Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

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,
That hovers o'er a slaughtered 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 Roderick's blade
Clan-Alpine's omen and her aid,

Not aught that, gleaned 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 endowed 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,-
'Tis hard for such to view, unfurled,
The curtain of the future world.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

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
A 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-offered 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,
Has charge to lead his steps aside,
Till in deep path or dingle brown
He light on those shall bring him down. -
But see, who comes his news to show!
Malise! what tidings of the foe?"








"At Doune, o'er many a spear and glaive
Two Barons proud their banners wave.
I saw the Moray's silver star,

And marked the sable pale of Mar."
"By Alpine's soul, high tidings those!
I love to hear of worthy foes.
When move they on?"

"To-morrow's noon

Will see them here for battle boune."
"Then shall it see a meeting stern!
But, for the place, say, couldst thou learn.
Nought of the friendly clans of Earn ?
Strengthened by them, we well might bide
The battle on Benledi's side.

Thou couldst not? - well! Clan-Alpine's men
Shall man the Trosachs' shaggy glen;
Within Loch Katrine's gorge we'll fight,
All in our maids' and matrons' sight,
Each for his hearth and household fire,
Father for child, and son for sire,
Lover for maid beloved! But why-
Is it the breeze affects mine eye?
Or dost thou come, ill-omened tear!
A messenger of doubt or fear?
No! sooner may the Saxon lance
Unfix Benledi from his stance,

Than doubt or terror can pierce through
The unyielding heart of Roderick Dhu!
'Tis stubborn as his trusty targe.

[ocr errors]

Each to his post! all know their charge."
The pibroch sounds, the bands advance,
The broadswords gleam, the banners dance,
Obedient to the Chieftain's glance.

I turn me from the martial roar,
And seek Coir-Uriskin once more.








[blocks in formation]

he is gone;


And Ellen sits on the gray stone
Fast by the cave, and makes her moan,
While vainly Allan's words of cheer
Are poured on her unheeding ear.

"He will return

[ocr errors]

dear lady, trust!

With joy return; - he will he must.

Well was it time to seek afar
Some refuge from impending war,
When e'en Clan-Alpine's rugged swarm
Are cowed by the approaching storm.
I saw their boats with many a light,
Floating the livelong yesternight,
Shifting like flashes darted forth
By the red streamers of the north;
I marked at morn how close they ride,
Thick moored by the lone islet's side,
Like wild ducks couching in the fen
When stoops the hawk upon the glen.
Since this rude race dare not abide
The peril on the mainland side,
Shall not thy noble father's care
Some safe retreat for thee prepare?

[ocr errors]





[blocks in formation]

My wakeful terrors could not blind.
When in such tender tone, yet grave,
Douglas a parting blessing gave,
The tear that glistened in his eye
Drowned not his purpose fixed and high.
My soul, though feminine and weak,
Can image his; e'en as the lake,


Itself disturbed by slightest stroke,
Reflects the invulnerable rock.
He hears report of battle rife,

He deems himself the cause of strife.
I saw him redden when the theme
Turned, Allan, on thine idle dream
Of Malcolm Græme in fetters bound,
Which I, thou saidst, about him wound.
Think'st thou he trowed thine omen aught?
O no! 'twas apprehensive thought

For the kind youth,- for Roderick too—
Let me be just that friend so true;
In danger both, and in our cause!
Minstrel, the Douglas dare not pause.
Why else that solemn warning given,
'If not on earth, we meet in heaven!'
Why else, to Cambus-kenneth's fane,
If eve return him not again,

Am I to hie and make me known?
Alas! he goes to Scotland's throne,
Buys his friends' safety with his own;
He goes to do what I had done,
Had Douglas' daughter been his son!"


"Nay, lovely Ellen! - dearest, nay!
If aught should his return delay,
He only named yon holy fane
As fitting place to meet again.

Be sure he's safe; and for the Græme,
Heaven's blessing on his gallant name!
My visioned sight may yet prove true,
Nor bode of ill to him or you.
When did my gifted dream beguile ?
Think of the stranger at the isle,








« AnteriorContinuar »