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Kerta then is fallen! What numbers can there flow,
What strains adequate to so great a woe!
Ev'n hostile kingdoms in dark pomp appear,
To strew promiscuous honours o'er his bier.
Hungaria gives the tribute of the eye,
And ruthless Russia melts into a sigh:
They mourn his fate, who felt his sword before ;
And all the hero in the foe deplore.
What must they feel for whom the warrior stormed,
Whose fields he fought, whose every counsel formed !
Brave Prussia's sons depend the mournful head,
And with their tears bedew the mighty dead :
Sad round the corse, a stately ring they stand,
Their arms reflecting terror o'er the land;
With silent eyes they run the hero o'er,
And mourn the chief they shall obey no more;
A pearly drop hangs in each warrior's eye,
And through the army runs the gen’ral sigh',
* This piece appears to have been wrote before the account that M. Keith's funeral obsequies were solemnized by the Austrians had reached
Great Fred'ric comes to join the mighty woe;
Eternal laurels bind his awful brow;
Majestic in his arms he stands, and cries,
Is Keith no more ? and as he speaks, he sighs ;
In silence falls the sable show'r of woe;
He eyes the corse, and frowns upon the foe:
Then grasping his tried sword, the chief alarms,
And kindles all his warriors into arms.
Revenge, he cries, revenge the blood of Keith;
Let Austria pay a forfeit for his death.
They join, and move the shining columns on;
Germania trembles to Vienna's throne.
But Caledonia o'er the rest appears,
And claims pre-eminence to mother-tears :
In deeper gloom her tow'ring rocks arise,
And from her vallies issue doleful sighs.
Sadly she sits, and mourns her glory gone ;
He's fallen, her bravest, and her greatest son!
While at her side her children all deplore
The godlike hero they exiled before,
Sad from his native home the chief withdrew;
But kindled Scotia's glory as he flew;
On far Iberia built his country's fame,
And distant Russia heard the Scottish name.
Turks stood aghast, as, o'er the fields of war,
He ruled the storm, and urged the martial car.
They asked their chiefs, what state the hero raised;
And Albion on the Hellespont was praised.
But chief, as relics of a dying race,
The Keiths command, in woe, the foremost place;
the author; a circumstance which he would probably have converted to very good purpose. BLACKLOCK's Collection, vol. i. p. 229. Edin. 1760.
This note is in Macpherson's enigmatical style, and the poem, which first appeared with his initials, (J. M'P. dated Ruthven, October 31, 1758,) in the Scots and Edinburgh Magazines, was evidently inserted by himself in BLACK LOCK's Collection,
A name for ages through the world revered,
By Scotia loved, by all her en’mies feared ;
Now falling, dying, lost to all but fame,
And only living in the hero's name.
See! the proud halls they once possessed, decayed,
The spiral tow'rs depend the lofty head;
Wild ivy creeps along the mould'ring walls,
And with each gust of wind a fragment falls;
While birds obscene at noon of night deplore,
Where mighty heroes kept the watch before.
On Mem'ry's tablet mankind soon decay,
On Time's swift stream their glory slides away;
But, present in the voice of deathless Fame,
Keith lives, eternal, in his glorious name:
While ages far remote his actions show;
And mark with them the way their chiefs should go;
While sires unto their wond'ring offspring tell,
Keith lived in glory, and in glory fell.
LAMENTED shade! thy fate demands a tear,
An offering due to thy untimely bier;
Accept then, early tenant of the skies,
The genuine drops that low from friendship's eyes !
Those eyes which raptured hung on thee before,
which never shall behold thee more:
So early hast thou to the tomb retired,
And left us mourning what we once admired.
For this did beauty's fairest hand arise
On all your shape, and kindle in your eyes ?
For this did virtue form your infant mind,
And make thee best, as fairest of thy kind ?
Did all the powers for this their gifts bestow,
And only charm us to increase our woe ?
A moment bless us with celestial day,
Then envious snatch the sacred beam away?
Recall the beauteous prize they lately gave,
And bid our tears descend on Anna's grave ?
* First published with Macpherson's initials (J. M.P.), in the Scots Magazine for May 1749, and reprinted with his name in BLACKLOCK'S Collection, V. II. p. 176. Edin. 1769.