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Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank.
Hol ho! the breakers roared!
At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair
Lashed close to a drifting mast.
The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise
Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow !
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!
THE EXEQUTION OF MONTROSE.
Come hither, Evan Cameron, come stand beside my knee;
There's shouting on the mountain side, there's war within the blast,
Old faces look upon me, old forms go trooping past.
I hear the pibroch wailing amidst the din of fight,
And my dim spirit wakes again upon the verge of night.
'Twas I that led the Highland host through wiid Lochaber's snows
What time the plaided clans came down to battle with Montrose.
I've told thee how the southrops fell beneath the broad claymore,
And how we smote the Campbell clan by Inverlochy's shore.
I've told thec how we swept Dundee, and tamed the Lindsay's
But never have I told thee yet how the Great Marquis died.
A traitor sold him to his foes—0, deed of deathless shame!
I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet with one of Assynt's name,
Be it upon the mountain's side, or yet within the glen,
Stand he in martial gear alone, or backed by armed men-
Face him as thou wouldst face the man who wronged thy sire's
Remember of what blood thou art, and strike the caitiff down.
They brought him to the Watergate, hard bound with hempen span,
As though they held a lion there, and not a 'fenceless man.
But when he came, though pale and wan, he looked so great and high,
So noble was his manly front, so calm his steadfast eye,
The rabble rout forbore to shout, and each man held his breath;
For well they knew the hero's soul was face to face with death.
Had I been there, with sword in hand, and fifty Camerons by,
That day, through high Dunédin's streets had pealed the slogan cry.
Not all their troops of trampling horse, nor might of mailèd men,
Not all the rebels in the South lad borne us backwards then!
Once more his foot on Highland heath had trod as free as air,
Or I, and all who bore my name, been laid around him there!
It might not be. They placed him next within the solemn hall,
Where once the Scottish kings were tlironed amidst their nobles all.
But there was dust of vulgar feet on that polluted floor,
And perjured traitors filled the place where good men sate before,
With savage glee came Warriston, to read the murderous doom;
And then uprose the great Montrose in the middle of the room.
“Now, by my faith as belted knight, and by the name I bear,
And by the bright Saint Andrew's cross that waves above us there
Yea, by a greater, mightier oath-aud 0, that such should be !
By that dark stream of royal blood that lies 'twixt you and me
I have not sought in battle field a wreath of such renown,
Nor hoped I on my dying day to win the martyr's crown!
“There is a chamber far away, where sleep the good and brave, But a better place ye’ye named for me than by my father's grave.
For truth and right, 'gainst treason's might, this hand hath always
striven, And ye raise it up for a witness still in the eye of earth and Heaven; Then nail my head on yonder tower--give every town a limbAnd God who made, shall gather them; I go from you to him!”
The morning dawned full darkly; like a bridegroom from his room
Came the hero from his prison to the scaffold and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead, there was lustre in his eye,
And he never walked to battle more proudly than to die.
There was color in his visage, though the cheeks of all were wan,
And they marveled as they saw him pass, that great and goodly man.
Then radiant and serene he stood, and cast his cloak away,
For he had ta'en his latest look of earth, and sun, and day.
He mounted up the scaffold, and he turned him to the crowd,
But they dared not trust the people, so he might not speak aloud;
But he looked upon the heavens, and they were clear and blue,
And in the liquid ether the eye of God shone through.
A beam of light fell o'er him, like a glory round the shriven,
And he climbed the lofty ladder as it were the path to heaven.
Then came a flash from out the cloud, and a stunning thunder roll;
And no man dared to look aloft-fcar was on every soul,
There was another heavy sound, a hush aud then a groan;
And darkness swept across the sky-the work of death was done!
Under the walls of Monterey
At daybreak the bugles began to play,
In the midst of the morning, damp and gray
These were the words they seemed to say:
“Come forth to thy death,
Forth he came, with a martial tread;
Firm was his step, erect his head;
He, who so well the bugle played,
Could not mistake the words it said:
"Come forth to thy death,
Victor Galbraith !"
He looked at the earth, he looked at the sky,
He looked at the files of musketry,
. Victor Galbraith!
And he said, with a steady voice and oyo:
“Take good aim; I am ready to die!"
Thus challenges death
Twelve fiery tongues flashed straight and red,
Six leaden balls on their errand sped.
Falls to the ground, but he is not dead;
His name was not stamped on those balls of lead,
And they only scath
Three balls are in his breast and brain,
But he rises out of the dust again,
The water he drinks has a bloody stairt;
"O kill me, and put me out of my pain !".
In his agony prayeth
Forth dart once more those tongues of flame,
And the bugler has died a death of shame,
His soul has gone back to whence it came,
And no one answers to the name,
When the sergeant sayeth,
. “Victor Galbraith!"
Under the walls of Monterey
By night a bugle is heard to play,
Through the mist of the valley, damp and gray,
The sentinels hear the sound and say,
"That is the wraith
Of Victor Galbraith!"
He is dead, the beautiful youth,
The heart of honor, the tongue of truth
He, the life and light of us all,
Whose voice was blithe as a bugle call,
Whom all eyes followed with one consent,
The cheer of whose laugh, and whose pleasant word
Hushed all murmurs of discontent.
Only last night, as we rode along
Down the dark of the mountain gap,
To visit the picket guard at the ford
Little dreaming of any mishap,
He was humming the words of some old song;
"Two red roses he had on his cap,
And another he bore at the point of his sword.”
Sudden and swift a whistling ball
Came out of the wood, and the voice was still ; Something I heard in the darkness fall,
And for a moment my blood grew chill;
I spake in a whisper, as he who speaks
In a room where some one is lying dead;
But he made no answer to what I said.
We lifted him up to his saddle again,
And through the mire and the mist and the rain