[ p.iii ]
[ p.v ]
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The stranger roam'd on Antrim's shore;
And now had fed his raptured glance
From Fairhead Point to Cape Bengore.a
Enthusiast! he had often sigh'd
Those rude romantic scenes to view;
For there, in days of Erin's pride,
The Red-Branch of his fathers grew.b
Proud, towering o'er the angry main,
Bleak Fairhead frowns in high disdain ;
a At the foot of Bengore is the celebrated Giant's Causeway.
b Of the four orders of chivalry established in Ancient Ireland, the Curaithe na Craov-rua, or Knights of the Red Branch, for prowess and discipline, seem to rank foremost in our history. They were next in dignity to the Knights of the Red Collar, an order peculiar to the blood royal. O'Halloran.
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And throws aloft his savage front,|
As daring heaven's empyreal brunt.
Against his scarr'd and cragged breast
A thousand fractured columns rest;
But not a plant that drinks the air
Relieves their greyness chill and bare.
Beneath, his steady feet sustain
An everlasting hurricane :
For there, in wildest fury frantic,
For ever roars the vast Atlantic.
More west, the varying cliffs increase
Its stately masts exulting high,|
As bearing homage to the sky.
There giant pillars form a range,
That seems some Gothic ruin strange,
And draw, from him who gazes on,
A sigh for ages that are gone.
There, dungeon of tyrannic power,
Appears a melancholy tower;
From whence, to pitying Fancy's ear,
Come sounds of wail, and woe, and fear.
There, rob'd in venerable gloom,
Seems model of monastic dome,
Where Seraphim of highest class
Descend at morning hour of mass.
And yonder column's long array
Seems order of Franciscans Gray;
Who down the mount's terrific slope,
In slow procession move;
While o'er their heads, a fearful cope !|
Huge rocks project above :
Dread forms of Colossean stature,
Whose fall would shake the throne of Nature !
But nearer still, what wilder traits
Assume a stern solemnity,|
Might well appal the boldest eye;
But for the hue, the touch, of grace,
That blends with every harsher trace,
And steals insensibly away
The half of their majestic sway.
And when at noon the Eye of Light
Thus, gorgeous clad in mingled pride,|
Arming grotesque the mountain side,
Seems every threatening colonnade
A battle phalanx fierce array'd,
Yet graceful in embroidery bright,
And strange accoutrements of fight.
In every intermediate space,
Half-pleas'd, black Horror shews his face,
Save where in laughing green brocade,
The Shamrock shoots his triple blade,
And waves his honours, fairly won,
In welcome to the summer sun.
In thrice ten thousand columns pil'd,
If Nature there, or only Art,|
Perform'd the Statuary's part !
And sure (but that the vast design,
Which all the schemes of men defies;
Great Nature, stamps it proudly thine ! )
It well might cheat the keenest eyes,
To think that human hand had laid
That sea-invading Esplanade;
Its polygons so perfect are,
And vertically regular :
And yet so dark, so fierce they seem,
That might imagination deem,
(Each upward set without its wain)
'Twas even hell's artillery train,
Thus plac'd by demons, with intent
To blast the chrystal firmament.
But at the influx of the tide,
The ocean ruffling to the gale,|
And speck'd with many a distant sail :
And all in radiation boon,
Scintillant to the summer noon---
Well might the prospect most delight
At mid-day the Beholder's sight,
Though every sense was fain surrender,
O'er-dazzled with the burst of splendour.
And yet not such the Stranger's choice :
And when the Moon's mild witchery beam'd,|
'Twas then the sweetest hour he deem'd;
When every grey majestic column
She kist, with lip of langour, solemn.
At such an hour he lov'd to rove
By cliff, and precipice, and cove;
Thrilling at every glance successive
With pleasure almost too oppressive;
Without a friend but moonlight fairy,
To guide his footstep slow and wary;
That paus'd at every shadiest screen,
Where scarce a ray was creeping;
Least it disturb'd the couch of green,
Where Solitude was sleeping.
And pausing thus, with pleasure grave,
And silvery tremor of the wave,|
That sparkled while it sigh'd.
Or to yon distant Organc turning,
His heart with wild expectance burning,
He'd gaze, till Fancy quickly heated,
And with its own chimeras cheated,
He thought he heard the lofty strain
Adown the mountain float:
Then murmur o'er the rocks again,
In modulated note:
And then with echo sweetly mingle,
In every creek, and cleft, and dingle:
Then breezy voice, and whispering wave,
Their low but dulcet answer gave:
Till, over rock, and cliff, and knoll,
The music of enchantment stole.
c A range of about sixty pillars on the side of the mountain; called The Organ, from its resemblance in shape to that instrument.
/ p.14 /
While, wrapt in his ecstatic mood,|
The fondly listening Stranger stood,
In magic ring, unconscious all,
The King of Fancy's airy hall.
The Stranger far hath rov'd away,
Say, can a Ruin's noble pile|
A Stranger of his peace beguile?
The mighty wreck of elder years,
Can that demand a Stranger's tears?
That Stranger stands within the hall,
Where once his ancient fathers stood;
He gazes on the shatter'd wall,
That drank of yore his fathers' blood:
And in that dear deserted place
No spot of earth his foot can trace,
But that, to Fancy's fond conjecture,
'Tis haunted with some kindred spectre;
In every breeze around him flying,
He hears some kindred spirit sighing;
For Fancy can redeem to-day
The hues of ages past away;
Restoring Time each pristine colour,
Howe'er so long 'twas growing duller :
And would some chance enquirer know|
What Retrospection waken'd woe,
And dim'd his eye with sudden tear ;
He'll find the bitter answer here.
[ p.19 ]
On yonder mountain-rock, of yore
The turrets stood of proud Dunluce,
And darken'd far the craggy shore.
It rose beneath ambitious hands,
As if to mock the siege of Time;
Though now the castle-relic stands
A faded monument of crime.
Its masters were in song renown'd;
And Erin yet will love the sound,
That wakes her dormant Harp of Fame
In memory of McQUILLIN'S name;
Although the note, begun in gladness,|
Is fain to falter into sadness :
Although her Heroes' setting glory
Was quench'd in obscuration gory.
Through many an age, by lineal right,
Its blessing and its boast,
McQUILLINS were the fostering light
Of Antrim's feudal coast.
And none of all the lengthen'd line,
In good or gallant heart surpast
The Chieftain, who, with sway benign,
Was Lord of yonder castle last.
Without the walls his rich domain
Through many a league of beauty ran ;
Around his gates, a goodly train,
Were scatter'd his devoted clan :
And at his board, (whose group reveals|
Of all past joys some touching trace,)
He felt the pride a father feels,
Amid his own superior race.
But one, Affection's earliest gage,
Young OWEN, flower of all his age,
In whom each germ of promise swell'd,
The father's favour'd care was held.
A sail is on the roaring sea ;
McDonnel comes, a chief of fame,
Alliance strict and friendship free,
Knit with the Irish Chief, to claim.
Was Irish Chieftain ever slow
To grasp at Friendship's proffer'd hand ?
Did ever Irish Chieftain throw
The Stranger forth that sought his land ?
With welcome prompt, and heart as warm|
As heart of Inisfaild can be ;
The Hero hail'd the Stranger's form,
That struck his eye right gallantly :
For noble was the Scotchman's air ;
His aspect had a bearing brave ;
A cloud indeed of sternness there,
But such as warrior well might have.
And had that brow been shaded o'er
With cloud yet sterner than it bore,
Its gloom had serv'd but to enhance
The mild appeal of Beauty's glance,
That slowly roll'd its modest pride,
From graceful maiden at his side ;
Who, as the Stranger nam'd his child,
With pleas'd affection blush'd and smil'd.
/ p.23 /
Sweet were the dark-fring'd eyes of blue
That wafted MARION'S soul,
And beautiful the flushing hue
That o'er her features stole.
Her eye beneath its shadowy lid
The genius of her beauty hid,
Which archly couch'd, as if afraid,
Within its sapphire ambuscade ;
And shed, in unsuspected seeming,
A timid and reluctant gleaming ;
Then forth precipitate would fly,
With graceful wildness dashing by,
And on the heart that dream'd of ease
With sudden soft transition seize ;
That heart, a captive unprepar'd,
In Beauty's silken net ensnar'd;
Which coldly, safely, thought to brook|
The spirit of her gentle look
The summer months rejoicing sped ;
Of blithesome days a spangled cluster ;
For Friendship's light around them shed
Its heaven-attemper'd lustre.
And oft the Scot would ply his host
With question of that wond'rous coast ;
Where every view at every glance,
Seem'd Nature brighten'd in Romance.
To all the Irish Chief replied ;
And, in the zeal of honest pride,
Would shew him, not the scenes alone
To every native vassal known,
But, e'en from all reserve releas'd,
The mazy haunts and subtle bowers,
Conceal'd along the sylvan East,|
Or buried 'neath Dunluce's towers.
For then the wooded vales and steeps
Could shade and feed the hind and stag---
Though now the lonely sea-breeze sweeps
O'er arid moor and naked crag.
A cave, whose windings deep and black
Re-echoed hoarse the billow's roar,
Beneath Dunluce pursued its track,
Which strangers vainly might explore.
'Twas here, in time of war and leaguer,
Their castle's subterraneous haven,
When deem'd the foe, for triumph eager,
That nought could feed them but the raven ;
At dead of night, the laden boat,
Their sure resource, was wont to float ;
And while the disappointed foe|
By turns with rage and hope would glow ;
Dunluce from day to day would foil
Their slow blockade or stormy broil,
And mock the vain impatient toil :
Proud as the rock on which it stood,
That spurneth back the foaming flood.
Even this, in friendly trust divulg'd,
The Scotchman's scrutiny indulg'd ;
And while with interest mute he listen'd,
His eyes with raptur'd wildness glisten'd.
The Chief observ'd that visage darkling,
For once, with Joy's vibration sparkling :
With Gratitude's electric start,
He snatch'd him to his fervent heart ;
And blest him for the kindly zeal
That thus exulted in his weal.
But why does OWEN'S ardour fail,
That proud and wild, but noble boy?
And why is OWEN'S cheek so pale,
Amid the general sense of joy?
Is it the spark of sentient fire,
Within his youthful bosom stealing?
That kindles there a soft desire,
That nurtures there a tender feeling?
O no : yet MARION'S witching grace
His heart's soft sigh might well have snatch'd;
Not even Erin's loveliest face
That Caledonian beauty match'd.
But OWEN shuns the maiden's sight,
And wanders through the darksome woods,
Or listens, till the noon of night,
To screeching winds and tumbling floods.
At times, indeed, he'll near her stay,|
And fix his dark wild eye on her's ;
And, now and then, a fit-ful ray
Darts through an opening cloud of tears.
Some secret trouble haunts his brain,
But 'tis not like to Passion's pain ;
Or if it be a lover's anguish,
It seems without return to languish.
She knows it not, or heeds it not,
Yet OWEN too might wake her sigh ;
For many a dame, of nobler lot,
Would bless the smile of OWEN'S eye.
And there is something in her air,
And something in her cheek's expression,
That shews the shade of Sorrow there,
Some tender Sorrow's faint confession.e
/ p.29 /
There was a solitary spot,
Beyond the Castle's eastern wing,
Where young Romance might feed the thought,
Too wild to be like earthly thing.
Of yore it was a hermit's cave :
Hard by his reverend ashes lay ;
And thither many a pilgrim wave
Would rove to kiss his sacred clay.
There OWEN often sat to hear
The sounds that most his soul could please ;
Such sounds as common bosoms fear ;
The shrieks of winds, and woods, and seas ;
With whose wild harmony sublime,
He'd make his Harp as wildly chime.
It chanc'd---shone, wheel'd by Time through air,
The starry tissu'd wain of night ;
And from the Moon's effulgent car|
Were drop'd inspiring rays of light :
'Twas one of those delicious hours,
When each bright spirit rides the gale,
And o'er the night such radiance showers,
'Tis only a transparent veil.
The hour when pensive Beauty's roll
Their slow soft looks the moon to meet,
Whose beams delight the mournful soul,
And make the taste of Sorrow sweet.
It chanc'd, as OWEN sought the place,
Already there some creature stir'd :
Amaz'd, the wanderer check'd his pace ;
And soon a harp and voice he heard !
IT is not that his cheek is fair,
His eye impress'd with Beauty's seal,
But that the hand of silent Care|
Hath dash'd a mournful meaning there;
Which Pity's eye would fain reveal,
And Pity's hand would gladly heal.
Youth is the vernal morn of joy,
But, ah! when Pity with him tries
Disdain'd a woman's weak controul.
The air was sad, but wond'rous sweet ;
'Twas chasten'd Melancholy's choice ;
'Twas Beauty's plain in Love's retreat ;
'Twas OWEN'S harp, and MARION'S voice!
And unobserv'd the Youth could view,
Athwart the half-clos'd lattice favouring,
The tear that dim'd her eye of blue,
Like star in realms of azure wavering;
" And is it thus?" the Youth exclaim'd,
With Wonder's mad'ning rapture fir'd:
" And can it be? was OWEN nam'd
In strains that heaven alone inspir'd?"
He onward flew---when Terror's shriek
The self-same moment heard and hush'd;
O how was Beauty's burning cheek
With Shame's divine confusion flush'd!
The breathless pause---the mute surprise ;|
The blush of exquisite distress ;
The look that all in vain denies
That secret song of tenderness,
And like a troubled summer day,
A moment shoots the flash of anger,
And then again dissolves away
To more delightful languor ;
Sweet MARION! 'twas bliss to see
The charm of thy perplexity!
And as the Boy embarrass'd knelt,
Nor knew to name the throb he felt;
Nor ventur'd to unload his breast
Of feelings it had long supprest ;
Nor dar'd his newborn hope advance
Beyond the pleading of a glance ;
O lovely MARION! didst thou long
Refuse to own that secret song?
When kindred hearts together meet,
And mingle in Affection's union,
Heaven lends its mystic influence sweet
To bless that chaste communion :
And when through Nature's fair domain
Together stray enchanted lovers,
For them each charm of Nature's reign
A sweeter spell discovers.
The mild moonshine for them is milder ;
The murmurings of the wave are wilder ;
The sober mist the mountain bears
A livelier tinge of purple wears ;
Each chequer'd flower the vale defends,
More harmonizing colours blends ;
For them can every morning rise,
Fair as the first in Paradise ;
And every rosied evening gem|
Reflects a ray of bliss to them.
Far o'er the cliffs of Antrim's shore
Together would they wander ;
And on the bleaching billows' roar
In pleasant silence ponder;
But oft as OWEN'S ear inclin'd
To catch the gloomy voice of waters,
He'd turn, and thus, with gloomier mind,
Address the star of Scotia's daughters :
" O MARION! soon that bounding tide
From grey Dunluce shall waft thee far;
Thy bark's gay pennon soon shall ride
The breezes of thy native air,
And ne'er again shall gaily stream
O'er Antrim's happy shore ;|
And I shall weep the brilliant dream,
That must return no more :
And I shall ramble here alone,
And mourn thee, beauteous Vision! flown :
And I shall say : she hither came,
A torch of heaven---a lightening ray ;
To dart into my soul its flame,
And leave it then to waste away !"
Of all the griefs that pain the heart,
Where Love has built his fervid cell,
The sternest struggle is---to part ;
The hardest word is---fare thee well!
It came, that morning hour of care ;
The sail was set---the anchor weigh'd ;
And far away the breezes bare|
The thoughtful Sire and weeping Maid.
And months roll'd on; and OWEN'S breast,
A wilderness of sadness,
One lingering bud of hope carest ;
One orphan child of gladness.
McDonnel's parting promise said,
That e'er the winter tempest tost,
His prow again should bear a-head
For Antrim's turret-mantled coast.
That friendly pledge to OWEN'S ear
As MARION'S lay of love was sweet,
Yet could he not subdue the fear,
That said they never more should meet.
'Twere vain to tell how many a time,
The cloud-embracing heights he'd climb,
Whose hidden brows the eye of man
Till then had never thought to scan ;
Where oft the eagle by him rushing,|
Her powerful eye indignant flushing,
Would fill the air with angry screeching ;
Far, wild, along those summits reaching ;
Complaining that a human tread
Should dare approach her rocking bed ;
Should dare arouse her startled pinion,
Within her own sublime dominion !
And down upon the drear expanse,
Where thousand shapes of falsehood dance,
As o'er the main his eye protruded,
How oft, alas! was he deluded!
Each shade approaching, dim and vapoury,
That curl'd its unsubstantial drapery;
Nay, every farthest whitening billow,
That gave the sea-fowl's breast a pillow,
Would seem a sail in cold derision,
To mock his straining aching vision :
Yet, " When will she return ?" he'd cry ;|
And as he ask'd his heart of sorrow,
That sanguine heart would still reply,
" To-morrow, and to-morrow !"
[ p.43 ]
Breath'd heavy and infernal gloom ;
Low, deep, as moan of slave's despair,
Within his smother'd living tomb :
But, lull'd upon the couch of dreams,
Dunluce's reckless household lay ;
Their souls illum'd with fairy beams,
From Fancy's artificial day :
There was but one that fled from sleep,
The night was kindred with his soul ;
He wander'd forth beside the deep,|
To hear the dismal breezes roll ;
And far away did OWEN steal ;
But now, as he retrac'd his roaming,
As if beneath a furrowing keel,
He thought he heard the waters foaming.
He listened : no it could not be ;
At such a storm-portending season,
No bark would trust that pitching sea,
Whose very calm was treason.
It pass'd away, the mimic sound ;
And OWEN on his course proceeded ;
While winds began to howl around,
Undreaded and unheeded.
And now the clouds began to clash,
And nearer now and nearer :
Then came a momentary flash ;
And darkness then was drearer.
The sea-dash'd cavern's far extent,
That wound beneath Dunluce,
Possess'd an unsuspected vent ;
Unknown to public use.
It join'd a lonely avenue,
Remote, behind the Castle slanting,
Where evergreens uncultur'd grew,
And shrubs of every name were flaunting.
One veteran oak, whom years had sunk,
Here shew'd his broad dismember'd trunk,
That could but one unriven branch
Of all its ancient honours launch ;
Yet might afford its hollow breast
A shelter to a casual guest.
Such shelter OWEN lov'd to seek,
When storms were dark, and loud, and fierce ;
For there he'd hark their horrid shriek|
The loudly echoing cavern pierce.
He sought it now ; in hour so dire
It any other heart had aw'd ;
He sought it by the lightening fire,
That flash'd its angry eye abroad.
But now as he approach'd, a form
That seem'd no nursling of the storm,
But rather some seraphic thing,
That in the storm had bruis'd its wing,
And underneath the crashing wood,
As if in fearful shelter, stood ;
A moment glitter'd on his sight ;
And then again was lost in night,
As lent a flitting coruscation
Its momentary scintillation!
" What may this be! I know it well ;|
'Tis MARION'S spectre come to tell:"
He paus'd---he durst not tell his heart,
The madness that would cheat his brain ;
But, lo! the tempest's visage swart
Is lighted with a flash again ;
A vast and widely flaring blaze,
That right athwart him flings its rays ;
And there! O God! it is indeed,
No idle shape of Fancy's breed!
'Tis MARION'S self is standing there!
On OWEN'S eyes, with wondering glare,
Her eyes an instant dwelling ;
And now on his her cheek is sobbing ;
Her breast upon his breast is throbbing,
Its pang of rapture telling !
'Twas long before the Youth could ask
The Maid to break the spell of wonder ;
'Twas long before the Maid could task
Her quivering lips to part asunder ;
At length : " Conflicting with the wave,
Our bark," she said, "is lost on ocean ;
But in our boats we gain'd the cave,
And 'scap'd the dread commotion.
My Sire is gone to rouse your gate ;
Within the cave he bade me wait.
'Twas strange, I thought, in place so drear,
To leave me in the hour of fear ;
While with him of his armed clan
In silence followed every man.
Long did I wait in dread suspense ;
At last resolv'd my passage thence
To try, along yon arbour lone,|
Whose secret OWEN oft had shewn ;
In hope the Castle square to gain,
But darkness made my efforts vain ;
And terror scarce had left me force
To feel my doubtful trembling course !
O OWEN, 'twas a blessed error !
And art thou here ? and art thou safe ?
Alas! a thousand thoughts of terror
My burning brain to phrensy chafe ;
For I have heard, and I have seen ;
O God! those horrid phantoms screen ;
I dread to think, and dread to say ;
And dare not go, and dare not stay ;
Yes : let us seek the Castle gate,
And hear the Oracle of Fate !"
Those words to OWEN'S ear were wild
As ravings of a maniac child;
And as he gave his guiding arm,|
And strove her shuddering heart to calm,
He fear'd that some malignant sprite
Had dash'd her reason with affright ;
Some airy necromancer's charm
Had done her gentle spirit harm.
[ p.53 ]
McDonnel and his clan had sped ;
The clamour-raising winds of Wrath
Conspir'd to lull their tread :
Through every well-known subtle clue
The Scot his silent followers drew :
Through vaults whose striking damp obscure
No human sense might long endure :
Where not a sentry kept his vigil,
And Secrecy had hid her sigil.
Is Friendship then indeed the guide
That lights him on with honest smiles ?
Can Friendship teach him thus hide|
His stolen path through gloomy aisles ?
And doth not Welcome ever wait
To greet McDonnel at the gate ?
O sleepers in the evil hour,
Ye rest without the dream of fear !
And is there not a guardian power,
To thunder in your slumbering ear;
The shades of Death around you lour ;
The knife of Murder stealeth near !
All muffled for the mortal stroke,
Beneath McDonnel's treacherous cloak !
At last the very fort within
McDonnel and his vassals stood :
" Now," cried the ruffian, "we begin
The sacrifice of blood:
And first your weapons on the guard|
Who nightly near the bridge have ward ;
Lest groan of any wretch expiring,
Should rouse their startled watch enquiring."
'Twas said---they darted fleet away,
Upon the unsuspicious prey ;
The wave was loud, the wind was high ;
The owl scarce heard their feeble cry ;
The shivering lip, and closing eye,
Ask faintly wherefore thus they die !
Confus'd they sink---and know not why :
And now, McDonnel, lives not one,
To tell that such a deed was done !
" 'Tis well---now closer draw the snare ;
Around you is their nest ;
Dispatch and stillness be your care ;|
Away---ye know the rest !"
Through winding galleries they disperse ;
A scorpion crawls to every door :
Grim Havoc snuffs the draught of gore ;
And still, alas! with weightiest curse,
Sleep's dull Lethean dews immerse
The dreamers who may wake no more.
And now on each recess of sleep
Those stern assassins slowly creep ;
And now at each unconscious couch,
Behold a plaided murderer crouch ;
And lift his arm---and hold his breath,
Ere he begin the work of death,
As by the pale lamp's sickly beam,
His cruel eye reflects a gleam
Upon the red and dropping dirk,
Already stain'd with bloody work!
And now---O thou mysterious Power !|
In such a spot---at such an hour,
Will not the reverend sleep of Age
Disarm the fierce Destroyer's rage ?
The tranced innocence of youth,
Ah! will not that awake his ruth ?
And will not Beauty's slumbering smile
Away his savage purpose wile ?
No: hear ye not a hundred groans ?
All Hell reverberates their moans;
And all its fiends at once arise,
To mark that scene, with haggard eyes;
Then, shuddering at so black a sight,
Plunge back into their native night.
The Chieftain's couch McDonnel sought;
Resolv'd the deed of darkest crime
Should by his own fell arm be wrought ;|
And give his name to after-time
In hues of villany sublime.
And he had gain'd that couch's side;
Aloft his weapon hung ;
That moment had the warrior died,
By cherish'd adder stung ;
But harsh uneasy visions prest
Upon his troubled brain ;
And at that instant broke the rest,
That ne'er had broke again !
He saw a form that o'er him stood,
He saw the ensign too of blood,
And up the Hero sprung,
And darted on his unknown foe,
And spite of many a struggling blow,
Around him desperate clung.
Now, wrestling fierce, the wall he made ;
And snatching thence a hanging blade,
The dragging foe he from him flings;
Then on with furious valour springs ;
Forth leaps McDonnel's sword amain ;
They meet---they part---they close again :
They grapple now---and now the light
The lamp's dim rays afford,
Strikes full upon the Traitor's sight :
Down drops the Hero's sword !
" Great Powers of Heaven and Earth !" he cries,
" What sight is this to blast mine eyes ?
Say, horrid semblance, art thou not,
McDonnel, the confederate Scot ?"
That subtle damned Renegade !
While thus by dire amaze betray'd,
The generous Chieftain sunk ;|
Rush'd full upon his naked breast,
Deep in his heart his faulchion prest ;
And prone the warrior sunk :
Yet " Spare my children !" ere he died,
" O spare my children !" feebly cried.
Now, dark McDonnel, take thy sword,
And lift it to thy lip abhorr'd ;
Aye, let that sacrilegious lip,
Its every gout of crimson sip ;
Nay, upon blood let bloodhound sup ;
Drink, dark McDonnel, drink it up ;
For 'twill supply thee to the hilt,
The deepest deadliest drug of guilt,
That e'er on soul of mischief fell,
And clogg'd it till it sunk to hell !
/ p.61 /
The carnage ceas'd---but where are those,
Whose hearts were late in joyance heaving ?
Who, on that Eve, had wooed repose,
The Morrow's pleasure preconceiving ?
They thought, alas ! to rise at morn,
And watch the bubbling ocean spray ;
Nor deem'd that o'er their heads forlorn
That sparkling froth should play :
Yet thus it was ; for every corse,
Such was McDonnel's straight command,
Was hurl'd amid the waters hoarse,
And frighten'd far the blushing strand.
Their heart's blood was their only shroud ;
Their wail those waters rudely loud ;
And not a creature crost his breast,
To wish their parted spirits rest :
They lie beneath the restless wave,|
In the green bosom of the deep ;
Alas ! it is a troubled grave,
To take their long and lonely sleep.
And now, perchance, McDonnel's child
Had in the cave been sought ;
But, lo ! with apprehension wild,
She comes, by OWEN brought.
They've passed the square ; they're on the bridge,
A precipice-o'er-hanging ridge ;
That flings across its narrow wall,
And threats the careless walker's fall.f
But there, they may not pass the guard,
By Caledonian sentries barr'd ;
/ p.63 /
" And who are ye ?" cried OWEN then ;|
" And whence is this obstructive daring ?
And where are all my Father's men,
The saffron-vested kerne of Erin ?"
The mocking eyes ; the hands of Scorn
Down pointed to the wave ;
And larum-blast of bugle horn
Was all reply they gave :
It brought their Chief, that larum-blast ;
He comes, he sees : a moment past,
In death the knees of OWEN stagger ;
His heart has felt McDonnel's dagger !
" And would'st thou know ?" the monster cried ;
While back on MARION'S maddening breast
His sinking dying victim prest :
" And would'st thou know, thou Child of Pride,
Why I have done the glorious deed,|
By which DUNLUCE'S household bleed ?
I'll tell thee! in our Scottish annals,
Thy house has work'd us many a woe ;
Upon our outrag'd coast, in channels
Has bid the blood of Donnels flow.
E'en from my earliest youth I swore
To' avenge the wrongs my fathers bore ;
E'en from my mother's breast I drank
The milk of hatred to your race ;
And deep into my heart it sank,
And gave no other passion place.
Intestine broils divided all
The summer of my youth ;
But still my soul preserv'd the gall
That was to work your ruth.
I came at last in Friendship's guise,
And ye devour'd the shallow bait ;
Fools! read ye not the honest eyes,|
That told you of their quenchless hate ?
I mark'd your Cave's approach conceal'd,
In idiot confidence reveal'd ;
And from that hour conceiv'd the plot,
Should make your name a sanguine blot !
And I have done the deed; and thou,
The boasted of the crew of pride !
May'st seek thy Sire and kindred now
In yonder blood discolour'd tide ;
For there they lie: they met their doom
Even in their sanctuaries of slumber ;
But I shall want their household room ;
So gave the shark their deaths to number ;
Go, seek them there---"
and now his grasp
Had sever'd him from MARION'S clasp ;
" But no:" exclaim'd the Maid ;|
" My Sire hath wove a web of slaughter,
And will not sure deny his daughter,
To add another braid."
Still on the bridge the Maiden stood ;
Her white arm stain'd with OWEN'S blood ;
And deep beneath the sea was splashing,
The rocks in bellowing fury lashing.
In stricter fold she round him twin'd ;
He felt her o'er his bosom wind ;
And rais'd his pallid faded face,
To thank her for that last embrace.
Together now their lips were muttering ;
Their souls were there together fluttering ;
And each on each beam'd forth the while
A languid and a mournful smile ;
Of which no earthly tongue may tell|
The tenderness ineffable :
Then, in the strength of her despair ;
She with him plunges into air !
Adown the dreadful void they sink ;
The whirling waves affrighted shrink
As they receive the double freight ;
Down dashing loud its headlong weight.
" Save, save the daughter of your Chief !"
In the mad agony of grief
Accurst McDonnel cries ;
" Save her !" a hundred mouths exclaim,
A hundred torches lend their flame
To watch the billows' rise.
'Tis vain ; those torches only lend
Their light to guide them through the ocean,
As down their liquid path they wend,
In sobbing undulating motion :
And deep and deeper as they glided,|
The tempest more and more subsided ;
For even the Spirits of the Blast,
Who in the wreck of men rejoice ;
Were soften'd as they by them past ;
And hush'd their harsh and horrid voice !
The fact by which DUNLUCE CASTLE is here described to have been lost to the family of its original possessors is historical. The Writer has added what fictitious circumstances he thought proper.
Printed by Johnson and Warwick,
At the private Press of LEE PRIORY, Kent.