THE hills waited: and slow
On muffled feet alon the dreaming valley.
Wind trembled, fluted thinly through the reeds
Fringeing the silent lochan where we stood
We had wandered ffir that day, and now,
Sore-limbed and spent, we rested in the shade
Of Rothiernurchus. The cool shadows
Grew longer as we stood, and greying twilight
Clung as a mantle to the rugged shoulder
Of old Macdhui. In the hush,
The hills breathed and we listened; and, at last,
The hills spoke.
The hills spoke: " You are part of us, and always will be;
And we will stretch white hands to steal your soul
And lift your heart to longing. Though you roam
To the earth's untrodden edges, we will send
A drift of heather and a breath of peat
To call you back along remembered ways."
A pause. The mystic moment passed, was gone.
Too soon, life stirred again. Night wove
Her dark enchantment. Day in the Lairig died;
And the lone eagle folded sombre wings
Above her rocky bed.
The stars Were scattered dust upon the dim-blue lochan
As we, quiet-hearted, turned along the glen,
Leaving the hills, our comrades,
Remote and changeless, waiting for the dawn.
(Reprinted by kind permission of Chambers's Journal)
Sunset behind Rhum, seen from North Morar