Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems.
time to save themselves.  To cover the deformity of so dreadful a sight, the soldiers burned all the houses to the ground, after having rifled them, carried away nine hundred cows, two hundred horses, numberless herds of sheep and goats, and every thing else that belonged to these miserable people.  Lamentable was the case of the women and children that escaped the butchery; the mountains were covered with a deep snow, the rivers impassable, storm and tempest filled the air and added to the horrors and darkness of the night, and there were no houses to shelter them within many miles."[1]

Such was the awful massacre of Glencoe, an event which has left an indelible and execrable stain upon the memory of William of Orange.  The records of Indian warfare can hardly afford a parallel instance of atrocity:  and this deed, coupled with his deliberate treachery in the Darien scheme, whereby Scotland was for a time absolutely ruined, is sufficient to account for the little estimation in which the name of the “great Whig deliverer” is still regarded in the valleys of the North.


[Footnote 1:  Memoirs of Sir Ewen Cameron of Locheill.]


  Do not lift him from the bracken,
    Leave him lying where he fell—­
  Better bier ye cannot fashion: 
    None beseems him half so well
  As the bare and broken heather,
    And the hard and trampled sod,
  Whence his angry soul ascended
    To the judgment-seat of God! 
  Winding-sheet we cannot give him—­
    Seek no mantle for the dead,
  Save the cold and spotless covering
    Showered from heaven upon his head. 
  Leave his broadsword, as we found it,
    Bent and broken with the blow,
  That, before he died, avenged him
    On the foremost of the foe. 
  Leave the blood upon his bosom—­
    Wash not off that sacred stain: 
  Let it stiffen on the tartan,
    Let his wounds unclosed remain,
  Till the day when he shall show them
    At the throne of God on high,
  When the murderer and the murdered
    Meet before their Judge’s eye!

  Nay—­ye should not weep, my children! 
    Leave it to the faint and weak;
  Sobs are but a woman’s weapon—­
    Tears befit a maiden’s cheek. 
  Weep not, children of Macdonald! 
    Weep not thou, his orphan heir—­
  Not in shame, but stainless honour,
    Lies thy slaughtered father there. 
  Weep not—­but when years are over,
    And thine arm is strong and sure,
  And thy foot is swift and steady
    On the mountain and the muir—­
  Let thy heart be hard as iron,
    And thy wrath as fierce as fire,
  Till the hour when vengeance cometh
    For the race that slew thy sire;
  Till in deep and dark Glenlyon
    Rise a louder shriek of woe

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Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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