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

Loch Long

Loch Long

By Samuel Rogers (1763–1855)

BLUE was the loch, the clouds were gone,

Ben-Lomond in his glory shone,

When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze

Bore me from thy silver sands,

Thy kirkyard wall among the trees,

Where, gray with age, the dial stands;

That dial so well known to me!

Though many a shadow it had shed,

Beloved sister, since with thee

The legend on the stone was read.

The fairy isles fled far away;

That with its woods and uplands green

Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,

And songs are heard at close of day;

That too, the deer’s wild covert, fled,

And that, the asylum of the dead:

While, as the boat went merrily,

Much of Rob Roy the boatman told;

His arm that fell below his knee,

His cattle-ford and mountain hold.

Tarbat, thy shore I climbed at last;

And, thy shady region passed,

Upon another shore I stood,

And looked upon another flood;

Great Ocean’s self! (’T is He who fills

That vast and awful depth of hills;)

Where many an elf was playing round,

Who treads unshod his classic ground;

And speaks, his native rocks among,

As Fingal spoke and Ossian sung.

Night fell; and dark and darker grew

That narrow sea, that narrow sky,

As o’er the glimmering waves we flew;

The sea-bird rustling, wailing by,

And now the grampus, half descried,

Black and huge above the tide;

The cliffs and promontories there,

Front to front, and broad and bare;

Each beyond each, with giant feet

Advancing as in haste to meet;

The shattered fortress, whence the Dane

Blew his shrill blast, nor rushed in vain,

Tyrant of the drear domain,—

All into midnight shadow sweep,

When day springs upward from the deep.

Kindling the waters in its flight,

The prow wakes splendor; and the oar,

That rose and fell unseen before,

Flashes in a sea of light.

Glad sign and sure! for now we hail

Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale;

And bright indeed the path should be,

That leads to friendship and to thee!

O blest retreat and sacred too!

Sacred as when the hell of prayer

Tolled duly on the desert air,

And crosses decked thy summits blue.

Oft, like some loved romantic tale,

Oft shall my weary mind recall,

Amid the hum and stir of men,

Thy beechen grove and waterfall,

Thy ferry with its gliding sail,

And her,—the Lady of the Glen!