Wodrow " The Vision: A Poem on the Slaughter of Mr Richard
Cameron and Others at Airsmoss, written by an
" Ayrshire Shepherd Lad." It first appeared in the
Edinburgh Magazine in 1821 when the author, James
Hyslop, had charge of a school in Greenock. He was a
school master on board the war ship `Tweed` and died of
fever on one of the Cape Verde Islands in 1827, aged
In a dream
of the night I was wafted away
To the moorlands of mist, where the martyrs lay;
Where Cameron’s sword and his Bible are seen
Engraved on the stone where the heather grows green.
dream of those ages of darkness and blood,
When the ministers` home was the mountain and wood;
When in Wellwood’s dark moorlands the standard of Zion,
All bloody and torn, ‘mong the heather was lying.
morning, and summer’s young sun, from the east ,
Lay in loving repose on the green mountain’s breast;
On Wardlaw and Cairntable the clear shining dew
Glistened sheen ‘mong the heath-bells and mountain flowers
And far up
in heaven, in the white sunny cloud,
The song of the lark was melodious and loud;
And in Glenmuir’s wild solitudes, lengthened and deep,
Was the whistling of plovers, and the bleating of sheep.
Wellwood’s sweet valley breathed music and gladness;
The fresh meadow-blooms hung in beauty and redness;
Its daughters were happy to hail the returning,
And drink the delights of green July’s sweet morning.
there were hearts cherished far other feelings,
Illum`d by the light of prophetic revealings,
Who drank from this scenery of beauty but sorrow,
For they knew that their blood would bedew it to-morrow.
few faithful ones who, with Cameron, were lying
Concealed ‘mong the mist, where the heath-fowl was crying;
For the horsemen of Earlshall around them were hovering,
And their bridle-reins rang through the thin misty
faces grew pale and their swords were unsheathed,
Yet the vengeance that darkened their brows was unbreathed;
With eyes raised to heaven, in meek resignation,
They sung their last song to the God of Salvation.
with the deep mournful music were ringing,
The curlew and plover in concert were singing;
But the melody died `midst derision and laughter,
As the hosts of ungodly rushed on to the slaughter.
mist and in darkness and fire they were shrouded,
Yet the souls of the righteous stood calm and unclouded;
Their dark eyes flashed lightning, as, proud and
They stood like the rock which the thunder is rending.
were flashing, the blue swords were gleaming,
The helmets were cleft, and the red blood was streaming,
The heavens grew dark, and the thunder was rolling,
When in Wellwood’s dark moorlands the mighty were falling.
righteous had fallen, and the combat had ended,
A chariot of fire through the dark cloud descended;
Its drivers were angels, on horses of whiteness,
And its burning wheels turned upon axles of brightness;
unfolded its doors bright and shining,
All dazzling like gold of the seventh refining,
And the souls that came forth out of great tribulation,
Have mounted the chariots and steeds of salvation.
On the arch
of the rainbow the chariot is gliding,
Through the paths of the thunder the horsemen are riding.
Glide swiftly, bright spirits, the prize is before ye,
A crown never-fading, - a kingdom of glory !