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What though far off, from some dark dell espied, His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,

Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed, At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,

And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.

Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed! Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen, Far from his flocks, and smoking hamlet, then! To that sad spot where hums the sedgy weed: On him, enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood, Shall never look with Pity's kind concern,

But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return! Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape, To some dim hill, that seems uprising near, To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape, In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear. Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise,

Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source!

What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthful force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless


For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way;
For him in vain at to-fall of the day,

His babes shall linger at th' unclosing gate!
Ah, ne'er shall he return! Alone, if Night,

Her travel'd limbs in broken slumbers steep! With drooping willows drest, his mournful sprite Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep: Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand, Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering check, And with his blue-swoln face before her stand,

And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: "Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,

"At dawn or dusk, industrious as before;

"Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew, "While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore,

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Drown'd by the Kelpie's' wrath, nor e'er shall aid thee more!"

9 The water fiend.

Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill

Thy muse may, like those feathery tribes which


From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle, To that hoar pile 10 which still its ruins shows: In whose small vaults a pigmy-folk is found,

Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd ground!

Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west,

The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid; Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,

No slaves revere them, and no wars invade: Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,

The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power, In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aërial council hold.

10 One of the Hebrides is called the Isle of Pigmies; where it is reported, that several miniature bones of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel


"Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are interred.

But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,

On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting tides,
Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides.
Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace!
Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,
Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,
And all their prospect but the wintry main.

With sparing temperance, at the needful time,
They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-prest,
Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading climb,
And of its eggs despoil the solan's12 nest.
Thus, blest in primal innocence they live,
Suffic'd, and happy with that frugal fare

Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare;
Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!

Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes engage
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;
For not alone they touch the village breast,
But fill'd, in elder time, th' historic page.

" An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.

There, Shakspeare's self, with every garland


Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,

In musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrors drest the magic scene. From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast!

The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answering bosom pierce;

Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold, The native legends of thy land rehearse; To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy pow'rful verse.

In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to Nature true,
And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view,
Th' heroic muse employ'd her Tasso's art!

How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke,
Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd!
When each live plant with mortal accents spoke,
And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd sword!
How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind,
To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!

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