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Scorning the shelter of the cliffs, and bright
As flying sunshine cross the loch that lies
Pitch-black, the very foam-wreaths sullenly
Expiring in the gloom that shrouds the waves.
In wonder on the gliding Glory gaze
Shepherd and huntsman on the hills—the eagle,
Poised miles-high mid the clouds, the Naiad sees,
And rifle by the plumed helmsman's side;
While upward turns the Chieftain his proud eye
In search of the Bird-royal, as a scream
Directs it to a speck within the sun.
The spirit of the region fills with pride
The Chieftain's heart; for are they not his own,
Those dim blue glens, those shadowy mountains, all
Those radiant ranges of sun-smitten cliffs ;
That meadow'd plain as green as emerald,
With its wide river, of the cataracts
Forgetful now, calm flowing to the loch,
The loch, or call it what it is, the sea;
And lo! outstanding from that silvan height,
He hails the Castle of his ancestors,
And all its hoary towers.

The Naiad glides 'Twixt two huge rocks, time immemorial call'd The Giants ; idle all at once her sails Hang in the airlessness; around her masts Drop down the twining flags; her bowsprit sheds Asunder the soft branches on the bank Of that deep bay, an amphitheatre Of loveliest groves; already is she moor’d To an old ivied stump, well-known of old; But up to his own Castle of the Cliff Why fly not the wing’d feet of Unimore? It was but now he did affront the light With forehead fierce in its ancestral pride Beneath a Chieftain's plumes. But all at once, Like deer by far-off hound-yell terrified, He bursts into the wood. Sun-proof the Den, All matted thick with briery tanglement Like Indian Jungle where the Tiger growls, That now doth harbour Morven's Mountain-Lord; Sea-rover call him-Pirate-Bucaneir. To bathe the burning forehead of remorse In the chill water of some sunless fount, Seeks he that savage penitentiary?

Vision THIRD.

THE LADY OF THE CASTLE.

MERIDIAN reigns o'er heaven, and earth, and sea;
With a glad voice the streamy valleys sing
Their songs unto the mountains, and the crags
Fling down their joy into the dells profound;
The croaking raven happy up aloft
As on its broomy knoll the bleating lamb.
In their own world of breezy solitude
Float in fair flocks the gentle clouds along,
In changeful beauty of soft-shaded snow

That drops no flake, diffusing o'er the wide
Expanse of air and ether, all one blue,
Coolness delightful, such as ever dwells
Among the glades of an umbrageous wood.

But why so mournful Castle-Unimore?
One huge dark Shadow in the light, it seems
Disconsolate, as if its dreary towers
Would not be comforted, and in their woe
Of desolate desertion, sullenly
The sun repelling with a frown of scorn.
Tomblike it stands in its black grove of pines ;
A grove that bears on its majestic growth
The silence and the storms of centuries;
Yet see! its plain-like summit half-way lies,
And hardly half-way, with its heronry
Between the rock-base and the battlements,
Breaking, but lessening not the regal height.

What aileth the old Castle ? Not of yore
Thus was she wont, in the refulgent day
To look as gloomy as some burial-place,
As silent. Rising o'er the mountain-top
Oft did the Sun behold her glorious
With bright broad banners waiting for the wind,
And heard her pipes a-dinning mid the dawn
The Gathering of the Clans; while plaid and plume
Came issuing from the mists, and form'd array
Heroic, on the greensward esplanade
Flung up in front of all her iron towers
By some strong earthquake. Castle-Unimore
Was then the Heart of Morven, and it beat
So high in pride, that the remotest glens
Were gladden'd, and the deer upon the hill
Went belling fiercely, even as if they knew
Their forest chase belong'd unto a Chief
Whom all the Highlands loved, and chosen bards
Did celebrate, the Brave and Beautiful,
Of War the Whirlwind, and the Calm of Peace.

He died ! Where? On the bloody sand. And how? Thrust through by many bayonets-by hoofs Trampled of that oft-charging cavalry, That under cover of the cannonade Came whirlwind-like among the clouds of smoke," And laid a line of lofty plumage low To wave no more, and many a noble face All featureless and blind unto the sun Left ghastly. With the Chieftain all his Clan Perish'd, all but a few red broken waves That tempest-driven, and scatter'd into spray, Seem'd from the battle-sea to disappear The Lily of Lochaber,--s0 his Bride, The morning she was brought by Unimore To the bright glens of Morven, by the Clan Had lovingly been named,-and still the name Belong'd to her, though the tall stalk was broken, The leaf pale, and flower faded,-hung her head, Just like a lily trodden under foot, That lives and still is fair among the moss, But daily dimmer in its withering.

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All fear'd that she would die; but from the dust
Springeth the crush'd flower, by pure dews benign
Encouraged and empower'd once more to face
The Sun, and wave her lovely locks in heaven.
Out of the Castle's long-unopen'd gate
Again she walked forth in her widowhood
Down the Great Glen up which she came a Bride,
And by her steps there walk'd the gallant boy
Call’d the Cliff-Climber, for his passion was
To be with the young eagles in the clouds.
Morven beheld again her Unimore;
And glad was she that for the scythe of War
That Hower had been unripe, or on that day
In far-off fight he with his Sire had stood,
And with his Sire had fallen.

Years on years
Past by, and he became a stately Tree,
Conspicuous from afar, beneath whose shade
Sat Safety; and the Clan, to strength restored,
Round Castle-Unimore their battle-cry
Awoke again, and all their war-pipes yelld,
Drowning the waterfalls, Revenge, revenge!
But a strange son was he of such a sire !
Moody and wild, and with large restless eyes
Coalblack and lamping, through the loneliest woods
He took to wandering by himself, by night
More than by day, and out of savage caves
Was sometimes seen to issue, when the storm
Mist-driving swept the howling precipice.
Different but undegenerate from his sires,
His soul was not with Morven. From her cliffs,
Like strong-wing'd Osprey looking out for prey,
Stone-still one moment, and the next light-swift,
He gazed afar, and wish'd those plumes were his
Which through the skies go sughing; that in him
Might be fulfilled the ancient prophecy
Sung by the Seer in the wilderness,
“ That from his eyry built on Unimore,
(One name to castle, mountain, moor, and loch,)
Would fly forth the Sea-Eagle o'er the isles ;
And home-returning after many suns,
Would fold awhile among his native cliffs,
Fresh-imp'd and full of flight his glorious wings;
Till driven away by some calamity
Cloud-hidden as the unborn hurricane,
His broad vans from the mountain-top uplifting
The Bird once more his airy life would wheel
Far o'er the sea-rim, and when ocean
Had girdled been by his victorious flight,
Return would he, dim generations dead,
And perish somewhere, all his plumage torn
And rotten in old age, among the cliffs
Whence first he shot and sounded through the sky !"
One summer-dawn all by himself he sail'd
Away in his small skiff, and never more
Was seen in Morven. Passion for the sea,
By the black billows and the hollow winds
Had on that Loch been blown into the heart
Of one by nature for adventures born
Perilous and far; and in delirium
Of wild imagination stormwards borne

Into the bowling bosom of the Main,
The mountaineer no beauty in his glens
Saw, stretch'd afar in their still steadfastness;
But saw all beauty in the glens afloat
When seas are running mountains high, and ships
Descending and ascending gloriously,
Dallying with danger and in love with death.

Bound for an Indian isle, a ship of war
Sail'd, the Saldanha, and young Unimore
From the mast-head survey'd a glorious sea
With new stars crowded, lustrous far beyond
The dim lights of his native clime. His soul
Had its desire, when, blowing steadily,
The breezes of the tropics fill'd her sails
Propitious, and the joyful Vessel seem'd
At her own will to steer her own lone way
Along her own dominion; or when calms
Enchain'd her with her shadow in the sun,
As for a day of Sabbath rest,-or when
The black blast all at once her snow-white sails
Smote, till she laid her streamer'd glory down
Almost on level with the deep, then rose
Majestically back into the storm,
And through the roar went roaring, not a reef
Ta'en in, for well did the Saldanha love
To see the lambent lightning sport and play
Round her top-gallant, while a cataract
Of foam, split by her prow, went rolling by
Her flashing sides, and league-long in her wake
Tumulted the Ocean.

Many a widow'd tear His Lady-Mother shed for him in vain. For after dismal silence fill'd with dreams, Uncertain rumours flew from port to port, And penetrated, like the plague, to homes Among the mountain-depths—She had gone down, 'Twas said, at sea, gone down with all her crew. Drift-wood picked up upon the Indian shore Told the Saldanha's death; and savages, Fierce Malays, with their creases, boarding there A native trader, other weapons shewed That once belong'd to that ill-fated ship. Rumours ere long were rife of mutineers Scuttling the ship, and that her boats were seen When she was sinking, making for the shore In spite of all her shrieks—but dismal tales Fly fast and far still gathering misery, Reddening with fouler blood-streaks, till the eyes Of horror have been feasted, and her ears Sated with crime and death!

But never more
Was the Saldanha heard of, nor her crew-
Forgotten the lost ship with all her ghosts.

Nightlike blank blindness fell upon the soul
Of her the childless widow, black as death.
So lay she motionless for two long years,
Nor saw nor heard one living thing, the grave
Not stiller, nor the bones that lie therein.
But wondrous is the principle of life,

And she lived on. She breathed, and breathed, and breathed;
And sometimes from her hollow breast she drew,
So said the watchers, a heart-breaking sigh
From a heart broken, lengthening piteously
As if it ne'er would end. But some new change
Took place within her brain, and she awoke
One morning with unclouded memory,
And said, “ I know our Unimore is drown'd!”

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Then came long years of hope, of dismal hope,
Dying one day, and on another bright
As madness; for Imagination dreams
Of wild impossibilities, and Love
Will borrow for a time the eagle's wings
To sweep the isles and rocks, and finding not
What she seeks there, the long-lost beautiful,
Goes down into the caverns of the sea,
Commanding them to render up their dead.
So fared it with this lady—and a Ship
Sometime she saw come sailing up the Loch,
And call'd on all the Castle to behold
Her Unimore's return. Then with a smile
Pressing her pale hand on her forehead wan,
Of God she asked forgiveness, and knelt down
Into a sobbing prayer.

On tales she fed
Of battle and of shipwreck, and of boats
Like insect-covered leaves for weeks afloat
On the wide sea, all dropping one by one
The famish'd sailors, some delirious,
From the frail bark-and of more horrid dooms !
In all his shapes she madly cursed the sea;
Yet all the while Life held her Unimore.
The sea was innocent of his decease;
Falsely of that sin hath she accused the waves ;
The shoals and rocks are guiltless, though they love
Beneath the vessel's keel to lurk, when she
Seems in immortal beauty sailing on,
Yet in the sunshine by the coral cliff
Smitten with sudden death. Her curses fall
In idle agony against the winds,
Though they the storm-proof cables vainly called
Do split like gossamer, when some anchor'd ship,
As by a sun-stroke smitten by a storm,
Drifts shorewards on to wreck; or by a cloud,
A lurid cloud, no bigger at the first
Than a man's hand, for so in tropic climes
The threatening hurricano lours in heaven,–
Death-doom'd, ere Evening shews her golden star.

So dragg'd the dreary years. Sometimes in dreams,
As guilt knows well, and grief, and misery,
An apparition, like an angel, comes
Gliding from heaven, with her relieving hands
To lift the leaden burden from our breast;
When all at once her dewy eyes grow dim,
Fades her celestial face, her figure melts
Into thin air, and waking in our wo,
Our souls are more than ever desolate.
Even so with her who now bewail'd the dead !
Oft Resignation like an angel came,
Obedient to her prayer; but in an hour,

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