Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Crockston (Crookston, Cruxtoun)
Cruxtoun Castle
William Motherwell (1797–1835)
 
THOU gray and antique tower,
Receive a wanderer of the lonely night,
Whose moodful sprite
Rejoices at this witching time to brood
Amid thy shattered strength’s dim solitude!        5
It is a fear-fraught hour,—
A deathlike stillness reigns around,
Save the wood-skirted river’s eerie sound,
And the faint rustling of the trees that shower
Their brown leaves on the stream,        10
Mournfully gleaming in the moon’s pale beam:
O, I could dwell forever and forever
In such a place as this, with such a night!
When o’er thy waters and thy waving woods
The moonbeams sympathetically quiver,        15
And no ungentle thing on thee intrudes,
And every voice is dumb, and every object bright!
*        *        *        *        *
Relique of earlier days,
Yes, dear thou art to me!
And beauteous, marvellously,        20
The moonlight strays
Where banners glorious floated on thy walls—
Clipping their ivied honors with its thread
Of half-angelic light;
And though o’er thee Time’s wasting dews have shed        25
Their all-consuming blight,
Maternal moonlight falls
On and around thee full of tenderness,
Yielding thy shattered frame pure love’s divine caress.
*        *        *        *        *
Light feet have trod        30
The soft, green, flowering sod
That girdles thy baronial strength, and traced,
All gracefully, the labyrinthine dance;
Young hearts discoursed with many a passionate glance,
While rose and fell the Minstrel’s thrilling strain        35
(Who, in this iron age, might sing in vain,—
His largesse coarse neglect, and mickle pain!)
Waste are thy chambers tenantless, which long
Echoed the notes of gleeful minstrelsie,—
Notes once the prelude to a tale of wrong,        40
Of royalty and love. Beneath yon tree,
Now bare and blasted,—so our annals tell,—
The martyr queen, ere that her fortunes knew
A darker shade than cast her favorite yew,
Loved Darnley passing well,—        45
Loved him with tender woman’s generous love,
And bade farewell awhile to courtly state
And pageantry for yon o’ershadowing grove,
For the lone river’s banks where small birds sing,—
Their little hearts with summer joys elate,—        50
Where tall broom blossoms, flowers profusely spring;
There he, the most exalted of the land,
Pressed, with the grace of youth, a sovereign’s peerless hand.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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