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Who loves the Highlands ?-many love to shoot

The dun-plumed grouse on the broad-shouldered

Ben ;

And 'tis a kingly sport will none dispute

To track the red-deer through the treeless glen. But I know one who loves the Highlands more

Than all who start the grouse or watch the deer, The first to light on lone unfriended shore

With helping hand, and words of kindly cheer ; A woman, but whom manful purpose mails,

Of English blood, but through the Celtic seas With torch of truth in venturous skiff she sails

From isle to isle, not studious of her ease. Brave maid ! thee following where Columba trod

The angels know who keep the book of God.


Thou huge grey

stone upon the heath, With lichens crusted well,

I marvel much, if thou found breath,

What story thou would'st tell. Oft wandering o'er the birch-grown hill,

To hear the wild winds moan,

I wonder still what chance or skill

Hath pitched thee here alone.

Where wert thou when Sire Adam first

Drew his mischanceful breath,

And in the bowers of bliss was cursed

With everlasting death, Then when the damned fiend, who loves

The mask of snake and toad, Crept into Paradisian groves,

And stole Eve's heart from God?

Thee in some seaward glen, I ween,

On sharp Loffodin's shore,
In frozen folds of gleaming green

The giant glacier bore.
Then down the steep it harshly slid,

Till, loosen'd from the high land,
With wrench enorm its compact form

Was launch’d, a floating island,

Into the Arctic deep. And thou,

In its stark bosom buried, Through seas which huge Leviathans plough,

To this South strand wert hurried.

Then, from its cold close gripe unbound

By summer's permeant breath, Thy wandering bulk a station found

On this wide sandy heath.

And here thy watch hath been, God knows

How long, and what a strange Masque of Time's motley-shifting shows

Hath known thee without change.

Seas thou hast seen to dry land turned,

And dry land turned to seas, And fiery cones that wildly burned,

Where flocks now feed at ease.

By thee the huge-limbed breathing things,

Crude Earth's portentous race, Passed, and long lizard-shapes with wings

Swept o'er thy weathered face. To thee first came man's jaded limb

From Eastern Babel far; Around thee rose the Druid's hymn, And the


of Celtic war.

By thee the Roman soldier made

The mountain-cleaving road,
The Saxon boor beside thee strayed,

The lordly Norman strode.
The Papal monk thy measure took ;

The proud priest triple-crowned
Mumbled a blessing from his book,

And claimed the holy ground.

By thee the insolent Edward passed,

When mad with eager greed,
A bridge of law-spun lies he cast

Across the Scottish Tweed.
And thou that vengeful day didst know,

When strong with righteous scorn
Young Freedom rose, and smote the foe,

At glorious Bannockburn.

Thou saw'st, when 'neath thy hoary shade

Upon the old brown sod
The plaided preacher sate, and made

His fervent prayer to God,
What time men tried by courtly art

To trim, and craft of kings, The faith that soars from a people's heart,

And flaps untutored wings.

Thou saw'st, from out old unkempt bowers,

Huge peopled cities rise,
And merchant kings with stately towers

Invade the troubled skies.

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