Imagens das páginas

On a green bank the holy seer is laid,

Where weaving branches cloud the chequered shade;

In solemn thought his hoary head's inclined,

And his white locks wave in the fanning wind.


"With reverend steps approaching, I began:

O blest with all that dignifies the man!
Who, far from life, and all its noisy care,
Enjoy'st the aim of all that wander there:
Let, holy father, thy propitious aid
Guide dying Rynold through the deathful shade.'

"I said: the prophet heavenward lifts his eyes,
Long fixed in solemn thought, and thus replies:
'Vain mortals! worms of earth! how can ye dare
To deem your deeds not Providence's care?
Heaven looks on all below with equal eye;
They long escape, but yet the wicked die.



With distant time, O youth! my soul's imprest;

Futurity is lab'ring in my breast;

Thy blood, which rolling down from Fergus came,


Passes through time, a pure untainted stream.

Albion shall in her pristine glory shine,

And, blessed herself, bless the Fergusian line.
But, ah! I see grim treason rear its head,

Pale Albion trembling, and her monarch dead;
The tyrant wield his sceptre 'smeared with blood—
O base return! but still great Heaven is good:


He falls, he falls; see how the tyrant lies!
And Scotland brightens up her weeping eyes:
The banished race again resume their own,
Nor Syria boasts her royal saint alone.
Its gloomy front the lowering season clears,
And gently rolls a happy round of years.

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Again I see contending chiefs come on,

And, as they strive to mount, they tear the throne;


To civil arms the horrid trumpet calls,

And Caledonia by her children falls.

The storm subsides to the calm flood of peace;
The throne returns to Fergus' ancient race.
Glad Caledonia owns their lawful sway;
Happy in them, in her unhappy they!


See each inwrapped untimely in his shroud,

For ever sleeping in his generous blood!

Who on thy mournful tomb refrains the tear?
O regal charms, unfortunately fair!


Dark Faction grasps her in his sable arms,

And crushes down to death her struggling charms :

The rose, in all its gaudy livery drest,

Thus faintly struggles with the blust'ring west.

'Why mention him in whom th' eternal fates

Shall bind in peace the long-discording states?
See Scot and Saxon, coalesced in one,
Support the glory of the common crown.
Britain no more shall shake with native storms,
But o'er the trembling nations lift her arms.'

"He spoke, and in the cave inclosed his age: In wonder lost, I leave the hermitage,



Measure with thoughtful steps my backward way,

While to the womb of night retires the day.

Pale doubtful twilight broods along the ground;


The forest nods its sleeping head around.

"Before my eyes a ghastly vision stood;

A mangled man, his bosom stained with blood!

Silent and sad the phantom stood confest,

And shewed the streaming flood-gates of his breast.


Then pointing to the dome his tardy hand,
Thither his eyes my silent way command.
He hands my sword, emits a feeble groan,
And weakly says, ' Revenge me, O my son!'
I to reply-he hissed his way along,


As breezes sing through reeds their shrilly song.
I stood aghast, then winged me to obey;

Across the field I sweep my hasty way.

The men I arm; the firm barrier we ply,

And those who dare dispute the passage die.


With dying groans the lonely walls resound:

I on the guilty leader deal a wound;

Through his bright helm the sword its journey takes,

He falls, and thus with dying accents speaks:

'Just Heaven! in vain the wicked shun thy power; 205 Though late thy vengeance, yet the blow is sure.

This earth received the blood from off



A just return, my own, my own demands !
In night's dead hour, when all but treason slept,
With ruffian bands, a bloody train, I crept.
'Twas here, 'twas here, oh! long-deserved death!
'Twas here the godlike man resigned his breath:
The sleeping fam'ly we with blood surprise,
And send the palace flaming to the skies.


I fled, but fled, alas! pursued by fate:
"Tis now I find that I have sinned too late.
O Malcolm! O my king! before my eyes
He stands confessed;-accursed Dovalus dies.'
"His guilty soul in these dire accents fled;


I left with hasty steps the silent dead.
Beneath the birch my aged sire I found,
His life was ebbing through the purple wound.
On me the aged senior lifts his eyes,
And mixes feeble accents with his sighs:

Alpin, the commerce of this world I leave;
Convey my relicks to my father's grave.

Ten friendly youths the homely rites shall pay;
Lead thou the rest, my Alpin, to the fray:
Denmark invades: this was a pilfering band,
Who spread divided terror o'er the land.'




"He said: a qualm succeeds; tears fill my eyes, And woe securely shuts the gates of voice;

Silent and sad I hang the dying o'er,

And with warm tears intenerate his gore.

My brave, my only son!


"The chief resumes:
Yes, Alpin, I may call thee all my own;
I shall not veil a secret in my death;
Take then this story of my latest breath:
The twentieth season liv'ries o'er the year,

Since on the Severn's banks I met the war;


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My clan in arms might then preserve their king;

But fate withstood; along in arms we ring.

An infant's cries, at distance, took my ear,

I went, found thee a helpless orphan there.'


The king, who long infixed in dumb surprise,
Run o'er the speaking youth with searching eyes,
Here stopt him short, his arms around him flung,
And silent on th' astonished warrior hung;
My son, my son, at last, perplexed, he cries,
My Duffus! tears hung in his joyful eyes:
The crowding tide of joy his words suppressed;
He clasps the youth in silence to his breast.


Th' astonished chiefs, congealed in dumb amaze,

Stiffened to silence, on each other gaze.


Sudden their cheeks are varied with surprise,

And glad disorder darted from their eyes.

As when before the swains, with instant sound,

The forky bolt descending tears the ground;

They stand; with stupid gaze each other eye:


So stood the chiefs oppressed with sudden joy.
At length, relaxed from fetters of surprise,
"Welcome, brave youth!" the sceptered senior cries.
"Welcome to honours justly thine alone,

Triumphant mount, though late, thy father's throne.


To thee with joy the sceptre I resign;

And waft the kingdom to the coming line."

He said and thus the youth: "I only know
To shoot the spear, and bend the stubborn bow;
Unskilled to stretch o'er nations my command,
Or in the scales of judgment poise a land.
Wield still the sceptre which with grace you wear,


And guide with steadier hand the regal car;
While, looking up to thee, with humble eye,
I first transcribe my future rules of sway;
Till late enjoy the throne which you bequeath,
And only date dominion from thy death."

Resolved he spoke: bursts of applause around
Break on the chiefs: with joy the halls resound.
As when some valiant youth returns from far,
And leaves the fields of death, and finished war;
Whom time and honest scars another made,
And friendly hope long placed among the dead;
At first his sire looks with indifference on,
But soon he knows, and hangs upon his son:
So all the chiefs the royal youth embrace;
While joys, tumultuous, rend the lofty place.

While thus the king and noble chiefs rejoice,
Harmonious bards exalt the tuneful voice:




A select band by Indulph's bounty fed,


To keep in song the mem'ry of the dead!

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What hosts she conquered, and repelled what foes.

Through time in reg'lar series they decline,

And touch each name of the Fergusian line;

Great Caractacus, Fergus' awful sword;


That bravely lost his country, this restored :

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