Peden at the Grave of Cameron
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
had they watched and waited, but there dawned no
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,
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
Who now shall break the
bread of life unto the faithful
Who now upraise the
standard that is shattered in thine hand !
“Alas! alas! for Scotland, the once beloved of heaven—
crown is fallen from her head — her holy garment
The ashes of her Covenant
are scattered far and near,
And the voice speaks loud
in judgment—which in love she
“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
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!
poor, and frail, and
Let me not
utter of mine own—for idle words I speak ;
But give me
wrestle now, and prompt my faltering
Thy name into my soul, and so I shall be
I bless Thee
for the quiet rest thy servant taketh now ;
I bless Thee
for his blessedness,
weary step he trod, in
faithful following Thee,
And for the
well— and closed right valiantly !
bless Thee for the hidden ones, who yet uphold Thy name,
Who yet for
Zion’s King and Crown shall dare the death of
I bless Thee
for the light that dawns even now upon my soul,
all the narrow way with glory from the goal !
power of darkness—it is fleeting fast away,
arise on Scotland—a glorious gospel day ;
Woe ! woe !
to the oppressers—they shall shrivel in his
Thy King shall yet appear for thee, thou covenanted
“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
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.