Page images

Firm stood the foe, nor made they fight their care,
But hand to hand return'd the equal war :
Man close to man, and shield conjoin'd to shield,
They with the stable phalanx keep the field.
With pointed spear I mark'd the stoutest foe,.
And heav'n directed home the happy blow:
He tumbles backward to the groaning flood :
Tax.circles round, and mingles with his blood
My kindred-youth their useful weapons wield,
Fomenting the confusion of the field.
DANE fell on DANE, and man transfix'd his man,
Till bloody torrents smoak'd along the plain.
At length they fly along the banks of TAY;
Their guilty leader points th’ inglorious way.
Eager we follow:

ftill the foe, with art
Wound as they fly, and shoot th’ inverted dart.
RYNOLD is wounded. --- Still he urg'd the foe;
While down his limbs the crimson torrents flow :
With eager voice, he still foments the strife,
Preferring Albion's liberty to life.

An antient pile upreard its rev'rent head,
And from its lofty seat survey'd a mead :
The mould'ring walls confefs’d their beauty paft ;
A fragment falls with each invading blast..


[ocr errors]

Old arms above the gate time's empire own;
The rampant lion moulders in the stone :
Tall elms around, an old and shatter'd band,
Their naked arms erect, like centries ftand.

« Within the ruin'd walls their fear inclose:
The desprate squadrons of the flying foes.
An antient plane, whose leaf-dismantled weight
Rude winds o’erturn’d, secures the shapeless gate..
On ev'ry fide my quick array. I form,
Prepar'd at once the muniment to storm..
Missing my fire, I Ay to find the chief,
And give the wounded all a son's relief.

“ Far on the plain the wounded warrior creepsg. And scarcely moves along his tottring steps; But still, far as his feeble voice cou'd bear, He kindles with his words the distant war. Quick I approach'd :-.. He first the filence broke;: And leaning on his launce, the warrior spoke.”

“ Say, why returns young Alpin from the fight? Pursue the foe, and urge the Danish flight. 1 sink, my son, I sink into the grave ; You cannot me, your country, Alpin, save.”

No more he said. ... I, mournful, thus reply, Compaflion melting in my filial eye,

O fire, the Danes, within yon walls securd,
Will share our pity, or must feel our sword:
Of filial duty what his wants require,
I come to offer for a dying fire."

“ He thus returns : still good, still gen'rous mind!
My wants are, Alpin, of no earthly kind :
The world, the fading world, retires from view;
Earth cloys me now, and all it has, but you.
Go, Alpin, go; within that lofty wood
A hermit lives, a holy man and good!
Relieve, my son, relieve me of my cares,
And for the dying RYNOLD raise his pray'rs."

.« Thus said ;---himself the wounded warrior laid, Within the coolness of a birchen (hade : Some youths around employ their friendly care, And o'er the dying shed the mournful tear. Around the antient fastness guards I sent ; And to the lofty wood my journey bent. Two rising hills, whose brows tall pop'lars grace, With stretching arms a woody plain embrace ; Along the tree-set vale a rivlet Aow'd, And murmur'd softly thro’ the under-wood: Along the purling stream my steps I bear, And seek the lonely mansions of the seer.

Irreg’lar files of tow'ring elms embrace,
In their calm bosom, an enameld space.
Full at the end a rock with sáble arms,
Stretch'd o'er a moss-grown cave, a grotto forms.
A filver stream, clear-issuing from the stones,
In winding mazes thro' the meadow runs ;
Depending flow'rs their vary'd colours bind,
Hang o'er the entrance, and defend the wind.
On a green bank the holy feer is láid,
Where weaving branches cloud the chequer'd shade;
In folemn thought his hoary head's inclin’d,
And his white locks wave in the fanning wind.

.6 With rev'rent steps. approaching, I began.
" O bleft with all that dignifies the man !
Who far from life, and all its noisy care,
Enjoy'st the aim of all that wander there :
Let, holy father, thy propitious aid
Guide dying RYNOLD thro' the deathful shade.”
I said :---- the prophet heav'n-ward lifts his eyes,
Long fix'd in folemn thought, and thus replies;
" Vain mortals! wornis of earth! How can ye dare
To deem your deeds not providence's care?
Heav'n looks on all below with equal eye :
They.long escape, but yet the wicked die.

With distant time, O youth ! my soul's imprest;
Futurity is lab'ring in my breast :
Thy blood, which rolling down from Fergus came,
Passes thro' time, a pure.untainted stream.
ALBION-Aall in her pristine glory shine,
And, blest herself, bless the FERGUSIAN line.

“ But ah! I fee grim treason rear its head,
Pale Albion trembling, and her monarch dead;
The tyrant wield his fcepter 'smear'd with blood;
O base return! but still great heav'n is good:
He falls, he falls : see how the tyrant lies !
And SCOTLAND brightens up her weeping eyes:
The banilhid race, again, refume their own;
Nor Syria boasts her royal faint alone.
Its gloomy front the low?ring season clears,
And gently rolls a happy round of years.

Again I see contending chiefs come on, And, as they strive to mount, they tear the throne; To civil arms the horrid trumpet calls, And CALEDONIA by her children falls. The storm subsides to the calm flood of peace ; The throne returns to Fergus' antient race. Glad CALEDONIA owns their lawful sway; Happy in them, in her unhappy they !


See !

« PreviousContinue »