The broom's tough roots his ladder made,
The hazel saplings lent their aid;
And thus an airy point he won,
Where, gleaming with the setting sun,
One burnish'd sheet of living gold,
Loch Katrine lay beneath him roll’d,"
In all her length far winding lay,
With promontory, creek, and bay,
And islands that, empurpled bright,
Floated amid the livelier light,
And mountains, that like giants stand,
To sentinel enchanted land.
High on the south, huge Benvenue *
Down on the lake in masses threw
Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurl’d,
The fragments of an earlier world;
A wildering forest feather'd o'er
His ruin’d sides and summit hoar.”
While on the north, through middle air,
Ben-an” heaved high his forehead bare.”

[Loch Ketturin is the Celtic pronunciation. In his Notes to “The Fair Maid of Perth,” the author has signified his belief that the lake was named after the Calterins, or wild robbers, who haunted its shores.] 2 [Benvenue—is literally the little mountain—i.e. as contrasted with Benledi and Benlomond.] 8 [MS.—“His ruined sides and fragments hoar, While on the north to middle air.”] * [According to Graham, Ben-an, or Bennan, is a mere diminutive of Ben—Mountain.] * [Perhaps the art of landscape-painting in poetry, has XV. . From the steep promontory gazed" The stranger raptured and amazed. And, “What a scene were here,” he cried, “For princely pomp, or churchman's pride! On this bold brow, a lordly tower; In that soft vale, a lady's bower; On yonder meadow, far away, The turrets of a cloister gray; How blithely might the bugle-horn Chide, on the lake, the lingering morn! How sweet, at eve, the lover's lute Chime, when the groves were still and mute And, when the midnight moon should lave Her forehead in the silver wave, How solemn on the ear would come The holy matin’s distant hum, While the deep peal’s commanding tone Should wake, in yonder islet lone, never been displayed in higher perfection than in these stanzas, to which rigid criticism might possibly object that the picture is somewhat too minute, and that the contemplation of it detains the traveller somewhat too long from the main purpose of his pilgrimage, but which it would be an act of the greatest injustice to break into fragments, and present by piecemeal. Not so the magnificent scene which bursts upon the bewildered hunter as he emerges at length from the dell, and commands, at one view, the beautiful expanse of Loch Katrine.”]—Critical Review, August, 1820. 1 [MS.—“From the high promontory gazed The stranger, awe-struck and amazed.”]


A sainted hermit from his cell,
To drop a bead with every knell—
And bugle, lute, and bell, and all, e
Should each bewilder'd stranger call
To friendly feast and lighted hall."

“Blithe were it then to wander here !
But now, beshrew yon nimble deer,
Like that same hermit's, thin and spare,
The copse must give my evening fare;
Some mossy bank my couch must be,
Some rustling oak my canopy.”
Yet pass we that; the war and chase
Give little choice of resting-place;—
A summer night, in greenwood spent,
Were but to-morrow’s merriment:
But hosts may in these wilds abound,
Such as are better missed than found;
To meet with Highland plunderers here,
Were worse than loss of steed or deer.—”

1 [MS.—“To hospitable feast and hall.”]
2 [MS.—“And hollow trunk of some old tree,
My chamber for the night must be.”]

8 The clans who inhabited the romantic regions in the neighbourhood of Loch Katrine, were, even until a late period, much addicted to predatory incursions upon their Lowland neighbours. “In former times, those parts of this district, which are situated beyond the Grampian range, were rendered almost inaccessible by strong barriers of rocks, and mountains, and lakes. It was a border country, and though on the very verge of the low country, it was almost totally


I am alone;—my bugle-strain
May call some straggler of the train;
Or, fall the worst that may betide,
Ere now this falchion has been tried.”

XVII. But scarce again his horn he wound,' When lo! forth starting at the sound, From underneath an aged oak, That slanted from the islet rock, A damsel guider of its way, A little skiff shot to the bay.”

sequestered from the world, and, as it were, insulated with respect to society. 'Tis well known that in the Highlands, it was, in former times, accounted not only lawful, but honourable, among hostile tribes, to commit depredations on one another; and these habits of the age were perhaps strengthened in this district, by the circumstances which have been mentioned. It bordered on a country, the inhabitants of which, while they were richer, were less warlike than they, and widely differenced by language and manners.”— GRAHAM's Sketches of Scenery in Perthshire, Edin. 1806, p. 97. The reader will therefore be pleased to remember, that the scene of this poem is laid in a time,

“When tooming faulds, or sweeping of a glen,
Had still been held the deed of gallant men.”

1 [MS.—“The bugle shrill again he wound,
And lo! forth starting at the sound.”)

3 [MS.—“A little skiff shot to the bay.
The Hunter left his airy stand,
And when the boat had touch'd the sand,
Conceal’d he stood amid the brake,
To view this Lady of the Lake.”)

That round the promontory steep
Iled its deep line in graceful sweep,
Eddying, in almost viewless wave,
The weeping willow twig to lave,
And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
The beach of pebbles bright as snow,
The boat had touch'd this silver strand,
Just as the Hunter left his stand,
And stood conceal’d amid the brake,
To view this Lady of the Lake.
The maiden paused, as if again
She thought to catch the distant strain.
With head up-raised, and look intent,
And eye and ear attentive bent,
And locks flung back, and lips apart,
Like monument of Grecian art,
In listening mood, she seem'd to stand,
The guardian Naiad of the strand.

XVIII. And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace' A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace, Of finer form, or lovelier face What though the sun, with ardent frown, Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown, The sportive toil, which, short and light, Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,

1 [MS.—“A finer form, a fairer face,
Had never marble Nymph or Grace,
That boasts the Grecian chisel's trace.”]

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