BETA

INCH-CAILLIACH, LOCH LOMOND.

[The island burial-place of Clan-Alpine, resembling, from
Rossdhu, a reclining body with folded arms.]
No more Clan-Alpine’s pibroch wakes1
Loch Lomond’s hills and waters blue ;2
Hail to the Chief’ no longer breaks3
The quiet sleep of Roderick Dhu :4
Enwrapped in peace the islands gleam5
Like emerald gems in sapphire set,6
And, far away, as in a dream,7
Float purple fields where heroes met.8
Inch-Cailliach—island of the blest !9
Columba’s daughter, passing fair,10
With folded arms upon her breast,11
Rests soft in sunset radiance there ;12
A vision sweet of fond Elaine,13
And floating barge of Camelot,14
Upon her brow no trace of pain,15
And on her heart ‘ Forget me not.’16
Forget thee, saintly guardian ?  Nay,17
From distant lands across the sea18
To this lone isle I fondly stray19
With song and garland fresh for thee ;20
I trace the old inscriptions dear,21
Fast fading now from mortal ken,22
And through the silvered lichens peer23
To read MacAlpine’s name again.24
My mother’s name, a sacred link25
Which binds me to the storied past ;26
A rainbow bridge from brink to brink,27
Which spans with light the centuries vast.28
Two hundred years ! Clan-Alpine’s pine29
Has struck its roots in other lands ;30
My pulses thrill to trace the sign31
And touch the cross with reverent hands.32
All ruin here ! —the shrine is dust,33
The chapel wall a shapeless mound ;34
But nature guards with loving trust,35
And ivy twines her tendrils round36
The humble slab, more fitting far37
Than gilded dome for Scotia’s line ;38
The open sky and northern star39
Become the chieftains of the pine.40
The light streams out from fair Rossdhu41
Across the golden-tinted wave ;42
That crumbling keep, that ancient yew,43
Still mark a worthy foeman’s grave ;44
But warm the hearts that now await45
Our coming at the open door,46
With love and friendship at the gate,47
And beacon-lights along the shore.48
Dear Scotia ! evermore more dear49
To loyal sons in every land ;50
Strong in a race that knew not fear,51
And for man’s freedom dared to stand :52
Ay, dearer for thy songs that float53
Like thistle-down o’er land and sea,54
And strike the universal note55
Of love, and faith, and liberty.56