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It was a lodge of ample size,

But strange of structure and device;
Of such materials as around

The workman's hand had readiest found.

Lopped of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared, 510 And by the hatchet rudely squared,

To give the walls their destined height,

The sturdy oak and ash unite;

While moss and clay and leaves combined
To fence each crevice from the wind.
The lighter pine-trees overhead
Their slender length for rafters spread,
And withered heath and rushes dry

Supplied a russet canopy.


Due westward, fronting to the green,
A rural portico was seen,


Aloft on native pillars borne,

Of mountain fir with bark unshorn,

Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idæan vine,

The clematis, the favored flower

Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear

Loch Katrine's keen and searching air.
An instant in this porch she stayed,

And gayly to the stranger said:
"On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall!"


"My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gentle guide, in following thee!"
He crossed the threshold, — and a clang

Of angry steel that instant rang.




Cause of the din, a naked blade

To his bold brow his spirit rushed,
But soon for vain alarm he blushed,
When on the floor he saw displayed,

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And there the wildcat's brindled hide
The frontlet of the elk adorns,
Or mantles o'er the bison's horns;
Pennons and flags defaced and stained,
That blackening streaks of blood retained,
And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white,
With otter's fur and seal's unite,
In rude and uncouth tapestry all,
To garnish forth the sylvan hall.






The wondering stranger round him gazed,
And next the fallen weapon raised:


Few were the arms whose sinewy strength

Sufficed to stretch it forth at length.

And as the brand he poised and swayed,
"I never knew but one," he said,
"Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield
A blade like this in battle-field."

She sighed, then smiled and took the word:
"You see the guardian champion's sword;
As light it trembles in his hand
As in my grasp a hazel wand:



My sire's tall form might grace the part
Of Ferragus or Ascabart,

But in the absent giant's hold

Are women now, and menials old."


The mistress of the mansion came,
Mature of age, a graceful dame,
Whose easy step and stately port
Had well become a princely court,


To whom, though more than kindred knew,
Young Ellen gave a mother's due.


Meet welcome to her guest she made,

And every courteous rite was paid
That hospitality could claim,

Though all unasked his birth and name.
Such then the reverence to a guest,
That fellest foe might join the feast,
And from his deadliest foeman's door
Unquestioned turn, the banquet o'er.
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 fallen 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,
Outstripped his comrades, missed the deer,
Lost his good steed, and wandered here."


Fain would the Knight in turn require
The name and state of Ellen's sire.





Well showed the elder lady's mien
That courts and cities she had seen;
Ellen, though more her looks displayed
The simple grace of sylvan maid,
In speech and gesture, form and face,
Showed 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,

Turned 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 charmed rhymes we sing."
She sung, and still a harp unseen
Filled up the symphony between.







"Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,

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


Days of danger, nights of waking.

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Dream of fighting fields no more;

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


"No rude sound shall reach thine ear, Armor'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 daybreak 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."







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