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They pass him careless by.' 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 badst 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!
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, Labor that strain'd each sinew stiff,
And one sad Maiden's wail.
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.
I follow where thou wilt;
In steady voice was given, “In man's most dark extremity
Oft succor dawns from Heaven. Edward, trim thou the shatter'd sail, The helm be mine, and down the gale
Let our free course be driven;
Beneath the Castle wall;
Within a chieftain's hall.
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 ; Wild sparkles crest the broken tides,
More fierce from strait and lake;
Spring upward as they break.
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 labor dulld nor terror shook,
1 MS." As the gay nobles give the boor,
When, toiling in his task obscure,
Their greatness passes by." * MS." She held unchallenged way."
3 MS.-"With mirth, song, tale, and lay." 4 MS.-" Then, too, the clouds were sinking fast."
- - "the hostile power." 6 See Appendix, Note I.
And, flashing round, the vessel's sides
With elvish lustre lave,
A gloomy splendor gave.
In envious pageantry,
XXII. Nor lack'd they steadier light to keep Their course upon the darken'd deep; Artornish, on her frowning steep
"Twixt cloud and ocean hung, Glanced with a thousand lights of glee, And landward far, and far to sea,
Her festal radiance flung: By that blithe beacon-light they steerd,
Whose lustre mingled well With the pale beam that now appear'd, As the cold moon her head upreard
Above the eastern fell.
So straight, so high, so steep,
And plunged them in the deep."
From turret, rock, and bay,
To light the upward way.
And, vex'd at thy delay,
Had driven thy bark astray.”—
XXIII. Thus guided, on their course they bore, Until they neard the mainland shore, When frequent on the hollow blast Wild shouts of merriment were cast, And wind and wave and sea-bird's 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 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 strangers 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;
That's breathed upon by May,
Again to bear away."-
Whence come, or whither bound?
Or Scotland's mountain ground ?"
1 MS.-“ And, bursting round the vessel's sides,
A livid lustre gave." 3 MS.-" Livid,”
9“ The description of the vessel's approach to the Castle through the tempestuous and sparkling waters, and the contrast of the gloomy aspect of the billows with the glittering splendor of Artornish,
""Twixt cloud and ocean hung,' sending her radiance abroad through the terrors of the night, and mingling at intervals the shouts of her revelry with the wilder cadence of the blast, is one of the happiest instances of Mr. Scott's felicity in awful and magnificent scenery."-Critical Review.
4 MS.-"The wind, the wave, the sea-birds' cry,
In melancholy concert vie." 6 MS.—"Darksome."
6 "Mr. Scott, we observed in the newspapers, was engaged during last summer in a maritime expedition ; and, accordini ly, the most striking novelty in the present poem is the extent and variety of the sea pieces with which it abounds. One of the first we meet with is the picture of the distresses of the King's little bark, and her darkling run to the shelter of AN tornish Castle."-Edinburgh Review, 1815.
7 See Appendix, Note K.
Such as few arms could wield; But when he bound him to such task, Well could it cleave the strongest casque,
And rend the surest shield."
We have been known to fame;
That gives us rightful claim.
Fair of your courtesy;
And wanderer on the lea !"—.
The entrance long and low,
To gall an entering foe.
And all the passage free
Plied their loud revelry.
Half lifeless up the rock;
Droops from the mountain oak.
As if ye ne'er had seen
And bearing martial mien.”
But crowded on to stare,
From one the foremost there,
Involved his sister fair.
Made brief and stern excuse ;-
"Twere honor'd by her use."
XXXI. Proud was his tone, but calm ; his eye Had that compelling dignity, His mien that bearing haught and high,
Which common spirits fear 18 Needed nor word nor signal more,
1 MS. "'gainst claim like yours,
No bolt ere closed our castle doors." . Sir William Wallace. 8 See Appendix, Note L. 4 MS.-" Well could it cleave the gilded casque,
And rend the trustiest shield.” MS.--"The entrance vaulted low."
6 MS.—“Or warlike men of moulding stark."
From one, the boldest there." 8 "Still sways their souls with that commanding art
That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart. What is that spell, that thus his lawless train Confess and envy, yet oppose in vain ?
Nod, wink, and laughter, all were o'er ; Upon each other back they bore,
And gazed like startled deer. But now appear'd the Seneschal, Commission'd by his lord to call The strangers to the Baron's hall,
Where feasted fair and free That Island Prince in nuptial tide, With Edith there his lovely bride, And her bold brother by her side, And many a chief, the flower and pride
Of Westem land and sea.?
From deeper source than festal mirth.
And call for pledge and lay,
Seem gayest of the gay."
Here pause we, gentles, for a space;
The Lord of the Isles.
Yet naught amiss the bridal throng
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! Beneath the intolerable smart He writhed—then sternly mann'd his heart To play his hard but destined part,
And from the table sprang. “Fill me the mighty cup!” he said, “ Erst own'd by royal Somerled: Fill it, till on the studded brim In burning gold the bubbles swim,
What should it be, that thus their faith can bind ?
Byron's Corsair. 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 con
tains many very pleasing lines. The description of Lord Ronald's fleet, and of the bark endeavoring to make her way against the wind, more particularly of the last, is executed with extraordinary beauty and fidelity."- Quarterly Review.
3 " Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness."-Proverbs, xiv. 13. * MS.- and give birth
To jest, to wassail, and to mirth." 6 MS.--"Would seem the loudest of the loud,
And gayest of the gay." & MS. -"Since Lorn, the proudest of the proud." 7 MS." And since the keen De Argentine." 8 See Appendix, Note L.
lbid. Note M.
VII. Then lords and ladies spake aside, And angry looks the error chide, That gave to guests unnamed, unknown, A place so near their prince's throne;
But Owen Erraught said, “For forty years a seneschal, To marshal guests in bower and hall
Has been my honor'd trade. Worship and birth to me are known, By look, by bearing, and by tone, Not by furr'd robe or broider'd zone;
And 'gainst an oaken bough I'll gage my silver wand of state, That these three strangers oft have sate
In higher place than now.”—
“ And in good time—that winded horn
Must of the Abbot tell;
The untasted goblet fell.
Returns like sun of May,
As glad of brief delay,
Respited for a day.
“ Brother of Lorn," with hurried voice He said, “and you, fair lords, rejoice!
Here, to augment our glee, Come wandering knights from travel far, Well proved, they say, in strife of war,
And tempest on the sea.Ho! give them at your board such place As best their presences may grace,
And bid them welcome free !" With solemn step, and silver wand, The Seneschal the presence scann'd Of these strange guests ;' and well he
knew How to assign their rank its due ;)
For though the costly furs That erst had deck'd their caps were torn, And their gay robes were over-worn,
And soild their gilded spurs, Yet such a high commanding grace Was in their mien and in their face, As suited best the princely dais,"
And royal canopy; And there he marshalld them their place,
First of that company.
VIII. “I, too,” the aged Ferrand said, “ Am qualified by minstrel trade?
Of rank and place to tell ;-
How fierce its flashes fell,
And yet it moves me more,
Scann'd the gay presence o'er,
The mantle veil both face and eye,
Nor could' her form's fair symmetry.”
IX. Suspicious doubt and lordly scorn Lour'd on the haughty front of Lorn. From underneath his brows of pride,
And whisper'd closely what the ear Of Argentine alone might hear;
Then question'd, high and brief, If, in their voyage, aught they knew
1 MS." As may their presence fittest grace." 2.MS."With solemn pace, and silver rod,
The Seneschal the entrance show'd
To these strange guests." 9 See Appendix, Note N.
4 Dais-the great hall table-elevated a step or two above the rest of the room.
M8.—" Aside then lords and ladies spake,
And ushers censured the mistake.' O" The first entry of the illustrious strangers into the castle of the Celtic chief, is in the accustomed and peculiar style of the poet of chivalry."-JEFFREY. 7 MS.-"**I, too,' old Ferrand said, and laugh'd,
"Am qualified by minstrel craft.'" & MS.
the festal rout." M8.-"Nor hide," &c.