Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Glen Almain; Or, the Narrow Glen

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Glen Almain (Glen Almond)

Glen Almain; Or, the Narrow Glen

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

IN this still place, remote from men,

Sleeps Ossian, in the Narrow Glen;

In this still place, where murmurs on

But one meek streamlet, only one:

He sang of battles, and the breath

Of stormy war, and violent death;

And should, methinks, when all was past,

Have rightfully been laid at last

Where rocks were rudely heaped, and rent

As by a spirit turbulent;

Where sights were rough and sounds were wild,

And everything unreconciled;

In some complaining, dim retreat,

For fear and melancholy meet;

But this is calm; there cannot be

A more entire tranquillity.

Does then the Bard sleep here indeed?

Or is it but a groundless creed?

What matters it?—I blame them not

Whose fancy in this lonely spot

Was moved; and in such way expressed

Their notion of its perfect rest.

A convent, even a hermit’s cell,

Would break the silence of this Dell:

It is not quiet, it is not ease;

But something deeper far than these:

The separation that is here

Is of the grave; and of austere

Yet happy feelings of the dead;

And therefore was it rightly said

That Ossian, last of all his race!

Lies buried in this lonely place.