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And that each naked precipice,
Sable ravine, and dark abyss,
Tells of the outrage still.
The wildest glen, but this, can show
Some touch of Nature's genial glow;
On high Benmore green mosses grow,
And heath-bells bud in deep Glencroej
And copse on Cruchan-Ben ;
But here,-above, around, below,
On mountain or in glen,
Nor tree, nor shrub, nor plant, nor flower,
Nor aught of vegetative power,
The weary eye maỹ ken.
For all is rocks at random thrown,
Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone,
As if were here denied
The summer sun, the spring's sweet dew,
That clothe with many a varied hue.
The bleakest mountain-side.
And wilder, forward as they wound,
Were the proud cliffs and lake profound.
Huge terraces of granite black
Afforded rude and cumber'd track;
For from the mountain hoar,
Hurl'd headlong in some night of fear,
When yelld the wolf and fled the deer,
Loose crags had toppled o'er; .
And some, chance-poised and balanced, lay,
So that a stripling arm might sway
A mass no host could raise,
In Nature's rage at random thrown,
Yet trembling like the Druid's stone
On its precarious base.
The evening mists, with ceaseless change,
Now clothed the mountains' lofty range,
Now left their foreheads bare,
And round the skirts their mantle furld,
Or on the sable waters curl'd, se
Or, on the eddying breezes whirld,
Dispersed in middle air.
And oft, condensed, at once they lower,
When, brief and fierce, the mountain shower
Pours like a torrent down,
And when return the sun's glad beams,
Whiten’d with foam a thousand streams
Leap from the mountain's crown. ,
XVI. « This lake," said Bruce, “whose barriers drear Are precipices sharp and sheer, Yielding no track for goat or deer,
Save the black shelves we tread, How term you its dark waves ? and how Yon northern mountain's pathless brow,
And yonder peak of dread,
That to the evening sun uplifts
The griesly gulphs and slaty rifts,
Which seam its shiver'd head ?”
66 Coriskin call the dark lake's name,
Coolin the ridge, as bards proclaim,
From old Cuchullin, chief of fame.
But bards, familiar in our isles
Rather with Nature's frowns than smiles,
Full oft their careless humours please
By sportive names for scenes like these.
I would old Torquil were to show
His Maidens with their breasts of snow,
Or that my noble Liege were nigh
To hear his Nurse sing lullaby!
(The Maids--tall cliffs with breakers white,
The Nurse-a torrent's roaring might)
Or that your eye could see the mood
Of Corryvrekin's whirlpool rude,
When dons the Hag her whiten’d hood
'Tis thus our islesmen's fancy frames, For scenes so stern, fantastic names."
Answer'd the Bruce, " And musing mind
Might here a graver moral find.
These mighty cliffs, that heave on high
Their naked brows to middle sky,
Indifferent to the sun or snow,
Where nought can fade, and nought can blow,
May they not mark a Monarch's fate ---
Raised high 'mid storms of strife and state,
Beyond life's lowlier pleasures placed,
His soul a rock, his heart a waste ?
O’er hope and love and fear aloft
High rears his crowned head-But soft !
Look, underneath yon jutting crag
Are hunters and a slaughter'd stag.
Who may they be ? But late you said .
No steps these desert regions tread ?”