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But every jealous post of ward
Was now defenceless and unbarr'd,
And all the

passage

free To one low-brow'd and vaulted room, Where squire and yeoman, page and groom,

Plied their loud revelry.

XXX.

And “ Rest ye here,” the Warder bade,
“ Till to our Lord your suit is said.-
And, comrades, gaze not on the maid,
And on these men who ask our aid,

As if ye ne'er had seen
A damsel tired of midnight bark,
Or wanderers of a moulding stark,

And bearing martial mien."-
But not for Eachin's reproof
Would page or vassal stand aloof,

But crowded on to stare,

As men of courtesy untaught,
Till fiery Edward roughly caught,

From one the foremost there,
His chequer'd plaid, and in its shroud,
To hide her from the vulgar crowd,

Involved his sister fair.

His brother, as the clansman bent
His sullen brow in discontent,

Made brief and stern excuse ;

Vassal, were thine the cloak of pall That decks thy Lord in bridal hall,

'Twere honour'd by her use."

XXXI.

Proud was his tone, but calm ; his

eye Had that compelling dignity, His mien that bearing haught and high,

Which common spirits fear ; Needed nor word nor signal more, Nod, wink, and laughter, all were o’er ; Upon each other back they bore,

And gazed like startled deer. But now appear'd the Seneschal, Commission'd by his lord to call The strangers to the 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.

Here pause we, gentles, for a space ;
And, if our tale hath won your grace,
Grant us brief patience, and again
We will renew the minstrel strain.

END OF CANTO FIRST.

THE

LORD OF THE ISLES.

CANTO SECOND.

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