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THE

LADY OF THE LAKE.

CANTO FIRST.,

CANTO FIRST.

The Chasc.

Harp of the North ! that mouldering long hast hung

On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring, And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,'

Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string:

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 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 chiefs attention bow'd,

' (MS." And on the Atful breeze thy numbers fung,

Till envious ivy, with her verdaut ring,
Mantled and mulfled each melodious string,

O Wizard Harp, still must thine accents sleep?" ] ? [ MS.-" At each according pause thou spokest aloud

Thine ardent sympatby,"]

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For still the burden of thy minstrelsy Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's

matchless eye.

O wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand

That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray; O wake once more! though scarce my skill command

Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay : Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,

And all unworthy of thy nobler strain, Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,

The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!

I.

The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
The deep-mouth'd bloodhound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,'
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.

(MS.-" The bloodhound's notes of beavy bass

Resounded hoarsely up the pass." ]

II,

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As Chief, who hears his warder call,
"To arms! the foemen storm the wall,”
The antlered monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
But, ere his fleet career he took,
The dew-drops from his flanks he shook;
Like crested leader proud and high,
Toss'd his beam'd frontlet to the sky;
A moment gazed adown the dale,
A moment snuff'd the tainted gale,
A moment listen’d to the cry,
That thicken'd as the chase drew nigh;
Then, as the headmost foes appear’d,
With one brave bound the copse he clear’d,
And, stretching forward free and far,
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.'

· Ua-var, as the name is pronounced, or more properly Uuighmor, is a mountain to the north-east of the village of Cailender in Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies the great den, or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode of a giant. In latter times, it was the refuge of robbers and banditti, who have been only extirpated within these forty or fifty years. Strictly speaking This stronghold is not a cave, as the name would imply, but a sort of small enclosure, or recess, surrounded with large rocks, and open above head. It may have been originally designed as a toil for deer, who might get in from the outside, but would find it difficult to return. This opinion prevails among the old sportsmen and deer stalkers in the neighbourhood.

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