ON SCARING SOME WATER-FOWL IN LOCH-TURIT,
A wild Scene among the Hills of Ouchtertyre.
WHY, ye tenants of the lake,
For me your wat'ry haunt forsake?
Tell me, fellow-creatures, why
At my presence thus you fly?
Why disturb your social joys,
Parent, filial, kindred ties,—
Common friend to you and me,
Nature's gifts to all are free:
Peaceful keep your dimpling wave,
Busy feed, or wanton lave;
Or beneath the shelt'ring rock,
Bide the surging billow's shock.
Conscious, blushing for our race,
Soon, too soon, your fears I trace:
Man, your proud usurping foe,
Would be lord of all below;
Plumes himself in Freedom's pride,
Tyrant stern to all beside.
The eagle from the cliffy brow,
Marking you his prey below,
In his breast no pity dwells,
Strong necessity compels :
But Man, to whom alone is giv'n
A ray direct from pitying Heav'n,
Glories in his heart humane-
And creatures for his pleasure slain.
In these savage, liquid plains,
Only known to wand'ring swains,
Where the mossy riv❜let strays,
Far from human haunts and ways;
All on Nature you depend,
And life's poor season peaceful spend.
Or, if Man's superior might,
Dare invade your native right,