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The Scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the western Highlands of Perthshire. The Time of Action includes six days, and the transactions of each day occupy a Canto.
LADY OF THE LAKE.
CANTO THE FIRST.
HARP of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
O minstrel harp, still must thine accents sleep? Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, When lay of hopeless love, or glory won, Aroused the fearful, or subdued the proud. At each according pause, was heard aloud Thine ardent symphony sublime and high, Fair dames and crested ehiefs attention bow'd; For still the burthen of thy minstrelsy
Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's matchless eye.