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His country's saviour*, mark him well! Bold Richardton'st heroic swell;
The chief on Sark‡ who glorious fell,
In high command;
And he whom ruthless fates expel
His native land.
There, where a sceptr'd Pictish shades 6talk'd round his ashes lowly laid,
I mark'd a martial race, pourtray'd
In colours strong;
Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismay'd
They strode along.
Thro' many a wild, romantic grove, Near many a hermit-fancy'd cove, (Fit hadnts for friendship or for love,
In musing mood,)
An aged judge, I saw him rove,
With deep-struck reverential awe¶ The learned sire and son I saw,
† Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver of Scottish independence.
Wallace, laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct and intrepid valour of the gallant laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.
Coilus, king of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Mont gomeries of Coil's-field, where his burial place is still shown.
Barskimming, the seat of the lord justice
Catrine, the seat of the late doctor, and present professor Stewart.
To nature's God and nature's law
They gave their lore,
This, all its source and end to draw,
Brydone's brave ward* I well could spy, Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye;
Who call'd on Fame, low standing by,
To hand him on,
Where many a patriot-name on high
With musing-deep, astonish'd stare, I view'd the heav'nly-seeming fair; A whisp'ring throb did witness bear
Of kindred sweet,
When with an elder sister's air
She did me greet.
"All hail! my own inspired bard! In me thy native muse regard! Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard,
Thus poorly low!
I come to give thee such reward
As we bestow.
"Know the great genius of this land Has many a light, aerial band,
Who, all beneath his high command,
As arts or arms they understand,
Their labours ply.
"They Scotia's race among them share; Some fire the soldier on to dare;
Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Some teach the bard, a darling care,
The tuneful art.
* Colonel Fullarton.
""Mong swelling floods of reeking gore, They ardent, kindling spirits pour;
Or, mid the venal senate's roar,
They, sightless, stand,
To mend the honest patriot-lore,
And grace the hand.
"And when the bard, or hoary sage, Charm or instruct the future age, They bind the wild, poetic rage
Or point the inconclusive page
Full on the eye.
"Hence Fullarton, the brave and young; Hence Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue; Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung
His "Minstrel lays ;"
Or tore, with noble ardour stung,
The sceptic's bays.
"To lower orders are assign'd The humbler ranks of human-kind, The rustic bard, the lab'ring hind,
All chuse, as various they're inclin❜d,
The various man.
"When yellow waves the heavy grain, The threat'ning storm some, strongly, rein Some teach to meliorate the plain,
And some instruct the shepherd-train,
Blythe o'er the hill.
"Some hint the lover's harmless wile; Some grace the maiden's artless smile; Some sooth the lab'rer's weary toil,
For humble gains,
And make his cottage-scenes beguile
His cares and pains.
"Some, bounded to a district-space, Explore at large man's infant race, To mark the embryotic trace
Of rustic bard;
And careful note each op'ning grace,
A guide and guard.
"Of these am I-Coila my name; And this district as mine I claim,
Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power:
I mark'd thy embryo tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.
"With future hope, I oft would gaze, Fond, on thy little early ways,
Thy rudely caroll'd, chiming phrase,
In uncouth rhymes,
Fir'd at the simple, artless lays
Of other times.
"I saw thee seek the sounding shore, Delighted with the dashing roar ; Or when the north his fleecy store
Drove thro' the sky,
I saw grim nature's visage hoar
Struck thy young eye.
"Or when the deep green-mantl'd earth Warm cherish'd ev'ry flow'ret's birth,
And joy and music pouring forth
In ev'ry grove,
I saw thee eye the gen'ral mirth
With boundless love.
"When ripen'd fields, and azure skies, Call'd forth the reaper's rustling noise, I saw thee leave their ev'ning joys,
And lonely stalk,
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise
In pensive walk.
"When youthful love, warm-blushing, strong, Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along, Those accents, grateful to thy tongue, Th' adored Name,
I taught thee how to pour in song,
To soothe the flame.
"I saw thy pulse's maddening play, Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, Misled by fancy's meteor-ray,
By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray
Was light from heaven.
"I taught thy manners-painting strains, The loves, the ways of simple swains, 'Till now, o'er all my wide domains
Thy fame extends;
And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
Become thy friends.
"Thou canst not learn, nor can I show, To paint with Thomson's landscape-glow; Or wake the bosom-melting throe,
With Shenstone's art;
Or pour with Gray, the moving flow
Warm on the heart.
"Yet all beneath th' unrivall❜d rose, The lowly daisy sweetly blows;
Tho' large the forest's monarch throws
Yet green the juicy hawthorn grows,
"Then never murmur nor repine ; Strive in thy humble sphere to shine; And trust me, not Potosi's mine,
Nor king's regard,
Can give a bliss o'ermatching thine,
A rustie bard.