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113

SCOTIA.

.

ADDRESSED

TO EDWARD BOYD, ESQ.

I could endure chains nowhere patiently;
But chains at home, where I am free by birth-right,
Not at all. -

COWPER

When auld Lucky Nature divided her gear, She gied to her bairns braw lairdships to rear; But unto Miss Scotia, just out of a thraw, She gave a bleak wilderness, barren and raw. 'Mang hillocks of heather, and burnies sae brown, Beside a green Thistle, poor Scotia sat down : “ This shall be my symbol; the motto," quo' she, - NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET shall be."

H

In this remote region, surrounded by rocks, Where rude savage herds follow wild savage flocks, Though keen are the breezes that over her blaw, Contented she lives, inoffensive to a’. Joy shells in the halls of her chieftains go round, And pleasures in every hamlet abound, Till neighbours ambitious fierce upon her fa', To carry by force her loved Thistle awa'.

In splendour majestic, the Eagle of Rome, With wings wide extended, proclaimed Scotia's doom; The Britons, Norwegians, Picts, Saxons, and Danes, Ransacked her coffers, and plunder'd her plains. But Heav'n ordaind it, and they found it so, That Scotia should lay all her enemies low; And over their green grassy graves when awa, The rank rising Thistle for ever should blaw.

Thus rid of the braggarts that came o'er the main, John Bull fought and flatter'd her favour to gain; Though long she seem'd coy, she at last gave her hand, And has not her blood since subscribed the band ? Her banners have waved, and her bagpipes have blown, O'er many a foe by her arm overthrown;

And wild on her mountains are thousands, who still Are ready for Scotia their life-blood to spill.

Yet this is the damsel the foe from afar

Would chain to the wheels of his triumphal car ;
And this is the Thistle he fain would cut down,
To garnish the wreaths of his triumphal crown.
But though Nick should pilot him straight to our strand,
And Fortune, capricious, allow him to land,
While Scots for their country unite one and all,
Her Thistle shall ne'er to a foreigner fall.

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THE

HIGHLAND FORAY.

How oft in this currach of wild heifer's hide,
So artfully made to bring home the chief's bride,
At night when watch-lights burn'd blue by the Thane,
And warriors dreamt of their battles again,
Has Alister stemm’d the brown torrent for me,
Awaiting his coming at Dun-Pitnacree?

We talked of our loves by yon rock, when a light That blazed on the mountain, met Alister's sight; “ The Kitt'ren is coming,” he hastily cried, And vanish'd away like a wraith from my side.

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Nor could Water-Kelpie more rapid than he
The currach have guided from Dun-Pitnacree.

As round the war-banner clan Alpine arose, Resolved to chastise their intolerant foes, Red grew the day-star, as portending the blood That soon on our hills was to flow like a flood; The brandishing brands were most awful to see, Like war-beacons kindled round Dun-Pitnacree.

Though distant the clang of the foray, yet fear, The death-sighs of many conveyed to my ear; I knew that a Highlander, braver before Than Alister, never had drawn a claymore; That he from these picaroons never would flee, Nor tread, till with honour, on Dun-Pitnacree.

The joys of our youth fill my breast with a sigh; The scenes of our love bring the tear to my eye; The cairn where we sat by the dark-rolling Tay, Where “ farewell” he faulter'd, and hurried away, Bereaves me of rest, nor content will I be, Till Alister comes back to Dun-Pitnacree,

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