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I waver still. — O God! more bright
Let reason beam her parting light!
O, by thy knighthood's honor'd sign,
And for thy life preserved by mine,
When thou shalt see a darksome man
Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's Clan,
With tartans broad and shadowy plume,
And hand of blood, and brow of gloom,
Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong,
And wreak poor Blanche of Devan's wrong!
They watch for thee by pass and fell
Avoid the path
O God! ... farewell."

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XXVIII.

A kindly heart had brave Fitz-James;
Fast pour'd his eyes at pity's claims;
And now, with mingled grief and ire,
He saw the murder'd maid expire.

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'God, in my need, be my relief,

As I wreak this on yonder Chief!"
A lock from Blanche's tresses fair
He blended with her bridegroom's hair;
The mingled braid in blood he dyed,
And placed it on his bonnet-side:
"By him whose word is truth, I swear
No other favor will I wear,

Till this sad token I imbrue

In the best blood of Roderick Dhu!.

But hark! what means yon faint halloo?

The chase is up,

but they shall know

The stag at bay's a dangerous foe."

Barr'd from the known but guarded way, Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James must stray,

And oft must change his desperate track
By stream and precipice turn'd back.
Heartless, fatigued, and faint, at length,
From lack of food and loss of strength,
He couch'd him in a thicket hoar,
And thought his toils and perils o'er:
"Of all my rash adventures past,
This frantic feat must prove the last!
Who e'er so mad but might have guess'd
That all this Highland hornet's nest
Would muster up in swarms so soon
As e'er they heard of bands at Doune?
Like bloodhounds now they search me out:
Hark to the whistle and the shout!-
If farther through the wilds I go,

I only fall upon the foe:

I'll couch me here till evening gray,

Then darkling try my dangerous way."

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XXIX.

The shades of eve come slowly down,
The woods are wrapt in deeper brown,

The owl awakens from her dell,
The fox is heard upon the fell;
Enough remains of glimmering light
To guide the wanderer's steps aright,
Yet not enough from far to show
His figure to the watchful foe.
With cautious step, and ear awake,

He climbs the crag and threads the brake;
And not the summer solstice there
Temper'd the midnight mountain air.
But every breeze that swept the wold
Benumb'd his drenched limbs with cold.
In dread, in danger, and alone,

Famish'd and chill'd, through ways unknown.
Tangled and steep, he journey'd on:
Till, as a rock's huge point he turn'd.
A watch-fire close before him burn'd.

XXX.

Beside its embers red and clear Bask'd in his plaid a mountaineer; And up he sprung, with sword in hand: · Thy name and purpose! Saxon, stand!”. "A stranger.". "What dost thou require?"

“Rest and a guide, and food and fire; My life's beset, my path is lost,

The gale has chill'd my limbs with frost.".

"Art thou a friend to Roderick?"—"No.". "Thou dar'st not call thyself a foe?". "I dare! to him and all the band

He brings to aid his murderous hand.” —
"Bold words!-but, though the beast of game
The privilege of chase may claim,
Though space and law the stag we lend,
Ere hound we slip or bow we bend,
Who ever reck'd where, how, or when
The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain?
Thus treacherous scouts, yet sure they lie,

Who say thou cam'st a secret spy!".

"They do, by heaven!- come Roderick Dhu, And of his clan the boldest two,

And let me but till morning rest,

I write the falsehood on their crest.""If by the blaze I mark aright,

Thou bear'st the belt and spur of Knight."

"Then by these tokens mayst thou know Each proud oppressor's mortal foe.”.

66

Enough, enough; sit down and share A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare.”

XXXI.

He gave him of his Highland cheer,
The harden'd flesh of mountain deer;
Dry fuel on the fire he laid,

And bade the Saxon share his plaid.

He tended him like welcome guest,
Then thus his further speech address'd:—
"Stranger, I am to Rhoderick Dhu
A clansman born, a kinsman true;
Each word against his honor spoke
Demands of me avenging stroke;
Yet more, upon thy fate, 't is said,
A mighty augury is laid.

It rests with me to wind my horn,
Thou art with numbers overborne ;
It rests with me, here, brand to brand,
Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand:
But not for clan, nor kindred's cause,
Will I depart from honor's laws;

To assail a wearied man were shame,
And stranger is a holy name;
Guidance and rest, and food and fire,
In vain he never must require.
Then rest thee here till dawn of day;

Myself will guide thee on the way,

O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward, Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard,

As far as Coilantogle's ford;

From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”-
"I take thy courtesy, by heaven,
As freely as 't is nobly given!"—
"Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry
Sings us the lake's wild lullaby."

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