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Macrammon, 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, “ Cha till mi tuille; ged thillis Macleod, cha till Macrimmon, w “I shall never return; although Macleod returns, yet Mackrimmon shall never return to 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 shore.
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
Be heard when the Gael on their exile are sailing;
Dear land! to the shores, whence unwilling we sever,
Return—return—return—shall we never,
Cha till, cha till, cha till sin tuille!
Cha till, cha till, cha till sin tuille,
Cha till, cha till, cha till sin tuille, -
Ged thillis Macleod, cha till Macrimmonly
ON ETTRICK FOREST'S MOUNTAINS in UN.”
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 had been engaged with some friends.
THE SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS; on The QUEST of SULTAUN SOLIMAUN. written in 1817.
O, 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 Giam Battista bade her vision hail!"
Yet fear not, ladies, the naive detail
Given by the natives of that land canorous;
Italian license loves to leap the pale,
We Britons have the fear of shame 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 eyes, 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 honest heart and warm
Of monarch 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 bottle 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 despots must be stately, stern, and mute.
This Solimaun, Serendib had in sway—
And where's Serendib 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,
Famed mariner! whose merciless narrations
Drove 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 see by Long. and Co.,
Rees, Hurst, and Orme, our fathers in the Row.
Serendib found, deem not my tale a fiction—
This Sultaun, winether 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 smooth, for prince's palate fitter—
Or if some Mollah had hag-rid his dreams
With Degial, 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 melancholies, mad,
Or mazed, or dumb, hath Burton none so bad.
* The hint of the following tale is taken from La Camiscia Magica, a novel of Giam Battista Casti.
Physicians soon arrived, sage, ware, and tried,
As eer 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,
• His 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 call’d—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,
Een let the learn'd go search, and tell me if I'm wrong.
The Omrahs, each with hand on scymitar,
Gave, 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 whisker'd vermin fear the mousers,
Each fumbled in the pocket of his trowsers.
Others opined that through the realms a dole
"Be made to holy men, whose prayers might profit
The Sultaun's wealin body and in soul;
But their long-headed chief, the Sheik Ul-Sofit,
More closely touch'd the point:—“Thy studious mood,”
Quoth he, “O prince! hath thicken'd all thy blood,
And dull'd thy brain with labour beyond measure;
Wherefore relax a space and take thy pleasure,
And toy with beauty or tell o'er thy treasure;
From all the cares of state, my liege, enlarge thee, .
And leave the burthen to thy faithful clergy.”
These counsels sage availed not a whit,
And so the patient (as is not uncommon
Where grave physicians lose their time and wit)
Resolved to take advice of an old woman;
His mother she, a dame who once was beauteous,
And still was calld so by each subject duteous.
Now, whether Fatima was witch in earnest,
Or only made believe, I cannot say—
But she profess'd to cure disease the sternest,
By dint of magic amulet or lay;
And, when all other skill in vain was shown,
She deem'd it fitting time to use her own.
“Sympathia magica hath wonders done,”
(Thus did old Fatima bespeak her son),
• It works upon the fibres and the pores,
And thus, insensibly, our health restores,
And it must help us here.—Thou must endure
The ill, my son, or travel for the cure,
Search land and sea, and get, where'er you can,
The inmost vesture of a happy man,
I mean his shint, my son, which, taken warm
And fresh from off his back, shall chase your harm,
Bid every current of your veins rejoice,
And your dull heart leap light as shepherd-boy’s.”
Such was the counsel from his mother came.
I know not if she had some under-game,
As doctors have, who bid their patients roam
And live abroad, when sure to die at home 3
Or if she thought, that, somehow or another,
Queen Regent sounded better than Queen Mother;
But, says the Chronicle (who will go look it 0.
That such was her advice—the Sultaun took it.
All are on board—the Sultaun and his train,
In gilded galley prompt to plough the main :
The . Raisi was the first who question'd, “Whi
They paused—a Arabia,” thought the pensive prince, « was call'd the Happy many ages since
For Mokha, Rais."—And they came safely thither. But not in Araby with all her balm, Nor where Judea weeps beneath her palm, Not in rich Egypt, not in Nubian waste, could there the step of Happiness be traced. One Copt alone profess'd to have seen her smile, when Bruce his goblet fill'd at infant Nile; She bless'd the dauntless traveller as he quaffd, But vanish'd from him with the ended draught.
• Enough of turbans,” said the weary king, « These dolimans of ours are not the thing;
Try we the Giaours, these men of coat and cap, I
Incline to think some of them must be happy;
At least they have as fair a cause as any can,
They drink good wine, and keep no Ramazan.
Then northward, ho!» The vessel cuts the sea,
And fair Italia lies upon her lee.—
But fair Italia, she who once unfurl’d
Her eagle banners o'er a conquer'd world,
Long from her throne of domination tumbled,
Lay, by her quondam vassals, sorely humbled;
The Pope himself look'd pensive, pale, and lean,
And was not half the man he once had been.
« While these the priest and those the noble fleeces,
Our poor old boot,” they said, “ is torn to pieces.
Its tops” the vengeful claws of Austria feel,
And the Great Devil is rending toe and heel.”
lf happiness you seek, to tell you truly,
We think she dwells with one Giovanni Bulli;
A tramontane, a heretic, -the buck,
Poffaredio! still has all the luck;
By land or ocean never strikes his flag—
And them—a perfect walking money-bag."
Offset our prince to seek John Bull's abode,
But first took France—it lay upon the road.
Monsieur Baboon, after much late commotion,
Was abitated like a settling ocean,
Quite out of sorts, and could not tell what ail'd him,
Only the glory of his house had fail'd him;
Besides, some tumours on his noddle biding,
Gave indication of a recent hiding.4
Our prince, though Sultauns of such things are heed-
Thought it a thing indelicate and needless
To ask, if at that moment he was happy,
And Monsieur, seeing that he was comme il faut, a
Loud voice muster'd up, for a Pive le Roi!»
Then whisper'd, “Ave you any news of Nappy!»
The Sultaun answer'd him with a cross question,-
• Pray, can you tell me aught of one John Bull,
That dwells somewhere beyond your herring-pool to
The query seem'd of difficult digestion,
The party shrugod, and grinn'd, and took his snuff,
And found his whole good breeding scarce enough.
Twitching his visage into as many puckers .
As damsels wont to put into their tuckers
(Ere liberal Fashion damn'd both lace and lawn,
And bade the veil of modesty be drawn),
Replied the Frenchman, after a brief pause,
« Jean Bool!—I was not know him—yes, I was—
I was remember dat von year or two,
I saw him at von place cail'd Waterloo-
Ma foi! il sest très-joliment battu,
Dat is for Englishman,—m entendez-vous?
But den he had wit him von damn son-gun,
Rogue I no like—dey call him Wellington.”
Monsieur's politeness could not hide his fret,
So Solimaun took leave and cross'd the streight.
1 The well-known resemblance of Italy in the map. * Florence, Venice, etc. : The Calabrias, infested by hands of assassins. One of the leaders was called Fra Diavolo, i. e. Brother Devil.
4 or drubbing, so called in the Slang dictionary.
John Bull was in his very worst of moods, Raving of sterile farms and unsold goods; His sugar-loaves and bales about he threw, `4 And on his counter beat the devil's tattoo. His wars were ended, and the victory won, But then 't was reckoning-day with honest John, And authors vouch 't was still this worthy's way, “Never to grumble till he came to pay; And then he always thinks, his temper 's such, The work too little, and the pay too much.” Yet, grumbler as he is, so kind and hearty, That when his mortal foe was on the floor, And past the power to harm his quiet more, Poor John had well nigh wept for Bonaparte! Such was the wight whom Solimaun salam'd,— “And who are you,” John answerd, and be d–d?»
“A stranger, come to see the happiest man,—
So, seignior, all avouch,-in Frangistan.”—”
“Happy! my tenants breaking on my hand 7
Unstock'd my pastures, and untill'd my land;
Sugar and rum a drug, and mice and moths
The sole consumers of my good broad-cloths—
Happy! why, cursed war and racking tax
Have left us scarcely raiment to our backs.”
“In that case, Seignior, I may take my leave;
I came to ask a favour—but I grieve——”
“ Favour?" said John, and eyed the Sultaun hard,
“It's my belief you came to break the yard —
But, stay, you look like some poor foreign sinner,
Take that, to buy yourself a shirt and dinner.”—
With that he chuck'd a guinea at his head;
But, with due dignity, the Sultaun said,
* Permit me, sir, your bounty to decline;
A shirt indeed I seek, but none of thine.
Seignior, I kiss your hands, so fare you well.»
“ Kiss and be d–d,” quoth John, “ and go to hell!”
Next door to John there dwelt his sister Peg,
Once a wild lass as ever shook a leg,
When the blithe bagpipe blew—but soberer now,
She doucely span her flax and milk'd her cow.
And whereas erst she was a needy slattern,
Nor now of wealth or cleanliness a pattern,
Yet once a-month her house was partly swept,
And once a-week a plenteous board she kept.
And whereas eke the vixen used her claws,
And teeth, of yore, on slender provocation,
She now was grown amenable to laws,
A quiet soul as any in the nation ;
The sole remembrance of her warlike joys
Was in old songs she sang to please her boys.
John Bull, whom, in their years of early strife,
She wont to lead a cat-and-dottish life,
Now found the woman, as he said, a neighbour,
Who look'd to the main chance, declined no labour,
Loved a long grace, and spoke a northern jargon,
And was d-–d close in making of a bargain.
The Sultaun enterd, and he made his leg,
And with decorum curtsied sister Peg:
(She loved a book, and knew a thing or two,
And guess'd at once with whom she had to do.)
* See the True-Born Englishman, by Daniel de Foe. * Europe.
Now, for the land of verdant Erin,
The Sultaun's royal bark is steering,
The emerald Isle where honest Paddy dwells,
The cousin of John Bull, as story tells.
For a long space had John, with words of thunder,
Hard looks, and harder knocks, kept Paddy under,
Till the poor lad, like boy that's flood unduly,
Had gotten somewhat restive and unruly.
Hard was his lot and lodging, you'll allow,
A wigwam that would hardly serve a sow;
His landlord, and of middlemen two brace,
Had screwd his rent up to the starving place;
His garment was a top-coat, and an old one,
His meal was a potatoe, and a cold one;
But still for fun or frolic, and all that,
In the round world was not the match of Pat.
The Sultaun saw him on a holiday,
| Which is with Paddy still a jolly day: When mass is ended, and his load of sins Confess'd, and Mother Church hath from her binns Dealt forth a bonus of imputed merit, Then is Pat's time for fancy, whim, and spirit! To jest, to sing, to caper fair and free, And dance as light as leaf upon the tree. • By Mahomet,” said Sultaun Solimaun, * That ragged fellow is our very man Rush in and seize him—do not do him hurt, But, will he mill he, let me have his shirt.”
Shilela their plan was well nigh after baulking
(Much less provocation will set it a-walking),
But the odds that foil'd Hercules foil d Paddy Whack;
They seized, and they floord, and they stripp'd him—
Up-bubboo! Paddy had not——a shirt to his back | }.
And the king, disappointed, with sorrow and shame,
Went back to Screndib as sad as he came.