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Fitz-James's mind was passion-toss'd,
When Ellen's hints and fears were lost;
But Murdoch's shout suspicion wrought,
And Blanche's song conviction brought.-
Not like a stag that spies the snare,
But lion of the hunt aware,

He waved at once his blade on high,
'Disclose thy treachery, or die!'
Forth at full speed the Clansman flew,
But in his race his bow he drew.
The shaft just grazed Fitz-James's crest,
And thrill'd in Blanche's faded breast,-
Murdoch of Alpine! prove thy speed,
For ne'er had Alpine's son such need!
With heart of fire, and foot of wind,
The fierce avenger is behind!
Fate judges of the rapid strife-
The forfeit death-the prize is life!
Thy kindred ambush lies before,

Canto IV

Close couch'd upon the heathery moor;
Them couldst thou reach !—it may not be—
Thine ambush'd kin thou ne'er shalt see,
The fiery Saxon gains on thee!
-Resistless speeds the deadly thrust,

As lightning strikes the pine to dust;

With foot and hand Fitz - James must


Ere he can win his blade again.

Bent o'er the fall'n, with falcon eye,

He grimly smiled to see him die;


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Canto IV



Then slower wended back his way,

Where the poor maiden bleeding lay.


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She sate beneath the birchen-tree,
Her elbow resting on her knee;
She had withdrawn the fatal shaft,
And gazed on it, and feebly laugh'd;
Her wreath of broom and feathers grey
Daggled with blood, beside her lay.

The Knight to stanch the life-stream tried,

Stranger, it is in vain !' she cried.

'This hour of death has given me more

Of reason's power than years before;
For, as these ebbing veins decay,
My frenzied visions fade away.
A helpless injured wretch I die,
And something tells me in thine eye,
That thou wert mine avenger born.-
Seest thou this tress ?-O! still I've worn
This little tress of yellow hair,

Through danger, frenzy, and despair!
It once was bright and clear as thine,
But blood and tears have dimm'd its shine.
I will not tell thee when 'twas shred,
Nor from what guiltless victim's head-
My brain would turn !—but it shall wave
Like plumage on thy helmet brave,
Till sun and wind shall bleach the stain,
And thou wilt bring it me again.-

I waver still.-O God! more bright
Let reason beam her parting light!—
O! by thy knighthood's honour'd sign,
And for thy life preserved by mine,
When thou shalt see a darksome man,
Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's clan,
With tartans broad and shadowy plume,
And hand of blood, and brow of gloom,
Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong,
And wreak poor Blanche of Devan's wrong!
They watch for thee by pass and fell . . .
Avoid the path ... O God! . . . farewell.'


A kindly heart had brave Fitz-James;
Fast pour'd his eyes at pity's claims,
And now, with mingled grief and ire,
He saw the murder'd maid expire.
'God, in my need, be my relief,
As I wreak this on yonder Chief!'
A lock from Blanche's tresses fair
He blended with her bridegroom's hair;
The mingled braid in blood he dyed,
And placed it on his bonnet-side:

'By Him, whose word is truth! I swear,
No other favour will I wear,

Till this sad token I imbrue

In the best blood of Roderick Dhu!

-But hark! what means yon faint halloo ?
The chase is up,-but they shall know,

The stag at bay's a dangerous foe.'

Canto IV

The Prophecy

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