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A numerous race, ere stern MacLeod

In varied tone prolong’d and high, O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode, That mocks the organ's melody. When all in vain the ocean-cave

Nor doth its entrance front in vain Its refuge to his victims gave.

To old Iona's holy fane, The Chief, relentless in his wrath,

That Nature's voice might seem to say, With blazing heath blockades the path;

“ Well hast thou done, frail Child of clay! In dense and stifling volumes roll’d,

Thy humble powers that stately shrine
The vapour fillid the cavern'd hold!

Task'd high and hard-but witness mine!”7
The warrior-threat, the infant's plain,
The mother's screams, were heard in vain;

XI.
The vengeful Chief maintains his fires,

Merrily, merrily goes the bark, Till in the vault” a tribe expires !

Before the gale she bounds ; The bones which strew that cavern's gloom, - So darts the dolphin from the shark, Too well attest their dismal doom.

Or the deer before the hounds.

They left Loch-Tua on their lee,
X.

And they waken'd the men of the wild
Merrily, merrily goes the bark 3

Tiree,
On a breeze from the northward free,

And the Chief of the sandy Coll;
So shoots through the morning sky the lark, : They paused not at Columba’s isle,
Or the swan through the summer sea.

Though peal'd the bells from the holy pile The shores of Mull on the eastward lay,

With long and measured toll;8 And Ulva dark and Colonsay,

No time for matin or for mass,
And all the group of islets gay

And the sounds of the holy summons pass
That guard famed Staffa round.*

Away in the billows' roll.
Then all unknown its columns rose,

Lochbuie's fierce and warlike Lord Where dark and undisturb’d reposes

Their signal saw,

and grasp'd his sword, The cormorant had found,

And verdant Ilay call’d her host, And the shy seal had quiet home,

And the clans of Jura's rugged coast And welter'd in that wondrous dome,

Lord Ronald's call obey, Where, as to shame the temples deck'd

And Scarba’s isle, whose tortured shore By skill of earthly architect,

Still rings to Corrievreken's roar, Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise

And lonely Colonsay; A Minster to her Maker's praise !6

-Scenes sung by him who sings no more ! Not for a meaner use ascend

His bright and brief 10 career is o'er, Her columns, or her arches bend;

And mute his tuneful strains; Nor of a theme less solemn tells

Quench'd is his lamp of varied lore, That mighty surge that ebbs and swells,

That loved the light of song to pour; And still, between each awful pause,

A distant and a deadly shore From the high vault an answer draws,

Has LEYDEN's cold remains !

1 See Appendix, Note 20.

7 The MS. adds, 2 MS.-" Till in their smoke," &c.

“ Which, when the ruins of thy pile 3. “And so also merrily, merrily, goes the bard,' in a suc

Cumber the desolated isle, cession of merriment, which, like Dogberry's tediousness, he

Firm and immutable shall stand, finds it in his heart to bestow wholly and entirely on us, 'Gainst winds, and waves, and spoiler's hand." through page after page, or wave after wave of his voyage. 8“We were now treading that illustrious island, which was We could almost be tempted to believe that he was on his re- once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage turn from Skye when he wrote this portion of his poem ;--from clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, Skye, the depository of the · mighty cup of royal Somerled," and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all as well as of Rorie More's' comparatively modern horn'- local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and that, as he says himself of a minstrel who celebrated the and would be foolish, if it were possible. Whatever withdraws hospitalities of Dunvegan-castle in that island, “it is pretty us from the power of our senses ; whatever makes the past, plain, that when this tribute of poetical praise was bestowed, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, adthe horn of Rorie More bad not been inactive.'"— Monthly vances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and Review. See Appendix, Note M.

from my friends be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct us 4 “Of the prominent beauties which abound in the poem, indifferent and unmoved over any ground wbich has been digthe most magnificent we consider to be the description of the nified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be celebrated Cave of Fingal, which is conceived in a mighty envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain mind, and is expressed in a strain of poetry, clear, simple, of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among and sublime."- British Crilic.

the ruins of Iona."-JOHNSON. 5 MS." Where niched, his undisturb'd repose."

9 See Appendix, Note 2 Q. • See Appendix, Note 2 P.

10 MS.—" His short but bright," &c.

XII. Ever the breeze blows merrily, But the galley ploughs no more the sea. Lest, rounding wild Cantyre, they meet The southern foeman's watchful fleet,

They held unwonted way ;-
Up Tarbat’s western lake they bore,
Then dragg'd their bark the isthmus o'er,
As far as Kilmaconnel's shore,

Upon the eastern bay.
It was a wondrous sight to see
Topmast and pennon glitter free,
High raised above the greenwood tree,
As on dry land the galley moves,
By cliff and copse and alder groves.
Deep import from that selcouth sign,
Did many a mountain Seer divine,
For ancient legends told the Gael,
That when a royal bark should sail

O’er Kilmaconnel moss,
Old Albyn should in fight prevail,
And every foe should faint and quail

Before her silver Cross.

And good King Robert's brow expressid, He ponder'd o'er some high request,

As doubtful to approve; Yet in his eye and lip the while, Dwelt the half-pitying glance and smile, Which manhood's graver mood beguile,

When lovers talk of love. Anxious his suit Lord Ronald pled; _" And for my bride betrothed,” he said,

My Liege has heard the rumour spread
Of Edith from Artornish fled.
Too hard her fate-I claim no right a
To blame her for her hasty flight;
Be joy and happiness her lot! -
But she hath fled the bridal-knot,
And Lorn recall’d his promised plight,
In the assembled chieftains' sight.-

When, to fulfil our fathers' band,
I proffer'd all I could—my hand-

I was repulsed with scorn;
Mine honour I should ill assert,
And worse the feelings of my heart,
If I should play a suitor's part

Again, to pleasure Lorn.”

4

XIII. Now launch'd once more, the inland sea They furrow with fair augury,

And steer for Arran’s isle; The sun, ere yet he sunk behind Bon-Ghoil, “ the Mountain of the Wind," Gave his grim peaks a greeting kind,

And bade Loch Ranza smile,
Thither their destined course they drew;
It seem'd the isle her monarch knew,
So brilliant was the landward view,

The ocean so serene;
Each puny wave in diamonds rollid
O’er the calm deep, where hues of gold

With azure strove and green.
The hill, the vale, the tree, the tower,
Glow'd with the tints of evening's hour,

The beach was silver sheen,
The wind breathed soft as lover's sigh,
And, oft renew'd, seem'd oft to die,

With breathless pause between.
O who, with speech of war and woes,
Would wish to break the soft repose

Of such enchanting scene!

XV. “ Young Lord,” the Royal Bruce* replied, “ That question must the Church decide; Yet seems it hard, since rumours state Edith takes Clifford for her mate, The very tie, which she hath broke, To thee should still be binding yoke. But, for my sister IsabelThe mood of woman who can tell? I guess the Champion of the Rock, Victorious in the tourney shock, That knight unknown, to whom the prize She dealt,—had favour in her eyes; But since our brother Nigel's fate, Our ruin'd house and hapless state, From worldly joy and hope estranged, Much is the hapless mourner changed. Perchance,” here smiled the noble King, “ This tale may other musings bring. Soon shall we know-yon mountains hide The little convent of Saint Bride; There, sent by Edward, she must stay, Till fate shall give more prosperous day;" And thither will I bear thy suit, Nor will thine advocate be mute."

XIV. Is it of war Lord Ronald speaks ! The blush that dies his manly cheeks, The timid look and downcast eye, And faltering voice the theme deny.

XVI. As thus they talk'd in earnest mood, That speechless boy beside them stood.

4 MS.-" The princely Bruce."

I See Appendix, Note 2 R. 2 See Appendix, Note 2 S. 3 MS.

“no tongue is mine To blame her," &c.

6 MS.-"Thither, by Edward sent, she stars

Tul fate shall lend more prosperone days

Ile stoop'd his head against the mast,

With note prolong'd and varied strain, And bitter sobs came thick and fast,

Till bold Ben-Ghoil replied again. A grief that would not be repress’d,

Good Douglas then, and De la Haye, But seem'd to burst his youthful breast.

Had in a glen a hart at bay, His hands, against his forehead held,

And Lennox cheer'd the laggard hounds, As if by force his tears repell’d,

When waked that horn the greenwood bounda But through his fingers, long and slight,

“ It is the foe!” cried Boyd, who came Fast trill’d the drops of crystal bright.

In breathless haste with eye of flame,Edward, who walk'd the deck apart,

“ It is the foe!-Each valiant lord First spied this conflict of the heart.

Fling by his bow, and grasp his sword !”Thoughtless as brave, with bluntness kind

“ Not so," replied the good Lord James, He sought to cheer the sorrower's mind;

“ That blast no English bugle claims. By force the slender hand he drew

Oft have I heard it fire the fight, From those poor eyes that stream'd with dew. Cheer the pursuit, or stop the flight. As in his hold the stripling strove,

Dead were my heart, and deaf mine ear, ('Twas a rough grasp, though meant in love,) If Bruce should call, nor Douglas hear! Away his tears the warrior swept,

Each to Loch Ranza's margin spring; And bade shame on him that he wept.'

That blast was winded by the King!” 2 “ I would to heaven, thy helpless tongue Could tell me who hath wrought thee wrong!

XIX. For, were he of our crew the best,

Fast to their mates the tidings spread, The insult went not unredress’d.

And fast to shore the warriors sped. Come, cheer thee; thou art now of age

Bursting from glen and greenwood tree, To be a warrior's gallant page;

High waked their loyal jubilee ! Thou shalt be mine!-a palfrey fair

Around the royal Bruce they crowd, O’er hill and holt my boy shall bear,

And clasp'd his hands, and wept aloud. To hold my bow in hunting grove,

Veterans of early fields were there, Or speed on errand to my love;

Whose helmets press'd their hoary hair, For well I wot thou wilt not tell

Whose swords and axes bore a stain The temple where my wishes dwell.”

From life-blood of the red-hair'd Dane ;3

And boys, whose hands scarce brook'd to wield XVII.

The heavy sword or bossy shield. Bruce interposed,—“ Gay Edward, no,

Men too were there, that bore the scars This is no youth to hold thy bow,

Impress’d in Albyn's woful wars, To fill thy goblet, or to bear

At Falkirk's fierce and fatal fight, Thy message light to lighter fair.

Teyndrum’s dread rout, and Methven's flight; Thou art a patron all too wild

The might of Douglas there was seen, And thoughtless, for this orphan child.

There Lennox with his graceful mien; See'st thou not how apart he steals,

Kirkpatrick, Closeburu's dreaded Knight; Keeps lonely couch, and lonely meals ?

The Lindsay, fiery, fierce, and light; Fitter by far in yon calm cell

The Heir of murder'd De la Haye, To tend our sister Isabel,

And Boyd the grave, and Seton gay. With father Augustin to share

Around their King regain’d they press'd, The peaceful change of convent prayer,

Wept, shouted, clasp'd him to their breast, Than wander wild adventures through,

And young and old, and serf and lord, With such a reckless guide as you."

And he who ne'er unsheathed a sword, “ Thanks, brother!” Edward answer'd gay, And he in many a peril tried, “ For the high laud thy words convey!

Alike resolved the brunt to bide,
But we may learn some future day,

And live or die by Bruce's side!
If thou or I can this poor boy
Protect the best, or best employ.

XX.
Meanwhile, our vessel nears the strand;

Oh, War! thou hast thy fierce delight, Launch we the boat, and seek the land.”

Thy gleams of joy, intensely bright!

Such gleams, as from thy polish'd shield
XVIII.

Fly dazzling o'er the battle-field!
To land King Robert lightly sprung,

Such transports wake, severe and high, And thrice aloud his bugle rung

Amid the pealing conquest-cry;

1 M8.-"And as a way the tears he swept,

He bade shame on him that he wept."

2 See Appendix, Note 2 T.
3 MS.-" Impress'd by life-blood of the Dane.”

Scarce less, when, after battle lost,
Muster the remnants of a host,
And as each comrade's name they tell,
Who in the well-fought conflict fell,
Knitting stern brow o'er flashing eye,
Vow to avenge them or to die !
Warriors !—and where are warriors found,
If not on martial Britain's ground ? ?
And who, when waked with note of fire,
Love more than they the British lyre -
Know ye not,-hearts to honour dear !
That joy, deep-thrilling, stern, severe,
At which the heartstrings vibrate high,
And wake the fountains of the eye? 2
And blame ye, then, the Bruce, if trace
Of tear is on his manly face,
When, scanty relics of the train
That hail'd at Scone his early reign,
This patriot band around him hung,
And to his knees and bosom clung?
Blame ye the Bruce !-his brother blamed,
But shared the weakness, while ashamed,
With haughty laugh his head he turn'd,
And dash'd away the tear he scorn'd.3

XXII. “ No, Lady! in old eyes like mine, Gauds bave no glitter, gems no shine ; Nor grace his rank attendants vain, One youthful page is all his train. It is the form, the eye, the word, The bearing of that stranger Lord; His stature, manly, bold, and tall, Built like a castle's battled wall, Yet moulded in such just degrees, His giant-strength seems lightsome ease. Close as the tendrils of the vine His locks upon his forehead twine, Jet-black, save where some touch of grey Has ta’en the youthful hue away. Weather and war their rougher trace Have left on that majestic face; But 'tis his dignity of eye! There, if a suppliant, would I fly, Secure, ’mid danger, wrongs, and grief, Of sympathy, redress, reliefThat glance, if guilty, would I dread More than the doom that spoke me dead!"“ Enough, enough," the princess cried, 6 'Tis Scotland's hope, her joy, her pride! To meaner front was ne'er assign'd Such mastery o'er the common mindBestow'd thy high designs to aid, How long, O Heaven ! how long delay'd :Haste, Mona, haste, to introduce My darling brother, royal Bruce !"

a

XXI. 'Tis morning, and the Convent bell Long time had ceased its matin knell,

Within thy walls, Saint Bride! An aged Sister sought the cell Assign’d to Lady Isabel,

And hurriedly she cried, “ Haste, gentle Lady, haste-there waits A noble stranger at the gates; Saint Bride's poor vot’ress ne'er has seen A Knight of such a princely mien; His errand, as he bade me tell, Is with the Lady Isabel.” The princess rose,for on her knee Low bent she told her rosary,“ Let him by thee his purpose teach: I may not give a stranger speech."“ Saint Bride forefend, thou royal Maid !” The portress cross'd herself, and said, “ Not to be prioress might I Debate his will, his suit deny.”– “ Has earthly show then, simple fool, Power o'er a sister of thy rule, And art thou, like the worldly train, Subdued by splendours light and vain?”—

XXIII. They met like friends who part in pain. And meet in doubtful hope again. But when subdued that fitful swell, The Bruce survey'd the humble cell ;“ And this is thine, poor Isabel ! That pallet-couch, and naked wall, For room of state, and bed of pall; For costly robes and jewels rare, A string of beads and zone of hair; And for the trumpet's sprightly call To sport or banquet, grove or hall, The bell’s grim voice divides thy care, 'Twixt hours of penitence and prayer!O ill for thee, my royal claim From the First David's sainted name! O woe for thee, that while he sought His right, thy brother feebly fought!"

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1 MS.—“ If not on Britain's warlike ground."
2 “ Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed,

When Ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead.
For us, even banquets fond regret supply
In the red cup that crowns our memory;
And the brief epitaph in danger's day,
When those who win at length divide the prey,
And cry, Remembrance saddening o'er each brow,
How had the brave who fell exulted now !"

BYRON'S Corsair. 8 See Appendix, Note 2 U.

4 “ Mr. Scott, we have said, contradicts himself. How will he explain the following facts to his reader's satisfaction ? The third canto informs us that Isabel accompanies Edward to Ireland, there to remain till the termination of the war; and in the fourth canto, the second day after her departure, we discover the princess counting her beads and reading homilies in the cloister of St. Bride, in the Island of Arran! We humbly beseech the Mighty Minstrel' to clear up this matter."--Critical Revicu.

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MS." But when subsides," &c.

XXIV.
“ Now lay these vain regrets aside,
And be the unshaken Bruce!” she cried.
“ For more I glory to have shared
The woes thy venturous spirit dared,
When raising first thy valiant band
In rescue of thy native land,
Than bad fair Fortune set me down
The partner of an empire's crown.
And grieve not that on Pleasure's stream
No more I drive in giddy dream,
For Heaven the erring pilot knew,
And from the gulf the vessel drew,
Tried me with judgments stern and great,
My bouse's ruin, thy defeat,
Poor Nigel's death, till, tamed, I own,
My hopes are fix'd on Heaven alone;
Nor e'er shall earthly prospects win
My heart to this vain world of sin.”-

XXVI.
Still stood that page, as far apart

As the small cell would space afford;
With dizzy eye and bursting heart,

He leant his weight on Bruce's sword,
The monarch's mantle too he bore,
And drew the fold his visage o’er.
“ Fear not for him-in murderous strife,"
Said Bruce, “ his warning saved my life ;:
Full seldom parts he from my side,
And in his silence I confide,
Since he can tell no tale again.
He is a boy of gentle strain,
And I have purposed he shall dwell
In Augustin the chaplain's cell,
And wait on thee, my Isabel.-
Mind not his tears; I've seen them

flow,
As in the thaw dissolves the snow.
"T'is a kind youth, but fanciful,
Unfit against the tide to pull,
And those that with the Bruce would sail,
Must learn to strive with stream and galo.-
But forward, gentle Isabel
My answer for Lord Ronald tell.”-

a

XXV.
Nay, Isabel, for such stern choice,
First wilt thou wait thy brother's voice;
Then ponder if in convent scene
No softer thoughts might intervenem
Say they were of that unknown Knight,
Victor in Woodstock's tourney-fight-
Nay, if his name such blush you owe,
Victorious o’er a fairer foe!”
Truly his penetrating eye
Hath caught that blush's passing dye,
Like the last beam of evening thrown
On a white cloud,-just seen and gone.'
Soon with calm cheek and steady eye,
The princess made composed reply:-
“ I guess my brother's meaning well;
For not so silent is the cell,
But we have heard the islesmen all
Arm in thy cause at Ronald's call,
And mine eye proves that Knight unknown?
And the brave Island Lord are one.-
Had then his suit been earlier made,
In his own name, with thee to aid,
(But that his plighted faith forbade,)
I know not ...... But thy page so near ?
This is no tale for menial's ear."

XXVII.
“ This answer be to Ronald given-
The heart he asks is fix'd on heaven.
My love was like a summer flower,
That wither'd in the wintry hour,
Born but of vanity and pride,
And with these sunny visions died.
If further press his suit—then say,
He should his plighted troth obey,
Troth plighted both with ring and

word,
And sworn on crucifix and sword.
Oh, shame thee, Robert! I have seen
Thou hast a woman's guardian been!
Even in extremity's dread hour,
When press'd on thee the Southern power,
And safety, to all human sight,
Was only found in rapid flight,
Thou heard'st a wretched female plain
In agony of travail-pain,

3

1 “We would bow with veneration to the powerful and the countenance of Isabel upon his mention of Ronald."
rugged genius of Scott. We would style him above all others, British Critic.
Homer and Shakspeare excepted, the Poet of Nature-of
Nature in all her varied beauties, in all her wildest haunts. 2 MS.-"And well I judge that Knight unknown."
No appearance, however minute, in the scenes around him,
escapes his penetrating eye; they are all marked with the 3 MS._" But that his

s earlier
former )

plight forbade."
nicest discrimation; are introduced with the happiest effect.
Hence, in his similes, both the genius and the judgment of

4 MS.--" The Monarch's brand and cloak he bore." the poet are peculiarly conspicuous; his accurate observation of the appearances of nature, which others have neglected,

5 MS.-" Answer'd the Bruce, he saved my life.'” imparts an originality to those allusions, of which the reader immediately recognises the aptness and propriety; and only 6 The MS. has wonders that what must have been so often witnessed should “ Isabel's thoughts are fix'd on heaven;" have been so uniformly passed unregarded by. Such is the and the two couplets which follow are interpolated on the simile applied to the transicnt blush observed by Bruce on

blank page.

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