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"But wist I of a woman bold,

Who thrice my brow durst sign,

I might regain my mortal mold,

As fair a form as thine."

She cross'd him once-she cross'd him twice

That lady was so brave;

The fouler grew his goblin hue,

The darker grew the cave.

She cross'd him thrice, that lady bold:

He rose beneath her hand

The fairest knight on Scottish mold,
Her brother, Ethert Brand!

Merry it is in the good green wood,
When the mavis and merle are singing,
But merrier were they in Dunfermline grey,
When all the bells were ringing.


Just as the minstrel sounds were staid,
A stranger climb'd the steepy glade ;
His martial step, his stately mien,
His hunting suit of Lincoln green,
His eagle glance, remembrance claims-

'Tis Snowdoun's Knight, 't is James Fitz-James.

Ellen beheld as in a dream,

Then starting, scarce suppress'd a scream :

"O stranger! in such hour of fear,

What evil hap has brought thee here?"

"An evil hap, how can it be,

That bids me look again on thee?

By promise bound, my former guide
Met me betimes this morning tide,
And marshall'd, over bank and bourne,
The happy path of my return.”—

"The happy path!-what! said he nought Of war, of battle to be fought,

Of guarded pass ?"-" No, by my faith!
Nor saw I aught could augur scathe."-
"Oh haste thee, Allan, to the kerne,—
Yonder his tartans I discern,—

Learn thou his purpose, and conjure
That he will guide the stranger sure!
What prompted thee, unhappy man?
The meanest serf in Roderick's clan
Had not been bribed by love or fear,
Unknown to him, to guide thee here."


"Sweet Ellen, dear my life must be, Since it is worthy care from thee; Yet life I hold but idle breath,

When love or honour's weigh'd with death. Then let me profit by my chance,

And speak my purpose bold at once.

I come to bear thee from a wild,

Where ne'er before such blossom smiled;

By this soft hand to lead thee far

From frantic scenes of feud and war.
Near Bochastle my horses wait;
They bear us soon to Stirling gate.
I'll place thee in a lovely bower,
I'll guard thee like a tender flower,"-
"O! hush, Sir Knight! 't were female art,
To say I do not read thy heart;

Too much, before, my selfish ear
Was idly sooth'd my praise to hear.
That fatal bait hath lured thee back,
In deathful hour, o'er dangerous track;
And how, O how, can I atone

The wreck my vanity brought on!—
One way remains-I'll tell him all—
Yes! struggling bosom, forth it shall!
Thou, whose light folly bears the blame,
Buy thine own pardon with thy shame!
But first-my father is a man
Outlaw'd and exiled, under ban;
The price of blood is on his head,

With me 't were infamy to wed.

Still would'st thou speak?-then hear the truth! Fitz-James, there is a noble youth,—

If yet he is !-exposed for me

And mine to dread extremity.
Thou hast the secret of my heart;
Forgive, be generous, and depart."-


Fitz-James knew every wily train
A lady's fickle heart to gain,

But here he knew and felt them vain.
There shot no glance from Ellen's eye,
To give her stedfast speech the lie:
In maiden confidence she stood,
Though mantled in her cheek the blood,
And told her love with such a sigh
Of deep and hopeless agony,

As death had seal'd her Malcolm's doom,
And she sat sorrowing on his tomb.
Hope vanish'd from Fitz-James's eye,
But not with hope fled sympathy.

He proffer'd to attend her side,

As brother would a sister guide.

"O, little know'st thou Roderick's heart!
Safer for both we go apart.

O haste thee, and from Allan learn,
If thou may'st trust yon wily kerne."-
With hand upon his forehead laid,
The conflict of his mind to shade,
A parting step or two he made;

Then, as some thought had cross'd his brain,
He paused, and turn'd, and came again.


"Hear, lady, yet, a parting word !—
It chanced in fight that my poor sword
Preserved the life of Scotland's lord.
This ring the grateful Monarch gave,
And bade, when I had boon to crave,
To bring it back, and boldly claim
The recompence that I would name.
Ellen, I am no courtly lord,

But one who lives by lance and sword,
Whose castle is his helm and shield,
His lordship, the embattled field.
What from a prince can I demand,
Who neither reck of state nor land?
Ellen, thy hand-the ring is thine;
Each guard and usher knows the sign.
Seek thou the king without delay,
This signet shall secure thy way;
And claim thy suit, whate'er it be,
As ransom of his pledge to me."-
He placed the golden circle on,

Paused-kiss'd her hand-and then was gone.

The aged Minstrel stood aghast,
So hastily Fitz-James shot past.
He join'd his guide, and wending down
The ridges of the mountain brown,
Across the stream they took their way,
That joins Loch-Katrine to Achray.


All in the Trosach's glen was still,
Noontide was sleeping on the hill:
Sudden his guide whoop'd loud and high-
"Murdoch! was that a signal cry?"
He stammer'd forth," I shout to scare
Yon raven from his dainty fare."

He look'd he knew the raven's prey,
His own brave steed :-"Ah! gallant grey!
For thee-for me perchance-'t were well
Had we ne'er seen the Trosach's dell.
Murdoch, move first-but silently;
Whistle or whoop, and thou shalt die."
Jealous and sudden on they fared,
Each silent, each upon his guard.


Now wound the path its dizzy ledge
Around the precipice's edge,
When lo! a wasted female form,
Blighted by wrath of sun and storm,
In tatter'd weeds and wild array,
Stood on a cliff beside the way,
And glancing round her restless eye,
Upon the wood, the rock, the sky,
Seem'd nought to mark, yet all to spy.
Her brow was wreath'd with gaudy broom;
With gesture wild she waved a plume

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