close close2 chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right twitter bookmark4 facebook3 twitter3 pinterest3 feed4 envelope star quill

The Swan of Loch Oich

by Eliza Gookin Thornton

Beautiful Bird of the Scottish lake,
With plumage pure as the white snow-flake,
With neck of pride and a wing of grace,
And lofty air as of royal race—
Beautiful Bird! may you long abide,
And grace Loch Oich in your lonely pride.

Bright was the breast of the Lake I ween,
Its crystal wave and its sapphire sheen,
And bright its border of shrub and tree,
And thistle bloom in its fragraiicy,
When to thy side thy fair mate prest,
Or skimmed the loch with her tintless breast.

But she is not!—and still to thee,
Are the sunny wave and the shadowing tree,
The mossy brink and the thistle flower
Dear as they were in that blessed hour?
What is the spell on thy pinion thrown
That binds thee here, fair Bird, alone?

Does the vision bright of thy peerless bride Still skim the lake and press thy side? And haunt the nook in the fir-tree's shade? And press the moss in the sunny glade? And has earth nothing to thee so fair As the gentle spirit that lingers there?

Oh! 'tis a wondrous wizard spell!
The human bosom its face can tell
The heart forsaken hath felt like thine,
A mystic web with its fibres twine,
Constraining it still in scenes to stay,
Whence all it treasured had passed away.

Bird of Loch Oich! 'tis well, 'tis well,
You yield your wing to the viewless spell;
Oh who would seek with a stranger eye,
For blooming shores and a brilliant sky,
And range the earth for the hopeless art
To find a home for a broken heart!

So would I linger, though all alone,
Where hallowed love its light has thrown,
And heath and streamlet and tree and flower,
Are linked in thought with a happy hour;
Home of my heart, those scenes should be
As thy Loch Oich, true Bird, to thee.