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Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast ?
'Tis the fire shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyry that beacons the darkness of heaven.
O, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood !
LOCHIEL. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one !
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock !
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clan Ronald the dauntless and Moray the proud ;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array — 5 SEER. Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day !
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal :
'T is the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the blood-hounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo, annointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold where he flies on his desolate path !
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight : *
Rise! rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight !
* Alluding to the perilous adventures and final escape of Charles, after the battle of Culloden.
'T is finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors,
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn ?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near ;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ;
His death-bell is tolling ; 0, mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell !
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale — 6 LOCHIEL. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the
Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their
Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And, leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.
XCII. — THE EXECUTION OF MONTROSE.
(WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE AYTOUN was born in the county of Fife, in Scotland, in 1813, and died August 4, 1865. He was called to the Scotch bar in 1810, and in 1845 was elected to the professorship of rhetoric and belles-lettres in the University of Edinburgh, which he held till his death. He was a prominent contributor to “ Blackwood's Magazine.” The following extract is from the “ Lays of the Scotch Cavaliers,” a collection of stirring ballads illustrating the history of Scotland
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, was executed in Edinburgh, May 21, 1650, for an attempt to overthrow the power of the commonwealth, and restore Charles II. The ballad is a narrative of the event, supposed to be related by an aged Highlander, who had followed Montrose throughout his campaigns, to his grandson, Evan Cameron. Lochaber is a district of Scotland in the southwestern part of the county of Inverness. Dundee is a seaport town in the county of Forfar. Inverlochy was a castle in Inverness-shire, Montrose was betrayed by a man named MacLeod of Assynt. Dunedin is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh. Warristoan was Archibald Johnston of Warristoun, an inveterate enemy of Montrose.]
Come hither, Evan Cameron! Come, stand beside my knee:
I hear the river roaring down towards the wintry sea;
There's shouting on the mountain-side, there's war within the blast,
Old faces look upon me, old forms go trooping past;
I hear the pibroch wailing amidst the din of fight,
And my dim spirit wakes again upon the verge of night.
'T was I that led the Highland host through wild Lochaber's snows,
What time the plaided clans came down to battle with Montrose.
I've told thee how the Southrons fell beneath the broad claymore,
And how we smote the Campbell clan by Inverlochy's shore.
I've told thee how we swept Dundee, and tamed the Lindsay's pride ;
But never have I told thee yet how the Great Marquis died !
A traitor sold him to his foes ; O deed of deathless shame!
I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet with one of Assynt's name -
Be it upon the mountain's side, or yet within the glen,
Stand he in martial gear alone, or backed by arméd men –
Face him, as thou wouldst face the man who wronged thy sire's re-
Remember of what blood thou art, and strike the caitiff down.
They brought him to the Watergate, hard bound with hempen span,
As though they held a lion there, and not an unarmed man.
They set him high upon a cart — the hangman rode below -
They drew his hands behind his back, and bared his noble brow:
Then, as a hound is slipped from leash, they cheered—the common
throng, And blew the note with yell and shout, and bade him pass along.
But when he came, though pale and wan, he looked so great and high,
So noble was his manly front, so calm his steadfast eye,-
The rabble rout forebore to shout, and each man helì his breath,
For well they knew the hero's soul was face to face with death.
And then a mournful shudder through all the people crept,
And some that came to scoff at him, now turned aside and wept.
Had I been there with sword in hand, and fifty Camerons by,
That day through high Dunedin's streets had pealed the slogan cry.
Not all their troops of trampling horse, nor might of mailéd men-
Not all the rebels in the south had borne us backwards then!
Once more his foot on Highland heath had trod as free as air,
Or I, and all who bore my name, been laid around him there.
It might not be. They placed him next within the solemn hall,
Where once the Scottish kings were throned amidst their nobles all.
But there was dust of vulgar feet on that polluted floor,
And perjured traitors filled the place where good men'sate before.
With savage glee came Warristoun to read the murderous doom,
And then uprose the great Montrose in the middle of the room.
Now by my faith as belted knight, and by the name I bear,
And by the bright Saint Andrew's cross that waves above us there
Yea, by a greater, mightier oath, and oh, that such should be !
By that dark stream of royal blood that lies 'twixt you and me,
I have not sought in battle-field a wreath of such renown,
Nor hoped I, on my dying day, to win a martyr's crown!
The morning dawned full darkly, the rain came flashing dowr, And the jagged streak of the levin-bolt lit up the gloomy town: The thunder crashed across the heaven, the fatal hour was come, Yet age broke in, with muffled beat, the 'larum of the drum. There was madness on the earth below, and anger in the sky, And young and old, and rich and poor, caine forth to see him die,
Ah God! that ghastly gibbet! how dismal 't is to see
The great, tall, spectral skeleton, the ladder, and the tree !
Hark! Hark! it is the clash of arms, the bells begin to toll –
He is coming! he is coming! God's mercy on his soul!
One last long peal of thunder — the clouds are cleared away,
And the glorious sun once more looks down amidst the dazzling day
He is coming! he is coming! — Like a bridegroom from his loom
Came the hero from his prison to the scaffoid and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead, there was lustre in his eye,
And he never walked to battle more proudly than to die:
There was color in his visage, though the cheeks of all were wan, And they marvelled as they saw him pass, that great and goodly man!
A beam of light fell o'er him, like a glory round the shriven,
And he climbed the lofty ladder, as it were the path to heaven.
Then came a flash from out the cloud, and a stunning thunder roll,
And no man dared to look aloft, for fear was on every soul.
There was another heavy sound, a hush and then a groan ;
And darkness swept across the sky - the work of death was done!
XCIII. - EXECUTION OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.
(JOHN LINGARD was born in Winchester, England, February 5, 1771, and died July 13. 1851. He was a clergyman of the Roman Catholic faith. The chief literary labor of his life was his “ History of England,” from the earliest period down to the revolution of 16:8; the latest edition of which is in ten volumes, octavo. This work has taken a high and permanent rank in the historical literature of his country. The style is simple, correct, and manly, with. out being remarkable for beauty or eloquence. The chief value of the work consists in its thorough and patient research into the original sources of Eng. tish history. How far it is impartial, when treating upon controverted points, is a question which neither Catholics nor Protestants are exactly in a position to answer. Dr. Lingard was a sincere and conscientious Catholic; his temperament was calm and judicial; and if he betrays any bias in favor of his own faith, it is, perhaps, no more than that unconscious bias which always attends genuine conviction. His “ History,” at all events, should be carefully read by every one who is not content with the cheap task of deciding before he hears both sides.
Dr. Lingard also wrote “ The History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, and some manuals of religious teaching.
Mary of Scotland, after the total defeat of her party at the battle of Langside, in 1568, fled to England, and threw herself upon the protection of Elizabeth, queen of England, by whom, however, she was kept a prisoner for nineteen years. She was then tried by a commission, for engaging in a conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and condemned to death. She was behcaded, February 8, 1587, at Fotheringay Castle, in Northamptonshire; and the following is a description of her execution.]
In the midst of the great hall of the castle had been raised a scaffold, covered with black
and surrounded with a low railing. About seven, the doors were thrown open; the gentlemen of the county entered with their at