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LADY OF THE LAKE.
ARGUMENT. The Scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The Time of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each day occupy a Canto.
CANTO THE FIRST.
The Chase. BOARP of the North! that_mouldering long hast hung
[spring, On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's . And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string, —
O Minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep? 'Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weepi
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd,
When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Aroused the fearful, or subdued the proud. At each according pause, was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high! Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bow'd;
For still the burden of thy minstrelsy Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's
O wake once more! how rude soe'er the hand
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray; O. wake once more! though scarce my skill command
Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain, Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touch'd in vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
THE stag at eve had drunk his fill,