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But half of our heavy task was done,
When the bell tolled the hour for retiring,
And we knew by the distant, random gun,
That the foe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame, fresh and gory !
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone—
But we left him alone with his glory !
Who the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage and full of grief.
“Princess 1 if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
“Rome shall perish—write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Perish, hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
“Rome, for empire far renowned,
Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates 1
“Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
“Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Armed with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
“Regions Caesar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.”
Such the Bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow:
Rushed to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, hurled them at the foe.
“Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due ;
Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you.”
OCHIEL, Lochiel ! beware of the day When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array ! For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight.
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown,
Woe, woe, to the riders that trample them down
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark 1 through the fast-flashing lightning of wal
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
'Tis thine, O Glenullin l whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning—no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin to death and captivity led !
Oh weep ! but thy tears cannot number the dead;
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave—
Culloden, that reeks with the blood of the bravel
Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer I
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.
Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn 1
Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth -
From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north 2
Lo the death-shot of foemen out-speeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high 1
Ah! home let him speed,—for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit P Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast 2
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
O crested Lochiell the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
Heaven's fire is around thee to blast and to burn :
Return to thy dwelling ! all lonely return 1
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood
False Wizard, avauntl I have marshalled my clan:
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one.
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock 1
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock 1
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanronald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array—
—Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day !
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal l
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lol anointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold where he flies on his desolate path !
Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight:
Rise ! rise ! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight !—
'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn
Ah no l for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
IORD ULLIN’S DA UGHTER. 79
His death-bell is tolling: Oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell !
Life flutters, convulsed, in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims 1
Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale—
—Down, soothless insulter 1 I trust not the tale !
For never shall Albin a destiny meet
So black with dishonor, so foul with retreat!
Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore,
Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame!
CHIEFTAIN, to the Highlands bound,
Cries, “Boatman, do not tarry !
And I'll give thee a silver pound
To row us o'er the ferry.”