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THE HIGHLANDER'S FAREWELL
Is one of those desperate Jacobite effusions, which, in the delirium of chivalry, I have so often poured out when contemplating the disinterested valour of the clans, and the beastly cruelty of their victors. It is a mercy that I live in a day when the genuine heir of the Stuarts fills their throne, else my head would only be a tenant at will of my shoulders. I have composed more national songs than all the bards of Britain put together. Many of them have never been published; more of them have been, under various names and pretences : but few of them shall ever be by me again. The song is set by Smith, in the Scottish Minstrel.
O WHERE shall I gae seek my bread,
Or where shall I gae wander,
And swathe me round in danger,
And roam a lonely stranger !
The glen that was my father's own,
Maun be by his forsaken;
Is levell’d with the braken.
Stole by a ruthless reaver-
But the might is broke for ever!
And thou, my Prince, my injured Prince,
Thy people have disown'd theeHave hunted and have driven thee hence,
With ruined Chiefs around thee. Though hard beset, when I forget
Thy fate, young, hapless rover, This broken heart shall cease to beat,
And all its griefs be over.
Farewell, farewell, dear Caledon,
Land of the Gael no longer ! Strangers have trod thy glory on,
In guile and treachery stronger.
The brave and just sink in the dust,
On ruin's brink they quiverHeaven's pitying eye is closed on thee;
Adieu, adieu for ever!
This is a most unearthly song, copied from an unearthly
the play has astounded me. The following is but a flea-bite to some of it.
Thou art weary, weary, weary,
Thou art weary and far away,
Come before the dawn of day.
I hear a small voice from the hill,
And in the cleft of heaven I scan
The giant form of a naked man,
All is not well. By dint of spell,
The purple drops shall tinge the moon
Be as it will, I have the skill
Another chant, and then, and then,