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XXIV. Delightful praise!-like summer rose, That brighter in the dew-drop glows, The bashful maiden's cheek appear'd, Por Douglas spoke, and Malcolm hcard. The flush of shame-faced joy to hide, The hounds, the hawk, her cares divide : The loved caresses of the maid The dogs with crouch and whimper paid ; And, at her whistle, on her hand The falcon took his favourite stand, Closed his dark wing, relax'd his eye, Nor, though unhooded, sought to fly, And, trust, while in such guise she stood, Like fabled Goddess of the Wood, That if a father's partial thought O'erweich'd her worth and beauty aught, Well might the lover's judgment fail To balance with a juster scale; For with each secret glance he stole, The fond enthusiast sent his soul.

XXV.
Of stature tall, and slender frame,
But firmly koit, was Malcolm Græme.
The belted plaid and tartan hose
Did ne'er more graceful limbs disclose;
His flaxen hair, of sunny hue,
Curl'd closely round his bonnet blue.
Train'd to the chase, his eagle eye
The ptarmigan in snow could spy;
Each pass, by mountain, lake, and heath,
He knew, through Lennox and Menteith;
Vain was the bound of dark-brown doc,
When Malcolm bent his sounding bow,
And scarce that doe, though wing'd with fear,
Outstripp'd in speed the mountaineer:
Right up Ben Lomond could he

press,
And not a sob his coil confess,
His form accorded with a mind
Lively and ardent, frank and kind;
A blither heart, till Ellen came,
Did never love nor sorrow tame;
It danced as lightsome in his breast,
As play'd the feather on his crest.
Yet friends who nearest knew the youth,
His scorn of wrong, his zeal for truth,
And bards, who saw his features bold,
Wheu kindled by the tales of old,
Said, were that youth to maphood grown,
Not long should Roderick Dhu's renown
Be foremost voiced by mountain fame,
But quail to that of Malcolm Græme.

Nor stray'd I safe; for, all around,
Hunters and horsemen scour'd the ground.
This youth, though still a royal ward,
Risk'd life and land to be my guard,
And through the passes of the wood
Guided my steps, not unpursued :
And Roderick shall his welcome make,
Despite old spleen, for Douglas' sake,
Then must he seek Strath-Endrick glen,
Nor peril aught for me agen.»—

XXVII.
Sir Roderick, who to meet them came,
Redden'd at sight of Malcolm Gramc.
Yet, not in action, word, or eye,
Fail'd aught in hospitality.
In talk and sport they whiled away
The morning of that summer day;
But at high noon a courier light
Held secret parley with the knight,
Whose moody aspect soon declared
That evil were the news he heard.
Deep thonght seem'd toiling in his head;
Yet was the evening banquet made,
Ere he assembled round the flame,
His mother, Douglas, and the Græme,
And Ellen, too ; then cast around
His eyes, then fix'd them on the ground,
As studying phrase that might avail
Best to convey unpleasant tale.
Long with his dagger's hilt he play'd,
Then raised his haughty brow, and said:

XXVIII. « Short be my speech;

;-nor time affords,
Nor my plain temper, glozing words.
Kinsman and father,-if such name
Douglas vouchsafe to Roderick's claim;
Mine honour'd mother; Ellen-why,
My cousin, turn away thine eye?-
And Græme; in whom I hope to know
Full soon a noble friend or foe,
When age shall give thee thy command
And leading in thy native land, -
List all!—The king's vindictive pride
Boasts to have tamed the Border side, (14)
Where chiefs, with hound and hawk who came
To share their monarch's sylvan game,
Themselves in bloody toils were snared,
And when the banquet they prepared,
And wide their loyal portals flung,
O'er their own gate-way struggling hung.
Loud cries their blood from Mercat's mead,
From Yarrow braes, and banks of Tweed,
Where the lone streams of Ettrick glide,
And from the silver Tevior's side;
The dales where martial clans did ride
Are now one sheep-walk waste and wide.
This tyrant of the Scottish throne,
So faithless and so ruthless known,
Now hither comes ; his end the same,
The same pretext of sylvan game.
What
grace

for Highland chiefs judge ye,
By fate of Border chivalry (15)
Yet more; amid Glenfinlas' green,
Douglas, thy stately form was seen.

XXVI.
Now back they wend their watery way,
And, «O my sire !» did Ellen say,
« Why urge thy chase so far astray!
And why so late return'd? And why— »
The rest was in her speaking eye.

My child, the chase I follow far,
"T is mimicry of noble war ;
And with that gallant pastime reft
Were all of Douglas I have left.
I met young Malcolm as I stray'd
Far eastward, in Glenfinlas' shade,

This by espial sure I know;
Your counsel in the streight I show.»—

XXIX.
Ellen and Margaret fearfully
Sought comfort in each other's eye,

en turn'd their ghastly look, each one, This to her sire, that to her son. The hasty colour went and came In the bold cheek of Malcolm Græme; But from his glance it well appear'd, 'T was but for Helen that he fear'd; While sorrowful, but undismay'd, The Douglas thus his counsel said: « Brave Roderick, though the tempest roar, It may but thunder and

pass o'er; Nor will I here remain an hour, To draw the lightning on thy bower; For, well thou know'st, at this gray head The royal bolt were fiercest sped. For thee, who, at thy king's command, Canst aid him with a gallant band, Submission, homage, humbled pride, Shall turn the monarch's wrath aside. Poor remnants of the Bleeding Heart, Ellen and I will seek, apart, The refuge of some forest cell, There, like the hunted quarry, dwell, Till on the mountain and the moor, The stern pursuit be past and o'er.»—

Dream'd calmly out their dangerous dream,
Till wakend by the morning beam,
When, dazzled by the eastern glow,
Such startler cast his glance below,
And saw unmeasured depth around,
And heard unintermitted sound,
And thought the battled fence so frail,
It waved like cobweb in the gale;-
Amid his senses' giddy wheel,
Did he not desperate impulse feel,
Headlong to plunge himself below,
And meet the worst his fears foreshow !-
Thus, Ellen, dizzy and astound,
As sudden ruin yawn'd around,
By crossing terrors wildly toss'd,
Sull for the Douglas fearing most,
Could scarce the desperate thought withstand,
To buy his safety with her hand,

XXX. No, by mine honour,» Roderick said, « So belp me Heaven, and my good blade! No, never! Blasted be yon pine, My fathers' ancient crest and mine, If from its shade in danger part The lineage of the Bleeding Heart! Hear

my blunt speech, grant me this maid To wife, thy counsel to mine aid; To Douglas, leagued with Roderick Dhu, Will friends and allies flock enow; Like cause of doubt, distrust, and grief, Will bind to us each western chief. When the loud pipes my bridal tell, The Links of Forth shall hear the knell, The guards shall start in Stirling's porch; And, when I light the nuptial torch, A thousand villages in flames Shall scare the slumbers of King James ! -Nay, Ellen, bleoch not thus away. And, mother, cease these signs, I pray; I meant not all my heart might say.Small need of inroad, or of fight, When the sage Douglas may unite Each mountain clan in friendly band, To guard the passes of their land, Till the foil'd king, from pathless glen, Shall bootless turn him home agen.»

XXXII. Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy In Ellen's quivering lip and eye, And eager rose to speak —but ere His tongue could hurry forth his fear, Had Douglas mark'd the hectic strife, Where death seem'd combating with life; For to her cheek, in feverish flood, One instant rush'd the throbbing blood, Then ebbing back, with sudden sway, Left its domain as wan as clay. « Roderick, enough! enough!» he cried, « My daughter cannot be thy bride; Not that the blush to wooer dear, Nor paleness that of maiden fear, IC may not be-forgive her, chief, Nor hazard aught for our relief. Against his sovereign, Douglas ne'er Will level a rebellious spear. 'T was I that taught his youthful hand To rein a steed and wield a brand; I see him yet, the princely boy! Not Ellen more my pride and joy ; I love him still, despite my wrongs, By hasty wrath and slanderous tongues. O seek the grace you well may find, Without a cause to mine combined.»—

XXXIII. Twice through the hall the chieftain strode; The waving of his tartaus broad, And darken'd brow, where wounded pride With ire and disappointment vied, Seem'd, by the torch's gloomy light, Like the ill demon of the night, Stooping his pinions' shadowy sway Upon the 'nighted pilgrim's way: But, unrequited Love! thy dart Plunged deepest its envenom'd smart, And Roderick, with thine anguish stung, At length the hand of Douglas wrung, While eyes,

that mock'd at Icars before, With bitter drops were running o'cr. The death-pangs of long-cherish'd hope Scarce in that ample breast had scope, But, struggling with his spirit proud, Convulsive heaved its chequer'd shroud,

XXXI. There are who have, at midnight hour, In slumber scaled a dizzy tower, And, on the verge that beetled o'er The ocean-tide's incessant roar,

Brave Douglas, - lovely Ellen.-nay,
Nought here of parting will I say.
Earth does not hold a lonesome glen,
So secret, but we meet agen. -
Chieftain! we too shall find an hour.»—
He said, and left the sylvan bower.

(C

While every sob-so mute were all-
Was heard distinctly through the hall.
The son's despair, the mother's look,
Ill might the gentle Ellen brook ;
She rose, and to her side there came,
To aid her parting steps, the Grame.

XXXIV.
Then Roderick from the Douglas broke-
As flashes flame through sable smoke,
Kindling its wreaths, long, dark, and low,
To one broad blaze of ruduy glow,
So the deep anguish of despair
Burst, in fierce jealousy, to air.
With stalwart grasp his hand he laid
On Malcolm's breast and belted plaid :

Back, beardless boy!» he sternly said,
« Back, ininion! hold'st thou thus at nought
The lesson I so lately taught?
This roof, the Douglas, and that maid,
Thank thou for punishment delay'd.».
Eager as greyhound on his game,
Fiercely with Roderick grappled Græme.
« Perish my name, if aught afford
Its chieftain safety, save his sword !»—
Thus as they strove, their desperate hand
Griped to the dagger or the brand,
And death had been-But Douglas rose,
And thrust between the struggling foes
His giant strength :-

:-« Chieftains, forego! I hold the first who strikes, my foe.Madmen, forbear your frantic jar! What! is the Douglas fallen so far, His daughter's hand is deem'd the spoil Of such dishonourable broil !» Sullen and slowly they unclasp, As struck with shame, their desperate grasp, And each upon his rival glared, With foot advanced, and blade half-bared.

XXXV. Ere yet the brands aloft were flung, Margaret on Roderick's mantle hung, And Malcolm heard his Ellen's scream, As falter'd through terrific dream. Then Roderick plunged in sheath his sword, And veil'd his wrath in scornful word. « Rest safe till morning;-pily 't were Such cheek should feel the midnight air! (16) Then may'st thou to James Stuart cell, Roderick will keep the lake and fell, Nor lackey, with his free-born clan, The pageant pomp of earthly man. More would he of Clan-Alpine know, Thou canst our strength and passes show.Malise, what ho!» his benchman came;(17) «Give our safe conduct to the Grzeme.» Young Malcolm answerd, calm and bold, « Fear nothing for thy favourite hold ; The spot an angel deign'd to grace, Is bless'd though robbers haunt the place. Thy churlish courtesy for those Reserve, who fear to be thy foes. As safe to me the mountain way At midnight as in blaze of day, Though, with his boldest at his back, Even Roderick Dhu beset the track.

XXXVI.
Old Allan follow'd to the strand
(Such was the Douglas's command),
And anxious told, how, on the morn,
The stern Sir Roderick deep had sworn,
The fiery cross should circle o'er
Dale, glen, and valley, down, and moor.
Much were the peril to the Græme,
From those who to the signal came;
Far up the lake 't were safest land,
Himself would row him to the strand.
He gave his counsel to the wind,
While Malcolm did, unheeding, bind,
Round dirk, and pouch, and broadsword rollid,
His ample plaid in tighten'd fold,
And stripp'd bis limbs to such array,
As best might suit the watery way,

XXXVII.
Then spoke abrupt : «Farewell to thee,
Pattern of old fidelity!»—
The minstrel's hand he kindly press'd, -
«0! could I point a place of rest!
My sovereign holds in ward my land,
My uncle leads my vassal band,
To tame his foes, his friends to aid,
Poor Malcolm has but heart and blade.
Yet, if there be one faithful Gräme,
Who loves the chieftain of his name,
Not long shall honour'd Douglas dwell,
Like hunted stag, in mountain cell;
Nor, ere yon pride-swoln robber dare,-
I may not give the rest to air!
Tell Roderick Dhu, I owed him nought,
Not the poor service of a boat,
To waft me to yon mountain-side.»-
Then plunged he in the flashing tide.
Bold o'er the flood his head he bore,
And stoutly steer'd him from the shore;
And Allan straind his anxious eye
Far mid the lake, his form to spy
Darkening across each puny wave,
To which the moon her silver gave.
Fast as the cormorant could skim,
The swimmer plied each active limb;
Then landing in the moon-light dell,
Loud shouted of his weal to tell.
The minstrel heard the far halloo,
And joyful from the shore withdrew.

CANTO III.

THE GATHERING.

I. TIME rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore

Who danced our infancy upon their knee,

And told our marvelling boyhood legends, store,

Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea, How are they blotted from the things that be!

How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Wait, on the verge of dark eternity,

Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, To sweep them from our sight. Time rolls his cease

less course.

Yet live there still who can remember well,

How, when a mountain chief his bugle blew,
Both field and forest, diugle, cliff, and dell,

And solitary heath, the sigual knew;
And fast the faithful clan around him drew,

What time the warning note was keenly wound,
What time aloft their kindred banner tiew,

While clamorous war-pipes yelld the gathering sound, And while the fiery cross glanced, like a meteor,

round. (1)

IV.
A heap of wither'd bows was piled,
Of juniper and rowan wild,
Mingled with shivers from the oak,
Rent by the lightning's recent stroke.
Brian, the hermit, by it stood,
Barc-footed, in his frock and hood.
His grisled beard and matted hair
Obscured a visage of despair;
His naked arms and legs, scam'd o'er,
The scars of frantic

penance bore.
That monk, of savage form and sace, (2)
The impending danger of his race
Had drawn from deepest solitude,
Far in Benharrow's bosom rude.
Not his the mien of christian priest,
But druid's, from the grave released,
Whose harden'd heart and eye might brook
On human sacrifice to look ;
And much, 't was said, of heathen lore
Mix'd in the charms he mutter'd o'er.
The hallow'd creed gave only worse
And deadlier emphasis of curse;
No peasant sought that hermit's prayer,
His cave the pilgrim shunn'd with care,
The cager huntsman knew his bound,
And in mid chase call d off his hound;
Or if, in lonely glen or strath,
The desert-dweller met his path,
He pray'd, and sign'd the cross between,
While terror took devotion's mien.

U.
The summer dawn's reflected hue
To purple changed Loch Katrine blue;
Mildly and soft the western breeze
Just kiss'd the lake, just stirrid the trees,
And the pleased lakc, like maiden coy,
Trembled but dimpled not for joy;
The mountain-shadows on her breast
Were neither broken nor at rest;
In bright uncertainty they lie,
Like future joys to Fancy's eye.
The water-lily to the light
Her chalice reard of silver bright;,
The doe awoke, and to the lawn,
Begemm'd with dew-drops, led her fawa;
The
grey

mist left the mountain-side,
The torrent show'd its glistening pride;
Invisible in flecked sky,
The lark sent down her revelry;
The blackbird and the speckled thrush
Good-morrow gave

from brake and bush; In answer cood the cushat-dove, Her notes of peace, and rest, and love.

III. No thought of peace, no thought of rest, Assuaged the storm in Roderick's breast. With sheathed broadsword in his hand, Abrupt he paced the islet strand, And cyed the rising sun, and laid His hand on his impatient blade. Bencash a rock, lis vassals' care Was prompt the ritual to prepare, With deep and deathful meaning fraught; For such Antiquity had taught Was preface mect, ere yet abroad The cross of fire should take its road. The shrinking band stood oft aghast At the impatient glance le cast;Such glance the mountain eagle threw, As, from the cliffs of Ben-venue, She spread her dark sails on the wind, And, high in middle heaven reclined, With her broad shadow on the lake, Silenced the warblers of the brake.

V. Of Brian's birth strange tales were told; (3) His mother watch'd a midnight fold, built deep within a dreary glen, Where scatter'd lay the bones of men, In some forgotten battle slain, And bleach'd by drifting wind and rain. It might have famed a warrior's heart, To view such mockery of his art ! The knot-grass fetter'd there the hand, Which once could burst an iron band; Beneath the broad and ample bone, That buckler'd heart to fear unknown, A feeble and a timorous guest, The field-fare framed her lowly nest; There the slow blind-worm left his slimc On the fleet limbs that mock'd at time; And there, too, lay the leader's skull, Still wreath'd wiih chaplet flush'd and full, For heath-bell, with her purple bloom, Supplied the bonnet and the plame. All night, in this sad glen, the maid Sate, shrouded in her mantle's shade : --She said, no shepherd sought her side, No hunter's hand her spood untied, Yet ne'er again to braid her hair The virgin snood did Alice wear; (4) Gonc was her maiden glee and sport, Her maiden girdle all too short, Nor sought she, from that fatal night, Or holy church, or blessed rite, But lock d her secret in her breast, And died in travail, unconfess d.

VI. Alone, among his young compeers, Was Brian from his infant years; A moody and heart-broken boy, Estranged from sympathy and joy, Bearing each taunt which careless congue On his mysterious lineage flung. Whole nights he spent by moon-light pale, To wood and stream his hap to wail, Till, frantic, he as truth received What of his birth the crowd believed, And sought, in mist and meteor fire, To meet and know his phantom sire! In váin, to soothe his wayward fate, The cloister oped her pitying gate; In vain, the learning of the age Unclasp'd the sable-letter'd page; Even in its treasures he could find Food for the fever of his mind. Eager he read whatever tells Of magic, cabala, and spells, And every dark pursuit allied To curious and presumptuous pride : Till, with fired brain and nerves o'erstrung, And heart with mystic horrors wrung, Desperate be sought Benharrow's den, And hid him from the haunts of men.

Patient the sickening victim eyed
The life-blood ebb in crimson tide,
Down his cloge'd beard and shaggy limb,
Till darkness glazed his eye-balls dim.
The grisly priest, with murmuring prayer,
A slender crosslet, form'd with care,
A cubit's length in measure due ;
The shafts and limbs were rods of yew,
Whose parents in Inch-Cailliach wave
Their shadows o'er Clan-Alpine's grave, (8)
And, answering Lomond's breezes deep,
Soothe many a chieftain's endless sleep.
The cross, thus form d, he held on high,
With wasted hand, and haggard eye,
And strange and mingled feelings woke,
Wbile his anathema he spoke.

IX.
Woe to the clansman, who shall view
This symbol of sepulchral yew,
Forgetful that its branches

crew Where weep the heavens their holiest dew

On Alpine's dwelling low!
Deserter of his chieftain's trust,
He ne'er shall mingle with their dust,
But, from his sires and kindred thrust,
Each clansman's execration just

Shall doom him wrath and woc.»
lle paused ;-the word the vassals took,
With forward step and fiery look,
On high their naked brands they shook,
Their clattering targets wildly strook ;

And first, in murmur low,
Then, like the billow in his course,
That far to scaward finds his source,
And Nings to shore his muster'd force,
Burst, with loul roar, their answer hoarse,

« Woe to the traitor, woe!»
Ben-an's gray scalp the accents kocw,
The joyous wolf from covert drew,
The exulting cagle scream'd afar,-
They knew the voice of Alpine's war.

VII. The desert gave him visions wild, Such as might suit the spectre's child. (5) Where with black cliffs the torrents toil, He watch'd the wheeling eddies boil, Till, from their foam, his dazzled cyes Beheld the river deinon risc; The mountain mist look form and limb, Of noontide hag, or goblin grim; The midnight wind came wild and drcad, Swell’d with the voices of the dead; Far on the future battle-heath His eye beheld the ranks of death : Thus the lone seer, from mankind hurld, Shaped forth a disembodied world. One lingering sympathy of mind Still bound him to the mortal kind; The only parent he could claim Of ancient Alpioe's lineage came. Late had he heard in prophet's dream, The fatal Ben-Shie's boding scream ; (6) Sounds, too, had come in midnight blast, Of charging steeds, carcering fast Along Benharrow's shingly side, Where mortal horseman ne'er might ride; (5) The thunderbolt had split the pine, All augurd ill to Alpine's line. Ile girt his loias, and came to show The signals of impending woe, And now stood prompt to bless or ban, As bade the chicftain of his clan.

X. The shout was hush'd on lake and fell, The monk resumed his mutter'd spell. Dismal and low its accents came, The while he scathed the cross with llamc; And the few words that reach'd the air, Although the holiest name was there, Had more of blasphemy than prayer. But when he shook above the crowd Its kindled points, lie spoke aloud :« Woc to the wretch, who fails to rear At this dread sign the ready spear! For, as the flames this symbol sear, His home, the refuge of his fear,

A kindred fate shall know;
Far o'er its roof the volumed flame
Clan-Alpine's vengcance shall proclaim,
While maids and matrons on his name
Shall call down wretchedness and shame,

And infamy and woe.»
Then rose the cry of females, shrill
As goss-lawk's whistle on the hill,

VII. 'T was all prepared ;-and from the rock, A goat, the patriarch of the flock, Before the kindling pile was laid, And pierced by Roderick's ready blade.

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