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William Edmondstoune Aytoun

The Massacre of MacPherson

Fhairshon had a son,
Who married Noah's daughter,
And nearly spoiled ta Flood
By trinking up ta water:

Which he would have done,
I at least pelieve it,
Had the mixture peen
Only half Glenlivet.

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Epitaph Of Constantine Kanaris

I am Constantine Kanaris:
I, who lie beneath this stone,
Twice into the air in thunder
Have the Turkish galleys blown.

In my bed I died-a Christian,
Hoping straight with Christ to be;
Yet one earthly wish is buried
Deep within the grave with me-

That upon the open ocean
When the third Armada came,
They and I had died together,
Whirled aloft on wings of flame.

Yet 'tis something that they've laid me
In a land without a stain:
Keep it thus, my God and Saviour,
Till I rise from earth again!

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The Refusal of Charon

Why look the distant mountains
So gloomy and so drear?
Are rain clouds passing o’er them,
Or is the tempest near?
No shadow of the tempest
Is there, nor wind nor rain—
’Tis Charon that is passing by,
With all his gloomy train.

The young men march before him,
In all their strength and pride;
The tender little infants,
They totter by his side;
The old men walk behind him,
And earnestly they pray—
Both old and young imploring him
To grant some brief delay.

‘O Charon! halt, we pray thee,
Beside some little town,

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The Old Camp

I.

There is a cloud before the sun,
The wind is hushed and still,
And silently the waters run
Beneath the sombre hill.
The sky is dark in every place,
As is the earth below:
Methinks it wore the self-same face
Two thousand years ago.


II.

No light is on the ancient wall,
No light upon the mound;
The very trees, so thick and tall,
Cast gloom, not shade, around.
So silent is the place and cold,
So far from human ken,

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The Broken Pitcher

It was a Moorish maiden was sitting by a well,
And what the maiden thought of, I cannot, cannot, tell,
When by there rode a valiant knight from the town of Oviedo,
Alphonso Guzman was he hight, the Count of Tololedo.

'Oh, maiden, Moorish maiden! why sitt'st thou by the spring?
Say, dost thou seek a lover, or any other thing?
Why dost thou look upon me, with eyes so dark and wide,
And wherefore doth the pitcher lie broken by thy side?'

'I do not seek a lover, thou Christian knight so gay,
Because an article like that hath never come my way;
And why I gaze upon you, I cannot, cannot tell,
Except that in your iron hose you look uncommon swell.

'My pitcher it is broken, and this the reason is -
A shepherd came behind me, and tried to snatch a kiss;
I would not stand his nonsense, so ne'er a word I spoke,
But scored him on the costard, and so the jug was broke.

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Danube And The Euxine

'Danube, Danube! wherefore com'st thou
Red and raging to my caves?
Wherefore leap thy swollen waters
Madly through the broken waves?
Wherefore is thy tide so sullied
With a hue unknown to me;
Wherefore dost thou bring pollution
To the old and sacred sea?'

'Ha! rejoice, old Father Euxine!
I am brimming full and red;
Noble tidings do I carry
From my distant channel-bed.
I have been a Christian river
Dull and slow this many a year,
Rolling down my torpid waters
Through a silence morne and drear;
Have not felt the tread of armies
Trampling on my reedy shore;
Have not heard the trumpet calling,

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The Old Scotish Cavalier

I.

Come listen to another song,
Should make your heart beat high,
Bring crimson to your forehead,
And the lustre to your eye;-
It is a song of olden time,
Of days long since gone by,
And of a Baron stout and bold
As e'er wore sword on thigh!
Like a brave old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!


II.

He kept his castle in the north,
Hard by the thundering Spey;
And a thousand vassals dwelt around
All of his kindred they.

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Oenone

On the holy mount of Ida,
Where the pine and cypress grow,
Sate a young and lovely woman,
Weeping ever, weeping low.
Drearily throughout the forest
Did the winds of autumn blow,
And the clouds above were flying,
And Scamander rolled below.

'Faithless Paris! cruel Paris!'
Thus the poor deserted spake-
'Wherefore thus so strangely leave me?
Why thy loving bride forsake?
Why no tender word at parting?
Why no kiss, no farewell take?
Would that I could but forget thee-
Would this throbbing heart might break!

'Is my face no longer blooming?
Are my eyes no longer bright?

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The Sheik Of Sinai In 1830

I.

'Lift me without the tent, I say,-
Me and my ottoman,-
I'll see the messenger myself!
It is the caravan
From Africa, thou sayest,
And they bring us news of war?
Draw me without the tent, and quick!
As at the desert well
The freshness of the purling brook
Delights the tired gazelle,
So pant I for the voice of him
That cometh from afar!'


II.

The Scheik was lifted from his tent,
And thus outspake the Moor:-

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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,

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