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Bestow'd thy high designs to aid,
How long, 0 Heaven! how long delay'd !-
Haste, Mona, haste, to introduce
My darling brother, royal Bruce !"

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! 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 !"

1

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 ?"

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, reliefThat glance, if guilty, would I dread More than the doom that spoke me dead.”— “ Enough, enough," the princess cried, “ 'T'is 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."

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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 mat

to Ireland, there to remain till the termination of the war; ter."'--Critical Review.
• and in the fourth canto, the second day after her departure, 9 MS.—“But when subsides," &c.

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."

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 ;o 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. 'Tis 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 gale. But forward, gentle IsabelMy answer for Lord Ronald tell.”—

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,
And thou didst bid thy little band
Upon the instant turn and stand,
And dare the worst the fou might do,
Rather than, like a knight untrue,
Leave to pursuers merciless
A woman in her last distress.?
And wilt thou now deny thine aid
To an oppress'd and injured maid,
Even plead for Ronald's perfidy,
And
press

his fickle faith on me
So witness Heaven, as true I vow,
Had I those earthly feelings now,
Which could my former bosom move
Ere taught to set its hopes above,
I'd spurn each proffer he could bring,
Till at my feet he laid the ring,
The ring and spousal contract both,
And fair acquittal of his oath,
By her who brooks his perjured scorn,
The ill-requited Maid of Lorn!"

XXVIII. With sudden impulse forward sprung The page, and on her neck he hung; Then, recollected instantly, His head he stoop'd, and bent his knee, Kiss'd twice the hand of Isabel, Arose, and sudden left the cell.--The princess, loosen'd from his hold, Blush'd

angry at his bearing bold;

XXVII. « This answer be to Ronald givenThe heart he asks is fix'd on heaven.

We would bow with veneration to the powerful and lugged genius of Scott. We would style him above all others, Homer and Shakspeare excepted, the Poet of Nature-of Nature in all her varied beauties, in all her wildest haunts. No appearance, however minute, in the scenes around him, escapes his penetrating eye; they are all marked with the nicest discrimination ; are introduced with the happiest effect. Hence, in bis similes, both the genius and the judgment of the poet are peculiarly conspicuous; his accurate observation of the appearances of nature, which others have neglected, imparts an originality to those allusions, of which the reader immediately recognizes the aptness and propriety; and only Wonders that what must have been so often witnessed should have been so uniformly passed unregarded by. Such is the

simile applied to the transient blush observed by Bruce on the countenance of Isabel upon his mention of Ronald."British Critic. 2 MS.—"And well I judge that Knight unknown."

earlier 3 MS.--"But that his plight forbade.”

former 4 MS.--"The Monarch's brand and cloak he bore." 5 MS.-" Answer'd the Bruce, he saved my life.'" 6 The MS. has,-

"Isabel's thoughts are fix'd on heaven;" and the two couplets which follow are interpolated on the

blank page.

? 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 so-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 meet-
O Scotland I 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.”

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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 call'd 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
Is to elude Lord Ronald's plea,

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, without any considerable inconvenience, have been left a good deal to the reader's imagination. Mr. Scott onght to reserve, as much as possible, the interlocutory part of his narrative, for occasions which admit of high and animated sentiment, or the display of powerful emotions, because this is almost the only poetical beauty of which speeches are susceptible. Bet to fill up three-fourths of a canto with a lover's asking a brother in a quiet and friendly manner for permission to address his sister in marriage, and a brother's asking his sister whether she has any objections, is, we think, somewhat injudicions" -Quarterly Review.

Sung were the matins, and the mass was said,
And every sister sought her separate cell,
Such was the rule, her rosary to tell.
And Isabel has knelt in lonely prayer
The sunbeam, through the narrow lattice, fell

Upon the snowy neck and long dark hair,
As stoop'd her gentle head in meek devotion there.

“Strange doubts are mine !-Mona, draw nigh;
–Naught ’scapes old Mona's curious eye-
What strangers, gentle mother, say,
Have sought these holy walls to-day ?”—
“None, Lady, none of note or name;
Only your brother's foot-page came,
At peep of dawn-I pray'd him pass
To chapel where they said the mass ;
But like an arrow he shot by,
And tears seem'd bursting from his eye.”

1

II.
She raised her eyes, that duty done,
When glanced upon the pavement-stone,
Gemm'd and enchased, a golden ring,
Bound to a scroll with silken string,
With few brief words inscribed to tell,
* This for the Lady Isabel.”
Within, the writing farther bore,-
“ 'Twas with this ring his plight he swore,
With this his promise I restore;
To her who can the heart command,
Well may I yield the plighted hand.
And O! for better fortune born,
Grudge not a passing sigh to mourn
Her who was Edith once of Lorn!"
One single flash of glad surprise
Just glanced from Isabel's dark eyes,
But vanish'd in the blush of shame,
That, as its penance, instant came.
"O thought unworthy of my race !
Selfish, ungenerous, mean, and base,
A moment's throb of joy to own,
That rose upon her hopes o'erthrown
Thou pledge of vows too well believed,
Of man ingrate and maid deceived,
Think not thy lustre here shall gain
Another heart to hope in vain!
For thou shalt rest, thou tempting gaud,
Where worldly thoughts are overawed,
And worldly splendors sink debased.”
Then by the cross the ring she placed.

III.
Next rose the thought,-its owner

far,
How came it here through bolt and bar ?
But the dim lattice is ajar.--
She looks abroad, the morning dew
A light short step had brush'd anew,

And there were foot-prints seen On the carved buttress rising still, Till on the mossy window-sill

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 !-

IV.
The truth at once on Isabel,
As darted by a sunbeam, fell.-
“ 'Tis Edith's self!S—her speechless woe,
Her form, her looks, the secret show!
-Instant, good Mona, to the bay,
And to my royal brother say,
I do conjure him seek

my

cell, With that mute page he loves so well.”— “ What! know'st thou not his warlike host At break of day has left our coast ?* My old eyes saw them from the tower. At eve they couch'd in greenwood bower, At dawn a bugle signal, made By their bold Lord, their ranks array'd; Up sprung the spears through bush and

tree, No time for benedicite! Like deer, that, rousing from their lair, Just shake the dew-drops from their hair, And toss their armed crests aloft, Such matins theirs !"_“Good mother, softWhere does my brother bend his way?"-—* “As I have heard, for Brodick-Bay, Across the isle-of barks a score Lie there, 'tis said, to waft them o'er, On sudden news, to Carrick-shore.""If such their purpose, deep the need," Said anxious Isabel, “ of speed ! Call Father Augustine, good dame.” The nun obey'd, the Father came.

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3 MS.-"'Tis she herself."
4 MS._"What! know'st thou not in sudaen haste

The warriors from our woods have pass'd ?'' 6 MS.-"Canst tell where they have bent their way?"

MS.

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Away, good father! and take heed,
That life and death are on thy speed.”
His cowl the good old priest did on,
Took his piked staff and sandall’d shoon,
And, like a palmer bent by eld,
O'er moss and moor his journey held.'

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But as, on Carrick-shore,
Dim seen in outline faintly blue,
The shades of evening closer drew,

It kindled more and more.
The monk's slow steps now press the sands,
And now amid a scene he stands,

Full strange to churchman's eye;
Warriors, who, arming for the fight,
Rivet and clasp their harness light,
And twinkling spears, and axes bright,

And helmets flashing high.
Oft, too, with unaccustom'd ears,
A language much unmeet he hears,"

While, hastening all on board,
As stormy as the swelling surge
That mix'd its roar, the leaders urge
Their followers to the ocean verge,

With many a haughty word.

VI. Heavy and dull the foot of age, And rugged was the pilgrimage; But none was there beside, whose care Might such important message bear. Through birchen copse he wander'd slow, Stunted and sapless, thin and low; By many a mountain stream he pass'd, From the tall cliffs in tumult cast, Dashing to foam their waters dun, And sparkling in the summer sun. Round his gray head the wild curlew In many a fearless circle flew. O'er chasms he pass'd, where fractures wide Craved wary eye and ample stride ;? He cross'd his brow beside the stone Where Druids erst heard victims groan, And at the cairns upon the wild, O'er many a heathen hero piled," He breathed a timid prayer for those Who died ere Shiloh's sun arose. Beside Macfarlane's Cross he staid, There told his hours within the shade, And at the stream his thirst allay'd. Thence onward journeying slowly still, As evening closed he reach'd the hill, Where, rising through the woodland green, Old Brodick's gothic towers were seen, From Hastings, late their English lord, Douglas had won them by the sword.5 The sun that sunk behind the isle, Now tinged them with a parting smile.

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."

VII.
But though the beams of light decay,
'Twas bustle all in Brodick-Bay.
The Bruce's followers crowd the shore,
And boats and barges some unmoor,
Some raise the sail, some seize the oar ·
Their eyes oft turn'd where glimmer'd far
What might have seem'd an early star
On heaven's blue arch, save that its light
Was all too flickering, fierce, and bright.

Far distant in the south, the ray
Shone pale amid retiring day,

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,

9)

1 MS.--" And cross the island took his way,

O'er hill and holt, to Brodick-Bay." ? See Appendix, Note 2 W. 3 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.
6 MS.--"The shades of even more closely drew,

It brighten'd more and more.
Now print his sandall'd feet the sands,

And now amid," &c.
7 See Appendix, Note 2 Z.

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