(Lydia Huntley Sigourney)






Loch Lomond


WHILE down the lakes translucent tide
With gently curving course we glide,
Its silver ripples, faint and few,
Alternate blend with belts of blue,
As fleecy clouds, on pinions white,
Careering fleck the welkin bright.
  But lo! Ben Lomonds awful crown
Through shrouding mists looks dimly down;
For though perchance his piercing eye
Doth read the secrets of the sky,
His haughty bosom scorns to show
Those secrets to the world below.
  Close-woven shades, with varying grace,
And crag and cavern, mark his base,
And trees, whose naked roots protrude
From bed of rock and lichens rude;
And where, mid dizzier cliffs are seen
Entangled thickets sparsely green,
Methinks I trace, in outline drear,
Old Fingal with his shadowy spear,
His gray locks streaming to the gale,
And followed by his squadrons pale.
  Yes, slender aid from Fancys glass
It needs, as round these shores we pass,
Mid glen and thicket dark, to scan
The wild MacGregors savage clan
Emerging, at their chieftains call,
To foray or to festival;
While nodding plumes and tartans bright
Gleam wildly oer each glancing height.	

  But as the spectral vapors rolled
Away in vestments dropped with gold,
The healthier face of summer sky,
With the shrill bagpipes melody,
Recalls, oer distant oceans foam,
The fondly treasured scenes of home;
And thoughts, on angel-pinions driven,
Drop in the heart the seeds of heaven,
Those winged seeds whose fruit sublime
Decays not with decaying time.
  The loving child, the favorite theme
Of morning hour or midnight dream;
The tender friend so lowly laid
Mid our own churchyards mournful shade;
The smitten babe, who nevermore	 
Must sport around its fathers door,
Return they not, as phantoms glide,
And silent seat them at our side?

  Like Highland maiden, sweetly fair,
The snood and rosebud in her hair,
Yon emerald isles, how calm they sleep
On the pure bosom of the deep;
How bright they throw, with waking eye,
Their lone charms on the passer by;
The willow, with its drooping stem,
The thistles hyacinthine gem,
The feathery fern, the graceful deer,
Quick starting as the strand we near,
While, with closed wing and scream subdued,
The osprays nurse their kingly brood.

  High words of praise, the pulse that stir,
Burst from each joyous voyager;
And Scotias streams and mountains hoar,
The wildness of her sterile shore,
Her broken caverns, that prolong
The echoes of her minstrel song,
Methinks might catch the enthusiast-tone,
That breathes amid these waters lone.
Even I, from far Columbias shore,
Whose lakes a mightier tribute pour,
And bind with everlasting chain
The unshorn forest to the main,
Superiors surge, like ocean proud,
That leaps to lave the vexing cloud;
Huron, that rolls with gathering frown	
A world of waters darkly down;
And Erie, shuddering on his throne
At strong Niagaras earthquake tone;
And bold Ontario, charged to keep
The barrier tween them and the deep,	
  Who oft in sounds of wrath and fear,
And dark with cloud-wreathed diadem,
  Interpreteth to Oceans ear
Their language, and his will to them,
I, reared amid that western vale,
Where Nature works on broader scale,
Still with admiring thought and free,
Loch Lomond, love to gaze on thee,
Reluctant from thy beauties part,
And bless thee with a strangers heart.






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