BETA

Mary’s Mount.

1.

Who, standing on this rural spot,1
With groves above, and fields around,2
Would, pausing, e’er indulge the thought,3
That armies thronged the lower ground ;4
Or image neighing steed, or fear5
That trump or drum salute his ear ;6
Or think this leafy screen enfolded,7
A being of as tragic fate,8
As lovely, and unfortunate,9
As Nature ever moulded !10

2.

Traced like a map; the landscape lies11
In cultured beauty stretching wide ;12
There Pentland’s green acclivities ;13
There Ocean, with its azure tide ;14
There Arthur’s Seat; and gleaming thro15
Thy southern wing, Dunedin blue !16
While, in the orient, Lammer’s daughters,17
A distant giant range are seen,18
North Berwick Law, with cone of green,19
And Bass amid the waters.20

3.

Wrapt in the mantle of her wo,21
Here agonized Mary stood,22
And saw contending hosts below,23
Opposing, meet in deadly feud ;24
With hilt to hilt, and hand to hand,25
The children of one mother land26
For battle come. The banners flaunted27
Amid Carberry’s beechen grove ;28
And kinsmen, braving kinsmen, strove29
Undaunting, and undaunted.30

4.

Silent the queen in sorrow stood,31
When Bothwell, starting forward, said,32
The cause is mine—a nation’s blood,33
Go, tell yon chiefs, should:not be shed ;34
Go, bid the bravest heart advance35
In single fight, to: measure lance36
With me, who: wait prepared to meet him !” —37
Fly !— Bothwell, fly !— it shall not be.”—38
She wept—she sobbed—on bended knee39
Fair Mary did entreat him.40

5.

I go,” he sighed— “ the war is mine,41
A Nero could not injure thee ;—42
My lot on earth is sealed, but thine43
Shall long and bright and happy be !—44
This last. farewell—this struggle o’er,45
We ne’er shall see each other more46
Now loose thy hold ! poor broken-hearted—”47
She faints—she falls—Upon his roan48
The bridle reins in haste are thrown.—49
The pilgrim hath departed.50

6.

Know ye the tenor of his fate ?—51
A fugitive among his own ;52
Disguised—deserted—desolate53
A weed on Niagara thrown ; 54
A Cain among the sons of men ;55
A pirate on the ocean; then,56
A Scandinavian captive fettered57
To die amid the dungeon gloom :58
If earthly chance, or heavenly doom59
Is dark :— but so it mattered.60

7.

Daughter of Scotland ! beautiful,61
Beyond what falls to human lot,62
Thy breathing features rendered dull,63
The visions of a poet’s thought.64
Thy voice was music on the deep,65
When winds are hushed, and waves asleep,66
In mould and mind by far excelling,67
Or Cleopatra on the wave68
Of Cydnus vanquishing the brave,69
Or Troy’s replendent Helen !70

8.

Thy very sun in clouds arose,71
Delightful flower of Holyrood !72
Thy span was tempest-fraught, thy woes73
Should make thee pitied by the good.74
Poor Mary ! an untimely tomb75
Was thine, with prison ease of gloom,76
A crown, and rebel crowds beneath thee,77
A lofty fate—a lowly fall !78
Thou wert a woman, and let all 79
Thy faults be buried with thee !80