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COMPOSED IN THE GLEN OF LOCH ETIVE.
This Land of Rainbows, spanning glens whose walls,
Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists,
Of far-stretched Meres, whose salt flood never rests,
Of tuneful caves and playful waterfalls,
Of mountains varying momently their crests-
Proud be this Land! whose poorest Huts are Halls
Where Fancy entertains becoming guests;
While native song the heroic Past recalls.
Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught,
The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide
Her trophies, Fancy crouch ; - the course of pride
Has been diverted, other lessons taught,
That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head
Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread.
COMPOSED AT DUNOLLIE CASTLE IN THE BAY OF OBAN.
DisHONOURED Rock and Ruin! that, by law
Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred
Like a lone criminal whose life is spared.
Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw
Was on the wing ; stooping, he struck with awe
Man, bird, and beast; then, with a Consort paired,
From a bold headland, their loved aery's guard,
Flew high above Atlantic waves, to draw
Light from the fountain of the setting sun.
Such was this Prisoner once; and, when his plumes
The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on,
In spirit, for a moment, he resumes
His rank ’mong freeborn creatures that live free,
His power, his beauty, and his majesty.
TRADITION, be thou mute! Oblivion, throw
Thy veil, in mercy, o'er the records hung
Round strath and mountain, stamped by the ancient
On rock and ruin darkening as we go, —
Spots where a word, ghost-like, survives to show
What crimes from hate, or desperate love, have sprung;
From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong,
What feuds, not quenched but fed by mutual woe:
Yet, though a wild vindictive Race, untamed
By civil arts and labours of the pen,
Could gentleness be scorned by these fierce Men,
Who, to spread wide the reverence that they claimed
For patriarchal occupations, named
Yon towering Peaks, “Shepheris of Etive Glen ?"*
Enough of garlands, of the Arcadian crook,
And all that Greece and Italy have sung
Of Swains reposing myrtle groves among !
Ours couch on naked rocks, will cross a brook
Swoln with chill rains, nor ever cast a look
This way or that, or give it even a thought
More than by smoothest pathway may be brought
Into a vacant mind. Can written book
Teach what they learn ? Up, hardy Mountaineer !
And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One
Of Nature's privy council, as thou art,
On cloud-sequestered heights, that see and hear
To what dread Power He delegates his part
On earth, who works in the heaven of heavens, alone.
THE EARL OF BREADALBANE'S RUINED MANSION,
AND FAMILY BURIAL-PLACE, NEAR KILLIN.
the Bard who called the Grave, in strains
Thoughtful and sad, the “ Narrow House." No style
Of fond sepulchral flattery can beguile
Grief of her sting; nor cheat, where he detains
The sleeping dust, stern Death: how reconcile
With truth, or with each other, decked Remains
Of a once warm Abode, and that new Pile,
For the departed, built with curious pains
And mausolean pomp? Yet here they stand
Together, — 'mid trim walks and artful bowers,
To be looked down upon by ancient hills,
That, for the living and the dead, demand
And prompt a harmony of genuine powers ;
Concord that elevates the mind, and stills