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O wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears,
But wherefore sleeps Sir Roderick Dhu
Apart from all his followers true?”.
Unless in dread extremity,
The Taghairm call’d; by which, afar,
Our sires foresaw the events of war." Love prompted to the bridegroom's tougue.
Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew.” All while be stripp'd the wild-rose spray, His axe and bow beside him lay, For on a pass 'twixt lake and wood,
“ Ah! well the gallant brute I knew! A wakeful sentinel he stood.
The choicest of the prey we had, Hark! on the rock a footstep rung,
When swept our merry-men Gallangad. 3 And instant to his arms he sprung.
His hide was snow, his horns were dark, “ Stand, or thou diest !--What, Malise !-soon His red eye glow'd like fiery spark ; Art thou return’d from Braes of Doune.
So fierce, so tameless, and so fleet, By thy keen step and glance I know,
Sore did he cumber our retreat, Thou bring'st us tidings of the foe.”
And kept our stoutest kernes in awe, (For while the Fiery Cross hied on,
Even at the pass of Beal ’maha. On distant scout had Malise gone.)
But steep and flinty was the road, “Where sleeps the Chief ?” the henchman said.- And sharp the hurrying pikemen’s goad, “ Apart, in yonder misty glade;
And when we came to Dennan's Row, To his lone couch I'll be your guide."
A child might scatheless stroke his brow.”Then callid a slumberer by his side, And stirr'd him with his slacken'd bow
V. “Up, up, Glentarkin ! rouse thee, ho !
NORMAN We seek the Chieftain ; on the track,
“ That bull was slain : his reeking hide Keep eagle watch till I come back.”
They stretch'd the cataract beside,
Whose waters their wild tumult toss
Adown the black and craggy boss
Of that huge cliff, whose ample verge 6 What of the foemen?” Norman said.
Tradition calls the Hero's Targe.* « Varying reports from near and far;
Couch'd on a shelve beneath its brink, This certain,—that a band of war
Close where the thundering torrents sink, Has for two days been ready boune,
Rocking beneath their headlong sway, At prompt command, to march from Doune; And drizzled by the ceaseless spray, King James, the while, with princely powers,
groan of rock, and roar of stream. Holds revelry in Stirling towers.
The wizard waits prophetic dreani. Soon will this dark and gathering cloud
Nor distant rests the Chief ;-but hush! Speak on our glens in thunder loud.
See, gliding slow through mist and bush, Inured to bide such bitter bout,
The hermit gains yon rock, and stands The warrior's plaid may bear it out;
To gaze upon our slumbering bands. But, Norman, how wilt thou provide
Seems he not, Malise, like a ghost, A shelter for thy bonny bride?”—
That hovers o'er a slaughter'd host? “ What! know ye not that Roderick's care
Or raven on the blasted oak, To the lone isle hath caused repair
That, watching while the deer is broke, 5 Each maid and matron of the clan,
His morsel claims with sullen croak?”
_“ Peace! peace! to other than to me, Upon these lakes shall float at large,
Thy words were evil augury; But all beside the islet moor,
But still I hold Sir Roderick's blade That such dear pledge may rest secure?”–
Clan-Alpine's omen and her aid,
Not aught that, glean'd from heaven or hell, IV.
Yon fiend-begotten monk can tell. 4 'Tis well advised-the Chieftain's plan?
The Chieftain joins him, see—and now, Bespeaks the father of his clan.
Together they descend the brow.”
MS.—“ 'Tis well advised-a prudent plan,
Worthy the father of his clan."
? See Appendix, Note 2 T.
3 Ibid, Note 2 U. Ibid, Note 2 W.
VI. And, as they came, with Alpine's Lord The Hermit Monk held solemn word: “ Roderick! it is a fearful strife, For man endow'd with mortal life, Whose shroud of sentient clay can still Feel feverish pang and fainting chill, Whose eye can stare in stony trance, Whose hair can rouse like warrior's lance,-"Tis hard for such to view, unfurl'd, The curtain of the future world. Yet, witness every quaking limb, My sunken pulse, my eyeballs dim, My soul with harrowing anguish torn, This for my Chieftain have I borne ! The shapes that sought my fearful couch, An human tongue may ne'er avouch; No mortal man,-save he, who, bred Between the living and the dead, Is gifted beyond nature's law,Had e'er survived to say he saw. At length the fatal answer came, In characters of living flame! Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll, But borne and branded on my soul;Which SPILIS THE FOREMOST FOEMAN's Life,' THAT PARTY CONQUERS IN THE STRIFE!”_2
I saw the Moray's silver star,
VII. “ Thanks, Brian, for thy zeal and care! Good is thine augury, and fair. Clan-Alpine ne'er in battle stood, But first our broadswords tasted blood. A surer victim still I know, Self-offer'd to the auspicious blow: A spy has sought my land this morn,No eve shall witness his return! My followers guard each pass's mouth, To east, to westward, and to south; Red Murdoch, bribed to be his guide, Has charge to lead his steps aside, Till, in deep path or dingle brown, He light on those shall bring him down.
But see, who comes his news to show! Malise! what tidings of the foe?”—
IX. Where is the Douglas ?-he is gone; And Ellen sits on the grey stone Fast by the cave, and makes her moan; While vainly Allan's words of cheer Are pour'd on her unheeding ear.“ He will return-Dear lady, trust! With joy return;-he will—he must. Well was it time to seek, afar, Some refuge from impending war, When e'en Clan-Alpine’s rugged swarm Are cow'd by the approaching storm. I saw their boats, with many a light, Floating the live-long yesternight, Shifting like flashes darted forth 3 By the red streamers of the north;
VIII. “ At Doune, o'er many a spear and glaive Two Barons proud their banners wave.
I MS.—“Which foremost spills a focman's life."
• This sun) 6 MS._" • When move they on?
little ficet, Close moor'd by the lone islet's side. Since this rude race dare not abide Upon their native mountain side, 'Tis fit that Douglas should provide For his dear child some safe abode, And soon he comes to point the road.
I mark'd at morn how close they ride,
And think upon the harpings slow, Thick moor’d by the lone islet's side,
That presaged this approaching woe! Like wild-ducks couching in the fen,
Sooth was my prophecy of fear; When stoops the hawk upon the glen.
Believe it when it augurs cheer. Since this rude race dare not abide
Would we had left this dismal spot! The peril on the mainland side,
Ill luck still haunts a fairy grot. Shall not thy noble father's care
Of such a wondrous tale I knowSome safe retreat for thee prepare?”—
Dear lady, change that look of woe,
My harp was wont thy grief to cheer."-
ELLEN. “ No, Allan, no ! Pretext so kind?
“ Well, be it as thou wilt; I hear, My wakeful terrors could not blind.
But cannot stop the bursting tear.” When in such tender tone, yet grave,
The Minstrel tried his simple art,
But distant far was Ellen's heart.
ALICE BRAND. Reflects the invulnerable rock.
Merry it is in the good greenwood, He hears report of battle rife,
When the mavis 4 and merles are singing, He deems himself the cause of strife.
When the deer sweeps by, and the hounds are in cry, I saw him redden, when the theme
And the hunter's horn is ringing.
“O Alice Brand, my native land Which I, thou saidst, about him wound.
Is lost for love of you ; Think'st thou he trow'd thine omen aught?
And we must hold by wood and wold, Oh no! 'twas apprehensive thought
As outlaws wont to do. For the kind youth,-for Roderick too (Let me be just) that friend so true;
“O Alice, 'twas all for thy locks so bright, In danger both, and in our cause !
And 'twas all for thine eyes so blue, Minstrel, the Douglas dare not pause.
That on the night of our luckless flight, Why else that solemn warning given,
Thy brother bold I slew. • If not on earth, we meet in heaven!' Why else, to Cambus-kenneth’s fane,
“ Now must I teach to hew the beech If eve return him not again,
The hand that held the glaive, Am I to hie, and make me known?
For leaves to spread our lowly bed,
And stakes to fence our cave.
“ And for vest of pall, thy fingers small, Had Bouglas' daughter been his son !"
That wont on harp to stray,
A cloak must sheer from the slaughter'd deer, XI.
To keep the cold away."“ Nay, lovely Ellen !--dearest, nay! If aught should his return delay,
“ ( Richard ! if my brother died, He only named yon holy fane
'Twas but a fatal chance; As fitting place to meet again.
For darkling was the battle tried,
And fortune sped the lance.
“ If pall and vair no more I wear, Nor bode of ill to him or you.
Nor thou the crimson sheen, When did my gifted dream beguile ?
As warm, we'll say, is the russet grey, Think of the stranger at the isle,
As gay the forest-green.
3 See Appendix, Note 2 Y.
I MS." No, Allan, no! His words so kind
Were but pretexts my fears to blind.
Douglas a parting blessing gave."
Reflects the adamantine rock."
6 MS.-" 'Twas but a midnight chance ;
For blindfold was the battle plied,
And fortune held the lance."
“ And, Richard, if our lot be hard,
Then forward stepp'd she, Alice Brand, And lost thy native land,
And made the holy sign,Still Alice has her own Richard,
“ And if there's blood on Richard's hand, And he his Alice Brand.”
A spotless hand is mine.
His martial step, his stately mien,
The price of blood is on his head, His hunting suit of Lincoln green,
With me 'twere infamy to wed.-His eagle glance, remembrance claims
Still wouldst thou speak ?-then hear the 'Tis Snowdoun's Knight, 'tis James Fitz-James. truth! Ellen beheld as in a dream,
Fitz-James, there is a noble youth, Then, starting, scarce suppress'd a scream :
If yet he is !-exposed for me “O stranger ! in such hour of fear,
And mine to dread extremityWhat evil hap has brought thee here?"-
Thou hast the secret of my heart; “ An evil hap how can it be,
Forgive, be generous, and depart !”
Fitz-James knew every wily train And marshalld, over bank and bourne,
A lady's fickle heart to gain; The happy path of my return.”
But here he knew and felt them vain. “ The happy path !-what! said he nought
There shot no glance from Ellen's eye, Of war, of battle to be fought,
To give her steadfast speech the lie; Of guarded pass ?”—“No, by my faith !
In maiden confidence she stood, Nor saw I aught could augur scathe.”—
Though mantled in her cheek the blood, "O haste thee, Allan, to the kern,
And told her love with such a sigh -Yonder his tartans I discern;
Of deep and hopeless agony, Learn thou his purpose, and conjure
As death had seal'd her Malcolm's doom, That he will guide the stranger sure !
And she sat sorrowing on his tomb. What prompted thee, unhappy man ?
Hope vanish'd from Fitz-James's eye, The meanest serf in Roderick's clan
But not with hope fled sympathy. Had not been bribed by love or fear,
He proffer'd to attend her side, Unknown to him to guide thee here.”
As brother would a sister guide.-
“O! little know'st thou Roderick's heart! XVII.
Safer for both we go apart. “Sweet Ellen, dear my life must be,
O haste thee, and from Allan learn, Since it is worthy care from thee;
If thou may'st trust yon wily kern." Yet life I hold but idle breath,
With hand upon his forehead laid, When love or honour's weigh'd with death. The conflict of his mind to shade, Then let me profit by my chance,
A parting step or two he made; And speak my purpose bold at once.
Then, as some thought had crossd his brain, I come to bear thee from a wild,
He paused, and turn'd, and came again. Where ne'er before such blossom smiled; By this soft hand to lead thee far
XIX. From frantic scenes of feud and war.
“ Hear, lady, yet, a parting word ! Near Bochastle my horses wait;'
It chanced in fight that my poor sword They bear us soon to Stirling gate.
Preserved the life of Scotland's lord. l'll place thee in a lovely bower,
This ring the grateful Monarch gave,3 I'll guard thee like a tender flower” -
And bade, when I had boon to crave, "0! hush, Sir Knight ! 'twere female art,
To bring it back, and boldly claim To say I do not read thy heart;
The recompense that I would name. Too much, before, my selfish ear
Ellen, I am no courtly lord, Was idly soothed my praise to bear.2
But one who lives by lance and sword, That fatal bait bath lured thee back,
Whose castle is his helm and shield, In deathful hour, o'er dangerous track;
His lordship the embattled field. And how, 0 how, can I atone
What from a prince can I demand, The wreck my vanity brought on !
Who neither reck of state nor land? One way remains-I'll tell him all
Ellen, thy hand--the ring is thine ;Yes! struggling bosom, forth it shall !
Each guard and usher knows the sign. Thou, whose light folly bears the blame,
Seek thou the king without delay;5 Buy thine own pardon with thy shame!
This signet shall secure thy way; But first-my father is a man
And claim thy suit, whate'er it be, Outlaw'd and exiled, under ban;
As ransom of his pledge to me.”
MS.-" By Cambusmore my horses wait." * MS.-“ Was idly fond thy praise to hear." * M8.-" This ring of gold the monarch gave."
4 MS.-" Permit this hand--the ring is thine."
Put forth thy suit, whate'er it be,