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Then slower wended back his way,
Where the poor maiden bleeding lay.

XXVII.

She sate beneath the birchen-tree,
Her elbow resting on her knee;
She had withdrawn the fatal shaft,
And gazed on it, and feebly laugh'd;
Her wreath of broom and feathers gray,
Daggled with blood, beside her lay.

The Knight to stanch the life-stream tried,-
Stranger, it is in vain!" she cried.

66

I

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"This hour of death has given me more
Of reason's power than years before;
For, as these ebbing veins decay,
My frenzied visions fade away.
A helpless injured wretch I die,
And something tells me in thine eye,
That thou wert mine avenger born.-
Seest thou this tress ?-O! still I've worn
This little tress of yellow hair,
Through danger, frenzy, and despair!
It once was bright and clear as thine,
But blood and tears have dimm'd its shine.
I will not tell thee when 'twas shred,
Nor from what guiltless victim's head-
My brain would turn!—but it shall wave
Like plumage on thy helmet brave,
Till sun and wind shall bleach the stain,
And thou wilt bring it me again.—
I waver still.-O God! more bright
Let reason beam her parting light !—
O! by thy knighthood's honour'd sign,
And for thy life preserved by mine,
When thou shalt see a darksome man,
Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's clan,
With tartans broad and shadowy plume,
And hand of blood, and brow of gloom,
Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong,
And wreak poor Blanche of Devan's wrong!—
They watch for thee by pass and fell...
Avoid the path... O God!... farewell."

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By Him whose word is truth! I swear,
No other favour will I wear,

Till this sad token I imbrue

In the best blood of Roderick Dhu!
—But hark ! what means yon faint halloo ?
The chase is up,-but they shall know,
The stag at bay's a dangerous foe."
Barr'd from the known but guarded way,

Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James must stray,
And oft must change his desperate track,
By stream and precipice turn'd back.
Heartless, fatigued, and faint, at length,
From lack of food and loss of strength,
He couch'd him in a thicket hoar,
And thought his toils and perils o'er :-
"Of all my rash adventures past,
This frantic feat must prove the last!
Who e'er so mad but might have guess'd,
That all this Highland hörnet's nest
Would muster up in swarms so soon

As e'er they heard of bands at Doune?

Like bloodhounds now they search me out,-
Hark, to the whistle and the shout!—

If farther through the wilds I go,

I only fall upon the foe:

I'll couch me here till evening gray,

Then darkling try my dangerous way."

XXIX.

The shades of eve come slowly down,
The woods are wrapt in deeper brown,
The owl awakens from her dell,

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[MS.- -"God, in my need, to me be true,

As I wreak this on Roderick Dbu!"]

The fox is heard upon the fell;
Enough remains of glimmering light
To guide the wanderer's steps aright,
Yet not enough from far to show
His figure to the watchful foe.
With cautious step, and ear awake,

He climbs the crag and threads the brake;
And not the summer solstice, there,
Temper'd the midnight mountain air,
But every breeze, that swept the wold,
Benumb'd his drenched limbs with cold.
In dread, in danger, and alone,

Famish'd and chill'd, through ways unknown,
Tangled and steep, he journey'd on;
Till, as a rock's huge point he turn'd,
A watch-fire close before him burn'd.

XXX.

Beside its embers red and clear,'
Bask'd, in his plaid, a mountaineer;

And up he sprung with sword in hand,

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Thy name and purpose! Saxon, stand!".

"A stranger."—"What dost thou require?"—

"Rest and a guide, and food and fire.
My life's beset, my path is lost,

The gale has chill'd my limbs with frost.”

66

Art thou a friend to Roderick ?"—"No."—

"Thou darest not call thyself a foe ?"

"I dare! to him and all the band "

He brings to aid his murderous hand."-
"Bold words!-but, though the beast of game

The privilege of chase may claim,

Though space and law the stag we lend,

Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend,
Who ever reck'd, where, how, or when,
The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain.3.
Thus treacherous scouts,-yet sure they lie,

I

[MS.-"By the decaying flame was laid

A warrior in his Highland plaid."]

[MS. "I dare! to him and all the swarm

He brings to aid his murderous arm."]

3 St. John actually used this illustration when engaged in confuting the plea of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of Strafford: "It was true, we gave laws to hares and deer, because they are beasts of chase: but it was never accounted either cruelty or foul play to knock foxes or wolves on the head as they can be found, because they are beasts of prey. In a word, the law and humanity were alike; the one being more fallacious, and the other more barbarous, than in any age had been vented in such an authority."-CLAREN DON'S History of the Rebellion. Oxford, 1702, fol. vol. p. 183.

Who say thou camest a secret spy !"—
66 They do, by heaven !-Come Roderick Dhu,
And of his clan the boldest two,

And let me but till morning rest,

I write the falsehood on their crest."
"If by the blaze I mark aright,

Thou bear'st the belt and spur of Knight.".
"Then by these tokens mayst thou know
Each proud oppressor's mortal foe."-

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Enough, enough; sit down and share
A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare."

XXXI.

He gave him of his Highland cheer,
The harden'd flesh of mountain deer;
Dry fuel on the fire he laid,

The Scottish Highlanders, in former times, had a concise mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, whom chance made acquainted with it. The Vidame of Charters, when a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI., was permitted to travel into Scotland, and penetrated as far as to the remote Highlands (au fin fond des Sauvages). After a great hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was destroyed, he saw these Scottish savages devour a part of their venison raw, without any further preparation than compressing it between two batons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy; and when the Vidame partook of it, his compliance with their taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of manners was communicated by Mons. de Montmorency, a great friend of the Vidame, to Brantome, by whom it is recorded in Vies des Hommes Illustres, Discours, lxxxix. art. 14. The process by which the raw venison was rendered eatable is described very minutely in the romance of Perceforest, where Estonne, a Scottish knight-errant, having slain a deer, says to his companion Claudius :-"Sire, or mangerez vous et moy aussi. Voire si nous auions de feu, dit Claudius. Par l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonne, ie vous atourneray et cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme pour cheualier errant. Lors tira son espee, et sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait vng grant trou, et puis fend la branche bien deux piedx, et boute la cuisse du cerf entredeux, et puis prent le licol de son cheval, et en lye la branche, et destraint si fort, que le sang et les humeurs de la chair saillent hors, et demeure la chair doulce et seiche. Lors prent la chair, et oste ius le cuir, et la chaire demeure aussi blanche comme si ce feust dung chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire, ie la vous ay cuiste a la guise de mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardyement, car ie mangeray premier. Lors met sa main a så selle en ung lieu quil y auoit, et tire hors sel et pondre de poiure et gingembre, mesle ensemble, et le iecte dessus, et le frote sus bien fort, puis le couppe a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une des pieces, et puis mort en l'autre aussi sanoureusement quil est aduis que il en feist la pouldre voller. Quant Claudius veit quil le mangeoit de tel goust, il en print grant faim, et commence a manger tresvoulentiers. et dist a Estonne: Par l'ame de moy, ie ne mangeay oncquesmais de chair atournee de telle guise mais doresnauant ie ne me retourneroye pas hors de mon chemin par auoir la cuite. Sire, dist Estonne, quant ie suis en desers d'Escosse, dont ie suis seigneur, ie cheuaucheray huit iours ou quinze que ie n'entreray en chastel ne en maison, et si ne verray feu ne personne viuant fors que bestes sanuages, et de celles mangeray atournees en ceste maniere, et mieulx me plairá que la viande de l'empereur. Ainsi sen vont mangeant et cheuauchant iusques adonc quilz arriuerent sur une moult belle fontaine qui estoit en vne valee. Quant Estonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons boire a ceste fontaine. Or beuuons, dist Estonne, du boire que le grant dieu a pourueu a toutes gens, et que me plaist mieulx que les ceruoises d'Angleterre."-La Treselegante Hystoire du tresnoble Roy Perceforest. Paris, 1534, fol. tome i. fol. lv. vers.

After all, it may be doubted whether la chaire nostree, for so the French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any thing more than a mere rude kind of deer-ham.

And bade the Saxon share his plaid.
He tended him like welcome guest,
Then thus his further speech address'd.
"Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu
A clansman born, a kinsman true;
Each word against his honour spoke,
Demands of me avenging stroke;
Yet more,-upon thy fate, 'tis said,
A mighty augury is laid.

It rests with me to wind my horn,—
Thou art with numbers overborne ;
It rests with me, here, brand to brand,
Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand:
But, not for clan, nor kindred's cause,
Will I depart from honour's laws;
To assail a wearied man were shame,
And stranger is a holy name`;
Guidance and rest, and food and fire,
In vain he never must require.
Then rest thee here till dawn of day;
Myself will guide thee on the way,

O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward,
Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard,

As far as Coilantogle's ford;

From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”-
"I take thy courtesy, by Heaven,
As freely as 'tis nobly given!".
"Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry
Sings us the lake's wild lullaby.”
With that he shook the gather'd heath,
And spread his plaid upon the wreath;
And the brave foemen, side by side,
Lay peaceful down like brothers tried,
And slept until the dawning beam'
Purpled the mountain and the stream.

I [MS." And slept until the dawning streak
Purpled the mountain and the lake."]

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