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XXXII

Again he faced the battle-field,
Wildly they fly, are slain, or yield.

"Now then," he said, and couched his spear,
"My course is run, the goal is near;
One effort more, one brave career,
Must close this race of mine."
Then in his stirrups rising high,
He shouted loud his battle-cry,

"Saint James for Argentine !"

And, of the bold pursuers, four
The gallant knight from saddle bore;
But not unharmed-a lance's point
Has found his breast-plate's loosened joint,
An axe has razed his crest;
Yet still on Colonsay's fierce lord,
Who pressed the chase with gory sword,
He rode with spear in rest,

And through his bloody tartans bored,
And through his gallant breast.
Nailed to the earth, the mountaineer
Yet writhed him up against the spear,

And swung his broad-sword round!
-Stirrup, steel-boot, and cuish gave way,
Beneath that blow's tremendous sway,

The blood gushed from the wound;
And the grim Lord of Colonsay

Hath turned him on the ground,
And laughed in death-pang, that his blade
The mortal thrust so well repaid.

XXXIII

Now toiled the Bruce, the battle done,
To use his conquest boldly won;
And gave command for horse and spear
To press the Southron's scattered rear,
Nor let his broken force combine,
-When the war-cry of Argentine

Fell faintly on his ear!

'Save, save his life," he cried, "O save
The kind, the noble, and the brave !"-
The squadrons round free passage gave,
The wounded knight drew near.

He raised his red-cross shield no more,
Helm, cuish, and breastplate streamed with gore,
Yet, as he saw the King advance,

He strove even then to couch his lance

The effort was in vain!

The spur-stroke failed to rouse the horse;
Wounded and weary, in mid course

He stumbled on the plain.

Then foremost was the generous Bruce
To raise his head, his helm to loose:-
"Lord Earl, the day is thine!
My Sovereign's charge, and adverse fate,
Have made our meeting all too late:
Yet this may Argentine,

As boon from ancient comrade, crave-
A Christian's mass, a soldier's grave."-

XXXIV

Bruce pressed his dying hand-its grasp
Kindly replied; but, in his clasp,
It stiffened and grew cold-
And, "O farewell!" the victor cried,
"Of chivalry the flower and pride,
The arm in battle bold,

The courteous mien, the noble race,
The stainless faith, the manly face!-
Bid Ninian's convent light their shrine,
For late-wake of De Argentine.

O'er better knight on death-bier laid,
Torch never gleamed nor mass was said!"

XXXV

Nor for De Argentine alone,

Through Ninian's church these torches shone, And rose the death-prayer's awful tone.

That yellow lustre glimmered pale,

On broken plate and bloodied mail,
Rent crest and shattered coronet,
Of Baron, Earl, and Banneret;

And the best names that England knew,
Claimed in the death-prayer dismal due.
Yet mourn not, Land of Fame!
Though ne'er the leopards on thy shield
Retreated from so sad a field,

Since Norman William came.
Oft may thine annals justly boast
Of battles stern by Scotland lost;
Grudge not her victory,

When for her free-born rights she strove;
Rights dear to all who freedom love,
To none so dear as thee!

XXXVI

Turn we to Bruce, whose curious ear
Must from Fitz-Louis tidings hear;
With him, a hundred voices tell

Of prodigy and miracle,

"For the mute Page had spoke.""Page!" said Fitz-Louis, "rather say, An angel sent from realms of day, To burst the English yoke.

I saw his plume and bonnet drop,

When hurrying from the mountain top;
A lovely brow, dark locks that wave,

To his bright eyes new lustre gave,
A step as light upon the green,

As if his pinions waved unseen!"—

"Spoke he with none ?"-" With none-one word Burst when he saw the Island Lord,

Returning from the battle field."

"What answer made the Chief?"-" He kneeled,
'Durst not look up, but muttered low,

Some mingled sounds that none might know,
And greeted him 'twixt joy and fear,
As being of superior sphere."-

XXXVII

Even upon Bannock's bloody plain,
Heaped then with thousands of the slain,
'Mid victor monarch's musings high,
Mirth laughed in good King Robert's eye.
"And bore he such angelic air,

Such noble front, such waving hair?
Hath Ronald kneeled to him?" he said,
"Then must we call the church to aid-
Our will be to the Abbot known,
Ere these strange news are wider blown,
To Cambuskenneth straight he pass,
And deck the church for solemn mass,
To pay, for high deliverance given,
A nation's thanks to gracious Heaven.
Let him array, besides, such state
As should on princes' nuptials wait.
Ourself the cause, through fortune's spite,
That once broke short that spousal rite,
Ourself will grace, with early morn,
The bridal of the Maid of Lorn."

CONCLUSION.

Go forth, my Song, upon thy venturous way;
Go boldly forth; nor yet thy master blame,
Who chose no patron for his humble lay,

And graced thy numbers with no friendly name,
Whose partial zeal might smooth thy path to fame.
There was-and O! how many sorrows crowd
Into these two brief words!-there was a claim
By generous friendship given-had fate allowed,
It well had bid thee rank the proudest of the proud!

All angel now-yet little less than all,

While still a pilgrim in our world below! What 'vails it us that patience to recall,

Which hid its own, to soothe all other woe; What 'vails to tell, how VIRTUE's purest glow Shone yet more lovely in a form so fair;And, least of all, what 'vails the world should know, That one poor garland, twined to deck thy hair, Is hung upon thy hearse, to droop and wither there!

Contributions to Border Minstrelsy.

GLENFINLAS;

OR,

LORD RONALD'S CORONACH."

(This ballad first appeared in Lewis's Tales of Wonder.)

THE simple tradition, upon which the following stanzas are founded, runs thus: While two Highland hunters were passing the night in a solitary bothy (a hut built for the purpose of hunting), and making merry over their venison and whisky, one of them expressed a wish, that they had pretty lasses to complete their party. The words were scarcely uttered, when two beautiful young women, habited in green, entered the hut, dancing and singing. One of the hunters was seduced, by the syren who attached herself particularly to him, to leave the hut; the other remained, and, suspicious of the fair seducers, continued to play upon a trump, or Jew's-harp, some strain, consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Day at length came, and the temptress vanished. Searching in the forest, he found the bones of his unfortunate friend, who had been torn to pieces and devoured by the fiend, into whose toils he had fallen. The place was from thence called, The Glen of the Green Women.

Glenfinlas is a tract of forest-ground, lying in the Highlands of Perthshire, not far from Callender, in Menteith. It was formerly a royal forest, and now belongs to the Earl of Moray. This country, as well as the adjacent district of Balquidder, was, in times of yore, chiefly inhabited by the Macgregors. To the west of the Forest of Glenfinlas lies Loch Katrine, and its romantic avenue, called the Trosachs. Benledi, Benmore, and Benvoirlich, are mountains in the same district, and at no great distance from Glenfinlas. The river Teith passes Callender and the Castle of Doune, and joins the Forth near Stirling. The Pass of Lenny is immediately above Callender, and is the principal access to the Highlands from that town. Glenartner is a forest, near Benvoirlich. The whole forms a sublime tract of Alpine

scenery.

a Coronach is the lamentation for a deceased warrior, sung by the aged of the clan.

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