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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
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.
The clang of swords, the crash of spears!
The trembling Bard with awe obeyed, –
But soon remembrance of the sight
He witnessed from the mountain's height,
With what old Bertram told at night,
And bore him in career along;
As shallop launched on river's tide,
Drives downward swift as lightning's beam.
BATTLE OF BEAL' AN DUINE
"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,
The deer has sought the brake;
Is it the thunder's solemn sound
Or do they flash on spear and lance
I see the dagger-crest of Mar,
Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war,
To hero boune for battle-strife,
"Twere worth ten years of peaceful life,
"Their light-armed archers far and near
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,
The sullen march was dumb.
There breathed no wind their crests to shake, 410
That shadowed o'er their road.
Their vaward scouts no tidings bring,
Nor spy a trace of living thing,
Save when they stirred the roe;
"At once there rose so wild a yell
Forth from the pass in tumult driven,
The archery appear:
For life! for life! their flight they ply -
Onward they drive in dreadful race,
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,
At once lay levelled low;
We'll drive them back as tame.'
Bearing before them in their course
Each targe was dark below;
I heard the lance's shivering crash,
I see,' he cried, their column shake.
Now, gallants! for your ladies' sake,
The horsemen dashed among the rout,
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!
And refluent through the pass of fear
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
"Now westward rolls the battle's din,
Where the rude Trosachs' dread defile
Gray Benvenue I soon repassed,
The sun is set ; · the clouds are met,
An inky hue of livid blue
To the deep lake has given;