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It was a lodge of ample size,
But strange of structure and device;
Of such materials, as around
The workman's hand had readiest found.
Lopp'd of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared,
And by the hatchet rudely squared,
To give the walls their destined height,
The sturdy oak and ash unite;
While moss and clay and leaves combined
To fence each crevice from the wind.
The lighter pine-trees, over-head,
Their slender length for rafters spread,
And wither'd heath and rushes dry
Supplied a russet canopy.
Due westward, fronting to the green,
A rural portico was seen,
Aloft on native pillars borne,
Of mountain fir with bark unshorn,
Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idæan vine,
The clematis, the favour'd flower
Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
distance from one another, in the side next the precipice, resembling the pillars of a chimney, where the fire was placed. The smoke had its vent out here, all along the fall of the rock, which was so much of the same colour, that one could discover no difference in the clearest day."-HOME's History of the Rebellion, Lond. 1802, 4to, p. 381.
And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine's keen and searching air.
An instant in this porch she staid,
And gaily to the Stranger said,
“On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall!”-
XXVII. “My hope, my heaven, my trust must be, My gentle guide, in following thee."He cross'd the threshold-and a clang Of angry steel that instant rang. To his bold brow his spirit rush’d, But soon for vain alarm he blush’d, When on the floor he saw display'd, Cause of the din, a naked blade Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless flung Upon a stag's huge antlers swung; For all around, the walls to grace, Hung trophies of the fight or chase : A target there, a bugle here, A battle-axe, a hunting spear, And broadswords, bows, and arrows store, With the tusk'd trophies of the boar. Here grins the wolf as when he died,' And there the wild-cat's brindled hide
[ MS." Here grins the wolf as when he died,
There hung the wild-cat's brindled hide,
Above the elk's branch'd brow and skull,
And frontlet of the forest bull."]
The frontlet of the elk adorns,
Or mantles o'er the bison's horns;
Pennons and flags defaced and stain'd,
That blackening streaks of blood retain'd,
And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white,
With otter's fur and seal's unite,
In rude and uncouth tapestry all,
To garnish forth the silvan hall.
The wondering Stranger round him gazed,
And next the fallen weapon raised :
Few were the arms whose sinewy strength
Sufficed to stretch it forth at length.
And as the brand he poised and sway'd,
“I never knew but one,” he said,
“Whose stalwart arms might brook to wield
A blade like this in battle-field.”
She sigh’d, then smiled and took the word:
“You see the guardian champion's sword :
As light it trembles in his hand,
As in my grasp a hazel wand;
My sire's tall form might grace the part
Of Ferragus, or Ascabart;'
But in the absent giant's hold
Are women now, and menials old.”
* (See Appendix, Note B.]
The mistress of the mansion came,
Mature of age, a graceful dame;
Whose easy step and stately port
Had well become a princely court,
To whom, though more than kindred knew,
Young Ellen gave a mother's due.'
Meet welcome to her guest she made,
And every courteous rite was paid,
That hospitality could claim,
Though all unask'd his birth and name. ?
Such then the reverence to a guest,
That fellest foe might join the feast,
And from his deadliest foeman's door
Unquestion'd turn, the banquet o'er.
At length his rank the stranger names,
“The Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James ;
Lord of a barren heritage,
Which bis brave sires, from age to age,
By their good swords had held with toil;
His sire had fall’n in such turmoil,
(MS. To wbom, though more remote her claim,
Young Ellen gave a mother's name.”] · The Highlanders, who carried hospitality to a punctilious excess, are said to have considered it as churlish, to ask a stranger his name or lineage before he had taken refreshment. Feuds were so frequent among them, that a contrary rule would in many cases have produced the discovery of some circumstance, which might have excluded the guest from the benefit of the as. sistance he stood in need of.
And he, God wot, was forced to stand
Oft for his right with blade in hand.
This morning with Lord Moray's train
He chased a stalwart stag in vain,
Outstripp'd his comrades, miss'd the deer,
Lost his good steed, and wander'd here.”
Fain would the Knight in turn require
The name and state of Ellen's sire.
Well show'd the elder lady's mien,'
That courts and cities she had seen;
Ellen, though more her looks display'do
The simple grace of silvan maid,
In speech and gesture, form and face,
Show'd she was come of gentle race;
'Twere strange in ruder rank to find
Such looks, such manners, and such mind.
Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave,
Dame Margaret heard with silence grave;
Or Ellen, innocently gay,
Turn'd all enquiry light away :-
[MS." Well show'd the mother's easy mien."]
(MS." Ellen, though more her looks betray'd
The simple heart of mountain muid,
In speech and gesture, form and grace,
Show'd she was come of gentle race;
'Twas strange, in birth so rude to find
Such face, such manners, and such mind.
Each anxious bint the stranger gave,
The mother heard with silence grave."}