Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Lachin y Gair
By Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
AWAY, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses!
  In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me the rocks where the snowflake reposes,
  For still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,        5
  Round their white summits though elements war,
Though cataracts foam, ’stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
  I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Gair.
 
Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered;
  My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;        10
On chieftains long perished, my memory pondered,
  As daily I strode through the pine-covered glade;
I sought not my home till the day’s dying glory
  Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For Fancy was cheered by traditional story        15
  Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Gair.
 
“Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
  Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?”
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
  And rides on the wind o’er his own Highland vale:        20
Round Loch na Gair, while the stormy mist gathers,
  Winter presides in his cold icy car;
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers:
  They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Gair.
 
“Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding        25
  Tell you that Fate had forsaken your cause?”
Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden,
  Victory crowned not your fall with applause;
Still were you happy; in death’s early slumber
  You rest with your clan, in the caves of Braemar,        30
The pibroch resounds to the piper’s loud number,
  Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Gair.
 
Years have rolled on, Loch na Gair, since I left you;
  Years must elapse ere I tread you again;
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,        35
  Yet still are you dearer than Albion’s plain:
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
  To one who has roved on the mountains afar;
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic,
  The steep-frowning glories of dark Loch na Gair!        40
 
 
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