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And flash along his spirit high,

Like lightning o'er the midnight sky.
While yet a child, — and children know,
Instinctive taught, the friend and foe, -
I shuddered at his brow of gloom,
His shadowy plaid and sable plume;
A maiden grown, I ill could bear
His haughty mien and lordly air:
But, if thou join'st a suitor's claim,
In serious mood, to Roderick's name,
I thrill with anguish! or, if e'er

A Douglas knew the word, with fear.
To change such odious theme were best,
What think'st thou of our stranger guest?"


"What think I of him?

woe the while

That brought such wanderer to our isle!
Thy father's battle-brand, of yore

For Tine-man forged by fairy lore,

What time he leagued, no longer foes,

His Border spears with Hotspur's bows,
Did, self-unscabbarded, foreshow

The footstep of a secret foe.

If courtly spy hath harbored here,
What may we for the Douglas fear?

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294. Sable. Black. 297. Suitor. Lover.-305. Yore. Old time. 306. Tine-man. Archibald, the third Earl of Douglas, was so unfortunate in all his enterprises, that he acquired the epithet of TINE-MAN, because he tined, or lost, his followers in every battle which he fought. SCOTT. 307. Leagued. United for mutual support.

308. His Border spears with Hotspur's bows. The reference is to the alliance of Douglas with his Scottish spearmen, and the English under Percy, or Hotspur, armed with the cross-bow.

What for this island, deemed of old
Clan-Alpine's last and surest hold?
If neither spy nor foe, I pray

What yet may jealous Roderick say?—
Nay, wave not thy disdainful head!
Bethink thee of the discord dread
That kindled when at Beltane game


Thou ledst the dance with Malcolm Græme; 320
Still, though thy sire the peace renewed,
Smoulders in Roderick's breast the feud :
Beware! But hark! what sounds are these?

My dull ears catch no faltering breeze,
No weeping birch nor aspens wake,
Nor breath is dimpling in the lake;
Still is the canna's hoary beard,
Yet, by my minstrel faith, I heard
And hark again! some pipe of war
Sends the bold pibroch from afar.”




Far up the lengthened lake were spied
Four darkening specks upon the tide,
That, slow enlarging on the view,
Four manned and masted barges grew,
And, bearing downwards from Glengyle,
Steered full upon the lonely isle;
The point of Brianchoil they passed,
And, to the windward as they cast,


319. Beltane game. A May-day festival in honor of Beal, the Sun, celebrated by kindling fires on the hill-tops and other ceremonies. 327. Canna. Cotton-grass.

Against the sun they gave to shine

The bold Sir Roderick's bannered Pine.
Nearer and nearer as they bear,


Spears, pikes, and axes flash in air.

Now might you see the tartans brave,

And plaids and plumage dance and wave:
Now see the bonnets sink and rise,

As his tough oar the rower plies;
See, flashing at each sturdy stroke,
The wave ascending into smoke;


See the proud pipers on the bow,

And mark the gaudy streamers flow


From their loud chanters down, and sweep
The furrowed bosom of the deep,

As, rushing through the lake amain,

They plied the ancient Highland strain.


Ever, as on they bore, more loud
And louder rung the pibroch proud.
At first the sounds, by distance tame,
Mellowed along the waters came,
And, lingering long by cape and bay,
Wailed every harsher note away,

Then bursting bolder on the ear,

The clan's shrill Gathering they could hear,
Those thrilling sounds that call the might
Of old Clan-Alpine to the fight.

340. Bannered Pine. The pine was the badge of Clan-Alpine.

343. Tartans brave. Showy plaids. Cf. Canto I. 363.



345. Bonnets. The ordinary Scotch cap worn by men is called a bonnet

in Scotland. 351. Chanter. Tube of the bagpipe.

363. Thrilling sounds, etc. The connoisseurs in pipe-music affect to

Thick beat the rapid notes, as when
The mustering hundreds shake the glen,
And hurrying at the signal dread,
The battered earth returns their tread.
Then prelude light, of livelier tone,
Expressed their merry marching on,
Ere peal of closing battle rose,

With mingled outcry, shrieks, and blows;
And mimic din of stroke and ward,



As broadsword upon target jarred;

And groaning pause, ere yet again,
Condensed, the battle yelled amain:
The rapid charge, the rallying shout,
Retreat borne headlong into rout,
And bursts of triumph, to declare
Clan-Alpine's conquest-all were there.
Nor ended thus the strain, but slow
Sunk in a moan prolonged and low,
And changed the conquering clarion swell
For wild lament o'er those that fell.




The war-pipes ceased, but lake and hill
Were busy with their echoes still;
And, when they slept, a vocal strain
Bade their hoarse chorus wake again,
While loud a hundred clansmen raise


Their voices in their Chieftain's praise.

flict, flight, pursuit, and all the "current of a heady fight." SCOTT.


discover, in a well-composed pibroch, the imitative sounds of march, con

369. Prelude. Introductory musical performance.

373. Ward. Parry or defense.

383. Clarion. A kind of trumpet whose note is clear and shrill.

Each boatman, bending to his oar,
With measured sweep the burden bore,
In such wild cadence as the breeze
Makes through December's leafless trees.
The chorus first could Allan know,
"Roderick Vich Alpine, ho! iro!"
And near, and nearer as they rowed,
Distinct the martial ditty flowed.


Boat Song.

Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!
Honored and blest be the ever-green Pine!

Long may the tree, in his banner that glances,
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line!
Heaven send it happy dew,

Earth lend it sap anew,

Gayly to bourgeon and broadly to grow,
While every Highland glen

Sends our shout back again,

"Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"




392. Burden. Chorus.-393. Cadence. A regular fall or modulation of sound. -405. Bourgeon [Bur'jun]. To bud or sprout.

408. Roderigh Vich Alpine. Besides his ordinary name and surname, which were chiefly used in the intercourse with the Lowlands, every Highland chief had an epithet expressive of his patriarchal dignity as head of the clan, and which was common to all his predecessors and successors, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt, or Arsaces to those of Parthia. This name was usually a patronymic, expressive of his descent from the founder of the family. Besides this title, which belonged to his office and dignity, the chieftain had usually another peculiar to himself, which distinguished him from the chieftains of the same race. This was sometimes derived from complexion, as dhu or roy; sometimes from size, as beg or more; at other times, from some peculiar exploit, or from some peculiarity of habit or appearance. The line of the text therefore signifies Black Roderick, the descendant of Alpine. SCOTT.

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