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Beneath the Castle wall;
For if a hope of safety rest,
Who seeks for shelter, storm-distress'd,
Within a chieftain's hall.
If not-it best beseems our worth,
Our name, our right, our lofty birth,
By noble hands to fall.”
The helm, to his strong arm consign’d,
And on her alter'd way, Fierce bounding, forward sprung the ship, Like greyhound starting from the slip
To seize his flying prey. Awaked before the rushing prow, The mimic fires of ocean glow,
Those lightnings of the wave;
Wild sparkles crest the broken tides, And, flashing round, the vessel's sides
With elvish lustre lave,
While, far behind, their livid light
A gloomy splendour gave.
From his dark brow the livid flakes
In envious pageantry, To match the meteor light that streaks
Grim Hecla's midnight sky.
Nor lack'd they steadier light to keep Their course upon the darken'd deep ;Artornish, on her frowning steep
'Twixt cloud and ocean hung, Glanced with a thousand lights of glee, And landward far, and far to sea,
Her festal radiance flung.
By that blithe beacon-light they steerd,
Whose lustre mingled well
Above the eastern Fell.
Thus guided, on their course they bore
Wild shouts of merriment were cast,
And wind and wave and sea-birds'
With wassail sounds in concert vie,
Like funeral shrieks with revelry,
Or like the battle-shout
By peasants heard from cliffs on high,
Madden the fight and rout.
Now nearer yet, through mist and storm,
And deepen'd shadow made,
An hundred torches play'd,
That dazzle as they fade,
Beneath the Castle's sheltering lee,
Hewn in the rock a passage there
So strait, so high, so steep,
And plunged them in the deep.
His bugle then the helmsman wound;
From turret, rock, and bay,
On those rude steps of slippery stone,
To light the upward way. “ Thrice welcome, holy Sire !” he said ; “ Full long the spousal train have staid,
And, vex'd at thy delay, Fear'd lest, amidst these wildering seas, The darksome night and freshening breeze
Had driven thy bark astray.”—
6 Warder," the younger stranger said,
Brook not of glee. We crave some aid