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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 gold, 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 view'd by fits the course she tries;? Now, though the darkening scud comes on, And dawn's fair prornises 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 2 At every tack her course they urge, As if they fear'd Artornish more Than adverse winds and breakers' roar."
The skiff she mark'd 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
In that frail vessel lay,
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
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.”
XVII. Yes, sweep they on !-We will not leave, for them that triumph, those who grieve.
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 inine, 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. Nor lack'd they steadier light to keep Their course upon the darken'd deep ;Artornish, on her frowning steep
I MS.—“ With mirth, song, tale, and lay."
3 MS.-" Then, too, the clouds were sinking fast."
MS - “the hostile power."
4 See Appendix, Note I. 5 MS.-" And, bursting round the vessel's sides,
A livid lustre gave." 6 MS.--" Lirid."
'Twixt cloud and ocean hung, Glanced with a thousand lights of glee, And landward far, and far to sea,
Her festal radiance flung.'
Whose lustre mingled well
Above the eastern fell.
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 deepend 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!”
I“ 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 ocean 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 ruu to the shelter of Arwilder cadence of the blast, is one of the happiest instances of tornish Castle."-Edinburgh Review, 1815. Mr. Scott's felicity in awful and magnificent scenery."-Criti 6 See Appendix, Note K. cal Reviel.
6 MS.-" That younger leader.”
But every jealous post of ward “ Bold stranger, no—'gainst claim like thine, Was now defenceless and unbarr'd, No bolt revolves by hand of mine,
And all the passage free Though urged in tone that more express'd
To one low-brow'd and vaulted room, A monarch than a suppliant guest.
Where squire and yeoman, page and Be what ye will, Artornish Hall
groom, On this glad eve is free to all.
Plied their loud revelry. Though ye had drawn a hostile sword 'Gainst our ally, great England's Lord,
XXX. Or mail upon your shoulders borne,
And “ Rest ye here,” the Warder bade, To battle with the Lord of Lorn,
“ Till to our Lord your suit is said.-Or, outlaw'd, dweit by greenwood tree
And, comrades, gaze not on the maid, With the fierce Knight of Ellerslie,
And on these men who ask our aid, Or aided even the murderous strife,
As if ye ne'er had seen When Comyn fell beneath the knife
A damsel tired of midnight bark, Of that fell homicide The Bruce,3
Or wanderers of a moulding stark, This night had been a term of truce.
And bearing martial micn.” Ho, vassals! give these guests your care,
But not for Eachin's reproof And show the narrow postern stair."
Would page or vassal stand aloof,
But crowded on to stare,
As men of courtesy untaught,
Till fiery Edward roughly caught, (The weary crew their vessel kept,)
From one the foremost there, And, lighted by the torches' fare,
His chequer'd plaid, and in its shroud, That seaward flung their smoky glare,
To hide her from the vulgar crowd, The younger knight that maiden bare
Involved his sister fair. Half lifeless up the rock;
His brother, as the clansman bent On his strong shoulder lean’d her head,
His sullen brow in discontent, And down her long dark tresses shed,
Made brief and stern excuse;As the wild vine in tendrils spread,
“ Vassal, were thine the cloak of pall Droops from the mountain oak.
That decks thy Lord in bridal hall, Him follow close that elder Lord,
"Twere honour'd by her use." And in his hand a sheathed sword, Such as few arms could wield;
XXXI. But when he boun'd him to such task,
Proud was his tone, but calm; his eye Well could it cleave the strongest casque,
Had that compelling dignity, And rend the surest shield.
His mien that bearing haught and high,
Which common spirits fear! 8
Needed nor word nor signal more,
Nod, wink, and laughter, all were o'er; The wicket with its bars of brass,
Upon each other back they bore, The entrance long and low,5
And gazed like startled deer. Flank'd at each turn by loop-holes strait,
But now appear'd the Seneschal, Where bowmen might in ambush wait,
Commission'd by his lord to call (If force or fraud should burst the gate,)
The strangers to the Baron's hall, To gall an entering foe.
Where feasted fair and free
8 “Still sways their souls with that commanding art
That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart.
6 MS.-" The entrance vaulted low."
From one, the boldest there."
That Island Prince in nuptial tide,
Of Western land and sea.!
Here pause we, gentles, for a space; And, if our tale hath won your grace, Grant us brief patience, and again We will renew the minstrel strain.2
The vacant brow, the unlistening ear,
The Lord of the Isles.
Fill the bright goblet, spread the festive board!
Lift not the festal mask !-enough to know,
IV. She watch'd-yet fear'd to meet his glance, And he shunn’d hers;—till when by chance They met, the point of foeman’s lance
Had given a milder pang!
And from the table sprang.
Of Lorn, this pledge I drink-
By this fair bridal-link!”
And call for pledge and lay,
Seem gayest of the gay.s
Must of the Abbot tell;
The untasted goblet fell.
Returns like sun of May,
As glad of brief delay,
III. Yet nought amiss the bridal throng Mark'd in brief mirth, or musing long;
1 MS.—“ Of mountain chivalry."
2 " The first Canto is full of business and description, and the scenes are such as Mr. Scott's muse generally excels in. The scene between Edith and her nurse is spirited, and contains many very pleasing lines. The description of Lord Ronald's feet, and of the bark endeavouring to make her way against the wind, more particularly of the last, is executed with extraordinary beauty and fidelity."--Quarterly R:view.
3" Eren in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is hcaviness."- Proverbs, xiv. 13.
"and give birth To jest, to wassail, and to mirth." 5 MS." Would seem the loudest of the loud,
And gayest of the gay." 6 MS.--"Since Lorn, the proudest of the proud.“ 7 MS.-“ And since the keen De Argentine." 8 See Appendix, Note L. 9 See Appendix, Note M