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It is the form, the eye, the word, The bearing of that stranger lord ; His stature, manly, bold, and tall, Built like a castle's battled wall, *Yet moulded in such just degrees, His giant-strength seems lightsome case. Close as the tendrils of the vide His locks upon his forehead twine, Jet-black, save where some touch of gray Has ta'en the youthful hue away. Weather and war their rougher trace Have left on that majestic face;But 't is his dignity of eye! There, if a suppliant, would I fly, Secure, 'mid danger, wrongs, and grief, Of sympathy, redress, relief That glance, if guilty, would I dread More than the doom that spoke me dead!»— « Enough, enough,» the princess cried, « "T is Scotland's hope, her joy, her pride! To meaner front was ne'er assign'd Such mastery o'er the common mindBestow'd thy high designs to aid, How long, O Heaven! how long delay'd !Haste, Mona, haste, to introduce My darling brother, royal Bruce !»

XXV. « Nay, Isabel, for such stern choice, First wilt thou wait thy brother's voice; Then ponder if in convent scene No softer thoughts might interveneSay they were of that unknown knight, Victor in Woodstock's tourney-fightNay, if his name such blush you owe, Victorious o'er a fairer foe!» Truly his penetrating eye Hath caught that blush's passing dye,Like the last beam of evening thrown On a white cloud, -just seen and gone. Soon with calm cheek and steady eye, The princess made composed reply:«I guess my brother's meaning well; For not so silent is the cell, But we have heard the Islesmen all Arm in thy cause at Ronald's call, And mine eye proves that knight unknown And the brave Island Lord are one.Had then his suit been earlier made, In his own name, with thee to aid (But that his plighted faith forbade),' I know not...... But thy page so near! This is no tale for menial's ear.»

XXIII. They met like friends who part in pain, And meet in doubtful hope again. But when subdued that fitful swell, The Bruce survey'd the humble cell ;-« And this is thine, poor Isabel, That pallet couch, and naked wall, For room of state, and bed of pall; For costly robes and jewels rare, A string of beads and zone of hair; And for the trumpet's sprightly call To sport or banquet, grove or hall, The bell's grim voice divides thy care, 'T wixt hours of penitence and prayer!-O ill for thee, my royal claim From the first David's sainted name! O woe for thee, that while he sought His right, thy brother feebly fought!»-

XXVI.
Still stood that page, as far apart

As the small cell would space afford;
With dizzy eye and bursting heart,

He leant his weight on Bruce's sword, The monarch's mantle too he bore, And drew the fold his visage o'er. « Fear not for him-in murderous strife, Said Bruce, « his warning saved my life; Full seldom parts he from my side; And in his silence I confide, Since he can tell no tale again. He is a boy of gentle strain, And I have purposed he shall dwell In Augustin the chaplain's cell, And wait on thee, my Isabel.Mind not his tears; I've seen them flow, As in the thaw dissolves the snow. "T is a kind youth, but fanciful, Unfit against the tide to pull, And those that with the Bruce would sail Must learn to strive with stream and gale. But forward, gentle Isabel My answer for Lord Ronald tell.)

XXIV. « Now lay these vain regrets aside, And be the unshaken Bruce !» she cried. « For more I glory to have shared The woes thy venturous spirit dared, When raising first thy valiant band In rescuc of thy native land, Than had fair fortune set me down The partner of an empire's crown. And grieve not that on pleasure's stream No more I drive in giddy dream, For lleaven the erring pilot knew, And from the gulf the vessel drew, Tried me with judgments stern and great, My house's ruin, thy defeat, Poor Nigel's death, till, tamed, I own, My hopes are fix'd on heaven alone; Nor e'er shall earthly prospects win My heart to this vain world of sin. »

XXVII. « This answer be to Ronald givenThe heart he asks is fix'd on heaven. My love was like a summer flower, That wither'd in the wintry hour, Born but of vanity and pride, And with these sunny visions died. If further press his suit—then say, He should his plighted troth obey; Troth plighted both with ring and word, And sworn on crucifix and sword. Oh, shame thee, Robert! I have seen Thou hast a woman's guardian been:

Eveu in extremity's dread bour, When press d on thee the southern power, And safety, to all human sight, Was only found in rapid flight, Thou heard'st a wretched female plain In agony of travail-pain, And thou didst bid thy little band Upon the instant turn and stand, (12) And dare the worst the foe might do, Rather than, like a knight untrue, Leave to pursuers merciless A woman in her last distress.And wilt thou now deny thine aid To an oppress'd and injured maid, Even plead for Ronald's perfidy, And press his fickle faith on me!So witness Heaven, as true I vow, Had I those earthly feelings now, Which could my former bosom move Ere taught to set its hopes above, I'd spurn each proffer he could bring, Till at my feet he laid the ring, The ring and spousal contract both, And fair acquittal of his oath, By her who brooks his perjured scorn, The ill-requited Maid of Lorn!»—

The ring which bound the faith be swore,
By Edith freely yielded o'er,
He moves his suit to me no more.
Nor do I promise, e'en if now
He stood absolved of spousal vow,
That I would change my purpose made,
To shelter me in holy shade.-
Brother, for little space, farewell!
To other duties warns the bell.»

XXX.
« Lost to the world,» King Robert said,
When he had left the royal maid, -
« Lost to the world by lot severe,
O what a gem lies buried here,'
Nipp'd by misfortune's cruel frost,
The buds of fair affection lost!-
But what have I with love to do?
Far sterner cares my lot pursue.

-Pent in this isle we may not lie,
Nor would it long our wants supply.
Right opposite; the main-land towers
Of my own Turnberry court our powers-
- Might not my father's beadsman hoar,
Cuthbert, who dwells upon the shore,
Kindle a signal-flame, to show
The time propitious for the blow!-
It shall be so---some friend shall bear
Our mandate with dispatch and care;
-Edward shall find the messenger.
That fortress ours, the Island fleet
May on the coast of Carrick meet.--
O Scotland! shall it e'er be mine
To wreak thy wrongs in battle-line,
To raise my victor head, and see
Thy hills, thy dales, thy people free,-
That glance of bliss is all I crave,
Betwixt my labours and, my grave!»--
Then down the hill he slowly went,
Oft pausing on the steep descent,
And reach the spot where his bold train
Held rustic camp upon the plain.

XXVIII.
With sudden impulse forward sprung
The page, and on her neck he hung;
Then, recollected instanty,
His head he stoop'd, and bent his knee,
Kiss'd twice the hand of Isabel,
Arose, and sudden left the cell. -
The princess, loosen'd from his hold,
Blush'd angry at his bearing bold;

But good King Robert cried, a Chafe not-by signs he speaks his mind, He heard the plan my care design'd,

Nor could his transports hide. Bat, sister, now bethink thee well; No easy choice the convent cell; Trust, I shall play no tyrant part, Either to force thy hand or heart, Or suffer that Lord Ronald scorn, Or wrong for tbee, the Maid of Lorn. But think,-not long the time has been, That thou Wert wont to sigh unseen, And wouldst the dicties best approve, That told some lay of hapless love. Now are thy wishes in thy power, And thou art bent on cloister bower! 0! if our Edward knew the change, How would his busy satire range, With many a sarcasm varied still On woman's wish, and woman's will!»

CANTO V.

On fair Loch Ranza stream'd the early day,

Thin wreaths of cottage-smoke are upward curld From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay

And circling mountains sever from the world. And there the tisherman his sail unfurld,

The goat-herd drove his kids to steep Ben-ghoil, Before the hut the dame her spindle twirlid,

Courting the sun-beam as she plicd her toil, -For, wake where'er he may, man wakes to care and toil. But other duties call'd each convent maid,

Roused by the summons of the moss-grown bell; Sung were the matins and the mass was said,

And every sister sought her separate cell,
Such was the rule, her rosary to tell.

And Isabel has knelt in lonely prayer;
The sun-beam, through the narrow lattice, fell

Upon the snowy neck and long dark hair,
As stoop'a her gentle head in meek devotion there.

XXIX. « Brother, I well believe,” she said, « Een so would Edward's part be play'd, Kindly in heart, in word severe, A foe to thought, and grief, and fear, He holds his humour uncontrollid; But thou art of another mou Say then to Ronald, as I say, Unless before my feet he lay

II. She raised her eyes, that duty done, When glanced upon the pavement stone, Gemm'd and enchased, a golden ring Bound to a scroll with silken string, With few brief words inscribed to tell, « This for the lady Isabel.» Within, the writing farther bore, « "T was with this ring his plight he swore, With this his promise I restore ; To her who can the heart command, Well may I yield the plighted hand. And O! for better for!une born, Grudge not a passing sigh to mourn Her who was Edith once of Lorn!»One single flash of glad surprise Just glanced from Isabel's dark eyes, But vanish'd in the blush of shame, That, as its penance, instant came., « O thought unworthy of my race! Selfish, ungenerous, mean, and base, A moment's throb of joy to own, That rose upon her hopes o'erthrown!Thou pledge of vows too well believed, Of man ingrate and maid deceived, Think not thy lustre here shall gain Another heart to hope in vain! For thou shalt rest, tlou templing gaud, Where worldly thouglits are overawed, And worldly splendours sink debased.»Then by the cross the ring she placed.

« What! know'st thou not his warlike host
At break of day has left our coast ?
My old eyes saw them from the tower.
At eve they couch'd in green-wood bower,
At dawn a bugle-signal, made
By their bold lord, their ranks array'd;
Up sprung the spears through bush and tree,
No time for benedicite!
Like deer, that, rousing from their lair,
Just shake the dew-drops from their hair,
And toss their armed crests aloft,
Such matins theirs !»-«Good mother, soft-
Where does my brother bend his way!»-
« As 'I bave heard, for Brodick-bay,
Across the isle-of barks a score
Lie there, 't is said, to waft them o'er,
On sudden news, to Garrick shore.
« If such their purpose, deep the need,
Said anxious Isabel, « of speed!
Call Father Augustin, good dame.
The nun obey'd, the father came.

V « Kind father, hie without delay, Across the hills to Brodick-bay! This message to the Bruce be given ; I pray him, by his hopes of heaven, That, till be speak with me, he stay! Or, if his haste brook no delay, That he deliver, on my suit, Into thy charge that stripling mute. Thus prays liis sister Isabel, For causes more than she may tellAway, good father!-and take heed, That life and death are on thy speed.»His cowl the good old priest did on, Took bis piked staff and sandall'd shoon, And, like a palmer bent by eld, O'er moss and moor his journey held.

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Next rose the thought,-its owner far,
How came it here through bolt and bar?-
But the dim lattice is a-jar-
She looks abroad, the morning dew
A light short step bad brush d anew,

And there were foot-prints seen
On the carved buttress rising still,
Till on the mossy window-sill

Their track effaced the green. The ivy-twigs were torn and fray'd, As if some climber's steps to aid.But who the hardy messenger Whose venturous path these sigos infer? « Strange doubts are mine!-Mona, draw nigh ;» -Nought 'scapes old Mona's curious eye« What strangers, gentle mother, say, Have sought these holy walls to-day ?»— « None, lady, none of note or name, Only your brother's fool-page came, At peep of dawn-1 pray'd bim pass To ehapel where they said the mass; But like an arrow he shot by, And tears seem'd bursting from his eye.n

Heavy and dull the foot of age,
And rugged was the pilgrimage;
But done was there beside, whose care
Might such important message bear.
Through birchen copse he wander'd slow,
Stunted and sapless, thin and low;
By many a mountain stream be passid,
From the tall cliffs in tumult cast,
Dashing to foam their waters dun,
And sparkling in the summer sun.
Round his gray head the wild curlew
In many a fearless circle flew.
O'er chasms he pass'd, wbere fractures wide
Craved wary eye and ample stride;(1)
He crossd his brow beside the stone,
Where druids erst heard victims groan,
And at the cairns upon the wild,
O'er many a heathen hero piled, (2)
He breathed a timid prayer for those
Who died ere Sbilob's sun arose.
Beside Macfarlane's Cross he staid,
There told his hours within the shade,
And at the stream his thirst allay'd.
Thence onward journeying slowly still,
As evening closed he reach'd the hill,

IV. The truth at once on Isabel, As darted by a sun-beam, fell. « "T is Edith's self!-- her speechless woe, Her form, her looks, the secret show!

-loslant, good Mona, to the bay, And to my royal brother say, I do conjure him seck my cell, With that mute page he loves so well.»

Deep pondering in my anxious mind, A fitting messenger to find, To bear thy written mandate o'er To Cuthbert on the Carrick shore, I chanced, at early dawn, to pass The chapel gate to snatch a mass. I found the stripling on a tomb Low-seated, weeping for the doom That gave his youth to convent-gloom. I told my purpose, and his eyes Flash d joyful at the glad surprise. He bounded to the skiff, the sail Was spread before a prosperous gale, And well my charge, he hath obey'd; For, see! the ruddy signal made, That Clifford, with his merry-men all, Guards carelessly our father's hall.» (5)

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Where rising through the woodland green,
Old Brodick's Gothic towers were seen.
From Hastings, late their English lord,
Douglas had won them by the sword. (3)
The sun that sunk behind the isle
Now tinged them with a parting smile.

' VII.
But thongh the beams of light decay,
"I was bustle all in Brodick-bay.
The Bruce's followers crowd the shore,
And boats and barges some unmoor,
Some raise the sail, some seize the oar ;
Their eyes oft turn'd where glimmer'd far
What might have seem'd an early star
On beaven's blue arch, save that its light
Was all too flickering, fierce and bright.
Far distant in the south, the ray
Shone pale amid retiring day,

But as, on Carrick shore,
Dim seen in outline faintly blue,
The shades of evening closer drew,

It kindled more and more.
The monk's slow steps pow press the sands,
And now amid a scene he stands,

Full strange to churchman's eye;
Warriors, who, arming for the fight,
Rivet and clasp their harness light,
And twinkling spears, and axes bright,

And belmets flashing high;
Oft, too, with unaccustom'd ears,
A language much unmeet he hears, (4)

While hastening all on board,
As stormy as the swelling surge
That misd its roar, the leaders urge
Their followers to the ocean verge,
With many a haughty word.

VIII.
Through that wild throng the father passa,
And reach'd the royal Bruce at last.
He leant against a stranded boat,
That the approaching ide must float,
And counted every rippling wave,
As higher yet her sides they lave,
And oft the distant fire he eyed,
And closer yet his hauberk lied,
And loosen'd in its sheath his brand.
Edward and Lennox were at hand;
Douglas and Ronald had the care.
The soldiers to the barks to share. -
The mook approach'd and homage paid;
& And art thou come» King Robert said,
€ So far, to bless us ere we part?»-
- My liege, and with a loyal heart!
But other charge I have to tell, n-
And spoke the hest of Isabel.
- Now, by Saint Giles,» the monarch cried,
• This moves me much!--this morning tide,
I sent the stripling to Saint Bride,
With my commandment there to bide.)
- Thither he came the portress siiow'd,
But there, my liege, made brief abode.»

IX. • Twas I,» said Edward, « found employ Of nobler import for the boy.

« O wild of thought, and hard of heart!»
Answer'd the monarch, « on a part
Of such deep danger to employ
A mute, an orphan, and a boy!
Unfic for flight, unfit for strife,
Without a tongue to plead for life!
Now, were my right restored by Heaven,
Edward, my crown I would have given,
Ere, thrust on such adventure wild,
I perild thus the helpless child.»
-Offended haif, and half submiss,
« Brother and liege, of blame like this,»
Edward replied, « little dream'd.
A stranger messenger, I deemd,
Might safest seek the beadsman's cell,
Where all thy squires are known so well.
Noteless his presence, sharp his sense,
His imperfection bis defence
If seen, none can his errand guess;
If ta'en, his words no tale express-
Metlinks, too, yonder beacon's shine
Might expiare greater fault than mine.»
« Rash, » said King Robert, « was the deed
But it is done.-Embark with speed !
Good father, say to Isabel
How this unhappy chance befel;
If well we thrive on yonder shore,
Soon shall my care her page restore.
Our greeting to our sister bear,
And think of us in mass and prayer.»-

XI. «Ay!»-said the priest, « while this poor hand Can chalice raise or cross command, While my old voice has accents' use, Can Augustin forget the Bruce ?» Then to his side Lord Ronald press'd And whisperd, « Bear thou this request, That when by Bruce's side I fight, For Scotland's crown and freedom's right, The princess grace her knight to bear Some token of her favouring care; It shall be shown where England's best May shrink to see it on my crest. And for the boy-since weightier care For royal Bruce the times prepare, The helpless youth is Ronald's charge,

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Now on the darkening main afloat,
Ready and mann'd rocks every boat;
Beneath their oars the ocean's might
Was dash'd to sparks of glimmering light,
Faint and more faint, as off they bore,
Their armour glanced against the shore,
And, mingled with the dashing tide,
Their murmuring voices distant died.--
«God speed them!» said the priest, as dark
On distant billows glides each bark;
« O Heaven! when swords for freedom shine,
And monarch's right, the cause is thine!
Edge doubly every patriot blow!
Beat down the banners of the foe!
And be it to the nations known,
That Victory is from God alone!»--
As up the hill his path he drew,
He turn'd his blessings to renew,
Oft turn'd, till on the darken'd coast
All traces of their course were lost;
Then slowly bent to Brodick tower,
To shelter for the evening hour.

XIV. With that the boats approach'd the land, But Edward's grounded on the sand; The eager knight leapd in the sea Waist-deep, and first on shore was he, Though every barge's hardy band Contended which should gain the land, When that strange light, which, seen afar, Seem'd steady as the polar star, Now, like a prophet's fiery chair, Seem'd travelling the realms of air. Wide o'er the sky the splendour glows, As that portentous meteor rose ; Helm, axe, and falchion, glitter'd bright, And in the red and dusky light His comrade's face each warrior saw, Nor marvelld it was pale with awe. Then high in air the beams were lost, And darkness sunk upon the coast. Ronald to lleaven a prayer address'd, And Douglas cross'd his dauntless breast ; « Saint James protect us !»---Lennox cried, But reckless Edward spoke aside, « Deem'st thou, Kirkpatrick, in that flame Red Comyn's angry spirit came, Or would thy dauntless heart endure Once more to make assurance sure le« Hush!» said the Bruce, « ve soon shall know, If this be sorcerer's empty show, Or stratagem of southern foe. The moon shines out-upon the sand Let every leader rank his band.u

SIII.

Ja night the fairy prospects sink,
Where Cumray's isles with verdant link
Close the fair entrance of the Clyde;
The woods of Bute no more descried
Are gone--and on the placid sea
The rowers plied their task with glee,
While hands that knightly lances bore
Impatient aid the labouring oar.
The half-faced moon shone dim and pale,
And glanced against the whiten'd sail ;
But on that ruddy beacon-light
Each steersman kept the helm aright,
And oft, for such the king's command,
That all at once might reach the strand,
From boat to boat loud shout and hail
Warn'd them to crowd or slacken sail.
South and by west the armada bore,
And near at length the Carrick shore.
As less and less the distance grows,
High and more high the beacon rose;
The light, that seem'd a twinkling star,
Now blazed portentous, fierce, and far.
Dark-red the heaven above it glow'd,
Dark-red the sea beneath it flow'd,
Red rose the rocks on ocean's brim,
In blood-red light her islets swim;
Wild scream the dazzled sea-fowl gave,
Dropp'd from their crags on plashing wave,
The deer to distant covert drew,
The black-cock deemd it day, and crew.
Like some tall castle given to flame.
O'er half the land the lustre came.

XV. Faintly the moon's pale beams supply That ruddy light's unnatural dye; The dubious cold reflection lay On the wet sands and quiet bay. Beneath the rocks King Robert drew His scatter'd files to order due, Till shield compact and serried spear In the cool light shone blue and clear. Then down a path that sought the tide, That speechless page was seen to glide ; He knelt him lowly on the sand, And gave a scroll to Robert's hand. « A torch,» the monarch cried ; « What Lo! Now shall we Cuthbert's tidings know.sBut evil news the letters bare, The Clifford's force was strong and ware, Augmented, too, that very morn, By mountaineers who came with Lorn. Long harrow'd by oppressor's hand, Courage and faith had fled the land, And over Carrick, dark and decp. Had sunk dejection's iron sleep.Cuthbert had seen that beacon-flame, Unwitting from what source it came

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