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That elder leader's calm reply
In stcady voice was given, « Jo man's most dark extremity
Oft succour dawns from heaven. Edward, trim thou the shatter'd sail, The helm be mine, and down the gale
Let our free course be driven;
Beneath the castle wall;
Within a chieftain's hall. If pot-it best beseems our worth, Our name, our right, our lofty birth,
By noble hands to fall.»
By peasants heard from cliffs on high,
Madden the fight and rout.
And deepen'd shadow made,
An hundred torches play'd,
That dazzle as they fade.
And on her alter'd way,
To seize his flying prey.
Those lightnings of the wave; (9)
With elvish lustre lave,
A gloomy splendour gave.
In envious pageantry,
hat streaks Grim Hecla's mid
So straight, so high, so steep,
And plunged them in the deep. (10)
From turret, rock, and bay,
To light the upward way.
And, vex'd at thy delay,
Had driven thy bark astray.»
XXII. Nor lack'd they steadier light to keep Their course upon the darken'd deep ;Artornish, on her frowning steep,
'Twixt cloud and ocean hung, Glanced with a thousand lights of glee, And landward far, and far to sea,
Her festal radiance flung. By that blithe beacon-light they steerd,
Whose lustre mingled well With the pale beam that now appear'd, As the cold moon her head upreard
Above the eastern fell.
Until the break of day;
That's breathed upon by May;
Again to bear away.»—
Whence come, or whither bound?
Or Scotland's mountain ground?»
We have been known to fame;
XXIII. Thus guided, on their course they bore, Until they near'd the main-land shore, When frequent on the hollow blast Wild shouts of merriment were cast, And wind and wave and sea-birds' cry With wassail sounds in concert vie Like funeral shrieks with revelry,
Or like the battle-shout
To harbour safe, and friendly cheer,
That gives us rightful claim. Grant us the trivial boon we seek, And we in other realms will speak
Fair of your courtesy; Deny-and be your niggard hold Scornd by the noble and the bold, Shuno'd by the pilgrim on the wold,
And wanderer on the lea,»
XXVI. « Bold stranger, no—'gainst claim like thine, No bolt revolves by hand of mine, Though urged in tone that more expressid A monarch than'a suppliant guest. Be what ye will, Artornish Ilall On this glad eve is free to all. Though ye had drawn a hostile sword 'Gainst our ally, great England's lord, Or mail upon your shoulders borne, To battle with the Lord of Lorn, Or, outlaw'd, dwelt by green-wood tree With the fierce Knight of Ellerslie, Or aided even the murderous strife, When Comyo fell beneath the knife Of that fell homicide the Bruce, This night had been a term of truce.Ho, vassals! give these guests your care, And show the narrow postern stair.»
And, comrades, gaze not on the maid,
As if ye ne'er had seen
And bearing martial mien.»
But crowded on to stare,
From one the foremost there,
Involved his sister fair.
Made brief and stera excuse ;« Vassal, were thrine the cloak of pall That decks thy lord in bridal hall,
'T were honour'd by her use.s
Proud was his tone, but calm; his eye
Which common spirits fear;
Add gazed like startled deer. But now appear'd the seneschal, Commission'd by his lord 10 call The strangers to tbe baron's hall,
Where feasted fair and free That Island Prince in nuptial tide, With Edith there, his lovely bride, And her bold brother by her side, And many a chief, the flower and pride
Of western land and sea.
Half lifeless up the rock;
Droops from the mountain oak.
Such as few arms could wield;
The entrance long and low,
To gall an entering foe,
And all the passage free
Plied their loud revelry.
With beakers' clang, with harpers' lay, With all that olden time deem'd gay,
The Island Chieftain feasted high;
And call for pledge and lay,
Seem gayest of the gay.
III. Yet nought amiss the bridal throng Mark'd in brief mirth, or musing long; The vacant brow, the unlistening ear, They gave to thoughts of raptures near, And his fierce starts of sudden glee, Seem'd bursts of bridegroom's ecstasy. Nor thus alone misjudged the crowd, Siace lofty Lorn, suspicious, proud, And jealous of his honour'd line, And that keen knight, De Argentine (1) (From England sent on errand high, The western league more firm to tie), Both deem'd in Ronald's mood to find A lover's transport-troubled mind. But one sad beart, one tearful eye, Pierced deeper through the mystery, And watch'd, with agony and fear, Her wayward bridegroom's varied cheer.
But when the warder in his ear
Returns like sun of May,
As glad of brief delay,
Here, to augment our glee,
And tempest on the sea.-
And bid them welcome free !--
For, though the costly Furs
And soild their gilded spurs,
And royal canopy;
But Owen Erraught said,
Has been my honour'd trade.
And 'gainst an oaken bough
IV. She watch'd-yet fear'd to meet his glance, And he shunn'd her's ;-till when by chance They met, the point of foeman's lance
Had given a milder pang!
And from the table sprang.
of Lorn, this pledge 1 drink-
By this fair bridal-link !»–
VIU. « 1, too,» the aged Ferrand said, « Am qualified by minstrel trade
Of rank and place to tell ;-
How fierce its flashes fell,
And yet it moves me more,
Scann'd the gay presence o'er,
« Let it pass round!» quoth he of Lorn, « And in good time—that wioded horn
Must of the abbot tell;
The untasted goblet fell.
Like being of superior kind,
The mande veil both face and eye,
Nor could her form's fair symmetry.»-
Or the mermaid of the wave,
IX. Suspicious doubt and lordly scorn Lour'd on the haughty front of Lorn. From underneath-his brows of pride, The stranger guests he sternly eyed, And whisper'd closely what the ear Of Argentine alone might hear;
Then question'd, high and brief, If, in their voyage, aught they knew Of the rebellious Scottish crew, Who to Rath-Erin's shelter drew,
With Carrick's outlaw'd chief? (4) And if, their winter's exile o'er, They harbour'd still by Ulster's shore, Or launch'd their galleys on the main, To vex their native land again ?
SONG CONTINUED. « No!-thy splendours nothing tell, Foreign art or faëry spell. Moulded thou for monarch's use, By the over-weening Bruce, When the royal robe he tied O'er a heart of wrath and pride ; • Thence in triumph wert thou torn, By the victor hand of Lorn!
« When the gem was won and lost,
SONG CONCLUDED. « Vain was then the Douglas brand, Vain the Campbeil's vaunted hand, (7) Vain Kirkpatrick's bloody dirk, Making sure of murder's work; (8) Barendown fled fast away, Fled the fiery De la Haye, (9) When this broach, triumphant borne, Beam'd upon the breast of Lorn.
With look of equal scorn ;-
I warn thee he has sworn,
To Allaster of Lorn.»-
Conten!,» said Lorn; and spoke apart With Ferrand, master of his art,
Then whisper'd Argentine, -
If right this guess of mine.»
« Farthest fled, its former lord
XI. TIE BROACE OF LORN. (5) «Whence the broach of burning gold, That clasps the chieftain's mantle-fold, Wrought and chased with rare device, Studded fair with gems of price, (6) On the varied tartans beaming, As, through night's pale rainbow gleaming, Fainter now, now seen afar, Fitful shines the northern star?
XIV. As clares the tiger on his foes, Hemm'd in by hunters, spears, and bows, And, ere he bounds upon the ring, Selects the object of his spring,Now on the bard, now on his lord, So Edward glared and grasp'd bis swordBut stern his brother spoke,-«Be still! What! art thou' yet so wild of will, After high deeds and sufferings long, To chafe thee for a menjal's song ?Well hast thou framed, old man, thy straios, To praise the hand that pays thy pains; (10) Yet something might thy song have told Of Lorn's three vassals, true and bold, Who rent their lord from Bruce's hold, As 'inderneath his knee he lay, And died to save him in the fray.
« Gem, ne'er wrought on Highland mountain, Did the fairy of the fountain,
room, where he found a lady, newly delivered of an in- Howell in his own house, after the manner he had fant. He was commanded by his attendants to say seene in the French warres, and consumed with fire such prayers by her bed-side as were fitting for a per- his barnes and luis out houses. Whilst he was thus ar son not expected to survive a mortal disorder. He ven- saulting the hall, which Howell ap Rys and many other tured to remonstrate, and observe that her safe delivery people kept, being a very strong house, he was shot warranted better hopes. But he was sternly com- out of a crevice of the house, through the sight of Luis manded to obey the orders first given, and with dif6- beaver into the head, and slayne out-right, being otherculty recollected himself sufficiently to acquit himself wise armed at all points. Notwithstanding his death, of the task imposed on him. He was then again hur- the assault of the house was continued with great veheried into the chair; but, as they conducted him down mence, the doores fired with great burthens of strav: stairs, he heard the report of a pistol. He was safely besides this, the smoake of the out-houses and barnes conducted home; a purse of gold was forced upon him; not farre distant annoyed gready the defendants, for but he was warned, at the same time, that the least al- that most of them lay under boordes and benches upon lusion to this dark transaction would cost him his life. the floore, in the hall, the better to avoyd the smoake. He betook himself to rest, and, after long and broken During this scene of confusion onely the old man, musing, fell into a deep sleep. From this he was Howell ap Rys, never stooped, but stood valiantly in awakened by his servant, with the dismal news, that a the middest of the floore, armed with a gleve in his fire of uncommon fury had broken out in the house of band, and called into them, and bid them arise like ****, near the head of the Canongate, and that it was men, for shame, for he had knowne there as greate a totally consumed; with the shocking addition, that the smoke in that hall upon Christmas even. In the end, daughter of the proprietor, a young lady eminent for seeing the house could no longer defend them, being beauty and accomplishments, had perished in the flames.overlayed with a multitude, upon parley betwerge The clergyman had his suspicions, but to have made them, Howell ap Rys was content to yeald himself prithem public would have availed nothing. He was ti- soner to Morris ap John ap Meredith, John ap Mereduh's mid; the family was of the first distinction; above eldest sonne, soe as he would swear unto him to briu all, the deed was done, and could not be amended. him safe to Carnarvon Castle, to abide the triall of lae Time wore away, however, and with it his terrors. He law for the death of Graff ap John ap Gronw, who was became unhappy at being the solitary depositary of this cosen-german removed to the said Howell ap Rys, and fearful mystery, and mentioned it to some of his bre- of the very same house he was of. Which Morris thren, through whom the anecdote acquired a sort of ap John ap Meredith undertaking, did put a guard publicity. The divine, however, had been long dead, and about she said Howell of his trustiest friends and serthe story in some degree forgotten, when a fire broke vants, who kept and defended him from the rage of his out again on the very same spot where the house of **** kindred, and especially of Owen ap John ap Aleredith, had formerly stood, and which was now occupied by his brother, who was very eager against him. They buildings of an inferior description. When the flames passed by leisure thence like a campe to Carnarvon; were at their height, the tumult, which usually attends the whole countrie being assembled, Howell his friends such a scene, was suddenly suspended by an unex- | posted a horseback from one place or other by the pected apparition. A beautiful female, in a night way, who brought word that he was come thither sife, dress, extremely rich, but at least half a century old, for they were in great fear lest he should be murtbered, appeared in the very midst of the fire, and uttered and that Morris ap John ap Meredith could not be able these tremendous words in her vernacular idiom : to defend him, neither durst any of Howell's friends Lue « Anes burned; twice burned; the third time I 'll scare there, for fear of the kindred. In the end, being delt you all!» The belief in this story was formerly so vered by Morris ap John ap Meredith to the constable strong, that on a fire brcaking out, and seeming to ap- of Carnarvon Castle, and there kept safely in ward upproach the fatal spot, there was a good deal of anxiety til the assises, it fell out by law that the burning of testified lest the apparition should make good her de-Howell's houses, and assaulting him in his owne hour, nunciation.
was a more haynous offence in Morris ap John ap Me
redith and the rest, than the death of Graff ap Joha up Note ul. Stanza xxxiii.
Gronw in Howell, who did it in his own defence As thick a smoke these bearths have given
whereupon Morris ap John ap Meredith, with thirty-tive At Hallowtide or Christmas even.
more, were indicted of felouy, as appeareth by the Such an exhortation was, in similar circumstances,
copic of the indictment, which I had from the records, s actually given to his followers by a Welch chicftain:
Sir John Wynne's History of the Gwydir Family, Land. « Enmity did continue betweene Howell ap Rys ap
11770, 8vo. p. 116. Howell Vaughan and the sonnes of John ap Meredith. After the death of Evan ap Robert, Griffith ap Gronw (cozen-german to John ap Meredith's sonnes of Gwynfryn, who had long served in France and had cbarge
CANTO VI. there), comeing home to live in the countrey, it happened that a servant of his, comeing to fish in Stymllyn, his fish was taken away, and the fellow beaten by Howell ap Rys his servants, and by his commandment.
Note 1. Stanza xxi. Griffith ap John ap Gronw took the matter in sucli
O'er Hexbam's altar hung my clove. dudgeon that he challenged Howell ap Rys to the field, This custom among the Redesdale and Tynelale lier which he refusing, assembling his cosins John ap Me- derers is mentioned in the interesting life of BD redith's sonnes and bis friends together, assaulted Gilpin, where some account is given of these wild do