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Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My shortlived bliss, forget my social name;
But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame!
Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand:
To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;

Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe who own thy genial land.

There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill; 'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet; Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There each trim lass, that skims the milky store, To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage door,

While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There every herd, by sad experience, knows

How, wing'd with Fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes, Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe the' untutor'd swain:

Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts neglect;

Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain; These are the themes of simple sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding strain.

E'en yet preserved, how often mayst thou hear, Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run, Taught by the father, to his listening son, [ear. Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's

At every pause, before thy mind possess❜d,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around,
With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,

Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave,

When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented

grave!

Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel*, Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,

The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny swarms, [arms. And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's

"Tis thine to sing how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer,
Lodged in the wintry cave with Fate's fell spear,
Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells:
How they, whose sight such dreary dreams
engross,

With their own visions oft astonish'd droop,
When, o'er the watery strath or quaggy moss,
They see the gliding ghosts' unbodied troop:
Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Their destined glance some fated youth descry,
Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigour seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die.
For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair:

They know what spirit brews the stormful day,

* A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.

And artless, oft like moody madness, stare
To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.

To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
Oft have they seen Fate give the fatal blow!
The seer, in Sky, shriek'd as the blood did flow,
When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay!
As Boreas threw his young Aurora* forth,

In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles raged in welkin of the North,

They mourn'd in air, fell, fell rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joy'd in Preston's fight,

Saw, at sad Falkirk, all their hopes near crown'd! 'They raved! divining, through their second sight+, Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were

drown'd!

Illustrious William +! Britain's guardian name! One William saved us from a tyrant's stroke: He, for a sceptre, gain'd heroic fame, [broke, But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke!

These, too, thou'lt sing! for well thy magic Muse 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 lose:

* By young Aurora Collins undoubtedly meant the first appearance of the northern lights, which happened about the year 1715; at least, it is most highly probable, from this peculiar circumstance, that no ancient writer whatever has taken any notice of them, nor even any one modern, previous to the above period.

↑ Second sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.

The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pretender at the battle of Culloden.

Let not dank Will* mislead you to the heath; Dancing in murky 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 the'excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside, Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light: For watchful, lurking, mid the' unrustling reed, At those murk 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 surprise.

Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unbless'd, 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 him, enraged, 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! Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape To some dim hill that seems uprising near, To his faint eye the grim and grisly shape, In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear.

Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise, Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source! What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs?

A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lantern, &c. It hovers in the air over marshy and fenny places.

His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthful force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse!

For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way:
For him in vain at to-fall of the day,
His babes shall linger at the' unclosing gate!
Ah, ne'er shall he return! Alone, if night

Her travel'd limbs in broken slumbers steep! With drooping willows dress'd, 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!'

Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill
Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which

spring

From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle,

To that hoar pilet which still its ruins shows:

The water fiend.

+ 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.

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