Poems on Various Subjects.

Grant, Anne MacVicar, 1755-1838

Charlotte Payne, -- creation of electronic text.

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British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. GranAPoems

Copyright (c) 2001, Nancy Kushigian

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 60
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

Poems on various subjects

Grant, Anne MacVicar, Mrs

Printed for the author by J. Moir ... sold by Longman and Rees ... and J. Hatchard ...

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:488. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:488mf.]

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NOTE.--Page 17 immediately follows p. 10., owing to the circumstance of its being presumed, when the poems were put to press, that the Title, Contents, Alphabetical Index, &c. would occupy full 16 pages.

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    Grief's sharpest thorn hard pressing on my breast,
    I strive with wakeful melody to cheer
    The sullen gloom, sweet Philomel, like thee.

GO , artless records of a life obscure,
Memorials dear of loves and friendships past,
Of blameless minds from strife and envy pure;
Go, scatter'd by Affliction's bitter blast,
And tell the proud, the busy, and the gay,
How rural peace consumes the quiet day.

Oh ye, whom sad remembrance loves to trace,
Look down complacent from your seats above,
Regard with soft compassion's melting grace,
The simple offering of surviving love:
For, while I fondly think ye hover near,
Your whisper'd melody I seem to hear.

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Ye dear companions in life's thorny way,
Who see your modest virtues here display'd,
Forgive, for well you know the unstudied lay,
Was only meant to soothe the lonely shade.
But, when the rude thorn wounds the songster's breast,
The lengthen'd strains of woe betray her secret nest.

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Complaints of Languor and Solitude, rendered more melancholy by the gloomy season. Return of Spring. Restored Health. Consequent joy and gratulation. Aspect of Nature on the late appearance of Spring in the Northern Climate. Disappointment and concern at the Depopulation of the neighbouring glens. Apostrophe to the Spirit of Malvina. Parallel betwixt the degenerate race succeeding the Fingalian Heroes, and the mechanical and frigid people who replace the Highlanders, driven to emigrate. Contrast betwixt that Life in which the frame is enervated by Sloth and Luxury,& the mind unhinged by visionary systems of Philosophy;--and that wherein the Contemplation of Nature, and early habits of Piety, have produced Patience, Fortitude and every manly Virtue:--Exemplified in the opposite characters, and illustrated by two correspondent similes, the Swallow and the Lark. The Author solicits the attention of the Reader to a picture of deep and peculiar distress.

        "Where Winter lingering chills the lap of May."

FAR to the North the howling tempest drove,
Light od'rous buds perfum'd the birchen grove,

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The primrose, iris, and the daisy pied,
With bashful sweets bedeck'd the mountain's side;
And even from bogs with chilly moisture drown'd,
Our hardy myrtle scatter'd fragrance round * :
Nature in happier climes look'd fresh and gay,
And sternly smil'd even on the banks of Spey.
    Hid from the solar beam and living breeze,
Stretch'd on the languid couch of dire disease,
By turns in listless torpor stretch'd I lay,
Or pin'd the agonizing hours away:
"How long must I in storms and sickness mourn?
"Oh when will health on zephyrs wings return?
"When shall I sit upon yon green hill's brow,
"To view fresh verdure deck the vales below?
"When shall my heart its grateful raptures bring,
"To join the general symphony of spring?
"No more shall selfish cares my soul employ,
"But the kind throb reverb'rate kindred joy:
"Youth's generous fervours kindle in my mind,
"And the wide wish that grasps the human kind.
"How long must I in storms and sickness mourn?
"Oh when will health, and light, and spring return?"
    Again, with balmy breath the western gale
Wakes the mild verdure of the shelter'd vale,
While health, and light, and spring, return once more:
But who, alas, can spring's delights restore?

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Since social joys and cheerful toils are dead,
And all the train of mountain virtues fled;
Which, like our native firs, aspiring, bold,
Love the bleak heights, and scorn the fertile mould.
    DAUGHTER of TOSCAR ! who by Lutha's streams
Oft met thy warlike spouse in mournful dreams:
MALVINA ! come in all thy pensive charms,
Stretch from thy robe of mist thy snowy arms;
Lift thy slow-rolling eyes, whose azure beams
So oft of old were quench'd in sorrow's streams;
When sons of little men, an abject race,
Appear'd in thy departed hero's place:
Tell in what secret cave, or whispering shade,
Thy harp of sadly-pleasing sound is laid,
(Whose plaintive tones, so sweet to OSSIAN'S ear,
The child of sorrow still delights to hear,)
That my bold hand may wake its strings again,
And teach the mountain-echoes to complain:
While to each dusky heath, and woody dell,
The Genius of the mountains bids farewell.
    Now, where the dappl'd fawns and bounding roes
Were wont their sprightly gambols to disclose,
Slow wand'ring sheep gaze round with vacant eye,
While sullen rocks return their plaintive cry:
Pensive and slow, I climb the mountain brow,
To view each social hamlet's mutual plough *;

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To see the cluster'd cottages around,
Where tranquil peace and rural joy were found;
Where gentle manners, piety sincere,
"The sympathies of love and friendship dear;"
Fancy and music blest each humble cot,
Each heart endearing to the native spot;
While at the frugal meal the blue smokes rise *
Like grateful incense to the fav'ring skies;
For, here the beauties of one smiling day,
Whole months of low'ring gloom and storms repay.
While spring with soft hand scatters fragrance round,
Devotion, gratitude, and joy abound;
And more delight expands th' untutor'd heart,
Than pomp or luxury could e'er impart.
    In vain my eyes the length'ning vale explore,
From hillocks green the blue smokes rise no more:
"No more at evening hour the hamlets round,"
The voice of joy and melody resound;
No more the maids with plaintive ditties old,
And warbl'd love-tales, soothe the musky fold;
Or guardian-spirits hovering round in air,
Attend the village-patriarch's simple pray'r,
Where breathes the native soul devoid of art,
The genuine language of the grateful heart:
No more the pibroch wakes the martial strain,
No more the clan's proud standard waves amain,

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No more in pensive mood the gifted seer,
Beholds the joyous nuptial train appear;
Or sees the funeral pomp approaching slow,
Or hears thro' the still air, the shrieks of future woe:
No more the bard, whom native genius fires,
(Celestial flame, that heaven-ward still aspires),
Bids patriot valour in full glory blaze,
Or consecrates departed worth with praise.
    Thus brave MONTROSE was sung, and great ARGYLE :
The gentle Chieftain of the misty isle,
Snatch'd in the bloom of opening worth away,
Thus lives--the theme of many a plaintive lay * ;
Which still his honour'd memory shall prolong;
So young MARCELLUS lives in VIRGIL'S song.
    Say, banish'd masters of the tuneful art,
Who sway with latent pow'r the willing heart,
Where are you now? across the Atlantic's roar,
Do your sad eyes your native hills explore?
Or homeward do you strain your aching view,
Where restless waves each other still pursue?
Where angry billows meet with frowning skies,
Till fancy's self recoils, and vision dies:
Or bending o'er the prow, your mournful strain,
Mix with the murmurs of the boundless main,
Where sinking surges equal cadence keep,
While misty showers around you seem to weep;

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Or wakes the harp the well-known notes of woe,
That wont along the funeral path to flow,
That, while our vanish'd comforts we deplore,
Repeats emphatic, "They return no more * ."
Go, hapless bards, and sing in other lands
Your country's praise to charm her exil'd bands;
And soothe each drooping mind with thoughts of home,
While hopeless, through the pathless wilds they roam.
But wherefore exil'd? while afar they rove,
Still glow their filial breasts with patriot love;
The thoughts of home still aching at their heart,
While distance only aggravates the smart.
Did not their hard hands earn with patient toil
Their scanty pittance from the rugged soil?
And did not blameless morals add a grace
To simple manners, in the untaught race?
Uncouth and wild these manners may appear,
And even these virtues savage and austere,
To those vain tribes, who indolently gay,
Know but to dream and trifle life away;
Who on soft luxury's velvet lap reclin'd,
Shrink from each bold exertion of the mind;
Whose unbrac'd languid frame dissolv'd in ease,
Recoils and shivers at th' autumnal breeze.
When winter rides terrific on the blast,
They shrink to covert till the storm be past;

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Nay when soft April's wat'ry smile appears,
The gale that from the primrose shakes the tears,
Too rudely breathes for them--altho' its power
Wounds not the texture of the silken flower:
Born in the sun's enlivening beams to play,
Like sportive insects of a summer day,
Say, how should they fatigue and danger brave,
Or climb the rocky steep, or mount the wint'ry wave?
    "These tasks befit the rugged sons of toil,"
Cries speculative Pride with scornful smile,
"While they in ignorance and darkness grope,
"And labour on, and talk of faith and hope;
"Far nobler labours aid us to extol,
"The task of minds, the labour of the soul.
"To trace French novelists with steady gaze,
"Thro' sentiment's inexplicable maze;
"Whose evanescent meaning caught meanwhile,
"Shall add new graces to enrich our stile;
"New systems of philosophy be shown,
"With happier art in language all our own;
"New modes, new governments, new laws, new light,
"Shall put all superstition's train to flight;
"And revelation's trembling, dubious ray,
"No more its faint, uncertain beams display;
"But knowledge flash with such resplendent blaze,
"That maddening crowds grow giddy while they gaze.

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"Such are our triumphs, while at ease reclin'd,
"With active force the comprehensive mind
"Breaks custom's chains and prejudice's ties,
"And wide in sportive curves unbounded flies."
    Thus have I seen in some long shining day,
The Swallow kind their sportive gambols play;
They roam'd excursive through the boundless air,
Sporting with wanton wing, now here, now there;
And twittering on with inharmonious mirth,
Each surface skimm'd, yet scorn'd to touch the earth:
Nor heav'n-ward strove on wing sublime to rise,
But chac'd with eager haste the summer flies;
Till the chill blasts of the first wint'ry day
To darkness drove the flutterers and their prey.
Such be your fate--ye silken sons of ease,
Whom hardships terrify, and trifles please.
Be mine to watch the blush of early dawn,
And thoughtful muse along the dewy lawn,
Where the sweet Lark , with cheerful ardour springs
Shakes the cold night-drops from her russet wings;
With music's raptures cheers the vaulted sky,
And wakens all the feather'd minstrelsy;
Then stooping to her feather'd nest again,
With grateful joy renews the charming strain.
    Thus from his native glen, when forc'd to roam,
Some Alpine peasant, joyous hails his home;

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Delighted hovering o'er the spot obscure,
Where useful toils are mix'd with pleasures pure;
While his fond eyes explore the low retreat,
He feels his glowing heart tumultuous beat;
And views with more delight his humble shed,
Than all the scenes where pomp and pleasure tread.
    Will you, ye proud and gay, attend a while,
To homely truths rehears'd in homely stile;
And hear a rustic muse those truths impart,
From the full sources of the swelling heart?
No strains of measur'd harmony shall here
With meretricious tinkle soothe your ear;
Nor art ambitious snatch exotic flow'rs,
From eastern groves, or soft Italia's bow'rs;
Be mine to raise, without disguise or art,
The British song, and touch the British heart.
To scenes of heartfelt sorrow turn your eye,
Unlock the sacred source of' sympathy;
Nor let to Afric's wilds Compassion roam,
While modest Anguish weeps unseen at home.

* See Note I. on Part I.

* See note 2. on Part I.

* See note 3. on Part I.

* See note 4. on Part I.

* See note 5. on Part I.


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Character of the Mountaineers, with a sketch of the leading causes which produced and still preserve that peculiar Character, in which a manly Simplicity is blended with a degree of Sentiment, and Gentleness of Manners, seldom to be found in the lower class of any other country; and which seems so intimately connected with their language and manner of life, that they generally lose it, when incorporated with any other class of people. Rural occupations described as carried on by different members of the same family. The domestic Groupe assembled in the Evening, rehearse to each other the Toils, Adventures, Visions, and Contemplations of the Day. Enthusiastic feeling excited by the simple pathos of artless narrative or unstudied composition-- contrasted with the apathy common among those in whom much intercourse with the world has blunted the finer feelings;--illustrated by a comparison. Evening Worship. Early rising. Devout Aspirations. Respect paid to old peasant, who generally presides by tacit consent in every hamlet, and holds his power by the double right of superior wisdom and experience, and is called by way of pre-eminence, n' Dunadh , or the Man. A younger person in the same little circle generally admired by the rest for some talent, such as Humour, Musical Powers, or a Faculty of Rhyming, &c. No hamlet without some Widow, who is in a great measure supported, and saved from the disgrace of a mendicant life, by the little society; she is usually childless, for the Highlanders, eminent for filial piety, always strive to support their aged parents.

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        "Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
        "Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
        "More free from peril than the envious court?
        "And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
        "Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
        "Sermons in stones, and good in every thing."


COME , then, explore with me each winding glen,
Far from the noisy haunts of busy men;
Let us with stedfast eye attentive trace
The local habits of the CELTIC race;
Renown'd even in those old heroic times,
That live in OSSIAN'S songs, and RUNIC rhymes;
When ardent Valour call'd his children forth,
And Glory lighten'd through the beaming North:
Whose hardy sons that twilight age adorn,
Like the quick splendours of the Boreal morn,
Fill'd with amaze and awe the world's dread kings,
And bade their eagles stoop with flagging wings.

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Come, trace with curious search what secret cause
Each native's heart with strong attraction draws,
Though wealth in happier lands her stores unlock,
To cling with fervour to his native rock:
Why lonely mountains, dark with russet heath,
And rushing streams, and narrow vales beneath;
With more delight his wand'ring eye detain,
Than FORTH'S rich banks, or LOTHIAN'S fertile plain:
The many-colour'd herd, his wealth and pride,
Like deer, through wastes extended, wand'ring wide;
And sportive goats, a bold aspiring flock,
High on the ridge of yon aerial rock;
More self-importance to his mind impart,
And fill with warmer joys his simple heart,
Than all the flocks the southern shepherd pens,
Or the fat herds that graze the LINCOLN fens.
Dear to his heart, those rocks that oft have rung
With legends which the CELTIC muse has sung;
While all the attentive hamlets round admire
The deeds gigantic of their common sire:
The honest pride those noble deeds impart,
With kind contagion flies from heart to heart.
And while they hang delighted on the sound,
The ties of kindred love are doubly bound;
And lisping children, youths, and grandsires grey,
Enamour'd dwell on the exalting lay:

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The long-descended strains their sons inspire,
To wake new raptures from the melting lyre,
Bid every sympathetic bosom glow
With modest triumph, or with virtuous woe;
With fine emotions rudest spirits move,
And teach at once to wonder and to love:
While glowing tenderness and thought refin'd,
Exalt the spirit of the lowly hind.
    In other lands, where abject peasants toil,
To gain rich products from the cultur'd soil;
Where, grovelling interest draws each sordid plan,
And all things feel improvement's aid but man;
To plod in dull mechanic sort their lot,
And vegetate upon the self-same spot:
Thro' the dull year's unvarying circle round,
The self-same fields their cares and projects bound.
No common toils have they, nor liberal views,
Alternate ease, nor "rapture for the muse;"
No leisure intervals to soothe their care,
Save the gross pastimes of a village-fair:
Extinct in these the spirit fierce and bold
That blaz'd thro' all the Scottish ranks of old;
Extinct the vital spark of energy,
That bids the soul claim kindred with the sky.
    Far to the North, where Scotia's Alps arise,
And shroud their white heads in the misty skies;

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In peopled straths * , where winding streams prolong
Their course familiar in the CELTIC song:
Or where the narrow wooded glens display,
Their verdant bosoms opening to the day,
And each his tributary torrent pours,
To swell the midland river's copious stores:
While near their confluence stand the mouldering seats,
Where ancient Chieftains rul'd those green retreats,
And faithful Clans delighted to obey
The kind behests of patriarchal sway;
The social tribes branch'd out on every side,
The pleasures and the toils of life divide;
And long experienc'd in the ages gone,
Peculiar toils and pleasures all their own.
    Here all is open as the ambient sky,
Nor fence, nor wall, obstructs the wandering eye:
Each hamlet's flocks and herds, a mutual charge,
That wander up the mountain's side at large;
Alternate claim the rustic's daily care;
And thus each various rural toil they share.
    The lesser Children guide the bleating lambs,
When wean'd and forc'd to quit their tim'rous dams;
The more advanc'd the sportive kidlings guide,
Where rocks o'erhang the torrent's dashing pride.
The little Maiden , whose unsteady hand
Can scarce the distaff's yielding weight command,

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Is by her careful mother taught to cull
From whitest curling fleeces, silky wool;
Her flowing tresses decks with garlands gay,
Then spins beside her playful calves the day.
The Youth , whose cheek the manly down o'erspreads
Wide o'er the hills the stronger cattle leads:
While milky mothers lowing o'er the land,
With plaintive cries their absent young demand.
    The careful Father forms the hamlet's fold,
Or else with patient labour turns the mould;
And watchful leaning o'er the faithful share,
The small domain divides with frugal care;
And free from cautious doubts and selfish fears,
They reap their portion of the ripen'd ears.
Thus, while they sow and reap the mutual field,
And each to each by turns is wont to yield;
With one consent they trace the general plan,
And blended interests form the social man:
Hence gradual ties of kind endearment flow,
Hence bland address and courteous actions grow;
And hence th' unstudied manners of the swain,
The graces of a gentler mind explain.
    When the declining sun withdraws his fires,
And slowly from the mountain-top retires;
When echoes whisper to the evening gale,
And shadows dim the visionary vale;

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When cattle slumber in the peaceful fold,
And clouds in wild fantastic shapes are roll'd;
The scatter'd family delighted meet,
And with complacent smile each other greet.
All day, from deep recesses of the woods,
From shelving rocks, or secret winding floods,
Each individual strives to bring a share
To aid their household wants, or help their frugal fare.
The boastful Boy , caught by his feeble hook
Displays the scaly tenants of the brook:
The Goat-herds in their osier baskets bring
The wholesome herbs on airy cliffs that spring;
The alder bark that gives the sable dye,
Or buds of heath that with the saffron vie;
While moss, that wont on aged rocks to grow,
Shall make the various woof with purple glow:
The housewife pleas'd the varied gifts beholds,
While hope anticipates the checker'd folds;
And colours of the home-made drapery,
Pride of her heart, and pleasure of her eye.
The cumbrous burden see the Father bear,
Of pliant birch, or smooth-grain'd juniper;
To form the roof that shields the humble dome,
"Where every wand'ring stranger finds a home;"
Or frame the seemly vessels that contain
The milky store which from their flocks they drain;

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For here scarce known the sordid arts of trade,
They seek no gross mechanic's frigid aid:
Tho' mean the dwelling thus uncouthly rear'd,
'Tis still by kindly gratitude endear'd:
While each his neighbour aids with cordial smile,
To build, like lab'ring ants, the rustic pile.
The household stuff their simple wants demand,
Is fashion'd by th' ingenious owner's hand:
The knife, the axe, the auger, and the fire,
The only tools that aid th' inventive sire.
From courtly domes on marble columns borne,
Let not the artist view their works with scorn;
Till he another cot produce to view,
By means as simple, and with tools as few.
    The wish'd Repast the weary inmates cheers,
And kindness now on every face appears;
Well pleas'd to meet in comfort, and display
The mix'd adventures of the various day.
What bounding deer and fluttering game they trac'd,
What hunter met them on the moory waste;
What straying cattle from th' adjacent strath,
They careful turn'd into the homeward path:
Or tell what rude and new-invented lay,
With soothing cadence lull'd their tedious day;
Th' unearthly voice, deep sounding thro' the wood,
Or vision wild of mournful solitude,

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That brings the long-lost brother back again
From QUEBEC'S gates, or sad CULLODEN'S plain:
By turns in wonder wrapt, or chill'd with fear,
Or sunk in woe, th' attentive audience hear;
And each impression which their words impart,
Sinks with deep interest on the artless heart:
Not all the magic cunning of the scene,
Though SIDDONS self in sorrow's pomp be seen,
Can wake emotions in the callous mind,
Vers'd in the crooked science of mankind,
So soft, so strong, so warm, as here are known,
Where modest NATURE works, and works alone.
The vivid portion of celestial fire
Which bids the energetic soul aspire,
Like the clear flames that light the frozen zone,
Blown by the fav'ring breath of heaven alone,
More brightly blazes, more intensely glows,
Than where slow art her languid aid bestows.
    Now all the household with due reverence kneel,
While in emphatic phrase with fervent zeal,
The Parent Swain pours out his ardent pray'r,
For the dear objects of his tend'rest care;
Or else, by humble gratitude inspir'd,
His swelling heart with holy transport fir'd,
Presents his praise--an Evening Sacrifice ,
Sincere and welcome to the approving skies.

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Thus blessing heaven and by each other blest,
They drown their toils in sweet oblivious rest.
    When, on his eastern throne the Sun appears,
From Nature's mantle green to dry the tears,
With cheerful haste to meet his beams they rise,
And pay again their homage to the skies * ;
Then greet the hamlet Sage with due esteem,
Whose wise behest an oracle they deem:
Ev'n Nature's artless children thus we find,
A rude unconscious homage pay to mind.
Then, why at Fortune's vain distinctions low'r?
Since Wisdom still in every state is Pow'r .
When Probity and Wisdom both combine,
'Tis indefeasible and right divine;
While all beneath the secret influence bow,
And wait suspended the decision slow.
    Thus Grecian chiefs, with mute attention heard,
When hoary NESTOR spoke, by all rever'd.
    In every hamlet some experienc'd Sire ,
Whose worth and wisdom all the rest admire,
Known to each track where deer are wont to range,
And vers'd in every planetary change;
Why meteors glare, or wand'ring comets blaze,
And which propitious, which unlucky days;
Directs what time to yoke the mutual plough,
And when to feed the weakly flocks below;

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Or when the larger cattle forth to guide,
Where fresher herbage decks the mountain's side;
What dreadful judgments wait on broken vows,
How conscious guilt low'rs on the murderer's brows;
How voices whispering thro' the gloomy wood,
Or groaning caves, make known the man of blood:
How fields are blighted, or how cattle die,
To punish secret fraud, or perjury:
Or how red lightening scath'd the vassal's head,
Who show'd the way his outlaw'd chieftain fled;
He tells at large,--while every hearer's sense
Is ravish'd by his copious eloquence:
In each debate he gives the casting vote,
And his wise sayings all repeat by rote.
Much does each hamlet boast its sage's skill,
To draw the severing bounds 'twixt good and ill:
And much indeed his knowledge is extoll'd,
In local history, and tradition old.
    Thus, though he holds pre-eminence, as fit,
The circle also boasts its Bard or Wit .
Some * Genius , who by Nature taught to sing,
Responsive warbles to the trembling string:
Each theme, by turns, th' attentive audience warms,
The smile of beauty, or the clash of arms;
Or grottos, woods, and shaded vales are shown,
Description, such as THOMSON'S self might own:

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Like him, the bard, without the aid of art,
Awakes the fine emotions of the heart:
Like him, can every "tend'rness infuse,"
And teach to love the "humanizing muse:"
Or else some Youth, who smiles and wounds by turns,
With all poignant humour of a BURNS ,
Bids sportive mirth and pleasantry abound,
And scatters ridicule's light darts around;
With the shrewd glance of quick inspection keen,
Detects the vain, the selfish, and the mean;
Drags vice and folly to the public eye,
And points them out to grinning obloquy:
Not even the worthy are from fear exempt,
Such in the general horror of contempt.
    Besides th' ingenious Youth and sapient Sire,
One darling object all the rest admire:
Some blushing Maid , whose sweet, tho' simple charms,
In many an artless bosom wake alarms;
Whom all the young with secret joy behold,
With looks of kind complacence all the old:
See, with dishevell'd locks she moves along,
The theme of many a wildly-warbl'd song:
And many a quaint similitude is sought,
Through all the boundless wilderness of thought,
To paint the graces of th' excelling fair:
The glossy burnish of her shining hair,

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Is like the soft harp's many-sounding strings
To which the bard the deeds of heroes sings;
Like stars that shed sweet influence from the skies,
The beamy lustre of her downcast eyes;
The downy cannach * of the wat'ry moors,
Whose shining tufts the shepherd-boy allures;
Which, when the Summer's sultry heats prevail,
Sheds its light plumage on th' inconstant gale:
Even such, so silky soft, so dazzling white,
Her modest bosom seems, retir'd from sight.
The tufted berries rich in crimson glow,
That on the mountain-ash conspicuous grow,
Seem a fit image of the deepening red,
With which the conscious fair-one's cheek is spread:
While emulous her neighbour-swains declare
No other virgin can with her compare;
And challenge all the neighbouring hamlets round,
To show a maid with such perfections crown'd.
    Where yonder ridgy mountains bound the scene,
The narrow op'ning glens that intervene
Still shelter in some lowly nook obscure,
One poorer than the rest--where all are poor;
Some widow'd Matron , hopeless of relief,
Who to her secret breast confines her grief;
Dejected sighs the wint'ry night away,
And lonely muses all the summer day:

Page 43

Her gallant sons, who smit with honour's charms,
Pursued the phantom Fame thro' war's alarms,
Return no more;--stretch'd on Hindostan's plain,
Or sunk beneath th' unfathomable main;
In vain her eyes wat'ry waste explore,
For heroes--fated to return no more!
Let others bless the morning's red'ning beam,
Foe to her peace--it breaks th' illusive dream
That, in the prime of manly bloom confest,
Restor'd the long-lost warriors to her breast;
And as they strove, with smiles of filial love,
Their widow'd parent's anguish to remove,
Thro' her small casement broke th' intrusive day,
And chac'd the pleasing images away!
No time can e'er her banish'd joys restore,
For ah! a heart once broken, heals no more.
The dewy beams that gleam from pity's eye,
The "still small voice" of sacred sympathy,
In vain the mourner's sorrows would beguile,
Or steal from weary woe one languid smile;
Yet what they can they do,--the scanty store,
So often open'd for the wandering poor,
To her each cottager complacent deals,
While the kind glance the melting heart reveals;
And still, when evening streaks the west with gold,
The milky tribute from the lowing fold

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With cheerful haste officious children bring,
And every smiling flow'r that decks the Spring:
Ah! little know the fond attentive train,
That spring and flow'rets smile for her in vain:
Yet hence they learn to reverence modest woe,
And of their little all a part bestow.
    Let those, to wealth and proud distinction born,
With the cold glance of insolence and scorn
Regard the suppliant wretch,--and harshly grieve
The bleeding heart their bounty would relieve,
Far different these;--while from a bounteous heart
With the poor sufferer they divide a part:
Humbly they own, that all they have is given
A boon precarious from indulgent heaven;
And the next blighted crop, or frosty spring,
Themselves to equal indigence may bring.

* See note No. 6.

* See note No. 7.

* See note No. 8.

* See note No. 9.


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The Removal to the Mountain Shealings, when the true Pastoral Life commences; and a Scene of vacant leisure, diversified by Music, Poetry, and Rural Sports, is opened to the people. Return from the Shealings. Autumn. Tokens of an early Winter. Wattled Barns. All Saints or Hallow-Even. Rural Dancing. Grace and Agility in that exercise native to Highlanders.

    "Forms or customs had not shackl'd Man,
    "But Wild in woods the noble Savage ran."

NOW hark! what loud, tumultuous joys resound,
From all the echoing rocks and valleys round;
And hear! the sage oraculous declare,
'Tis time the summer-flitting to prepare:
The summer-flitting! youths delighted cry,
The summer-flitting! lisping babes reply * .

Page 46

Now all is haste, and cheerful bustle round,
To reach the wilds, with plenteous herbage crown'd.
    Thus when assembled storks prepare to fly,
When NILUS leaves his slimy borders dry,
The prudent leaders first consult with care,
Then all the younger followers mount the air:
Their figur'd flight with due precision steer,
While hope exulting heads the gay career.
    When dappl'd grey first streaks the eastern sky,
With quick dispatch the cottage-matrons vie,
Who first shall load the steeds that lead the way,
And wheels and vessels in due order lay.
Then, in collected numbers duly rang'd,
With lighten'd hearts, to care and fear estrang'd,
The train proceed,--and first the motley herd,
For greater strength, or agile force preferr'd,
Lead on,--the milky mothers following near,
Their sportive young behold with matron fear:
Then come the bleating kind with plaintive cry,
And children overjoy'd, they know not why;
And mothers, smiling on the guiltless race,
Or clasping infants in their fond embrace.
    High on the mountain's side, or in the wood
Where Nature reigns in savage solitude;
Or deep embosom'd in some narrow glen,
Where coy Retirement shuns the haunts of men,

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The shelter'd bothys * rise to shield the train,
Who joy to view their summer-haunts again;
For here again the Sylvan Age returns,
Nor man the curse of ceaseless labour mourns:
Fair Freedom walks abroad, unties her zone,
And joys to see the landscape all her own.
    Thrown careless on the slope--see vacant Ease
Bask in the sun, or court the cooling breeze;
And musing Fancy , by some brook reclin'd,
In language clothe the murmurs of the wind;
Or frame to vocal reeds the native lay,
Or form of mountain-flowers the chaplet gay,
See Sport , with Exercise and Health combin'd,
In happy union, fleeter than the wind,
Thro' pathless wastes the sprightly game pursue,
"Oft out of reach, but never out of view:"
While eager Hope impetuous grasps the prize,
And Ardour lightens in the hunter's eyes.
At length, exulting o'er their trembling spoil,
They see the dun deer fall to crown their toil.
    And when calm evening bathes the flow'rs in dew,
And bids the thrush his mellow note renew,
With answering music maidens pour the lay,
And drain the listening kine at close of day:

Page 48

Delighted Echoes spread the cheerful strains,
And rapt Attention holds the silent swains:
But holds not long--from every thicket round
Young voices mix'd in cheerful chorus sound.
Each lone recess the wand'ring tribes explore,
And now return exulting with their store
Of berries * , that in rich luxuriance spread,
O'er the dark heath their crimson lustre shed;
Or trailing o'er the rocky fragment's side,
The glossy foliage spreads its verdant pride;
While raspberries richly flavour'd, climb on high,
And bask in all the radiance of the sky;
Or brambles , on the brook's wild margin spread,
With jetty lustre deck their pebbly bed:
Where with coy wing the Ptarmigan retires,
And high beyond the rolling mist aspires,
In safest solitude and purest air,
To rear her young with fond maternal care + :
And mountain Hares , white as the drifted snow,
Ascend, while fear and danger pant below;

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Or, where the Eagle darts his vigorous flight
From cliffs sublime, to trace the realms of light;
A fruit there grows, to fertile plains unknown,
Whose beauties deck the sterile rock alone * ;
The creeping plant, low on the stony ground,
Spreads like some lonely gem its radiance round:
The topaz and the ruby here display
Their blended lustre to the eye of day:
'Twas thus Hesperian gardens bloom'd of old,
Where Dragons watch'd the vegetable gold.
    All these, and more beside, of names unknown,
Has Nature o'er the wilds profusely strown;
And vent'rous children wide the waste explore,
And to the Arrie bring the various store + .
While bolder youth pursue the feather'd game,
Of various plumage, and as various name;
And adding what the finny tribes afford,
With unbought viands load the simple board;
Where milky draughts refresh the happy train,
And each lives o'er th' excursive day again:

Page 50

While mirth's loud carol every care beguiles,
And guiltless loves, that play in artless smiles;
And aged swains, that talk of battles old,
And wonders new, by ancient seers foretold;
And matrons, who the busy spindle ply,
Till evening's warning star is mounted high;
Thus comes with speed unmark'd the hour of rest,
That hour to peace and innocence so blest:
How sweet to slumber on the bed of heath,
Whose purple blossoms health and vigour breathe!
How sweet to dream of heavenly melody,
And wake to hear it warbling thro' the sky!
While larks ascending tune their matin lays,
And scatter darkness with the notes of praise.
    Thus, while successive days, new pleasures bring,
Gay Summer hastes away on blithsome wing:
But now, when equal days and nights draw near,
And pensive Autumn mild, of sober cheer;
When clustering nuts are changing into brown,
When from the nest the plover's young is flown,
When nimble moor-powts scatter o'er the heath,
And hear in every blast the licenc'd death:
When round the lonely hamlet's green domain,
The grass in fresh luxuriance springs again;
When flowery herbage richly clothes the mead,
And corn shot up, supplies the past'ral reed;

Page 51

Then from the Summer-sheals their course they bend,
And with reluctant leisure slow descend.
    How cheap the pleasures of the simple mind!
Unknown to joys that Fashion calls refin'd:
What fine, what slender, and unconscious ties,
To hold the kind ingenuous heart, suffice.
The wide, wild haunts, where Nature lonely reigns,
Unwilling they forsake, to seek the plains;
Yet when they see the dear familiar spot,
Where each descries his lov'd, his native cot,
Well pleas'd they hail the Genius of the plain,
And joy to meet their household-gods again:
Though penury and ceaseless toil await,
They resolutely brave the storms of fate,
And see fair Hope's eternal lamp display
The gloomy path that leads to endless day.
    Now Autumn lifts her head, with plenty crown'd,
The breezes wave her yellow locks around,
The purest azure decks her sky serene,
And mild Dejection marks her pensive mien:
Now lonely Meditation walks abroad,
Thro' all his bounteous works to trace her GOD :
Now Labour plies his task, with smiling cheer,
To reap the produce of the ripen'd year;
And sportive glee, and talk, and social toil,
The patient reaper's weary task beguile,

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And songs, according to the reaper's stroke,
Brisk emulation o'er the field provoke:
The ancient swains attentive wait behind,
With patient care the yellow sheaves to bind;
Or else, with long-liv'd prudence, chide the while,
Where, lur'd by Beauty's soft attractive smile,
Some Youth who plies his task beside the fair,
Whose artless charms his simple heart ensnare,
With stroke unequal reaps; while on the ground
The broken ears are careless scatter'd round:
In vain the fond Enthusiast ye reprove,
For when did Prudence ever dwell with Love?
Triumphant Love, who scorning Wisdom's rules,
Exulting sees the wise become his fools.
    Now dark October comes, obscur'd with rain,
And low'ring threats the plenty of the plain;
For Winter here, too oft, with boisterous form,
Comes early riding on the howling storm;
And oft with rude and chilly hand is found,
To scatter Autumn's heavy locks around.
    High on these mountains BOREAS dwells alone,
While icy terrors gird his frozen throne:
When Sister-Seasons dance the graceful round,
Where Harmony appears with order crown'd;
In fury oft he mounts his airy car,
His blustering heralds sound the notes of war;

Page 53

And while those changing seasons fair advance,
Spreads wild confusion through the mazy dance.
Hence Winter here oft breaks the mystic ring,
And chills the blooms that deck the breast of Spring;
Or rages fierce among unwither'd leaves,
And shakes from Autumn's bounteous lap the sheaves.
Hence aged swains, by slow experience taught,
When heavy clouds appear with moisture fraught,
And bending willows hang their dripping heads,
And turbid rivers rise beyond their beds,
And mountain-cataracts, of dingy brown,
With brawling rage o'er broken rocks come down;
And plenteous fruits, with early ripeness red,
In crimson tufts bedeck the witch-elm's head;
And numerous hips, with ripen'd scarlet glow,
And frosty gales, in ruddy evenings blow;--
Direct, in haste, to lead the new-shorn grain,
From the dank moisture of the wat'ry plain
To rocky heights, where frequent breezes blow,
And sun-beams with redoubled ardour glow.
    Now young and old from every quarter come,
To share the cheerful task of leading home:
Here, studious of the clime, they form with care
The wattled barn that courts th' enlivening air,
Lest the fresh sap their labour render vain,
Fermenting through the scarcely-ripen'd grain:

Page 54

The sons of Art , who art alone esteem,
These, marks of savage indolence may deem;
But sage Experience, Wisdom's eldest child,
When nurs'd by Nature 'midst th' untutor'd wild,
Though small her bounds appear, and short her view,
Yet in these narrow bounds her steps are true:
Nor let rash Speculation's letter'd pride,
O'erturn her modest works with daring stride.
    Now comes the day to Superstition * dear,
When frosty mists foretel the closing year,
Hallow'd and reverenc'd in the elder time,
Sacred to every saint, of every clime;
When aerial tribes in joyful freedom stray,
Or hover round the church-yard's lonely way;
Or o'er the annual mystic rites preside,
And form of air the visionary bride:
In joyful groupes the rustics then appear,
To crown the finish'd labours of the year,
And bid the rural genius come along,
With dance, and sport, and revelry, and song:
Then native Music wakes in sprightly strains,
Which gay according motion best explains:
Fastidious Elegance, in scornful guise,
Perhaps th' unpolish'd measure may despise;
But here, where infants lisp in tuneful lays,
And Melody her untaught charms displays;

Page 55

The dancers bound with wild peculiar grace,
And sound thro' all its raptur'd mazes trace;
Nor aukward step, nor rude ungainly mien,
Through all the glad assemblage can be seen:
But with decorous air, and sprightly ease,
Even critic taste the agile dancers please.
Cameleon Fashion's self, whose varying hue,
Assumes the likeness of each object new,
Returns, to copy motion's artless grace,
Even from the wildest of the mountain race,
And with decisive voice her votaries calls,
To ape with air constrain'd the rural balls!
The nymph that wont to trace the source of Tay ,
Or lead the sprightly dance by rapid Spey ,
With conscious triumph smiles aside to see,
This "faint reflection of the rural glee;"
Short pleasure languid imitation feels,
While polish'd courtiers pant in active reels.

* It is a season of rapturous freedom and variety to the children, who are always delighted at its return; which is indeed very much the case with the people in general.

* Bothy is a provincial phrase, signifying a booth or slight building, applied to the huts in the shealings.

* Wortle-berries and cran-berries abound very much in those districts where the peasants retire in summer. Their vivid colours and glossy leaves make a beautiful variety among the productions of the mountains.

+ On the tops of the highest mountains, far above all human haunts, the Ptarmigan nestles, and the White Hare breeds.

* The natives call this fruit Eyreickan , which is of the size and form of a large Strawberry , and not unpleasant to the taste; it is of incomparable beauty, being almost transparent, and of the most glowing colours, from all the variations of scarlet, shading off into a bright, and then paler yellow.

+ Arrie is a name in some districts given to the shealings.

* See note No. 10.

Page 56




Winter. Social Evenings. Little or no work done in that season in the Highlands. Hazardous intercourse with other Straths in search of strayed cattle. Hospitality exercised. Friendship promoted. Courage, Fortitude, and Patience strengthened. A spirit of bold Adventure and strong Attachment cherished by their peculiar modes of Life;--Exemplified in the Episode of Farquhar. Singular View from Corryarric. Beauties of Loch-Ness, which, never freezing in Winter, is the haunt of all kinds of Aquatic Birds. Glendoe. Sun-rise on Loch Ness described. Urquhart Castle. Glenmoriston. Fyers. Return of Farquhar. Devastation of the Country after the year 1745.

Page 57



        "A thousand fantasies
        "Begin to throng into my memory,
        "Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
        "And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
        "On sands, and shores, and desart wildernesses.
        "These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
        "The virtuous mind that ever walks attended
        "By a strong siding champion--Conscience .

NOW Winter pours his terrors o'er the plain,
And icy barriers close the wild domain,
From the fierce North the sweeping blast descends,
And drifted snow in wild confusion blends;
The Mountain-Cataract, whose thundering sound,
Made echoes tremble in their caves around,

Page 58

Now dashing with diminish'd majesty,
In frozen state suspended seems on high;
While in the midst a small contracted stream
Tinkles like rills that lull the shepherd's dream.
The River crusted o'er, and hid in snow,
Unfaithful tempts the traveller below;
While pools and boiling springs, unsafe beneath,
Betray th' unwary to the snares of death.
    How awful now appears Night's silent reign!
Where lofty mountain bound the solemn scene.
While Nature, wrapt in chilly bright disguise,
And sunk in deep repose unconscious lies; *
And through the pure cerulean vault above,
In lucid order constellations move:
The milky-way, conspicuous glows on high.
Redoubled lustre sparkles thro' the sky;
And rapid splendours, from the dark-blue North,
In streams of brightness pour incessant forth;
While crusted mountain-snows reflect the light,
And radiance decks the sable brows of night.
    Now, though their herds excite their anxious care,
Tir'd Labour slumbers with the shining share:
Short while they ply the flail, the scanty corn,
Dealt out with frugal care, employs the morn:
But social glee, around the cheerful hearth,
Lets loose the careless soul of rural mirth:

Page 59

Bright burns the hearth, th' enlivening torches blaze * ,
The pipes awake the notes of former days:
Again they feel their ancient spirit rise,
And courage fires, or pity melts their eyes,
As love or war alternate swells the sound,
And hearts dilate, and bosoms glow around:
Yet even while frost comes bitter on the breeze,
Not all their nights are spent in social ease.
Some bolder spirits of the hardy race,
O'er snow-clad mountains wake the dangerous chace;
And some advent'rous youths, with fearless mind,
All thoughts of ease and safety leave behind,
The pathless wilds for wandering steers explore,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Climb the steep rock where nestling Falcons soar,
And heights by human feet untrod before+ .
There, danger threats in every hideous form,
There groans the Genius of the gathering storm;
And solitude forlorn, and frantic fear,
And howling blasts, and echoing caves are there.
Yet adamantine souls, and iron forms,
Hard brac'd by toil, and nurst among the storms,
Whom pleasure ne'er could melt, or terror freeze,
Can trace undaunted even such scenes as these;
Amidst the rattling hail erect their head,
And view serene the dwelling of the dead.

Page 60

Where chiefs, who bore of old a mighty name,
In four grey stones concenter all their fame;
Where sleeps the hunter on the hill of heath,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

By fancy pictur'd in the misty wreath,
Dim hovering o'er the narrow bed of death.
Yet when the wearied storm has spent its wrath,
Patient he still explores th' adjacent Strath :
By the pale moon he tracks the famish'd hare,
Who seeks among the cots her scanty fare:
At length, a distant light his steps invites,
To share the wonted hospitable rites;
Where plenteous cheer, and welcome's genial smiles,
In simple guise the wanderer's care beguiles;
The timely aid, the long-remember'd feast,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Are deep upon the stranger's mind imprest,
And hope and gratitude distend his breast.
    Deep in a narrow vale, unknown to song,
Where Maeshy leads her lucid stream along * ,
Then turns, as if unwilling to forsake
The peaceful bosom of her parent lake,
While her pure streams the polish'd pebbles show,
That thro' the native crystal shine below;
Upon her flow'ry banks there dwelt a Swain,
Who liv'd a stranger to the cultur'd plain:
He mov'd with active ease, and artless grace,
And manly spirit brighten'd in his face.

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Fair on his cheek appear'd youth's mantling glow,
While lines of stedfast thought had mark'd his brow;
Alone, superior in the sylvan reign,
'Twas his to lead the life that poets feign,
Amidst luxuriant fruits, and chrystal springs,
"Where the free soul looks down to pity kings * ."
Yet while through woods and mountains wont to rove,
The pious youth excell'd in filial love;
For his lov'd parents, and their duteous race,
He search'd the flood, or urg'd the vent'rous chace:
And while o'er distant moors he lov'd to roam,
The fruit of all his toils enrich'd their home:
For them the deer resign'd his ample hide,
For them th' enamell'd roes their beauteous pride,
The otter's costly fur, the dappl'd fawn,
The leveret wounded in the dewy dawn:
No Sylvan game their FARQUHAR'S pow'r withstood,
Who reign'd despotic o'er the pathless wood.
    But see! where Winter fierce array'd in storms,
With early fury Nature's face deforms;
And pours his snows with wild unwonted haste,
E'er scatter'd herds are brought from every waste,
Where they thro' summer months unheeded rang'd,
Or left the district to their home estrang'd .
Now FARQUHAR ceas'd thro' gloomy woods to roam,
And hastening downwards, sought his peaceful home,

Page 62

The kindred smile, the dear paternal cot:
But while through new-fall'n snows he hail'd the spot,
His father with unwonted sternness cried,--
"While heedless you traverse the forest wide,
"Our little all, those heifers and those steers,
"Rear'd as a stock for our declining years,
"Your unregarded charge, have wander'd far,
"Where ridgy rocks the dangerous access bar;
"Or in the western Corry's depth profound,
"Where blasts in fatal eddies circle round * :
"While sylvan sports your vigorous youth engage,
"Must penury and sorrow cloud our age."
The generous youth heart-chill'd with anguish stood,
The "light forsook his eyes, his cheeks the blood,"
Cold thro' his breast the new sensation came,
A stranger yet to censure or to shame;
Turning, he cried, "I go, where to the west
"Declining suns in Ocean's bosom rest:
"I go, your wand'ring heifers to explore,
"To find them, or, alas! return no more."
In sorrow thus he spoke, then turning round,
His variegated vest succinctly bound:
Array'd for speed, he westward bends his way,
While low the wint'ry sun forsakes the day:
His dog, the fleetest of the hunter kind,
Oft with reluctant wonder looks behind:

Page 63

Then patient mounts the rock, and urges on,
Till the last glimpse of lingering day was gone.
    Now wide and wild the dreary prospect shews
Where stars with glimmering light illume the snows,
Through fleecy clouds a dubious lustre spread,
Where Corryaric rears his lofty head:
Deep at his feet the dismal Corry lies,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Where dwells a spirit, hid from human eyes,
Whose magic art the fatal blast unties * :
The fatal blast, incessant whirling round,
With horror fills the cavity profound:
The Dæmon, in the whirling drift disguis'd,
Has oft th' unweeting stranger here surpriz'd;
And many a grave is seen with fox-glove crown'd,
When Spring appears, with dewy locks unbound;
And many a plaintive ghost sad fancy forms,
And hears their hollow shriek amidst the storms.
Here FARQUHAR paus'd, look'd back, and shuddering saw
His faithful dog first shrink in silent awe,
Then, howling, trembling, fly with quicken'd pace,
To warn his master from the fatal place.
"Shall I too fly, (he cried) or trust the Pow'r
"Who guards us in the dark and silent hour?
"From whom commission'd blasts have leave to fly,
"Or sleep within the curtains of the sky.

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"Strong in his strength these horrors I explore,
"By him protected, FARQUHAR fears no more."
His plaid in ample folds around him cast,
The vent'rous youth ascends the steep in haste;
Loud from the Corry's depth arose the wind,
Unmov'd he heard the yelling blast behind,
And flying from the grim pursuit of death,
No backward look retrac'd the dangerous path.
Now high above the rolling clouds he goes,
Where clearer star-light brightens whiter snows;
Sublime on Corryaric's height he stood,
And all the wide horizon wond'ring view'd * :
Through the pure air, where vision unconfin'd
Still ranges like the quick creative mind;
Saw, where the sun, from Ocean's fluid breast,
Begins his radiant progress in the East;
And where with milder majesty he shines,
When in the western wave his light declines:
Saw the long vista, where 'midst candy'd snows,
The mighty depths of Ness appear unfroze + .
Majestic lake! which rocky mountains bound,
Or steepy heights, with yew and holly crown'd;
Fed by thy tepid breath, each bordering tree,
Still with reflected verdure shine in thee;
While wide the wint'ry blast in fury roves,
And strips the graceful foliage from the groves.

Page 65

And when each neighbouring lake is chill'd to stone,
Warmth, health, and beauty, dwell with thee alone:
There birds disport, bedeck'd with plumage gay,
And snowy swans their stately pride display.
The ruthless tyrant of the frozen year,
Repell'd, retiring, shuns thy bosom clear.
    And now the moon in cloudless splendour rose,
Where lofty Alps their snowy tops disclose:
And the wild Garrie , 'midst his ridgy zone,
To her pale beams an icy mirror shone:
There Moidart's hills in clustering groupes appear,
And Aonich's slow ascent and piny summit here;
Knoidart's wild rocks in shapeless forms were seen,
And Oich with softer beauties deck'd the scene:
A while entranc'd, in solemn awe he gaz'd,
Then to the skies his raptur'd eyes he rais'd:
"And why (said he) should coward fears controul,
"Or doubts desponding, sink the guiltless soul?
"The hand which bade those lofty summits rise,
"And with those living splendours deck'd the skies,
"Which move obedient to his dread command,--
"I dwell beneath the shadow of that hand."
    Then downwards to the sheltering glen he hies,
And close beneath the tangling thicket lies,
Which o'er the rocky cavity was spread,
Where wither'd leaves collected form'd his bed:

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Exhausted nature sunk in sleep profound,
And peaceful visions lightly hover'd round.
    Now bleak and dim the chilly morn arose,
And keen the North wind swept the glossy snows,
The blast loud rushing thro' the wither'd oak,
Arous'd his dog, and FARQUHAR starting woke:
Forlorn and sad, he cast his eyes around,
But in his view no living object found;
Nor track, save to a gloomy cavern near,
Where the false fox's bloody steps appear:
Resolv'd, he turns, intent to trace the way
From whence the nightly robber bore his prey;
For well he knew, at this inclement hour
No wand'ring flocks were subject to his pow'r;
But from some cot perhaps not far away,
He slunk insidious with his helpless prey.
Forward with eager speed again he goes,
And traces up th' ascent th' ensanguin'd snows;
Eastward he bends, till weak, and spent with toil,
He sees the new-fall'n snow his steps beguile;
The buried track no longer leads him on,
And strength, and fortitude, and hope, are gone.
The flaky torrent now conceals the sun,
And hunger faint to dim his sight begun;
Cheerless he turns, to seek the friendly shade
Where verdant hollies rose, amidst a glade;

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But wond'ring starts, to see a lovely form
Who in the self-same shelter shunn'd the storm;
In youth's first, bloom, and deck'd with matchless grace,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

The morning's orient hues adorn'd her face:
He gaz'd, nor thought the maid of mortal race.
The snow-clad stranger gentle MORAIG saw,
And blushing turn'd, and shrunk with timid awe.
The beauteous vision FARQUHAR still survey'd,
And softly thus in suppliant accents said:
"Fair wanderer of the wood, if deck'd in light
"An airy spirit only cheats my sight;
"Or if a sister of the earth you come,
"No longer let me here bewilder'd roam;
"But to some peaceful harbour guide my path,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

"Weary and faint, beneath the tempest's wrath
"I sink unpitied in the grasp of death."
'Stranger! in evil hour you come,' she cries
And lifts with soft concern her modest eyes:
'A helpless maid, unaided and alone,
'Perplex'd I wander here thro' paths unknown:
'An ewe last evening from our sheep-cot stray'd,
'In search of her I trace the lonely glade.'
"Vain search (cries FARQUHAR ) for along the wood
"I track'd the guileful fox by marks of blood;
"But what are they, who leave those toils severe
"To female softness, and to maiden fear?

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"Daughter of Beauty, say, what heart of stone
"Could bid thee trace those frozen wilds alone?"
'Hast thou not heard,' she faintly said, thro' sighs,
The big tears trembling in her lovely eyes,
'How, to assert the STUART'S ancient claim,
'To Moidart's wilds a youthful HERO came * !
'To join his cause, in arms my kindred rose,
'And while they pour fierce vengeance on his foes,
'Forlorn and sad we tend their wonted care,
'And manly toils and dangers learn to bear:
'With me our mother anxious tends the flocks,
'My grandsire pensive shakes his silvery locks;
'While gloomy presages his mind engage,
'The trance of foresight, or the dream of age:
'But come, however fate decides our lot,
'And banish cold and hunger in our cot.'
The pitying maid, impatient hastes before,
Again with wonder FARQUHAR views her o'er;
Her auburn locks with azure fillet bound,
Her snowy neck luxuriant shaded round;
Like some fair huntress of the times of old,
Whom, rapt in vision, gifted seers behold:

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So FARQUHAR wond'ring sees the lovely form
Smooth gliding, light him thro' the thickening storm.
Glendoe , in high Schicuman's breast repos'd,
With streaming birch and hazel shades inclos'd * ,
Receiv'd the pair; where pendent o'er the lake
The aspin trembles, and the osiers shake.
While evening wraps the hills in shadows pale,
The careful matron spreads her frugal meal;
The younger children crowding round the fire,
Sadly their absent father's fate enquire:
The grandsire, narrative, recounts the wars,
Talks o'er the fatal pass, and shews his scars,
When sudden, like two wandering beams of light,
The youthful pair came full upon their sight.
The fire burns clear, the kindling torches blaze,
All eyes with new delight impatient gaze;
"Sweet MORAIG , sister dear!" with fondness wild,
The children cry, thro' tears the mother smil'd;
"Why lonely wandering thro' the drifted snow,
"Where gloomy Tarfe's inchanted waters flow + ?
"She cries, does MORAIG tempt the haunted path,
"Where lurking withcraft spreads the snares of death?
"And who is this young wanderer of the chace,
"Whose looks bespeak some high-descended race;

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"Who o'er these pathless wilds, unus'd to roam,
"With kindly care thus deigns to guide thee home?"
With downcast eyes the modest youth replied,
"An humble swain, to no high race allied,
"In hopeless search of wandering steers I come,
"By pity thus conducted to your home,--
"In my dim view imperfect objects swim,
"An icy torpor chills each weary limb:
"Too late, alas! my rashness I deplore,
"Doom'd to behold my pleasant home no more!"
Unfinish'd accents faulter'd on his tongue,
And thro' his ears delusive murmurs rung;
The aged peasant saw youth's roses fade,
And propt the fainting swain with kindly aid:
With patient care the matron chafes him o'er,
While gradual warmth she labours to restore,
To bring the needful cordials MORAIG flies,
With soft compassion melting in her eyes * .
By due attention now the Youth restor'd,
Sees plenty deck, and welcome cheer the board:
The hoary sire retraces former times,
Or valiant deeds recounts in rustic rhymes:

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The matron, willing to amuse her guest,
Tells in what distant glen the cheese she prest,
And how the monarch salmon's sportive young,
Snar'd in the brook, within the roof she hung:
How frugal care had made the viands last,
And how they still remain to finish the repast:
Fair MORAIG softly moves, with silent care,
And pours the draught that crowns their simple fare.
Now social talk and song deceive their woes,
Till wearied Nature lulls them in repose.
    The Genius of the storm his wrath forbore,
And rav'd among the leafless woods no more:
Calm silence brooded o'er the long dark night,
Till from the East arose the wish'd for light;
Now FARQUHAR , starting from his downy trance,
Beheld with joy the new-born day advance;
And blest with ardent gratitude the Pow'r,
Who led him thro' that dark and dreadful hour;
And pray'd unnumber'd blessings on the fair
Who sav'd him from the wanderings of despair.
Wrapt in his manly garb of various hue,
He sallies forth the novel scene to view.
Thy waters, Ness! all hush'd to tranquil rest,
Reflected graces deck'd thy halcyon breast * :
There URQUHART'S ruin'd castle gleam'd afar,
Disastrous relic of unhallow'd war!

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The last sad shelter of unconquer'd worth,
When EDWARD'S iron sceptre bruis'd the North * .
The shaded Inver , haunt of social peace,
Here bids his streams thy wat'ry stores increase,
And proudly boasts of his excelling Fair + ,
Their simple manners, and ingenuous air:
There Fyers with plaintive murmurs soothes his dells,
Where wild romantic Melancholy dwells + ;
And Tarfe , long wandering, hid in copses green,
To pour his tributary wave is seen.
    Now strict enquiring from the swains around,
His wandering cattle's haunt young FARQUHAR found,
Deep in the shelter of a gloomy grove,
By rocks defended from the storm above,
They shunn'd, sequester'd in the narrow vale,
The blast tempestuous, and the rattling hail.
Clear was the freezing air, and bright the sky,
Short was the day, and now the sun grew high;
The cattle found,--no lingering can avail,
Yet still he feels his wonted spirits fail.

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'Tis wrong to stay, but doubly hard to go,
A while he pauses--lost in tender woe:
"And shall I, helpless, friendless, leave the maid
"Whose pitying care my feeble steps convey'd?
"Whose gentle aid my fainting heart restor'd,
"Oh, were I of this lake's fair borders lord;
"Had I the joys of wealth, without its care,
"Those joys, that wealth, my lovely maid should share."
The new sensation swelling in his heart,
Inspir'd the untaught swain with sudden art;
And thus in cautious Wisdom's solemn guise,
To veil his latent purpose FARQUHAR tries:
First to the courteous matron bending low,--
"You, to whose care my rescu'd life I owe,
"Whose tender fears your absent friends deplore,
"May heaven triumphant soon those friends restore!
"Yet while their standard flies on Southern plains,
"To till your fields no manly hand remains;
"The coming Spring will soon your cares engage,
"With toils unfit for childhood or for age:
"So short the freezing day, so deep the snow,
"No cattle o'er the mountain path can go.
"Warm shelter'd in yon bushy glen behind,
"My steers repose, and food and safety find;
"But when relenting Spring shall smile a-new,
"Again your hospitable hearth I'll view;

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"And faithful, like a brother or a son,
"Will till your fields till May's bright days come on;
"And while warm life her vital pow'r retains,
"And truth, and sense, and memory remains:
"Should penury, or sad mischance betide
"My friendly hostess, or my gentle guide,
"My kindred, mindful of the generous deed,
"Shall yield them shelter in the hour of need."
The matron pleas'd, accepts the promis'd aid,
In silence meek assents the grateful maid.
Serene and peaceful smil'd the shortening day,
And FARQUHAR now unwilling hastes away:
Yet oft he turn'd, as inly loth to go,
And blest the gentle inmates of Glendoe .
    Now doubly welcome to his native vale,
Of war's alarms he tells th' awakening tale,
And keen recounts what all his kindred owe
For hospitable rites in fair Glendoe .
    Now all the North grew bright with hostile arms,
From every hill resound the loud alarms * ,
And rumour tells, in shrill discordant tones,
Of vanquish'd monarchs, and of tottering thrones.
But FARQUHAR , reckless of the fatal strife,
Still past in tranquil shades his blameless life;
And chid the hours, and thought the sun too slow
That rose to light him to his lov'd Glendoe .

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    Sweet April deck'd with primrose wreath appears,
And smiles, like harmless infancy, thro' tears;
When thro' the pathless hills, th' advent'rous swain,
His MORAIG'S peaceful dwelling sought again.
    In vain he casts around his searching eyes,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

From every side the smoky columns rise,
And savage shouts are heard, and doleful cries!
While from the mountain's top he views a-far
The barbarous traces of unsparing war,
Irresolute he stands, to turn, or go,
Urg'd by despair to meet the ruthless foe;
Resolv'd at last, he seeks the dark retreat
Where lovely MORAIG first he chanc'd to meet,
In hopes some victim of disastrous fate,
Hid in those shades, might aught of her relate.
Her grandsire there, deep sorrowing on the ground,
With haggart looks, in silent woe he found.
"Oh tell, good father, tell, what wretched lot
"Befel the blameless inmates of thy cot:
"Have they obey'd the victor's stern command,
"Or fled for succour to some happier land * ?"
'Say, where, my son, should helpless females go?
'A happier land than this they ne'er can know.
'They make their bed beneath th' inclement sky,
'And meet with sorrow wheresoe'er they fly:

Page 76

'Deep in yon secret glen, within whose shades,
'Whose privacy no hostile step invades,
'Where your lost steers avoid the wint'ry blast,
'They rest conceal'd, till this dread hour be past:
'My sons, with blood deform'd, and faint with wounds,
'Last night came from Culloden's fatal bounds,
'And shelter in a neighbouring cave, while I
'Th' approach of danger here attend to spy.'
    Now FARQUHAR'S glowing cheek and heaving breast
The strong emotions of his soul confest:
"Come, father, haste to quit this scene of woe,
"First to the cave to seek the warriors go;
"Then let us fly to MORAIG'S secret glen,
"And shun the blood-stain'd haunts of impious men;
"Thro' dark Glenmurky's woods I know a way,
"Impervious to the searching eye of day:
"Through that lone path your secret steps I'll guide,
"Where plenty dwells on Maeshie's grassy side.
"Beneath my father's roof my only love
"Shall to the aged pair a daughter prove:
"Their ancient home, tho' destin'd thus to leave,
"Let not my gentle MORAIG'S kindred grieve:
"Endear'd by ties of sympathy divine,
"Henceforth be gentle MORAIG'S kindred mine."
    The wounded warriors, and the sorrowing sage,
Now sought the darling comforts of their age;

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Through tears the matron views her long-lost mate,
And all their various tales of woe relate.
To go is danger--but 'tis death to stay,
Beneath the moon's wan beams they take their way;
With Heaven their trust, and FARQUHAR for their guide,
They reach the winding Maeshie's peaceful side;
There cheer'd by welcome, sooth'd by grateful love,
They built their humble dwelling in the grove.

* See note No. 11.

* See note No. 12.

+ See note No. 13

* See note No. 14.

* See note No. 15.

* See note No. 16.

* See note No. 17.

* See note No. 18.

+ See note No. 19.

* It was in Moidart that the PRINCE , who made the rash attempt in 1745, which proved so fatal to his followers, first set his standard.

* See note No. 20.

+ See note No. 21.

* MORAIG is the CHLOE or PHILLIS of the Gaelic Poets; when they conceal the true name of their mistress, for they never pay the tuneful tribute to an ideal personage.

* See note No. 22.

* See note No. 23.

+ Invermoriston , a river, at the mouth of which is the seat of an ancient family, whose daughters, now respectable matrons, were justly admired for uncommon beauty, unaffected gentle manners, and every domestic virtue.

+ See note No. 24.

* See note No. 25.

* See note No. 26.


Page 78




Loyalty, Fidelity, and inflexible perseverance of the Highlanders, as exercised towards the unhappy Adventurer, Prince Charles Edward, in 1746. His Wanderings and Escapes. Episode of Captain M'Kenzie. Of the Banditti in the Cave of Glenmoriston. Cruelty of the licenc'd Soldiery. Patient sufferance of the inhabitants. Wanderings of the Chevalier through Morar and Arisaig, among the Western Isles. Soliloquy. Attempt to land on Raasay. Narrow escape from a Frigate off South Uist. Concealment in a Cavern there. Episode of Flora Macdonald: She conveys the Adventurer in disguise to Sky: She is carried Prisoner to England: Her Conversation with the Sovereign: Dismissal, and return to Sky. Marriage, and Emigration. Reflections on the Character of the Highlanders, as it appears in this Narrative. On the corrupting influence which Wealth, Luxury, Extensive Commerce, and False Refinement, produce in Society, aided by that species of Learning which exhausts itself in exploring what is for ever concealed, and building systems that fall of themselves, before they are finished. The importance and necessity, in a country thus enervated by luxury, thus lost in frivolous pursuits and vain speculations,--to cherish, in whatever remote obscurity they exist, a hardy manly Race, inur'd to Suffering, fearless of Danger, and careless of Poverty, to invigorate Society by their Spirit, to defend it by their Courage, and to adorn it with those Virtues that bloom in the shade, but are ready to wither away in the sun-shine of Prosperity.

Page 79



        "------------------'Tis wonderful,
        "That an invisible instinct should frame them
        "To Loyalty unlearn'd * ; Honour untaught;
        "Civility not seen from other; Valour,
        "That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop
        "As if it had been sow'd!"

THE vanquish'd PRINCE , for safety forc'd to fly,
Amidst those mountains shunn'd each searching eye;
No threat of terror, or no splendid bribe,
Could warp to treachery the generous tribe:
For pleas'd with little, and in hardships try'd,
Their wants were all by simple means supplied;
Exertion bold, and feeling strong combin'd,
Here nurse the noble independent mind.

Page 80

None here fair loyalty or honour sold,
To purchase pleasure with unhallow'd gold;
Fearless of pain, yet dreading sore disgrace,
Whose sable blot might sully all their race:
When CHARLES an outlaw shrunk in wilds unknown,
Where long his fathers fill'd an awful throne;
Though wealth and pow'r combin'd their forces led,
To point the axe at his devoted head,
Safe in the truth of his devoted train,
See! wealth and pow'r combine their force in vain:
Unhurt he slumbers in his sea-beat cave,
While round his bed the guiltless billows rave * .
Tho' gloomy guards protect the Monarch's gate,
Distrust and fear around his table wait:
And anxious doubts disturb his secret soul,
Of hidden daggers, or the poison'd bowl.
But far from courts, and their delusive arts,
How blest the PRINCE who rules o'er honest hearts!
Unblasted he by treachery's poisonous breath,
And safely smiling 'midst the snares of death.
    Oh! say, what gentle heart, what pitying muse,
Can the sad tribute of a tear refuse,
To that brave YOUTH , who in life's early bloom
Hid all his opening virtues in the tomb;
Forsook the region of tumultuous strife,
And clos'd with pious fraud a blameless life.

Page 81

Could mildest worth and gentlest graces save,
No weeping muses had adorn'd his grave:
But noble force and dignity of mind,
Despis'd a life in honour's cause resign'd;
Let traitors ashes sleep in sculptur'd urns,
While thee, blest Youth! thy country's Genius mourns* .
    Forgive, ye valiant dead! ye kindred shades!
That glide with heroes thro' Elysian glades,
The muse whose trembling hands entwine the wreath,
Whose mournful eyes retrace the paths of death:
So fast ye crowd upon her dazzl'd view,
Like sun-beams on a cypress wet with dew:
She sinks, o'ercome, unequal to relate
Your loyal zeal, or your disastrous fate.
Yet e'er oblivion's leaden gates be clos'd
On humble worth, in life's low vale repos'd,
She'd touch the callous mind, unus'd to feel,
With savage virtue, and the lawless zeal
Of the bold Brothers in their darksome grove;
Whose steps licentious wont at ease to rove;
Who live like Nature's commoners at large,
Obey no master, and attend no charge,
But wander thro' the grassy glens at will,
Nor ask what owner rear'd the beeves they kill,
Then drag their prey home to their ample cave,
O'er whose dark entrance trembling aspins wave:

Page 82

And in whose deep recess to soothe repose,
A weeping rill, with tinkling murmur flows:
Returning from the chace or prosp'rous spoil,
'Twas here they hid the fruits of all their toil;
Yet aw'd by jealous fear, no stranger guest,
E'er view'd their secret haunt, or shar'd their feast.
    On every side the deathful ambush lay,
When fate propitious led the PRINCE that way;
His guide,--a native of the mountains near,
Who often with those Outlaws chac'd the deer,
And knew their minds, by avarice unstain'd,
The price of treachery and blood disdain'd,--
Now forc'd o'er trackless mountains to explore,
The way by which his Lord should gain the shore;
Once more adventures thro' the snares of death,
And trusts his precious charge to savage hunters faith.
Oh faith unstain'd! and truth beyond compare!
With him the produce of the chace they share,
With furry spoils they deck'd their cave around,
With wholesome cups their liberal board they crown'd,
The hostile camp thro' danger's paths they sought,
And to their Royal Guest unwonted dainties brought * :
For him the sanguine paths of death they tread,
And scorn the mighty price that buys the Wand'rer's head.
One brother daily ranges thro' the woods,
Or snares the finny tenants of the floods;

Page 83

And one with watchful care attends to spy
The hostile troops, with scrutinizing eye;
The third with prompt obedience mark'd his look,
And from his eyes commands in silence took.
    Now twenty summer morns beheld renew'd
The rage of rapine, and the waste of blood;
The moon as oft, with want and anguish pale
Saw hopeless wanderers trace each dreary vale;
The plaints of orphan woe, and infant's cries,
With doleful clamour pierce the pitying skies:
The slaughter'd herds bespread th' ensanguin'd ground,
And smoking hamlets lay in ruins round:
In dreary wilds, from human dwelling far,
The wretched remnants of unsparing war,
Precarious life with gather'd herbs sustain,
Or chace the deer and tim'rous fawns in vain;
For none dare now the levell'd tube let fly,
Whose thund'ring sound might wake some danger nigh
No voice of joy is heard, no smile is seen,
No rural pastime sports along the green;
But sad solicitude, and shuddering fear,
And patient sufferance dwell in silence there;
No hopes of mercy to th' offending train,--
Thy worth and wisdom, FORBES , plead in vain! *
The royal EXILE hears the tale of woe,
And tears unwonted now began to flow:

Page 84

On his fresh cheek youth's rose untimely fades,
And livid grief his hollow eye invades;
The cheerful spirit, that still upward soar'd,
Nor vanish'd hope, nor regal state deplor'd,
Now drooping o'er his wretched follower's woes,
Abandons light and food, and shuns repose.
    While thus the PRINCE in silent sorrow mourns,
With cautious steps his faithful guide returns:
His fear and anguish hides in feeble smiles,
And leads the Wanderer to the Western Isles.
Ah! what avails to trace each darksome maze,
While watchful centinels beset the ways;
To tell, how high upon some cliffy brow,
Whole days he patient view'd the coast below;
Where bands victorious spread the snares of death,
Or count the price of his high-valu'd breath.
In vain each night he strove to reach his bark,
While answering watch-fires glimmer'd thro' the dark;
With many a meal of uncouth viands fed,
With many a bleak blast whistling round his head,
Beset with threatening perils, every hour
His life in many a savage native's power:
Yet through the vigilance of Avarice past,
He reach'd secure the destin'd bark at last.
    Now soft and slow they raise the cautious oar,
And quit with silent care the dang'rous shore:

Page 85

Low in their hollow caves the loud winds sleep,
And rest and darkness brooded o'er the deep:
Far out to sea they steer'd to shun their foes,
Till deck'd with orient red the morn arose;
Then thus the PRINCE * : "Thou radiant Orb of Light,
"At whose first smile recede the shades of night!
"When from the sacred East thy beams arise,
"A flood of glory brightens all the skies:
"The constellations fade before thy sight,
"And ocean rolls his thousand waves in light:
"Yet shall not even thy greatness still remain,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

"Even thou shalt sink beneath the western main,
"And leave the darken'd earth to mourn thy beams in vain!
"Like thee in beauty, pow'r, and splendour drest,
"Our royal lineage sway'd supreme the west;
"With awful trident rul'd the circling sea,
"And quench'd the light of lesser stars, like thee:
"Like thee, in dim eclipse conceal'd from sight,
"We sink or vanish in the shades of night:
"The circling hours shall thy bright beams restore,
"And bid fresh morn her roses strew once more;

Page 86

"But we, alas! inglorious from our skies,
"Are hurl'd to depths profound, no more to rise;
"In vain our vanish'd glories we deplore,
"For Fate imperious cries,--return no more! "
Then calmly to the will supreme resign'd,
In stern composure he collects his mind;
His sorrows sooth'd with retrospective view,
And comfort from the woes of exil'd monarchs drew.
He thought how CHARLES from Wor'ster's bloody fight
Retreating, shunn'd in gloomy groves the light,
And bred in soft luxurious ease erewhile,
Assum'd the weighty axe, and shar'd the woodman's toil:
How great GUSTAVUS , deep in mines immur'd,
Laborious tasks and wretched want endur'd;
While distant glimmering like the polar star,
The diadem allures their steps afar:
Hope, softly whispering, smoothes the brow of care,
For who, alas! can labour and despair?
    The winds tempestuous now began to roar,
And danger darkly frown'd along the shore;
The mustering thunders threaten in the skies,
And livid lightning glaring dims their eyes:
Fear, while the boatmen ply the busy oar,
Shakes those firm nerves that never shook before.
Serene, the Royal Wanderer view'd the scene,
And read his peril in their haggard mien:

Page 87

One spent with toil, his stedfast eyes explore,
Then from the breathless youth he snatch'd the oar,
With patient toil the task unwearied plies,
Till the mild evening star arose in calmer skies * .
Now slept the winds on ocean's breast serene,
Reflected stars bedeckt her mantle green:
A safer coast they vainly hop'd to view,
And near high Rasay's rocky border drew + :
Pale rose the moon upon the placid wave,
That wont along the rugged bank to rave;
And pale, upon a promontory's brow,
With eyes that anxious search'd the deep below,
The island Chief in silent sorrow sate,
Alarm'd and watchful for th' EXILE'S fate.
Suspended on their wearied oars they lie,
And hope to read their welcome in his eye:
"Belov'd, lamented, fly this fatal place,
"Though ever faithful to thy honour'd race!
"Death in dark ambush waits with treach'rous wile,
"The victor's barks surround this narrow isle:
"Thy near approach, unhappy PRINCE , is known,
"And watchful thousands seek thy blood alone."
    Now to the distant isle, whose swains obey
In plenteous peace CLANRONALD'S gentle sway;
Grown weak with want, with ceaseless labour spent,
To shun the foe the weary wanderers went:

Page 88

Yet, e'er they safely reach the destin'd shore,
They see a bark the self-same port explore;
Whose gallant trim and hostile colours shew
The proud defiance of a haughty foe:
With swelling sails she speeds before the wind,
And near, and nearer still, she presses on behind.
With steady eye the PRINCE the danger saw,
And round a rocky point he bids them draw:
Then lightly springing on the sandy shore,
He cries, "Adieu, my generous friends, no more
"For me in pain you draw precarious breath,
"And struggle thro' the bloody toils of death:
"Here in those hollow cliff's will I abide,
"My trust in Heaven, and Providence my guide;
"Ye try'd in perils, faithful to your charge,
"Now wander safely o'er your seas at large."
He said, and silent sought the dark recess,
His parting steps his weeping followers bless.
    In the green centre of the sea-girt isle
The Chieftain's dwelling rose,--an ancient pile;
The sylvan virtues lov'd the peaceful dome,
There blameless truth and pity found a home:
The Chief's fair Consort, and her gentle guest * ,
'Midst war's rude clamours here in safety rest;
In female tasks consume the lingering hours,
And wake the plaintive lute, or form unwithering flow'rs.

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Now from the shore with speed a stranger came,
And thus in secret guise bespoke the dame:
"Oh thou, in virtue's gentlest graces drest,
"If ever soft compassion touch'd thy breast,
"Let not a royal SUFFERER plead in vain;
"Hard by a rock that juts into the main,
"Hid in a darksome grot, he pines away
"In want and solitude the tedious day:
"The sad retreat his followers dare not trace,
"The hostile pinnace anchors near the place:
"With hostile troops each neighbouring island swarms,
"And all th' adjacent plain is bright with arms."
With soft concern the gentle dame returns,--
'Your Master's fate each generous bosom mourns,
'Even those who justly blam'd the rash design,
'And bade his daring hand the sword resign,
'Lament the rigour of the Victor's hate,
'And deprecate the youthful HERO'S fate.
'Your secret safely lodg'd within my breast,
'Suspend your fears, and leave to Heav'n the rest.'
    Then turning sad, her lovely friend she sought,
In whom she safe confided every thought;
Who mildly wise, and firm in artless truth
With prudent mind, mature in early youth,
Pois'd with reflection calm the dubious scale,
And felt compassion's sinking weight prevail

Page 90

With fix'd resolve she said, "My friend, forbear,
"Nor thus perplex thy mind with fruitless care;
"Thy Lord in peace obeys the ruling pow'rs,
"Then, while this storm of fate impending lours,
"From base imputed treason keep him free,
"Who hopes his peace and honour safe with thee,
"Nor dread of guiltless blood the sanguine stain;
"I'll seek the EXILE'S cavern by the main,--
"If in his cause I should my life resign,
"The guilt or danger shall be only mine."
    Fair FLORA then, with fortitude serene,
And tranquil courage in her modest mien,
The viands and the generous wine conveys,
And o'er the rocks, as heedless wandering, strays,
Bids her attendant maid the shells explore,
The lessening tide had scatter'd on the shore.
Then to the cavern'd rock unseen she steals,
And to the hapless PRINCE obsequious kneels:
"Receive, indulgent, from thy suppliant's hand,
"The humble aid thy urgent wants demand,
"And grant my boon, and trust thy life to me,
"From danger's thickening toils to set thee free:
"No leisure serves thy perils to relate,
"But dark approach the hours with hovering fate."
With silent wonder, long the PRINCE survey'd
The beauteous guest, then thus:--'Heroic maid,

Page 91

'That com'st in pity to this secret cave,
'Unvisited, save by the rolling wave,
'To thy fair faith my wanderings I resign,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

'Fraud never harbour'd in a form like thine,
'Nor dark suspicion in a breast like mine.'
Now turning, homewards she her steps addrest,
With peace and conscious honour in her breast;
But when the morn's first beams began to shine,
And glittering danc'd upon the restless brine,
In female garb the hapless youth array'd,
She leads disguis'd in semblance of a maid;
And from the English chief, with specious wile,
Permission seeks to view her native isle:
To ask with her was quickly to obtain,
For when did suppliant beauty plead in vain?
The gazing troops th' intrepid maid admire,
Nor less her bold attendant's strange attire;
The haughty measur'd step, the lofty grace,
And air unsuited to a female face:
For in-born dignity but stoops with pain,
And veils the proud superior soul in vain.
    Now in the pinnace plac'd, the western gales
Obsequious crowd, to fill the Wanderer's sails:
Across the waves with winged speed they flew,
And soon the misty isle appears to view.

Page 92

Hail! favour'd isle, where bards inspir'd prolong
To ages yet unborn th' undying song * ,
And ancient faith, and unstain'd loyalty,
And truth sincere, and friendship, dwell in thee;
Here, when dark midnight lull'd the world to rest,
Safe, in her kindly home, she lodg'd her guest;
Her pious mother, with a matron's care,
Attends the due refection to prepare:
While studious of each hospitable rite,
Her Lord with cheerful converse cheats the night:
And when grey morning rose, the royal guest
Finds on a downy couch unwonted rest;
Now first at ease his weary limbs repos'd,
Since sad CULLODEN'S bloody evening clos'd!
But who can tell what farther perils wait,
Or who his future wanderings can relate?
Or who shall the exalted meed assign
To worth, above such humble praise as mine?
Ambition, sordid interest, servile fear,
That rule the world, could find no vot'ry here:
Then how shall any claim superior praise,
When all alike deserve th' immortal bays?
When pride first threw the rebel angels down,
One stedfast ABDIEL kept his faith alone:
But when the STUART line resign'd to fate,
One only traitor bore his country's hate.

Page 93

    Yet e'er the pitying Muse shall sadly close
The weary tale of wanderings and of woes;
Where virtue shines thro' dark misfortune bright,
Like dim-seen stars in a tempestuous night,
Let not kind sympathy suspended wait,
The sequel of th' intrepid maiden's fate.
    By kindred virtues led, a generous Youth,
To FLORA long had vow'd his plighted truth* :
In childhood's paths together they had stray'd,
Together life's gay morning views survey'd,
Together that plain path of duty trod,
That leads thro' Nature's love to love of GOD ;
And now but waited till the stormy blast
Of civil rage and noisy tumult past,
To sanctify those vows, long seal'd above,
And tie the secret bond of nuptial love.
But see! what toils ungentle minds prepare,
The innocent and lovely to ensnare:
When the stern Chief that led the British host,
Learnt how the PRINCE escap'd the fatal coast,
How female stratagem, and female truth,
With guiltless art had sav'd the hapless youth,
Enrag'd he cries, "A ready victim led,
"Low on the scaffold let her guilty head
"Atone the forfeit life her arts have sav'd,
"And pacify the pow'r her crime has brav'd."

Page 94

Stern and unfeeling guards the fair-one bore
All unprotected to the sea-beat shore;
No unavailing plaints, no female cries
Are heard,--she silent lifts her streaming eyes,
And inly to the guardian pow'rs above
Commends her spotless fame, her hapless Love.
Thro' inland moors he roam'd with careless aim,
And seem'd all day to chace the flying game;
But oft he turn'd his sorrowing eyes with pain,
When loud along the border of the main,
Where ruthless foes on board their pris'ners bear,
Resound the direful yellings of despair.
The victims bore their fate with steady mind,
The cries arose from those they left behind.
    Ah! when the lofty vessel left the shore,
And o'er the seas his heart's rich treasure bore,
How little did the wretched Lover know,
How great his portion of the general woe!
But when mild eve in glowing purple drest,
Smil'd on the lingering twilight of the west,
He went to tell his FLORA all his grief,
And find in social sympathy relief.
But why should words endeavour to explain
What eloquence herself would speak in vain,--
The pangs that rent the hopeless Lover's breast,
When all the fatal truth appear'd confest.

Page 95

    High on a rock, where from the cavern'd shore,
Hoarse echoes murmur, while the billows roar,
The live-long night he trac'd the parting sail,
Or pour'd his sorrows to the midnight gale,
Till morning rose in wonted beauty bright,
And the lone mourner sicken'd at the sight.
    Now fav'ring breezes blow along the shore,
The sailors hail the English coast once more;
In summer radiance drest, majestic Thames ,
The haunt of commerce and the pride of streams,
Receives the vessel, while her banks around,
And cultur'd plains, with stately villas crown'd,
And London's glories rising thick to view,
To FLORA'S eyes present a prospect new:
The novel pomp, undazzl'd she surveys,
While to her native isle sad fancy strays;
And sees, where misty mountains prop the skies,
The wild magnificence of Nature rise;
And feels no novel scenes a charm impart,
To soothe the anguish that consumes the heart.
Yet, while the canker wastes the bud unseen,
In pensive peace she drest her placid mien;
The dignity of conscious honour wears,
And slanderous taunts with patient sufferance bears.
The ancient Judge, by long experience wise,
With wonder hears her modest firm replies;

Page 96

And partial, to the Sovereign's ear convey'd
The just applause due to the dauntless MAID * .
The Monarch, still to honour's dictates true,
Nor mean revenge nor cruel purpose knew;
But, long misled by faction's treacherous art,
As yet he reign'd not in the general heart;
To fury's gripe resign'd th' imperial sword,
Nor heard when pity's feeble voice implor'd;
Nor knew, exalted on a distant throne,
How delegated pow'r made mis'ry groan:
He bids his messengers the captive bring,--
Submissive in the presence of the king,
With downcast eyes the blushing captive stands,
And waits in silence for his dread commands.
"Presumptuous damsel, say, what secret cause
"Has made thee dare the rigour of our laws?
"When thus an outlaw'd traitor sought the shore,
"To stain our peaceful realm with native gore;
"Did frantic love, or rash ambition, say,
"To treason's paths delude thee thus away?
"That forfeit life thy folly bade thee save,
"For thee now opens an untimely grave."
'Dread Sir,' the Maid replied in humble guise,
With truth's pure spirit brightening in her eyes,
'No motive base my fearless mind could move,
'Nor mad ambition, nor presumptuous love;

Page 97

'My kindred, peaceful subjects to your reign,
'Against your pow'r have drawn no sword in vain:
'Yet thro' the years our country's records trace,
'Our ancestors obey'd the exil'd race;
'And when they yielded to the frown of fate,
'We mourn'd their hopeless fall from regal state.
'To loyalty, by pious precepts led,
'We ever sacred held th' anointed head;
'And thought each branch of that long-hallow'd line
'A partial sharer of the "right divine."
'But, if the mighty hand that rules the ball,
'And bids the heirs of empire rise or fall,
'To you , dread Sire, the bitter cup had given,
'From regal pomp to wretched exile driven;
'If cast a suppliant on my native plain,
'You never should have sought my aid in vain;
'Nor should a STUART prince have ever said
'That treacherous FLORA royal blood betray'd * .
    The thoughtful Monarch, pausing, view'd the fair,
Her chasten'd graces, and ingenuous air,
And sigh'd to think, how often civil strife
Drags blameless victims from the shades of life,
And with blind rage, unknowing to relent,
Involves the guilty and the innocent:
He bids the judge the guileless maid release,
And let her seek her native isle in peace.

Page 98

    Now rumour talks of FLORA'S charms around,
Those artless charms, with matchless virtues crown'd,
Whose native force subdu'd the rage of pow'r,--
And FLORA reigns the fashion of the hour;
The gaze of wonder now, at FLORA'S gate
Attendants see, and glittering chariots wait;
While noble dames, with costly gay attire,
Would deck the graceful form which all admire:
In vain! from those she scorns to borrow aid,
But veils her beauties in the highland plaid;
And drest in garb of homely tartan, wears
The livery of the tribe whose name she bears;
And mindful of her absent faithful swain,
Preserves the simple manners of the plain * .
    Her future consort now to Thule's shore,
Sees pitying Heaven his faithful bride restore,
With every opening grace of artless youth,
With every charm of tenderness and truth,
With meek simplicity's unpractis'd look,
And eyes that Nature's genuine language spoke:
Her noble mind superior in distress,
No rigour e'er could move, or fear depress;
Nor could prosperity's vain smiles elate
The soul that bore serene the frowns of fate:
The generous Youth, with secret transport fir'd,
No higher bliss, nor happier state desir'd;

Page 99

On wealth and splendour look'd with pity down,
And blest his fate when FLORA was his own
    Now, many a happy year had slid away,
Since HYMEN smil'd upon their bridal day.
Alike, as mother, mistress, friend, or wife,
Fair FLORA shone the grace of private life:
With latent wisdom and endearing art,
She stretch'd her blameless empire o'er the heart;
Her happy household rul'd with gentle sway,
And made it their first pleasure to obey.
Belov'd and reverenc'd in his native place,
Obey'd and honour'd by a duteous race,
Blest in his FLORA , by his neighbours blest,
The worthiest of his generous tribe confest,--
Her consort long in peaceful plenty dwelt,
And oft to want his liberal bounty dealt+ .
    Their blooming Chief, whom in life's smiling morn
All nature's wealth, and learning's stores adorn;
With worth's fair promise fed their raptur'd eyes,
But ah! too early sought his native skies!
Belov'd in vain,--for him in doleful strains
The Genius of the misty isle complains;
For him his Clan with ceaseless sorrow mourn,
And wreathe with purple heath his Roman urn * .

Page 100

    Another Lord arose, whose early youth
Was wasted in the soft luxurious South,
Whence prudent lore and maxims sage he drew,
And frigid notions, and opinions new:
He scorn'd the rustic grandeur of the plain,
The hospitable hall, the vassal train,
And distant kindred widely branching round,
Still to the parent tree by fond attachment bound.
    'Tis thus the stranger, who astonish'd roves
Among the lofty shades of Indian groves,
Deep in the centre sees with dumb surprise
The native Fig in solemn grandeur rise:
Its mighty head in leafy pomp display'd,
Appears th' acknowledg'd monarch of the shade;
Its verdant arms, that wide extend around,
Low bending downward seek their native ground:
There, in the kindly soil again they root,
And up once more the vig'rous saplings shoot;
Their parent plant they both adorn and aid,
Protect its stem, and send abroad its shade,
Till spread in massy pyramidal form,
Itself a grove, it scorns th' assaulting storm;

Page 101

However far the lessening branches spread,
They conscious draw their support from the head:
However high the tow'ring head may grow,
Well pleas'd he sees his offspring thrive below.
Thus Clans around their kindred Chief were spread,
And liv'd and flourish'd in their common head.
    But other views and systems now arose,
Their honour's friends became their int'rest's foes;
The fine-spun kindred ties no longer draw,
Even local habits yield to rig'rous law * .
The active youth by manly spirit led,
Who wont to range the wastes with heath o'erspread,
And send death's message with unerring aim,
To reach the flying or the bounding game;
No longer arm'd the sylvan haunts explore,
And thunder from the fatal tube no more:
No missile weapons, bright with silver, grace
The long-descended sons of generous race;
The broad-sword glittering with a twofold blade,
With apt device, and costly work inlaid;

Page 102

The dirk, in sheath, adorn'd with curious art,
And worn suspended near the owner's heart:
The bossy buckler, rich in studded pride,
That turn'd of old the jav'lin's point aside;
No longer now, when war has ceas'd to storm,
With gallant grace bedeck the warrior's form;
While his firm step, bold chest, and martial air,
The daring of a dauntless mind declare:
These, when no manly feats their lords employ,
Were wont to glitter in the hall of joy:
Still prompt for use, and ready at their call,
In gleaming pride suspended on the wall;
While the loud pibroch fir'd the generous breast
With deeds of heroes sung at every feast:
Now silent, cloth'd with dust, the pibroch sleeps,
Forlorn the hoary bard in silence weeps;
And dark with rust, the arms from sight exil'd,
Are in some lone recess unheeded pil'd;
Lest memory, still to thoughtful sorrow true,
Revive their sleeping anguish at the view.
Thus, when the mother in life's smiling morn,
From her fond arms beholds her darling torn,
The sad attendants hide its fav'rite toys,
That wake remembrance of departed joys.
    The home-spun garb, that, bright with various dyes,
Was wont to please the simple native's eyes;

Page 103

Checker'd with dusky hues, and changing green,
To steal upon the watchful deer unseen:
Or form in folds, with easy grace display'd
In simple drapery, the belted plaid;
By the long lapse of years habitual grown,
Endur'd the rigid law's forbidding frown * .
    Despoil'd of arms, in foreign habits clad,
Listless the drooping natives wander'd sad:
The savage fox now left his gloomy den,
And fearless rush'd into the haunts of men;
No tie to love the alter'd land remain'd,
Where beasts were free, and free-born men restrain'd+ ;
And sordid chiefs, with cold averted eye,
Regard the claims of hoar antiquity,
And drive the followers whom their fathers fed
To seek in distant realms precarious bread:
Unus'd to imposts new, or customs strange,
Now thro' the mourning island all is strange.
    Thus, when upon some promontory's height,
Where sheltering rocks and cavities invite,
The nestling sea-fowl find a peaceful home,
No happier land can tempt their flight to roam;
Tho' with tempestuous fury arm'd, the storm
The rocks assail, or circling seas deform,

Page 104

For ages on the self-same cliff they rest,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Yet if some eye profane, or foot unblest,
With bold intrusion should disturb their nest,
Wild with impetuous wing they wheel, they fly,
In screaming circles, scatter thro' the sky;
Borne on the winds, explore the distant main,
Nor ever view their native rock again.
    Thus from their dear-lov'd isle the natives fly,
Their loud laments thus fill the pitying sky;
And FLORA , gentlest of a generous kind,
Scorns to remain in selfish ease behind,
While her lov'd followers and friends explore
Some lone retreat beyond th' Atlantic shore:
Her lord approving, favours the design,
Their long-lov'd haunts reluctant they resign.
    When first they felt the swelling billows roll,
'Twas like the pang that frees the parting soul;
And when the dusky isle was lost to view,
Thick answering sobs forbade the faint adieu.
The world of waters mingles with the skies,
And SCOTIA hides for ever from their eyes * .

Page 105

    And shall they on that far Lethean shore
Oblivious rest, to memory dear no more?
Shall none with social sympathy lament
Unblemish'd worth, to hopeless exile sent?
When vain pursuits the polish'd mind engage,
Gay fashion's caprice, or false pleasure's rage;
While sunk in thoughtless ease, supine they loll,
And luxury enfeebles all the soul;
When minds high destin'd for celestial aims,
Waste all their useless strength on studious games;
Or weave the cob-web veil of sophistry,
To cheat with flimsy art the mental eye:
Or scheme the visionary system fair,
Trick'd out in rain-bow hues, and built on air,
Which, when the fabric is to use assign'd,
Melts from the touch, and leaves no trace behind:
Or when her venal sons low interest draws
To any party, and to every cause;
When false refinements endless wants create,
And each aspires at some superior state:
When honour, conscience, truth, are cheaply sold,
And none deny th' omnipotence of gold,
Impiety to wild disorder leads,
And thro' the mass fermenting frenzy spreads:--
Say, when such pleasures and pursuits engage
Th' enervate sons of a degenerate age;

Page 106

Is it a time to banish from our coast
The few who uncorrupted manners boast?
Though strangers they to wisdom's fair pretence,
Wrapt in the tissued robe of eloquence;
Abstracted reasoning, subtilties refin'd,
That thro' a trackless maze delude the mind:
A few fix'd principles alone they boast,
To steer their way along life's dangerous coast;
But drawn from sacred truth's unerring source,
Those still maintain their unabated force;
And while their pow'r unshaken they retain,
Gold shines, and pow'r allures, and pleasure smiles in vain,
    When Nature's children, by simplicity
Are nurst and taught, oh Truth divine, by thee:
To Fortitude thro' early hardships bred,
And at Frugality's plain table fed;
And tutor'd by the humanizing muse,
To purer pleasures, and to nobler views;
Not fashion can pervert, or fears controul
The settled purpose of the stedfast soul;
While the fair prospect of immortal joys,
To shining baubles sinks earth's brightest toys.
Will such as these break thro' superior ties,
For ease they slight, or splendour they despise?
Or haply in their childhood, often led
To watch their flock on some high mountain's head,

Page 107

In patient solitude the live-long day,
The wild majestic scenes around survey,
Such scenes as wont to nourish thought sublime,
And lift the soul beyond the reign of time;
O'er all the mind a holy calm diffuse,
Exalt the fancy, and inspire the muse:--
Will they in lucre's paths ignobly bend,
And for the dross they do not need, contend?
Or, taught so soon to feed on serious thought,
With light amusement's specious snares be caught?
Or can voluptuous indolence beguile
The youth with sinews early strung by toil?
Who often lighted by the morning star,
Before the dawn awake the sylvan war;
Or with amphibious courage leave the shore,
And over hidden rocks the finny tribes explore,
To those, so us'd to suffer and to dare,
No terrors threaten in the front of war;
The very worst the sons of ease can feel,
The toilsome march, hard bed, or scanty meal;
Calmly they view with an unalter'd eye,
And should the battle rage--they can but die.
    When ATHENS , by the arts she nurst, adorn'd,
The plain stern virtues of LACONIA scorn'd,
When wealth, of endless woes the guilty cause,
Her state corrupted, and relax'd her laws,

Page 108

And freedom to unbounded licence grown,
Had ancient rights and due restraints o'erthrown;
When softening arts and luxury's increase,
Made valour droop even in her native GREECE ;
Th' intrepid sons of fearless poverty
Made PERSIAN kings in wild amazement fly;
Bade ATHENS , sunk in conscious shame, behold
Their SPARTAN iron conquer PERSIAN gold;
And faithful to each dear and hallow'd tie,
Preserve the sacred flame of liberty.

    Now, Chiefs and Senators--ye patriot band!
Born to illume, protect, and bless the land;
While the loose furies rage in other climes,
And Nature sickens at her children's crimes;
While GALLIA pours profuse the purple flood,
And stains her lillies with her Monarch's blood;
Encircle like an adamantine zone
The hallow'd altar and the honour'd throne;
And let your banners, rais'd aloft, reveal
The blended interests of the general weal:
Draw close those ties, so fine, and yet so strong,
That gently lead the willing soul along,
Nor crush beneath oppression's iron rod
The kindred image of the parent GOD ;

Page 109

Nor think that rigour's galling chains can bind
The native force of the superior mind.
'Twas not from such the glowing ardour rose
That followers drew to WALLACE and MONTROSE .
Brethren in martial toils--affection fond,
Kind twisting round each heart the lasting bond;
Like that wide chain, which, when creation rose,
Did all the mighty Maker's works inclose,
Whose closing ties celestial voices sung,
While all the answering constellations rung,
Which joins the worlds below to those above
With golden links, and angels call it--LOVE!

* Royalty in the original.

* See note No. 27.

* See note No. 28.

* See note No. 29.

* See note No. 30.

* The six first lines are from OSSIAN'S Hymn to the Sun, the pathos and dignity of which make it so suitable to fallen Majesty.

* See note No. 31.

+ See note No. 32.

* The guest was Miss FLORA MACDONALD.

* See note No. 33.

* See note No. 34.

* See note No. 35.

* See note No. 36.

* See note No. 37.

* Sir JAMES MACDONALD, formerly mentioned. In the many Gaelic poems in which the death of this amiable youth is lamented, it is considered as a severe aggravation of the loss of the Clan, that their Chieftain was buried at Rome, a place so remote that his countrymen could not even visit his grave

+ See note No. 38.

* A certain degree of emigration must needs take place, where the natives multiply very fast, and inhabit a barren country; but this, which to a people of simple manners and warm affections is a great, though necessary evil, was greatly augmented in the islands by the causes here alluded to.

* See note No. 39.

+ See note No. 40.

* Since writing the above, the author has been informed that KINGSBOROUGH joined the Royal standard in the American war, in consequence of which he returned home; and that he and FLORA both died in the Isle of Sky not many years ago.

Page [110]

Page 111



Page 139


     "The man of bounties, loving and belov'd."

WHILE on the meadowy banks of Spey ,
    Slow steals along the rural muse,
And sees the bordering flowers display
    Their native sweets and vernal hues:

And while she casts her pensive view
    Where bold Craigillachy aspires,
Now deck'd with heath-bells fresh with dew,
    Where blaz'd of old the warning fires * :

With glowing heart and trembling hand
    She strives to wake the plausive lay;
And wide o'er all her native land
    The voice of grateful truth convey.

Page 140

And while she consecrates the strain,
    To worth beyond her humble praise,
The genius of thy native plain
    Will smile indulgent on her lays.

Oh, form'd to prove each feeling dear
    That heightens joy and sweetens care,--
The tender Parent, Friend sincere,
    The Consort blest beyond compare:

The Patriot Chief, who dwells belov'd
    Among the race his fathers sway'd;
Who, long his country's friend approv'd,
    Retires in peace to bless the shade.

Who when the dreadful blast of war
    With horror fill'd the regions round,
His willing people call'd from far,
    With wakening pipe of martial sound:

The valiant clan, on every side,
    With sudden, warlike ardour burns;
And views those long-lov'd homes with pride,
    Whose loss no exil'd native mourns.

Page 141

From every mountain, strath, and glen,
    The rustic warriors crowded round;
The Chief who rules the hearts of men
    In safety dwells, with honour crown'd.

"For thee (they cried) dear native earth,
    "We gladly dare the battle's roar;
"Our kindred ties, our sacred hearth,
    "Returning peace will soon restore.

"No ruthless, mercenary swains
    "Shall ever quench our social fires;
"Our labour on our narrow plains
    "Shall feed our babes and hoary sires * .

"And when each tender pledge we leave,
    "Our parent Chief, with guardian care,
"Shall soothe their woes, their wants relieve,
    "And save the mourners from despair + ."

Beneath his mild paternal sway,
    The pow'r of cultivation smiles,
And swelling, proud, impetuous Spey
    Rejoices, while the peasant toils:

Page 142

To see his banks on every side
    With crowding population teem,
And cultur'd fields their yellow pride
    Reflecting in his copious stream.

Well pleas'd he wanders near the dome
    Where every milder virtue dwells;
Where all the gentler graces bloom,
    And Painting speaks, and Music swells.

When frosts untimely check'd the spring,
    And blasting mildews hover'd o'er,
And cheerful Labour ceas'd to sing,
    And Plenty deck'd the plains no more:

To G**** she gave her teeming horn + ,
    Well pleas'd he pour'd the bounteous store,
And Want no longer wept forlorn,
    And fruitless Labour mourn'd no more.

To Woe, while Pity yields relief,
    While Truth adorns the plausive lay,
Our vows shall bless the Patriarch Chief
    Who rules the grateful banks of Spey .

* See note No. I.

* See note No. 2.

+ See note No. 3.

+ Alluding to an ample provision made for the lower class of his country, during the hard winter 1800.

Page 143


SIR J**** G****, BARONET.

Page 145



                "Gentle lady, may thy grave
                "Peace and quiet ever have;
                "After this thy travel sore,
                "Sweet rest seize thee evermore."

OH , soft and sweet the evening sun
    Was gleaming o'er the meadows green,
The ploughman's weary task was done,
    And peaceful was the scene.

I musing wander'd o'er yon height
    "Where broom bloom'd fair to view;"
Whose yellow blossoms gaily show'd
    O'er violets darkly blue.

Page 146

A little higher up I spy'd
    A roofless castle grey,
Where rooks and daws in clam'rous crowds
    Retir'd at close of day * .

A fenceless garden's sad remains,
    All ruin'd and decay'd,
And trees, whose branches scorch'd by fire
    Refus'd both fruit and shade.

Two shrubs in vernal pride remain'd,
    Fenc'd by their native thorn,
And bore the fragrant milk-white rose
    By YORK'S proud faction borne.

There, seated by a ruin'd tow'r,
    An ancient dame I view'd,
Who with a pensive, tranquil sigh
    Survey'd the fragments rude + .

'And why, untouch'd by wasting time,
    'Did that fair pile give way?
'And who are you that lonely mourn
    'The stately tower's decay?

Page 147

'And why does still that cherish'd rose
    ' 'Midst desolation bloom?
'And in this lonely waste forlorn,
    'Diffuse its soft perfume?'

"Oh, long must I unpitied mourn,
    "Where mouldering tow'rs decay;
"Fierce were the flames that scorch'd their walls,
    "And fatal was the day.

"And long must tears in silence shed,
    "Bedew that rose so fair;
" 'Twas planted in the dawn of hope,
    "For royal brows to wear.

"My master was a Chief renown'd
    "In manhood's active prime;
"My lady was for ev'ry worth
    "Unequall'd in her time.

"Her father was a wily lord,
    "Well skill'd in dangerous art,
"(But truth, and love, and goodness fill'd
    "His daughter's gentle heart.)

Page 148

"With crafty lore he led our Chief
    "A hopeless cause to join;
"To seat on Britain's throne a Prince
    "Of STUART'S hapless line.

"Do you not see yon blasted oak
    "By Heaven's dread thunder tore?
"Can April show'rs, or summer suns
    "Its solemn shade restore?

"Or have you seen the lofty flow'r
    "That turns to meet the sun;
"And did it spread its yellow leaves
    "When his bright course was run?

"They strove to plant the wither'd oak,
    "And water'd it with gore:
"They spread the tender leaves of hope
    "When fortune smil'd no more.

"How short, how gay, how bright the smile,
    "That cheer'd their morning ray!
"How dark, how cold, how loud the storm,
    "That raging clos'd their day.

Page 149

"On Gladsmuir's heath a comet's blaze
    "Deceiv'd their dazzled sight;
"On bleak Culloden's bloody moor,
    "It sunk in endless night.

"Why should I tell what noble blood
    "The sable scaffold stain'd?
"Why should I tell what generous hearts
    "Ignoble fate disdain'd?

"I see thy dim and dewy eyes,
    "And spare thy aching heart;
"For in my various tale of woe
    "Thy kindred bore a part.

"When to the forest's deep retreats
    "My outlaw'd master fled;
"While vengeance took a deadly aim
    "At his devoted head:

"The ruthless Duke's fell mandate came,
    "And ruin spread around:
"Our Chieftain's halls were wrapt in flames,
    "With flames the turrets crown'd.

Page 150

"High on yon rock, that to the North
    "Erects its aged head,
"Hard by the screaming goshawk's nest
    "He made his pendent bed.

" 'Twas from yon trembling aspin's boughs
    "That wave so high in air,
"He saw the wasting flames ascend,
    "In silent stern despair.

"But fury shook his manly frame,
    "And sorrow wrung his heart,
"When from the crashing roof he saw
    "The burning rafters part.

"On yon bleak hill that fronts the North,
    "My lady sat forlorn;
"In fear she left her home, to shun
    "The lawless soldier's scorn.

"With meek and silent awe she sat,
    "And piously resign'd;
"Fierce blaz'd her castle thro' the gloom,
    "Loud blew the eastern wind.

Page 151

"Oh lady, shun the chilling blasts
    "That pierce thy tender form:
"Oh shun this dreary sight of woe,
    "And shun the midnight storm * ."

"The lady wip'd her streaming eyes,
    "And rais'd her drooping head;"
"Ah! where can I a shelter find?"
    "In broken words she said:"

"The owl that 'plains from yonder wood
    "May slumber in her nest;
"The fox that howls from yonder hill,
    "Within his cave may rest:

"But I, alas! without a home,
    "Must brave the chilling air:
"My friends are fall'n beneath the sword
    "That never knew to spare.

"The fire devour'd my father's halls,
    "Stern vengeance drank his blood;
"And loudly on my consort calls
    "To swell the purple flood.

Page 152

"And can I seek a sheltering roof,
    "Or social comfort taste,
"While he a lonely alien shrinks,
    "Hid in the dreary waste?"

"Blow higher winds, blaze fiercer flames,
    "Rise o'er thy limits Spey ;
"No stronger pang my heart can feel
    "At Nature's last decay."

"Successive summer suns beheld
    "My lady's withering prime;
"But on her lord no sun e'er shone
    "In his cold native clime.

"In gloomy caves he past the day,
    "And by the taper's light
"Consum'd the lonely studious hours,
    "And hop'd the coming night:

"Then, when the world in slumber lay,
    "Through midnight darkness stole,
"And in my lady's faithful breast
    "Repos'd his sorrowing soul:

Page 153

"Or, fondly gazing while he slept,
    "Hung o'er his infant son;
"And lingering, blest th' unconscious babe
    "Till glimmering dawn begun:

"Or, when the live-long winter night
    "Had lull'd the spies of pow'r,
" 'Midst faithful friends a gleam of joy
     "Shone on the social hour.

"With eager search the watchful bands
    "His secret haunts explor'd,
"And many a faithful vassal knew
    "The caves that hid their lord * .

"At last, with sad reluctant sighs,
    "He left the British strand:
"And sore my lady wept to leave
    "Her darling son on land.

"Upon the sea-beat coast of France
    "We dwelt in mournful guise;
"And saw afar, like hovering clouds,
    "Our native land arise.

Page 154

"Not long upon that alien shore
    "My banish'd master pin'd;
"With silent grief we saw his corpse
    "To common earth consign'd.

"No pibroch led the loud lament,
    "No funeral train appear'd;
"No bards, with songs of mighty deeds,
    "The hopeless mourners cheer'd * .

"When midnight wore her sable robe,
    "We dug his humble grave;
"Where fair Narcissus droops its head,
    "And darkest poppies wave.

"We strew'd the tomb with rosemary,
    "We water'd it with tears;
"And bade the Scottish thistle round
    "Erect his warlike spears.

"And soon we left the fatal spot,
    "And sought our native shore;
"And soon my lady blest her son,
    "And clasp'd him o'er and o'er."

Page 155

"On thee, my son, (she fondly cried)
    "May happier planets shine;
"And may'st thou never live to brook
    "A fate so hard as mine:

"And may'st thou heir thy father's worth,
    "But not his hapless doom;
"To honour and thy country true,
    "May'st thou his rights resume.

"And when my weary eyes shall close,
    "By death's long slumber blest,
"Beside my dear-lov'd, long-lost home,
    "Forever let me rest * ."

"She spoke, and died----in yonder grave
    "Her dear remains are laid:
"Let never impious murmur rise
    "To grieve her hovering shade!"

* See note No. 1.

* See note No. 2.

+ See note No. 3.

* The lady sat most part of the night on an opposite hill viewing the conflagration.

+ See note No. 4.

* See note No. 5.

* The lady was buried very near the dwelling of her happier years.

Page 156


Page [159]



Page 160

AS the following Poem contains intrinsic evidence of having been written in an easy familiar manner, with haste too great for accuracy, merely to amuse a few partial Friends, it would be no compliment to the Reader's discernment, to endeavour to convince him of a truth so obvious. It will be more difficult to ascertain the propriety of submitting to the Public eye a careless effusion, so very local, that its interest might seem confined to the Dramatis Personæ who appear on the scene. It so happened, however, that some Friends who were pleased with the Poem, breaking through all injunctions to the contrary, not only took, but gave copies, to the great discredit of the performance itself, in which errors and absurdities were multiplied. This must be the Author's apology for including it in the present Volume.

Page 161



     "Then let me go, and hinder not my course."
     "I'll make a pastime of each weary step,
     "Till the last step have brought me to my home;
     "And then I'll rest, as after much turmoil
     "A blessed soul doth in Elysium."

DEAR NANCY , well you know my way,
I always do whate'er I say;
Of moral obligation fond,
I count my promise as my bond.

Page 162

That you, who rhyme and rhymsters spurn all,
In verse should bid me write my journal,
At first excited speculation,
Till after solemn cogitation,
And much conjecture spent in vain,
The cause appear'd distinct and plain.
Your friend, and may I boast her mine,
LOUISA decks the Muses' shrine:
Late on their altars I survey'd
A bright but harmless weapon laid;
The gift, inscrib'd with NANCY'S praise,
Innoxious gleam'd thro' twining bays,
And shew'd how kind and true that heart
Where NANCY claims so great a part * .
You, fondly partial, wish to cheer
With music wild, LOUISA'S ear;
And vainly think my trembling hand
Can still that rustic lyre command,
Which once, when youth and fancy bloom'd,
Through Inchnacardoch's caves presum'd
To call sweet echo to my aid,
And every wood-nymph of the shade,
And every Naiad of the waves,
Where Ness romantic mountains laves;

Page 163

To tell what joys my soul possesst ,
When you and Nature fir'd my breast:
When in the Penseroso grot * ,
The world and all its cares forgot,
We trac'd the tuneful page sublime,
Beyond the limits fix'd to time:--
But cease!--no more,--this retrospection
Will end, though soothing, in dejection.
To common life you now must turn ye,
And view it in my lonely journey:
To go alone I will not choose,
And therefore must invoke the Muse;
Nor fear the tuneful invocation
Should interrupt the wise narration;
Though NANCY owns that long possession
Confirms my right to dear digression.
    Come Muse, "As in the elder time,
"Warm, energic, chaste, sublime,"
Now, when my Joseph green is on + ,
And I just hastening to be gone,
Oh stray not by Illyssus ' stream,
Nor in the shades of Tempe dream;
Nor, lingering near proud Ida's rocks,
With laurels deck thy graceful locks:

Page 164

Thy robe in easy folds to bind;
Or spread thy floating train behind,
Or scatter odours on thy hair,
Were here a vain and needless care:
No Grecian graces I require,
Oh! wherefore shine where none admire!
A kind companion of my way,
To cheat with song the lingering day,
Is all I ask, and NANCY'S praise,
The only meed that crowns my lays:
Then, let us quietly jog along,
Unseen thy form! unheard my song!
And more, thy beauties to disguise,
From vulgar ears, and curious eyes,
No more with charms immortal blooming,
But yon postilion's form assuming;
His hat your waving locks shall hide,
His coat your bosom's snowy pride:
Your sandals for his boots exchanging,
My motley baggage neatly ranging,
Like PALLAS , when disguis'd as MENTOR ,
You'll hollow with the lungs of STENTOR .
Yet stay, sweet Muse! may I presume,
Before we quit yon peaceful dome,
Thy genuine pow'r should aid my lyre:
Tho' gratitude the strain inspire,

Page 165

Yet ah, how feeble proves the line,
To paint a heart so warm as mine!
To GEORGE'S SQUARE my view I bend,
Where health and virtue bless my friend:
Whose love, matur'd by twenty years,
In all its pristine bloom appears:
Unchang'd by time, by wealth unspoil'd,
With brow serene, "meek Nature's child;"
With modest firmness moves along,
Regardless of the fickle throng,
Who, pois'd on Fortune's giddy wheel,
Forget alike to think and feel;
The various duties skill'd to blend,
Of sister, daughter, mother, Friend;
The kind companion, tender wife,
Form'd to endear and sweeten life:
To her no selfish joy is known,
She lives for other's good alone,
And knows no care, no wish, no fear,
That saints and angels might not hear* .
O thou, to whom indulgent heaven
Has the superior blessing given,
To cherish soft this modest flow'r,
To cheer thy eye, and deck thy bow'r;
Though on thy placid easy mien,
No purse-proud insolence is seen,

Page 166

Though gentlest manners, all allow,
Light up thy looks, and smoothe thy brow;
Though none, the public voice can tell,

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In equanimity excel,
Be proud, be vain, nay boast of BELL ;
And henceforth plead in thy excuse,
Thou hast permission from the Muse.
Oh could the willing Muse bring forth
Her secret stores of hidden worth,
The truth unstain'd, the taste refin'd,
And native elegance of mind!
The various blushing graces known,
To thee, to me, and JANE alone;
Esteem to homage they'd improve,
And approbation raise to love:
While all th' admiring world should see
Our friend with eyes like JANE and me.
Dear JANE , it is from thy kind breast,
With every warm affection blest,
Thy generous heart, that knows no guile,
As soft and true as friendship's smile,
That I expect rewards of praise
For singing thus in humble lays,
That blushing worth, so shily veil'd,
And from th' intrusive gaze conceal'd.

Page 167

Your sister, careless of applause,
With grave rebuke will ask the cause
I rudely drew her veil aside,
And shew'd what still she wish'd to hide:
Besides, how can her precious time
Be wasted upon idle rhyme?
I've little time to write indeed,
But she less leisure has to read;
Her duties rise in such gradations,
'Twixt friends, acquaintance, and relations,
That sportive vacant case debarr'd
From entrance, only leaves her card!
    While slow I part with tearful eye,
And strive to check the bursting sigh,
Imagination's busy pow'rs,
Recal the weary languid hours,
When, tir'd of prate, and noise, and town,
I snatch'd my muff and tuck'd my gown,
And waded thro' each miry street,
To find D*********'s calm retreat;
Where mimic life adorns the wall,
And glows and breathes at P*****'s call * .

Page 168

Hark! thro' the air soft music floats,
They're F****'s sweet unconscious notes,
Who heedless, hopeless of applause,
From care and company withdraws,
With flying fingers wakes the keys,
And teaches simplest sounds to please * .
Reclin'd in yonder elbow-chair,
With vacant face, and languid air,
Charm'd with simplicity and Nature,
Without constraint in air or feature,
Or musing sunk in trance extatic,
Or sudden rapt in flight erratic,
With earnest gesture keen haranguing,
Or pensive o'er the fender hanging;
Whatever wilds of thought I range,
Howe'er my varying humours change,
The friendly pow'rs indulgent bend,
To bless the never-varying friend;
And ev'ry candid eye may see
That never-varying friend in me.
Yon ample form, loose rob'd in white,
Who sits oppos'd, and loves the light;

Page 169

And occupies the other corner,
In chair (we must not say of scorner),
Though jibes, and jests, and irony,
As thick as bees around her fly;
Yet what of these? her liberal heart
Above disguise, despising art;
Her open hand, discerning eye,
Prompt thro' each vain pretence to spy;
Her friendship firm, affection warm,
Might even envy's self disarm:
The "feast of reason" to dispense,

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And mingle with the "flow of sense,"
Is her's, in known pre-eminence:
Unapt to scatter or to hoard,
Presiding at her social board,
So frank her welcome, kind her air,
You'd think that Plenty's self was there.
Sure halcyon days can never cease,
When Plenty loves to dwell with Ease
Say, worthy Clan * , whose honest heart
With kind reluctance sees me part;
Wilt thou the grateful verse receive,
The little all that I can give?
Go, Muse, who twin'st with laurel wreath
Grim warriors, fam'd for deeds of death!

Page 170

Bid'st fragrant bays, an emblem fit,
Adorn the polish'd brows of wit;
And myrtle's beauteous verdure shed
Its odours round the lover's head;
And with distinguish'd garland bind
The friend and lover of his kind:
From Syria's vales th' immortal palm,
From Gilead's mount the weeping balm,
From banks of Siloa's sacred spring
The green and bounteous olive bring;
All fresh and blooming to the view,
And drench'd in pity's tenderest dew;
Then, with the various garland bind
This lover of the human kind!
    Thou dear abode of love and peace!
Where oft I woo'd the pow'r of ease;
Where friendship's smile, and vacant rest,
So often tranquilliz'd my breast;
Blest be thy roof!--Good CLAN adieu!
For see, the Stirling coach in view.
Well pleas'd the empty coach I see,
Thrice happy for the Muse and me!
How sweetly sad, alone to mourn,
And bid each vanished scene return;
No curious ear, or watchful eye,
My sighs to hear or tears to spy:

Page 171

Or if the Muse, to cheer my way,
Should bid me sing what others say;
How soothing is the soft duetto !
Vain flattering thought! for lo in petto ,
A youth was hid, who from his nook
Survey'd me with observant look:
My dress, unknown to fashion's rules,
Myself, untaught in custom's schools,
He view'd--believe the frank narration,
With more surprise than admiration.
Now fitly plac'd, with little stir,
Save, "How d'ye ma'am,"--"I thank you, Sir;"
We ride thro' rows of infant trees,
Low bending to the northern breeze;
Thro' patches square of well-sav'd ground,
And villa's closely hedg'd around:
By formal bleachfields frequent walls,
By ditches deep, and strait canals;
And all the usual labour'd forms,
Where Art fair Nature's face deforms;
Where folks, who love all things a-row,
Still carry town where'er they go.
Now fairly enter'd on the fields,
Where Nature scenes unlabour'd yields,
And widening prospects cheer the eye,
Far from the city's smoke we fly.

Page 172

My kind companion, now perceiving
My cloudy brow, and inward grieving,
With much good nature strives t'amuse,
Now questions asks, now tells me news;
Till, mix'd in social chat together,
We talk of politics and weather:
Found out the winter was so mild,
Mark'd how the furze with blossoms smil'd;
The stately seat, and cultur'd field,
New hints for disquisition yield;
Till, passing on from observation,
To just remark, and true narration!
All in the glad discovery ends,
That each had known the other's friends:
The man of law, well pleas'd, unfolds,
What beaux and belles, what wits and scolds,
He knew within my recollection,
Then on this motley strange collection,
We sit in judgment, analyze them,

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Describe, as if to advertise them,
To shew how well we recognize them:
Thus frank discourse and social ease,
Improving, ripen'd by degrees.
    We pass'd thro' Bedlay's ancient grove,
Where mourning nymphs and dryads rove:

Page 173

What beauties once adorn'd this spot,
Now so neglected and forgot!
The ivy, kindly twining round,
With which yon dodder'd oaks are bound;
Seems a sad image to express,
Of friendship faithful to distress:
The brook, that seems in dying falls
To murmur round the mouldering walls,
Now seeks the wood's obscure retreat,
And there, with cadence sadly sweet,
Awakes from echo's secret cell,
A sound like parted pleasure's knell:
With sighs we view'd the lone abode,
Then pensive musing onward rode;
Till on the heath, a ruin'd tow'r,
Memento proud of feudal pow'r!
With desolated turrets drew
From happier scenes our thoughtful view:
Thy ruin'd grandeur, sad Banheath!
Like Virtue's majesty in death,
At once o'er-awes and soothes the mind,
And tend'rest sorrow leaves behind:
Here BALMERINO'S warlike fame,
Gave lustre to his honour'd name;
Last of a long heroic race,
Who wont that stately tow'r to grace;

Page 174

Firm to the STUART'S hapless cause,
His blood aton'd the injur'd laws;
Though by opinion's power misled,

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No worthier heart, no nobler head,
Have on the sanguine scaffold bled.
    O'er bleakest grounds we held our way,
While drizzling show'rs deform'd the day:
The social pow'r seem'd now withdrawn,
And languor came, with wearied yawn,
Till village-bells of Cumbernauld ,
Attention wak'd, and joy recall'd;
While pleas'd we hail the sylvan scene,
And spy half-hid in woodlands green,
The dome that overlooks yon grove,
The haunt of virtue and of love!
Much honour'd ELPHINSTONE'S retreat,
Of soft domestic joys the seat!
Whose bright example round diffus'd,
Has rank's distinction half excus'd:--
Even in these democratic days,
Pale Envy yields unwilling praise
To those whose long unsullied line,
With honour's radiance taught to shine,
Have each, religious from his sire,
Receiv'd and kept the vestal fire.

Page 175

Long may its purest lustre glow
Round ELPHINSTONE'S distinguish'd brow;
Unvex'd with cares that haunt the great,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Long may he bear th' incumbent weight,
A polish'd pillar of the state!
Thus, in alternate strain we raise
With willing voice his Lordship's praise.
    But see yon inn its doors unfold,
Joy of the hungry and the cold!
With quick transition now we turn
To fires of coal that clearly burn,
And change the theme we thought so fine,
From praise of worth to praise of wine,
Of good beef-steaks and porter sound,
The pullet fat, and spacious round;
But both at length concluding clearly,
To dine was yet by much too early,
My kind companion bids me choose
Some cordial sip to cheer the Muse:
Refresh'd with draughts from Helicon ,
I told him I would taste of none;
But he, impatient, hastes to ring,
And heedless of that heathen spring,
More common liquor quaffs with glee,
While I reserve myself for tea;

Page 176

And wait, impatient to depart,
With langour sickening at my heart.
Now rested, comforted, and heated,
Again within our coach we're seated;
Facetious now become and easy,
We shine in repartee, an't please ye.
The moor was bleak, the day was rainy,
And nought around to entertain ye:
Our wit at first was brisk and sprightly,
And went and came in flashes lightly,
But droop'd and languish'd ere 'twas long,
I sunk in thought, and rose in song;
And with ideal views delighted,
Forgot we were almost benighted;
By day's last gleaming we admire
The varied charms of Stirlingshire .
Emerg'd from reverie profound,
With new delight I gaze around,
And all the valour and the worth
By Carron's streams or banks of Forth ,
That bloom'd in SCOTIA'S former days,
And furnish'd theme for noblest lays,
Flash'd sudden on my kindling soul,
And all my pleas'd attention stole.
With partial view I fain would trace
The remnants of each ancient race:

Page 177

And fond enquiring, wish to know
What turrets nod on yonder brow?
Do ERSKINE'S arms adorn the gate?
Or GRAHAM'S , who shar'd our hero's fate? *
Or RANDOLPH'S stem, renown'd of old?
What martial knights, or warriors bold,
Possest those seats, whose tow'ring pride
Adorns the hills on every side?
"That seat, (th' observant youth replies),
"Whose antique state attracts your eyes,
"A wealthy nabob t'other year
Has bought, nor thinks he bought it dear;
"Now mohrs, pagodas, and rupees,
"Familiar, frequent cross the seas;
"And no time-honour'd fabric stands
"Untouch'd by lucre's sullied hands.
"For now the low, degenerate race,
"Neglectful of their native place,
"And all the joys that Nature yields,
"In shady groves, or sunny fields,
"For meretricious pleasures pine,
"And bow at Luxury's spotted shrine;
"Their birthright pays the savoury mess,
"Their flow'ry fields the costly dress;

Page 178

"Which their heroic sires of old,
"Would only with their lives have sold."
I ask no more--but muse a-new,
Till Stirling tow'rs engage my view;
Those ancient tow'rs of grey renown,
Which yonder lofty summits crown:
'Twas there by favourite's arts undone,
That JAMES immur'd his noble son * .
What joys might such a son impart,
To warm and cheer a father's heart!
But ah! in vain--that frigid zone
Which freezes round the envied throne,
Kind Nature's tenderest glow congeals,
And all the harden'd bosom steels.
'Twas here in later sadder days,
Which memory with grief surveys:
BUCHANAN , with indignant frown,
The princely petulance kept down
Of injur'd MARY'S pedant heir,
Who, born th' inglorious fate to share
Of old King LOG , came sousing down,
First honour'd with Great Britain's crown,
And, sinking in his bog profound,
Heard hostile nations croak around:
And while their clangour sounds a-far,
With witches only wages war;

Page 179

And, skill'd in mystic lore, presumes
To match his sceptre with their brooms.
    But stay, return--my vagrant Muse
With such delight this theme pursues,
She and her grave historic sister
Would prattle heedless, tho' I mist her,
Of every Prince who held his home
In Stirling castle's antique dome,
Forgetful of my trunks and me,
The noisy inn, and KITTY'S tea.
    And now I fain would rise in pathos,
But that I fear to sink in bathos;
Of tragic woes the pensive queen
Herself should paint the mournful scene;
When, with a sad reluctant sigh,
My fellow-traveller and I,
Slow parting with the parting day,
Took each our separate lonely way;
While clouds that o'er our sorrows low'r,
Fell in a sympathizing shower.
    And now, my straggling locks adjusted,
And faithful Joseph brush'd and dusted,
I sought, but could not find, alas!
Some consolation in the glass:
Yet why at vanish'd youth repine,
And vainly labour to be fine;

Page 180

Since, decoration's pow'r apart,
My friends all know and love my heart:
Now KITTY'S kindness and her tea,
That languid heart expand with glee;
Forgetful of the toils of day,
How sweet the evening slipt away,
While KITTY'S children and her Lord,
Well pleas'd around the social board;
By turns, in various ways prepare,
To soothe the weary wanderer's care;
Till, with the beat of evening drum,
The MAJOR and the supper come * :
With aspect frank, and martial grace,
Time-silver'd locks and jovial face,
Now see the worthy Major bend
To hail his trans-atlantic friend;
Now twenty years that fled amain,
With hasty pace ran back again;
On wild Ontario's woody shore
Again we hear the tempest's roar;
Again in courteous manner bring
Our presents to the Mohawk king;
Or view the bloody tomahawk,
Of the most potent PONDIACK .

Page 181

    Blest be the Major's closing day,
And mildly bright his evening ray!
When, in the early dawn of life,
Alike unknown to guile and strife,
I cast my infant eyes around,
Where Nature's wildest charms abound;
While with enthusiast fond delight,
I gaz'd enraptur'd on the sight;
Then early on my opening soul
The love of truth and knowledge stole:
'Twas then the friendly Major first
My dawning love of science nufst ;
Pleas'd, grateful memory still reviews
His letter'd gifts * ; and could the Muse
Her favourites consecrate to fame,
Those hills should learn the Major's name.
    At twelve I take myself away,
By KITTY press'd in vain to stay;
Like fat SIR JOHN , I rather please
Within mine inn to take mine ease.
Rejoice, dear NANCY , and be gay!
For here concludes this tedious day.

* Allusive to a few elegant lines sent by the one lady to the other, with the present of a fruit-knife.

* See note No. 1.

+ In Scotland a lady's travelling great coat is sometimes called a Joseph .

* See note No. 2.

* Alluding to a picture painted from an incident related in TASSO'S Jerusalem, by a young lady possessed of very superior talents.

* A young lady whom the Author used to blame for neglecting the cultivation of her musical talents.

* See Note No. 3.

* Sir JOHN GRAHAM , the friend of WALLACE .

* See note No. 4.

* A brother-officer of the Anthor's father.

* See note No. 5.

Page 182


NOW , after sweet and deep repose,
The sun and I together rose,
And jocund Nature smil'd to see
Fresh lustre deck the sun and me!
Unusual bright he shone that day,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

To light his Reverence on his way
To seek his mate so long astray.
From Inver's inn he now departed,
And whistled cheery and light-hearted,
Spurr'd on by expectation gay,
Along the banks of lucid Tay .
Thus ORPHEUS , VIGRGIL says, once hied
To PLUTO'S realms to seek his bride,
And Hebrus ' shady banks along,
Enchanted by the pow'rs of song.
My PEGASUS has been so pamper'd,
That off unwittingly he scamper'd;
You know the classics are my passion,
Allusions too are much in fashion!
And then besides, this rare quotation
Affords so apt an illustration!

Page 183

Dear friend! forgive this last transgression,
I'll check my passion for digression!
And lest you chide my wandering levity,
The Romans imitate in brevity * .
    From Stirling tow'rs I now depart,
With comfort glowing at my heart;
And surely never winter day
Display'd a scene so richly gay;
Nor e'er was wint'ry atmosphere
So softly calm, so mildly clear:
What pleasure thro' my bosom thrills,
When, drawing near the Perthshire hills,
The northern mountains rise to view,
With lofty summits darkly blue;
The beauteous landscape varying round.
With winter's sombre tints embrown'd:
Yon fir-clad hill, whose dusky green
With solemn grandeur shades the scene:
Yon copse of birch, which to the eye
Assumes a varying purple dye;
Yon spiry tops of poplars pale,
That bend to every sighing gale;

Page 184

Yon leafless trees that thinly screen
The lordly dome, or village green;
Like CELIA'S light transparent veil,
Improve the beauties they'd conceal,
While foaming down yon rocky steep
The swelling river broad and deep,
Augmented by December's rains,
Wide glitters thro' the fertile plains;
Majestic winter's sober state
Now soothes to tranquil thought sedate:
Rais'd by degrees, my swelling soul
Attempts to grasp the wond'rous whole;
Through Nature's works, so oft explor'd,
She strives to look to Nature's lord!
A while absorb'd in thought profound,
I quite neglect the scenes around,
Till Allan water, murmuring near,
With liquid music soothes my ear * .
Sweet stream! that smoothly glides along
Thro' peaceful vales well known to song,
As frequent on the shepherd's reed,
As Ettrick banks or pastoral Tweed ;
While clustering in the hollows round,
Thy shelter'd villages abound,

Page 185

Where Labour's hardy sons are seen
With manly port and tranquil mien!
And bonny lasses blooming round,
With artless rustic graces crown'd:
Where'er my devious steps have trac'd,
The fertile plain, or barren waste,
I've seen no spot that could compare
For comely swains and maidens fair,
With Allan's shady margin green,
Where simple piety is seen
To flourish with unfading grace,
Since LEIGHTON taught and blest the place * .
Dear, lov'd, rever'd, and honour'd name!
Whose sound awakes devotion's flame:
When musing in the lofty aisle
Of yon cathedral's mouldering pile;
By thy blest memory inspir'd,
What sacred joy my bosom fir'd;
With mild, dejected spirit, meek,
And placid brow, in act to speak;
Methought I saw his form appear,
While crowds in silent awe revere,
The evangelic shepherd kind,
Who feeds the hungry, leads the blind,
And gently draws the sheep that stray
To his lov'd Master's living way.

Page 186

In meditation wrapt profound,
Or pouring balm in misery's wound;
I see his humble mitre bright
With purest beams of heavenly light;
Bold fancy check thy daring wing,
Nor strive 'midst trivial themes to sing,
Of him, who far beyond our praise
With seraphs joins immortal lays!
Sweet warbling thro' the courts above
The raptures of celestial love!
    Thro' leafless grove and dusky mead,
Serenely cheerful I proceed;
And, rais'd to a sublimer mood,
Enjoy the bliss of solitude.
Then bright with noon-day beams, admire
The sunny slopes of Ochtertyre :
Long gazing, where the mansion stands,
And all the subject vale commands:
There, all that Nature, all that art,
Can give to gratify the heart,
Or cheer the sense, at once unite
Taste's critic votary to delight.
    Now lonely lighting at my inn * ,
To blush and faulter I begin!

Page 187

In vain I cast my eyes around,
No reverend object to be found!
Then I began to form some notion
The pastor's slow piano motion,
Might draw out time till dusky night
And he together bless my sight:
So, like a poor forsaken sinner,
Began my solitary dinner;
And, bridling up in lofty sort,
Cry'd, waiter, bring a pint of port;
Upon my mate's approach presuming,
Some airs of consequence assuming,
I thought t' enforce some small respect,
For what so hateful as neglect?
Now hasty footsteps on the stairs
Portended success to my airs,
For, 'stead of waiter and of wine,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Appear'd the pastor's wig so fine,
And polish'd nose so aquiline;
The solemn, tender, mute embrace,
The blushing Muse forbears to trace;
Nor can her Doric reed rehearse
The broken words unfit for verse--
The rapid questions, short replies,
Help'd out by language of the eyes;

Page 188

The welcome, kind, unfinish'd story,
And questions about JOHN and OURRY !
"Dear, are your honour'd parents well?
"What alteration's seen on BELL ?
"Has she begun to dance? Does MARY
"Her usual occupations vary?"
But having then just recollected.
The anger he would have affected,
He let his wig and eye-brows down,
And tried to force an awful frown--
"Now, pry'thee tell me, ANNE , I say,
"How could you stay so long away?
"I'm sure Miss O****'s not to blame,
"And thinks your vagrant tricks a shame:
"Had you but heard how Mrs C,
"One morning said to Mr D,
"Concerning your abrupt excursion,
"The pastor finds it no diversion;
"Miss E declares it rais'd her wonder,
"To see so fond a couple sunder;
"And both the Captains swear by Joe,
"They wonder how I let you go."--
'My dear, now I'm come safely back,
'Ne'er mind the criticising pack;
'A jubilee the fourteenth year,
'You surely cannot blame, my dear * '

Page 189

Now amicable conversation
Cements this kind conciliation:
Thus, when ULYSSES came from sea,
To glad his dear PENELOPE ,
The live-long night they spent discoursing
How PRIAM let the wooden horse in:
And how the Greeks came rushing out,
And fill'd old Ilium with the rout!
Or how the nymph, with artful wiles,
And tea, and chocolate, and smiles,
And every thing that could oblige ye,
Had try'd to keep him in Ogygia!
She tells him how the bold EURYMACHUS
Had strove to take her from TELEMACHUS ;
The suitors how she try'd to cheat,
By ravelling old LAERTES ' sheet;
And how, one night they found her busy,
And call'd her a deceitful hussy.
All this, and more, is laid before ye,
And makes a fine pathetic story;
Which will to latest times be heard,
Told by the blind old Grecian bard.
    But should I labour to record
My wise discourses with my lord,
The noblest efforts efforts I could make
Would sink in drear oblivion's lake:

Page 190

Although their wisdom, wit, and verity,
Might charm and please to late posterity.
Oh, poor posterity! no line
Shall ever glad those eyes of thine!
Thrice happy NANCY ! who shall see
The page for ever hid from thee.
Your eyes so lively, black, and bright,
No more I'll tire, dear ANNE , good night!

* "I will imitate the wise Romans in brevity." EPISTLE FROM SIR JOHN FALSTAFF .

* A stream celebrated in Scottish song.

* See note No. 6.

* At Crieff.

* See note No. 7.


AURORA now betimes arose,
With fingers red, and frost-bit nose;
Cold eastern blasts awake the day,
While ANGUS chides our long delay * .
The cavalry drawn out in force,
Black Paddy and the yellow horse+ ,

Page 191

Obedient, waiting orders, stand
Attendant on our dread command.
Of man and beast a gracious master,
With pitying looks thus spoke the pastor:
"Dear ANNE , you've gather'd stores of pelf,
"Your heavy trunks, and heavier self,
"I fear will suit poor Paddy ill,
"When straining up yon rocky hill;
"I think we'd best divide our force;
"The whisky and the yellow horse
"Will draw yourself and baggage tightly,
"O'er rugged hills and moors unsightly;
"I'll trot and canter by your side,
"And try to soothe your tedious ride."
Meanwhile on foot in quick progression,
Bold ANGUS heads the grand procession;
Which JOHNSON would have call'd equestrian,
Vehicular, and eke pedestrian * .
    The bleak domain thro' which we pass'd,
How hard the rocks! how cold the blast!
If truth were told, sans all deception,
Would never figure in description.
At Ambleree your travellers see
Where breakfast comes, and fragrant tea.
Then fed and rested to satiety,
Thro' roads ev'n barren of variety;

Page 192

Our patient course we onwards held,
Where gloomy groves o'erhang Dunkeld .
When tir'd of mankind's noise and folly,
You wish to woo sage Melancholy:
Up from the echoing bank of Tay ,
Here take your lone sequester'd way;
You'd swear her court the goddess held
Among the cloisters of Dunkeld .
    The pastor wishing to go down,
And buy some trifles in the town;
We found ourselves so cold and weary,
The fire so large, the inn so cheery,
We held a council, and discover'd
Night's closing shade around us hover'd;
Though Madam Luna might befriend us,
The road hung over rocks tremendous;
And streams so noisy in their course,
Might terrify the yellow horse:
Besides, to go, and rest at leisure,
Would make it a mere jaunt of pleasure:
Then 'twas so good a dinner-house,
The prudent pastor and his spouse
Composed their minds to stay at last,
And order'd in a choice repast:
Though I were willing, and as able able as
That dainty Roman, HELIOGABULUS ,

Page 193

To talk of niceties and rarities
More dear to him than all life's charities,
I could not tell you half the dishes,
The tarts and jellies, fowls and fishes,
So well serv'd up, with taste and relish,
By that good housewife Mrs MELLISH .
    Now having sent away the pudding,
Our dinner we were just concluding;
The waiter ushers in a beau,
With humble gesture, bowing low,
Who brought a kindly invitation,
Which caus'd a solemn consultation:
I felt myself so tir'd and vapid,
Unfit for talk concise and rapid;
In mood to linger o'er the fire,
And tell old stories, and enquire
Domestic news, of bairns * and cattle,
And all the parish tittle-tattle--
"My dear, I think my stupid head
"Unfit for company well bred,
"Had better here repose at leisure,
"In going out I take no pleasure."
'Dear ANNE , you know, 'tis justice due
'To own I'm full as tir'd as you,
'And just as careless of variety,
'Though more attentive to propriety:

Page 194

' 'Twill never do for selfish ease
'To slight civilities like these;
'Such marks of friendly hospitalities
'From folks possest of such good qualities.'
Dispirited, fatigued, and drowsy,
I said or did nought that could rouse ye:
They talked of politics and fashion,
But common-place is not your passion:
A copy of our conversation
Would prove to you a visitation;
Their charming children, like my own,
My spirits rais'd, and they alone
I own could waken my attention,
Quite wearied of the French Convention,
The war, the Duke, and trade's decay,
How pleas'd was I to get away!
But sleep soon brought me pleasures new,
For when I slept, I dreamt of you!

* ANGUS , a servant bred up from a child in the psstor's family, and who continued there nineteen years.

+ A provincialism in the county of Inverness , where roan horses are always called yellow, and the light-grey, blue.

* See note No. 8.

* Children.

Page 195


AURORA now let out the sun,
His short diurnal course to run,
And ANGUS , lest the day grow worse,
In haste lets out the yellow horse;
The pastor bids him get his plaidy,
And bring his boots, and saddle Paddy .
Now, up and dress'd with due dispatch,
This opportunity I watch,
The cloister'd venerable gloom
To trace, and visit GAWIN'S tomb:[*]
The pastor now, with searching look,
My purpose found, and silence broke:
"Oh when, dear ANNE , will you grow wise,
"And leave those foolish vanities?
"To chill yourself, and wet your feet,
"Because the Bishop sung so sweet!

Page 196

"Or on a journey lose your time,
"To gaze on tombs and Latin rhyme!"
Chagrin'd and silent, down I sat,
Resolv'd at least to keep my state;
When ANGUS , all impatient growing,
Came in to see if we were going;
The wheels his master bids him wipe,
Then sits down quietly to his pipe.
"Dear Sir, (said I) what hinders now?
"I'm ready near an hour, I trow;
"You ride your hobby-horse at leisure,
"Then why deny your mate that pleasure?"
'Dear ANNE , don't make yourself uneasy,
'I'm sure I meant not to displease ye;
'I'll give your hobby-horse due room,
'Provided you but ride at home!'
He ceas'd to smoke, and I to pout,
And in good humour both set out.
    On pleasure-grounds and architecture
I've neither time nor skill to lecture;
Could my rude pencil sketch a feature
Of that all-gracious goddess, Nature,
To critics, amateurs, and florists,
Designers, architects, and tourists,
I'd leave the palace and the garden,
Tho' hopeful scenes to nurse a bard in!

Page 197

    Along the pure translucent Tay ,
Delighted, now we hold our way:
Of SCOTIA'S clear, romantic streams,
That sweetly soothe the poet's dreams,
None glides thro' scenes so richly gay,
Or boldly wild, as wand'ring Tay :
Not Tweed so copious, Clyde so clear,
Nor 'midst his mazy circles near,
Does Forth impel his wat'ry course
With so much dignity and force!
Nor Leven , late renown'd in song,
So far his shaded course prolong!
Nor rushing Spey that floods the plain,
So bless the labours of the swain!
From where in youth Tay wildly strays
Thro' Athol's bonny broomy braes,
To where, mature, it joins the sea
Where plenty smiling decks Dundee :
Along its banks the Naiads sport,
And health and rural joy resort;
And sweet retreats of ease around,
And groves and fertile meads abound.
    Still grateful stream, mellifluent mourn,
And murmur round thy Patron's urn!
Who deck'd thy beauteous banks with bow'rs,
Who wreath'd thy sedgy brow with flow'rs,

Page 198

Who dwelt contented by thy side,
With Truth and Nature for his guide;
His country's father, wisdom's friend,
He knew no private, selfish end,
From every mean ambition free,
His only pride adorning thee!
To shield thee from the sultry skies,
He bade yon lofty planes arise,
And evergreens a shelter form
To screen thee from the wint'ry storm:
Nor ceas'd when glowing, feverish pains,
With tumult fill'd his throbbing veins,
To linger near the wonted scene
And haunt thy steepy borders green,
Till he, whom all the virtues weep,
In thy clear bosom sunk to sleep.
Each wat'ry nymph affrighted fled,
And Nature mourn'd her lover dead.
In silence past that mournful place,
We cheer our minds, and mend our pace,
And charm'd with every sylvan view,
In Athol's praise begin a-new.
The pastor cordially agrees
That could we live where'er we please,
We'd shun the noisy haunts of men,
And in some sweet sequester'd glen,

Page 199

Where Athol's yellow vallies bloom,
Enjoy the birchen grove's perfume;
And oft, reclin'd in rural ease,
Attend the murmur of our bees,
And mark the honied wealth they bring
From all the flow'ry stores of spring:
Oh! had we there a little farm,
By sheltering rocks and woods kept warm;
A cottage well laid out, with space
To lodge and rear our infant race;
With sheep obedient to the crook,
And hives beside a little brook,
And tea, and best Virginian weed,
And one-horse chair, and faithful steed,
And woodbine twin'd around our door--
What should we seek, or hope for more?
    At Mullinearn , with cold half perish'd,
Our shivering limbs with fire we cherish'd,
And got a breakfast there extempor' ,
That almost put us out of temper:
The pastor cries, '"We need not care,
"We'll dine in comfort soon at Blair :
"What hardships on the road may come,
"Will make us more in love with home;
"Home--the dear scene of all that's pleasing,
"Though boys are rude and girls are teazing.'

Page 200

    Where Faskilly's sweet meadows flank ye,
The famous pass of Killicranky * ,
Now opening full upon my view,
Did many a bloody scene renew,
Of battles fiercely fought of old
'Twixt veteran troops and chieftains bold;
Who from this threshold of the North,
In brave defiance sallied forth.
Then pensive gazing long upon it,
My tow'ring soul broke forth in sonnet.

* GAWIN DOUGLASS , Bishop of Dunkeld , a poet, a wit, and a good bishop notwithstanding.

* See note No. 9.


AWFUL and stern the rugged entrance low'rs
    That leads to Caledonia's last retreats,
Where oft, in days of yore, contending pow'rs
    On the dark threshold shone in dreadful feats:
Where deep and dark the Garrie foams below,
    Erewhile with hostile gore her sanguine course
Distain'd, hoarse thund'ring bore the tale of woe
    To lands far distant from her gloomy source:
Here oft contending chiefs, in ireful mood,
    Bade civil discord rage, like pent up fire:
Here gallant clans, profuse of generous blood,
    Indignant, slow, from Nassau's troops retire:

Page 201

Here, oft at eve, their shadowy forms are seen
Like mist slow gliding o'er the mountains green.

        The pass now conquer'd, we repair
    To solace in the inn at Blair ;
    Our hostess comes with much humility,
    So soft, so modest her civility,
    Such gentle manners, such urbanity,
    Her kindness looks so like humanity;
    I think it were almost a sin
    To lose her in a venal inn.
    Now mindful of the shortening day,
    We din'd in haste, and drove away;
    Nor waited to admire the place
    Adorn'd by MURRAY'S princely race,
    Whose ancestors in regal stile
    Held sovereign sway o'er Mona's isle.
        The yellow horse, right briskly driving,
    At Dalnacardoch late arriving,
    We held a council to debate
    If it were best to travel late,
    Or here to lodge, then rise up soon
    And travel with the morning moon.
    "My dear, my heart impatient yearns
    "To see my home and kiss my bairns :

Page 202

    "I know they're under safe direction,
    "Beneath fair CHARLOTTE'S kind protection:
    "Yet I'm in such a trepidation,
    "I can't describe my perturbation."
    'My dear, what signifies this flurry,
    'Haste oftentimes is marr'd by hurry;
    'The yellow horse, our fellow-creature,
    'Though on a lower scale in nature,
    'So long enjoying our protection,
    'Has sure some title to affection;
    'Then if you do not mean outright
    'To kill him, sojourn here to-night.'
    To council, ANGUS we admitted,
    And to his casting vote submitted:
    He prais'd the stables, corn, and hay,
    And swore he would not stir till day.
    Beside the cheerful blaze we sat,
    And pass'd an hour in social chat:
    Then wearied nature sought repose,
    The friendly balm of human woes.

Page 203


    AURORA thinks she rises early,
    But we this morning beat her fairly;
    Thro' Dalnacardoch we were groping
    Three hours before her eyes were open:
    Pale CYNTHIA saw our doleful case,
    And shew'd thro' clouds her silver face;
    And oft we bless'd LATONA'S daughter
    For lighting us safe thro' Drumochter * .
        In solemn prospect stretch'd before ye,
    The mountains rise sublime and hoary;
    Th' inconstant blast the clouds dividing,
    On which old heroes ghosts seem'd riding
    While straggling moon-beams point their graves,
    And roaring streams thro' echoing caves
    Resounding, fill the soul with terror,
    While slave to superstitious error:
    Not so with souls refin'd, exalted,
    And with true Attic pickle salted,

Page 204

    In whose light brains, imagination
    Still holds a buoyant lofty station;
    They, like the angel ADDISON
    Once pilfer'd from th' apostle JOHN ,
    Delight to ride the stormy wind,
    And leave the sons of earth behind!
    'Twas thus the willing Muse and I
    High tow'ring thro' the troubled sky,
    Found out the highest peak, and on it
    Produc'd another flaming sonnet!

* See note No. 10.


ALL hail! ye frowning terrors of my way,
    Rude Grampian mountains! crown'd with lasting snow,
No flow'ry vales, or plains with verdure gay,
    Could bid my soul with purer joy o'erflow.
Barriers of holy freedom! your stern brow
    With guardian frown o'erlooks her last retreat,
When tyrant rapine roam'd the plains below,
    Among your winding glens she found a seat
Beyond those dark defiles, thy narrow vale,
    Green Laggan! soon shall cheer my weary sight * .

Page 205

Young voices sounding on the mountain gale,
    Shall fill this anxious bosom with delight,
While ruddy innocence with raptur'd smile
    Shall cling to this fond heart, by absence torn erewhile!

        Now "kerchief'd in a comely cloud,
    "While rocking winds are piping loud,"
    Above Dalwhinnie Morning grey
    Began to chase the stars away;
    But VENUS linger'd in the skies,
    In hopes to see fair PHOEBUS rise;
    At which AURORA growing jealous,
    Bade her not stay to gaze on fellows,
    But point her radiant beams so clear
    To glad the other hemisphere.
        Thro' the wide open'd friendly door,
    The careful pastor march'd before,
    And heap'd with fire the glowing grate
    To warm his ever-chilly mate:
    Our hostess kind, with social glee
    Prepares the toast and pours the tea,
    And eke her varied conversation,
    With much amusing information,
    Tells how my neighbours round about me
    Had somehow try'd to live without me;

Page 206

    How much the greater part succeeded,
    But some who bark and pity needed,
    For my long absence broken-hearted,
    In that sad interval departed * ;
    How regularly things were carried,
    How some were born, and some were married;
    And cows would calve, and geese would roam,
    As though I still had been at home.
    The bill we call'd, found nought to pay,
    And pleas'd and thankful came away.
        The demon of the storm on high
    Now growl'd thro' all the darkening sky;
    And from the bleak ungenial north
    Sharp icy winds came blustering forth:
    Fir'd with the pleasing thought of home,
    Our eager steeds impatient foam,
    Like fleetest racers in the course,
    Impetuous starts the yellow horse;
    Bold ANGUS mounts his course to steer,
    Like some Olympian charioteer;
    While studious of to-morrow's text,
    The thoughtful pastor follow'd next:

Page 207

    We cross'd Dalwhinnie's dismal moor,
    And pass'd the Lodge's well-known door;
    Then boldly took our vent'rous way
    Thro' torrent-swell'd impetuous Spey .
        But who can tell my agitation,
    Or paint my joyful perturbation,
    When all the family are seen
    Assembled in the court so green?
    While JOHN and DUNCAN ran before
    To meet us at the stable door;
    Fair CHARLOTTE slowly graceful moving,
    Next clasp'd me in embrace so loving;
    While CATHERINE , thro' her shadowy locks,
    Looks like a mermaid from the rocks;
    With little CHARLOTTE tripping neatly,
    And ANNE LOUISA smiling sweetly,
    Whose dark-blue eyes that beam intelligence
    Survey my face with anxious diligence;
    Each well known feature recollecting,
    Her speechless joy was so affecting,
    When with a sigh, the tender blossom
    Her harmless face hid in my bosom.
    Now ANNE , and JANE , and MARY WHANGLE ,
    With JANET , form a fair quadrangle,
    And make the eastern corner rich in
    The humble beauties of the kitchen:

Page 208

    Even ANDREW'S self, half pleas'd the while,
    Seems soften'd to a surly smile,
    While Aster wagg'd his hoary tail * ,
    To bid his long-lov'd master hail;
    One glimpse of joy before he dies
    Gleams faintly thro' his misty eyes:
    Oh! had some brutes that boast reflection,
    His courage, honesty, affection,
    Like Aster they might live contented,
    And die by faithful friends lamented.
        Pleas'd with a groupe so kind and charming,
    I gaz'd, my heart with rapture warming,
    While Fancy, blazing like a torch,
    Produc'd this sonnet in the porch.

* The name of the parish in which the Author lived, one of the wildest and most remote districts in Scotland.

* The pastor was wont to rally his mate on her quackery, and tell her she would undertake to cure every thing with bark and sympathy.

* A dog near twenty years old, much regarded by the family, and a great favourite with his master.


DEAR , lowly cottage! o'er whose humble thatch
    The dewy moss has velvet verdure spread;
Once more, with trem'lous hands, thy ready latch
    I lift, and to thy lintel bow my head.

Page 209

Dear are thy inmates! beauty's roseate smile * ,
    And eye soft melting hail my wish'd return,--
Loud clamours infant joy; around meanwhile
    Maturer breasts with silent rapture burn.
Within these narrow bounds I reign secure,
    And duteous love and prompt obedience find;
Nor sigh to view my destiny obscure,
    (Where all is lowly, but each owner's mind
Content), if pilgrims passing by our cell,
Say, "with her sister Peace there Virtue loves to dwell!"

    I thank you Muse for aid so clever;
    And now I've done with you for ever;
    This effort of expiring fancy
    Was only meant to please my NANCY :
    Simplicity, and truth, and ease,
    Of old, I know, can NANCY please;
    For trust me, sure as I'm a sinner,
    I've try'd no other charms to win her.
    And that she has been won, is true,
    And prov'd by facts both old and new.

Page 210

    In friendship's annals no example
    Appears, but one, of such a sample,
    And that shall charm each distant age,
    In SHAKESPEARE'S ever living page:
    When ties of firmest friendship bind
    Her faithful soul to ROSALIND ,
    Bright CÆLIA quits the splendid court,
    Where ease and luxury resort,
    And wanders many a weary mile
    To share her friend's remote exile:
    The long and painful journey past,
    On Arden's gloomy verge at last,
    Safe shelter'd in the lowly cot,
    She shares her friend's oblivious lot,
    Her humble toils and homely fare,
    And cheers with smiles her daily care.
    Blest be thy memory, princely maid!
    And never may those laurels fade,
    Which SHAKESPEARE round thy tomb has twin'd,
    Fair boast and wonder of thy kind!
    Proud man, elate in contradiction,
    Cries, "What avails the pleasing fiction?"
    Turn, infidel, and view my NANCY ,
    No creature of poetic fancy,
    No dream of musing solitude,
    But veritable flesh and blood!

Page 211

    No slip-shod Sybil of a Muse
    Who gazes while her pen she chews:
    And "glancing quick from earth to heaven,"
    Leaves earthly cares at six and seven;
    But one who thinks and acts in season,
    The child of probity and reason!
    Whose sparkling wit, and polish'd graces,
    With wonder fill'd those uncouth places:
    While hum'rous lively freaks are mixt,
    Her principles as Atlas fixt,
    With steady judgment, quick decision,
    That hits the joint of true division:
    And self-denial, as a helm,
    Which serves to steer her little realm,
    And teach her, faithful to her trust,
    To be both generous and just!
    Thus grac'd with worth which all commend,
    The model of a constant friend,
    Which, without show or vain pretence,
    Includes all human excellence;
    From gaudy fashion's glittering shrine,
    Where art and fancy jointly shine;
    From the gay precincts of Soho ,
    From ease, and elegance, and show,
    With cordial haste behold her fly,
    The big tear trembling in her eye,

Page 212

    To clasp in distant wilds her friend,
    Near utmost Thule's farthest end,
    Then all the tedious way o'erpast,
    To shrink beneath the chilling blast:
    The foggy damps of ev'n to bear,
    The ærial mountain's nipping air;
    To share the frugal plain repast,
    And on some holidays to fast;
    To bear the harsh discordant noise
    Of whimpering girls and blustering boys;
    Say, envious man, where now thy boast?
    Thy proud pre-eminence is lost;
    Now friendship's freshest wreathe allow
    To bloom round NANCY'S honour'd brow!
    While grateful, I the verse inscribe,
    The meanest of the tuneful tribe,--
    Yet still I claim some small esteem,
    While she and friendship are my theme!
        Dear Muse, I scarcely could expect,
    That after fourteen years neglect,
    And coy retreat, and stately distance,
    You would have lent me your assistance:
    But I must bid a long good-night,
    Or more important duties slight;
    The dearest friends at last must sever,
    Once more, sweet Maid! adieu for ever!

* Alluding to a young lady of uncommon beauty and elegance of person and mind, who then resided in the family.

Page 213


    JEAN , fetch that heap of tangled yarn,
    And bring those stockings here to darn,
    And get from ANNE the dairy keys,
    That I may go and count my cheese:
    To every useful occupation,
    Befitting of my place and station,
    I'll henceforth dedicate my time,
    And if again I write in rhyme,
    'Twill be a shrewd severe lampoon
    On country wives who fly to town,
    And leave their dairy and relations,
    To curl their hair, and follow fashions:
    Or else an acrimonious satire
    On matrons, who in spite of Nature,
    With common useful duties quarrel,
    To plant in vain the barren laurel!

Page 214



  • No. 1.
    When in the Penseroso grot. --P. 163.

    A beautiful recess so named by NANCY . It is formed by the steepy wooded banks of a turbulent mountain stream, where a large circular bason is worn deep in its rocky channel, and where the water seems to repose after its rapid journey down the mountain. Ivy and woodbine hang over this recess in natural festoons, and the spirit of freshness, which seems to reside there exclusively, encourages wild flowers in every crevice; there the wind never blew but in mild whispers; there the sun never shone but through green curtains: Whoever wishes to see this grot, has only to trace the midmost of three sister streams that descend

    Page 215

    from the hills of Inchnacardoch on the road to Portclair by Fort Augustus .

  • No. 2.
    That saints and angels might not hear. --P. 165.

    Need it be added, that this is a true description of a real person, and a genuine friendship? Will not every reader of feeling and understanding, discover this? and what other readers are there worth writing for?

  • No. 3.
    Say, worthy CLAN , whose honest heart. --P. 169.

    A lady, whose powers of pleasing were such that her phrases were adopted implicitly in her own circle, rallying this gentleman on his enthusiasm for his name, called him CLAN by way of a ludicrous title; he bore it good humouredly, and the sharer of his honours was thence called LADY CLAN .

  • No. 4.
    That JAMES immur'd his noble son. --P. 178.

    JAMES IV., who was led in the fourteenth year of his age to head a faction against his father's favourites, which finally ended in the destruction of that monarch. His son had been so long secluded in Stirling castle, that he had but an indistinct remembrance of his father's person, insomuch that he mistook Admiral WOOD for him, and burst into tears of concern and tenderness on finding his mistake.

    Page 216

  • No. 5.
    His letter'd gifts; and could the the Muse. --P. 181.

    Life of WALLACE , and Bishop WELLWOOD'S Memoirs of the History of England, read by the Author with sedulous attention in the seventh year of her age, on the banks of lake Ontario , where neither Tom Thumb nor Jack the giant-killer could be procured to lay a proper foundation for the love of valour and patriotism.

  • NO, 6.
    Since LEIGHTON taught and blest the place. --P. 185.

    LEIGHTON , the younger son of a noble family, eminent for his learning, piety, and benevolence, was bishop of Dumblane about the middle of the 16th century. He was indeed the last bishop there, and chose that diocese as the smallest in Scotland, that he might be more equal to the performance of his duty, which his conscientious and diligent discharge of it made a very laborious one. A full, and I doubt not, faithful account of this venerable prelate and amiable man, may be found in BURNET'S Memoirs, where it may be truly said, that
        "Round his name the varying stile refines;"
    for, when speaking of his friend the Bishop of Dumblane , BURNET'S language assumes a dignity, simplicity and pathos, worthy of the subject, and very unlike that of the rest of the book, which would however be worth reading, were it but for the sake of this one character. The cathedral of Dumblane still partly exists, a fine solemn looking ruin.

    Page 217

  • No. 7.
    You surely cannot blame, my dear. --P. 188.

    The writer of this narrative, who had not seen the smoke of a town, even at a distance, for fifteen years before, went with the lady to whom the journal is addressed, to Glasgow in October, with an intention to return immediately; but what betwixt bad weather, urgency of friends, &c. &c. was half unwillingly detained till January following; hence the amicable contention here recited.

  • No. 8.
    Vehicular, and eke pedestrian. --P. 191.

    It is customary in these mountainous districts, to travel with a running footman, not for the sake of state, for the travellers are perfectly satisfied with their innate dignity; nor from scarcity of horses, which on a diminutive scale abound in these lofty regions; but it has been discovered, that two animals eat more than one, which consideration has due weight with people who are not purse-proud.

  • No. 9.
    The famous pass of Killicranky. --P. 200.

    Killicrankie , the Rinn Ruaradh of the Highland bards, who have celebrated the battles fought at this pass in numberless heroic ballads, particularly that betwixt a body of Highlanders led by Viscount DUNDEE , and King WILLIAM'S troops commanded by General MACKAY , where both leaders fell, and the victory remained with the latter, after

    Page 218

    a great havoc among the Highlanders, many of them men of note, who still continue to live in grateful song.

  • No. 10.
    For lighting us safe thro' Drumochter. --p. 203.

    A part of the Grampian mountains over which the military road is carried; it is impassable in severe winters, and one travels through twenty miles of ensire solitude, interrupted only by an inn built amid the waste, at the public expence .

Page 219



NOW when the thunder of dread War is o'er,
And Peace her olive plants on BRITAIN'S shore,
Descending from the toilsome steep of power,
In tranquil shades to share the social hour,
Wilt thou, DUNDAS , this tribute sad receive,
(No fairer tribute has the Muse to give),
The plausive lay--the mournful cypress wreath,
The hard-won meed of Valour's glorious death:
Tho' with thy country's sorrows doom'd to blend
The heart-drawn sigh that mourns the long-lov'd friend;
Tho' painful memory sorrowing marks the day
When to the fatal field you sketch'd his way,

Page 220

Bid him to Afric stem the hostile flood,
And plant those laurels,--water'd with his blood;
Yet when you see the cloudless glory blaze
That shed its lustre on his closing days,
And hear th' applauding world that fame resound
With which thy counsels and his acts are crown'd,
In public joy thy private sorrows drown,
And taste unmix'd the sweets of fair renown:
And when you see your country's troubles cease,
And Commerce flourish in the shades of Peace,
The will Divine with sacred awe revere,
Nor think such blessings can be bought too dear!

Page 221



BLEST was the Chief, who full of days and fame,
No longer rul'd o'er War's vindictive flame,
But pleas'd to see the mad contention cease,
Hung up his trophies in the hall of Peace,--
His shining arms, no longer stain'd with gore,
And heard the clarion's deadly blast no more;
Saw his kind sovereign, with approving eye
Bestow the hard-earn'd meed of victory;
Heard his glad country's universal voice,
Applausive, justify their Sovereign's choice;

Page 222

And felt soft melting in his generous breast
The parent and the husband all confest;
While the fond mother of his duteous race,
With faded beauty, but with heighten'd grace,
Serenely smiling, saw in manhood's pride
Her sons attending at their father's side:
Or when with blushing awe his daughters came,
With mingled fear, rejoicing in his fame,
Benignant pleasure smooth'd his placid brow,--
So guardian angels view their charge below.
    Good ABERCROMBY thus in peace respir'd,
Till Gaul , with ceaseless thirst of conquest fir'd,
Wide havock spread o'er all the neighbouring lands,
And pour'd her troops on Afric's torrid sands:
Low on the shore see Egypt's Genius weep,
While Gallia's flag usurping rides the deep;
Father of waters, Nilus , sinks dismay'd,
While crowding barks his sevenfold mouth invade:
Back to the desert fly the Arab race,
And POMPEY'S pillar trembles to its base:
His injur'd spirit joys to see once more
Stern vengeance threat th' inhospitable shore.
The haughty Turk beholds, with dread surprise,
War's pomp appearing in unwonted guise;
Hears with chill awe the long responsive groan,
When thundering cannons mow whole squadrons down;

Page 223

And shrinking sees the crescent's waning light,
And OTHMAN'S banner turn'd to sudden flight:
In vain the desart's lonely waste surrounds,
With burning zone, Medina's hallow'd bounds,
And pilgrims, with mistaken zeal, no more
Their prophet's consecrated fane explore.
    Their leader gives the word--ambitious Gaul
Anticipates our Eastern empire's fall,
And onward still her daring banners led,
Tho' NELSON conquer'd, and tho' KLEBER bled;
In silent awe the Sultan sighs alone,
Till British arms support his sinking throne.
And see! stern issuing at their Monarch's call
From many a tented field and trophy'd hall,
Brave chiefs in "glittering arms and glory drest,"
Prepare to prove the powers of the West:
And lo! descending to the subject main,
Great ABERCROMBY leads the warlike train.
No more the dear domestic ties engage,
Joy of his youth, and solace of his age!
A long farewel, that calm parental seat,
Where ancient virtues found a safe retreat;
Where cherish'd swains, with grateful homage bend,
And weakness finds a prop, and worth a friend;
Love, friendship, kindred, all at once resign'd,
His country's glory now engross'd his mind,

Page 224

Suppress'd the starting tear, the struggling sigh,
The fond adieu, and parting agony!
Dim hovering o'er the martial ranks the while,
Glad SCOTIA hails the train with ardent smile:
See her left hand the armed thistle bear,
Her right support the Caledonian spear,
Her girdle bound about her dauntless breast,
In ample folds her variegated vest,
And truth and valour lighten'd in her look,
While with prophetic voice the heroine spoke:
"Go on, my son, and regions new explore,
"Where never British ensign wav'd before;
"Go, where no verdant plain, or wandering flood
"Has known the sanguine stain of Scottish blood;
"Th' unfading palm, the fresh victorious wreath,
"That flourish in the hostile ranks of death,
"Shall spring for thee; life's fleeting dubious light,
"Like some faint meteor in a stormy night,
"Must quickly pass,--but virtue's meed sublime
"Shall live beyond the narrow bounds of time!"
    The Hero heard,--with nobler hope inspir'd,
On clouds the Goddess to her hills retir'd:
Loud shout the mariners, the sails unfurl'd
Bear the proud vessels thro' the wat'ry world:
The white cliff's sink with the diminish'd shore,
And Albion's happy realm is seen no more!

Page 225

Adieu, blest isle, in viewless distance lost:
Iberia's shores, and Lusitania's coast
Now rise upon the waves, with groves embrown'd,
By rocks protected, and with vineyards crown'd:
Proud Lisbon past, they woo the southern gales,
Favonius breathes propitious on their sails.
Unbounded transport fires the shouting crew
When Calpe's lofty cliffs appear'd in view,
Where ELLIOT , ere the glorious day was done,
Eclips'd on BOURBON'S flag the noon-day sun * :
Th' unconquer'd rock, assail'd in vain for years,
A consecrated altar now appears,
Where Fortitude preserves his hallow'd flame,
And Valour homage pays to BRITAIN'S name.
Again the vessels catch the fav'ring breeze,
And launch into the Carthaginian seas;
Where fam'd ÆNEAS spread his sails of yore,
While DIDO wept, forsaken on the shore;
They leave behind the fair Sicilian plain
Where CERES sought her PROSERPINE in vain;
And Etna , thundering o'er his snow-clad sides,
While from his flaming head the fiery torrent glides.

Page 226

Now happy in a short respite from toil,
The fleet safe anchors in the Cyprian isle;
Where COEUR DE LION , who from Acre's shore
The bloody cross thro' vanquish'd Syria bore,
Retir'd amidst the splendour of renown,
And twin'd his laurels round his Cyprian crown.
The veteran leader on the level sands
In martial order forms his chosen bands;
And as the eagle when aloft he soars,
Basks in the sun-beams, and the sky explores,
With glance unerring marks the destin'd food,
And searches earth and sea to feed his clamant brood:
With equal care th' experienc'd Chief surveys
Where countless islands deck th' Egean seas;
Or where their snowy kine the Rhodian swains
Supinely tend on fair enamell'd plains,
And stores abundant bring from every side,
For every want indulgent to provide:
With grateful hearts the cherish'd host approve,
And pay his anxious cares with filial love.
Their anchors loos'd, once more the Cyprian gales
Breathe softly sweet among the fluttering sails,
With gentle force the swelling canvas move,
And scatter odours from the myrtle grove.
Adieu ye shades that nurse voluptuous ease,
The soft recesses, and the whispering breeze:

Page 227

Now dangers threat, and bloody toils await,
The storm of vengeance, and the frown of fate.
Now near the fam'd Egyptian coast they drew,
And groves of lofty palm arose to view;
Majestic ruins! solitude sublime!
Proud fabrics that resist the scythe of Time!
Co-eval empires long have moulder'd down,
Yet still in sullen majesty ye frown;
Stupendous piles! ah, vain illusive fame,
Swept with the stream of time, the builder's name
We trace no more,--no more the priests of On ,
Who measur'd first the circles of the sun,
Of space the limits fix'd, the bounds of time,
And woo'd fair science to the Eastern clime.
A while the Hero gaz'd--in pensive mood,
And on the deck in silent sorrow stood:
"And why, if fair renown were all, (he cry'd),
"Have sages studied, or have patriots died?
"Renounc'd the calm delights of private life,
"And pin'd in solitude, or groan'd in strife;
"If thus the lights and guardians of mankind
"Leave not the relic of a name behind!
"Yet not in vain they struggled or they bled,
"When from below the mounting spirit fled,
"Scorn'd the dull earth, and sought the blest abodes,
"By men ador'd as tutelary gods.

Page 228

"They saw the fruit of all their virtuous toil
"Take root and flourish in their native soil,
"And from the realms of light with joy beheld,
"While swains in safety reap'd the cultur'd field,
"In lands before neglected or enslav'd,
"Taught by their wisdom, by their valour sav'd.
"Oh glorious meed! exalted and divine!

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

"Ease, pleasure, life, with transport I resign,
"Let virtue's pure immortal bliss be mine!"
He said,--then near approaching to the shore,
The wondering troops a novel scene explore,
Where bold commanding all the subject bay,
Hills above hills a warlike front display;
Like some high amphitheatre they rose,
In crowding ranks appear'd unnumber'd foes;
Fir'd at the view, the fleet their anchors cast,
The warriors launch the lesser barks in haste.
How many now impetuous seek the shore,
Doom'd to review their native land no more!
And ere the sun his evening light withdraws,
To fall triumphant victims in her cause.
High on a summit see their forts aspire,
And pour upon the barks a shower of fire:
Still ardent on with matchless force they urge,
And bear their weapons high, and breast the surge:

Page 229

Thus CÆSAR plunging in th' Egyptian wave,
Still bore aloft the sword that aw'd the brave.
What cannot British pow'r and courage dare?
When thus upon the threshold of the war,
Eager of fame, and prodigal of breath,
They rush to conquest or to certain death:
On every side see hostile fury burn,
'Tis vain to fly, and bootless to retnrn .
Then gallant MOORE advancing at their head,
Bold to the steep his thundering legions led:
In close array ascending from the shore,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Full on their front his fatal weapons bore,
While dying groans his fierce approach deplore.
    The fleet suspended view the sulphurous cloud
That wraps in smoke the undistinguish'd crowd;
But when ascending to their guarded height,
The British ensign stream'd in open sight,
From every deck th' applauding thunders rise,
Exulting shouts of triumph rend the skies;
With livid rage the foe astonish'd heard,
And Lodi's heroes wonder'd how they fear'd;
Repuls'd, indignant from the British fire
The veteran Gallic bands at length retire.
While now secure they spread along the strand,
And hail their entrance on the dear-bought land,

Page 230

The thoughtful Veteran casts his eyes around,
With cautious view to scan the 'vantage ground,
Where steepy banks above, or walls below,
Might screen the march of the insidious foe,
He notes,--then bids the pioneers advance,
And marks the future trenches with a glance.
For him no hand prepares the downy bed,
No busy menials splendid carpets spread;
No social evening joys his thoughts engage,
Nor rest nor ease, the lenitives of age;
Wrapt in his mantle on the chilly ground,
He sleeps, his faithful troops reposing round:
Oft watchful centinels their slumbers break,
And starting with the early drum they wake.
Seven active days were spent in ceaseless toil
To form th' encampment on the arid soil;
And seven short nights to broken slumbers given,
He slept beneath the canopy of heaven:
With prompt alacrity the leader shares
The soldier's labours, and the soldier's cares.
At length complete, the camp well order'd rose,
A warlike front presenting to their foes;
The dread artillery (still a cumbrous train),

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Not yet transported o'er the sandy plain,
Slept on the margin of the murmuring main.

Page 231

Pale fires thro' all the camp with answering light,
Shone livid thro' the heavy gloom of night:
No stars with twinkling lustre deck the skies,
No moon in splendour mild is seen to rise;
O'er all the scene unusual horrors low'r,
And double darkness wraps the midnight hour:
Ill omen'd hour for Gallia's hostile bands,
Who now drawn out in force their Chief commands,
In solemn silence, thro' th' impervious gloom
To bear their fatal arms, and seal the British doom.
Slowly they trac'd their inauspicious way,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

The raven hovering o'er their long array,
With boding croak anticipates the day.
    Meantime the British host, with toils opprest,
Snatch the short interval of balmy rest,
And while their Chief in peaceful slumber lies,
To soothe his soul, propitious visions rise,
And smiling forms, in palms celestial drest,
Invite him to their happy fields of rest.
Due at the wonted hour, ere morning broke,
Fill'd with presages glad the Chief awoke,
Inspir'd with sacred fervour, lifts his eyes,
Invokes the mighty Pow'r who rules the skies:
"And grant, (he cries) my country's arms success,
"The native land of arts and freedom bless,

Page 232

"Though in the struggle this devoted head
"Sink ere the closing day among the dead!"
He spoke, and instant hears the doubling drum
Beat loud to arms,--the scouts all breathless come;
Swift fly through all the camp the quick alarms,
And ruin'd tow'rs re-echo loud "to arms!"
The Hero hears the Gallic shouts succeed,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

With youthful vigour mounts his fiery steed,
And urges on, to conquer or to bleed.
    Now the dim dawn advanc'd in mantle grey,
And red'ning skies foretold the rising day;
While on the right the storks, an order'd train,
Forsaking Nilus and his slimy plain,
Due to the west direct their figur'd flight,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Their countless numbers dim the dawning light,
Well pleas'd the British squadrons hail the sight,
"Oh grant," they cried, "that we may thus regain,
"When Peace has crown'd our toils, our native plain,
"Forsake those noxious fields, and climes unblest,
"And seek the haunts of freedom in the west."
    Now fierce thro' every rank the battle rag'd,
Bold at their head, the veteran Chief engag'd,
Conspicuous now he animates his host,
And now in clouds of sulphurous smoke is lost.
His searching eye, like lightning's rapid glance,
Darts through the field where'er the foes advance;

Page 233

His steady voice directs the thundering force
That checks their hostile rage, and turns the impetuous course:
Yet still ungovern'd fury rages round,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

And coursers plunge, and dying cries resound,
And mingled carnage loads th' ensanguin'd ground.
Now pierc'd with mortal wounds, his steed no more
Thro' vanquish'd foes the gallant leader bore;
Dismounted and alone they see him stand,
And urge the fierce attack on every hand;
Her wonted succour even hope denies,
And death glad hovering marks his glorious prize:
With rapid haste, and well directed aim,
To save his friend heroic SIDNEY came,
And springing lightly on the bloody plain,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

He to the warrior's hand resigns the rein,--
With active force the leader mounts again;
With various fortune sways the dubious fight,
Till veteran troops, advancing on the right,
On Scotia's mountaineers their fury pour;
Dauntless they march to meet the fiery show'r,
Hardy and bold, inur'd to toil severe,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Th' extremes of every clime they patient bear,
And haggard want and discipline austere--
And now, with fervid hearts and bloody hands,
Wrest the proud flag from Gallia's bravest bands,

Page 234

That spread dismay so oft where battle flam'd,
Invincible , by impious folly nam'd.
Vain boast!----
For see, where bleeding, gasping on the ground,
Their scatter'd arms in bright confusion round;
Th' unconquer'd legion, terrible in death,
To British prowess yield their parting breath;
Victorious shouts proclaim the triumph nigh,
And warriors in the arms of conquest die.
The leader with redoubled ardour glows,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Pours the full tide of vengeance on his foes,
Yet ready mercy to the suppliant shews:
Where the fierce conflict thickest rages round,
He flies regardless of the fiery wound;
Life's crimson current flows unfelt, unseen,
While resolutely calm, with steady mien,
He presses onward, rules the stormy fight,
And urges on the slow reluctant flight.
But ah! in vain, dim shades obscure the light,
The conquering squadrons swim before his sight:
Th' attendant chiefs, in solemn silence trace
The pale suffusion o'er his manly face;
Soft from his steed, with tenderest care convey'd
Reclining on their arms, behold him laid:
With fearful awe, the doom they now await,
And hang suspended on their general's fate!

Page 235

    Th' experienc'd sage explores the latent wound,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

But in his looks no ray of hope is found;
Mute horror chills the sad spectators round.
Oh Chief belov'd! thy grateful country's boast!
To all our hopes and prayers for ever lost!
Great was the conflict,--bloody was the strife,
The dear-bought triumph purchas'd with thy life!
'Tis done,--for see, the Gallic flag appears,
Th' applauding shout the dying hero cheers,
Reviving spirit animates his eyes,
"Though last, yet happiest day!"--he faintly cries.
Yet does a nobler conquest still remain,
To vanquish agony, and smile in pain:
In Virtue's triumph yield thy latest breath,
Unmov'd, unconquer'd, in the arms of death!

* The French Princes displayed the royal standard, a Sun in full splendour, when Gibraltar was defended by General ELLIOT.

Page 236



         "The hours that we have spent,
         "When we have chid the hasty-footed time
         "For parting us."

DEAR BEATRICE , with pleasure I read your kind letter,
On the subject, methinks, there could scarce be a better:
How vivid the scenes it recall'd to my view,
And how lively it waken'd remembrance anew!
Yet our souls are so crusted with housewifery moss,
That Fancy's bright furnace yields nothing but dross:

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Surrounded with bawling, and squalling, and prattle,
With handmaids unhandy, and gossipping tattle,
Cut fingers to bandage, and stockings to darn,
And labyrinths endless of ill-manag'd yarn,
Thro' whose windings Daedalean bewilder'd we wander,
Like draggle-tail'd nymphs of the mazy Meander ,
Till at length, like the Hero of Macedon , tir'd
Of the slow perseverance untwisting required,
We brandish our scissars, resolved on the spot,
Since we cannot unravel, to cut thro' the knot.
    Blest vicars of England! how happy your wives!
Tho' devoted to pudding and plain work their lives,
Tho' quotations and homilies forced to endure,
While fumes of tobacco their graces obscure;
Tho' their quiet be disturb'd with the nursery's noise,
Tho' their girls should be hoydens, or dunces their boys,
With the tangling of yarn they are never perplex'd,
More difficult to clear than his Reverence's text.
While with labour incessant our toils we renew,
To furnish fine linen, and purple and blue,
Such a series of self-same minute occupation
Yields nothing, you'll own, to enliven narration;
And as for the friend of all poets, Invention ,
'Tis a thing, of late years, I scarce think of or mention;
Or of useful inventions alone make my boast,
Such as saving potatoes and turnips from frost;

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Or repulsing whole armies of mice from my cheese,
Or plucking the quills without paining the geese.
    What a change on the scene and the actors appears?
'Tis now but a dozen and odd of short years,
Since when we, and the season, and fancy were young,
On Tarfe's flowery banks our gay whimsies we sung, [*]
Regardless of profit, and hopeless of fame,
Yet heedless of censure, and fearless of blame,
We travers'd the vale, or we haunted the grove,
As free as the birds that were chanting above;
Where the fair face of Nature was bright with a smile,
Enraptur'd in silence we gaz'd for a while;
Then as clear and as artless resounded our lays,
As the sky or the stream we endeavour'd to praise;
While strains of delight the pure pleasures impart
That thrill'd thro' each bosom, and glow'd in each heart:
But when from the east, with dun vapours o'ercast,
Came horrors bestriding the bleak howling blast;
When rude echoing rocks with brown cataracts foam'd,
And bewilder'd in mist the sad traveller roam'd;

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When to part us, loud storms and deep gullies conspir'd,
And sublime meditation to garrets retir'd;
To the workings of fancy to give a relief,
We sat ourselves down to imagine some grief,
Till we conjur'd up phantoms so solemn and sad,
As, if they had lasted, would make us half mad;
Then in strains so affecting we pour'd the soft ditty,
As mov'd both the rocks and their echoes to pity:
And to prove it, each note of the soul-moving strain
In more sonorous sounds was return'd back again:
And we, silly souls, were so proud of our parts,
When we thought that our pathos had reach'd their hard hearts!
But when grave looking HYMEN had kindl'd his torch,
With a pure lambent flame that would glow but not scorch,
The Muses, who plain humble virtues revere,
Were affrighted to look on his brow so austere;
The cottage so humble, or sanctified dome,
For the revels of fancy afforded no room;
And the lyre and the garland were forc'd to give place
To duties domestic, and records of grace:
Then farewel Illysus , adieu Hippocrene ,
The vales of Arcadia and Tempe so green;
To the hills of Judea we now must draw near,
King LEMUEL'S good mother's wise maxims to hear,

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And strive to leave none of the duties undone
Which the matron prescrib'd for the spouse of her son:
For my own part, I labour'd and strove with my might
To do all that the proverbs applauded as right:
Fine coverings I made that with tapestry vied,
And with heather and madder my fleeces I dy'd,
While the sun shone I still made the most of his light,
And my candle most faithfully burnt thro' the night;
And while that and large fires thro' the winter did glow,
Not a farthing my household would care for the snow;
Their plaids, hose, and garters, with scarlet adorn'd,
Chill December they braved, and its rigours they scorn'd;
Yet these were not all my pretensions to claim
Of a matron industrious and virtuous the name;
My mate (can you doubt it?) was known in the gates,
Among seniors, and elders, and men of estates:
I made him a coat of a grave solemn hue,
Two threads they were black, and the other two blue;
So warm, and so clerical, comely and cheap,
'Twas a proof both of thrift and contrivance so deep;
His cravats of muslin were spun by my hands,
I knit all his stockings and stitch'd all his bands;
Till the neighbours all swore by St BRIDGET herself,
Such a wife was worth titles, and beauty, and pelf.
Quite dead and extinct all poetical fire,
At the foot of the cradle conceal'd lay my lyre;

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What witchcraft had alter'd its form I ne'er knew,
But by some means or other a whistle it grew;
The brats in succession all jingled its bells,
While its music to them the piano excels:
But when slowly and surely the cold hand of time
Had stole my complexion, and wither'd my prime,
Resolv'd for a while to respire at my ease,
In Clydesdale I courted the soft western breeze;
Whose fresh breathing whispers my languor could soothe,
With visions of fancy, and dreams of my youth.
While slowly retracing my dear native Clyde ,
And reviewing my visage, so chang'd, in its tide,
As sad and reluctant I strove to retire,
To my grasp was presented my trusty old lyre,--
I snatch'd it, I strumm'd it, and thrumm'd it again,
But strove to awaken its music in vain;
So rusty the wire, so enfeebled my hand,
A while in suspence and dumb wonder I stand:
Thus it happen'd, they say, to ULYSSES of old,
When twenty long years of sad absence had roll'd,
To his ITHACA forc'd in disguise to resort,
When the suitors with uproar were filling his court;
He set his foot forward, and bending his brow,
With a dignified air he demanded his bow;
With joy-mingled sorrow review'd his old friend,
And three times essay'd the tough crescent to bend,

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Till the string to his efforts resounded so sharp,
Some thought it a swallow and some an old harp.--
Thus aukward and faint were my efforts at first,
But I rais'd the note higher whenever I durst:
To Friendship and Truth I exalted the lay,
And homewards with music beguil'd the long way;
And now since beyond any doubt it appears,
From duties discharg'd thro' a series of years,
That nor peace nor industry are banish'd the cell
Where in ease and retirement the Muse loves to dwell;
Once more let us try to awaken the strain,
So friendly to sorrow, so soothing to pain!
The blessings we've tasted let's carefully rate,
And be just to kind Nature, and grateful to Fate;
Thus wisely employing the last closing strain,
We shall not have liv'd or have warb'ed in vain
Were the foot-path of life to be travell'd anew,
When we calmly look back with a serious review,
For noisy applause or for tinsel parade,
Would we part with sweet Peace that delights in shade?
Or blame the kind harbour, remote and obscure,
Where our minds were kept tranquil, our hearts were kept pure?
While with streamers all flying, and wide-swelling sails,
Toss'd high on the billows, the sport of the gales,

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The Muse's fair daughters triumphant were borne
Till the public applause was converted to scorn;
For by vanity guided, so wildly they steer'd,
Or by caprice directed, so frequently veer'd;
Creation's proud Masters observ'd with a sneer,
That like comets eccentric forsaking their sphere,
Their brightness so gaz'd at, would never produce,
Or pleasure, or profit, or comfort, or use.
****** and ****** thus shone fo a day,
How prais'd was each period! how flatter'd each lay!
Till a crop so luxuriant arising of pride,
Affectation, and fifty new follies beside,
The duties and joys of the mother and wife,
The nameless soft comforts of calm private life,
Fell victims together at Vanity's shrine,
For who could endure to exist and not shine!
    MACAULAY , of STUARTS had tore up the graves,
To prove half of them fools, and the other half knaves,
And sully'd the mitre and spatter'd the gown,
And flatter'd the mob and insulted the Crown;
Then insensibly shrunk to a faction's blind tool,
And discover'd too late they had made her their fool.
    With virtues, and graces, and beauties beside,
The delight of her friends, of her country the pride,
Say, who could to ******** their suffrage refuse,
Or who not be charm'd with her chaste classic Muse?

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To the passion for liberty giving loose rein,
At length she flew off to carouse on the Seine ;
And growing inebriate while quaffing the draught,
Equality's new-fangled doctrines she taught;
And murder and sacrilege calmly survey'd;
In the new Pandemonium those demons had made;
Seine's blood-crimson'd waters with apathy ey'd,
While the glories of old father Thames she decried.
Now with equals in misery hid in some hole,
Her body a prison confining her soul,
From the freedom of Gallia how fain would she fly,
To the freedom which genius shall taste in the sky!
    No longer pursue those fond lovers of fame,
Nor envy the honours and trophies they claim;
No further excursive to speculate roam,
But fix our attention and pleasure at home:
Why regret, when celebrity proves such a curse,
The cares of the mother and toils of the nurse:
While the nurse finds delight in sweet infancy's smiles,
And hope the fond mother's long trouble beguiles.
"But why these quick feelings, or why this nice ear
"Or musical accents, if no one must hear?
"Why blossoms of fancy all scatter'd to waste,
"The glow sympathetic, or pleasures of taste?--"
Ask why in the mountains the flow'ret should blow,
Which none but the hermit is destin'd to know?

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Why the wild woods re-echo with melody clear,
Which none but the hunter is destin'd to hear?
When often enjoyed, and but seldom they're shewn,
Our riches and pleasures are truly our own:
The milk-maid that carols her wild native airs
To solace her labours, and lighten her cares,
Feels a pleasure more genuine and free from alloy,
Than CATLEY or MARA could ever enjoy:
Who, while their divisions they warbled aloud,
Depended for joy on the praise of the crowd;
Then blest be the lyre, ever sacred its strain,
In the regions of bliss let it waken again:
When the kind hand of Nature has fitted its strings,
And the dictates of truth and of virtue it sings,
As softly and sweetly it touches the mind,
As ÆOLUS ' harp when 'tis mov'd by the wind;
Untainted by art were the notes it has sung,
It has cheer'd our decline, and has charm'd us when young;
And when useful employments demanded our prime,
Our leisure it soothed without wasting our time:
And when all our sorrows and toils shall be o'er,
Its music perhaps may delight us once more;
When swelling to concords more rich and sublime,
It may rise beyond earth, and may live beyond time.

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The blossoms I once so admir'd and caress'd,
That cheer'd my fond heart till they dy'd on my breast,
Which my tears that fell frequent, like soft silent rain,
Could not waken to life and new fragrance again;
There, again, in new sweetness and beauty shall bloom,
And the evergreen plain with fresh odours perfume;
Perhaps while exalted their graces shall rise,
Again their dear verdure shall gladden my eyes!
When the season of fear and of sorrow is o'er,
And our tears and our songs are remember'd no more!

* Tarfe is a beautiful little river which descends from the Corryaric ; and, after winding among rocky caverns, through a narrow wooded glen of the same name, discharges itself into Lochness at Fort-Augustus .

Page 247



     "Here youth's free spirit, innocently gay,
     "Enjoy'd the most that innocence can give;
     "Those wholesome sweets that border Virtue's way,
     "Those cooling fruits, that we may taste and live!

The Family whose modest but genuine worth is here celebrated, were remarkable for firmness of principle, simplicity of manners, and very great delicacy, both of sentiment and feeling. The tender harmony in which they lived, and high veneration for their parents, were also among their distinguishing features.

THOUGH long by fate's austere decree remov'd,
From scenes still pleasing, and from friends still lov'd,
I see low shelter'd in my humble shed
The stormy gloom invest the mountain's head,

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Shake solid rocks, with snows eternal crown'd,
Or bid a hundred torrents dash around;
Inur'd by habit, and a length of time,
To look well pleas'd on Nature's dread sublime;
Tho' smiling comfort warms her in my cot,
Still pilgrim fancy seeks my native spot;
The fond attachments of my early youth,
Blest season of ingenuous warmth and truth;
Affections void of interest or of art,
Still twist their silken ties around my heart:
Nor shall that heart forego those tender ties
Till death's long slumber close my weary eyes.
    Still fancy hovering on unwearied wing,
On Cart's green banks sees native flow'rets spring;
Or from the hazel copse the blackbird hears,
Whose mellow notes his brooding consort cheers;
Or hears the hollow'd rock resound the din,
Where Cart descends on WILLY WILKIE'S linn + ;
Or stops where WILLY WILKIE * wont to rave,
When in his lowly dwelling in the cave,
Imperious death, deaf to his pray'rs and vows,
Laid his cold hands on WILLY WILKIE'S spouse;
While WILLY , wild with frantic sorrow, swore,
Ne'er to review his habitation more;

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But through the world with pilgrim steps to rove,
And like a turtle mourn his parted love!
While TOM and I with gaping sorrow stood,
And with compassion's tears increas'd the flood;
Yet ere the moon had three times fill'd her horn,
The sun shone bright on WILLY'S bridal morn!
    Dear recollection! trace those early days,
Ere known the toils of life's perplexing maze,
When friendship led to Bogtown's tranquil grove,
Where every milder virtue wont to rove;
Where Innocence and Joy together play'd,
Like sister cherubs in the peaceful shade:
There meek simplicity, with artless mien,
Loose-robed in snowy vestments walk'd the green;
There sportive humour, Nature's harmless child,
With stingless mirth the languid hours beguil'd;
And soft humanity, and worth sincere,
With glowing heart and melting eyes were there;
Thou too wert there, my kind, my guardian friend,
In whose pure mind those kindred graces blend,
Tho' early sorrow, like an envious shade,
Obscur'd thy spirit, and thy bloom decay'd * :
Yet stern affliction, with more soften'd grace,
And stronger meaning mark'd thy pensive face,

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And taught each speaking feature how to move
The secret springs of pity and of love.
Thus wet with Morning's tears the dewy rose,
With head declin'd, in modest beauty glows:
Admiring thus we view some flow'ret bloom,
That sheds its fragrance o'er the silent tomb:
Pleas'd I retrac'd lov'd Bogtown's opening glades,
Oh! that my Muse could consecrate these shades!
Blest be their memory, who in happier days
"Oft made them vocal with their Maker's praise;"
From the strong heavings of his ardent breast,
By zeal and tender sorrow half supprest,
Oft have I heard thy pious father's prayer,
The meltings of his fervent soul declare;
Oft seen his eyes with grateful transports shine,
Fir'd by the blest records of love divine,
When the mild lustre of their azure beams
Was quench'd by sacred Pity's silent streams,
Benignant Sanctity appear'd to view
In fairer form than RAPHAEL ever drew.
His was the placid brow, the vivid smile
That spoke the open heart, devoid of guile:
The worthy partner* of his blameless life,
In tender union, void of anxious strife,
Saw years elapse amidst a duteous race,
Who strove their parents spotless paths to trace,

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And still those years, that stole away their youth,
Increas'd their store of tenderness and truth.--
    May blessings crown, and memory mark the day
That saw them now retrace their pleasing way + ,
Where tottering tow'rs o'erlook the cultur'd plain,
To Bogtown's venerable haunts again!
Well-pleas'd my CHARLOTTE told the welcome tale,
Well-pleas'd I heard it in my distant vale--
Methought I saw the Genius of the place,
Array'd in rustic robes with decent grace,
Smiling through tears, his aged arms extend
To bless and welcome every well-known Friend:
The pleasing scene while glowing fancy drew,
Reviving images rush'd thick to view--
The mouldering castle lifts its ivy'd brow,
Reflected in the wandering Cart below;
Near its gray walls, again, methinks I see,
Clipp'd into formal shape, that ancient tree
Whence royal MARY , with affrighted eye,
Beheld her banners drop, her forces fly,

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And headlong fled to hide her fatal charms
In a false, treacherous rival's cruel arms!
Fair Forms, in virtue's paths that early trode,
Who sleep long since beneath the grassy sod,
The strong creative power restores to view
In youth's first prime, with beauty ever new,--
And AGNES , whose large heart has never known
One wish that center'd in herself alone:--
MAXWELL , with open mind, from art as free
As the sweet smiles of guiltless infancy--
And MARY MAXWELL , who amid these bowers
Oft tended with delight her opening flowers;
And oft with me in tuneless concert sung
Till thro' the shades discordant echoes rung.
Nor yet are JOHN MACUTCHEON'S psalms forgot,
That filled with sacred melody his cot;
And faithful memory still retains the names
Of ANDERSON the laird, and uncle JAMES ;
And often pleas'd recals the uncouth phrase
Of JAMIE DICK * and valiant JOHNNY STRAES * ;
Or at her wheel hears JENNY sing aloud,
Resolv'd to wed whene'er she spun her shroud + .

+A linn in Scotland means a water-fall.

* See note No. 1.

* Alluding to the death of her much lov'd brother.

* See note No. 2.

+ Particular circumstances had induced the family to quit their patrimonial seat, and to live in town for some years, to the great regret of their friends in the country.

* See note No. 3.

* See note No. 3.

+ See note No. 4.

Page 253


  • No. 1.
    Or stops where WILLY WILKIE wont to rave. --P. 248.

    WILLY WILKIE , though the Child of Nature, is not the child of Fancy; for aught the Author knows to the contrary, he still lives and loves his second wife, with the same tenderness he shewed towards his first, whose death, which happened in consequence of a disorder he called the exterics , affected him, and TOM , and the Author, precisely as described in the poem, which takes no poetical liberties with WILLY'S character. As all readers under twenty must be greatly interested in the scene of a passion, so tender and so lasting, be it known, that though WILLY and his wife dwelt in a cave, it was not one contrived for the purpose of a romantic retreat; it neither resembled the grot of CALYPSO , nor the hermitage at Taymouth , but was exceedingly like a recess in the front of a woody bank, intended

    Page 254

    for a fulling-mill, and had been so employed formerly, to the great scandal and annoyance of all the water-nymphs and wood-nymphs in the vicinity.

  • No. 2.
    The worthy partner of his blameless life. --P. 250.

    This lady was the representative of an ancient and respectable family, who were eminent for that species of sanctity consecrated by the prejudices of the times, and suffered much for adhering to the Covenanters, when under persecution; their property was in consequence diminished by advantages taken of their rigid principles, in vexatious lawsuits.

    The pleasing remembrance of some happy summers spent in early youth in this scene of tranquil satisfaction, produced these poetical recollections, as they may be justly called. Memory makes no selections; in those retrospections of the most innocent and pleasurable period of life, incidents and characters, serious, pathetic, and ludicrous, rush mingled on the mind. In a composition meant for the public eye, incongruous images should certainly not be mixed together; it is needless to say that this effusion was never meant to be seen by any but those to whom it was addressed, and to whom all was obvious that must be obscure to a common reader. This fault might be corrected by expunging all the lower dramatis personæ and their concerns. But then there are some uncommon readers, whose love of Nature and native feeling, so far predominate over critical refinement, that they will rather see the domestic

    Page 255

    muse in undress, surrounded by her dear localities, and with all her imperfectioos on her head, than with that degree of superadded polish, which would at best make her appear like a rustic in holiday attire: Let this apology stand for all past and future localities and rusticities; so shall the untaught Muse "Fit audience find, tho' few."

  • No. 3.
    Of JAMIE DICK , and valiant JOHNNY STRAES .--P. 252.

    JAMIE DICK was a most learned and pious tailor, who for forty years perambulated the parish of Cathcart ; he was a choice repository of ancient traditions, and could tell every shot the dragoons fired at the Covenanters; he spoke pure broad Scotch, and was master of all its peculiar phrases.

    JOHNNY STRAES was a servant of the family, very diminutive in stature, but boastful and arrogant. The servant-maids called him valiant in ridicule.

  • No. 4.
    Resolv'd to wed whene'er she spun her shroud. --P. 252.

    It was the laudable and provident custom of the maidens of the parish of Cathcart , to spin a piece of linen for their shroud before they thought of marrying; and it was thought very indecent for any young woman to enter into that serious state without such a solemn preparation. The Author and another Miss in her teens, were much astonished at the above-mentioned JENNY'S cheerfulness when they heard her singing at the doleful business, as they thought it, especially when she told them it was preparatory to another very sad event.

Page 256


THE AUTHOR , at the request of some friends, shall here insert extracts from two of her letters, one to a lady who desired her opinion of BURNS , and wished for a poetical tribute to his memory; the other to a friend, who some some years after sent the Author BURNS'S life, letters, &c., and earnestly requested to know her ideas of his character and abilities, as they appear in those familiar effusions.

"I HAVE truly felt for poor BURNS a degree of regret, by reflecting on the circumstances attending his exit , which may appear incredible, considering that I only knew him in the pictures of his mind exhibited to the public. What I felt upon his death it would look like gross affectation to describe. I cannot however resist the secret impulse which

Page 257

prompts me to lay my little offering on the shrine of departed Genius. Though in his prophetic and pathetic "Epitaph on a Bard," he has touched the lines of his own character, and anticipated his hapless fate so emphatically, that no one can produce any thing comparable to it;
             "The poor inhabitant below
             "Was quick to learn and wise to know,
             "And keenly felt the social glow
                 "And softer flame,
             "But thoughtless follies laid him low,
                 "And stain'd his name."

Alas, for the verity of the prediction!--I have invariably tried to divest myself of an idolatrous veneration for Genius, and to consider virtue and probity as the only fit objects of unlimited love and veneration. The instances in which intellectual superiority has been debased by vice, or degraded by absurdity of conduct, are so frequent, as not only to discourage and depress those whom the enthusiasm of fancy leads to worship and admire their Maker in "that larger portion of celestial fire," which he communicates to some of his creatures; but also to afford envy and dullness no small cause of exultation. How do the tasteless, the selfish, and the stupid, triumph over the splendid ruins of ill-fated Genius! Though one worthy and virtuous person be worth a thousand unprincipled and licentious wits, yet it is hard for those who have never tasted the full cup of public admiration, to judge of its intoxicating qua-

Page 258

lities, and doubly hard for those who make their way through life, wrapt up in selfish caution, and wholly occupied by the wants and cares of the little individual, to comprehend the dangers that environ the children of Genius; who pass through a deceitful world with open arms stretched out to embrace all that solicit compassion, and offer gratification; and whose naked hearts, overflowing with kindness and good-will, are unprotected from treachery and temptation.

Indeed, the snares that vanity and pleasure spread in the way of those who join exquisite sensibility and a glowing imagination, with artless simplicity and a high relish for all that flatters the senses, are so numerous and fatal, that the obscurity of retirement, especially in the early period of life, is perhaps their only chance for safety. We are often tempted to accuse Providence for allowing merit to pine unknown to the world: But we see but in part, and know but in part. Perhaps the blooms of Genius are too delicate to bear the unhallowed breath of the world, and can only bud safely in the deep shelter of retirement, and expand to full perfection in the sun-shine of divine complacence. As MILTON says of
     "Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once
     "In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
     "Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence
     "To heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there grows,
     "And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life."

Page 259

I do not mean so far to give up the cause of Genius, as to say that poets are necessarily less virtuous than others: I only mean that they are less prudent, less firm, more susceptible, more simple.

I do not know whether most to pity or admire BURNS . Why were such people made?

What a fatal delusion, to lean for happiness on the bosom of the gay and fortunate, because they make us the companions of their pleasures! Though ready to rejoice with us, if we possess talents to heighten their festive hours, alas! when the day of affliction comes, we are left to pine neglected, or perhaps have our sorrows embittered by the sneer of wanton insult. Ask me of his Genius!-- I have not power to do justice to its vigour, extent, and versatility. His poetry shows him in a walk of superior excellence, while his correspondence proves him equal to any thing. It is nauseous to hear people say, what he would have been if he had received a more thorough education: In that case he would not have been BURNS -- that daring, original, and unfettered genius, whose "wood notes wild," silence the whole chorus of modern tame correctness, as one of our mountain blackbirds would an aviary of canaries.

He did know his own strength, as such a superior intelligence necessarily must; but then he also knew his own weakness.

Page 260

This best knowledge however did not answer the purpose of self-defence. O that he had but learned and habitually practised self-command and self-denial, without which the highest attainments cannot lead to happiness:--But this theme is endless. Yet one word more:--How different are his letters to Mrs DUNLOP , where his heart truly opens, from his effusions to his gay companions,--that unaffected scorn of the world and its vain pursuits,--that sublime melancholy,--that aspiration (tho' struggling through doubts and darkness) after what the world does not afford--that sensibility,--that manly sincerity,--every thing, in short, that characterises genius, and exalts humanity!

Page 261


         "So may some gentle Muse
         "With lucky words favour my destin'd urn;
         "And as he passes, turn,
         "And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud!"

WHAT adverse fate awaits the tuneful train!
Has OTWAY died and SPENCER liv'd in vain?
In vain has COLLINS , Fancy's pensive child,
Pour'd his lone plaints by Avon's windings wild?
And SAVAGE , on Misfortune's bosom bred,
Bar'd to the howling storm his houseless head?
Who gentle SHENSTONE'S fate can hear unmov'd,
By virtue, elegance, and genius lov'd?
Yet, pensive wand'ring o'er his native plain,
His plaints confess'd he lov'd the Muse in vain

Page 262

Chill penury invades his favourite bower,
Blasts every scene, and withers every flower;
His warning Muse to Prudence turn'd her strain,
But Prudence sings to thoughtless bards in vain;
Still restless Fancy drives them headlong on

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

With dreams of wealth, and friends, and laurels won--
On Ruin's brink they sleep, and wake undone!
    And see where CALEDONIA'S Genius mourns,
And plants the holly round the grave of BURNS !
But late "its polish'd leaves and berries red
"Play'd graceful round the rural Poet's head;"
And while with manly force and native fire
He wak'd the genuine Caledonian lyre,
Tweed's severing flood exulting heard her tell,
Not Roman wreaths the holly could excel;
Not Tiber's stream, along Campania's plain,
More pleas'd, convey'd the gay Horatian strain,
Than bonny Doon , or fairy-haunted Ayr ,
That wont his rustic melody to share,
Resound along their banks the pleasing theme,
Sweet as their murmurs, copious as their stream:
And RAMSAY , once the HORACE of the North,
Who charm'd with varied strains the listening Forth ,
Bequeath'd to him the shrewd peculiar art
To Satire nameless graces to impart,

Page 263

To wield her weapons with such sportive ease,
That, while they wound, they dazzle and they please:
But when he sung to the attentive plain
The humble virtues of the Patriarch Swain,
His evening worship, and his social meal,
And all a parent's pious heart can feel;
To genuine worth we bow submissive down,
And wish the Cottar's * lowly shed our own:
With fond regard our native land we view,
It's cluster'd hamlets, and its mountains blue,
Our "virtuous populace," a nobler boast
Than all the wealth of either India's coast.
Yet while our hearts with admiration burn,
Too soon we learn that "Man was made to mourn."
The independent wish, the taste refin'd,
Bright energies of the superior mind,
And Feeling's generous pangs, and Fancy's glow,
And all that liberal Nature could bestow,
To him profusely given, yet given in vain;
Misfortune aids and points the stings of pain.
    How blest, when wand'ring by his native Ayr ,
He woo'd "the willing Muse," unknown to care!
But when fond admiration spread his name,
A candidate for fortune and for fame,

Page 264

In evil hour he left the tranquil shade
Where Youth and Love with Hope and Fancy play'd;
Yet rainbow colours gild the novel scene,
Deceitful Fortune sweetly smil'd like JEAN ;
Now courted oft by the licentious gay,
With them thro' devious paths behold him stray;
The opening rose conceals the latent thorn,
Convivial hours prolong'd awake the morn,
Even Reason's sacred pow'r is drown'd in wine,
And Genius lays her wreath on Folly's shrine;
Too sure, alas! the world's unfeeling train
Corrupt the simple manners of the swain;
The blushing Muse indignant scorns his lays,
And fortune frowns, and honest fame decays,
Till low on earth he lays his sorrowing head,
And sinks untimely 'midst the vulgar dead!
    Yet while for him, belov'd, admir'd in vain,
Thus fond Regret pours forth her plaintive strain,
While Fancy, Feeling, Taste, their griefs rehearse,
And deck with artless tears his mournful hearse,
See Cunning, Dullness, Ignorance, and Pride,
Exulting o'er his grave in triumph ride,
And boast, "tho' Genius, Humour, Wit agree,"
Cold selfish Prudence far excels the three;
Nor think, while groveling on the earth they go,
How few can mount so high to fall so low.

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Thus Vandals , Goths , and Huns , exulting come,
T' insult the ruins of majestic Rome .
But ye who honour Genius--sacred beam!
From holy light a bright etherial gleam,
Ye whom his happier verse has taught to glow
Now to his ashes pay the debt you owe,
Draw Pity's veil o'er his concluding scene,
And let the stream of bounty flow for JEAN !
The mourning matron and her infant train,
Will own you did not love the Muse in vain,
While Sympathy with liberal hand appears,
To aid the Orphan's wants, and dry the Widow's tears!

* Cottar for Cottager.

Page 266



         "Thy liberal heart, and judging eye
         "The flower unheeded shall descry."

VALLESIA * , whose illustrious blood,
    Deriv'd from chiefs of mighty name,
Who long their country's barrier stood,
    Still glows with honour's purest flame:

Oh, long may life's declining ray
    On thee with mildest radiance shine,
And selfish prayers protract the day
    That bears thee hence to joys divine!

Page 267

For thee, awakes each tuneful lyre,
    Each guardian virtue hovers round,
The "voice of Coila" leads the choir,
    And Coila's hills return the sound!

Sweet voice, that first awak'd thy ear,
    When languor spread its thickest gloom,
Sweet hills, whose echoes lov'd to bear
    His wood notes to VALLESIA'S dome.

Though cold the hand that wak'd the lyre,
    And mute the voice that tun'd the lay;
That spark of pure celestial fire,
    That warm'd the strain, shall ne'er decay.

While Wealth and Power, with cold regard,
    Beheld the Muse's darling Son!
He wak'd that lay:--his best reward,
    The smile of Nature--and thy own.

'Twas thine, in fortune's lowest vale
    The crush'd, neglected flower to spy,
And bid its fragrant sweets exhale,
    And latent beauties charm the eye.

Page 268

Nor only to the poet's lay,
    Hast deign'd, with kind regard to bend,
But through life's short and stormy day,
    Consol'd him with the name of Friend :

That name, his best and dearest boast,
    Whene'er his erring steps would stray,
Rever'd, belov'd, and honour'd most,
    Recall'd him back to wisdom's way.

And when the wounds of Anguish bled,
    Thy kindness dropt the healing balm;
And when the storm of Passion fled,
    Thy counsel breath'd the sacred calm.

And when Misfortune's tempest lowr'd,
    Thy kind assisting hand was near;
And when Remorse its sorrows pour'd,
    'Twas thine to wipe the bitter tear.

Thou knew'st, well read in wisdom's lore,
    What failings with our virtues blend;
Than truth and honour sought no more,
    Nor vainly hop'd a faultless friend.

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For this, the muse that sings unknown
    Shall strew thy evening path with flowers;
And halcyon peace her olive crown
    Shall hang on thy sequester'd bowers.

For this from India's bright domains
    Thy sons the blood-stain'd laurel bring,
For this again their native plains,
    With loud acclaim triumphant ring!

While in thy kind maternal shade
    We see another WALLACE * rise,
Whose early steps, to honour led,
    His country views with kindling eyes:

And while his deep indented spears
    Protect her thistle's hallow'd stem;
And while her rampant lion rears
    To guard the British diadem:

And while a Scottish pulse beats high,
    Accordant to her hero's name,
And while in Valour's ardent eye,
    Oppression wakes th' indignant flame:

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And while, through all her winding vales
    Sad SCOTIA for her poet mourns,
And far as Britain's conquering sails
    Extends the deathless name of BURNS :

And while kind Friendship's generous breast
    Swells with the tide of sympathy,
Or suns declining gild the west,
    VALLESIA'S name shall never die!

When wealth and pride, without a name,
    Are swept to drear oblivion's gloom,
The muse's never-dying flame
    Shall kindle odours on thy tomb.

There , Praise shall purest incense breathe,
    And Fancy fairest garlands twine,
And CALEDONIA bless the wreath
    That decks VALLESIA'S simple shrine.

* This Lady is representative of that Family, from which Sir WILLIAM WALLACE derived his origin.

* Alluding to a most promising grandson who bears that name.

Page 271


DOMESTIC MUSE ! if such a Muse there be, or whatever power presides over pathetic simplicity, over the tender, endearing intercourse of humble life, over those virtues that bloom unseen, and whither unlamented,--enable me, in appropriate terms, to convey some idea of that worth to which I have endeavoured to hang up a votive tablet in the temple of Memory!

The person who is the subject of the following verses, was Highland to extravagance, and possessed all the characteristic virtues of that enthusiastic race, without their debasing mixtures. She was hospitable without ostentation; --she bore hardships and poverty without a malignant jealousy of the wealthy;--she adored her own Clan and Chief, without disliking or undervaluing any other,--and her family-pride merely served as an outguard to her innate dignity of mind;--she was all I have described,
         "And still it was her dearest charm,
         She said she lo'ed me, best of a'!"

Page 272

She was our neighbour, had been married to an old gentleman, who left her a widow, slenderly provided, with one son, now doing well in the West Indies. By romantic generosity she reduced her circumstances, but with amazing spirit, struggled to support, and did support, not only a decent appearance, but a liberality to the distressed that was astonishing. She never visited the sick poor, without carrying something to them, and was an excellent sick nurse, to which charitable office she gave much of her time. She was my constant gossip, loved my children with maternal affection, and was so much beloved by them, that they always called her Moome , an endearing appellation in the Gaelic language, signifying a person, who without being actually a mother, performs the duties of one. In the year 1795, I had a long alarming illness, during which she took care of an infant I then had, and watched me for above a month, without ever sleeping except in an easy chair, after sunrise. Mr G. grateful for this affectionate exertion, ordered a present of a mantle for her; but CHARLOTTE , to whom the poem is addressed, having neglected to forward it immediately, the good Lady did not live to see it, being soon after carried off by a sudden violent illness. The morning after her death I poured forth extempore , I may say, this tribute to her memory, which flowed indeed
     "Warm from the heart, and faithful to its fires."

Page 273


IN vain my eye-lids seek repose
    While midnight spreads her thickest gloom,
My heart, a stranger to repose,
    Still bleeds o'er poor departed MOOME !

No gossip in my faithful heart
    Shall ever occupy her room;
They live by flattery and by art,
    But Truth and Nature dwelt with MOOME .

Her fate awakes my former woes,
    And bids them all their force resume,
Those griefs which once I could repose
    Upon the faithful breast of MOOME .

Page 274

She clos'd my darling PETER'S eyes,
    When low I sunk, with grief o'ercome;
And sweet PETRINA'S latest sighs
    Were breath'd upon the knees of MOOME !

Could earnest vows, and pious cares,
    The fading light of life relume,
True tears of love and fervent prayers
    Had lengthen'd out the years of MOOME .

The mean abodes of Want and Pain,
    Where none but Mercy loves to come,
Shunn'd by the haughty, rich, and vain,
    Were still the chosen haunts of MOOME .

Where sickness pin'd with languid eye,
    And poverty increas'd the gloom,
Disease and cheerless want would fly
    Before the kindly aid of MOOME .

Her prayers and alms, and deeds of love,
    Arose to heaven like sweet perfume,
And balmy comfort from above
    Distill'd upon the heart of MOOME .

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Whate'er she had she freely gave,
    And nought in secret would consume;
No hermit in his lonely cave
    Was e'er so self-deny'd as MOOME .

Though rude her phrase and harsh her stile,
    Unused in learning's paths to roam,
Compassion's kind benignant smile
    Was native eloquence to MOOME ,

And probity and useful toil,
    And independence found a home,
Congenial in the hallow'd soil,
    Beneath the humble roof of MOOME .

Though elegance and arts refin'd
    Were strangers to her lowly dome,
The ardour of a noble mind
    Gave power and dignity to MOOME .

Her dignity was worth and truth,
    Whose power could proudest minds o'ercome,
And hopeless age and helpless youth
    Took shelter in the shade of MOOME .

Page 276

And well in decent garb she lov'd
    To visit oft the sacred dome;
And thoughtless CHARLOTTE well approv'd
    The destin'd mantle wrought for MOOME .

Though CHARLOTTE still forgetful prove,
    The Muse in Fancy's airy loom
Has thus her simple texture wove,
    To deck the cold remains of MOOME .

And when the mighty Angel's voice
    Shall wake the dreadful trump of doom,
Blest infant spirits shall rejoice
    To meet the generous soul of MOOME !

Kind Charity, with open hand,
    Shall some angelic form assume,
And like her guardian Genius stand
    To watch the long repose of MOOME .

Be mine, to bid around her grave
    The ivy twine and roses bloom,
And from Oblivion's gulph to save
    The name of much-lamented MOOME .

Page 277

And while my humble wreath I hang
    With reverence on her lowly tomb,
My heart still vibrates with the pang
    That burst the liberal heart of MOOME !



Page 278



"O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood,
"Smooth sliding Mincia, crown'd with crisped reeds,
"That strain I heard was of a higher mood,
"----but now my oat proceeds.

FAIR daughter of that fleeting race
    Who fade like Autumn's leafy store,
Welcome, my rocky haunts to trace,
    And all my secret cells explore.

* Full many an oak, whose lofty head
    With sacred misletoe was crown'd,
Since first I own'd that stony bed,
    Sunk dodder'd to its native ground.

Page 279

And many a towering grove of pine,
    Whose gloom shut out the noon-day sun,
In shatter'd ruin lies supine,
    Since first my wat'ry course begun.

And many a toiling race of man
    Has joy'd in youth, and mourn'd in age,
Since first my pensive view began
    To trace their weary pilgrimage.

And many a nymph with sounding bow,
    Slow-rolling eyes, and heavy locks,
As young, as fair, as soft as thou,
    Has chac'd the deer o'er yonder rocks.

And when the sun's meridian heat
    With fervid splendour fir'd the heath,
Oft have they sought my cool retreat,
    With glowing breast and panting breath.

Yet, never did I pour my stream
    To bathe a breast more pure than thine,
Or visit eyes in whose mild beam
    So clear the gentler virtues shine.

Page 280

When with light step thy naked feet
    Move quick my primrose banks along,
I bid my streams with murmur sweet
    Their liquid melody prolong.

When Echo to thy voice replies
    From yonder arch of rugged stone,
Well pleas'd I lift my humid eyes,
    As blue and languid as thy own:

When from yon hazle's pendant shade
    Sweet spring awakes the blackbird's strain,
Come to my bosom, gentle maid,
    And lave thy streaming locks again.

Pluck from my brink the flow'ry store
    That blushing decks the infant year,
And to increase their beauty more,
    Deign round thy brow the wreath to wear.

And when the summer's ardent glow
    Shrinks every brook in yonder plain,
Come where my lucid waters flow,
    And bathe thy graceful form again.

Page 281

Nor yet, when wint'ry tempests howl,
    To haunt my lonely margin cease,
Thro' life's dark storms the virtuous soul
    Finds Reason's steady light increase.

Hard ice, that crusts my current clear,
    Renews more pure my sparkling stream;
Thus may Affliction's hand severe
    Add lustre to the mental gem.

Where'er you rove, where'er you rest,
    May Peace your pensive steps attend,
And halcyon Innocence your breast
    From each contagious blast defend!

* The way to this beautiful fountain lies through a mossy heath, entirely covered with large fallen trees, mostly sunk into the earth by their own weight.

Page 282


     "I do not think my sister so to seek,
     "Or so unprincipled in virtue' s book
     "And that sweet peace which goodness bosoms ever."

    YES , even amid these wilds forlorn,
        Where shivering on the naked spray,
    The drooping songsters seem to mourn
        The languid sun's declining ray;
While Nature faints in Winter's icy arms,
My DELIA'S tender strain my pensive bosom warms.

Page 283

    Ah! why does still that well-known strain
        In sadly-plaintive numbers flow?
    Must time and friendship mix in vain
        Their lenient balm to soothe thy woe:
Ye Powers, who piety and truth reward,
Why could not these your spotless votary guard!

    While round thy cradle Pity's doves
        Fond hovering pour'd their tender moan,
    And all the pure and guiltless loves
        Exulting, hail'd thee for their own:
They fled, repell'd by Wisdom's frown severe,
While Patience hush'd the babe, and wip'd its tender tear.

    Cease, then, dear partner of my breast,
        Whose every joy and grief are mine;
    And hush each gloomy care to rest,
        For virtue's purest rays are thine:
Her cheering beams should gild thy languid hours,
As flow'rets shine, refresh'd by morning showers.

    Oh! why with selfish sorrow mourn,
        And frequent pour the lonely tear;
    While beams of heavenly light adorn
        The parted soul, so justly dear.
Enough to Nature's weakness now is given,
Let faith take wing, and seek her native heaven.

Page 284

    Nor mourn thy banish'd EDWIN'S fate,
        Though far remov'd from hope and thee;
    Nor pining view with vain regret
        Unerring Wisdom's stern decree.
Though filial love thy tenderest sorrows claim,
And every virtue brighten EDWIN'S name.

    While Wisdom sways thy EDWIN'S breast,
        And fancy strews his path with flowers,
    Although by hopeless love deprest,
        The pensive pleasures haunt his bowers.
And where the myrtle and the willow twine,
He rears a mossy seat, and fondly calls it thine.

    When filial duty sway'd thy heart,
        And bade thee EDWIN'S vows decline,
    With sad reluctance see him part,
        And every tender wish resign:
With weeping admiration I beheld,
And sadly triumph'd while my friend excell'd.

    Let Grecia boast the duteous dame
        Whose breast sustain'd her captive sire;
    The Muses consecrate her name,
        And crowds her pictur'd form admire:
With conscious pride, heroic maid, I see
The Grecian daughter far outshone by thee!

Page 285

    The milky stream spontaneous flow'd,
        No warring passions were at strife,
    Her being to her sire she ow'd,
        And Nature cry'd--Preserve his life!
But sure a more exalted meed is thine,
Whose struggling heart has bled at duty's shrine!

Page 286


By a concurrence of odd circumstances, partly owing to his ignorance of the English language, the poor man who is the subject of this address, missed getting his certificate for the Chelsea pension when his regiment was disbanded; but being in pretty easy circumstances, he married, took a farm, and put up quietly with the privation. Growing into years, however, and finding his cattle diminish in proportion as his family increased, he was advised to set earnestly about obtaining the object here solicited. Two officers were yet living who happened to be beside him when he fell, in consequence of his wound, on the heights of Abram. They signed his Petition, and the Muse seconded it, just thirty years after that event took place, by the following poem sent inclosed to Her Royal Highness the DUCHESS OF YORK. The humane reader will be pleased to hear, that the application proved successful.

FROM the recesses of this wild domain,
Where artless truth and simple manners reign,

Page 287

The blushing Muse conveys the humble plea
Of modest merit, Royal YORK , to thee:
Nor seeks by flattery base, or sordid art,
To soothe thy princely ear, or reach thy heart.
Tho' oft that Muse with kindling transport view'd
Thy laurels sprouting in the field of blood,
And joy'd to see, when glory's day begun,
The youthful eagle soar so near the sun.
By the slow Scheldt , or deep majestic Rhine ,
The martial spirit of the BRUNSWICK line,
In ages past, as in the present days,
Has left rich trophies of undying bays:
Yet though they oft made hostile squadrons yield,
The heroes never view'd a brighter field,
Than where our wounded veteran prest the plain,
And Honour wept o'er WOLFE untimely slain!
When roughest warriors, all unus'd to melt,
Thro' every rank the soft contagion felt:
And Britain's Genius saw with cheerless eye,
O'er Abram's heights victorious standards fly:
Nor deem'd the dear-won glories of the day
Could her young Hero's matchless loss repay.
While Britain decks with martial wreaths thy brow,
What her lamented WOLFE was once--be thou!
The olive with the laurel garland blend,
The brave man's patron, and the good man's friend!

Page 288

Such GRANBY was, whose name to glory dear,
Still sweetly vibrates on the soldier's ear.
The Prince who made contending monarchs yield,
And Gallia's lilies cropt on Cressy's field,
Tho' his bold arm laid countless warriors low,
Shed pity's balm o'er every human woe;
And when he saw the hostile tumult cease,
Each milder virtue exercis'd in peace:
Hence his fair fame with clear and radiant blaze,
"Spreads and grows brighter with the length of days."
    Think not the veteran, who with humble pray'r
Yields his just cause to your indulgent care,
Would hope to touch with sacrilegious hand
The valued treasure of his native land;
Since his hard lot no earlier was discern'd,
He claims not all the meed so dearly earn'd;
But now by years and indigence opprest,
With modest patience forms this small request,
That he his aged limbs at peace may lay,
And calmly waste his fast declining day;
And when his soul aspires where WOLFE is fled,
He'll leave a soldier's blessing on your head.
See at your feet no common object bend,
A tender parent, and a generous friend:
To independence once he could aspire,
And cherish'd Want sat smiling by his fire;

Page 289

But anxious care and sad dejection now
Lurk in the furrows of his manly brow;
While poverty appears with haggard mien
To blast the peace of life's concluding scene:
His humble worth, mark'd by the Muse alone,
That Muse who lives unseen, and sings unknown,
Shall to brave YORK'S indulgent ear convey,
While truth and pity consecrate the lay.

Page 290



         "We the reins to slaughter give,
         "Ours to kill and ours to spare."

HEAR , princely youth, th' unletter'd rustic Muse,
Nor the poor widow's proffer'd gift refuse;
Tho' mean the gift, yet form'd with matchless art,
That Muse its secret virtues shall impart:
    When dark eclipse obscur'd the lab'ring moon,
The fleece was shorn that form'd the wond'rous boon;
Spun by a Sybil of the former age,
By Nature wise, by long experience sage;

Page 291

Whose eyes first open'd on the circling sun,
When Namur was by thund'ring NASSAU won.
The bone that for a distaff serv'd the dame,
Was Clessamor's , of old Fingalian fame;
The sanguine stream that dyed the crimson part,
Once warm'd a Highland Hero's generous heart:
Gaunt death and giant danger stood aloof,
While grim Volkyrice form'd the dusky woof;
As o'er their looms in vision rapt they hung,
Thus in prophetic strains the virgins sung:--

    Safe in every bloody field,
    Whom with mystic art we shield,
    While our zones enclasp each limb,
    Danger vainly frowns on him.
    Not the force of frantic Gaul
    E'er can work our hero's fall,
    While his free and towering mind
    No ties but those of honour bind,
    And mystic bands knit fast below,
    Strike with terror every foe;
    Throw the shuttle, strain the warp,
    Fiery missive weapons sharp
    Ne'er the favour'd Chief can wound,
    Whose limbs our wond'rous gifts have bound.

Page 292

Thus sung the sisters, who with joy behold
You choose the path your fathers trod of old.
Go on, brave Youth, but shun the syren bowers
By Vice and Folly deck'd with tawdry flowers;
The toilsome path with stedfast ardour climb,
Where Fame's imperial dome aspires sublime;
There join the brave, the worthy, and the wise,
And the low sons of little men despise.
Fair THETIS ' son, arm'd in celestial steel,
Had still, they say, a vulnerable heel:
Thus you, protected by the Sybil's art,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Perhaps have still a vulnerable heart,
Where Beauty's eyes a deadly glance may dart.
Yet can those charmed bands your breast secure
From the slight arts that youthful minds allure,
The practis'd artifice, the purchas'd smile,
The glance ambiguous, and insidious wile.
Thrice happy they who gloriously expire,
Touch'd by the beam of pure celestial fire.
Such be thy fate,--be thou the envied prize
Of brightest virtues beam'd thro' brightest eyes!
Dash from thee CIRCE'S cup, and nobly own

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

That truth and constancy deserve alone
The blessings of the Sybil's hallow'd zone.
Thus sings the mountain Muse to you alone,
Nor must her song to vulgar eyes be shewn;

Page 293

Nor will she deign to pour her mystic strain
In the gross aperture of ears profane.
Observe her caution and conceal her verse,
So shall her future lays your future deeds rehearse:
The mountain echoes pleas'd shall hear the sound,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Old heroes ghosts shall lean from clouds around,
To hail the blooming Chief, with early laurels crown'd!

Page 294



         "Those looks demure that deeply touch the soul,
         "Where, with the light of thoughtful Reason join'd,
         "Shine lively Fancy, and the feeling heart."

MUSE that lov'st the lonely mountain,
    Cliff abrupt, and rocky glen,
Rushy dell and mossy fountain,
    Free from strife and far from men:

Muse that lov'st to worship Nature
    In her haunts sublimely wild,
Hail the maid whose every feature
    Speaks her Nature's darling child.

Page 295

Nurs'd on Inspiration's bosom,
    Drest by meek Simplicity,
She in youth's luxuriant blossom
    Truth and Nature loves like thee.

Deck'd with chaste and artless graces,
    While her form adorns the stage,
Fancy pleas'd recals the traces
    Of a former, better age;

When the virgin's sweet suffusion,
    Timid look, and modest air,
Gentle fears, and soft confusion,
    Shrunk before the public stare.

'Tis not that thy tragic sister
    Wraps her in her crimson stole,
Or that comic powers assist her,
    While she fascinates the soul.

'Tis not that applausive thunder
    Shakes the scene when she appears,
That she draws the gaze of wonder,
    And unlocks the spring of tears:

Page 296

'Tis not that capricious fashion
    Hails her idol of the day;
But that general adulation
    O'er her breast obtains no sway.

That the charities and duties
    Which domestic life endear,
Add new lustre to her beauties,
    Even in wisdom's view severe.

Lovely WALLIS , these are graces
    That awake the Muse's flame;
And to these sequester'd places
    Have convey'd thy honour'd name

Pattern bright of filial duty,
    Kindest sister; truest friend,
On thy innocence and beauty
    Still may guardian sylphs attend!

Keep and wear this crimson blossom,
    Place it near thy generous heart,
'Tis a charm that from thy bosom
    Can repel detraction's dart.

Page 297

On yon mountain's summit ærial,
    Far above the clouds it grew,
Fann'd by purest gales ethereal,
    Fed by bright celestial dew.

No voluptuous scents exhaling,
    Deck'd with no luxurious dye,
Fiercest storms in vain assailing,
    Blooming 'midst the wint'ry sky.

Type of virtue's wreaths victorious,
    Flowering on the craggy height,
Those who mount with ardour glorious
    Pay their labour with delight.

Page 298



     "Say, where just Heav'n was thy avenging brand!"

WHAT voice awakes the soul-afflicting theme?
    That oft with anguish fill'd my youthful breast,
When by the Mohawk's * wild sequester'd stream
    Indignant grief my labouring heart opprest.
Yes! there those generous tribes I saw,
Who, sway'd alone by Nature's law,

Page 299

    Th' unerring paths of rectitude pursue;
Who cherish friendship's holy flame,
And valour's greenest laurel claim,
    Of rigid faith inexorably true:

Saw them reluctant yield their poplar groves,
    And flow'ry vales in wild luxuriance gay;
Forsake their fame, their friendship, and their loves,
    When sunk beneath the European sway:
While peace and joy, with all their smiling train,
Recede before th' insatiate lust of gain.

Tho' there no lofty rocks aspire,
    Whose caves with ductile silver glow;
Nor avarice bids those streams retire
    That wont o'er golden sands to flow;
Nor pearly banks enrich the seas,
Nor costly incense load the breeze.

Yet tho' no glittering ore allure
    To these deep glooms the Christian race,
Where the brown native urg'd secure
    Through pathless woods the headlong chace;
See lucre covet even the furry spoil
That wont to deck his limbs and crown his toil!

Page 300

Ye sons of trade! whose fatal guile
    Dishonours Britain's far-fam'd isle,
Who pour th' intoxicating draught
    With dire disease and madness fraught,
With rage and all the furies in her train,
Ah! wherefore vainly talk of pow'rs above?
Yet blemish by your crimes the laws of truth and love.

Yet what are these? your lesser guilt,--
    Your towns, by fraud insidious built,
Your forts, that proudly low'ring round,
    O'erlook those tracks of fruitful ground
Which guileful arts have made your home?
Ah! what are these to proud Iberia's crimes,
Which blot the records of enlighten'd times?

Each southern breeze seem'd warm with sighs,
    From sad Potosi's injur'd race;
Where nations fallen, no more to rise,
    The annals of our kind disgrace;
Where still the fierce insatiate love of gain
Shuts up the rigid heart of unrelenting Spain .

Behold their pow'rs proud fabric rise,
Whose tow'ring front insults the skies;

Page 301

Two mighty columns bear the lofty roof,
    Avarice and Cruelty the names
    Which each conspicuous pillar claims;
Immoveable they seem, to heaven's dread thunder proof .

Where were ye then, ye sacred band?
Ordain'd in every distant land
    To spread salvation's joyful sound;
To chace the shades of night away,
And the bright throne of peace display,
    Where Truth and Mercy sit, with olive crown'd?
Alas! deep sunk in superstition's gloom,
They bow beneath the tyranny of Rome .

But see! where Mercy's beams divine
Round blest CHIAPA'S mitre shine,
And with peculiar lustre grace
The champion of the suffering race;
Who, arm'd with sanctity and pray'rs,
With holy tears and zealous cries,
Like faithful ABDIEL kept the field alone,
    And thro' the oppressive Papal mist,
    With saintly valour could persist
To chace the demon Guilt even to his burning throne.

Page 302

Where are your lyres, ye sons of song?
Bring all your symphonies along,
And consecrate to this blest theme your lays:
    What! has no lyre divine been strung?
    And has no energetic tongue
Charm'd Virtue's ear with good LAS CASA'S praise?

In that mild region of the sky,
Where dove-ey'd Pity dwells on high,
From golden harps his praise melodious flows;
    Will none of all the tuneful throng
    Responsive catch the heavenly song,
Of power to soothe even slavery's bitter woes?

Yes! from thy banks dear native Clyde ,
I hear with pleasure and with pride,
A classic lyre resound the hallow'd strain,
    While shades of feather'd Inca's near,
    In mournful fix'd attention hear,
Nor think they wept and bled in vain,
Since RICHARDSON records in lasting lays
Their matchless woes, and blest CHIAPA'S praise!

* The Author's childhood was passed at a small distance from the Mohawk river, and one part of it on the banks of lake Ontario ; from whence resulted an early and strong attachment to those generous nations who have always been beloved by persons any time resident among them.

Page 303



"Thus sung the uncouth nymph to th' oaks and rills."

WHEN FINGAL dwelt in windy halls,
    As mournful OSSIAN tells,
'Midst lofty Selma's shaded walls
    He spread the feast of shells.

Each tuneful bard and warlike chief
    Made haste the feast to share;
Where music, sorrow's best relief,
    Oft charm'd the vocal air.

Page 304

The soft harp's many-sounding strings,
    Wak'd by the blushing maid,
Could melt the iron hearts of kings,
    And beauty's influence aid.

Excluded from the hero's feast,
    By some unhappy chance,
Dark anguish prey'd on ALDO'S breast,
    And rust consum'd his lance.

Nor war nor hunting more could please,
    Nor beauty's powerful charms,
He fled o'er Lochlin's stormy seas,
    To shine in foreign arms.

Blest days, when Nature rul'd supreme,
    Uncheck'd by frozen art,
And love and fancy's blended beam
    Illum'd the artless heart.

When hungry heroes sprung with joy
    To snuff the ven'son's fume,
Nor nymphs could artifice employ
    To heighten Nature's bloom.

Page 305

Their heavy locks that wont to fly
    Unpowder'd in the wind;
Their blushing cheek and downcast eye
    That spoke th' ingenuous mind;

With more coercive force could sway
    And tame the manly breast,
Than Belles in all the full display
    Of modern fashion drest.

Alas! a mournful proof appears
    Of this soul-harrowing truth;
For this sad Nature melts in tears,
    And clouds o'erhang the south.

MACALPINE , NEPTUNE'S faithful priest,
    Well known to beaux and belles,
Thrice bow'd adoring to the east,
    Then spread the feast of shells:

There sportive maids, and festive swains,
    Attend the hallow'd rite,
And weave to Music's sprightly strains
    The dance in mazes light.

Page 306

Ye echoes hold your tattling tongues,
    Nor spread our sad disgrace;
Else busy fame, with brazen lungs
    Will blaze it thro' the place.

The bard of Celtic race renown'd
    Avoids great NEPTUNE'S feast,
Lest he in torrents should be drown'd,
    Or blighted by the east.

Rude blasts from EOL'S airy hall
    Pierc'd thro' each tender form,
While snug behind his cloister'd wall,
    He laugh'd to see the storm.

Secure, his adamantine heart
    In learning's musty cell,
Repell'd poor CUPID'S powerful dart,
    And slighted every belle.

Had he like ALDO no repast,
    But what his bow supplied,
He'd dare well pleas'd the wint'ry blast
    When shells were smoking wide.

Page 307

But college sophs of modern times,
    In Sloth's soft lap reclin'd,
Will praise the fair in well turn'd rhymes,
    Yet leave them to the wind.

He talks of gaining hearts of beaux,
    To please the angry fair;
But whether they have hearts to lose,
    He does not know nor care.

Ah! sly observer, deeply read
    In Nature's ample page;
Too well you know that beaux well-bred,
    In this self-loving age,

In panoply of lead and brass
    Their cautious hearts unfold,
Which beauty cannot pierce, alas!
    Unless with darts of gold!

The jealous God, from glittering scenes
    On purple pinions flies,
To dwell where Truth and Nature reigns,
    And victims pure supplies.

Page 308

To rights of men a foe contest,
    No limits bar his throne,
A despot o'er the generous breast,
    He loves to rule alone.

Tho' beaux should yawn, or oysters gape,
    Or drenching rains descend,
Methinks the fair might still escape
    The scorning of a friend.

He whom the Muses all regard,
    Against our power rebels,
The long-descended Celtic bard
    Avoids the feast of shells!

Page 309


"And behold I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel."

HOW blest those olive plants that grow
    Beneath the altar's sacred shade,
Where streams of fresh instruction flow
    And Comfort's humble board is spread.

'Twas thus the swallow rear'd her young,
    Secure within the house of GOD ,
Of whom the Royal Prophet sung,
    When banish'd from that blest abode.

Page 310

When, like the swallow's tender brood,
    They leave the kind paternal dome,
On weary wing to seek their food,
    Or find in other climes a home;

Where'er they roam, where'er they rest,
    Thro' all the varied scenes of life,
Whether with tranquil plenty blest,
    Or doom'd to share the deadly strife;

Still may the streams of grace divine
    Glide softly near their devious way;
And faith's fair light serenely shine,
    To change their darkness into day.

Still may they with fraternal love
    Each other's shield and aid become;
And while thro' distant realms they rove,
    Remember still their childhood's home;

The simple life, the frugal fare,
    The kind parental counsels given,
The tender love, the pious care,
    That early winged their hopes to heav'n.

Page 311

And when the evening shades decline,
    And when life's toilsome task is o'er,
May they each earthly wish resign,
    And holier, happier climes explore.

And when the faithful shepherds view
    Each ransom'd flock around them spread,
How will they bless the plants that grew
    Beneath the altar's sacred shade!

Page 312




WHAT sound of woe from yonder grove
    Floats mournful on the dying gale?
Like echo to the plaintive dove,
    Responsive thro' the winding vale.

Each chaster love and milder grace
    There weep round gentle JESSY'S tomb,
There join to consecrate the place,
    And teach the flowers more lasting bloom.

Though now, an undecaying flow'r,
    She decks the bright celestial shore,
And past the final painful hour,
    She suffers grief and care no more!

Page 313

Yet oft shall pity's melting tear
    Bedew the turf where JESSY lies;
And often shall her fate severe
    Dissolve in woe the brightest eyes.

The virgin choir shall there resort,
    And there with sad remembrance tell,
How thro' malicious cruel sport
    She envy's early victim fell.

Though formed in beauty's softest mould,
    No pride her spotless bosom knew;
As years increasing onward roll'd,
    Her gentle mind more timid grew.

Unknown to her each trivial art,
    Which callous, hollow breasts conceal;
Sway'd by the feelings of her heart,
    That artless heart was form'd to feel;

With pure and faithful love to glow,
    To cherish friendship's sacred tie,
To melt away in virtuous woe,
    Or throb with tenderest sympathy.

Unskill'd in envy's treacherous ways,
How could she guard against its power?

Page 314



"But soft, but see, or rather do not see,
"My fair rose wither."

AWAK 'd to thought, matur'd by age,
No more those sportive toys engage,
That wont in Fancy's jocund hours
To frolic thro' the festal bowers.
To memory dear, tho' far remov'd,
Oh say, what title most approv'd
Shall greet thee in the wonted lay
That hails once more this happy day* .

Page 315

Then with complacent smile attend
While my true heart salutes thee friend;
What nobler boon have I to give?
What worthier gift canst thou receive?
Indifference proud, and cold disdain,
Avert the scornful brow in vain,
While with exulting glance I view
The chosen band that ranks with you:
Those friends that led my earliest youth
Along the peaceful paths of truth,
Who fir'd with Virtue's charms divine,
Oft mingled sympathies with mine;
Or those who in maturer years
Awak'd at once my hopes and fears,
While anxious fondness sketch'd their way
From thought's dim dawn to mental day;
And moulded soft with patient art
And tender care, the yielding heart.
But since we feel that all is vain,
Since purest pleasures end in pain,
Since all that dazzles, charms, endears,
Eludes our grasp,--or, seen thro' tears,
In dim perspective fades away,
What power shall animate the lay?
What Muse awake the plausive strain,
And bid my bosom glow again!

Page 316

Gay fleeting visions rob'd in light,
That cheer'd my soul and charm'd my sight;
Elysian flowers, whose fragrant breath
Perfum'd with sweets the bed of death,
The solemn thrill, the magic fire,
Wak'd by the soul-commanding lyre,
Adieu!--no more my haunts invade,
Nor come to cruel memory's aid,
For what can fancy now bestow
But darker shades to blacken woe?
Ah! why did flowers Elysian bloom,
Since cropt to wither in the tomb.
Then let us in the festive bow'r
Escape from cruel memory's pow'r;
The board where social friendship smiles,
A while the woes of life beguiles.
In vain,--for see the forms deplor'd
Like angels hover o'er the board,
And seem, with softly-melting eye,
To look compassion ere they fly.
Say, generous youth * , whose brow serene,
Benignant smile and open mien,
With candour beaming in thine eyes,
Bespoke the soul without disguise;

Page 317

By honour's purest dictates taught,
With "milk of human kindness" fraught,
Say, didst thou view with gentle scorn
The crowd by selfish passions torn,
Untry'd, forsake the dubious race,
And soar to thy congenial place?
    And She * , in hardest conflicts tried,
By truth, by love, by blood allied,
Who wept with sister's tears his doom,
Too soon to fill a neighbouring tomb:
Ah! why profuse did Nature shed
Her gifts around her infant head;
With varying bloom her face adorn,
Like orient hues that deck the morn,
Shed purest lustre from her eyes,
Like radiant streams from northern skies.
At once inspiring awe and love,
Bade chasten'd graces round her move,
And native force of nobler soul
Pervade and dignify the whole;

Page 318

And mild decorum's sober state
On all her looks and actions wait,
While mingled elegance and ease
Made every look and action please;
With feeling strong, with judgment clear,
Firm probity and truth sincere;
Thro' sorrow's clouds we saw her shine,
Those clouds that made her your's and mine!
Thus deck'd with every charm and grace,
The loveliest of a lovely race;
Like purest gold in fire refin'd,
And rich in all the wealth of mind,
Why did she tread the paths of pain,
And seek for long-lost rest in vain?
And why in vain did you and I
Pour the soft balm of sympathy?
With generous love the worthy youth
To whom she vow'd her plighted truth,
Too fondly hop'd from future harms
To screen her in his faithful arms:
But soon he finds he grasps a shade,
And soon the transient roses fade,
And soon dissolv'd in ambient light
The beauteous vision quits his sight!
Yet ere she sunk to endless rest,
To soothe the anguish of his breast

Page 319

She left a tender pledge of love,
To shew how seraphs smile above.
Now mercy's cup with blessings fraught,
Pours forth affliction's wholesome draught,--
A wholesome draught--yet drunk in vain,
If still the bitterest dregs remain,
If still with impious discontent
We murmur at the blessings lent
Or think the fruits of Paradise
Too early ripened for the skies,
And wish thro' wint'ry life to view
Their slow decay and faded hue;
Or like my fond presumptuous strain,
Lament as if they liv'd in vain;
On dear lov'd CHARLOTTE'S early tomb:
Then let us mourn youth's withering bloom.
There will I lay my torpid lyre,
No more to glow with lambent fire;
No more to soothe the partial ear
With strains that friendship lov'd to hear,
Unless with nobler ardour blest,
Some holier transport fire my breast,
The strain exalt,--the note refine,
And raise my moral to divine!

* This poem was written on an anniversary, when the Author usually sent a poetical offering to her friend.

* A very near relation of the Author, who died in his 16th year.

* This lady, as much esteemed for her virtue and understanding, as admired for her beauty and elegance, died about a year after her lamented kinsman. See the Nymph of the Fountain in this volume, addressed to her a few years before her death.

Page 320



"I will tell you now,
"What never yet was heard in tale or song,
"From old or modern bard, in hall or bower."

DEAR LADY CLAN , you well may know,
At least I've told you long ago,
In all things lawful and expedient,
You'd ever find me most obedient;
This gratitude and friendship bid,
They're ties of which I can't get rid;

Page 321

(Tho' some to pride and envy martyrs,
Conceal them as they would their garters;)
Yet making lists of obligations,
Is so like owning poor relations,
It makes one feel so shy and backward,
And in good company look aukward;
On second thought 'twill answer better,
Ere I conclude this rhyming letter,
Instead of owning favours due,
In long detail from me to you,
To send you here a brief recital
Of what I've given you in requital;
Then having set my mind at rest,
At leisure answer your request.
    And first, the Muse that sixteen years
With night-cap drawn about her ears,
Lay in lethargic deep repose,
Nor teiz'd by friends, nor scorn'd by foes,
I wak'd, you well remember when,
To celebrate your turkey-hen ;
And as she rubb'd her drowsy eyes,
And saw the bird's white spirit rise,
A spark of inspiration came
And kindled up the torpid dame,
To sing the happy annual feast
Where HYMEN smiles on every guest.

Page 322

Whenever since I wak'd the lyre,
'Twas to comply with your desire;
The total sum, whate'er the amount,
Shall all be set to your account:
Now let me trace with backward view
The favours thus conferr'd on you.
    And first the playful varied lay *
I sung to cheat the lonely way,
(While frozen winter chill'd my fancy)
Tho' chiefly meant to please my NANCY ,
Was to your partial praises owing,
That set my grateful breast a-glowing,
And cheer'd me up with self-dependence,
To hope the Muse's prompt attendance:
Encourag'd thus along the road,
Description smooth and lofty ode
Fill'd up the middle, while both ends
Were hung with portraits of my friends,
To cheer my soul, whene'er I mist them,
So like, that I had almost kist them.
    Next, for my neighbour Sybil's sake,
I bade the willing Muse awake,
And tell what magic ties around
Young HUNTLY'S limbs the beldam bound.

Page 323

Then liquid accents soft and clear
Stole gently on attention's ear;
The blue-hair'd nymph of yonder brook,
In more than mortal language spoke,
And bade aerial music swell,
To woo fair CHARLOTTE to her cell * ;
With feeble imitative strain
I strove to catch the sounds in vain.
    Next I essay'd the up-hill road
Of "break-neck dythyrambic ode,"
Denounc'd on Spain perpetual vengeance,
And blest CHIAPA and his Indians;
Till dizzy and bewilder'd grown,
The attempt beyond my powers I own.
    The smarting wounds of recent woe
Now bid th' unstudied measure flow;
While wakeful anguish thro' the gloom
Of midnight weeps the fate of MOOME !
That night so dismal and so long,
I strove in vain to cheat with song:
And when with dusky mantle grey
The weeping morn brought in the day,
The frequent shower and sighing wind
With mournful cadence sooth'd my mind.

Page 324

But when will light restore to view
A friend so kind, so firm, so true!
Or who, when sickness sinks my head,
Will tend with equal care my bed?
Or who, when comfort crowns my toil,
With equal sympathy will smile?--
Sink all my strains in final gloom,
But live the lay inspir'd by MOOME !
    Again the Muse awakes to weep
O'er hamlets waste and flocking sheep * :
The dusky hill and narrow plain
Re-echo to the mournful strain;
The sad inhabitants around
With social grief prolong the sound;
While lost in woe they scatter far
To fill the sanguine ranks of war,
Or cross th' Atlantic's stormy roar,
Or tread the burning Indian shore,
Or mingle with the sordid train
Who know no bliss, no GOD but gain:
Where'er they rest, where'er they roam,
Stung with the hopeless thoughts of home;
With aching heart and searching eyes,
Oft will they trace their northern skies,

Page 325

And say, "Yon dim-seen twinkling star
"Gleams o'er my father's sepulchre,
"Where once, when fate had clos'd my day,
"I hop'd my weary limbs to lay;
"Its rays illume the shadowy vale,
"Where lighted by the moon-beam pale,
"My faithful steps were wont to trace
"The loveliest of our far-fam'd race,
"And pour in her approving ear
"The artless vows of love sincere."
Thus, frequent does the exile's heart
With tender sad remembrance smart;
Some leisure time will come, ere long,
T' arrange and prune th' unfinish'd song;
When winter's icy bolts are hurl'd,
And snow and silence wrap the world,
And cares and children sink in sleep,
The Muse shall faithful vigils keep;
And summon wisdom and reflection
And critic powers of mild correction,
And diction chaste, and lucid order,
Like flowers arrang'd to grace a border;
My thoughts shall rise in fair succession
Unbroke by playful wild digression:
With heedless haste I now dispense them,
But then you'll see how I'll condense them.

Page 326

But from my subject how I wander,--
I sung the sorrows of the gander * ,
And if you'll re-peruse his letter,
You'll own no goose could sing them better.
    You see what mighty debts you're owing
For benefits of my bestowing.
Can you forget the rainy morning,
When toil, fatigue, and danger scorning,
I headlong plung'd thro' new-swoln Spey ,
And o'er Drumochter urg'd my way,
Try'd to o'ertake the fleeting wind,
And left the slow express behind:
Arriv'd with fluttering hearts at Blair ,
In chasing joy we met despair:
No matrons with benignant smile
Appear'd our labours to beguile;
No sprightly nymphs, in rapt'rous guise,
With pleasure beaming from their eyes;
The gallant soul of HARDYKNUTE ,
When thrill'd with fear, with anguish mute,
He saw his castle dark and still,
Felt not a more horrific chill.
To cheer our souls and soothe our pain,
Our gentle hostess tries in vain;

Page 327

In vain the Captain strives t' amuse
With foreign and domestic news;
Tells with delight how much he doats
Upon the frankness of Miss C***s,
And how he tender'd her his help
To nurse and rear her terrier whelp:
How sad our state, when themes like these,
By him rehears'd, could fail to please.
But now resolv'd with unanimity
T' exert our native magnanimity,
When changing clouds of purple dye
Were drawn o'er day's declining eye;
Again we urge the impatient chace,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Invoke the stars to light our race,
And reach in thought the wish'd-for place.
Thro' the still shadowy veil of night,
While VENUS sent her glimmering light,
Our view the soften'd landscape charm'd,
And disappointment's pangs disarm'd;
And hope, in smiling graces drest,
Resum'd her influence o'er the breast.
The rising moon with friendly ray
Now led us to the banks of Tay ,
With raptur'd view while we begin
To trace a taper at the inn,

Page 328

LEANDER thus transported, view'd
His HERO'S torch illume the flood.
    Why should the Muse attempt in vain
The morning's pleasures to explain;
To tell the tender explanations,
Embraces kind, and true narrations,
'Twould fill I'm sure a quarto volume,--
'Twere best methinks to raise a column,
To mark the spot to future times,
Nor vainly trust to fleeting rhymes:
That scene, while memory holds her seat,
Shall still be new and still be sweet:
I will not tell you of your merit,
Your sense, integrity, and spirit;
These have their value in their places,
But I am charm'd by other graces;
That heart, whose cordial warmth so true,
Blooms ever fresh and ever new;
Affections, which in spite of time,
Have all the glow of youthful prime;
With all the firmness, weight, and truth,
Which sage experience adds to youth,--
These make me count with anxious pain,
The weeks till we shall meet again,
And treasure up the joys so fleeting,
That smil'd upon our short-liv'd meeting:

Page 329

Dear ERSKINE too, whose eyes dispense
Her pure soul's bright intelligence,
Whose look is truth, whose speech is verity,
Whose genius, honour, and sincerity,
Live ever in my recollection,
I'd almost said my best affection,
I would not shock with adulation,
But view with silent admiration:
Her mother's dignity commanding,
And more than female understanding,
And probity so prais'd by you,
Esteem demand as tribute due.
    Kind C***s! could I her worth rehearse,
Might likewise claim a grateful verse;
Her quickness, humour, lively ease,
Her never-failing wish to please,
Might with her friendly warmth combine,
To win a harder heart than mine;
But children nurs'd in fortune's lap,
Are fed so soon with flattery's pap,
And so surrounded by duplicity,
They lose all relish for simplicity:
Folks jealous, rusticated, shy,
Shrink from gay fashion's critic eye:
Nor pour the cordial soul in vain,
Check'd by the dread of cold disdain.

Page 330

    I'm tir'd, and so I swear are you,
And sleep now claims her drowsy due:
May pleasing visions gently spread
Their airy wings around your head!
For my part, I devoutly hope
To see six ladies in a groupe,
And C***s, with laddle in her hand,
Dispensing mirth and negus bland;
Since our best pleasures will not last,
Let us in dreams live o'er the past.

* Journal from Glasgow to Laggan.

*See the Nymph of the Fountain to CHARLOTTE.

*Alluding to the poem of the Highlanders.

* A trifle not published.

Page 331



"Drops that from my fountain pure,
     "I have kept of precious cure."

DAUGHTER of Exercise and calm Content,
    By Temperance nourish'd in the shady vale,
Where Dian's nymphs resort with bows unbent,
    To taste the freshness of the morning gale;
Divine HYGEIA , turn thy steps again,
Nor let the plaintive Muse implore in vain!

Oh, coy disdainful maid, in native charms array'd,
    Beyond the needless pageantry of art,
Time was, thy radiant smile could every care beguile,
    And shed sweet influence o'er my drooping heart.

Page 332

        Why, goddess, have thy lovely eyes
            Their azure beams withdrawn?
        Dost thou my artless prayer despise?
            When oft at morning dawn
I lift pure hands from guilt and interest free,
And humbly seek for friendship, peace, and thee!

Return, inconstant fair, while thro' the soften'd air
    Mild zephyrs waft the balmy breath of spring,
    And budding woods with early music ring.
Ah! what avails their bloom, or all the soft perfume
    Yon dewy violet banks exhale to me,
While thro' the birchen grove, with lingering steps I rove,
    And vainly trace thy wonted haunts for thee!

        Yet while in Clutha's winding vale
        Light floating on the western gale,
            Thy spirit cheers my friend,
        To thee shall grateful songs arise,
        To thee the rural sacrifice
            In fragrant fumes ascend * .

Page 333

        And where Edina's turrets rise,
        Tho' smoky wreaths obscure the skies,
            And vapours taint the air,
        Thy soft ambrosial pinions spread
        O'er lov'd ASTERIA'S drooping head,
            And soothe the languid fair.

And see, to wooe thee down, she quits the noisy town,
    In quest of thee she seeks the breezy shore;
On Ocean's stormy breast, thou oft art found to rest,
    His green-hair'd nymphs thy wat'ry haunts explore.
        And when with trembling hope she laves,
        Oh shed thy influence o'er the waves,
            Her bloom restore, her health renew;
        There let her hail thy form divine,
        Emerging from the foamy brine,
            Like VENUS on the dazzled view!

* The Lady to whom this poem was addressed, was then in a declining state of health, and preparing to go to the sea-side for the benefit of bathing. She recovered partially, but died much lamented, in the 26th year of her age, 1783.

Page 334


         "To cheer me in this melancholy vale,
         "This double gloom of nature and of soul."

HELEN , by every sympathy allied,
    By love of virtue and by love of song,
Compassionate in youth, and beauty's pride,
    To thee those grateful artless lays belong,
For warmly in thy heart the flame of friendship glows,
And sweetly from thy lips the voice of comfort flows.

Dark clouds of woe involv'd my troubled soul,
    The cheering sun but pain'd my weary sight,
To nurse my grief to secret shades I stole,
    And shunn'd the social hearth and loath'd the light.
Grace, beauty, elegance, increas'd my pain,
For those too fondly lov'd, I lov'd, alas! in vain!

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Soft pitying accents stealing thro' the gloom,
    Like dawning light upon the formless void,
Withdrew my thoughts a moment from the tomb,
    To scenes now dreary, hopeless, unenjoy'd:
Yet busy fancy trac'd thy form unseen,
And deck'd with charms thy face, and drest in smiles thy mien.

So lonely journeying to LORETTO'S shrine,
    Some darkling pilgrim in the pathless vale,
Bends his enraptur'd ear to strains divine,
    And turns to bid his guardian-angel hail:
'Tis some fair vot'ress pours unseen her strain,
By courteous echoes borne to soothe the wand'rer's pain.

Enjoy, blest maid, the smiling joyous prime,
    While pleasure frolics in thy morning ray;
Now heedless of the hastening wings of time,
    Crop the fresh primrose and the crocus gay;
Ere noon's bright fervours scorch their silken bloom,
Or weeping evening mourns their early doom.

As pure thy pleasures as those modest flowers
    That twine around the bashful brows of spring;
Then, ere the changing sky inconstant low'rs,
    Deck thy fair bosom with the sweets they bring;

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For when they fade, nor sun nor fav'ring show'rs,
Again can make them spring around thy bow'rs.

For me, with retrospection sadly pleas'd,
    When hope's wide vista opens on my sight,
I seem from grief's corroding pressure eas'd,
    To catch a glimpse of pure celestial light:
Then, while I patient wait my day's decline,
On thee may summer suns unclouded shine!

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    SACRED to thee and friendly love,
        I consecrate this humble seat,
        Hither shall my weary feet
    Oft at sober ev'ning move:
And when thou'rt far remov'd from me,
Here sadly sitting, oft I'll muse on thee!

    When the silver queen of night,
        With her mildly pleasing beams,
        Cheers the surface of the streams,
Or darts thro' dusky shades a visionary light:

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Here Fancy shall exert her magic power,
And with thy image glad the solitary bow'r.

Fate soon will bear thee to some happier clime,
    Yet that kind heart, that generous mind,
    By truth and tenderness combined,
Adorn'd with charms beyond the reach of time:
Here oft shall mem'ry to my aid restore,
While I with fruitless sighs my loss deplore.

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         "Deep in yon bed of whispering reeds
         "Thy airy harp shall now be laid;
         "That he whose heart in sorrow bleeds,
         "May love thro' life the soothing shade."

WHEN THOMSON'S harp of charming tone
Giv'n to the favour'd bard alone,
(Its tuneful master snatch'd away),
'Midst whispering reeds impervious lay;
The winds awak'd its mournful swell,
The wood-nymphs join'd the solemn knell.
Her yellow locks mild Autumn tore,
Wild Winter mourn'd in mantle hoar.

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Sweet Spring in weeping buds was drest,
And Summer rent her flow'ry vest;
Sad Nature caught th' Æolian strain,
And bade it echo thro' the plain;
And Fate proclaim'd, no daring hand
Should THOMSON'S sacred harp command:
While COLLINS sooth'd the mourners round,
With magic lyre of dulcet sound:
But when the Bard by Arun's stream,
Indulg'd each sadly tender theme,
And with enchantment wild combin'd,
The countless "shadowy tribes of mind;"
Or wept o'er valour's early tomb,
Bedeck'd with wreaths of freshest bloom;
Or bade the pictur'd passions rise,
In fancy'd forms to human eyes,--
The fair creation rose confest,
And dazzled reason sunk opprest:
No more he feels the Muse inspire,
In slumber lay the magic lyre;
Again he lifts his languid eyes,
To wake its strain in vain he tries;
Then ere he sought th' Elysian plain,
Resign'd the magic lyre to JANE !

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SUMMER 1796.

         "There I suck the liquid air,
         "All amidst the gardens fair."

YOUR jealous walls, great Duke, in vain
    All access would refuse;
What walls can Highland steps restrain?
    What bars keep out the Muse?
Where'er I go I bring with me
"That mountain-nymph, sweet LIBERTY !"

Would you engross each breathing sweet
    Yon violet banks exhale?
Or trees with od'rous blooms replete,
    That scent th' enamour'd gale:

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Alike they smile on you and me,
Like Nature and sweet Liberty!

While pleasure's fleeting form you trace
    In Mona's distant isle,
And leave forlorn your native place
    Where rural beauties smile:
Congenial see them smile for me,
Then do not grudge my Liberty.

ENEAS pass'd with branch of gold
    The gloomy gates below:
And silver branches, I am told,
    Can smooth your porter's brow;
But wand'ring Highland folks like me,
Can seldom purchase Liberty.

While musing by the Tilt I stood,
    And view'd its wand'ring tide,
Uprose a Naiad from the flood,
    And beckoning, shew'd its side:
I took the kindly hint with glee,
And scrambled hard for Liberty.

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Beneath the bridge's bending arch
    My vent'rous steps she led,
Till by yon ancient weeping larch
    I laid my wearied head:
While birds methought on every tree
Rejoicing hail'd my Liberty!

The leaden gods above the gate
    Aghast with wonder stood,
Olympian JOVE , his vixen mate,
    And all the heathen brood:
Bravo! cried thievish MERCURY ,
'Tis right to steal sweet Liberty!

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         "My dear-lov'd home,
         "Which trees embosom, and which hills defend."

YE peaceful shades! that guard my dear-lov'd home
    From the chill blasts that stip the fading grove,
While far from that sequester'd scene I roam,
    Which justly claims my venerating love.
Long may the verdure linger on your boughs,
Which wont in happier times to deck the shepherd's brows!

And thou, sweet stream, that wand'ring thro' the vale
    With mazy windings, lead'st thy waves along;
May thy translucent waters never fail
    To feed the lake or aid the rural song:
For echo pleas'd retains thy murmurs sweet,
Where with the bubbling Tarfe thy lucidwaters meet.

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Fair is the bosom of that peaceful lake
    When the soft zephyr on its bosom sleeps;
Dreadful the roar its troubled waters make,
    When winter's rage declining Nature weeps:
Oh! may its glassy surface still present
The well-known dear abode of calm content!

Ye woods of wild Glentarfe , whose pensive gloom
    Round SYLVIA'S dwelling spreads a solemn shade;
How dear to memory is your former bloom,
    When SYLVIA'S sprightly converse cheer'd the glade.
When spring returns to deck the green retreat,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

Again with joy I'll hail the well-known seat,
The scene of social joys and tranquil pleasures sweet.

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THE poems here translated from the Gaelic, though they do not pretend to any remote antiquity, are well known to have existed before the translations, and even the Translator of OSSIAN . Thinking it may afford you some amusement, I take up the pen to make a few observations on those celebrated productions of the Celtic Muse. The time is fast approaching when it will be impossible to throw new light on this question. The most conclusive evidence which the nature of the subject will admit of is fast fading away. It consists of traditions co-relative to the poems,--a kind of poetical phraseology derived from them,--and a resembling strain of sentiment in other compositions of great

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though not equal antiquity, which no one could ever have had any motive to falsify or alter. There is another clear, though now decaying evidence. Old people can very well remember, before Mr MACPHERSON ever thought of translating these remains, when many comparisons and allusions to be found in them, were as current as Scripture quotations in the last age among the peasants of the west. "She is beautiful as AGANDECCA the daughter of the snow--She is musical as MALVINA --He is as forlorn as OSSIAN after the departure of the FINGALIANS --Such a one is alert and nimble as CUCHULLIN "-- were phrases in common use. Whatever embellishments, or whatever anachronisms the injudicious vanity of a translator may have grafted on these poems, no person who lived in the country of their reputed author, ever doubted their existence or antiquity; there, every stream and mountain, every tale, song, or adage, retained some traces of the generous hero, or the mournful bard: But there was little chance of getting at the truth of this question, while the contention lay betwixt learned pride on the one hand, and national vanity on the other. The former was accustomed to consider letters, not as the vehicle, but the essence of knowledge, accounting all unlearned people utterly savage and barbarous, and unable to conceive how any one could entertain noble or generous sentiments without deriving them from classical models. The latter was unwilling to confess how little the Gaelic had been used in writing, and to what a narrow district of the kingdom it had been, even in remote ages, confined,--which was the real

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cause why no connected series of these poems had been written down, and why they had been so long hid in obscurity. To the same motive may be attributed the silent acquiescence of the Highlanders in the alterations and embellishments added to these poems, by a translator more ambitious of adapting them to modern taste, than of adhering strictly to the sense of the originals; more studious of his own advantage, than of the addition to be made to the science of human nature, by developing truly and closely the manners of the Heroic Age; by which I understand that intervening betwixt rude barbarity, and the regular establishment of law, property, and agriculture.

IT is obvious that the greatest literary attainments do not enable a man to judge whether a work, written in a language he does not understand, differing in its form and construction from every other with which he is acquainted, be faithfully translated or not. It was highly absurd in the opponents of OSSIAN ta cry out for written evidence, i.e. original manuscripts, of a work composed long before the signs of words were heard of in the country where they were composed. It is no shame for a man of learning and taste to be ignorant of the rude unwritten language of a savage people: Certainly not; but he ought to be ashamed to decide upon facts without obtaining the necessary previous information. We have no right to strip the laurels off the tombs even of savages, until we clearly ascertain that they ought not to have been planted there: Let FINGAL continue to be a hero, and OSSIAN a poet, were it but by the old rule

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of prescription, till those who challenge their right acquire their language, and are thus enabled to decide upon the question.

BUT it has been asked, why were the poems not committed to writing when the knowledge of letters was introduced, being so much admired by the people, and cherished as sacred vestiges of their heroic age, and venerated memorials of their ancestors? Here the ignorant defenders of OSSIAN erred; their national vanity would not allow them to confess, that except the monks of Icolmkill , who held the heathen poems of OSSIAN in abhorrence, and laboured to eradicate the prevailing passion for works of fancy, there were very few who did write Gaelic, and the writings of these few were merely confined to theology and to family archives, unless in some rare instances, where a young chief, before he became entirely engrossed by war and hunting, might have wrote down some favourite passage, composed or recited by a bard, or some old chief preserved on parchment a genealogy delivered by a Sennachie.

THOUGH the imagination may be delighted with fiction, when the pictures drawn by the flowing pencil of Fancy resemble something that we know, or believe to exist; yet the love of truth is happily so fixed in the human mind, that we revolt from a mixture of truth and falsehood, especially where the boundaries are undistinguished. The quick disgust we feel on a discovery of this kind, is apt to lead us into an opposite mistake; wherever we are re-

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quired to believe more than what is probable, we generally end in believing less, or in entire scepticism. The alterations and embellishments that have been made on these ancient poems, have contributed more than any thing else to shake their credit. But let us examine the circumstances which have been chiefly insisted on by the unbelievers.

First , It is said to be impossible that a people so savage and barbarous as the ancient CELTÆ , should either entertain generous and tender sentiments, or possess expressive and emphatic language to delineate their feelings, and record their exploits. I believe it is generally allowed that the inhabitants of the North of Britain were a branch of the ancient CELTÆ , whom the very Romans, who called them barbarians, (in common with all others who were strangers to the arts conducive to luxury, and the worship of their deities) allowed to possess exalted notions of liberty, friendship, and generosity, and a sense of probity in their dealings with each other. The clearest way to ascertain the possibility of heroic sentiments being delivered in eloquent language by wandering savages, who subsist by hunting, is to trace the manners of people who still exist in a similar state of society. The banks of the Mohawk very lately did, and the borders of the Huron and Oneida lakes still do, afford an apt illustration: There, heroic friendship, exalted notions of probity and honour, the fondest filial and fraternal affection, and the most enthusiastic patriotism, prevail: There every chief is an orator, and every orator a poet; if language, enriched with glowing imagery, ex-

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alted by the noblest conceptions, and modulated into harmonious periods, can be called poetry. The morality of these people is not indeed of so mild and amiable a cast as that of the FINGALIANS . Revenge makes a part of their religion: the cruelties they commit are not to gratify their inclinations, but to pacify the manes, and honour the memory of their departed friends: when that is once performed, they are kind and indulgent in no common degree to those whom accident, or the chance of war, throws into their power.

THERE is another cause which might operate powerfully to produce a superior refinement of humanity among our ancestors: Women among uncivilized wandering tribes are generally in an abject and degraded state, and condemned to the most servile employments. Among the CELTÆ this appears not to have been the case. Women possessed considerable influence in society; they were admitted at a certain age to councils, and held in reverence on account of a prophetic spirit with which some individuals were supposed to be endowed. This fact is unquestionably established; and whether their obtaining so high a rank in society was the cause or the consequence of a greater degree of mildness and humanity in their manners than is usually found among uncivilized people, the inference is equally just.

THE next circumstance which has been urged against the authenticity of the poems, is, That the language in

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which they are preserved could not have subsisted for many centuries unaltered. What has altered language but the invasion and conquest of countries, or the travels of the inhabitants, whom commercial or other pursuits have attracted to foreign countries, and who returning bring new customs and foreign languages to the place of their nativity? From the reverence with which people in a state of nature usually regard their ancestors, it is presumeable that a man would always call a deer, a fox, a river, or a mountain, by the name his father called it. Things newly invented or imported would have new names, but that would not change the original form of the language. In a country equally poor and inaccessible, the usual causes of alteration did not occur. It was naturally impregnable, and not worth conquering. Strangers had no motive of curiosity or advantage to visit it; nothing but extreme necessity made the natives emigrate; and when they acquired the language and manners of a civilized country, they were equally unfit and unwilling to live in their own. It is obvious that the language has undergone no material alteration since the establishment of the monks of Icolmkill .

THE next impossibility asserted is, that of preserving an unwritten composition, unimpaired, for so long a series of ages. People who have long worn spectacles can make little use of their eyes without them. We have so long accustomed ourselves to a certain medium, by which knowledge is preserved, and through which it is received, that it is not easy for us to comprehend how others could retain

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in their memories what ours are unequal to. We have such a number of new images continually passing through our minds, and effacing the old, that we are very inadequate judges of the deep impression which pathos and sublimity might make on a mind open to receive, and at leisure to fix their impressions. As little can we judge of the fidelity of retention, which might result from a man's making it the object of his life, like any other trade or profession, to retain and recite poems. Persons still living remember a woman in Strathspey , who, though never taught to read, could recite the whole book of Psalms in the Gaelic translation, merely by having it read to her by others. This to be sure was the employment and delight of all the leisure hours of a long life; but it is a proof what hold the memory takes, where the heart is deeply interested. Dr JOHNSON , a name never to be mentioned but with respect and veneration, seems to have erred in his estimation of the faculties of the mind, when neither exalted by culture, nor debased by utter neglect. He imputed too much to learning, and did not think that a mind could be informed or enlarged by any other means. He does not appear to have considered that the book of Nature lay open to all, and that other books at best contain but the aggregate of human reflection and observation suggested by that great book. People who had abilities, made use of them to treasure up in their memories, for the delight and instruction of others, what had formerly delighted and instructed themselves. Their bequeathing their most valuable acquisitions unimpaired to others, was not at im-

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probable. The errors which crept into written legends, were often owing to their being copied over by those who merely performed a task in transcribing them, and felt no interest in the original: But in reciting, or rather chanting poems, where they were well known and highly relished, and where a certain rhythmus or cadence was connected with them, which was broke in upon by the change of a syllable, no great departure from the original words could pass unnoticed, the ear in this case aiding the memory.

SUPPOSING that such poems once did exist, it is not easy to believe they could be forgot or neglected by a people whose national vanity was so flattered by them; especially when we consider that every Chief retained a bard, whose principal business it was to recite those scriptures of chivalry, for such they were esteemed.

THE simplicity of manners, ardent affections, heroic extravagance, and generous contempt of life, which these poems ascribe to our ancestors, correspond with the description left to us of the ancient BRITONS in the times of the DRUIDS . Their manners, indeed, strongly mark that period of society which the fables and traditions of various nations have decorated with enthusiastic embellishments, and peopled with heroes and demi-gods;--the time when people were not bound by laws, but, from reverence to their ancestors, held sacred the precepts and customs bequeathed by them; when property was so far ascertained, that the courageous might retain what their exertions acquired, yet

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so unsettled, that the weak found it necessary to dwell under the shadow of the strong:--when the love of glory predominated over every other passion, because all power, all esteem, all veneration, centred in him, who, by uniting courage with generosity, made himself at once beloved and feared:--when the passion of love was a powerful one, because opposed by no other, and exalted by that of glory, every woman being ennobled by the heroes with whom she was allied:--where friendship was a strong because a beneficial bond; for who loves his friend so well as he who is daily bestowing or receiving assistance and protection? And, lastly, when poetry, the audible and harmonious language of nature, flowed pure from the heart, and was consecrated to its best affections, to reward the successful, or console the suffering hero; to preserve the remembrance of noble actions; to lament the tender lover or faithful friend; and to give the joy of grief to the soul, that is purified, while it is melted. Such is the age which may be call'd the golden one of heroism ; of which every nation delights to preserve the traditions and obscure or exaggerated history; and which intervenes betwixt that of the selfish, solitary savage, whose short life is spent in sudden transitions from violent exertion to gloomy indolence; and that of the civilized inhabitant, who becomes as selfish from the multitude of his wants, as the other from the precariousness of his possessions; adjusting his morality to coercive laws, and regulating his desires by ever changing fashion. This heroic age is necessarily an illiterate one, the knowledge of letters being always preceded by agriculture and commerce.

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Civilization and regular polity succeed so soon to the heroic age (which, after all, is a melancholy and precarious state of life) that it is very difficult to trace the fleeting images of the characters that adorn, or the events that diversify it. What, then, do we owe to the revered personage, at once a Poet, a Prince, and a Hero, who delineated in unfading colours a faithful picture of this short yet interesting interval; who sung the loves, the wars, the woes of his contemporary heroes, and arrayed them in such truth of character, and beauty of diction, as cannot fail to attract and delight through every age? The frequent recurrence of the same images and incidents may tire and disgust a taste refined to nicety; the stile of the translator may perhaps at times be justly accused of swelling into tumidity; but wisdom and learning, after having long sat in council upon the nature of poetical excellence, and laid down roles innumerable for attaining it, have at length come to this conclusion, that as it is the province of poetry to delight the imagination and affect the heart, what pleases and affects very many, and continues to please and affect very long, must needs be poetry of no inferiour kind, however obvious, or however numerous, its blemishes; and daily observation evinces, that the most correct and faultless poetry, formed on the purest classical models, if it fails in these great pre-requisites, if it can neither fix the attention or affect the heart, sinks into sudden oblivion.

THE Translator of OSSIAN , though he has on many occasions forfeited the praise due to literary integrity, has al-

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ways rendered the sense of his author in a pleasing, and often in a faithful manner. Many circumstances concurred to lead him into deviations, which, while they adapted his performance more to the popular taste, derogated from the credit of its authenticity, and gave room to those who could not separate what was genuine from what was changed and enlarged, to impeach the whole as an imposture. Mr MACPHERSON'S early years had been spent among the indigent and illiterate; and, when he made a spirited though difficult effort to cultivate those talents which he felt struggling for expansion, his progress in moral improvement and delicacy of sentiment was by no means commensurate to his other attainments. Justly conscious of his abilities, and not unjustly proud of his acquisitions, he had not sufficient address or knowledge of the world to conceal the opinion he entertained of his own consequence. He presumed on his descent from an ancient and respectable family, which every one was willing to forget; and forgot his poverty, which every one was willing to remember. He claimed abruptly, and often indelicately, that place in society to which he thought himself entitled; and was as often insolently repulsed by those who little knew how to estimate learning and genius at its true value: The treatment which would have crushed a gentle and timid spirit, hardened a lofty and resolute one, now past softening or polishing: He chose his own path, and walked firmly on in it, little consulting, and less valuing, the opinions of others; hence the liberties he took in enlarging his materials, and the general and vague assertions

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he made use of to defend the antiquity of the whole collection, as he presented it to the public.

AMIDST all the crushing neglect to which he was subjected, and necessary occupations to which he owed his support, he wrote two original poems, which are not without merit, though they were neither formed to please, nor to last. The first, entitled Death , has many forcible thoughts, and striking descriptions. The other, the Highlander , has some original ideas and incidents, but is rendered obscure, and sometimes incongruous, by a strange mixture of Grecian and Gothic mythology, and is so strongly marked with the political prejudices in which the Author was educated, that it could not, on that sole account, be well received at the time when it was written. I have only seen it in the Author's manuscript. Two obvious remarks will occur to whoever peruses it with any attention: One, that Mr MACPHERSON made no use whatever of the Gaelic fragments, which were then very well known to himself and others, in forming incidents or imagery to this poem: The other, that no traces appear in it of that harmonious and flowing diction which prevails in his translation: On the contrary, the sentences are often harshly constructed, and the versification in general rugged and uncouth. The progress he had made in the learned languages enabled him in some degree to form and to improve his poetical taste; but when he quitted the college, during the vacation, he only made a transition from Greek to Gaelic, from HOMER to OSSIAN . Dr

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MACPHERSON of Slate , whose integrity was equal to his abilities, and whose veracity never was or could be questioned, had by his learned labours awakened a spirit of enquiry, and a taste for Gaelic antiquities. These soon became the favourite object of Mr JAMES MACPHERSON'S studies: he delighted in running parallels between the Grecian and Celtic Bards, till they became in a manner associated in his imagination. Here it may be proper to observe, that the blindness of OSSIAN , which he has been accused of inventing for this purpose, is alluded to, not only in common sayings, but in many Gaelic poems, well known to have existed long previous to his translation, of which the Old Bard's Wish (in this volume) affords an instance.

FINALLY , he not only resolved to translate and publish the Gaelic fragments of OSSIAN relative to FINGAL'S Irish wars, but to enlarge and connect them, so that they should form a continued narrative poem, which he determined, though strongly dissuaded by a judicious friend, to call Epic, not considering that these poets of Nature never did nor ever could produce long connected narratives. They sat down under the shelter of a hollow rock, or an aged tree, and recollected and mused, till, as the Psalmist expresses it, "the fire burned;" then they poured out a burst of enthusiasm, and went on till they grew cold or hungry, but never dreamt of resuming the subject: this fire, once extinguished, could not be rekindled. Successive poems might be composed on successive actions, but they had no regular or immediate connection with each other. After

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the publication of his fragments, some literary gentlemen in Edinburgh subscribed a sum of money to enable him to make a journey to the western Highlands and islands, for the purpose of collecting those larger poems, which he thought proper to call Epic, and which he informed the gentlemen he had reason to believe existed there. This journey afforded him an opportunity also of gaining a more thorough acquaintance with those expressions in the language which were daily becoming obsolete; the purest Gaelic, or what the Highlanders call fine Gaelic , being spoken in some of the islands. This fine Gaelic does not by any means signify a different dialect in the language, but a more elevated style, enriched and varied by a kind of poetical phraseology. The superior classes of every community think more, converse more, and have a more elegant manner of expressing their sentiments, than those whose attention is necessarily engaged by their urgent wants. In the isles gentlemen still conversed in Gaelic, and this style was still familiar. It may be easily conceived how soon a language will be debased, when it ceases to be used but by the mere vulgar. On this excursion our Translator was accompanied by a person said to be one of the best Gaelic scholars of his time, who, however, was no otherwise useful to him than as a linguist, being destitute of taste, and even ordinary poetical knowledge, but a man of stubborn integrity, who could have no bias; for he liked his fellow-traveller better than any thing, except truth. From this worthy and venerable person the principal information here communicated was derived. The

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chief acquisition they made on this excursion was a more intimate knowledge of the Ossianic style, which cleared up many obscurities in the former collections, to which however much was not added. The collection from which the selection was made, was indeed a pretty ample one. Something no doubt has been added, and much subtracted; and this latter it was necessary to do, in justice to the old Bard, to whom his successors had appended many extravagant and grotesque ornaments. These, however, were easily known to be no part of the style of OSSIAN , which, though bold and figurative, is all along distinguished by a dignity, an exquisite pathos, and a sublime and tender melancholy peculiar to himself. The Translator wisely stripped off these ornaments, and brought the whole poems to the standard of those beautiful and simple ones which he found in their original undebased state. Among these are the Vision of MALVINA , the Death of OSCAR , the Counsel of FINGAL to OSCAR , BERRATHON , and the Courtship of OSSIAN to EVIR ALUINE . --It may be easily judged, were there no genuine fragments but these, what the Poet that produced them was capable of, especially when he depicted, with the energy of truth, and glow of feeling, those scenes in which he had himself been an actor.

THE Translator, with such models before him, was at loss in forging links to connect the detached parts into a seemly whole. Having fame and profit more in view than tracing the familiar habits and domestic manners of

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remote times, he threw into shade on some occasions, circumstances that might betray our ancestors to the ridicule of modern fastidiousness; such as their rash and sudden quarrels, minute details relative to their hunting, their food, and their dogs, their jealousies, and the fatal power which enchanted rings had over their inclinations. These moles and freckles which might have delighted the virtuoso, as genuine marks of antiquity, would infallibly disgust the common reader. In this respect he might be compared to SUSAN , when she took such pains in scouring SCRIBLERUS'S shield: He defaced the marks of antiquity in hopes of procuring the general applause of the gossips who awaited the christening of his work: He was like an architect who should endeavour to adapt a Gothic edifice to the purposes of modern convenience; it might be more elegant, but it would no longer be a genuine Gothic edifice. Thus expanded and embellished, the translation was published: it happened to be at an unlucky juncture, when the more numerous and clamorous party held the name of Scotchman in detestation, and depreciated with industrious acrimony every Scotch production, the character of which time had not established. The attack upon OSSIAN was made on false grounds, from ignorance of the true and just ones; A violent clamour was raised for these ancient original manuscripts, which never could or did exist. Like a nurse, who, being teazed by a petulant child to reach him down the moon to play with, assures him he shall have it tomorrow,--Mr MACPHERSON in an evil hour promised to produce the original manuscripts; and by this pious fraud

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injured the credit of those valuable remains. The manuscripts were then eagerly demanded, and the demand variously evaded. Producing a legible manuscript would never do. Yellow parchments of grey antiquity were demanded. To talk of impossibilities to a deaf multitude, predetermined against conviction, was useless. However, it luckily, as he thought, occurred to him, to produce a Leabhar Dearg , or Red Book, in which a chieftain had caused several of the original fragments to be written down. It was parchment, and it was old; but upon examination it shrunk from trial; for I am told it was not three hundred years old; these, however, proved superabundantly that the translator was not the author of the poems.

A MOST formidable adversary now came forth to defy the armies of FINGAL .

Dr JOHNSON , hardened in prejudice, fortified with incredulity, and covered with the weighty mail of ancient learning, (which however served only to encumber and retard him in this pursuit) marched heavily on against the Leabhar dearg . Not satisfied with pronouncing the whole an imposture, he pronounced it an easy and flimsy one, and a thing that any one could do with very moderate abilities. He did not even leave the translator the merit of deceiving agreeably: In short, he said so much on the subject, that he reduced himself to a dilemma like that in which he had involved his opponents. He had said more than he could prove; and, to support the credit of his as-

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sertions, he set about looking for proofs where they could not be found. It is probable that his journey to the Hebrides was in a great measure occasioned by his desire to obtain positive proofs of the non-existence of these poems. But the indispensible pre-requisite for this enquiry was wanting. He was like a man who should visit a river without implements for fishing, and declare upon his return there were no fish, because he had caught none.--Without understanding the language in which the poems were composed, the evidence of their antiquity, which was entirely local and intrinsic, could not be traced;--he enquired of country gentlemen, advanced in life, and engrossed by its cares, what they knew of the remains of OSSIAN ? They honestly told him they heard such poems in their youth, but had never thought or enquired about the authenticity of them, or of ascertaining the date of their antiquity, and that they had never heard them in a connected series. The Highland Presbyterian clergy, who on all other occasions shared in the contempt he avowed for that persuasion, seem to have gained great credit with him, because they shewed no extraordinary warmth in defence of these poems, as they appeared in the translation. He asked of Dr MACQUEEN , Whether the poems ever existed in the form in which JAMES MACPHERSON had given them to the world? The Doctor could not, consistently with his wonted probity, say they had; nor did he choose to give such an explanation as would afford a fair pretext for infidelity. The clergy in these remote places were more estimable for the purity of their lives, and the

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diligence of their evangelical labours, than remarkable for their taste in elegant literature. They rather, from a conscientious motive, maintained a kind of warfare with bards and sennachies, such as our more austere divines did with the theatre.

UPON the Reformation, they found the taste of the people vitiated by the legends of the monks, and the absurd and extravagant fictions of the latter bards; and that this acquired passion for the marvellous, laid them open to every kind of imposture, and made them less relish the simplicity of those truths in which it was the duty of the clergy to instruct them. It was no wonder, then, that in the indiscriminate war carried on by pious zeal against poetical fiction, these fragments, wrapt in a debasing cloud of adventitious matter, should meet with little favour or indulgence. Yet Dr MACPHERSON , whose probity and learning were universally respected, having led the way in elucidating these antiquities, some of the younger clergy of more cultivated taste, admired and studied them. With these however Dr JOHNSON did not chance to meet; and when he came to Edinburgh , where he met with people abundantly qualified to discuss with him all other points of polite literature, he could not, though he had been open to conviction, obtain any light upon this; a Scotchman, who is not a Highlander, being no better qualified to decide upon it, than a native of London is to judge of the authenticity of a poem in Welsh. The Doctor returned hardened in infidelity. The correspondence which succeed-

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ed is well known. In this the Doctor had greatly the advantage, both from the purity of his moral, and the dignity of his literary character; as well as from the violence with which the current of prejudice ran against his adversary.

GROWN quite regardless of his literary character, under all this hostility, Mr MACPHERSON devoted himself to more profitable pursuits, but did not find them a sufficient consolation for the severity with which he had been treated by the public,--a severity which he may be said to have in some measure justly incurred, by his presumptuous attempt to translate HOMER . Though wealthy, prosperous, and seemingly indifferent to public applause, the chagrin he felt at having so mingled falsehood with truth, that he could not separate them with credit to himself, preyed upon his spirits; and a short time before he died, he ordered the Gaelic originals of the translated poems to be printed for the satisfaction of his particular friends.


SINCE writing the preceding Observations, I have seen a Dissertation on the subject written with so much acuteness, learning, and force, as will probably render it in the general opinion conclusive. It would be tedious

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and difficult to explain all the grounds on which the opinions I entertain are founded;--suffice it to say, that I still think as I did formerly, yet would not be understood to engage in controversy, where I only meant to amuse, and in some degree inform a friend; and chose this subject, because it was the only one I thought myself capable of showing him in a new light.

Page 371



It was the intention of the Translator to insert the Gaelic Originals of MORDUTH and the succeeding poem, in compliance with a wish expressed by Mr MACKENZIE , well known as the ADDISON of Scotland; but this volume having considerably exceeded its proposed size, and the Gaelic of both poems being already published in Gillies's and Macdonald's Collections, she contents herself with giving the Translations.


MORDUTH , we are told, is the name of the aged hero, who, speaking in the first person, narrates part of the transactions of his early life, relative to the wars then carried on between the Scotch and the Norwegians. He begins in a manner suited to pre-dispose the mind to regard him with mingled admiration and compassion. In an apostrophe to the wind, whose violence disturbed his meditations, he recurs to the days of his youth, when he ardently pursued the enemies of his country; and in foretelling the approaching weakness of the wind, when time should destroy its power, introduces an affecting allusion to his own feeble and forlorn state.

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COM'ST thou with swift wing in thy strength, O wind!
Wilt thou not to my helpless age be kind?
And lightly o'er my rocky shelter wave,
While here I sit all mournful by the grave,
Where busy memory feeds on endless woe,
While youth's dear lost companions sleep below.
And while they still my sorrowing thoughts engage,
I sink beneath th' enfeebling hand of age:
Alone I tremble till the storm be past,--
Then strive not with my weakness, northern blast!
Once was my step as light as thine, O wind!
With fearless valour matchless strength combin'd;
My foes from many a battle, pierc'd with wounds,
With feeble step retir'd to distant bounds:--
But Sorrow yet shall stop thy airy flight
O wind! nor shalt thou climb yon mountain's height,
Nor o'er the dark wood bear th' impending cloud--
That wood which once beneath thy prowess bow'd:

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The grass shall scorn to yield beneath thy pow'r,
But every twig and every laughing flow'r
Erect its head,--then to my age be kind,
Since thou thyself to age must yield, O wind!
     * Come, lovely hunter of excelling grace,
Awake a flame to warm and cheer the place;
Heap branches dry to kindle up in light,
For slowly from the east approaches night:
The Sun now hovers trembling in the west,
Already thrice the happy isles of rest
Have op'd their veil of clouds, and bade him lave
His glowing visage in the western wave + :
They cry, "O haste! thy daily task is done,
"Come with thy bright locks streaming round, O Sun!
"Behind the surge, dark wandering clouds of night
"Come frequent on, to shade thy lustre bright:
"Fair visage! that first smiles to joy the east,
"Come, sink among the heavenly isles to rest."
Dark frowning clouds on sable wings arise,
See shadowy forms invite him from the skies;

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Departed heroes, hark! the Sun invite
To pass with them, in isles of bliss, the night.
    Blest be the meek-ey'd virgin of thy love * ;
Unerring be thy shaft in every grove!
Hunter! who kindly lend'st me frequent aid,
While weak with age I wander thro' the shade,
Sit thou attentive on yon moss-grown grave,
While thro' the hollow rock the loud winds rave;
While fraught with meaning I the tale relate
Of heroes brave, and their eventful fate;
Now stretch'd beneath the monumental stone,
The gallant chiefs who first in battle shone!
     + How bright the hue of years that ne'er return,
I feel my soul with wonted ardour burn!
Return, my youth, with all thy acts of might,
Rise, memory, on my soul in beams of light!
Show me the battles where I rul'd the storm,
And bright in armour shew each hero's form.
O you that pour'd the tempest on your foes,
Look smiling from the clouds of your repose;
And while your children hear your proud renown,
See tears of transport silently steal down:--

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My soul grows bright while former years arise,
With all their deeds of fame to glad my eyes:
In long succession see the scenes unfold,--
Hunter, attend! a tale of times of old!
    The stars slept viewless on their cloudy bed,
The moon in formless darkness hid her head,
Erewhile tumultuous winds thro' ocean rav'd,
Now tost in air, the clouds the billows brav'd--
When, awful riding on the midnight storm,
From ocean's bed rose SHALMOR'S shadowy form;
Dim o'er the ridgy surge he seems to go,
Dark in the whelming cloud of drifting snow;
Then high upon the blast's tempestuous breath,
Rose to the lofty rock, the son of death!
Chill vapours hung around his pointless spear,
While from his cold, dark bed, the chief drew near;
Emphatic truths his awful words convey,
And thus in hollow sounds he seem'd to say:
"Rise, sons of ALBION , from unsafe repose,
"Fierce from the north approach your ancient foes:
"Cold * LOCHLIN'S smooth ships thro' the stormy surge,
"With mighty pow'rs the bold invasion urge:
"Children of ALBION , long renown'd, come forth
"To meet your bold invaders from the north!"

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    Swift on the cold blast fled the son of night,
The strong oak bow'd beneath th' impetuous flight;
The shatter'd forest shook before his wrath,
While to his wat'ry tomb retir'd the son of death.
The gentle Chief of ALBION'S generous race
Awak'd,--and, "call my warriors from the chace,"
He cry'd, "and high on Feanna's ridgy brow
"Let warning flames alarm the vales below!"
From every mountain's side the Chiefs descend,
And bright in arms their gallant king attend:--
MORDUTH , the ruler of the strath around,
With warlike shouts, made trembling rocks resound:
The sons of battle heard the sound a-far,
And gleaming swords impatient threat the war.
Now morn dim dawning in the east appears,
And bids the sons of tempest seize their spears:
Mild in his beauteous radiance smil'd the sun,
While from blue Ocean's breast his course begun;
His beams resplendent glitter'd on the arms
Of Chiefs renown'd in battle's fierce alarms:
Up valiant * CHIAGLAS rose, devoid of fear,
And thick behind the Chief rose many a spear;
+ Tommora gathers all his people round,
Nor in the rear was ardent MORDAL found.

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CHIAGLAS , who bow'd beneath the weight of years,
Cries, "Where are northern SUNAR'S thronging spears?
"Even I in former days have gather'd fame
"From SUNAR , when to ALBION'S coasts he came:
"Tho' feeble age now foils me in the fight,
"Great was my strength, and great my deeds of might!"
'If strength or hardihood can ought avail,'
MACORDUIBH cries, with fear and envy pale,
'Now is the time,--for SUNAR of the North,
'In all the gallant pomp of war comes forth;
'Redoubled sun-beams dance on polish'd arms,
'And ardent warriors, smit with glory's charms,
'Fierce in their strength move threatening at his side;
'The woods before them bow their lofty pride,
'See while they mount on Thirmor's rocky side,
His head diminish'd sinks before their stride;
'In stormy wrath approaches LOCHLIN'S might,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

'In vain the sons of ALBION urge the fight,
'To tempt their fate and turn in shameful flight.'
    "Fly, dastard, to the quiet abodes a-far,
"Where timorous females shun the din of war;
"Thy soul shakes like the green leaf in the air,
"When Autumn's chill blast makes the forest bare;
"As flies the leaf before the wint'ry gale
"Fly thou, when foes our valiant host assail;
"But many a stately tree this mountain owns,
"That stands erect when winter fiercest frowns;

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"And oft our northern foes in fury came,
"But when retir'd with conquest or with fame?
"Depart unheard of, son of small renown!
"To where degenerate cowards dwell unknown!
"Had we no greater foes than thee to dread,
"How soon to certain conquest we might speed:
"We'd draw our weapons on this northern race,
"Assur'd, as when the tim'rous deer we chace:
"Bloody and bold are those thy taunts that hear,
"On every side then shun destruction near."
'Still in our ears thy base reproaches ring,--
'Thou son of pride, withdraw thy venom'd sting!'
      * Two spears with hostile terror threat on high,
And half-drawn swords and clashing shields draw nigh:
With civil rage now wakens ALBION'S might,
To pour on kindred foes the sudden fight.
But the strong shield that guards th' impetuous throng,
The lovely king of ALBION'S came along,
With mighty anger frowning in his wrath,
He came like the impending cloud of death:
From Chief to Chief dark roll'd his ardent eyes,
And as he came, with fierce impatience cries,

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"Ye * children of the waves, restrain your might,
"Nor vainly say you conquer'd us in fight:
"Oft rose our fathers' spears in battle's roar,
"And oft your tombs upon the sea-beat shore.
"But well may joy arise in SUNAR'S hall,
"When by each other ALBION'S warriors fall!"
Asham'd, dismay'd, before their monarch's ire,
The Chiefs who wak'd the deadly strife retire.
    As two dark clouds that travel o'er the hills,
When from the sky the misty show'r distils,
With low'ring horror fill the darken'd vale,
While on in gloomy majesty they sail:
Thus dark in frowning might our heroes came,
And thus fierce LOCHLIN'S host of mighty name.
    Onward the king of ALBION bent his course,
Then as a rock resists the billow's force,
Whose foaming rage assails the base in vain,
Then sinks with baffled fury back again--
So fierce, so clam'rous, rush'd the tide of foes,
So firm, so fearless, did the Chief oppose:
As come the loud winds thro' the gloom of night,
Came LOCHLIN'S deadly spears to urge the fight:
Nor comes the fatal blast of night alone,
As fast the clouds that bid the tempest frown.

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Thus high resistless ALBION rose in arms,
Like bursting thunder came the loud alarms:
As rocky fragments from the mountain's brow,
By thunder torn, encounter fierce below,--
With furious shock the onset first began,
And many a foe lay gasping on the plain:
The Chieftain's spears with rushing blood were dy'd,
And broken arms lay scatter'd far and wide;
Bold hardy warriors urg'd the conflict sore,
And many a wound ran purple on Dalmore ;
But vainly force unequal we oppose,
What single arm can meet a hundred foes?
Our dauntless King our yielding steps beheld,
By LOCHLIN like a rushing tide impell'd,--
The hero's soul with rage impetuous blaz'd,
While high in air his bloody spear he rais'd;
The foe's fierce conflict round the king appear'd,
While distant far his banner yielding steer'd.
At length he came, as ocean's wearied wave,
Where restless surges round Iona rave,
In vain assaults the rock's unyielding pride,
Then falls repell'd indignant from its side:
"Why art thou darken'd ere the day's decline,
"Fair Sun, that wont with fav'ring beams to shine* ?

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"Think not the warriors fought with feeble hands,
"Tho' far outnumber'd by the adverse bands:
"Oft has an envious cloud obscur'd thy light,
"When sable tempests wing'd th' impetuous flight;
"But when the winds are hush'd, and thro' the sky
"The driving rack is seen across to fly;
"When clouds retiring hear thy strong command,
"And the rude blast thou graspest in thy hand;
"When kindly thou look'st forth with beauty crown'd,
"And all thy bright locks glitter wide around;
"When thy fair visage brightens with a smile,
"And pleasure gleams on every rock the while,
"Rejoic'd we see thy beaming glory rise,
"Rejoic'd we bless thy progress thro' the skies.
"Oh thou! who dwell'st among the starry train,
"Move on with music to the western main * !
"Altho' this night opprest with wounds we pine,
"Our course to-morrow shall be bright as thine!"

* The aged hero here addresses a young hunter, who appears to have treated him with compassionate veneration.

+ The ancient Britons believed heaven to be situated in beautiful islands in the western ocean, where the sun went to repose in the evening, among the shades of departed heroes.

* See note No. 1.

+ There is an ardour of enthusiasm, and a force of expression in the original of this exordium, to which no translation can do justice.

*See note No. 2.

* Chiabb-glas , gray locks.

+ A large hill overlooking an inhabited valley.

* Two spears .] Raising two spears was the signal for assault. On this occasion it appears to be the result of a quarrel between the Chiefs, whose discord is afterwards severely reproved by the King.

* Children of the waves .] The Norwegians.

* "This apostrophe meant for the king, is in a figurative or allegorical manner addressed to the sun."

* "Thusa ha measg na Reultan mor,
"Heiric dha dho leaba le ceol."

"Thou who art amidst the constellations,
"Move to thy bed with music+ ."

+ i.e. retire joyfully, complacently.

Page 382



THREE times dark hovering in the east the night,
Chas'd with black misty wings the lingering light;
And thrice the stars with feebly glimmering ray
Shot thro' the struggling clouds that barr'd their way:
Low sullen winds that o'er the hillocks rise,
Seem laden with afflicted heroes sighs;
The shades of ancient Chiefs, renown'd for might,
In wrath were moving o'er the mountain's height:
Deep moans of new-made ghosts came on the breeze,
And weak their voices whisper'd thro' the trees;
Still in our ears their dying sorrows rung,
And anguish every manly bosom wrung.
    High on a lofty rock the king appear'd,
Th' indignant glance desponding warriors fear'd;
His mighty purpose lab'ring in his breast,
The monarch thus his high disdain exprest:
"Whene'er the dark occasion seems to frown,
"With trembling fear the little heart sinks down;

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"And quick the feeble to the covert flies,--
"The brave on danger looks with fearless eyes,
"Sees him approach in his most hideous form,
"And lifts his head undaunted in the storm:
"Tho' thro' the wood the howling tempest raves,
"The stedfast oak the blast unshaken braves.
"Say, then, ye Chiefs, who warlike honours claim,
"If from the sons of little men we came?
"The spears we lift to quell invading foes,
"Not from weak twigs of bending osier rose:
"From the firm oak our well-try'd weapons came,
"Of ALBION'S growth, renown'd for deeds of fame!"
    "How oft have foes come blustering from the north,
"How oft our valiant ancestors gone forth,
"And drove them vanquish'd from the bloody field--
"And will you to the sons of ocean yield?
"Where moans of wounded foes from blast to blast,
"And dying groans in sad succession pass'd:
"The flat grey stones, the monuments of death,
"That frequent rise on yonder dusky heath;
"Preserve the memory of our gallant sires--
"Hark! from their tombs a warning voice inspires,
"And says, "Ye sons of sires that never fled,
"Your fathers' steps with dauntless ardour tread!"
    Listening to hear the King disclose his wrath,
The heroes stood dejected, still as death:

Page 384

Then rais'd aloft the buckler, sword, and spear,
  * While hollow sounds still murmur'd in their ear:
MORCHEAN , the third that rul'd the sable rock,
Thrice shook his locks, thrice struck in wrath the oak:
"Tho' now my strength bows with the weight of years,
"No coward vein my cheek indignant bears;
"Seldom I struck an unavailing stroke,
"And oft my sword thro' hostile ranks has broke:
"I thought, and joy'd to think my gallant son
"Would build my tomb when life's short day was done:
"I hop'd when joy and grief alike were fled,
"+ Low in the narrow house he'd lay my head.
"Alas! nor stone nor shield his hand shall raise,
"But long in deathless songs shall live his praise!
"His step was in the battle foremost found,
"Till every friend or fell or fled around:
"But matchless odds can mortal might oppose,--
"The hero fell before a thousand foes!"

Page 385

'Blest be the hero's soul,' the king return'd,
'Alone he shall not lie, so justly mourn'd,
'This night shall ALBION'S Chief his footsteps trace,
'And dark our foes shall find the fatal place!'
MACORDUIBH'S blooming spouse now grasp'd the shield:
"Shall men till sun-rise linger in the field?
"Will ye not hunt the foe like tim'rous deer,
"While doubt and darkness aggravate their fear?"
    A mighty Chief, for strength and courage fam'd,
With milder words her rash impatience blam'd:
"The sons of ALBION oft when wars were o'er,
"And strangers chanc'd to tread her woody shore,
"With kindly welcome gave the joyful shell;
"But never yet did ancient story tell,
"Where death in treacherous ambush lay in wait,
"When strangers past the hospitable gate:
"Manly and generous LOCHLIN'S sons appear,
"When the blest days of peace reverse the spear* !"
    The moon in gloomy silence hid her head,
The stars lay slumbering in their cloudy bed,
The whirling tempest waken'd loud alarms,
And rattling hail rebounded from our arms:

Page 386

But dusky twilight bade its fury cease,
And every hostile blast was hush'd to peace.
Now morn's fair visage in the east arose,
The sun awak'd, more beauteous from repose,
Shook his bright locks resplendent o'er the field,
Till gladsome beams reflect from every shield.
Rejoicing in the rays of new-born light,
Each Chieftain seiz'd his arms, and wish'd the fight.
Said MORFOLT * ; '+ Let no warrior further come,
'Who trusts that beauty's tears shall deck his tomb,
'For whom a soft white hand shall trembling raise
'The stone that gives his fame to future days.
'For me,--this night, stretch'd on yon dusky heath,
'I'll sleep within the cold embrace of death--
'No stone of fame shall o'er my grave appear,
'For me no cheek be moisten'd with a tear;
'No hoary sire in me lament a son,
'No son bewail a father's life is done;
'Nor gentle maiden cry, alas! my love!
'Still must my heart my erring hand reprove,
'Still cruel memory view the fatal dart
'That pierc'd the snowy breast, the faithful heart

Page 387

'Of her whose beauty, with excelling grace,
'Outshone a thousand fair of ALBION'S race:
'My alien sword that draws the purple flood
'From LOCHLIN'S sons, smokes with my kindred's blood!
'My ancestors of old were ALBION'S foes,
'And high in fame round LOCHLIN'S king they rose:
'Twas my bold youth's delight my course to urge,
'With daring prow across the foaming surge:
'Six gallant heroes rais'd my white sail high,
'The northern blast in fury swept the sky,
'The swelling billows rais'd their heads in wrath,
'Or whirl'd us in the dreadful pools of death,
'While blinding drift incessant drove around,
'And angry skies with double darkness frown'd:
'Fair ALBION with the dawning light appear'd,
'And o'er the ridgy waves its white cliff's rear'd;
'Each oak its green locks shook with welcome kind,
'And early music floated on the wind;
'High banks, with melody on every spray,
'Seem'd nodding o'er our bark to bid us stay:
'A courteous Chieftain stretch'd his ready hand,
"And welcome, LOCHLIN'S sons," he cries, "to land:
"Now hush'd in soft repose are war's alarms,
"And peaceful rust has settled on our arms;--
"Here many are our deer, and full our shells,
"High deeds of fame our ancient story tells;

Page 388

"Honour and valour in our tales appear,--
"Who ever saw a guest a stranger here?"
'With ready haste they spread the joyous feast,
'Weary and faint we shar'd the glad repast:
'On every hand the song of bards arose,
'Well pleas'd we blest our country's ancient foes:--
'Sweet as the sun just breaking forth to view,
'That glittering cheers the foliage bent with dew,
'BOSMINA mov'd midst the courteous throng,
'Soft as the whisper'd melody of song,
'And as with timid step she glided by,
'Her path was trac'd by many a hero's eye! *
'In vain, sweet maid, their looks were cast on thee,
'Whose soft regards alone distinguish'd me.
'For me no hills arose with forests crown'd,
'No warriors to my standard crowded round,
'In early youth my ready weapon rose
'And slaughter dealt amongst my country's foes;

Page 389

'Yet all the deeds my single arm could claim,
'Nor fill'd the song of bards, nor rais'd my fame.'
"Go," cried the maid, "and seek some distant land
"Where mighty monarchs adverse hosts command,
"There let the ardent soul of valour flame,
"And deeds of proud renown adorn thy name;
"Then when thy fame returns on ev'ry wind,
"To glad the mourner whom thou leav'st behind,
"Come bright in arms and hear BOSMINA own
"Her love the meed of MORFOLT'S worth alone."
'To Erin's king my subject arms I bore,
'And many a foe sunk breathless on the shore,
'And many a bard around the nightly flame
'The notes of triumph mingled with my name.
'My fatal fame now swelling on the breeze,
'Reach'd ev'ry shore, and wafted o'er the seas,
'To fair BOSMINA'S happy home convey'd
'The name so favor'd by the matchless maid:
'Daughters of Erin , vain were all your charms,
'Your softly rolling eyes, and snowy arms;
'For me ye sigh'd, on me ye smil'd in vain,
'When peace brought safety to your plains again:
'On wings of speed I hasted to depart,
'And sought the secret treasure of my heart.
    'The sun lay slumb'ring in his wavy bed,
'The moon thro' clouds a dubious lustre shed;

Page 390

'I saw her father's mossy tow'rs appear,
'The birchen grove with streaming branches near
'Wav'd its light foliage, to the whisp'ring wind--
'Dark horror rose in my presaging mind;
'I stopt, and heard a well known voice repeat,
'Like summer's balmy breath in accents sweet:'
"Go, and should fate decree my hero's fall,
"Oft shall my soul this parting hour recal,
"And thro' the course of sad surviving years
"Thy mem'ry shall be hallow'd by my tears."
'My soul, that never knew to fear before,
'With doubt and terror now was clouded o'er:
'Within the dusky shelter of the wood
'A stately warrior by BOSMINA stood,--
'I bent my bow, and bid my arrow go
'And seek the false heart thro' the breast of snow--
'Let never other warrior wander wide
'Thro' fields of fame to win that heart of pride.
'Deep in her bosom sunk the shaft of death,
Wide spread her floating vesture on the heath;
'The sanguine stream distains her tresses bright,
'Her low groans mingle with the sighs of night.'
"Whence came the dart of death?" the warrior cried.
'From no weak arm my boastful wrath replied.'
"Insidious foe," th' astonish'd youth returns,
"Tho' fall'n beneath thy arm the helpless mourns,

Page 391

"No mighty arms that valour gives to shine
"Are ever rais'd before a heart like thine;
"Amidst the airy forms of ages past
"Thy surly ghost shall mingle with the blast;
"To hollow winds the fatal deed deplore,
"Nor lift thy steel against the lovely more."
'Long on the heath alternate blows we deal,
'She groan'd unheard amidst the clash of steel.
'His broken spear no more repels the blow;
'Prone at my feet I saw my gallant foe;
'The moon burst forth--my dying Friend I view'd,--
'BOSMINA'S brother! welt'ring in his blood!'
"And art thou fall'n, our aged father's pride?'"
'Th' expiring maid with falt'ring accents cried:'
"Where art thou, MORFOLT ,--what distant shore
"Do mighty foes thy deadly force deplore?
"Who now shall hail thee with a brother's name,
"And call thee homeward from the fields of fame?
"Yet shall my hero come, and raise my tomb
"Amidst yon peaceful grove, whose hallow'd gloom
"Once heard our faithful vows?"--The steel I drew,
'And when the sanguine torrent burst anew
'My mingling tears her bleeding breast bedew'd;

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

'Once more her closing eyes her lover view'd,
'And saw his guilty hands in blood embrued!

Page 392

'In the weak shriek the gen'rous soul was lost,
'From my sad grasp escap'd th' abhorrent ghost,
'Shunn'd the fierce terrors of my jealous love,
'And on a moonbeam sought her friends above.
'Four stones now mark the dwelling of the brave,
'There, too, the lovely finds a peaceful grave:
'The virgins oft with solemn brow draw near,
'And deck the sacred spot with beauty's tear;
'The shrubs wave mournful as the breezes blow,
'Their tuneful inmates pour the notes of woe;
'All night I listen to the howling blast,
'Or gaze on clouds with double gloom o'ercast:
'On me they darkly frown while gliding by,
'And airy forms from me with horror fly.
'Dunairm's sad chief in lonely silence mourns,
'In vain he weeps,--the past no more returns;
'At times his hands explore his children's tomb,
'His voice of woe breaks through the midnight gloom,
'No more he lifts the spear;--but I again
'Shall bid his weapons thunder o'er the plain;
'Against my father's house his arms I wield,
'His gleaming steel shall pierce my kindred's shield;
'My fatal weapon slew his valiant son,
'Ere well his race of glory had begun;
'Now round his early tomb, his country's foes
'Shall fall, the victims of my guilty woes.

Page 393

'The moon's faint beams beheld the frantic deed,
'By her pale light my kindred host shall bleed.
'Once more I feel my wonted ardour burn,--
'Once more I go, but never to return!'

* While hollow sounds. ] While their confusion and horror at the imputation of cowardice, made them still imagine the words sounded in their ears.

+ Low in the narrow house. ] The nearest relation first put his hand to lift the corpse of the departed, and the nearest relation at home first lifted the stone of fame.

* The spear being reversed was a token of peace.

* MORFOLT , a name given to a person having an unusual quantity of hair, as one would say, heavy locks.

* See note No. 3.

* Thus far the Gaelic manuscript in the hands of the Translator. The subsequent part is versified from a prose translation by Mr CLARKE , which there is every reason to rely upon as authentic; his father and grandfather having been remarkable for their poetical taste and tenacious memory, and considered by their contemporaries as living depositaries of Gaelic traditions and poems.


  • No. 1.
    Blest be the meek-ey'd virgin of thy love. --P. 374.

    THERE is an affecting delicacy in this address to the hunter, whom the bard evidently means to address in such a strain of soothing gratitude as would be most likely to please and interest him. He does not directly compliment him, but seems to know this tender mention of
            "The meek-ey'd virgin of his love ,"
    would gratify the sincere and artless lover more than any expression of kindness directed to himself:--the succeeding allusion to his manner of life is equally appropriate.

    Page 394

  • No. 2.
    Cold LOCHLIN'S smooth ships thro' the stormy surge. --P. 375.

    What proves this poem to be of considerable antiquity, is, the Norwegian vessels Somadh-leng , smooth ships, in contradistinction to those of our ancestors, which were covered with skins with the hair on, and appear indeed to have been little more than currachs , or round vessels formed with osier twigs and covered with hides, which have been used to cross ferries in Argyleshire in the memory of many now living. Yet the period in which this poem was composed appears to have been long subsequent to the FINGALIAN times; for we hear of cills , or tombs, on sea-side, and of one sovereign under whose sway all chiefs seem united. In the age of Fingal the four grey stones seem to have been the only memorial of the warrior or the hunter.

  • No. 3.
    Said MORFOLT , "let no warrior further come, --P. 386.

    MORFOLT appears to have been a Norwegian , thrown by a tempest in his youth upon the British coast, where receiving much kindness, and being captivated with the beauty of a maiden whom he calls BOSMINA , smooth soft hand , he had been induced to reside in the land of her kindred; but now, in sorrow for her death, and remorse for fighting against his own countrymen, devotes himself to certain destruction. The fragment breaks off abruptly, and leaves the sequel of the story in obscurity.

Page 395



"As when a minstrel, taught by Heav'n to sing,
"Awakes high raptures to the vocal string.


OH ! lay me by yon peaceful stream
    That glides away so softly slow,
Where boughs exclude the noon-day beam,
    And early violets round me blow * .


And thou, O sun! with friendly eye
    Regard my languid limbs of age;
While on the new spring grass they lie,
    Their warmth restore, their pains assuage.

Page 396


Then on the pure stream's sloping side,
    Wave soft thy wings thou western gale,
Clear stream, how gently dost thou glide,
    To wake the flow'rets of the vale.


The primrose pale, of lovely dye,
    Around my dewy bank be spread;
The daisy ope its modest eye,
    And golden blooms bedeck my bed.


From lofty banks that bound my glen,
    Let blossom'd branches softly bend,
While sweetly from each rocky den,
    The little birds their love-notes blend.


Where from yon crag, with age so grey,
    The fresh stream bursts with rushing sound,
And echo bears the din away,
    While ocean's distant waves resound.


Each rock and hill returns the strain
    Of nature's joy that wakes around,
While sportive kids in frolic vein,
    And roes in sprightly gambol bound.

Page 397


The low of herds on yonder gale
    Comes pleasing to my aged ear,
And sweetly rural from the dale
    The bleating of their young I hear.


And near me let the hinds repose,
    And dappled fauns, when tir'd of play,
Beside my brook's green margin close,
    Or where the dashing fountains play.


Oh! wake the chace where I may hear
    The hunter rouse th' impatient hounds;
Their voice is music to my ear,
    My cheek glows youthful at the sound.


I feel youth's cheerful spirit rise,
    To hear the bugle sound so shrill,
While triumph bursts in joyful cries,
    Where sinks the dun deer on the hill.


Then quick I see the goats rebound,
    That morn and eve my steps pursue;
Yon mountain tops their cries resound,
    Which I at hopeless distance view * .

Page 398


I see Benard * of lofty brow,
    Amidst his green locks dream the roes,
A thousand hills appear below,
    And on his head the clouds repose.


Above my glen I see the grove
    Where first is heard the cuckoo's song;
Where deer in peaceful freedom rove,
    And pines protect the harmless throng.


I see the lake where wild ducks play,
    And lead about their tender young,
With water-lilies border'd gay,
    Its banks with evergreens o'erhung,


The water-nymph, with bosom white+ ,
    Swims graceful on the swelling wave;
Her infant train, with new delight,
    Their downy breasts incessant lave:

And when she wings her lofty flight,
    Afar amidst the clouds to rise,
And when she quits my aching sight,
    Commixing with the northern skies:[+]

Page 399


She goes upon the southern gale * ,
    Where vent'rous prow ne'er cut the waves,
Where never rose the flutt'ring sail,
    But ocean solitary raves.


Be thou, with snowy plumage soft,
    O swan! not far from my repose;
Even when I see thee soar aloft,
    Thy parting strain will sooth my woes.


Tell from what distant land the wind+
    Bears on its wings the sound of woe--
Sure 'tis his voice, who left behind
    His Love, to trace the realm of snow.


Stream thy bright eyes, O virgin mild!
    For him on LOCHLIN'S stormy coast
Who perish'd 'midst the tempest wild,--
    To thee--to me--for ever lost!


The graceful youth, in manly bloom,
    Who left my grey locks thus forlorn,
Far off to seek an early tomb,
    Dost thou with social sorrow mourn?

Page 400


Thy beauteous cheek, grown pale with grief,
    Still leans upon thy hand of snow,
Still heaves thy bosom for the chief
    Long in the narrow bed laid low.


O! be his mem'ry ever blest,
    Bright be the clouds of his repose;
Soon shall we share the hero's rest,
    Soon life, and love, and sorrow close.


Rise thou, whose soft melodious song,
    Pours on my heart the balm of ease;
Ye plaintive echoes come along,
    And waft the notes, thou sighing breeze!


From ocean's breast, O gale, arise!
    Bear on thy wings the dulcet strain,--
Bear it where high on clouds he lies,
    Tell him he hears the fair complain.


Tell, ere thy strength, be past, O wind!
    Where weak in helpless age I lie,
Low on my rusty shield reclin'd,
    And view his fair flow'r with'ring nigh.

Page 401


Lift me, O you, whose arms are young!
    Lay me beneath yon broad oak's shade;
For now the noon-day sun grows strong,
    Let not his rays my eyes invade.


Then wilt thou come, thou vision fair,
    Oft mingled with the stars of night;
Scenes of my youth shall rise in air,
    And times of manhood's active might.


Shew to my soul the lovely maid,
    Beneath the oak, the forest's pride;
Her cheek let golden tresses shade,
    Her lover, smiling, grace her side.


May endless joy their spirits wait,
    And meteors waft th' enamour'd pair!
Blest be your souls, and blest thy fate,
    Maid with the graceful locks so fair!


Leave not my soul, O dream of joy!
    O turn again, once more return!
They hear me not--My darling boy!
    For thee, for her, not long I mourn!

Page 402


Now lay me close by yonder fall
    That leaps in thunder o'er the rock;
My lyre and shell attend my call,
    The spear my sires in battle shook.


And come whence ocean's waters roll,
    Ye breezes mild that softly blow,
And bear away my parting soul
    Where sinks the sun at evening low.


O bear me to the happy isles
    Where shades of mighty heroes rest,
Who, sunk in sleep, forget their toils,
    Or wake the music of the blest.


Blind OSSIAN'S misty halls unfold:
    Your eyes no more the bard shall view:
Let me my harp and shell behold,--
    And now, dear harp and shell, adieu!

* See note No. 1.

* The verses after this correspond with those of the same number in the original.

* See note No. 2.

+ No. 3.

+ No. 4.

* See note No. 5.

+ See note No. 6.

Page 403


  • No. 1. P. 395.

    THE first verse is so compressed in the original, that is not possible to confine the sense in an equal number of English lines. The second has also some peculiar epithets that cannot be transfused into English in the same bounds. Thus it becomes necessary to give the sense of these two, in three English verses. This explanation is meant for the direction of such readers as may have the curiosity to compare this close and often literal translation with the corresponding verses of the original poem.

    Betwixt the twelfth and fourteenth verses of the original are two highly figurative and poetical, but so much wrapt in the mist of local superstition, that they are difficult to understand or translate, and could only excite interest in minds to which the wild solemnity they breathe is in some degree familiar.

    Page 404

  • No. 2.
    I see Benard, of lofty brow. --P. 398.

    The fourteenth verse has great force in the original.-- Literally it runs thus:
        "I see Benard , chieftain of a thousand mountains;
        "Among his locks are the visions of the roes,--
        "On his head is the sleep of the clouds."

  • No. 3.
    The water-nymph, with bosom white. --P. 392.

    Here the imagery grows so bold, and the expressions so peculiar to the original language, that it becomes necessary to render the sense, rather than the literal meaning, which again dilates two verses into three. The epithet translated water nymph , is still bolder in the original; for there the swan is called
                 Lovely white bosom'd maid.

  • No. 4., at the bottom of p. 398, is inserted by mistake

  • No. 5.    P. 399.

    For the reason above-mentioned, I have marked the eighteenth verse so as to answer the corresponding verse of the original.

    I am thus attentive to minute particulars, because a faithful, though not constrained, or literal translation from nature's own genuine language, as it may justly be called, affords a double pleasure.--The imagination is amused,

    Page 405

    and the heart affected, by the picturesque and pathetic powers of original poetry; and the understanding and judgment are exercised in tracing the operations of the un utored mind, and the powers of unassisted genius.

  • No. 6.
    Tell from what distant land the wind. --P. 399.

    As there is very little frost or snow in the islands, great numbers of swans come there from Norway in the beginning of winter: some stay to hatch, but they mostly go northward in summer. This furnishes the bard with the fine image, very strongly expressed in the original, of the north wind bearing towards him the moan of the departed; upon which he enquires of the swan from what cold country that well known voice came.--This affords him a pretence for digressing.

Page [406]

Page 407


The Author wrote these Songs at the request of her Friend Mr GEORGE THOMSON , in whose valuable Collection the Airs will be found, joined to the Verses, along with the beautiful Accompaniments of HAYDN .

IN 1799.


'OH where, tell me where, is your Highland Laddie gone?
'Oh where, tell me where, is your Highland Laddie gone?
"He's gone with streaming banners, where noble deeds are done,
"And my sad heart will tremble, till he come safely home.

Page 408

"He's gone with streaming banners, where noble deeds are done,
"And my sad heart will tremble, till he come safely home."

'O where, tell me where, did your Highland Laddie stay?
'O where, tell me where, did your Highland Laddie stay?'
"He dwelt beneath the holly-trees, beside the rapid Spey ,
"And many a blessing follow'd him, the day he went away.
"He dwelt beneath the holly-trees, beside the rapid Spey ,
"And many a blessing follow'd him, the day he went away."

'O what, tell me what, does your Highland Laddie wear?
'O what, tell me what, does your Highland Laddie wear?'
"A bonnet with a lofty plume, the gallant badge of war,
"And a plaid across the manly breast, that yet shall wear a star.
"A bonnet with a lofty plume, the gallant badge of war,
"And a plaid across the manly breast, that yet shall wear a star."

'Suppose, ah suppose that some cruel cruel wound
'Should pierce your Highland Laddie, and all your hopes confound!'
"The pipe would play a cheering march, the banners round him fly,
"The spirit of a Highland chief would lighten in his eye!

Page 409

"The pipe would play a cheering march, the banners round him fly,
"And for his king and country dear with pleasure he would die!"

"But I will hope to see him yet in Scotland's bonny bounds,
"But I will hope to see him yet in Scotland's bonny bounds,
"His native land of liberty shall nurse his glorious wounds,
"While wide through all our Highland hills his warlike name resounds:
"His native land of liberty shall nurse his glorious wounds,
"While wide through all our Highland hills his warlike name resounds."

Page 410




WHEN WILLY PITT , as he thought fit,
    Did rule and guide us a', man,
And furious War his iron car
    Drove o'er the nations a', man;
Then BUONAPARTE e'en took a start
    To visit Africa, man,
The Malta Knights, those feckless wights,
    Resistance made but sma', man.

While on their rocks, the Gallic cocks
    Did stoutly strut and craw, man;
The reaver band despoil'd the land,
    Took a' their gear awa', man;
Wi' saints of gowd, in siller row'd,
    O wow but they were braw, man!
The isles of Greece they next did fleece;
    Sic rugging ye ne'er saw, man.

Page 411

But L'Orient's hulk had room and bulk
    To haud and stow it a', man;
To Egypt come, they beat their drum,
    Hoist up their flag and a', man;
The Crocodile forsook the Nile,
    And fled wi' fear awa', man;
The river horse beheld their force,
    And sair did snort and paw, man.

The Musselmen forsook their den,
    And to the mosque did draw, man;
Their Prophet great they did entreat,
    And said a prayer or twa, man.
But to be brief, the wily chief
    Wha came from Corsica, man,
Had gart them trow, I kenna how,
    He had nae creed at a', man,
And gin they please, their minds to ease,
    He'd tak' their Prophet's law, man.

The mighty Turk dislik'd the work,
    Wi' rage his lips did gnaw, man,
And tell'd our King sae fause a thing
    He could na bide at a', man:
A renegade, that made a trade
    Of spuilzieing friends and a', man,
To set his foot, or raise his snout,
    In Pharaoh's ancient ha', man.

Page 412

Gi'e him a bield in that same field
    Where Israel gather'd straw, man,
'Twas one to ten but he came ben
    As far as Mecca's wa', man.
Our Monarch's nod, like Neptune's rod.
    That sways the Ocean a', man,
Sent out a fleet their ships to meet,
    Near Alexandria, man.

At Aboukir, withouten fear,
    As NELSON'S line did draw man,
His hearts of oak their hawsers broke,
    They did na wait to jaw, man;
Tri-colour'd flags came down like rags,
    Where NELSON'S guns did ca', man,
Till glory's light sae drown'd his sight,
    'Twas utter darkness a', man!

They left the sea like Antony,
    And to the Nile did draw, man:
As rockets fly, that mount the sky,
    When conquest glads us a', man,
So L'Orient fair gaed through the air,
    Like shooting stars that fa', man.
With dying cries they pierc'd the skies,
    And griev'd our heroes a', man.

The Mamalukes came frae their nooks,
    To see the low sae braw, man;

Page 413

On wings of flame high mounted Fame,
    And loud her trump did blaw, man,
'Till Gallic faith, and a' their skaith,
    Was kent in Asia, man;
And NELSON'S fame and Britain's name
    Rejoic'd and fear'd them a', man.

* See Explanation of the Scotch words in this song, p. 414.


[Glossary terms in two columns in original text.]

  • A ', all.
  • Awa ', away.
  • Ben , forward.
  • Bield , a house, a footing.
  • Blaw , blow.
  • Braw , fine.
  • Ca ', strike, drive.
  • Craw , crow.
  • Fa ', fall.
  • Fause , false.
  • Fear'd , struck terror into.
  • Feckless , destitute of spirit and courage.
  • Frae , from.
  • Gaed , went.
  • Gart , made, forced.
  • Gi'e , give.
  • Gin, gif , if.
  • Gowd, siller , gold, silver.
  • Ha ', hall.
  • Haud , hold, contain.
  • To jaw , to talk, to brag
  • Kenna , know not.
  • Kent , known.
  • Low , flame.
  • Nae , na, no.
  • Reaver , robber.
  • Rugging , pulling, tearing.
  • Sae , so.
  • Sair , sore, greatly.
  • Skaith , loss, disaster.
  • Sma ', small.
  • Spuilzieing , robbing.
  • Tak ', take.
  • Twa , two.
  • Wa , wall.
  • Wi ', with.
  • Wha , who.
  • Wow , an exclamation.


Page [414]


  • P. 41. l. 3. for tend'rness read tenderness.
  • p. 61. l. 22. p. 81. 1. 15. p. 88. l. I. p. 93. l. I.
               for e'er, signifying before, read ere.
  • p. 64. l. 24. for shine read shines
  • p. 86. l. 17. for smoothes read smooths.
  • p. 87. l. 6. for bedeckt read bedeck'd.
  • p. 114. l. II. dele the word of .
  • p. 181. l. 12. for nufst read nurst.
  • p. 189. last line but one, dele the word efforts .
  • p. 192. ditto, ditto, for able able read able as.

Page 415



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    Page 418

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    Page 419

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    Page 420

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    Page 421

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    Page 422

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    Page 423

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  • Ellis, Rev. Ferdin., Calsamond
    Page 424

  • Ellis, Septimus, Esq.
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  • Ewing, Mr John
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    Page 425

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  • Fraser, Duncan, Esq. Jamaica
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  • Fullarton, Will. Esq. Advocate
  • Fullarton, Mrs Carnegie, Kinnaber
  • Fullarton, Miss
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  • * Furzer, Mrs, Plympton, Devon

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    Page 426

  • Garland, G. Esq. M. P. Poole
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  • Giles, Mr, Brewer, Leith
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  • Gilles, John, Esq.
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  • * Glassford, Henry, Esq. of Dougaldston
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  • Gordon, Rev. Mr, Elgin
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  • Gordon, Mr, of Carroll
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  • Gordon, Rev. G. Loth
    Page 427

  • Gordon, Capt. Will. Clerkhill
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    Page 428

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    Page 429

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    Page 430

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    Page 431

  • Kearsley, Mr, Portrait Painter, Edinburgh
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    Page 432

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    Page 433

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    Page 434

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    Page 435

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  • Murchin, Mrs, North Berwick

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    Page 436

  • Mackay, Captain Thomas
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  • * Mackintosh, George, Esq. Glasgow
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  • ------ for Mr John Berry
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    Page 437

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  • * Nairn, Mrs
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    Page 438

  • * Napier, Will. Esq. Greenock
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    Page 439

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    Page 440

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    Page 441

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    Page 442

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    Page 443

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    Page 444

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    Page 445

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  • ------ for Mr L. Dinwiddie
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  • Whyte, James, Esq. Newmains
  • Whyte, Mrs, ditto
  • Whyte, Miss, ditto
  • Wighton, Mr Alexander,
  • Wilkie, Mr John
  • Wilkie, M. Esq. Bonnington
  • Wilkieson, Mrs, Chester
  • Williams, Mr, Landscape-Painter Edinburgh
  • Williams, Thomas, Esq. M. P. Adelphi
  • Williamson, Rev. Mr, Glasgow
  • Wills, Mr James
  • Wilmot, Mrs
  • Wilson, Mr Charles, Surgeon, Glasgow
  • Wilson, Mr Adam, Writer, Edinburgh
  • Wilson, Mrs, 2 copies
  • * Wilson, Mrs Alexander
  • * Wilson, Mr Andrew
  • Wilson, Mr James, Threadneedle Street
  • Wilson, Miss, Effingham Place, Ramsgate
  • Wilson, Mr Archibald, Hillhouse
  • Wilson, Miss, Keith
  • Wilson, Mr Alexander
  • Wilson, Mr John
  • Wilson, William, Esq. Inverness
  • Wilson, Mr Alexander, ditto
  • Wilson, Major, 2d N. B. Militia 2 copies
  • Wingate, Mr T. Writer, Stirling
  • Wood, Mr John
  • Wood, Miss Jannet, Edinburgh
  • Wood, Mr Henry, 2 copies
  • Wood, Mr Thomas, 2 ditto
  • Wood, Mr Henry, jun. 2 copies
  • Wood, Joseph, Esq. of Jamaica
  • Wood, Mr Alexander, Greenock
  • Wood, Mr William, Greenock
  • Wood, Mrs Andrew, Edinburgh
  • Woodford, Captain
  • Wright, Mr John, Glasgow
    Page 446

  • Wright, Thomas, Esq. of Greenhill, at Greenhill
  • Wright, Mr John, Surgeon
  • Wright, Mr Will. Edinburgh
  • Wright, Will. Esq. of Broom, Stirlingshire
  • Wyld, Mr T. Aldbridge

  • York, Lady Anne
  • York, Lady Catherine
  • York, Lady Elizabeth
  • Young, Mr E. Edinburgh
  • Young, William, Esq.
  • Young, John, Esq. Edinburgh
  • Young, Robert, Esq, Edinburgh
  • Young, Mr Robert, Stirling
  • Young, Mrs, Aberdeen
  • Young, Mr William, Inchbroom Elgin
  • Young, Dr
  • Young, Mr, Academy
  • Young, Mr George Hillhead
  • Young, John, Esq. of Bellwood
  • Young, Thomas, Esq. at Hunting Tower
  • Young, Miss
  • Youngson, Mr Alexander W. S.
  • Yuille, Miss, Darlieth, 2 copies
  • Yule, D. Dalmuir


  • His Excellency the Hon. Frederick North, Governor of Ceylon, 6 copies
  • Arbuthnot, Robert, Esq. Goverment -Secretary of Ceylon, 4 copies
  • Arbuthnot, Geo. Esq. 3 copies
  • Anderson, Lieut. 19th Regiment
  • Anderson, Mrs
  • Andrews, Mrs Pamela
  • Angus, John, Esq. 3 copies
  • Baillie, Colonel Charles, 51st Regiment, 2 copies
  • Barry, Ensign, Malay Regiment
  • Bertolacci, Antony, Esq.
  • Blair, Major David 2 copies
  • Bouvie, Richard, Esq.
  • Boyd, William, Esq. 3 copies
  • Boyd, Robert, Esq. 3 ditto
  • Brown, Mr, Quarter-Master, 19th Regiment
  • Cadell, Alexander, Esq.
  • Campbell, Lieut. J. 51st Regt.
  • Campbell, Lieut. Peter, ditto
  • Christie, Thomas, Esq. 4 copies
  • Conway, Thomas, Esq.
  • Cordiner, Rev. James, 3 copies
  • Davidson, John, Esq.
  • Duberg, Ensign, Malay Regt.
  • Davie, Major, Maylay Regiment
  • Fraser, Thomas, Esq.
  • Gellie, Lieut. James, Madras Artillery, 2 copies
  • Gillespie, Mr
  • Gordon, Silvester, Esq.
  • Gordon, James, Esq. 3 copies
  • Granby, Mrs Eliza, Bagshaw, 4 copies
  • Hankey, Lieut. 51st Regiment
  • Hall, Gilbert, Esq. Surgeon, Malay Regiment
  • Hamilton, Gavin, Esq. 2 copies
  • Humphrey, Captain, Bengal-Artillery
    Page 447

  • Johnston, Alexander, Esq.
  • Kerr, Captain, Ceylon Native Infantry, 2 copies
  • Leslie, Hon. George, Melvill, 3 copies
  • Lusignan, George, Esq. 2 ditto
  • Macdowell, Major Gen. 4 copies
  • Macdonald, Lieut. 19th Regt.
  • Macpherson, Captain William, 12th Regiment 10 copies
  • Manage, Charles, Esq.
  • Manchall, Mrs, 2 copies
  • Marshall, Mrs, 2 copies
  • Montgomery, William, Esq.
  • Napper, Capt. Geo. 51st Regt.
  • Orr, John, Esq. 2 copies
  • Pearce, Captain Charles, 19th Regiment
  • Plenderleith, Lieut. 19th Regt.
  • Pleskith, Richard, Esq.
  • Powney, Henry, Esq.
  • Reeder, Anthony, Esq. 2 copies
  • Reynolds, Michael, Esq.
  • Robertson, Lieut. Colonel, Malay Regiment
  • Robertson, Mrs
  • Roger, Colin, Esq. Garrison-Surgeon, Trincomale
  • Robson, Lieut. 19th Regiment
  • Scott, James Hay, Esq.
  • Short, Captain, 51st Regiment
  • Sutherland, James, Esq.
  • Tolpey, Samuel, Esq. 2 copies
  • Vilant, Capt. 19th Regiment
  • Wilson, Major, 12th Regiment
  • Winn, J. Esq. 10 copies

Names Omitted.

  • Inverurie, Lord
  • Inverurie Lady,
  • Miller, Thomas, Esq. younger of Glenlee
  • Moray, Colonel, of Abercairney
  • Joliffe, Cornwall, Esq.
  • Clerk, Captain at Invernachawn

*** From the prodigious number of separate Lists, and the very inaccurate manner in which some of these Lists were written, it is to be feared that not a few Names have been omitted, and that many are erroneously printed.