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You, Herbert and Luffness, alight,
And bind the wounds of yonder knight;
Let the grey palfrey bear his weight,
We destined for a fairer freight,
And bring him on to Stirling straight;
I will before at better speed,
To seek fresh horse and fitting weed.
The sun rides high ;-I must be boune,
To see the archer game at noon;
But lightly Bayard clears the lea.--
De Vaux and Herries, follow me.

XVIII. "Stand, Bayard, stand!"—the steed obey'd, With arching neck and bended head, And glancing eye and quivering ear, As if he loved his lord to hear. No foot Fitz-James in stirrup staid, No grasp upon the saddle laid, But wreath'd his left hand in the mane, And lightly bounded from the plain, Turn’d on the horse his armed heel, And stirr d his courage with the steel. Bounded the fiery steed in air, The rider sate erect and fair, Then like a bolt from steel crossbow Forth launch'd, along the plain they go. They dash'd that rapid current through, And up Carhonie's hill they flew;

Still at the gallop prick'd the Knight,
His merry-men follow'd as they might.
Along thy banks, swift Teith! they ride,
And in the race they mock thy tide;
Torry and Lendrick now are past,
And Deanstown lies behind them cast;
They rise, the banner'd towers of Doune,
They sink in distant woodland soon;
Blair-Drummond sees the hoofs strike fire, 9
They sweep like breeze through Ochtertyre ;
They mark just glance and disappear
The lofty brow of ancient Kier;
They bathe their courser's sweltering sides,
Dark Forth! amid thy sluggish tides,
And on the opposing shore take ground,
With plash, with scramble, and with bound.
Right-hand they leave thy cliffs, Craig-Forth!
And soon the bulwark of the North,

1 [The ruins of Doune Castle, formerly the residence of the Earls of Menteith, now the property of the Earl of Moray, are si. tuated at the confluence of the Ardoch and the Teith.]

2 (MS.—"Blair-Drummond saw their hoofs of fire."]

3 [It may be worth noting, that the Poet marks the progress of the King by naming in succession places familiar and dear to his own early recollections-Blair-Drummond, the seat of the Homes of Kaimes; Kier, that of the principal family of the name of Stirling; Ochtertyre, that of John Ramsay, the well-known antiquary, and correspondent of Burns; and Craigforth, that of the Callenders of Craigforth, almost under the walls of Stirling Castle ;-all hospitable roofs, under which he had spent many of his younger days. -ED.)

Grey Stirling, with her towers and town,
Upon their fleet career look'd down.

XIX.
As up the flinty path they strain'd,
Sudden his steed the leader rein'd;
A signal to his squire he flung,
Who instant to his stirrup sprung :-
Seest thou, De Vaux, yon woodsman gray,
Who town-ward holds the rocky way,
Of stature tall and poor arrivy?
Mark'st thou the firm, yet active stride,
With which he scales the mountain-side ? 2
Know'st thou from whence he comes, or whom ?”--
“ No, by my word ;-a burly groom
He seems, who in the field or chase
A baron's train would nobly grace.”

Out, out, De Vaux! can fear supply,
And jealousy, no sharper eye?
Afar, ere to the hill he drew,
That stately form and step I knew;
Like form in Scotland is not seen,
Treads not such step on Scottish green.
'Tis James of Douglas, by Saint Serle ! 2
The uncle of the banish'd Earl.

1 [MS.-"As up the steepy path they strain'd.”]
? [MS.—"With which he gains the mountain-side."]

3 [The Edinburgh Reviewer remarks on " that unhappy couplet, where the King himself is in such distress for a rhymo as to

Away, away, to court, to show
The near approach of dreaded foe:
The King must stand upon his guard;
Douglas and he must meet prepared."
Then right-hand wheel'd their steeds, and straight
They won the castle's postern gate.

XX.
The Douglas, who had bent his way
From Cambus-Kenneth's abbey gray,
Now, as he climb’d the rocky shelf,
Held sad communion with himself:
“ Yes! all is true my fears could frame,
A prisoner lies the noble Græme,
And fiery Roderick soon will feel
The vengeance of the royal steel.
I, only I, can ward their fate,-
God grant the ransom come not late !
The Abbess hath her promise given,
My child shall be the bride of Heaven ;-
-Be pardon'd one repining tear?
For He, who gave her, knows how dear,
How excellent! but that is by.
And now my business is—to die.
-Ye towers ! within whose circuit dread
A Douglas by his sovereign bled;

be obliged to apply to one of the obscurest saints in the calen. dar.” The reading of the MS. is

" 'Tis James of Douglas, by my word.

The uncle of the banish'd Lord."

And thou, O sad and fatal mound !?
That oft has heard the death-axe sound,
As on the noblest of the land
Fell the stern headsman's bloody hand, -
The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb
Prepare--for Douglas seeks his doom !
-But hark! what blithe and jolly peal
Makes the Franciscan steeple reel?

1[An eminence on the north-east of the Castle, where state criminals were executed. Stirling was often polluted with noble blood. It is thus apostrophized by J. Johnston :

_“Discordia tristis
Heu quoties procerum sanguine tinxit humum !
Hoc uno infelix, et felix ce era; nusquam

Lætior aut cæli frons geniusve soli.” The fate of William, eighth Earl of Douglas, whom James II. stabbed in Stirling Castle with his own hand, and while under his royal safe-conduct, is familiar to all who read Scottish history. Murdack Duke of Albany, Duncan Earl of Lennox, his father-in-law, and his two sons, Walter and Alexander Stuart, were executed at Stirling, in 1425. They were beheaded upon an eminence without the castle walls, but making part of the same hill, from whence they could behold their strong castle of Doune, and their extensive possessions. This “ heading hill,” as it was sometimes termed, bears commonly the less terrible name of Hurly-hacket, from its having been the scene of a courtly amusement alluded to by Sir David Lindsay, who says of the pastimes in which the young king was engaged,

"Some harled him to the Hurly-hacket;' which consisted in sliding, in some sort of chair, it may be sup. posed, from top to bottom of a smooth bank. The boys of Edin. burgh, about twenty years ago, used to play at hurly-hacket, on the Calton-hili, using for their seat a horse's skull.

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