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Then let not Maiden's ear disdain
Her locks, in dark-brown length array'd,
III. “O wake, while Dawn, with dewy shine, Wakes Nature's charms to vie with thine! She bids the mottled thrush rejoice To mate thy melody of voice; The dew that on the violet lics Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes ; But, Edith, wake, and all we see Of sweet and fair shall yield to thee!”“ She comes not yet," grey Ferrand cried; “ Brethren, let softer spell be tried, Those notes prolong’d, that soothing theme, Which best may mix with Beauty's dream, And whisper, with their silvery tone, The hope she loves, yet fears to own.” He spoke, and on the harp-strings died The strains of flattery and of pride; More soft, more low, more tender fell The lay of love he bade them tell.
O! lives there now so cold a maid,
IV. “ Wake, Maid of Lorn! the moments fly,
Which yet that maiden-name allow; Wake, Maiden, wake! the hour is nigh,
When Love shall claim a plighted vow. By Fear, thy boson's fluttering guest,
By Hope, that soon shall fears remove, We bid thee break the bonds of rest,
And wake thee at the call of Love!
“ Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay
Lies many a galley gaily mann'd, We hear the merry pibrochs play,
We see the streamers' silken band. What Chieftain's praise these pibrochs swell,
What crest is on these banners wove, The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell-
The riddle must be read by Love."
VII. But Morag, to whose fostering care Proud Lorn had given his daughter fair, Morag, who saw a mother's aid 3 By all a daughter's love repaid, (Strict was that bond-most kind of allInviolate in Highland hall) Grey Morag sate a space apart, In Edith's eyes to read her heart. In vain the attendants' fond appeal To Morag's skill, to Morag's zeal; She mark d her child receive their care, Cold as the image sculptured fair, (Form of some sainted patroness,) Which cloister'd maids combine to dress; She mark’d--and knew her nursling's
heart In the vain pomp took little part. Wistful a while she gazed-then press'd The maiden to her anxious breast In finish'd loveliness- and led To where a turret’s airy head, Slender and steep, and battled round, O'erlook’d, dark Mull! thy mighty Sound,"
V. Retired her maiden train among, Edith of Lorn received the song,' But tamed the minstrel's pride had been That had her cold demeanour seen; For not upon her cheek awoke The glow of pride when Flattery spoke, Nor could their tenderest numbers bring One sigh responsive to the string. As vainly had her maidens vied In skill to deck the princely bride.
I MS.-" Retired amid her menial train,
Edith of Lorn received the strain." 2 M$._" The train upon the pavement
flow'd." Then to the floor descending)
3 MS." But Morag, who the maid had press'u,
An infant, to her fostering breast,
And scen a mother's early aid," &c. • See Appendix, Note C.
Where thwarting tides, with mingled roar, Part thy swarth hills from Morven's shore.
Telling of banners proudly borne,
VIII. “ Daughter,” she said, “ these seas behold, Round twice a hundred islands rollid, From Hirt, that hears their northern roar, To the green Ilay's fertile shore;' Or mainland turn, where many a tower Owns thy bold brother's feudal power, Each on its own dark cape reclined, And listening to its own wild wind, From where Mingarry, sternly placed, O’erawes the woodland and the waste, 3 To where Dunstaffnage hears the raging Of Connal with his rocks engaging. Think'st thou, amid this ample round, A single brow but thine has frown'd, To sadden this auspicious morn, That bids the daughter of high Lorn Impledge her spousal faith to wed The heir of mighty Somerled! 4 Ronald, from many a hero sprung, The fair, the valiant, and the young, LORD OF THE ISLES, whose lofty name A thousand bards have given to fame, The mate of monarchs, and allied On equal terms with England's pride.From chieftain's tower to bondsman's cot, Who hears the tale, and triumphs not? The damsel dons her best attire, The shepherd lights his beltane fire, Joy, joy! each warder's horn hath sung, Joy, joy! each matin bell hath rung; The holy priest says grateful mass, Loud shouts each hardy galla-glass, No mountain den holds outcast boor, Of heart so dull, of soul so poor, But he hath flung his task aside, And claim'd this morn for holy-tide; Yet, empress of this joyful day, Edith is sad while all are gay.”—
X. “ Debate it not-too long I strove To call his cold observance love, All blinded by the league that styled Edith of Lorn,—while yet a child, She tripp'd the heath by Morag's side, The brave Lord Ronald's destined bride. Ere yet I saw him, while afar His broadsword blazed in Scotland's war, Train'd to believe our fates the same, My bosom throbb’d when Ronald's name Came gracing Fame's heroic tale, Like perfume on the summer gale. What pilgrim sought our halls, nor told Of Ronald's deeds in battle bold; Who touch'd the harp to heroes' praise, But his achievements swell’d the lays ? Even Morag-not a tale of fame Was hers but closed with Ronald's name. He came! and all that had been told Of his high worth seem'd poor and cold, Tame, lifeless, void of energy, Unjust to Ronald and to me!
IX. Proud Edith's soul came to her eye, Resentment check'd the struggling sige. Her hurrying hand indignant dried The burning tears of injured pride“ Morag, forbear! or lend thy praise To swell yon hireling harpers' lays ; Make to yon maids thy boast of power, That they may waste a wondering hour,
XII. -“ Hush, daughter, hush! thy doubts remore, More nobly think of Ronald's love.
7 MS.-" When, from that hour, had Edith's heart
A thought, and Ronald lack'd his part!
| See Appendix, Note D. 2 MS.
“father's feudal power." 3 Seo Appendix, Note E. 4 See Appendix, Note F. 6 See Appendix, Note G 6 MS.-" The news."
8 MS.—“And on its dawn the bridegroom lags;
Hunts he Bentalla's nimble stags ?"
9 See Appendix, Note H.
Undaunted toil'd her hardy crew,
Nor look'd where shelter lay, Nor for Artornish Castle drew.
Nor steer'd for Aros bay.
Look, where beneath the castle grey
XV. Thus while they strove with wind and seas, Borne onward by the willing breeze,
Lord Ronald's fleet swept by, Streamer'd with silk, and trick'd with goid, Mann'd with the noble and the bold
Of Island chivalry.
Yet bears them on their way:
But, foaming, must obey.
That shimmer'd fair and free;
Gave wilder minstrelsy.
Their misty shores around;
Come down the darksome Sound.
XIII. “ Sweet thought, but vain !-No, Morag! mark, Type of his course, yon lonely bark, That oft hath shifted helm and sail, To win its way against the gale. Since peep of morn, my vacant eyes Have viewd by fits the course she tries ;' Now, though the darkening scud comes on, And dawn's fair proinises be gone, And though the weary crew may see Our sheltering haven on their lee, Still closer to the rising wind They strive her shivering sail to bind, Still nearer to the shelves' dread verge ? At every tack her course they urge, As if they fear'd Artornish more Than adverse winds and breakers' roar."
The skiff she mark’a lay tossing sore,
In weary tack from shore to shore.
She gain'd, of forward way,
Who toil the livelong day;
That oft, before she wore,
Upon the shelving shore.
'Twas with such idle eye
They pass him careless by.5 Let them sweep on with heedless eyes ! But, had they known what mighty prize
In that frail vessel lay, The famish'd wolf, that prowls the wold, Had scatheless pass’d the unguarded fold, Ere, drifting by these galleys bold,
Unchallenged were her way ! And thou, Lord Ronald, sweep thou on, With mirth, and pride, and minstrel tone! But had'st thou known who sail'd so nigh, Far other glance were in thine eye! Far other flush were on thy brow, That, shaded by the bonnet, now
I MS." Since dawn of morn, with vacant eres
Young Eva view'd the course she tries."
2 MS-"the breakers' verge"
4 MS. -" That bears to fight some valiant knight." 5 MS.—“As the gay nobles give the boor,
Wlan, toiling in his task obscure,
Their greatness passes by." 6 MS.—"She held unchallenged way."
8 MS.-“ So fumes," &c.
Assumes but ill the blithesome cheer Of bridegroom when the bride is near!
For her alone I grieve,--on me
I follow where thou wilt;
And die with hand on hilt.”—
With that armada gay
With tale, romance, and lay;'
For one loud busy day. Yes, sweep they on !—But with that skiff
Abides the minstrel tale, Where there was dread of surge and
cliff, Labour that strain'd each sinew stiff,
And one sad Maiden's wail.
XX. That elder Leader's calm reply
In steady voice was given, “ In man's most dark extremity
Oft succour dawns from Heaven. Edward, trim thou the shatter'd sail, The helm be mine, and down the gale
Let our free course be driven; So shall we 'scape the western bay, The hostile fleet, the unequal fray, So safely hold our vessel's way
Beneath the Castle wall;
Within a chieftain's ball.
By noble hands to fall."
XVIII. All day with fruitless strife they toild, With eve the ebbing currents boild
More fierce from strait and lake; And midway through the channel met Conflicting tides that foam and fret, And high their mingled billows jet, As spears, that, in the battle set,
Spring upward as they break. Then, too, the lights of eve were past, And louder sung the western blast
On rocks of Inninmore; Rent was the sail, and strain'd the mast, And many a leak was gaping fast, And the pale steersman stood aghast,
And gave the conflict o’er.
Thus to the Leader spoke :
Until the day has broke?
At the last billow's shock?
Half dead with want and fear;
Despair and death are near.
And on her alter'd way,
To seize his flying prey. Awaked before the rushing prow, The mimic fires of ocean glow,
Those lightnings of the wave ;*
With elvish lustre lave,
A gloomy splendour gave.
In envious pageantry,
Grim Hecla's midnight sky.
XXII. Nur lack'd they steadier light to keep Their course upon the darken'd deep ;Artornisl, on her frowning steep
I MS. -"With mirth, song, tale, and lay."
2 MS.-" Then, too, the clouds were sinking fast." 2 MS.
"the hustile power."
4 See Appendix, Note I. 5 MS.-“ And, bursting round the vessel's sides,
A lisid lustre gave." 6 MS." Lirid."
To light the upward way.
And, vex'd at thy delay,
Had driven thy bark astray.”—
Or like the battle-shout
Madden the fight and route.
And deepen'd 3 shadow made,
A hundred torches play'd, Spangling the wave with lights as vain As pleasures in this vale of pain,
That dazzle as they fade.*
Until the break of day;
That's breath’d upon by May.
Again to bear away.”—
Whence come, or whither bound?
Or Scotland's mountain ground ?”—
So straight, so high, so steep,
And plunged them in the deep.5
From turret, rock, and bay,
We have been known to fame;
That gives us rightful claim.
Fair of your courtesy ;
And wanderer on the lea!”_
1 “The description of the vessel's approach to the Castle 2 MS. -"The wind, the wave, the sea-birds' cry, through the tempestuous and sparkling waters, and the con
In melancholy concert vie." trast of the gloomy aspect of the billows with the glittering
3 MS." Darksome." splendour of Artornish,
4 " Mr. Scott, we observed in the newspapers, was engaged
during last summer in a maritime expedition; and, accord. ""Twixt cloud and occan hung,'
ingly, the most striking novelty in the present poem is the ex
tent and variety of the sea pieces with which it abounds. One sending her radiance abroad through the terrors of the night, of the first we meet with is the picture of the distresses of the and mingling at intervals the shouts of her revelry with the King's little bark, and her darkling run to the shelter of Arwilder cadence of the blast, is one of the happiest instances of tornish Castle."-Edininurgh Review, 1815. Mr. Scott's felicity in awful and magnitìcent scenery."-Criti- 6 See Appendix, Note K. cal Revicio.
6 MS.-" That younger leader."