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With wonder view'd the bloody spot-
"Exclaim not, gallants! question not.
You, Herbert and Luffness, alight,
And bind the wounds of yonder knight;
Let the gray palfrey bear his weight,
We destined for a fairer freight,
And bring him on to Stirling straight;
I will before at better speed,

To seek fresh horse and fitting weed.
The sun rides high;-I must be boune,
To see the archer game at noon;
But lightly Bayard clears the lea.-
De Vaux and Herries, follow me.

66

XVIII.

Stand, Bayard, stand!"-the steed obey'd,
With arching neck and bended head,
And glancing eye and quivering ear,
As if he loved his lord to hear.
No foot Fitz-James in stirrup staid,
No grasp upon the saddle laid,

But wreath'd his left hand in the mane,
And lightly bounded from the plain.
Turn'd on the horse his armed heel,
And stirr'd his courage with the steel.
Bounded the fiery steed in air,
The rider sate erect and fair,

Then like a bolt from steel crossbow
Forth launch'd, along the plain they go.
They dash'd that rapid torrent through,
And up Carhonie's hill they flew;
Still at the gallop prick'd the Knight,
His merry-men follow'd as they might.
Along thy banks, swift Teith! they ride,

And in the race they mock thy tide;
Torry and Lendrick now are past,
And Deanstown lies behind them cast;
They rise, the banner'd towers of Doune,
They sink in distant woodland soon;
Blair-Drummond sees the hoofs strike fire,
They sweep like breeze through Ochtertyre;
They mark just glance and disappear
The lofty brow of ancient Kier;

They bathe their coursers' sweltering sides,
Dark Forth! amid thy sluggish tides,
And on the opposing shore take ground,
With plash, with scramble, and with bound.
Right-hand they leave thy cliffs, Craig-Forth!
And soon the bulwark of the North,
Gray Stirling, with her towers and town,
Upon their fleet career look'd down.

XIX.

As up the flinty path they strain'd,
Sudden his steed the leader rein'd;
A signal to his squire he flung,

Who instant to his stirrup sprung :-
"Seest thou, De Vaux, yon woodsman gray
Who town-ward holds the rocky way,

Of stature tall and poor array?

Mark'st thou the firm, yet active stride,

With which he scales the mountain-side?

Know'st thou from whence he comes, or whom?”"No, by my word;-a burly groom

He seems, who in the field or chase

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A baron's train would nobly grace.'
"Out, out, De Vaux! can fear supply,
And jealousy, no sharper eye?

Afar, ere to the hill he drew,

That stately form and step I knew;
Like form in Scotland is not seen,
Treads not such step on Scottish green.
'Tis James of Douglas, by Saint Serle!
The uncle of the banish'd Earl.
Away, away, to court, to show

The near approach of dreaded foe:
The King must stand upon his guard;
Douglas and he must meet prepared.

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Then right-hand wheel'd their steeds, and straight They won the castle's postern gate.

XX.

The Douglas, who had bent his way
From Cambus-Kenneth's abbey gray,
Now, as he climb'd the rocky shelf,
Held sad communion with himself:-
"Yes! all is true my fears could frame;
A prisoner lies the noble Græme,
And fiery Roderick soon will feel
The vengeance of the royal steel.
I, only I, can ward their fate,--
God grant the ransom come not late!
The Abbess hath her promise given,
My child shall be the bride of Heaven;-
-Be pardon'd one repining tear!
For He, who gave her, knows how dear,
How excellent! but that is by,

And now my business is-to die.
-Ye towers! within whose circuit dread
A Douglas by his sovereign bled;
And thou, O sad and fatal mound!
That oft hast heard the death-axe sound,

As on the noblest of the land

Fell the stern headsman's bloody hand,-
The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb
Prepare for Douglas seeks his doom!
-But hark! what blithe and jolly peal
Makes the Franciscan steeple reel?
And see! upon the crowded street,
In motley groups what masquers meet!
Banner and pageant, pipe and drum,
And merry morrice-dancers come.
I guess, by all this quaint array,
The burghers hold their sports to-day.
James will be there; he loves such show,
Where the good yeoman bends his bow,
And the tough wrestler foils his foe,
As well as where, in proud career,
The high-born tilter shivers spear.
I'll follow to the Castle-park,

And play my prize;-King James shall mark,
If age has tamed these sinews stark,
Whose force so oft, in happier days,
His boyish wonder loved to praise.

XXI.

The Castle gates were open flung,
The quivering drawbridge rock'd and rung,
And echo'd loud the flinty street
Beneath the coursers' clattering feet,
As slowly down the steep descent
Fair Scotland's King and nobles went,
While all along the crowded way
Was jubilee and loud huzza.
And ever James was bending low
To his white jennet's saddlebow,

Doffing his cap to city dame,

Who smiled and blush'd for pride and shame.
And well the simperer might be vain,—

He chose the fairest of the train.

Gravely he greets each city sire,
Commends each pageant's quaint attire,
Gives to the dancers thanks aloud,
And smiles and nods upon the crowd,

Who rend the heavens with their acclaims,

"Long live the Commons' King, King James!"

Behind the King throng'd peer and knight,
And noble dame and damsel bright,
Whose fiery steeds ill brook'd the stay
Of the steep street and crowded way.
-But in the train you might discern
Dark lowering brow and visage stern;
There nobles mourn'd their pride restrain❜d,
And the mean burgher's joys disdain'd;
And chiefs, who, hostage for their clan,
Were each from home a banish'd man,
There thought upon their own gray tower,
Their waving woods, their feudal power,
And deemed themselves a shameful part
Of pageant which they cursed in heart.

XXII.

Now, in the Castle-park, drew out
Their chequer'd bands the joyous rout.
There morricers, with bell at heel,
And blade in hand, their mazes wheel;
But chief, beside the butts, there stand
Bold Robin Hood and all his band,-
Friar Tuck with quarterstaff and cowl,
Old Scathelocke with his surly scowl,

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