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Of the rebellious Scottish crew,
Who to Rath-Erin's shelter drew,

With Carrick's outlaw'd chief?
And if, their winter's exile o'er,
They harbor'd still by Ulster's shore,
Or launch'd their galleys on the main,
To vex their native land again?

Did the fairy of the fountain,
Or the mermaid of the wave,
Frame thee in some coral cave?
Did, in Iceland's darksome mine,
Dwarf's swart hands thy metal twine ?
Or, mortal-moulded, comest thou here,
From England's love, or France's fear?

XII.

Song continued.
"No!-thy splendors nothing tell
Foreign art or faëry spell.
Moulded thou for monarch's use,
By the overweening Bruce,
When the royal robe he tied
O'er a heart of wrath and pride;
Thence in triumph wert thou torn,
By the victor hand of Lorn!

X.
That younger stranger, fierce and high,
At once confronts the Chieftain's eye?

With look of equal scorn ;-
“Of rebels have we naught to show;
But if of Royal Bruce thou’dst know,

I warn thee he has sworn,
Ere thrice three days shall come and go,
His banner Scottish winds shall blow,
Despite each mean or mighty foe,
From England's every bill and bow,

To Allaster of Lorn."
Kindled the mountain Chieftain's ire,
But Ronald quench'd the rising fire ;
“Brother, it better suits the time
To chase the night with Ferrand's rhyme,
Than wake, 'midst mirth and wine, the jars
That flow from these unhappy wars."-
“ Content,” said Lorn; and spoke apart
With Ferrand, master of his art,

Then whisper'd Argentine, -
“The lay I named will carry smart
To these bold strangers' haughty heart,

If right this guess of mine."
He ceased, and it was silence all,
Until the minstrel waked the hall.“

“ When the gem was won and lost,
Widely was the war-cry toss'd!
Rung aloud Bendourish fell,
Answer'd Douchart's sounding dell,
Fled the deer from wild Teyndrum,
When the homicide, o'ercome,
Hardly 'scaped, with scathe and scorn,
Left the pledge with conquering Lorn!

4

XIII.

Song concluded.
“ Vain was then the Douglas brand,
Vain the Campbell's vaunted hand,
Vain Kirkpatrick's bloody dirk,
Making sure of murder's work ;'
Barendown fled fast away,
Fled the fiery De la Haye,''
When this brooch, triumphant borne,
Beam'd upon the breast of Lorn.

XI.

The Brooch of Zorn.
“ Whence the brooch of burning gold,
That clasps the Chieftain's mantle-fold,
Wrought and chased with rare device,
Studded fair with gems of price,
On the varied tartans beaming,
As, through night's pale rainbow gleaming,
Fainter now, now seen afar,
Fitful shines the northern star ?

“Farthest fled its former Lord,
Left his men to brand and cord,"
Bloody brand of Highland steel,
English gibbet, axe, and wheel.
Let him fly from coast to coast,
Dogg'd by Comyn's vengeful ghost,
While his spoils, in triumph worn,
Long shall grace victorious Lorn!"

“Gem! ne'er wrought on Highland mountain,

1 See Appendix, Note 0.

chief over Robert Bruce, in one of their rencontres. Brac, 2 MS.--"That younger stranger, naught out-dared,

in truth, had been set on by some of that clan, and had ex Was prompt the haughty Chief to beard." cated himself from a fearful overmatch by stependous exerties. $ MS.—" Men say that he has sworn."

In the struggle, however, the brooch which fastened his royal 4 "The description of the bridal feast, in the second Canto, mantle had been torn off by the assailants; and it is on the has several animated lines ; but the real power and poetry of subject of this trophy that the Celtic poet pours forth this wil. the author do not appear to as to be called out until the occa- rapid, and spirited strain."-JEFFREY. sion of the Highland quarrel which follows the feast.”— 6 See Appendix, Note P.

7 Ibid. Note Q. Monthly Review, March, 1815.

8 See Appendix, Note R. 5 “In a very different style of excellence (from that of the See Appendix, Note S. first three stanzas) is the triumphant and insulting song of the 10 See Appendix, Note T. bard of Lorn, commemorating the pretended victory of his 11 MS.-"Left his followers to the sword."

XIV. As glares the tiger on his foes, Hemm'd in by hunters, spears, and bows, And, ere he bounds upon the ring, Selects the object of his spring Now on the bard, now on his Lord, So Edward glared and grasp'd his swordBut stern his brother spoke,—"Be still. What! art thou yet so wild of will, After high deeds and sufferings long, To chafe thee for a menial's song ? Well hast thou framed, Old Man, thy strains, To praise the hand that pays thy pains !" Yet something might thy song have told Of Lorn's three vassals, true and bold, Who rent their lord from Bruce's hold, As underneath his knee he lay, And died to save him in the fray. I've heard the Bruce's cloak and clasp Was clench'd within their dying grasp, What time a hundred foemen more Rush'd in, and back the victor bore, Long after Lorn had left the strife, Full glad to 'scape with limb and life.Enough of this—And, Minstrel, hold, As minstrel-hire, this chain of gold, For future lays a fair excuse, To speak more nobly of the Bruce.”.

XVI. Then

up sprang many a mainland Lord, Obedient to their Chieftain's word. Barcaldine's arm is high in air, And Kinloch-Alline's blade is bare, Black Murthok's dirk has left its sheath, And clench'd is Dermid's hand of death. Their mutter'd threats of vengeance swell Into a wild and warlike yell; Onward they press with weapons high, The affrighted females shriek and fly, And, Scotland, then thy brightest ray Had darken’d ere its noon of day,But every chief of birth and fame, That from the Isles of Ocean came, At Ronald's side that hour withstood Fierce Lorn's relentless thirst for blood.''

XVII. Brave Torquil from Dunvegan high, Lord of the misty hills of Skye, Mac-Niel, wild Bara's ancient thane, Duart, of bold Clan-Gillian's strain, Fergus, of Canna's castled bay, Mac-Duffith, Lord of Colonsay, Soon as they saw the broadswords glance, With ready weapons rose at once, More prompt, that many an ancient feud, Full oft suppress'd, full oft renew'd, Glow'd 'twixt the chieftains of Argyle, And many a lord of ocean's isle. Wild was the scene-each sword was bare, Back stream'd each chieftain's shaggy hair, In gloomy opposition set, Eyes, hands, and brandish'd weapons met; Blue gleaming o'er the social board, Flash'd to the torches many a sword; And soon those bridal lights may shine On purple blood for rosy wine.

XV. “Now, by Columba's shrine, I swear, And every saint that's buried there, 'Tis he himself!" "Lorn sternly cries, " And for my kinsman's death he dies." As loudly Ronald calls,—“Forbear! Not in my sight while brand I wear, O'ermatched by odds, shall warrior fall, Or blood of stranger stain my hall ! This ancient fortress of my race Shall be misfortune's resting-place, Shelter and shield of the distress'd, No slaughter-house for shipwreck'd guest.”«Talk not to me,” fierce Lorn replied, "Of odds, or match !-when Comyn died, Three daggers clash'd within his side ! Talk not to me of sheltering hall, The Church of God saw Comyn fall! On God's own altar stream'd his blood, While o'er my prostrate kinsman stood The ruthless murderer-e'en as now With armed hand and scornful brow! Up, all who love me! blow on blow! And lay the outlaw'd felons low!"

XVIII. While thus for blows and death prepared, Each heart was up, each weapon bared, Each foot advanced,-a surly pause Still reverenced hospitable laws. All menaced violence, but alike Reluctant each the first to strike (For aye accursed in minstrel line Is he who brawls 'mid song and wine), And, match'd in numbers and in might, Doubtful and desperate seem'd the fight. Thus threat and murmur died away, Till on the crowded hall there lay

" But stern the Island Lord withstood

The vengeful Chieftain's thirst of blood." o MS." While thus for blood and blows prepared,

Raised was each hand," &c.

1 See Appendix, Note U.
a The MS. has not this couplet.
* MS." When breathless Lorn had left the strife."
* For these four lines the MS. has-

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Such silence, as the deadly still,
Ere bursts the thunder on the hill
With blade advanced, each Chieftain bold
Show'd like the Sworder's form of old,"
As wanting still the torch of life,
To wake the marble into strife.

Hath whisper'd of a lawful claim,
That calls the Bruce fair Scotland's Lord,
Though dispossess’d by foreign sword.
This craves reflection-but though right
And just the charge of England's Knight,
Let England's crown her rebels seize
Where she has power;—in towers like

these, 'Midst Scottish Chieftains summon'd here To bridal mirth and bridal cheer, Be sure, with no consent of mine, Shall either Lorn or Argentine With chains or violence, in our sight, Oppress a brave and banish'd Knight."

XIX. That awful pause the stranger maid, And Edith, seized to pray for aid. As to De Argentine she clung, Away her veil the stranger flung, And, lovely ’mid her wild despair, Fast stream'd her eyes, wide flow'd her hair. “O thou, of knighthood once the flower, Sure refuge in distressful hour, Thou, who in Judah well hast fought For our dear faith, and oft hast sought Renown in knightly exercise, When this poor hand has dealt the prize, Say, can thy soul of honor brook On the unequal strife to look, When, butcher'd thus in peaceful hall, Those once thy friends, my brethren, fall!" To Argentine she turn'd her word, But her eye sought the Island Lord.” A flush like evening's setting flame Glow'd on his cheek; his hardy frame, As with a brief convulsion, shook: With hurried voice and eager look,“Fear not,” he said, “my Isabel ! What said I_Edith !--all is wellNay, fear not-I will well provide The safety of my lovely brideMy bride ?”—but there the accents clung In tremor to his faltering tongue.

XXI.
Then waked the wild debate again,
With brawling threat and clamor vain.
Vassals and menials, thronging in,
Lent their brute rage to swell the din;
When, far and wide, a bugle-clang
From the dark ocean upward rang.

The Abbot comes !" they cry at once, “The holy man, whose favor'd glance

Hath sainted visions known; Angels have met him on the way, Beside the blessed martyrs' bay,

And by Columba's stone.
His monks have heard their hymnings high
Sound from the summit of Dun-Y,

To cheer his penance lone,
When at each cross, on girth and wold*
(Their number thrice a hundred fold),
His prayer he made, his beads he told,

With Aves many a one-
He comes our feuds to reconcile,
A sainted man from sainted isle ;
We will his holy doom abide,
The Abbot shall our strife decide."

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XX. Now rose De Argentine, to claim The prisoners in his sovereign's name, To England's crown, who, vassals sworn, 'Gainst their liege lord had weapon borne(Such speech, I ween, was but to hide His care their safety to provide; For knight more true in thought and deed Than Argentine ne'er spurr'd a steed)And Ronald, who his meaning guess'd, Seem'd half to sanction the request. This purpose fiery Torquil broke : “Somewhat we've heard of England's yoke," He said, “and, in our islands, Fame

XXII. Scarcely this fair accord was o'er, When through the wide revolving door

The black-stoled brethren wind; Twelve sandall’d monks, who relics bore, With many a torch-bearer before,

And many a cross behind.'
Then sunk each fierce uplifted hand,
And dagger bright and flashing brand

Dropp'd swiftly at the sight;
They vanish'd from the Churchman's eye,

1 MS.

"each Chieftain rude,

Like that famed Swordsman's statue stood.” 2 MS.—" To waken him to deadly strife.” 9 The MS. adds :

" With such a frantic fond appeal,

As only lovers make and feel.” * MS.—"What time at every cross of old."

6 MS.--"We will his holy rede obey,

The Abbot's voice shall end the fray." 6 MS.-"Scarce was this peaceful paction o'er." 7 MS.--"Did slow procession wind;

Twelve monks, who stole and mantle wore,
And chalice, pyx, and relics bore,

With many," &c.

As shooting stars, that glance and die,

Dart from the vault of night.

XXIII.
The Abbot on the threshold stood,
And in his hand the holy rood;
Back on his shoulders flow'd his hood,

The torch's glaring ray
Show'd, in its red and flashing light,
His wither'd cheek and amice white,
His blue eye glistening cold and bright,

His tresses scant and gray.
"Fair Lords," he said, “ Our Lady's love,
And peace be with you from above,

And Benedicite!-
-But what means this ? no peace is here !-
Do dirks unsheathed suit bridal cheer?

Or are these naked brands
A seemly show for Churchman's sight,
When he comes summond to unite
Betrothed hearts and hands ?”

XXV. Then Ronald pled the stranger's cause, And knighthood's oath and honor's laws;6 And Isabel, on bended knee, Brought pray’rs and tears to back the plea: And Edith lent her generous aid,

2 And wept, and Lorn for mercy pray'd.® “Hence,” he exclaim’d, degenerate maid ! Was't not enough to Roland's bower I brought thee, like a paramour," Or bond-maid at her master's gate, His careless cold approach to wait ?But the bold Lord of Cumberland, The gallant Clifford, seeks thy hand; His it shall be-Nay, no reply! Hence! till those rebel eyes be dry." With grief the Abbot heard and saw, Yet naught relax'd his brow of awe.”

XXIV. Then, cloaking hate with fiery zeal, Proud Lorn first answer'd the appeal ;

“Thou comest, O holy Man, True sons of blessed church to greet,' But little deeming here to meet

A wretch, beneath the ban Of Pope and Church, for murder done Even on the sacred altar-stone 1-2 Well mayst thou wonder we should know Such miscreant here, nor lay him low, Or dream of greeting, peace, or truce, With excommunicated Bruce! Yet will I grant, to end debate, Thy sainted voice decide his fate."4

XXVI.
Then Argentine, in England's name,
So highly urged his sovereign's claim,
He waked a spark, that long suppress’d,
Had smoulder'd in Lord Ronald's breast;
And now, as from the flint the fire,

lash'd forth at once his generous ire.
"Enough of noble blood,” he said,
“ By English Edward had been shed,
Since matchless Wallace first had been
In mock’ry crown'd with wreaths of green,''
And done to death by felon hand,
For guarding well his father's land.
Where's Nigel Bruce? And De la Haye,
And valiant Seton—where are they?
Where Somerville, the kind and free?
And Fraser, flower of chivalry ?11
Have they not been on gibbet bound,

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i The MS, here adds :-

“Men bound in her communion gweet,

And duteous to the Papal seat." 2 MS.

“the blessed altar-stone." s In place of the couplet which follows, the MS. has

“But promptly had my dagger's edge

Avenged the guilt of sacrilege,
Save for my new and kind ally,
And Torquil, chief of stormy Skye
(In whose wild land there rests the seed,
Men say, of ancient heathen creed),
Who would enforce me to a truce

With excommunicated Brace."
The MS. adds :

" Secure such foul offenders find

No favor in a holy mind.” $ The MS. has : “ Alleged the best of honor's laws,

due to The succor

{ claim’d by } storm-staid guest, The refuge due to the distress'd, The oath that binds each generous knight

But in a tone that well explain'd
How little grace their prayers had gain'd;
For though he purposed true and well,
Still stubborn and inflexible
In what he deem'd his duty high,

Was Abbot Ademar of Y." 9 MS.—" For Bruce's custody made claim."-In place of the two couplets which follow, the MS. hag

“And Torquil, stout Dunvegan's Knight,

As well defended Scotland's right,

Enough of,” &c. 10 See Appendix, Note W. 11 See Appendix, Note X.

Their quarters flung to hawk and hound,
And hold we here a cold debate,
To yield more victims to their fate!
What I can the English Leopard's mood
Never be gorged with northern blood ?
Was not the life of Athole shed,
To soothe the tyrant's sicken'd bed?"
And must his word, till dying day,
Be naught but quarter, hang, and slay !
Thou frown’st, De Argentine --My gage
Is prompt to prove the strife I wage." —

Arms every hand against thy life,
Bans all who aid thee in the strife,
Nay, each whose succor, cold and scant,
With meanest alms relieves thy want;
Haunts thee while living,-and, when dead,
Dwells on thy yet devoted head,
Rends Honor's scutcheon from thy hearse,
Stills o'er thy bier the holy verse,
And spurns thy corpse from hallow'd ground,
Flung like vile carrion to the hound;
Such is the dire and desperate doom
For sacrilege, decreed by Rome;
And such the well-deserved meed
Of thine unhallow'd, ruthless deed."

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XXVII. “Nor deem," said stout Dunvegan's knight, “That thou shalt brave alone the fight ! By saints of isle and mainland both, By Woden wild (my grandsire's oath)," Let Rome and England do their worst, Howe'er attainted or accursed, If Bruce shall e'er find friends again, Once more to bravé a battle-plain, If Douglas couch again his lance, Or Randolph dare another chance, Old Torquil will not be to lack With twice a thousand at his back.-Nay, chafe not at my bearing bold, Good Abbot! for thou know'st of old, Torquil's rude thought and stubborn will Smack of the wild Norwegian still ; Nor will I barter Freedom's cause For England's wealth, or Rome's applause."

XXVIII. The Abbot seem'd with eye severe The hardy Chieftain's speech to hear ; Then on King Robert turn’d the Monk, But twice his courage came and sunk, Confronted with the hero's look; Twice fell his eye, his accents shook ; At length, resolved in tone and brow, Sternly he question'd him—" And thou, Unhappy! what hast thou to plead, Why I denounce not on thy deed That awful doom which canons tell Shuts paradise, and opens hell; Anathema of power so dread, It blends the living with the dead, Bids each good angel soar away, And every ill one claim his prey; Expels thee from the church's care, And deafens Heaven against thy prayer ;

XXIX.
“ Abbot !" the Bruce replied, “thy charge
It boots not to dispute at large.
This much, howe'er, I bid thee know,
No selfish vengeance dealt the blow,
For Comyn died his country's foe.
Nor blame I friends whose ill-timed speed
Fulfill’d my soon-repented deed,
Nor censure those from whose stern tongue
The dire anathema has rung.
I only blame mine own wild ire,
By Scotland's wrongs incensed to fire.
Heaven knows my purpose to atone,
Far as I may, the evil done,
And hears a penitent's appeal
From papal curse and prelate's zeal.
My first and dearest task achieved,
Fair Scotland from her thrall relieved,
Shall many a priest in cope and stole
Say requiem for Red Comyn's soul,
While I the blessed cross advance,
And expiate this unhappy chance
In Palestine, with sword and lance."
But, while content the Church should know
My conscience owns the debt I owe,
Unto De Argentine and Lorn
The name of traitor I return,
Bid them defiance stern and high,
And give them in their throats the lie!
These brief words spoke, I speak no more.
Do what thou wilt; my shrift is o'er."

XXX.
Like man by prodigy amazod,
Upon the King the Abbot gazed;
Then o'er his pallid features glance,

1 See Appendix, Note Y. 2 See Appendix, Note Z.

3 In the MS. this couplet is wanting, and, without breaking the stanza, Lord Roland continues,

“By saints of isle," &c. 4 The MacLeods, and most other distinguished Hebridean families, were of Scandinavian extraction, and some were late

or imperfect converts to Christianity. The family names of
Torquil, Thormod, &c. are all Norwegian.

6 MS.-—"Then turn'd him on the Bruce the Monk.”
& MS.-" Nay, curses each whose succor scant."
7 See Appendix, Note 2 A.
8 The MS. adds :-“ For this ill-timed and luckless blow."
9 MS.

bold and high."

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