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Sunk her sharp muzzle in his flank,
And deep the flowing life-blood drank.
The King's stout huntsman saw the sport
By strange intruder broken short,
Came up, and with his leash unbound,
In anger struck the noble hound.
-The Douglas had endured, that morn,
The King's cold look, the nobles' scorn,
And last, and worst to spirit proud,
Had borne the pity of the crowd;
But Lufra had been fondly bred,
To share his board, to watch his bed,
And oft would Ellen, Lufra's neck,
In maiden glee, with garlands deck;
They were such playmates, that with name
Of Lufra, Ellen's image came.

His stifled wrath is brimming high,
In darken'd brow and flashing eye;
As waves before the bark divide,
The crowd gave way before his stride;
Needs but a buffet and no more,
The groom lies senseless in his gore.
Such blow no other hand could deal,
Though gauntleted in glove of steel.

Canto V

The Combat


Then clamour'd loud the royal train,
And brandish'd swords and staves amain.
But stern the Baron's warning-Back!
Back, on your lives, ye menial pack!


Canto V

The Combat

Beware the Douglas.-Yes! behold,
King James! the Douglas, doom'd of old,
And vainly sought for near and far,
A victim to atone the war,

A willing victim now attends,

Nor craves thy grace but for his friends.'-
"Thus is my clemency repaid?

Presumptuous Lord!' the Monarch said;
'Of thy mis-proud ambitious clan,
Thou, James of Bothwell, wert the man,
The only man, in whom a foe

My woman-mercy would not know:
But shall a Monarch's presence brook
Injurious blow, and haughty look?—
What ho! the Captain of our Guard!
Give the offender fitting ward.-
Break off the sports!'-for tumult rose,
And yeomen 'gan to bend their bows,—
'Break off the sports!' he said, and frown'd,
'And bid our horsemen clear the ground.'


Then uproar wild and misarray

Marr'd the fair form of festal day.
The horsemen prick'd among the crowd,
Repell'd by threats and insult loud;
To earth are borne the old and weak,
The timorous fly, the women shriek;
With flint, with shaft, with staff, with bar,
The hardier urge tumultuous war.

At once round Douglas darkly sweep

Canto V

The Combat

The royal spears in circle deep,

And slowly scale the pathway steep;
While on the rear in thunder pour
The rabble with disorder'd roar.
With grief the noble Douglas saw
The Commons rise against the law,
And to the leading soldier said,-
'Sir John of Hyndford! 'twas my blade,
That knighthood on thy shoulder laid;
For that good deed, permit me then
A word with these misguided men.


'Hear, gentle friends! ere yet for me
Ye break the bands of fealty.
My life, my honour, and my cause,
I tender free to Scotland's laws.
Are these so weak as must require
The aid of your misguided ire?
Or, if I suffer causeless wrong,
Is then my selfish rage so strong,
My sense of public weal so low,
That, for mean vengeance on a foe,
Those cords of love I should unbind,
Which knit my country and my kind?
Oh no! Believe, in yonder tower
It will not soothe my captive hour,

To know those spears our foes should dread,
For me in kindred gore are red;

To know, in fruitless brawl begun,

For me, that mother wails her son;

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