AN IMITATION OF THE PROPHECY OF NEREUS.
From HORACE, Book III. Ode XXV.
Dicam insigne, recens, adhuc
Indictum ore alio. Non secus in jugis
Exsomnis stupet Evias,
Hebrum prospiciens, & nive candidam
Thracen, ac pede barbaro
Lustratam Rhodopen. — —
1 AS Mar his round one morning took,
2 (Whom some call earl, and some call duke)
3 And his new brethren of the blade,
4 Shiv'ring with fear and frost, survey'd,[Page 31]
5 On Perth's bleak hills he chanc'd to spy
6 An aged wizard six foot high,
7 With bristled hair and visage blighted,
8 Wall-ey'd, bare-haunch'd, and second-sighted.
9 The grizly sage in thought profound
10 Beheld the chief with back so round,
11 Then roll'd his eye-balls to and fro
12 O'er his paternal hills of snow,
13 And into these tremendous speeches
14 Brake forth the prophet without breeches.
15 Into what ills betray'd by thee,
16 This ancient kingdom do I see!
17 Her realms unpeopled and forlorn!
18 Wae's me! that ever thou wert born!
19 Proud English loons (our clans o'ercome)
20 On Scottish pads shall amble home;
21 I see them dress'd in bonnets blue,
22 (The spoils of thy rebellious crew)
23 I see the target cast away,
24 And chequer'd plad become their prey,
25 The chequer'd plad to make a gown
26 For many a lass in London town.
27 In vain the hungry mountaineers
28 Come forth in all their warlike geers,
29 The shield, the pistol, durk, and dagger,
30 In which they daily wont to swagger;
31 And oft have sally'd out to pillage
32 The hen-roosts of some peaceful village,[Page 32]
33 Or, while their neighbours were asleep,
34 Have carry'd off a low-land sheep.
35 What boots thy high-born host of beggars,
36 Mac-leans, Mac-kenzies, and Mac-gregors,
37 With popish cut-throats, perjur'd ruffians,
38 And Forster's troops of raggamuffins?
39 In vain thy lads around thee bandy,
40 Inflam'd with bagpipe and with brandy.
41 Doth not bold Sutherland the trusty,
42 With heart so true, and voice so rusty,
43 (A loyal soul) thy troops affright,
44 While hoarsely he demands the fight?
45 Do'st thou not gen'rous Ilay dread,
46 The bravest hand, the wisest head?
47 Undaunted do'st thou hear th' alarms
48 Of hoary Athol sheath'd in arms?
49 Douglas, who draws his lineage down
50 From thanes and peers of high renown,
51 Fiery and young, and uncontrol'd,
52 With knights and squires, and barons bold,
53 (His noble houshold-band) advances,
54 And on his milk-white courser prances.
55 Thee Forfar to the combat dares,
56 Grown swarthy in Iberian wars:
57 And Monroe kindled into rage
58 Sowrly defies thee to engage;
59 He'll rout thy foot, though ne'er so many,
60 And horse to boot — if thou hadst any.
61 But see Argyle with watchful eyes,
62 Lodg'd in his deep intrenchments lies!
63 Couch'd like a lion in thy way,
64 He waits to spring upon his prey;
65 While like a herd of tim'rous deer
66 Thy army shakes and pants with fear,
67 Led by their doughty gen'ral's skill,
68 From frith to frith, from hill to hill.
69 Is thus thy haughty promise pay'd
70 That to the Chevalier was made,
71 When thou didst oaths and duty barter
72 For dukedom, gen'ralship, and garter?
73 Three moons thy Jemmy shall command,
74 With highland sceptre in his hand,
75 Too good for his pretended birth
76 — Then down shall fall the king of Perth.
77 'Tis so decreed: for GEORGE shall reign,
78 And traitors be forsworn in vain.
79 Heav'n shall for ever on him smile,
80 And bless him still with an Argyle.
81 While thou, pursu'd by vengeful foes,
82 Condemn'd to barren rocks and snows,
83 And hinder'd passing Inverlocky,
84 Shalt burn thy clan, and curse poor Jocky.