ePub 版

Cheer'd by the strength of Ronald's shell,

E'en age forgot his tresses hoar; But now the loud lament we swell,

O ne'er to see Lord Ronald more! From distant isles a chieftain came,

The joys of Ronald's halls to find, And chase with him the dark-brown game,

That bounds o'er Albin's hills of wind. ’T was Moy; whom in Columba's isle

The seer's prophetic spirit found, As, with a minstrel's fire the while,

He waked his harp's harmonious sound. Full many a spell to him was known,

Which wandering spirits shrink to hear; And many a lay of potent tone,

Was never meant for mortal ear. For there 't is said, in mystic mood,

High converse with the dead they hold, And oft espy the fated shroud,

That shall the future corpse enfold. O so it fell, that on a day,

To rouse the red deer from their den, The Chiefs have ta’en their distant way,

And scour'd the deep Glenfinlas glen. No vassals wait their sports to

To watch their safety, deck their board; Their simple dress, the Highland plaid,

Their trusty guard, the Highland sword.

with a custom derived from the Pagan times, are termed The Beltane-tree. It is a festival celebrated with various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and in Wales.

"I can only describe the second sight, by adopting Dr. Johnson's definition, who calls it “An impression, either by the mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived and seen as if they were present." To which I would only add, that the spectral appearances, thus presented, usually presage misfortune; that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess it; and that they usually acquire it while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.

k k k

Three summer days, through brake and dell,

Their whistling shafts successful flew; And still, when dewy evening fell,

The quarry to their hut they drew.
In grey Glenfinlas' deepest nook

The solitary cabin stood,
Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,

Which murmurs through that lonely wood. Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,

When three successive days had flown; And summer mist in dewy balm

Steep'd heathy bank, and mossy stone. The moon, half-hid in silvery flakes,

Afar her dubious radiance shed, Quivering on Katrine's distant lakes,

And resting on Benledi's head. Now in their hut, in social guise,

Their sylvan fare the Chiefs enjoy, And pleasure laughs in Ronald's eyes,

As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy. 66 What lack we here to crown our bliss,

While thus the pulse of joy beats high? What, but fair woman's yielding kiss,

Her panting breath and melting eye? “ To chase the deer of yonder shades,

This morning left their father's pile The fairest of our mountain maids,

The daughters of the proud Glengyle. “ Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart,

And dropp'd the tear, and heaved the sigh: But vain the lover's wily art,

Beneath a sister's watchful eye. “But thou mayst teach that guardian fair,

While far with Mary I am flown, Of other hearts to cease her care,

And find it hard to guard her own.

“ Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see

The lovely Flora of Glengyle,
Unmindful of her charge and me,

Hang on thy notes, 'twixt tear and smile.
“ Or, if she choose a melting tale,

All underneath the greenwood bough,
Will good St. Oran's rule prevail,"

Stern huntsman of the rigid brow?"-
“Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death,

No more on me shall rapture rise,
Responsive to the panting breath,

Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.

“ E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe,

Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,
I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,

On me the Seer's sad spirit came.

“ The last dread curse of angry heaven,

With ghastly sights and sounds of woe,
To dash each glimpse of joy was given –

The gift, the future ill to know.

6. The bark thou saw'st, yon summer morn,

So gaily part from Oban's bay,
My eye beheld her dash'd and torn,

Far on the rocky Colonsay.

· St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was buried in Icolmkill. His pretensions to be a saint were rather dubious. According to the legend, he consented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed ; when Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost despatch. The chapel, however, and the cemetery, was called Relig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.


“ Thy Fergus too-thy sister's son,

Thou saw'st, with pride, the gallant's power,
As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe,

He left the skirts of huge Benmore.
“ Thou only saw'st their tartans' wave,

As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,
Heard'st but the pibroch,' answering brave

To many a target clanking round.
“I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears,

I saw the wound his bosom bore,
When on the serried Saxon spears

He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.
" And thou, who bidst me think of bliss,

And bidst my heart awake to glee,
And court, like thee, the wanton kiss

That heart, O Ronald, bleeds for thee!
“I see the death-damps chill thy brow;

I hear thy Warning Spirit cry;
The corpse-lights dance—they're gone, and now....

No more is given to gifted eye!".
“ Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams,

Sad prophet of the evil hour!
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams,

Because to-morrow's storm may lour?
“Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe,

Clangillian's Chieftain ne'er shall fear;
His blood shall bound at rapture's glow,

Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spear.
“ E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,

My Mary's buskins brush the dew."
He spoke, nor bade the Chief farewell,

But call’d his dogs, and gay withdrew.

· Tartans—The full Highland dress, made of the chequered stuff so termed.

Pibroch—A piece of martial music, adapted to the Highland bagpipe.

Within an hour return'd each hound;

In rush'd the rousers of the deer; They howl'd in melancholy sound,

Then closely couch'd beside the seer. No Ronald yet; though midnight came,

And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams, As, bending o’er the dying flame,

He fed the watch-fire's quivering gleams. Sudden the hounds erect their ears,

And sudden cease their moaning howl; Close press’d to Moy, they mark their fears

By shivering limbs, and stifled growl. Untouch'd, the harp began to ring,

As softly, slowly, oped the door; And shook responsive every string,

As light a footstep press'd the floor. And by the watch-fire's glimmering light,

Close by the minstrel's side was seen An huntress maid, in beauty bright,

All dropping wet her robes of green. All dropping wet her garments seem;

Chill'd was her cheek, her bosom bare, As, bending o'er the dying gleam,

She wrung the moisture from her hair. With maiden blush she softly said,

“O gentle huntsman, hast thou seen, In deep Glenfinlas' moonlight glade,

A lovely maid in vest of green: “ With her a Chief in Highland pride;

His shoulders bear the hunter's bow, The mountain dirk adorns his side,

Far on the wind his tartans flow?"" And who art thou ? and who are they?"

All ghastly gazing, Moy replied: * And why, beneath the moon's pale ray,

Dare ye thus roam Glenfinlas' side ? ".

« 上一頁繼續 »