John Leyden

Written in Glenorchy, near the scene of the massacre of the Macgregors.

In the vale of Glenorchy the night-breeze was sighing
O'er the tombs where the ancient Macgregors are lying:
Green are their graves by their soft murm'ring river,
But the name of Macgregor has perish'd for ever. —
On a red stream of light, from his gray mountains glancing,
The form of a spirit seem'd sternly advancing;
Slow o'er the heath of the dead was its motion,
As the shadow of mist o'er the foam of the ocean;
Like the sound of a stream thro' the still evening dying.
"Stranger, who tread'st where Macgregor is lying!
"Dar'st thou to walk unappall'd and firm-hearted
"Midst the shadowy steps of the mighty departed?—
"See, round thee the cairns of the dead are disclosing
"The shades that have long been in silence reposing!
"Through their form dimly twinkles the moon-beam descending,
"As their red eye of wrath on a stranger are bending.
"Our gray stones of fame though the heath-blossoms cover,
"Round the hills of our battles our spirits still hover;
"But dark are our forms by our blue native fountains,
"For we ne'er see the streams running red from the mountains.
"Our fame fades away like the foam of the river,
"That shines in the sun ere it vanish for ever;
"And no maid hangs in tears of regret o'er the story,
"When the minstrel relates the decline of our glory.
"The hunter of red deer now ceases to number
"The lonely gray stones on the fields of our slumber.
"Fly stranger, and let not thine eye be reverted!—
"Ah! why should'st thou see that our fame is departed?"

Glen Orchy in Argyll and Bute was the ancestral home of the Clan Gregor until King James VI of Scotland banned the clan and attempted to eradicate it in 1603.

Main Location:

Glen Orchy, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

The River Orchy, flowing through Glen Orchy in Scotland