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Watching their leader's beck and will, 1
All silent there they stood, and still.
Like the loose crags whose threatening mass
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 flung,
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 !"

X.
Fitz-James was brave :Though to his heart
The life-blood thrill'd with sudden start,

the effect of this passage, the sublime language of the Prophet
Ezekiel :-“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind,
prophesy son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord
God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon
these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he com-
manded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and
stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."-Chap.
xxxvii, v. 9, 10.]
1[MS.-" All silent, too, they stood, and still,

Watching their leader's beck and will,
While forward step and weapon show
They long to rush upon the foe,
Like the loose crag, whose tottering mass
Hung threatening o'er the hollow pass"/

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."
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.
Short space he stood—then waved his hand;
Down sunk the disappearing band;
Each warrior vanish'd where he stood,
In broom or bracken, heath or wood;
Sunk brand and spear and bended bow,
In osiers pale and copses low;
It seem'd as if their mother Earth
Had swallow'd up her warlike birth,
The wind's last breath had toss'd in air,
Pennon, and plaid, and plumage fair,-
The next but swept a lone hill-side,
Where heath and fern were waving wide ;
The sun's last glance had glinted back,
From spear and glaive, from targe and jack,
The next, all unreflected, shone
On bracken green, and cold grey stone.

XI. Fitz-James look'd round-yet scarce believed The witness that his sight received ;

Such apparition well might seem
Delusion of a dreadful dream.
Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,
And to his look the Chief replied,
“Fear nought-nay, that I need not say-
But-doubt not aught from mine array.
Thou art my guest ;-I pledged my word
As far as Coilantogle ford :
Nor would I call a clansman's brand
For aid against one valiant hand,
Though on our strife lay every vale
Rent by the Saxon from the Gael.
So move we on;-I only meant
To show the reed on which you leant,
Deeming this path you might pursue
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.'

2

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1 [MS.--"For aid against one brave man's hand."]

2 [“ This scene is excellently described. The frankness and high-souled courage of the two warriors,—the reliance which the Lowlander places on the word of the Highlander to guide him safely on his way the next morning, although he has spoken threatening and violent words against Roderick, whose kinsman the mountaineer professes himself to be,-these circumstances are all admirably imagined and related."-Monthly Review.]

3 This incident, like some other passages in the poem, illustrative of the character of the ancient Gael, is not imaginary, but borrowed from fact. The Highlanders, with the inconsistency of most nations in the same state, were alternately capable of great exertions of generosity, and of cruel revenge and perfidy. The following story I can only quote from tradition, but with such an assurance from those by whom it was communicated, as per. mits me little doubt of its authenticity. Early in the last cen.

They moved :-I said Fitz-James was brave,
As ever knight that belted glaive;
Yet dare not say, that now his blood

Kept on its wont and temper'd flood, tury, John Gunn, a noted Cateran, or Highland robber, infested Inverness-shire, and levied black-mail up to the walls of the provincial capital. A garrison was then maintained in the castle of that town, and their pay (country banks being unknown) was usually transmitted in specie, under the guard of a small escort. It chanced that the officer who commanded this little party was unexpectedly obliged to halt, about thirty miles from Inverness, at a miserable inn. About nightfall, a stranger, the Highland dress, and of very prepossessing appearance, entered the same house. Separate accommodation being impossible, the Englishman offered the newly-arrived guest a part of his supper, which was accepted with reluctance. By the conversation he found his new acquaintance knew well all the passes of the country, which induced him eagerly to request his company on the ensuing morning. He neither disguised his business and charge, nor his apprehensions of that celebrated freebooter John Gunn.The Highlander hesitated a moment, and then frankly consented to be his guide. Forth they set in the morning; and, in travelling through a solitary and dreary glen, the discourse again turned on John Gunn. “Would you like to see him ?" said the guide; and, without waiting an answer to this alarming question, he whistled, and the English officer, with his small party, were surrounded by a body of Highlanders, whose numbers put resistance out of question, and who were all well armed. “Stranger," resumed the guide, “I am that very John Gunn by whom you feared to be intercepted, and not without cause: for I came to the inn last night with the express purpose of learning your route, that I and my followers might ease you of your charge by the road. But I am incapable of betraying the trust you reposed in me, and having convinced you that you were in my power, I can only dismiss you unplundered and unipjured." He then gave the officer directions for his journey, and disappeared with his party as suddenly as they had presented themselves.

As, following Roderick’s stride, he drew
That seeming lonesome pathway through,
Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife
With lances, that, to take his life,
Waited but signal from a guide,
So late dishonour'd and defied.
Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round
The vanish'd guardians of the ground,
And still, from copse and heather deep,
Fancy saw spear and broadsword peep,
And in the plover's shrilly strain,
The signal whistle heard again,
Nor breathed he free till far behind
The pass was left; for then they wind
Along a wide and level green,
Where neither tree nor turf was seen,
Nor rush nor bush of broom was near,
To hide a bonnet or a spear.

1

XII. The Chief in silence strode before, And reach'd that torrent's sounding shore, Which, daughter of three mighty lakes, From Vennachar in silver breaks, Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines On Bochastle the mouldering lines,

· [MS.-"And still from copse and heather bush,

Fancy saw spear and broadsword rush.*] *MS.-" On Bochastle the martial lines."

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