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It is not quiet, is not ease ;
But something deeper far than these :
The separation that is here
Is of the grave; and of austere
Yet happy feelings of the dead :
And, therefore, was it rightly said
That Ossian, last of all his race !
Lies buried in this lonely place.

VI.

STEPPING WESTWARD.

While my Fellow-traveller and I were walking by the side of Loch

Ketterine, one fine evening after sunset, in our road to a Hut where in the course of our Tour we had been hospitably entertained some weeks before, we met, in one of the loneliest parts of that solitary region, two well-dressed Women, one of whom said to us, by way of greeting, “What, you are stepping westward?”

66 Yea.

WHAT, you are stepping westward ?

_ 'Twould be a wildish destiny,
If we, who thus together roam
In a strange Land, and far from home,
Were in this place the guests of Chance:
Yet who would stop, or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a Sky to lead him on?

The dewy ground was dark and cold;
Behind, all gloomy to behold;
And stepping westward seemed to be
A kind of heavenly destiny:
I liked the greeting ; 'twas a sound
Of something without place or bound;
And seemed to give me spiritual right
To travel through that region bright.

The voice was soft, and she who spake
Was walking by her native Lake :
The salutation had to me
The very sound of courtesy :
Its power was felt; and while my eye
Was fixed upon the glowing sky,
The echo of the voice enwrought
A human sweetness with the thought
Of travelling through the world that lay.
Before me in my endless way.

VII.

THE SOLITARY REAPER.

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass !
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass !
Alone she cuts, and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of Travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian Sands :
Such thrilling voice was never heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago ;
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again !

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending ;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending ;
I listened — motionless and still ;
And when I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more,

VIII.

ADDRESS

TO

KILCHURN-CASTLE UPON LOCH AWE.

“ From the top of the hill a most impressive scene opened upon our view,

“ – a ruined castle on an Island at some distance from the shore, “ backed by a Cove of the Mountain Cruachan, down which came a “ foaming stream. The Castle occupied every foot of the Island “ that was visible to us, appearing to rise out of the Water, - mists “rested upon the mountain side, with spots of sunshine; there was a “ mild desolation in the low grounds, a solemn grandeur in the moun.

tains, and the Castle was wild, yet stately - not dismantled of Turrets nor the walls broken down, though obviously a ruin.”

Extract from the Journal of my Companion.

Child of loud-throated War! the mountain Stream
Roars in thy hearing ; but thy hour of rest
Is come, and thou art silent in thy age;
Save when the wind sweeps by and sounds are caught
Ambiguous, neither wholly thine nor theirs.
Oh! there is life that breathes not; Powers there are
That touch each other to the quick in modes
Which the gross world no sense hath to perceive,
No soul to dream of. What art Thou, from care
Cast off abandoned by thy rugged Sire,
Nor by soft Peace adopted; though, in place
And in dimension, such that thou might'st seem
But a mere footstool to yon sovereign Lord,
Huge Cruachan, (a thing that meaner Hills
Might crush, nor know that it had suffered harm ;)

Yet he, not loth, in favour of thy claims
To reverence, suspends his own; submitting
All that the God of Nature hath conferred,
All that he has in common with the Stars,
To the memorial majesty of Time
Impersonated in thy calm decay !

Take, then, thy seat, Vicegerent unreproved !
Now, while a farewell gleam of evening light
Is fondly lingering on thy shattered front,
Do thou, in turn, be paramount; and rule
Over the pomp and beauty of a scene
Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods, unite
To pay thee homage; and with these are joined,
In willing admiration and respect,
Two Hearts, which in thy presence might be called
Youthful as Spring. Shade of departed Power,
Skeleton of unfleshed humanity,
The Chronicle were welcome that should call
Into the compass of distinct regard
The toils and struggles of thy infancy !
Yon foaming flood seems motionless as Ice;
Its dizzy turbulence eludes the eye,
Frozen by distance; so, majestic Pile,
To the perception of this Age, appear
Thy fierce beginnings, softened and subdued
And quieted in character; the strife,
The pride, the fury uncontrollable,
Lost on the aërial heights of the Crusades ! *

* The Tradition is, that the Castle was built by a Lady during the absence of her Lord in Palestine.

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