[From Manx Soc vol 16]
By G. H. Wood, Esq.
THERE is not a spot in Mona's Isle
Has purer.charms for me,.
Than yonder lonely mouldering pile,
Which beams in the bright sun's parting smile,
Ere he sinks in the western sea.
'Tis a hallowd spot, with its turrets of light,
That gleam in the glassy'waye,
Where its image is mirrord so calm and bright,
You would think it the work of enchanter's might,
Raised up from the ocean's grave.
There beams each hoary time-worn tower,
All bent with the weight of years,
Like goodly age in his dying hour,
Whilst sunny hope's triumphant power
Dispels his doubts and fears.
There stands the holy mouldering fane,~
Where rest the sleeping dead,'
Where they for ages long have lain,
And slept the sleep that knows no pain,
Each in his grassy bed !
But roofless now is that holy pile,
And its archs rent and riven
Yet I love to tread its lonely aisle,
Where the foot-fall only is heard the while,
And. muse on the things of heaven
For who could cherish dark thoughts of gloom
In a scene so bright and fair,
Where the sunbeams lighten the place of the tomb,
And gild the wild flowers that around us bloom,
Which offer their incense there.
But let us explore the ruins around,
And the castle's lone dungeon cells,
Where the royal lady lay fetterd and bound
(Till lingering death her fetters unwound),
Accused of dark magic spells;
And the room near the dim portcullis door,
Where the night-watch oft was scared
By the " Spectre-Hound,," so famed of yore,
As told in his Lay of Minstrel lore
By Scotia's brightest bard
Then haste from these scenes of doubt and dread,
On the battlements' heights to roam,
And gaze on the ocean's tranquil bed,
Where the sunset's purple hues are shed,
Unruffled by the billow's foam.
Where the little pinnace, with white sails furl'd,
Seems asleep on the calm sea's breast,
When not a breath the waves has curled
One lonely speck on the watery world,
Like a living thing at rest!
And watch the sun's declining ray,
As we sit on the grassy mound,
Until the sweet hour when twilight grey
Casts her dim mantle o'er tower and bay,
And the ruined heaps around;
And the lengthening shadows begin to fall,
And the lone bat wings his flight,
And the dismal owl begins to call,
And hoot to his mate from the castle wall,
Deep hid in the dim twilight.
Then muse on the years long past away,
When these walls echoed with glee,
On gallant knights and ladies gay,
Sweet minstrel's harp and roundelay,
And feats of chivalry.
And linaering still, till the lamp of night
Is sparkling o'er the deep,
And holy fane, and turret height
Seem slumbering in the pale moonlight,
In a calm and silvery sleep.