Doubtful of perilous event,
Edward's mute messenger he sent,
If Bruce deceived should venture o'er,
To warn him from the fatal shore.

« Now cheer 'thee, simple Amadine!
Why throbs that silly heart of thine ?»--

– That name the pirates to their slave,
(In Gaelic 'l is the Changeling) gave-
«Dost thou not rest thee on my arm?
Do not my plaid-folds hold thee warm?
Hath not the wild-bull's treble hide
This targe for thee and me supplied ?
Is vot Clan-Colla's sword of stee! ?
And, trembler, canst shou terror feel ?
Cheer iliee, and still that throbbing heart ;
From Ronald's guard thou shalt not part.»---
-O! many a shaft, at random sent,
Finds mark the archer little meant !
And many a word, at random spoken,
May sooth or wound a heart that's broken!
Half sooth'd, half grieved, half terrified,
Close drew the page to Ronald's side;
A wild delirious thrill of joy
Was in that hour of agony,
As up the steepy pass he strove,
Fear, toil, and sorrow, lost in love!

XVI. As round the torch the leaders crowd, Bruce read these chilling news aloud. « What council, nobles, have we now ?To amhush us in green-wood bough, And take the chance which fate may send To bring our enterprise to end; Or shall we turn us to the main As exiles, and embark again?»Answer'd fierce Edward, « llap what may, In Carrick, Carrick's lord must stay. I would not minstrels told the tale, Wild-fire or meteor made us quail.» Answer'd ibe Douglas, « If my liege May win yon walls by storm or siege, Then were each brave and patriot heart Kindled of new for loyal part. » Answer'd Lord Ronald, « Not for shame, Would i that aged Torquil came, And found, for all our empty boast, Without a blow we fled the coast. I will not credit that this land, So famed for warlike heart and hand, The nurse of Wallace and of Bruce, Will loog with tyrants hold a truce.» « Prove we our fate--the brunt we'll bide!» So Boyd and Haye and Lennox cried; So said, so vow'd, the leaders all; So Bruce resolved: « And in my hall Since the bold southern make their home, The hour of payment soon shall come, When with a rongh and rugged bost Clifford may reckon te luis cost. Meantime, through well-known bosk and dell, I'll lead where we may shelter well.

Now ask you whence that wond'rous light,
Whose fairy glow beguiled their sight?
It ne'er was known (6)-yet gray-hair'd eld
A superstitious credence held,
That never did a mortal hand
Wake its broad glare on Carrick strand;
Nay, and thai on the self-same night
When Bruce crossid o'er, still gleams the light.
Yearly it gleams o'er mount and moor,
And glittering wave and crimson'd shore-
But whether beam celestial, lent
By Heaven to aid the king's descent,
Or fire hell-kindled from beneath,
To lure him to defeat and death,
Or were it but some meteor strange,
Of such as oft through inidnight range,
Startling the traveller late and lone,
I know not-and it ne'er was known.

Now up the rocky pass they drew,
And Ronald, to lis promise true,
Suill made his arm the stripling's stay,
To aid him on the rugged way.

XIX. The barrier of that iron shore, The rock's steep ledge, is now climb'd o'er; And from the castle's distant wall, From tower to lower the warders call : The sound swings over land and sea, And marks a watchful enemy. They gaind the chase, a wide domain Left for the castle's sylvan reign (7) (Seek not the scene-the axe, the plough, The boor's dull fence; have marr'd it now), But then, soft swept in velyet green The plain with many a glade between, Whose tangled alleys far invade The depth of the brown forest shade. Here the tall fern obscured the lawn, Fair shelter for the sportive faun: There, tafted close with copse-wood green, Was many a swelling hillock seen ; And all around was verdure meet For pressure of the fairies' feet. The glossy holly loved the park, The yew-tree lent its shadow dark, And many an old oak, worn and bare, With all its shiver'd boughs,' was there. Lovely between, the moon-beams fell On lawn and hillock, glade and dell. The gallade monarch sigli'd to see Those glades so loved in childhood free, Bethinking that, as outlaw now, He ranged beneath the forest bougli.

XX. Fast o'er the moon-light chase they sped. Well know the band that measured tread, When in retreat or in advance, The serried warriors move at once; And evil were the luck, if dawn Descried them on the open lawn. Copses they traverse, brooks they cross, Straid up the bank and o'er the moss. From the exhausted page's brow Cold drops of toil are streaming now;

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With effort faint and lengthen'd pause,
His weary step the stripling draws.

Nay, droop not yet!» the warrior said;
Come, let me give thee ease and aid!
Strong are mine arms, and little care
A weight so slight as thine to bear. -
What! wilt thou not ?-capricious boy!-
They thine own limbs and strength employ.
Pass but this night, and pass thy care,
I'll place thee with a lady fair,
Where thou shah tune thy lute to tell
How Ronald loves fair Isabel!»—
Worn out, dishearten'd and dismayd.
Here Amadine let go the plaid ; .
His trembling limbs their aid refuse,
He supk among the midnight dews!

To Amadine, Lorn's well-known word
Replying to that southero lord,
Mix'd with this clanging din, might seem
The phantasm of a fever'd dream.
The tone upon his ringing ears
Came like the sounds which fancy hears,
When in rude waves or roaring winds
Some words of woe the muser finds,
Until more loudly and more near,
Their speech arrests the page's ear.

XXI. What may be done ?-the night is gone The Bruce's band moves swiftly onEternal shame, if at the brunt Lord Ronald grace not battle's front! « See yonder oak, within whose trunk Decay a darken'd cell hath sunkEnter, and rest thee there a space, Wrap in my plaid thy limbs, thy face. I will not be, believe me, far; But must not quit the raoks of war. Well will I mark the bosky bourne, And soon to guard thee hence, return.Nay, weep not so, thou simple boy! But sleep in peace, and wake in joy.» In sylvan lodging close bestow'd, He placed the page, and onward strode With strength put forth, o'er moss and brook, And soon the marching band o'ertook.

XXIV. « And was she thus,» said Clifford, « lost! The priest will rue it to his cost! What says the monk?»-« The holy sire Owns that, ia masquer's quaint attire, She sought bis skiff, disguised, unknown To all except to him alone. But, says the priest, a bark from Lorn Laid them aboard that very morn, And pirales seized her for their prey. He proffer'd ransom-gold to pay, And they agreed-but e'er told o'er, The winds blow loud, the billows roar; They sever'd, and they met no more. He deems-such tempest vex'd the coastShip, crew, and fugitive, were lost. -So let it be, with the disgrace And scandal of her lofty race! Thrice better she had ne'er been born, Than brought her infamy on Lorą!»

XXII. Thus strangely left, long sobb'd and wepe The page, till, wearied out, he slept.A rough voice waked his dream-« « Nay, here, Here by this thicket, pass'd the deerBeneath that oak old Ryno staidWhat have we here? a Scottish plaid, And in its folds a stripliog laid?Come forth ! thy name and business tell !What, silent ?-then I guess thee well, The spy that sought old Cuthbert's cell, Wafted from Annan yester mornCome, comrades, we will strait return. Our lord chuse the rack should teach To this young lurcher use of speech. Thy bow-string, till I bind him fast.» « Nay, but he weeps and stands aghast; Unbound we 'H lead him, fear it not; 'T is a fair stripling, though a Scot.» The hunters to the castle sped, And there the hapless captive led.

Lord Clifford now the captive spied ;

Whom, Herbert, hast thou there?» he cried.
« A spy was seized within the chase,
An hollow oak his lurking-place.»
« What tidings can the youth afford ?»--
« He plays the mute.»--« Then noose a cord-
Unless brave Lorn reverse the doom
For his plaid's sake.»- « Clap-Colla's loom,»
Said Lorn, whose careless glances trace
Rather the vesture than the face,
« Clan-Colla's dames such tartans twine;
Wearer nor plaid claims care of mine.
Give him, if my advice you crave,
His owo scathed oak; and let him wave
Jo air, unless, by terror wrung,
A frank confession find his tongue
Nor shall he die without his rite;
-Thou, Angus Roy, attend the sight,
And give Clan-Colla's dirge thy breath,
As they convey him to his death.»-
« O brother! cruel to the last !»---
Through the poor captive's bosom pass'd
The thought, but, to his purpose true,
He said not, though he siglid, « Adieu !


XXIII. Stout Clifford in the castle-court Prepared bim for the morning sport; And now with Lorn held deep discourse, Now gave command for hound and horse. War-steeds and palfreys paw'd the ground, And many a deer-dog howld around.

XXVI. And will he keep his purpose still, In sight of that last closing ill, a When one poor breath, ope single word, May freedom, safety, life, afford ? Can he resist the instinctive call, For life that bids us barter all?

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Love, strong as death, his heart hath steeld, His nerves hath strung-he will not yield! Since that poor breath, that little word, May yield Lord Ronald to the sword. Clan-Colla's dirge is pealing wide, The grisly headsman 's by his side; Along the green-wood chase they bend, And now their march has ghasily end! That old and shatter'd oak beneath They destine for the place of death. -What thoughts are his, while all in vain His eye for aid explores the plain? What thoughts, while, with a dizzy ear, He hears the death-prayer mutter'd near? And must he die such death accurst, Or will that bosom-secret burst? Cold on his brow breaks terror's dew, His trembling lips are livid blue; The agony of parting life Has nought to match that moment's strife!

XXIX. « The Bruce, the Bruce!» to well-known cry His native rocks and woods reply. « The Bruce, the Bruce !» in that dread word The knell of hundred deaths was heard. The astonish'd southern gazed at first, Where the wild tempest was to burst, That waked in that presaging name! Before, behind, around it came ! Half-armd, surprised, on every side Hemm'd in, hew'd down, they bled and died. Deep in the ring the Bruce engaged, And fierce Clan-Colla's broadsword raged! Full soon the few who fought were sped, Nor better was their lot who fled, And met, 'mid terror's wild career, The Douglas's redoubted spear! Two hundred yeomen on that morn The castle left, and none return.

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But other witnesses are nigh,
Who mock at fear, and death defy!
Soon as the dire lament was play'd,
It waked the lurking ambuscade.
The Island Lord look'd forth, and spied
The cause, and loud in fury cried,
By Heaven they lead the page to die,
And mock me in his agony!
They shall abye ic!»-On his arm
Bruce laid strong grasp, « They shall not harm
A ringlet of the stripling's hair;
But, till I give the word, forbear.
-Douglas, lead fifty of our force
Up yonder hollow water-course,
And couch thee mid-way on the wold,
Between the flyers and their hold:
A spear above the copse display'd,
Be signal of the ambush made.

--Edward ith forty spearmen, straight
Through yonder copse approach the gate,
And, when thou hear'st the battle-din,
Rush forward, and the passage win,
Secure the draw-bridge-storm the port
And man and guard the castle-court.-
The rest move slowly forth with me,
la shelter of the forest tree,
Till Douglas at his post I see.»

XXX. Not on their flight press'd Ronald's brand, A gentler duty claim'd his hand. He raised the page, where on the plain His fear had sunk him with the slain; And, twice that morn, surprise well near Betray'd the secret kept by fear. Once, when, with life returning, came

To the boy's lip lord Ronald's name, ? And hardly recollection drown'd

The accents in a murmuring sound;
And once, when scarce he could resist
The chieftain's care to loose the vest,
Drawn tightly o'er his labouring breast.
But then the Bruce's bugle blew,
For martial work was yet to do.

*XXVIII. Like war-horse eager to rush on, Compelld to wait the signal blown, Hid, and scarce hid, by green-wood bough, Trembling with rage, stands Ronald now, And in his grasp bis sword gleams blue, Soon to be dyed with deadlier hue.-Meanwhile the Bruce, with steady eye, Sees the dark death-train moving by, And heedful measures oft the space, The Douglas and his band must trace, Ere they can reach their destined ground. Now sinks the dirge's wailing sound, Now cluster round the direful tree That slow and solemn company,

A harder task fierce Edward waits.
Ere signal given, the castle-gates

His fury had assail'd;
Such was his wonted reckless mood,
Yet desperate valour oft made good,
Even by its daring, venture rude,

Where prudence might have fail'd.
Upon the bridge his strength he threw,
And struck the iron chain in two

By which its planks arose ;
The warder next his axe's edge
Struck down upon the threshold ledge,
"Twixt door and post a ghastly wedge !

The gate they may not close.
Well fought the southern in the fray,
Clifford and Lorn fought well that day,
But stubborn Edward forced his way

Against an hundred foes.
Loud came the cry, « The Bruce, the Bruce !»
No hope or in defence or truce,
Fresh combatants pour in;

Mad with success, and drunk with gore,
They drive the struggling foe before,

And ward on ward they win.
Unsparing was the vengeful sword,
And limbs were lopp'd and life-blood pour'd,
The cry of death and conflict roar d,

And fearful was the din!
The startling horses plunged and flung,
Clamour'd the dogs till turrets rung,

Nor sunk the fearful cry,
Till not a foeman was there found
Alive, save those who on the ground

Groand in their agony!

Sit, gentle friends! our hour of glee
Is brief, we 'll spend it joyously!
Blithest of all the sun's bright beams,
When betwixt storm and storm he gleams.
Well is our country's work begun,
But more, far more, must yet be done!-
Speed messengers the country through;
Arouse old friends, and gather new; (10)
Warn Lapark's knights to gird their mail,
Rouse the brave sons of Tevjotdale,
Let Ettrick's archers sharp their darts,
The fairest forms, the truest hearts! (11)
Call all, call all! from Reedswair path,
To the wild confines of Cape Wrath ;
Wide let the news through Scotland ring,
The Northern Eagle claps his wing !»--


The valiant Clifford is no more;
On Ronald's broadsword stream'd his gore,
But better hap had he of Lorn,
Who, by the foeman backward borne,
Yet gain'd with slender train the port,
Where lay his bark bencath the fort,

And cut the cable loose.
Short were his shrift in that debate,
That hour of fury and of fate,

If Lorn encounter'd Bruce!
Then long and loud the victor shout
From turret and from tower rung out,

The rugged vaults replied;
And from the donjon tower on high,
The men of Carrick may descry
Saint Andrew's cross, in blazonry

Of silver, waving wide!

O who, that shared them, ever shall forget

The emotions of the spirit-rousing time,
When breathless in the mart the couriers met,

Early and late, at evening and at prime; When the loud cannon and the merry chime

Hail'd news on news, as field on field was won, When hope, long doubtful, soar'd at length sublime,

And our glad eyes, awake as day begun, Watch'd Joy's broad banner rise, to meet the rising sun!

O these were hours, when thrilling joy repaid

A long, long course of darkness, doubts, and fears ! The heart-sick faintness of the hope delay'd,

The waste, the woe, the bloodstied, and the tears, That track'd with terror twenty rolling years,

All was forgot in that blithe jubilee!
Her downcast eye even pale Aftliction ears,

To sighi a thankful prayer, amid the glee,
That haild the Despot's fall, and peace and liberty!

XXXIII. The Bruce hath won his fathers' hal! (8) -«Welcome, brave friends and comrades all,

Welcome to mirth and joy!
The first, the last, is welcome here,
From lord and chieftain, prince and peer,

To this poor speechless boy.
Great God! once more my sire's abode
Is mine-behold the floor I trode

In tottering infancy!
And there the vaulted arch, whose sound
Echoed my joyous shout and bound
In boyhood, and that rung around

To youth's unthinking glee !
O first, to thee, all-gracious Heaven,
Then to my friends, my thanks be given !»–
He paused a space, his brow he cross d-
Then on the board his sword he tossid,
Yet steaming hot; with southern gore
From hilt to point 't was crimson'd o'er.

Such news o'er Scotland's hills triumphant rode,

When 'gainst the invaders turn d the battle's scale, When Bruce's banner had victorious flow'd

O'er Loudoun's mountain, and in Ury's vale; (1) When English blood oft deluged Douglas-dale, (2)

And fiery Edward routed stout St John, (3) When Randolph's war-cry swelld the southern gale, (4)

And many a fortress, town, and tower, was won, And Fame still sounded forth fresh deeds of glory done.

XXXIV. « Bring here,» he said, « the mazers four, My noble fathers loved of yore. (9) Thrice let them circle round the board, The pledge, fair Scotland's rights restored ! And he whose lip shall touch the wine, Without a vow as true as mine, To hold both lands and life at nought, Until her freedom shall be bought,Be brand of a disloyal Scot, And lasting infamy his lot!

II. Blithe tidings flew from baron's tower, To peasani's cot, to forest bower, And waked the solitary cell, Where lone Saint Bride's recluses dwell. Princess no more, fair Isabel,

A vot'ress of the order now, Say, did the rule that bid thee wear Dim veil and woollen scapulaire, And reft thy locks of dark-brown hair,

That stern and rigid vow,

Did it condemn the transport high,
Which glisten'd in thy watery eye,
When minstrel or when palmer told
Each fresh exploit of Bruce the bold?-
And whose the lovely form, that shares
Thy anxious hopes, thy fears, thy prayers ?
No sister she of convent shade;
So say these locks in lengthen d braid,
So say the blushes and the sigos,
The tremors that unbidden rise,
When, mingled with the Bruce's fame,
The brave Lord Ronald's praises came.

Believe, his fathers' castle won,
And his bold enterprise begun,
That Bruce's earliest cares restore

The speechless page to Arran's shore ; • Nor think that long the quaint disguise

Conceald her from a sister's eyes;
And sister-like in love they dwell
In that lone convent's silent cell.
There Bruce's slow assent allows
Fair Isabel the veil and vows;
And there, lier sex's dress regain'd,
The lovely Maid of Lorn remaind,
Unnamed, unknown, while Scotland far
Resounded with the din of war;
And many a month and many a day
In calm seclusion wore away.

Right to devoted Caledon
The storm of war rolls slowly on,

With menace deep and dread;
So the dark clouds, with gathering power,
Suspend awhile the threaten'd shower,
Till every peak and summit lour

Round the pale pilgrim's head.
Not with such pilgrim's startled eye
King Robert mark'd the tempest nigh!

Resolved the brunt to bide,
His royal summons warn'd the land,
That all who ownd their king's command
Should instant take the spear and brand,

To combat at his side,
O, who may tell the sons of fame,
That at King Robert's bidding came,

To battle for the right!
From Cheviot to the shores of Ross,
From Solway Sands to Marshal's Moss,

All bound them for the fight.
Such news the royal courier tells,
Who came to rouse dark Arran's dells;
But farther tidings must the ear
Of Isabel in secret hear.
These in her cloister walk, next morn,
Thus shared she with the Maid of Lorn.

These days, these months, to years had worn,
When tidings of high weight were borne

To that lone island's shore;-
Of all the Scottish conquests made
By the first Edward's ruthless blade,

His son retain'd do more,
Northward of Tweed, but Stirling's towers,
Bcleaguer'd by King Robert's powers ;

And they took term of truce, (5)
If England's king should not relieve
The siege e'er John the Baptist's eve,

To yield them to the Bruce.
England was roused on every side,
Courier and post and herald hied,

To summon prince and peer,
At Berwick-bounds to meet their liege, (6)
Prepared to raise fair Stirling's siege,

With buckler, brand, and spear.
The term was nigh-they muster'd fast,
By beacon and by bugle-blast

Forth marshalld for the field;
There rode each knight of noble name,
There England's hardy archers came,
The land they trode seem'd all on flame,

With banner, blade, and shield!
And not famed England's powers alone,
Renown'd in arms, the summons own;

For Neustria's knigbes obey'd,
Gascoyne hath lent her horsemen good,
And Cambria, but of late subdued,
Sent forth her mountain-multitude, ( )
And Connaught pour'd from waste and wood
Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre

rude Dark Ech O'Connor sway'd. (8)

My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere

Hath been to Isabel -
Judge then the sorrow of my heart,
When I must say the words, We part!

The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation frec

On happier fortunes fell.
Nor, Edithi, judge thyself betray'd,
Though Robert knows that Loru's high maid
And his poor silent page were one.
Versed in the fickle heart of man,
Earnest and auxious bath he look'd
How Ronald's heart the message brook'd
That gave him, with her lası farewell,
The charge of Sister Isabel,
To think upon thy better right,
And keep the faith his promise plight.
Forgive him for thy sister's sake,
At first if vain repinings wake-

Long since that mood is gone:
Now dwells be on thy juster claims,
And oft his breach of faith he blames-

Forgive him for thine own!»—

VII. « No! never lo Lord Ronald's bower Will I again as paramour--»

Nay, hush thee, too impatient maid, Until my final tale be said ! The good King Robert would engage Edith once more his elfin page, By her own heart, and her own eye, Her lover's penitence to trySafe in his royal charge, and free, Should such thy final purpose be,

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