The Haunted Glen.

’Twas on a summer’s evening,1
Just darkening was the sky,2
That through Glen Tanar homeward rode3
My little steed and I.4
Around us stretched the moorland5
In many a purple fold ;6
Before us rushed a sparkling burn,7
All bubbling, white, and cold.8
The scene was such as would right well9
The artist’s brush repay ;10
The glen was wild and picturesque,11
On all sides beauty lay.12
Anon, as I was musing13
Upon the good in store14
For hungry man and hungry beast,15
Who soon should fast no more,16
My little steed pricked up his ears,17
And as he roughly shied,18
I, waking from my hungry trance,19
His cause for fear espied.20
Across the burn were passing21
A herd of fine red deer ;22
In countless numbers on they passed23
Over the waters clear.24
With wondering eye I watched them,25
Much puzzled when I found26
That as they crossed the rushing burn27
They made no splashing sound.28
In perfect silence on they passed29
In never-ending stream ;30
So strange a thing it seemed to me,31
Methought it was a dream.32
At length I called them loudly,33
But never turned they round.34
I called again ; they showed no sign35
That they had heard the sound.36
I looked again ; their number37
Seemed never to decrease ;38
It was the gloaming, and I wished39
Their silent march would cease.40
The sight was unaccountable ;41
It made my flesh to creep,42
And in the lonely glen I felt43
I could no longer keep.44
So while the herd still streamed across45
The merry, laughing burn,46
I spurred my gallant little steed,47
And made him homeward turn.48
Arrived at home I kept my tale49
A secret in my breast,50
For fear lest I a laughing-stock51
Should be to all the rest.52
But much I pondered thereupon,53
Yet could not make it clear,54
Nor understand whence came that herd55
Of never-ending deer.56


’Twas some time after that I rode57
Once more in Tanar Glen ;58
A friend was riding by my side,59
The moon rose o’er the fen.60
Know you that ’tis the ‘ Haunted Glen’61
Through which we ride to-night ?”62
The question greatly startled me,63
Heard in the still moonlight.64
I knew it not, my friend,” I said ;65
Yet I could tell a tale66
Of what with mine own eyes I’ve seen67
In this same Tanar vale.68
But tell me what the spirits are69
Which here are wont to roam ?70
Unless so weird, twill make us wish71
We both were safe at home !”72
It is no tale of horror,”73
With smile my friend replied.74
The ghosts of all the red deer killed75
Upon this mountain-side76
Are said to haunt this lonely glen,77
And often have been seen,78
Though not by me, by those I know.79
True is the tale, I ween.”80
Now much I marvelled at the news,81
And marvelled, too, my friend,82
When I described the herd I’d seen83
Of red deer without end.84
We looked across the little burn ;85
No deer were then in sight86
Perhaps their spirits stay at home87
When the moon shines so bright.88
But some day, in the gloaming,89
We’ll through Glen Tanar ride,90
Once more to see the spirits91
Of all the’ deer who’ve died,92
A death of pain and terror,93
By hand of cruel man.94
My tale is true ; like me my fiends,95
Make of it what you can.*96

* This ghost story is a true one ; the vision of the red deer
having been actually seen by a nobleman in Scotland, in the
manner above described, he not being aware at the time that
the glen was popularly known to be haunted by the spirits of
the slaughtered red deer.