Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

THE

HIGHLANDERS:

OR

SKETCHES

OF

HIGHLAND SCENERY & MANNERS:

WITH

SOME REFLECTIONS

ON

EMIGRATION.

WRITTEN DURING THE AUTHOR'S RECOVERY FROM A

LONG ILLNESS, IN SPRING 1795.

IN FIVE PARTS.

A 2

THE HIGHLANDERS:

PART FIRST,

ARGUMENT.

Complaints of Languor and Solitude, rendered more melancholy by the

gloomy season. Return of Spring. Restored Health. Consequent joy and gratulation. Aspect of Nature on the late appearance of Spring in the Northern Climate. Disappointment and concern at the Depopulation of the neighbouring glens. Apostrophe to the Spirit of Malvina. Parallel betwixt the degenerate race succeeding the Fingalian Heroes, and the mechanical and frigid people who replace the Highlanders, driven to emigrate. Contrast betwixt that Life in which the frame is enervated by Sloth and Luxury, do the mind unhinged by visionary systems of Philosophy ;—and that wherein the Contemplation of Nature, and early habits of Piety, have produced Patience, Fortitude, and every manly Virtue :-- Exemplified in the opposite characters, and illustrated by two correspondent similes, the Swallow and the Lark. The Author solicits the attention of the Reader to a picture of deep and peculiar distress.

“ Where Winter lingering chills the lap of May."

GOLDSMITH,

Far to the North the howling tempest drove,
Light od'rous buds perfum'd the birchen grove,

5

The primrose, iris, and the daisy pied,
With bashful sweets bedeck'd the mountain's side ;
And even from bogs with chilly moisture drown'd,
Our hardy myrtle scatter'd fragrance round * :
Nature in happier climes look'd fresh and gay,
And sternly smil'd even on the banks of Spey.

Hid from the solar beam and living breeze, Stretch'd on the languid couch of dire disease, By turns in listless torpor stretch'd I lay, Or pin’d the agonizing hours away : How long must I in storms and sickness mourn? « Oh when will health on zephyrs wings return? «. “ When shall I sit npon yon green hill's brow, , To view fresh verdure deck the vales below? “ When shall my heart its grateful raptures bring; , “ To join the general symphony of spring ? “ No more shall selfish cares my soul employ, “ But the kind throb reverb'rate kindred joy : “ Youth's generous fervours kindle in

my

mind, “ And the wide wish that grasps the human kind, “ How long must I in storms and sickness mourn ? “ Oh when will health, and light, and spring return?"

Again, with balmy breath the western gale Wakes the mild verdure of the shelter'd vale, While health, and light, and spring, return once more But who, alas, can spring's delights restore?

* Seç Note 1, on Part I.

.

Since social joys and cheerful toils are dead,
And all the train of mountain virtues fled ;
Which, like our native firs, aspiring, bold,
Love the bleak heights, and scom the fertile mould.

DAUGHTER of TOSCAR! who by Lutha's streams
Oft met thy warlike spouse in mournful dreams :
Malvina! come in all thy pensive charms,
Stretch from thy robe of mist thy snowy arms ;
Lift thy slow-rolling eyes, whose azure beams
So oft of old were quench'd in sorrow's streams ;
When sons of little men, an abject race,
Appear'd in thy departed hero's place :
Tell in what secret cave, or whispering shade,
Thy harp of sadly-pleasing sound is laid,
(Whose plaintive tones, so sweet to Ossian's ear,
The child of sorrow still delights to hear,)
That

my
bold hand

may

wake its strings again, And teach the mountain-echoes to complain : While to each dusky heath, and woody dell, The Genius of the mountains bids farewell.

Now, where the dappld fawns and bounding roes Were wont their sprightly gambols to disclose, Slow wand'ring sheep gaze round with vacant eye, While sullen rocks return their plaintive cry: Pensive and slow, I climb the mountain brow, To view each social hamlet's mutual plough *;

* See note 2. on Part I.

« ZurückWeiter »