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MackmixtMox, hereditary piper to the Laird of Macleod, is said to have composed this lament when the clan was about to depart upon a distant and dangerous expedition. The minstrel was impressed with a belief, which the event verified, that he was to be slain in the approaching feud; and hence the Gaelic words, a Cha till mi tuille; ged this lis Macleod, cha till Macrimmon,” * I shall never return ; although Macleod returns, yet Mackrimmon shall never return!, The piece is but too well known, from its being the strain with which the emigrants from the West Highlands and Isles usually take leave of their native sliore.
Macleon's wizard flag from the gray castle sallies,
The rowers are seated, unmoor'd are the galleys;
Gleam war-axe and broadsword, clang target and quiver,
As Mackrimmon sings, a Farewell to Dunvegan for ever!
Farewell to each cliff, on which breakers are foaming,
Farewell each dark glen, in which red deer are roaming;
Farewell lonely Skye, to lake, mountain, and river,
Macleod may return, but Mackrimmon shall never!
• Farewell the bright clouds that on Quillan are sleeping;
Farewell the bright eyes in the Dun that are weeping;
To each minstrel delusion, farewell —and for ever—
Mackrimmon departs, to return to you never !
The Banshee's wild voice sings the death-dirge before me,
The pall of the dead for a mantle hangs o'er me;
But my heart shall not flag, and my nerves shall not
Though devoted I go—to return again never!
“Too oft shall the notes of Mackrimmon's bewailing
Beheard when the Gael on their exile are sailing;
Dear land to the shores, whence nnwilling we sever,
Return—return—return—shall we never,
Cha till, cha till, cha till sin tuille !
Cha till, cha till, cla till sin tuille,
Cha till, cha till, cha till sin tuille,
Ged thillis Macleod, cha till Mack immon lo
ON ETTRICK FOREST'S MOUNTAINS DUN.”
ON Ettrick Forest's mountains dun,
'T is blithe to hear the sportsman's gun,
And seek the heath-frequenting brood
Far through the noon-day solitude;
By many a cairn and trenched mound,
Where chiefs of yore sleep lone and sound,
And springs, where gray-hair'd shepherds tell,
That still the fairies love to dwell.
Along the silver streams of Tweed,
T is blithe the mimic fly to lead,
When to the hook the salmon springs,
And the line whistles through the rings;
'• We return no more.. * Written after a week's shooting and fishing, in which the poet * been engaged with some friends.
THE SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS;
on The QUEST of scLTAUN soliyi AUN. written in 1817.
0, for a glance of that gay Muse's eye,
That lighten’d on Bandello's laughing tale,
And twinkled with a lustre shrewd and sly,
When Gian Battista bade her vision hail!"
Yet fear not, ladies, the naive detail
Given by the natives of that land canorous;
Italiau license loves to leap the pale,
We Britons have the fear of slaine before us,
And, if not wise in mirth, at least must be decorous.
In the far eastern clime, no great while since, Lived Sultaun Solimaun, a mighty prince, whose eves, as oft as they perform'd their round, Beheld all others fix’d upon the ground; whose ears received the same unvaried phrase, • Sultaun' thy vassal hears, and he obeys!»– All have their tastes—this may the fancy strike Of such grave folks as pomp and grandeur like; For me, I love the homest heart and warm of tromarch who can amble round his farm, Or, when the toil of state no more annoys, In chimney-corner seek domestic joys— I love a prince will bid the hottle pass, Exchanging with his subjects glance and glass; In fitting time, can, gayest of the gay, keep up the jest and mingle in the lay— Such monarchs best our free-born humours suit, But de-pots must be stately, stern, and mute.
This Solimaun, Serendib had in sway—
And where's Serendibo may some critic say—
Good lack, mine honest friend, consult the chart,
Scare not my Pegasus before I start!
if Rennell has it not, you'll find, mayhap,
The isle laid down in Captain Sindbad's map, —
Famcd mariner' whose merciless narrations
I'rove every friend and kinsman out of patience,
Till, fain to find a guest who thought them shorter,
He deign'd to tell them over to a porter—
The last edition sce by Long, and Co.,
fices, Hurst, and Orme, our fathers in the Row.
Serrud-b found, deem not my tale a fiction—
This Sultaun, whether lacking contradiction—
(A sort of stimulant which hath its uses,
To raise the spirits and reform the juices,
Sovereign specific for all sort of cures
In my wife's practice, and perhaps in yours),
The Sultaun lacking this same wholesome bitter,
or cordial snooth, for prince's palate sitter—
Or if some Mollah had hat-rid his dreams
with Değial, Ginnistan, and such wild themes
Belonging to the Mollah's subtle craft,
I wot not—but the Sultaun never laugh'd,
Scarce ate or drank, and took a melancholy
That scorn’d all remedy, profane or holy;
In his long list of nuclancholics, mad,
Or mazed, or dumb, hath Burtou none so bad.
* The hint of the following tale is taken from La Caniscia Mazire, a novel of Gium Battista Casti.
Physicians soon arrived, sage, ware, and tried,
As e'er scrawl'd jargon in a darken'd room;
With heedful glance the Sultaun's tongue they eyed,
Peep'd in his bath, and God knows where beside,
And then in solemn accents spoke their doom,
* Ilis majesty is very far from well.»
Then each to work with his specific fell:
The Hakim Ibrahim instanter brought
His unguent Mahazzim al Zerdukkaut,”
While Roompot, a practitioner more wily,
Relied on his Munaskif al fillfily.
More and yet more in deep array appear,
And some the front assail and some the rear:
Their remedies to reinforce and vary,
Came surgeon eke, and eke apothecary;
Till the tired monarch, though of words grown chary,
Yet dropt, to recompense their fruitless labour,
Some hint about a bowstring or a sabre.
There lack'd, I promise you, no longer speeches,
To rid the palace of those learned leeches.
Then was the council calld—by their advice,
(They deem'd the matter ticklish all, and nice,
And sought to shift it off from their own shoulders),
Tatars and couriers in all speed were sent,
To call a sort of eastern parliament
Of feudatory chieftains and freeholders—
Such have the Persians at this very day,
My gallant Malcolm calls them couroultai, -
I'm not prepared to show in this slight song
That to Serendib the same forms belong,
E’en let the learn'd go search, and tell me if I'm wrong.
The Omrahs,” each with hand on scymitar,
Cave, like Sempronius, still their voice for war—
“The sabre of the Sultaun in its sheath
Too long has slept, nor own'd the work of death;.
Let the Tambourgi bid his signal rattle,
Bang the loud gong, and raise the shout of battle!
This dreary cloud that dims our sovereign's day
Shall from his kindled bosom flit away,
When the bold Lootie wheels his courser round,
And the arm'd elephant shall shake the ground.
Each noble pants to own the glorious summons—
And for the charges—Lo! your faithful Commons!”
The Riots who attended in their places
(Serendib language calls a farmer Riot)
Look'd ruefully in one another's faces,
From this oration auguring much disquiet,
Double assessment, forage, and free quarters:
And fearing these as China-men the Tartars,
Or as the whiskerd vermin fear the mousers,
Each fumbled in the pocket of his trowsers.
And next came forth the reverend Convocation,
Bald heads, white beards, and many a turban Green,
Imaum and Mollah there of every station,
Santon, Fakir, and Calendar were seen.
Their votes were various—some advised a Mosque
With fitting revenues should be erected,
With seemly gardens and with gay Riosque,
To recreate a band of priests selected;
1 for these hard words see d'Herbelot, or the learned editor of
the Recipes of Avicenna.
* See Sir John Malcolm's admirable History of Persia.