« 前へ次へ »
« 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."—
That whistle garrison'd the gleu
Watching their leader's beck and will, | All silent there they stood and still.
Like the loose crags whose threatening mass
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.
Kept on its wont and temper'd II I.
As, following Roderick's stride, he drew
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—
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,
Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
« 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.
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.
« Stand Bayard, stand!»—the steed obey'd.
Torry and Lendrick now arc past,
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.
The Douglas, who had l>ent his way
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.»—
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.
•*°», in the castle-park, drew out
*» <wiwBce o* ib* oorib-ettt of the castle, wher? nair . ""•■W-ffeied. See .Note.
There morriccrs, with bell at heel,
Now, clear the ring! for, band to hand,
And wink'J aside, and told each son
The monarch saw the gambols flag.
fut Lufra,—whom from Douglas' side
Tiien clamour'd loud the royal train,
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.* —
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.—
« 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!*—