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'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 vision oft astonished 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 [piercing] 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,
And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare
To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.

[Stanza v, and half of stanza vi, are missing in the MS.] 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 mirk 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.

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Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest indeed !

Whom late bewildered in the dank, dark fen, *Far from his flocks and smoking hamlet then! To that sad spot [his wayward fate shall lead :]

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 drowned banks, forbidding all return.

1 Inserted from the later editions.

Or, if he meditate his wished 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, Poured sudden forth from every swelling source.

What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs ? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly 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 travelled limbs in broken slumbers steep,

With drooping willows drest, 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 osiered shore, Drown'd by the kelpie's wrath, nor e'er shall aid thee more !'


Unbounded is thy range; with varięd style

| 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 pile', which still its ruin shows : In whose small vaults a pigmy-folk is found,

Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wondering, from the hallowed ground !

· The chapel of St. Flannan.

Or thither', where, beneath the showery wes., The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid ;

Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest, No slaves revere them, and no wars invade :

Yet frequent now, at midnight's solemn hour,
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold,

And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power,
In pageant robes, and wreathed with sheeny gold,
And on their twilight tombs aerial council hold.



But, O! o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,

On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting tides,

Fair nature's daughter, virtue, yet abides.
Go, just, as they, their blameless manners trace !

Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,

Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along, And all their prospect but the wintry main.

With sparing temperance, at the needful time, They drain the sainted spring ; or, hunger-prest,

Along the Atlantic rock undreading climb, And of its eggs despoil the solan's nest.

Thus blest in primal innocence, they live, Sufficed and happy with that frugal fare

Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give. Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare ; Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there !


Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes engage

Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;

For not alone they touch the village breast, But filled in elder time the historic page.

There Shakespeare's self, with every garland crowned, [Flew to those fairy climes his .fancy sheen ?,]

In musing hour, his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors drest the magic scene. 1 Iona.

· Inserted from the later editions.

From them he sung, when 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot afflicted and aghast,

The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant passed.

Proceed, nor quit the tales which, simply told,
Could once so well my answering bosom pierce ;

Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colours bold,
The native legends of thy land rehearse ;
To such adapt thy lyre and suit thy powerful verse.


In scenes like these, which, daring to depart

From sober truth, are still to nature true,

And call forth fresh delight to fancy's view, The heroic muse employed her Tasso's art !

How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress poured ;

When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheaved the vanished sword !

How have I sat, when piped the pensive wind,
To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung ;

Prevailing poet ! whose undoubting mind
Believed the magic wonders which he sung !
Hence, at each sound, imagination glows;
[Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here ? !]

Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows ;
Melting it flows, pure, numerous, strong, and clear,
And fills the impassioned heart, and wins the harmonious ear!


All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail !

Ye (spacious] friths and lakes, which, far away,

Are by smooth Annan filled or pastoral Tay, Or Don's romantic springs, at distance hail !

The time shall come when I, perhaps, may tread Your lowly glens, o'erhung with spreading broom ;

Or, o'er your stretching heaths, by fancy led ; [Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom ? !]

· Inserted from the later editions.

Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's (classic] shade;

Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each [lyric flower',]
And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, (where Willy's laid?!]

Meantime, ye powers that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains, attend !-

Where'er he dwell, on hill, or lowly moor, To him I lose, your kind protection lend, And, touched with love like mine, preserve my absent friend!


To fair Fidele's grassy tomb

Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,

And rifle all the breathing spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare appear

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove ;
But shepherd lads assembled here,

And melting virgins own their love.

No withered witch shall here be seen ;

No goblins lead their nightly crew :
The female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew!

The redbreast oft, at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend his little aid,

With hoary moss, and gathered flowers,

To deck the ground where thou art laid.

1 Inserted from the later editions.

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