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XV.

6 Young Lord,” the Royal Bruce replied, " That question must the Church decide;

Yet seems it hard, since rumours state

Edith takes Clifford for her mate,

The very tie, which she hath broke,
To thee should still be binding yoke.
But, for my sister Isabel
The mood of woman who can tell ?

I

guess the Champion of the Rock, Victorious in the tourney shock, That knight unknown, to whom the prize She dealt,- had favour in her eyes; But since our brother Nigel's fate, Our ruin'd house and hapless state, From worldly joy and hope estranged, Much is the hapless mourner changed. Perchance," here smiled the noble King, “ This tale may other musings bring.

Soon shall we know-yon mountains hide

The little convent of Saint Bride;

There, sent by Edward, she must stay, Till fate shall give more prosperous day; And thither will I bear thy suit,

Nor will thine advocate be mute."

XVI.

As thus they talk'd in earnest mood,
That speechless boy beside them stood.
He stoop'd his head against the mast,
And bitter sobs came thick and fast,
A grief that would not be repress'd,
But seem'd to burst his youthful breast.
His hands, against his forehead held,
As if by force his tears repelld,
But through his fingers, long and slight,
Fast trill'd the drops of crystal bright.
Edward, who walk'd the deck apart,
First spied this conflict of the heart.

Thoughtless as brave, with bluntness kind
He sought to cheer the sorrower's mind; .;
By force the slender hand he drew
From those poor eyes that stream'd with dew.
As in his hold the stripling strove, —
('Twas a rough grasp, though meant in love,)
Away his tears the warrior swept,
And bade shame on him that he wept.
66 I would to heaven, thy helpless tongue
Could tell me who hath wrought thee wrong!
For, were he of our crew the best,

The insult went not unredress'd.

Come, cheer thee; thou art now of age
To be a warrior's gallant page ;
Thou shalt be mine!-a palfrey fair
O’er hill and holt my boy shall bear,
To hold my bow in hunting grove,
Or speed on errand to my love;
For well I wot thou wilt not tell
The temple where my wishes dwell.” -

XVII.

Bruce interposed," Gay Edward, no,
This is no youth to hold thy bow,
To fill thy goblet, or to bear
Thy message light to lighter fair.
Thou art a patron all too wild
And thoughtless, for this orphan child.
See'st thou not how apart he steals,
Keeps lonely couch, and lonely meals ?
Fitter by far in yon calm cell
To tend our sister Isabel,

With father Augustin to share

The peaceful change of convent prayer, Than wander wild adventures through, With such a reckless guide as you.”* Thanks, brother !” Edward answerd gay, “ For the high laud thy words convey! But we may learn some future day,

If thou or I can this poor boy
Protect the best, or best employ.

Meanwhile, our vessel nears the strand;

Launch we the boat, and seek the land."

XVIII.

To land King Robert lightly sprung, And thrice aloud his bugle rung With note prolong'd and varied strain, Till bold Ben-ghoil replied again. Good Douglas then, and De la Haye, Had in a glen a hart at bay, And Lennox cheer'd the laggard hounds, When waked that horn the green-wood bounds. " It is the foe !" cried Boyd, who came In breathless hasté with eye on flame, “ It is the foe! Each valiant lord Fling by his bow, and grasp his sword !”“ Not so," replied the good Lord James, “ That blast ro English bugle claims.

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