Page images

Tremblingly we scooped the covering from each kindred victim's

head, And the living lips were burning on the cold ones of the dead. And I left them with their dearest - dearest charge had every


Left the maiden with her lover, left the mother with her son,

I alone of all was mateless - far more wretched I than they,
For the snow would not discover where my lord and husband lay;
But I wandered up the valley, till I found him lying low,
With the gash upon his bosom and the frown upon his brow-
Till I found him lying murdered, where he wooed me long ago!

Woman's weakness shall n shame me-why should I have

tears to shed ? Could I rain them down like water, O my hero! on thy headCould the cry of lamentation wake thee from thy silent sleep, Could it set thy heart a-throbbing, it were mine to wail and

weep! But I will not waste my sorrow, lest the Campbell x women say That the daughters of Clanranald N are weak and frail




I had wept thee hadst thou fallen, like our fathers, on thy

shield, When a host of English foemen camped upon a Scottish fieldI had mourned thee, hadst thou perished with the foremost of

his name, When the valiant and the noble died around the dauntless

Græme IN But I will not wrong thee, husband ! with my unavailing

cries, Whilst thy cold and mangled body stricken by the traitor lies;

Whilst he counts the gold and glory that this hideous night has

won, And his heart is big with triumph at the murder he has done. Other eyes than mine shall glisten, other hearts be rent in

twain, Ere the heath-bells on thy hillock wither in the autumn rain.


“But I wandered up the valley, till I found him lying low-Till I found him lying murdered, where he wcoed mę long

ago!” (See page 330,)

Then I'll see thee where thou sleepest, and I'll veil my weary

head, Praying for a place beside thee, dearer than my bridal bed : And I'll give thee tears, my husband, if the tears remain to me, When the widows of the foeman cry the coranach for thee!

Biography - William Edmondstoune Aytoun (1813-1865), the writer of this poem, is well known as the author of " Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers.”

Notes.-Glencoe is a valley in Argyleshire, Scotland, well known not only for the terrible massacre of the Macdonalds referred to in the poem,

but also for the wildness and grandeur of its scenery. The Cona, a mountain stream, flows through the valley.

Before daylight, on the morning of February 13, 1692, Captain Campbell, of Glenlyon, with a party of soldiers, mostly of the Campbell clan, surprised the Macdonalds and slew nearly forty of them. After the massacre, the huts of the village were burned, and the valley has been uninhabited ever since.

Muir (mür) is the Scottish word for moor or heath-a piece of land of little value on account of its thin, poor soil. The heath-flowers or heather-bells are very beautiful.

Clan răn'ald is another name for the Macdonald clan.

Graeme (gråm) refers to James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, who was executed in Edinburgh, for an attempt to restore Charles II. to the throne. Graham was an enemy of the Campbell clan.

Field, as used in the lesson, means a field of battle.

4.- THE SKY.

vys'tåş, viers; scenes.
ěm'e rald, a precious stone of a

rich green color.
ăm'ber, a hard, yellow substance.
trans mit', let pass through.

păl' pi tăt ing, throbbing. i'lex, a kind of evergreen tree. li'ehen, a kind of moss. tăb’er na ele, sacred place. buoğ'ant (or bwôň), cheerful.

Not long ago I was slowly descending the carriage road after you leave Albano. It had been wild weather when I left Rome, and all across the CampagnaN the clouds were sweeping in sulphurous blue, with a clap of thunder or two, and breaking gleams of sunlight along the Claudian AqueductN lighting up its arches like the bridge of chaos.

As I climbed the long slope of the AlbaiN mount, the storm swept finally to the north, and the noble outlines of the domes of Albano and the graceful darkness of its ilex grove rose against pure streaks of alternate blue and amber, the upper sky gradually flushing through the last fragments of rain-cloud in deep, palpitating azure, half ether and half dew.

The noonday sun came slanting down the rocky slopes of La Ricca, and its masses of entangled and tall foliage, whose autumnal tints were mixed with the wet verdure of a thousand evergreens, and were penetrated with it as with rain.

I can not call it color, it was conflagration. Purple, and crimson, and scarleg like the curtains of God's tabernacle, the rejoicing trees sunk into the valley in showers of light, every separate leaf quirering with buoyant and burning life, each, as it turned to reflect or to transmit the sunbeam, first a torch and then an emerald.

Far up into the recesses of the valley the green vistas, arched like the hollows of mighty waves of some crystalline sea, with the arbutus flowers dashed along their flanks like foam, and silver flashes of orange spray tossed into the air around them, breaking over the gray walls of rock into a thousand separate stars, fading and kindling alternately, as the weak wind lifted and let fall.

Every blade of grass burned like the golden floor of heaven, opening in sudden gleams as the foliage broke and closed above it, as sheet lightning opens in a cloud at sunset the motionless masses of dark

« EelmineJätka »