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At length his rank the stranger names,

"The Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James; Lord of a barren heritage,

Which his brave sires, from age to age,

By their good swords had held with toil;
His sire had fall'n in such turmoil,
And he, God wot, was forced to stand
Oft for his right with blade in hand.
This morning with Lord Moray's train
He chased a stalwart stag in vain,
Outstripp'd his comrades, miss'd the deer,
Lost his good steed, and wander'd here."


Fain would the Knight in turn require
The name and state of Ellen's sire,
Well show'd the elder lady's mien,
That courts and cities she had seen;
Ellen, though more her looks display'd
The simple grace of silvan maid,
In speech and gesture, form and face,
Show'd she was come of gentle race;
'Twere strange in ruder rank to find
Such looks, such manners, and such mind.
Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave,
Dame Margaret heard with silence grave;
Or Ellen, innocently gay,

Turn'd all inquiry light away :

"Weird women, we! by dale and down
We dwell, afar from tower and town.
We stem the flood, we ride the blast,
On wandering knights our spells we cast;
While viewless minstrels touch the string,
'Tis thus our charm'd rhymes we sing."

She sung, and still a harp unseen
Fill'd up the symphony between.



"Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking
Dream of battled fields no more,

Days of danger, nights of waking.
In our isle's enchanted hall,

Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Fairy strains of music fall,

Every sense in slumber dewing.
Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er:
Dream of fighting fields no more:

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

"No rude sound shail reach thine ear,

Armour's clang, or war-steed champing,
Trump nor pibroch summon here
Mustering clan, or squadron tramping.
Yet the lark's shrill fife may come
At the day-break from the fallow,
And the bittern sound his drum,
Booming from the sedgy shallow.
Ruder sounds shall none be near,
Guards nor warders challenge here,

Here's no war-steed's neigh and champing,
Shouting clans or squadrons stamping."


She paused-then, blushing, led the lay,
To grace the stranger of the day.
Her mellow notes awhile prolong
The cadence of the flowing song,
Till to her lips in measured frame
The minstrel verse spontaneous came.


"Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done,
While our slumbrous spells assail ye.
Dream not, with the rising sun,

Bugles here shall sound reveillé.
Sleep, the deer is in his den;

Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying:
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen,
How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest; thy chase is done,
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye,

Here no bugles sound reveillé."


The hall was clear'd-the stranger's bed
Was there of mountain heather spread,
Where oft a hundred guests had lain,
And dream'd their forest sports again.
But vainly did the heath-flower shed
Its moorland fragrance round his head;
Not Ellen's spell had lull'd to rest
The fever of his troubled breast.
In broken dreams the image rose
Of varied perils, pains, and woes;
His steed now flounders in the brake,
Now sinks his barge upon the lake;
Now leader of a broken host,

His standard falls, his honour's lost.

Then, from my couch may heavenly might
Chase that worst phantom of the night!—

Again return'd the scenes of youth,
Of confident undoubting truth;

Again his soul he interchanged

With friends whose hearts were long estranged.

They come, in dim procession led,
The cold, the faithless, and the dead;
As warm each hand, each brow as gay,
As if they parted yesterday.

And doubt distracts him at the view,
O were his senses false or true!
Dream'd he of death, or broken vow,
Or is it all a vision now!


At length, with Ellen in a grove
He seem'd to walk, and speak of love;
She listen'd with a blush and sigh,
His suit was warm, his hopes were high.
He sought her yielded hand to clasp,
And a cold gauntlet met his grasp;
The phantom sex was changed and gone,
Upon its head a helmet shone ;
Slowly enlarged to giant size,

With darken'd cheek and threatening eyes,
The grisly visage, stern and hoar,

To Ellen still a likeness bore.

He woke, and, panting with affright,
Recall'd the vision of the night.
The hearth's decaying brands were red,
And deep and dusky lustre shed,
Half showing, half concealing, all
The uncouth trophies of the hall.
'Mid those the Stranger fixed his eye,
Where that huge falchion hung on high,
And thoughts on thoughts, a countless throng,
Rush'd, chasing countless thoughts along,
Until, the giddy whirl to cure,

He rose, and sought the moonshine pure.


The wild-rose, eglantine, and broom,
Wasted around their rich perfume:
The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm,
The aspen slept beneath the calm,
The silver light, with quivering glance,
Play'd on the water's still expanse,-
Wild were the heart whose passions' sway
Could rage beneath the sober ray!

He felt its calm, that warrior guest,
While thus he communed with his breast:→→→→
"Why is it, at each turn I trace
Some memory of that exiled race?
Can I not mountain-maiden spy,
But she must bear the Douglas eye?
Can I not view a Highland brand,
But it must match the Douglas hand?
Can I not frame a fever'd dream,
But still the Douglas is the theme?—
I'll dream no more-by manly mind
Not even in sleep is will resign'd.
My midnight orisons said o'er,

I'll turn to rest, and dream no more."
His midnight orisons he told,


prayer with every bead of gold,
Consigned to heaven his cares and woes,
And sunk in undisturbed repose;
Until the heath-cock shrilly crew,

And morning dawn'd on Benvenue.

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