« AnteriorContinuar »
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight,
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright!
Wizard. Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn !
Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed-for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyry, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
Oh, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn ;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely, return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood.
Lochiel. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one! They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws!
When her bonnetted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array-
Wizard. Lochiel! Lochiel! beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal;
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! anointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
Rise! rise ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
"Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores;
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
His death-bell is tolling: oh, mercy! dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims;
Accursed be the faggots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale-
Lochiel. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the
For never shall Albin a destiny meet
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Tho' my perishing ranks should be strewed in their
Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to Heaven from the death-bed of fame.
SAUL BEFORE HIS
WARRIORS and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord,
Heed not the corse, though a king's, in your path:
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!
Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet!
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.
Farewell to others, but never we part,
Heir to my royalty, son of my heart!
Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway,
Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day.
THOU whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the prophet's form appear.
"Samuel, raise thy buried head!
King, behold the phantom seer!"
Earth yawned he stood the centre of a cloud:
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye;
His hand was withered, and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glittered there,
Skrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare:
From lips that moved not, and unbreathing frame,
Like caverned winds, the hollow accents came.
Saul saw, and feil to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.
"Why is my sleep disquieted?
Who is he that calls the dead?
Is it thou, O King? Behold,
Bloodless are these limbs, and cold :
Such are mine; and such shall be
Thine to-morrow, when with me :
Ere the coming day is done,
Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
Fare thee well, but for a day,
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
And the falchion by thy side
To thy heart thy hand shall guide :
Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
Son and sire, the house of Saul."
ONCE in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man: and who was he?
Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
That man resembled thee.
Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown;
His name hath perished from the earth,
This truth survives alone :
That joy, and grief, and hope, and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast;
His bliss and woe-a smile, a tear !—
Oblivion hides the rest.
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirit's rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.
He suffered, but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoyed, but his delights are fled;
Had friends,—his friends are now no more;
And foes,—his foes are dead.
He loved, but whom he loved the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb:
Oh, she was fair! but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.
The rolling seasons day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth, and main; E'erwhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
He saw whatever thou hast seen ;
Encountered all that troubles thee:
He was,—whatever thou hast been ;
He is, what thou shalt be.
The clouds and sunbeams o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.
The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,
Of him afford no other trace
Than this, there lived a man!