Page images

O, never vales to mortal view,

Appeared like those o'er which they flew!

That land to human spirits given,

The lowermost vales of the storied heaven;

From thence they can view the world below,

And heaven's blue gates with sapphires grow,

More glory yet unmeet to know.

They bore her far to a mountain green, To see what mortal never had seen; And they seated her high on a purple sward, And bade her heed what she saw and heard, And note the changes the spirits wrought, For now she lived in the land of thought. She looked, and she saw nor sun nor skies, But a crystal dome of a thousand dies: She looked, and she saw nae land aright, But an endless whirl of glory and light: And radiant beings went and came Far swifter than wind, or the linked flame. She hid her een frae the dazzling view; She looked again, and the scene was new.

She saw a sun on a summer sky, And clouds of amber sailing bye;

A lovely land beneath her lay,

And that land had glens and mountains gray;

And that land had valleys and hoary piles,

And marled seas, and a thousand isles;

Its fields were speckled, its forests green,

And its lakes were all of the dazzling sheen,

Like magic mirrors, where slumbering lay

The sun and the sky and the cloudlet gray;

Which heaved and trembled, and gently swung,

On every shore they seemed to be hung:

For there they were seen on their downward plain

A thousand times and a thousand again;

In winding lake and placid firth,

Little peaceful heavens in the bosom of earth.

Kilmeny sighed, and seemed to grieve, For she found her heart to that land did cleave; She saw the corn wave on the vale, She saw the deer run down the dale; She.saw the plaid and the broad claymore, And the brows that the badge of freedom bore; And she thought she had seen the land before.

She saw a lady sit on a throne, The fairest that ever the sun shone on! o>8 ..

A lion licked her hand of milk,
And she held him in a leish of silk;
And a leifu' maiden stood at ber knee,
With a silver wand and melting ee;
Her sovereign shield till love stole in,
And poisoned all the fount within.

Then a gruff untoward bedes-man came,
And hundit the lion on his dame;
And the guardian maid wi' the dauntless ee,
She dropped a tear, and left her knee;
And she saw till the queen frae the lion fled,
Till the bonniest flower of the world lay dead;
A coffin was set on a distant plain,
And she saw the red blood fall like rain:
Then bonny Kilmeny's heart grew sair,
And she turned away, and could look nae mair.

Then the gruff grim carle girned amain, And they trampled him down, but he rose again; And he baited the lion to deeds of weir, Till he lapped the blood to the kingdom dear; And weening his head was danger-preef, When crowned with the rose and clover leaf, He gowled at the carle, and chased him away To feed wi' the deer on the mountain gray.

He gowled at the carle, and he gecked at heaven,
But his mark was set, and his arles given.
Kilmeny a while her een withdrew;
She looked again, and the scene was new.

She saw below her fair unfurled
One half of all the glowing world,
Where oceans rolled, and rivers ran,
To bound the aims of sinful man.
She saw a people, fierce and fell,
Burst frae their bounds like fiends of hell;
There lilies grew, and the eagle flew,
And she herked on her ravening crew,
Till the cities and towers were wrapt in a blaze,
And the thunder it roared o'er the lands and the seas.
The widows they wailed, and the red blood ran,
Arid she threatened an end to the race of man:
She never lened, nor stood in awe,
Till claught by the lion's deadly paw.
Oh! then the eagle swinked for life,
And brainzelled up a mortal strife;
But flew she north, or flew she south,
She met wi' the gowl of the lion's mouth.

With a mooted wing and waefu' maen, The eagle sought her eiry again;

But lang may she cower in her bloody nest,
And lang, lang sleek her wounded breast,
Before she sey another flight,
To play wi' the norland lion's might.

But to sing the sights Kilmeny saw,
So far surpassing nature's law,
The singer's voice wad sink away,
And the string of his harp wad cease to play.
But she saw till the sorrows of man were bye,
And ail was love and harmony:
Till the stars of heaven fell calmly away,
Like the flakes of snaw on a winter day.

Then Kilmeny begged again to see The friends she had left in her own countrye, To tell of the place where she had been, And the glories that lay in the land unseen; To warn the living maidens fair, The loved of heaven, the spirits' care, That all whose minds unmeled remain Shall bloom in beauty when time is gane.

With distant music, soft and deep, They lulled Kilmeny sound asleep;

« PreviousContinue »