Friday, April 10, 2015

The Tay, a poem, part

THE T A Y. Canto iFtrst. lorning — Ellis and its Scenery, >s seen from the south ride of locntaj to the west of Ardeonaig — Ben'Lairers — Stronthlathan— Boreland — Fingafs Grave — Ossian — High. land Homes and Highlanders — Finlarig, Ac — Ardeonaig— Fortingall — Aeharn and in Falli — Loehtay Isle— Syliilla— Kenmore— Address to the Tay — Response — Taymouth Castle— Her Majesty's Visit — The Druid: a Tale— The Hirer Lyon— Hull— Bolfratks— Caaserney — Weem Castle — Aberfeldy — The Falls of Moness — Erening.

The capercailzie wake the woods —
(1) The deer starts from its lair —
Ben-Lawers' brow is wreathed with clouds —
Ben-More frowns stern and bare ;
The broad lake, motionless and bright,
Lies stretching far away, (2)
And slow the sea-mew wings its flight From Ardeonaig Bay !
Stronchlachan yet in drowsy gray
Is curtained close, and, curling high,

The thin mists round Craigcailich stray,
Like timorous ghosts that fear the day —
Now clustering close, as if they'd stay,
Now parting lingeringly away
To mingle with the sky !
And lovingly the sunbeams wake
Thy milk-white homes, Killin,
That, far across the waveless lake,
Like sleeping cygnets shine !
And, hark ! it cannot be the din
Of Lochy's foaming falls,
As, dashing wild from linn to linn,
They shake their rugged walls ;
Nor Dochart, loudly though it brawls
Around M'Nab's sepulchral isle, (3)
Or by deserted Kennel's halls,
Where now no more a chieftain's smile
Gives Highland welcome— surely no ;

Some nearer nameless torrent's roar,
Concealed by crag and arching bough,
Amid thy tangled shades, Auchmore,
Thus stirs with gentle sound the shore.
And, hush ! the notes of the lintoo (4)
Come fitful from yon hawthorn hoar,
Blent with the cushat's blander coo —
And nearer still the clochret, too, (5)
On some old Druid stone,
Shakes from its wings the morning dew,
And pipes, in lightsome tone,

And speak, though voiceless, to my heart,
What language scarcely could impart.
How still and deeply thoughtful looks
The glassy broad lake's farther shore,
Full of the love that seldom brooks
The bonds of utterance — yes, more
Than cold philosophy accords,
Pervades this mighty mass of earth,
Seen, felt, though silent, from a dearth
Of kindred mighty words !
How calm those shadows mirror'd lie
Deep, deep, beneath the flood —
Cots, crofts, trees, mountains, and the sky,
Without a single cloud !
The scattered flocks, here scarcely seen,
On huge Ben-Lawers' slopes so green,
Will bleat as wont, but bleat their fill —
The shepherd, half-way up the hill,

Must strain to catch the sound,
So far above they straggling stray
By grassy gorge and craiglet grey,
Where streamlets, glancing to the day,
From height to hollow bound.
Old mountain, say what have you seen
Since, dripping from the brine,
You rose upon the startled scene
All gloriously sublime :
While frightened ocean, foaming, rush'd
To yawning depths below,

And where Pictavia's sword, that foiled
The Saxon's twanging bow ?
Gone with the fame for which it toiled,
As twilight shadows go ! Gone, gone !
But thou art yet the same —
Unchanged, unchanging still ;
Nor suns, nor storms, nor ages, tame
Thy might, cloud-cleaving hill !
O could I range a summer day
Among thy heights, and when
The stealthy gloamin' meets my way
In some lone fairy glen,
Where spirits in the moon-beams play
Round grassy knolls and rocks so grey,
And voices, from the closing mist,
Speak secrets never yet confest
To ears of mortal men —
1 there might sit me down and list
The tale they well could tell,
Or dream all that I wished exprest,
As, rising from the dell,
The plover's note, blent with the sound
Of fitful breezes, whispering round,
Fell on the ear in accents dread,
Like voices of the ancient dead —
O yes, I feel full well
How fancy there might crowd the scene
With all that was or might have been,
By magic of her spell I i
Now slowly up Stronchlachan's sides
The vapoury wreaths ascend,