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« Well, let it pass; nor -will I now

Fresh cause of enmity avow,

To chafe thy mood and cloud thy brow.

Enough, lam hy promise lied

To match me with this man of pride:

Twice have I sought Clan-Alpine's glen

In peace; hut when I come agen,

I come with banner, brand, and bow,

As leader seeks his mortal foe.

For love-lorn swain, in lady's bower,

Ne'er panted for the appointed hour,

As I, until before me stand

This rebel chieftain and his band."—

IX.
« Have, then, thy wish!»—he whistled shrill,
And he was answer d from the hill;
Wild as the scream of the curlieu,
From crag to crag the signal Hew.
Instant, through copse and heath, arose
Bonnets and spears aud bended bows;
On right, on left, above, below,
Sprung up at once the lurking foe;
From shingles gray their lances start,
The bracken-bush sends forth the dart,
'The rushes and the willow-wand
Arc bristling into axe and brand,
/ And every tuft of broom gives life
/ To plaided warrior arm'd for strife.

That whistle garrison'd the gleu
I At once with full five hundred men,
I As if the yawning hill to heaven
/ A subterranean host had given.

Watching their leader's beck and will, | All silent there they stood and still.

Like the loose crags whose threatening mass
Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass,
As if an infant's touch could urge
Their headlong passage down the verge,
With step and weapon forward Hung,
Upon the mountain side they hung.
The mountaineer cast glance of pride
Along Benlcdi's living side,
Then fixd his eye and sable brow
Full on Fitz-Jamcs—« How say'sl thou now?
These arc Clan-Alpine's warriors true;
And, Saxon,—I am Roderick Dhu!»—

X.

Fitx-Jamcs was brave:—Though to his heart ! The life-blood thrilld with sudden start, He maun'd himself with dauntless air, Return'd the chief his haughty stare, His back against a rock he bore. And firmly placed his foot before:— « Come one. come all I this rock shall fly From its firm base as soon as l.»— Sir Roderick mark'd—and in his eyes Respect was mingled with surprise. And the stern joy which warriors feel In focmen worthy of their steel. Short space he stood—then waved his hand Down sunk the disappearing band; Each warrior vanishd where he stood, In broom or bracken, heath or wood;

Sunk brand and spear and bended bow.

In osiers pale and copses low;

It scetn'd as if their mother F-artli

Had swallow'd up her warlike birth.
The wind's last breath had toss'd in air.
Pennon, and plaid, and plumage fair,—
The next but swept a lone hill-side,
Where heath and fern were waving wide;
The sun's last glance was glinted back.
From spear and glaive, from targe and jack.-
The next, all unreflected, shone
On bracken green, and cold gray stone.

XI.
Fitz-James look'd round—yet scarce bcueu-il
The witness that his sight received;
Such apparition well might seem
Delusion of a dreadful dream.
Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,
And to his look the chief replied,
« Fear nought—nay, that I need not say-
Rut doubt not aught from mine array.
Thou art my guest;—I pledged my wool
As far as Coilanloglc ford:
Nor would I call a clansman's brand
For aid against one valiant hand,
Though on our strife lay every vale
Rent by the Saxon from the Gael.
60 move we on ;—I only meant
To show the reed on which you leant,
Deeming this path you might pursue,
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.»(3)—
They moved:—I said FitzJamcs waibrai*'.
As ever knight that belted glaive;
Yet dare not say, that now his blood

Kept on its wont and temper'd II I.

As, following Roderick's stride, he drew
That seeming lonesome path-way through.
Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife
With lances, that, to take his life,
Waited but signal from a guide,
So late dishonour'd and defied.
Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round
The vanish'd guardians of the ground.
And still, from copse and heather deep.
Fancy saw spear and broadsword peep,
And in the plover's shrilly strain,
The signal whistle heard again.
ISor breathed he free till far behind
The pass was left; for then they wind
Along a wide and level green,
Where neither tree nor tuft was seen,
Nor rush, nor bush of broom was near.
To hide a bonnet or a spear.

XII.

The chief in silence strode before,

Aud reach'd that torrent's sounding shore.

Which, daughter of three mighty lakes.

From Venuacharlu silver breaks,

Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless onnf

On Uocliastle the mouldering lines,

Where Rome, the empress of the world.

Of yore her eagle wings unfnrl'd. (4)

And here his course the chieflaiu staid.

T)irrvdu«n his target and his plaid,

Anil ro the lowland warrior said:—

■ Bold Saxon ! lo his promise just,

Vic h-AIpine has discharged his trust.

This murderous chief, this ruthless man,

Tl>i> Itfad »f a rebellious clan,

Hiili led dire safe, through watch and ward,

Fir past Clan-Alpine s outmost guard.

Nov. mill to man. and steel to steel,

A chieftain's vengeance thou shall feci.

See, here, all vaiitagclc&s I stand,

Ann'd, like thyself, with single brand; (5)

For this is Coilantogle ford,

Aodthou mu»t keep thee with thy sword.»—

XIII. TV Saxon paused:—*< I ne'er delay'd, Wbeo foeman bade me draw my blade; Nay more, brave chief, I vow'd thy death; Yrt *ure thy fair and generous faith, And ray deep debt for life preserved, A brner meed liavc well deserved :— tan nought but blood our feud atone I Are there no means?*—« No, stranger, none! And hear,—to fire thy flagging xeal,— The Saiou cause rests on thy steel; For thus spoke Kate, by prophet bred Brtaeen the living and the dead:— 'Who spills the foremost foemanslife, Hi* |urtv conquer* in the strife.V— ■Thro, by mv wonl.*> (be Saxon said, • The riddle is already read. Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff,— Tberr lift Red Murdoch, stark and stiff. Tluu Fate has solved her prophecy. Thru yield lo Fate, and not to me. To James, at Stirling, let us go, When, if thou wilt in- still his foe, *> if the king shall not agree To grant thee grace and favour free, I plight mine honour, oath, and word, Thai, 10 thy native strengths restored, **itheach advantage shall thou stand. Thai aids tbec now to guard thy land.it—

XIV.

fcrk lightning flnsh'd from Roderick's eye—

■Soars thy presumption then so high,

because a wretched kern ye slew,

Homage 10 name to Roderick Dhu?

he yield* not, he, to man uor Fate!

Thou add'u but fuel to my hate:—

Vy clansman'* blood demands revenge.—

Sot yet prepared ?—liy Heaven, I change

My thought, and hold thy valour light

Ai that of some vain carpet knight,

Who ill deserved my courteous care,

And whose best boatl is but to wear

A braid of his fair ladv's hair.*—

—«I flunk thee. Roderick, for the word!

It nenes my heart, it steels my sword;

For I have sworn, this braid to stain

la the best blood that warms thy vein.

Sow, trace, farewell! and, ruth, begone! —

Trt think not tliat by thee alone,

Proud chief! can courtesy be shown;

Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern.
Of this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
Hut fear not—doubt not—which thou will—
Wc try this quarrel hilt to hilt.»—
Then each at once his falchion drew,
Each on the ground bis scabbard threw,
Each look'd to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what they ne'er might see again;
Then fool, and point, and eye opposed,
In dubious strife they darkly closed.

XV.

Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
That on the field his large be threw, (0)
Whose bra/en studs and tough bull-hide
Had death so often dash'd aside,
For, train'd abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield. (-)
He practised every pass and ward,
To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard;
While less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael maintaiu'd unequal war.
Three limes in closing strife they stood,
And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood;
No stinted draught, 110 scanty tide,
The gushing Hood the tartans dyed.
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
And shower'd bis blows like wintry rain;
And, as firm rock, or castle-roof.
Against the winter shower is proof,
The foe, invulnerable still,
Foil'd his wild rage by steady skill;
Till, at advantage la'eo, his brand
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand,
And, backward borne upon the tea,
brought the proud chieftain to his knee.

XVI.

« Now, yield thee, or, by Him who made The world, thy heart's blood dyes my blade!» « Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy! Let recreant yield, who fears to die.«— —Like adder darting from his coil, Like wolf that dashes through the toil, Like inounlaiii-eatwho guards her young, Full at Fiiz-Jaincs's throat he sprung; (8) Received, but reck'd not of a wound, And lock'd bis anus bis foeman round.— Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own! No maiden's hand is round thee thrown! That desperate grasp thy frame might feel, Through bars of brass aud triple steel!— They tug, they strain ! down, down, they go. The Gael above, l'itz-James below. The chieftain's gripe his throat conipress'd. His knee was planted in his breast; His clotted locks he backward threw, Across his brow Ins hand he drew, From blood aud mi-i lo clear his sight, Then gleam'd aloft his dagger bright! — But hale aud fury ill supplied The stream of life's exhausted lido, And all too late the advantage came, To turn the odds of deadly game;

For while the dagger glcam'd on high, Rcel'd soul and sense, reel'd bmin and eye. - Down came the blow; but in the heath The erring blade found bloodless sheath. The struggling foe may now unclasp The fainting chiefs relaxing grasp; ITnwoundcd from the dreadful close, But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.

XVII.

He falter'd thanks to Heaven for life,

Hedecm'd, unhoped, from desperate strife;

Next on his foe In-- look he cast,

Whose every gasp appeard his last;

In Roderick's gore he dipp'd the braid,—

« Poor Blanche! thy wrongs are dearly paid;

Yet with thy foe must die, or live,

The praise that faith and valour give.«—

Willi that he blew a bugle-note,

Undid the collar from his throat,

Unbouuctted, and by the wave

Sat down, his brow and hands to lave.

Then faiut afar are heard the feet

Of rushing steeds in gallop fleet;

The sounds increase, and now are seen

Four mounted squires in Lincoln green;

Two who bear lance, and two who lead,

By looseu'd rein, a saddled steed;

Each onward held his headloug course,

And by Filz-James rein'd up his horse,—

With wouder view'd the bloody spot—

—« Exclaim not, gallants! question not,—

Yon, Herbert and Luffness, alight,

Aud bind the wounds of yonder knight:

Let the gray palfrey bear his weight,]

We destined for a fairer freight,

And bring him on to Stirling straight;

I will before at better speed,

To seek fresh horse and fitting weed.

The sun rides high ;—I must be bonne

To see the archer-game at noon;

But lightly Bayard clears the lea.—

De Vaux and Hemes, follow tne.

XVIII.

« Stand Bayard, stand!»—the steed obey'd.
With arching neck and bended head.
And glancing eye, and quivering ear,
As if he loved his lord to hear.
No foot Fitz-James in stirrup staid,
No grasp upon the saddle laid,
But wreathed his left hand in the mane,
^And lightly bounded from the plain,
Turn'd on the horse his armed heel,
And stirr'd his courage with the steel.
Rounded the fiery steed in air,
The rider sate erect and fair.
Then, like a bolt from steel cross-bow
Forth launch d, along the plain they go.
They dash'd that rapid torrent through,
And up Carhonie's hill they flew;
Still at the gallop priek'd the knight.
Ills merry-men follow'd as they mirht.
Along thy banks, swift Teiih ! they ride,
And in the race they mock thy tide;

Torry and Lendrick now arc past,
And Deanstown lies behind them cast;
They rise, the banner'd towers of Donne,
They sink in distant woodland soon;
Rlair-Drummond sees the hoofs strike fi>.
They sweep like bree/e through Ochtcrtyn-;
They mark just glance and disappear
The lofty brow of ancient Kicr;
They bathe their coursers' sweltering side*.
Park Forth! amid thy sluggish tides,
And on the opposing shore tike ground,
With plash, with scramble, and will) \mm\
Right-hand they leave thy cliffs, Craig-ForuV
And soon the bulwark of the North,
Gray Stirling, with her towers ami lown,
Upon their fleet career look'd down.

XJX.

As up the flinty path ibey strain'd,

Sudden his steed the leader rein'd;

A signal to his squire he flung.

Who instant to his stirrup sprung:—

« Seest thou, I)c Vaux, yon woodsman gray,

Who townward holds the rocky way,

Of stature tall and poor array 1

Mark's! thou the firm, yet active wiride.

With which he scales the mountain-side I

Know'st iliou from whence he comes, or wliaiT

« No, by my word;—a burly groom

He seems, who in the field or chase

A baron's train would nobly grace.**—

« Out, out, De Vaux! can fear supply,

And jealousy, no sharper eye?

Afar, ere to the hill he drew,

That stately form and step I knew;

Like form in Scotland is not seen,

Treads not such step ou Scottish green.

T Hi James of Douglas, by Saint Scrlc!

The uncle of the banish'd earl.

Away, away, to court, to show

The near approach of dreaded foe:

The king must stand upon his guard;

Douglas and he must meet prepared.»—

Theii right-hand w beei'd their steedi, and slraii

They won the castle's poslern-g*i<i.

XX.

The Douglas, who had l>ent his way
From Cam bus-Kenneth's abbey gray.
Now, as he climb'd the rocky shelf,
Held sad communion with himself:—
«Yes! all:is true my fears could frame
A prisoner lies the noble Graeme,
And fiery Roderick soon will frel
The vengeance of the royal strvl.
I, only I, can ward their fate,—
God grant the ransom come not late!
The abbess hath her promise given,
My child shall be the bride of Heaven;—
—Re pardou'd one repining tear!
For he, who gave her, knows how dear,
How excellent!—hut that is by,
And now my business is—to die.
—Ye towers! within whose circuit <'rriH
A Douglas by hjs sovereign bled,

And thou, O sad and fatal mound! ■

That oft hut heard the death-axe sound, (9)

As Od the noblest of the land

Fell the stern headsman's bloody hand,—

The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb

Prepare,—for Douglas seeks his doom 1

—But hark! -what blithe and jolly peal

Makes the Franciscan steeple reel!

And tee! upon the crowded street,

In modey groups what masquers meet!

Banner and pageant, pipe and drum.

And merry morrice-dancers come.

I guess, by all this quaint array,

The burghers hold their sports to-day. (10)

James will be there;—he loves soch show,

Where the good yeoman bends his bow,

Aid the tough wrestler foils his foe,

As veil as where, in proud career,

The high-born titter shivers spear.

I'll follow to the castle-park,

And play my prize;—King James shall mark,

If age has tamed these sinews stark.

Whose force so oft, in happier days.

His boyish wonder loved to praise.»—

XX!.

The castle gates were open flung.

The (pmeriog draw-bridge rock'd and rung.

And echoed loud the flinty street

Beneath (he coursers* clattering feet,

Ai slowly down the deep descent

Fair Scotland's king and nobles went,

While all along the crowded way

Was jubilee and loud huzza.

And ever James was bending low,

To his white jennet's saddle bow,

Doffing his cap to city dame,

Who smiled and blush'd for pride and shame.

And well the simpcrer might be vain,—

He chose the fairest of the train.

Gra?ely he greets each city sire.

Commends each pageant's quaint attire,

Gitm to the dancers thanks aloud,

And unites and nods upon the crowd,

Who rend (he heavens with their acclaims,

'Long live the commons' king, King James !»

Behind the king throng d peer and knight,

And noble dame and damsel bright,

Whose fiery steeds ill brook'd the stay

Of the steep street and crowded way.

—But io the train you might discern

Dark louring brow and visage stern;

There nobles mourn'd their pride restrain'd,

And the mean burghers'joys disdaiu'd;

And chiefs, who, hostage for their clan,

Were each from home a bnnish'd man,

"•ere thought upon their own gray tower,

Their waving woods, their feudal power,

Anddeem'd themselves a shameful part

W pageant which they cursed in heart.

XXII.

•*°», in the castle-park, drew out
Tbeir chequer'd bands the joyous rout.

*» <wiwBce o* ib* oorib-ettt of the castle, wher? nair . ""•■W-ffeied. See .Note.

There morriccrs, with bell at heel,
And blade in hand, their mazes wheel;
But chief, beside the butts, there stand
Bold Robin Hood (11) and all his band,—
Friar Tuck, with quarter-staff and cowl,
Old Scatlielocke, with his surly scowl.
Maid Marion, fair as ivory bone,
Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John;
Their bugles challenge all that will,
In archery to prove their skill.
The Douglas bent a bow of might,—
His first shaft center'd in the white.
And when in turn he shot again,
His second split the first in twain.
From the king's hand must Douglas take
A silver dart, the archer's stake;
Fondly he watch d, with watery eye,
Some answering glance of sympathy,—
No kind emotion made reply!
Indifferent as to archer wight.
The monarch gave the arrow bright, (ta)

XXUI.

Now, clear the ring! for, band to hand,
The manly wrestlers take their stand.
Two o'er the rest superior rose,
And proud demanded mightier foes,
Nor call'd in vain; for Douglas came.
—For life is Hugh of Larbert lame;
Scarce better John of Alloa's fare.
Whom senseless home his comrades bear.
Prize of the wrestling match, the king
To Douglas gave a golden ring, (i3)
While coldly glanced his eye of blue.
As frozen drop of wintry dew.
Douglas would speak, but in his breast
His struggling soul his words suppress'd ■
Indignant then he turn'd him where
Their arms the brawny yeomen hare,
To hurl the massive bar in air.
When each his utmost strength had shown,
The Douglas rent an earth-fast stone
From its deep bed, then heaved it high,
And sent the fragment through the sky,
A rood beyond the farthest mark;—
And still in Stirling's royal park.
The gray-hair'd sires, who know the past,
To strangers point the Douglas-cast,
And moralize on the decay
Of Scottish strength in modern day.

XXIV.
The vale with loud applauses rang,
The Ladies' Rock sent back the clang.
The kiug, with look unmoved, bestow'd
A purse well fill'd with pieces broad.
Indignant smiled the Douglas proud,
And threw the gold among the crowd.
Who now, with anxious wonder, scan,
And sharper glance, the dark gray man;
Till whispers rose among the throng,
That heart so free, aud hand so strong,
Must to the Douglas* blood belong;
The old men mark'd, and shook the head,
To sec his hair with silver spread,

And wink'J aside, and told each son
Of feats upon the English done,
Ere Douglas of the stalwart hand
Was exiled from his native land.
The -women praised his stately form,
Though wreck d by many a-winter's storm j
The youth with awe and wonder saw
His strength surpassing nature* law.
Thus judged, as is their wont, the crowd,
Till murmur rose to clamours loud.
But not a glance from that proud ring
Of peers who circled round the king,
With Douglas held communion kind,
Or call'd the banish'd man to mind;
No, not from those who, at the chase,
Once held his side the honour'd place,
Begirt his board, and, iu the field,
Found safely underneath his shield;
For he whom royal eyes disown,
When was his form to courtiers known?

XXV.

The monarch saw the gambols flag.
And bade let loose a gallant stag,
Whose pride, the holiday to crown,
Two favourite greyhounds should pull down,
That venison free, and Bordeaux wine
Might serve the archery to dine.

fut Lufra,—whom from Douglas' side
or bribe nor threat could ere divide,
The fleetest hound in all the north,—
Brave Lufra saw, and darted forth.
She left the royal hounds mid-way.
And, dashing on the antler'd prey,
Sunk her sharp muzzle iu his tlaitk.
And deep the flowing life-blood drank.
The king's stout huntsman saw the sport
l!y straugc intruder broken short.
Came up, and, with his leash unbound,
lu anger struck the noble hound.
—The Douglas had endured, that morn,
The kings cold look, the nobles' scorn,
And last, and worst to spirit proud,
Had borne tbe pity of the crowd;
But Lufra had been fondly bred
To share his board, to watch his bed,
And oft would Ellen Lufra's ueck,
In maiden glee, with garlands deck;
They were such play-mates, that, with name
Of Lufra, Ellen's image came.
His stilled wrath is brimming high.
In darken'd brow and Hashing eye;—
As waves before the bark divide,
The crowd gave way before his stride;
Needs but a buffrt and no more.
The groom lies senseless in his gore.
Such blow no other hand could deal.
Though gauutleted in glove of steel.

XXVI.

Tiien clamour'd loud the royal train,
Aud brandish'd swords ami staves amain
But stern the barou's warning—« Back!
Back, on your lives, ye menial |i.uk!
Beware the Douglas!—Yes, behold,
King James! the Douglas, doom'd of old,

And vainly sought for near and far,

A victim to atone the war,

A willing victim now attends,

Nor craves thy grace but for his friends.*—

« Thus is my clemency repaid?

PresumptuousJord !* the monarch said;

« Of thy mis-proud ambitious clan.

Thou, James of Both well, wert the man.

The only man in whom a foe

My woman mercy would not know:

But shall a monarch's presence brook

Injurious blow, aud haughty look ?—

What ho! the captain of our guard!

Give the offender fitting ward.—

Break off the sports!»—for tumult rose.

And yeomen 'gan to beud their bows,—

M Break off the sports!» he said, and frown'd,

« And bid our horsemen clear the ground.* —

XXVII.

Then uproar wild and misarray

Marr'd the fair form of festal day.

The horsemen prick d among the crowd,

Repcll'd by threats and insult loud

To earth are borne the old aud weak.

The timorous lly, the women shriek;

With flint, with shaft, with staff, with bar.

The hardier urge tumultuous war.

At once round Douglas darkly sweep

The royal spears in circle deep,

And slowly scale the path-way steep;

While on the rearin thunder pour

The rabble with disordcr'd roar.

With grief the noble Douglas saw

The commons rise agaiust the law,

And to the leading soldier said,—

«Sir John of Hyndford! *t was my blade

That knighthood on thy shoulder laid;

For that good deed permit me then

A word with these misguided men.—

XXVIII.

« Hear, gentle friendf ere yet for me

Ye break the bands of fealty.

My life, my honour, and my cau*c,

I tender free to Scotland's laws.

Are these so weak as must require

The aid of your misguided ire?

Or. if I suffer causeless wrong.

Is then my selfish rage so strong.

My sense of public weal so low.

That, for mean vengeance on a foe.

Those chords of love I should unbind

Which knit my country and mv kind1

Oh no! believe, in yonder tower

It will not soothe my captive hour,

To know those spears our foes should dread.

For ine in kindred gore are red;

To know, in fruitless brawl begun

lor ine, that mother wails her son;

For me, that widow's mate expires;

For me, that orphans weep their sires;

That patriots mourn insulted laws.

And curse the Douglas for the cause.

Oh! let your patience ward such ill,

And keep your right to love me still!*—

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