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Coriskin dark and Coolin high

From Canna's tower, that, steep and grey, Echoed the dirge's doleful cry.

Like falcon-nest o'erhangs the bay. Along that sable lake pass'd slow,

Seek not the giddy crag to climb, Fit scene for such a sight of woe,

To view the turret scathed by time; The sorrowing islesmen, as they bore

It is a task of doubt and fear The murder'd Allan to the shore.

To aught but goat or mountain-deer. At every pause, with dismal shout,

But rest thee on the silver beach, Their coronach of grief rung out,

And let the aged herdsman teach And ever, when they moved again,

His tale of former day; The pipes resumed their clamorous strain,

His cur's wild clamour he shall chide, And, with the pibroch's shrilling wail,

And for thy seat by ocean's side, Mourn’d the young heir of Donagaile.

His varied plaid display; Round and around, from cliff and cave,

Then tell, how with their Chieftain came, His answer stern old Coolin gave,

In ancient times, a foreign danie Till high upon his misty side

To yonder 3 turret grey.* Languish'd the mournful notes, and died.

Stern was her Lord's suspicious mind, For never sounds, by mortal made,

Who in so rude a jail confined Attain’d his high and haggard head,

So soft and fair a thrall! That echoes but the tempest's moan,

And oft, when moon on ocean slept, Or the deep thunder's rending groan.

That lovely lady sate and wept

Upon the castle-wall,

And turn’d her eye to southern climes,
Merrily, merrily bounds the bark,

And thought perchance of happier times, She bounds before the gale,

And touch'd her lute by fits, and sung The mountain breeze from Ben-na-darch

Wild ditties in her native tongue. Is joyous in her sail !

And still, when on the cliff and bay With fluttering sound like laughter hoarse,

Placid and pale the moonbeams play, The cords and canvass strain,

And every breeze is mute, The waves, divided by her force,

Upon the lone Hebridean's ear In rippling eddies chased her course,

Steals a strange pleasure mix'd with fear, As if they laugh'd again.

While from that cliff he seems to hear Not down the breeze more blithely flew,

The murmur of a lute, Skimming the wave, the light sea-mew,

And sounds, as of a captive lone, Than the gay galley bore

That mourns her woes in tongue unknown.Her course upon that favouring wind,

Strange is the tale—but all too long And Coolin's crest has sunk behind,

Already hath it staid the songAnd Slapin's cavern'd shore.'

Yet who may pass them by, 'Twas then that warlike signals wake

That crag and tower in ruins grey,s Dunscaith's dark towers and Eisord's lake,

Nor to their hapless tenant pay
And soon, from Cavilgarrigh’s head,

The tribute of a sigh!
Thick wreaths of eddying smoke were spread;
A summons these of war and wrath

To the brave clans of Sleat and Strath,

Merrily, merrily bounds the bark And, ready at the sight,

O'er the broad ocean driven, Each warrior to his weapons sprung,

Her path by Ronin's mountains dark And targe upon his shoulder flung,

The steersman's hand hath given. Impatient for the fight.

And Ronin's mountains dark have sent Mac-Kinnon's chief, in warfare grey,

Their hunters to the shore, Had charge to muster their array,

And each his ashen bow unbent, And guide their barks to Brodick-Bay.

And gave his pastime o’er,

And at the Island Lord's command,

For hunting spear took warrior's brand.
Signal of Ronald's high command,

On Scooreigg next a warning light A beacon gleam'd o'er sea and land,

Summon'd her warriors to the fight;

perfectly suitable to the sad tale which they record."-(7.86

“ mountain-shore." 2 See Appendix, Note 2 M. a MS._" To Canna's turret grey."

cal Rericu.

1 MS.

4 « The stanzas which follow are, we think, touchingly beautiful, and breathe a exeet and melancholy tenderness,

6 MS.-" That crag with crest of ruins grey." 8 See Appendix, Note 2 N.

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A numerous race, ere stern MacLeod

In varied tone prolong'd and high, O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode,' That mocks the organ's melody. When all in vain the ocean-cave

Nor doth its entrance front in vain Its refuge to his victims gave.

To old Iona's holy fane, The Chief, relentless in his wrath,

That Nature's voice might seem to say, With blazing heath blockades the path;

“ Well hast thou done, frail Child of clay! In dense and stifling volumes rollid,

Thy humble powers that stately shrine
The vapour fillid the cavern’d hold !

Task'd high and hard-but witness mine!”
The warrior-threat, the infant's plain,
The mother's screams, were heard in vain;

The vengeful Chief maintains his fires,

Merrily, merrily goes the bark,
Till in the vault' a tribe expires !

Before the gale she bounds;
The bones which strew that cavern's gloom, So darts the dolphin from the shark,
Too well attest their dismal doom.

Or the deer before the hounds.

They left Loch-Tua on their lee,

And they waken'd the men of the wild
Merrily, merrily goes the bark 3

On a breeze from the northward free,

And the Chief of the sandy Coll;
So shoots through the morning sky the lark,

They paused not at Columba's isle,
Or the swan through the summer sea.

Though peal’d the bells from the holy pile
The shores of Mull on the eastward lay,

With long and measured toll;8 And Ulva dark and Colonsay,

No time for matin or for mass,
And all the group of islets gay

And the sounds of the holy summons pass
That guard famed Staffa round.*

Away in the billows' roll.
Then all unknown its columns rose,

Lochbuie's fierce and warlike Lord
Where dark and undisturb'd reposes

Their signal saw, and grasp'd his sword,
The cormorant had found,

And verdant Ilay call’d her host,
And the shy seal had quiet home,

And the clans of Jura's rugged coast And welter'd in that wondrous dome,

Lord Ronald's call obey, Where, as to shame the temples deck'd

And Scarba's isle, whose tortured shore By skill of earthly architect,

Still rings to Corrievreken's roar, Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise

And lonely Colonsay; A Minster to her Maker's praise !6

--Scenes sung by him who sings no more !" Not for a meaner use ascend

His bright and brief 10 career is o’er, Her columns, or her arches bend;

"And mute his tuneful strains; Nor of a theme less solemn tells

Quench'd is his lamp of varied lore, That mighty surge that ebbs and swells,

That loved the light of song to pour; And still, between each awful pause,

A distant and a deadly shore From the high vault an answer draws,

Has LEYDEN's cold remains !

I See Appendix, Note 20.

7 The MS. adds. 2 MS.-" Till in their smoke," &c.

“ Which, when the ruins of thy pile 3“ And so also merrily, merrily, goes the bard,' in a suc

Cumber the desolated isle, cession of merriment, which, like Dogberry's tediousness, he

Firm and immutable shall stand, finds it in his heart to bestow wholly and entirely on us, 'Gainst winds, and waves, and spoiler's hand." through page after page, or wave after wave of his voyage. 8“We were now treading that illustrious island, which was We could almost be tempted to believe that he was on his re- once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage tum from Skye when he wrote this portion of his poem ;—from clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, Skye, the depository of the mighty cup of royal Somerled,' and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all as well as of Rorie More's' comparatively modern · horn'- local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and that, as he says himself of a minstrel who celebrated the and would be foolish, if it were possible. Whatever withdraws hospitalities of Dunvegan-castle in that island, “it is pretty us from the power of our senses ; whatever makes the past, plain, that when this tribute of poetical praise was bestowed, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, adthe horn of Rorie More had not been inactive.'"- Monthly vances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and Rerice. See Appendix, Note M.

from my friends be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct us 4 “Of the prominent beauties which abound in the poem, indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been digthe most magnificent we consider to be the description of the nified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be celebrated Cave of Fingal, which is conceived in a mighty envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain mind, and is expressed in a strain of poetry, clear, simple, of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among and sublime."— British Crilic.

the ruins of Iona."-JOHNSON. 5 MS.-“Where niched, his undisturb'd repose."

9 See Appendix, Note 2 Q. • See Appendix, Note 2 P.

10 MS." His short but bright," &c.

XII. Ever the breeze blows merrily, But the galley ploughs no more the sea. Lest, rounding wild Cantyre, they meet The southern foeman's watchful fleet,

They held unwonted way ;-
Up Tarbat's western lake they bore,
Then dragg’d their bark the isthmus o'er,
As far as Kilmaconnel's shore,

Upon the eastern bay.
It was a wondrous sight to see
Topmast and pennon glitter free,
High raised above the greenwood tree,
As on dry land the galley moves,
By cliff and copse and alder groves.
Deep import from that selcouth sign,
Did many a mountain Seer divine,
For ancient legends told the Gael,
That when a royal bark should sail

O'er Kilmaconnel moss,
Old Albyn should in fight prevail,
And every foe should faint and quail

Before her silver Cross.

And good King Robert's brow expressid,
He ponder'd o'er some high request,

As doubtful to approve;
Yet in his eye and lip the while,
Dwelt the half-pitying glance and smile,
Which manhood's graver mood beguile,

When lovers talk of love.
Anxious his suit Lord Ronald pled;
_" And for my bride betrothed,” he said,
“ My Liege has heard the rumour spread
Of Edith from Artornish fled.
Too hard her fate-I claim no right a
To blame her for her hasty flight;
Be joy and happiness her lot ! -
But she hath fled the bridal-knot,
And Lorn recall’d his promised plight,
In the assembled chieftains' sight.-

When, to fulfil our fathers' band,
I proffer'd all I could-my hand-

I was repulsed with scorn;
Mine honour I should ill assert,
And worse the feelings of my heart,
If I should play a suitor's part

Again, to pleasure Lorn.”

XIII. Now launch'd once more, the inland sea They furrow with fair

augury, And steer for Arran's isle; The sun, ere yet he sunk behind Ben-Ghoil," the Mountain of the Wind," Gave his grim peaks a greeting kind,

And bade Loch Ranza smile.
Thither their destined course they drew;
It seem'd the isle her monarch knew,
So brilliant was the landward view,

The ocean so serene;
Each puny wave in diamonds rollid
O’er the calm deep, where hues of gold

With azure strove and green.
The hill, the vale, the tree, the tower,
Glow'd with the tints of evening's hour,

The beach was silver sheen,
The wind breathed soft as lover's sigh,
And, oft renew'd, seem'd oft to die,

With breathless pause between.
O who, with speech of war and woes,
Would wish to break the soft repose

Of such enchanting scene!

XV. “ Young Lord,” the Royal Bruce * replied, “ That question must the Church decide; Yet seems it hard, since rumours state Edith takes Clifford for her mate, The very tie, which she hath broke, To thee should still be binding yoke. But, for my sister Isabel The mood of woman who can tell? I guess the Champion of the Rock, Victorious in the tourney shock, That knight unknown, to whom the prize She dealt,-had favour in her eyes; But since our brother Nigel's fate, Our ruin'd house and hapless state, From worldly joy and hope estranged, Much is the hapless mourner changed. Perchance,” here smiled the noble King, 66 This tale may other musings bring. Soon shall we know-yon mountains hide The little convent of Saint Bride; There, sent by Edward, she must stay, Till fate shall give more prosperous day;" And thither will I bear thy suit, Nor will thine advocate be mute."

XIV. Is it of war Lord Ronald speaks ! The blush that dies his manly cheeks, The timid look and downcast eye, And faltering voice the theme deny.

XVI. As thus they talk'd in earnest mood, That speechless boy beside them stood.

4 MS.-" The princely Bruce."

1 See Appendix, Note 2 R. 2 See Appendix, Note 2 S. 8 MS.

" po tongue is mine To blame her," &c.

6 MS.-" Thither, by Edward sent, she stays

Tul fate shall lend more prosperous days

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