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On the brave vessel's gunnel I drank his bonail,' And farewell to Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail!
Awake in thy chamber, thou sweet southland gale!
Like the sighs of his people, breathe soft on his sail;
Be prolong'd as regret, that his vassals must know,
Be fair as their faith, and sincere as their woe:
Be so soft, and so fair, and so faithful, sweet gale,
Wafting onward Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail!
Be his pilot experienced, and trusty, and wise,
To measure the seas and to study the skies:
May he hoist all his canvas from streamer to deck,
But O! crowd it higher when wafting him back-
Till the cliffs of Skooroora, and Conan's glad vale,
Shall welcome Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail!
OF THE PRECEDING SONG."
So sung the old Bard, in the grief of his heart, When he saw his loved Lord from his people depart.
1 Bonail, or Bonallez, the old Scottish phrase for a feast at parting with a friend.
2 [These verses were written shortly after the death of Lord Seaforth, the last male representative of his illustrious house. He was a nobleman of extraordinary talents, who must have made for himself a lasting reputation, had not his political exertions been checked by the painful natural infirmities alluded to in the fourth stanza.]
Now mute on thy mountains, O Albyn, are heard
Nor the voice of the song, nor the harp of the bard;
Or its strings are but waked by the stern winter gale,
As they mourn for Mackenzie, last Chief of Kintail.
From the far Southland Border a Minstrel came forth,
And he waited the hour that some Bard of the north
His hand on the harp of the ancient should cast,
And bid its wild numbers mix high with the blast;
But no bard was there left in the land of the Gael,
To lament for Mackenzie, last Chief of Kintail.
And shalt thou then sleep, did the Minstrel exclaim,
Like the son of the lowly, unnoticed by fame?
No, son of Fitzgerald! in accents of woe,
The song thou hast loved o'er thy coffin shall flow, And teach thy wild mountains to join in the wail, That laments for Mackenzie, last Chief of Kintail.
In vain, the bright course of thy talents to wrong,
Fate deaden'd thine ear and imprison'd thy tongue;
For brighter o'er all her obstructions arose
The glow of the genius they could not oppose;
And who in the land of the Saxon or Gael,
Might match with Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail?
Thy sons rose around thee in light and in love,
All a father could hope, all a friend could approve;
What 'vails it the tale of thy sorrows to tell,—
In the spring-time of youth and of promise they fell!
Of the line of Fitzgerald remains not a male
To bear the proud name of the Chief of Kintail.
And thou, gentle Dame, who must bear to thy grief, For thy clan and thy country the cares of a Chief,
Whom brief rolling moons in six changes have left,
Of thy husband, and father, and brethren bereft,
To thine ear of affection, how sad is the hail,
That salutes thee the Heir of the line of Kintail!'
This song appears to be imperfect, or, at least, like many of the early Gaelic poems, makes a rapid transition from one subject to another; from the situation, namely, of one of the daughters of the clan, who opens the song by lamenting the absence of her lover, to an eulogium over the military glories of the Chieftain. The translator has endeavoured to imitate the abrupt style of the original.
A WEARY month has wander'd o'er
Since last we parted on the shore;
Heaven! that I saw thee, love, once more,
Safe on that shore again!—
[The Honourable Lady Hood, daughter of the last Lord Seaforth, widow of Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, now Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth and Glasserton, 1833.]
'Twas valiant Lachlan gave the word:
Lachlan, of many a galley lord:
He call'd his kindred bands on board,
And launch'd them on the main.
Clan-Gillian' is to ocean gone;
Clan-Gillian fierce in foray known;
Rejoicing in the glory won
In many a bloody broil:
For wide is heard the thundering fray,
The rout, the ruin, the dismay,
When from the twilight glens away
Clan-Gillian drives the spoil.
Woe to the hills that shall rebound
Our banner'd bag-pipes' maddening sound:
Clan-Gillian's onset echoing round,
Shall shake their inmost cell.
Woe to the bark whose crew shall gaze,
Where Lachlan's silken streamer plays!
The fools might face the lightning's blaze
As wisely and as well!
1i. e. The clan of Maclean, literally the race of Gillian. iii
COMPOSED FOR THE OCCASION, ADAPTED TO HAYDN'S AIR,
"God Save the Emperor Francis,"
AND SUNG BY A SELECT BAND AFTER THE DINNEK GIVEN BY THE LORD
PROVOST OF EDINBURGH TO THE
GRAND-DUKE NICHOLAS OF RUSSIA,
AND HIS SUITE, 19TH DECEMBER, 1816.
GOD protect brave ALEXANDER,
Heaven defend the noble Czar,
Mighty Russia's high Commander,
First in Europe's banded war;
For the realms he did deliver
From the tyrant overthrown,
Thou, of every good the Giver,
Grant him long to bless his own!
Bless him, 'mid his land's disaster,
For her rights who battled' brave,
Of the land of foemen master,
Bless him who their wrongs forgave.
O'er his just resentment victor,
Victor over Europe's foes,
Late and long supreme director,
Grant in peace his reign may close.
Hail! then, hail! illustrious Stranger!
Welcome to our mountain strand;
Mutual interests, hopes, and danger,
Link us with thy native land.