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SWEET Iser! were thy sunny realm
And flowery gardens mine,
Thy waters I would shade with elm,
To prop the tender vine.
My golden flagons I would fill
With rosy draughts from every hill;
And, under each green spreading bower, My gay companions should prolong The feast, the revel, and the song, To many an idle sportive hour.
Like rivers crimson'd by the beam
Of yonder planet bright,
Our balmy cups should ever stream
Profusion of delight;
No care should touch the mellow heart, And sad or sober none depart;
(For wine can triumph over woe;) And Love and Bacchus, brother powers, Should build in Iser's sunny bowers A Paradise below?
LOCHIEL, 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 scatter'd 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! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
'Tis thine, O Glenullin! 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 brave.
Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer!
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! Say, rush'd the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home, in the dark-rolling clouds of the North?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad:
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed-for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
"Tis the fire-show'r of Ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
O crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlement's height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood.
False Wizard, avaunt! I have marshall'd 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!
Let him dash his proud foam, like a wave on the rock!
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:
'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.
Lo! 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 finish'd. Their thunders are hush'd 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, banish'd, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
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.
Accurs'd 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! I trust not the tale;
For never shall Albin a destiny meet
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Tho' my perishing ranks should be strew'd in their gore,
Like ocean-weeds heap'd 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.
ON Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow;
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh'd,
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills, with thunder riven;
Then rush'd the steed to battle driven;
And, louder than the bolts of heaven,
Far flash'd the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stainèd snow,
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank, and fiery Hun,
Shout in their sulph'rous canopy.