David Herschell Edwards.

One hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) online

. (page 14 of 29)
Online LibraryDavid Herschell EdwardsOne hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 29)
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alread}> hinted, he makes good use of liis " mither
tongue." His minor Scottish pieces have an easy
grace, and a thorough heartiness about them which is
not so apparent in his smaller English pieces. His
more lengthy Englisli ]ioems show high poetic power,
and many points of poetic genius. "The Poet's
Mission" and " Tlie Battle of Drumclog " belong to
this class. The latter — especially in the holy calm
of the conventicle, the stir and bustle of the surprise,
and tlie rapid and ^ aried action of the conflict — pre-
sents a linely-drawn pictiire of that historical episode.
"We would fain have given at least quotations from
the first-mentioned piece, and also from " Behold the
Man," "The Di-awn Blinds," and several others, but
we could not think of mutilating them. AVe cannot
refrain, however, from giving an extract from

THE BATTLE OF DRUMCLOG.

Break, veil of clouds ! Ho ! tliere it shines? — the splendid sun of

June —
Above Drumclog'.s luiplough'd morass, an hour before the noon ;
And gathered on the lieather-brae, rough-booted there they

stand —
A stout sword girded on each thigh, a Bible in each hand —
A handful of heroic men —God's covenanted few—
"Who dare, in face of fire and death, to hold their conscience

true.
And see, each stalwart form is bow"d, each honest brow is bare,
\VTiile, soft as dew, falls on their ears the preacher's voice of

prayer.
God bless that reverend liead of his ! those humbly lifted liands !
Fulfilling on the wild hills thus the .Master's high commands !
A boulder stone his liible-board ; the hill-pool, (leap and clear,
God's cup of sacramental wine o'erflowing year by year ;
And proudly throbs that parent's heart whose first-born gift is

laid
On some bare alter of the glen, by tlie white linn o'erspray'd.

But list I the solemn voice of praise uprising through the calm —
Auld Scotland sending up tosalm.
Ah ! there it swells ami sliakes the air — a hymn of holy words,
Mixed with the music of the winds, the wild cries of the birds.
N



Online LibraryDavid Herschell EdwardsOne hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 29)