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On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring,
And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet
O minstrel Harp, still must thine accents.
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmurStill must thy sweeter sounds their si
Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal
When lay of hopeless love, or glory won, Aroused the fearful, or subdued the proud.
At each according pause, was heard aloud Thine ardent symphony sublime and
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
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to
O wake once more! though scarce my skill command
Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: Though harsh and faint, and soon to die
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain, Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway The wizard note has not been touch'd in
Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,*
The deep-mouth'd bloodhound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne, Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.
* One of the Grampian chain of moun tains at the head of the Valley of the Garry
As Chief, who hears his warder call,
"To arms! the foemen storm the wall,"
The antler'd monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste
But, e'er his fleet career he took,
The dew-drops from his flanks he shook ;
Like crested leader proud and high,
Toss'd his beam'd frontlet to the sky;
A moment gazed adown the dale,
A moment snuff'd the tainted gale,
A moment listened to the cry,
That thicken'd as the chase drew nigh;
Then, as the head most foes appear'd,
With one brave bound the copse he clear'd,
And, stretching forward free and far,
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
Yell'd on the view the opening pack;
Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once
The awakened 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 hulloo,
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 sylvan war
Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var,
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 wandered o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And ponder'd refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood gray,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
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 tightened in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air ;*
Who flagg'd upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunn'd to stem the flooded Teith,†—
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.
* Benledi is a high mountain on the north-west of Callender. Its name signifies the mountain of God.
A river which gives its name to the territory of Menteith.