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Who has not heard her witching lays,
Bangour the daring task essay'd : Not half the chords his fingers play'd; Yet even then some thrilling lays Bespoke the harp of ancient days.
Redoubted Ramsay's peasant skill
Langhorne arrived from southern dale,
Sweet rung the harp to Logan's hand: Then Leyden came from border land, With dauntless heart and ardour high, And wild impatience in his eye.
Though false his tones at times might be,
The day arrived—blest be the day, Walter the Abbot came that way! The sacred relic met his viewAh! well the pledge of heaven he knew. He screw'd the chords, he tried a strain ; 'Twas wild-he tuned and tried again; Then pour'd the numbers bold and free, The simple magic melody.
The land was charm'd to list his lays; It knew the harp of ancient days. The border chiefs, that long had been In sepulchres unhearsed and green, Pass'd from their mouldy vaults away, In armour red, and stern array,
And by their moonlight halls were seen,
Blest be his generous heart for aye !
From The Queen's Waka
But now the dreadful strand they gain, Where rose the sacred dome of the main; Oft had they seen the place before, And kept aloof from the dismal shore, But now it rose before their prow, And what they beheld they did not know. The tall gray forms, in close-set file, Upholding the roof of that holy pile ; The sheets of foam and the clouds of spray, And the groans that rush'd from the portals gray, Appall’d their hearts and drove them away.
They wheel'd their bark to the east around,
Their path was on wondrous pavement of old, Its blocks all cast in some giant mould, Fair hewn and grooved by no mortal hand, With countermure guarded by sea and by land. The watcher Bushella frown'd over their way, Enrobed in the sea-baize, and hooded with gray; The warder that stands by that dome of the deep, With spray-shower and rainbow, the entrance to
keep. But when they drew nigh to the chancel of ocean, And saw her waves rush to their raving devotion, Astounded and awed to the antes they clung, And listen'd the hymns in her temple she sung. The song of the cliff, when the winter winds blow, The thunder of heaven, the earthquake below, Conjoin'd, like the voice of a maiden would be, Compared with the anthem there sung by the sea.
The solemn rows in that darksome den, Where dimly seen like the forms of men,
Like giant monks in ages agone,
So rapid the motion, the whirl, and the boil, So loud was the tumult, so fierce the turmoil, Appalled from those portals of terror they turn, On pillar of marble their incense to burn. Around the holy flame they prayThen turning their faces all west away, On angel pavement each bent his knee, And sung this hymn to the God of the sea.
From The Queen's Wake.
KILMENY'S RECEPTION BY THE
They claspit her weste and handis fayre, They kissit her cheik, and they kembit her hayir ; And runde cam ilka blumyng fere, Sayn, “Bonnye Kilmeny, ye're welcome here ! Wemyn are freeit of the litiand scorneOh, blest be the daye Kilmeny was born!