THE vanquish'd PRINCE , for safety forc'd to fly,
Amidst those mountains shunn'd each searching eye;
No threat of terror, or no splendid bribe,
Could warp to treachery the generous tribe:
For pleas'd with little, and in hardships try'd,
Their wants were all by simple means supplied;
Exertion bold, and feeling strong combin'd,
Here nurse the noble independent mind.
None here fair loyalty or honour sold,
To purchase pleasure with unhallow'd gold;
Fearless of pain, yet dreading sore disgrace,
Whose sable blot might sully all their race:
When CHARLES an outlaw shrunk in wilds unknown,
Where long his fathers fill'd an awful throne;
Though wealth and pow'r combin'd their forces led,
To point the axe at his devoted head,
Safe in the truth of his devoted train,
See! wealth and pow'r combine their force in vain:
Unhurt he slumbers in his sea-beat cave,
While round his bed the guiltless billows rave.
Though gloomy guards protect the Monarch's gate,
Distrust and fear around his table wait:
And anxious doubts disturb his secret soul,
Of hidden daggers, or the poison'd bowl.
But far from courts, and their delusive arts,
How bless'd the PRINCE who rules o'er honest hearts!
Unblasted he by treachery's poisonous breath,
And safely smiling midst the snares of death.
Oh! say, what gentle heart, what pitying muse,
Can the sad tribute of a tear refuse,
To that brave YOUTH , who in life's early bloom
Hid all his opening virtues in the tomb;
Forsook the region of tumultuous strife,
And clos'd with pious fraud a blameless life?
Could mildest worth and gentlest graces save,
No weeping muses had adorn'd his grave:
But noble force and dignity of mind,
Despis'd a life in honour's cause resign'd;
Let traitor's ashes sleep in sculptur'd urns,
While thee, bless'd Youth! thy country's Genius mourns.
Forgive, ye valiant dead! ye kindred shades!
That glide with heroes through Elysian glades,
The muse whose trembling hands entwine the wreath,
Whose mournful eyes retrace the paths of death:
So fast ye crowd upon her dazzled view,
Like sun-beams on a cypress wet with dew:
She sinks, o'ercome, unequal to relate
Your loyal zeal, or your disastrous fate.
Yet ere oblivion's leaden gates be clos'd
On humble worth, in life's low vale repos'd,
She'd touch the callous mind, unus'd to feel,
With savage virtue, and the lawless zeal
Of the bold Brothers in their darksome grove,
Whose steps licentious wont at ease to rove;
Who live like Nature's commoners at large,
Obey no master, and attend no charge,
But wander through the grassy glens at will,
Nor ask what owner rear'd the beeves they kill,
Then drag their prey home to their ample cave,
O'er whose dark entrance trembling aspins wave;
And in whose deep recess to soothe repose,
A weeping rill, with tinkling murmur flows:
Returning from the chase or prosp'rous spoil,
'Twas here they hid the fruits of all their toil;
Yet aw'd by jealous fear, no stranger guest
E'er view'd their secret haunt, or shar'd their feast.
On every side the deathful ambush lay,
When fate propitious led the PRINCE that way;
His guide,--a native of the mountains near,
Who often with those Outlaws chas'd the deer,
And knew their minds, by avarice unstain'd,
The price of treachery and blood disdain'd,--
Now forc'd o'er trackless mountains to explore
The way by which his Lord should gain the shore;
Once more adventures through the snares of death,
And trusts his precious charge to savage hunters' faith.
Oh faith unstain'd! and truth beyond compare!
With him the produce of the chase they share,
With furry spoils they deck'd their cave around,
With wholesome cups their liberal board they crown'd,
The hostile camp through danger's paths they sought,
And to their Royal Guest unwonted dainties brought:
For him the sanguine paths of death they tread,
And scorn the mighty price that buys the Wand'rer's head.
One brother daily ranges through the woods,
Or snares the finny tenants of the floods;
And one with watchful care attends to spy
The hostile troops, with scrutinizing eye;
The third with prompt obedience mark'd his look,
And from his eyes commands in silence took.
Now twenty summer morns beheld renew'd
The rage of rapine, and the waste of blood;
The moon as oft, with want and anguish pale,
Saw hopeless wanderers trace each dreary vale;
The plaints of orphan woe, and infants' cries,
With doleful clamour pierce the pitying skies:
The slaughter'd herds bespread th' ensanguin'd ground,
And smoking hamlets lay in ruins round:
In dreary wilds, from human dwelling far,
The wretched remnants of unsparing war
Precarious life with gather'd herbs sustain,
Or chase the deer and tim'rous fawns in vain;
For none dare now the levell'd tube let fly,
Whose thund'ring sound might wake some danger nigh;
No voice of joy is heard, no smile is seen,
No rural pastime sports along the green;
But sad solicitude, and shuddering fear,
And patient sufferance dwell in silence there;
No hopes of mercy to th' offending train,--
Thy worth and wisdom, FORBES , plead in vain!
The royal EXILE hears the tale of woe,
And tears unwonted now begin to flow:
On his fresh cheek youth's rose untimely fades,
And livid grief his hollow eye invades;
The cheerful spirit, that still upward soar'd,
Nor vanish'd hope, nor regal state deplor'd,
Now drooping o'er his wretched followers' woes,
Abandons light and food, and shuns repose.
While thus the PRINCE in silent sorrow mourns,
With cautious steps his faithful guide returns;
His fear and anguish hides in feeble smiles,
And leads the Wanderer to the Western Isles.
Ah! what avails to trace each darksome maze,
While watchful centinels beset the ways;
To tell, how high upon some cliffy brow,
Whole days he patient view'd the coast below;
Where bands victorious spread the snares of death,
Or count the price of his high valu'd breath.
In vain each night he strove to reach his bark,
While answering watch-fires glimmer'd thro' the dark;
With many a meal of uncouth viands fed,
With many a bleak blast whistling round his head,
Beset with threatening perils, every hour
His life in many a savage native's power:
Yet through the vigilance of Avarice past,
He reach'd secure the destin'd bark at last.
Now soft and slow they raise the cautious oar,
And quit with silent care the dang'rous shore:
Low in their hollow caves the loud winds sleep,
And rest and darkness brooded o'er the deep:
Far out to sea they steer'd to shun their foes,
Till deck'd with orient red the morn arose;
Then thus the PRINCE: 'Thou radiant Orb of Light,
'At whose first smile recede the shades of night!
'When from the sacred East thy beams arise,
'A flood of glory brightens all the skies:
'The constellations fade before thy sight,
'And ocean rolls his thousand waves in light:
'Yet shall not even thy greatness still remain,
'Even thou shalt sink beneath the western main,
'And leave the darken'd earth to mourn thy beams in vain!
'Like thee in beauty, pow'r, and splendour drest,
'Our royal lineage sway'd supreme the west;
'With awful trident rul'd the circling sea,
'And quench'd the light of lesser stars, like thee:
'Like thee, in dim eclipse conceal'd from sight,
'We sink or vanish in the shades of night:
'The circling hours shall thy bright beams restore,
'And bid fresh morn her roses strew once more;
'But we, alas! inglorious from our skies
'Are hurl'd to depths profound, no more to rise;
'In vain our vanish'd glories we deplore,
'For Fate imperious cries,--return no more! '
Then calmly to the will supreme resign'd,
In stern composure he collects his mind;
His sorrows sooth'd with retrospective view,
And comfort from the woes of exil'd monarchs drew.
He thought how CHARLES from Wor'ster's bloody fight
Retreating, shunn'd in gloomy groves the light,
And bred in soft luxurious ease erewhile,
Assum'd the weighty axe, and shar'd the woodman's toil:
How great GUSTAVUS , deep in mines immur'd,
Laborious tasks and wretched want endur'd;
While distant glimmering like the polar star,
The diadem allures their steps afar:
Hope, softly whispering, smooths the brow of care,
For who, alas! can labour and despair?
The winds tempestuous now began to roar,
And danger darkly frown'd along the shore;
Who mustering thunders threaten in the skies,
And livid lightning glaring dims their eyes;
Fear, while the boatmen ply the busy oar,
Shakes those firm nerves that never shook before.
Serene, the Royal Wanderer view'd the scene,
And read his peril in their haggard mien:
One spent with toil, his stedfast eyes explore,
When from the breathless youth he snatch'd the oar,
With patient toil the task unwearied plies,
Till the mild evening star arose in calmer skies.
Now slept the winds on Ocean's breast serene,
Reflected stars bedeck'd her mantle green:
A safer coast they vainly hop'd to view,
And near high Rasay's rocky border drew:
Pale rose the moon upon the placid wave,
That wont along the rugged bank to rave;
And pale, upon a promontory's brow,
With eyes that anxious search'd the deep below,
The island Chief in silent sorrow sate,
Alarm'd and watchful for th' EXILE'S fate.
Suspended on their wearied oars they lie,
And hope to read their welcome in his eye:
'Belov'd, lamented, fly this fatal place,
'Though ever faithful to thy honour'd race!
'Death in dark ambush waits with treach'rous wile,
'The victor's barks surround this narrow isle:
'Thy near approach, unhappy PRINCE , is known,
'And watchful thousands seek thy blood alone.'
Now to the distant isle, whose swains obey
In plenteous peace CLANRONALD'S gentle sway;
Grown weak with want, with ceaseless labour spent,
To shun the foe the weary wanderers went:
Yet, ere they safely reach the destin'd shore,
They see a bark the self-same port explore;
Whose gallant trim and hostile colours shew
The proud defiance of a haughty foe:
With swelling sails she speeds before the wind,
And near, and nearer still, she presses on behind.
With steady eye the PRINCE the danger saw,
And round a rocky point he bids them draw:
Then lightly springing on the sandy shore,
He cries, 'Adieu, my generous friends, no more
'For me in pain you draw precarious breath,
'And struggle through the bloody toils of death:
'Here in those hollow cliffs will I abide,
'My trust in Heaven, and Providence my guide;
'Ye try'd in perils, faithful to your charge,
'Now wander safely o'er your seas at large.'
He said, and silent sought the dark recess,
His parting steps his weeping followers bless.
In the green centre of the sea-girt isle
The Chieftain's dwelling rose,--an ancient pile;
The sylvan virtues lov'd the peaceful dome,
There blameless truth and pity found a home:
The Chief's fair Consort, and her gentle guest,
'Midst war's rude clamours here in safety rest;
In female tasks consume the lingering hours,
And wake the plaintive lute, or form unwithering flow'rs.
Now from the shore with speed a stranger came,
And thus in secret guise bespoke the dame:
'Oh thou, in virtue's gentlest graces drest,
'If ever soft compassion touch'd thy breast,
'Let not a royal SUFFERER plead in vain;
'Hard by a rock that juts into the main,
'Hid in a darksome grot, he pines away
'In want and solitude the tedious day:
'The sad retreat his followers dare not trace,
'The hostile pinnace anchors near the place:
'With hostile troops each neighbouring island swarms,
'And all th' adjacent plain is bright with arms.'
With soft concern the gentle dame returns,--
'Your Master's fate each generous bosom mourns,
'Even those who justly blam'd the rash design,
'And bade his daring hand the sword resign,
'Lament the rigour of the Victor's hate,
'And deprecate the youthful HERO'S fate.
'Your secret safely lodg'd within my breast,
'Suspend your fears, and leave to Heav'n the rest.'
Then turning sad, her lovely friend she sought,
In whom she safe confided every thought;
Who mildly wise, and firm in artless truth
With prudent mind, mature in early youth,
Pois'd with reflection calm the dubious scale
And felt compassion's sinking weight prevail,
With fix'd resolve she said, 'My friend, forbear,
'Nor thus perplex thy mind with fruitless care;
'Thy Lord in peace obeys the ruling pow'rs,
'Then, while this storm of fate impending lours,
'From base imputed treason keep him free,
'Who hopes his peace and honour safe with thee,
'Nor dread of guiltless blood the sanguine stain;
'I'll seek the EXILE'S cavern by the main,--
'If in his cause I should my life resign,
'The guilt or danger shall be only mine.'
Fair FLORA then, with fortitude serene,
And tranquil courage in her modest mien,
The viands and the generous wine conveys,
And o'er the rocks, as heedless wandering, strays,
Bids her attendant maid the shells explore
The lessening tide had scatter'd on the shore.
Then to the cavern'd rock unseen she steals,
And to the hapless PRINCE obsequious kneels:
'Receive, indulgent, from thy suppliant's hand,
'The humble aid thy urgent wants demand,
'And grant my boon, and trust thy life to me,
'From danger's thickening toils to set thee free:
'No leisure serves thy perils to relate,
'But dark approach the hours with hovering fate.'
With silent wonder, long the PRINCE survey'd
The beauteous guest, then thus:--'Heroic maid,
'That com'st in pity to this secret cave,
'Unvisited, save by the rolling wave,
'To thy fair faith my wanderings I resign,
'Fraud never harbour'd in a form like thine,
'Nor dark suspicion in a breast like mine.'
Now turning, homewards she her steps addrest,
With peace and conscious honour in her breast;
But when the morn's first beams began to shine,
And glittering danc'd upon the wrestless brine,
In female garb the hapless youth array'd,
She leads disguis'd in semblance of a maid:
And from the English chief, with specious wile,
Permission seeks to view her native isle:
To ask with her was quickly to obtain,
For when did suppliant beauty plead in vain?
The gazing troops th' intrepid maid admire,
Nor less her bold attendant's strange attire;
The haughty measur'd step, the lofty grace,
And air unsuited to a female face:
For in-born dignity but stoops with pain,
And veils the proud superior soul in vain.
Now in the pinnace plac'd the western gales
Obsequious crowd, to fill the Wonderer's sails:
Across the waves with winged speed they flew,
And soon the misty isle appears to view.
Hail! favour'd isle, where bards inspir'd prolong
To ages yet unborn th' undying song,
And ancient faith, and unstain'd loyalty,
And truth sincere, and friendship dwell in thee;
Here, when dark midnight lull'd the world to rest,
Safe, in her kindly home, she lodg'd her guest;
Her pious mother, with a matron's care,
Attends the due refection to prepare:
While studious of each hospitable rite,
Her Lord with cheerful converse cheats the night:
And when grey morning rose, the royal guest
Finds on a downy couch unwonted rest;
Now first at ease his weary limbs repos'd,
Since sad CULLODEN'S bloody evening clos'd!
But who can tell what farther perils wait,
Or who his future wanderings can relate?
Or who shall the exalted meed assign
To worth, above such humble praise as mine?
Ambition, sordid interest, servile fear,
That rule the world, could find no vot'ry here:
Then how shall any claim superior praise,
When all alike deserve th' immortal bays?
When pride first threw the rebel angels down,
One stedfast ABDIEL kept his faith alone:
But when the STUART line resign'd to fate,
One only traitor bore his country's hate.
Yet ere the pitying Muse shall sadly close
The weary tale of wanderings and of woes;
Where virtue shines through dark misfortune bright,
Like dim-seen stars in a tempestuous night,
Let not kind sympathy suspended wait
The sequel of th' intrepid maiden's fate.
By kindred virtues led, a generous Youth
To FLORA long had vow'd his plighted truth:
In childhood's paths together they had stray'd,
Together life's gay morning views survey'd,
Together that plain path of duty trod,
That leads through Nature's love to love of God;
And now but waited till the stormy blast
Of civil rage and noisy tumult past,
To sanctify those vows, long seal'd above,
And tie the sacred bond of nuptial love.
But see! what toils ungentle minds prepare,
The innocent and lovely to ensnare:
When the stern Chief that led the British host,
Learnt how the PRINCE escap'd the fatal coast,
How female stratagem, and female truth,
With guiltless art had sav'd the hapless youth,
Enrag'd he cries, 'A ready victim led,
'Low on the scaffold let her guilty head
'Atone the forfeit life her arts have sav'd,
'And pacify the pow'r her crime has brav'd.'
Stern and unfeeling guards the fair-one bore
All unprotected to the sea-beat shore;
No unavailing plaints, no female cries
Are heard,--she silent lifts her streaming eyes,
And inly to the guardian pow'rs above
Commends her spotless fame, her hapless Love.
Through inland moors, he roam'd with careless aim,
And seem'd all day to chase the flying game;
But oft he turn'd his sorrowing eyes with pain,
When loud along the border of the main,
Where ruthless foes on board their pris'ners bear,
Resound the direful yellings of despair.
The victims bore their fate with steady mind,
The cries arose from those they left behind.
Ah! when the lofty vessel left the shore,
And o'er the seas his heart's rich treasure bore,
How little did the wretched Lover know
How great his portion of the general woe!
But when mild eve in glowing purple drest,
Smil'd on the lingering twilight of the west,
He went to tell his FLORA all his grief,
And find in social sympathy relief.
But why should words endeavour to explain
What eloquence herself would speak in vain,--
The pangs that rent the hopeless Lover's breast,
When all the fatal truth appear'd confest.
High on a rock, where from the cavern'd shore,
Hoarse echoes murmur, while the billows roar,
The live-long night he trac'd the parting sail,
Or pour'd his sorrows to the midnight gale,
Till morning rose in wonted beauty bright,
And the lone mourner sicken'd at the sight.
Now fav'ring breezes blow along the shore,
The sailors hail the English coast once more;
In summer radiance drest, majestic Thames ,
The haunt of commerce and the pride of streams,
Receives the vessel, while her banks around,
And cultur'd plains, with stately villas crown'd,
And London's glories rising thick to view,
To FLORA'S eyes present a prospect new:
The novel pomp undazzl'd she surveys,
While to her native isle sad fancy strays;
And sees, where misty mountains prop the skies,
The wild magnificence of Nature rise;
And feels no novel scenes a charm impart,
To soothe the anguish that consumes the heart.
Yet, while the canker wastes the bud unseen,
In pensive peace she drest her placid mien;
The dignity of conscious honour wears,
And slanderous taunts with patient sufferance bears.
The ancient Judge, by long experience wise,
With wonder hears her modest firm replies;
And partial, to the Sovereign's ear convey'd
The just applause due to the dauntless MAID.
The Monarch, still to honour's dictates true,
Nor mean revenge nor cruel purpose knew;
But, long misled by faction's treacherous art,
As yet he reign'd not in the general heart;
To fury's gripe resign'd th' imperial sword,
Nor heard when pity's feeble voice implor'd;
Nor knew, exalted on a distant throne,
How delegated pow'r made mis'ry groan:
He bids his messengers the captive bring,--
Submissive in the presence of the king,
With downcast eyes the blushing captive stands,
And waits in silence for his dread commands.
'Presumptuous damsel, say, what secret cause
'Has made thee dare the rigour of our laws?
'When thus an outlaw'd traitor sought the shore,
'To stain our peaceful realm with native gore;
'Did frantic love, or rash ambition, say,
'To treason's paths delude thee thus away?
'That forfeit life thy folly bade thee save,
'For thee now opens an untimely grave.'
'Dread Sir,' the maid replied in humble guise,
With truth's pure spirit brightening in her eyes,
'No motive base my fearless mind could move,
'Nor mad ambition, nor presumtuous love;
'My kindred, peaceful subjects to your reign,
'Against your pow'r have drawn no sword in vain:
'Yet through the years our country's records trace,
'Our ancestors obey'd the exil'd race;
'And when they yielded to the frown of fate,
'We mourn'd their hopeless fall from regal state.
'To loyalty by pious precepts led,
'We ever sacred held th' anointed head;
'And thought each branch of that long-hallow'd line
'A partial sharer of the 'right divine.'
'But, if the mighty hand that rules the ball,
'And bids the heirs of empires rise or fall,
'To you , dread Sire, the bitter cup had given,
'From regal pomp to wretched exile driven;
'If cast a suppliant on my native plain,
'You never should have sought my aid in vain;
'Nor should a STUART prince have ever said
'That treacherous FLORA royal blood betray'd.'
The thoughtful Monarch, pausing, view'd the fair,
Her chasten'd graces, and ingenuous air,
And sigh'd to think, how often civil strife
Drags blameless victims from the shades of life,
And with blind rage, unknowing to relent,
Involves the guilty and the innocent:
He bids the judge the guileless maid release,
And let her seek her native isle in peace.
Now rumour talks of FLORA'S charms around,
Those artless charms, with matchless virtues crown'd,
Whose native force subdu'd the rage of pow'r,--
And FLORA reigns the fashion of the hour;
The gaze of wonder now, at FLORA'S gate
Attendants see, and glittering chariots wait;
While noble dames, with costly gay attire,
Would deck the graceful form which all admire:
In vain! from those she scorns to borrow aid,
But veils her beauties in the highland plaid;
And drest in garb of homely tartan, wears
The livery of the tribe whose name she bears;
And mindful of her absent faithful swain,
Preserves the simple manners of the plain .
Her future consort now to Thule's shore
Sees pitying Heaven his faithful bride restore,
With every opening grace of artless youth,
With every charm of tenderness and truth,
With meek simplicity's unpractis'd look,
And eyes that Nature's genuine language spoke:
Her noble mind superior in distress,
No rigour e'er could move or fear depress;
Nor could prosperity's vain smiles elate
The soul that bore serene the frowns of fate:
The generous Youth, with sacred transport fir'd,
No higher bliss, nor happier state desir'd;
On wealth and splendour look'd with pity down,
And blest his fate when FLORA was his own.
Now many a happy year had slid away,
Since HYMEN smil'd upon their bridal day.
Alike, as mother, mistress, friend, or wife,
Fair FLORA shone the grace of private life:
With latent wisdom and endearing art,
She stretch'd her blameless empire o'er the heart;
Her happy household rul'd with gentle sway,
And made it their first pleasure to obey.
Belov'd and reverenc'd in his native place,
Obey'd and honour'd by a duteous race,
Blest in his FLORA , by his neighbours blest,
The worthiest of his generous tribe confest,--
Her consort long in peaceful plenty dwelt,
And oft to want his liberal bounty dealt.
Their blooming Chief, whom in life's smiling morn,
All nature's wealth, and learning's stores adorn;
With worth's fair promise fed their raptur'd eyes,
But ah! too early sought his native skies!
Belov'd in vain,--for him in doleful strains
The Genius of the misty isle complains;
For him his Clan with ceaseless sorrow mourn,
And wreathe with purple heath his Roman urn.
Another Lord arose, whose early youth
Was wasted in the soft luxurious South,
Whence prudent lore and maxims sage he drew,
And frigid notions, and opinions new:
He scorn'd the rustic grandeur of the plain,
The hospitable hall, the vassal train,
And distant kindred widely branching round,
Still to the parent tree by fond attachment bound.
'Tis thus the stranger, who astonish'd roves
Among the lofty shades of Indian groves,
Deep in the centre sees with dumb surprise
The native Fig in solemn grandeur rise;
Its mighty head, in leafy pomp display'd,
Appears th' acknowledged monarch of the shade;
Its verdant arms, that wide extend around,
Low bending downward seek their native ground:
There, in the kindly soil again they root,
And up once more the vig'rous saplings shoot;
Their parent plant they both adorn and aid,
Protect its stem, and send abroad its shade,
Till spread in massy pyramidal form,
Itself a grove, it scorns th' assaulting storm;
However far the lessening branches spread,
They conscious draw their support from the head:
However high the tow'ring head may grow,
Well pleas'd he sees his offspring thrive below.
Thus Clans around their kindred Chief were spread,
And liv'd and flourish'd in their common head.
But other views and systems now arose,
Their honour's friends became their int'rest's foes;
The fine-spun kindred ties no longer draw,
Even local habits yield to rig'rous law.
The active youth by manly spirit led,
Who wont to range the wastes with heath o'erspread,
And send death's message with unerring aim,
To reach the flying or the bounding game;
No longer arm'd the sylvan haunts explore,
And thunder from the fatal tube no more:
No missile weapons, bright with silver, grace
The long-descended sons of generous race;
The broad-sword glittering with a twofold blade,
With apt device, and costly work inlaid:
The dirk, in sheath adorn'd with curious art,
And worn suspended near the owner's heart:
The bossy buckler, rich in studied pride,
That turn'd of old the jav'lin's point aside;
No longer now, when war has ceas'd to storm,
With gallant grace bedeck the warrior's form;
While his firm step, bold chest, and martial air,
The daring of a dauntless mind declare:
These, when no manly feats their lords employ,
Were wont to glitter in the hall of joy:
Still prompt for use, and ready at their call,
In gleaming pride suspended on the wall;
While the loud pibroch fir'd the generous breast
With deeds of heroes sung at every feast:
Now silent, cloth'd with dust, the pibroch sleeps,
Forlorn the hoary bard in silence weeps;
And dark with rust, the arms from sight exil'd,
Are in some lone recess unheeded pil'd;
Lest memory, still to thoughtful sorrow true,
Revive their sleeping anguish at the view.
Thus, when the mother in life's smiling morn,
From her fond arms beholds her darling torn,
The sad attendants hide its fav'rite toys,
That wake remembrance of departed joys.
The home-spun garb, that, bright with various dyes,
Was wont to please the simple native's eyes;
Checker'd with dusky hues, and changing green,
To steal upon the watchful deer unseen:
Or form in folds, with easy grace display'd
In simple drapery, the belted plaid;
By the long lapse of years habitual grown,
Endur'd the rigid law's forbidding frown.
Despoil'd of arms; in foreign habits clad,
Listless the drooping natives wander'd sad:
The savage fox now left his gloomy den,
And fearless rush'd into the haunts of men;
No tie to love the alter'd land remain'd,
Where beasts were free, and free-born men restrain'd;
And sordid chiefs, with cold averted eye,
Regard the claims of hoar antiquity,
And drive the followers whom their fathers fed
To seek in distant realms precarious bread:
Unus'd to imposts new, or customs strange,
Now through the mourning island all is change.
Thus, when upon some promontory's height,
Where sheltering rocks and cavities invite,
The nestling sea-fowl find a peaceful home,
No happier land can tempt their flight to roam;
Though with tempestuous fury arm'd, the storm
The rocks assail, or circling seas deform,
For ages on the self-same cliff they rest,
Yet if some eye profane, or foot unblest,
With bold intrusion should disturb their nest,
Wild with impetuous wing they wheel, they fly,
In screaming circles, scatter through the sky;
Borne on the winds, explore the distant main,
Nor ever view their native rock again.
Thus from their dear-lov'd isle the natives fly,
Their loud laments thus fill the pitying sky;
And FLORA , gentlest of a generous kind,
Scorns to remain in selfish ease behind,
While her lov'd followers and friends explore
Some lone retreat beyond th' Atlantic shore:
Her lord approving, favours the design,
Their long-lov'd haunts reluctant they resign.
When first they felt the swelling billows roll,
'Twas like the pang that frees the parting soul;
And when the dusky isle was lost to view,
Thick answering sobs forbade the faint adieu.
The world of waters mingles with the skies,
And SCOTIA hides for ever from their eyes.
And shall they on that far Lethean shore
Oblivious rest, to memory dear no more?
Shall none with social sympathy lament
Unblemish'd worth, to hopeless exile sent?
When vain pursuits the polish'd mind engage,
Gay fashion's caprice, or false pleasure's rage;
While sunk in thoughtless ease, supine they loll,
And luxury enfeebles all the soul;
When minds high destin'd for celestial aims,
Waste all their useless strength on studious games;
Or weave the cob-web veil of sophistry,
To cheat with flimsy art the mental eye:
Or scheme the visionary system fair,
Trick'd out in rain-bow hues, and built on air,
Which, when the fabric is to use assign'd,
Melts from the touch, and leaves no trace behind;
Or when her venal sons low interest draws
To any party, and to every cause;
When false refinements endless wants create,
And each aspires at some superior state:
When honour, conscience, truth are cheaply sold,
And none deny th' omnipotence of gold,
Impiety to wild disorder leads,
And through the mass fermenting frenzy spreads:--
Say, when such pleasures and pursuits engage
Th' enervate sons of a degenerate age;
Is it a time to banish from our coast
The few who uncorrupted manners boast?
Though strangers they to wisdom's fair pretence,
Wrapt in the tissued robe of eloquence;
Abstracted reasoning, subtilties refin'd,
That through a trackless maze delude the mind:
A few fix'd principles alone they boast,
To steer their way along life's dangerous coast;
But drawn from sacred truth's unerring source,
Those still maintain their unabated force;
And while their pow'r unshaken they retain,
Gold shines, and pow'r allures, and pleasure smiles in vain.
When Nature's children, by simplicity
Are nurst and taught, oh Truth divine, by thee:
To Fortitude through early hardships bred,
And at Frugality's plain table fed;
And tutor'd by the humanising muse,
To purer pleasures, and to nobler views;
Not fashion can pervert, or fears control
The settled purpose of the stedfast soul;
While the fair prospect of immortal joys
To shining baubles sinks earth's brightest toys.
Will such as these break through superior ties,
For ease they slight, or splendour they despise?
Or haply in their childhood, often led
To watch their flock on some high mountain's head,
In patient solitude the live-long day,
The wild majestic scenes around survey,
Such scenes as wont to nourish thought sublime,
And lift the soul beyond the reign of time;
O'er all the mind a holy calm diffuse,
Exalt the fancy, and inspire the muse:--
Will they in lucre's paths ignobly bend,
And for the dross they do not need, contend?
Or, taught so soon to feed on serious thought,
With light amusement's specious snares be caught?
Or can voluptuous indolence beguile
The youth with sinews early strung by toil?
Who often, lighted by the morning star,
Before the dawn awake the sylvan war;
Or with amphibious courage leave the shore,
And over hidden rocks the finny tribes explore.
To those, so us'd to suffer and to dare,
No terrors threaten in the front of war;
The very worst the sons of ease can feel,
The toilsome march, hard bed, or scanty meal;
Calmly they they view with an unalter'd eye,
And should the battle rage--they can but die;
An often hazarded unvalued life
They can but nobly lose in martial strife.
When ATHENS , by the arts she nurst adorn'd,
The plain stern virtues of LACONIA scorn'd,
When wealth, of endless woes the guilty cause,
Her state corrupted, and relax'd her laws,
And freedom to unbounded licence grown,
Had ancient rights and due restraints o'erthrown;
When softening arts and luxury's increase
Made valour droop even in her native GREECE ;
Th' intrepid sons of fearless poverty
Made PERSIAN kings in wild amazement fly;
Bade ATHENS , sunk in conscious shame, behold
Their SPARTAN iron conquer PERSIAN gold;
And, faithful to each dear and hallow'd lie,
Preserve the sacred flame of liberty.
Now, Chiefs and Senators--ye patriot band!
Born to illume, protect, and bless the land;
While the loose furies rage in other climes,
And Nature sickens at her children's crimes;
While GALLIA pours profuse the purple flood,
And stains her lilies with her Monarch's blood;
Encircle like an adamantine zone
The hallow'd altar and the honour'd throne;
And let your banners, rais'd aloft, reveal
The blended interests of the general weal:
Draw close those ties, so fine and yet so strong,
That gently lead the willing soul along,
Nor crush beneath oppression's iron rod
The kindred image of the parent GOD ;
Nor think that rigour's galling chains can bind
The native force of the superior mind.
'Twas not from such the glowing ardour rose
That followers drew to WALLACE and MONTROSE .
Brethren in martial toils--affection fond,
Kind twisting round each heart the lasting bond;
Like that wide chain, which, when creation rose,
Did all the mighty Maker's works inclose,
Whose closing ties celestial voices sung,
While all the answering constellations rung,
Which joins the worlds below to those above
With golden links, and angels call it--LOVE!