Imágenes de páginas

With Torquil's aid, a gallant fleet, If aught avails their Chieftain's hest Among the islesmen of the west."

The eager Edward said; “ Eternal as his own, my hate Surmounts the bounds of mortal fate,

And dies not with the dead!
Such hate was his on Solway's strand,
When vengeance clench'd his palsied hand,
That pointed yet to Scotland's land,

As his last accents pray'd
Disgrace and curse upon his heir,
If he one Scottish head should spare,
Till stretch'd upon the bloody lair

Each rebel corpse was laid !
Such hate was his, when his last breath
Renounced the peaceful house of death,
And bade his bones to Scotland's coast
Be borne by his remorseless host,
As if his dead and stony eye
Could still enjoy her misery!
Such hate was his-dark, deadly, long;
Mine,-as enduring, deep, and strong !"-

VI. Thus was their venturous council said. But, ere their sails the galleys spread, Coriskin dark and Coolin high Echoed the dirge's doleful cry. Along that sable lake pass'd slow,Fit scene for such a sight of woe, The sorrowing islesmen, as they bore The murder'd Allan to the shore. At every pause, with dismal shout, Their coronach of grief rung out, And ever, when they moved again, The pipes resumed their clamorous strain, And, with the pibroch's shrilling wail, Mourn'd the young heir of Donagaile. Round and around, from cliff and cave, His answer stern old Coolin gave, Till high upon his misty side Languish'd the mournful notes, and died. For never sounds, by mortal made, Attain'd his high and haggard head, That echoes but the tempest's moan, Or the deep thunder's rending groan.

V. "Let women, Edward, war with words, With curses monks, but men with swords: Nor doubt of living foes, to sate Deepest revenge and deadliest hate.? Now, to the sea ! behold the beach, And see the galleys' pendants stretch Their fluttering length down favoring gale! Aboard, aboard ! and hoist the sail. Hold we our way for Arran first, Where meet in arms our friends dispersed ; Lennox the loyal, De la Haye, And Boyd the bold in battle fray. I long the hardy band to head, And see once more my standard spread.Does noble Ronald share our course, Or stay to raise his island force !”“Come weal, come woe, by Bruce's side," Replied the Chief, “ will Ronald bide. And since two galleys yonder ride, Be mine, so please my liege, dismiss'd To wake to arms the clans of Uist, And all who hear the Minche's roar, On the Long Island's lonely shore. The nearer Isles, with slight delay, Ourselves may summon in our way; And soon on Arran's shore shall meet,

Merrily, merrily bounds the bark,

She bounds before the gale,
The mountain breeze from Ben-na-darch

Is joyous in her sail !
With fluttering sound like laughter hoarse,

The cords and canvas strain,
The waves, divided by her force,
In rippling eddies chased her course,

As if they laugh'd again.
Not down the breeze more blithely flew,
Skimming the wave, the light sea-mew,

Than the gay galley bore
Her course upon that favoring wind,
And Coolin's crest has sunk behind,

And Slapin's cavern'd shore."
'Twas then that warlike signals wake
Dunscaith's dark towers and Eisord's lake,
And soon, from Cavilgarrigh’s head,
Thick wreaths of eddying smoke were spread;

1 See Appendix, Note 2 L.

compelled to say it, 80 monstrous, and in a Scottish poet, so 2 « The Brace was, unquestionably, of a temper never sur unnatural a violation of truth and decency, not to say patriotpassed for its humanity, munificence, and nobleness ; yet to ism, that we are really astonished that the author could have represent him sorrowing over the death of the first Plantage-conceived the idea, much more that he could suffer his pen to niet, after the repeated and tremendous ills inflicted by that record it. This wretched abasement on the part of The man on Scotland—the patriot Wallace murdered by his order, Bruce, is farther heightened by the King's half-reprehension of as well as the royal race of Wales, and the very brothers of Prince Edward's noble and stern expression of undying hatred The Bruce, slaughtered by his command-to represent the against his country's spoiler, and his family's assassin --Critijust and generous Robert, we repeat, feeling an instant's com- cal Review passion for the sudden fate of a miscreant like this, is, we are

3 MS. " mountain-shore."

A summons these of war and wrath

That mourns her woes in tongue unknown.To the brave clans of Sleat and Strath,

Strange is the tale-but all too long And, ready at the sight,

Already hath it staid the song Each warrior to his weapons sprung,

Yet who may pass them by, And targe upon his shoulder flung,

That crag and tower in ruins gray," Impatient for the fight.

Nor to their hapless tenant pay Mac-Kinnon's chief, in warfare gray,

The tribute of a sigh ! Had charge to muster their array,

And guide their barks to Brodick-Bay.

Merrily, merrily bounds the bark

O’er the broad ocean driven,
Signal of Ronald's high command,

Her path by Ronin's mountains dark A beacon gleam'd o'er sea and land,

The steersman's hand hath given. From Canna's tower, that, steep and gray,

And Ronin's mountains dark have sent Like falcon-nest o'erhangs the bay.'

Their hunters to the shore, Seek not the giddy crag to climb,

And each his ashen bow unbent, To view the turret scathed by time;

And gave his pastime o'er, It is a task of doubt and fear

And at the Island Lord's command, To aught but goat or mountain-deer.

For hunting spear took warrior's brand. But rest thee on the silver beach,

On Scooreigg next a warning light
And let the aged herdsman teach

Summon'd her warriors to the fight;
His tale of former day;

A numerous race, ere stern MacLeod
His cur's wild clamor he shall chide,

O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode, And for thy seat by ocean's side,

When all in vain the ocean-cave
His varied plaid display ;

Its refuge to his victims gave.
Then tell, how with their Chieftain came, The Chief, relentless in his wrath,
In ancient times, a foreign dame

With blazing heath blockades the path;
To yonder turret gray.'

In dense and stifling volumes rollid,
Stern was her Lord's suspicious mind,

The vapor fill’d the cavern'd hold! Who in so rude a jail confined

The warrior-threat, the infant's plain, So soft and fair a thrall !

The mother's screams, were heard in vain; And oft, when moon on ocean slept,

The vengeful Chief maintains his fires, That lovely lady sate and wept

Till in the vault? a tribe expires ! Upon the castle-wall,

The bones which strew that cavern's gloom, And turn'd her eye to southern climes,

Too well attest their dismal doom.
And thought perchance of happier times,
And touch'd her lute by fits, and sung

Wild ditties in her native tongue.

Merrily, merrily goes the barko And still, when on the cliff and bay

On a breeze from the northward free, Placid and pale the moonbeams play,

So shoots through the morning sky the lark, And every breeze is mute,

Or the swan through the summer sea. Upon the lone Hebridean's ear

The shores of Mull on the eastward lay,
Steals a strange pleasure mix'd with fear, And Ulva dark and Colonsay,
While from that cliff he seems to hear

And all the group of islets gay
The murmur of a lute,

That guard famed Staffa round. And sounds, as of a captive lone,

Then all unknown its columns rose, 1 See Appendix, Note 2 M.

We could almost be tempted to believe that he was on his re 2 MS.-" To Canna's turret gray."

turn from Skye when he wrote this portion of his poem :-from 3 " The stanzas which follow are, we think, touchingly Skye, the depository of the 'mighty cup of royal Somerled," beautiful, and breathe a sweet and melancholy tenderness, as well as of Rorie More's' comparatively modern horn'perfectly suitable to the sad tale which they record."-Criti- and that, as he says himself of a minstrel who celebrated the cal Review

hospitalities of Dunvegan-castle in that island, it is pretty 4 MS.--" That crag with crest of ruins gray."

plain, that when this tribute of poetical praise was bestowed,

the horn of Rorie More had not been inactive.'"- Montaly 6 See Appendix, Note 2 N.

6 Ibid. Note 20.

Revier. See Appendix, Note M. 7 MS.—“Till in their smoke," &c.

"Of the prominent beauties which abound in the poem, 8" And so also · merrily, merrily, goes the bark,' in a suc- the most magnificent we consider to be the description of the cession of merriment, which, like Dogberry's tediousness, he celebrated Cave of Fingal, which is conceived in a mighty finds it in his heart to bestow wholly and entirely on us, mind, and is expressed in a strain of poetry, clear, simple, through page after page, or wave after wave of his voyage. and sublime."-British Critic.

His bright and brief career is o'er,

And mute his tuneful strains ; Quench'd is his lamp of varied lore, That loved the light of song to pour ; A distant and a deadly shore

Has LEYDEN's cold remains !

Where dark and undisturbed repose?

The cormorant had found, And the shy seal had quiet home, And welter'd in that wondrous dome, Where, as to shame the temples deck'd By skill of earthly architect, Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise A Minster to her Maker's praise ! Not for a meaner use ascend Her columns, or her arches bend; Nor of a theme less solemn tells That mighty surge that ebbs and swells, And still, between each awful pause, From the high vault an answer draws, In varied tone prolong’d and high, That mocks the organ's melody. Nor doth its entrance front in vain To old Iona’s holy fane, That Nature's voice might seem to say, “Well hast thou done, frail Child of clay! Thy humble powers that stately shrine Task'd high and hard—but witness mine !"

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

Old Albyn should in fight prevail,

every foe should faint and quail
Before her silver Cross.


Merrily, merrily goes the bark,

Before the gale she bounds;
So darts the dolphin from the shark,

Or the deer before the hounds.
They left Loch-Tua on their lee,
And they waken'd the men of the wild Tiree,

And the Chief of the sandy Coll;
They paused not at Columba's isle,
Though peal'd the bells from the holy pile

With long and measur'd toll ;-
No time for matin or for mass,
And the sounds of the holy summons pass

Away in the billows' roll.
Lochbuie's fierce and warlike Lord
Their signal saw, and grasp'd his sword,
And verdant Nay call'd her host,
And the clans of Jura's rugged coast

Lord Ronald's call obey,
And Scarba's isle, whose tortured shore
Still rings to Corrievreken's roar,

And lonely Colonsay;
-Scenes sung by him who sings no more 18

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,

1 MS.—“Where niched, his undisturb'd repose."
? See Appendix, Note 2 P.
3 The MS. adds,

" Which, when the ruins of thy pile

Cumber the desolated isle,
Firm and immutable shall stand,

'Gainst winds, and waves, and spoiler's hand.” 4"We were now treading that illustrious island, which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavored, and

would be foolish, if it were possible. Whatever withdraws ug from the power of our senses ; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and from my friends be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct as indir ferent and onmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona."-Johnson.

& See Appendix, Note 2 Q.
6 MS.-" His short but bright," &c.
? See Appendix, Note 2 R. 8 Ibid. Note 2 S.

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!

[merged small][ocr errors]


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

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 rumor spread
Of Edith from Artornish fled.
Too hard her fate-I claim no right?
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 honor I should ill assert,
And worse the feelings of my heart,
If I should play a suitor's part

Again, to pleasure Lorn."

As thus they talk'd in earnest mood,
That speechless boy beside them stood.
He stoop'd his head against the mast,
And bitter sobs came thick and fast,
A grief that would not be repress’d,
But seem'd to burst his youthful breast.
His hands, against his forehead held,
As if by force his tears repell’d,
But through his fingers, long and slight,
Fast trilld the drops of crystal bright.
Edward, who walk'd the deck apart,
First spied this conflict of the heart.
Thoughtless as brave, with bluntness kind
He sought to cheer the sorrower's mind;
By force the slender hand he drew
From those poor eyes that stream'd with dew.
As in his hold the stripling strove,-
('Twas a rough grasp, though meant in love),
Away his tears the warrior swept,
And bade shame on him that he wept.*
“ I would to heaven, thy helpless tongue
Could tell me who hath wrought thee wrong!
For, were he of our crew the best,
The insult went not unredress'd.
Come, cheer thee; thou art now of age
To be a warrior's gallant page;
Thou shalt be mine !-a palfrey fair
O'er hill and holt my boy shall bear,
To hold my bow in hunting grove,
Or speed on errand to my love
For well I wot thou wilt not tell
The temple where my wishes dwell."

Bruce interposed,—“Gay Edward, no,
This is no youth to hold thy bow,
To fill thy goblet, or to bear
Thy message light to lighter fair.
Thou art a patron all too wild
And thoughtless, for this orphan child.
See'st thou not how apart he steals,
3 MS.-" Thither, by Edward sent, she stays

Till fate shall lend more prosperous days." 4 MS.--"And as a way the tears he swept,

He bade shame on him that he wept."

XV. “ Young Lord,” the Royal Bruce' replied, “That question must the Church decide: Yet seems it hard, since rumors 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 favor in her eyes; But since our brother Nigel's fate,

1 MS.

no tongue is mine To blame her," &c.

2 MS.-"The princely Bruce."

Keeps lonely couch, and lonely meals ?
Fitter by far in yon calm cell
To tend our sister Isabel,
With father Augustin to share
The peaceful change of convent prayer,
Than wander wild adventures through,
With such a reckless guide as you.”—
“ Thanks, brother!” Edward answer'd gay,
* For the high laud thy words convey !
But we may learn some future day,
If thou or I can this poor boy
Protect the best, or best employ.
Meanwhile, our vessel nears the strand;
Launch we the boat, and seek the land."

The heavy sword or bossy shield.
Men too were there, that bore the scars
Impress'd in Albyn's woeful wars,
At Falkirk's fierce and fatal fight,
Teyndrum's dread rout, and Methven's

The might of Douglas there was seen,
There Lennox with his graceful mien;
Kirkpatrick, Closeburn's dreaded Knight;
The Lindsay, fiery, fierce, and light;
The Heir of murder'd De la Haye,
And Boyd the grave, and Seton gay.
Around their King regain'd they press'd,
Wept, shouted, clasp'd him to their breast,
And young and old, and serf and lord,
And he who ne'er unsheathed a sword,
And he in many a peril tried,
Alike resolved the brunt to bide,
And live or die by Bruce's side!

XVIII. To land King Robert lightly sprung, And thrice aloud his bugle rung With note prolong'd and varied strain, Till bold Ben-Ghoil replied again. Good Douglas then, and De la Haye, Had in a glen a hart at bay, . And Lennox cheer'd the laggard hounds, When waked that horn the greenwood

bounds. " It is the foe!” cried Boyd, who came In breathless haste with eye of flame," It is the foe !- Each valiant lord Fling by his bow, and grasp his sword !"" Not so," replied the good Lord James, “That blast no English bugle claims. Oft have I heard it fire the fight, Cheer the pursuit, or stop the flight. Dead were my heart, and deaf mine ear, If Bruce should call, nor Douglas hear! Each to Loch Ranza's margin spring; That blast was winded by the King !"?

XX. Oh, War! thou hast thy fierce delight, Thy gleams of joy, intensely bright! Such gleams, as from thy polish'd shield Fly dazzling o'er the battle-field ! Such transports wake, severe and high, Amid the pealing conquest cry; Scarce less, when, after battle lost, Muster the remnants of a host, And as each comrade's name they tell Who in the well-fought conflict fell, Knitting stern brow o'er flashing eye, Vow. to avenge them or to die ! Warriors !—and where are warriors found, If not on martial Britain's ground ? And who, when waked with note of fire, Love more than they the British lyre ? Know ye not,-hearts to honor dear! That joy, deep-thrilling, stern, severe, At which the heart-strings vibrate high, And wake the fountains of the eye ? And blame ye, then, the Bruce, if trace Of tear is on his manly face, When, scanty relics of the train That hail'd at Scone his early reign, This patriot band around him hung, And to his knees and bosom clung ? Blame ye the Bruce :—his brother blamed, But shared the weakness, while ashamed, With haughty laugh his head he turn'd, And dash'd away the tear he scorn'd.”

XIX. Fast to their mates the tidings spread, And fast to shore the warriors sped. Bursting from glen and greenwood tree, High waked their loyal jubilee! Around the royal Bruce they crowd, And clasp'd his hands, and wept aloud. Veterans of early fields were there, Whose helmets press’d their hoary hair, Whose swords and axes bore a stain From life-blood of the red-hair'd Dane;' And boys, whose hands scarce brook'd to


1 See Appendix, Note 2T.
, MS.-"Impress'd by life-blood of the Dane."
3 MS." If not on Britain's warlike ground."
4 "Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed,

When Ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead.
For us, even banquets fond regret supply

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »