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And take them to the oar,
Of Skye's romantic shore.
The sun's arising gleam;
He shot a western beam.
“ If true mine eye, These are the savage wilds that lie North of Strathnardill and Dunskye ;3
No human foot comes here,
And strike a mountain-deer?
A shaft shall mend our cheer.”
And left their skiff and train, Where a wild stream, with headlong shock, Came brawling down its bed of rock,
To mingle with the main.
For rarely human eye has known
With its dark ledge of barren stone.
Through the rude bosom of the hill,
Tells of the outrage still.
And copse on Cruchan-Ben;
On mountain or in glen, Nor tree, nor shrub, nor plant, nor flower, Nor aught of vegetative power,
The weary eye may ken. For all is rocks at random thrown, Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone,
As if were here denied The summer sun,
the spring's sweet dew, That clothe with many a varied hue
The bleakest 6 mountain-side.7
As men who stalk for mountain-deer, Till the good Bruce to Ronald said,
“ St. Mary! what a scene is here! I've traversed many a mountain-strand, Abroad and in my native land, And it has been my lot to tread Where safety more than pleasure led; Thus, many a waste l've wander'd o'er, Clombe many a crag, cross'd many a moor,
For from the mountain hoar,9
Loose crags had toppled o'er ;10
A mass no host could raise,
On its precarious base.
I MS.--"Till Mull's dark isle no more they knew,
Nor Ardnamurchan's mountains blue."
2 MS.--" For favouring gales compellid to stay."
deers have buds
}in deep Glencoe.”
}" 7 The Quarterly Reviewer says, “This picture of barren desolation is admirably touched;" and if the opinion of Mr.
Turner be worth any thing, “No words could have given a truer picture of this, one of the wildest of Nature's landscapes." Mr. Turner adds, however, that he dissents in one particular; but for one or two tufts of grass he must have broken his neck, having slipped when trying to attain the best position for taking the view which embellishes volume tenth, edition 1833. 8 MS.—“And wilder, at each step they take,
Turn the proud cliffs and yawning lake;
Huge naked sheets of granite black," &c. 9 MS.-"For from the mountain's crown." 10 MS.—"Huge crags had toppled down."
The evening mists, with ceaseless change,
Now left their foreheads bare,
Dispersed in middle air.
Pours like a torrent down,
Leap from the mountain's crown.3
May they not mark a Monarch's fate,
XVI. “ This lake," said Bruce, “ whose barriers drear Are precipices sharp and sheer, Yielding no track for goat or deer,
Save the black shelves we tread, How term you its dark waves ? and how Yon northern mountain's pathless brow,
And yonder peak of dread,
Which seam its shiver'd head?”.-
XVIII. “ So said I-and believed in sooth," Ronald replied, “ I spoke the truth. Yet now I spy, by yonder stone, Five men- - they mark us, and come on; And by their badge on bonnet borne, I guess them of the land of Lorn, Foes to my Liege.”—“ So let it be; I've faced worse odds than five to three -But the poor page can little aid ; Then be our battle thus array'd, If our free passage they contest; Cope thou with two, I'll match the rest."“ Not so, my Liege-for, by my life, This sword shall meet the treble strife; My strength, my skill in arms, more small, And less the loss should Ronald fall. But islesmen soon to soldiers grow, Allan has sword as well as bow, And were my Monarch's order given, Two shafts should make our number
even.”“ No! not to save my life !” he said; “ Enough of blood rests on my head, Too rashly spill'd—we soon shall know, Whether they come as friend or fue.”
XVII. Answer's the Bruce, " And musing mind Might here a graver moral find. These mighty cliffs, that heave on high Their naked brows to middle sky, Indifferent to the sun or snow, Where nought can fade, and nought can blow,
XIX. Nigh came the strangers, and more nigh;Still less they pleased the Monarch's eye. Men were they all of evil mien, Down-look’d, unwilling to be seen ;' They moved with half-resolved pace, And bent on earth each gloomy face. The foremost two were fair array'd, With brogue and bonnet, trews and plaid, And bore the arms of mountaineers, Daggers and broadswords, bows and spears. The three, that laggd small space behind, Seem'd serfs of more degraded kind;
1 MS.-"Oft closing too, at once they lower."
2 MS.-" Pour'd like a torrent dread."
3 MS.—“ Leap from the mountain's head."
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
Must look down on the hate of those below,
Contending tempests on his naked head,
Childe Harold, Canto ül. 5 See Appendix, Note 2 H.