Loch-Duich - Poem by Evan MacColl
LooH-DuicH, hail ! Scene so all-resplendent!
Were power befitting my wish now mine,
Soon, in a song as my theme transcendent.
Thy charms unmatched would forever shine.
While storms are often o'er ocean sweeping,
Unbroken here is thy slumber, deep
And calm as that of an infant sleeping
Near some sad mother who wakes to weep.
Well may the skiff of the fisher daring.
When tempest-tossed on a sea more wide.
Be often seen towards thee glad-steering,
Assured of safety on thy calm tide.
Ye hills that soar in stern beauty yonder.
Proud watchers over Loch-duich's rest.
Well may ye glory to see your grandeur
Thus mirror'd daily in Duich's breast!
How grand the sight when, with night advancing.
The stars seem touching your summits bold !
Nor less the joy when, your charms enhancing.
The morning crowns you with wreaths of gold.
Hark ! 'tis yon urchins among tLe heather,
They see green woods in the lake below,
And fondly question each other whether
Brown nuts and berries may 'mong them grow!
The herd-boy near them, with no less wonder,
Sees kine within the lake's bosom clear,
And thankful seems, as he looketh on there,
The he d he tendeth himself still near !
DunDonnan !* tow'ring there, grim and ^oary
Thou ghost of greatness long passed away,
Outliving scenes once thy grace and glory.
Good cause thou hast to look sad and gray.
Thou seem'st like Ossian, alone, lamenting
His vanished prowess—his kindred dead ;
Time, thy stern foeman, knows no relenting ;
Soon, soon shall all but thy fame be fled.
'Tis said,' when moonbeams are round thee gleaming,
Oft by thy sea-circled base is seen
A maiden form of the gentlest seeming.
Sad- singing there 'mong the seaweed green.
The passing fisherman shrewdly guesses
That hapless nymph of the golden hair
Is sad because of the missed caresses
From some false lover once hers to share !
Ye streams, that ever in grateful numbers
Pour to Loch-duich your tribute due,
I marvel not it so often slumbers.
Lulled by the anthems thus sung by you.
More properly, Caisteal Donnain, once the residence of the 'Stem son of
Lord Kenneth, high Chief of Kintail 1'MacColl's Poems. 125
Here—through fair, Jower-mantled meadows pasaiug,
Ye, lingering, waken your softest song ;
There—higher up, bright as sunbeams flashing,
Ye ceaseless roar, rage, and rush along
Scur-Orain, chief of a thousand mountains !
Storm-swept and bare though thy forehead be,
The stag delights to live by thy fountains ;—
Hark ! 'tis the crv of the Chase in thee !
What though, with fleetness the winds excelling,
The quarry far to the desert flies,
Ere ends that yell 'mong the rocks far-pealing
The antler'd Pride of the Forest dies.
Fain would I sing of yon dell roe-haunted,
And thou, Kiutail of the woodlands gay.
Where the cuckoo's first spring notes are chanted,
And wildflowers grace even Winter's sway !
Nor would Glensheil in my lay find wanting
The praises due to its minstrel throng.
But most of all to the charmers haunting
That happy Eden of love and song !
But time forbids. Fare thee well, Loch-duich !
Though thy green banks I no more may see,
While life's warm stream in my bosom floweth
I'll cease not lauding and loving thee.
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