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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.
Nor stray'd I safe; for, all around,
XXVIII. « Short be my speech;
;-nor time affords,
for Highland chiefs judge ye,
My child, the chase I follow far,
This by espial sure I know;
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,
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,
While every sob-so mute were all-
Back, beardless boy!» he sternly said,
:-« 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.
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
Yet live there still who can remember well,
How, when a mountain chief his bugle blew,
And solitary heath, the sigual knew;
What time the warning note was keenly wound,
While clamorous war-pipes yelld the gathering sound, And while the fiery cross glanced, like a meteor,
mist left the mountain-side,
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
crew Where weep the heavens their holiest dew
On Alpine's dwelling low!
Shall doom him wrath and woc.»
And first, in murmur low,
« Woe to the traitor, woe!»
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;
And infamy and woe.»
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.