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THE MOST NOBLE
JOHN JAMES, MARQUIS OF ABERCORN,
&c. &c. &c.
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED
LADY OF THE LAKE.
The Scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The Time of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each day occupy a Canto.
CANTO THE FIRST.
ARP of the North! that mouldering long hast
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's. And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung, Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,—
O Minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep? 'Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd,
When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high! Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bow'd; For still the burden of thy minstrelsy
Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's matchless eye.
O wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand
Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
THE stag at eve had drunk his fill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.