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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 ease.
Close as the tendrils of the vine
His locks upon his forehead twine,
Jet-black, save where some touch of
Has ta’en the youthful hue away.
Weather and war their rougher trace
Have left on that majestic face;-
But 'tis 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,
6 'Tis Scotland's hope, her joy, her pride!
To meaner front was ne'er assign'd
Such mastery o’er the common mind-
Bestow'd thy high designs to aid,
How long, O Heaven ! how long delay'd !-
Haste, Mona, haste, to introduce
My darling brother, royal Bruce !”-
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,
'Twixt hours of penitence and prayer 1
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 !".
“ 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 rescue 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 Heaven the erring pilot knew,
And from the gulph 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.”.
“ Nay, Isabel, for such stern choice,
First wilt thou wait thy brother's voice;
Then ponder if in convent scene
No softer thoughts might intervenem
Say they were of that unknown Knight,
Victor in Woodstock's tourney-fight-
Nay, 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 :
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 menjal's ear.".
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,