ページの画像
PDF
ePub

How there the Easter-gambols pass,
And of Dan Joseph's lengthen'd mass.
But still before his weary eye
In rays prolong'd the blazes die-
Again he roused him on the lake
Look'd forth, where now the twilight-flake
Of pale cold dawn began to wake.
On Coolin's cliffs the mist lay furld,
The morning breeze the lake had curl'd;
The short dark waves, heaved to the land,
With ceaseless plash kiss'd cliff or sand ;-
It was a slumb'rous sound-he turn'd
To tales at which his youth had burn'd,
Of pilgrim's path by demon cross'd,
Of sprightly elf or yelling ghost,
Of the wild witch's baneful cot,
And mermaid's alabaster grot,
Who bathes her limbs in sunless well
Deep in Strathaird's enchanted cell.
Thither in fancy rapt he flies,
And on his sight the vaults arise ;

[blocks in formation]

That hut's dark walls he sees no more,
His foot is on the marble floor,
And o'er his head the dazzling spars

Gleam like a firmament of stars !

Hark! hears he not the sea-nymph speak Her anger in that thrilling shriek ? No! all too late, with Allan's dream Mingled the captive's warning scream. As from the ground he strives to start, A ruffian's dagger finds his heart! Upwards he cast his dizzy eyes, . Murmurs his master's name, .

and dies!

XXIX.

Not so awoke the King ! his hand
Snatch'd from the flame a knotted brand,
The nearest weapon of his wrath ;
With this he cross'd the murderer's path,

And venged young Allan well!

The spatter'd brain and bubbling blood

3 Hiss'd on the half-extinguish'd wood,

The miscreant gasp'd and fell ! Nor rose in peace the Island Lord; One caitiff died upon his sword, And one beneath his

grasp

lies

prone, In mortal grapple over-thrown. But while Lord Ronald's dagger drank The life-blood from his panting flank, The Father-ruffian of the band

Behind him rears a coward hand !

-O for a moment's aid,
Till Bruce, who deals no double blow,
Dash to the earth another foe,

Above his comrade laid !-
And it is gain'd—the captive sprung
On the raised arm, and closely clung,

And, ere he shook him loose,
The master'd felon press’d the ground,
And gasp'd beneath a mortal wound,

While o'er him stands The Bruce.

XXX.

“ Miscreant! while lasts thy flitting spark,
Give me to know the purpose dark,
That arm'd thy hand with murderous knife,
Against offenceless stranger's life?"-
" —No stranger thou !" with accent fell,
Murmur'd the wretch; “ I know thee well;
And know thee for the foeman sworn
Of my high chief, the mighty Lorn.”
“-Speak yet again, and speak the truth
For thy soul's sake (from whence this youth?
His country, birth, and name declare,
And thus one evil deed repair.”—

- Vex me no more !... blood runs cold ...

my

No more I know than I have told.

We found him in a bark we sought
With different purpose

and I thought" ...
Fate cut him short; in blood and bro:),
As he had lived, died Cormac Doil.

XXXI.

Then resting on his bloody blade,
The valiant Bruce to Ronald said,
“ Now shame upon us both !—that boy

Lifts his mute face to heaven,
And clasps his hands, to testify
His gratitude to God on high,

For strange deliverance given. His speechless gesture thanks hath paid, Which our free tongues have left unsaid !”. He raised the youth with kindly word, But mark'd him shudder at the sword ; He cleansed it from its hue of death, And plunged the weapon in its sheath. “ Alas, poor child! unfitting part Fate doom'd, when with so soft a heart,

And form so slight as thine, She made thee first a pirate's slave, Then, in his stead, a patron gave

Of wayward lot like mine;

« 前へ次へ »