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The stranger smiled :-"Since to your home
A destined errant-knight I come,

Announced by prophet sooth and old,
Doom'd, doubtless, for achievement bold,
I'll lightly front each high emprise,
For one kind glance of those bright eyes.
Permit me, first, the task to guide
Your fairy frigate o'er the tide."
The maid, with smile suppress'd and sly,
The toil unwonted saw him try;
For seldom sure, if e'er before,
His noble hand had grasp'd an oar :'
Yet with main strength his strokes he drew,
And o'er the lake the shallop flew ;
With heads erect, and whimpering cry,
The hounds behind their passage ply,
Nor frequent does the bright oar break
The dark'ning mirror of the lake,
Until the rocky isle they reach,

And moor their shallop on the beach.


The Stranger view'd the shore around;
'Twas all so close with copsewood bound,
Nor track nor pathway might declare

[MS.-"This gentle band had grasp'd an oar:

Yet with main strength the oars he drew."]

That human foot frequented there,
Until the mountain-maiden show'd
A clambering unsuspected road,
That winded through the tangled screen,
And open'd on a narrow green,
Where weeping birch and willow round
With their long fibres swept the ground.
Here, for retreat in dangerous hour,
Some chief had framed a rustic bower. '

The Celtic chieftains, whose lives were continually exposed to peril, had usually, in the most retired spot of their domains, some place of retreat for the hour of necessity, which, as circumstances would admit, was a tower, a cavern, or a rustic hut, in a strong and secluded situation. One of these last gave refuge to the unfortunate Charles Edward, in his perilous wanderings after the battle of Culloden.

"It was situated in the face of a very rough, high, and rocky mountain, called Letternilichk, still a part of Benalder, full of great stones and crevices, and some scattered wood interspersed. The habitation called the Cage, in the face of that mountain, was within a small thick bush of wood. There were first some rows of trees laid down, in order to level the floor for a habitation; and as the place was steep, this raised the lower side to an equal height with the other and these trees, in the way of joists or planks, were levelled with earth and gravel. There were betwixt the trees, growing naturally on their own roots, some stakes fixed in the earth, which, with the trees, were interwoven with ropes, made of heath and birch twigs, up to the top of the Cage, it being of a round or rather oval shape; and the whole thatched and covered over with fog. The whole fabric hung, as it were, by a large tree, which reclined from the one end, all along the roof, to the other, and which gave it the name of the Cage; and by chance there happened to be two stones at a small


It was a lodge of ample size,

But strange of structure and device;
Of such materials, as around

The workman's hand had readiest found.
Lopp'd of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared,
And by the hatchet rudely squared,

To give the walls their destined height,
The sturdy oak and ash unite;

While moss and clay and leaves combined
To fence each crevice from the wind.
The lighter pine-trees, over-head,
Their slender length for rafters spread,
And wither'd heath and rushes dry
Supplied a russet canopy.

Due westward, fronting to the green,
A rural portico was seen,

Aloft on native pillars borne,

Of mountain fir with bark unshorn,
Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine

The ivy and Idæan vine,

The clematis, the favour'd flower

Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,

distance from one another, in the side next the precipice, resembling the pillars of a chimney, where the fire was placed. The smoke had its vent out here, all along the fall of the rock, which was so much of the same colour, that one could discover no difference in the clearest day."-HOME's History of the Rebellion, Lond. 1802, 4to, p. 381.

And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine's keen and searching air.
An instant in this porch she staid,
And gaily to the Stranger said,
“On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall!".


"My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gentle guide, in following thee."-
He cross'd the threshold-and a clang
Of angry steel that instant rang.
To his bold brow his spirit rush'd,
But soon for vain alarm he blush'd,
When on the floor he saw display'd,
Cause of the din, a naked blade
Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless flung
Upon a stag's huge antlers swung;
For all around, the walls to grace,
Hung trophies of the fight or chase:
A target there, a bugle here,

A battle-axe, a hunting spear,

And broadswords, bows, and arrows store,
With the tusk'd trophies of the boar.
Here grins the wolf as when he died, '
And there the wild-cat's brindled hide

[MS." Here grins the wolf as when he died,

There hung the wild-cat's brindled hide,
Above the elk's branch'd brow and skull,
And frontlet of the forest bull."]

The frontlet of the elk adorns,
Or mantles o'er the bison's horns;
Pennons and flags defaced and stain'd,
That blackening streaks of blood retain❜d,
And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white,
With otter's fur and seal's unite,
In rude and uncouth tapestry all,
To garnish forth the silvan hall.


The wondering Stranger round him gazed,
And next the fallen weapon raised :—
Few were the arms whose sinewy strength
Sufficed to stretch it forth at length.
And as the brand he poised and sway'd,
"I never knew but one," he said,

"Whose stalwart arms might brook to wield A blade like this in battle-field."

She sigh'd, then smiled and took the word: "You see the guardian champion's sword: As light it trembles in his hand,

As in my grasp a hazel wand;

My sire's tall form might grace the part

Of Ferragus, or Ascabart;1

But in the absent giant's hold

Are women now, and menials old."

[See Appendix, Note B.]

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