Imágenes de páginas

In bright uncertainty they lie,

His grisled beard and matted hair Like future joys to Fancy's eye.

Obscured a visage of despair; The water-lily to the light

His naked arms and legs, seam'd o'er, Her chalice rear'd of silver bright;

The scars of frantic penance bore. The doe awoke, and to the lawn,

That monk, of savage form and face,* Begemm’d with dew-drops, led her fawn;

The impending danger of his race The grey mist left the mountain side,

Had drawn from deepest solitude, The torrent show'd its glistening pride;

Far in Benharrow's bosom rude. Invisible in flecked sky,

Not his the mien of Christian priest, The lark sent down her revelry;

But Druid's, from the grave released, The blackbird and the speckled thrush

Whose harden'd heart and eye might brook Good-morrow gave from brake and bush;8

On human sacrifice to look; In answer coo'd the cushat dove

And much, 'twas said, of heathen lore Her notes of peace, and rest, and love.

Mix'd in the charms he mutter'd o'er.

The hallow'd creed gave only worses

And deadlier emphasis of curse ;
No thought of peace, no thought of rest,

No peasant sought that Hermit's prayer, Assuaged the storm in Roderick's breast.

His cave the pilgrim shunn'd with care, With sheathed broadsword in his hand,

The eager huntsman knew his bound, Abrupt he paced the islet strand,

And in mid chase call'd off his hound; And eyed the rising sun, and laid

Or if, in lonely glen or strath, His hand on his impatient blade.

The desert-dweller met his path, Beneath a rock, his vassals' care3

He pray'd, and sign’d the cross between,
Was prompt the ritual to prepare,

While terror took devotion's mien.
With deep and deathful meaning fraught;
For such Antiquity had taught

Was preface meet, ere yet abroad

Of Brian's birth strange tales were told.? The Cross of Fire should take its road.

His mother watch'd a midnight fold, The shrinking band stood oft aghast

Built deep within a dreary glen, At the impatient glance he cast ;

Where scatter'd lay the bones of men, Such glance the mountain eagle threw,

In some forgotten battle slain, As, from the cliffs of Benvenue,

And bleach'd by drifting wind and rain. She spread her dark sails on the wind,

It might have tamed a warrior's heart, And, high in middle heaven, reclined,

To view such mockery of his art ! With her broad shadow on the lake,

The knot-grass fetter'd there the hand, Silenced the warblers of the brake.

Which once could burst an iron band;

Beneath the broad and ample bone,

That buckler'd heart to fear unknown,
A heap of wither'd boughs was piled,

A feeble and a timorous guest, Of juniper and rowan wild,

The field-fare framed her lowly nest; Mingled with shivers from the oak,

There the slow blind-worm left his slime Rent by the lightning's recent stroke.

On the fleet limbs that mock'd at time; Brian, the Hermit, by it stood,

And there, too, lay the leader's skull, Barefooted, in his frock and hood.

Still wreathed with chaplet, flush'd and full,

For Fame is there to say who bleeds,
And Honour's eye on daring deeds!
But when all is past, it is humbling to tread
O'er the weltering field of the tombleas dead,
And see worms of the earth, and fowls of the air,
Beasts of the forest, all gathering there;
All regarding man as their prey,
All rejoicing in his decay."--Byron-Siege of Corinth.


: MS.-" The doe awoke, and to the lawn,

Begemm'd with dewdrops, led her fawn,
Invisible in fleecy cloud,
The lark sent down her matins loud;

The light mist left," &c.

-" The Green hills Are clothed with early blossoms; through the grass The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills Of summer birds sing welcome as ye pasq"--Childe Harold. 2 MS.—“ Hard by, his vassals' early care

The mystic ritual prepare.” 4 See Appendix, Noto 2 D. 8 MS.-" While the bless'd creed gave only worse." 6 MS.-" He pray'd with many a cross between,

And terror took devotion's mien." 7 See Appendix, Note 2 E. 8 “ There is something of pride in the perilous hour, Whate'er be the shape in which death may


9 "Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps.

Is that a temple where a god may dwell?
Why, even the worm at last disdains her shattered cell
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chain bers desolate, and portais foul ;
Yet this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of thought, the palace of the soul;
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole.
Tho gay recess of wisdom, and of wit,

For heath-bell with her purple bloom,

The mountain mist took form and limb, Supplied the bonnet and the plume.?

Of noontide hag, or goblin grim; All night, in this sad glen, the maid

The midnight wind came wild and dread, Sate, shrouded in her mantle's shade:

Swell’d with the voices of the dead; - She said, no shepherd sought her

Far on the future battle-heath side,

His eye beheld the ranks of death: No hunter's hand her snood untied,

Thus the lone Seer, from mankind hurld, Yet ne'er again to braid her hair

Shaped forth a disembodied world. The virgin snood did Alice wear;

One lingering sympathy of mind Gone was her maiden glee and sport,

Still bound him to the mortal kind; Her maiden girdle all too short,

The only parent he could claim Nor sought she, from that fatal night,

Of ancient Alpine's lineage came. Or holy church or blessed rite,

Late had he heard, in prophet's dream, But lock'd her secret in her breast,

The fatal Ben-Shie's boding scream ;' And died in travail, unconfess'd.

Sounds, too, had come in midnight blast,

Of charging steeds, careering fast

Along Benharrow's shingly side,
Alone, among his young compeers,

Where mortal horseman ne'er might ride ;* Was Brian from his infant years ;

The thunderbolt had split the pine, A moody and heart-broken boy,

All augur’d ill to Alpine’s line. Estranged from sympathy and joy,

He girt his loins, and came to show Bearing each taunt which careless tongue

The signals of impending woe, On his mysterious lineage flung.

And now stood prompt to bless or ban,
Whole nights he spent by moonlight pale,

As bade the Chieftain of his clan.
To wood and stream his hap to wail,
Till, frantic, he as truth received 3

What of his birth the crowd believed,

'Twas all prepared ;-and from the rock, And sought, in mist and meteor fire,

A goat, the patriarch of the flock, To meet and know his Phantom Sire!

Before the kindling pile was laid, In vain, to soothe his wayward fate,

And pierced by Roderick's ready blade. The cloister oped her pitying gate;

Patient the sickening victim eyed In vain, the learning of the age

The life-blood ebb in crimson tide, Unclasp'd the sable-letter'd page;

Down his clogg'd beard and shaggy limb, Even in its treasures he could find

Till darkness glazed his eyeballs dim. Food for the fever of his mind.

The grisly priest, with murmuring prayer, Eager he read whatever tells

A slender crosslet form’d with care, Of magic, cabala, and spells,

A cubit's length in measure due; And every dark pursuit allied

The shaft and limbs were rods of yew, To curious and presumptuous pride ;

Whose parents in Inch-Cailliach wave Till with fired brain and nerves o'er

Their shadows o'er Clan-Alpine's grave, strung,

And, answering Lomond's breezes deep, And heart with mystic horrors wrung,

Soothe many a chieftain's endless sleep. Desperate he sought Benharrow's den,

The Cross, thus form’d, he held on high, And hid him from the haunts of men.

With wasted hand, and haggard eye,

And strange and mingled feelings woke,

While his anathema he spoke.
The desert gave him visions wild,
Such as might suit the spectre's child.

Where with black cliffs the torrents toil,

“ Woe to the clansman, who shall view He watch'd the wheeling eddies boil,

This symbol of sepulchral yew, Till, from their foam, his dazzled eyes

Forgetful that its branches grew
Beheld the River Demon rise;

Where weep the heavens their holiest dew
And passion's host, that never brook'd control : 2 See Appendix, Note 2 F.
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,

3 MS.-" Till, driven to frenzy, he believed People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?"

The legend of his birth received."

Childe Haroul. 4 See Appendix, Note 2 G. 1 "These reflections on an ancient field of battle afford the 6 MS.-" The fatal Ben-Shie's dismal scream; most remarkable instance of false taste in all Mr. Scott's

And seen her wrinkled form, the sign writings. Yet the brevity and variety of the images serve

Of woe and death to Alpine's line." well to show, that even in his errors there are traces of a

-See Appendix, Note 2 H. powerful genius."-JEFFREY.

8 See Appendix, Note 3 L

7 Ibid, Note 2 K.

On Alpine's dwelling low!
Deserter of his Chieftain's trust,
He ne'er shall mingle with their dust,
But, from his sires and kindred thrust,
Each clansman's execration just?

Shall doom him wrath and woe.”
He paused ;-the word the vassals took,
With forward step and fiery look,
On high their naked brands they shook,
Their clattering targets wildly strook ;

And first in murmur low,
Then, like the billow in his course,
That far to seaward finds his source,
And Alings to shore his muster'd force,
Burst, with loud roar, their answer hoarse,

“ Woe to the traitor, woe!” Ben-an's grey scalp the accents knew, The joyous wolf from covert drew, The exulting eagle scream'd afar,They knew the voice of Alpine's war.

XI. Then deeper paused the priest anew, And hard his labouring breath he drew, While, with set teeth and clenched hand, And eyes that glow'd like fiery brand, He meditated curse more dread, And deadlier, on the clansman's head, Who, summond to his Chieftain's aid, The signal saw and disobey'd. The crosslet's points of sparkling wood, He quench'd among the bubbling blood, And, as again the sign he rear'd, Hollow and hoarse his voice was heard : « When flits this Cross from man to man, Vich-Alpine's summons to his clan, Burst be the ear that fails to heed ! Palsied the foot that shuns to speed! May ravens tear the careless eyes, Wolves make the coward heart their prize! As sinks that blood-stream in the earth, So may his heart's-blood drench his heartli ! As dies in hissing gore the spark, Quench thou his light, Destruction dark, And be the grace to him denied, Bought by this sign to all beside !" He ceased; no echo gave agen The murmur of the deep Amen."


The shout was hush'd on lake and fell,
The monk resumed his mutter'd spell:
Dismal and low its accents came,
The while he scathed the Cross with flame;
And the few words that reach'd the air,
Although the holiest name was there,
Had more of blasphemy than prayer.
But when he shook above the crowd
Its kindled points, he spoke aloud :-
“ Woe to the wretch who fails to rear
At this dread sign the ready spear!
For, as the flames this symbol scar,
Her home, the refuge of his fear,

A kindred fate shall know;
Far o'er its roof the volumed flame
Clan-Alpine's vengeance shall proclaim,
While maids and matrons on his name
Shall call down wretchedness and shame,

And infamy and woe.”
Then rose the cry of females, shrill
As goss-hawk's whistle on the hill,
Denouncing misery and ill,
Mingled with childhood's babbling trill

Of curses stammer'd slow;
Answering, with imprecation dread,
“ Sunk be his home in embers red!
And cursed be the meanest shed
That e'er shall hide the houseless head,

We doom to want and woe!"
A sharp and shrieking echo gave,
Coir-Uriskin, thy goblin cave!
And the grey pass where birches wave,

On Beala-nam-bo.

XII. Then Roderick, with impatient look, From Brian's hand the symbol took : “ Speed, Malise, speed!” he said, and gave The crosslet to his henchman brave. “ The muster-place be Lanrick mead_5 Instant the time---speed, Malise, speed!' Like heath-bird, when the hawks pursue, A barge across Loch Katrine flew; High stood the benchman on the prow; So rapidly the barge-men row, The bubbles, where they launch'd the boat, Were all unbroken and afloat, Dancing in foam and ripple still, When it had near’d the mainland hiil; And from the silver beach's side Still was the prow three fathom wide, When lightly bounded to the land The messenger of blood and brand.

XIII. Speed, Malise, speed! the dun deer's hide On fleeter foot was never tied.6 Speed, Malise, speed ! such cause of haste Thine active sinews never braced. Bend 'gainst the steepy hill thy breast, Burst down like torrent from its crest;

IMS. -"Our warriors, on his worthless bust,

Shall speak disgrace and woe" • MS _" Their clattering targets hardly strook ;

And first they mutter'd loer."

3 MS._" Although the holy name was there." 4 MS.--" The slowly muller'd deep Amen." 5 MS.-" Murlagan is the spot decreed."

See App dix, Note 2 L.

With short and springing footstep pass

And peep, like moss-grown rocks, half seen, The trembling bog and false morass ;

Half hidden in the copse so green ; Across the brook like roebuck bound,

There mayest thou rest, thy labour done, And thread the brake like questing hound; Their Lord shall speed the signal on.The crag is high, the scaur is deep,

As stoops the hawk upon his prey, Yet shrink not from the desperate leap:

The henchman shot him down the way. Parch'd are thy burning lips and brow,

-What woeful accents load the gale! Yet by the fountain pause not now;

The funeral yell, the female wail ! Herald of battle, fate, and fear,

A gallant hunter's sport is o'er, Stretch onward in thy fleet career!

A valiant warrior fights no more. The wounded hind thou track'st not now,

Who, in the battle or the chase, Pursuest not maid through greenwood bough, At Roderick's side shall fill his place! Nor pliest thou now thy flying pace,

Within the hall, where torches' ray With rivals in the mountain race;

Supplies the excluded beams of day, But danger, death, and warrior deed,

Lies Duncan on his lowly bier, Are in thy course-speed, Malise, speed !

And o'er him streams his widow's tear.

His stripling son stands mournful by,

His youngest weeps, but knows not why;
Fast as the fatal symbol flies,

The village maids and matrons round
In arins the huts and hamlets rise ;

The dismal coronach resound.5
From winding glen, from upland brown,
They pour'd each hardy tenant down.

Nor slack'd the messenger his pace ;

Coronach. He show'd the sign, he named the place,

He is gone on the mountain, And, pressing forward like the wind,

He is lost to the forest, Left clamour and surprise behind.2

Like a summer-dried fountain, The fisherman forsook the strand,

When our need was the sorest. The swarthy smith took dirk and brand;

The font, reappearing, With changed cheer, the mower blithe

From the rain-drops shall borrow, Left in the half-cut swathe the scythe ;

But to us comes no cheering, The herds without a keeper stray'da,

To Duncan no morrow! The plough was in mid-furrow staid,

The hand of the reaper The falo'ner toss'd his hawk away,

Takes the ears that are hoary, The hunter left the stag at bay ;

But the voice of the weeper Prompt at the signal of alarms,

Wails manhood in glory. Each son of Alpine rush'd to arms ;

The autumn winds rushing So swept the tumult and affray

Waft the leaves that are searest, Along the margin of Achray.

But our flower was in flushing,
Alas, thou lovely lake! that e'er

When blighting was nearest.
Thy banks should echo sounds of fear!
The rocks, the bosky thickets, sleep

Fleet foot on the correi,
So stilly on thy bosom deep,

Sage counsel in cumber, The lark's blithe carol, from the cloud,

Red hand in the foray,
Seems for the scene too gaily loud.3

How sound is thy slumber !
Like the dew on the mountain,

Like the foam on the river,
Speed, Malise, speed ! the lake is past,

Like the bubble on the fountain, Duncraggan's huts appear at last,

Thou art gone, and for ever !? 1 MS.—“ Dread messenger of fate and fear,

7 "Mr. Scott is such a master of versification, that the most Herald of danger, fate, and fear,

complicated metre does not, for an instant, arrest the progress Stretch onward in thy fleet career!

of his imagination; its difficulties usually operate as a saluThou track'st not now the stricken doe,

tary excitement to his attention, and not unfrequently sugNor maiden coy through greenwood bough." gest to him new and unexpected graces of expression. If a 2 " The description of the starting of the 'fiery cross' bears careless rhyme, or an ill-constructed phrase occasionally esmore marks of labour than most of Mr. Scott's poetry, and cape him amidst the irregular torrent of his stanza, the bleborders, perhaps, upon straining and exaggeration; yet it mish is often imperceptible by the hurried eye of the reader; shows great power."-JEFFREY.

but when the short lines are yoked in pairs, any dissonance in 3 MS.-" Seems au too lively and too loud."

the jingle, or interruption of the construction, cannot fail to 4 MS.--" "Tis woman's scream, 'tis childhood's wail" give offence. We learn from Horace, that in the course of a 6 See Appendix, Note 2 M.

long work, a poet may legitimately indulge in a momentary 6 Or corri. The hollow side of the hill, where game usually slumber; but we do not wish to hear him sore, "-Quarterly


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And short and fitting energy See Stumah,' who, the bier beside,

Glanced from the mourner's sunken eye, His master's corpse with wonder eyed,

As if the sounds to warrior dear, Poor Stumah ! whom his least halloo

Might rouse her Duncan from his bier. Could send like lightning o'er the dew,

But faded soon that borrow'd force ; Bristles his crest, and points his ears,

Grief claim'd his right, and tears their As if some stranger step he hears.

course. 'Tis not a mourner's muffled tread, Who comes to sorrow o'er the dead,

XIX. But headlong haste, or deadly fear,

Benledi saw the Cross of Fire, Urge the precipitate career.

It glanced like lightning up Strath-Ire.3 All stand aghast :-unheeding all,

O'er dale and hill the summons flew, The benchman bursts into the hall;

Nor rest nor pause young Angus knew ; Before the dead man's bier he stood;

The tear that gather'd in his eye Held forth the Cross besmear'd with blood;

He left the mountain breeze to dry ; “ The muster-place is Lanrick mead;

Until, where Teith's young waters roll, Speed forth the signal ! clansmen, speed!”

Betwixt him and a wooded knoll,

That graced the sable strath with green,

The chapel of St. Bride was seen.
Angus, the heir of Duncan's line,

Swoln was the stream, remote the bridge, Sprung forth and seized the fatal sign.

But Angus paused not on the edge ; In haste the stripling to his side

Though the dark waves danced dizzily, His father's dirk and broadsword tied ;

Though reel’d his sympathetic eye, But when he saw his mother's eye

He dash'd amid the torrent's roar: Watch him in speechless agony,

His right hand high the crosslet bore, Back to her open'd arms he flew,

His left the pole-axe grasp'd, to guide Press’d on her lips a fond adieu

And stay his footing in the tide. * Alas !” she sobb’d," and yet, be gone,

He stumbled twice—the foam splash'd high, And speed thee forth, like Duncan's son !”

With hoarser swell the stream raced by ; One look he cast upon the bier,

And had he fall'n,-for ever there, Dash'd from his eye the gathering tear,

Farewell Duncraggan's orphan heir ! Breathed deep to clear his labouring breast,

But still, as if in parting life, And toss'd aloft his bonnet crest,

Firmer he grasp'd the Cross of strife, Then, like the high-bred colt, when, freed,

Until the opposing bank he gain’d,
First he essays his fire and speed,

And up the chapel pathway strain'd.
He vanish'd, and o'er moor and moss
Sped forward with the Fiery Cross.

Suspended was the widow's tear,

A blithesome rout, that morning tide, While yet his footsteps she could hear ;

Had sought the chapel of St. Bride. And when she mark”d the henchman's eye

Her troth Tombea's Mary gave Wet with unwonted sympathy,

To Norman, heir of Armandave. “ Kinsman,” she said, “ his race is run,

And, issuing from the Gothic arch, That should have sped thine errand on;

The bridal now resumed their march. The oak has fall'n,-the sapling bough

In rude, but glad procession, came Is all Duncraggan's shelter now.

Bonneted sire and coif-clad dame; Yet trust I well, his duty done,

And plaided youth, with jest and jeer, The orphan's God will guard my son.

Which snooded maiden would not hear; And you, in many a danger true,

And children, that, unwitting why, At Duncan's hest your blades that drew,

Lent the gay shout their shrilly cry ; To arms, and guard that orphan's head !

And minstrels, that in measures vied Let babes and women wail the dead."

Before the young and bonny bride, Then weapon-clang, and martial call,

Whose downcast eye and cheek disclose Resounded through the funeral hall,

The tear and blush of morning rose. While from the walls the attendant band

With virgin step, and bashful hand, Snatch'd sword and targe, with hurried hand; She held the 'kerchief's snowy band ;

Faithful. The name of a dog.
A1S. "Angus, the first of Duncan's line,

Sprung forth and seized the fatal sign,
And then upon his kinsman's bier
Fell Malise's suspended tear.

In haste the stripling to his side

His father's targe and falchion tied."
3 See Appendix, Note 2 N.
4 MS.-" And where a stap and wooded knoll

Graced the dark strath with emerald greeta."

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