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When blighting was nearest.

Fleet foot on the correi,

Sage counsel in cumber,

Red hand in the foray,

How sound is thy slumber!
Like the dew on the mountain,

Like the foam on the river,

Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone, and forever!

XVII.

See Stumah, who, the bier beside,
His master's corpse with wonder eyed,
Poor Stumah! whom his least halloo
Could send like lightning o'er the dew,

385

390

395

-383. Searest. Dry

379. Hoary. White with age; ripe for the harvest. est. -384. Flushing. Full bloom. -386. Correi. The hollow side of the hill, where game usually lies. 387. Cumber. Trouble, perplexity. 394. Stumah. Faithful.

The name of a dog.

Bristles his crest, and points his ears,
As if some stranger step he hears.
'Tis not a mourner's muffled tread,
Who comes to sorrow o'er the dead,
But headlong haste or deadly fear
Urge the precipitate career.
All stand aghast: - unheeding all,
The henchman bursts into the hall;
Before the dead man's bier he stood,

Held forth the Cross besmeared with blood;
"The muster-place is Lanrick mead;
Speed forth the signal! clansmen, speed!"

XVIII.

Angus, the heir of Duncan's line,
Sprung forth and seized the fatal sign.
In haste the stripling to his side

His father's dirk and broadsword tied;
But when he saw his mother's eye
Watch him in speechless agony,
Back to her opened arms he flew,
Pressed on her lips a fond adieu, -

"Alas!" she sobbed," and yet be gone,
And speed thee forth, like Duncan's son!"
One look he cast upon the bier,

Dashed from his eye the gathering tear,
Breathed deep to clear his laboring breast,
And tossed aloft his bonnet crest,
Then, like the high-bred colt when, freed,
First he essays his fire and speed,
He vanished, and o'er moor and moss
Sped forward with the Fiery Cross.

400

405

410

415

420

425

Suspended was the widow's tear

430

435

While yet his footsteps she could hear;
And when she marked the henchman's eye
Wet with unwonted sympathy,
"Kinsman," she said, "his race is run
That should have sped thine errand on;
The oak has fallen, the sapling bough
Is all Duncraggan's shelter now.
Yet trust I well, his duty done,
The orphan's God will guard my son.—
And you, in many a danger true,
At Duncan's hest your blades that drew,
To arms, and guard that orphan's head!
Let babes and women wail the dead."
Then weapon-clang and martial call
Resounded through the funeral hall,
While from the walls the attendant band
Snatched sword and targe with hurried hand; 445
And short and flitting energy

Glanced from the mourner's sunken eye,

As if the sounds to warrior dear

Might rouse her Duncan from his bier.

But faded soon that borrowed force;

Grief claimed his right, and tears their course.

XIX.

Benledi saw the Cross of Fire,

It glanced like lightning up Strath-Ire.

439. Hest. Behest, command.-445. Targe. Shield.

440

450

453. Strath-Ire. The first stage of the Fiery Cross is to Duncraggan, a place near the Brigg of Turk, where a short stream divides Loch Achray · from Loch Vennachar. From thence, it passes towards Callender, and then, turning to the left up the pass of Leny, is consigned to Norman at

O'er dale and hill the summons flew,
Nor rest nor pause young Angus knew;
The tear that gathered in his eye
He left the mountain-breeze to dry;
Until, where Teith's young waters roll
Betwixt him and a wooded knoll
That graced the sable strath with green,
The chapel of Saint Bride was seen.
Swoln was the stream, remote the bridge,
But Angus paused not on the edge;
Though the dark waves danced dizzily,
Though reeled his sympathetic eye,
He dashed amid the torrent's roar:
His right hand high the crosslet bore,
His left the pole-axe grasped, to guide
And stay his footing in the tide.

455

460

465

He stumbled twice, the foam splashed high, 470
With hoarser swell the stream raced by ;

And had he fallen, forever there,

Farewell Duncraggan's orphan heir!
But still, as if in parting life,
Firmer he grasped the Cross of strife,
Until the opposing bank he gained,
And up the chapel pathway strained.

XX.

A blithesome rout that morning-tide

Had sought the chapel of Saint Bride.

475

the chapel of Saint Bride, which stood on a small and romantic knoll in the middle of the valley, called Strath-Ire. Tombea and Arnandave, or Ardmandave, are names of places in the vicinity. The alarm is then supposed to pass along the lake of Lubnaig, and through the various glens in the district of Balquidder, including the neighboring tracts of Glenfinlas and Strath-Gartney. SCOTT.-468. Polc-axe. A kind of long-handled hatchet.

Her troth Tombea's Mary gave
To Norman, heir of Armandave,
And, issuing from the Gothic arch,
The bridal now resumed their march.
In rude but glad procession came
Bonneted sire and coif-clad dame;
And plaided youth, with jest and jeer,
Which snooded maiden would not hear;
And children, that, unwitting why,
Lent the gay shout their shrilly cry;

And minstrels, that in measures vied
Before the young and bonny bride,
Whose downcast eye and cheek disclose
The tear and blush of morning rose.
With virgin step and bashful hand
She held the kerchief's snowy band.
The gallant bridegroom by her side
Beheld his prize with victor's pride,
And the glad mother in her ear
Was closely whispering word of cheer.

XXI.

480

485

490

495

Who meets them at the churchyard gate?

500

The messenger of fear and fate!

Haste in his hurried accent lies,

And grief is swimming in his eyes.
All dripping from the recent flood,
Panting and travel-soiled he stood,
The fatal sign of fire and sword

Held forth, and spoke the appointed word:

485, 495. Coif, kerchief. See line 116.

505

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