Dubious, doubtful,
not sure.
Targe, a target or

Feint, pretending to strike one part, whilst really intending to hit another. Gael, a native of the Highlands of Scotland. Maintained, kept up. Tartans, the plaids worn by Scotchmen.

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Invulnerable, not to
be overcome.
Foiled, disappointed.
Ta'en, taken.

Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what he ne'er might see again ;-
Then foot, and point, and eye opposed,
In dubious * strife they darkly closed. -
Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu
That on the field his targe * he threw,
Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide
Had death so often dashed aside ;
For, trained abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield. 85
He practised every pass and ward,
To thrust, to strike, to feint, * to guard ;
While, less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael * maintained * unequal war.
Three times in closing strife they stood, 90
And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood :
No stinted draught, no scanty tide-
The gushing flood the tartans * dyed.
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
And showered his blows like wintry rain: 95
And as firm rock, or castle-roof,
Against the winter shower is proof,
The foe, invulnerable * still,
Foiled * his wild rage by steady skill ;
Till, at advantage ta’en, * his brand
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand,
And backward borne upon the lea,
Brought the proud Chieftain * to his knee !-
“Now yield thee, or by Him who made
The world, thy heart's blood dies my 105

“ Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy !
Let recreant * yield, who fears to die.”—
Like adder * darting from his coil,
Like wolf that dashes through the toil,
Like mountain-cat who guards her young, 110
Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung ;
Received, but recked * not of a wound,
And locked his arms bis foeman round !-
Now, gallant Saxon,* hold thine own!
No maiden's hand is round thee thrown! 115
That desperate grasp thy frame might feel
Through bars of brass and triple steel! -
They tug, they strain !_down, down they

The Gael above, Fitz-James below!



Chieftain, the head of a clan.

Recreant, a mean. spirited person. Adder, a poisonous serpent.

Recked, cared.

Saxon here means a native of the Lowlands of Scotland.

120 The Chieftain's gripe his throat compressed,

His knee was planted on his breast;
His clotted locks * he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,

From blood and mist * to clear his sight, 125 Then gleamed aloft * his dagger bright!

But hate and fury * ill supplied
The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came

To turn the odds of deadly game;
130 For, while the dagger gleamed ou high,

Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye.
Down came the blow, but in the heath
The erring * blade found bloodless sheath!

The struggling foe may now unclasp 135 The fainting chief's relaxing * grasp ;

Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.

Clotted locks, his hair
was bedabbled with
blood. :
Mist, Roderick's sight
was getting dim from
loss of blood.
Aloft, on high.
But hate, &c., hatred
and rage are now
vain, for Roderick
grows too weak from
the loss of blood to
take revenge.

Erring, straying from
the mark.
Relaxing, loosening.


The curfew * tolls the knell of parting day, Curfew, the evening
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, * bell rung in England

during Norman times The ploughman homeward plods * his weary to warn the people to way,

put out all fires and

lights. And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Lea, grass-land, an

untilled meadow.: 5 Now fades the glimmering * landscape on the

Plod, walking as if sight,

very tired. And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Glimmering, fading

away. Save where the beetle wheels his droning * Droning, humming flight,

like a bee. And drowsy tinklings * lull the distant Drowsy tinklinge,

&c., the sound of folds ;—

bells tied round the

necks of some of the Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower

The moping* owl does to the moon complain Moping, dull, gloomy.
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest * her ancient solitary reign.

Molest, injure, dis

Beneath those rugged * elms, that yew-tree's Rugged, rough, of

Where heaves the turf in many a moulder-

ing heap,
15 Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

Hamlet, a small vil. The rude forefathers of the hamlet * sleep. lage.


uneven surface.



Breezy call, &c., fresh The breezy call * of incense-breathing morn, sweet air of the morn. The swallow twittering from the straw-built ing.

shed, Clarion, a narrow. The cock's shrill clarion,* or the echoing horn,* tubed trumpet

No more shall rouse them from their lowly 20 Horn, the hunter's horn heard early in the morning.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall Ply, &c., attend to Or busy housewife ply * her evening care : household duties.

No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Furrow, the trench Their furrow * oft the stubborn glebe * has made by the plough. Glebe, land for cultibroke;

[afield ! * vating.

How jocund * did they drive their team *
Jocund, cheerful, How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy
Team, two or more

horses harnessed to-

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Afield, towards the

Their homely joys, and destiny * obscure; 30 field. Destiny, our state of Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile life.

The short and simple annals * of the poor.
Annals, the account
of what takes place
from year to year.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er

Inevitable, sure to Await alike the inevitable * hour :-

35 happen.

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Impute, to blame. Nor you, ye proud, impute* to these the fault, Anthem, a sacred If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, song. Storied urn, a vessel Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted containing the ashes vault of a dead person,

his The pealing anthem * swells the note of praise. 40 with the story of his life written upon it. Bust, a representa- Can storied urn * or animated bust* . tion of the head and Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? shoulders in some solid substance.

me Can Honour's voice provoke * the silent dust, Provoke, here means Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of to call forth.

Death ? Pregnant, full of. Celestial fire, the divine spirit of poetry. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Rod of empire, the Some heart once pregnant* with celestial sceptre, marking the power given to sove

fire ; * reigns to rule or Hands that the rod of empire * might have govern.

swayed, Ecstasy, great joy. Lyre, a' kind of harp. Or waked to ecstasy * the living lyre. *

o pregnant * with colati, 45 But Knowledge to their eyes her ample * page, Ample, large, wide, 50 Rich with the spoils * of time, did ne'er full...

Spoils, things taken unroll ;

from an enemy, here Chill Penury * repressed * their noble rage, means knowledge ac

quired through predeAnd froze the genial * current of the soul.


Penury, poverty. " Full * many a gem, of purest ray serene, Repressed, stopped, The dark unfathomed * caves of ocean bear :


Genial, gay, cheerful. 55 Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, Full, very many. And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Unfathomed, un

sounded, depth not

known. Some village Hampden,* that with dauntless Hampden (John) breast

lived in the reign of

Charles I. He would The little tyrant of his fields withstood;

not pay the “tax of Some mute inglorious Milton,* here may ship money," and berest,

came one of the

leaders of the insurSome Cromwell,* guiltless of his country's rection. blood.

Milton (John) was one the greatest Eng

lish poets who ever The applause * of listening senates * to com lived mand,

Cromwell, the great

leader in the rebellion The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

against Charles I.; To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

afterwards became And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Lord Protector.
Applause, praise.

Senate, an assembly 65 Their lot forbade : * nor circumscribed * alone for managing the afTheir growing virtues, but their crimes con

fairs of a country.

Lot forbade, denied fined ;

this privilege from Forbade to wade through slaughter to a their position in life. throne,

Circumscribed, to put

boundaries round And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind; about a thing, to

confine. The struggling pangs of conscious truth * to Conscious truth, what

one knows and feels hide,

to be true. To quench the blushes of ingenuous* shame, Ingenuous, frank, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride open, straightfor

ward. - With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.



Far from the madding * crowd's ignoble strife, Madding, madden-
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; ing, distracting, vio-

Along the cool sequestered * vale of life

Sequestered, lonely, They kept the noiseless tenor * of their way. set apart, private."

Tenor, here means

their course of life. Yet even these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,

Tribute, something Implores the passing tribute * of a sigh. bestowed.




Their name, their years, spelt by the un

lettered Muse, Elegy here means The place of fame and elegy * supply ; praise of the dead.

And many a holy text around she strews, Moralist, one who That teach the rustic moralist * to die. tries to learn lessons from what happens For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, 85 around us.

This pleasing, anxious being, e'er resigned ; Precinct, an enclosed Left the warm precincts * of the cheerful day, space.

Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? Parting, departing. On some fond breast the parting * soul relies, Pious, loving, affec- Some pious* drops the closing eye requires; 90

Even from the tomb the voice of Nature

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured

Artless, simple, with Dost in these lines their artless * tale relate;
out harm.

If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Kindred spirit, one Some kindred spirit * shall inquire thy fate,
having the same
habits and ideas.

Haply * some hoary-headed swain * may say,
Haply, perhaps.
Swain, a peasant. «Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

Brushing with hasty steps the dews away, Lawn, a smooth piece To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.*, 100 of grass-land in front of a house.

“ There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech, Fantastic, odd, not That' wreathes its old fantastic * roots so real.

high, Listless, heedless, His listless * length at noontide would he careless.

stretch, Pore, to look at And pore * upon the brook that babbles by.

And pore * upon the

dedily, as a stu.

se to. “Hard by * yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 105 near.

Muttering his wayward fancies he would

rove ; Wan, pale, faint. Now drooping, woful, wan,* like one forlorn,* Forlorn, forsaken. Crazed, 'one who is Or crazed * with care, or crossed in hopeless deranged in mind.

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“One morn I missed him on the accustomed

hill, Heath, uncultivated Along the heath * and near his favourite 110 land.

tree ; Rill, a small running Another came, nor yet beside the rill, *

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was be ;


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