Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 139.pdf/523

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Sweet is to me in Uchả Alữinn?[1]
On a peaked crag to be,
That I might often behold
The face of the boundless sea.


To look on the heaving waves,
While in their Father's ear
Music forever they chant,
Hymning the world's career.


The level and star-bright strand
No sorrow it were to see,
And to hear the wondrous birds,
Sailing on happily.


The thunder of crowding waves
To hear on the rocky shore.
And down by the church to hear
The sounding surges roar.


To see the swift-flying flocks
Over the watery plain,
And, greatest of wonders all,
The monsters of the main.


To see the ebb and the flood
In power upon the sea,
And Cul-ri-Erin[2] there, I say,
My secret name would be.


And grief would come to my heart,
While gazing to her shore,
And all the many ills I've done
I weeping would deplore.


The Godhead then would I bless,
Him who doth all things keep,
Heaven with its orders bright untold,
And earth and shore and deep.


I would search in all the books
That good to my soul would bring,
Now to beloved Heaven ICd kneel,
And now a psalm I'd sing.


Heaven's high one, the holy Chief,
My thoughts would now employ,
Anon, to work without constraint
Would be to me a joy.


Dulse from the rocks I would pluck,
At times I'd fishing go,
At times I would feed the poor,
Now in the cell bend low.


Best counsel in the sight of God
To me there hath been given,
From error he shall keep me free,
My king, the Lord of Heaven!

Macmillan's Magazine.


["Hereabouts is a thing remarkable, though but little
taken notice of, — I mean that goodly prospect from
the top of Leith Hill. . . . The like, I think, is not
to be found in any part of England, or perhaps
Europe besides; and the reason why it is not more
observed is partly its lying quite out of any road,
and partly its rising so gently, and making so little
show till one is got to the very top of it." —
Camden's Britannia.]

Yes, — thirty years ago
Last Easter Day, two striplings topped thy height
Leaping and singing, turned, in hushed delight
Gazed on the marvellous landscape spread below.

Twenty-four years ago,
Three sauntering friends slowly strolled up: there sat
Long summer hours of jest and tale and chat, —
The shimmering view in sunshine all aglow!

A dozen years ago,
Again I climbed thy side: this time, alack!
With wife, and eldest-born apickaback, —
How the young rascal made me sweat and blow!

I, a few weeks ago
Toilsomely scale thy steep one autumn day,
And land and sky look misty, sad, and grey, —
Or is the mist in me? I am changed so!

Old friends of long ago,
Buffeted, scattered, world-worn and way-sore;
Or, won that hill where Moses stood of yore, —
A goodlier prospect than this world can show!

But the great view below,
These counties stretching to the far-off sea,
With chessboard field, toy farm, and pigmy tree,
Are what old Camden saw, three hundred years ago.


  1. Lovely Breast — The rocky heights on the southwest of Iona are called Uchdachan at this day.
  2. Back turned to Ireland — Erin no more!