'Twas at the hour of dark midnight, Before the first cock's crowing, When westland winds shook Stirling's towers, With hollow murmurs blowing; When Fanny fair, all woebegone, Sad on her bed was lying, And from the ruin'd towers she heard The boding screech owl crying. O dismal night! she said, and wept, O night presaging sorrow, I dismal night! she said, and wept, But more I dread tomorrow. For now the bloody hour draws nigh, Each host to Preston bending; At morn shall sons their fathers slay, With deadly hate contending. Even in the visions of the night, I saw fell death wide sweeping; And all the matrons of the land, And all the virgins, weeping. And now she heard the massy gates Harsh on their hinges turning; And now through all the castle heard The woeful voice of mourning. Aghast, she started from her bed, The fatal tidings dreading; O speak, she cry'd, my father's slain! I see, I see him bleeding! A pale corpse on the sullen shore, At morn, fair maid, I left him; Even at the thresh-hold of his gate, The foe of life bereft him. Bold, in the battle's front, he fell, With many a wound deformed; A braver Knight, nor better man, This fair isle ne'er adorned. While thus he spoke, the grief-struck maid A deadly swoon invaded; Lost was the lustre of her eyes, And all her beauty faded. Sad was the sight, and sad the news, And sad was our complaining; But oh! for thee, my native land What woes are still remaining. But why complain, the hero's soul Is high in heaven shining: May providence defend our isle From all our foes designing.
Back to Chapter
Back to Contents List
Embro, Embro Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin