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When, rousing at its glimmer red,
The warriors left their lowly bed,
Look'd out upon the dappled sky,
Mutter'd their soldier matins by,
And then awaked their fire, to steal,
As short and rude, their soldier meal.
That o'er, the Gael around him threw
His graceful plaid of varied hue,
And true to promise, led the way,
By thicket green and mountain grey.
A wildering path they winded now
Along the precipice's brow,
Commanding the rich scenes beneath,
The windings of the Forth and Teith,
And all the vales between that lie,
Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky;
Then, sunk in copse, their farthest glance
Gain'd not the length of horseman's lance.
'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain
Assistance from the hand to gain;
So tangled oft, that, bursting through,
Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew,-
That diamond dew, so pure and clear,
It rivals all but Beauty's tear!

i The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and terms the Lowlanders, Sassenach, or Saxons.

III. At length they came where stern and steep,' The hill sinks down upon the deep. Here Vennachar in silver flows, There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose ; Ever the hollow path twined on, Beneath steep bank and threatening stone; An hundred men might hold the post With hardihood against a host. The rugged mountain's scanty cloak Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak, a With shingles bare, and cliffs between, And patches bright of bracken green, And heather black, that waved so high, It held the copse in rivalry. But where the lake slept deep and still, Dank osiers fringed the swamp and hill ; And oft both path and hill were torn, Where wintry torrents down had borne, And heap'd upon the cumber'd land Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand. So toilsome was the road to trace, The guide abating of his pace,

1 [MS.—“At length they paced the mountain's side,

And saw beneath the waters wide.'] * [MS—The rugged mountain's stunted screen

sbrrbs Was dwarfish

with cliffs betweon."]


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Led slowly through the pass's jaws,
And ask'd Fitz-James by what strange cause
He sought these wilds ? traversed by few,
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.

IV. “ Brave Gael, my pass in danger tried, Hangs in my belt, and by my side; Yet, sooth to tell," the Saxon said, " I dreamt not now to claim its aid. " When here, but three days since, I came, Bewilder'd in pursuit of game, All seem'd as peaceful and as still, As the mist slumbering on yon hill ; Thy dangerous chief was then afar, Nor soon expected back from war. Thus said, at least, my mountain-guide, Though deep perchance the villain lied." " Yet why a second venture try?” "A warrior thou, and ask me why!Moves our free course by such fix d eause, As gives the poor mechanic laws ? Enough, I sought to drive away The lazy hours of peaceful day; Slight cause will then suffice to guide A Knight's free footsteps far and wide,1 (MS.—“I dreamed not now to draw my blade."] ?[MS.-"My errant footsteps

} - far and wide."] A knight's bold wanderings

A falcon flown, a greyhound stray'd,
The merry glance of mountain maid :
Or, if a path be dangerous known,
The danger's self is lure alone.”_

V. “Thy secret keep, I urge thee not;_1 Yet, ere again ye sought this spot, Say, heard ye nought of Lowland war, Against Clan-Alpine, rais'd by Mar ?" -“No, by my word ;-of bands prepared To guard King James's sports I heard ; Nor doubt I aught, but, when they hear This muster of the mountaineer, Their penons will abroad be flung, Which else in Doune had peaceful hung."“Free be they flung! for we were loth Their silken fold should feast the moth. Free be they sung !-as free shall wave Clan-Alpine's pine in banner brave. But, Stranger, peaceful since you came, Bewilder'd in the mountain game, Whence the bold boast by which you

show Vich Alpine's vow'd and mortal foe ?”—

Warrior, but yester-morn, I knew Nought of thy Chieftain, Roderick Dhu,

1[MS.-" Thy secret keep, I ask it not.'] [MS.—“Which else in hall had peaceful hung."

Save as an outlaw'd desperate man,
The chief of a rebellious clan,
Who in the Regent's court and sight,
With ruffian dagger stabb’d a knight:
Yet this alone might from his part
Sever each true and loyal heart."

Wrothful at such arraignment foul,
Dark lower'd the clansman's sable scowl.
A space he paused, then sternly said,
“ And heard'st thou why he drew his blade ?
Heard'st thou that shameful word and blow
Brought Roderick's vengeance on his foe?
What reck'd the Chieftain if he stood
On Highland heath, or Holy-Rood ?
He rights such wrong where it is given,
If it were in the court of heaven.”_
“ Still was it outrage ;-yet, 'tis true,
Not then claim'd sovereignty his due ;
While Albany, with feeble hand,
Held borrow'd truncheon of command,
The young King, mew'd in Stirling tower,
Was stranger to respect and power.?

1 There is scarcely a more disorderly period in Scottish history than that which succeeded the battle of Flodden, and occupied the minority of James V. Feuds of ancient standing broke out like old wounds, and every quarrel among the independent no. bility, which occurred daily, and almost hourly, gave rise to fresh

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