Peden at the Grave of Cameron
by
Mrs A Stuart Menteath (1843).
from " Lays of the Kirk and Covenant", W S. Sime, Glasgow,1892. p 72 et seq.

 

A sound of conflict in the moss ! but that hath passed away,

And through a stormy noon and eve the dead unburied lay;

But when the sun a second time his fitful splendours gave,

 

One slant ray rested, like a hope, on Cameron's new-made brave!

 

There had been watchers in the night! strange watchers gaunt and grim,

And wearily, with faint lean hands, they toiled a grave for him

But ere they laid the headless limbs unto their mangled rest,

As orphaned children sat they down, and wept upon his breast!

 

Oh ! dreary, dreary was the lot of Scotland's true ones then—

A famine - stricken remnant, wearing scarce the guise of men ;

They burrowed, few and lonely, 'mid the chill, dank mountain caves,

For those who once had sheltered them were in their martyr graves!

 

A sword had rested on the land—it did not pass away

 

Long had they watched and waited, but there dawned no

 

 brighter day;

And many had gone back from them, who owned the truth of old,

Because of much iniquity, their love was waxen cold!

 

—There came a worn and weary man to Cameron's place of rest;

He cast him down upon the sod—he smote upon his breast—

He wept, as only strong men weep, when weep they must, or die

And "Oh! to be wi' thee, Ritchie!" was still his bitter cry!

 

"My brother ! O my brother ! thou hast passed before thy time,

And thy blood it cries for vengeance, from this purple land of

 crime;

Who now shall break the bread of life unto the faithful band

Who now upraise the standard that is shattered in thine hand !

 

"Alas! alas! for Scotland, the once beloved of heaven—

The crown is fallen from her head — her holy garment riven;

The ashes of her Covenant are scattered far and near,

And the voice speaks loud in judgment—which in love she

 would not hear!

 

"Alas! alas! for Scotland, for her mighty ones are gone;

Thou, brother—thou art taken—I am left almost alone;

 And my heart is faint within me, and my strength is dried

and lost,

A feeble and an aged man—alone against a host!

 

"Oh pleasant was it, Ritchie, when we two could counsel take,

And strengthen one another to be valiant for His sake ;-

Now seems it as the sap were dried, from the old blasted tree,

And the homeless—and the friendless—would fain lie down with thee !"

 

It was an hour of weakness—as the old man bowed his head,

And a bitter anguish rent him, as he communed with the dead;

It was an hour of conflict—and he groaned beneath the rod

But the burthen rolled from off him as he communed with his God!

 

"My Father! O my Father! shall I pray the Tishbite's prayer,

And weary in the wilderness while Thou wouldst keep me there !

And shall I fear the coward fear, of standing all alone,

To testify for Zion's King, and the glory of His throne!

 

"O Jesus! blessed Jesus! I am poor, and frail, and weak;

Let me not utter of mine own—for idle words I speak ;

But give me grace to wrestle now, and prompt my faltering tongue,

And breathe Thy name into my soul, and so I shall be strong!

 

—" I bless Thee for the quiet rest thy servant taketh now ;

I bless Thee for his blessedness, and for his crowned brow;

For every weary step he trod, in faithful following Thee,

And for the good fight foughten well— and closed right valiantly !

 

I bless Thee for the hidden ones, who yet uphold Thy name,

Who yet for Zion's King and Crown shall dare the death of shame;

I bless Thee for the light that dawns even now upon my soul,

And brightens all the narrow way with glory from the goal !

 

"The hour and power of darkness—it is fleeting fast away,

Light shall arise on Scotland—a glorious gospel day ;­

Woe ! woe ! to the oppressers—they shall shrivel in his hand.

Thy King shall yet appear for thee, thou covenanted land!

 

"I see a time of respite—but the people will not bow;

I see a time of judgment—even a darker time than now:

Then, Lord, uphold Thy faithful ones—as now Thou dost uphold

And feed them, as Thou still hast fed Thy chosen flock of old!

 

"The glory! oh, the glory! it is bursting on my sight;

 Lord ! thy poor vessel is too frail for all this blinding light!

Now let Thy good word be fulfilled, and let Thy kingdom come

And, Lord, even in Thine own best time, take Thy poor servant home !"

 

Upon the wild and lone Airsmoss, down sank the twilight grey,

In storm and cloud the evening closed upon that cheerless day ;

But Peden went his way refreshed, for peace and joy were given

And Cameron's grave had proved to him the very gate of heaven!

 

Battle of Ayrs Moss.

A Cameronian`s Dream

18/07/2011

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