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Canto VI




So, from his morning cloud, appears
The sun of May, through summer tears.
The savage soldiery, amazed,

As on descended angel gazed;

Even hardy Brent, abash'd and tamed,
Stood half admiring, half ashamed.


Boldly she spoke,-‘Soldiers, attend;
My father was the soldier's friend;
Cheer'd him in camps, in marches led,
And with him in the battle bled.
Not from the valiant, or the strong,
Should exile's daughter suffer wrong.'
Answer'd De Brent, most forward still
In every feat or good or ill,

'I shame me of the part I play'd:
And thou an outlaw's child, poor maid!
An outlaw I by forest laws,

And merry Needwood knows the cause,
Poor Rose,-if Rose be living now,'
He wiped his iron eye and brow,
'Must bear such age, I think, as thou.
Hear ye, my mates;-I go to call
The Captain of our watch to hall:
There lies my halbert on the floor;
And he that steps my halbert o'er,
To do the maid injurious part,
My shaft shall quiver in his heart!—
Beware loose speech, or jesting rough:
Ye all know John de Brent. Enough.

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Their Captain came, a gallant young,-
(Of Tullibardine's house he sprung,)
Nor wore he yet the spurs of knight;
Gay was his mien, his humour light,
And, though by courtesy controll❜d,
Forward his speech, his bearing bold.
The high-born maiden ill could brook
The scanning of his curious look
And dauntless eye;-and yet, in sooth,
Young Lewis was a generous youth;
But Ellen's lovely face and mien,
Ill suited to the garb and scene,
Might lightly bear construction strange,
And give loose fancy scope to range.
'Welcome to Stirling towers, fair maid!
Come ye to seek a champion's aid,
On palfrey white, with harper hoar,
Like errant damosel of yore?

Does thy high quest a knight require,

Or may the venture suit a squire?'

Her dark eye flash'd;-she paused and sigh'd,

'O what have I to do with pride!—
Through scenes of sorrow, shame, and

A suppliant for a father's life,
I crave an audience of the King.
Behold, to back my suit, a ring,
The royal pledge of grateful claims,
Given by the Monarch to Fitz-James.'

Canto VI

The Guard


Canto VI

The Guard


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The signet-ring young Lewis took,
With deep respect and alter'd look ;
And said,- This ring our duties own;
And pardon, if to worth unknown,
In semblance mean obscurely veil'd,
Lady, in aught my folly fail'd.

Soon as the day flings wide his gates,
The King shall know what suitor waits.
Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower
Repose you till his waking hour;
Female attendance shall obey
Your hest, for service or array.
Permit I marshal you the way.'
But, ere she follow'd, with the grace
And open bounty of her race,

She bade her slender purse be shared
Among the soldiers of the guard.

The rest with thanks their guerdon took;
But Brent, with shy and awkward look,
On the reluctant maiden's hold
Forced bluntly back the proffer'd gold;
'Forgive a haughty English heart,
And O forget its ruder part!

The vacant purse shall be my share,
Which in my barret-cap I'll bear,
Perchance in jeopardy of war,

Where gayer crests may keep afar.'

With thanks,-'twas all she could,-the


His rugged courtesy repaid.

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