False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland’s steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But we to his kindred, and we to his cause,
When Albyn her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array——
Lochiel! beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal.
’Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden’s dread echoes shall ring,
With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! anointed by heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!
Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight;
Rise! rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!—
’Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near,—
The war drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
His death bell is tolling! Oh, mercy! dispel
Yon sight that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims;
Accursed be the faggots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale——
Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the
For never shall Albyn a destiny meet
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their
Like ocean weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.
[Note: Life flutters convulsed &c. Describes the barbarous death which awaited the traitor according to the statute book of England, as it then stood. This was the penalty dealt to the rebels of 1745.]