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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's sex, was changed and gone,
Upon its head a helmet shone ;
Slowly enlarged to giant size,

With darkened 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 fix'd 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.

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"Or are you sportive?-bid the morn of youth
Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days
Of innocence, simplicity, and truth;

To cares estranged, and manhood's thorny ways.
What transport, to retrace our boyish plays,

Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied;

The woods, the mountains, and the warbling maze

Of the wild brooks!"-Castle of Indolence, Canto I.]

[Such a strange and romantic dream as may be naturally expected to flow from the extraordinary events of the past day. It might, perhaps, be quoted as one of Mr. Scott's most successful efforts in descriptive poetry. Some few lines of it are indeed unrivalled for delicacy and melancholy tenderness."-Critical Review.]

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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,

A prayer with every bead of gold,
Consign'd to heaven his cares and woes,
And sunk in undisturb'd repose;
Until the heath-cock shrilly crew,
And morning dawn'd on Benvenue.



The Island.

At morn the black-cock trims his jetty wing,
'Tis morning prompts the linnet's blithest lay,
All Nature's children feel the matin spring

Of life reviving, with reviving day;

And while yon little bark glides down the bay,
Wafting the stranger on his way again,
Morn's genial influence roused a minstrel grey,

And sweetly o'er the lake was heard thy strain,

Mix'd with the sounding harp, O white hair'd Allan-bane !1

That Highland chieftains, to a late period, retained in their service the bard, as a family officer, admits of very easy proof. The author of the Letters from the North of Scotland, an officer of engineers, quartered at Inverness about 1720, who certainly cannot be deemed a favourable witness, gives the following account of the office, and of a bard, whom he heard



"Not faster yonder rowers' might
Flings from their oars the spray,
Not faster yonder rippling bright,

That tracks the shallop's course in light,
Melts in the lake away,

Than men from memory erase,
The benefits of former days;

Then, Stranger, go! good speed the while,

Nor think again of the lonely isle.

"High place to thee in royal court,
High place in battle line,

Good hawk and hound for silvan sport,
Where beauty sees the brave resort,'
The honour'd meed be thine!
True be thy sword, thy friend sincere,
Thy lady constant, kind, and dear,
And lost in love and friendship's smile
Be memory of the lonely isle.



"But if beneath yon southern sky
A plaided stranger roam,
Whose drooping crest and stifled sigh,
And sunken cheek and heavy eye,
Pine for his Highland home;

Then, warrior, then be thine to show

The care that soothes a wanderer's woe;

exercise his talent of recitation:-" The bard is skilled in the genealogy of all the Highland families, sometimes preceptor to the young laird, celebrates in Irish verse the original of the tribe, the famous warlike actions of the successive heads, and sings his own lyricks as an opiate to the chief, when indisposed for sleep; but poets are not equally esteemed and honoured in all countries. I happened to be a witness of the dishonour done to the muse, at the house of one of the chiefs, where two of these bards were set at a good distance, at the lower end of a long table, with a parcel of Highlanders of no extraordinary appearance, over a cup of ale. Poor inspiration! They were not asked to drink a glass of wine at our table, though the whole company consisted only of the great man, one of his near relations, and myself. After some little time, the chief ordered one of them to sing me a Highland song. The bard readily obeyed, and with a hoarse voice, and in a tune of few various notes, began, as I was told, one of his own lyricks; and when he had proceeded to the fourth or fifth stanza, 1 perceived, by the names of several persons, glens, and mountains, which I had known or heard of before, that it was an account of some clan battle. But in his going on, the chief (who piques himself upon his school-learning) at some partipassage, bid him cease, and cryed ont, There's nothing like that in Virgil or Homer.' I bowed, and told him I believed so. This you may believe was very edifying and delightful."-Letters, ii. 167.


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Remember then thy hap ere while,

A stranger in the lonely isle.

"Or if on life's uncertain main
Mishap shall mar thy sail;

If faithful, wise, and brave in vain,
Woe, want, and exile thou sustain
Beneath the fickle gale;

Waste not a sigh on fortune changed,
On thankless courts, or friends estranged,
But come where kindred worth shall smile,
To greet thee in the lonely isle."


As died the sounds upon the tide,
The shallop reach'd the mainland side,
And ere his onward way he took,
The stranger cast a lingering look,
Where easily his eye might reach
The Harper on the islet beach,
Reclined against a blighted tree,
As wasted, grey, and worn as he.
To minstrel meditation given,

His reverend brow was raised to heaven,
As from the rising sun to claim
A sparkle of inspiring flame.
His hand, reclined upon the wire,
Seem'd watching the awakening fire;
So still he sate, as those who wait
Till judgment speak the doom of fate;
So still, as if no breeze might dare
To lift one lock of hoary hair;
So still, as life itself were fled,
In the last sound his harp had sped.


Upon a rock with lichens wild,
Beside him Ellen sate and smiled-

Smiled she to see the stately drake
Lead forth his fleet upon the lake,
While her vex'd spaniel, from the beach,
Bay'd at the prize beyond his reach?
Yet tell me, then, the maid who knows,
Why deepen'd on her cheek the rose ?—
Forgive, forgive, Fidelity!
Perchance the maiden smiled to see
Yon parting lingerer wave adieu,
And stop and turn to wave anew;

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While yet he loiter'd on the spot,
It seem'd as Ellen mark'd him not;
But when he turn'd him to the glade,
One courteous parting sign she made;
And after, oft the knight would say,
That not when prize of festal day
Was dealt him by the brightest fair,
Who e'er wore jewel in her hair,
So highly did his bosom swell,
As at that simple mute farewell.
Now with a trusty mountain-guide,
And his dark stag-hounds by his side,
He parts-the maid, unconscious still,
Watch'd him wind slowly round the hill;
But when his stately form was hid,
The guardian in her bosom chid-
"Thy Malcolm! vain and selfish maid!"
'Twas thus upbraiding conscience said,-
"Not so had Malcolm idly hung

On the smooth phrase of southern tongue;
Not so had Malcolm strain'd his eye,
Another step than thine to spy.'
Wake, Allan-bane,” aloud she cried,
To the old Minstrel by her side,-

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Arouse thee from thy moody dream!
I'll give thy harp heroic theme,
And warm thee with a noble name ;
Pour forth the glory of the Græme !
Scarce from her lip the word had rush'd,
When deep the conscious maiden blush'd;

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[MS. "The loveliest Lowland fair to spy."]

*The ancient and powerful family of Graham (which, for metrical reasons, is here spelt after the Scottish pronunciation) held extensive possessions in the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling. Few families can boast of more historical renown, having claim to three of the most remarkable characters in the Scottish annals. Sir John the Græme, the faithful and undaunted partaker of the labours and patriotic warfare of Wallace, fell in the unfortunate field of Falkirk, in 1298. The celebrated Marquis of Montrose, in whom De Retz saw realized his abstract idea of the heroes of antiquity, was the second of these worthies. And, notwithstanding the severity of his temper, and the rigour with which he executed the oppressive mandates of the princes whom he served, I do not hesitate to name as a third, John Græme, of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, whose heroic death, in the arms of victory, may be allowed to cancel the memory of his cruelty to the nonconformists, during the reigns of Charles II. and James II.

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