Imágenes de páginas

Is it the lightning's quivering glance

That on the thicket streams,
Or do they flash on spear and lance

The sun's retiring beams?
-I see the dagger-crest of Mar,
I see the Moray's silver star,
Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war,
That up the lake comes winding far!
To hero bound for battle-strife,

Or bard of martial lay, "Twere worth ten years of peaceful life,

One glance at their array!

Onward they drive, in dreadful race,

Pursuers and pursued;
Before that tide of flight and chase,
How shall it keep its rooted place,

The spearmen's twilight wood Down, down,' cried Mar, your lances

Bear back both friend and foe!'-
Like reeds before the tempest's frown,
That serried grove of lances brown

At once lay levell?d low;
And closely shouldering side to side,
The bristling ranks the onset bide.-
We'll quell the savage mountaineer,

As their Tinchelo cows the game !
They come as fleet as forest deer,

We'll drive them back as tame.'

“ Their light-arm’d archers far and near

Survey'd the tangled ground,
Their centre ranks, with pike and spear,

A twilight forest frown'd,
Their barbed horsemen, in the rear,

The stern battalia crown'd.
No cymbal clash’d, no clarion rang,

Still were the pipe and drum;
Save heavy tread, and armour's clang,

The sullen march was dumb.
There breathed no wind their crests to shake,

Or wave their flags abroad;
Scarce the frail aspen seem'd to quake,

That shadow'd o'er their road.
Their vaward scouts no tidings bring,

Can rouse no lurking foe,
Nor spy a trace of living thing,

Save when they stirr'd the roe;
The host moves, like a deep-sea wave,
Where rise no rocks its pride to brave,

High-swelling, dark, and slow.
The lake is pass’d, and now they gain
A narrow and a broken plain,
Before the Trosach's rugged jaws;
And here the horse and spearmen pause,
While, to explore the dangerous glen,
Dive through the pass the archer-men.

“ Bearing before them, in their course,
The relics of the archer force,
Like wave with crest of sparkling foam,
Right onward did Clan-Alpine come.

Above the tide, each broadsword bright
Was brandishing like beam of light,

Each targe was dark below;
And with the ocean's mighty swing,
When heaving to the tempest's wing,

They hurld them on the foe.
I heard the lance's shivering crash,
As when the whirlwind rends the ash,
I heard the broadsword's deadly clang,
As if an hundred anvils rang!
But Moray wheel'd his rearward rank
Of horsemen on Clan-Alpine's flank,

- My banner-man, advance !
I see,' be cried, “ their column shake.
Now, gallants! for your ladies' sake,

Upon them with the lance !'-
The horsemen dash'd among the rout,

As deer break through the broom;
Their steeds are stout, their swords are out,

They soon make lightsome room.
Clan-Alpine's best are backward borne-

Where, where was Roderick then!
One blast upon his bugle-horn

Were worth a thousand men !
And refluent through the pass of fear

The battle's ride was pour'd;
Vanish'd the Saxon's struggling spear,

Vanish'd the mountain-sword.
As Bracklinn's chasm, so black and steep,

Receives her roaring linn,
As the dark caverns of the deep

Suck the wild whirlpool in,

“ At once there rose so wild a yell
Within that dark and narrow dell,
As all the fiends, from heaven that fell,
Had peaid the banner-cry of hell!

Forth froin the pass in tumult driven,
Like chaff before the wind of heaven,

The archery appear; For life! for life! their plight they plyAnd shriek, and shout, and battle-cry, And plaids and bonnets waving high, And broadswords flashing to the sky,

Are maddening in the rear.

| The MS. has not this couplet.

? A circle of sportsmen, who, by surrounding a great space, and gradually narrowing, brought immense quantities of deer together, which usually made desperate efforts to break through the Tinchels

MS." And refluent down the darksome pass

The battles tide was pour'd ;
There toild the spearman's struggling spear,

There raged the mountain-sword."


So did the deep and darksome pass

My purse, with bonnet-pieces store, Devour the battle's mingled mass :

To him will swim a bow-shot o'er, None linger now upon the plain,

And loose a shallop from the shore. Save those who ne'er shall fight again.

Lightly we'll tame the war-wolf then,

Lords of his mate, and brood, and den.'

Forth from the ranks a spearman sprung, « Now westward rolls the battle's din,

On earth his casque and corslet rung, That deep and doubling pass within,

He plunged him in the wave :-- Minstrel, away, the work of fate!

All saw the deed—the purpose knew, Is bearing on: its issue wait,

And to their clamours Benvenue Where the rude Trosach's dread defile

Am ingled echo gave; Opens on Katrine's lake and isle.--

The Saxons shout, their mate to cheer, Grey Benvenue I soon repass'd,

The helpless females scream for fear, Loch Katrine lay beneath me cast.

And yells for rage the mountaineer. The sun is set ;-the clouds are met,

'Twas then, as by the outcry riven, The lowering scowl of heaven

Pour'd down at once the lowering heaven; An inky view of vivid blue

A whirlwind swept Loch Katrine's breast, To the deep lake has given;

Her billows rear'd their snowy crest. Strange gusts of wind from mountain-glen

Well for the swimmer swell’d they high, Swept o'er the lake, then sunk agen.

To mar the Highland marksman's eye; I heeded not the eddying surge,

For round him shower'd, 'mid rain and Mine eye but saw the Trosach's gorge,

hail, Mine ear but heard the sullen sound,

The vengeful arrows of the Gael.Which like an earthquake shook the ground, In vain-He nears the isle--and lo! And spoke the stern and desperate strife

His hand is on a shallop's bow, That parts not but with parting life,

- Just then a flash of lightning came, Seeming, to minstrel ear, to toll 3

It tinged the waves and strand with flame The dirge of many a passing soul.

I mark'd Duncraggan's widow'd dame, Nearer it comes—the dim-wood glen

Behind an oak I saw her stand, The martial flood disgorged agen,

A naked dirk gleam'd in her hand: But not in mingled tide;

It darken'd,--but, amid the moan The plaided warriors of the North

Of waves, I heard a dying groan; High on the mountain thunder forth

Another flash the spearman floats And overhang its side;

A weltering corse beside the boats, While by the lake below appears

And the stern matron o'er him stood,
The dark’ning cloud of Saxon spears.

Her hand and dagger streaming blood.
At weary bay each shatter'd band,
Eyeing their foemen, sternly stand;

Their banners stream like tatter'd sail,

« Revenge ! revenge !' the Saxons cried, That flings its fragments to the gale,

The Gaels' exulting shout replied. And broken arms and disarray

Despite the elemental rage, Mark'd the fell havoc of the day.

Again they hurried to engage;

But, ere they closed in desperate fight,

Bloody with spurring came a knight, “ Viewing the mountain's ridge askance,

Sprung from his horse, and, from a crag, The Saxon stood in sullen trance,

Waved 'twixt the hosts a milk-white flag.
Till Moray pointed with his lance,

Clarion and trumpet by his side
And cried— Behold yon isle !

Rung forth a truce-note high and wide,
See ! none are left to guard its strand,

While, in the Monarch's name, afar But women weak, that wring the hand :

An herald's voice forbade the war, 'Tis there of yore the robber band

For Bothwell's lord, and Roderick bold,
Their booty wont to pile ;-

Were both, he said, in captive hold."

4 MS.-" While by the darken'd lake below,

File out the spearmen of the foe.'

| M8.—" Away! away! the work of fate!”

" the loveliness in death
That parts not quite with parting breath."

Byron's Giaour. & MS.--"And seem'd, to midstrel ear, to toll

The parting dirge of many a soul."

5 The MS. reads

" It tinged the boats and lake with flane." The eight closing lines of the stanza are interpolakd on a


slip of

-But here the lay made sudden stand !

Brave spirit, do not scorn my strain! The harp escaped the Minstrel's band !

And, when its notes awake again, Oft had he stolen a glance, to spy

Even she, so long beloved in vain, How Roderick brook'd his minstrelsy :

Shall with my harp her voice combine, At first, the Chieftain, to the chime,

And mix her woe and tears with mine, With lifted hand, kept feeble time ;

To wail Clan-Alpine's honour'd Pine.”_ That motion ceased,

-yet feeling strong Varied his look as changed the song;'

XXIII. At length, no more his deafen'd ear

Ellen, the while, with bursting heart,
The minstrel melody can hear ;

Remain'd in lordly bower apart,
His face grows sharp-his hands are clench’d, Where play'd with many-colour'd gleams,
As if some pang his heart-strings wrench’d; Through storied pane the rising beams.
Set are his teeth, his fading eye 2

In vain on gilded roof they fall,
Is sternly fix'd on vacancy ;

And lighten'd up a tapestried wall, Thus, motionless, and moanless, drew

And for her use a menial train His parting breath, stout Roderick Dhu !_8 A rich collation spread in vain. Old Allan-bane look'd on agbast,

The banquet proud, the chamber gay,? While grim and still his spirit pass'd:

Scarce drew one curious glance astray; But when he saw that life was fled,

Or, if she look’d, 'twas but to say, He pour'd his wailing o'er the dead.

With better omen dawn'd the day

In that lone isle, where waved on high

The dun-deer's hide for canopy;

Where oft her noble father shared “ And art thou cold and lowly laid,

The simple meal her care prepared, Thy foeman's dread, thy people’s aid,

While Lufra, crouching by her side, Breadalbane's boast, Clan-Alpine's shade!

Her station claim'd with jealous pride, For thee shall none a requiem say?

And Douglas, bent on woodland game, -For thee-who loved the minstrel's lay,

Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Grame, For thee, of Bothwell's house the stay,

Whose answer, oft at random made, The shelter of her exiled line, 5

The wandering of his thoughts betray'd. E'en in this prison-house of thine,

Those who such simple joys have known, I'll wail for Alpine's honour'd Pine !

Are taught to prize them when they're gone.

But sudden, see, she lifts her head ! “ What groans shall yonder valleys fill!

The window seeks with cautious tread. What shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill!

What distant music has the power What tears of burning rage shall thrill,

To win her in this woful hour! When mourns thy tribe thy battles done,

'Twas from a turret that o'erhung Thy fall before the race was won,

Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.
Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun!
There breathes not clansman of thy line,

But would have given his life for thine.-
O woe for Alpine's honour'd Pine !

Lay of the Emprisoned Huntsman.

My hawk is tired of perch and hood, “ Sad was thy lot on mortal stage !

My idle greyhound loathes his food, The captive thrush may brook the cage,

My horse is weary of his stall, The prison'd eagle dies for rage.

And I am sick of captive thrall.

1 MS.--" Glow'd in his look, as gwella the song."

expired before the dirge was finished."- Introduction to Rob

Roy. Waverley Novels, vol. vii. p. 85. 2 MS.—“ his { Filezijus } eye."

4 MS. --"' And art thou gone,' the Minstrel said. 3“ Rob Roy, while on his deathbed, learned that a person, 5 MS.--" The mightiest of a mighty line." with whom he was at enmity, proposed to visit him. Raise

6 MS.-To the Printer.-"I have three pages ready to be me from my bed,' said the invalid ; 'throw my plaid around me, and bring me my claymore, dirk, and pistols, – it shall copied, you may send for them in about an hour. The rest never be said that a foeman saw Rob Roy MacGregor de

of my flax is on the spindle, but not yet twisted into proper fenceless and unarmed.' His foeman, conjectured to be one

yarn. I am glad you like the battle of Beal' an Duine. It is of the MacLarens before and after mentioned, entered and

rather too long, but that was unavoidable. I hope you will paid his compliments, inquiring after the health of his for push on the notes. To save time I shall send the copy when midable neighbour. Rob Roy maintained a cold haughty ready to St. John Street. -- W. S." civility during their short conference; and so soon as he had 7 MS.—"The banquet gay, the chamber's pride, eft the house. Now,' he said, 'all is over--let the piper play,.

Scarce drew one curious glance aside." Ha til mi tulidh' (we return no more), and he is said to have & MS.--" Earnest on his game."

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I wish I were, as I have been,

As when the setting sun has given Hunting the hart in forest green,

Ten thousand hues to summer even, With bended bow and bloodhound free,

And from their tissue, fancy frames For that's the life is meet for me.

Aërial knights and fairy dames. I hate to learn the ebb of time,

Still by Fitz-James her footing staid ; From yon dullo steeple's drowsy chime,

A few faint steps she forward made, Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl,

Then slow her drooping head she raised, Inch after inch, along the wall.

And fearful round the presence gazed; The lark was wont my matins ring,

For him she sought, who own'd this state, The sable rook my vespers sing;

The dreaded prince whose will was fate. These towers, although a king's they be,

She gazed on many a princely port, Have not a hall of joy for me.*

Might well have ruled a royal court; No more at dawning morn I rise,

On many a splendid garb she gazed, And sun myself in Ellen's eyes,

Then turn'd bewilder'd and amazed, Drive the fleet deer the forest through,

For all stood bare; and, in the room, And homeward wend with evening dew;

Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. A blithesome welcome blithely meet,

To him each lady's look was lent; And lay my trophies at her feet,

On him each courtier's eye was bent; While fled the eve on wing of glee,-

Midst furs, and silks, and jewels sheen, That life is lost to love and me!"

He stood, in simple Lincoln green,

The centre of the glittering ring.

And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King!!
The heart-sick lay was hardly said,
The list’ner had not turn’d her head,

It trickled still, the starting tear,

As wreath of snow, on mountain-breast, When light a footstep struck her ear,

Slides from the rock that gave it rest, And Snowdoun's graceful knight was near.

Poor Ellen glided from her stay,8 She turn'd the hastier, lest again

And at the Monarch's feet she lay; The prisoner should renew his strain..

No word her choking voice commands, “O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said; She show'd the ring, she clasp'd her hands “ How may, an almost orphan maid

0! not a moment could he brook, Pay the deep debt"_“O say not so!

The generous prince, that suppliant look! To me no gratitude you owe.

Gently he raised her; and, the while, Not mine, alas! the boon to give,

Check'd with a glance the circle's smile; And bid thy noble father live;

Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd, I can but be thy guide, sweet maid,

And bade her terrors be dismiss'd: With Scotland's king thy suit to aid.

“ Yes, Fair; the wandering poor Fitz-James No tyrant he, though ire and pride

The fealty of Scotland claims. May lay his better mood aside.

To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; Come, Ellen, come ! 'tis more than time,

He will redeem his signet ring. He holds his court at morning prime."

Ask nought for Douglas; yester even, With beating heart, and bosom wrung,

His prince and he have much forgiven. As to a brother's arm she clung.

Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue, Gently he dried the falling tear,

I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong. And gently whisper'd hope and cheer;

We would not, to the vulgar crowd, Her faltering steps half led, half staid,

Yield what they craved with clamour loud; Through gallery fair, and high arcade,

Calmly we heard and judged his cause, Till, at its touch, its wings of pride

Our council aided, and our laws. A portal arch unfolded wide.

I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern,

With stout De Vaux and Grey Glencairn;

And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own
Within 'twas brilliant all and light

The friend and bulwark of our Throne. A thronging scene of figures bright;

But, lovely infidel, how now? It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight,

What clouds thy misbelieving brow?

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I MS. -" was meant for me."
8 MS.-“ From darken'd steeple's."
a MS.--" The lively lark my matins rung,

The sable rook my vespers sung."
4 MS.--"Have not a hall should harbour me."

5 MS.—“Within 'twas brilliant all, and bright

The vision glow'd on Ellen's sight."
6 MS." For him who own'd this royal state."
7 See Appendix, Note 3 Y.
8 MS—"shrinking, quits her stay."

Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid ;

But, with that consciousness, there came Thou must confirm this doubting maid."

A lightening of her fears for Græme,

And more she deem'd the Monarch's ire

Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire,
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,

Rebellious broadsword boldly drew; And on his neck his daughter hung.

And, to her generous feeling true, The Monarch drank, that happy hour,

She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu. The sweetest, holiest draught of Power,-

“ Forbear thy suit :-the King of Kings When it can say, with godlike voice,

Alone can stay life's parting wings, Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice!

I know his heart, I know his hand, Yet would not James the general eye

Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand : On Nature's raptures long should pry;

My fairest earldom would I give He stepp'd between—“Nay, Douglas, nay,

To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live ! Steal not my proselyte away!

Hast thou no other boon to crave! The riddle 'tis my right to read,

No other captive friend to save?" That brought this happy chance to speed.

Blushing, she turn'd her from the King, Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray

And to the Douglas gave the ring, In life's more low but happier way,'

As if she wish'd her sire to speak "Tis under name which veils my power,

The suit that stain'd her glowing cheek.Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower

Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force, Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims,

And stubborn justice holds her course.And Normans call me James Fitz-James.

Malcolm, come forth!”-And, at the word, Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,

Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's Lord. Thus learn to right the injured cause.”

“ For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, Then, in a tone apart and low,-

From thee may Vengeance claim her dues, Ah, little traitress ! none must know

Who, nurtured underneath our smile, What idle dream, what lighter thought,

Hast paid our care by treacherous wile, What vanity full dearly bought,

And sought amid thy faithful clan, Join'd to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew

A refuge for an outlaw'd man, My spell-bound steps to Benvenue,

Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.In dangerous hour, and all but gave

Fetters and warder for the Grame!"Thy Monarch's life to mountain glaive!"

His chain of gold the King unstrung, Aloud he spoke_“ Thou still dost hold

The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung, That little talisman of gold,

Then gently drew the glittering band, Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring—4

And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.? What seeks fair Ellen of the King ?”.

Harp of the North, farewell !8 The hills grow darli, XXIX. .

On purple peaks a deeper shade descending; Full well the conscious maiden guess'd

In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark, He probed the weakness of her breast;

The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.


I MS.-" In lowly life's more happy way."

-“ And now, waiving myself, let me talk to you of 2 See Appendix, Note 3 Z.

the Prince Regent. He ordered me to be presented to him at 3 MS.-" Thy sovereign back

}to Benvenue."

a ball; and after some sayings peculiarly pleasing from royas Thy sovereign's steps

lips, as to my own attempts, he talked to me of you and your 4 MS.-“ Pledge of Fitz-James's faith, the ring."

immortalities ; he preferred you to every bard past and pre5 MS." And in her breast strove maiden shame; sent, and asked which of your works pleased me most. It was

More deep she deem'd the Monarch's ire a difficult question. I answered, I thought the 'Lay.' He
Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire,

said his own opinion was nearly similar. In speaking of the Against his Sovereign broadsword drew;

others, I told him that I thought you more particularly the And, with a pleading, warm and true,

poet of Princes, as they never appeared more fascinating than She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu."

in Marmion' and the 'Lady of the Lake.' He was pleased 6 “Malcolm Græme has too insignificant a part assigned to coincide, and to dwell on the description of your James's him, considering the favour in which he is held both by Ellen as no less royal than poetical. He spoke alternately of Homer and the author; and in bringing out the shaded and imperfect and yourself, and seemed well acquainted with both," &c. character of Roderick Dhu, as a contrast to the purer virtue letter from Lord Byron to Sir Walter Scott, July 6, 1812.of his rival, Mr. Scott seems to have fallen into the common Byron's Life and Works, vol. ii. p. 156. error, of making him more interesting than him whose virtues he was intended to set off, and converted the villain of the 8 MS.---To the Printer. "I send the grand finale, and so piece in some measure into its hero. A modern poet, how. exit the Lady of the Lake from the head she has tormented erer, may perhaps be pardoned for an error, of which Milton for six months. In canto vi. stanza 21, --slern and still, read himself is thought not to have kept clear, and for which there grim and still ; sternly occurs four lines higher. For a similar seems so natural a cause in the difference between poetical reason, stanza 24-dun-deer, read fleet-deer. I will probably and amiable characters."—JBPFREY,

call this morning.--Yours truly, W. S."

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