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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.
Think'st thou he trow'd thine omen aught?
Oh no! 'twas apprehensive thought
For the kind youth,-for Roderick too-
(Let me be just) that friend so true;
In danger both, and in our cause!
Minstrel, the Douglas dare not pause.
Why else that solemn warning given,
"If not on earth, we meet in heaven?"
Why else, to Cambus-kenneth's fane,
If eve return him not again,
Am I to hie, and make me known?
Alas! he goes to Scotland's throne,
Buys his friend's safety with his own;
He goes to do what I had done,

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Had Douglas' daughter been his son'

XI.

'Nay, lovely Ellen!-dearest, nay!

If aught should his return delay,
He only named yon holy fane
As fitting place to meet again.

Be sure he's safe; and for the Græme,

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Heaven's blessing on his gallant_name |—
My vision'd sight may yet prove true,
Nor bode of ill to him or you.

When did my gifted dream beguile?
Think of the stranger at the isle,
And think upon the harpings slow,
That presaged this approaching woe!
Sooth was my prophecy of fear;
Believe it when it augurs cheer.
Would we had left this dismal spot!
Il luck still haunts a fairy grot.
Of such a wondrous tale I know-
Dear lady, change that look of woe,

My harp was wont thy grief to cheer.'

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ELLEN.

'Well, be it as thou wilt; I hear,
But cannot stop the bursting tear.'
The Minstrel tried his simple art,
But distant far was Ellen's heart.

XIL

Ballad.

ALICE BRAND.

Merry it is in the good greenwood,

When the mavis and merle are singing,

When the deer sweeps by, and the hounds are in cry, And the hunter's horn is ringing.

'O Alice Brand, my native land

Is lost for love of you;

And we must hold by wood and wold,
As outlaws wont to do.

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'O Alice, 'twas all for thy locks so bright,

And 'twas all for thine eyes so blue, That on the night of our luckless flight Thy brother bold I slew.

'Now must I teach to hew the beech

The hand that held the glaive, For leaves to spread our lowly bed,

And stakes to fence our cave.

'And for vest of pall, thy fingers small,

That wont on harp to stray,

A cloak must shear from the slaughter'd deer,

To keep the cold away.'—

'O Richard! if my brother died,

"Twas but a fatal chance;

For darkling was the battle tried,

And fortune sped the lance.

'If pall and vair no more I wear,

Nor thou the crimson sheen,

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As warm, we'll say, is the russet grey,

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'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good greenwood,
So blithe Lady Alice is singing;

On the beech's pride, and oak's brown side,
Lord Richard's axe is ringing.

Up spoke the moody Elfin King,

Who won'd within the hill,

Like wind in the porch of a ruin'd church,
His voice was ghostly shrill.

'Why sounds yon stroke on beech and oak,
Our moonlight circle's screen?

Or who comes here to chase the deer,

Beloved of our Elfin Queen?

Or who may dare on wold to wear
The fairies' fatal green?

'Up, Urgan, up! to yon mortal hie,
For thou wert christen'd man;
For cross or sign thou wilt not fly,

For mutter'd word or ban.

'Lay on him the curse of the wither'd heart,
The curse of the sleepless eye;

Till he wish and pray that his life would part,
Nor yet find leave to die.'

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XIV.

Ballad continued.

'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good greenwood, Though the birds have still'd their singing! The evening blaze doth Alice raise,

And Richard is fagots bringing.

Up Urgan starts, that hideous dwarf,
Before Lord Richard stands,
And, as he cross'd and bless'd himself,
'I fear not sign,' quoth the grisly elf,
'That is made with bloody hands.'

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But out then spoke she, Alice Brand,
That woman void of fear,-

'And if there's blood upon his hand, "Tis but the blood of deer.'

'Now loud thou liest, thou bold of mood!

It cleaves unto his hand,

The stain of thine own kindly blood,

The blood of Ethert Brand.'

Then forward stepp'd she, Alice Brand,

And made the holy sign,

'And if there's blood on Richard's hand, A spotless hand is mine.

'And I conjure thee, Demon elf,

By Him whom Demons fear,

To show us whence thou art thyself,

And what thine errand here?'

XV.

Ballad continued.

"Tis merry, 'tis merry, in Fairy-land,

When fairy birds are singing,

When the court doth ride by their monarch's side,

With bit and bridle ringing:

'And gaily shines the Fairy-land—

But all is glistening show,

Like the idle gleam that December's beam

Can dart on ice and snow.

'And fading, like that varied gleam,

Is our inconstant shape,

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Who now like knight and lady seem,

And now like dwarf and ape.

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