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The sons of Art, who, art alone esteem,
These, marks of savage indolence may deem ;
But sage Experience, Wisdom's eldest child,
When nursid by Nature 'midst th’untutor’d wild,
Though small her bounds appear, and short her view,
Yet in these narrow bounds her steps are true :
Nor let rash Speculation's letter'd pride,
O'erturn her modest works with daring stride.

Now comes the day to Superstition * dear,
When frosty mists foretel the closing year,
Hallow'd and reverenc'd in the elder time,
Sacred to every saint, of every clime;
When aerial tribes in joyful freedom stray,
Or hover round the church-yard's lonely way ;
Or o'er the annual mystic rites preside,
And form of air the visionary bride :
In joyful groupes the rustics then appear,
To crown the finish'd labours of the year,
And bid the rural genius come along,
With dance, and sport, and revelry, and song:
Then native Music wakes in sprightly strains,
Which gay according motion best explains :
Fastidious Elegance, in scornful guise,
Perhaps th' unpolish'd measure may despise ;
But here, where infants lisp in tuneful lays,
And Melody her untaught charms displays;

* See note No. 10.

The dancers bound with wild peculiar grace,
And sound thro' all its raptur'd mazes trace ;
Nor aukward step, nor rude ungainly mien,
Through all the glad assemblage can be seen :
But with decorous air, and sprightly ease,
Even critic taste the agile dancers please.
Cameleon Fashion's self, whose varying hue,
Assumes the likeness of each object new,
Returns, to copy motion's artless grace,
Even from the wildest of the mountain race,
And with decisive voice her votaries calls,
To
ape

with air constrain'd the rural balls !
The nymph that wont to trace the source of Tay,
Or lead the sprightly dance by rapid Spey,
With conscious triumph smiles aside to see,
This “ faint reflection of the rural glee;"
Short pleasure languid imitation feels,
While polish'd courtiers pant in active reels,

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THE HIGHLANDERS:

PART IV.

ARGUMENT.

Winter. Social Evenings. Little or no work done in that season in

the Highlands. Hazardous intercourse with other Straths in search of strayed cattle. Hospitality exercised. Friendship promoted. Courage, Fortitude, and Patience strengthened. A spirit of bold Adventure and strong Attachment cherished by their peculiar modes of Life ;---Exemplified in the Episode of Farquhar. Singular View from Corryarric. Beauties of Loch-Ness, which, never freezing in Winter, is the haunt of all kinds of Aquatic Birds.

Glendae. Sun-rise on Loch Ness described. Urquhart Castle. Glenmoriston. Fyers. Return of Farquhar. Devastation of the Country after

the year 1745

THE HIGHLANDERS:

PART IV.

“ A thousand fantasies
“ Begin to throng into my memory,
“ Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
“ And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
« On sands, and shores, and desart wildernesses.
" These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
“ The virtuous mind that ever walks attended
“ By a strong siding champion--Conscience.

MILTON.

Now Winter pours his terrors o'er the plain,
And icy barriers close the wild domain,
From the fierce North the sweeping blast descends,
And drifted snow in wild confusion blends ;
The Mountain-Cataract, whose thundering sound,
Made echoes tremble in their caves around,

Now dashing with diminish'd majesty,
In frozen state suspended seems on high ;
While in the midst a small contracted stream
Tinkles like rills that lull the shepherd's dream,
The River crusted o'er, and hid in snow,
Unfaithful tempts the traveller below;
While pools and boiling springs, unsafe beneath,
Betray th' unwary to the snares of death.

How awful now appears Night's silent reign!
Where lofty mountains bound the solemn scene,
While Nature, wrapt in chilly bright disguise,
And sunk in deep repose unconscious lies ;
And through the pure cerulean vault above,
In lucid order constellations move :
The milky-way, conspicuous glows on high.
Redoubled lustre sparkles thro’ the sky;
And rapid splendours, from the dark-blue North,
In streams of brightness pour incessant forth;
While crusted mountain-snows reflect the light,
And radiance decks the sable brows of night.

Now, though their herds excite their anxious care,
Tir'd Labour slumbers with the shining share :
Short while they ply the flail, the scanty corn,
Dealt out with frugal care, employs the morn ;
But social glee, around the cheerful hearth,
Lets loose the careless soul of rural mirth :

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* See note No. 15.

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