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She lay on the ground in her Scottish plaid,

And I took her head on my knee ; “ When my father comes hame frae the pleugh,"

She said, “ Oh, please, then waker. me.”

She slept like a child on her father's floor,

In the flecking of woodbine shade, When the house-dog sprawls by the half-open door,

And the mother's wheel is stayed.

It was smoke and roar and powder stench,

And hopeless waiting for death ;
But the soldier's wife like a full-tired child,

Seemed scarce to draw her breath.

I sank to sleep and I had my

dream Of an English village lane And wall and garden, — till a sudden scream

Brought me back to the rear again.

There Jessie Brown stood listening,

And then a broad gladness broke
All over her face, and she took my hand,

And drew me near and spoke :

“ The Highlanders ! O dinna ye hear

The slogan far awa ?
The McGregor's ? Ah ! I ken it weel;

It is the grandest of them a’!

“ God bless the bonny Highlanders ;

We ’re saved! we ’re saved !” she cried ; And fell on her knees and thanks to God

Poured forth, like a full flood tide.

Along the battery line, her cry

Had fallen among the men ; And they started; for they were there to die,

Was life so near them then ?

They listened, for life, and the rattling fire

Far off, and the far off roar
Were all, and the colonel shook his head,

And they turned to their guns once more.

Then Jessie said, “ The slogan’s dune,

But can ye no hear them, noo ? The Campbells are coming! it’s nae a dream

Our succors hae broken through ! ”

We heard the roar and the rattle afar,

But the pipers we could not hear; So the men plied their work of hopeless war,

And knew that the end was near.

It was not long ere it must be heard,

A shrilling ceaseless sound;
It was no noise of the strife afar,

Or the sappers underground.

It was the pipe of the Highlanders,

And now they played “ Auld Lang Syne”; It came to our men like the voice of God;

And they shouted along the line.

And they wept and shook each other's hands,

And the women sobbed in a crowd ;
And every one knelt down where we stood,

And we all thanked God aloud.

That happy day, when we welcomed them in,

Our men put Jessie first;
And the General took her hand ;

And cheers from the men like a volley burst.

And the pipers' ribbons and tartans streamed,

Marching round and round our line ;
And our joyful cheers were broken with tears,
And the pipers played “ Auld Lang Syne."




HE golden light into the painter's room

Streamed richly, and the hidden colors stole
From the dark pictures radiantly forth,
And in the soft and dewy atmosphere,
Like forms and landscapes magical they lay.
Parrhasius stood, gazing forgetfully
Upon his canvas. There Prometheus lay
Chained to the cold rocks of Mount Caucasus
The vulture at his vitals, and the links
Of the lame Lemnian festering in his flesh ;
And, as the painter's mind felt through the dim
Rapt mystery, and plucked the shadows forth
With its far-reaching fancy, and with form
And color clad them, his fine, earnest eye
Flashed with a passionate fire, and the quick curl
Of his thin nostril, and his quivering lip
Were like the wingéd god's, breathing from his flight.

“ Bring me the captive, now!
My hand feels skilful, and the shadows lift
From my waked spirit airily and swift,

And I could paint the bow
Upon the bended heavens — around me play
Colors of such divinity to-day.

“ Ha! bind him on his back! Look ! - as Prometheus in my picture here ! Quick ! — or he faints ! — stand with the cordial near !

Now - bend him on the rack !
Press down the poisoned links into his flesh !
And tear agape that healing wound afresh !

“ So,

let him writhe! How long Will he live thus ? Quick, my good pencil, now What a fine


his brow !
Ha! gray-haired and so strong !
How fearfully he stifles that short moan!
Gods ! if I could but paint a dying groan !

agony works


“Pity 'thee! So I do!
I pity the dumb victim at the altar
But does the robed priest for his pity falter?

I'd rack thee, though I knew
A thousand lives were perishing in thine
What were ten thousand to a fame like mine?

“ But, there's a deathless name ! A spirit that the smothering vault shall spurn, And, like a steadfast planet, mount and burn

And though its crown of flame Consumed


brain to ashes as it shone By all the fiery stars ! I'd bind it on!

“ Ay - though it bid me rifle My heart's last fount for its insatiate thirst Though every life-strung nerve be maddened first

Though it should bid me stifle The yearning in


throat for my sweet child, And taunt its mother till my brain went wild

66 All — I would do it all Sooner than die, like a dull worm, to rot Thrust foully into earth to be forgot !

O heavens ! but I appall

Your heart, old man ! — forgive — ha! on your

lives Let him not faint ! rack him till he revives !

Glazes apace.

“ Vain — vain - give o'er. His eye

He does not feel you now
Stand back! I'll paint the death-dew on his brow !

Gods! if he do not die,
But for one moment

till I eclipse Conception with the scorn of those calm lips !


Shivering! Hark! he mutters
Brokenly now that was a difficult breath
Another? Wilt thou never come, O Death ?

Look! how his temple flutters !
Is his heart still? Aha! lift up his head !
He shudders

gasps Jove help him


- he's dead."

How like a mounting devil in the heart
Rules the unreined ambition! Let it once
But play the monarch, and its haughty brow
Glows with a beauty that bewilders thought,
And unthrones peace forever. Putting on
The very pomp of Lucifer, it turns
The heart to ashes, and with not a spring
Left in the bosom for the spirit's life,
We look upon our splendor, and forget
The thirst of which we perish !
Oh, if earth be all, and heaven nothing,
What thrice mocked fools are we!

N. P. Willis.

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