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And with that gallant pastime reft
Were all of Douglas I have left.
I met young Malcolm as I strayed
Far eastward, in Glenfinlas' shade;
Nor strayed I safe, for all around
Hunters and horsemen scoured the ground.
This youth, though still a royal ward,
Risked life and land to be my guard,
And through the passes of the wood
Guided my steps, not unpursued ;
And Roderick shall his welcome make,
Despite old spleen, for Douglas' sake.
Then must he seek Strath-Endrick glen,
Nor peril aught for me again."


Sir Roderick, who to meet them came,
Reddened at sight of Malcolm Græme,
Yet, not in action, word, or eye,
Failed aught in hospitality.
In talk and sport they whiled away
The morning of that summer day;
But at high noon a courier light
Held secret parley with the knight,
Whose moody aspect soon declared
That evil were the news he heard.





Deep thought seemed toiling in his head;
Yet was the evening banquet made
Ere he assembled round the flame


His mother, Douglas, and the Græme,
And Ellen too; then cast around
His eyes, then fixed them on the ground,
As studying phrase that might avail
Best to convey unpleasant tale.


Long with his dagger's hilt he played,
Then raised his haughty brow, and said:


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"Short be my speech; nor time affords,
Nor my plain temper, glozing words.
Kinsman and father, if such name
Douglas vouchsafe to Roderick's claim;
Mine honored mother; - Ellen, - why,
My cousin, turn away thine eye? —
And Græme, in whom I hope to know
Full soon a noble friend or foe,
When age shall give thee thy command,
And leading in thy native land,—

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List all! The King's vindictive pride
Boasts to have tamed the Border-side,

Where chiefs, with hound and hawk who came
To share their monarch's sylvan game,
Themselves in bloody toils were snared,
And when the banquet they prepared,
And wide their loyal portals flung,
O'er their own gateway struggling hung.
Loud cries their blood from Meggat's mead,
From Yarrow braes and banks of Tweed,
Where the lone streams of Ettrick glide,
And from the silver Teviot's side;
The dales, where martial clans did ride,
Are now one sheep walk, waste and wide.
This tyrant of the Scottish throne,

So faithless and so ruthless known,

Now hither comes; his end the same,
The same pretext of sylvan game.

What grace for Highland Chiefs, judge ye
By fate of Border chivalry.







Yet more; amid Glenfinlas' green,
Douglas, thy stately form was seen.
This by espial sure I know:

Your counsel in the streight I show."


Ellen and Margaret fearfully

Sought comfort in each other's eye,

Then turned their ghastly look, each one,
This to her sire, that to her son.
The hasty color went and came

In the bold cheek of Malcolm Græme,
But from his glance it well appeared
'Twas but for Ellen that he feared;
While, sorrowful, but undismayed,
The Douglas thus his counsel said:
"Brave Roderick, though the tempest roar,
It may but thunder and pass o'er;
Nor will I here remain an hour,
To draw the lightning on thy bower;
For well thou know'st, at this gray head
The royal bolt were fiercest sped.
For thee, who, at thy King's command,
Canst aid him with a gallant band,
Submission, homage, humbled pride,
Shall turn the Monarch's wrath aside.
Poor remnants of the Bleeding Heart,
Ellen and I will seek apart
The refuge of some forest cell,
There, like the hunted quarry, dwell,
Till on the mountain and the moor
The stern pursuit be passed and o'er." -


"No, by mine honor," Roderick said,
"So help me Heaven, and my good blade!








Blasted be yon Pine,

My father's ancient crest and mine,
If from its shade in danger part
The lineage of the Bleeding Heart!

No, never!


Hear my blunt speech: grant me this maid
To wife, thy counsel to mine aid;

To Douglas, leagued with Roderick Dhu,
Will friends and allies flock enow;


Like cause of doubt, distrust, and grief,
Will bind to us each Western Chief.
When the loud pipes my bridal tell,
The Links of Forth shall hear the knell,
The guards shall start in Stirling's porch;
And when I light the nuptial torch,
A thousand villages in flames

Shall scare the slumbers of King James!—
Nay, Ellen, blench not thus away,
And, mother, cease these signs, I pray;
I meant not all my heat might say.
Small need of inroad or of fight,
When the sage Douglas may unite
Each mountain clan in friendly band,
To guard the passes of their land,
Till the foiled King from pathless glen
Shall bootless turn him home again.`


There are who have, at midnight hour,
In slumber scaled a dizzy tower,
And, on the verge that beetled o'er
The ocean tide's incessant roar,

Dreamed calmly out their dangerous dream,

Till wakened by the morning beam;
When, dazzled by the eastern glow,

Such startler cast his glance below,





And saw unmeasured depth around,
And heard unintermitted sound,
And thought the battled fence so frail,
It waved like cobweb in the gale;
Amid his senses' giddy wheel,

Did he not desperate impulse feel,
Headlong to plunge himself below,

And meet the worst his fears foreshow? —
Thus Ellen, dizzy and astound,

As sudden ruin yawned around,

By crossing terrors wildly tossed,
Still for the Douglas fearing most,

Could scarce the desperate thought withstand,
To buy his safety with her hand.


Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy
In Ellen's quivering lip and eye,
And eager rose to speak, but ere
His tongue could hurry forth his fear,
Had Douglas marked the hectic strife,
Where death seemed combating with life;
For to her cheek, in feverish flood,
One instant rushed the throbbing blood,
Then ebbing back, with sudden sway,
Left its domain as wan as clay.
"Roderick, enough! enough!" he cried,
"My daughter cannot be thy bride;
Not that the blush to wooer dear,
Nor paleness that of maiden fear.
It may not be, forgive her, Chief,
Nor hazard aught for our relief.
Against his sovereign, Douglas ne'er
Will level a rebellious spear.

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