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CANTO FIRST.

And deep his midnight lair had made
The Lady of the Lake.

In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
The deep-moutlı'd bloodhound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne,

Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.
The Chase.

II.
HARP of the North! that mouldering long hast hung As Chief, who hears his warder call,

On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring, “ To arms! the foemen storm the wall,”
And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,' The antler'd monarch of the waste
Till envious ivy did around thee cling,

Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,

But, ere his fleet career he took,
O minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep? The dew-drops from his flanks he shook ;
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,

Like crested leader proud and high,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Toss'd his beam'd frontlet to the sky;
Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep? A moment gazed adown the dale,

A moment snuff’d the tainted gale, Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,

A moment listen’d to the cry, Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd,

That thicken'd as the chase drew nigh; When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,

Then, as the headmost foes appear'd, Aroused the fearful, or subdued the proud.

With one brave bound the copse he clear’d, At each according pause, was heard aloud 2

And, stretching forward free and far,
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high !

Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bow'd;
For still the burden of thy minstrelsy

III.
Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty'smatch- Yell'd on the view the opening pack;
less eye.

Rock, glen, and cavern, paid them back ;

To many a mingled sound at once
U wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand The awaken’d mountain gave response.

That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray; A hundred dogs bay'd deep and strong,
O wake once more! though scarce my skill command Clatter'd a hundred steeds along,
Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay:

Their peal the merry horns rung out,
Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,

A hundred voices joind the shout; And all unworthy of thy nobler strain,

With hark and whoop and wild halloo, Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,

No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew. *
The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. Far from the tumult fled the roe,
Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again! Close in her covert cower'd the doe,

The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering eye,

Till far beyond her piercing ken
I.

The hurricane had swept the glen.
THE stag at eve had drunk his fill,

Faint and more faint, its failing din Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,

Return'd from cavern, cliff, and linn,

king, an exiled lord, and a high-born beauty. The whole I MS.—" And on the fitful breeze thy numbers flung, narrative is very fine. There are not so many splendid pas

Till envious ivy, with her verdant ring, sages for quotation as in the two former poems. This may

Mantled and muffled each melodious string, indeed silence the objections of the critics, but I doubt whe

O Wizard Harp, still must thine accents sleep? ther it will promote the popularity of the poem. It has nothing so good as the Address to Scotland, or the Death of Mar

2 MS.—" At each according pause thou spokest aload mion.”—MACKINTOSH, in his Diary, 1811, see his Life, vol. i.

Thine ardent sympathy." D. 82.

3 MS. -" The bloodhound's notes of heavy bass " The Lay, if I may venture to state the creed now esta

Resounded hoarsely up the pass." blished, is, I should say, generally considered as the most natural and original, Marmion as the most powerful and splen- 4 Benvoirlich, a mountain comprehended in the cluster of did, the Lady of the Lake as the most interesting, romantic, the Grampians, at the head of the valley of the Garry, a picturesque, and graceful of his great poems."-LOCKHART, river which springs from its base. It rises to an elevation of vol. ij p. 256.

3330 feet above the level of the sea.

M

And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.

IV.
Less loud the sounds of silvan war
Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var,
And roused the cavern, where 'tis told,
A giant made his den of old;'
For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stay'd perforce,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer,
Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
So shrewdiy on the mountain side
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.

And ponder'd refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard? or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood grey,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
Fresh vigour with the hope return’d, 8
With flying foot the heath he spurn'd,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.

V.
The noble stag was pausing now,
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wander'd o’er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,

VI.
"Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er,
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more ::
What reins were tighten'd in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air ;s
Who flagg’d upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunn'd to stem the flooded Teith,_0
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o’er.
Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reach'd the lake of Vennachar;?
And when the Brigg of Turk was won,
The headmost horseman rode alone.

See Appendix, Note A.

it is returned, first from the opposite side of the lake; and 9 " About a mile to the westward of the inn of Aberfoyle, when that is finished, it is repeated with equal distinctness Lochard opens to the view. A few hundred yards to the east from the wood on the east. The day must be perfectly calm, of it, the Avendow, which had just issued from the lake, and the lake as smooth as glass, for otherwise no human voice tumbles its waters over a rugged precipice of more than thirty can be returned from a distance of at least a quarter of a mile." feet in height, forming, in the rainy season, several very mag

-GRAHAM's Sketches of Perthshire, 2d edit. p. 182, &c. nificent cataracts,

3 MS.—“Fresh vigour with the thought return'd, “ The first opening of the lower lake, from the east, is un

With flying hoof the heath he spurn'd." commonly picturesque. Directing the eye nearly westward, Benlomond raises its pyramidal mass in the background. In

+ Cambus-more, within about two miles of Callender, on the

wooded banks of the Keltie, a tributary of the Teith, is the nearer prospect, you have gentle eminences, covered with oak

seat of a family of the name of Buchanan, whom the Poet fruand birch to the very summit; the bare rock sometimes peeping through amongst the clumps. Immediately under the quently visited in his younger days. eye, the lower lake, stretching out from narrow beginnings to 5 Be edi a magnificent mountain, 3009 feet in height, a breadth of about half a mile, is seen in full prospect. On which bounds the horizon on the north-west from Callender. the right, the banks are skirted with extensive oak woods The name, according to Celtic etymologists, signifies the Mounwhich cover the mountain more than half way up.

tain of God. “Advancing to the westward, the view of the lake is lost

6 Two mountain streams-the one flowing from Loch Voil, for about a mile. The upper lake, which is by far the most by the pass of Leny; the other from Loch Katrine, by Loch extensive, is separated from the lower by a stream of about Achray and Loch Vennachar, unite at Callender; and the 200 yards in length. The most advantageous view of the

river thus formed thenceforth takes the name of Teith. Hence upper lake presents itself from a rising ground near its lower the designation of the territory of Menteith. extremity, where a footpath strikes off to the south, into the wood that overhangs this connecting stream. Looking west

7 “Loch Vennachar, a beautiful expanse of water, of about ward, Benlomond is seen in the background, rising, at the dis

five miles in length, by a mile and a half in breadth."tance of six miles, in the form of a regular cone, its sides

GRAHAM.

presenting a gentle slope to the N.W. and S. E. On the right is

8“ About a mile above Loch Vennachar, the approach the lofty mountain of Benoghrie, running west towards the (from the east) to the Brigg, or Bridge of Turk (the scene of deep vale in which Lochcon lies concealed from the eye. In the death of a wild boar famous in Celtic tradition), leads to the foreground, Lochard stretches out to the west in the the summit of an eminence, where there bursts upon the tra fairest prospect; its length three miles, and its breadth a mile veller's eye a sudden and wide prospect of the windings of and a half. On the right, it is skirted with woods; the the river that issues from Loch Achray, with that sweet lake northern and western extremity of the lake is diversified with itself in front; the gently rolling river pursues its serpentine meadows, and cora-fields, and farmn-houses. On the left, few course through an extensive meadow; at the west end of the marks of cultivation are to be seen.

lake, on the side of Aberfoyle, is situated the delightful farm “Parther on, the traveller passes along the verge of the of Achray, the level field, a denomination justly due to it, lake under a ledge of rock, from thirty to fifty feet high; and, when considered in contrast with the rugged rocks and mounstanding immediately under this rock, towards its western tains which surround it. From this eminence are to be seen extremity, he has a double echo, of uncommon distinctness. also, on the right hand, the entrance to Glenfinlas, and in the Upon provcuncing, with a firm voice, a line of ten syllables, distance Benvenue.”—GRAHAM.

“ I little thought, when first thy rein
I slack'd upon the banks of Seine,
That Highland eagle e'er should feed
On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed!
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day,
That costs thy life, my gallant grey!"

1

VII. Alone, but with unbated zeal, That horseman plied the scourge and steel ; For jaded now,

and spent with toil, Emboss'd with foam, and dark with soil, While every gasp with sobs he drew, The labsuring stag strain'd full in view. Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed, Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed, Fast on his flying traces came And all but won that desperate game; For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch, Vindictive toil'd the bloodhounds stanch; Nor nearer might the dogs attain, Nor farther might the quarry strain. Thus up the margin of the lake, Between the precipice and brake, O'er stock and rock their race they take.

X. Then through the dell his horn resounds, From vain pursuit to call the hounds. Back limp’d, with slow and crippled pace, The sulky leaders of the chase; Close to their master's side they press’d, With drooping tail and humbled crest; But still the dingle's hollow throat Prolong'd the swelling bugle-note. The owlets started from their dream, The eagles answer'd with their scream, Round and around the sounds were cast, Till echo seem'd an answering blast; And on the hunter hied his way, To join some comrades of the day; Yet often paused, so strange the road, So wondrous were the scenes it show'd.

VIII.
The Hunter mark'd that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
And deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barr'd the way;
Already glorying in the prize,
Measured his antlers with his eyes;
For the death-wound and death-halloo,
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew ;-~:
But thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunn'd the shock,
And turn'd him from the opposing rock;
Then, dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosach's3 wildest nook
His solitary refuge took.
There, while close couch'd, the thicket

shed
Cold dews and wild-flowers on his head,
He heard the baffled dogs in vain
Rave through the hollow pass amain,
Chiding the rocks that yell’d again.

XI. The western waves of ebbing day Rollid o'er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire, Was bathed in floods of living fire. But not a setting beam could glow Within the dark ravines below, Where twined the path in shadow hid, Round many a rocky pyramid, Shooting abruptly from the dell Its thunder-splinter'd pinnacle ; Round many an insulated mass, The native bulwarks of the pass, Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain. The rocky summits, split and rent, Form'd turret, dome, or battlement, Or seem'd fantastically set With cupola or minaret, Wild crests as pagod ever deck'd, Or mosque of Eastern architect. Nor were these earth-born castles bare, Nor lack'd they many a banner fair; For, from their shiver'd brows display'd, Far o'er the unfathomable glade, All twinkling with the dewdrops sheen, The brier-rose fell in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes, Waved in the west-wind's summer sigha.

IX. Close on the hounds the hunter came, To cheer them on the vanish'd game; But, stumbling in the rugged dell, The gallant horse exhausted fell. The impatient rider strove in vain To rouse him with the spur and rein, For the good steed, his labours o'er, Stretch'd his stiff limbs, to rise no more; Then, touch'd with pity and remorse, He sorrowd o'er the expiring horse.

See Appendix, Note B.

* Ibid, Note C. : " The term Trosachs signifies the rough or bristled territory." -GRARAM. • MS." And on the hunter hied his pace,

To meet some comrades of the chase."

6 MS.-" The mimic castles of the pass." 6 The Tower of Babel.-Genesis, xi. 1-9. 7 MS.--"Nor were these mighty bulwarks bare." 8 MS." Bright glistening with the de wdrops sheen.”

XII.
Boon nature scatter'd, free and wild,
Each plant or flower, the mountain's child.
Here eglantine embalm’d the air,
Hawthorn and hazel mingled there;
The primrose pale and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side,
Emblems of punishment and pride,
Group'd their dark hues with every stain
The weather-beaten crags retain.
With boughs that quaked at every breath,
Grey birch and aspen wept beneath;
Aloft, the ash and warrior oak
Cast anchor in the rifted rock;
And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung
His shatter'd trunk, and frequent flung,'
Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high,
His boughs athwart the narrow'd sky.
Highest of all, where white peaks glanced,
Where glist’ning streamers waved and danced,
The wanderer's eye could barely view
The summer heaven's delicious blue;
So wondrous wild, the whole might seem
The scenery of a fairy dream.

XIV.
And now, to issue from the gien,
No pathway meets the wanderer's ken,
Unless he climb, with footing nice,
A far projecting precipice.*
The broom's tough roots his ladder made,
The hazel saplings lent their aid;
And thus an airy point he won,
Where, gleaming with the setting sun,
One burnish'd sheet of living gold,
Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolla,
In all her length far winding lay,
With promontory, creek, and bay,
And islands that, empurpled bright,
Floated amid the livelier light,
And mountains, that like giants stand,
To sentinel enchanted land.
High on the south, huge Benvenue 6
Down on the lake in masses threw
Crags, knolls and mounds, confusedly hurld,
The fragments of an earlier world;
A wildering forest feather'd o'er
His ruin'd sides and summit hoar,7
While on the north, through middle air,
Ben-an : heaved high his forehead bare.

XIII.
Onward, amid the copse 'gan peep
A narrow inlet, still and deep,
Affording scarce such breadth of brim,
As served the wild duck's brood to swim.
Lost for a space, through thickets veering,
But broader when again appearing,
Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face
Could on the dark-blue mirror trace;
And farther as the hunter stray'd,
Still broader sweep its channels made.
The shaggy mounds no longer stood,
Emerging from entangled wood,
But, wave-encircled, seem'd to float,
Like castle girdled with its moat;
Yet broader floods extending still
Divide them from their parent hill,
Till each, retiring, claims to be
An islet in an inland sea.

XV.
From the steep promontory gazed 10
The stranger, raptured and amazed.
And,“ What a scene were here,” he cried,
“ For princely pomp, or churchman's pride!
On this bold brow, a lordly tower;
In that soft vale, a lady's bower ;
On yonder meadow, far away,
The turrets of a cloister grey;
How blithely might the bugle-horn
Chide, on the lake, the lingering morn!
How sweet, at eve, the lover's lute
Chime, when the groves were still and mute !
And, when the midnight moon should lave
Her forehead in the silver wave,
How solemn on the ear would come
The holy matins' distant hum,
While the deep peal's commanding tone
Should wake, in yonder islet lone,

I MS.—“ His scathed trunk, and frequent flung,

7 MS.—“ His ruin'd sides and fragments hoar,
Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high,

While on the north to middle air.
His rugged arms ath wart the sky.

8 According to Graham, Ben-an, or Bennan, is a mere diHighest of all, where white peaks glanced, minutive of Ben-Mountain.

Where twinkling streamers waved and danced." 9 “Perhaps the art of landscape-painting in poetry, has never 2 MS.-" Affording scarce such breadth of flood,

been displayed in higher perfection than in these stanzas, to

which rigid criticism might possibly object that the picture is As served to float the wild-duck's brood."

somewhat too minute, and that the contemplation of it de3 MS.--" Emerging dry-shod from the wood."

tains the traveller somewhat too long from the main purpose • See Appendix, Note D.

of his pilgrimage, but which it would be an act of the greatest 6 Loch-Ketturin is the Celtic pronunciation. In his Notes Not so the magnificent scene which bursts upon the bewil

injustice to break into fragments, and present by piecemeal. to The Fair Maid of Perth, the author has signified his belief dered hunter as he emerges at length from the dell, and comthat the lake was named after the Catterins, or wild robbers, mands at one view the beautiful expanse of Loch Katrine."who haunted its shores.

Critical Review, August 1820. 6 Benvenue-is literally the little mountain-i e. as con- 10 MS.--" From the high promontory gazed trasted with Benledi and Benlomond.

The stranger, awe struck and amazed."

A sainted hermit from his cell,
To drop a bead with every knell-
And bugle, lute, and bell, and all,
Should each bewilder'd stranger call
To friendly feast, and lighted hall."

XVI. “ Blithe were it then to wander here ! But now,-beshrew yon nimble deer,Like that same hermit's, thin and spare, The copse must give my evening fare; Some mossy bank my couch must be, Some rustling oak my canopy. Yet pass we that; the war and chase Give little choice of resting-place;A summer night, in greenwood spent, Were but to-morrow's merriment: But hosts may in these wilds abound, Such as are better miss'd than found; To meet with Highland plunderers here, Were worse than loss of steed or deer._9 I am alone;-my bugle-strain May call some straggler of the train ; Or, fall the worst that may betide, Ere now this falchion has been tried.”

XVIII.
And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace 6
A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace,
Of finer form, or lovelier face!
What though the sun, with ardent frown,
Had slightly tinged her cheek with

brown,--
The sportive toil, which, short and light,
Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,
Served too in hastier swell to show
Short glimpses of a breast of snow:
What though no rule of courtly grace
To measured mood had train'd her pace,
A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the

dew; E'en the slight harebell raised its head, Elastic from her airy tread: What though upon her speech there hung The accents of the mountain tongue,_7 Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, The listener held his breath to hear!

XVII. But scarce again his horn he wound, When lo! forth starting at the sound, From underneath an aged oak, That slanted from the islet rock, A damsel guider of its way, A little skiff shot to the bay,5 That round the promontory steep Led its deep line in graceful sweep, Eddying, in almost viewless wave, The weeping willow-twig to lave, And kiss, with whispering sound and slow, The beach of pebbles bright as snow. The boat had touch'd this silver strand, Just as the Hunter left his stand, And stood conceal'd amid the brake, To view this Lady of the Lake. The maiden paused, as if again She thought to catch the distant strain. With head up-raised, and look intent, And eye and ear attentive bent, And locks flung back, and lips apart, Like monument of Grecian art, In listening mood, she seem'd to stand, The guardian Naiad of the strand.

XIX. A Chieftain's daughter seem'd the maid; Her satin snood, her silken plaid, Her golden broocb, such birth betray'd. And seldom was a snood amid Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, Whose glossy black to shame might bring The plumage of the raven's wing; And seldom o'er a breast so fair, Mantled a plaid with modest care, And never brooch the folds combined Above a heart more good and kind. Her kindness and her worth to spy, You need but gaze on Ellen's eye; Not Katrine, in her mirror blue, Gives back the shaggy banks more true, Than every free-born glance confess’d The guileless movements of her breast; Whether joy danced in her dark eye, Or woe or pity claim'd a sigh, Or filial love was glowing there, Or meek devotion pour'd a prayer, Or tale of injury call’d forth The indignant spirit of the North. One only passion unreveald, With maiden pride the maid conceal'a, Yet not less purely felt the flame;O need I tell that passion's name!

I MS.-" To hospitable feast and hali."
2 MS.-“ And hollow trunk of some old tree,

My chamber for the night must be."
3 See Appendix, Note E.
• MS.-" The bugle shrill again he wound,

And lo! forth starting at the sound." • MSL A little skiff shot to the bar.

The Hunter left his airy stand ;

And when the boat had touch'd the sand,
Conceal'd he stood amid the brake,

To view this Lady of the Lake." 6 MS.—“A finer form, a fairer face,

Had never marble Nymph or Grace,

That boasts the Grecian chisel's trace." 7 MS.-" The accents of a stranger tongue." 8 See Note on Canto III. stanza b.

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