadow; at the west end of the lake, on the side of Aberfoyle, is situated the delightful farm of Achray, the level field, a denomination justly due to it, when considered in contrast with the rugged rocks and mountains which surround it. From this eminence are to be seen also, on the right hand, the entrance to Glenfinlas, and in the distance Benvenue.-GRAHAM.]

3 "The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's hounds, are commonly all blacke, yet neuertheless, their race is so mingled at these days, that we find them of all colours. These are the hounds

« AnteriorContinuar »