Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MAGUS MUIR, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MAGUS MUIR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Gently ye fall, ye summer showers
Last Line: My soul might saved be!
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): Death; Murder; Night; Soul; Summer; Dead, The; Bedtime

GENTLY ye fall, ye summer showers,
On blade, and leaf, and tree;
Ye bring a blessing to the earth,
But nane -- O nane, to me!

Ye cannot wash this red right hand
Free from its deadly stain,
Ye cannot cool the burning ban
That lies within my brain.

O be ye still, ye blithesome birds,
Within the woodland spray,
And keep your songs within your hearts
Until another day:

And cease to fill the blooming brae
With warblings light and clear,
For there's a sweeter song than yours
That I maun never hear.

It was upon the Magus Muir
Within the lanesome glen,
That in the gloaming hour I met
Wi' Burley and his men.

Our hearts were hard as was the steel
We bore within the hand;
But harder was the heart of him
That led that bluidy band.

Dark lay the clouds upon the west
Like mountains huge and still:
And fast the summer lightning leaped
Behind the distant hill.

It shone on grim Rathillet's brow
With pale and ghastly glare:
I caught the glimpse of his cold gray eye --
There was MURDER glittering there!
. . . . . .
Away, away! o'er bent and hill,
Through moss and muir we sped:
Around us roared the midnight storm,
Behind us lay the dead.

We spoke no word, we made no sign
But blindly rade we on,
For an angry voice was in our ears
That bade us to begone,
We were brothers all baptised in blood,
Yet sought to be alone!

Away, away! with headlong speed
We rade through wind and rain,
And never more upon the earth
Did we all meet again.

There's some have died upon the field,
And some upon the tree,
And some are bent and broken men
Within a far countrie,
But the heaviest curse hath lighted down
On him that tempted me!

O hame, hame, hame! -- that holy place --
There is nae hame for me!
There's not a child that sees my face
But runs to its mither's knee.

There's not a man of woman born
That dares to call me kin --
O grave! wert thou but deep enough
To hide me and my sin!

I wander east, I wander west,
I neither can stop nor stay,
But I dread the night when all men rest
Far more than the glint of day.

O weary night, wi' all its stars
Sae clear, and pure, and hie!
Like the eyes of angels up in heaven
That will not weep for me!

O weary night, when the silence lies
Around me, broad and deep,
And dreams of earth, and dreams of heaven,
That vex me in my sleep.

For aye I see the murdered man,
As on the muir he lay,
With his pale white face, and reverend head,
And his locks sae thin and gray;
And my hand grows red with the holy blude
I shed that bitter day!

O were I but a water drop
To melt into the sea --
But never water yet came down
Could wash that blude from me!

And O! to dream of that dear heaven
That I had hoped to win --
And the heavy gates o' the burning gowd
That will not let me in!

I hear the psalm that's sung in heaven,
When the morning breaks sae fair,
And my soul is sick wi' the melodie
Of the angels quiring there.

I feel the breath of God's ain flowers
From out that happy land,
But the fairest flower o' Paradise
Would wither in my hand.

And aye before me gapes a pit
Far deeper than the sea,
And waefu' sounds rise up below,
And deid men call on me.

O that I never had been born,
And ne'er the light had seen!
Dear God -- to look on yonder gates
And this dark gulf between!

O that a wee wee bird wad come
Though 'twere but ance a-year!
And bring but sae much mool and earth
As its sma' feet could bear,

And drap it in the ugsome hole
That lies 'twixt heaven and me,
I yet might hope, ere the warld were dune,
My soul might saved be!

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