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He stepped between-" Nay, Douglas, nay,
Steal not my proselyte away!
The riddle 'tis my right to read,
That brought this happy chance to speed.-
Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray,
In life's more low but happier way,
"Tis under name which veils my power,
Nor falsely veils-for Stirling's tower
Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims,
And Normans call me James Fitz-James.
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,
Thus learn to right the injured cause.”—
Then, in a tone apart and low,

-“Ah! little traitress! none must know
What idle dream, what lighter thought,
What vanity full dearly bought,
Joined to thine eye's dark withcraft, drew
My spell-bound steps to Ben-venue,
In dangerous hour, and all but gave
Thy monarch's lite to mountain glaive!”.
Aloud he spoke:-“ Thou still dost hold
That little talisman of gold,
Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring-
What seeks fair Ellen of the King ?"

XXIX
Full well the conscious maiden guessed,
He probed the weakness of her breast;
But, with that consciousness, there came
A lightening of her fears for Græme,
And more she deemed the Monarch's ire
Kindled ’gainst him, who, for her sire,
Rebellious broad-sword boldly drew;
And to her generous feeling true,
She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu.-
“Forbear thy suit:-the King of Kings
Alone can stay life's parting wings,
I know his heart, I know his hand,
Have shared his cheer, and proved' his brand ;--
My fairest earldom would I give
To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live!-
Hast thou no other boon to crave?
No other captive friend to save ?”-
Blushing, she turned her from the King,
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wished her sire to speak
The suit that stained her glowing cheek.-

Nay, tben, my pledge has lost its force,

And stubborn justice holds her course. • William of Worcester, who wrote about the middle of the fifteenth century, calls Stirling Castle, Snowdoun.

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Malcolm, come forth !"-And, at the word,
Down kneeled the Græme to Scotland's Lord.
For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may Vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile,
And sought amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlawed man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.---
Fetters and warder for the Græme!”-
His chain of gold the King unstrung,
The links o’er Malcolm's neck he flung,
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.

Harp of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,

On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,

The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.
Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,

And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending,

With distant echo from the fold and lea, And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee. Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp!

Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp

May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,

Through secret woes the world has never known,
When on the weary night dawned wearier day,

And bitterer was the grief devoured alone. That I o’erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own. Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,

Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string! 'Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire,

'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. Receding now, the dying numbers ring

Fainter and 'fainter down the rugged dell, And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring

A wandering witch-note of the distant spellAnd now, 'tis silent all!-Enchantress, fare thee well!

THE

VISION OF DON RODERICK.

A Poem.

BY

WALTER SCOTT.

“Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris,

Vox humana valet!"-CLAUDIAN.

TO

JOHN WHITMORE, ESQ.

AND

TO THE COMMITTEE OF SUBSCRIBERS FOR RELIEF

OF THE PORTUGUESE SUFFERERS,

IN WHICH HE PRESIDES,

This poem,

COMPOSED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND UNDER THEIR

MANAGEMENT, IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY

WALTER SCOTT.

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION, 1811.

The following Poem is founded upon a Spanish Tradition, parti. cularly detailed in the Notes; but bearing, in general, that Don Roderick, the last Gothic King of Spain, when the Invasion of the Moors was impending, had the temerity to descend into an ancient vault near Toledo, the opening of which had been denounced as fatal to the Spanish monarchy. The legend adds, that his rash curiosity was mortified by an emblematical representation of those Saracens who, in the year 714, defeated him in battle, and reduced Spain under their dominion. I have presumed to prolong the Vision of the Revolutions of Spain down to the present eventful crisis of the Peninsula; and to divide it, by a supposed change of scene, into THREE PERIODS. The first of these represents the Invasion of the Moors, the Defeat and Death of Roderick, and closes with the peaceful occupation of the country by the Victors. The SECOND PERIOD embraces the state of the Peninsula, when the conquests of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East and West Indies had raised to the highest pitch the renown of their arms; sullied, however, by superstition and cruelty. An allusion to the inhumanities of the Inquisition terminates this picture. The LAST PART of the Poem opens with the state of Spain previous to the unparalleled treachery of BUONAPARTE; gives a sketch of the usurpation attempted upon that unsuspicious and friendly kingdom, and terminates with the arrival of the British succours.

It may be farther proper to mention, that the object of the Poem is less to com. memorate or detail particular incidents, than to exhibit a general and impressive picture of the several periods brought upon the stage.

I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, especially by one who has already experienced more than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the inferiority of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper ti mention, that, while I was hastily executing a work, written for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the task was most cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of Lord President Blair,a and Lord Viscount MELVILLE.b In those distinguished characters, I had not only to regret persons whose lives were most important to Scotland, but also whose notice and patronage honoured my entrance upon active lite ; and I may add, with melancholy pride, who permitted my more advanced age to claim no common share in their friendship. Under such interruptions, the following verses, which my best and happiest efforts must have left far unworthy of their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence and incoherence, which, in other circumstances, I might have been able to remove.

EDINBURGH, June 24th, 1811.

a Robert Blair, Lord President of the Court of Session. He was the son of the Rev. R. Blair, author of "The Grave." He died at Edinburgh, May 28, 1811.- Ann. Reg. 1811.

b Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville. He died at Edinburgh, May 27, 1811.-Ann. Reg. 1811. In the Edinburgh Annual Register for 181 Blair is stated to have died May 20, and Lord Melville May 29; and this appears to be the correct account.

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