« PreviousContinue »
64 The H I G H L AN DÉR.:
See each inwrapt untimely in his shroud,
For ever sleeping in his gen'rous blood!
Who on thy mournful tomb refrains the tear?
O regal charms, unfortunately fair'!
Dark Faction grasps her in his fable arms,
And crushes down to death her struggling charms.
The rose, in all its gaudy liv'ry drest,
Thus faintly struggles with the bluflring west.
" Why mention him in whom th' eternal fates
Shall bind in peace the long-difcording ftates?
See Scor and SAXON coalesc'd. in one,
Support the glory of the common crown.
Britain no more shall shake with native storms,
But o'er the trembling nations lift her arms."
He spoke, and in the.cave inclos’d his age :
In wonder loft I leave the hermitage;
Measure with thoughtful steps my backward way,
While to the womb of night retires the day.
Pale doubtful twilight broods along the ground:
The forest nods its sleeping head around.
Before my eyes a ghastly vision stood;
A mangled man, his bosom stain'd with blood!
Silent and fad the phantom stood confest,
And few'd the streaming flood-gates of his breast-
Then pointing to the Dome his tardy hand,
Thither his eyes my silent way command.
He hands my sword, emits a feeble groan,
And weakly fays, “revenge me, O my son !"
I to reply .... he hiss'd his way along,
As breezes sing thro' reeds their shrilly song,
I stood aghaft, then wing’d me to obey ;
Across the field I sweep my hasty way.
The men I arm;
the firm barrier we ply;
And those who dare dispute the passage die.
With dying groans the lonely walls resound:
I on the guilty leader deal a wound;
Thro' his bright helm the sword its journey takes;
He falls, and thus with dying accents speaks :
“ Just heav'n! in vain the wicked shun thy pow'r;
Tho'late thy, vengeance, yet the blow is sure.
This earth receiv'd the blood from off my hands
A just return, my own, my own demands !
In night's dead hour, when all, but treason, flept,
With ruffian bands, a bloody, train, I crept.
'Twas here, 'twas here, oh ! long deserved death ! -
'Twas here the godlike man resign’d his breath :
The sleeping fam’ly we with blood surprize,
And send the palace flaming to the skies.
I fled, but fled, alas! pursued by fate ;
'Tis now I find that I have sinn'd too late.
O MALCOLM!: O my king! before my eyes
He stands.confeft; accurft DOVALUS dies.":
His guilty soul in these dire accents fled,
I left with hafty fteps the filent dead.
Ber.eith the birch my aged fire I found;
His life was ebbing thro' the purple wounda
On me the aged senior lifts his eyes,
And mixes feeble accents with his fighs.
“ Alpin, the commerce of this world I leave,
Convey my reliques to my father's grave.
Ten friendly youths the homely rites shall pay ;
Lead thou the rest, my Alpin, to the fray:
DENMARK invades :---- this was a pilf ring band,
Who spread divided terror o'er the land."
He said : a qualm succeeds; tears fill my eyes, And woe, securely, shuts the gates of voice ; Silent and sad I hang the dying o'er, And with warm tears intenerate his gore.”
The chief resumes:----“ my brave, my only son! Yes, Alpin, I may call thee all my own; I shall not veil a secret in my death ; ke then this story of my latest breath :
The twentieth season liv'ries o'er the year,
Since on the SEVERN's banks I met the war ;.
In private feud, against a. SAXON lord,
The great Dumbar had rais'd his kindred-sword :-
I on the foe my bow auxiliar bend,
And join afar: our fam'ly's antient friend: -
Returning thence I next the Tax divide,
That very night the great King MALCOLM dy'd.
My clan in arms might then preserve their king;
But Fate withstood ;---- along in arms we ring.,
An infant's cries, at distance, took my car,
I went, found thee, a helpless orphan there.
The king, who long infix'd in dumb surprize, .
Run o'er the speaking youth with searching eyes, .
Here stopt him short, his arms around him flung,
And silent on th' astonish'd warrior hung ;
My son, my fon!'at last, perplex’d, he cries,
My DUFFUS !....tears hung in his joyful eyes :
The crouding tide of joy his words suppress’d; :
He clasps the youth, in silence, to his breast.
Th' astonish'd chiefs, congeal'd in dumb amaze,
Stiffen'd to silence, on each other gaze.
Sudden their cheeks are vary'd with surprize,
And glad disorder darted from their eyes.
As when before the swains, with instant sound,
The forky bolt defcending tears the ground;
They stand; with stupid gaze each other eye:
So food the chiefs oppress’d with fudden joy.
At length, relax'd from fetters of surprize,
" Welcome,brave youth!" the scepter'd senior cries,
6 Welcome to honours justly thine alone,
Triumphant mount, tho' late, thy father's throne.
To thee with joy the scepter I resign,
And waft the kingdona to the coming line.!!
He said : and thus the youth; “ I only know
To shoot the spear, and bend the stubborn bow ;;
Unskill'd to stretch o'er nations my command,
Or in the scales of judgment poise a land..
Wield still the scepter which with grace you wear,
And guide with steadier hand the regal car ;-
While, looking up to thee with humble eye,
I first transcribe my future rules of fway ;-
Till late enjoy the throne which you bequeath,
Ani only date dominion from thy death.”
Resolv'd he spoke :----bursts of applause around
Break on the chief:---- with joy, the halls resound.
As when some valiant youth returns from far,
And leaves the fields of death, and finish'd war;