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MORA CAMPBELL.

BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.

When that dire year had come and gone, From Mull of Morven to Loch-Orn, That laid the pride of Caledon,

From gray Glen-Orchy and from Lorn, At one infuriate venture, low,

Breadalbane's maidens, bronzed and tall, Beneath the foot of cruel foe

-And the blue eyes of Fortingall; That cursed year, whose memory brands Yet Mora of Glen-Lyon shone With burning flame her northern lands, O'er all, unequali’d, and alone, And deep on mountain, fell, and flood, Like the young moon on summer even, Is graved in characters of blood

Walking amid the stars of heaven. It was, when last was heard the jar, Great was the friendly strife among The tempest and the clang of war The courtly warriors of the throng, Witbin our isle ; when April's sun To gain this peerless maiden's hand Siw red Culloden lost and won,

At serenade or saraband; And the bold lineage of the Gael

For where a maiden shews her face, Trodden like dust o'er moor and dale; Whate'er her nation or her race, When the bright star of Stuart's race Man still will love, and still will woo, Was dashed from its resplendent place, The best-of thousands-or of two, That ruddy star which through the spheres Be she a savage, serf, or slave, Had shone sublime a thousand years, Or maiden of the emerald wave; That rose through blood in times of yore, Nay, be she sable, brown, or fair, A light ensanguined always bore,

She's loved, if better be not there. Then set in blood for evermore ;

So was it here; the southern host 'Twas then and there, where England's Were feasted at their foemen's cost, bands

And there, in reckless riot, lay, Lay mid Lochaber's ruined lands, Watching the north, for many a day; And held loud revels of delight,

But, o, what stir, and joy, and ramp, Feasting and dancing day and night, When these young maidens sought the With every freak, and whim, and game,

camp! That conquerors in despite could frame. Then all was compliment and cooing, The chiefs of Diarmid all were there, With toying, teasing, love, and wooing. Noted for heroes tall and fair,

But short their stay. A visit sped Of manly mete and noble mien,

More to the living than the dead, All blazing in their tartans sheen; Though some had sighs and tears to A name of majesty and power,

feign Whose might, in Scotia's darkest hour, Above the graves of kinsmen slain; Had oft been roused and starkly tried, And now warm vows of love were cast But always on the strongest side ; On ladies' ears, as thick and fast For why, they say, with power avail ? As leaves fall from Lochaber trees, 'Tis they who always turn the scale ; Or snow-flakes from her northern breeze. For where they join their potent name, Among the rest, an English knight, The side of power must be with them. Sir Hugh de Vane of Barnard hight,

Howe'er that be, or false or true, Made love to Mora in such way, A tale of love hath nought to do; That her young mind was moved to stay, Suffice it, that the Campbells were And take her lot, for ill or good, The chief great name of Scotland there; With a young knight of noble blood. And hence, their dames and maidens fair Her brother, too, seemed to approve, Came to the camp their joys to share, Vouching Sir Hugh's unblemished love, And sooth such dancing and deray, But urged her not to stay or go, Such galliardise and gambols gay, Or answer him with yes or no. Ne'er sounded over shore and vale

The sequel scarcely need I tellOn dark Lochaber's dusky gale.

They had no heart to say farewell; Among the rest, there came a maid The maid was won, you may foresee, From green Glen-Lyon's mountain glade, As all maids are, or wish to be ; Hight Mora Campbell, one whose mien For what fair maiden can refuse, Excell'd all beauty ever seen

When gallant youthful warrior sues ? In Scotia's stern and stormy reign, Their hands in holy bond were tied, Where beauty strove to bloom in vain. Sir Hugh was happy with his bride, But though the maidens of Argyle, As youth could with such beauty be, Gathered from continent and isle, And drank of pleasure to the lee;

VOL. XXXY, NO. CCXXIII.

3

But ne'er his marriage would confess “ Thou liest, thou dog! Darest thou To one of all the jocund mess,

deny Save her own brother, from whose hand I witness'd with mine ear, mine eye, He got the flower of fair Scotland- Thy interchange of marriage vow ? A proud and haughty youth was he, The ring is on her finger now, As Highland captain needs must be. The lines of marriage in her breast;

The army's ordered by the crown And this dire wrong must be redressid To foreign lands, to earn renown, To that dear maid, or, by the rood, And all are forced, howe'er inclin'd, I'll cancel't in thy traitor blood To leave their Highland loves behind. For thy soul's worth this truth deny!" Mora prepared at break of day

This Campbell's fierce and proud reply: To follow ber dear lord away,

But ere the half of it was said, Wherever call’d to face a foe,

Mora had sunk to earth as dead; Or honour beckon'd him to go;

She heard its import, saw its meed, But by the General was withstood, And all the woe that would suceeed. And ordered with her sisterhood.

Young Campbell, by affection tied, Up came young Campbell of the glen, Was quickly at his sister's side, Fierce as a lion from his den,

And aided by his kiosmen keen, In mood provoking stern reply,

He bore her lifeless from the green. And fierce defiance in his eye :

Sir Hugh was moved, and struggled bare “ My lord,” said he, “I may not bear 'Twixt insult and sincere regard, Such court'sy to my sister dear.

And would bave follow'd, to his harm, Think'st thou her birth and lineage good, But was withheld by strength of arm. The best of Albyn's noble blood,

The Scot to reason did not try, No better than that motley race

As deep his wrong his wrath was high. Brought by thy kinsmen to disgrace? As for the General, 'twas his will I tell thee, lord, unto thy brow,

Always to use the clansmen ill ; My sister's higher born than thou ; He seem'd to view them as a face And more, she is thy nephew's spouse, Destined for nothing but disgrace, By all the holy marriage vows

And therefore tried with all his care Wed with a ring-his lawful wife, To hound the dog and hold the hare. I the maintainer with my life.”

The dire event I grieve to tell ; • Hence to thy post, thou saucy Scot, They challenged, fought, and Campbell Thy brigh descent I question not; Nay, doubt not that thy sires renown'd And ere poor Mora's beauteous eye Were mighty kings, revered and crown'd, Re-opend on the morning sky, O'er some poor glen of slaggy wood, Ere reason had her throne resumed, Before the universal flood;

And darken'd intellect return'd, But this I know, that blood of thine Her only brother, her sole shield, Commingle never shall with mine, Was carried wounded from the field, To taint it with rebellion's ban,

With all his tartans crimson-dyed,
Thy nation's curse since time began, And stretch'd down by his sister's side.
The charge is false I know Sir Hugh This was a trial too severe
Not for his soul this thing durst do For youth and beauty well to bear ;
Without my knowledge and consent ; And that same day the English bost
He would not stoop to circumvent March'd off, and hope of love was lost ;
A beauteous maiden to disgrace

And Mora's young elastic mind,
I'll question him before her face." Brisk as Glen-Lyon's balmy wind,

Up came Sir Hugh, and took his stand And placid as the evening's fall Hard by his General's trembling hand ; On the green bowers of Fortingall, He heard his words, and saw his look, Was all at once, before its prime, While Campbell with resentment shook, In misery plunged without a crime. And Mora stood as deadly pale

I know of no such deadly smart As floweret in December's gale; To fall on maiden's bleeding heart. Sooth the young warrior bore a mind When the Almighty's sacred sway Not to be envied or defined.

Calls our dear bosom friends away, Sir, tell me, on your word, your life, There is a cause we calm should be, Is this young dame your wedded wife ?" A reverence due to the decree

Sir Hugh grew wan, Sir Hugh grew red, A holy awe that swathes the past
He tried to speak, but speech had fled; And present, dark and overcast,
Three times he tried the truth to own, Both in a glorious future light,
And thrice the word he gulped down; Eternal, infinite, and bright;
Then with a burst of gather'd breath, And thus our deepest sorrow given
"No," he replied, as if in wrath. Is mingled with a ray of heaven.

fell;

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But when affection all and whole And left her guardian and her shield
The very pillars of the soul,

A-bleeding on Boleskine field,
Are placed on one sole being here, From thence, in fortune ill or good,
For whom alone this life is dear,

He was a man of alter'd mood
To find that one our trust betray, A man who only seem'd to take
And all our hopes in ruin lay-

A thought of life for sorrow's sake, Then 'reaved, astonish'd, and forsaken, Fought but to mitigate his wo, The structure of the soul is shaken, And gloried not in friend or foe. Without one prop whereon to rest, Three years of fierce and bloody feud That will not pierce the stooping breast, Produced a transient quietude, Or thought of one beloved so well, And brave Sir Hugh's diminish'd corps Unshaded by a tinge of hell;

Returned to England's welcome shore. This is a grief without remede

Meanwhile his son on Highland brae, This, this is wretchedness indeed! By one more relative's decay,

In this dire state of dumb dismay Succeeded had, by birth allied, And hopeless grief, for many a day, To fair Glen-Lyon far and wide, Of every cheering ray bereft,

To castle, peel, and barbican, Was Mora of Glen-Lyon left.

The greatest laird of all his clan. She never waked one morn to cumber, Why does fair Mora of the wild On which she wish'd not still to slumber; Thus deck herself and comely child, She never sunk that night to rest, Not in Clan-Campbell's tartans sheen, On which she wish'd not to be blest The red, the yellow, and the green, With dreamless sleep that break should But in new robes of southern hue, never,

Pale garments of cerulean blue; Unknown, unknowing ought for ever. And daily take a stand sublime, In that fond heart where love had Like meteors of a foreign clime? reigned,

Ask not again-thou know'st full A vacancy alone remain'd,

well, A dreary void, which to supply

Nought of this world in which we dwell, Nothing remain'd beneath the sky; No fault nor failing, time nor space, For with the husband of her youth, Can woman's maiden love efface. His sacred honour and his truth,

It blossoms, still a virgin gem, Vanish'd her hope, her fear, her all. And offspring strengtbens still the stem. But yet, at pity's gentle call,

Sooner may maiden fresh and fair Some kind emotions woke anew;

Forget her locks of flowing hair, She to her suffering brother flew,

That, heaving with her balmy breath, Yielded to nature's kindred sway, To lover's heart throws shaft of death ; And nursed and soothed bim night and Sooner neglect its crescent bow day;

And shed oblique above the brow, Nor once produced unwelcome theme, And all her charms aright to set, By mention of her husband's name. Than once an early love forget ;

Home to Glen-Lyon's lonely glade, Nay, sooner may maternal love The wounded warrior was convey'd, A truant to her nature prove, And after tedious illness borne,

And her betrothed affections flee Dejected, wearied, and outworn,

The infant smiling on her knee, He yielded up his spirit brave,

Than she can from her heart dethrone And sunk to an untimely grave.

The father of that lovely one. And just before bis life's last close, Even when poor Mora's heart was rest Glen-Lyon's flower, her faded rose, Of all-still sovereign love was left. Wept o'er a young and helpless guest, And now she thought-what could she And nursed him on her youthful breast A lovely babe; he throve and grew, But ween her husband still was true; Prattled, and smiled, and nothing knew And, when in freedom, would not fail Of all his mother's yearnings strong, To seek Glen. Lyon's Highland dale, And all her deep and deadly wrong.

Where counts would soon have been Sir Hugh, with feelings rack'd and torn, made even, And spirit wounded and forlorn,

And all forgotten and forgiven. At all the ills his hand had wrought, He sent not-came not once that way; And conduct with dishonour fraught, Though many a weary hour and day, Was hurried by his General far,

She and the boy of her delight To combat in a foreign war,

Stood robed in southern garments bright, And hold command in that campaign With anxious eyes straining intent • Tbat ravaged Alsace and the Rhine. South from the highest battlement. But from that day he first denied Then every night she dreamed anew, His youthful wife in warrior pride, Of meeting with her own Sir Hugh;

do

And every day she took her stand,

The effect was instant, powerful, And look'd unto the southern land;

strong,
While every time she kissed her boy, Without the force of right or wrong
A mother's pride, a mother's joy, To rectify or countervail ;
Waked ardent longings to attain

Once more was heaved the loaded Sight of his father once again.

scale, Her heart could brook no more delay, And all the world unto a shred, And southward on a dubious way, Love-sovereign love-preponderated. She with her boy disguised is gone- O there was something in her air, By land, by sea, they journey'd on, So comely, so divinely fair, And soon arrived with purpose shrewd, So fraught with beauty's genial glow, Mid London's mingled multitude, Like angel dream'd of long ago, Where straight she went in courtly style, That all his energies of mind To Lady Ella of Argyle, *

To this dear object were confined ! And there did secretly impart

He durst not think of former spouse, Each wish and purpose of her heart. Nor dream of former broken vows, That lady welcomed her the more Because, without this lady, he As all her wrongs she knew before, Found life was utter misery. And oft had wish'd most fervently, Unto Argyle all was unknown; A mediatrix there to be,

The lady Ella knew alone. Though, certes, little did she ween But he, good man, was to his end, Her friend was beauty's peerless queen. A Campbell's best and firmest friend :

What scope for matron's subtle aid ! And judging this a proffer fit, Their potent measures soon were laid; He urged the beauty to submit. And forth came Mora of the glen,

No-she had reasons indirect Amid a wilderness of men

A southron always to suspect; All gazing--all entranced outright, And unto one should never yield, At hier resplendent beauty bright; Till bonds and contracts, sign'd and For no such loveliness or worth,

seal'd, As this fair vision of the North,

Were all made firm in liege and land, Had e'er been seen by mortal man, And lodged in good Duke Archibald's Or heard of since the world began. The lady took her friend so fair,

Then lothly did she yield consent To balls, assemblies, everywhere;

To vows of love so vehement, And sooth she was a comely sight, And they were wed in princely style, In silken tartans blazing bright,

Within the palace of Argyle. A comet of bedazzling ray,

If brave Sir Hugh loved well before, A rainbow in a winter day

This time was added ten times more; A meteor of the frozen zone,

'Twas as if love had raised its head As bright in course as quickly gone. In resurrection from the dead, For purpose justified and plain,

And fix'd on being all supreme,
The lady surnamed her M'Vane, Like something in a long-lost dream,
Her husband's name, though unperceived, And with an energy intense,
Through Scottish breviat interweaved. As far surpassing mortal sense,
Then every day the clamour spread, He loved, as blessed spirits prove,
Of this unrivall'd Highland maid,

When meeting in the realms above.
And every day brought wooers store, The joy that ligbten'd in her ege,
In splendour to Duke Archibald's door; Was watched by his with ecstasy;
But all advances soon were check'd On every accent of her tongue
By distant coldness and respect,

His ravished ear enraptured hung; And lords and courtiers sued in vain And sometimes as its Highland twang To the unparagon'd M.Vane.

Out through his vitals thrilling rang, Sir Hugh, so dull and saturnine,

It seem'd to bring a pang of woe,
Chanced to behold, without design, And tears would all unbidden flow,
In all her elegance unfurl'd,

As linked, in some mysterious way,
This streamer of the northern world; With visions of a former day.
For there were many movements sly, But faithless lover never pass'd
To bring her to his languid eye,

Without due chastening at the last;
Which no inducement could invite And grievous penalties in store
To look on lady with delight.

Were lurking now Sir Hugh before.

hand;

• This was not the Duchess of Argyle, who had died previously to this adventure ; but the Lady Elizabeth Campbell, or Ela, as the Duke called her familiarly, who then lived with him

One eve, when rung the dinner bell, If she's a wife, I her forego,
His lady was announced unwell;

To censures fitting thereunto;
And worse, on some mysterious plea, And if a mistress, must disclaim
Firmly refused his face to see.

All union with her bloated name; The warrior was astonish'd quite, For though I love her more than life, His senses seem'd involved in night, She ne'er can be my lady wife : As if he struggled, conscience-check'd, Unto the Duke's awards I bow, Some dire offence to recollect,

I know this deed he'll disallow." But could not all its weight perpend, Unto Duke Archibald straight he went, Nor its dimensions comprehend ; His grievous injuries to vent ; His spirit shrunk within his frame, Who heard him with his known degree He watch'd the eye of noble dame, Of calm respect and dignity: And saw with dreadour and with doubt, Then said, “ I take no blame in ought, A flame enkindling him about,

The comely dame my sister brought That would his heart or honour sear; Unto my halls, as courtly guest, But yet he wist not what to fear; And she's incapable of jest. He moved about like troubled sprite, If this fair dame you have espoused, And rested neither day nor night; Hath our high name, and you, abused, For still his darling, his espoused, I give her up without defence, All access to her lord refused ;

To suffer for her fraudulence. At length he sought, in rueful style, Let officers attend, and bear The stately Ella of Argyle.

Her to a jail, till she appear “Madam, by all the holy ties,

In court, and this sad blame remove; Which none knew more than thou to I hope her innocence she'll prove." prize,

The officers arrived in haste;
By those endearments prized the most, Argyle went to his lovely guest,
Which thou hast sigh'd for, gain’d, and To learn if she was not belied ;
lost,

But no one knew what she replied ;
Tell me my doom. What is my crime? For back he came in sullen mood,
And why this painful pantomime? Without remark, evil or good,
To know the worst will be relief

And seem'd resolved to consign
From this exuberance of grief."-

Mora to punishment condign. “ Sir Hugh, it grieves me much to be Ere her commitment was made The herald of perplexity,

out, But letters have arrived of late,

Sir Hugh, in choler and in doubt, That of injurious matters treat;

Pleaded to hear from her own mouth, This lovely dame, whom you have wed, Whate'er it was, the honest truth; Hath our kind guardianship misled ; Then he, impassioned and uproosed, And is not seemingly the dame,

Made rank confusion more confused, Neither in lineage nor in name,

By raging on with stormy din, Which she assumed. They hold it true, Threatening Argyle and all his kinThat she's a wife and mother too ; When lo! in manifest concern, That this is truth, I do not know, The Lady Ella, flush'd and stern, But reasons have to dread it so."

Came in, and with reproving look, Sir Hugh shed some salt tears of Accosted the astonished Duke. grief,

“ My Lord, your writ you may affere, Which brought more anguish than re- 'Tis well the officers are herelief,

For such an injury propense, And thought, as naturally he must, Such dark degrading delinquence, “I am a sinner! God is just!"

Ne'er proffer'd was by mortal man Then blazed he forth with storm and To lady of our kin and clan. threat,

Let the offence have judgment due !"To blaine the lady of deceit.

“ 'Tis my request,” replied Sir Hugh. “ Madam," said he, “ the lady came “ Yes, warrior ! vengeance shall be badForth under your auspicious name; And for thy sake, we'll superadd, And who could deem deceitful wile, As said the prophet to the king, Used by the house of great Argyle ? Thou art the man bath done the thing. I to the Duke make my appeal;

My lord, the criminal malign, From all his princely honest zeal, Is this high favourite of thine, I know he'll rid me of this shame, Who hath us proffer'd that disgrace, So derogating to his name;

Which no effrontery can outface.

This lady was then the widow of her cousin, the Right Hon. Lord M.Kenzie, of Rosehaugh.

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