(William Sotheby)


STAFFA, I scaled thy summit hoar,
  I passed beneath thy arch gigantic,
Whose pillared cavern swells the roar,
When thunders on thy rocky shore
  The roll of the Atlantic.

That hour the wind forgot to rave,
  The surge forgot its motion,
And every pillar in thy cave
Slept in its shadow on the wave,
  Unrippled by the ocean.

Then the past age before me came,
When mid the lightnings sweep,
Thy isle with its basaltic frame,
And every column wreathed with flame,
  Burst from the boiling deep.

When mid Ionas wrecks meanwhile
  Oer sculptured graves I trod,
Where Time had strewn each mouldering aisle
Oer saints and kings that reared the pile,
  I hailed the eternal God:
Yet, Staffa, more I felt his presence in thy cave
Than where Ionas cross rose oer the western wave.

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