BETA

Charles-Edward After Culloden.

He took a vast delight, when it was a good day, to sit upon a stone that was
before the door of the house, with his face turned towards the sun ; and when he was
entreated to remove from thence, fearing to get a headache, he ordered them to pack
about their business—that he knew himself what was good for him better than they
could describe—that the sun did him all the good in the world.”
—MS. Journal com-
municated to New Monthly Magazine .
Away !—so faithful and so few1
Ye battle-wasted weary band !” 2
Nor, sorrowing thus, within His view3
With scrutinizing glances stand.4
All that ye lost, some foreign land,5
Some luckier future day, may give ;6
Of his despair what can ye know ?7
To lose upon one desperate throw8
An empire’s chance—and live9
Away !—what right has aught but God,10
Or God’s archangel lone—the Sun11
To watch upon that barren sod12
The black wild waters, one by one,13
Of vast Dismay, beat in upon14
His frenzied soul, that would defy15
The bright exulting Face which seems,16
As through yon boundless realm it beams,17
To mock him from the sky.18
To mock him from the sky with pomp,19
Lavish as that it once bestow’d,20
When to the sound of kingly tromp,21
Through streets with gladness overflow’d,22
To solemn Holyrood he rode,23
Where Faith and Love his pillow spread,24
Who now, ’mid desert wanderings,25
The famish’d heir of thousand kings26
Lacks where to lay his head !27
Again his wrathful brow has faded28
To that calm aspect, sad, sedate,29
That mark’d his race, for ever shaded30
By the pursuing wing of Fate ;—31
What though the morn of him—thy mate,32
Thou regal sun—like thine arose :33
’Mid rack and tempest, he will think34
His splendid evening yet may sink35
Victorious to repose.36
Fast as thou climb’st the firmament,37
He drinks, O Sun ! thy warmth and light,38
Till through each slack pulse, anguish-spent,39
Hope’s golden nectar dances bright40
Till each far sail that glideth white41
He deems is nearing—nearing yet42
Freighted with friendly hosts for him,43
Fond Dreamer—on whose every limb44
The shambles’ price is set ! *45
Poor wanderer !— long thy blistering feet46
May tread far Stornay’s iron shore47
Long may the Arctic’s wintry sleet48
’Mid Badenoch’s flinty fastness pour49
Its horrors on thy form, before50
The terrors of thy hapless tale51
Voluptuous Louis shall disturb52
Fretting the indolence superb53
Of roseate Versailles.54
Too hard that thou should’st reap in tears,55
And glean the ghastly harvest in,56
Sown by thy godless sires through years57
Of profligacy, blood, and sin ;58
Yet had it been thy lot to win59
The game by thee so bravely play’d, 60
Would’st thou, no learn’d suspicious fool61
No Martyr to tyrannic rule62
No sceptred. Monk, have made ?63
Bootless the query :— Human heart64
Endured no heavier doom than thine:65
Say, ye pert Aspirants of Art,66
Who painted him, in life’s decline,67
The sot—the stupefied with wine68
How many a year of madd’ning mood69
It took to blunt that soul—whose fire70
Could once fierce Cameron’s ardour tire71
Down to decrepitude ? †72
Yet had he ne’er been wretched, he73
Had miss’d the glorious light that clings74
Around his mournful memory,75
Dimming the fame of vulgar kings.76
While humour warms and pathos wrings,77
And Scott the subject heart shall sway78
Crownless Ambition’s outcast child,79
Thy venturous story’s beauty wild80
Shall never know decay !81

* “ It gave him a great deal of pleasure to look to the ships that passed in the Channel every day, which he flattered himself to be French, though they were really some of the English fleet sent hither to guard the coast.” —MS. Journal.
‡ “ Neither old age, nor royal birth, nor misfortune itself, could protect him from the impertinence of some travellers, who, catching him in his fallen state, unfairly de-scribed the prince when he had ceased to be a man.” —Forsyth.