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
Loch Leven Castle
Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791–1865)
 
THOU rude and ancient pile,
  Holding thy vigil lone,
Amid the heath-clad isle,
  Where Leven’s waters moan,
Show me the prison-tower        5
  Of Scotland’s fairest queen,
Who, reared in Gallia’s royal bower,
  Endured thy tyrant spleen.
 
Count me the thousand sighs
  Her tortured bosom poured,        10
The tears that dimmed those eyes
  Which rival kings adored,
Unfold her darkened fate,
  A haughty brother’s scorn,
Of her own native realm, the hate,        15
  Of maddened love, the thorn.
 
Methinks a midnight boat
  Still cleaves yon silent tide,
Its glimmering torchlights float
  In mingled fear and pride;        20
Young Douglas wildly steers,
  His throbbing heart beats high,
As freedom’s long-lost radiance cheers
  The rescued prisoner’s eye.
 
He sees no vision pale        25
  Where axe and scaffold gleam,
He hears no stifled wail,
  He marks no life-blood stream.
With ill-dissembled mien,
  Who wields yon vengeful rod?        30
Who made thee judge, thou English queen?
  Her sins are with her God.
 
Hark! from yon mouldering cell
  The owl her shriek repeats,
And all the tissued spell        35
  Of wildering fancy fleets;
Lochleven’s ruined towers
  Once more the moonbeams flout,
And tangled herbage chokes those bowers
  Whence the rich harp breathed out.        40
 
The lake’s unruffled breast
  Expands like mirror clear,
With emerald islets drest,
  Each in its hermit-sphere;
Yet from those fair retreats        45
  Do mournful memories flow,
And every murmuring shade repeats
  Mary of Scotland’s woe.
 
 
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