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When in rude waves or roaring winds Some words of woe the muser finds, Until more loudly and more near, Their speech arrests the page's ear.1

“O brother! cruel to the last !”
Through the poor captive's bosom pass'd
The thought, but, to his purpose true
He said not, though he sigh’d, “ Adieu !”

XXIV. “ And was she thus,” said Clifford,“ lost? The priest should rue it to his cost ! What says the monk!”_“ The holy Sire Owns, that in masquer's quaint attire She sought his skiff, disguised, unknown To all except to him alone. But, says the priest, a bark from Lorno Laid them aboard that very morn, And pirates seized her for their prey. He proffer'd ransom-gold to pay, And they agreed—but ere told o'er, The winds blow loud, the billows roar; They sever'd, and they met no more. He deems—such tempest vex'd the coast Ship, crew, and fugitive, were lost. So let it be, with the disgrace And scandal of her lofty race ! 3 Thrice better she had ne'er been born, Than brought her infamy on Lorn!”

XXVI. And will he keep his purpose still, In sight of that last closing ill,7 When one poor breath, one single word, May freedom, safety, life, afford ? Can he resist the instinctive call, For life that bids us barter all ? Love, strong as death, his heart hath steeld, His nerves hath strung-he will not yield ! Since that poor breath, that little word, May yield Lord Ronald to the sword.—8 Clan-Colla's dirge is pealing wide, The griesly headsman 's by his side; Along the greenwood Chase they bend, And now their march has ghastly end! That old and shatter'd oak beneath, They destine for the place of death. -What thoughts are his, while all in vain His eye for aid explores the plain ? What thoughts, while, with a dizzy ear, He hears the death-prayer mutter'd near ? And must he die such death accurst, Or will that bosom-secret burst? Cold on his brow breaks terror's dew, His trembling lips are livid blue; The agony of parting life Has nought to match that moment's strife!

XXV. Lord Clifford now the captive spied ;“ Whom, Herbert, hast thou there;” he cried. “ A spy we seized within the Chase, A hollow oak his lurking place.”" What adings can the youth afford?”“ He plays the mute.”—“ Then noose a cordUnless brave Lorn reverse the doom For his plaid's sake.”—“ Clan-Colla's loom, Said Lorn, whose careless glances trace Rather the vesture than the face, “ Clan-Colla's dames such tartans twine ; Wearer nor plaid claims care of mine. Give him, if my advice you crave, His own scathed oak; 5 and let him wave In air, unless, by terror wrung, A frank confession find his tongue.-O Nor shall he die without his rite; -Thou, Angus Roy, attend the sight, And give Clan-Colla’s dirge thy breath, As they convey him to his death."

XXVII. But other witnesses are nigh, Who mock at fear, and death defy ! Soon as the dire lament was play'd, It waked the lurking ambuscade. The Island Lord look'd forth, and spied The cause, and loud in fury cried, 10 “ By Heaven, they lead the page to die, And mock me in his agony ! They shall abye it!”-On his arm Bruce laid strong grasp, “ They shall not

harm A ringlet of the stripling's hair; But, till I give the word, forbear.

1 MS

"or roaring wind,
Some words of woe his musings find,
Till spoke more loudly and more near

These words arrest the page's ear." 2 MS.-" To all save to himself alone.

Then, says he, that a bark from Lorn

Laid him aboard," &c. 3 In place of the couplet which follows, the MS, has :

* For, stood she there, and should refuse

The choice my better purpose views,
I'd spurn her like a bond-maid tame,

4 MS.-"A spy, whom, guided by our hound,

Lurking conceal'd this morn we found." 5 MS." Yon scathed oak." 6 MS.

“by terror wrung

To speech, confession finds his tongue." 7

“last human ill." 8 MS.--"Since that one word, that little breath,

May speak Lord Ronald's doom of death." 9 MS. -"Beneath that shatter'd old oak-tree,

Design'd the slaughter-place to be." 10 MS.-“Soon as the due lament was play'd,

The Island Lord in fury said,
By Heaven they lead,'" &c.

Lost to resentment and to

each sense of pride and} shame."

And once,

-- Douglas, lead fifty of our force

Nor better was their lot who fled, Up yonder hollow water-course,

And met, ʼmid terror's wild career, And couch thee midway on the wold,

The Douglas's redoubted spear! Between the flyers and their hold:

Two hundred yeomen on that morn
A spear above the copse display'd,

The castle left, and none return.
Be signal of the ambush made.
-Edward, with forty spearmen, straight

XXX.
Through yonder copse approach the gate

Not on their flight press'd Ronald's brand. And, when thou hear’st the battle-din,

A gentler duty claim’d his band. Rush forward, and the passage win,

He raised the page, where on the plain Secure the drawbridge-storm the port,

His fear had sunk him with the slain: And man and guard the castle-court.

And twice, that morn, surprise well near The rest move slowly forth with me,

Betray'd the secret kept by fear; In shelter of the forest-tree,

Once, when, with life returning, came Till Douglas at his post I see.”

To the boy's lip Lord Ronald's name,

And hardly recollection drown'd
XXVIII.

The accents in a murm ing sound;
Like war-horse eager to rush on,

when scarce he could resist Compellid to wait the signal blown,

The Chieftain's care to loose the vest, Hid, and scarce hid, by greenwood bough,

Drawn tightly o'er his labouring breast. Trembling with rage, stands Ronald now,

But then the Bruce's bugle blew,
And in his grasp his sword gleams blue,

For martial work was yet to do.
Soon to be dyed with deadlier hue.-
Meanwhile the Bruce, with steady eye,

XXXI.
Sees the dark? death-train moving by,

A harder task fierce Edward waits. And, heedful, measures oft the space

Ere signal given, the castle gates The Douglas and his band must trace,

His fury had assail'd ;* Ere they can reach their destined ground.

Such was his wonted reckless mood, Now sinks the dirge’s wailing sound,

Yet desperate valour oft made good, Now cluster round the direful tree

Even by its daring, venture rude, That slow and solemn company,

Where prudence might have faild. While hymn mistuned and mutter'd prayer

Upon the bridge his strength he threw;' The victim for his fate prepare.

And struck the iron chain in two, What glances o'er the greenwood shade?

By which its planks arose; The spear that marks the ambuscade !

The warder next his axe's edge “ Now, noble Chief ! I leave thee loose;

Struck down upon the threshold ledge, Upon them, Ronald !” said the Bruce.

'Twixt door and post a ghastly wedge !6

The gate they may not close.
XXIX.

Well fought the Southern in the fray,
“ The Bruce, the Bruce !” to well-known cry Clifford and Lorn fought well that day,
His native rocks and woods reply.

But stubborn Edward forced his way? “ The Bruce, the Bruce !" in that dread word

Against a hundred foes. The knell of hundred deaths was heard.

Loud came the cry, “ The Bruce, the Bruce !" The astonish'a Southern gazed at first,

No hope or in defence or truce, Where the wild tempest was to burst,

Fresh combatants pour in; That waked in that presaging name.

Mad with success, and drunk with gore, Before, behind, around it came!

They drive the struggling foe before, Half-arm’d, surprised, on every side

And ward on ward they win. Hemm’d in, hew'd down, they bled and died. Unsparing was the vengeful sword, Deep in the ring the Bruce engaged,

And limbs were lopp'd and life-blood pour’d, And fierce Clan-Colla's broadsword raged!

The cry of death and conflict roard, Full soon the few who fought were sped,

And fearful was the din!

1 MS.-" Yet waiting for the trumpet tone."
3 MS._" See the slow-death-train."
3 MS.—“And scarce his recollection," &c.
* MS.—“A harder task fierce Edward waits,

Whose ire assail'd the castle gates." 6 XS" Where sober thought had failid.

Upon the bridge himself he threw."

6 MS." His are was steel of temper'd edge.

That truth the warder well might pledge,
He sunk upon the threshold ledge!

The gate," &c.
7 MS.-“ Well fought the English ycomen then,

And Lorn and Clifford play'd the men,
But Edward mann'd the pass he won

Against," tc.

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The startling horses plunged and Hung,

Yet steaming hot; with Southern gore
Clamour'd the dogs till turrets rung,

From hilt to point 'twas crimson’d o'er.
Nor sunk the fearful cry,
Till not a foeman was there found

XXXIV.
Alive, save those who on the ground

Bring here,” he said, “ the mazers four,
Groan'd in their agony !!

My noble fathers loved of yore.7

Thrice let them circle round the board,
XXXII.

The pledge, fair Scotland's rights restored!
The valiant Clifford is no more ;2

And he whose lip shall touch the wine, On Ronald's broadsword stream'd his gore.

Without a vow as true as mine, But better hap had he of Lorn,

To hold both lands and life at nought, Who, by the foemen backward borne,

Until her freedom shall be bought,Yet gain'd with slender train the port,

Be brand of a disloyal Scot,
Where lay his bark beneath the fort,

And lasting infamy his lot !8
And cut the cable loose.3

Sit, gentle friends! our hour of glee
Short were his shrift in that debate,

Is brief, we'll spend it joyously!
That hour of fury and of fate,

Blithest of all the sun's bright beams,
If Lorn encounter'd Bruce !

When betwixt storm and storm he gleams.
Then long and loud the victor shout

Well is our country's work begun,
From turret and from tower rung out,

But more, far more, must yet be done.
The rugged vaults replied;

Speed messengers the country through;
And from the donjon tower on high,

Arouse old friends, and gather new;' The men of Carrick may descry

Warn Lanark's knights to gird their mail,
Saint Andrew's cross, in blazonry

Rouse the brave sons of Teviotdale,
Of silver, waving wide!

Let Ettrick's archers sharp their darts,

The fairest forms, the truest hearts!
XXXIII.

Call all, call all ! from Reedswair-Path,
The Bruce hath won his father's hall!)

To the wild confines of Cape-Wrath;
_“ Welcome, brave friends and comrades all, Wide let the news through Scotland ring,
Welcome to mirth and joy!

The Northern Eagle claps his wing!”
The first, the last, is welcome here,
From lord and chieftain, prince and peer,

To this poor speechless boy.
Great God! once more my sire's abode

The Lord of the Isles.
Is mine-behold the floor I trode

In tottering infancy!
And there the vaulted arch, whose sound
Echoed my joyous shout and bound

I.
In boyhood, and that rung around

O who, that shared them, ever shall forget 10 To youth's unthinking glee!

The emotions of the spirit-rousing time, O first, to thee, all-gracious Heaven,

When breathless in the mart the couriers met, Then to my friends, my thanks be giveu!"- Early and late, at evening and at prime; He paused a space, his brow he cross d

When the loud cannon and the merry chime Then on the board his sword he tossid,

Hail'd news on news, as field on field was won,"

CANTO SIXTH.

11

| The concluding stanza of “The Siege of Corinth" contains an obvious, though, no doubt, an unconscious imitation of the preceding nine lines, magnificently expanded through an extent of about thirty couplets :

" All the living things that heard

That deadly earth-shock disappear'd;
The wild birds flew; the wild dogs fied,
And howling left the unburied dead;
The camels from their keepers broke;
The distant steer forsook the yoke-
The nearer steed plunged o'er the plain,

And burst his girth, and tore his rein," &c.
2 In point of fact, Clifford fell at Bannockburn.
8 MS.-“ And swiftly hoisted sail.”
• MS.-"Short were his shrift, if in that hour

0; fate, of fury, and of power,

He 'counter'd Edward Bruce !"

6 See Appendix, Note 3 D.
6 MS. -" And see the vaulted arch," &c.
7 See Appendix, Note 3 E.
8 MS.-" Be lasting infamy his lot,

And brand of a disloyal Scot!"
9 See Appendix, Note 3 F,
10 MS." Hast thou forgot?-No! who can e'er forget."

11 “Who can avoid conjuring up the idea of men with broad sheets of foolscap scored with victories rolled round their hats, and horns blowing loud defiance in each other's mouth, from the top to the bottom of Pall-Mall, or the Haymarket, when he reads such a passage? We actually hear the Park and Tower guns, and the clattering of ten thousand bells, as we read, and stop our ears from the close and sudden intrusion of the clamours of some hot and hornfisted patriot, blowing ourselves, as well as Bonaparte, to the devil! And what has all this to do with Bannockburn?"- Monthly Review.

When Hope, long doubtful,soar'd at length sublime,

And our glad eyes, awake as day begun, Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, to meet the rising

sun!?

O these were hours, when thrilling joy repaid
A long, long course of darkness, doubts, and fears !
The heart-sick faintness of the hope delay'd,
The wasto, the woe, the bloodshed, and the tears
That track'd with terror twenty rolling years,
All was forgot in that blithe jubilee !
Her downcast eye even pale Affliction rears,

To sigh a thankful prayer, amid the glee,
That hail'd the Despot’s fall, and peace and liberty!

And sister-like in love they dwell
In that lone convent's silent cell.
There Bruce's slow assent allows
Fair Isa! el the veil and vows;
And there, her sex's dress regain'd,
The lovely Maid of Lorn remain’d,
Unnamed, unknown, while Scotland far
Resounded with the din of war;
And many a month, and many a day,
In calm seclusion wore away.

Such news o'er Scotland's hills triumphant rode,
When 'gainst the invaders turn'd the battle's scale,
When Bruce's banner had victorious flow'd
O’er Loudoun's mountain, and in Ury's vale ;3
When English blood oft deluged Douglas-dale, a
And fiery Edward routed stout St. John, *
When Randolph’swar-cry swell’d the southern gale,

And many a fortress, town, and tower, was won, And Fame still sounded forth fresh deeds of glory done.

6

II.
Blithe tidings flew from baron's tower,
To peasant's cot, to forest-bower,
And waked the solitary cell,
Where lone Saint Bride's recluses dwell.
Princess no more, fair Isabel,

A vot’ress of the order now,
Say, did the rule that bid thee wear
Dim veil and woollen scapulaire,
And reft thy locks of dark-brown hair,

That stern and rigid vow,
Did it condemn the transport high,
Which glisten’d in thy watery eye,
When minstrel or when palmer told
Each fresh exploit of Bruce the bold ?-
And whose the lovely form, that shares
Thy anxious hopes, thy fears, thy prayers ?
No sister she of convent shade;
So say these locks in lengthen'd braid,
So say the blushes and the sighs,
The tremors that unbidden rise,
When, mingled with the Bruce's fame,
The brave Lord Ronald's praises came.

IV. These days, these months, to years had

worn,
When tidings of high weight were borne

To that lone island's shore;
Of all the Scottish conquests made
By the First Edward's ruthless blade,

His son retain'd no more,
Northward of Tweed, but Stirling's towers,
Beleaguer’d by King Robert's powers;

And they took term of truce,
If England's King should not relieve
The siege ere John the Baptist's eve,

To yield them to the Bruce.
England was roused-on every side
Courier and post and herald bied,

To summon prince and peer,
At Berwick-bounds to meet their Liege,
Prepared to raise fair Stirling's siege,

With buckler, brand, and spear.
The term was nigh-they muster'd fast,
By beacon and by bugle-blast

Forth marshall’d for the field;
There rode each knight of noble name,
There England's hardy archers came,
The land they trode seem'd all on flame,

With banner, blade, and shield!
And not famed England's powers alone,
Renown'd in arms, the summons own;

For Neustria's knights obey'd, Gascogne bath lent her horsemen good, And Cambria, but of late subdued, Sent forth her mountain-multitude, And Connoght pour'd from waste and wood Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre rude

Dark Eth O'Connor sway'd.10

III. Believe, his father's castle won, And his bold enterprise begun, That Bruce's earliest cares restore The speechless page to Arran's shore : Nor think that long the quaint disguise Conceal'd her from a sister's eyes ;

V.
Right to devoted Caledon
The storm of war rolls slowly on,"

With menace deep and dread;
So the dark clouds, with gathering power,
Suspend awhile the threaten’d shower,
Till every peak and summit lower

Round the pale pilgrim's head.

MS.—“ Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, watch'd

Triumph's Hashing gun." See Appendix, Note 3 G.

3 Ibid, Note 3 H. See Appendix, Note 3 1.

5 Ibid, Note 3 K.

6 See Appendix, Note 3 L.

7 Ibid, Note 3 M. 8 The MS. has not this line. 9 See Appendix, Note 3 N.

10 lbid, Note 30 11 MS.-" The gathering storm of war rulls on."

1

Not with such pilgrim's startled eye
King Robert mark’d the tempest nigh!

Resolved the brunt to bide,
His royal summons warn’d the land,
That all who own’d their King's command
Should instant take the spear and brand,

To combat at his side.
O who may tell the sons of fame,
That at King Robert's bidding came,

To battle for the right!
From Cheviot to the shores of Ross,
From Solway-Sands to Marshal’s-Moss,

All boun'd them for the fight.
Such news the royal courier tells,
Who came to rouse dark Arran's dells;
But farther tidings must the ear
Of Isabel in secret hear.
These in her cloister walk, next morn,
Thus shared she with the Maid of Lorn.

Nay, hush thee, too impatient maid, Until my final tale be said !-The good King Robert would engage Edith once more his elfin page, By her own heart, and her own eye, Her lover's penitence to try— Safe in his royal charge and free, Should such thy final purpose be, Again unknown to seek the cell, And live and die with Isabel.” Thus spoke the maid-King Robert's eye Might have some glance of policy; Dunstaffnage had the monarch ta’en, And Lorn had own'd King Robert's reign; Her brother had to England fled, And there in banishment was dead; Ample, through exile, death, and flight, D'er tower and land was Edith's right; This ample right o'er tower and land Were safe in Ronald's faithful hand.

VI.
“ My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere

Hath been to Isabel ?
Judge then the sorrow of my heart,
When I must say the words, We part !

The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation free

On happier fortunes fell.
Nor, Edith, judge thyself betray'd
Though Robert knows that Loro's high Maid
And his poor silent page were one.
Versed in the fickle heart of man,
Earnest and anxious hath he look'd
How Ronald's heart the message brook'd
That gave him, with her last farewell,
The charge of Sister Isabel,
To think upon thy better right,
And keep the faith his promise plight.
Forgive him for thy sister's sake,
At first if vain repinings wake_4

Long since that mood is gone: Now dwells he on thy juster claims, And oft his breach of faith he blames

Forgive him for thine own!”

VIII. Embarrass'd eye and blushing cheek Pleasure and shame, and fear bespeak! Yet much the reasoning Edith made: “ Her sister's faith she must upbraid, Who gave such secret, dark and dear, In council to another's ear. Why should she leave the peaceful cell! How should she part with Isabel How wear that strange attire agen? How risk herself 'midst martial men? And how be guarded on the way! At least she might entreat delay.” Kind Isabel, with secret smile, Saw and forgave the maiden's wile, Reluctant to be thought to move At the first call of truant love.7

IX. Oh, blame her not !-when zephyrs wake, The aspen’s trembling leaves must shake; When beams the sun through April's shower, It needs must bloom, the violet flower; And Love, howe'er the maiden strive, Must with reviving hope revive! A thousand soft excuses came, To plead his cause 'gainst virgin shame. Pledged by their sires in earliest youth, He had her plighted faith and truth

VII. « No! never to Lord Ronald's bower Will I again as paramour”

1 MS._" Should instant belt them with the brand." 3 MS." From Solway's sands to wild Cape-Wrath,

From Ilay's Rinns to Colbrand's Path." 3 MS.-"And his mute page were one.

For, versant in the heart of man." 4 M8.-“If brief and rain repinings wake." 8 MS.—“ Her lover's alter'd mood to try.” 6 MS.-" Her aged sire had own'd his reign." 7 The MS. here presents, crased

" But all was overruled -a band

From Arran's mountains left the land; Their chief, MacLouis, had the care The speechless Amadine to bear

honour To Bruce, with

as behoved

reverences To page the monarch dearly loved." With one verbal alteration these lines occur hereafter--the poet having postponed them, in order to apologize more at length for Edith's acquiescence in an arrangement not, cer tainly, at first sight, over delicate.

}a

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