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Her faltering steps half led, half staid,
Within 'twas brilliant all and light,
As wreath of snow, on mountain-breast,
Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd, And bade her terrors be dismiss'd: “Yes, Fair; the wandering poor
Fitz-James The fealty of Scotland claims. To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; He will redeem his signet ring. Ask nought for Douglas; yester even, His Prince and he have much forgiven: Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong. We would not, to the vulgar crowd, Yield what they craved with clamour loud; Calmly we heard and judged his cause, Our council aided, and our laws. I stanch'd thy father's death-feud stern With stout De Vaux and Grey Glencairn; And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own The friend and bulwark of our Throne. But, lovely infidel, how now? What clouds thy misbelieving brow? Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid; Thou must confirm this doubting maid.
Then forth the noble Douglas sprung,
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,
Full well the conscious maiden guéss'd
She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu.
The suit that stain’d her glowing cheek. “Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force,
And stubborn justice holds her course. Malcolm, come forth!” — and, at the word, Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's Lord.
“For thee, rash youth, nó suppliant sues
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy;
With distant echo from the fold and lea,
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway!
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Through secret woes the world has never known,
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone. That I o'erlived such woes,
Enchantress! is thine own. Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string! 'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire
'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing; Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell And now, 'tis silent all!— Enchantress, fare thee well! NOTES TO THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
NOTE 1, page 321.
the heights of Vam-Var,
A giant made his den of old. UA-VAR, as the name is pronounced, or more properly Unighmor, is a mountain to the north-east of the village of Callander in Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies the great den, or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode of a giant. In latter times, it was the refuge of robbers and banditti, who have been only extirpated witbin these forty or fifty years. Strictly speaking, this stronghold is not a cave, as the name would imply, but a sort of small inclosure, or recess, surrounded with large rocks, and open above head.
NOTE 2, page 322.
Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed. “The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's hounds, are commonly all blacke, yet neuertheless, the race is so mingled at these days, that we find them of all colours. These are the hounds which the abbots of St Hubert have always kept some of their race or kind, in honour or remembrance of the saint, which was a hunter with S. Eustace. Whereupon we may conceive that (by the grace of God) all good huntsmen shall follow them into paradise.” - The noble Art of Venerie or Hunting, translated and collected for the Use of all Noblemen and Gentlemen, Lond. 1611. 4to, p. 15.
NOTE 3, page 322.
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew. When the stag turned to bay, the ancient hunter had the perilous task of going in upon, and killing or disabling the desperate animal. At certain times of the year this was held particularly dangerous, a wound received from a stag's horn being then deemed poisonous, and more dangerous than one from the tusks of a boar, as the old rhyme testifies
“If thou be hurt with hart, it brings thee to thy bier,
need'st not fear." At all times, however, the task was dangerous, and to be adventured upon wisely and warily, either by getting behind the stag while he was gazing on the hounds, or by watching an opportunity to gallop roundly in upon him, and kill him with the sword. Scott, Poetical Works. I.