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Then let not Maiden's ear disdain
The summons of the minstrel train,
But, while our harps wild music make,
Edith of Lorn, awake, awake!

Her locks, in dark-brown length array'd,
Cathleen of Ulne, 'twas thine to braid;
Young Eva with meet reverence drew
On the light foot the silken shoe,
While on the ankle's slender round
Those strings of pearl fair Bertha wound,
That, bleach'd Lochryan's depths within,
Seem'd dusky still on Edith's skin.
But Einion, of experience old,
Had weightiest task--the mantle's fold
In many an artful plait she tied,
To show the form it seem'd to hide,
Till on the floor descending roll’da
Its waves of crimson blent with gold.

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.

VI.

O! lives there now so cold a maid,
Who thus in beauty's pomp array'd,
In beauty's proudest pitch of power,
And conquest won—the bridal hour-
With every charm that wins the heart,
By Nature given, enhanced by Art,
Could yet the fair reflection view,
In the bright mirror pictured true,
And not ono dimple on her cheek
A tell-tale consciousness bespcak?-
Lives still such maid ?-Fair damsels, say,
For further vouches not my lay,
Save that such lived in Britain's isle,
When Lorn's bright Edith scorn'd to smile.

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,
Of pealing bell and bugle-horn,
Or, theme more dear, of robes of price,
Crownlets and gauds of rare device.
But thou, experienced as thou art,
Think'st thou with these to cheat the heart,
That, bound in strong affection's chain,
Looks for return and looks in vain?
No! sum thine Edith's wretched lot
In these brief words—He loves her not!

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!

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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!
And what her guerdon?"

| 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
His fleet unmoor from Aros bay!
See'st not each galley's topmast bend,
As on the yards the sails ascend?
Hiding the dark-blue land, they rise
Like the white clouds on April skies ;
The shouting vassals man the oars,
Behind them sink Mull's mountain shores,
Onward their merry course they keep,
Through whistling breeze and foaming deep.
And mark the headmost, seaward cast,
Stoop to the freshening gale her mast,
As if she veil'd its banner'd pride,
To greet afar her prince's bride!
Thy Ronald comes, and while in speed
His galley mates the flying steed,
He chides her sloth!”–Fair Edith sigh’d,
Blush'd, sadly smiled, and thus replied :-

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.
Around their prows the ocean roars,
And chafes beneath their thousand oars,

Yet bears them on their way:
So chafes 3 the war-horse in his might,
That fieldward bears some valiant knight,
Champs, till both bit and boss are wliite,

But, foaming, must obey.
On each gay deck they might behold
Lances of steel and crests of gold,
And hauberks with their burnish'a fold,

That shimmer'd fair and free;
And each proud galley, as she pass’d,
To the wild cadence of the blast

Gave wilder minstrelsy.
Full many a shrill triumphant note
Saline and Scallastle bade float

Their misty shores around;
And Morven's echoes answer'd well,
And Duart heard the distant sweli

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."

2

XIV.
Sooth spoke the maid.---Amid the tide

The skiff she mark’a lay tossing sore,
And shifted oft her stooping side,

In weary tack from shore to shore.
Yet on her destined course no more

She gain'd, of forward way,
Than what a minstrel may compare
To the poor meed which peasants share,

Who toil the livelong day;
And such the risk her pilot braves,

That oft, before she wore,
Her boltsprit kiss’d the broken waves,
Where in white foam the ocean raves

Upon the shelving shore.
Yet, to their destined purpose true,

XVI.
So bore they on with mirth and pride,
And if that labouring bark they spied,

'Twas with such idle eye
As nobles cast on lowly boor,
When, toiling in his task cure,

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
Danger sits light, by land and sea,

I follow where thou wilt;
Either to bide the tempest's lour,
Or wend to yon unfriendly tower,
Or rush amid their naval power,
With war-cry wake their wassail-hour,

And die with hand on hilt.”—

XVII.
Yes, sweep they on !-We will not leave,
For them that triumph, those who grieve.

With that armada gay
Be laughter loud and jocund shout,
And bards to cheer the wassail route,

With tale, romance, and lay;'
And of wild mirth each clamorous art,
Which, if it cannot cheer the heart,
May stupify and stun its smart,

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;
For if a hope of safety rest,
"Tis on the sacred name of guest,
Who seeks for shelter, storm-distress d,

Within a chieftain's ball.
If not-it best beseems our worth,
Our name, our right, our lofty birth.

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.

XIX.
'Twas then that One, whose lofty look
Nor labour dull'd nor terror shook,

Thus to the Leader spoke :
“ Brother, how hopest thou to abide
The fury of this wilder'd tide,
Or how avoid the rock’s rude side,

Until the day has broke?
Didst thou not mark the vessel reel,
With quivering planks, and groaning keel,

At the last billow's shock?
Yet how of better counsel tell,
Though here thou see’st poor Isabel

Half dead with want and fear;
For look on sea, or look on land,
Or yon dark sky-on every hand

Despair and death are near.

XXI.
The helm, to his strong arm consign'd,
Gave the reef'd sail to meet the wind,

And on her alter'd way,
Fierce bounding, forward sprung the ship,
Like greyhound starting from the slip

To seize his flying prey. Awaked before the rushing prow, The mimic fires of ocean glow,

Those lightnings of the wave ;*
Wild sparkles crest the broken tides,
And, flashing round, the vessel's sidre

With elvish lustre lave,
While, far behind, their livid light
To the dark billows of the night

A gloomy splendour gave.
It seems as if old Ocean shakes
From his dark brow the lucid flakes

In envious pageantry,
To match the meteor-light that streaks

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."

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To light the upward way.
“ Thrice welcome, holy Sire!” he said ;
“ Full long the spousal train have staid,

And, vex'd at thy delay,
Fear'd lest, amidst these wildering seas,
The darksome night and freshening breeze

Had driven thy bark astray.”—

XXIII.
Thus guided, on their course they bore,
Until they near’d the mainland shore,
When frequent on the hollow blast
Wild shouts of merriment were cast,
And wind and wave and sea-birds' cry
With wassail sounds in concert vie,
Like funeral shrieks with revelry,

Or like the battle-shout
By peasants heard from cliffs on high,
When Triumph, Rage, and Agony,

Madden the fight and route.
Now nearer yet, through mist and storm
Dimly arose the Castle's form,

And deepen'd 3 shadow made,
Far lengthen'd on the main below,
Where, dancing in reflected glow,

A hundred torches play'd, Spangling the wave with lights as vain As pleasures in this vale of pain,

That dazzle as they fade.*

XXV.
“ Warder," the younger stranger 6 said,
“ Thine erring guess some mirth had made
In mirthful hour; but nights like these,
When the rough winds wake western seas,
Brook not of glee. We crave some aid
And needful shelter for this maid

Until the break of day;
For, to ourselves, the deck’s rude plank
Is
easy as the mossy bank

That's breath’d upon by May.
And for our storm-toss'd skiff we seek
Short shelter in this leeward creek,
Prompt when the dawn the east shall streak

Again to bear away.”—
Answered the Warder,—“ In what name
Assert ye hospitable claim?

Whence come, or whither bound?
Hath Erin seen your parting sails ?
Or come ye on No yan gales?
And seek ye England's fertile vales,

Or Scotland's mountain ground ?”—

XXIV.
Beneath the Castle's sheltering lee,
They staid their course in quiet sea.
Hewn in the rock, a passage there
Sought the dark fortress by a stair,

So straight, so high, so steep,
With peasant's staff one valiant hand
Might well the dizzy pass have mann'd,
'Gainst hundreds arm’d with spear and brand,

And plunged them in the deep.5
His bugle then the helmsman wound;
Loud answer'd every echo round,

From turret, rock, and bay,
The postern's hinges crash and groan,
And soon the warder's cresset shone
On those rude steps of slippery stone,

XXVI.
“ Warriors-for other title none
For some brief space we list to own,
Bound by a vow-warriors are we;
In strife by land, and storm by sea,

We have been known to fame;
And these brief words have import dear,
When sounded in a noble ear,
To harbour safe, and friendly cheer,

That gives us rightful claim.
Grant us the trivial boon we seek,
And we in other realms will speak

Fair of your courtesy ;
Deny—and be your niggard Hold
Scorn'd by the noble and the bold,
Shunn’d by the pilgrim on the wold,

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."

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