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Thy kirk-yard wall among the trees,
Where, grey with age, the dial stands;
That dial so well-known to me!
---Tho' many a shadow it had shed,
Beloved Sister, since with thee
The legend on the stone was read.
The fairy-isles fled far away;
That with its woods and uplands green,
Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,
And songs are heard at close of day;
That too, the deer's wild covert, fled,
And that, the asylum of the dead:
While, as the boat went merrily,
Much of ROB ROY the boat-man told;
His arm that fell below his knee,
His cattle-ford and mountain-hold.
Tarbat,* thy shore I climbed at last; And, thy shady region passed, Upon another shore I stood, And looked upon another flood; + Great Ocean's self! (Tis He who fills That vast and awful depth of hills ;) Where many an elf was playing round, Who treads unshod his classic ground; And speaks, his native rocks among, AS FINGAL spoke, and OSSIAN sung.
* Signifying in the Gaelic language an Isthmus. + Loch-Long.
Night fell; and dark and darker grew
That narrow sea, that narrow sky,
As o'er the glimmering waves we flew ;
The sea-bird rustling, wailing by.
And now the grampus, half-descried,
Black and huge above the tide;
The cliffs and promontories there,
Front to front, and broad and bare;
Each beyond each, with giant-feet
Advancing as in haste to meet;
The shattered fortress, whence the Dane
Blew his shrill blast, nor rushed in vain,
Tyrant of the drear domain;
All into midnight-shadow sweep—
When day springs upward from the deep! *
Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendour; and the oar,
That rose and fell unseen before,
Flashes in a sea of light!
Glad sign, and sure! for now we hail
Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale;
And bright indeed the path should be,
That leads to Friendship and to Thee!
Oh blest retreat, and sacred too!
Sacred as when the bell of prayer
Tolled duly on the desert air,
And crosses decked thy summits blue.
* A phenomenon described by many navigators.
Oft, like some loved romantic tale,
Oft shall my weary mind recall,
Amid the hum and stir of men,
Thy beechen grove and waterfall,
Thy ferry with its gliding sail,
And Her-the Lady of the Glen!
SHEPHERD, or Huntsman, or worn Mariner,
Whate'er thou art, who wouldst allay thy thirst,
Drink and be glad. This cistern of white stone,
Arched, and o'erwrought with many a sacred verse,
This iron cup chained for the general use,
And these rude seats of earth within the grove,
Were given by FATIMA. Borne hence a bride,
'Twas here she turned from her beloved sire,
To see his face no more. *
Oh, if thou canst,
* There is a beautiful story, delivered down to us from antiquity, which will here perhaps occur to the reader.
Icarius, when he gave Penelope in marriage to Ulysses, endeavoured to persuade him to dwell in Lacedæmon; and, when all he urged was to no purpose, he entreated his daughter to remain with him. When Ulysses set out with his bride for Ithaca, the old man followed the chariot, till, overcome by his importunity, Ulysses consented that it should be left to Penelope to decide whether she would proceed with him or return with her father. It is related, says Pausanias, that she made no reply, but that she covered herself with her veil; and that Icarius, perceiving at once by it that she inclined to Ulysses, suffered her to depart with him.
A statue was afterwards placed by her father as a memorial in that part of the road where she had covered herself with her veil. It was still standing there in the days of Pausanias, and was called the statue of Modesty.
('Tis not far off) visit his tomb with flowers;
And with a drop of this sweet water fill
The two small cells scooped in the marble there,
That birds may come and drink upon his grave,
Making it holy*
AN INSCRIPTION FOR A TEMPLE
DEDICATED TO THE GRACES.t
APPROACH With reverence. There are those within,
Whose dwelling-place is Heaven. Daughters of Jove,
From them flow all the decencies of Life;
Without them nothing pleases, Virtue's self
Admired not loved: and those on whom They smile,
Great though they be, and wise, and beautiful,
Shine forth with double lustre.
* A Turkish superstition.
+ At Woburn-Abbey.