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Oblivion! no-the memory of their lives,
So innocent that were and beautiful,
And to the brim filled full of happiness
Till of a sudden mortal misery came
With no forewarning, and dissolved the dream
In cold but welcome death, the memory
Of lives so lovely and exceeding pure,

When all the old heads stooping there have gone
Down to the dust, will in the breasts survive
Of all these mournful maidens and these youthsTM
Mingling their hearts, as they will sometimes do
When meeting on the mountains they deplore
Long afterwards the affliction that befell
In that lone burial-place; they will recite
In Sabbath quietude the Tale of Tears,
Unto their children's children, weeping eyes
For many a generation witnessing

For them who live and die in piety
How still and strong the sanctity of grief!

And thus the Orphans from their graves will breathe A blessing o'er their own sweet wilderness;

And if their Ghosts before the misty sight

Of pity-wakened Fancy on the moors

In melancholy moonlight seem to glide

And o'er the mountains, when the stars are dim
In dewy mist, and all the tender skies

Benignly smile in sympathy with souls

Blest with a cherish'd sorrow, in such robes
As sainted spirits are believ'd to wear

When singing round the Throne, all spotless white,
The Orphan-sisters o'er the solitude
Will holiness diffuse, love without fear,
Sent down by Mercy silent messengers
To all that suffer but commit no wrong
Of heavenly comfort, and to all that sin
Of pardon, if that they repentant be,
Pardon through Jesus, and Forgiveness wide
As God's etherial house, Infinitude.

No longer linger on the Orphans' Grave,
Ye Virgin mourners! For their Mother weep

No more! Earthborn our thoughts of Space and Time,
Partaking of our prison! But the light

Shot down to us by sun or star is slow

When dreamt of with the spirit's instant gleam

From death to life-its change from earth to heaven.
A moment's Bliss within those shining courts

Is in itself long ages-such their Bliss

For whom you now are blindly shedding tears.
The morning-dews have melted all away,
So let your tears! Oh! what a joyful burst
Of woodland melodies o'erflows the glen!
Rejoicing nature o'er the Cemetery

Pours light and music-why so sad your souls?
The day-spring from on high doth visit them,

A still small voice is whispering-Peace! Peace! Peace!

VOL. XXX. NO. CLXXXIII.

Z

VISION TENTH.

RETRIBUTION,

ALONG Imagination's air serene

And on her sea serene we fly or float,

Like Birds of Calm that with the moonlight glide
Sometimes upon the wing, sometimes with plumes
Folded amid the murmur of the waves,
Far up among the mountains to the head
Of some great Glen, enamour'd of the green
And flowery solitude of inland peace.

Yet there the Birds of Calm soon find that mists,
And clouds, and storms, and hurricanes belong
Not to the sea alone; as we have found
That, in the quiet Regions of the Soul,
Removed, as we did dream, from sorrow far
And sin, there yet are doleful visitings
Of Sin and Sorrow both. But as the Birds,
Returning to the Ocean, take with them
All the sweet memories only, and forget
The blasts that to their native haunts again
Bore them away reluctant, nor do fear
Another time to let themselves be borne
On the same waftings back to the same place
Where they had wheel'd about so happily,
Or on the greensward walk'd among the lambs;
Even so do we on our return to Life
Tumultuous even far more than is the Sea,
Take with us all the sweetest memories
Of that still place which we had visited
In our calm-loving dreams, forgotten all
Or but remember'd dimly the distress
That even there did come to trouble us;
Nor loath, but earnest, even most passionate
To wing our way back to the solitude
Once more, and there relapse into the bliss
That once so softly breath'd o'er Innocence.

Back through the glimmering regions of the past Then let us fly again-and on a time

Take up our visionary residence,

Half-way between this glorious summer-day

Lying refulgent on Winander's waves

And isles, and shores, and woods, and groves, and all

Her shadowy mountains well beloved of heaven,
And that sad morn but sweet when we beheld

The Orphan Sisters with their Mother laid
Beyond the reach of sorrow, which had found
Their dwelling out, though it was far remote
And solitary, amid Morven's glens
O'er which the lonely Eagle loved to sail.

Again we sit in the dim world of dreams.
O'er Morven forty years have come and gone
Since, on the morning of that Funeral,
The Isle of Rocks within the Glen of Prayer
Beheld the gathered Clan of Unimore
Upon their knees around the Oratory,
Beseeching heaven to take into its rest
The spirits of the buried. Time and tide

Have washed away, like weeds upon the sands,
Crowds of the olden life's memorials,

And mid the mountains you as well might seek
For the lone site of Fancy's filmy dreams.

Towers have decay'd, and moulder'd from the cliffs,
Or their green age or grey has help'd to build
New dwellings sending up their household smoke
From treeless places once inhabited

But by the secret sylvans. On the moors
The pillar-stone, rear'd to perpetuate
The fame of some great battle, or the power

Of storied necromancer in the wilds,

Among the wide change on the heather-bloom

By power more wondrous wrought than his, its name Has lost, or fallen itself has disappeared;

No broken fragment suffer'd to impede

The glancing ploughshare. All the ancient woods
Are thinn'd, and let in floods of daylight now,
Then dark and dern as when the Druids lived.
Narrow'd is now the red-deer's forest-reign;
The royal race of eagles is extinct;

But other changes than on moor and cliff
Have tamed the aspect of the wilderness,
The simple system of primeval life,
Simple but stately, hath been broken down;
The Clans are scatter'd, and the Chieftain's power
Is dead, or dying-but a name-though yet
It sometimes stirs the desert. On the winds
The tall plumes wave no more-the tartan green
With fiery streaks among the heather-bells
Now glows unfrequent-and the echoes mourn
The silence of the music that of old

Kept war-thoughts stern amid the calm of peace.
Yet to far battle-plains still Morven sends
Her heroes, and still glittering in the sun,
Or blood-dimm'd, her dread line of bayonets
Marches with loud shouts straight to victory.
A soften'd radiance now floats o'er her glens;
No rare sight now upon her sea-arm lochs
The Sail oft veering up the solitude;
And from afar the noise of life is brought
Within the thunder of her cataracts.
These will flow on for ever; and the crests,
Gold-tipt by rising and by setting suns,
Of her old mountains inaccessible,

Glance down their scorn for ever on the toils
That load with harvests new the humbler hills
Now shorn of all their heather-bloom, and green
Or yellow as the gleam of Lowland fields.
And bold hearts in broad bosoms still are there
Living and dying peacefully; the huts
Abodes are still of high-soul'd poverty;
And underneath their lintels Beauty stoops
Her silken-snooded head, when singing goes
The Maiden to her father at his work
Among the woods, or joins the scanty line
Of barley-reapers on their narrow ridge
In some small field among the pastoral braes.
Still fragments dim of ancient Poetry

In melancholy music down the glens

Go floating; and from shieling roof'd with boughs
And turf-wall'd, high up in some lonely place

Where flocks of sheep are nibbling the sweet grass
Of midsummer, and browsing on the plants
On the cliff-mosses a few goats are seen
Among their kids, you hear sweet melodies
Attuned to some traditionary tale

By young wife sitting all alone, aware
From shadow on the mountain-horologe
Of the glad hour that brings her husband home
Before the gloaming from the far-off moor
Where the black cattle feed-there all alone
She sits and sings, except that on her knees
Sleeps the sweet offspring of their faithful loves.

What change hath fall'n on Castle Unimore?
Hath her Last Chieftain been forgotten quite,
His Lady-Mother once to Morven dear,
The Orphans whom her Bard did celebrate
By names he borrowed from the lavish sky
That loved its kindred loveliness to lend
To the fair Spirits of the Wilderness?

Behold the Glen of Prayer, the Isle of Rocks,
The Oratory, and the Place of Tombs !
And a small Congregation gather'd there
As if it were the Sabbath, and the bell
Among the silent mountains had been chiming
The peaceful people to the House of God.
O sacred Pity! or a holier name

Shall we unblamed bestow on Thee who art
No other than Religion, when the soul
Receives thee coming like the dewy dawn

Through dimness waxing bright? Thou dost preserve
The pleasant memories of all mournful things,

Making sweet Grief immortal, when she takes

The placid look and gentle character

Of Sorrow, softening every sight she sees

Through the slight mist of something scarcely tears.
The fate of the Fair Orphans has become
A holy Legend now; for few survive
Who saw them buried, and tradition tells
The outline only of their story, drawn
In colours dim, but still the hues of heaven.
Calm Anniversary of a troubled day!
There sit the people, some upon the tombs,
Upon the turf-heaps some, and the low wall
That winds its ivy round the burial-place
Is covered here and there-a cheerful shew;
As if it were some annual Holiday,

Or Festival devoted unto Mirth

Who only waits the to-fall of the night

To wake the jocund sound of dance and song.
And yet o'er all a shade of melancholy

Seems breathing, more than what may appertain
To these still woods.

Lo! form'd in fair array,
A Band of Maidens in their best attire,-
Such as they wear when walking with a Bride
Back from the Chapel to her Father's house
Which she must now be leaving, or when all
The happy congregation bless the babe
Held gently up to the Baptismal Font,—

One Tomb encircle, by itself aloof

A little way from all the rest, one Tomb
That in the very heart of sunshine sleeps;
And hark! they scatter over it, than flowers
More sweet, the holy harmony of hymns!
There lie the unforgotten Orphans-there
Lieth their Mother's dust. The marble shews
Their sacred names bedimm'd with weather-stains,
But still distinct, for the defacing moss

Is suffer'd not to gather on the lines
Oft look'd on reverentially by eyes
That sometimes let the quiet tear-drops fall
Upon the holy text that strews the grave.

The Hymns are silent on the lips that sang
So dolefully, but Echo in the cliff

Warbles one moment the concluding strain;
And now the birds, that all the while were mute
On hearing of that plaintive melody,

Take up the dirge to tunings of their own

Inspired by Fancy with an alien woe,

For glad are they within their summer-bowers;

Though they too have their sorrows, when their nests

During short absence sometimes disappear

With all the nestlings, and the grove is pierced
With rueful cries of restless agony

Fluttering from tree to tree, and sore amazed
In instinct's passion at the grievous loss
That leaves the bare bough unendurable;
Till far away the shrieking Parents fly,
And sit down mute upon some desert-stone,
As dimly sad as human wretchedness!

Laden with old age, lo! a white-hair'd Man,
An unknown Stranger coming from afar,
Enters the burial-place, nor from the ground
Uplifteth yet his eyes. But now their lids
Are raised, exposing melancholy orbs
And dim just like the blind's.

"Shew me their Tomb!" He seems to see it; and he lays him down On the white slab in all his misery,

Moaning their names, and with his wither'd lips
Kissing the letters, but without a tear.

Long has it been since that old Phantom wept.
His brain is dry, and in those shrunken hands
Scarce creeps the livid blood-and now a voice
Hollowly utters, " I am Unimore!"

Clansmen, behold your Chief! What think ye now, Old men who walk'd with Unimore of old,

Following his high plumes o'er the mountain-cliffs,
What think ye now of Morven's Morning-Star?

These locks of miserable snow did once

Dim the dark purple on the raven's wing;
That crawling form, like to a young oak-tree
When sunshine smites its glory, once did stand
Magnificent; in feeble hollowness

Expires the voice that on the battle-deck
At head of all his Boarders, fear and death
Oft scattered, when, her Bloody Flag hung high,
The Black Sea-Eagle thunder'd o'er the foam,→
Clansmen, behold
your Chief!

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