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821 Sco 8 la 1891
TO THE MOST NOBLE
MARQUIS OF ABERCORN,
ETC. ETC. ETC.
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED
THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
AFTER the success of "Marmion," I felt inclined to exclaim with Ulysses in the "Odyssey"
Οὗτος μὲν δὴ ἄεθλος ἀματος ἐκτετέλεσται·
Νῦν αΰτε σκοπὸν ἄλλον.
ODYS. X 5, 6.
"One venturous game my hand has won to-day
Another, gallants, yet remains to play."
The ancient manners, the habits and costumes of the aboriginal race by whom the Highlands of Scotland were inhabited, had always appeared to me peculiarly adapted to poetry. The change in their manners, too, had taken place almost within my own time, or at least I had learned many particulars concerning the ancient state of the Highlands from the old men of the last generation. I had always thought the old Scottish Gael highly adapted for poetical composition. The feuds and political dissensions, which half a century earlier would have rendered the richer and wealthier part of the kingdom indisposed to countenance a poem, the scene of which was laid in the Highlands, were now sunk in the generous compassion which the English, more than any other nation, feel for the misfortunes of