YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS
COMPOSED AT DUNOLLIE CASTLE IN THE BAY OF OBAN
"The last I saw was on the wing," off the promontory of
Fairhead, county of Antrim. I mention this because, though my tour
in Ireland with Mr. Marshall and his son was made many years ago,
this allusion to the eagle is the only image supplied by it to the
poetry I have since written. We travelled through that country in
October, and to the shortness of the days and the speed with which
we travelled (in a carriage and four) may be ascribed this want of
notices, in my verse, of a country so interesting. The deficiency
I am somewhat ashamed of, and it is the more remarkable as
contrasted with my Scotch and Continental tours, of which are to
be found in this volume so many memorials.
DISHONOURED Rock and Ruin! that, by law
Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred
Like a lone criminal whose life is spared.
Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw
Was on the wing; stooping, he struck with awe
Man, bird, and beast; then, with a consort paired,
From a bold headland, their loved aery's guard,
Flew high above Atlantic waves, to draw
Light from the fountain of the setting sun.
Such was this Prisoner once; and, when his plumes
The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on,
Then, for a moment, he, in spirit, resumes
His rank 'mong freeborn creatures that live free,
His power, his beauty, and his majesty.