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earthly instrument was the scarce au- tunes of which I sliould never tire, dible dirge! It seemed to float over were they to be dinned till doomsday. the stream, every foam-bell emitting These alone can we hum truly, and a plaintive note, till the airy anthem without putting our foot through the came floating over my couch, and then air. Nothing so grand as a cataractalighted without ceasing among the accompaniment to martial music! heather. The pattering of little feet Say what you will about solitude, was heard, as if living creatures were what looks so beautiful by moonlight arranging themselves in order, and among trees, as scattered groups of then there was nothing but a more beaux and belles, appearing by fits and ordered hymn. The harmony was starts, like native sylvans in holiday like the melting of musical dew-drops, array? Hark! they are answering and sung, without words, of sorrow
each other with shrill shouts, and and death. I opened my eyes, or ra- peals of laughter, and many a harmther sight came to them, when closed, less kiss is ravished in the dim glades. and dream was vision ! Hundreds of What pretty terror and astonishment creatures, no taller than the crest of strike a whole group motionless on the lapwing, and all hanging down the cliff, as our venerable Figure their veiled heads, stood in a circle emerges, like the hoary genius of the on a green plat among the rocks; and Beauly, from a chasm, and ascends a in the midst was a bier, framed, as it natural flight of steps towards the seemed, of flowers unknown to the virgins, each one leaning, in her Highland hills; and on the bier a alarm, on the breast of a protecting Fairy, lying with uncovered face, pale swain! Had we suffered our beard, as the lily, and motionless as the snow. descending to sweep our aged breast, The dirge grew fainter and fainter, what an incomparable Hermit! It is and then died quite away; when two plain, from the looks of all, that we of the creatures came from the circle, are taken for the Man of the Moon. and took their station, one at the head But even here a contributor solves the and the other at the foot of the bier. riddle, and " Christopher North,” They sang alternate measures, not “ Christopher North," repeated by a louder than the twittering of the awa- chorus of nymphs, echoes among the kened wood-lark before it goes up the rocks. And now, all gathering togedewy air, but dolorous and full of the ther on a platform above the Falls, desolation of death. The flower-bier we foot it deftly to the love-awakening stirred; for the spot on which it lay waltz, in revolutions like the heavenly sank' slowly down, and in a few mo- bodies, till the stars themselves seem ments the greensward was smooth as to have caught the contagion, and with ever—the very dews glittering above rays round each other's glowing zones, the buried Fairy. A cloud passed over
wheel and whirl on the floor of hea. the moon, and, with a choral lament, A glorious cold collation ! the funeral troop sailed duskily away, Table surrounded by the Band, who heard afar off, so still was the mid- ever and anon reduce the flirtation into night solitude of the glen. Then the hand pressure, by sudden bursts of disenthralled Orchy began to rejoice martial or venereal music !—That as before, through all her streams and Black, with the clashing symbols falls; and at the sudden leaping of the twinkling aloft over his six-feet-high waters and outbursting of the moon, curly head in the moonglint, must be I awoke.
of the blood-royal of the “ Sculs made Away, then, from the Isle of the of Fire, and Children of the Sun !”, Fairy's grave-away on winged thought, How disdainfully would he annihilate at the rate of a hundred miles in the the petty abolitionist by one white minute, and lo! the Falls of the scowl of those fiery eyes ! 'What cables Beauly! A pleasure party of ladies and of muscle lift up his huge flourishing gentlemen from Inverness, as I am an hands! and how his yard-broad chest Editor-and the band of a militia re- distends with power, as his wide digiment! Well, the Duke of York's verging arms make the pectoral start March is intelligible music, and it is like that of a Titan !--Christopher pleasant to count the bars, after that North is called upon unanimously for unscientific and bewildering dirge of a song, and what more appropriate to the green-robed people. God save the the scene than the following Irish King, and Rule Britannia, are two melody
Oh! Saint Patrick was a gentleman, And came from decent people; He
built a church in Dub - lin town, And on it put a stee-ple. His
fa - ther was a Gal - la - gher, His mo-ther was a Bra - dy; His
cess attend Saint Patrick's fist, For he's the handsome saint, O. Oh! he
gave the snakes and toads a twist, He's a beauty without paint, 0.
But to be back in Munster,
I never more would once stir.
And plenty of the praties;
Oh! success, &c.
Somewhat too much of mirth and -And is there no God! The astounded merriment—so up, up to yon floating spirit shrinks from superstition into fleecy cloud, and away to the Fall of atheism-and all creeds are dashed Foyers. Here is solitude with a ven- into oblivion by the appalling roar. geance-stern, grim, dungeon soli- But a still small voice is heard within tude ! How ghostlike those white ske- my heart—the voice of conscienceleton pines, stripped of their rhind by and its whispers shall be heard when tempest and lightning, and dead to all the waters of the earth are frozen the din of the raging cauldron! That into nothing, and earth itself shrivelcataract, if descending on a cathedral, . led up like a scroll ! would shatter down the pile into a
Our Planet has been all the while million of fragments. But it meets the spinning, along round the sun, and on black foundations of the cliff, and flies its own axis, to the music of the up to the starless heaven in a storm of spheres ; and lo! the law of light has spray. We are drenched, as if lean- been obeyed by the rising morn. Night ing in a hurricane over the gunwale has carried off the thunder, and the of a ship, rolling under bare poles freed spirit wonders, “can that be the through a heavy sea. The very solid Fall of Foyers ?” We emerge, like a globe of earth quakes through her gay creature of the element, from the entrails. The eye, reconciled to the chasm, and wing our way up the glen, darkness, now sees a glimmering and towards the source of the cataract. In gloomy light-and lo, a bridge of a a few miles all is silent. A more peacesingle arch hung across the chasm, ful place is not among all the mounjust high enough to let through the tains. The water-spout that had fallen triumphant torrent. Has some hill- during night has found its way into loch burst its barriers ? For what a Lochness, and the torrent has subsided world of waters comes now tumbling into a burn. What the trouts did into the abyss ! Niagara ! hast thou a with themselves in the “ red jawing fiercer roar? Listen—and you think speat,” we are not naturalist enough there are momentary pauses of the to affirm, but we must suppose they thunder, filled up with goblin groans ! have galleries running far into the All the military music-bands of the banks, and corridors cut in the rocks, army of Britain would here be dumb where they swim about in water withas mites—Trumpet, Cymbal, and the out a gurgle, safe as golden and silver Great Drum! There is a desperate fishes in a glass-globe, on the table of temptation in the hubbub to leap into my lady's boudoir. Not a fin on their destruction. Water-horses and kelpies, backs has been injured- not a scale keep stabled in your rock-stalls—for if struck from their starry sides. There you issue forth the river will sweep they leap in the sunshine among
the you down, before you have finished burnished clouds of insects, that come one neigh, to Castle Urquhart, and floating along on the morning air from dash you, in a sheet of foam, to the bush and bracken, the licheny clifftop of her rocking battlements. A pret- stones, and the hollow-rhinded woods. ty place indeed for a lunar rainbow ! How glad the union of hum and murBut the moon has been swept from mur! Brattle not away so, ye foolish heaven, and no brightness may tinge lambs, for although unkilted, unplaidthe black firmament that midnight ed, and unplumed in any tartan array, builds over the liquid thunder. What we are nathless human beings. You nea glorious grave for the Last Man! A ver beheld any other Two-legs butCelts. grave without a resurrection ! Oh, Yet think not that Highlanders people Nature! Nature ! art thou all in all ? the whole earth, any more than they
fight and win all its battles. Croak eth not. The Fairies, whom from croak-croak !--Ay, that is the cry childhood she has heard of in sweet of blood—and yonder he sits-old snatches of traditionary song, and Methusaleh the Raven-more cruel whose green dresses she has herself every century—the steel-spring sinews uncertainly seen glinting through the of his wings strengthened by the hazles,--the Silent People are harmless storms of years-and Time triumphing as the shadows, and come and go by in the clutch of his iron talons. Could moonlight in reverence round the he fight the Eagle? Perhaps—but their Christian's heather-bed. If grim shapes ancestors made a treaty of peace, be are in the mists and caverns, they canfore the Christian era, and all the de- not touch a hair of the head that has scendants of the high-contracting bowed down in morning or evening powers have kept it on the mountain's prayer, at the sacrifice of a humble brow, and the brow of heaven. heart. Even with her religion there
A Shieling! There is but this one blends a superstitious shade, coming beautiful brake in the solitude, and from the same mysterious feelings, and there the shepherd has built his sum she lays a twig of the birken spray mer nest. That is no shepherd looking within the leaves of her Bible. From up to the eastern skies, for scarcely yet human beings she has nought to has the rosy dawn sobered into day- dread, for sacred to every Highlandbut Shepherdess, as lovely as ever trod er is the Shieling where his daughArcadian vale in the age of gold. The ter or his sister may be singing beauty may not be her own, for the through the summer-months her som very spirit of beauty overflows the so- litary song. On the Sabbath-day, litary place, and may have settled, but too, she sits among her friends in for a morning hour, on the Highland the kirk, except when the mountainmaiden, apparelled after the fashion torrents are swollen ; and her friends, of her native hills. Yet, methinks 'by ones and twos,” visit her for half that glowing head borrows not its a day, and take a cheerful farewell. lustre from the chance charity of the One there is who dwells many a long sky, but would shine thus starlike, league beyond the mountains, on the were the mountain gloom to descend shore of a sea-loch, who, when the suddenly as night upon the shieling. nights are hardly distinguished from Now she bounds up among the rocks! the days, travels thither, and returns and lo! standing on a cliff, with her unknown but to their happy selves, arm round the stem of a little birch for their love is a sinless secret buried tree, counts her flock feeding among in bliss. He takes her to his bosom dews and sunshine. The blackbird during the midnight hush of the hills, pipes his jocund hymn-for having as a brother would a sister, returning wandered hither with his bride on a from the wars, and finding her an orwarm St Valentine's day from the woods phan. In those arms she careth not of Foyers, the seclusion pleased them whether she wakes or sleeps, and well, and they settled for a season in sometimes on opening her eyes out of the brake, now endeared to them for a suddenly dissolved dream, she sees sake of the procreant cradle in the hole that he has slipt away, and starting to low stump of the fallen ivied oak. The the door, watches bis figure disappear Shepherdess waits for a pause in his over the summit of the well-known roundelay, and then trills an old glee- ridge-on no very distant trysting-day some Gaelic air, that may well silence to return. the bird, as the clear, wild, harp-jike Here have we been for an hour at notes tinkle through the calm, faintly least hobbling up and down Prince's answered by the echoes that seem just Street, with our eyes in a fine phrenzy to be awakening from sleep.
rolling, in a gross mistake about the And doth the Child not fear to live Dumfries Mail. The loungers have all alone by herself, night and day, in been gazing on us in wonder and fear, the Shieling ? Hath she not even her knowing our irascibility in our imalittle sister with her, now and then, ginative moods, and keeping, thereto speak, and constantly to smile in fore, out of the wind of our crutch. the solitude ? Can her father and mo. While our old crazy body has indeed ther send her fair innocence unshield- been inoving to and fro, like an autoed so far away from their own Hut ? maton, between the Mound and the There is nothing to fear, and she feare Magazine, our soul, as you have seen, Vol. XIX