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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
Betray'd the secret kept by fear;
Once, when, with life returning, came
To the boy's lip Lord Ronald's name,
And hardly recollection drown'd
The accents in a murmuring sound; .
And once, when scarce he could resist
The Chieftain's care to loose the vest,
Drawn tightly o'er his laboring breast.
But then the Bruce's bugle blew,
For martial work was yet to do.

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.

XXXI.
A harder task fierce Edward waits.
Ere signal given, the castle gates

His fury had assail'd ;4
Such was his wonted reckless mood,
Yet desperate valor oft made good,
Even by its daring, venture rude,

Where prudence might have fail'd.
Upon the bridge his strength he threw,
And struck the iron chain in two,

By which its planks arose ;
The warder next his axe's edge
Struck down upon the threshold ledge,
"Twixt door and post a ghastly wedge 18

The gate they may not close.
Well fought the Southern in the fray,
Clifford and Lorn fought well that day,
But stubborn Edward forc'd his way?

Against a hundred foes.
Loud came the cry, “ The Bruce, the Bruce P
No hope or in defence or truce,

Fresh combatants pour in;
Mad with success, and drunk with gore,
They drive the struggling foe before,

And ward on ward they win.
Unsparing was the vengeful sword,
And limbs were lopp'd and life-blood pour'd,
The cry of death and conflict roar'd,

And fearful was the din!
The startling horses plunged and flung,
Clamor'd the dogs till turrets rung,

Nor sunk the fearful cry,
Till not a foeman was there found
Alive, save those who on the ground

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."
His axe was steel of temper'd edge.
That truth the warder well might pledge,
He sunk upon the threshold ledge !

The gate," &c.

* MS.--" Well fought the English yeomen then,

And Lorn and Clifford play'd the men,
But Edward mann'd the pass he won

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;
The wild birds flew; the wild dogs fled,

XXXII.
The valiant Clifford is no more;'
On Ronald's broadsword stream'd his gore.
But better hap had he of Lorn,
Who, by the foemen backward borne,
Yet gain'd with slender train the port,
Where lay his bark beneath the fort,

And cut the cable loose.
Short were his shrift in that debate,
That hour of fury and of fate,

If Lorn encounter'd Bruce !3 ,
Then long and loud the victor shout
From turret and from tower rung out,

The rugged vaults replied;
And from the donjon tower on high,
The men of Carrick may descry
Saint Andrew's cross, in blazonry

Of silver, waving wide!

The pledge, fair Scotland's rights restored!
And he whose lip shall touch the wine,
Without a vow as true as mine,
To hold both lands and life at naught,
Until her freedom shall be bought,-
Be brand of a disloyal Scot,
And lasting infamy his lot!?
Sit, gentle friends! our hour of glee
Is brief, we'll spend it joyously!
Blithest of all the sun's bright beams,
When betwixt storm and storm he gleams.
Well is our country's work begun,
But more, far more, must yet be done.
Speed messengers the country through
Arouse old friends, and gather new ;3
Warn Lanark's knights to gird their mail,
Rouse the brave sons of Teviotdale,
Let Ettrich's archers sharp their darts,
The fairest forms, the truest hearts !
Call all, call all! from Reedswair-Path,
To the wild confines of Cape-Wrath ;
Wide let the news through Scotland ring,
The Northern Eagle claps his wing!"

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!
The first, the last, is welcome here,
From lord and chieftain, prince and peer,

To this poor speechless boy.
Great God! once more my sire's abode
Is mine-behold the floor I trode

In tottering infancy!
And there the vaulted arch, whose sound
Echoed my joyous shout and bound
In boyhood, and that rung around

To youth's unthinking glee!
O first, to thee, all-gracious Heaven,
Then to my friends, my thanks be given !"
He paused a space, his brow he cross'd-
Then on the board his sword he toss'd,
Yet steaming hot; with Southern gore
From hilt to point 'twas crimson'd o'er.

CANTO SIXTH,

O who, that shared them, ever shall forget
The emotions of the spirit-rousing time,
When breathless in the mart the couriers met,
Early and late, at evening and at prime;
When the loud cannon and the merry chime
Hail'd news on news, as field on field was

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 :
The camels from their keepers broke;
The distant steer forsook the yoke
The nearer steed plunged o'er the plain,

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
A long, long course of darkness, doubts, and

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

liberty!

That Bruce's earliest cares restore
The speechless page to Arran's shore:
Nor think that long the quaint disguise
Conceald her from a sister's eyes;
And sister-like in love they dwell
In that lone convent's silent cell.
There Bruce's slow assent allows
Fair Isabel the veil and vows;
And there, her sex's dress regain'd,
The lovely Maid of Lorn remain'd,
Unnamed, unknown, while Scotland far
Resounded with the din of war;
And many a month, and many a day,
In calm seclusion wore away.

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And many a fortress, town, and tower, was

won, And Fame still sounded forth fresh deeds of glory done.

II.
Blithe tidings flew from baron's tower,
To peasant's cot, to forest-bower,
And waked the solitary cell,
Where lone Saint Bride's recluses dwell.
Princess no more, fair Isabel,

A vot'ress of the order now,
Say did the rule that bid thee wear
Dim veil and woollen scapulaire,
And reft thy locks of dark-brown hair,

That stern and rigid vow,
Did it condemn the transport high,
Which glisten'd in thy watery eye,
When minstrel or when palmer told
Each fresh exploit of Bruce the bold ?-
And whose the lovely form, that shares
Thy anxious hopes, thy fears, thy prayers ?
No sister she of convent shade;
So say these locks in lengthen'd braid,
So say the blushes and the sighs,
The tremors that unbidden rise,
When, mingled with the Bruce's fame,
The brave Lord Ronald's praises came.

IV.
These days, these months, to years had worn,
When tidings of high weight were borne

To that lone island's shore;
Of all the Scottish conquests made
By the First Edward's ruthless blade,

His son retain'd no more,
Northward of Tweed, but Stirling's towers,
Beleaguer'd by King Robert's powers;

And they took term of truce,
If England's King should not relieve
The siege ere John the Baptist's eve,

To yield them to the Bruce.
England was roused-on every side
Courier and post and herald hied,

To summon prince and peer,
At Berwick-bounds to meet their Liege,
Prepared to raise fair Stirling's siege,

With buckler, brand, and spear.
The term was nigh—they muster'd fast,
By beacon and by bugle-blast

Forth marshall'd for the field;
There rode each knight of noble name,
There England's hardy archers came,
The land they trode seem'd all on flame,

With banner, blade, and shield!
And not famed England's powers alone,
Renown'd in arms, the summons own;

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."

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1 See Appendix, Note 3 G.
3 Ibid. Note 3 I.
6 Ibid, Note 3 L.

9 Ibid. Note 3 H.
4 Ibid. Note 3 K.
8 Ibid. Note 3 M.

7 The MS. has not this line.
8 See Appendix, Note 3 N. Ibid. Note 3 O.
10 MS.-"The gathering storm of war rolls on."

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,
His royal summons warn'd the land,
That all who own'd their King's command
Should instant take the spear and brand,

To combat at his side.
O who may tell the sons of fame,
That at King Robert's bidding came,

To battle for the right!
From Cheviot to the shores of Ross,
From Solway-Sands to Marshal's-Moss,

All boun'd them for the fight.
Such news the royal courier tells,
Who came to rouse dark Arran's dells;
But farther tidings must the ear
Of Isabel in secret hear.
These in her cloister walk, next morn,
Thus shared she with the Maid of Lorn.

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."

VI.
“My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere

Hath been to Isabel ?
Judge then the sorrow of my heart,
When I must say the words, We part!

The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation free

On happier fortunes fell.
Nor, Edith, judge thyself betray'd,
Though Robert knows that Lorn's high Maid
And his poor silent page were one.
Versed in the fickle heart of man,
Earnest and anxious hath he look'd
How Ronald's heart the message brook'd
That gave him, with her last farewell,
The charge of Sister Isabel,
To think upon thy better right,
And keep the faith his promise plight.
Forgive him for thy sister's sake,
At first if vain repinings wake—*

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 ;

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From Arran's mountains left the land;
Their chief, MacLouis, had the care
The speechless Amadine to bear
To Bruce, with heverence { as behooved

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,
Must with reviving hope revive!
A thousand soft excuses came,
To plead his cause 'gainst virgin shame.
Pledged by their sires in earliest youth,
He had her plighted faith and truth-
Then, 'twas her Liege's strict command,
And she, beneath his royal hand,
A ward in person and in land:-
And, last, she was resolved to stay
Only brief space-one little day-
Close hidden in her safe disguise
From all, but most from Ronald's eyes
But once to see him more !--nor blame
Her wish to hear him name her namel
Then, to bear back to solitude
The thought he had his falsehood rued !
But Isabel, who long had seen
Her pallid cheek and pensive mien,
And well herself the cause might know,
Though innocent, of Edith's woe,
Joy'd, generous, that revolving time
Gave means to expiate the crime.
High glow'd her bosom as she said,
“ Well shall her sufferings be repaid I"
Now came the parting hour-a band
From Arran's mountains left the land;
Their chief, Fitz-Louis,' had the care
The speechless Amadine to bear
To Bruce, with honor, as behooved
To page the monarch dearly loved.

In battles four beneath their eye,
The forces of King Robert lie.
And one below the hill was laid,"
Reserved for rescue and for aid ;
And three, advanced, form'd vaward-line,
'Twixt Bannock's brook and Ninian's shrine.
Detach'd was each, yet each so nigh
As well might mutual aid supply.
Beyond, the Southern host appears,
A boundless wilderness of spears,
Whose verge or rear the anxious eye
Strove far, but strove in vain, to spy.
Thick flashing in the evening beam,
Glaives, lances, bills, and banners gleam;
And where the heaven join'd with the hill,
Was distant armor flashing still,
So wide, so far the boundless host
Seem'd in the blue horizon lost.

XI.
Down from the hill the maiden pass’d,
At the wild show of war aghast;
And traversed first the rearward host,
Reserved for aid where needed most.
The men of Carrack and of Ayr,
Lennox and Lanark, too, were there,

And all the western land;
With these the valiant of the Isles
Beneath their chieftains rank'd their files,

In many a plaided band.
There, in the centre, proudly raised,
The Bruce's royal standard blazed,
And there Lord Ronald's banner bore
A galley driven by sail and oar.
A wild, yet pleasing contrast, made
Warriors in mail and plate array'd,
With the plumed bonnet and the plaid

By these Hebrideans worn;
But O! unseen for three long years,
Dear was the garb of mountaineers

To the fair Maid of Lorn!

X.
The King had deem'd the maiden bright
Should reach him long before the fight,
But storms and fate her course delay:
It was on eve of battle-day,
When o'er the Gillie's-hill she rode.
The landscape like a furnace glow'd,
And far as e'er the eye was borne,
The lances waved like autumn-corn,

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.

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