Thursday, August 19, 2010

Charles Edward Stuart at Glenfinnan

The following verses convey but little idea of the feelings with which, so sung and accompanied, they were heard by Waverley:--


There is mist on the mountain, and night on the vale,
But more dark is the sleep of the sons of the Gael.
A stranger commanded--it sunk on the land,
It has frozen each heart, and benumb'd every hand!


The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust,
The bloodless claymore is but redden'd with rust;
On the hill or the glen if a gun should appear,
It is only to war with the heath-cock or deer.


The deeds of our sires if our bards should rehearse,
Let a blush or a blow be the meed of their verse!
Be mute every string, and be hush'd every tone,
That shall bid us remember the fame that is flown.


But the dark hours of night and of slumber are past,
The morn on our mountains is dawning at last;
Glenaladale's peaks are illumined with the rays,
And the streams of Glenfinnan leap bright in the blaze.

[Footnote: The young and daring adventurer, Charles Edward, landed at Glenaladale, in Moidart, and displayed his standard in the valley of Glenfinnan, mustering around it the Mac-Donalds, the Camerons, and other less numerous clans, whom he had prevailed on to join him. There is a monument erected on the spot, with a Latin inscription by the late Doctor Gregory.]

As Edward Waverley learns, in Walter Scott's Waverley, Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard at Glenfinnan at the start of the Jacobite Rising of 1745.  This occurred on August 19, of that year.

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