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.
 
Loch Leven
Queen Mary’s Escape from Lochleven Castle
Robert Allan (1774–1841)
 
PUT off, put off, and row with speed,
For now ’s the time, and the hour of need!
To oars, to oars, and trim the bark,
Nor Scotland’s queen be a warder’s mark!
Yon light that plays round the castle’s moat        5
Is only the warder’s random shot!
Put off, put off, and row with speed,
For now is the time, and the hour of need!
 
Those ponderous keys 1 shall the kelpies keep,
And lodge in their caverns dark and deep;        10
Nor shall Lochleven’s towers or hall
Hold thee, our lovely lady, in thrall;
Or be the haunt of traitors, sold,
While Scotland has hands and hearts so bold;
Then, steersmen, steersmen, on with speed,        15
For now is the time, and the hour of need!
 
Hark! the alarum-bell hath rung,
And the warder’s voice hath treason sung;
The echoes to the falconet’s roar
Chime softly to the dashing oar.        20
Let town and hall and battlements gleam,
We steer by the light of the tapers’ beam;
For Scotland and Mary, on with speed;
Now, now is the time, and the hour of need!
 
Note 1. The keys here alluded to were, at a recent period, found in the lake. [back]
 
 
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