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Lies Duncan on his lowly bier,
He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
When our need was the sorest.
From the rain-drops shall borrow, But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow!
Back to her open'd arins he flew,
his fire and speed, lle vanishd, and o'er moor and moss Sped forward with the fiery cross. Suspended was the widow's tear, While yet his footsteps she could hear; And when she mark'd the henchman's eye Wet with unwonted sympathy, « Kinsman,» she said, « his race is run, That should have sped thine errand on; The oak has fallen,- the sapling bough Is all Dancraygan's shelter now. Yet trust I well, his duty done, The orphan's God will guard my son.And you, in many a danger true, At Duncan's hest your blades that drew, To arms, and guard that orphan's head! Let babes and women wail the dead.»Then weapon-clang, and martial call, Resounded through the funeral hall, While from the walls the attendant band Snatch'd sword and targe, with hurried hand; And short and flitting energy Glanced from the mourner's sunken eye, As if the sounds, to warrior dear, Might rouse her Duncan from his bier. But faded soon that borrow'd force; Grief claim'd his right, and tears their course.
The hand of the
rea per Takes the ears that are hoary, But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory; The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest, But our flower was in flushing,
When blighting was nearest.
Fleet foot on the correi,"
Sage counsel in cumber, Red hand in the foray,
How sound is thy slumber! Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river, Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art goue, and for ever!
XVII. See Stumah, 3 who, the bier beside, His master's corpse with wonder eyed, Poor Stumal! whom his least halloo Could send like lightning o'er the dew, Bristles his crest, and points his cars, As if some stranger step he hears. "T is not a mourner's muftled tread, Who comes to sorrow o'er the dead, But headlong haste, or deadly fear, Urge the precipitate career. All stand aghast:--unheeding all, The henchman bursts into the hall; Before the dead man's bier he stood, Held forth the cross besmeard with blood; « The muster-place is Lanrick mead; Speed forth the signal ! clansmen, speed!»
XIX. Benledi saw the cross of fire, It glanced like lightning up Strath-Ire. () O'er dale and hill the summons flew, Nor rest nor pause young Angus knew; The tear that gather'd in his eye, He left the mountain-brceze to dry; Until, where Teith's young waters roll, Betwixt him and a wooded knoll, That graced the sable strath with green, The chapel of Saint Bride was seen. Swoln was the stream, remote the bridge, But Angus paused not on the edge; Though the dark waves danced dizzily, Though reeld his sympathetic eye, Ile dash'd amid thie torrent's roar; His right hand high the crosslet bore, Ilis left the pole-axe grasp'd, to guide And stay his footing in the tide. He stumbled cwice--the foam splashid high, With hoarser swell the stream raced by; And had he fallen,--forever there, Farewell Duncraggan's orphan heir! But still, as if in parting life, Firmer he grasp'd the cross of strife, Until the opposing bank he gain'd, And up the chapel path-way sirain'd.
Watch him in speechless agony, Funeral-song. See Note. · Or corri— The bollow side of the hill, whero game usually lios. • Faithful-The name of a dog.
With war's red honours on his crest,
A blithesome rout, that morning tide, Had sought the chapel of Saint Bride. Her troth Tombea's Mary gave To Norman, heir of Armandave, And, issuing from the Gothic arch, The bridal now resumed their march. In rude, but glad procession, came Bonnetted sire and coif-clad dame; And plaided youth, with jest and jeer, Which snooded maiden would not hcar; And children, that, unwitting why, Lent the gay shout their shrilly cry; And minstrels, that in measures vied Before the young and bonny bride, Whose downcast eye and chcek disclose The tear and blush of morning rose. With virgin step, and bashful hand, She held the kerchiefs snowy band; The gallant bridegroom, by her side, Beheld his prize with victor's pride, And the glad mother in her ear Was closely whispering word of cheer.
The heath this night must be my
bed, The bracken' curtain for my head, My lullaby the warder's tread,
Far, far from love and thee, Mary; To-morrow eve, more stilly laid, My couch may be my bloody plaid, My vesper-song, thy wail, sweet maid!
It will not waken me, Mary!
I may not, dare not, fancy now
And all it promised me, Mary!
His foot like arrow free, Mary!
XXI. Who meets them at the church-yard gate? The messenger of fear and fate! Haste in his hurried accent lies, And grief is swimming in his eyes. All dripping from the recent flood, Panting and travel-soil'd he stood, The fatal sign of fire and sword Held forth, and spoke the appointed word; « Tlie muster-place is Lanrick mead; Speed forth the signal! Norman, speed!»--And must he change so soon the hand, Just link'd to his by holy band, For the fell cross of blood and brand? And must the day, so blithe that rose, And promised rapture in the close, Before its setting hour, divide The bridegroom from the plighted bride? O fatal doom!-it musi! it must! Clan-Alpine's cause, her chieftain's trust, Her summons dread, brooks no delay; Stretch to the race-away! away!
A time will come with feeling fraught;
Shall be a thought on thee, Mary! And if return'd from conquer'd foes, How blithely will the evening close, How sweet the linnet sing repose,
To my young bride and me, Mary!
- What in the racer's bosoin stirrd? The sickening pang of hope deferrd, And memory, with a torturing train Of all his morning visions vain. Mingled with love's impatience, came The manly thirst for martial fame; The stormy joy of mountaineers, Ere yet they rush upon the spears; And zeal for clan and chicftain burning, And hope, from well-fought field returning,
XXIV. Not faster o'er thy heathery braes, Balquidder, speeds the midnight blaze, (12) Rushing, in conflagration strong, Thy deep ravines and dells along, Wrapping thy cliffs in purple glow, And reddening the dark lakes below; Nor faster speeds it, nor far, As o'er thy heaths the voice of war. The signal roused to martial coil The sullen margin of Loch-Voil, Waked still Loch-Doine, and to the source Alarm’d, Balvaig, thy swampy course; Thence, southward turn d its rapid road Adown Strath-Gartney's valley broad, Till rose in arms each man might claim A portion in Clan-Alpine's name, From the gray sire, whose trembliog land Could hardly buckle on his brand, To the raw boy, whose shaft and bow Were yet scarce terror to the crow. Each valley, each sequester'd glen, Muster'd its little horde of men, That met as torrents from the height In Highlaod dales their streams unite, Still gathering, as they pour along, A voice more loud, a tide more strong,
Till at the rendezvous they stood
XXVI. It was a wild and strange retreat, As c'er was trod by outlaw's feet. The dell, upon the mountain's crest, Yawn'd like a gash-on warrior's breast; Its trench had staid full many a rock, Hurl'd by primeval earılıquake shock From Ben-venue's gray summit wild; And here, in random ruin piled, They frown'd incumbent o'er the spot, And form’d the rugged sylvan grot. The oak and birch, with mingled shade, Al noontide there a twilight made, Unless when short and sudden shone Some straggling beam on cliff or stone, With such a glimpse as prophet's eye Gains on thy depth, Futurity. No murmur waked the solemn still, Save tinkling of a fountain rill; But when the wind chafed with the lake, A sullen sound would upward break, With dashing hollow voice, that spoke The incessant war of wave and rock. Suspended cliffs, withi hideous sway, Seem'd nodding o'er the cavern gray. Froin such a den the wolf had sprung, In such the wild-cat leaves her young; Yet Douglas and his daughter fair Sought for a space their safety there. Gray Superstition's whisper dread Debarr'd the spot to vulgar tread; For there, she said, did fays resort,
And satyrs' hold their sylvan court, "The Urisk, or Highland satyr. See Note.
By moon-light tread their mystic maze,
pass of Beal-nam-Bo;(15)
HYMN TO THE VIRGIN.
Listen to a maiden's prayer;
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banishid, outcast, and reviled-
Ave Maria! Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share Shall seem with down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there. The murky cavern's heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled; Then, Maiden, hear a maiden's prayer, Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria! Ave Maria! stainless styled !
Foul demons of the earth and air, From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair. We bow us to thy lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled; Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer, And for a father hear a child!
1. « The rose is fairest when 't is budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears; The rose is sweetest wash'd with morning dew,
And love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears. O wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears,
I bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave, Emblem of hope and love through future years!»
Thus spoke young Norman, heir of Armandave, What time the sun arose on Vennachar's broad wave.
Stand, or thou diest!- What, Malise!-soon
Apart, in yonder misty glade;
III. Together up
the pass they sped: « What of the foeman ?» Norman said. « Varying reports from near and far; This certain,--that a band of war Jas for two days been ready boune, At prompt command, to march from Doune; King James, the while, with princely powers, Ilolds revelry in Stirling towers. Soon will this dark and gathering cloud Speak on our glens in thunder loud. Inured to bide such bitter bout, The warrior's plaid may bear it out; But, Norman, how wilt thou provide A shelter for thy bonny bride ?» « What! know ye not that Roderick's care To the lone isle hath caused repair Each maid and matron of the clan, And every child and aged man Unfit for arms; and given his charge, Nor skiff nor shallop, boat nor barge, Upon these lakes shall float at large, But all beside the islet moor, That such dear pledge may rest secure ?»—