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As O'er the Highland Hills I Hied
by William Cameron

Tune- “As I came in by Auchindoun.”

As o’er the Highland hills I hied,
The Camerons in array I spied;
Lochiel’s proud standard waving wide,
In all its ancient glory.
The martial pipe loud pierced the sky,
The bard arose, resounding high
Their valour, faith, and loyalty,
That shine in Scottish story. 

No more the trumpet calls to arms,
Awaking battle’s fierce alarms,
But every hero’s bosom warms
With songs of exultation.
While brave Lochiel at length regains,
Though toils of war, his native plains,
And, won by glorious wounds, attains
His high paternal station.

Let now the voice of joy prevail,
And echo wide from hill to vale;
Ye warlike clans, arise and hail
Your laurell’d chiefs returning.
O’er every mountain, every isle,
Let peace in all her lustre smile,
and discord ne’er her day defile
With sullen shades of mourning.

M’Leod, M’Donald, join the strain,
M’Pherson, Fraser, and M’Lean;
Through all your bounds let gladness reign;
Both prince and patriot praising;
Whose generous bounty richly pours
The streams of plenty round your shores;
To Scotia’s hills their pride restores,
Her faded honours raising. 

Let all the joyous banquet share,
Nor e’er let Gothic grandeur dare,
With scowling brow, to overbear,
A vassal’s right invading.
Let Freedom’s conscious sons disdain
To crowd his fawning, timid train,
Nor even own his haughty reign,
Their dignity degrading. 

Ye northern chiefs, whose rage unbroke
Has still repell’d the tyrant’s shock;
Who ne’er have bow’d beneath his yoke,
With servile base prostration;-
Let each now train his trusty band,
‘Gainst foreign foes alone to stand,
With undivided heart and hand,
For Freedom, King, and Nation.


William Cameron was born in 1751.  He studied at Marischal College, Aberdeen, where he was a pupil of Dr. Beattie, “who ever after entertained for him much esteem.”  A letter, addressed to him by his eminent professor, in 1774, has been published by Sir William Forbes;* and his name is thus introduced at the beginning of Dr. Beattie’s “Letter to the Rev. Hugh Blair, D. D., on the Improvement of Psalmody in Scotland, 1778, 8vo:” “The message you lately sent me by my friend Mr. Cameron, has determined me to give you my thoughts at some length upon the subject of it.”  Having obtained licence as a probationer, he was ordained to the pastoral charge of Kirknewton, in the county of Midlothian, on the 17th August 1786.

He died in his manse, on the 17th of November 1811, in the 60th year of his age, and the 26th year of his ministry.  In 1781, along with the celebrated John Logan and Dr. Morrison, minister of Canisbay, he contributed towards the formation of a collection of Paraphrases from Scripture, which, being approved by the General Assembly, is still used in public worship in Scotland.  He is understood to have composed the 14th and 7th Paraphrases, and to have revised thirty-nine others in the series.  He published “Poems on various occasions” (Edinburgh, 1780, 8vo); “The Abuse of Civil and Religious Liberty, a Sermon” (Edinburgh, 1793, 8vo); “Ode on Lochiel’s Birth-day” (1796, 4to); “A Review of the French Revolution” (Edinburgh, 1802, 8vo); Poetical Dialougues on Religion, in the Scottish Dialect, between two Gentlemen and two Ploughmen” (Edinburgh, 1778). The following song, (As O’er The Highland Hills I Hied) which was composed by Mr. Cameron, on the restoration of the forfeited estates by Act of Parliament in 1784, is transcribed from Johnson’s “Musical Museum:” * Forbes’s “Life of Beattie”, vol.i.p.375

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