BETA

Fragmentary Stanzas.


There comes a voice and awakes my soul : it is the
voice of the years that are gone.”
—Ossian.

Why dawning in sadtiess approaches the day ;1
Why weary emerges the sun from the deep ;2
Why shrinks he from view, in a cloud, thus away,3
Like a soul-wounded lover retiring to weep ?4
Why languishing low is the voice of the rill;5
Why the ravens croak hoarse on the dark lowring tree;6
Why silent the music of woodland and hill ?7
’Tis the soul-seeking sympathy, Scotia, for thee.8
Oh ! Scotia, thou once wert the boast of the page ;9
Round the feats of thy sons a bright halo did shine ;10
’Mid the loud strife of battles they lov’d to engage,11
Their rights to assert, or their laurels to twine.12
No fame-thirsting tyrant e’er dared to intrude,13
In the pride of their bosoms, thy brown hills of deer,14
Or the shield’s hollow soundings re-echoed each wood,15
And each glen rush’d in arms, ’ mid the tremulous air.16
Then weak were the youth of thy foemen, and low,17
’Mid the wilds of thy mountains, their fame found a
grave ;
18
And many a tuft on the dark heathy brow19
Long linger’d to tell where they fell by the brave.20
As the waves of thy shores, as the hinds of thy hills,21
Their roamings were free; whilst exalted, each soul22
Was strong as the storm, when in winter it swells,23
And knew not the yoke or the curb of control.24
Every heart was a hero’s; every bosom a flame,25
That kindled in wrath at the threat of a foe ;26
Their home was the wild glen; their wealth was their
name,
27
That urged on the conflict—enforced the blow.28
In peace all was mild as the spring’s vernal shower :29
Every warrior was joy; every warrior was love ;30
While each bosom responsive its gladness would pour,31
Till swelled all the valley, and sung all the grove.32
Now where, Caledonia, oh, where are those days ?33
Thy spirits now wretched, and feeble, and worn;34
Where now is thy valour, thy glory, thy praise ?35
They’re fled, and my laurels are blasted and torn.36
Where now is the swell of thy music in peace,37
That lulled the dark soul to the bosom of bliss ?38
Where now are thy pleasures—thy roamings of ease ?39
They’re fled, and thy valleys naw groan in distress.40