Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]

n that time rose trouble or pain, | Their path was on wondrous pavement of eir homage to pay to the God of the main.

old, en he bade him haste and the rites prepare, Its blocks all cast in some giant mould, med all the monks should with him fare, Fair hewn and grooved by no mortal hand, I promised again to see him there. With countermure guarded by sea and by land.

The watcher Bushella frowned over their (innon awoke from his visioned sleep,

way, opened his casement and looked on the

he Enrobed in the sea-baize, and hooded with

deep; looked to the mountains, he looked to

ked to the warder that stands by that dome of the the shore,

deep, e vision amazed him and troubled him sore. With spray-shower and rainbow, the entrance never had heard of the rite before ;

to keep t all was so plain, he thought meet to

But when they drew nigh to the chancel of obey,

ocean, durst not decline, and he would not delay.

lelay. And saw her waves rush to their raving rose the Abbot, uprose the morn,

devotion, rose the sun from the Bens of Lorn;

Astounded and awed to the antes they clung, I the bark her course to the northward And listened the bymns in her temple she framed,

sung; th all on board whom the saint bad named. The song of the cliff, when the winter-winds


The thunder of heaven, the earthquake below, e clouds were journeying east the sky, Conjoined, like the voice of a maiden would be, e wind was low and the swell was high, Compared with the anthem there sung by the | the glossy sea was heaving bright

sea. e ridges and hills of liquid light; The solemn rows in that darksome den, uile far on her lubric bosom were seen

Were dimly seen like the forms of men, e magic dyes of purple and green. Like giant monks in ages agone,

Whom the God of the ocean had seared to w joyed the bark her sides to lave!

stone, > leaned to the lee; and she girdled the And bound in his temple for ever to lean,


In sack cloth of gray and visors of green, ft on the stayless verge she hung, | An everlasting worship to keep, ht on the steep wave veered and swung, And the big salt tears eternally weep. I the crests of the billows before her flung. So rapid the motion, the whirl and the boil, id murmured the ocean with downward So loud was the tumult, so fierce the turmoil,


Appalled from those portals of terror they seal swam aloof and the dark sea-fowl;

turn, » pye-duck sougbt the depth of the main, On pillar of marble their incense to burn. rose in the wheel of her wake again ; | Around the holy flame they pray, behind her, far to the southward, shone Then tarning their faces all west away, athway of snow on the waste alone.

On angel pavement each bent his knee,

And song this hymn to the God of the sea. now the dreadful strand they gain, cre rose the sacred dome of the main;

THE MONKS' HYMN. had they seen the place before, kept aloof from the dismal shore,

| Thou, who makest the ocean to flow, now it rose before their prow,

Thou, who walkest the channels below; what they beheld they did not know.

To thee, to thee, this incense we heap, tall gray forms, in close-set file,

| Thou, who know est not slumber nor sleep, olding the roof of that holy pile;

Great Spirit that movest on the face of the sheets of foam and the clouds of spray,

deep, the groans that rushed from the portals

the portals To thee, to thee, we sing to thee, gray,

God of the western wind, God of the sea! alled their hearts, and drove them away.

v wheeled their bark to the east around, To thee, who bringest with thy right hand moored in basin, by rockel imbound; The little fishes around our land; 1, awed to silence, they trode the strand To thee, who breathest in the bosomed sail, re furnaced pillars in order stand, Rulest the shark and the rolling whale, ramed of the liquid burning levin, |Flingest the sinner to downward grave, bent like the bow that spans the heaven, Lightest the gleam on the mane of the wave, pright ranged in horrid array,

Bidst the billows thy reign deform, purfle of green o'er the darksome gray. Laughst in the whirlwind,singst in the storm ; Or risest like mountain amid the sea, , And aye she sank the ware with Where mountain was never and never will be, Till it gurgled around her lovrh And rearest thy proud and thy pale cha- Then combed her locks of the

peroon 'Mid walks of the angels and ways of the And aye this song was heard

moon; To thee, to thee, this wine we pour, God of the western wind, God of the shower!


Matilda of Skye To thee, who bidst those mountains of Alone may lie,


And list to the wind that whistle Softly sink in the fair moonshine,

Sad may she be, And sprendst thy couch of silver-light, I For deep in the sea, To lure to thy bosom the queen of the night, Deep, deep, deep in the sea Who weavest the cloud of the ocean-dew, This night her lover shall sleep And the mist that sleeps on her breast 80 She may turn and hide blue;

From the spirits that glide. When the murmurs die at the base of the bill, And the ghost that stands at bar And the shadows lie rocked and slumbering But never a kiss the row shal


Nor warm embrace her bosom for And the Solan's young, and the lines of foam, For far, far down in the floors bri Are scarcely heaved on thy peaceful home, Moist as this rock-Feed, cold as it We pour this oil and this wine to thee, With the eel, and the clam, and God of the western wind, God of the sea !

of the day “Greater yet must the offering be."

On soft sea-flowers her lover skal
And long and sound shall his sler
In the coral-bowers of the deep


The monks gazed round, the Abbot grew

The trembling sun, far, far aun For the closing notes were not sung by man.

Shall pour on his couch a sefur They came from the rock, or they came from

And his mantle sball wave in the the air,

| And the little fishes shall turs From voice they knew not, and knew not |

But the waves and the tides of the where;

cease. But it sung with a mournful melody:

Ere wakes her love from his beri “Greater yet must the offering be."

No home!-no kiss ! No, never'i
His couch is spread for ever and

In holy dread they past away,
And they walked the ridge of that isle 60


The Abbot arose in dumb disney And saw the white waves toil and fret,

| They turned and fled from the bu An hundred fathoms below their feet;

For dark and portentous was the They looked to the countless isles that lie

When they came in view of their re From Barra to Mull, and from Jura to Skye;

They saw an old man who et al They looked to heaven, they looked to the

His beard was long, and silver en main,

Like the rime that falls at the brul They looked at all with a silent pain,

His locks like wool, and his colou As on places they were not to see again.

And he scarcely looked like an A little bay lies hid from sight,

They asked his errand, they asked O’erhung by cliffs of dreadful height;

Whereunto bound, and whence When they drew nigh that airy steep,

But a sullen thoughtful silence They heard a voice rise from the deep;

And turned his face to the sea And that voice was sweet as voice could be, / Some gave him welcome, aeda And they feared it came from the Maid of

him se the Sea. But the Abbot stood pale, with


He tried to be jocund, but tremblait M'Kinnon lay stretched on the verge of For he thought he had seen the

the hill, And peeped from the height on the bay 80


Away went the ship with her " And he saw her sit on a wcedy stone, Laving her fair breast, and singing alone; So glad to escape from that islame

[ocr errors]

mmed the blue wave like a streamer | Yet ost thine eye has spoke delight,

of light,

11 marked it well, and blessed the sight: I the dim veil 'twixt the day and the No sour disdain, nor manner cold, night.

Noted contempt for tales of old; the old man arose and stood up on Oft hast thou at the fancies smiled,

the prow,

| And marvelled at the legends wild : sed his dim eyes on the ocean below; Thy task ja o'er: peace to thy heart! ey heard him saying: Oh, woe is me! For thou hast acted generous part. eat as the sin must the sacrifice be. Id was his eye, and his manner sublime,

'Tis said that thirty bards appeared, he looked unto heaven, and said: Now

That thirty names were registered, is the time.

With whom were titled chiefs combined, sked to the weather, he looked to the

But some are lost, and some declined.

Woe's me, that all my mountain-lore ked as for something he dreaded to see, | Has been unfit to rescue more! stretched his pale hand, and pointed

And that my guideless rastic skill his eye

Has told those ancient tales so ill. gleam on the verge of the eastern sky.

The prize-harp still hung on the wall; nonks soon beheld, on the lofty Ben-/The bards were warned to leave the hall, More,

Till courtiers gave the judgment true, ht which they never had seen before ; To whom the splendid prize was due. t of blue lightning around it was driven, What curious wight will pass with me, ts crown was encircled by morion of The anxious motley group to see ; heaven;

List their remarks of right and wrong, hey heard a herald that loud did cry,

Of skilful hand and faulty song, are the way for the Abbot of I!" And drink one glass the bards among ?

There sit the men-behold them there, & sound arose, they knew not where,

Made maidens quake and courtiers stare, je from the sea, or it came from the air, Whose names shall future ages tell;

louder than tempest that ever blew, What do they seeni? behold them well: the sea-fowls screamed, and in terror A simpler race you shall not see, flew;

Awkward and vain as men can be; ran to the cords, some kneeled at the Light as the fumes of fervid wine, shrine,

Or foam-bells floating on the brine, all the wild elements seemed to combine; The gossamers in air that sail, s just but one moment of stir and com- Or down that dances in the gale. motion,

Each spoke of other's fame and skill down went the ship like a bird of the With high applanse, but jealous will; ocean!

Each song, each strain, he erst had known, moment she sailed all stately and fair, And all had faults except his own: next, nor ship nor shadow was there, Plandits were mixed with meaning jeers, ''a boil that arose from the deep below, For all had hopes, and all had fears. "ounting gurgling column of snow ; nk away with a murmuring moansea is calm, and the sinners are gone.

A herald rose the court among,
And named each bard and named his song;
Rizzio was named from royal chair-
Rizzio! re-echoed many a fair.
Each song had some that song approved,

And voices gave for bard beloved.

The first division called and done,

Gard yn stood highest just by one. end of the bard! peace to thy heart, No merits can the courtier sway, g bast thou acted generous part, "Twas then, it seems, as at this day. g hast thou courteously in pain inded to a feeble strain, ile oft abashed has sunk thine eye,

Queen Mary reddened, wroth was she i task is done, the Wake is bye.

Her favourite thus outdone to see,
Reproved her squire in high disdain,

And caused him call the votes again. los saw thy fear, I knew it just;

Strange thongh it seem, the truth I say, ras not for minstrels long in dust, Feature of that unyielding day, : for the fond and venturous swain | Her favourite's voters counted o'er, ho dared to wake their notes again; | Were found much fewer than before.

Glistened her eyes with pungent dew; She found with whom she had to do.

To end this strife, oreld sal Let all the three be called as Their skill alternately be tried And let the Queen alone decide Then bashed be jeer and answers 1 He said, and all, conseating,

Again the royal gallery rung With names of those who second sung, When, spite of haughty Highland blood, The Bard of Ettrick upmost stood.

The rest were named who sung so late, And, after long and keen debate, The specious nobles of the south Carried the nameless stranger youth; Though Highland wrath was at the full, Contending for the Bard of Mull.

When word was brought to be The group were all in dire debet The Border-youth (that strange Had quarrelled with the class o Had placed their merits out of Deriding both the songs and 'Tis said-but few the charge He branded them as fools and a Certes that war and woe had been For gleaming dirks unsheathed ! The Highland minstrels ill cseil His taunting word and hangbry

Then did the worst dispute begin, Which of the three the prize should win. "Twas party all-not minstrel-worth, But hononr of the south and north; And nought was heard throughout the court, But taunt, and sneer, and keen retort. High ran the words, and fierce the fume, And from beneath each nodding plume Red look was cast that vengeance said, And palm on broad-sword's hilt was laid, Wbile Lowland jeer, and Highland mood, Threatened to end the Wake in blood.

The youth was chafed, and vid Refused to touch his harp again. Said he desired ne more rensen Than keep those Highland beast Now he had seen them quite sau The south had two, the north kad But should they bear the prize it For that he should not, would He cared for no such geerden Nor for the harp, nor for the u His claim withdrawn, the viczan Repaired to prove their skill anu

The song that tuneful Garda Is still admired by old and you And long shall be at evening-fall While songs are sung or tales per Of stolen delights began the sot Of love the Carron woods amen: Of lady borne from Carron side To Barnard towers and halls of p1 Of jealous lord and doubtful brid: And ended with Gilmorice doom Cut off in manhood's early bler Soft rung the closing notes and And every heart was steeped in

Rose from his seat the Lord of Mar, Serene in counsel as in war. For shame, said he, contendants all! This outrage done in royal hall Is to our country foul disgrace: What! mock our Sovereign to her face! Whose generous beart, and taste refined, Alike to bard and courtier kind, This high repast for all designed. For shame! your party-strife suspend, And list the counsel of a friend. Unmeet it is for you or me To lessen one of all the three, Each excellent in his degree; But taste, asosapient sages tell, Varies with climes in which we dwell. Fair emblem of the Border-dale, la cadence soft and simple tale; While stern romantic Higbland-clime, Still nourishes the rude sublime. If Border-ear may taste the worth Of the wild pathos of the north; Or that sublimed by Ossian's lay, By forest dark and mountain gray, By clouds which frowning cliffs deform, By roaring flood and raving storm, Enjoy the smooth, the fairy tale, Or evening-song of Teviot-dale; Then trow you may the tides adjourn, And nature from her pathway turn; The wild-duck drive to mountain-tree, The capperkayle to swim the sea, The heath-cock to the shelvy shore, The partridge to the mountain boar, And bring the red eyed ptarmigan To dwell by the abodes of man.

The harp of Ettrick rung agai Her bard, intent on fairy-strais. And fairy-freak by moon-light-ban Sung young Tam Lean of Carter

Queen Mary's harp on high tha: And every tone responsive rang With gems of gold that dasaling That harp is to the Highlands Gardyn is crowned with garlando And bears the envied prize away Long, long that harp, the hilla e Resounded Ossian's warrior-sung: Waked slumbering lyres from every Adown the banks of Don and Det. At length was borne, by beaute To woo the airs on Garry side


| full two hundred years bad fled, This soothing, this exhaustless store,

the northern bards were dead, Grant me, my Queen, I ask no more.
stly harp, of wondrous mould,
of all its gems and gold,

0, when the weeping minstrel laid hat which Gardyn erst did play, The relic in his old gray plaid, Dunedin found its way.

| When Holyrood he left behind

To gain his hills of mist and wind, ary's hand the victor crowned,

Never was hero of renown,

Or monarch prouder of his crown. 'ined the wreath his temples round,

He tript the vale, he climbed the coomb, vere the shouts of Highland chiefpwlanders were dumb with grief;

The mountain-breeze began to boom;

Aye when the magic chords it rung, e poor Bard of Ettrick stood

He raised his voice and blithely sung : atue pale, in moveless mood;

“Hush, my wild harp! thy notes forbear; host, which oft his eyes had scen

No blooming maids nor elves are here: aming in his glens so green.

Forbear a while that witching tone, Mary saw the minstrel's pain,

Thou must not, canst not sing alone. ade from bootless grief refrain. uid a boon to him should fall

When Summer flings her watchet screen

At eve o'er Ettrick woods so green, I all the harps in royal hall;

Thy notes shall many a heart beguile; »ttish song a countless store,

Young Beauty's eye shall o'er thee smile,us remains of minstrel-lore,

And fairies trip it merrily ottage, by a silver rill, d all reward his rustic skill:

Around my royal harp and me." ther gift his bosom claim,

Long has that harp of magic tone reded but that gift to name.

To all the minstrel-world been known:

Who has not heard her witching lays my fair Queen, the minstrel said, of Ettrick banks and Yarrow braes?

faltering voice and hanging head, But that sweet bard, who sung and played cottage keep, and minstrel-lore | Of many a feat and Border-raid, tine a harp, I ask no more.

Of many a knight and lovely maid, thy own hand a lyre I crave, When forced to leave his harp behind, boon alone my heart can save.

Did all her tuneful chords unwind;

And many ages passed and caine Vell hast thou asked: and be it known,

Ere man so well could tune the same.

Bangour the daring task essayed, ve a harp of old renown

Not half the chords his fingers played; i many an ardent wight beguiled;

Yet even then some thrilling lays is framed by wizard of the wild,

Bespoke the barp of ancient days. will not yield one measure bland

Redoubted Ramsay's peasant skill eath a skill-less stranger hand;

Flung some strained notes along the hill; once her powers by progress found,

His was some lyre from lady's ball, here is magic in the sound!

And not the mountain-harp at all. en worldly woes oppress thy heart

Langhorn arrived from Southern dale, thou and all must share a part

And chimed his notes on Yarrow vale, uld scorn be cast from maiden's eye,

They would not, could not, touch the heart; uld friendship fail, or fortune fly,

His was the modish lyre of art. al with thy harp to lonely brake,

Sweet rung the harp to Logan's hand: { wild, her soothing numbers wake,

Then Leyden came from Border-land, I soon corroding cares shall cease,

With dauntless heart and ardour high, passiou's host be lulled to peace;

And wild impatience in his eye. pels a gilded screen shall cast,

Though false his tones at times might be, at cheers the future, veils the past.

Though wild notes marred the symphony at harp will make the elves of eve

Between, the glowing measure stole cir dwelling in the moon-beam leave,

That spoke the bard's inspired sonl. d ope thine eyes by haunted tree

Sad were those strains, when hymned afar, leir glittering tiny forms to see.

On the green vales of Malabar: 1e flitting shades that woo the glen

O'er seas beneath the golden morn, will shape to forms of living men,

| They travelled on the monsoon borne, forms on earth no more you see,

Thrilling the heart of Indian maid, ho once were loved, and aye will be ;

Beneath the wild banana's shade. id holiest converse you may prove

Leyden! a shepherd wails thy fate, [ things below and things above."

And Scotland knows her loss too late.

That in, that is the harp for me; Lid the rapt bard in ecstasy;

The day arrived-blest be the day,
Walter the Abbot came that way!

« ПредишнаНапред »