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THE Stag at eve had drunk his fill,
III. Yelled on the view the opening pack, Rock glen and cavern paid them back ; To many a mingled sound at once The awakened mountain gave response. An hundred dogs bayed deep and strong, Clattered an hundred steeds along, Their peal the merry horns rung out, An hundred voices joined the shout; With hark and whoop and wild halloo, No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew. Far from the tumult fled the roe, Close in her covert cowered the doe, The falcon, from her cairn on high, Cast on the rout a wondering eye, Till far beyond her piercing ken The hurricane had swept the glen. Faint, and more faint, its failing din Returned from cavern, cliff, and linn, And silence settled, wide and still, On the lone wood and mighty hill.
Less loud the sounds of sylvan war
And roused the cavern, where 'tis told
The noble Stag was pausing now,
VI. 'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er, As swept the hunt through Cambus-more; What reins were tightened in despair, When rose Benledi's ridge in air; Who flagged upon Bochastle's heath, Who shunned to stem the flooded Teith, For twice, that day, from shore to shore, The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er. Few were the stragglers, following far, That reached the lake of Vennachar; And when the Brig of Turk was won, The headmost horseman rode alone.
VII. Alone, but with unbated zeal, That horseman plied the scourge and steel; For, jaded now, and spent with toil, Embossed with foam, and dark with soil, While every gasp with sobs he drew, The labouring stag strained full in view. Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed, Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed, Fast on his flying traces came, And all but won that desperate game; ,
Por, scarce a spear's length from his haunch,
VIII. The hunter marked that mountain high, The lone lake's western boundary, And deemed the stag must turn to bay, Where that huge rampart barred the way; Already glorying in the prize, Measured his antlers with his eyes; For the death-wound, and death-halloo, Mustered his breath, his whinyard drew; But thundering as he came prepared, With ready arm and weapon bared, The wily quarry shunned the shock, And turned him from the opposing rock ; Then, dashing down a darksome glen, Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken, In the deep Trosach's wildest nook His solitary refuge took. There while, close couched, the thicket shed Cold dews and wild flowers on his head, He heard the baffled dogs in vain Rave through the hollow pass amain, Chiding the rocks, that yelled again.
IX. Close on the hounds the hunter came, To cheer them on the vanished game; But, stumbling in the rugged dell, The gallant horse exhausted fell. The impatient rider strove in vain To rouse him with the spur and rein, For the good steed, his labours o'er, Stretched his stiff limbs to rise no more; Then, touched with pity and remorse, He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse. “I little thought, when first thy rein I slacked upon the banks of Seine, That Highland eagle e'er should feed On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed! Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, That costs thy life, my gallant grey !”–
Then through the dell his horn resounds,
Close to their master's side they pressed,
XI. The western waves of ebbing day Rolled o'er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire, Was bathed in floods of living fire. But not a setting beam could glow Within the dark ravines below, Where twined the path, in shadow hid, Round many a rocky pyramid, Shooting abruptly from the dell Its thunder-splintered pinnacle; Round many an insulated mass, The native bulwarks of the pass, Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain. The rocky summits, split and rent, Formed turret, dome, or battlement, Or seemed fantastically set With cupola or minaret, Wild crests as pagod ever decked, Or mosque of eastern architect. Nor were these earth-born castles bare, Nor lacked they many a banner fair; For, from their shivered brows displayed, Far o'er the unfathomable glade, All twinkling with the dew-drop sheen, The briar-rose fell in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes, Waved in the west-wind's summer sighs.
XII. Boon nature scattered, free and wild, Each plant or flower, the mountain's child. Here églantine embalmed the air, Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale, and violet flower, Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride, Grouped their dark hues with every stain, The weather-beaten crags retain.
With boughs that quaked at every breath,