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.
 
Benvenue
Coir-Nan-Uriskin
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
(From The Lady of the Lake)

IT was a wild and strange retreat,
As e’er was trod by outlaw’s feet.
The dell, upon the mountain’s crest,
Yawned like a gash on warrior’s breast;
Its trench had stayed full many a rock,        5
Hurled by primeval earthquake shock
From Benvenue’s gray summit wild,
And here, in random ruin piled,
They frowned incumbent o’er the spot,
And formed the rugged sylvan grot.        10
The oak and birch, with mingled shade,
At noontide there a twilight made,
Unless when short and sudden shone
Some straggling beam on cliff or stone,
With such a glimpse as prophet’s eye        15
Gains on thy depth, Futurity.
No murmur waked the solemn still,
Save tinkling of a fountain rill;
But when the wind chafed with the lake,
A sullen sound would upward break,        20
With dashing hollow voice, that spoke
The incessant war of wave and rock.
Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway,
Seemed nodding o’er the cavern gray.
From such a den the wolf had sprung,        25
In such the wildcat leaves her young;
Yet Douglas and his daughter fair
Sought for a space their safety there.
 
 
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