Full many a spell to him was known,
Which wandering spirits shrink to hear;

And many a lay of potent tone,
Was never meant for mortal ear.

For there, 'tis said, in mystic mood,

High converse with the dead they hold,

And oft espy the fated shroud,

That shall the future corpse enfold.

O so it fell, that on a day,

To rouse the red deer from their den, The Chiefs have ta'en their distant way, And scour'd the deep Glenfinlas glen.

No vassals wait their sports to aid,

To watch their safety, deck their board;

Their simple dress, the Highland plaid,
Their trusty guard, the Highland sword.

Three summer days, through brake and dell, Their whistling shafts successful flew;And still, when dewy evening fell, The quarry to their hut they drew.

the mind upon the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by which things distant and future are perceived and seen as if they were present." To which I would only add, that the spectral appearances thus presented, usually presage misfortune: that the faculty is painful to those who suppose they possess it; and that they usually acquire it while themselves under the pressure of melancholy.

In grey Glenfinlas' deepest nook

The solitary cabin stood,
Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,

Which murmurs through that lonely wood.

Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,
When three successive days had flown;

And summer mist in dewy balm

Steep'd heathy bank, and mossy stone.

The moon, half-hid in silvery flakes,
Afar her dubious radiance shed,

Quivering on Katrine's distant lakes,
And resting on Benledi's head.

Now in their hut, in social guise,
Their silvan fare the Chiefs enjoy;And pleasure laughs in Roland's eyes,
As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy.

"What lack we here to crown our bliss, While thus the pulse of joy beats high?

What, but fair woman's yielding kiss,
Her panting breath and melting eye?

"To chase the deer of yonder shades,
This morning left their father's pile

The fairest of our mountain maids,
The daughters of the proud Glengyle.


"Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart, And dropp'd the tear, and heaved the sigh:

But vain the lover's wily art,
Beneath a sister's watchful eye.

"But thou mayst teach that guardian fair,
While far with Mary I am flown,

Of other hearts to cease her care,
And find it hard to guard her own.

"Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see

The lovely Flora of Glengyle, Unmindful of her charge and me,

Hang on thy notes, 'twixt tear and smile.

"Or, if she choose a melting tale,
All underneath the greenwood bough,

Will good St. Oran's rule prevail,1

Stern huntsman of the rigid brow ?"—

1 St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was buried in Icolmkill. His pretensions to be a saint were rather dubious. According to the legend, he consented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate certain demons of the soil, who obstructed the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. Columba caused the body of his friend to be dug up, after three days had elapsed; when Oran, to the horror and scandal of the assistants, declared, that there was neither a God, a judgment, nor a future state! He had no time to make further discoveries, for Columba caused the earth once more to be shovelled over him with the utmost dispatch. The chapel, however, and the cemetery, was called Belig Oman; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.

"Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death,
No more on me shall rapture rise, Responsive to the panting breath,
Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.

"E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe,
Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,

I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,
On me the Seer's sad spirit came.

"The last dread curse of angry heaven,
With ghastly sights and sounds of woe,

To dash each glimpse of joy was given—
The gift, the future ill to know.

"The bark thou saw'st, yon summer morn,

So gaily part from Oban's bay, My eye beheld her dash'd and torn,

Far on the rocky Colonsay.

"Thy Fergus too—thy sister's son,

Thou saw'st, with pride, the gallant's power,

As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe,
He left the skirts of huge Benmore.

"Thou only saw'st their tartans1 wave,
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,

Heard'st but the pibroch,2 answering brave
To many a target clanking round.

i Tartans—The full Highland dress, made of the chequered stuff so termed.

2 Pibroch—A piece of martial music, adapted to the Highland bagpipe.


"I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears, I saw the wound his bosom bore, When on the serried Saxon spears He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.

"And thou, who bidst me think of bliss,
And bidst my heart awake to glee,

And court, like thee, the wanton kiss—
That heart, O Roland, bleeds for thee!

"I see the death-damps chill thy brow;

I hear thy Warning Spirit cry; The corpse-lights dance—they're gone, now...

No more is given to gifted eye!"

"Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams,

Sad prophet of the evil hour!
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams,

Because to-morrow's storm may lour?

"Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe, Clangillian's Chieftain ne'er shall fear;

His blood shall bound at rapture's glow, Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spear.

"E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,
My Mary's buskins brush the dew."

He spoke, nor bade the Chief farewell,
But call'd his dogs, and gay withdrew.

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