The Cameronian's Dream
A Poem on the slaughter of Mr. Richard Cameron, and others at Ayrs-moss, on the 22nd of July, 1680. Written by an Ayrshire shepherd lad.
In a dream of the night I was wafted away,
To the muirlands of mist, where the martyrs lay;
Where Cameron's sword and his Bible are seen,
Engraved on the stone where the heather grows green.
'Twas a dream of those ages of darkness and blood,
When the minister's home was the mountain and wood;
When in Wellwood's dark valley the standard of Zion,
All bloody and torn, 'mong the heather was lying.
'Twas morning; and summer's young sun from the east,
Lay in loving repose on the green mountain's breast;
On Wardlaw and Cairntable the clear shining dew,
Glisten'd sheen 'mong the heath-bells, and mountain flowers blue.
And far up in heaven, near the white sunny cloud,
The song of the lark was melodious and loud,
And in Glenmuir's wild solitudes, lengthen'd and deep,
Were the whistlings of plovers and bleating of sheep.
And Wellwood's sweet valley breath'd music and gladness,
The fresh meadow blooms hung in beauty and redness;
Its daughters were happy to hail the returning,
And drink the delights of July's sweet morning.
But, oh! there were hearts cherish'd far other feelings,
Illumed by the light of prophetic revealings,
Who drank from the scen'ry of beauty but sorrow,
For they knew that their blood would bedew it to-morrow.
'Twas the few faithful ones who with Cameron were lying
Conceal'd 'mong the mist, where the heath-fowl was crying,
For the horsemen of Earlshall around them were hovering,
And their bridle reins rung through the thin misty covering.
Their faces grew pale, and their swords were unsheath'd,
But the vengeance that darken'd their brow was unbreath'd;
With eyes turn'd to heaven, in calm resignation,
They sung their last song to the God of salvation.
The hills with the deep mournful music were ringing,
The curlew and plover in concert were singing;
But the melody died 'mid derision and laughter,
As the host of ungodly rush'd on to the slaughter.
Though in mist, and in darkness, and fire, they were shrouded,
Yet the souls of the righteous were calm and unclouded,
Their dark eyes flash'd lightening, as firm and unbending,
They stood like the rock which the thunder is rending.
The muskets were flashing, the blue swords were gleaming,
The helmets were cleft, and the red blood was streaming,
The heavens grew dark, and the thunder was rolling,
When in Wellwood's dark muirlands the mighty were falling.
When the righteous had fallen, and the combat was ended,
A chariot of fire through the dark clouds descended;
Its drivers were angels, on horses of whiteness,
And its burning wheels turned on axles of brightness.
A seraph unfolded its doors bright and shining,
All dazzling like gold of the seventh refining,
And the souls that came forth out of great tribulation,
Have mounted the chariots and steeds of salvation.
On the arch of the rainbow the chariot is gliding,
Through the path of the thunder the horsemen are riding,
Glide swiftly, bright spirits! the prize is before you,
A crown never fading, a kingdom of glory!