Thomas Campbell

(1777-1844 / Glasgow / Scotland)

Glenara


O, heard ye yon pibroch sound sad in the gale,
Where a band cometh slowly with weeping and wail?
'Tis the chief of Glenara laments for his dear;
And her sire and her people are called to her bier.

Glenara came first, with the mourners and shroud;
Her kinsmen they followed, but mourned not aloud;
Their plaids all their bosoms were folded around;
They marched all in silence, - they looked on the ground.

In silence they reached, over mountain and moor,
To a heath where the oak-tree grew lonely and hoar;
'Now here let us place the gray stone of her cairn; -
Why speak ye no word?' said Glenara the stern.

'And tell me, I charge ye, ye clan of my spouse,
Why fold ye your mantles, why cloud ye your brows?'
So spake the rude chieftain; no answer is made.
But each mantle, unfolding, a dagger displayed.

'I dreamt of my lady, I dreamt of her shroud.'
Cried a voice from the kinsmen, all wrathful and loud;
'And empty that shroud and that coffin did seem;
Glenara! Glenara! now read me my dream!'

O, pale grew the cheek of that chieftain, I ween,
When the shroud was unclosed and no lady was seen;
When a voice from the kinsmen spoke louder in scorn, -
'Twas the youth who had loved the fair Ellen of Lorn,

'I dreamt of my lady, I dreamt of her grief,
I dreamt that her lord was a barbarous chief;
On a rock of the ocean fair Ellen did seem;
Glenara! Glenara! now read me my dream!'

In dust low the traitor has knelt to the ground,
And the desert revealed where his lady was found;
From a rock of the ocean that beauty is borne;
Now joy to the house of fair Ellen of Lorn.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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