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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! He told me where the relic lay; Pointed my way with ready will, Afar on Ettrick's wildest hill; Watch'd my first notes with curious eye, And wonder'd at my minstrelsy: He little ween'd a parent's tongueSuch strains had o'er my cradle sung. From The Queen's Wake.
BUT now the dreadful strand they gain,
And what they beheld they did not know.
They wheel'd their bark to the east around, And moor'd in basin, by rocks imbound; They awed to silence, they trode the strand Where furnaced pillars in order stand, All framed in the liquid burning levin, And bent like the bow that spans the heaven, Or upright ranged in horrid array, With purfle of green o'er the darksome gray.
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,
Whom the God of the ocean had sear'd to stone, And bound in his temple for ever to lean,
In sackcloth of gray and visors of green,
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!
Now shall the land of the spiritis see,
Now shall it ken quhat ane womyn may be !
The viewless teiris haif ouir them shedde;
We haif sein! we have sein!-but the tyme mene
And the angelis will blush at the day of doom!
Oh, wald the fayrest of mortyl kynde Aye keipe thilke holye troths in mynde― That kyndred spiritis ilk motion see, Quha watch their wayis with anxious e'e, And grieve for the guilt of humanitye! Oh, sweit to hevin the maydenis prayer, And the siche that hevis ane bosom se fayre ! And deir to hevin the wordis of truthe, And the praise of vertu fra beautyis muthe! And deire to the viewless formis of ayre, The mynde that kythis as the body fayre From The Queen's Wake.