Where rising through the woodland green,
Old Brodick's Gothic lowers were seen.
Prom Hastings, late their ! nglish lord,
Douglas had von them by the sword. (3)
Tbe «m that sunk behind the isle
Sow tinged them with a parting smile.


But though the beams of light decay,
T w.is bustle all in Brodick-bay.
Tbe Brace's followers crowd the shore.
And boats and barges some unmoor,
Some raise the sail, some seize the oar;
Their eyes oft tum'd where glimmer'd far
What might have seem'd an early star
On heaven's blue arch, save that its light
Was all loo flickering, fierce and bright.
Far distant in the south, the ray
Shone pale amid retiring day,

But as. on Car-rick shore.
Dim *eea in outline fatally blue.
The shades of evening closer drew,

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

Full strange lorchurchman's eye;
Warriors, who, arming for the fight.
Rim and clasp their harness light.
And twinkling spears, and axes bright,

Aod helmets Hashing high;
Oft, too, with onaccuslom'd ears,
A language much unmeet he hears, (4)

While hastening all on board,
At stormy as the swelling surge
That mind iu roar, the leaders urge
Their followers to the ocean verge,

With many a haughty word.


Through that wild throng the father pass'd.

And reach'd the royal Bruce at last.

He leant against a stranded boat.

That the approaching tide must float,

And counted every rippling wave,

As higher yet her sides they lave,

And oft the distant fire he eyed,

Aod closer yet bis hauberk lied,

Aod loosen'd in its shealh his brand.

Edward and Lennox were at hand;

Douglas and Ronald had the care

The soldiers to the harks to share.—

Tbe mook approach'd and homage paid;

■ Aod art thou come," King Robert said, < So far, to bless us ere Wp part ?»— —•My liege, and witli a loyal heart!— But other charge I have to tell,"—

Aod spoke the best of Isabel.

—« Now, by Saint Giles,* the monarch cried,

• Thismoves me much!—this morning tide,

I tent the stripling to Saint Bride,

With my commandment there to bide.*—

—« Thither he came the port'ress show'd,

lot there, my liege, made brief abode.*—


■ T w« I,» said Edward, * found employ Of nobler import for the boy.

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 gale to snatch a mass.
1 found the stripling on a tomb
Low-sealed, weeping for the doom
That gave his youth to couvent-gloom.
I told my purpose, and his eyes
Flash'd joyful at the glad surprise.
He bounded lo the skiff, the sail
Was spread before a prosperous gale,
And well my charge he hath obey'd;
For. see! the ruddy sigual made,
That Clifford, with his merry-men all,
Guards carelessly our fathers hall.* (5)


« 0 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 hoy!

Unfit for flight, unfit for strife.

Without a tongue lo plead for life!

Now, were my right restored by Heaven,

Edward, my crown I would have given.

Ere, thrust on such adventure wild,

I peri I'd thus the helpless child.**—

—Offended haif, and half submiss,

« Brother and liege, of blame like this,*

Edward replied, « I little dream'd.

A stranger messenger, I dcem'd,

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 la'en, his words no tale express—

Methinks, too, yonder beacon's shine

Might expiate greater fault than mine.*—

« Hash... 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,

Aod think of us iu mass and prayer.*—


«Ay!»—said the priest, -while this poor hand

Cau chalice raise or cross command,

While my old voice has accents' use,

Can Augustiu forget the Bruce?*

Then to his side Lord Ronald press'd

And whisper'd, « Bear thou this request,

That when by Bruce's side I fight.

For Scotland's crown and freedom's right.

The priucrss grace her knight to bear

Some token of her favouring care;

It shall be shown where EnglamUs best

May shrink lo 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.

His couch ray plaid, his fence my targe.»—
He ceased; for many an eager hand
Had urged the barges from the strand.
Their number was a score and ten.
They bore thrice three-score chosen men.
With such small force did Bruce at last
The die for death or empire cast!


Now on the darkening main afloat.

Heady 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,

Ami, 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 iin in! bis 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.


In night the fairy prospects sink,
Where Cumray's isles with verdant link
Glose 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 moou 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,
Tliat 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 Garrick shore.
As less and less the distance grows,
High and more high the heacon 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 deem'd it day, and crew.
Like some tall castle given to flame.
O'er half the land the lustre came.

« Now, good my liege, and brother sage. What think ye of mine elfin page I»— « Row on!» the noble king replied, « We'll learn the truth whate'er betide; Yet sure the beadsman and the child Could ne'er have waked that beacon


With that the boats approach'd the land.

But Edward's grounded on the sand;

The eager knight leap'd 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, glitierd bright.

And in the red and dusky light

His comrade's face each warrior saw,

Nor marvell'd it was pale wiih awe.

Then high in air the beams, were lost.

And darkness sunk upon the coast.—

Ronald to Heaven a prayer addre&s'd,

And Douglas cross'd his dauntless breast;

« Saint James protect usl»—Lennox cried,

But reckless Edward spoke aside,

« Dcem'st thou, Kirkpatrick, in that flame

Red Comyn's angry spirit came.

Or would thy dauntless heart endure

Once more to make assurance sure!"—

« Hush!» said the Bruce, « wc soon shall know.

If this be sorcerers empty show,

Or stratagem of southern foe.

The moon shines out—upon the sand

Let every leader rank bis band.*—


Faintly the moon's pale beams suppfy

That ruddy light's unnatural dye;

The dubious cold reflection lay

On the wet sands and quiet bay.

Beneath the nocks 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 bo!

Now shall wc Cuthberl's tidings know.»—

But evil news the letters hare,

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 deep.

Had sunk dejection's iron sleep.—

Guthbert had seen that beacon-flame,

Unwitting from what source it came


With effort faint and lengllien'd pause,
His weary step the stripling draws.
« Nay, droop not yet!» the warrior said;
« Come, lei me (jive thee ease and aid!
Strong are mine arms, and little care
A weight so slight as thine to bear.—
What! wilt thou not?—capricious boy!—
Then thine own limbs and strength employ.
Pass but this night, and pass thy care,
I'll place thee with a lady fair,
Where thou shalt tune thy lute to toll
How Ronald loves fair Isabel!»—
Worn out, dishearten'd and dismay d.
Here Amadiue let go the, plaid;
His trembling limbs their aid refuse.
He sunk among the midnight dews!


What may be done 1—the night is gone—

The Bruce's band moves swiftly on—

Eternal shame, if at the brunt

Lord Ronald grace not battle's front !—

« See yonder oak, within whose trunk

Decay a darken'd cell hath sunk—

Enter, and rest thee there a space,

Wrap in my plaid thy limbs, thy race.

I will not be, believe me, far;

Rut must not quit the ranks of war.

Well will I mark the bosky bourne,

And soon to guard thee hence, return.—

Nay, weep not so, thou simple boy!

Rut sleep in peace, and wake in joy.»—•

In sylvan lodging close bestow'd.

He placed the page, and onward strode

With strength put forth, o'er moss and brook,

And soon the marching band o'eriook.


Thus strangely left, long sobb'd and wept
The page, till, wearied out, he slept.—
A rough voice waked his dream—« Nay, here,
Here by this thicket, pass'd the deer—
Beneath that oak old Ryno staid—
What have we here? a Scottish plaid.
And in its folds a stripling laid?—
Come forth ! thy name and business tell !—
What, silent!—then I guess thee well,
The spy that sought old Cuthbert's ceU,
Wafted from Annan yesler morn-
Come, comrades, we will strait return.
Our lord may chuse the rack should teach
To this young lurcher use of speech.
Thy bow-striog, till I bind him fast.»—
« Nay, but he weeps aud stands aghast;
Unbound we'll lead him, fear it not;
T is a fair stripling, though a Scot.»—
The hunters to the castle sped,
And there the hapless captive led.

Stout Clifford in the castle-court
Prepared him for the morning sport;
And now with Lorn held deep discourse,
Now gave command for hound and horse.
War-steeds and palfreys pawd the grewnd,
Aud many a deer-dog hnwt'd around.

To Amadine, Lorn's well-known word
Replying to that southern lord,
Mix'd with tins clanging din, might seem
The phantasm of a fever'd dream.
The tone upon his ringing ears
Came like the sounds which fancy hears,
When iu rude waves or roaring winds
Some words of woe the muser hods.
Until more loudly and more near.
Their speech arrests the page's ear.


« And was she thus,» said Clifford, « lost!
The priest will rue it to his cost!
What says the monk?»—«The holy sire
Owns that, in masquer's quaint attire,
She sought his skiff, disguised, unknown
To all except to him alone.
Rut, says the priest, a bark from Lorn
Laid them aboard thai very morn,
And pirates seized her for their prey.
He proffer'd ransom-gold to pay.
And they agreed—but e'er told o'er,
The winds blow loud, the billows roar;
They sever'd, and they met no more.
He deems—such tempest vex'd the coast-
Ship, crew, and fugitive, were lost.
—So let it be, with the disgrace
And scandal of her lofty race!
Thrice better she had ne'er been born.
Than brought her infamy on Lorn!*


Lord Clifford now the captive spied; « Whom, Herbert, hast thou there!* he eriei « A spy was seized within the chase, An hollow oak his lurking-place.» « What tidings can the youth afford ?*— « He plays the route.**—« Then noose a cord— Unless brave Lorn reverse the doom For his plaid's sake.w—« Clan-Colla's loom," Said Lorn, wltose careless glances trace Rather the vesture than the face, « Clan-Colla's dames such tartans twine; Wearer nor plaid claims care of mine. Give him, if my advice you crave. His own scathed oak; and let him ware In air, unless, by terror wrung. A frank confession find his tongue— Nor shall he die without bis rite; —Thou, Angus Roy, attend the sight. And give Clan-Colla's dirge thy breath. As they convey him to his death.»— « O brother! cruel to the lastlyThrough the poor captive's bosom pass'd The thought, but, to his purpose true. He said not, though he sigh'd, « Adieu -•—


And will he keep his purpose still,

In sight of that last closing ill.

When one poor breath, ooe single word.

May freedom, safety, life, afford?

Can he resist the instinctive call.

For life that bids us barter all —

Lore, strong as death, his heart hath steel'd,
His nerves hath Strang—he will not yield!
Since that poor breath, that little word.
May yield Lord Ronald to the sword.—
CJan-ColIas dirge is pealing wide,
Tiic grisly headsman 's by his side;
Along the green-wood chase they bend,
Aad now their march has ghastly end!
That old and shatter'*! oak beneath
They destine for the place of death.
-What thoughts are his, while alt in rain
His eye for aid explores the plain?
What thoughts, while, with a dizzy ear,
lie hears the death-prayer mutter d near!
And must he die such death accurst,
Or will that bosom-secret hurst!
Cold on his brow breaks terror's dew,
His trembling lips are livid blue;
The agony of parting life
lias nought to match that moment's strife!


Bat other witoesses are nigh,

Who mock at fear, and death defy!

Soon as the dire lament was play'd,

It waked the lurking ambuscade.

The Island Lord look d forth, and spied

The cause, and Loud in fury cried,

■ By Heaven they lead the page to die,

And mock me in his agony!

They shall abye it!»—On his arm

Bruce laid strong grasp, *They shall not harm

A ringlet of the stripling's hair;

But, till I give the word, forbear.

—Douglas, lead fifty of our force

lp yonder hollow water-course,

And couch thee mid-way on the wold.

Between the flyers and their hold:

A spear above the copse display'd,

Be signal of the ambush made.

—Edward, with forty spearmen, straight

Through yonder copse approach the gate,

And, when thou hear*st the battle-din,

Bush forward, and the passage win,

Secure the draw-bridge—storm the port—

And man and guard the castle-court.—

The rest move slowly forth with me,

lo shelter of* the forest tree,

Till Douglas at his post 1 see.*


Like war-hor^e eager to rush on,
Compelld to wait the signal blown.
Hid, and scarce hid, by green-wood bough,
Trembling with rage, stands Ronald now,
And in his grasp his sword gleams blue,
Soon to be dyed with deadlier hue.—
Meanwhile the Bruce, with steady eye,
Sees the dark death-train moving by,
And heedful measures oft the space,
The Douglas and his band must trace.
Ere thpy can reach their destined ground.
Sow sinks the dirge's wailing sound,
Now cluster round the direful tree
That slow and solemn company,

While hymn mistuned and mutter'd prayer
The victim for his fate prepare.—
What glances o'er the green-wood shade!—
The spear that marks the ambuscade'—
« Now, noble chief! I leave thee loose;
Upon them, Ronald !» said the Bruce.


• The Bruce, the Bruce!» to well-known cry

His native rocks and woods reply.

« The Bruce, the Bruce!» in that dread word

The knell of hundred deaths was heard.

The astonish'd southern gazed at first.

Where the wild tempest was to burst.

That waked in that presaging name!

Before, behind, around it came!

Half-arm'd, surprised, on every side

Hemm'd in, hew'd down, they bled and died.

Deep in the ring the Bruce engaged.

And fierce Clan-Col las broadsword raged!

Full soon the few who fought were sped,

Nor better was their lot who fled,

And met, 'mid terror's wild career,

The Douglas's redoubted spear!

Two hundred yeomen on that morn

The castle left, and none return.


Not on their flight press d Ronald's brand,
A gentler duty claim'd his hand.
He raised the page, where on the plain
His fear had sunk hira with the slain;
And, twice that morn, surprise well near
Betray'd the secret kept by fear.
Once, when, with life returning, came
To the boy's lip lord Ronald's name,
And hardly recollection drown'd
The accents in a murmuring sound;
And once, when scarce he could resist
The chieftain's care to loose the vest,
Drawn tightly o'er his labouring breast.
But then the Rruce's bugle blew,
For martial work was yet to do.


A harder task fierce Edward waits.
Ere signal given, the castle-gates

His fury had assail'd;
Such was his wonted reckless mood.
Yet desperate valour oft made good,
Even by its daring, venture rude,

Where prudence might have fail'd.
Upon the bridge bis strength he threw,
And struck the iron chain in two

By which its planks arose;
The warder next his axe's edge
Struck down upon the threshold ledge,
Twixt door and post a ghastly wedge!

The gate they may not close.
Well fought the southern in the fray,
Clifford and Lorn fought well that day.
But stubborn Edward forced his way

Against an hundred foes.
Loud came the cry, « The Bruce, the Bruce !*>
No hope or in defence or truce,

Fresh combatants pour in;

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