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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;
Those cords of love I should unbind

Fantastic as a woman's mood,
Which knit my country and my kind ? And fierce as Frenzy's fevered blood.
O no! Believe, in yonder tower

Thou many-headed monster-thing,
It will not soothe my captive hour,

O who would wish to be thy king ? -
To know those spears our foes should dread
For me in kindred gore are red:

To know, in fruitless brawl begun,

• 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,
Blessed him who stayed the civil strife; Till for such danger he provide,
And mothers held their babes on high, With scanty train you will not ride.'
The self-devoted Chief to spy,
Triumphant over wrongs and ire,

To whom the prattlers owed a sire.

• 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. —
With trailing arms and drooping head, 810 Retrace with speed thy former way;
The Douglas up the bill he led,

Spare not for spoiling of thy steed,
And at the Castle's battled verge,

The best of mine shail be thy meed.
With sighs resigned his honored charge.

Say to our faithful Lord of Mar,
We do forbid the intended war;

Roderick this morn in single fight
The offended Monarch rode apart,

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.
The tidings of their leaders lost
Will soon dissolve the mountain host,
Nor would we that the vulgar feel,
For their Chief's crimes, avenging steel.
Bear Mar our message, Braco, fly!' 870
He turned his steed, — My liege, I hie,
Yet ere I cross this lily lawn
I fear the broads words will be drawn.'
The turf the flying courser spurned,
And to his towers the King returned.

Ill with King James's mood that day
Suited gay feast and minstrel lay;
Soon were dismissed the courtly throng,
And soon cut short the festal song.
Nor less upon the saddened town 880
The evening sunk in sorrow down.
The burghers spoke of civil jar,
Of rumored feuds and mountain war,
Of Moray, Mar, and Roderick Dhu,
All up in arms;- the Douglas too,
They mourned him pent within the hold,
•Where stout Earl William was of old.' -
And there his word the speaker stayed,
And finger on his lip he laid,
Or pointed to his dagger blade.
But jaded horsemen from the west
At evening to the Castle pressed,
And busy talkers said they bore
Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore;
At noon the deadly fray begun,
And lasted till the set of sun.
Thus giddy rumor shook the town,
Till closed the Night her pennons brown.



Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced,
Fling me the picture of the fight, 350
When met my clan the Saxon migbt.
I 'll listen, till my fancy hears
The clang of swords, the crash of spears !
These grates, these walls, shall vanish then
For the fair field of fighting men,
And my free spirit burst away,
As if it soared from battle fray.'
The trembling Bard with awe obeyed, -
Slow on the harp his hand he laid;
But soon remembrance of the sight
He witnessed from the mountain's height,
With what old Bertram told at night,
Awakened the full power of song,
And bore him in career along; —
As shallop launched on river's tide,
That slow and fearful leaves the side,
But, when it feels the middle stream,
Drives downward swift as lightning's

"The Minstrel came once more to view
The eastern ridge of Benvenue,
For ere he parted he would say
Farewell to lovely Loch Achray-
Where shall he find, in foreign land,
So lone a lake, so sweet a strand ! -
There is no breeze upon the fern,

No ripple on the lake,
Upon her eyry nods the erne,

The deer has sought the brake;
The small birds will not sing aloud,

The springing trout lies still, 380 So darkly glooms yon thunder-cloud, That swathes, as with a purple shroud,

Benledi's distant hill.
Is it the thunder's solemn sound,

That mutters deep and dread,
Or echoes from the groaning ground

The warrior's measured tread ?
Is it the lightning's quivering glance

That on the thicket streams,
Or do they flash on spear and lance 390

The sun's retiring beams? -
I see the dagger-crest of Mar,
I see the Moray's silver star,
Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war,
That up the lake comes winding far!
To hero bound for battle-strife,

Or bard of martial lay, 'T were worth ten years of peaceful life,

One glance at their array !




The Chieftain reared his form on high,
And fever's fire was in his eye;
But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks 340
Checkered his swarthy brow and cheeks.
• Hark, Minstrel ! I have heard thee play,
With measure bold on festal day,
In yon lone isle, — again where ne'er
Shall harper play or warrior hear! -
That stirring air that peals on high,
O'er Dermid's race our victory. -
Strike it !- and then, — for well thou







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!
Their centre ranks, with pike and spear, They come as fleet as forest deer,
A twilight forest frowned,

We'll drive them back as tame.”
Their barded horsemen in the rear
The stern battalia crowned.

No symbol clashed, no clarion rang,

• 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,
Opens on Katrine's lake and isle.

| 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
Their booty wont to pile; —

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;
The Saxons shout, their mate to cheer, 550 | Thus, motionless and moanless drew,




His parting breath stout Roderick Dhu! -
Old Allan-bane looked on aghast,
While grim and still his spirit passed;
But when he saw that life was fed,
He poured his wailing o'er the dead.


. With burnished brand and musketoon

So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold dragoon,

That lists the tuck of drum.'
• I list no more the tuck of drum,

No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum,
My comrades take the spear.

CHORUS • And O, though Brignall banks be fair,

And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare

Would reign my Queen of May !

(Canto Third. XVI-XVIII)

lead so

O, Brignall banks are wild and fair,

And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there

Would grace a summer queen.
And as I rode by Dalton-hall,

Beneath the turrets high,
A maiden on the castle wall
Was singing merrily, —

•O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green ;

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,
And you may gather garlands there

Would grace a summer queen.'


(Publ. 1808]


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