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Yet witness every quaking limb,
My sunken pulse, mine eyeballs dim,
My soul with harrowing anguish torn,
This for my Chieftain have I borne !
The shapes that sought my fearful couch,
A human tongue may ne'er avouch;
No mortal man,-save he, who, bred
Between the living and the dead,
Is gifted beyond nature's law,-
Had e'er surviv'd to say he saw.
At length the fateful answer came,
In characters of living flame !
Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll,
But borne and branded on my soul ;-
WHICH SPILLS THE FOREMOST FOEMAN'S LIFE,
THAT PARTY CONQUERS IN THE STRIFE.

:-?

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1

VII. “ Thanks, Brian, for thy zeal and care ! Good is thine

augury,

and fair.

· [MS.-" Which foremost spills a foeman's life."]

2 Though this be in the text described as a response of the Taghairm, or Oracle of the Hide, it was of itself an augury frequently attended to. The fate of the battle was often anticipated in the imagination of the combatants, by observing which party first shed blood. It is said that the Highlanders under Montrose were so deeply imbued with this notion, that on the morning of the battle of Tippermoor, they murdered a defenceless herdsman, whom they found in the fields, merely to secure an advantage of so much consequence to their party.

Clan-Alpine ne'er in battle stood,
But first our broadswords tasted blood.
A surer victim still I know,
Self-offer'd to the auspicious blow:
A spy has sought my land this morn, --
No eve shall witness his return !
My followers guard each pass's mouth,
To east, to westward, and to south;
Red Murdoch, bribed to be his guide,
Has charge to lead his steps aside,
Till, in deep path or dingle brown,
He light on those shall bring him down.'
-But

see,

who comes his news to show ! Malise! what tidings of the foe?"-

VIII. “At Doune, o'er many a spear and glaive Two Barons proud their banners wave. I saw the Moray's silver star, And mark'd the sable pale of Mar.""By Alpine's soul, high tidings those ! I love to hear of worthy foes. When move they on?”—“To-morrow's noon:

1[MS.-" The clansman vainly deem'd his guide."] 2 [MS.-" He light on those shall stab him down."]

This sun 3 [MS.-" When move they on?"

at noon

{ Toiday"

}at

• 'Tis said will see them march from Doune.'

makes "To-mcrrow then

"] sees

}meeting stern.

Will see them here for battle boune."-
“ Then shall it see a meeting stern !
But, for the place—say, couldst thou learn
Nought of the friendly clans of Earn?
Strengthen’d by them, we well might bide
The battle on Benledi's side.
Thou couldst not ?— Well I Clan-Alpine's men
Shall man the Trosach's shaggy glen;
Within Loch Katrine's gorge we'll fight,
All in our maids' and matrons' sight,
Each for his hearth and household fire,
Father for child, and son for sire,-
Lover for maid beloved 1-But why-
Is it the breeze affects mine eye?
Or dost thou come, ill-omen'd tear!
A
messenger

of doubt or fear ?
No! sooper may the Saxon lance
Unfix Benledi from his stance,
Than doubt or terror can pierce through
The unyielding heart of Roderick Dhu!
'Tis stubborn as his trusty targe.—3
Each to his post !-all know their charge."
The pibroch sounds, the bands advance,
The broadswords gleam, the banners dance,
Obedient to the Chieftain's glance.
- I turn me from the martial roar,
And see Coir-Uriskin once more.

1 For battle boune-ready for battle.
9 (MS."'Tis stubborn as his Highland targe."]

IX. Where is the Douglas ?-he is gone; And Ellen sits on the grey stone Fast by the cave, and makes her moan; While vainly Allan's words of cheer Are pour'd on her unheeding ear.“ He will return-Dear lady, trust With joy return;-he will, he must. Well was it time to seek, afar, Some refuge from impending war, When e'en Clan-Alpine's rugged swarm Are cow'd by the approaching storm. I saw their boats with many a light, Floating the live-long yesternight, Shifting like flashes darted forth By the red streamers of the north ; I mark'd at morn how close they ride, Thick moor'd by the lone islet's side, Like wild-ducks couching in the fen, When stoops the hawk upon the glen.

1

i [MS." Thick as the flashes darted forth

By morrice-dancers of the north;
And saw at morn their

barges ride,

little fleet, Close moor'd by the lone islot's side. Since this rude race dare not abide Upon their native mountain side, Tis fit that Douglas should provide For his dear child some safe abode, And soon be comes to point the road.")

Since this rude race dare not abide
The peril on the mainland side,
Shall not thy noble father's care
Some safe retreat for thee prepare ?"-

X.

ELLEN.

“No, Allan, no! Pretext so kind
My wakeful terrors could not blind.
When in such tender tone, yet grave,
Douglas a parting blessing gave,
The tear that glisten'd in his eye
Drown'd not his purpose fix'd on high.
My soul, though feminine and weak,
Can image his; e'en as the lake,
Itself disturb'd by slightest stroke,
Reflects the invulnerable rock.
He hears report of battle rife,
He deems himself the cause of strife.
I saw him redden, when the theme
Turn'd, Allan, on thine idle dream,
Of Malcolm Græme, in fetters bound,
Which I, thou saidst, about him wound.

[MS.-"No, Allan, no! His words so kind

Were but pretexts my fears to blind,
When in such solemn tone and grave,

Douglas a parting blessing gave."] * [MS.-" Itself disturb'd by slightest sbock,

Reflects the adamantine rock."]

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