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The Prophecy.

"The rose is fairest when 'tis budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears: '
The rose is sweetest wash'd with morning dew,
And love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears.
O wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears,

I bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave,
Emblem of hope and love through future years!'
Thus spoke young Norman, heir of Armandave,
What time the sun arose on Vennachar's broad wave.


Such fond conceit, half said, half sung,
Love prompted to the bridegroom's tongue.
All while he stripp'd the wild-rose spray,
His axe and bow beside him lay,

For on a pass 'twixt lake and wood,
A wakeful sentinel he stood.

Hark! on the rock a footstep rung,
And instant to his arms he sprung.

"Stand, or thou diest!-What, Malise?-soon
Art thou return'd from Braes of Doune.
By thy keen step and glance I know,
Thou bring'st us tidings of the foe.'

(For while the Fiery Cross hied on,
On distant scout had Malise gone.)
"Where sleeps the Chief?" the henchman said.
"Apart, in yonder misty glade;

To his lone couch I'll be your guide."—
Then call'd a slumberer by his side,

And stirr'd him with his slacken'd bow-
"Up, up, Glentarkin! rouse thee, ho!
We seek the Chieftain; on the track,
Keep eagle watch till I come back."


Together up the pass they sped:

"What of the foemen?" Norman said.—


' [MS." And rapture dearest when obscured by fears."]


"Varying reports from near and far;
This certain, that a band of war
Has for two days been ready boune,

At prompt command, to march from Doune;
King James, the while, with princely powers,
Holds revelry in Stirling towers..

Soon will this dark and gathering cloud
Speak on our glens in thunder loud.
Inured to bide such bitter bout,

The warrior's plaid may bear it out;
But, Norman, how wilt thou provide
A shelter for thy bonny bride?".
"What! know ye not that Roderick's care
To the lone isle hath caused repair
Each maid and matron of the clan,
And every child and aged man
Unfit for arms; and given his charge,
Nor skiff nor shallop, boat nor barge,
Upon these lakes shall float at large,
But all beside the islet moor,

That such dear pledge may rest secure?"


""Tis well advised-the Chieftain's plan '
Bespeaks the father of his clan.

But wherefore sleeps Sir Roderick Dhu
Apart from all his followers true?"
"It is, because last evening-tide

Brian an augury hath tried,

Of that dread kind which must not be
Unless in dread extremity,

The Taghairm call'd; by which, afar,
Our sires foresaw the events of war."
Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew."-


"Ah! well the gallant brute I knew!
The choicest of the prey we had,

When swept our merry-men Gallangad.3

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MS.-"TIs well advised-a prudent plan,

2 [See Appendix, Note I.]

Worthy the father of bis clan."]

3 I know not if it be worth observing, that this passage is taken almost literally from the mouth of an old Highland Kern, or Ketteran, as they were called. He used to narrate the merry doings of the good old time when he was follower of Rob Roy MacGregor. This leader, on one occasion, thought proper to make a descent upon the lower part of the Loch Lomond district, and summoned all the heritors and farmers to meet at the Kirk of Drymen, to pay him black-mail, i. e. tribute for forbearance and protection. As this invitation was

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His hide was snow, his horns were dark,
His red eye glow'd like fiery spark;
So fierce, so tameless, and so fleet,
Sore did he cumber our retreat,
And kept our stoutest kernes in awe,
Even at the pass of Beal 'maha.
But steep and flinty was the road,
And sharp the hurrying pikeman's goad,
And when we came to Dennan's Row,

A child might scatheless stroke his brow."


"That bull was slain : his reeking hide
They stretch'd the cataract beside,
Whose waters their wild tumult toss
Adown the black and craggy boss
Of that huge cliff, whose ample verge
Tradition calls the Hero's Targe.1
Couch'd on a shelve beneath its brink,
Close where the thundering torrents sink,
Rocking beneath their headlong sway,
And drizzled by the ceaseless spray,
Midst groan of rock, and roar of stream,
The wizard waits prophetic dream.
Nor distant rests the Chief;-but hush!
See, gliding slow through mist and bush,
The hermit gains yon rock, and stands
To gaze upon our slumbering bands.
Seems he not, Malise, like a ghost,

supported by a band of thirty or forty stout fellows, only one gentleman, an ancestor, if I mistake not, of the present Mr. Grahame of Gartmore, ventured to decline compliance. Rob Roy instantly swept his land of all he could drive away, and among the spoil was a bull of the old Scottish wild breed, whose ferocity occasioned great plague to the Ketterans. "But ere we had reached the Row of Dennan," said the old man, a child might have scratched his ears." The circumstance is a minute one, but it paints the times when the poor beeve was compelled

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"To hoof it o'er as many weary miles,
With goading pikemen hollowing at his heels,

As e'er the bravest antler of the woods."


There is a rock so named in the Forest of Glenfinlas, by which a tumultuary cataract takes its course. This wild place is said in former times to have afforded refuge to an outlaw, who was supplied with provisions by a woman, who lowered them down from the brink of the precipice above. His water he procured for himself, by letting down a flagon tied to a string, into the black pool beneath the fall.

This anecdote was, in former editions, inaccurately ascribed to Gregor Macgregor of Glengyle, called Ghlune Dhu, or Black-knee, a relation of Rob Roy, but, as I have been assured, not addicted to his predatory excesses.-Note to Third Edition.

That hovers o'er a slaughter'd host?
Or raven on the blasted oak,

That, watching while the deer is broke,"
His morsel claims with sullen croak?"


"Peace! peace! to other than to me,
Thy words were evil augury;

But still I hold Sir Roderiek's blade
Clan-Alpine's omen and her aid,

Not aught that, glean'd from heaven or hell,
Yon fiend-begotten monk can tell.
The Chieftain joins him, see-and now,
Together they descend the brow."


And, as they came, with Alpine's Lord
The Hermit Monk held solemn word:
"Roderick! it is a fearful strife,
For man endow'd with mortal life,
Whose shroud of sentient clay can still
Feel feverish pang and fainting chill,

Whose eye can stare in stony trance,

Whose hair can rouse like warrior's lance,

Quartered.-Every thing belonging to the chase was matter of solemnity among our ancestors; but nothing was more so than the mode of cutting up, or, as it was technically called, breaking, the slaughtered stag. The forester had his allotted portion; the hounds had a certain allowance; and, to make the division as general as possible, the very birds had their share also. "There is a little gristle," says Turberville, "which is upon the spoone of the brisket, which we call the raven's bone; and I have seen in some places a raven so wont and accustomed to it, that she would never fail to croak and cry for it all the time you were in breaking up of the deer, and would not depart till she had it." In the very ancient metrical romance of Sir Tristrem, that peerless knight, who is said to have been the very deviser of all rules of chase, did not omit the ceremony:

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The raven might also challenge his rights by the Book of St. Albans; for thus says Dame Juliana Berners:

"Slitteth anon

The bely to the side, from the corbyn bone;

That is corbyn's fee, at the death he will be."

Jonson, in "The Sad Shepherd," gives a more poetical account of the same ceremony.

"Marian. He that undoes him,

Doth cleave the brisket bone, upon the spoon
Of which a little gristle grows-you call it-
Robin Hood. The raven's bone.

Marian. Now o er head sat a raven

On a sere bough, a grown, great bird, and hoarse,
Who, all the while the deer was breaking up,
So croaked and cried for't, as all the buntsmen,
Especially old Scathelock, thought it ominous."

'Tis hard for such to view, unfurl'd,
The curtain of the future world.
Yet, witness every quaking limb,
My sunken pulse, mine eyeballs dim,
My soul with harrowing anguish torn,
This for my Chieftain have I borne !→→
The shapes that sought my fearful couch,
An human tongue may ne'er avouch;
No mortal man,-save he, who, bred
Between the living and the dead,
Is gifted beyond nature's law,-
Had e'er survived to say he saw.
At length the fateful answer came,
In characters of living flame!


Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll,
But borne and branded on my soul;-





"Thanks, Brian, for thy zeal and care!
Good is thine augury, and fair.
Clan-Alpine ne'er in battle stood,
But first our broadswords tasted blood.
A surer victim still I know,

Self-offer'd to the auspicious blow:
A spy has sought my land this morn.-
No eve shall witness his return!
My followers guard each pass's mouth,
To east, to westward, and to south;
Red Murdoch, bribed to be his guide,3
Has charge to lead his steps aside,
Till, in deep path or dingle brown,
He light on those shall bring him down.4
-But see, who comes his news to show!
Malise! what tidings of the foe?”–


[MS. "Which foremost spills a foeman's life."]

Though this be in the text described as a response of the Taghairm, or Oracle of the Hide, it was of itself an augury frequently attended to. The fate of the battle was often anticipated in the imagination of the combatants, by observing which party first shed blood. It is said that the Highlanders under Montrose were so deeply imbued with this notion, that on the morning of the battle of Tippermoor, they murdered a defenceless herdsman, whom they found in the fields, merely to secure an advantage of so much consequence to their party.



[MS." The clansman vainly deem'd his guide."]
[MS." He light on those shall stab him down."]

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