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XXVIII. Like war-horse eager to rush on, Compell’d to wait the signal blown," Hid, and scarce hid, by greenwood bough, Trembling with rage, stands Ronald now, And in his grasp his sword gleams blue, Soon to be dyed with deadlier hue.Meanwhile the Bruce, with steady eye, Sees the dark” death-train moving by, And, heedful, measures oft the space The Douglas and his band must trace, Ere they can reach their destined ground. Now sinks the dirge's wailing sound, Now cluster round the direful tree That slow and solemn company, While hymn mistuned and mutter'd prayer The victim for his fate prepare. What glances o'er the greenwood shade? The spear that marks the ambuscade!“Now, noble Chief! I leave thee loose; Upon them, Ronald !” said the Bruce.
And twice, that morn, surprise well near
XXIX. “ The Bruce, the Bruce !” to well-known cry His native rocks and woods reply. “The Bruce, the Bruce !” in that dread word The knell of hundred deaths was heard. The astonish'd Southern gazed at first, Where the wild tempest was to burst, That waked in that presaging name. Before, behind, around it came! Half-arm’d, surprised, on every side Hemm'd in, hew'd down, they bled and died. Deep in the ring the Bruce engaged, And fierce Clan-Colla's broadsword raged! Full soon the few who fought were sped, No better was their lot who fled, And met, ’mid terror's wild career, The Douglas's redoubted spear! Two hundred yeomen on that morn The castle left, and none return.
His fury had assail'd ;4
Where prudence might have fail'd.
By which its planks arose ;
The gate they may not close.
Against a hundred foes.
Fresh combatants pour in;
And ward on ward they win.
And fearful was the din!
Nor sunk the fearful cry,
Groan'd in their agony !
XXX. Not on their flight press'd Ronald's brand, A gentler duty claim'd his hand. He raised the page, where on the plain His fear had sunk him with the slain :
1 MS.-" Yet waiting for the trumpet tone."
MS.- "See the slow death-train." 8 MS. " And scarce his recollection," &c. 4 MS.-" A harder task fierce Edward waits,
Whose ire assail'd the castle gates." 0 MS.-" Where sober thought had fail'd.
Upon the bridge himself he threw."
The gate," &c.
* MS.--" Well fought the English yeomen then,
And Lorn and Clifford play'd the men,
Against," &c. 8 The concluding stanza of "The Siege of Corinth" con tains 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;
And cut the cable loose.
If Lorn encounter'd Bruce !3 ,
The rugged vaults replied;
Of silver, waving wide!
The pledge, fair Scotland's rights restored!
The Lord of the Isles.
XXXIII. The Bruce hath won his father's hall 14 -“Welcome, brave friends and comrades all,
Welcome to mirth and joy!
To this poor speechless boy.
In tottering infancy!
To youth's unthinking glee!
O who, that shared them, ever shall forget
won, 10 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 ris
ing sun !11
XXXIV. “ Bring here,” he said, “the mazers four, My noble fathers loved of yore. Thrice let them circle round the board,
And howling left the unburied dead :
And burst his girth, and tore his rein," &c. 1 In point of fact, Clifford fell at Bannockburn. 2 MS." And swiftly hoisted sail." 3 MS.-"Short were his shrift, if in that hour
Of fate, of fury, and of power,
He 'counter'd Edward Bruce !" * See Appendix, Note 3 D. 3 MS." And see the vaulted arch," &c. . See Appendix, Note 3 E. 1 MS.-"Be lasting infamy his lot,
And brand of a disloyal Scot!"
8 Bee Appendix, Note 3 F.
MS.—“ Hast thou forgot ?-No! who can e'er forget." 10 “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 clamors of some hot and hornfisted patriot, blowing our selves, as well as Bonaparte, to the devil! And what has all this to do with Bannockburn ?”—Monthly Reciev. 11 MS.-"Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, watch'd
Triumph's flashing gun."
O these were hours, when thrilling joy repaid
fears! The heart-sick faintness of the hope delay'd, The waste, 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
That Bruce's earliest cares restore
And many a fortress, town, and tower, was
won, And Fame still sounded forth fresh deeds of glory done.
A vot'ress of the order now,
That stern and rigid vow,
To that lone island's shore;
His son retain'd no more,
And they took term of truce,
To yield them to the Bruce.
To summon prince and peer,
With buckler, brand, and spear.
Forth marshall'd for the field;
With banner, blade, and shield!
For Neustria's knights obey'd, Gascogne hath 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."
1 See Appendix, Note 3 G.
9 Ibid. Note 3 H.
7 The MS. has not this line.
And oft his breach of faith he blames,
Forgive him for thine own!"
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. Not with such pilgrim's startled eye King Robert mark’d the tempest nigh!
Resolved the brunt to bide,
To combat at his side.
To battle for the right!
All boun'd them for the fight.
VII. “No! never to Lord Ronald's bower Will I again as paramour"“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; Dunstaffpage 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, O'er tower and land was Edith's right; This ample right o'er tower and land Were safe in Ronald's faithful hand.
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."
Hath been to Isabel ?
The cheerless convent-cell
On happier fortunes fell.
Long since that mood is gone: Now dwells he on thy juster claims,
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 ;
From Arran's mountains left the land;
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, certainly, at first sight, over delicate.
And Love, howe'er the maiden strive,
In battles four beneath their eye,
And all the western land;
In many a plaided band.
By these Hebrideans worn;
To the fair Maid of Lorn!
1 See Appendix, Note 3 P.
wise affected by the amount of his father's debts. A widow 2 MS.--"Nearest and plainest to the eye."
having no son may enjoy her husband's freehold as long as she s See Appendix, Note 3 Q.
lives, but at her death it reverts to the community, the female 4 MS."One close beneath the hill was laid."
line being excluded from the right of succession. Nor can any 6 See Appendix, Note 3 R.
freeman dispose of his freehold except to the community, who 6" As a reward for the loyalty and distinguished bravery of must, within a certain time, dispose of it to a neutral person, the men of Ayr on the occasion referred to in the text, King as no freeman or baron can possess more than one allotment, Robert the Bruce granted them upwards of 1300 Scots acres whereby the original number of freemen is always kept up. of land, part of the bailliery of Kyle Stewart, his patrimonial
"Each freeholder has a vote in the election of the baillies, inheritance, lying in the immediate vicinity of the town of who have a jurisdiction over the freemen for the recovery of Ayr, which grant King James VI. confirmed to their succes- small debts. But though they have the power of committing sors by two charters; one to the freemen of Newton-upon-Ayr, a freeman to prison, they cannot, in right of their office, lock the other to the freemen of Prestwick, both boroughs of barony the prison doors on him, but if he leaves the prison without in the same parish, with all the peculiarities of the original the proper liberation of the baillies, he thereby forfeits his constitution.
baronship or freedom."--Inquisit. Special, pp. 72, 555, 782.“The former charter contains forty-eight freedoms or baro Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. ii. nies--as these subdivisions are called and the latter thirty- | pp. 263, 264, 581.-Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. iii. pp. 504, six. The right of succession to these freeholds is limited, A 508.--Note from Mr. Joseph Train (1840). son succeeds his father, nor can his right of succession be any-| 7 See Appendix, Note 3 S.