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For sooner guilt the ordeal brand
Shall grasp unhurt, than ye shall hold
The banner with victorious hand,
Beneath a sister's curse unrolled.
Oh stranger! by my country's loss!
And by my love! and by the cross !
I swear I never could have spoke
The curse that severed nature's yoke;
But that a spirit o'er me stood,
And fired me with the wrathful mood;
And frenzy to my heart was giv'n,
To speak the malison of heav'n.
“They would have crossed themselves all mute,
They would have prayed to burst the spell ;
But at the stamping of my foot
Each hand down pow’rless fell !
And go to Athunree !* I cried,
High lift the banner of your pride !
But know that where its sheet unrolls
The weight of blood is on your souls !
Go where the havoc of your kerne
Shall float as high as mountain fern!
Men shall no more your mansion know!
The nettles on your heart shall grow!
Dead as the green oblivious flood,
That mantles by your walls, shall be
The glory of O'Connor's blood !
Away! away to Athunree!
Where downward when the sun shall fall
The raven's wing shall be your pall;
* Athunree, the battle fought in 1314, which decided the fate of Ireland.
And not a vassal shall unlace
The vizor from your dying face!
“A bolt that overhung our dome
Suspended till my curse was given,
Soon as it passed these lips of foam
Pealed in the blood-red heaven.
Dire was the look that o'er their backs
The angry parting brothers threw;
But now, hehold! like cataracts,
Come down the hills in view.
O'Connor's plumed partisans,
Thrice ten Innisfallian clacs
Were marching to their doom :
A sudden storm their plumage tossed,
A flash of lightning o'er them crossed,
And all again was gloom;
But once again in heaven the bands
Of thunder spirits clapt their hands.
XVI. Stranger! ! fled the home of grief, At Connocht Moran's tomb to fall; I found the helmet of my chief, His bow still hanging on our wall ; And took it down, and vowed to rove This desert place a huntress bold; Nor would I change my buried love For any heart of living mould. No! for I am a hero's child, I'll hunt my quarry in the wild ; And still my home this mansion make, Of all unheeded and unheeding, And cherish for my warrior's sake, The flower of love lies bleeding."
LOCHIEL' Lochiel, beware of the day When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array! For a fierd of the dead rushes red on my sight, And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight: They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown; Wo, wo to the riders that trample them down! Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain. But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war, What steed to the desert flies frantic and far? 'Tis thine, oh Glenullin ! whose bride shall await, Like a love-lighted watchfire, all night at the gate. A steed comes at morning: no rider is there ; But its bridle is red with the sign of despair. Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led ! Oh weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead : For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave, Culloden ! that reeks with the blood of the brave.
Go, preach to the coward, thou death telling seer!
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight!
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.
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 noi.
Lo! the death-shot of foeman 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 eyrie, 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.
False Wizard avaunt! I have marshalled my clan :
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 wo to his kindred, and wo 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-
-Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
it 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 fiutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the faggots, that blaze at Jiis feet, *
Where his heart shall be thrown ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale
-Down soothless insulter! I trust not the tale: [gore, Though 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.