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Reclined against a blighted tree,

As wasted, gray, 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,
Seemed watching the awakening fire;
So still he sat 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 sat and smiled.-
Smiled she to see the stately drake
Lead forth his fleet upon the lake,
While her vexed spaniel from the beach
Bayed at the prize beyond his reach?
Yet tell me, then, the maid who knows,
Why deepened 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;
And, lovely ladies, ere your ire,
Condemn the heroine of my lyre,
Show me the fair would scorn to spy
And prize such conquest of her eye!


While yet he loitered on the spot,
It seemed as Ellen marked him out;

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But when he turned 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,
Watched 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 strained his eye
Another step than thine to spy."
"Wake, Allan-bane," aloud she cried.
To the old minstrel by her side,-
"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 rushed,
When deep the conscious maiden blushed;
For of his clan, in hall and bower,

Young Malcolm Græme was held the flower.


The minstrel waked his harp,- three times
Arose the well-known martial chimes,

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And thrice their high heroic pride

In melancholy murmurs died.

"Vainly thou bidst, O noble maid,"
Clasping his withered hands, he said,
"Vainly thou bidst me wake the strain,
Though all unwont to bid in vain.
Alas! than mine a mightier hand

Has tuned my harp, my strings has spanned!
I touch the chords of joy, but low
And mournful answer notes of woe;

And the proud march which victors tread

Sinks in the wailing for the dead.



O, well for me, if mine alone

That dirge's deep prophetic tone!

If, as my tuneful fathers said,


This harp, which erst Saint Modan swayed,
Can thus its master's fate foretell,

Then welcome be the minstrel's knell!


"But ah! dear lady, thus it sighed,

The eve thy sainted mother died;


And such the sounds which, while I strove

To wake a lay of war or love,

Came marring all the festal mirth,

Appalling me who gave them birth,

And, disobedient to my call,

Wailed loud through Bothwell's bannered hall,

Ere Douglases, to ruin driven,

Were exiled from their native heaven.

O! if yet worse mishap and woe
My master's house must undergo,
Or aught but weal to Ellen fair
Brood in these accents of despair,
No future bard, sad Harp! shall fling
Triumph or rapture from thy string;
One short, one final strain shall flow,
Fraught with unutterable woe,




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