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When Hope, long doubtful, soar'd at length sublime, ! And sister-like in love they dwell
In that lone convent's silent cell.
Fair Isabel the veil and vows;
And there, her sex's dress regain'd,
Resounded with the din of war;
These days, these months, to years had
When tidings of high weight were borne
To that lone island's shore;
By the First Edward's ruthless blade,
His son retain'd no more,
Beleaguer'd by King Robert's powers;
And many a fortress, town, and tower, was won, If England's King should not relieve
To yield them to the Bruce.
England was roused-on every side
Courier and post and herald hied,
To summon prince and peer,
At Berwick-bounds to meet their Liege,?
Prepared to raise fair Stirling's siege,
With buckler, brand, and spear.
The term was nigh-they muster'd fast,
By beacon and by bugle-blast
Forth marshall’d for the field;
There rode each knight of noble name,
There England's hardy archers came,
The land they trode seem'd all on flame,
With banner, blade, and shield!
And not famed England's powers alone,
Renown'd in arms, the summons own;
For Neustria's knights obey'd,
Gascogne bath lent her horsemen good,
And Cambria, but of late subdued,
Sent forth her mountain-multitude,
And Connoght pour’d from waste and wood
Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre rude
Dark Eth O'Connor sway'd, 10
Right to devoted Caledon
The storm of war rolls slowly on,"
With menace deep and dread;
So the dark clouds, with gathering power,
Suspend awhile the threaten'd shower,
Till every peak and summit lower
Round the pale pilgrim's head.
1 MS.—“ Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, watch'd
Triumph's flashing gun.” ? See Appendix, Note 3 G.
3 Ibid, Note 3 H. 4 Seo Appendix, Note 31.
6 See Appendix, Note 3 L.
7 Ibid, Note 3 11 8 The MS. has not this sine. 9 See Appendix, Note 3 N.
6 Ibid, Note 3 K.
10 Ibid, Note 30 1 MS.-" The gathering storm of war rolls on."
Not with such pilgrim's startled eye king Robert mark'd the tempest nigh!
Resolved the brunt to bide,
To combat at his side.
To battle for the right!
All boun'd them for the fight.
Nay, hush thee, too impatient maia,
Hath been to Isabel ?
The cheerless convent-cell
On happier fortunes fell.
Long since that mood is gone: Now dwells he on thy juster claims, And oft his breach of faith he blames
Forgive him for thine own!”
VIII. Embarrass'd eye and blushing cheek Pleasure and shame, and fear bespeak. Yet much the reasoning Edith made: “ Her sister's faith she must upbraid, Who gave such secret, dark and dear, In council to another's ear. Why should she leave the peaceful cell -How should she part with Isabel How wear that strange attire agen? How risk herself 'midst martial men ?--And how be guarded on the way! At least she might entreat delay." Kind Isabel, with secret smile, Saw and forgave the maiden's wile, Reluctant to be thought to move At the first call of truant love.?
IX. Oh, blame her not !-when zephyrs wake, The aspen's trembling leaves must shake; When beams the sun through April's shower, It needs must bloom, the violet flower; And Love, howe'er the maiden strive, Must with reviving hope revive! A thousand soft excuses came, To plead his cause 'gainst virgin shame. Pledged by their sires in earliest youth, He had her plighted faith and truth
VII. “ No! never to Lord Ronald's bower Will I again as paramour
Then, 'twas her Liege's strict commanu,
Beyond, the Southern host appears, And she, beneath his royal hand,
A boundless wilderness of spears, A ward in person and in land:
Whose verge or rear the anxious eye And, last, she was resolved to stay
Strove far, but strove in vain, to spy. Only brief space—one little day
Thick flashing in the evening beam, Close hidden in her safe disguise
Glaives, lances, bills, and banners gleam ; From all, but most from Ronald's eyes-
And where the heaven join'd with the hill, But once to see him more!-nor blame
Was distant armour flashing still, Her wish-to hear him name her name
So wide, so far, the boundless host
Seem'd in the blue horizon lost.
Down from the hill the maiden pass'd, And well herself the cause might know,
At the wild show of war aghast; Though innocent, of Edith's woe,
And traversed first the rearward host, Joy'd, generous, that revolving time
Reserved for aid where needed most. Gave means to expiate the crime.
The men of Carrick and of Ayr, High glow'd her bosom as she said,
Lennox and Lanark, too, were there, 56 Well shall her sufferings be repaid !"
And all the western land; Now came the parting hour-a band
With these the valiant of the Isles From Arran's mountains left the land;
Beneath their chieftains rank'd their files, 7 Their chief, Fitz-Louis,' had the care
In many a plaided band. The speechless Amadine to bear
There, in the centre, proudly raised, To Bruce, with honour, as behoved
The Bruce's royal standard blazed, To page the monarch dearly loved.
And there Lord Ronald's banner bore
A galley driven by sail and oar.
A wild, yet pleasing contrast, made
Warriors in mail and plate array'd, Should reach him long before the fight,
With the plumed bonnet and the plaid But storms and fate her course delay:
By these Hebrideans worn; It was on eve of battle-day,
But O! unseen for three long years, When o'er the Gillie's-hill she rode.
Dear was the garb of mountaineers The landscape like a furnace glow'd,
To the fair Maid of Lorn! And far as e'er the eye was borne,
For one she look'd-but he was far The lances waved like autumn-corn.
Busied amid the ranks of warIn battles four beneath their eye,
Yet with affection's troubled eye. The forces of King Robert lie.3
She mark’d his banner boldly fly, And one below the hill was laid,
Gave on the countless foe a glance, Reserved for rescue and for aid;
And thought on battle's desperate chance. And three, advanced, form’d vaward-line, 'Twixt Bannock's brook and Ninian's shrine.
XII. Detach'd was each, yet each so nigh
To centre of the vaward-line As well might mutual aid supply.
Fitz-Louis guided Amadine.8 I See Appendix, Note 3 P.
anywise affected by the amount of his father's debts. A widow 2 MS.-“ Nearest and plainest to the eye."
having no son may enjoy her husband's freehold as long as sbe $ See Appendix, Note 3 Q.
lives, but at her death it reverts to the community, the female 4 MS.--" One close beneath the hill was laid."
line being excluded from the right of succession. Nor can any
freeman dispose of his freehold except to the community, who 6 See Appendix, Note 3 R.
must, within a certain time, dispose of it to a neutral person, B “As a reward for the loyalty and distinguished bravery | as no freeman or baron can possess more than one allotment, of the men of Ayr on the occasion referred to in the text, whereby the original number of freemen is always kept up. King Robert the Bruce granted them upwards of 1300 Scots “ Each freeholder has a vote in the election of the baillies, acres of land, part of the bailliery of Kyle Stewart, his patri- who have a jurisdiction over the freemen for the recovery of monial inheritance, lying in the immediate vicinity of the small debts. But though they have the power of committing town of Ayr, which grant King James VI. confirmed to their a freeman to prison, they cannot, in right of their office, lock successors by two charters; one to the freemen of Newton- the prison doors on him, but if he leaves the prison without upon-Ayr, the other to the freemen of Prestwick, both boroughs the proper liberation of the baillies, he thereby forfeits his of barony in the same parish, with all the peculiarities of the baronship or freedom."— Inquisit. Special, pp. 72, 555, 782.original constitution.
Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, voi. ii. " The former charter contains forty-eight freedoms or baro- pp. 263, 264, 581.-Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. iu. pp. 504, suth nies--as these subdivisions are called-and the latter thirty--Note from Mr. Joseph Train (1810.) six. The right of succession to these irecholds is limited. A 7 See Appendix, Note 3 S. son succeeds his father, nor can his right of succession be 8 MS.-"Her guard conducted Amadine."
Arm'd all on foot, that host appears
spears, With plumes and pennons waving fair, Was that bright battle-front ! for there
Rode England's King and peers: And who, that saw that monarch ride, His kingdom battled by his side, Could then his direful doom foretell ! Fair was his seat in knightly selle, And in his sprightly eye was set Some spark of the Plantagenet. Though light and wandering was his glance. It flash'd at sight of shield and lance. “ Know'st thou,” he said, “ De Argentine, Yon knight who marshals thus their line?”... “ The tokens on his helmet tell The Bruce, my Liege: I know him well.”— “ And shall the audacious traitor brare The presence where our banners wave ?". “So please my Liege,” said Argentine, “ Were he but horsed on steed like mine, To give him fair and knightly chance, I would adventure forth my lance.”— “In battle-day,” the King replied, “ Nice tourney rules are set aside. -Still must the rebel dare our wrath? Set on him-sweep him from our path !” And, at King Edward's signal, soon Dash'd from the ranks Sir Henry Boune.
XIII. Here must they pause; for, in advance As far as one might pitch a lance, The Monarch rode along the van,' The foe's approaching force to scan, His line to marsbal and to range, And ranks to square, and fronts to change. Alone he rode—from head to heel Sheathed in his ready arms of steel ; Nor mounted yet on war-horse wight, But, till more near the shock of fight, Reining a palfrey low and light. A diadem of gold was set Above his bright steel basinet, And clasp'd within its glittering twine Was seen the glove of Argentine; Truncheon or leading staff he lacks, Bearing, instead, a battle-axe. He ranged his soldiers for the fight, Accoutred thus, in open ght Of either host.-Three bowshots far, Paused the deep front of England's war, And rested on their arms awhile, To close and rank their warlike file, And hold high council, if that night Should view the strife, or dawning light.
XV. Of Hereford's high blood 3 he came, A race renown'd for knightly fame. He burn'd before his Monarch's eye To do some deed of chivalry. He spurr'd his steed, he couch'd his lance, And darted on the Bruce at once. -As motionless as rocks, that bide The wrath of the advancing tide, The Bruce stood fast. Each breast beat higli, And dazzled was each gazing eyeThe heart had hardly time to think, The eyelid scarce had time to wink, While on the King, like flash of flame, Spurr’d to full speed the war-horse came! The partridge may the falcon mock, If that slight palfrey stand the shockBut, swerving from the Knight's career, Just as they met, Bruce shunn'd the spear." Onward the baffled warrior bore His course—but soon his course was o'er High in his stirrups stood the King, And gave his battle-axe the swing.
" See Appendix, Note 3 T.
fair, # MS."O
yet 3 MS. -"Princely blood," &c.
4 MS.--"The heart took hardly time to think,
The eyelid scarce had space to wink." 5 MS. —"Just as they closed in full career,
Bruce swerved the palfrey from the sprar"
Right on De Boune, the whiles he pass'd,
For brave Lord Ronald, too, hath sworii,
XVI. One pitying glance the Monarch sped, Where on the field his foe lay dead; Then gently turn'd his palfrey's head, And, pacing back his sober way, Slowly he gain'd his own array. There round their King the leaders crowd, And blame his recklessness aloud, That risk'd 'gainst each adventurous spear A life so valued and so dear. His broken weapon's shaft survey'd The King, and careless answer made,“My loss may pay my folly's tax; I've broke my trusty battle-axe.” 'Twas then Fitz-Louis, bending low, Did Isabel's commission show; Edith, disguised at distance stands, And hides her blushes with her hands. The Monarch's brow has changed its hue, Away the gory axe he threw, While to the seeming page he drew,
Clearing war's terrors from his eye. Her hand with gentle ease he took, With such a kind protecting look,
As to a weak and timid boy Might speak, that elder brother's care And elder brother's love were there.
XVIII. “What train of dust, with trumpet-sound And glimmering spears, is wheeling round Our leftward flank ?”?—the Monarch cried, To Moray's Earl who rode beside. “Lo ! round thy station pass the foes !! Randolph, thy wreath has lost a rose." The Earl his visor closed, and said, “My wreath shall bloom, or life shall
XVII. “ Fear not,” he said, “ young Amadine !” Then whisper'd,“ Still that name be thine. Fate plays her wonted fantasy,' Kind Amadine, with thee and me, And sends thee here in doubtful hour. But soon we are beyond her power; For on this chosen battle-plain, Victor or vanquish'd, I remain. Do thou to yonder hill repair; The followers of our host are there, And all who may not weapons bear.. Fitz-Louis, have him in thy care. Joyful we meet, if all go well; If not, in Arran's holy cell Thou must take part with Isabel;
XIX. It was a night of lovely June, High rode in cloudless blue the moon,
Demayet smiled beneath her my;
4 MS.—“Earl Randolph's strength is one to ten."
5 MS.- Back to his post the Douglas rode,
And soon the tidings are abroad."