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The monarch's mantle too he bore,
And drew the fold his visage o'er.
6 Fear not for him in murderous strife,”
Said Bruce,“ his warning saved my life;
Full seldom parts he from my side;
And in his silence I confide,
Since he can tell no tale again.
He is a boy of gentle strain,
And I have purposed he shall dwell
In Augustin the chaplain's cell,
And wait on thee, my Isabel.
Mind not his tears; I've seen them flor,
As in the thaw dissolves the snow.
'Tis a kind youth, but fanciful,
Unfit against the tide to pull,
And those that with the Bruce would sail,
Must learn to strive with stream and gale.-
But forward, gentle Isabel-
My answer for Lord Ronald tell.”.
“ This answer be to Ronald givenThe heart he asks is fix'd on heaven.
My love was like a summer flower,
That wither'd in the wintry hour,
Born but of vanity and pride,
And with these sunny visions died.
If further press his suit—then say,
He should his plighted troth obey,
Troth plighted both with ring and word,
And sworn on crucifix and sword.
Oh, shame thee, Robert ! I have seen
Thou hast a woman's guardian been !
Even in extremity's dread hour,
When press’d on thee the Southern power,
And safety, to all human sight,
Was only found in rapid flight,
Thou heard'st a wretched female plain
In agony of travail-pain,
And thou didst bid thy little band
Upon the instant turn and stand,
And dare the worst the foe might do,
Rather than, like a knight untrue,
Leave to pursuers merciless
A woman in her last distress.
And wilt thou now deny thine aid
To an oppress’d and injured maid,
Even plead for Ronald's perfidy,
And press his fickle faith on me?-
So witness Heaven, as true I vow,
Had I those earthly feelings now,
former bosom move
Ere taught to set its hopes above,
I'd spurn each proffer he could bring,
Till at my feet he laid the ring,
The ring and spousal contract both,
And fair acquittal of his oath,
By her who brooks his perjured scorn,
The ill-requited Maid of Lorn!"-
With sudden impulse forward sprung
The Page, and on her neck he hung;
Then, recollected instantly,
His head he stoop'd, and bent his knee,
Kiss'd twice the hand of Isabel,
Arose, and sudden left the cell.
The princess, loosen'd from his hold,
Blush'd angry at his bearing bold;
But good King Robert cried, “ Chafe not-by signs he speaks his mind, He heard the plan my care design’d,
Nor could his transports hide. But, sister, now bethink thee well;
choice the convent cell;
Trust, I shall play no tyrant part,
Either to force thy hand or heart,
Or suffer that Lord Ronald scorn,
Or wrong for thee, the Maid of Lorn.
But think,-not long the time has been,
That thou wert wont to sigh unseen,
And would'st the ditties best approve,
That told some lay of hapless love.
Now are thy wishes in thy power,
And thou art bent on cloister bower!
O! if our Edward knew the change,
How would his busy satire range,
With many a sarcasm varied still
On woman's wish, and woman's will !"-
6. Brother, I well believe," she said, 6 Even so would Edward's part be play'd. Kindly in heart, in word severe, A foe to thought, and grief, and fear, He holds his humour uncontroul'd;
But thou art of another mould.
Say then to Ronald, as I say,
Unless before my feet he lay