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Mackrimmon, 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 Mackrimmon,” “ 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 shore.

MACLEOD's wizard flag from the grey castle sallies,
The rowers are seated, unmoor'd are the galleys;
Gleam war-axe and broadsword, clang target and

quiver, As Mackrimmon sings, “ Farewell to Dunvegan for

ever! Farewell to each cliff, on which breakers are foaming; Farewell, each dark glen, in which red-deer are roam

ing; Farewell, lonely Skye, to lake, mountain, and river; Macleod may return, but Mackrimmon shall never ! 5. Farewell the bright clouds that on Quillan are sleep

ing; Farewell the bright eyes in the Dun that are weeping;

'[Written for Albyn's Anthology, vol. ii. 1818.]
9. We return no more.”

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

shiver, 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,
Gea thillis Macleod, cha till Mackrimmon!”

ON ETTRICK FOREST'S MOUN

TAINS DUN.?

On Ettrick Forest's mountains dun,
'Tis blithe to hear the sportsman's gun,

*[See a note on Banshee, Lady of the Lake, ante, vol. iii. p. 109.)

Written after a week's shooting and fishing, in which the Poet had been engaged with some friends. [The reader may see these verses set to music in Mr. Thomson's Scottish Melodies for 1822.]

And seek the heath-frequenting brood
Far through the noonday solitude ;
By many a cairn and trenched mound,
Where chiefs of yore sleep lone and sound,
And springs, where grey-hair'd shepherds tell,
That still the fairies love to dwell. .
Along the silver streams of Tweed,
'Tis blithe the mimic fly to lead,
When to the hook the salmon springs,
And the line whistles through the rings;
The boiling eddy see him try,
Then dashing from the current high,
Till watchful eye and cautious hand
Have led his wasted strength to land.
'Tis blithe along the midnight tide,
With stalwart arm the boat to guide ;
On high the dazzling blaze to rear;
And heedful plunge the barbed spear;
Rock, wood, and scaur, emerging bright,
Fling on the stream their ruddy light,
And from the bank our band appears
Like Genii, arm'd with fiery spears.
'Tis blithe at eve to tell the tale,
How we succeed, and how we fail,
Whether at Alwyn'sa lordly meal,

[See the famous salmon-spearing scene in Guy Mannering. Waverley Novels, vol. iii., p. 259–63.]

Alwyn, the seat of the Lord Somerville; now, alas! untenanted, by the lamented death of that kind and hospitable nobleman, the author's nearest neighbour and intimate friend. [Lord S. died in February, 1819.]

Or lowlier board of Ashestiel ; .
While the gay tapers cheerly shine,
Bickers the fire, and flows the wine
Days free from thought, and nights from care,
My blessing on the Forest fair!

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The air composed by the Editor of Albyn's Anthology." The

words written for Mr. George Thomson's Scottish Melodies, (1822.]

The sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill,

In Ettrick's vale, is sinking sweet; The westland wind is hush and still,

The lake lies sleeping at my feet. Yet not the landscape to mine eye

Bears those bright hues that once it bore; Though evening, with her richest dye,

Flames o'er the hills of Ettricks shore. With listless look along the plain,

I see Tweed's silver current glide, And coldly mark the holy fane, **Of Melrose rise in ruin'd pride.

*Ashestiel, the Poet's residence at that time.

9 [" Nathaniel Gow told me that he got the air from an old gentleman, a Mr. Dalrymple of Orangefield, (he thinks,) who had it from a friend in the Western Isles, as an old Highland air."

GEORGE THOMSON.

The quiet lake, the balmy air,

The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree, Are they still such as once they were,

Or is the dreary change in me?

Alas, the warp'd and broken board,

How can it bear the painter's dye!
The harp of strain'd and tuneless chord,

How to the minstrel's skill reply!
To aching eyes each landscape lowers,

To feverish pulse each gale blows chill;
And Araby's or Eden's bowers

Were barren as this moorland hill.

THE MAID OF ISLA.

AIR — “ The Maid of Isla."
WRITTEN FOR MR. GEORGE THOMSON'S SCOTTISH

MELODIES.

[1822.]

O, MAID OF Isla, from the cliff,

That looks on troubled wave and sky,
Dost thou not see yon little skiff

Contend with ocean gallantly?
Now beating 'gainst the breeze and surge,

And steep'd her leeward deck in foam,
Why does she war unequal urge?-

O, Isla's maid, she seeks her home. O, Isla's maid, yon sea-bird mark, Her white wing gleams through mist and spray,

VOL. V.- 31

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