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The rest their way through thickets break,
By their proud step and martial mien. I am now, not only to eat the flesh from the bone, but even to tear off the inner skin, or filament?” The hint was quite sufficient, and MacLean next morning, to relieve his followers from such dire necessity, undertook an inroad on the mainland, the ravage of which altogether effaced the memory his former expeditions for the like purpose.
Our officer of Engineers, so often quoted, has given us a distinct list of the domestic officers who, independent of Luichttach, or gardes de corps, belonged to the establishment of a Highland Chief. These are, l. The Henchman. See these notes, p. 108. 2. The Bard. See p. 67. 3 Bladier, or spokesman. 4. Gillismore, or sword-bearer, alluded to in the text. 5. Gillie-casflue, who carried the chief, if on foot, over the fords. 6. Gillie-comstraine, who leads the chief's horse. 7. Gillie-Trushanarinsh, the baggage man. 8. The piper. 9. The piper's gillie or attendant, who carries the bagpipe. Although this appeared, naturally enough, very ridiculous to an English officer, who considered the master of such a retinue as no more than an English gentleman of L.500 a-year, yet in the circumstances of the chief, whose strength and importance consisted in the number and attachment of his followers, it was of the last consequence, in point of policy, to have in his gift subordinate offices, which called immediately round his person those who were most devoted to him, and, being of value in their estimation, were also the means of rewarding them.
i Letters from Scotland, vol. II. p. &
Their feathers dance, their tartans float,
XXVIII. Their Chief, with step reluctant, still Was lingering on the craggy hill, Hard by where turn'd apart the road To Douglas's obscure abode. It was but with that dawning morn, That Roderick Dhu had proudly sworn To drown his love in war's wild roar,' Nor think of Ellen Douglas more ; But he who stems a stream with sand, And fetters flame with flaxen band, Has yet a harder task to proveBy firm resolve to conquer love ! Eve finds the Chief, like restless ghost. Still hovering near his treasure lost; For though his haughty heart deny A parting meeting to his eye, Still fondly strains his anxious ear, The accents of her voice to hear, And inly did he curse the breeze That waked to sound the rustling trees. But hark ! what mingles in the strain ? It is the harp of Allan-Bane, 1 [MS," To drown his grief in war's wild roar,
Nor think of love and Ellen more."]
That wakes its measures slow and high,
Hymn to the Virgin.
Listen to a maiden's prayer!
Thou canst save amid despair.
Though banish’d, outcast, and reviled-
Ave Maria /
Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share Shall seem with down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there. The murky cavern's heavy airo
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled ; Then, Maiden ! hear a maiden's prayer, Mother, list a suppliant child !
Ave Maria !
? [MS.-“The flinty couch my sire must share."]
Ave Maria ! stainless styled !
Foul demons of the earth and air, From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair. We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled; Hear for a maid a maiden's payer, And for a father hear a child !
Ave Maria !
Where muster'd, in the vale below,
XXXI. A various scene the clansmen made, Some sate, some stood, some slowly stray'd; But most with mantles folded round, Were couch'd to rest upon the ground, Scarce to be known by curious eye, From the deep heather where they lie, So well was match'd the tartan screen With heath-bell dark and brackens green; Unless where, here and there, a blade, Or lance's point, a glimmer made, Like glow-worm twinkling through the shade. But when, advancing through the gloom, They saw the Chieftain's eagle plume, Their shout of welcome, shrill and wide, Shook the steep mountain's steady side. Thrice it arose, and lake and fell Three times return'd the martial yell; It died upon Bochastle's plain, And silence claimed her evening reign.
(MS.—“Where broad extending far below,
Moster'd Clan-Alpine's martial show,"]