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Poem by Joanna Baillie
IN a dream of the night I was wafted away, To the moorland of mist where the martyrs lay; Where Cameron's sword and his bible are seen, Engrav'd 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 moorlands the standard of Sion, All bloody and torn 'mong the heather was lying. It was morning, and summer's young sun, from the east, Lay in loving repose on the green mountain's breast, On Woodlaw, and Cairn-table, the clear shining dew, Glisten'd sheen 'mong the heath-bells and mountain-flowers blue. And far up in Heaven in the white sunny cloud, The song of the lark was melodious and loud, And in Glenmuir's wild solitudes lengthen'd and deep, Was the whistling 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 green July's bright morning. But, ah! there were hearts cherish'd far other feelings, Illumin'd by the light of prophetic revealings, Who drank from this scenery of beauty but sorrow, For they knew that their blood would bedew it tomorrow. '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 Earl's-hall around them were hov'ring, And their bridle-reins rung through the thin misty cov'ring. Their faces grew pale, and their swords were unsheath'd, But the vengeance that darken'd their brow was unbreath'd; With eyes rais'd to Heaven in meek 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 midst derision and laughter, As the hosts 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 stood calm and unclouded; Their dark eyes flash'd lightning, as proud 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 moorlands, the mighty were falling. When the righteous had fallen, and the combat had ended, A chariot of fire through the dark cloud descended, The drivers were angels on horses of whiteness, And its burning wheels turn'd upon 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 chariot and steeds of salvation. On the arch of the rainbow the chariot is gliding, Through the paths of the thunder the horsemen are riding.-- Glide swiftly, bright spirits, the prize is before ye, A crown never-fading, a kingdom of glory!
Joanna Baillie's other poems:
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