ページの画像
PDF
ePub

THE

LORD OF THE ISLES.

CANTO FIRST.

AUTUMN departs—but still his mantle's fold

Rests on the groves of noble Somerville, Beneath a shroud of russet dropp'd with gold

Tweed and his tributaries mingle still ;
Hoarser the wind, and deeper sounds the rill,

Yet lingering notes of sylvan music swell,
The deep-toned cushat, and the redbreast shrill;

And yet some tints of summer splendour tell
When the broad sun sinks down on Ettrick's western fell.

Autumn departs---from Gala’s fields no more

Come rural sounds our kindred banks to cheer;

Blent with the stream, and gale that wafts it o'er,

No more the distant reapers' mirth we hear. The last blithe shout hath died upon our ear,

And harvest-home hath hush'd the clanging wain, On the waste hill no forms of life appear,

Save where, sad laggard of the autumnal train, Some age-struck wanderer gleans few ears of scatter'd grain.

Deem'st thou these sadden'd scenes have pleasure still,

Lovest thou through Autumn's fading realms to stray, To see the heath-flower wither'd on the hill,

To listen to the woods' expiring lay,
To note the red leaf shivering on the spray, s

To mark the last bright tints the mountain stain,
On the waste fields to trace the gléaner's way,

And moralize on mortal joy and pain ?-O! if such scenes thou lovest, scorn not the minstrel strain !

No! do not scorn, although its hoarser note

Scarce with the cushat's homely song can vie, Though faint its beauties as the tints remote

That gleam through mist in autumn's evening sky, And few as leaves that tremble, sear and dry,

When wild November hath his bugle wound; Nor mock my toil-a lonely gleaner 1,

Through fields time-wasted, on sad inquest bound, Where happier bards of yore have richer harvest found.

So shalt thou list, and haply not unmoyed,

To a wild tale of Albyn's warrior day;
In distant lands, by the rough West reproved,

Still live some reliques of the ancient lay.
For, when on Coolin's hills the lights decay,

With such the Seer of Skye the eve beguiles ; 'Tis known amid the pathless wastes of Reay,

In Harries known, and in Iona's piles, Where rest from mortal coil the Mighty of the Isles.

I.

“ WAKE, Maid of Lorn!” the Minstrels sung.
Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung,
And the dark seas, thy towers that lave,
Heaved on the beach a softer' wave;
As mid the tuneful choir to keep
The diapason of the Deep.
Lulld were the winds on Inninmore,
And
green

Loch-Alline's woodland shore,
As if wild woods and waves had pleasure
In listing to the lovely measure.
And ne'er to symphony more sweet
Gave mountain echoes answer meet,
Since, met from mainland and from isle,
Ross, Arran, Ilay, and Argyle,
Each minstrel's tributary lay.
Paid homage to the festal day.

Dull and dishonour'd were the bard,

Worthless of guerdon and regard,
Deaf to the hope of minstrel fame,
Or lady’s-smiles, his noblest aim,

Who on that morn's resistless call

Were silent in Artornish hall.

II.

* Wake, Maid of Lorn !”.'twas thus they sung, And yet more proud the descant rung, 6 Wake, Maid of Lorn ! high right is ours, To charm dull sleep from Beauty's bowers; Earth, Ocean, Air, have nought so shy But owns the power of minstrelsy.

In Lettermore the timid deer

Will pause, the harp's wild chime to hear;
Rude Heiskar's seal through surges dark
Will long pursue the minstrel's bark;
To list his notes, the eagle proud
Will poise him on Ben-Cailliach's cloud ;

« 前へ次へ »