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

Loch Ranza

Loch Ranza

By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

(From The Lord of the Isles)

ON fair Loch Ranza streamed the early day,

Thin wreaths of cottage-smoke are upward curled

From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay

And circling mountains sever from the world.

And there the fisherman his sail unfurled,

The goatherd drove his kids to steep Ben-ghoil,

Before the hut the dame her spindle twirled,

Courting the sunbeam as she plied her toil,—

For, wake where’er he may, man wakes to care and toil.

But other duties called each convent maid,

Roused by the summons of the moss-grown bell;

Sung were the matins, and the mass was said,

And every sister sought her separate cell,

Such was the rule, her rosary to tell.

And Isabel has knelt in lonely prayer;

The sunbeam, through the narrow lattice, fell

Upon the snowy neck and long dark hair,

As stooped her gentle head in meek devotion there.