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Oh! if yet worse mishap and woe,
faction, joyfully received him. Being thus at liberty. James speedily summoned around him such peers as he knew to be most inimical to the domination of Angus, and laid his complaint before them, says Pitscottie, “with great lamentations: showing to them how he was holden in subjection, thir years bygone, by the Earl of Angus, and his kin and friends, who oppressed the whole country, and spoiled it, under the pretence of justice and his authority; and had slain many of his lieges, kinsmen, and friends, because they would have had it mended at their hands, and put him at liberty, as he ought to have been at the counsel of his whole lords, and not have been subjected and corrected with no particular men, by the rest of his nobles: Therefore, said he, I desire, my lords, that I may be satisfied of the said earl, his kin, and friends; for I avow that Scotland shall not hold us both, while [i. e. till] I be revenged on him and his.
“The Lords hearing the king's complaint and lamentation, and also the great rage, fury, and malice, that he bore toward the Earl of Angus, his kin and friends, they concluded all, and thought it best that he should be summoned to underly the law: if he found no caution, nor yet compear himself, that he should be put to the horn, with all his kin and friends, so many as were contained in the letters. And farther, the lords ordained, by advice of his majesty, that his brother and friends should be summoned to find caution to underly the law within a certain day, or else be put to the horn. But the earl appeared not, nor none for him: and so he was put to the horn, with all his kin and friends: so many as were contained in the summons, that compeared not, were banished, and holden traitors to the king.”
Oile short, one final strain shall flow,
It drinks heaven's dew as blithe as rose”
X. Her smile, her speech, with winning sway, Wiled the old harper's mood away. With such a look as hermits throw, When angels stoop to soothe their woe, He gazed, till fond regret and pride Thrill'd to a tear, then thus replied: “Loveliest and best! thou little know'st The rank, the honours, thou hast lost! O might I live to see thee grace, In Scotland's court, thy birthright place, To see my favourite's step advance,” The lightest in the courtly dance, The cause of every gallant's sigh, And leading star of every eye, And theme of every minstrel's art, The Lady of the Bleeding Heart!”—”
XI. “Fair dreams are these,” the maiden cried, (Light was her accent, yet she sigh'd;) “Yet is this mossy rock to me Worth splendid chair and canopy;” Nor would my footsteps spring more gay In courtly dance than blythe strathspey, Nor half so pleased mine ear incline To royal minstrel's lay as thine. And then for suitors proud and high, To bend before my conquering eye, Thou, flattering bard thyself wilt say, That grim Sir Roderick owns its sway. The Saxon scourge, Clan-Alpine's pride, The terror of Loch Lomond's side, Would, at my suit, thou know'st delay A Lennox foray—for a day.”
XII. The ancient bard her glee repress'd : “Ill hast thou chosen theme for jest For who, through all this western wild, Named Black Sir Roderick e'er, and smiled ! In Holy-Rood a knight he slew ; * I saw, when back the dirk he drew, Courtiers give place before the stride
Of the undaunted homicide; " -
1 [MS.—“Courtiers give place with heartless stride Of the retiring homicide.”]
2 [MS.—“Who else dared own the kindred claim That bound him to thy mother's name? Who else dared give,” &c.]
* The exiled state of this powerful race is not exaggerated in this and subsequent passages. The hatred of James against the race of Douglas was so inveterate, that numerous as their allies were, and disregarded as the regal authority had usually been in similar cases, their nearest friends, even in the most remote parts of Scotland, durst not entertain them, unless under the strictest and closest disguise. James Douglas, son of the banished Earl of Angus, afterwards well known by the title of Earl of Morton, lurked, during the exile of his family, in the north of Scotland, under the assumed name of James Innes, otherwise James the Grieve (i. e. Reve or Bailiff). “And as he bore the name,” says Godscroft, “so did he also execute the office of a grieve or overseer of the lands and rents, the corn and cattle of him with whom he lived.” From the habits of frugality and observation which he acquired in his humble situation, the historian traces that intimate acquaintance with popular character, which enabled him to rise so high in the state, and that honourable economy by which he repaired and established the shattered estates of Angus and Morton.—History of the House of Douglas, Edinburgh, 1743, vol. ii. p. 160.