Page images

Each charming sound resistless love inspired;
Soft love, resistless, every bosom fired;

Of love the waters murmured in their fall;

And echo sounds of love returned to all;
Trembling with love, the beauteous scene imprest
Its amorous image on the Firth's fair breast;
The scene, ennobled by the lofty dome,

Where great Glencairn has fixed his splendid home;
Whose breast the firm integrity inspires,
And scorn of slavery, that adorned his sires.
When daring Becket, with rebellious pride,

The English Henry's majesty defied,

The power of Rome against his sovereign led,
Aiming her thunders at his sacred head;

Then near the throne, to guard the monarch, stood

A youth of Scottish Morville's lofty blood:
From his bold hand the felon found his doom;
And when the monarch meanly bent to Rome,
His brave avenger sought his native plain,
Where dauntless freedom holds eternal reign :
From him the faithful Cunninghams descend;
Still first their country's freedom to defend. (1)
See, old Alclutha to the sight displays
Her rock, impregnable in ancient days;
Frowns like old Ilium, mid her waters placed,
Its base by Clyde and Leven's tide embraced :
From the broad stream its whitening summits rise,

Like famed Parnassus towering to the skies.




(1) The Cunninghams are introduced with great propriety by Defoe, in a list of clans, on whose names he despairs of conferring poetical dignity: Cummin, Duff, Donald, Strathern, Hay and Keith, And names would run fame's trumpet out of breathThere Gordon, Lindsay, Crawford, Mar and Wem'ss, With Seaton, Ramsay, Cunninghame, and Gra'ams. Forbes, Ross, Murray, Bruce, Dunbar and Hume, And names for whom no pổet can make room.


And here, remote, the Latian muses came,
When Italy had lost her former fame.
As on this new Parnassus they repose,
Their sacred spring between its summits rose;
They bade the rock that far-famed thistle yield,
Which glorious shines in Scotia's warlike shield;
And on the margin of Levina's flood,
Their temple, famed for ancient learning, stood.
Buchanan sweeps the sweet Horatian lyre,
With Latian softness, and with Grecian fire;
Or, while historic themes his soul engage,
Shines forth the Livy of each modern age.
In later days, here dauntless Smollett rose,
Who sung with filial ardour Scotia's woes;
Who, like Buchanan in the historic page,
Fearless pourtrayed the crimes of every age.

⚫ 440

Here Cambria's monarchs held their mighty reign,
Till Rome's proud eagles seized their fair domain,
When Fingal, first of men, his warriors led
From Morven's hills to Carron's sedgy bed,
With him was Oscar swift, Diarmed strong,
And Ossian, master of the tuneful song;
With dark disdain the mountain heroes eyed
The troops of Cambria on the tyrant's side:
They bade the blast howl round the ruined walls,

And beasts obscene frequent the lonely halls:


From shattered spires the screaming owls were heard; Howling through windows waste the wolf appeared; 460 Till Leven's stream, that scorns by slow degrees

To rise, but from its source a river sees,

Rushed on resistless, with ungoverned force,
And swept the ancient bulwarks in its course;

From their firm seats their deep foundations tore,

And sunk the ruins, to be seen no more.

How wide the lake in limpid beauty smiles,

Round the green yews that shade the Lomond isles ;
While proud Benlomond rises huge and vast,

To bar eternally the northern blast.

That charming isle! the distant sight deceives, Which floats, like Delos, on the ambient waves: There Delos' god, deceived, first pours his beams, The dome so like his ancient temple seems.

Clyde, now a sea, affects a wide command,
And far his mighty arms invade the land;
Far pour his lakes, and pierce the solid ground!
Scarce their wide sway the heathy mountains bound;
Where Campbells, sprung of old O'Dubin's race,
Old as their hills, still rule their native place (1)
No ancient chief could, like O'Dubin, wield
The weighty war, or range the embattled field;
Unmoving bear the shock of charging foes,
Pierce thronged battalions, or their ranks inclose.
Hence the admiring Gaul, preserved in fight
From furious Normans by the hero's might,
Him Campbell called; and ro heroic name
Is further heard, or better known to fame.

Descended from the same illustrious line,
See noble Loudon, first of heroes, shine:
Far distant realms his matchless prowess own,
Who propped the tottering Lusitanian throne.




(1) The Clan Campbell is characterized by Defoe, in the following lines, which possess greater accuracy of fact, than poetical energy:

Campbells, the modern glory of this isle,

Their doubling fame increased in great Argyle

A race to Caledonia always dear,

And on whose blood their liberties appear.

It is singular, that, notwithstanding the munificence of the princely family of Argyle, the Gaelic traditionary verses which record the achieve. ments of the Clan Campbell, have never been collected, and presented to the literary world. Some genealogists trace the Clan Oduibhne, or Camp. bell, to Mervin the Great, the son of King Arthur; others stop short al the warrior Diarmed Oduibhne,

Mark Ardencaple, noble Frederick's seat;
A chief politely wise, humanely great:

But fairer Roseneath's towers, where, spreading wide,
Rolls on the mighty majesty of Clyde,

From Lennox hills, which, towering, prop the sky,
To where his fleets in spacious harbours lie;

Where, crowned with wood, fair hills embrace the bay,
Where Newport smiles, in youthful lustre gay.(1) 500

Where the broad marsh, a shuddering surface, lies,
Fair Greenock's spires in new-born beauty rise;
And many an infant city rises round,
Emerging swiftly from the teeming ground;
So poets tell, that by prolific Nile,
Whole nations issued from the marshy soil;
And if the muse can future fates divine,
They all at last in one vast port shall join;
While groves of masts aloft in ether rise,
And cordage warping wide obscures the skies.
As in the film-winged bee's industrious hive,
Some stretch their wings for flight, and some arrive,
Some treasure in their cells the golden store,
And some, adventurous, sail in quest of more;
So fleets arriving here with every gale,
Within the port shall drop the flying sail;
While some departing shall their wings display,
To greet the rising or the falling day;
While foreign wealth by busy hands is stored,
Or British manufactures borne aboard:
Arabia far shall send her rich perfumes;
Persia the shining product of her looms;
With spices kindled in hot Ceylon's air,
And China's painted vases for the fair.

But let the sailors shun the faithless shore
Behind the Cumbrays, where white surges roar ;

(1) [Now Port-Glasgow.]




Bend to the east, where Clyde runs dark and deep,
His borders edged with precipices steep;
Where in a sweet recess by hills embraced,
Ardgowan's chieftain has his mansion placed;
Its view extending o'er the western main,
Where isles unnumbered deck the liquid plain.
Where Bute's green bosom spreads to meet the day,
Round Rothesay's towers the morning sunbeams play,
That, like her chief, superior and serene,
Smiles o'er the murmurs of the curling main:

Mid groves with undiminished verdure gay

She mocks the waves, and laughs the storms away;
And bids her Brandons, mid the ranks of fame,
Aspiring rise, and claim a nation's name; (1)
A Cambrian race, whose arms durst long deride
The Scottish laurels, and the Norman pride.


Opposed to Bute, upon the eastern shore,
Broad Largs expands, red with Norwegian gore;
Where, stern in arms, his forehead trenched with scars,
Stout Achon led the last of Lochlin's wars:
His peopled keels, the serpents of the main,
To stormy Norway never steered again :
In vain on Scotia's coast his legions poured,

Whelmed by the wave, or slaughtered by the sword: 550
Where with his peers, to guard his ancient throne,
Clad in bright steel, great Alexander shone.

Now Arran's hills their rocky summits show,
Crowned with dense mists, that shine like winter's snow.
Deep in the base a spacious cave is found,

By Fingal's proud immortal name renowned; (2)

(1) The natives of Bute and Arran assume the name of Brandons, or Brandanes, from St. Brandon their patron saint. In old writings they are denominated Brandani, and seem to have regarded themselves as a separate nation. Until lately, if any inhabitant of these isles had been saked of what nation he was, he would have answered, a Brandon. (2) In the Isle of Arran, according to Martin, many traditions formerly

« PreviousContinue »