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So bore they on with mirth and pride,
'Twas with such idle eye
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,
Assumes but ill the blithesome cheer
Of bridegroom when the bride is near!
Yes, sweep they on !- We will not leave,
With that armada gay
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.
All day with fruitless strife they toil'd,
More fierce from streight and lake;
Spring upward as they break.
On rocks of Inninmore;
Rent was the sail, and strain’d the mast,
the conflict o'er,
'Twas then that One, whose lofty look Nor labour dull'd nor terror shook,
Thus to the Leader spoke;
Until the day has broke?
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,
Despair and death are near.
I follow where thou wilt;
Either to bide the tempest's lour,
Or wend to yon unfriendly tower,
With war-cry wake their wassail-hour,
And die with hand on hilt."
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,