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


The Watch-Tower of Duniquoich

By James Payn (1830–1898)

FAIR hill that sittest crowned serene

Above thy thickset beechen bower,

What sights from out that crest of green,

That rugged steep, that ruined tower,

In the old time hast thou not seen?

The long blue loch in summer pride

Now breaks its wave against the quay,

And whitens round the peaceful side

Of yawl and yacht, and bears to sea

The steam-ships against wind and tide.

But thou hast seen the foray planned,

And moonlight upon dirk and shield

In curvéd galleys grimly manned,

And heard the shrill-voiced mountains yield

The war-note from the farther strand.

Around thy base the fertile leas

On Airey’s banks are thick with kine,

Secure beneath the stately trees

In avenue and arch and line

Whose voice is but the voice of bees.

And there the clans for battle dight

Held wassail deep, and raised the cry

When those upon thy sentried height

Proclaimed the plaided foemen nigh,

And flashed thy beacon through the night.

Adown Ben Büi’s clefts they come,

Friends to the Stuart and red Montrose,

Their slogan mute, their pibroch dumb;

Glen Shirer gives its thickets close,

And all the snow-crowned heights are numb

That, peak by peak, would each be lord

Around the Dhuloch’s icy marge:

In vain; for thanks to thee the ford

Is banked by many a gleaming targe;—

The Campbells waiting with the sword!