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"Hark, Minstrel! I have heard thee play, With measure bold on festal day,


In yon lone isle, again where ne'er
Shall harper play or warrior hear! —
That stirring air that peals on high,
O'er Dermid's race our victory.

Strike it! and then,- for well thou canst,

Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced,

Fling me the picture of the fight,



When met my clan the Saxon might.
I'll listen, till my fancy hears

The clang of swords, the crash of spears!
These gates, these walls, shall vanish then
For the fair field of fighting men,
And my free spirit burst away,
As if it soared from battle fray."

The trembling Bard with awe obeyed, –
Slow on the harp his hand he laid;


But soon remembrance of the sight


He witnessed from the mountain's height,

With what old Bertram told at night,
Awakened the full power of song,

And bore him in career along;

As shallop launched on river's tide,
That slow and fearful leaves the side,
But, when it feels the middle stream,

Drives downward swift as lightning's beam.




"The Minstrel came once more to view

The eastern ridge of Benvenue,


For ere he parted he would say

Farewell to lovely Loch Achray

Where shall he find, in foreign land,
So lone a lake, so sweet a strand!-
There is no breeze upon the fern,
No ripple on the lake,
Upon her eyry nods the erne,

The deer has sought the brake;
The small birds will not sing aloud,
The springing trout lies still,
So darkly glooms yon thunder-cloud,
That swathes, as with a purple shroud,
Benledi's distant hill.

Is it the thunder's solemn sound
That mutters deep and dread,
Or echoes from the groaning ground
The warrior's measured tread?
Is it the lightning's quivering glance
That on the thicket streams,

Or do they flash on spear and lance
The sun's retiring beams? —

I see the dagger-crest of Mar,
I see the Moray silver star,

Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war,
That up the lake comes winding far!

To hero boune for battle-strife,
Or bard of martial lay,

"Twere worth ten years of peaceful life,
One glance at their array!


"Their light-armed archers far and near
Surveyed the tangled ground,

Their centre ranks, with pike and spear,

A twilight forest frowned,

Their barbed horsemen in the rear

The stern battalia crowned.








No cymbal clashed, no clarion rang,
Still were the pipe and drum;
Save heavy tread, and armor's clang,

The sullen march was dumb.

There breathed no wind their crests to shake, 410
Or wave their flags abroad;
Scarce the frail aspen seemed to quake,

That shadowed o'er their road.

Their vaward scouts no tidings bring,
Can rouse no lurking foe,

Nor spy a trace of living thing,

Save when they stirred the roe;
The host moves like a deep-sea wave,
Where rise no rocks its pride to brave,
High-swelling, dark, and slow.
The lake is passed, and now they gain
A narrow and a broken plain,
Before the Trosachs' rugged jaws ;
And here the horse and spearmen pause,
While, to explore the dangerous glen,
Dive through the pass the archer-men.


"At once there rose so wild a yell
Within that dark and narrow dell,
As all the fiends from heaven that fell
Had pealed the banner-cry of hell!

Forth from the pass in tumult driven,
Like chaff before the wind of heaven,

The archery appear:

For life! for life! their flight they ply -
And shriek, and shout, and battle-cry,
And plaids and bonnets waving high,
And broadswords flashing to the sky,
Are maddening in the rear.






Onward they drive in dreadful race,
Pursuers and pursued;

Before that tide of flight and chase,

How shall it keep its rooted place,

The spearmen's twilight wood? —

'Down, down,' cried Mar, 'your lances down!

Bear back both friend and foe!'

Like reeds before the tempest's frown,
That serried grove of lances brown

At once lay levelled low;
And closely shouldering side to side,
The bristling ranks the onset bide.-
We'll quell the savage mountaineer,
As their Tinchel cows the game!
They come as fleet as forest deer,

We'll drive them back as tame.'

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Bearing before them in their course
The relics of the archer force,
Like wave with crest of sparkling foam,
Right onward did Clan-Alpine come.
Above the tide, each broadsword bright
Was brandishing like beam of light,

Each targe was dark below;
And with the ocean's mighty swing,
When heaving to the tempest's wing,
They hurled them on the foe.

I heard the lance's shivering crash,
As when the whirlwind rends the ash;
I heard the broadsword's deadly clang,
As if a hundred anvils rang!
But Moray wheeled his rearward rank
Of horsemen on Clan-Alpine's flank,-
My banner-man, advance!

I see,' he cried, their column shake.








Now, gallants! for your ladies' sake,
Upon them with the lance!'

The horsemen dashed among the rout,
As deer break through the broom;

Their steeds are stout, their swords are out,

They soon make lightsome room.

Clan-Alpine's best are backward borne

Where, where was Roderick then!
One blast upon his bugle-horn
Were worth a thousand men.

And refluent through the pass of fear
The battle's tide was poured;

Vanished the Saxon's struggling spear,

Vanished the mountain-sword.

As Bracklinn's chasm, so black and steep,

Receives her roaring linn,

As the dark caverns of the deep
Suck the wild whirlpool in,
So did the deep and darksome pass
Devour the battle's mingled mass;
None linger now upon the plain,
Save those who ne'er shall fight again.


"Now westward rolls the battle's din,
That deep and doubling pass within. —
Minstrel, away! the work of fate
Is bearing on; its issue wait,






Where the rude Trosachs' dread defile
Opens on Katrine's lake and isle.


Gray Benvenue I soon repassed,
Loch Katrine lay beneath me cast.

The sun is set ; · the clouds are met,
The lowering scowl of heaven

An inky hue of livid blue

To the deep lake has given;


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