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And to the leading soldier said:
And would not now vouchsafe again Sir John of Hyndford, 't was my blade, Through Stirling streets to lead his train. That knighthood on thy shoulder laid; •0 Lenox, who would wish to rule For that good deed permit me then 770 This changeling crowd, this common fool ? A word with these misguided men. - Hear'st thou,' he said, the loud acclaim 830
With which they shout the Douglas name? XXVIII
With like acclaim the vulgar throat • Hear, gentle friends, ere yet for me Strained for King James their morning Ye break the bands of fealty.
note; My life, my honor, and my cause,
With like acclaim they hailed the day I tender free to Scotland's laws.
When first I broke the Douglas sway; Are these so weak as must require
And like acclaim would Douglas greet The aid of your misguided ire ?
If he could hurl me from my seat. Or if I suffer causeless wrong,
Who o'er the herd would wish to reign, Is then my selfish rage so strong,
Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain ? My sense of public weal so low,
780 Vain as the leaf upon the stream, That, for mean vengeance on a foe,
And fickle as a changeful dream;
Fantastic as a woman's mood,
Thou many-headed monster-thing,
O who would wish to be thy king ? -
• But soft! what messenger of speed For me that mother wails her son,
Spurs hitherward his panting steed? For me that widow's mate expires,
I guess his cognizance afar — For me that orphans weep their sires,
What from our cousin, John of Mar?' That patriots mourn insulted laws,
• He prays, my liege, your sports keep And curse the Douglas for the cause.
840 O let your patience ward such ill,
Within the safe and guarded ground; And keep your right to love me still !! For some foul purpose yet unknown, XXIX
Most sure for evil to the throne,
The outlawed Chieftain, Roderick Dhu, The crowd's wild fury sunk again
Has summoned his rebellious crew; In tears, as tempests melt in rain.
'T is said, in James of Bothwell's aid With lifted bands and eyes, they prayed These loose banditti stand arrayed. For blessings on his generous head
The Earl of Mar this morn from Doune Who for his country felt alone,
800 To break their muster marched, and soon And prized her blood beyond his own. Your Grace will hear of battle fonght; 850 Old men upon the verge of life
But earnestly the Earl besought,
• Thou warn'st me I have done amiss, Even the rough soldier's heart was moved; I should have earlier looked to this; As if behind some bier beloved,
I lost it in this bustling day. —
Spare not for spoiling of thy steed,
The best of mine shail be thy meed.
Say to our faithful Lord of Mar,
Roderick this morn in single fight
Was made our prisoner by a knight, With bitter thought and swelling heart, | And Douglas hath himself and cause
Submitted to our kingdom's laws.
Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced,
No ripple on the lake,
The deer has sought the brake;
The springing trout lies still, 380 So darkly glooms yon thunder-cloud, That swathes, as with a purple shroud,
Benledi's distant hill.
That mutters deep and dread,
The warrior's measured tread ?
That on the thicket streams,
The sun's retiring beams? -
Or bard of martial lay, 'T were worth ten years of peaceful life,
One glance at their array !
CANTO SIXTH. XIV-XXI
THE DEATH OF RODERICK DHU
The Chieftain reared his form on high,
And closely shouldering side to side, Their light-armed archers far and The bristling ranks the onset bide. — 450 near
“We 'll quell the savage mountaineer, Surveyed the tangled ground,
As their Tinchel cows the game!
We'll drive them back as tame.”
• Bearing before them in their course Still were the pipe and drum;
The relics of the archer force, Save heavy tread, and armor's clang, Like wave with crest of sparkling foam, The sullen march was dumb.
Right onward did Clan-Alpine come. There breathed no wind their crests to Above the tide, each broadsword bright
Was brandishing like beam of light, 460 Or wave their flags abroad;
Each targe was dark below; Scarce the frail aspen seemed to quake, And with the ocean's mighty swing, That shadowed o'er their road.
When heaving to the tempest's wing, Their vaward scouts no tidings bring,
They burled them on the foe. Can rouse no lurking foe,
I heard the lance's shivering crash, Nor spy a trace of living thing,
As when the whirlwind rends the ash; Save when they stirred the roe;
I heard the broadsword's deadly clang, The host moves like a deep-sea wave, | As if a hundred anvils rang! Where rise no rocks its pride to brave, But Moray wheeled his rearward rank High-swelling, dark, and slow.
Of horsemen on Clan-Alpine's flank, - 470 The lake is passed, and now they gain
“My banner-men, advance! A narrow and a broken plain,
I see," he cried, “ their column shake. Before the Trosachs' rugged jaws;
Now, gallants ! for your ladies' sake, And here the horse and spearmen pause,
Upon them with the lance!” While, to explore the dangerous glen,
The horsemen dashed among the rout, Dive through the pass the arcber-men.
As deer break through the broom;
Their steeds are stout, their swords are XVII • At once there rose so wild a yell
They soon make lightsome room. Within that dark and narrow dell,
Clan-Alpine's best are backward borne — As all the fiends from heaven that fell
Where, where was Roderick then! 480 Had pealed the banner-cry of hell! 430 One blast upon his bugle-horn Forth from the pass in tumult driven,
Were worth a thousand men. Like chaff before the wind of heaven, And refluent through the pass of fear The archery appear:
The battle's tide was poured; For life! for life! their flight they ply Vanished the Saxon's struggling spear, And shriek, and shout, and battle-cry,
Vanished the mountain-sword. And plaids and bonnets waving high, As Bracklinn's chasm, so black and steep, And broadswords flashing to the sky,
Receives her roaring linn, Are maddening in the rear.
As the dark caverns of the deep Onward they drive in dreadful race,
Suck the wild whirlpool in, Pursuers and pursued;
So did the deep and darksome pass Before that tide of flight and chase, Devour the battle's mingled mass; How shall it keep its rooted place, None linger now upon the plain,
The spearmen's twilight wood ? — Save those who ne'er shall fight again. “Down, down,” cried Mar, “ your lances
XIX down! Bear back both friend and foe!” —
Now westward rolls the battle's din, Like reeds before the tempest's frown, That deep and doubling pass within. — That serried grove of lances brown Minstrel, away ! the work of fate At once lay levelled low;
| Is bearing on; its issue wait,
And yells for
Where the rude Trosachs' dread defile The helpless females scream for fear,
| And yells for rage the mountaineer. Gray Benvenue I soon repassed,
'T was then, as by the outcry riven, Loch Katrine lay beneath me cast.
Poured down at once the lowering heaven: The sun is set; — the clouds are met, A whirlwind swept Loch Katrine's breast, The lowering scowl of heaven
Her billows reared their snowy crest. An inky hue of livid blue
Well for the swimmer swelled they high, To the deep lake has given;
To mar the Highland marksman's eye ; Strange gusts of wind from mountain glen For round him showered, mid rain and hail, Swept o'er the lake, then sunk again. The vengeful arrows of the Gael.
560 I heeded not the eddying surge,
In vain. —He nears the isle - and lo! Mine eye but saw the Trosachs' gorge, 510
His hand is on a shallop's bow. Mine ear but heard that sullen sound, Just then a flash of lightning came, Which like an earthquake shook the It tinged the waves and strand with flame; ground,
I marked Duncraggan's widowed dame, And spoke the stern and desperate strife Bebind an oak I saw her stand, That parts not but with parting life, A naked dirk gleamed in her hand:Seeming, to minstrel ear, to toll
It darkened, - but amid the moan The dirge of many a passing soul.
Of waves I heard a dying groan; — Nearer it comes — the dim-wood glen Another flash! — the spearman floats 570 The martial flood disgorged again, A weltering corse beside the boats, But not in mingled tide;
And the stern matron o'er him stood, The plaided warriors of the North 520 Her hand and dagger streaming blood. High on the mountain thunder forth And overhang its side,
XXI While by the lake below appears
« « Revenge ! revenge ! ” the Saxons cried, The darkening cloud of Saxon spears. The Gaels' exulting shout replied. At weary bay each shattered band, Despite the elemental rage, Eying their foemen, sternly stand; Again they hurried to engage ;
Their banners stream like tattered sail, But, ere they closed in desperate fight, That flings its fragments to the gale, Bloody with spurring came a knight, And broken arms and disarray
Sprung from his horse, and from a crag 580 Marked the fell havoc of the day.
Waved 'twixt the hosts a milk-white flag.
Clarion and trumpet by his side
Rung forth a truce-note high and wide, • Viewing the mountain's ridge askance, While, in the Monarch's name, afar The Saxons stood in sullen trance,
A herald's voice forbade the war, Till Moray pointed with his lance,
For Bothwell's lord and Roderick bold And cried : “ Behold yon isle ! - Were both, he said, in captive hold.' See ! none are left to guard its strand But here the lay made sudden stand, But women weak, that wring the hand: The harp escaped the Minstrel's hand ! 'T is there of yore the robber band
Oft had he stolen a glance, to spy
How Roderick brooked his minstrelsy: My purse, with bonnet-pieces store,
At first, the Chieftain, to the chime, To him will swim a bow-shot o'er,
With lifted hand kept feeble time; And loose a shallop from the shore.
That motion ceased, - yet feeling strong Lightly we'll tame the war-wolf then, Varied his look as changed the song; Lords of his mate, and brood, and den." At length, no more his deafened ear Forth from the ranks a spearman sprung, The minstrel melody can hear; On earth his casque and corselet rung, His face grows sharp, - his hands are He plunged him in the wave :
clenched, All saw the deed, — the purpose knew, As if some pang his heart-strings wrenched; And to their clamors Benvenue
Set are his teeth, his fading eye
600 A mingled echo gave ;
Is steruly fixed on vacancy;
His parting breath stout Roderick Dhu! -
SONG FROM ROKEBY
. With burnished brand and musketoon
So gallantly you come,
That lists the tuck of drum.'
No more the trumpet hear;
CHORUS • And O, though Brignall banks be fair,
And Greta woods be gay,
Would reign my Queen of May !
(Canto Third. XVI-XVIII)
And Greta woods are green,
Would grace a summer queen.
Beneath the turrets high,
10 I'd rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English queen.' If, maiden, thou wouldst wend with me,
To leave both tower and town, Thon first must guess what life lead we
That dwell by dale and down ? And if thou canst that riddle read,
As read full well you may, Then to the greenwood shalt thou speed,
As blithe as Queen of May.'
• Maiden ! a nameless life I lead,
A nameless death I 'll die; The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
Were better mate than I ! And when I'm with my comrades met
Beneath the greenwood bough, What once we were we all forget, Nor think what we are now.
CHORUS • Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
Aud Greta woods are green,
Would grace a summer queen.'