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The gallant bridegroom by her side,
Beheld his prize with victor's pride,
And the glad mother in her ear
Was closely whispering word of cheer.

XXIII.

Song.
The heath this night must be my bed,
The bracken 3 curtain for my head,
My lullaby the warder's tread,

Far, far, from love and thee, Mary ;
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid,
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid !

It will not waken me, Mary! I may not, dare not, fancy now The grief that clouds thy lovely brow, I dare not think upon thy vow,

And all it promised me, Mary. No fond regret must Norman know; When bursts Clan-Alpine on the foe, His heart must be like bended bow,

His foot like arrow free, Mary.

XXI. Who meets them at the churchyard gate ? The messenger of fear and fate ! Haste in his hurried accent lies, And grief is swimming in his eyes. All dripping from the recent food, Panting and travel-soil'd he stood, The fatal sign of fire and sword Held forth, and spoke the appointed word : “ The muster-place is Lanrick mead; Speed forth the signal ! Norman, speed !” And must he change so soon the hand,' Just link'd to his by holy band, For the fell Cross of blood and brand ? And must the day, so blithe that rose, And promised rapture in the close, Before its setting hour, divide The bridegroom from the plighted bride? () fatal doom it must! it must! Clan-Alpine's cause, her Chieftain's trust, Her summons dread, brook no delay; Stretch to the race-away! away!

4

A time will come with feeling fraught,
For, if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover's dying thought

Shall be a thought on thee, Mary.5 And if return’d from conquer'd foes, How blithely will the evening close, How sweet the linnet sing repose,

To my young bride and me, Mary!

XXII. Yet slow he laid his plaid aside, And, lingering, eyed his lovely bride, Until he saw the starting tear Speak woe he might not stop to cheer ; Then, trusting not a second look, In haste he sped him up the brook, Nor backward glanced, till on the heath Where Lubnaig's lake supplies the Teith. - What in the racer's bosom stirr'd ? The sickening pang of hope deferr'd, And memory, with a torturing train? Of all his morning visions vain. Mingled with love's impatience, came The manly thirst for martial fame; The stormy joy of mountaineers, Ere yet they rush upon the spears ; And zeal for Clan and Chieftain burning, And hope, from well-fought field returning, With war's red honours on his crest, To clasp his Mary to his breast. Stung by such thoughts, o'er bank and brae, Like fire from flint he glanced away, While high resolve, and feeling strong, Burst into voluntary song.

XXIV. Not faster o'er thy heathery braes, Balquidder, speeds the midnight blaze, Rushing, in conflagration strong, Thy deep ravines and dells along, Wrapping thy cliffs in purple glow, And reddening the dark lakes below; Nor faster speeds it, nor so far, As o'er thy heaths the voice of war.? The signal roused to martial coil The sullen margin of Loch Voil, Waked still Loch Doine, and to the source Alarm'd, Balvaig, thy swampy course ; Thence southward turn'd its rapid road Adown Strath-Gartney's valley broad, Till rose in arms each man might claim A portion in Clan-Alpine's name, From the grey sire, whose trembling hand Could hardly buckle on his brand, To the raw boy, whose shaft and bow Were yet scarce terror to the crow. Each valley, each sequester'd glen, Muster'd its little horde of men, That met as torrents from the height In Highland dales their streams unite,

1 MS.-"And must he then exchange the hand."
* MS.—“And memory brought the torturing train

Of all his morning visions vain;
But mingled with impatience canie

The manly love of martial fame."
Bracken.--Fern.
• MS.--"I may not, dare not, image now."

5 MS.—“A time will come for love and faith,

For should thy bridegroom yield his breath.
Twill cheer him in the hour of death.

The boasted right to thee, Mary." 6 See Appendix, Note 20.

7 “ The eager fidelity with which this fatal signal is hurried on and obeyed, is represenicd with great spirit and felicity. -JEFFREY.

Still gathering, as they pour along,
A voice more loud, a tide more strong,
Till at the rendezvous they stood
By hundreds prompt for blows and blood ;
Each train'd to arms since life began,
Owning no tie but to his clan,
No oath, but by his chieftain's hand,
No law, but Roderick Dhu's command."

No murmur waked the solemn still,
Save tinkling of a fountain rill;
But when the wind chafed with the lake,
A sullen sound would upward break,
With dashing hollow voice, that spoke
The incessant war of wave and rock.
Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway,
Seem'd nodding o'er the cavern grey.
From such a den the wolf had sprung,
In such the wild-cat leaves her young ;
Yet Douglas and his daughter fair
Sought for a space their safety there.
Grey Superstition's whisper dread
Debarr'd the spot to vulgar tread ;
For there, she said, did fays resort,
And satyrst hold their silvan court,
By moonlight tread their mystic maze,
And blast the rash beholder's gaze.

XXV. That summer morn had Roderick Dhu Survey'd the skirts of Benvenue, And sent his scouts o'er hill and heath, To view the frontiers of Menteith. All backward came with news of truce ; Still lay each martial Grame and Bruce, In Rednoch courts no horsemen wait, No banner waved on Cardross gate, On Duchray's towers no beacon shone, Nor scared the herons from Loch Con; All seem'd at peace.-Now, wot ye why The Chieftain, with such anxious eye, Ere to the muster he repair, This western frontier scana'd with care ? In Benvenue's most darksome cleft, A fair, though cruel, pledge was left ; For Douglas, to his promise true, That morning from the isle withdrew, And in a deep sequester'd dell Had sought a low and lonely cell. By many a bard, in Celtic tongue, Has Coir-Dan-Uriskin been sung ; A softer name the Saxons gave, And call’d the grot the Goblin-cave.

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XXVII. Now eve, with western shadows long, Floated on Katrine bright and strong, When Roderick, with a chosen few, Repass’d the heights of Benvenue. Above the Goblin-cave they go, Through the wild pass of Beal-nam-bo :6 The prompt retainers speed before, To launch the shallop from the shore, For cross Loch Katrine lies his way To view the passes of Achray, And place his clansmen in array. Yet lags the chief in musing mind, Unwonted sight, his men behind. A single page, to bear his sword, Alone attended on his lord ; 6 The rest their way through thickets break, And soon await him by the lake. It was a fair and gallant sight, To view them from the neighbouring height, By the low-levell’d sunbeams light ! For strength and stature, from the clan Each warrior was a chosen man, As even afar might well be seen, By their proud step and martial mien. Their feathers dance, their tartans float, Their targets gleam, as by the boat A wild and warlike group they stand, That well became such mountain-strand.

XXVI. It was a wild and strange retreat, As e'er was trod by outlaw's feet. The dell, upon the mountain's crest, Yawn'd like a gash on warrior's breast; Its trench had staid full many a rock, Hurl'd by primeval earthquake shock From Benvenue's grey summit wild, And here, in random ruin piled, They frown'd incumbent o'er the spot, And form'd the rugged silvan grot.3 The oak and birch, with mingled shade, At noontide there a twilight made, Unless when short and sudden shone Some straggling beam op cliff or stone, With such a glimpse as prophet's eye Gains on thy depth, Futurity.

XXVIII. Their Chief, with step reluctant, still Was lingering on the craggy hill,

1 See Appendix, Note 2 P.

riant trees. On the south and west it is bounded by the pre See Appendix, Note 2 Q.

cipitous shoulder of Benvenue, to the height of at least 500 3 “After landing on the skirts of Benvenue, we reach the feet; towards the east, the rock appears at some former pecare for more properly the cove) of the goblins, by a steep and riod to have tumbled down, strewing the whole course of its narrow defile of a few hundred yards in length. It is a deep fall with immense fragments, which now serve only to give circular amphitheatre of at least 600 yards of extent in its shelter to foxes, wild-cats, and badgers." —DR. GRAHAM. upper diameter, gradually narrowing towards the base, hem- 4 The Urisk, or Highland satyr. See Note on the previous med in all round by steep and towering rocks, and rendered Canto. impenetrable to the rays of the sun by a close covert of luxu- 5 See Appendix, Note 2 k.

6 Ibid, Note 2 S.

Hard by where turn’d apart the road
To Douglas's obscure abode.
It was but with that dawning morn,
That Roderick Dhu had proudly sworn
To drown his love in war's wild roar,
Nor think of Ellen Douglas more;
But he who stems a stream with sand,
And fetters flame with flaxen band,
Has yet a harder task to prove--
By firm resolve to conquer love !
Eve finds the Chief, like restless ghost,
Still hovering near his treasure lost;
For though his haughty heart deny
A parting meeting to his eye,
Still fondly strains his anxious ear,
The accents of her voice to hear,
And inly did he curse the breeze
That waked to sound the rustling trees.
But hark ! what mingles in the strain ?
It is the harp of Allan-bane,
That wakes its measure slow and high,
Attuned to sacred minstrelsy.
What melting voice attends the strings ?
'Tis Ellen, or an angel, sings.

XXX. Died on the harp the closing hymnUnmoved in attitude and limb, As list'ning still, Clan-Alpine's lord Stood leaning on his heavy sword, Until the page, with humble sign, Twice pointed to the sun's decline. Then while his plaid he round him cast, “ It is the last time—'tis the last," He mutter'd thrice," the last time e'er That angel voice shall Roderick hear!” It was a goading thought-his stride Hied hastier down the mountain-side; Sullen he flung him in the boat, And instant 'cross the lake it shot. They landed in that silvery bay, And eastward held their hasty way, Till, with the latest beams of light, The band arrived on Lanrick height, Where muster'd, in the vale below, Clan-Alpine's men in martial show.

XXIX.

Hymn to the Lirgin.
Ave Maria! maiden mild !

Listen to a maiden's prayer !
Thou canst hear though from the wild,

Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,

Though banish’d, outcast, and reviled-
Maiden ! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child !

Ave Maria!

XXXI. A various scene the clansmen made, Some sate, some stood, some slowly strayd; But most with mantles folded round, Were couch d to rest upon the ground, Scarce to be known by curious eye, From the deep heather where they lie, So well was match'd the tartan screen With heath-bell dark and brackens green; Unless where, here and there, a blade, Or lance's point, a glimmer made, Like glow-worm twinkling through the shade. But when, advancing through the gloom, They saw the Chieftain's eagle plume, Their shout of welcome, shrill and wide, Shook the steep mountain's steady side. Thrice it arose, and lake and fell Three times return’d the martial yell; It died upon Bochastle's plain, And Silence claim'd her evening reign.

Ave Maria ! undefiled!

The flinty couch we now must share ? Shall seem with down of eider piled,

If thy protection hover there. The murky cavern's heavy air3

Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled; Then, Maiden ! hear a maiden's prayer; Mother, list a suppliant child !

Ave Maria !

The Lady of the Lake.

CANTO FOURTH.

The Prophecy.

Ave Maria! stainless styled !

Foul demons of the earth and air, From this their wonted haunt exiled,

Shall Aee before thy presence fair. We bow us to our lot of care,

Beneath thy guidance reconciled; Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer, And for a father hear a child !

Ave Maria!

1. “ The rose is fairest when 'tis budding new,

And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears ;5 The rose is sweetest wash'd with morning dew,

And love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears.

1 MS._" To drown his grief in war's wild roar,

Nor think of love and Ellen more." 2 MS.--" The flinty couch my sire must share." 3 MS.--" The murky grollu's noxious air."

4 MS.-"Where broad extending far below,

Muster'd Clan-Alpine's martial show."

6 MS." And rapture dearest when obscurod by fears"

MALISE.

66

O wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears,

But wherefore sleeps Sir Roderick Dhu 1 bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave,

Apart from all his followers true?"
Emblem of hope and love through future years !” " It is, because last evening-tide
Thus spoke young Norman, heir of Armandave, Brian an augury hath tried,
What time the sun arose on Vennachar's broad wave. Of that dread kind which must not be

Unless in dread extremity,
II.

The Taghairm call’d; by which, afar,
Such fond conceit, half said, half sung,

Our sires foresaw the events of war. Love prompted to the bridegroom's tongue.

Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew.” All while be stripp'd the wild-rose spray, His axe and bow beside him lay, For on a pass 'twixt lake and wood,

“ Ah! well the gallant brute I knew! A wakeful sentinel he stood.

The choicest of the prey we had, Hark! on the rock a footstep rung,

When swept our merry-men Gallangad. 3 And instant to his arms he sprung.

His hide was snow, his horns were dark, “Stand, or thou diest !- What, Malise !-soon His red eye glow'd like fiery spark; Art thou return’d from Braes of Doune.

So fierce, so tameless, and so fleet, By thy keen step and glance I know,

Sore did he cumber our retreat, Thou bring'st us tidings of the foe.”

And kept our stoutest kernes in awe, (For while the Fiery Cross hied on,

Even at the pass of Beal ’maha. On distant scout had Malise gone.)

But steep and flinty was the road, “Where sleeps the Chief ?” the henchman said. And sharp the hurrying pikemen’s goad, “ Apart, in yonder misty glade;

And when we came to Dennan's Row, To his lone couch I'll be your guide.”

A child might scatheless stroke his brow.”Then callid a slumberer by his side, And stirr'd him with his slacken'd bow

V. Up, up, Glentarkin ! rouse thee, ho !

NORMAN We seek the Chieftain ; on the track,

“ That bull was slain: his reeking hide Keep eagle watch till I come back.”

They stretch'd the cataract beside,

Whose waters their wild tumult toss
III.

Adown the black and craggy boss
Together up the pass they sped:

Of that huge cliff, whose ample verge “ What of the foemen?” Norman said.

Tradition calls the Hero's Targe.* * Varying reports from near and far;

Couch'd on a shelve beneath its brink, This certain,—that a band of war

Close where the thundering torrents sink, Has for two days been ready boune,

Rocking beneath their headlong sway, At prompt command, to march from Doune; And drizzled by the ceaseless spray, King James, the while, with princely powers, Midst groan of rock, and roar of stream, Holds revelry in Stirling towers.

The wizard waits prophetic dream. Soon will this dark and gathering cloud

Nor distant rests the Chief ;—but hush! Speak on our glens in thunder loud.

See, gliding slow through mist and bush, Inured to bide such bitter bout,

The hermit gains yon rock, and stands The warrior's plaid may bear it out;

To gaze upon our slumbering bands. But, Norman, how wilt thou provide

Seems he not, Malise, like a ghost, A shelter for thy bonny bride?”—

That hovers o'er a slaughter'd host? What! know ye not that Roderick’s care

Or raven on the blasted oak, To the lone isle hath caused repair

That, watching while the deer is broke, 5 Each maid and matron of the clan,

His morsel claims with sullen croak?”
And every child and aged man
Unfit for arms; and given his charge,

MALISE.
Nor skiff nor shallop, boat nor barge,

-“ Peace! peace! to other than to me, Upon these lakes shall float at large,

Thy words were evil augury; But all beside the islet moor,

But still I hold Sir Roderick's blade That such dear pledge may rest secure?”

Clan-Alpine's omen and her aid,

Not aught that, glean’d from heaven or hell, IV.

Yon fiend-begotten monk can tell. “ 'Tis well advised the Chieftain's plan?

The Chieftain joins him, see-and now, Bespeaks the father of his clan.

Together they descend the brow.”

• MS." "Tis well advised--a prudent plan,

Worthy the father of his clan."

? See Appendix, Note 2 T.
4 Ibid, Note 2 V.

3 Ibid, Note 2 U.
5 Ibid, Note 2 W.

VI. And, as they came, with Alpine's Lord The Hermit Monk held solemn word:“ Roderick! it is a fearful strife, For man endow'd 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, unfurl'd, The curtain of the future world. Yet, witness every quaking limb, My sunken pulse, my eyeballs dim, My soul with harrowing anguish torn, This for my Chieftain have I borne ! The shapes that sought my fearful couch, An 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 fatal answer came, In characters of living flame! Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll, But borne and branded on my soul;Which SPILIS THE FOREMOST FOEMAN'S LIFE, THAT PARTY CONQUERS IN THE STRIFE!”_2

I saw the Moray's silver star,
And mark'd 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.”_6
6 Then shall it see a meeting stern! -
But, for the place—say, couldst thou learn
Nought of the friendly clans of Earn?
Strengthen’d by them, we well might bide
The battle on Benledi's side.
Thou couldst not ?-Well! Clan-Alpine's men
Shall man the Trosach's 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-omen’d 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._7
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.

VII. “ 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-offer'd 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, 3 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?”—

IX. Where is the Douglas ?-he is gone; And Ellen sits on the grey stone Fast by the cave, and makes her moan; While vainly Allan's words of cheer Are pour'd on her unheeding ear.“ He will return-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 cow'd by the approaching storm. I saw their boats, with many a light, Floating the live-long yesternight, Shifting like flashes darted forth 8 By the red streamers of the north;

VIII. “ At Doune, o'er many a spear and glaive Two Barons proud their banners wave.

1 MS.—“Which foremost spills a focman's life." 2 See Appendix, Note 2 X. 3 MS.-" The clansman, vainly deem'd his guide." 4 MS.--" He light on those shall stab him down."

7 MS._" 'Tis stubborn as his Highland targe." 8 MS.-“Thick as the flashes darted forth By morrice-dancers of the north;

barges ride, And saw at morn their

little ficet, Close moor’d by the lone islet's side. Since this rude race dare not abide U pon their native mountain side, 'Tis fit that Douglas should provide For his dear child some safe abode, And soon he comes to point the road.

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makes } meeting stern.""

* To-morrow then for battle boune-ready for battle.

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