ページの画像
PDF
ePub

'Tis he himself !” Lorn sternly cries, “ And for my kinsman's death he dies." As loudly Ronald calls—" Forbear! Not in my sight while brand I wear, O'er-match'd by odds, shall warrior fall, Or blood of stranger stain my

hall ! This ancient fortress of my race Shall be misfortune's resting-place, Shelter and shield of the distress'd, No slaughter-house for ship-wreck'd guest.' “ Talk not to me,” fierce Lorn replied, “ Of odds or match !-when Comyn died, Three daggers clash'd within his side! Talk not to me of sheltering hall, The Church of God saw Comyn fall! On God's own altar stream'd his blood,

While o'er my prostrate kinsman stood

The ruthless murderer-e'en as now

With armed hand and scornful brow !

Up, all who love me ! blow on blow!
And lay the outlaw'd felons low !"--

XVI.

Then up sprung many a mainland Lord,

Obedient to their Chieftain's word.

Barcaldine's arm is high in air,
And Kinloch-Alline's blade is bare,
Black Murthok’s dirk has left its sheath,

And clench'd is Dermid's hand of death.

Their mutter'd threats of vengeance swell
Into a wild and warlike yell;
Onward they press with weapons high,
The affrighted females shriek and fly,
And, Scotland, then thy brightest ray
Had darken'd ere its noon of day,
But every chief of birth and fame,
That from the Isles of Ocean came,

At Ronald's side that hour withstood

Fierce Lorn's relentless thirst for blood.

XVII.

Brave Torquil from Dunvegan high,
Lord of the misty hills of Skye,

Mac-Niel, wild Bara's ancient thane,

Duart, of bold Clan Gillian's strain,

Fergus, of Canna's castled bay,
Mac-Duffith, Lord of Colonsay,
Soon as they saw the broadswords glance,
With ready weapons rose at once,
More prompt, that many an ancient feud,
Full oft suppress’d, full oft renew'd,
Glow'd 'twixt the chieftains of Argyle,
And many a lord of ocean's isle.
Wild was the scene-each sword was bare,

7

Back stream'd each chieftain's shaggy hair,
In gloomy opposition set,
Eyes, hands, and brandish'd weapons met ;
Blue gleaming o'er the social board,
Flash'd to the torches many a sword;

And soon those bridal lights may shine
On purple blood for rosy wine.

XVIII.

While thus for blows and death prepared,
Each heart was up, each weapon bared,
Each foot advanced, a surly pause
Still reverenced hospitable laws.

All menaced violence, but alike

Reluctant each the first to strike,

(For aye accursed in minstrel line

Is he who brawls ʼmid song and wine,
And, match'd in numbers and in might,
Doubtful and desperate seemd the fight.)
Thus threat and murmur died away,
Till on the crowded hall there lay
Such silence, as the deadly still,

Ere bursts the thunder on the hill.

With blade advanced, each Chieftain bold

Show'd like the Sworder's form of old,

As wanting still the torch of life,
To wake the marble into strife.

XIX.

That awful pause the stranger maid, "And Edith, seized to pray for aid. As to De Argentine she clung, Away her veil the stranger flung, And, lovely 'mid her wild despair, Fast stream'd her eyes, wide flow'd her hair. “O thou, of knighthood once the flower, Sure refuge in distressful hour, Thou, who in Judah well hast fought For our dear faith, and oft hast sought Renown in knightly exercise, When this poor hand has dealt the prize, Say, can thy soul of honour brook On the unequal strife to look, When, butcher'd thus in peacefull hall, Those once thy friends, my brethren, fall !"-

« 前へ次へ »