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King James, the while, with princely powers,
Holds revelry in Stirling towers.
Soon will this dark and gathering cloud
Speak on our glens in thunder loud.
Inured to bide such bitter bout,
The warrior's plaid may bear it out;
But, Norman, how wilt thou provide
A shelter for thy bonny bride?"-
“ What! know ye not that Roderick's care
To the lone isle hath caused repair
Each maid and matron of the clan,
And every child and aged man
Unfit for arms; and given his charge,
Nor skiff nor shallop, boat nor barge,
Upon these lakes shall float at large,
But all beside the islet moor,
That such dear pledge may rest secure ?

IV.
“ 'Tis well advised-the Chieftain's plan?
Bespeaks the father of his clan.
But wherefore sleeps Sir Roderick Dhu
Apart from all his followers true ?” —
“It is, because last evening-tide
Brian an augury hath tried,
Of that dread kind which must not be
Unless in dread extremity,

1

[MS.—“'Tis well advised-a prudent plan,

Worthy the father of his clan."}

The Taghairm call'd; by which afar,
Our sires foresaw the events of war.'
Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew."-

MALISE.

“Ah! well the gallant brute I knew!
The choicest of the prey we had,
When swept our merry-men Gallangad.

1 [See Appendix, Note 1.]

2 I know not if it be worth observing, that this passage is taken almost literally from the mouth of an old Highland Kern or Ketteran, as they were called. He used to narrate the merry doings of the good old time when he was a follower of Rob Roy MacGregor. This leader, on one occasion, thought proper to make a descent upon the lower part of the Loch Lomond district, and summoned all the heritors and farmers to meet at the Kirk of Drymen, to pay him black-mail, ¿. e. tribute for forbearance and protection. As this invitation was supported by a band of thirty or forty stout fellows, only one gentleman, an ancestor, if I mistake not, of the present Mr Grahame of Gartmore, ventured to decline compliance. Rob Roy instantly swept his land of all he could drive away, and among the spoil was a bull of the old Scottish wild breed, whose ferocity occasioned great plague to the Ketterans. “But ere we had reached the Row of Dennan," said the old man, “a child might have scratched his ears.", The circumstance is a minute one, but it paints the times when the poor beeve was compelled

“ To hoof it o'er as many weary miles,
With goading pikemen hollowing at his heels,
As e'er the bravest antler of the woods."

Ethwald, 3 This anecdote was, in former editions, inaccurately ascribed to Gregor Macgregor of Glengyle, called Ghlune Dhu, or Black-knee, a relation of Rob Roy, but, as I have been assured, not addicted to his predatory excesses. -Note to Third Edition.

His hide was snow, his horns were dark,
His red eye glow'd like fiery spark;
So fierce, so tameless, and so fleet,
Sore did he cumber our retreat,
And kept our stoutest kernes in awe,
Even at the pass of Beal 'maha.
But steep and flinty was the road,
And sharp the hurrying pikemen's goad,
And when we came to Dennan's Row,
A child might scatheless stroke his brow."-

NORMAN.

" That bull was slain : his reeking hide
They stretch'd the cataract beside,
Whose waters their wild tumult toss
Adown the black and

craggy

boss
Of that huge cliff, whose ample verge
Tradition calls the Hero's Targe.!
Couch'd on a shelve beneath its brink,
Close where the thundering torrents sink,
Rocking beneath their headlong sway,
And drizzled by the ceaseless spray,

1 There is a rock so named in the Forest of Glenfinlas, by which a tumultuary cataract takes its course. This wild place is said in former times to have afforded refuge to an outlaw, who was supplied with provisions by a woman, who lowered them down from the brink of the precipice above. His water he procured for himself, by letting down a flagon tied to a string, into the black pool beneath the fall.

Midst groan of rock, and roar of stream,
The wizard waits prophetic dream.
Nor distant rests the Chief;—but hush!
See, gliding slow through mist and bush,
The hermit gains yon rock, and stands
To gaze upon our slumbering bands.
Seems he not, Malise, like a ghost,
That hovers o'er a slaughter'd host ?
Or raven on the blasted oak,
That, watching while the deer is broke,
His morsel claims with sullen croak ?”

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1 Quartered.—Every thing belonging to the chase was matter of solemnity among our ancestors; but nothing was more so than the mode of cutting up, or, as it was technically called, breaking, the slaughtered stag. The forester had his allotted portion; the hounds had a certain allowance; and, to make the division as general as possible, the very birds had their share also. “There is a little gristle,” says Tuberville, “which is upon the spoone of the brisket, which we call the raven's bone; and I have seen in some places a raven so wont and accustomed to it, that she would never fail to croak and cry for it all the time you were in breaking up of the deer, and would not depart till she had it.” In the very ancient metrical romance of Sir Tristrem, that peerless knight, who is said to have been the very deviser of all rules of chase, did not omit the ceremony.

“ The rauen he yaue his yiftes
Sat on the fourched tre,

Sir Tristrem, vol. v. of this Edit. p. 160.
The raven might also challenge his rights by the Book of St
Albans; for thus says Dame Juliana Berners:

"Slitteth anon
The bely to the side, from the corbyn bone:
That is corbyn's fee, at the death he will be.

MALISE.

“ Peace! peace! to other than to me,
Thy words were evil augury;
But still I hold Sir Roderick's blade
Clan-Alpine's omen and her aid,
Not aught that, glean'd from heaven or hell,
Yon fiend-begotten monk can tell.
The Chieftain joins him, see—and now,
Together they descend the brow."

4

VI.
And, as they came, with Alpine's Lord
The Hermit Monk held solemn word :
“Roderick! it is a fearful strife,
For man endow'd with mortal life,
Whose shroud of sentient clay can still
Feel feverish pang and fainting chill,
Whose eye can stare in stony trance,
Whose hair can rouse like warrior's lance,--
'Tis hard for such to view, unfurl'd,
The curtain of the future world.

Jonson, in “ The Sad Shepherd,” gives a more poetical accoun: of the same ceremony:

- Marian. He that undoes him,
Doth cleave the brisket bone, upon the spoon
Of which a little gristle grows-you call it

Robin Hood. The raven's bono.

Marian. Now o'er head sæt & raven
On a sere bough, a grown, great bird, and hoareo,
Who, all the while the door was breaking up,
So croak'd and cried for't, as all the huntsmen,
Especially old Scathlock, thought it ominous."

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