Alas, this wild marauding Chief
Alone might hazard our relief,
And now thy maiden &harms expand,
Looks for his guerdon in thy hand;
Full soon may dispensation sought,
To back his suit from Rome be brought.
Then, though an exile on the hill,
Thy father, as the Douglas, still
Be held in reverence and fear;
And though to Roderick thou’rt so dear,
That thou might'st guide with silken thread,
Slave of thy will, this chieftain dread;
Yet, O loved maid, thy mirth refrain!
Thy hand is on a lion's mane.”— -

“Minstrel,” the maid replied, and high
Her father's soul glanced from her eye,
“My debts to Roderick's house I know :
All that a mother could bestow,
To Lady Margaret's care I owe,
Since first an orphan in the wild
She sorrow'd o'er her sister's child;
To her brave chieftain son, from ire
Of Scotland's king who shrouds my sire,
A deeper, holier debt is owed;
And, could I pay it with my blood,
Allan | Sir Roderick should command
My blood, my life, but not my hand.
Rather will Ellen Douglas dwell

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“Thou shakest, good friend, thy tresses gray–
That pleading look, what can it say
But what I own —I grant him brave,
But wild as Bracklinn's thundering wave;”
And generous—save vindictive mood,
Or jealous transport, chafe his blood:

1 The parish of Kilmarnock, at the eastern extremity of Loch-Lomond, derives its name from a cell or chapel, dedicated to Saint Maronoch, or Marnoch, or Maronnan, about whose sanctity very little is now remembered. There is a fountain devoted to him in the same parish; but its virtues, like the merits of its patron, have fallen into oblivion.

2 [“Ellen is most exquisitely drawn, and could not have been improved by contrast. She is beautiful, frank, affectionate, rational, and playful, combining the innocence of a child with the elevated sentiments and courage of a heroine.” Quarterly Review.]

3 This is a beautiful cascade made by a mountain stream called the Keltie, at a place called the Bridge of Bracklinn, about a mile from the village of Callendar in Menteith. Above a chasm, where the brook precipitates itself from a height of at least fifty feet, there is thrown, for the convenience of the neighbourhood, a rustic foot-bridge, of about three feet in breadth, and without ledges, which is scarcely to be crossed by a stranger without awe and apprehension.


I grant him true to friendly band,
As his claymore is to his hand;
But O ! that very blade of steel
More mercy for a foe would feel:
I grant him liberal, to fling
Among his clan the wealth they bring,
When back by lake and glen they wind,
And in the Lowland leave behind,
Where once some pleasant hamlet stood,
A mass of ashes slaked with blood.
The hand that for my father fought,
I honour, as his daughter ought ;
But can I clasp it reeking red,
From peasants slaughter'd in their shed P
No 1 wildly while his virtues gleam,
They make his passions darker seem,
And flash along Isis spirit high,
Like lightning o'er the midnight sky.
While yet a child,—and children know,
Instinctive taught, the friend and foe,
I shudder'd at his brow of gloom,
His shadowy plaid, and sable plume !
A maiden grown, I ill could bear
His haughty mien and lordly air;
But, if thou join'st a suitor's claim,
In serious mood, to Roderick's name,
I thrill with anguish or, if e'er
A Douglas knew the word, with fear.
To change such odious theme were best-
What think'st thou of our stranger guest ?”—
“What think I of him *—woe the while
That brought such wanderer to our isle !
Thy father's battle-brand, of yore
For Time-man forged by fairy lore.”
What time he leagued, no longer foes,
His Border spears with Hotspur's bows,
Did, self-unscabbarded, foreshow
The footstep of a secret foe.”
If courtly spy hath harbour'd here,
What may we for the T)ouglas fear?
What for this island, deem'd of old
Clan-Alpine's last and surest hold?
If neither spy nor foe, I pray
What yet may jealous Roderick say?
—Nay, wave not thy disdainful head,

1 Archibald, the third Earl of Douglas, was so unfortunate in all his enterprises, that he acquired the epithet of TINEMAN, because he tined, or lost, his followers in every battle which he fought. He was vanquished, as every reader must remember, in the bloody battle of Homildon-Hill, near Wooler, where he himself lost an eye, and was made prisoner by Hotspur. He was no less unfortunate when allied with Percy, being wounded and taken at the battle of Shrewsbury. He was so unsuccessful in an attempt to besiege Roxburgh Castle, that it was called the Foul Raid, or disgraceful expedition. His ill fortune left him indeed at the battle of Beaugé, in France; but it was only to return with double emphasis at the subsequent action of Vermoil, the last and most unlucky of his encounters, in which he fell, with the flower of the Scottish chivalry, then serving as auxiliaries in France, and about two thousand common soldiers, A. D. 1424.

2 LSee Appendix, Note D.]


Bethink thee of the discord dread That kindled, when at Beltane game Thou led'st the dance with Malcolm Graeme , Still, though thy sire the peace renew’d, Smoulders in Roderick's breast the feud ; Beware 1–But hark, what sounds are, these?" , My dull ears catch no faltering breeze, No weeping birch, nor aspens wake, Nor breath is dimpling in the lake, Still is the canna’s” hoary beard, Yet, by my minstrel faith, I heard— And hark again some pipe of war Sends the bold pibroch from afar.”

Far up the lengthen’d lake were spied
Four darkening specks upon the tide,
That, slow enlarging on the view,
Four mann’d and masted barges grew,
And, bearing downwards from Glengyle,
Steer'd full upon the lonely isle;
The point of Brianchoil they pass'd,
And, to the windward as they cast,
Against the sun they gave to shine
The bold Sir Roderick's banner'd Pine.

1 [“The moving picture—the effect of the sounds—and the wild character and strong peculiar nationality of the whole procession, are given with inimitable spirit and power of ezpression.”—JEFFREY.]

* Cotton-grass.

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