In days that long have glided by,
Beneath keen Scotia's weeping sky,
On many a hill of purple heath,
In many a gloomy glen beneath,
The wand'ring Lyrist once was known
To pour his harp's entrancing tone.
Then, when the castle's rocky form
Rose 'mid the dark surrounding storm,
The Harper had a sacred seat,
Whence he might breathe his wild notes sweet.
Oh! then, when many a twinkling star
Shone in the azure vault afar,
And mute was ev'ry mountain-bird,
Soft music from the harp was heard;
And when the morning's blushes shed
On hill, or tow'r, their varying red,
Oh! then the harp was heard to cheer,
With earliest sound, th' enraptur'd ear;
Then many a lady fair was known,
With snowy hand, to wake its tone;
And infant fingers press'd the string,
And back recoil'd, to hear it sing.
Sweet instrument! such was thy pow'r,
'Twas thine to gladden ev'ry hour;
The young and old then honour'd thee,
And smil'd to hear thy melody.
Alas! as Time has turn'd to dust
The temple fair, the beauteous bust,
Thou too hast mark'd his frowning brow;
No Highland echo knows thee now:
A savage has usurp'd thy place,
Once fill'd by thee with ev'ry grace;
Th' inflated Pipe, with swinish drone,
Calls forth applauses once thine own.