Imágenes de páginas

Now torch and menial tendance led

That Clifford makes, whose lordly call Chieftain and knight to bower and bed,

Now echoes through my father's hall.
And beads were told, and Aves said,

But first my course to Arran led,
And soon they sunk away

Where valiant Lennox gathers head,
Into such sleep, as wont to shed

And on the sea, by tempest tossid, Oblivion on the weary head,

Our barks dispersed, our purpose cross'd, After a toilsome day.

Mine own, a hostile sail to shun,

Far from her destined course had run,

When that wise will, which masters ours,
But soon uproused, the Monarch cried

Compellid us to your friendly towers.” To Edward slumbering by his side, . “ Awake, or sleep for aye!

X. Even now there jarr'd a secret door

Then Torquil spoke:-“ The time crares A taper-light gleams on the floor

speed! Up, Edward, up, I say!

We must not linger in our deed, Some one glides in like midnight ghost

But instant pray our Sovereign Liege, Nay, strike not ! 'tis our noble Host.”

To shun the perils of a siege. Advancing then his taper's flame,

The vengeful Lorn, with all his powers, Ronald stept forth, and with him came

Lies but too near Artornish towers, Dunvegan's chief-each bent the knee

And England's light-arm’d vessels ride,
To Bruce in sign of fealty,

Not distant far, the waves of Clyde,
And proffer'd him his sword,

Prompt at these tidings to unmoor,
And hail'd him, in a monarch's style,

And sweep each strait, and guard each shore. As king of mainland and of isle,

Then, till this fresh alarm pass by,
And Scotland's rightful lord.

Secret and safe my Liege must lie “ And 0,” said Ronald, “ Own’d of Heaven ! In the far bounds of friendly Skye, Say, is my erring youth forgiven,

Torquil thy pilot and thy guide.”By falsehood's arts from duty driven,

Not so, brave Chieftain,” Ronald cried; Who rebel falchion drew,

“ Myself will on my Sovereign wait,3 Yet ever to thy deeds of fame,

And raise in arms the men of Sleate, Even while I strove against thy claim,

Whilst thou, renown'd where chiefs debate, Paid homage just and true?”

Shalt sway their souls by council sage, “ Alas ! dear youth, the unhappy time,”

And awe them by thy locks of age.” Answer'd the Bruce, “ must bear the crime,

_" And if my words in weight shall fail, Şince, guiltier far than you,

This ponderous sword shall turn the scale."
Even I”—he paused; for Falkirk's woes
Upon his conscious soul arose.'

The Chieftain to his breast he press’d,

_“The scheme," said Bruce, “ contents me And in a sigh conceal'd the rest.


Meantime, 'twere best that Isabel,

For safety, with my bark and crew,
They proffer'd aid, by arms and might,

Again to friendly Erin drew. To repossess him in his right;

There Edward, too, shall with her wend, But well their counsels must be weigh’d,

In need to cheer her and defend, Ere banners raised and musters made,

And muster up each scatter'd friend.”_ For English hire and Lorn's intrigues

Here seem'd it as Lord Ronald's ear Bound many chiefs in southern leagues.

Would other counsel gladlier hear; In answer, Bruce his purpose bold

But, all achieved as soon as plann'd, To his new vassals 2 frankly told.

Both barks, in secret arm'd and mann'd, “ The winter worn in exile o'er,

From out the haven bore; I long'd for Carrick's kindred shore.

On different voyage forth they ply, I thought upon my native Ayr,

This for the coast of winged Skye, And long'd to see the burly fare

And that for Erin's shore.

[ocr errors]

1 See Appendix, Note 2 F.
9 MS._" Allies."
3 MS.—"Myself thy pilot and thy guide.'--

"Not so, kind Torquil,' Ronald cried ;
' 'Tis I will on my sovereign wait.'"

*Aye,' said the Chief, or if they fail,

This broadsword's weight shall turn the scale.'"
In altering this passage, the poet appears to have lost a link
5 The MS. adds :

“ Our bark's departure, too, will blind

To our intent the foeman's mind."

The MS. has,

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »