Imagens da página
[ocr errors]

“ This night I am bound to relinquish the fray, “ And do what it freezes my vitals to say.

Forgive me, dear brother, this horror of mind; “ Thou knowest in the strife I was never behind, “ Nor ever receded a foot from the van, “ Or blenched at the ire or the prowess of man. “ But I've sworn by the cross, by my God, and by all ! “An oath which I cannot, and dare not recall,— “ Ere the shadows of midnight fall east from the pile, To meet with a spirit this night in Glen-Gyle.

“ Last night, in my chamber, all thoughtful and lone, “ I called to remembrance some deeds I had done, “ When entered a lady, with visage so wan, " And looks such as never were fastened on man. “I knew her, O brother! I knew her full well! "Of that once fair dame such a tale I could tell “As would thrill thy bold heart; but how long she

remained, “So racked was my spirit, my bosom so pained, I knew not—but ages seemed short to the while. “ Though, proffer the Highlands, nay, all the green isle, “ With length of existence no man can enjoy, “ The same to endure, the dread proffer I'd fly! “ The thrice-threatened pangs of last night to forego,

Macgregor would dive to the mansions below. “ Despairing and mad, to futurity blind, The present to shun, and some respite to find, “I swore, ere the shadow fell east from the pile, To meet her alone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.

“She told me, and turned my chilled heart to a stone, “The glory and name of Macgregor was gone ; “ That the pine, which for ages had shed a bright halo Afar on the mountains of Highland Glen-Falo, 6. Should wither and fall ere the turn of yon moon, “ Smit through by the canker of hated Colquhoun : “ That a feast on Macgregors each day should be common, “ For years, to the eagles of Lennox and Lomond.

“ A parting embrace, in one moment, she gave: “ Her breath was a furnace, her bosom the grave ! “Then flitting elusive, she said, with a frown, “ The mighty Macgregor shall yet be my own !"

Macgregor, thy fancies are wild as the wind; “ The dreams of the night have disordered thy mind. “Come, buckle thy panoply-march to the field.

See, brother, how hacked are thy helmet and shield!

Ay, that was M‘Nab, in the height of his pride, When the lions of Dochart stood firm by his side. “ This night the proud chief his presumption shall rue;

• Rise, brother, these chinks in his heart-blood will glue: “ Thy fantasies frightful shall flit on the wing, “ When loud with thy bugle Glen-Lyon shall ring." — Like glimpse of the moon through the storm of the

Macgregor's red eye shed one sparkle of light
It faded-it darkened-he shuddered-he sighed,-
“ No! not for the universe !"' low he replied.

Away went Macgregor, but went not alone;
To watch the dread rendezvous, Malcolm has gone.
They oared the broad Lomond, so still and serene !
And deep in her bosom, how awful the scene !
O'er mountains inverted the blue waters curled,
And rocked them on skies of a far nether world.

All silent they went, for the time was approaching;
The moon the blue zenith already was touching;
No foot was abroad on the forest or hill,
No sound but the lullaby sung by the rill;
Young Malcolm at distance, couched, trembling the

while, Macgregor stood lone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.

Few minutes had passed, ere they spied on the stream, A skiff sailing light, where a lady did seem ; Her sail was the web of the gossamer's loom, The glow-worm her wakelight, the rainbow her boom ;

A dim rayless beam was her prow and her mast,
Like wold-fire, at midnight, that ġlares on the waste.
Though rough was the river with rock and cascade,
No torrent, no rock, her velocity staid ;
She wimpled the water to weather and lee,
And heaved as if borne on the waves of the sea.
Mute Nature was roused in the bounds of the glen;
The wild deer of Gairtney abandoned his den,
Fled panting away over river and isle,
Nor once turned his eye to the brook of Glen-Gyle.

The fox fled in terror, the eagle awoke,
As slumbering he dozed in the shelve of the rock;
Astonished, to hide in the moon-beam he flew,
And screwed the night-heaven till lost in the blue.

Young Malcolm beheld the pale lady approach, The chieftain salute her, and shrink from her touch. He saw the Macgregor kneel down on the plain, As begging for something he could not obtain ; She raised him indignant, derided his stay, Then bore him on board, set her sail, and

away Though fast the red bark down the river did glide, Yet faster ran Malcolm adown by its side ; “ Macgregor! Macgregor !" he bitterly cried ; "Macgregor! Macgregor !” the echoes replied. He struck at the lady, but, strange though it seem, His sword only fell on the rocks and the stream; But the groans from the boat, that ascended amain, Were groans from a bosom in horror and pain.They reached the dark lake, and bore lightly away; Macgregor is vanished for ever and aye !

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,

That lovest to greet the early morn,
Again thou usherest in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn.

O Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest ?
Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hearest thou the groans that rend his breast ?
That sacred hour can I forget ?

Can I forget the hallowed grove,
Where by the winding Ayr we met,

To live one day of parting love?
Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past;
Thy image at our last embrace ;

Ah! little thought we 'twas our last ! Ayr gurgling kissed his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green; The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene, The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,

The birds sang love on every spray, Till too, too soon, the glowing west

Proclaimed the speed of winged day. Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care ! Time but the impression deeper makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary, dear departed shade!

Where is thy blissful place of rest ? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hearest thou the groans that rend his breast ?

ON THE PLAIN OF MARATHON. Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground, No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould !

But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt

upon : Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold,

Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone : Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares grey Marathon.

The sun-the soil-but not the slave the same,
Unchanged in all except its foreign lord,
Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame,
The battle field where Persia's victim horde
First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword,
As on the morn to distant Glory dear,
When Marathon became a magic word-

Which uttered to the hearer's eye appear
The camp—the host--the fight--the conqueror's career!
The flying

Mede-his shaftless broken bow, The fiery Greek his red pursuing spear, Mountains above-Earth's-Ocean's plain below, Death in the front--destruction in the rear ! Such was the scene—what now remaineth here? What sacred trophy marks the hallowed ground, Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear ?

The rifled urn the violated mound-
The dust-thy courser's hoof, rude stranger! spurns

Yet to the remnants of thy splendour past,
Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng;
Long shall the voyager, with the Ionian blast,
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song;
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;
Boast of the aged ! lesson of the young!

Which sages venerate and bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.

The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
If aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth : .

« AnteriorContinuar »