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I will not tell thee when 'twas shred,

I'll couch me here till evening grey,
Nor from what guiltless victim's head-

Then darkling try my dangerous way."
My brain would turn !-but it shall wave'
Like plumage on thy helmet brave,

Till sun and wind shall bleach the stain,

The shades of eve come slowly down, And thou wilt bring it me again.

The woods are wrapt in deeper brown, I waver still.-0 God! more bright

The owl awakens from her dell, Let reason beam her parting light !

The fox is heard upon the fell; 0! by thy knighthood's honour'd sign,

Enough remains of glimmering light And for thy life preserved by mine,

To guide the wanderer's steps aright. When thou shalt see a dark some man,

Yet not enough from far to show Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's Clan,

His figure to the watchfui foe. With tartan's broad and shadowy plume,

With cautious step, and ear awake, And hand of blood, and brow of gloom,

He climbs the crag and threads the brake; Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong,

And not the summer solstice, there, And wreak poor Blanche of Devan's wrong!

Temper'd the midnight mountain air, They watch for thee by pass and fell ...

But every breeze, that swept the wold,
Avoid the path ...0 God!... farewell." Benumb'd his drenched limbs with cold.

In dread, in danger, and alone,

Famish'd and chill'd, through ways unknown, A kindly heart had brave Fitz-James;

Tangled and steep, he journey'd on; Fast pour'd his eyes at pity's claims,

Till, as a rock’s huge point he turn’d,
And now with mingled grief and ire,

A watch-fire close before him burn'd.
IIe saw the murder'd maid expire.
God, in my need, be my relief,9

As I wreak this on yonder Chief !”

Beside its embers red and clear, 3 A lock from Blanche's tresses fair

Bask'd, in his plaid, a mountaineer; He blended with her bridegroom's hair;

And up he sprung with sword in hand, The mingled braid in blood he dyed,

“ Thy name and purpose! Saxon, stand !” And placed it on his bonnet-side:

“ A stranger."

”_“ What dost thou require ?”— “ By Him whose word is truth! I swear,

“ Rest and a guide, and food and fire. No other favour will I wear,

My life's beset, my path is lost, Till this sad token I imbrue

The gale has chil!'d my limbs with frost."In the best blood of Roderick Dhu!

“ Art thou a friend to Roderick?” -“No.”-But hark! what means yon faint halloo?

“ Thou darest not call thyself a foe?” — The chase is up,—but they shall know,

“ I dare! to him and all the band The stag at bay 's a dangerous foe.”

He brings to aid his murderous hand.”Barr'd from the known but guarded way,

“ Bold words !-but, though the beast of game Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James must stray, The privilege of chase may claim, And oft must change his desperate track,

Though space and law the stag we lend, By stream and precipice turn'd back.

Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend, Heartless, fatigued, and faint, at length,

Who ever reck’d, where, how, or when, From lack of food and loss of strength,

The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain 25 He couch'd him in a thicket hoar,

Thus treacherous scouts,—yet sure they lie, And thought his toils and perils o’er:

Who say thou camest a secret spy!”“ Of all my rash adventures past,

“ They do, by heaven !--Come Roderick Dhu, This frantic feat must prove the last!

And of his clan the boldest two, Who e'er so mad but might have guess'd,

And let me but till morning rest, That all this Highland hornet's nest

I write the falsehood on their crest.”Would muster up in swarms so soon

“ If by the blaze I mark aright, As e'er they heard of bands at Doune?

Thou bear`st the belt and spur of Knight."Like bloodhounds now they search me out,- “ Then by these tokens mayest thou know Hark, to the whistle and the shout!

Each proud oppressor’s mortal foe.”If farther through the wilds 1 go,

“ Enough, enough; sit down and share I only fall upon the foe :

A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare.

4 MS.--" I dare! to him and all the swarm

He brings to aid his murderous arm.'

MS.-" But now, my champion,-it shall wave." * MS.-"God, in my need, to me be true,

As I wreak this on Roderick Dhu." ISIS.—" By the decaying flame was laid

A warrior in his Higbland plaid."

6 Sce Appendix, Note 3 F.

And lights the fearful path on mountain side ;

Fair as that beam, although the fairest far, Giving to horror grace, to danger pride,

Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star, Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the brow

of War.

XXXI. He gave him of his Highland cheer, The harden'd flesh of mountain deer;' Dry fuel on the fire he laid, And bade the Saxon share his plaid. He tended him like welcome guest, Then thus his farther speech address’d. “Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu A clansman born, a kinsman true; Each word against his bonour spoke, Demands of me avenging stroke; Yet more,-upon thy fate, 'tis said, A mighty augury is laid. It rests with me to wind my horn,Thou art with numbers overborne; It rests with me, here, brand to brand, Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand: But, not for clan, nor kindred's cause, Will I depart from honour's laws; To assail a wearied man were shame, And stranger is a holy name; Guidance and rest, and food and fire, In vain he never must require. Then rest thee here till dawn of day; Myself will guide thee on the way, O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward, Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard, As far as Coilantogle's ford; From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”— “I take thy courtesy, by heaven, As freely as 'tis nobly given !"“Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry Sings us the lake's wild lullaby." With that he shook the gather'd heath, And spread his plaid upon the wreath; And the brave foemen, side by side, Lay peaceful down, like brothers tried, And slept until the dawning beam? Purpled the mountain and the stream.

II. That early beam, so fair and sheen, Was twinkling through the hazel screen, When, rousing at its glimmer red, The warriors left their lowly bed, Look”d out upon the dappled sky, Mutter'd their soldier matins by, And then awaked their fire, to steal, As short and rude, their soldier meal. That o'er, the Gael* around him threw His graceful plaid of varied hue, And, true to promise, led the way, By thicket green and mountain grey. A wildering path —they winded now Along the precipice's brow, Commanding the rich scenes beneath, The windings of the Forth and Teith, And all the vales beneath that lie, Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky; Then, sunk in copse, their farthest glance Gain'd not the length of horseman's lance. 'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain Assistance from the hand to gain; So tangled oft, that, bursting through, Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew,That diamond dew, so pure and clear, It rivals all but Beauty's tear!

The Lady of the Lake.

III. At length they came where, stern and steep,5 The hill sinks down upon the deep. Here Vennachar in silver flows, There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose; Ever the hollow path twined on, Beneath steep bank and threatening stone; An hundred men might hold the post With hardihood against a host. The rugged mountain's scanty cloak Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak,6 With shingles bare, and cliffs between, And patches bright of bracken green, And heather black, that waved so high, It held the copse in rivalry. But where the lake slept deep and still, Dank osiers fringed the swamp and hill; And oft both path and hill were torn, Where wintry torrents down had borne,


The Combat.

Fair as the earliest beam of eastern light,

When first, by the bewilder'd pilgrim spied, It smiles upon the dreary brow of night,

And silvers o'er the torrents foaming tide,

5 MS.-" At length they paced the mountain's side,

And saw beneath the waters wide."

"See Appendix, Note 3 G.
2 MS.—"And slept until the dawning streak

Purpled the mountain and the lake."
a MS." And lights the fearful way along its side."

4 The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gadl, or Gaul, and terms the Lowlanders, Sassenach, or Saxons.

6 MS.--" The rugged mountain's stunted screen Was dwarfish

shrubs I

with cliffs between." Icopse


And heap'd upon the cumber'd land
Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand.
So toilsome was the road to trace,
The guide, abating of his pace,
Led slowly through the pass's jaws,
And ask'd Fitz-James, by what strange cause
He sought these wilds ? traversed by few,
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.

Save as an outlaw'd desperate inan,
The chief of a rebellious clan,
Who, in the Regent's court and sight,
With ruffian dagger stabb’d a knight :
Yet this alone might from his part
Sever each true and loyal heart.”


“ Brave Gael, my pass in danger tried,
Hangs in my belt, and by my side;
Yet, sooth to tell,” the Saxon said,
“I dreamt not now to claim its aid."
When here, but three days since, I came,
Bewilder'd in pursuit of game,
All seem'd as peaceful and as still,
As the mist slumbering on yon hill;
Thy dangerous Chief was then afar,
Nor soon expected back from war.
Thus said, at least, my mountain-guide,
Though deep, perchance, the villain lied.”—
“ Yet why a second venture try?”—
“ A warrior thou, and ask me why !
Moves our free course by such fix'd cause,
As gives the poor mechanic laws :
Enough, I sought to drive away
The lazy hours of peaceful day;
Slight cause will then suffice to guide
A Knight's free footsteps far and wide,
A falcon flown, a greyhound stray’d,
The merry glance of mountain maid:
Or, if a path be dangerous known,
The danger's self is lure alone.”-

VI. Wrothful at such arraignment foul, Dark lower'd the clansman's sable scowl. A space he paused, then sternly said, “ And heard’st thou why he drew his blade! Heard'st thou that shameful word and blow Brought Roderick’s vengeance on his foe! What reck'd the Chieftain if he stood On Highland heath, or Holy-Rood? He rights such wrong where it is given, If it were in the court of heaven,”“ Still was it outrage ;-yet, 'tis true, Not then claim'd sovereignty his due; While Albany, with feeble band, Held borrow'd truncheon of command," The young King, mew'd in Stirling tower, Was stranger to respect and power. But then, thy Chieftain's robber life !-Winning mean prey by causeless strife, Wrenching from ruin'd Lowland swain His herds and harvest rear'd in vain. Methinks a soul, like thine, should scorn The spoils from such foul foray borne."

“ Thy secret keep, I urge thee not;_3
Yet, ere again ye sought this spot,
Say, heard ye nought of Lowland war,
Against Clan-Alpine, raised by Mar ?"

“No, by my word ;-of bands prepared
To guard King James's sports I heard;
Nor doubt I aught, but, when they hear
This muster of the mountaineer,
Their pennons will abroad be flung,
Which else in Doune had peaceful hung.". -4
“ Free be they flung !—for we were loth
Their silken folds should feast the moth.
Free be they flung !-as free shall wave
Clan-Alpine's pine in banner brave.
But, Stranger, peaceful since you came,
Bewilder'd in the mountain game,
Whence the bold boast by which you show
Vich-Alpine's vow'd and mortal foe?"-
“Warrior, but yester-morn, I knew
Nought of thy Chieftain, Roderick Dhu,

VII. The Gael beheld him grim the while, And answer'd with disdainful smile,“ Saxon, from yonder mountain high, I mark'd thee send delighted eye, Far to the south and cast, where lay, Extended in succession gay, Deep waving fields and pastures green, With gentle slopes and groves between :These fertile plains, that soften'd vale, Were once the birthright of the Gael; The stranger came with iron hand, And from our fathers reft the land. Where dwell we now! See, rudely swell Crag over crag, and fell o'er fell. Ask we this savage hill we tread, For fattend steer or household bread; Ask we for flocks these shingles dry, And well the mountain might reply,• To you, as to your sires of yore, Belong the target and claymore! I give you shelter in my breast, Your own good blades must win the rest.' Pent in this fortress of the North, Think'st thou we will not sally forth,

MS.-"I dream'd not now to draw my blade." S 31S. -"My errant footsteps

far and wide." A knight's bold wanderings

& MS.-" Thy secret keer, I ask it not." 4 MS.-" Which else in hall had peacetul hunz." 6 See Appendix, Note 3 H.

To spoil the spoiler as we may,
And from the robber rend the prey?
Ay, by my soul !-While on yon plain
The Saxon rears one shock of grain;
While, of ten thousand herds, there strays
But one along yon river's maze,-
The Gael, of plain and river heir,
Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share.'
Where live the mountain Chiefs who hold,
That plundering Lowland field and fold
Is aught but retribution true?
Seek other cause 'gainst Roderick Dhu.”—

Answer'd Fitz-James,—" And, if I sought,
Think'st thou no other could be brought ?
What deem ye of my path waylaid?
My life given o'er to ambuscade?”—
“ As of a meed to rashness due:
Hadst thou sent warning fair and true,–
I seek my hound, or falcon stray'd,
I seek, good faith, a Highland maid,
Free hadst thou been to come and go;
But secret path marks secret foe.
Nor yet, for this, even as a spy,
Hadst thou, unheard, been doom'd to die,
Save to fulfil an augury.”-
« Well, let it pass; nor will I now
Fresh cause of enmity avow,
To chafe thy mood and cloud thy brow.
Enough, I am by promise tied
To match me with this man of pride:
Twice have I sought Clan-Alpine's glen
In peace; but when I come agen,
I come with banner, brand, and bow,
As leader seeks his mortal foe.
For love-lorn swain, in lady's bower,
Ne'er panted for the appointed hour,
As I, until before me stand
This rebel Chieftain and his band !”_9

Wild as the scream of the curlew,
From crag to crag the signal flew.3
Instant, through copse and heath, arose
Bonnets and spears and bended bows;
On right, on left, above, below,
Sprung up at once the lurking foe;
From shingles grey their lances start,
The bracken bush sends forth the dart,
The rushes and the willow-wand
Are bristling into axe and brand,
And every tuft of broom gives life 5
To plaided warrior arm’d for strife.
That whistle garrison'd the glen
At once with full five hundred men,
As if the yawning hill to heaven
A subterranean host had given.
Watching their leader's beck and will,7
All silent there they stood, and still.
Like the loose crags, whose threatening masa
Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass,
As if an infant's touch could urge
Their headlong passage down the verge,
With step and weapon forward Aung,
Upon the mountain-side they hung.
The Mountaineer cast glance of pride
Along Benledi’s living side,
Then fix'd his eye and sable brow
Full on Fitz-James-“ How say'st thou now?
These are Clan-Alpine’s warriors true;
And, Saxon,--I am Roderick Dhu!”

Fitz-James was brave:– Though to his heart
The life-blood thrillid with sudden start,
He mann'd himself with dauntless air,
Return'd the Chief his haughty stare,
His back against a rock he bore,
And firmly placed his foot before :-
“ Come one, come all! this rock shall fly
From its firm base as soon as I." 8
Sir Roderick mark’d-and in his eyes
Respect was mingled with surprise,
And the stern joy which warriors feel
In foemen worthy of their steel.


“ Have, then, thy wish!”-he whistled shrill, And he was answer'd from the hill;

I See Appendix, Note 3 1.

breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 2 MS._" This dark Sir Roderick and his band."

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came This sarage Chieftain

into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an ex2 MS.-“ From copee to copee the signal flew.

ceeding great army."-Chap. xxxvii. v. 9, 10. Instant, through copse and crags, arose."

7 MS." All silent, too, they stood, and still, 4 MS.--" The bracken bush shoots forth the dart."

Watching their leader's beck and will,
SMS.-" And each lone tuft of broom gives life

While forward step and weapon show
To plaided warrior arm'd for strife.

They long to rush upon the foe,
That whistle mann'd the lonely glen

Like the loose crags, whose tottering mass
With full five hundred armed men."

Hung threatening o'er the hollow pass." The Monthly reviewer says—“ We now come to the chef«l'aurre of Walter Scott,-a scene of more vigour, nature,

8 David de Strathbogie Earl of Athole, when about to enand animation, than any other in all his poetry." Another gage Sir Andrew Moray at the battle of Kilblene, in 1335, in anonymous critic of the poem is not afraid to quote, with re

which he was slain, made an apostrophe of the same kind :ference to the effect of this passage, the sublime language of

- At a little path was there the Prophet Ezekiel :-" Then said he unto me, Prophesy

All samen they assembled were unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind,

Even in the path was Earl Davy Thus saith the Lord God; Come om the four winds, o

And to a great stone that lay by

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Short space he stood-then waved his hand : And in the plover's shrilly stram,
Down sunk the disappearing band;

The signal whistle heard again.
Each warrior vanish'd where he stood,

Nor breathed he free till far behind In broom or bracken, heath or wood;

The pass was left; for then they wind Sunk brand and spear and bended bow,

Along a wide and level green, In osiers pale and copses low;

Where neither tree nor tuft was seen, It seem'd as if their mother Earth

Nor rush nor bush of broom was near,
Had swallow'd up her warlike birth.

To hide a bonnet or a spear.
The wind's last breath had toss'd in air,
Pennon, and plaid, and plumage fair,-

The next but swept a lone hill-side,

The Chief in silence strode before, Where heath and fern were waving wide:

And reach'd that torrent's sounding shore, The sun's last glance was glinted back,

Which, daughter of three mighty lakes, From spear and glaive, from targe and

From Vennachar in silver breaks, jack,

Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines The next, all unreflected, shone

On Bochastle the mouldering lines, On bracken green, and cold grey stone.

Where Rome, the Empress of the world,

Of yore her eagle wings unfurld.

And here his course the Chieftain staid,
Fitz-James look'd round-yet scarce believed Threw down his target and his plaid,
The witness that his sight received;

And to the Lowland warrior said :Such apparition well might seem

“ Bold Saxon! to his promise just, Delusion of a dreadful dream.

Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust. Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,

This murderous Chief, this ruthless man, And to his look the Chief replied,

This head of a rebellious clan, “ Fear nought—nay, that I need not say—

Hath led thee safe, through watch and ward, But-doubt not aught from mine array.

Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard. Thou art my guest ;– I pledged my word

Now, man to man, and steel to steel, As far as Coilantogle ford:

A Chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel. Nor would I call a clansman's brand

See here, all vantageless I stand, For aid against one valiant band,

Arm'd, like thyself, with single brand :: Though on our strife lay every vale

For this is Coilantogle ford,
Rent by the Saxon from the Gael.

And thou must keep thee with thy sword.”
So move we on ;-I only meant
To show the reed on which you leant,

Deeming this path you might pursue

The Saxon paused :-“ I ne'er delay'd, Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.”3

When foeman bade me draw my blade; They moved :— I said Fitz-James was brave, Nay, more, brave Chief, I vow'd thy death: As ever knight that belted glaive;

Yet sure thy fair and generous faith, Yet dare not say, that now his blood

And my deep debt for life preserved, Kept on its wont and temper’d food,

A better meed have well deserved : As, following Roderick's stride, he drew

Can nought but blood our feud atone ? That seeming lonesome pathway through,

Are there no means !"_“ No, Stranger, none ! Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife

And hear,—to fire thy flagging zeal,With lances, that, to take his life,

The Saxon cause rests on thy steel; Waited but signal from a guide,

For thus spoke Fate, by prophet bred So late dishonour'd and defied.

Between the living and the dead; Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round

Who spills the foremost foeman's life, The vanish'd guardians of the ground,

His party conquers in the strife.'”_ And still, from copse and heather deep,

Then, by my word,” the Saxon said, Fancy saw spear and broadsword peep,*

“ The riddle is already read.


He said By God his face, we twa

him safely on his way the next morning, although he has The flight on us shall samen * ta."

spoken threatening and violent words against Roderick,

whose kinsman the mountaineer professes himself to be, * At the same time or together.

these circumstances are all admirably imagined and related." Note in the Author's MS. not affixed to any former edition -Monthly Review. of the poem.

3 See Appendix, Note 3 K. I MS.—" For aid against one brave-man's hand."

4 MS.-"And still, from copse and heather bush, 9" This scene is excellently described. The frankness and

Fancy saw spear and broadsword rush." high-souled courage of the two warriors,--the reliance which 6 MS.-“ On Bochastle the martial lines." the Lowlander places on the word of the Highlander to guide 6 See Appendix, Note 3 L

7 Ibid, Note 3 M

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