“At sunset to-morrow
your palace forsake,
With twenty young chiefs seek the isle on yon lake;
And there, in its coolest and pleasantest shades,
My child shall await you with twenty fair maids:
Yes—bright as my armour the damsels shall be
I send with my daughter, Turgesius, to thee.”
to his palace; to him
The sports of that evening seem’d languid and dim;
And tediously long was the darkness of night,
And slowly the morning unfolded its light;
The sun seem’d to linger—as if it would be
An age ere his setting would crimson the sea.
At length came the moment—the
King and his band
With rapture push’d out their light boat from the land;
And bright shone the gems on the armour, and bright
Flash’d their fast-moving oars in the setting sun’s light;
And long ere they landed, they saw though the trees
The maiden’s white garments that waved in the breeze.
More strong in the lake
was the dash of each oar,
More swift the gay vessel flew on to the shore;
Its keel touch’d the pebbles—but over the surf
The youths in a moment had leap’d to the turf,
And rushed to a shady retreat in the wood,
Where many veiled forms mute and motionless stood.
“Say, which is
Melachlin’s fair daughter? away
With these veils,” cried Turgesius, “no longer delay;
Resistance is vain, we will quickly behold
Which robe hides the loveliest face in its fold;
These clouds shall no longer o’ershadow our bliss,
Let each seize a veil—and my trophy be this!”
He seized a white veil,
and before him appear’d
No fearful, weak girl—but a foe to be fear’d!
A youth—who sprang forth from his female disguise,
Like lightning that flashes from calm summer skies:
His hand grasp’d a weapon, and wild was the joy
That shone in the glance of the warrior boy.
And under each white
robe a youth was conceal’d,
Who met his opponent with sword and with shield.
Turgesius was slain—and the maidens were blest,
Melachlin’s fair daughter more blithe than the rest;
And ere the last sunbeam had crimson’d the sea,
They hailed the boy-victors—and Erin was free!
BY THOMAS CAMPBELL.
heard ye yon pibroch sound sad on the gale,
Where a band cometh slowly with weeping and wail?
’Tis the Chief of Glenara laments for his dear,
And her sire and her people are called to the bier.
came first with the mourners and shroud:
Her kinsmen they followed, but mourned not aloud:
Their plaids all their bosoms were folded around;
They marched all in silence—they looked to the ground.