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“O mercy, mercy, noble lord !
But man and horse, and horn and hound, Spare the poor's pittance," was his cry,
Fast rattling on his traces go; “Earn’d by the sweat these brows have pour'd, The sacred chapel rung around In scorching hour of fierce July?”
With, “ Hark away! and, holla, ho !" Earnest the right hand stranger pleads,
All mild, amid the route profane, The left still cheering to the prey,
The holy hermit pour'd his prayer ; Th’impetuous earl no warning heeds,
“ Forbear with blood God's house to stain ; But furious holds the onward way.
Revere his altar, and forbear! Away, thou hound so basely born,
“ The meanest brute bas rights to plead, Or dread the scourge's echoing blow !”
Which wrong'd by cruelty or pride, Then loudly rung his bugle horn,
Draw vengeance on the ruthless head: Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!"
Be warn’d at length, and turn aside." So said, so done : a single bound
Still the fair horseman anxious pleads; Clears the poor labourer's humble pale:
The black, wild whooping, points the prey: Wild follows man, and horse, and hound,
Alas! the earl no warning heeds, Like dark December's stormy gale.
But frantic keeps the forward way. And man, and horse, and hound, and horn,
“ Holy or not, or right or wrong, Destructive sweep the field along;
Thy altar, and its rites, I spurn; While joying o'er the wasted corn,
Not sainted martyr's sacred song, Fell famine marks the maddening throng.
Not God himself, shall make me turn!" Again uproused, the timorous prey
He spurs his horse, he winds his horn, Scours moss, and inoor, and holt, and hill;
“ Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!” he feels his strength decay,
But off, on wirlwind's pinions borne, And trusts for life his simple skill.
The stag, the hut, the hermit, go. Too dangerous solitude appear'd;
And horse, and man, and horn, and hound, He seeks the shelter of the crowd;
And clamour of the chase was gone; Amid the flock's domestic herd
For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound, His harmless head he hopes to shroud.
A deadly silence reign'd alone. O’er moss, and moor, and holt, and hill,
Wild gazed th’affrighted earl around; His track the steady bloodhounds trace ;
He strove in vain to wake his horn; O’er moss and moor, unwearied still,
In vain to call; for not a sound The furious earl pursues the chase.
Could from his anxious lips be borne. Full lowly did the herdsman fall;
He listens for his trusty hounds; “ () spare, thou noble baron, spare
No distant baying reach'd his ears: These herds, a widow's little all;
His courser, rooted to the ground, These flocks an orphan's fleecy care ?”
The quickening spur unmindful bears. Earnest the right hand stranger pleads,
Still dark and darker frown the shades, The left still cheering to the prey ;
Dark as the darkness of the grave; The earl nor prayer nor pity heeds,
And not a sound the still invades, But furious keeps the onward way.
Save what a distant torren: gave. “Unmanner'd dog! to stop my sport
High o'er the sinner's humbled head Vain were thy cant and beggar whine,
At length the solemn silence broke; Though human spirits, of thy sort,
And from a cloud of swarthy red, Were tenants of these carrion kine!”
The awful voice of thunder spoke.
Again he winds his bugle horn,
“ Hark forward, forward, holla, ho!” And through the herd, in ruthless scoru,
He cheers his furious hounds to go.
“Oppressor of creation fair!
Apostate spirits' harden'd tool!
The measure of thy cup is full.
Forever roam th' affrighted wild ;
God's meanest creature is his child.”
In heaps the throttled victims fall;
Down sinks their mangled herdsman near.
Again he starts, new nerved by fear.
While big the tears of apguish pour
The humble hermit's ballow'd bower.
'Twas hush'd: one flash, of sombre glare,
With yellow ting'd the forest brown;
And horror chill'd each nerve and bone.
Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill;
keep as closely as possible to his original. The A rising wind began to sing ;
various puns, rude attempts at pleasantry, and disAnd louder, louder, louder still,
proportioned episodes, must be set down to TehuBrought storm and tempest on its wing. di's account, or to the taste of his age.
The military antiquary will derive some amuseEarth heard the call! Her entrails rend;
ment from the minute particulars which the marFrom yawning rifts, with many a yell,
tial poet has recorded. The mode in which the Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend
Austrian men-at-arms received the charge of the The misbegotten dogs of hell.
Swiss was by forming a phalanx, which they deWhat ghastly huntsman next arose,
fended with their long lances. The gallant WinkWell may I guess, but dare not tell;
elried, who sacrificed bis own life by rushing His eye like midnight lightning glows,
among the spears, clasping in his arms as many as His steed the swarthy hue of hell.
he could grasp, and thus opening a gap in these
iron battalions, is celebrated in Swiss history. The wildgrave flies o’er bush and thorn,
When fairly mingled together, the unwieldy length With many a shriek of helpless wo;
of their weapons, and cumbrous weight of their deBebind him hound, and horse, and horn,
fensive armour, rendered the Austrian men-at-arms And, “Hark away, and holla, ho !”
a very unequal match for the light-armed mounWith wild despair's reverted eye,
taineers. The victories obtained by the Swiss over Close, close behind, he marks the throng, the German chivalry, hitherto deemed as formiWith bloody fangs, and eager cry,
dable on foot as on horseback, led to important In frantic fear he scours along.
changes in the art of war. The poet describes the
Austrian knights and squires as cutting the peaks Still, still shall last the dreadful chase,
from their boots ere they could act upon foot, in Till time itself shall have an end :
allusion to an inconvenient piece of foppery, often By day they scour earth’s cavern'd space,
mentioned in the middle ages. Leopold III., ArchAt midnight's witching hour ascend.
duke of Austria, called “ The handsome man-atThis is the horn, and hound, and horse, arms,” was slain in the battle of Sempach, with the That oft the lated peasant hears;
flower of his chivalry. Appall’d he signs the frequent cross,
When the wild din invades his ears. The wakeful priest oft drops a tear
'Twas when among our linden trees
The bees had housed in swarms,
( And gray-hair'd peasants say that these Th’infernal cry of “Holla, ho !”
Betoken foreign arms,)
The land was all in flame;
With all his army came.
The Austrian nobles made their vow,
So hot their hearts and bold, THESE verses are a literal translation of an “ On Switzer carles we'll trample now, ancient Swiss ballad upon the battle of Sempach, And slay both young and old.” fought 9th July, 1386, being the victory by which the Swiss cantons established their independence.
With clarion loud, and banner proud, The author is Albert Tehudi, denominated the
From Zurich on the lake, Souter, from his profession of a shoemaker. He
In martial pomp and fair array, was a citizen of Lucerne, esteemed highly among
Their onward march they make. his countrymen, both for his powers as a Meister
“Now list ye, lowland nobles all singer, or minstrel, and his courage as a soldier ;
Ye seek the mountain strand, so that he might share the praise conferred by
Nor wot ye what shall be your lot Collins on Eschylus, that
In such a dangerous land. -Not alone he nursed the poet's flame, "But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot steel. “I rede ye, shrive you of your sins
Before you further go ; The circumstance of their being written by a
A skirmish in Helvetian hills poet returning from a well-fought field he de
May send your souls to wo.” scribes, and in which his country's fortune was secured, may confer on Tehudi's verses an interest “ But where now shall we find a priest, which they are not entitled to claim from their Our shrift that he may hear?” poetical merit. But ballad poetry, the more lite- “ The Switzer priest" has ta’en the field, rally it is translated, the more it loses its simpli- He deals a penance drear. city, without acquiring either grace or strength; and therefore some of the faults of the verses must * All the Swiss clergy who were able to bear arms foughi be imputed to the translator's feeling it a duty to in this patriotic war.
The gallant Swiss confederates there,
They pray'd to God aloud,
Against a swarthy cloud.
With courage firm and high,
On the Austrian chivalry.
The Austrian liont 'gan to growl,
And toss his main and tail; And ball, and shaft, and crossbow bolt
Went whistling forth like hail.
Lance, pike, and halberd, mingled there,
The game was nothing sweet; The boughs of many a stately tree
Lay shiver'd at their feet.
It was the Archduke Leopold,
So lordly would he ride, But he came against the Switzer churls,
And they slew him in his pride. The heifer said unto the bull,
“ And shall I not complain? There came a foreign nobleman
To milk me on the plain. “ One thrust of thine outrageous horn
Has gall’d the knight so sore, That to the churchyard he is borne,
To range our glens no more.”— An Austrian noble left the stour,
And fast the flight ’gan take ;
At Sempach, on the lake.
(His name was Hans Von Rot,) “ For love, or meed, or charity,
Receive us in thy boat.”
The Austrian men-at-arms stood fast,
So close their spears they laid : It chafed the gallant Winkelried,
Who to his comrades said
* In the original, Haasenstein, or Hare-stone.
† This seems to allude to the preposterous fashion, during the middle ages, of wearing boots with the points or peaks turned upwards, and so long that, in some cases, they were fastened to the knees of the wearer with small chains. When they alighted to fight upon foot, it would seem that the Austrian gentlemen found it necessary to cut off these peaks, that they might move with the necessary activity.
* A pun on the archduke's name, Leopold,
Their anxious call the fisher heard,
And glad the meed to win,
* A pun on the Urus, or wild bull, which gives name to the canton of Uri.
It was a messenger of wo
Has sought the Austrian land; “Ah! gracious lady, evil news!
My lord lies on the strand.
“ At Sempach, on the battle field,
His bloody corpse lies there."
What tidings of despair !”
Who sings of strife so stern,
A burgher of Lucerne.
The night he made the lay,
Where God had judged the day.
Nennius. Is not peace the end of arms ?
The following war-song was written during the THE MAID OF TORO.
apprehension of an invasion. The corps of volun
teers, to which it was addressed, was raised in O low shone the sun on the fair lake of Toro,
1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed And weak were the whispers that waved the dark at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right wood,
Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, All as a fair maiden bewilder'd in sorrow,
commanded by, the honourable Lieutenant-colonel Sorely sigh'd to the breezes, and wept to the Dundas. The noble and constitutional measure, of flood.
arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was “O saints! from the mansions of bliss lowly bend- nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which ing;
furnished a force of 3000 armed and disciplined Sweet virgin ! who hearest the suppliant's cry;
volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from Now grant my petition, in anguish ascending,
the city and county, and two corps of artillery, My Henry restore, or let Eleanor die !
each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a
force, above all others, might, in similar circumAll distant and faint were the sounds of the battle, stances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient With the breezes they rise, with the breezes Galgacus : " Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores resthey fail,
tros et posteros cogitate.” Till the shout, and the groan, and the conflict's dread rattle,
To horse! to horse! the standard flies, And the chase's wild clamour, came loading the The bugles sound the call; gale.
The Gallic navy stems the seas, Breathless she gazed on the woodlands so dreary; The voice of battle's on the breeze, Slowly approaching a warrior was seen ;
Arouse ye, one and all!
From high Dunedin's towers we come,
A band of brothers true ;
We boast the red and blue.*
MAC-GREGOR'S GATHERING. WRITTEN FOR ALB YN'S ANTHOLOGY.
Air-Thain' a Grigalach.*
Though tamely crouch to Gallia's frown
Dull Holland's tardy train ;
And foaming gnaw the chain ;
These verses are adapted to a very wild, yet lively gathering-tune, used by the Mac-Gregors. The severe treatment of this clan, their outlawry, and the proscription of their very name, are alluded to in the ballad.
0! had they, mark'd th’avenging callt
Their brethren's murder gave, Disunion ne'er their ranks had mown, Nor patriot valour, desperate grown,
Sought freedom in the grave !
Shall we, too, bend the stubborn head,
In freedom's temple born,
Or brook a victor's scorn?
No! though destruction o'er the land
Come pouring as a flood,
And set that night in blood.
For gold let Gallia's legions fight,
Or plunder's bloody gain ;
Nor shall their edge be vain.
The moon's on the lake, and the mist's on the
brae, And the clan has a name that is nameless by day!
Then gatber, gather, gather, Gregalach!
Gather, gather, gather, &c.
Then haloo, Gregalach ! haloo, Gregalach!
Haloo, haloo, haloo, Gregalach, &c.
We're landless, landless, landless, Gregalach!
Landless, landless, landless, &c.
Then courage, courage, courage, Gregalach !
Courage, courage, courage, &c.
galach! Vengeance, vengeance, vengeance, &c. While there's leaves in the forest, and foam on the
river, Mac-Gregor, despite them, shall flourish for ever!
Come then, Gregalach ! come then, Gregalach!
Come then, come then, come then, &c. Through the depths of Loch Katrine the steed shall
career, O'er the peak of Ben Lomond the galley sball
Then gather, gather, gather, Gregalach !
If ever breath of British gale
Shall fan the tri-colour,
Pollute our happy shore
Then farewell home! and farewell friends!
Adieu each tender tie!
To conquer or to die.
To horse! to horse! the sabres gleam;
High sounds our bugle call ; Combined by honour's sacred tie, Our word is, Laws and Liberty!
March forward, one and all !
* The royal colours.
MACKRIMMON'S LAMENT. + The allusion is to the massacre of the Swiss guards, on the fatal 10th of August, 1792. It is painful, but not use
Air-Cha till mi tuille. less, to remark, that the passive temper with which the Swiss regarded the death of their bravest countrymen,
MACKRIMMON, hereditary piper to the laird of mercilesely slaughtered in discharge of their duty, encousaged and authorized the progressive injustice by which Macleod, is said to have composed this lament the Alps, once the seat of the most virtuous and free peo. when the clan was about to depart upon a distant ple upon the continent, have, at length, been converted into the citadel of a foreign and military despot. A state
* " The Mac-Gregor is come." degraded is half enslaved.
+ “We return no more."