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MEMORIALS OF A TOUR IN SCOTLAND 1814

II. COMPOSED AT CORA LINN,

IN SIGHT OF WALLACE'S TOWER

            "--How Wallace fought for Scotland, left the name
             Of Wallace to be found, like a wild flower,
             All over his dear Country; left the deeds
             Of Wallace, like a family of ghosts,
             To people the steep rocks and river banks,
             Her natural sanctuaries, with a local soul
             Of independence and stern liberty."
                                      --See The Prelude, Book I, 214-20.

          LORD of the vale! astounding Flood;
          The dullest leaf in this thick wood
          Quakes--conscious of thy power;
          The caves reply with hollow moan;
          And vibrates, to its central stone,
          Yon time-cemented Tower!

          And yet how fair the rural scene!
          For thou, O Clyde, hast ever been
          Beneficent as strong;
          Pleased in refreshing dews to steep                         10
          The little trembling flowers that peep
          Thy shelving rocks among.

          Hence all who love their country, love
          To look on thee--delight to rove
          Where they thy voice can hear;
          And, to the patriot-warrior's Shade,
          Lord of the vale! to Heroes laid
          In dust, that voice is dear!

          Along thy banks, at dead of night
          Sweeps visibly the Wallace Wight;                           20
          Or stands, in warlike vest,
          Aloft, beneath the moon's pale beam,
          A Champion worthy of the stream,
          Yon grey tower's living crest!

          But clouds and envious darkness hide
          A Form not doubtfully descried:--
          Their transient mission o'er,
          O say to what blind region flee
          These Shapes of awful phantasy?
          To what untrodden shore?                                    30

          Less than divine command they spurn;
          But this we from the mountains learn,
          And this the valleys show;
          That never will they deign to hold
          Communion where the heart is cold
          To human weal and woe.

          The man of abject soul in vain
          Shall walk the Marathonian plain;
          Or thrid the shadowy gloom,
          That still invests the guardian Pass,                       40
          Where stood, sublime, Leonidas
          Devoted to the tomb.

          And let no Slave his head incline,
          Or kneel, before the votive shrine
          By Uri's lake, where Tell
          Leapt, from his storm-vext boat, to land,
          Heaven's Instrument, for by his hand
          That day the Tyrant fell.


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