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Lies deep before him and the sun is high.
Templar, what think'st thou me!-See yonder rock,
Firm hearts have moister eyes. They are avenged ; VIPONT.
I wept not till they were-till the proud Gordon Have with them ne'ertheless. The Stuart's Chequer,
Had with his life-blood dyed my father's sword, The Bloody Heart of Douglas, Ross's Lymphads, In guerdon that he thinn'd my father's lineage, Sutherland's Wild-cats, nor the royal Lion,
And then I wept my sons; and, as the Gordon
Fought side by side-and our first cause of strife,
Woe to the pride of both, was but a light one.
You are at feud, then, with the mighty Gordon ?
Where the sire's quarrels descend
son, However old, who moves without a staff.
As due a part of his inheritance Striplings and gray-beards, every one is here,
As the strong castle and the ancient blazon,
As Jews or Lombards balance silver pence,
Not in this land, 'twixt Solway and Saint Abb's, A thousand followers—such, with friends and kins- Rages a bitterer feud than mine and theirs, men,
The Swinton and the Gordon. Allies and vassals, thou wert wont to lead
VIPONT. A thousand followers shrunk to sixty lances
You, with some threescore lances and the Gordon In twelve years' space !- And thy brave sons, Sir Alan, Leading a thousand followers. Alas! I fear to ask.
You rate him far too low. Since you sought Palestine, All slain, De Vipont. In my empty home
He hath had grants of baronies and lordships A puny babe lisps to a widow'd mother,
In the far-distant North. A thousand horse « Where is my grandsire? wherefore do you weep ?» His southern friends and vassals always number'd. But for that prattler, Lyulph's house is heirless. Add Badenoch kerpe, and horse from Dee and Spey, I'm an old oak, from which the foresters
He 'll counta thousand more.-And now, De Vipont, Have hew'd four goodly boughs, and left beside me If the Boar-heads seem in your eyes less worthy, Only a sapling, which the fawn may crush
For lack of followers-seek yonder standard As he springs over it.
The bounding Stag, with a brave host around it:
There the young Gordon makes his earliest field,
And pants to win his spurs.
His father's friend,
As well as mine, thou wert-go, join his pennon, Ay, all, De Vipont. And their attributes,
And grace him with thy presence.
And now I can be enemy to neither;
Joins on this field the banner of the two
Which hath the smallest following.
To fight a christian soldier-yet, in earnest,
I pray, De Vipont, you would join the Gordon Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named it; In this high battle. "T is a noble youth, But not with England-would her cloth-yard shafts So fame doth vouch him,-amorous, quick, and valiant; Had bored their cuirasses! Their lives liad been Takes knighthood, too, this day, and well may use Lost like their grandsire's, in the bold defence His spurs too rashly in the wish to win them. Of their dear country-but in private feud
A friend like thee beside him in the fight, With the proud Gordon, fell my Long-spear'd John, Were worth a hundred spears, to rein his valour He with the Axe, and he men call'd the Ready, And temper it with prudence :-'t is the aged cagle Ay, and my Fair-hair'd Wilt-the Gordon's wrath Teaches lois brood to gaze upon the sun, Devour'd my gallant issue.
With eye undazzled.
Since thou dost weep, their death is unavenged ?
Alas, brave Swinton! Wouldst thou train the hunter
That soon must bring thee to the bay? Your custom,
I did but say, if we retired a little,
We should have fairer field and better vantage.
I've seen King Robert-ay, the Bruce himself-
Retreat six leagues in length, and think no shame on't.
Defying us to battle on this field,
hill of Halidon ; if we leave it
Unfought withal, it squares not with our honour.
A perilous honour, that allows the enemy,
To chuse our field of battle! He knows how
To make our Scottish pride betray its master
Into the pitfall,
(During this speech the debate
the Is seen from the hill-summit.
Nobles seems to continue.
We will not back one furlong-not one yard,
No, nor one inch; where'er we find the foe,
Retreat will dull the spirit of our followers,
Who now stand prompi for battle.
My lords, methinks great Morarchat has doubts,
That, if his northern clans once turn the seam
Of their check'd hose behind, it will be hard
To halt and rally them.
Say'st thou, Mac-Donnell !--Add another falsehood,
And name when Morarchat was coward or traitor!
Thine island race, as chronicles can tell,
Were oft affianced to the southron cause;
Loving the weight and temper of their gold,
More than the weight and temper of their steel.
Peace, my lords, ho!
ROSS (throwing down his glove).
Mac-Donnell will not peace! There lies
my pledge, As we go hence to council, I do bear
Proud Morarchat, to witness thee a liar.
Brought I all Nithsdale from the Western Border ;
Left I my towers exposed to foraying England,
And thieving Annandale, to see such misrule?
Who speaks of Annandale? Dare Maxwell slander
The gentle house of Lochwood ?
Peace, lordings, once again. We represent
The Majesty of Scotland—in our presence
The Royal Standard of Scotland is seen in the back
What should prevent my saying--
That waits on English war. You must determine.
I will but ask his name. There's in his presence
childish ear And wilt obey command-lead thou the rear.
Doat upon tales of superstitious dread,
Attracting while they chilld my heart with fear.
I'll know who this man is-Discretion hath forsaken Lennox too!
[Accosts SWINTON. The wisdom he was forty years in gathering
Sir Knight, I pray you,
of your gentle courtesy, Has left him in an instant. "Tis contagious
To tell your honour'd name. I am ashamed, Even to witness frenzy.
Being unknown in arms, to say that mine
Is Adam Gordon. The Regent hath determined well. The rear
SWINTON (shows emotion, but instantly subdues it). Suits him the best who counsellid our retreat.
It is a name that soundeth in my ear
Like to a death-knell-ay, and like the call
Yet 't is a name which ne'er hath been dishonour'd, SUTHERLAND.
And never will, I trust-most surely never
By such a youth as thou.
There's a mysterious courtesy in this,
And yet it yields no answer to my question.
I trust, you hold the Gordon not unworthy
To know the name he asks?
Worthy of all that openness and honour
May show to friend or foe-but, for my name,
Though seldom wont to keep it in concealment,
is needful. Follow me. The old knight counsels well. Let
[They retire behind the side Scene. Or chief, who leads five hundred men or more,
SWINTON (looking after them). Follow to council --others are excluded
"T is a brave youth. How blush'd his noble cheek, We'll have no vulgar censurers of our conduct. While youthful modesty, and the embarrassment
[Looking at Swinton. Of curiosity, combined with wonder, Young Gordon, your high rank and numerous following And half suspicion of some slight intended, Give you a seat with us, though yet unknighted. All mingled in the flush; but soon 't will deepen
Joto revenge's glow. Ilow slow is Vipont:I pray you pardon me. My youth's unfit
I wait the issue, as I've seen spectators To sit in council, when that knight's gray
Suspend the motion even of the eye-lids, And wisdom wait without.
When the slow gunner, with his lighted match,
Approach'd the charged cannon, in the act Do as you will; we deign not bid
To waken its dread slumbers.-Now 't is out;
He draws his sword, and rushes towards me,
Enter GORDON, withheld by VIPONT.
Hold, for the sake of Heaven !--0, for the sake
Of your dear country, hold !-Has Swinton slain your Have caught my fancy strangely. He doth seem
father, Like to some vision d form which I have dream'd of, And must you, therefore, be yourself a parricide, But never saw with waking eyes till now.
And stand recorded as the selfish traitor, I will accost him.
Who, in her hour of need, his country's cause
Broken, disjointed, as the tumbling surges
Deserts, that he may wreak a private wrong?-
VIPONT. You know not Swinton. Scarce one passing thought Of his high mind was with you; now, his soul Is fixed on this day's battle. You might slay him At unawares before he saw your blade drawn.Stand still, and watch him close. Enter Maxwell from the Tent.
Most sure they are possess'd! Some evil spirit,
VIPONT (to GORDON).
I see the giant form which all men speak of,
Know'st thou not the peonon?
say. « There goes degenerate Gordon;
(Muses. VIPONT (apart). High blood and mettle, mix'd with early wisdom, Sparkle in this brave youth, If he survive This evil-omen'd day, I pawn my word, That, in the ruin which I now forebode, Scotland has treasure left.-How close he eyes Each look and step of Swiolon! Is it hate, Or is it admiration, or are both Commingled strangely in that steady gaze ?
(Swinton and Maxwell return from the bottom of the Slage.
MAXWELL. The storm is laid at length amongst these counsellors; See, they come forth.
And it is more than time;
Enter the RECENT and Scottish Lords.
Need I again remind you, that the place
VIPONT. Such it at times hath becp; and then the Cross Hath sunk before the Crescent Heaven's cause Won us not victory where wisdom was nol.-Behold yon English host come slowly on, With equal frout, rank marsliall d upon rank, As if one spirit ruled one moving body; The leaders, in their places, each prepared To charge, support, and rally, as the fortune Of changeful batlle needs:- then look on ours,
Thus shall it be then, since we may no better,
0, sage discipline, That leaves to chance the marshalling of a battle!
Move him to speech, De Vipont.
SWINTON. Had I the thousand spears which once I led, I had not thus been silent. But men's wisdom Is rated by their means. From the poor leader Of sixty lances, who seeks words of weight?
GORDON (steps forward). Swinton, there's that of wisdom on thy brow, And valour in thine eye, and that of peril In this most urgent hour, that bids me say,— Bids me, thy mortal foc, say, -Swinton, speak, For king and country's sake!
Ourself pronounce a word-and now you gaze
old warrior, in his antique armour,
SWINTON. 'T is a proud word to speak; but he who fought Long under Robert Bruce, may something guess, Without communication with the dead, At what he would have counsell'd. - Bruce had bidden ye Review your battle-order, marsballd broadly Here on the bare hill-side, and bidden you mark Yon clouds of southron archers, bearing down To the green meadow-lands which streich beneathThe Bruce had warn'd you, not a shaft to-day But shall find mark within a Scottish bosom, If thus our field be order'd. The callow boys, Who draw but four-foot bows, shall gall our front, While on our mainward, and upon the rear, The cloth-yard shafts shall fall like death's own darts, And, ough blind men discharge them, find a mark. Thus shall we die the death of slaughter'd deer, Which, driven into the toils, are shot at ease By boys and women, while they toss aloft All idly and in vain their branchy horns, As we shall shake our unavailing spears.
Nay, if that voice commands me, speak I will;
REGENT (TO Lennox, with whom he has been consulting) 'T is better than you think. This broad hill-side Affords fair compass for our power's display, Rank above rank rising in seemly tiers; So that the rear-ward stands as fair and open
Tush, tell not me! If their shot fall like hail,
REGENT. Who fears a wasp-sting?
I, my lord, fear none; Yet should a wise man brush the insect off, Or he may smart for it.
We'll keep the hill; it is the vantage-ground When the main battle joins.
A poor knight of these Marches, good my lord;
He is noted
It ne'er will join, while their light archery
Where's your impatience now?