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character of Columba, and his labours in planting Christianity, is given in the very spirit of bardic enthusiasm, and closes with a triplet, the last line of which is peculiarly sublime.

But now the Muse awakes the vocal shell

To themes sublimer-generous youth, farewell!
Farewell, ye lonely Isles! where to the skies
Enwrapt in tempests towering rocks arise:
Where low-hung vapours chill the barren plain,
And round you raves th' inhospitable main.
Yet soon shall climes, whom suns more genial crown

With purer lustre, envy your renown.

The desert coast, now scarcely known to fame,
Shall bear to future times Columba's name.

"Columba was the first preacher of Christianity to the Scots in the year 565, about twenty years after the death of Arthur. The remains of several religious edifices, either built by, or dedicated to him, still exist in many of the western islands. He founded a monastery and built a church in that of Hy. This little isle, which is but three miles long and one broad, is celebrated by Buchanan for its fertility; which may naturally be supposed to have originated from a superior degree of cultivation bestowed upon it by its monastic inhabitants and their dependants. From Columba it derived the name of I-colm-kil, or Iona; a word that is said to signify a dove in the Hebrew, as Columba does in the Latin language. The kings of Scotland and of the Isles embellished it with diverse buildings, the remains of which are still visible. In the old monastery of I-colm-kil, the bishops of the Isles, according to Buchanan, erected their

The sainted sage! within its hallow'd shore,
Life's chequer'd dream, its toils, its pleasures o'er,
The sad recluse his wearied eyes shall close,
And scepter'd monarchs in its dust repose.

Where now the wild weed creeps shall roses bloom,
The dark-brown dell a verdant tint assume:

see. Many stately tombs, now defaced by time or overgrown with weeds, were in his days visible; particularly three of superior eminence, over which little shrines, looking towards the east, were placed. In the west part of each was an inscription: the first signified that beneath it were deposited forty-eight kings of Scotland, the last of whom was Macbeth. Malcolm possibly thought that the usurper's remains desecrated the spot, and decreed that Dumferline should in future be the place of royal sepulture. Eight Norwegian and four Irish kings were interred, according to the inscription, beneath the other tombs. The reason assigned why so many monarchs, chiefs, and prelates chose this island as their place of burial is, that they gave credit to an ancient prophecy, which declared, that'seven years before the end of the world a deluge should drown the nations; the sea at one tide cover Ireland and the greenheaded Ilay; but that the isle of Columba should swim above the flood.' Yet, however sacred it might have been deemed by Christian monarchs, we have reason to suppose from Boetius (I. vi. p. 90), that it was before their time considered as the habitation of the weird sisters and evil spirits. A farther account of this island, the singularity of which has led me into, I hope, no unpardonable digression, may be seen in Pennant's Tour in Scotland, vol. iii. p. 241.”HOLE.

And the rough rock, whose ribs of marble brave
The loud-resounding storm, the dashing wave,
Shall then submit to man's successful toil,
And rise a taper spire, or massy pile.
Whilst nature thus laborious art subdues,
A task more arduous still the saint pursues.
He tames the savage mind; he bids the fire
Of pure religion pagan breasts inspire;

And Sion's sacred songs burst from the Celtic lyre.

B. iii. p. 70.

The magic bark pursues its way to the northern coast of Britain, and having towards evening reached the bay of Huna, on the Solway Frith, no sooner does Arthur touch the shore, than the vessel, together with Merlin, instantly disappear, and the youth is left to total solitude and silence. Night approaches, and seeking rest on the greensward beneath the shelter of a spreading beech, his slumbers are visited by a vision of his country's future glory. He awakes towards morning greatly cheered and refreshed, and not a little astonished at beholding at his side a suit of splendid armour; nor less so when, whilst engaged in putting it on, he hears the neighing of a courser, and almost immediately afterwards perceives his favourite steed, who had so often borne him triumphant through the ranks of battle.

Elate in mind, and high in resolve, he vaults into the saddle, and directs his course towards the heights of Cambria. As he passes he views with deep regret and indignation the ravages of the Saxon foe, and at length, after having wandered over many a hill and solitary wild, his further progress seems arrested by the mazes of an interminable wood, through which, whilst endeavouring to force his way, he unexpectedly arrives at the foot of a pillar of black marble of immense height, and inscribed with golden characters, purporting, that if he entertain any fear, or any distrust of Heaven, he may now retire in peace and safety; but should he, notwithstanding the manifest danger and uncertain issue of the enterprise, persevere, he must be circumspect and brave.

Having thrice read the inscription, he hesitates not to proceed, and, rushing through the wood, enters on an open lawn, where he perceives a shepherd feeding his flock, and beyond, in the distance, a mountain crowned with the turrets of a stately castle. The shepherd approaching informs him, with every mark of fear and horror in his countenance, that the castle to which he was directing his course was the work of enchantment; that neither

force nor art could ensure his admission, and that all who had essayed to enter it had perished. He then points out a path which would lead him, he asserts, in safety to where the British powers, after their escape from the Saxon fury at Carlisle, were assembled under the command of Lancelot and Cador, declaring that should he follow this direction, victory and fame would attend his steps, whilst any attempt to force the castle would assuredly terminate in disgrace and death.

Arthur, indignant at this recommendation to fly from danger, and suspecting fraud and falsehood, as no peasant was likely in such a situation to be tending his sheep, or to be acquainted with the circumstances which he relates, after meditating awhile, attacks his informant, who instantly assuming the form of Urda, defies both him and Merlin, prophesying, at the same time, that Hengist, who defended the enchanted castle, and whom she had secured by spells of mighty power, should never fall by the arm of a Briton. Having said this she vanishes, and the late smiling lawn now puts on its native horrors, presenting hideous chasms and rocks, over which, had Arthur pursued the path she pointed out, he would instantly have been

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