網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

The last blithe shout hath died upon our ear, And harvest-home hath hush'd the clanging wain, On the waste hill no forms of life appear,

Save where, sad laggard of the autumnal train, Some age-struck wanderer gleans few ears of scatter'd

grain.

Deem'st thou these sadden'd scenes have pleasure

still, Lovest thou through Autumn's fading realms to stray, To see the heath-flower wither'd on the hill, To listen to the wood's expiring lay, To note the red leaf shivering on the spray, To mark the last bright tints the mountain stain, On the waste fields to trace the gleaner's way,

And moralize on mortal joy and pain ?O! if such scenes thou lovest, scorn not the minstrel

strain.

No! do not scorn, although its hoarser note
Scarce with the cushat's homely song can vie,
Though faint its beauties as the tints remote
That gleam through mist in autumn's evening sky,
And few as leaves that tremble, sear and dry,
When wild November bath his bugle wound;
Nor mock my toil-a lonely gleaner I,

Through fields time-wasted, on sad inquest bound, Where happier bards of yore have richer harvest

found.

So shalt thou list, and haply not unmoved,
To a wild tale of Albyn's warrior day;
In distant lands, by the rough West reproved,
Still live some relics of the ancient lay.

For, when on Coolin's hills the lights decay, With such the Seer of Skye the eve beguiles; 'Tis known amid the pathless wastes of Reay,

In Harries known, and in Iona's piles, Where rest from mortal coil the Mighty of the Isles.

I. “WAKE, Maid of Lorn!" the Minstrels sung. Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung, And the dark seas, thy towers that lave, Heaved on the beach a softer wave, As 'mid the tuneful choir to keep The diapason of the Deep. Lull'd were the winds on Inninmore, And green Loch-Alline’s woodland shore, As if wild woods and waves had pleasure In listing to the lovely measure. And ne'er to symphony more sweet Gave mountain echoes answer meet, Since, met from mainland and from isle, Ross, Arran, Ilay, and Argyle, Each minstrel's tributary lay Paid homage to the festal day. Dull and dishonour'd were the bard, Worthless of guerdon and regard, Deaf to the hope of minstrel fame, Or lady's smiles, his noblest aim, Who on that morn's resistless call Were silent in Artornish hall.

[blocks in formation]

II.
“ Wake, Maid of Lorn!" 't was thus they sung,
And yet more proud the descant rung,
“Wake, Maid of Lorn! high right is ours,
To charm dull sleep from Beauty's bowers ;
Earth, Ocean, Air, have nought so shy
But owns the power of minstrelsy
In Lettermore the timid deer
Will pause, the harp's wild chime to hear;
Rude Heiskar's seal through surges dark
Will long pursue the minstrel's bark;'
To list his notes, the eagle proud
Will poise him on Ben-Cailliach's cloud;
Then let not Maiden's ear disdain
The summons of the minstrel train,
But, while our harps wild music make,
Edith of Lorn, awake, awake!

III.
O wake, while Dawn, with dewy shine,
Wakes Nature's charms to vie with thine !
She bids the mottled thrush rejoice
To mate thy melody of voice;
The dew that on the violet lies
Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes ;
But, Edith, wake, and all we see
Of sweet and fair shall yield to thee !"-

* The seal displays a taste for music, which could scarcely be expected from his habits and local predilections. They will long follow a boat in which any musical instrument is played, and even a tune simply whistled has attractions for them. The Dean of the Isles says of Heiskar, a small uninhabited rock, about twelve (Scottish) miles from the isle of Uist, that an infinite slaughter of seals takes place there.

[ocr errors]

66

“ She comes not yet,” grey Ferrand cried;

Brethren, let softer spell be tried, Those notes prolong'd, that soothing theme, Which best may mix with Beauty's dream, And whisper, with their silvery tone, The hope she loves, yet fears to own." He spoke, and on the harp-strings died The strains of flattery and of pride; More soft, more low, more tender fell The lay of love he bade them tell.

IV.

Wake, Maid of Lorn! the moments fly,

Which yet that maiden-name allow; Wake, Maiden, wake! the hour is nigh,

When Love shall claim a plighted vow. By Fear, thy bosom's fluttering guest,

By Hope, that soon shall fears remove, We bid thee break the bonds of rest,

And wake thee at the call of Love!

Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay

Lies many a galley gaily mann'd, We hear the merry pibrochs play,

We see the streamers' silken band. What Chieftain's praise these pibrochs swell,

What crest is on these banners wove, The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell

The riddle must be read by Love."

V.

Retired her maiden train among,
Edith of Lorn received the song,

But tamed the minstrel's pride had been
That had her cold demeanour seen;
For not upon her cheek awoke
The glow of pride when Flattery spoke,
Nor could their tenderest numbers bring
One sigh responsive to the string.
As vainly had her maidens vied
In skill to deck the princely bride.
Her locks, in dark brown length array'd,
Cathleen of Ulne, 't was thine to braid;
Young Eva with meet reverence drew
On the light foot the silken shoe,
While on the ankle's slender round
Those strings of pearl fair Bertha wound,
That, bleach'd Lochryan's depths within,
Seem'd dusky still on Edith's skin.
But Einion, of experience old,
Had weightiest task — the mantle's fold
In many an artful plait she tied,
To show the form it seem'd to hide,
Till on the floor descending rollid
Its waves of crimson blent with gold.

VI.
O! lives there now so cold a maid,
Who thus in beauty's pomp array'd,
In beauty's proudest pitch of power,
And conquest won

- the bridal hour-
With every charm that wins the heart,
By Nature given, enhanced by Art,
Could yet the fair reflection view,
In the bright mirror pictured true,
And not one dimple on her cheek
A tell-tale consciousness bespeak ?-

« 上一頁繼續 »