THE LAMP of day, with-ill presaging glare,
Dim, cloudy, sank beneath the western wave;
ThвЂ™ inconstant blast howlвЂ™d throвЂ™ the darkвЂ™ning air,
And hollow whistled in the rocky cave.
Lone as I wanderвЂ™d by each cliff and dell,
Once the lovвЂ™d haunts of ScotiaвЂ™s royal train; 1
Or musвЂ™d where limpid streams, once hallowвЂ™d well, 2
Or mouldвЂ™ring ruins mark the sacred fane. 3
ThвЂ™ increasing blast roarвЂ™d round the beetling rocks,
The clouds swift-wingвЂ™d flew oвЂ™er the starry sky,
The groaning trees untimely shed their locks,
And shooting meteors caught the startled eye.
The paly moon rose in the livid east.
And вЂ™mong the cliffs disclosвЂ™d a stately form
In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her breast,
And mixвЂ™d her wailings with the raving storm
Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow,
вЂ™Twas CaledoniaвЂ™s trophied shield I viewвЂ™d:
Her form majestic droopвЂ™d in pensive woe,
The lightning of her eye in tears imbued.
ReversвЂ™d that spear, redoubtable in war,
Reclined that banner, erst in fields unfurlвЂ™d,
That like a deathful meteor gleamвЂ™d afar,
And bravвЂ™d the mighty monarchs of the world.
ВЂњMy patriot son fills an untimely grave! вЂќ
With accents wild and lifted armsвЂ”she cried;
ВЂњLow lies the hand oft was stretchвЂ™d to save,
Low lies the heart that swellвЂ™d with honest pride.
ВЂњA weeping country joins a widowвЂ™s tear;
The helpless poor mix with the orphanвЂ™s cry;
The drooping arts surround their patronвЂ™s bier;
And grateful science heaves the heartfelt sigh!
ВЂњI saw my sons resume their ancient fire;
I saw fair FreedomвЂ™s blossoms richly blow:
But ah! how hope is born but to expire!
Relentless fate has laid their guardian low.
ВЂњMy patriot falls: but shall he lie unsung,
While empty greatness saves a worthless name?
No; every muse shall join her tuneful tongue,
And future ages hear his growing fame.
ВЂњAnd I will join a motherвЂ™s tender cares,
ThroвЂ™ future times to make his virtues last;
That distant years may boast of other Blairs! вЂќвЂ”
She said, and vanishвЂ™d with the sweeping blast.
Note 1. The KingвЂ™s Park at Holyrood House. вЂ”R. B. [back]
Note 2. St. AnthonyвЂ™s well. вЂ”R. B. [back]
Note 3. St. AnthonyвЂ™s Chapel. вЂ”R. B. [back]