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OUTLINE OF CANTO SECOND.

THE stranger, who has announced himself as "the knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James," leaves the island in the early morning. The old minstrel speeds him on his way with a song of farewell, and Ellen watches his departure with an interest for which she soon reproaches herself, as implying disloyalty to her lover, Malcolm Græme. She calls upon the old man to sing her Malcolm's praises; but Allan has not forgotten the fallen sword of yesternight: it is to him an omen of evil. He attempts in vain a joyous strain; involuntarily he touches but chords of woe. The maiden tries to assuage his fears by a more cheerful view of their fortunes; for she can hardly remember the proud days which he regrets. But Allan's discernment sees a new danger to her peace which she has not yet suspected: the rough chief whose hospitality now shelters them is hoping for his reward in his cousin's hand. Besides this, he suspects this stranger guest; his coming can bring no good. Their conversation is interrupted by the sounds of music, and the proud pibroch, followed by a vigorous “Boat Song," introduces us to this rough cousin, Roderick the Black, on his return from a Lowland raid. His mother, with her maids, comes down to welcome him. Ellen, who, with her eyes opened, is unwilling to do aught that may seem to favor his suit, is reluctantly following, when she hears her father's bugle-horn, and darts aside to her skiff to convey him from the mainland. With him comes Malcolm Græme, who has been his guide, and who is no welcome guest to Roderick, though he does not fail in hospitality. Roderick receives news of a suspicious gathering of the king's forces, and of the discovery of Douglas's retreat. The latter proposes to withdraw, and so save his host from peril; but Roderick seizes the

opportunity of making his proposal for his cousin's hand. With the Douglas by his side, he may set the king at defiance. Douglas watches its effect upon his daughter, and, seeing that "her affections do not that way tend," courteously declines the offer. Ellen, unable to bear the sight of her cousin's despair, rises to leave the room, and Malcolm has the bad taste to come forward, as of right, to be her escort. Roderick cannot brook this parade of successful rivalry, and a somewhat unseemly encounter follows, which ends in Malcolm swimming across to the mainland rather than be indebted to his rival.

Some of the mystery of the previous canto is removed in this, and we learn in the most natural way the former grandeur of the Douglas family, and their present outlawry; the character of their protector, and his hopes of reward. Our interest in the fallen house is increased by the noble contentment with which they bear their change of fortune. Complaint comes from the minstrel, not from Ellen or her father. The latter finds greater happiness in his daughter's truth and affection than in his former pomp, and is prepared rather to face fresh ills as an outcast than to raise his hand against the king, who has done him wrong, but whom still he loves.- TAYLOR.

Canto Second.

THE ISLAND.

I.

AT morn the black-cock trims his jetty wing,
'Tis morning prompts the linnet's blithest lay,
All Nature's children feel the matin spring

Of life reviving, with reviving day;

And while yon little bark glides down the bay,
Wafting the stranger on his way again,
Morn's genial influence roused a minstrel gray,
And sweetly o'er the lake was heard thy strain,
Mixed with the sounding harp, O white-haired
Allan-bane!

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II.

Song.

"Not faster yonder rowers' might
Flings from their oars the spray,
Not faster yonder rippling bright,
That tracks the shallop's course in light,
Melts in the lake away,

Than men from memory erase

The benefits of former days;

2. Linnet. A small singing-bird. -Lay. Song.

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3. Matin [Mặt in).

Morning.-9. White-haired Allan-bane. To a late period Highland

chieftains retained in their service the bard, as a family officer.

Then, stranger, go! good speed the while,
Nor think again of the lonely isle.

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High place to thee in royal court,
High place in battled line,

Good hawk and hound for sylvan sport!
Where beauty sees the brave resort,
The honored meed be thine!

True be thy sword, thy friend sincere,
Thy lady constant, kind, and dear,

And lost in love's and friendship's smile
Be memory of the lonely isle!

III.

Song Continued.

"But if beneath yon southern sky

A plaided stranger roam,

Whose drooping crest and stifled sigh,

Pine for his Highland home;

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And sunken cheek and heavy eye,

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17. Speed. Success.-23. Meed. Reward.-29. Plaided. See plaid, line 363, Canto I. 35. Hap. Lot or fortune. -37. Main. Sea.

Waste not a sigh on fortune changed,
On thankless courts, or friends estranged,
But come where kindred worth shall smile,
To greet thee in the lonely isle."

IV.

As died the sounds upon the tide,
The shallop reached the mainland side,
And ere his onward way he took,
The stranger cast a lingering look,
Where easily his eye might reach
The Harper on the islet beach,
Reclined against a blighted tree,
As wasted, gray, and worn as he.
To minstrel meditation given,

His reverend brow was raised to heaven,
As from the rising sun to claim

A sparkle of inspiring flame.
His hand, reclined upon the wire,
Seemed watching the awakening fire;
So still he sat as those who wait

Till judgment speak the doom of fate;
So still, as if no breeze might dare
To lift one lock of hoary hair;

So still, as life itself were fled

In the last sound his harp had sped.

V.

Upon a rock with lichens wild,

Beside him Ellen sat and smiled.

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66. Lichens [Li'kens]. Patches of grayish plants, improperly called mosses, growing on rocks and trees.

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