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.]
THE WIDOW OF GLENCOE
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
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