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THE LEGEND OF BEN LEDI1

ON his couch Imperial Alpin2

In majestic grandeur lay,

Dying with the sun that faded

O'er the plain of granite gray. {101A}

Snowy white his beard descended,

Flecked with foeman's crimson gore,

And he rose and grasped his broadsword,

And he prayed to mighty Thor:

“God of thunder, god of battle,

God of pillage and of war,

Hear the king of Scotland dying

On the Leny's thundrous shore!

“Thrice three hundred have I smitten

With my single arm this day;

Now of life my soul is weary,

I am old, I pass away.

“Grant me this, immortal monarch,

Such a tomb as ne'er before,

Such a tomb as never after

Monarch thought or monarch saw.”

Then he called his sons around him,

And he spake again and cried:

“Seven times a clansman's bowshot

Lay me from the Leny's side.

“Where the plain to westward sinketh,

Lay me in my tartan plaid,

All uncovered to the tempest,

In my hand my trusty blade.”

Hardly had he spake the order,

When his spirit passed away;

And his sons their heads uncovered

As they bore him o'er the brae.

Seven times did Phail McAlpine

Bend his mighty bow of yew;

Seven times with lightning swiftness

West the winged arrow flew.

Seven times a clansman's bowshot

From the Leny's western shore,

Laid they him where on to Achray

Spread the plain of Ian Vohr.

Hard by Teith's tumultuous waters

Camped his sons throughout the night,

Till the rosy blush of morning

Showed a vast majestic sight {101B}

Where of late the plain extended

Rose a mighty mass of stone,

Pierced the clouds, and sprang unmeasured

In magnificence – alone!

There the clansmen stood and wondered,

As the rock, supremely dire,

Split and trembled, cracked and thundered,

Lit with living flecks of fore.

Spake the chief: “My trusty clansmen,

This is not the day of doom;

This is honour to the mighty;

Clansmen, this is Alpin's tomb.”

NYMPSFIELD RECTORY.

“December” 1893

 

The Honourable Adulterers | Index | A Descent of the Moench

 

1. The “Hill of God.”

2. The First King of all Scotland.

 

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