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Poem by Janet Hamilton

The Highlands of Scotland

Queen of hundred ocean Isles,
 Rich in scenic grandeurs;
Land of forest, hill, and glen,
 Where the tourist wanders.
Land of torrent, lake, and stream,
 Wild sea-cliff and corry;
Land of mist and legend old,
 Music, song, and story.

Land that erst by thousands poured,
 From hovel, hut, and shieling,
Loyal men, and brimmed their hearts
 With high, heroic feeling.
Where, Oh where thy thousands now?
 Echo, wildly wailing,
Gives mournful answer, Where, Oh where!
 Are our life's springs failing?

No; the red deer yet are rife
 In dingle, copse, and forest,
But the human form hath fail'd
 "When our needs are sorest."
Titled Nimrod's keepers, rude,
 With their canine allies,
Hold usurp'd dominion now
 O'er thy hills and valleys.

Grouse and heath-fowl o'er thy moors
 See by thousands winging;
Thousand sportsmen trace their flight
 Thousand shots are ringing.
But the hunted Celt hath fled
 Heath and burning hovel,
For lands where man meets equal man,
 Not as serf to grovel.

High Dunrobin's stately dame,
 While thy train was sweeping
Through Victoria's royal halls,
 Heard'st thou not the weeping
Of thy vassals in the wild
 The young, the old, the hoary,
The babe, the mother, stalwart forms
 In manhood's pride and glory?

Famine, and the ruthless arm
 Of legal power, impelling,
Drove them forth, while o'er their homes
 Red waves of flame were swelling,
And mournful from the parting shore,
 A voice comes sounding ever,
We leave thee to return no more,
 Ah! nevernevernever.

Janet Hamilton

Janet Hamilton's other poems:
  1. Address to Col. D. C. R. Carrick-Buchanan of Drumpellier
  2. Night Phases of Drunkenness
  3. Address to Garibaldi in His Retirement at Caprera, 1868
  4. Duleep Singh
  5. A Ballad of Memorie

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