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Drawn tightly o'er his labouring breast.
But then the Bruce's bugle blew,
For martial work was yet to do.

XXXI.

A harder task fierce Edward waits.

Ere signal given, the castle gates

His fury had assail'd;

Such was his wonted reckless mood,

Yet desperate valour oft made good,
Even by its daring, venture rude,

Where prudence might have fail'd. Upon the bridge his strength he threw,

And struck the iron chain in two

By which its planks arose; The warder next his axe's edge Struck down upon the threshold ledge, 'Twixt door and post a ghastly wedge !

The gate they may not close.

Well fought the Southern in the fray,
Clifford and Lorn fought well that day,
But stubborn Edward forced his way

Against an hundred foes.
Loud came the cry, “ The Bruce, the Bruce !"
No hope or in defence or truce,

Fresh combatants pour in;
Mad with success, and drunk with gore,
They drive the struggling foe before,

And ward on ward they win.
Unsparing was the vengeful sword,
And limbs were lopp'd and life-blood pour'd,
The
cry

of death and conflict roar'd,

And fearful was the din !

The startling horses plunged and flung,
Clamour'd the dogs till turrets rung,

Nor sunk the fearful cry,

Till not a foeman was there found

Alive, save those who on the ground

Groan'd in their agony !

XXXII.

The valiant Clifford is no more;

On Ronald's broadsword stream'd his

göre. But better hap had he of Lorn, Who, by the foemen backward borne, Yet gain'd with slender train the port, Where lay his bark beneath the fort,

And cut the cable loose..

Short were his shrift in that debate,

That hour of fury and of fate,

If Lorn encounter'd Bruce !

Then long and loud the victor shout

From turret and from tower rung out,

The rugged vaults replied ;
And from the donjon tower on high,
The men of Carrick may descry
Saint Andrew's cross, in blazonry

Of silver, waving wide!

XXXIII.

The Bruce hath won bis father's hall !

- Welcome, brave friends and comrades all,

Welcome to mirth and joy!

The first, the last, is welcome here,

From lord and chieftain, prince and peer,

To this poor speechless boy.
Great God! once more my sire's abode

Is mine-behold the floor I trode

In tottering infancy!
And there the vaulted arch, whose sound

Echoed my joyous shout and bound
In boyhood, and that rung around

To youth's unthinking glee !
O first, to thee, all-gracious Heaven,
*Then to my friends, my thanks be given !"-
He paused a space, his brow he cross'd-
Then on the board his sword he toss'd,

Yet steaming hot; with Southern gore
From hilt to point 'twas crimson’d o'er.

XXXIV.

Bring here,” he said, “ the mazers four, My noble fathers loved of yore. Thrice let them circle round the board, The pledge, fair Scotland's rights restored ! And he whose lip shall touch the wine, Without a vow as true as mine, To hold both lands and life at nought, Until her freedom shall be bought, Be brand of a disloyal Scot, And lasting infamy his lot! Sit, gentle friends ! our hour of glee Is brief, we'll spend it joyously! Blithest of all the sun's bright beams, When betwixt storm and storm he gleams. Well is our country's work begun, But more, far more, must yet be done !

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