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When Hope, long doubtful, soar'd at length sublime, ! And sister-like in love they dwell
And our glad eyes, awake as day begun,

In that lone convent's silent cell.
Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, to meet the rising There Bruce's slow assent allows

Fair Isabel the veil and vows;

And there, her sex's dress regain'd,
O these were hours, when thrilling joy repaid The lovely Maid of Lorn remain'd,
A long, long course of darkness, doubts, and fears! Unnamed, unknown, while Scotland for
The heart-sick faintness of the hope delay'd,

Resounded with the din of war;
The waste, the woe, the bloodshed, and the tears And many a month, and many a day,
That track'd with terror twenty rolling years, In calm seclusion wore away.
All was forgot in that blithe jubilee !
Her downcast eye even pale Affliction rears,

IV.
To sigh a thankful prayer, amid the glee,

These days, these months, to years had
That hail'd the Despot's fall, and peace and liberty!

worn,

When tidings of high weight were borne
Such news o'er Scotland's hills triumphant rode,

To that lone island's shore;
When 'gainst the invaders turn’d the battle's scale, Of all the Scottish conquests made
When Bruce's banner had victorious flow'd

By the First Edward's ruthless blade,
O'er Loudoun's mountain, and in Ury's vale;2

His son retain'd no more,
When English blood oft deluged Douglas-dale, 3 Northward of Tweed, but Stirling's towers,
And fiery Edward routed stout St. John,

Beleaguer'd by King Robert's powers;
When Randolph’s war-cry swelld the southern gale,5 And they took term of truce,

And many a fortress, town, and tower, was won, If England's King should not relieve
And Fame still sounded forth fresh deeds of glory done. The siege ere John the Baptist's eve,

To yield them to the Bruce.
II.

England was roused-on every side
Blithe tidings flew from baron's tower,

Courier and post and herald hied,
To peasant’s cot, to forest-bower,

To summon prince and peer,
And waked the solitary cell,

At Berwick-bounds to meet their Liege,?
Where lone Saint Bride's recluses dwell.

Prepared to raise fair Stirling's siege,
l'rincess no more, fair Isabel,

With buckler, brand, and spear.
A vot’ress of the order now,

The term was nigh-they muster'd fast,
Say, did the rule that bid thee wear

By beacon and by bugle-blast
Dim veil and woollen scapulaire,

Forth marshall’d for the field;
And reft thy locks of dark-brown hair,

There rode each knight of noble name,
That stern and rigid vow,

There England's hardy archers came,
Did it condemn the transport high,

The land they trode seem'd all on flame,
Which glisten’d in thy watery eye,

With banner, blade, and shield!
When minstrel or when palmer told

And not famed England's powers alone,
Each fresh exploit of Bruce the bold ?-

Renown'd in arms, the summons own;
And whose the lovely form, that shares

For Neustria's knights obey'd,
Thy anxious hopes, thy fears, thy prayers ?

Gascogne bath lent her horsemen good,
No sister she of convent shade;

And Cambria, but of late subdued,
So say these locks in lengthen'd braid,

Sent forth her mountain-multitude,
So say the blushes and the sighs,

And Connoght pour’d from waste and wood
The tremors that unbidden rise,

Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre rude
When, mingled with the Bruce's fame,

Dark Eth O'Connor sway'd, 10
The brave Lord Ronald's praises came.

V.
III.

Right to devoted Caledon
Believe, his father's castle won,

The storm of war rolls slowly on,"
And his bold enterprise begun,

With menace deep and dread;
That Bruce's earliest cares restore

So the dark clouds, with gathering power,
The speechless page to Arran's shore :

Suspend awhile the threaten'd shower,
Nor think that long the quaint disguise

Till every peak and summit lower
Conceal'd her from a sister's eyes;

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,
His royal summons warn’d the land,
That all who own'd their King's command
Should instant take the spear and brand,

To combat at his side.
O who may tell the sons of fame,
That at King Robert's bidding came,

To battle for the right!
From Cheviot to the shores of Ross,
From Solway-Sands to Marshal’s-Moss,

All boun'd them for the fight.
Such news the royal courier tells,
Who came to rouse dark Arran's dells;
But farther tidings must the ear
Of Isabel in secret hear.
These in her cloister walk, next morn,
Thus shared she with the Maid of Lorn.

Nay, hush thee, too impatient maia,
Until my final tale be said !-
The good King Robert would engage
Edith once more his elfin

page,
By her own heart, and her own eye,
Her lover's penitence to try_
Safe in his royal charge and free,
Should such thy final purpose be,
Again unknown to seek the cell,
And live and die with Isabel.”
Thus spoke the maid-King Robert's eye:
Might have some glance of policy;
Dunstaffnage had the monarch ta'en,
And Lorn had own'a King Robert's reign ;
Her brother had to England fled,
And there in banishment was dead;
Ample, through exile, death, and flight,
N'er tower and land was Edith's right;
This ample right o'er tower and land
Were safe in Ronald's faithful hand.

VI.
“ My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere

Hath been to Isabel ?
Judge then the sorrow of my heart,
When I must say the words, We part!

The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation free

On happier fortunes fell.
Nor, Edith, judge thyself betray'd
Though Robert knows that Lorn's high Maid
And his poor silent page were one.
Verged in the fickle heart of mar,
Earnest and anxious hath he look'd
How Ronald's heart the message brook'd
That gave him, with her last farewell,
The charge of Sister Isabel,
To think upon thy better right,
And keep the faith his promise plight.
Forgive him for thy sister's sake,
At first if vain repinings wake

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

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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
Then, to bear back to solitude

Seem'd in the blue horizon lost.
The thought he had his falsehood rued!
But Isabel, who long had seen

XI.
Her pallid cheek and pensive mien,

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.
X.

A wild, yet pleasing contrast, made
The King had deem'd the maiden bright

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."

4

Arm'd all on foot, that host appears
A serried mass of glimmering spears.
There stood the Marchers' warlike band,
The warriors there of Lodon's land;
Ettrick and Liddell bent the yew,
A band of archers fierce, though few;
The men of Nith and Annan's vale,
And the bold Spears of Teviotdale;-
The dauntless Douglas these obey,
And the young Stuart's gentle sway.
North-eastward by Saint Ninian's shrine,
Beneath fierce Randolph's charge, combine
The warriors whom the hardy North
From Tay to Sutherland sent forth.
The rest of Scotland's war-array
With Edward Bruce to westward lay,
Where Bannock, with his broken bank
And deep ravine, protects their flank.
Behind them, screen’d by sheltering wood,
The gallant Keith, Lord Marshal, stood :
His men-at-arms bear mace and lance,
And plumes that wave, and helms that glance.
Thus fair divided by the King,
Centre, and right, and left-ward wing,
Composed his front; nor distant far
Was strong reserve to aid the war.
And 'twas to front of this array,
Her guide and Edith made their way.

XIV.
O gay, yet fearful ? to behold,
Flashing with steel and rough with gold,
And bristled o'er with bills and

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,
Fell that stern dint- the first—the last !-
Such strength upon the blow was put,
The helmet crash'd like hazel-nut;
The axe-shaft, with its brazen clasp,
Was shiver'd to the gauntlet grasp.
Springs from the blow the startled horse,
Drops to the plain the lifeless corse;
-First of that fatal field, how soon,
How sudden, fell the fierce De Boune !

For brave Lord Ronald, too, hath sworii,
Not to regain the Maid of Lorn,
(The bliss on earth he covets most,)
Would he forsake his battle-post,
Or shun the fortune that may fall
To Bruce, to Scotland, and to all.-
But, hark ! some news these trumpets tell;
Forgive my hastefarewell !-farewell !”-
And in a lower voice he said,
“Be of good cheer-farewell, sweet maid !”-

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

fade.-
Follow, my household !”-And they go
Like lightning on the advancing foe.
“ My Liege,” said noble Douglas then,
“ Earl Randolph has but one to ten:
Let me go forth his band to aid !"-
-“Stir not. The error he hath made,
Let him amend it as he may;
I will not weaken mine array.”
Then loudly rose the conflict-cry,
And Douglas's brave heart swellid high-
“ My Liege," he said, “ with patient ear
I must not Moray's death-knell hear!”-
“ Then go but speed thee back again.”-
Forth sprung the Douglas with his train:
But, when they won a rising hill,
He bade his followers hold them still.
“ See, see! the routed Southern fly!
The Earl hath won the victory.
Lo! where yon steeds run masterless,
His banner towers above the press.
Rein up; our presence would impair
The fame we come too late to share."
Back to the host the Douglas rode,
And soon glad tidings are abroad,
That, Dayncourt by stout Randolph slain,
His followers fled with loosen'd rein.-
That skirmish closed the busy day,
And couch'd in battle's prompt array,
Each army on their weapons lay.

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."

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5 MS.- Back to his post the Douglas rode,

And soon the tidings are abroad."

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