Thomas Campbell

(1777-1844 / Glasgow / Scotland)

Lochiel's Warning


Wizard. - Lochiel.

Wizard.
- Lochiel! Lochiel, beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight:
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
'Tis thine, Oh Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is rd with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
Oh weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead:
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave,
Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.


Lochiel.
- Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer!
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight!
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.


Wizard.
- Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn!
Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home, in the dark rolling clouds of the north?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed - for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyry, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
Oh, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlement's height,
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood.


Lochiel.
- False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan:
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws:
When her bonnetted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array -


Wizard.
- Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal:
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadow before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds, that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! annointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold; where he flies on his desolate path!
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
Rise! rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores;
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
His death-bell is tolling; oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale -


Lochiel.
- Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale:
Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore,
Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Lochiel's Warning by Thomas Campbell )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Thanksgiving, Nhuan LeXuan
  2. My Soul, Joseph Narusiewicz
  3. A bell that I hear, Emmanuel George Cefai
  4. Cures For Catatonia, Saiom Shriver
  5. American Blacks And Poor Whites, Is It Poetry
  6. A 'No Piece' Cosby, Blu 1 Blu 1 (Rio de Janeiro)
  7. The System, Cristhian Aguilera
  8. The Agony Of Being Humble, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  9. Ferguson Policeman & The Law, Tom Zart
  10. Ferguson Mo. = Policeman & The Law, Tom Zart

Poem of the Day

poet Christopher Marlowe

Black is the beauty of the brightest day,
The golden belle of heaven's eternal fire,
That danced with glory on the silver waves,
Now wants the fuel that inflamed his beams:
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]