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They rav'd! divining, through their second sight', Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were
drown'd! Illustrious William 2! Britain's guardian name!
One William sav'd us from a tyrant's stroke; He, for a sceptre, gain'd heroic fame, But thou, more glorious, slavery's chain hast
broke, To reign a private man, and bow to freedom's yoke ! These, too, thou'lt sing ! for well thy magic muse
In horrid musings rapt, they sit to mark
The seer's entranced eye can well survey,
And points the wretched bark, its destin'd prey.
O’er the dire whirlpool, that, in ocean's waste,
Or, if on land the fiend exerts his sway,
Far from the sheltering roof and haunts of men,
Or, if the drifted snow perplex the way,
And leads him foandering on and quite astray." 1 Second sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.
2 The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pretender at the battle of Cultoden.
Can to the topmost heaven of grandeur soar;
Or stoop to wail the swain that is no more! Ah, homely swains ! your homeward steps ne'er
loose : Let not dank Will? mislead you to the heath: Dancing in mirky night, o'er fen and lake,
He glows, to draw you downward to your death, In his bewitch'd, low, marshy, willow brake! What though far off, from some dark dell espied,
His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed,
At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen,
Far from his flocks, and smoking hamlet, then! To that sad spot where hums the sedgy weed:
On bim, enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood, Shall never look with pity's kind concern,
But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return!
3 A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lanthorn, &c. It hovers in the air over marshy and fenny places.
Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape,
To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape,
Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise, Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source !
What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs ? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breath.
less corse !
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
way; For him in vain at to-fall of the day,
His babes shall linger at th' unclosing gate! Ah, ne'er shall he return! Alone, if night,
Her travel'd limbs in broken slumbers steep! With drooping willows drest, his mournful sprite
Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep: Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand,
Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek, And with his blue-swoln face before her stand,
And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: “ Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,
“ At dawn or dusk, industrious as before; “ Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew,
“ While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore, “ Drown'd by the Kelpie's? wrath, nor e'er shall
aid thee more !"
i The water fiend,
Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill
spring From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle,
To that hoar pile' which still its ruins shows : In whose small vaults a pigmy-folk is found,
Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd
ground! Or thither', where beneath the show'ry west
The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid: Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade: Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power,
In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aerial council hold.
But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,
tides, Fair nature's daughter, virtue, yet abides. Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace !
1 One of the Hebrides is called the isle of Pigmies; where it is reported, that several miniature bones of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel there.
* Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are interred. VOL. IV.
Then to my ear transmit some gentle song, Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,
Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along, And all their prospect but the wintery main.
With sparing temperance at the needful time They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-prest,
Along th' Atlantic rock undreading climb, And of its eggs despoil the solan's' best.
Thus blest in primal innocence they live, Suffic'd, and happy with that frugal fare
Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give. Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare;
Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!
Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes
engage Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;
For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd, in elder time, the historic page. There, Shakspeare's self, with every garland
crown'd, Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,
In musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors drest the magic scene.
From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted and aghast,
The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line, Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant past. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told,
An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.