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Since first a stranger sought our strand,
And called the people of the land, And taught them of another God. At his command, the people bore
A captive, from the altar stone, Whose blood was vowed. The Druids swore
To pay their Beal* with his own.
And drag him to the altar side ;
And cast their bonds aside,
And inexpressible surprise,
And cursed them with their eyes.
This lonely glen was their retreat ;
With huge rocks tumbled down the dell
And vowed for ever here to dwell;
To bring each year, at midnight hour,
Upon the stone of power.
And oft has seen the night of blood;
On me the last of all the line ! No victim for his wrath have I,
He smites my heart ; and I must die. When last the stated night came round,
I walked the circle in despair ;
Made bristle up my hair.
But on the third a spirit came;
And called me mildly by my name ;
* A Deity of the Druids.
Jarring upon his silver speech,
There dwells à voice, that came of old,
And made them mad and fierce and bold. When sleep was on the eyes of men,
It shrilly on the silence broke, And called for blood, till, through the glen,
Each Druid shivered and awoke. A sacred fury filled the band,
They scattered o'er their ancient land, Chanting those hymns they used to raise,
When they were priests in other days ; Till sires were murdered as they slept,
And mothers shrieked, and widows wept.
'Tis Beal's voice, my father said,
But, stranger, list, my soul is sick
Of whom the spirit loved to speak;
How murderers mourned in penal fire ; How Beal, in the land of death,
Could never shield me from his ire. I know not what, I fain would pray,
And ask his pardon while I may !” He paused, and fell, and was about
To call upon th’ Eternal name ; When, from the stone he pointed out
A deep unhallowed murmur came, And then a voicem" To Beal give
This stranger's blood, and thou shalt live.”
Upsprung the Druid! fierce his look
With murder and with ghastly joy,
His limbs, in that extremity.
Where former victim's bones were spread ; And, still, amid the strife,
The priest invoked his fathers dead, To help him, and the powers of hell ;
And sought his girdle for a knife, With broken groans and curses fell;
And strained, convulsed, and, dæmon-like, *Tremblea for eagerness to strike.-
But Barnard shakes him off and flies, While cursed by Beal's voice the Druid dies.
TO SIR THOMAS GRAHAM, ON HIS RETURN TO SPAIN AFTER A
SHORT VISIT TO THIS COUNTRY.
WARRIOR—thou seek'st again the battle-field,
And from that vale where rivers meet, f
And hawthorn shades embower the green,
And shadowy forms are faintly seen,
Now I must leave this lovely spot,
The arching grove the ruined tower
But soon may come a soul-felt hour
Yes, oft at sacred eventide,
When dying winds just move the pine,
My roving limbs shall here recline,
* The Gothic ruin of Kelso Abbey.
YOL. V. PART II.
* WRITTEN IN THE CAVE OF FINGAL.
Dark Staffa, in thy grotto wild,
How my rapt soul is taught to feel ;
Low in her stateliest shrine to kneel!
Thou art no fiend's nor giant's home
Thy piles of dark and solemn grain
Great temple of the western main!
For the harp of the air is heard in thee,
Yes, the hymn of the winds, and the ocean's roar, · Are heard in thee for evermore !
Tho' other wonders meet mine eye, From my chilled heart shall never fly Thy arches cavern’d, green and torn, On Nature's rifted columns borne ; Thy furnaced pillars, tall and sure, Propping the wild entablature That round each cope and architrave In awful murmurs weep and rave; The whirl of Nature's grand turmoil, Where billows burst and torrents boil Thro' portals stern and pavements riven, Upreared by Architect of Heaven Thro' darkened domes, and dens of wonder,. And caverns of eternal thunder.