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XVI.

So bore they on with mirth and pride,
And if that labouring bark they spied,

'Twas with such idle eye
As nobles cast on lowly boor,
When, toiling in his task obscurey

They pass bim careless by. Let them sweep on with heedless eyes! But, had they known what mighty prize

In that frail vessel lay, The famish'd wolf, that prowls the wold, Had scatheless pass'd the unguarded fold, Ere, drifting by these galleys bold,

Unchallenged were her way! And thou, Lord Ronald, sweep thou on, With mirth and pride and minstrel tone! But had'st thou known who sail'd so nigb, Far other glance were in thine eye !

Far other flush were on thy brow,
That, shaded by the bonnet, now

Assumes but ill the blithesome cheer

Of bridegroom when the bride is near!

XVII.

Yes, sweep they on !- We will not leave,
For them that triumph, those who grieve.

With that armada gay
Be laughter loud and jocund shout,
And bards to cheer the wassail rout,

With tale, romance, and lay; And of wild mirth each clamorous art,

Which, if it cannot cheer the heart,

May stupify and stun its smart,

For one loud busy day. Yes, sweep they on!-But with that skiff

Abides the minstrel tale,

Where there was dread of surge and cliff,

Labour that strain'd each sinew stiff,

And one sad Maiden's wail.

XVIII.

A

All day with fruitless strife they toil'd,
With eve the ebbing currents boil'd

More fierce from streight and lake;
And mid-way through the channel met
Conflicting tides that foam and fret,
And high their mingled billows jet,
As spears, that, in the battle set,

Spring upward as they break.
Then too the lights of eve were past,
And louder sung the western blast

On rocks of Inninmore;

Rent was the sail, and strain’d the mast,
And many a leak was gaping fast,
And the pale steersman stood aghast,
And
gave

the conflict o'er,

XIX.

'Twas then that One, whose lofty look Nor labour dull'd nor terror shook,

Thus to the Leader spoke;
“ Brother, how hopest thou to abide
The fury of this wilder'd tide,
Or how avoid the rock's rude side,

Until the day has broke?
Didst thou not mark the vessel reel,

With quivering planks, and groaning keel,

At the last billow's shock?

Yet how of better counsel tell,

Though here thou see'st poor Isabel

Half dead with want and fear;

For look on sea, or look on land,
Or yon dark sky, on every hand

Despair and death are near.
For her alone I grieve-on me
Danger sits light by land and sea,

I follow where thou wilt;

Either to bide the tempest's lour,

Or wend to yon unfriendly tower,
Or rush amid their naval power,

With war-cry wake their wassail-hour,

And die with hand on hilt."

XX.

That elder Leader's calm reply

In steady voice was given, “ In man's most dark extremity

Oft succour dawns from Heaven.

Edward, trim thou the shatter'd sail,

The helm be mine, and down the gale

Let our free course be driven;

So shall we 'scape the western bay,
The hostile fleet, the unequal fray,
So safely hold our vessel's way

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