1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

R. C., "Albyn's Charms. Written in allusion to the Writings of Mr. Walter Scott" The Star (13 April 1819).



How welcome thy mem'ry, dear Scotland, and he
Who sings on thy mountains so sweetly and free,
Whose strains uncontroul'd as the torrents he views,
Speak the voice of his country — the breath of his Muse!

They come as the legends of infancy dear,
As the song of his youth to the wanderer's ear,
Every rock, dale, and glen, with its story combin'd,
In the sunshine of truth spreads its charms to the mind!

The hill, mist, and heather — the rills that gush by,
With the freshness and beauty of youth in their eye—
Ah, scenes how belov'd needs my heart not to learn,
Fond objects of hope I may never discern!

Fresh charms are now Albyn's — each valley and hill
New steps shall invite and new warmth shall instil,
While her mountains and shores, trode with deeper delight,
Bring the phantoms of genius and glory to light!

Nor vainly the map of her warfare he shews,
Though dark be its import, and Britons her foes,
Of the deeds of his fathers, both Southron and Scot
May hear without blushing, nor wish them forgot!

Nor vainly o'er Albyn the pibroch arose!
In the day of her error — the night of her woes:
Though distrusting his heart, in Humanity's cause,
Waits the Gael for the sanction of wisdom or laws!

From the darkness of discord broke brighter the ray,
As the storms of the night bring more gladly the day,
Peace, confidence, freedom, united abroad,
And a brother is claim'd where a foeman was found!

And gentler the hearts and the thoughts that prevail
Where in silence the moon lights the home of the Gael,
Where, 'neath the tall shade of the mountain's rough breast
Spreads the lake o'er her still form like an infant at rest.

As tranquilly smooth, save at times from the shore,
O'er her bosom of peace comes the dash of the oar,
And the song of the rowers as lightly they steal
O'er the depth of pure waters — the home of their zeal!

Undimm'd through long years be the fire of the Bard,
As his minstrelsy bright be his merits' reward,
While the children of Albyn delighted prolong
The language of Loyalty, Scotland, and Song!