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Bestow'd thy high designs to aid,
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 splendors light and vain ?"
XXIIL 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! Oill 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 !"
XXII. “No, Lady! in old eyes like mine, Gauds have 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 gray 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, relief, That glance, if guilty, would I dread More than the doom that spoke me dead.”— “ Enough, enough," the princess cried, “ 'Tis Scotland's hope, her joy, her pride! To meaner front was ne'er assign'd Such mastery o'er the common mind
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 had 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 house'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.”—
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 interveneSay they were of that unknown Knight, Victor in Woodstock's tourney-fightNay, if his name such blush you owe, Victorious o'er a fairer foe !"
1 "Mr. Scott, we have said, contradicts himself. How will / we discover the princess counting her beads and reading homihe explain the following facts to his reader's satisfaction ? lies in the cloister of St. Bride, in the Island of Arran! We The third canto informs us that Isabel accompanies Edward humbly beseech the Mighty Minstrel' to clear up this matto Ireland, there to remain till the termination of the war; ter."--Critical Review. • and in the fourth canto, the second day after her departure, MS." But when subsides," &c.
Truly his penetrating eye
As the small cell would space afford;
He leant his weight on Bruce's sword,
My love was like a summer flower,
XXVII. “ This answer be to Ronald givenThe heart he asks is fix'd on heaven.
1 We would bow with veneration to the powerful and simile applied to the transient blush observed by Bruce on upged genius of Scott. We would style him above all others, the countenance of Isabel upon his mention of Ronald."Homer and Shakspeare excepted, the Poet of Nature-of British Critic. 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,
3 MS.--" But that his earlier plight forbade.” escapes his penetrating eye; they are all marked with the
former nicest discrimination; are introduced with the happiest effect.
* MS.--"The Monarch's brand and cloak he bore." Hence, in bis similes, both the genius and the judgment of
5 MS.-"Answer'd the Bruce, he saved my life.'" the poet are peculiarly conspicuous; his accurate observation of the appearances of nature, which others have neglected,
6 The MS, has,-imparts an originality to those allusions, of which the reader
“Isabel's thoughts are fix'd on heaven;" immediately recognizes the aptness and propriety; and only and the two couplets which follow are interpolated on the wonders that what must have been so often witnessed should blank page. have been so uniformly passed unregarded by. Such is the l ? See Appendix, Note 2 V.
But good King Robert cried, " Chafe not-by signs he speaks his mind, He heard the plan my care design'd,
Nor could his transports hide.But, sister, now bethink thee well; No easy choice the convent cell ; Trust, I shall play no tyrant part, Either to force thy hand or heart, Or suffer that Lord Ronald scorn, Or wrong for thee, the Maid of Lorn. But think,—not long the time has been, That thou wert wont to sigh unseen, And wouldst the ditties best approve, That told some lay of hapless love. Now are thy wishes in thy power, And thou art bent on cloister bower! 0! if our Edward knew the change, How would his busy satire range, With many a sarcasm varied still On woman's wish, and woman's will !"
But what have I with love to do? Far sterner cares my lot pursue. -Pent in this isle we may not lie," Nor would it long our wants supply. Right opposite, the mainland towers Of my own Turnberry court our powers -Might not my father's beadsman hoar, Cuthbert, who dwells upon the shore, Kindle a signal-flame, to show The time propitious for the blow? It shall be go—some friend shall bear Our mandate with despatch and care; -Edward shall find the messenger, That fortress ours, the island fleet May on the coast of Carrick meetO Scotland ! shall it e'er be mine To wreak thy wrongs in battle-line, To raise my victor-head, and see Thy hills, thy dales, thy people free, That glance of bliss is all I crave, Betwixt my labors and my grave!" Then down the hill he slowly went, Oft pausing on the steep descent, And reach'd the spot where his bold train Held rustic camp upon the plain.
The Lord of the Isles.
XXIX. “Brother, I well believe," she said, “Even so would Edward's part be play'd. Kindly in heart, in word severe, A foe to thought, and grief, and fear, He holds his humor uncontrollid; But thou art of another mould. Say then to Ronald, as I say, Unless before my feet he lay The ring which bound the faith he swore, By Edith freely yielded o'er, He moves his suit to me no more. Nor do I promise, even if now He stood absolved of spousal vow, That I would change my purpose made, To shelter me in holy shade.Brother, for little space, farewell! To other duties warns the bell.”—
On fair Loch-Ranza stream'd the early day,
Courting the sunbeam as she plied her toil,For, wake where'er he may, Man wakes to care
XXX. “ Lost to the world," King Robert said, When he had left the royal maid, "Lost to the world by lot severe, O what a gem lies buried here, Nipp'd by misfortune's cruel frost, The buds of fair affection lost !
But other duties calld each convent maid, Roused by the summons of the moss-grown bell;
1 The MS. here adds :
“She yields one shade of empty hope ;
But well I guess her wily scope
And still my importunity." This and the twelve succeeding lines are interpolated on the blank page of the MS.
3“ The fourth canto cannot be very greatly praised. It contains, indeed, many pleasing passages ; but the merit which they possess is too much detached from the general interest of the poem. The only business is Bruce's arrival at the isle of Arran. The voyage is certainly described with spirit ; but
the remainder of the canto is rather tedious, and might, with-
Sung were the matins, and the mass was said,
Upon the snowy neck and long dark hair,
She raised her eyes, that duty done,
“Strange doubts are mine !—Mona, draw nigh;
–Naught ’scapes old Mona's curious eye-
-Instant, good Mona, to the bay,
Next rose the thought,-its owner far,
And there were foot-prints seen
Their track effaced the green. The ivy twigs were torn and fray'd, As if some climber's steps to aid. But who the hardy messenger, Whose venturous path these signs infer !
3 MS._" 'Tis she herself."
The warriors from our woods have pass'd ?" 6 MS."Canst tell where they have bent their way?"
Away, good father! and take heed,
But as, on Carrick-shore,
It kindled more and more.
Full strange to churchman's eye;
And helmets flashing high.
While, hastening all on board,
With many a haughty word.
Heavy and dull the foot of age,
VIII. Through that wild throng the Father pass'd, And reach'd the Royal Bruce at last. He leant against a stranded boat, That the approaching tide must float, And counted every rippling wave, As higher yet her sides they lave, And oft the distant fire he eyed, And closer yet his hauberk tied, And loosen'd in its sheath his brand. Edward and Lennox were at hand, Douglas and Ronald had the care The soldiers to the barks to share.The Monk approach'd and homage paid; “And art thou come,” King Robert said, “So far to bless us ere we part ?"--"My Liege, and with a loyal heart But other charge I have to tell," — And spoke the hest of Isabel.
—“Now by Saint Giles,” the monarch cried, “ This moves me much !-this morning tide, I sent the stripling to Saint Bride, With my commandment there to bide."
_"Thither he came the portress show'd, But there, my Liege, made brief abode.” —
But though the beams of light decay,
Far distant in the south, the ray
IX. « 'Twas I," said Edward, “ found employ Of nobler import for the boy. Deep pondering in my anxious mind, A fitting messenger to find, To bear my written mandate o'er To Cuthbert on the Carrick-shore,
1 MS.--"And cross the island took his way,
O'er hill and holt, to Brodick-Bay." . See Appendix, Note 2 W. 9 MS.--"He cross'd him by the Druids' stone,
That heard of yore the victim's groan." 4 See Appendix, Note 2 X.
5 See Appendix, Note 2 Y.
It brighten'd more and more.
And now amid," &c. 7 See Appendix, Note 2 Z.