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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

By 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!

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,

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,

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,

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

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

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

(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,

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,—

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,—

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.