ページの画像
PDF
[ocr errors]

Shooting abruptly from the dell

Its thunder-splintefd pinnacle;

Round many an insul_ated mass,

The native bulwarks of the pass,

Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar’s plain. The rocky summits, split and rent, M Form’d turret, dome, or battlement,

Or seem'd fantastically set

With cupola or minaret,

Wild crests as pagod ever deck'd,

Or mosque of eastern architect.

Nor were these earth-horn castles bare, Nor lack'd they matiy a banner fair; For, from their shiver-‘d brows display'd, Far o'er the unfathomable glade,

All twinkling with the dew-drops sheen, The briar-rose fe__ll in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of tho'usand dyes, Waved in the west-wind's summer sighs.

XII.

Boon nature scatter'd, free and wild,
Each plant, or flower, the mountain's child.
Hereeglanline emhalm'd the air,
Hawthorn and hamel mingled there;

The primrose pale, and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
For-glove and night-shade side by side,
Emblems of punishment and pride,
Gronp'd their dark has with every stain
The weaflr-beaten crags retain.

Willi boughs that qnaked at ‘every breath,
Gray birch and aspen wept beneath;
Aloft, the ash and warrior oak

Cast anchor in the rifted rock;

And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung

His shatter’d trunk, and frequent flung,
Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high,
His boughs athwart the narrow'd slty.
Highest of all, where white peaks glanced,
Where glist'ning streamers waved and danced,
The wanderer's eye could barely view

The summer heaven’s delicious blue ,

So wond’rous wild, the whole might seem
The scenery of a fairy dream.

XIII.

Onward, amid the copse ‘gnu peep

A narrow inlet, still and deep,

Affording scarce such breadth of brim,
As served the wild-duck’s brood to swim.
Lost for a space, through thickets veering,
But broader when again appearing,

Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face
Could on the dark-blue mirror trace;
And farther as the hunter stray’d,

Still broader sweep its channels made.
The shaggy mounds no longer stood,
Emerging from entangled wood,

But, wave-encircled, seem'd to float,
Like castle girdled with its moat;

Yet broader floods extending still,

Divide them from their parent hill,

Till each, retiring, claims to be

An islet in an inland sea.

XIV.

And now, to issue from the glen,

No pathway meets the wanderefs ken,
Unless he climb, with footing nice,

A far-projecting precipice. (4)

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,
Inimlhaer 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 Ben-venue
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 1'uin'd sides and summit hoar,
While on the north, through middle air,
Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare.

XV.

From the steep promontory gazed

The stranger, raptured and amazed.

And a What a scene were here,» he cried,
K For princely pomp or churchman's pride!
On this hold brow, a lordly tower;

In that soft vale, a lady's bower;

On yonder meadow, far away,

The turrets of n 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 car would come

The holy matin's distant hum,

While the deep peal's commanding tone
Should wake, in yonder islet lone,

A sainted hermit from his cell,

To drop a head with every knell—

And bugle, lute, and bell, and all,

Should each bewilder'd stranger call

To friendly feast, and lighted hall.

XVI.

u 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 green-wood spent,
Were but to-morrow's merriment:

But hosts may in these wilds abflllmli
Such as are better miss'd than found;
To meet with Highland plnnderers here
Were worse than loss of steed or deer.—(5)

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small]

XVII.

But scarce again his born 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,

That round the promontory steep

Led its deep line in graceful sweep,
Eddying, in almost viewlcss wave,

The weeping willow twig to lave,

And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
The hoat 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 upraised, 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, I

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, Served too in hastier swell to show

Short glimpses of a breast of snow :

What though no rule of courtly grace

To measured mood had train'd her pace,-
A foot more light, a step more true,

Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the dew;
E'en the slight hare—bell raised its head,
Elastic from her airy tread;

What though upon her speech there hung The accents of the mountain tongue, Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear,

The list'ner held his breath to hear.

XIX.

A chieftain's daughter seem’d the maid ; Her satin snood, her silken plaid,

Her golden brooch, such birth betray'd.
And seldom was a snood amid

Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, '
Whose glossy black to shame might bring
The plumage of the raven's wing;

And seldom o'er a breast so fair,

Man tled a plaid with modest care,

And never brooch the fold combined
Above a heart more good and kind.

Iler kindness and her worth to spy,
You need but gaze on Ellen's eye,

Not Katrine, in her mirror blue,

[graphic]
[graphic]

Gives back the shaggy banks more true,
Than every free-born glance confess'd
The guileless movements of her breast;
Whetherjoy danced in her dark eye,
Or woe or pity elaim’d a sigh,

Or filial love was glowing there,

Or meek devotion pour'd a prayer,

Or tale of injury call'd forth

The indignant spirit of the North.

One only passion, unreveal'd,

With maiden pride the maid conceal’d, Yet no less purely felt the flame

O need I tell that passion's name !

[blocks in formation]

XXI.

On his bold visage middle age

Had slightly press'd its signet sage,

Yet had not quench'd the open truth
And fiery vehemcnce of youth ; ,
Forward and frolic glee was there,

The will to do, the soul to dare,

The sparkling glance, soon blown to fire,
Of hasty love, or headlong ire.

His limbs were cast in manly mould,
For hardy sport, or contest bold;

And though in peaceful garb array'd,
And weaponless except his blade,

His stately mien as well implied

A high-born heart, a martial pride,

As if a baron’s crest he wore,

And sheathed in armour trod the shore. Slighting the petty need he show'd,

He told of his benighted road;

His ready speech flow'd fair and free,
In phrase of gentlest courtesy;

Yet scem‘d that tone, and gesture bland,
Less used to sue than to command.

XXII. .

Awhile the maid the stranger eyed, And, reassured, at length replied, _ That Highland halls were open still

To wilder'd wanderers of the hill.

u Nor think you unexpected come ' To you lone isle, our desert home;

_—_—__-—--_

[graphic]

Before the heath had lost the dew,

This morn, a couch was pull’d for you; On yonder mountain's purple head ' Have ptarmigan and heath-cock bled, And our broad nets have swept the mere, To furnish forth your evening cheer.»-— 1: Now, by the road, my lovely maid, Your courtesy has err’d,» he said;

a No right have I to claim, misplaced, The welcome of expected guest.

A wanderer, here by fortune tost,

My way, my friends, my courser lost,

l ne'er before, believe me, fair,

Have ever drawn your mountain air,
Till on this lake's romantic strand,

1 found a fay in fairy-land.»

XXIII. '

it I well believe,» the maid replied,

As her light skiff approach’d the side,-—

14 I well believe, that ne'er before

Your foot has trod Loch Katrine's shore;
But yet, as far as yesternight,

Old Allan-bane foretold your plight,

A gray-hair‘d sire, whose eye intent

Was on the vision'd future bent. (6) .

He saw your steed, a dappled gray,

Lie dead beneath the birchen way;

Painted exact your form and mien,

Your hunting-suit of Lincoln green,

That tassell'd horn so gaily gilt,

That falchion’s crooked blade and hilt,
That cap with heron plumage trim, _
And you two hounds so dark and grim. ~

He bade that all should ready be,

To grace a guest of fair degree;

But light I held his prophecy,

And deem'd it was my father's horn, Whose echoes o’er the lake were home.»

XXIV.

The stranger smiled :—u Since to your home
A destined errant-knight I come,
Announced by prophet south and old,
Doom’d, doubtless, for achievements hold,
I ‘ll lightly front each high emprize,

For one kind glance of those bright eyes.
Permit me, first, the task to guide

Your fairy frigate o'er the tide.»

The maid, with smile suppress’d and sly, ' The toil unwonted saw him try;

For seldom, sure, if e’er before,

His noble hand had grasp'd an oar:

Yet with main strength his strokes he drew,
And o'er the lake the shallop flew;

With heads erect, and whimpering cry,
The hounds behind their passage ply.

Not‘ frequent does the bright oar break

The darkening mirror of the hike,

Until the rocky isle they reach,

And moor their shallop on the beach.

XXV. The stranger view'd the shore around; ‘T was all so close with copse-wood bound,

Nor track nor pathway might declare
That human foot frequented there,

Until the mountain-maiden sh0w'd

A clambering unsuspected road,

That winded through the tangled screen,
And open’d on a narrow green,

Where weeping birch and willow round
With their long fibres swept the ground.
Here, for retreat in dangerous hour,
Some chief had framed a rustic bower. (7)

XXVI.

It was a lodge. of ample size,

But strange of structure and device;
Of such materials, as around

The wot-kman’s hand had readiest found.
Lopp’d of their boughs, their hoar trunks bated,
And by the hatchet rudely squared,

To give the walls their destined height,
The sturdy oak and ash unite;

While moss and clay and leaves combined
To fence each crevice from the wind.

The lighter pine—trees, over-head,

Their slender length for rafters spread,
And wither’d heath and rushes dry
Supplied a russet canopy.

Due westward, fronting to the green,

A rural portico was seen,

Aloft on native pillars borne,

Of mountain fir with bark unshorn,
Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idrean vine,

The clematis, the favonr'd flower

Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear

Loch Katrine's keen and searching air.

An instant in this porch she staid,

And gaily to the stranger said,

<1 On heaven and on thy lady call,

And enter the enchanted hall En

XXV".

a My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gentle guide, in following thee.»--,
He cross'd the threshold—and a clang

Of angry steelthat instant rang.

To his bold brow his spirit rush’d,

But soon for vain alarm he blush'd,
When on the floor he saw display'd,
Cause of the din, a naked blade

Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless flung,
Upon a stage huge antlers swung;

For all around, the walls to grace,

Hung trophies of the fight or chase:

A target there, a bugle here,

A battle-axe, a hunting-spear,

And broadswords, bows, and arrows, store,
With the tusk’d trophies of the boar.
Here grins the wolf as when he died,

And there the wild-cat's brindled hide
The frontlet of the elk adorns,

Or mantles o'er the bison's horns;
Pennons and flags defaced and stain'd,
That blackening streaks of blood rctain'd,
And deer—skius, dappled, dun and white,
With otter's fur and seal's unite,

[graphic]
[graphic]

In rude and uncouth tapestry all, We stem the flood, we ride the blast,
To garnish forth the sylvan hall. On wandering knights our spells we cast;
While viewless minstrels touch the string,
XXVIII. 'T is thus our charmed rhymes we sing.»-—

The wondering stranger round him gazed, She sung, and still a harp unseen

And next the fallen weapon raised ;— Fill“ UP 1119 8Yll1Pll0l1)' l>fllWB6l1- (I0)

Few were the arms whose sinewy strength

Sufficed to stretch it forth at length. XXXL

And as the brand he poised and sway'd,

(K I never knew but one,» he said, scum

l( Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield u Soldier, rest! thy warfare 0'81‘,

A blade like this in battle-field.»—' Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking; She sigh'd, then smiled, and took the word; Dream of battled fields no more,

It You see the guardian cha.Inpion’s sword: Days of danger, nights of waking.

As light it trembles in his hand, In our isle‘s enchanted hall,

As in my grasp a hazel wand; Hands unseen thy conch are strewing, My sire‘: tall form might grace the part ' Fairy strains of music fall,

Of Ferragus, or Ascabart; (8) Every sense in slumber dewing.

But in the absent giant’s hold Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,

Are women now, and menials old.»—- Dream of fighting fields no more;

_ Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking, XXIX Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

The mistress of the mansion came,

Mam" °f alley 3 Graceful dime; re No rude sound shall reach thine ear, Whose easy step and stately port ' At-mour’s clang, or war-steed champing, Had well become a princely court, Trump nor pihroch summon here

To whom, though more than kindred knew, Mastering clan, or squad;-on tramping.

Young Ellen gave a mother's due.

Yet the lark's shrill fife may come Meet welcome to her guest she made,

At the day~hreak from the fallow,

[ocr errors]

That fellest foe might join the feast, Hm-e5 no war-steed‘; neigh and champing,

And from his deadliest foeman‘s door Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.»Unquestion'd turn, the banquet o'er.

At length his rank the stranger names,

at The Knight of Suowdoun, James Fitz-James; Lord of a barren heritage,

[blocks in formation]

XXXII.

She paused—then, blushing, led the lay
To grace the stranger of the day.

Her mellow notes awhile prolong

The cadence of the flowing song,

Till to her lips in measured frame

The minstrel verse spontaneous came.

SONG CONTINUED.

[ocr errors]

Such looks’, such manners, and such mind. ' xxx"!

Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave, The hall was clear'd—the stran8‘""S bed
Dame Margaret heard with silence gmve; Was there of mountain heather spread,
Or Ellen, innocently gay, Where oft an hundred guests had lain,
Turn'd all inquiry light away :— And dream'd their forest sports again.

it Wierd women we ! by dale and down But vainly did the heath-flowfil‘ filled
We dwell, afar from tower and town; Its moorland fragrance round his head;

_—-———-_-_-__~_________-____.———__-_-_-—-———

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

Not Ellen's spell had lull‘d to rest Can] not frame a fever’d dream,

The fever of his troubled breast. But still the Douglas is the theme 7

In broken dreams the image rose I'll dream no more--by manly mind

Of varied perils, pains, and woes; . Not even in sleep is will resign'd.

His steed now flounders in the brake, My midnight orisons said o'er,

Now sinks his barge npon the lake; I 'll turn to rest, and dream no more.»-
Now leader of n broken host, His midnight orisons he told,

His standard falls, his honour’: lost. A PIE?" Willi BVBTY head of 80111,
'l‘hen,_fl-om my couch may heavenly might Consign'd to heaven his cares and woes,
Chase that worse phantom of the night !- And sunk in undisturlfd repose;

Again retni-n‘d the scenes of Yonlll, Until the heath-cock shrilly crew,

Of confident undoubting truth; And morning dawn'd on Ben-venue.

Again his soul be interchanged

With friends whose hearts were long estranged-
They come, in dim procession led, .
The cold, the faithless, and the dead; CANTO II.
As warm each hand, each brow as gay, '

As if they parted yesterday. ' __'

[graphic]

And doubt distracts him at the view,—- THE ISLAND

0 were his senses false or true?

Dreanfd he of death, or broken vow, ' 1,

Or is it all a vision now! Ar morn the black-cock trims his jetty wing,

'T is morning prompts the linnet's blithest lay,
XXXIV. All Nature's children feel the matin spring

At length, with Ellen in a grove \ Of life reviving, with revivingday;

He seem'd to walk, and speak of love ; And while yon little bark glides down the bay,
She listen’d with a blush and sigh, Waiting the stranger on his way again,

His suit was warm, his hopes were high. Morn's genial influence roused a minstrel gray,(t)
He sought her yielded hand to clasp, And sweetly o’er the lake was heard thy strain,
And a cold gauntlet met his grasp: Mix'd with thesounding harp,O white-hair’d Allan-hane!
The phantom's sex was changed and gone,

Upon its head a helmet shone; _ IL

Slowly enlarged to giant size,

With darken’d cheek and threatening eyes, sum

The grisly visage, stern and hear, tt Not faster yonder rowers’ might

To Ellen still a likeness bore.— Flings from their ears the spray,

He woke, and panting with affright, Not faster yonder rippling bright,

Recall’d the vision of the night. That tracks the shallop's course in light,
The hearth's decaying brands were red, Melts in the lake away,

And deep and dusky lustre shed, Than men from memory erase

Half showing, half concealing all The benefits of former days;

The uncouth trophies of the hall. Then, stranger, go! good speed the while,
‘Mid those the stranger fix'd his eye Nor think again of the lonely isle.

Where that huge falchion hung on high,

And thoughts on thoughts, a countless throng, << High Plflfie '0 Ill" in l‘°Yal ¢°'1"1

ltush'd, chasing countless thoughts along, High place in battled line,

_ Until the giddy whirl to on;-9, Good hawk and hound for sylvan sport,
- He rose, and sought the moonshine pure. wllflfl Beauty 5995 the brave T950",
The honour'd meed be thine !
XXXV. True be thy sword, thy friend sincere,

The wild rose, eglantine, and broom, ° Thy lady constant, kind, and dear;

Wasted around their rich perfume; And lost in l0ve’s and friendships smile,
The birch-trees wqat in fragrant balm, ' Be memory of the lonely isle.

The aspens slept beneath the calm;

The silver light, with quivering glance,-— Ill,

Play’d on the water's still expanse,

. . c 1 u . Wild were the heart whose pssston's sway SONG ONT N no

Could rage beneath the sober ray! t< But if beyond you southern sky

He felt its calm, that warrior guest, A plaided stranger roam,

While thus he communed with his breast:— Whose drooping crest and stifled sigh,

u Why is it, at each turn I trace And sunken cheek and heavy eye, T
Some memory of that exiled race? Pine for his Highland home:

Can I not mountain-maiden spy Then, warrior, then be thine to show

But she must bear the Douglas eye? _ The care that soothes a wanderefswoe;
Can I not view a Highland brand, Remember then thy hap ere while,

But it must match the Douglas hand? A stranger in the lonely isle.

« 前へ次へ »