Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Kinsman and father,-if such name

The refuge of some forest cell, Douglas vouchsafe to Roderick’s claim;

There, like the hunted quarry, dwell, Mine honour'd mother ;-Ellen--why,

Till on the mountain and the moor,
My cousin, turn away thine eye !

The stern pursuit be pass'd and o er."-
And Græme; in whom I hope to know
Full soon a noble friend or foe,

XXX.
When age shall give thee thy command,

“No, by mine honour," Roderick said, And leading in thy native land,

“ So help me, heaven, and my good blade ! List all !- The King's vindictive pride

No, never! Blasted be yon Pine,
Boasts to have tamed the Border-side,

My fathers' ancient crest and mine,
Where chiefs, with hound and hawk who calle If from its shade in danger part
To share their monarch's silvan game,

The lineage of the Bleeding Heart !
Themselves in bloody toils were snared;

Hear my blunt speech: Grant me this And when the banquet they prepared,

1 maid And wide their loyal portais flung,

To wife, thy counsel to mine aid; O'er their own gateway struggling hung:

To Douglas, leagued with Roderick Dhu, Loud cries their blood from Meggat's mead,

Will friends and allies flock enow; From Yarrow braes, and banks of Tweed,

Like cause of doubt, distrust, and grief, Where the lone streams of Ettrick gide,

Will bind to us each Western Chiet. And from the silver Teviot's side;

When the loud pipes my bridal tell, The dales, where martial clans did ride,

The Links of Forth shall hear the knell, Are now one sheep-walk, waste and wide.

The guards shall start in Stirling's porch; This tyrant of the Scottish throne,

And, when I light the nuptial torch, So faithless and so ruthless known,

A thousand villages in flames, Now hither comes; his end the saine,

Shall scare the slumbers of King James ! The same pretext of silvan game.

-Nay, Ellen, blench not thus away, What grace for Highland Chiefs, judge ye

And, mother, cease these signs, I pray; By fate of Border chivalry.3

I meant not all my heart might say.Yet more ; amid Glenfinlas green,

Small need of inroad, or of fight, Douglas, thy stately form was seen.

When the sage Douglas may unite This by espial sure I know;

Each mountain clan in friendly band, Your counsel in the streight I show.”

To guard the passes of their land,

Till the foil'd king, from pathless glen,"
XXIX.

Shall bootless turn him home agen."
Ellen and Margaret fearfully
Sought comfort in each other's eye,

XXXI.
Then turn’d their ghastly look, each one,

There are who have, at midnight hour, This to her sire--that to her son.

In slumber scaled a dizzy tower, The hasty colour went and came

And, on the verge that beetled o'er In the bold cheek of Malcolm Grame;

The ocean-tide's incessant roar, But from his glance it well appear'd,

Dream'd calmly out their dangerous dreain, 'Twas but for Ellen that he fear'd;

Till waken’d by the morning beam; While, sorrowful, but undismay'd,

When, dazzled by the eastern glow, The Douglas thus his counsel said:

Such startier cast his glance below, “ Brave Roderick, though the tempest roar,

And saw unmeasured depth around, It may but thunder and pass o'er ;

And heard unintermitted sound, Nor will I here remain an hour,

And thought the battled fence so frail, To draw the lightning on thy bower;

It waved like cobweb in the gale;For well thou know'st, at this grey head

Amid his senses' giddy wheel, The royal bolt were fiercest sped.

Did he not desperate impulse feel, For thee, who, at thy King's command,

Headlong to plunge himself below, Canst aid him with a gallant band,

And meet the worst his fears foreshow Submission, homage, humbled pride,

Thus, Ellen, dizzy and astound, Shall turn the Monarch's wrath aside.

As sudden ruin yawn'd around, Poor remnants of the Bleeding Heart,

By crossing terrors wildly toss'd, Ellen and I will seek, apart,

Still for the Douglas fearing nusi,

4 MS.--" Till the foil'd king, from hill and glea."

I See Appendix, Note Y.
2 MS.--" The dales where clans were wont to bide.'

See Appendix, Note Z.

3 MS.-“ Dream'd calmly out their desperate dream."

Could scarce the desperate thought withstand, The son's despair, the mother's look,
To buy his safety with her hand.

Ill might the gentle Ellen brook;

She rose, and to her side there came,
XXXII.

To aid her parting steps, the Grame.
Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy
In Ellen's quivering lip and eye,

XXXIV.
And eager rose to speak-but ere

Then Roderick from the Douglas broke-His tongue could hurry forth his fear,

As flashes flame through sable smoke, Had Douglas mark'd the hectic strife,

Kindling its wreaths, long, dark, and low, Where death seem'd combating with life;

To one broad blaze of ruddy glow, For to her cheek, in feverish flood,

So the deep anguish of despair One instant rush'd the throbbing blood,

Burst, in fierce jealousy, to air. Then ebbing back, with sudden sway,

With stalwart grasp his hand he laid Left its domain as wan as clay.

On Malcolm's breast and belted plaid : “Roderick, enough ! enough !” he cried,

“ Back, beardless boy !” he sternly said, “My daughter cannot be thy bride;

“ Back, minion ! hold'st thou thus at Not that the blush to wooer dear,

naught Nor paleness that of maiden fear.

The lesson I so lately taught ? It may not be—forgive her, Chief,

This roof, the Douglas, and that maid, Nor hazard aught for our relief.

Thank thou for punishment delay’d.” Against his sovereign, Douglas ne'er

Eager as greyhound on his game, Will level a rebellious spear.

Fiercely with Roderick grappled Grame. 'Twas I that taught his youthful hand

“Perish my name, if aught afford To rein a steed and wield a brand;

Its Chieftain safety save his sword !" I see him yet, the princely boy !

Thus as they strove, their desperate hands Not Ellen more my pride and joy;

Griped to the dagger or the brand, I love him still, despite my wrongs,

And death had been--but Douglas rose, By hasty wrath, and slanderous tongues.

And thrust between the struggling foes O seek the grace you well may find,

His giant strength:—“Chieftains, forego ! Without a cause to mine combined."

I hold the first who strikes, my foe.-4

Madmen, forbear your frantic jar !
XXXIII.

What! is the Douglas fall’n so far,
Twice through the hall the Chieftain strode; His daughter's hand is doom'd the spoil
The waving of his tartans broad,

Of such dishonourable broil !" And darken'd brow, where wounded pride

Sullen and slowly they unclasp,$ With ire and disappointment vied,

As struck with shame, their desperate grasp, Seem'd, by the torch's gloomy light,

And each upon his rival glared,
Like the ill Demon of the night,

With foot advanced, and blade half bared.
Stooping his pinions' shadowy sway
Upon the nighted pilgrim's way:

XXXV.
But, unrequited Love ! thy dart

Ere yet the brands aloft were flung, Plunged deepest its envenom'd smart,

Margaret on Roderick’s mantle huug, And Roderick, with thine anguish stung,

And Malcolm heard his Ellen's scream,
At length the hand of Douglas wrung,

As, falter'd through terrific dream.
eyes,
that mock'd at tears before,

Then Roderick plunged in sheath his sword, With bitter drops were running o'er.

And veil'd his wrath in scornful word. The death-pangs of long-cherish'd hope

“ Rest safe till morning; pity 'twere Scarce in that ample breast had scope,

Such cheek should feel the midnight air !6 - But, struggling with his spirit proud,

Then mayest thou to James Stuart tell, Convulsive heaved its chequer'd shroud,

Roderick will keep the lake and fell, While every sob-—so mute were all

Nor lackey, with his freeborn clan, Was heard distinctly through the hall.

The pageant pomp of earthly man. I MS.-" The deep-toned anguish of despair

* The Author has to apologize for the inadvertent appro Flush'd, in fierce jealousy, to air."

priation of a whole line from the tragedy of Douglas, " There is something foppish and out of character in Mal

“I hold the first who strikes, my foe." colm's rising to lead out Ellen from her own parlour; and the

-Note to the second edition sort of wrestling match that takes place between the rival chieftains on the occasion, is humiliating and indecorous."

6 MS.—“Sullen and slow the rivals bold

Loosed, at his hest, their desperate hold, 3 M8.-" Thus as they strore, each better hand

But either still on other glared, &c.
Grasp'ul for the dagger or the brand."

6 See Appendix, Note 2 A.

While

JEFFREY

N

More would he of Clan-Alpine know,

To waft me to yon mountain-side.” Thou canst our strength and passes show. Then plunged he in the flashing tide. Malise, what ho!”-his henchman came;'

Bold o'er the flood his head he bore, " Give our safe-conduct to the Greme."

And stoutly steer'd him from the shore ; Young Malcolm answer'd, calm and bold,

And Allan straind his anxious eye, " Fear nothing for thy favourite hold;

Far 'mid the lake his form to spy. The spot, an angel deigned to grace,

Darkening across each puny wave, Is bless'd, though robbers haunt the place.

To which the moon her silver gave, Thy churlish courtesy for those

Fast as the cormorant could skim, Reserve, who fear to be thy foes.

The swimmer plied each active limb; As safe to me the mountain way

Then landing in the moonlight dell, At midnight as in blaze of day,

Loud shouted of his weal to tell. Though with his boldest at his back

The Minstrel heard the far halloo,
Even Roderick Dhu beset the track.--

And joyful from the shore withdrew.
Brave Douglas,-lovely Ellen,-nay,
Nought here of parting will I say.
Earth does not hold a lonesome glen,
So secret, but we meet agen.---

The Lady of the Lake.
Chieftain! we too shall find an hour.”-
He said, and left the silvan bower.

CANTO THIRD.

XXXVI.
Old Allan follow'd to the strand,

The Gathering. (Such was the Douglas's command,)

I. And anxious told, how, on the morn,

TIME rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore, The stern Sir Roderick deep had sworn,

Who danced our infancy upon their knee, The Fiery Cross should circle o'er

And told our marvelling boyhood legends store, Dale, glen, and valley, down, and moor.

Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea, Much were the peril to the Græme,

How are they blotted from the things that be! From those who to the signal came;

How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Far up the lake 'twere safest land,

Wait on the verge of dark eternity, Himself would row him to the strand.

Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, He gave his counsel to the wind,

To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls his ceaseWhile Malcolm did, unheeding, bind,

less course. Round dirk and pouch and broadsword rollid, His ample plaid in tighten'd fold,

Yet live there still who can remember well, And stripp'd his limbs to such array,

How, when a mountain chief his bugle blew, As best might suit the watery way,-

Both field and forest, dingle, cliff, and dell,

And solitary heath, the signal knew;
XXXVII.

And fast the faithful clan around him drew,
Then spoke abrupt : “ Farewell to thee,

What time the warning note was keenly wound, Pattern of old fidelity!”

What time aloft their kindred banner flew, The Minstrel's hand he kindly press’d,—

While clamorous war-pipes yell’d the gathering “O! could I point a place of rest !

sound, My sovereign holds in ward my land,

And while the Fiery Cross glanced, like a meteor, My uncle leads my vassal band ;

round. To tame his foes, his friends to aid, Poor Malcolm has but heart and blade.

II. Yet, if there be one faithful Græme,

The summer dawn's reflected hue Who loves the Chieftain of his name,

To purple changed Loch Katrine blue; Not long shall honourd Douglas dwell,

Mildly and soft the western breeze Like hunted stag in mountain cell;

Just kiss'd the Lake, just stirr'd the trees, Nor, ere yon pride-swoll'n robber dare,

And the pleased lake, like maiden coy, I may not gire the rest to air !

Trembled but dimpled not for joy; Tell Roderick Dhu, I owed him nought,

The mountain-shadows on her breast Not the poor service of a boat,

Were neither broken nor at rest; | See Appendix, Note 2 B.

connected with the subject about to be entered on; and writ9 MS.-" He spoke, and plunged into the tide."

ten, for the most part, with great tenderness and beauty. 3 “ There are no separate introductions to the cantos of the following, we think, is among the most striking."- J&pthis poem; but each of them begins with one or two stanzas in the measure of Spenser, usnally containing some reflections 4 See Appendix, Note 2 C.

FREY

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

194

More Thou Malis • Giv Your “ Fest The Is ble Thy. Rese As se At Thot Ever Brav Nou Eart Sos Chie

He:

Old
(Sui
And
The
The
Dal
Mu
Fro
Far
Hir
He
WI
Roi
His
An
As

Th

Pa

Tb

M
M
TC
PC
Y

N
L
N
I
T
N

1

8

this

« AnteriorContinuar »