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Even she, so long beloved in vain.
Shall with my harp her voice combins,
And mix her woe and tears with minc,
To wail Clan-Alpine's honoured pine.'
Ellen, the while, with bursting heart,
Remained in lordly bower apart,
Where played, with many coloured gleams,
Through storied pane the rising beams.
In vain on gilded roof they fall,
And lightened up a tapestried wall,
And for her use a menial train
A rich collation spread in vain.
The banguet proud, the chamber gay,
Scarce drew one curious glance astray;
Or, if she looked, 'twas but to say,
With better omen dawned the day
In that lone isle, where waved on high
The dun deer's hide for canopy;
Where oft her noble father shared
The simple meal her care prepared,
While Lufra, crouching by her side,
Her station claimed with jealous pride,
And Douglas, bent on woodland game,
Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Grame,
Whose answer, oft at random made,
The wandering of his thoughts betrayed. --
Those who such simple joys have known
Are taught to prize them when they're gone.
But sudden, see, she lifts her head!
The window seeks with cautious tread.
What distant music has the power
To win her in this woeful hour!
'Twas from a turret that o'er-hung
Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.
Lay of the Imprisoned Huntsman.
“ My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
My idle grey-bound loathes his food,
My horse is weary of his stall,
And I am sick of captive thrall.
I wish I were as I have been,
Hunting the hart in forests green,
With bended bow and blood-hound free,
For that's the life is meet for me.
“ I hate to learn the ebb of time,
From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime,
Or mark it as the sun-beams crawl,
Inch after inch, along the wall.
The lark was wont my matins ring,
The sable rook my vespers sing;
These towers, although a king's they be,
Have not a hall of joy for me.
“ No more at dawning morn I rise,
And sun myself in Ellen's eyes
Drive the fleet deer the forest through,
And homeward wend with evening dew;
A blithesome welcome blithely meet,
And lay my trophies at her feet,
While Aed the eve on wing of glee,-
That life is lost to love and me!”
The heart-sick lay was hardly said, The list'ner had not turned her head, It trickled still, the starting tear, When light a footstep struck her ear, And Snowdoun's graceful Knight was near. She turned the hastier, lest again The prisoner should renew his strain. “O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she said; “How may an almost orphan maid Pay the deep debt"- "O say not so ! To me no gratitude vou owe. Not mine, alas! the boon to give, And bid thy noble father live; I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, With Scotland's King thy suit to aid. No tyrant he, though ire and pride May lead his better mood aside. Come, Ellen, come !-'tis more than time, He holds his court at morning prime."With beating heart, and bosom rung, As to a brother's arm she clung. Gently be dried the falling tear, And gently whispered hope and cheer; Her faltering steps balf led, half stayed, Through gallery fair and high arcade, Till, at his touch, its wings of pride A portal arch unfolded wide.
XXVI. Within 'twas brilliant all and light, A thronging scene of figures bright; It glowed on Ellen's dazzled sight, As when the setting sun has given Ten thousand hues to summer even, And, from their tissue, fancy frames Aerial knights and fairy dames. Still by Fitz-James her footing stayed ; A few faint steps she forward made, Then slow her drooping head she raised, And fearful round the presence gazed ; For hina she sought, who owned this state, The dreaded prince whose will was fato
She gazed on many a princely port,
Might well have ruled a royal court;
On many a splendid garb she gazed, -
Then turned bewildered and amazed,
For all stood bare; and, in the room,
Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume.
To him each lady's look was lent;
On him each courtier's eye was bent;
Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen,
He stood, in simple Lincoln green,
The centre of the glittering ring,
And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King !
XXVII, As wreath of snow, on mountain breast, Slides from the rock that gave it rest, Poor Ellen glided from her stay, And at the monarch's feet she lay; No word her choking voice commands, – She showed the ring, -she clasped her hands. O ! not a moment could he brook, The generous prince, that suppliant look! Gently he raised her,-and, the while, Checked with a glance the circle's smile; Graceful, but grave, her brow he kissed, And bade her terrors be dismissed : “ Yes, Fair; the wandering poor Fitz-James The fealty of Scotland claims. To hinu 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 counsel aided, and our laws. I stanched 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, bow 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,
And on his neck his daughter hung.
The Monarch drank, that happy hour,
The sweetest, holiest draught of Power,
When it can say, with godlike voice,
Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice!
Yet would not James the general eye
On nature's raptures long should pry;
He stepped between—"Nay, Douglas, nay,
Steal not my proselyte away!
The riddle 'tis my right to read,
That brought this happy chance to speed.-
Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray
In life's more low but happier way,
'Tis under name which veils my power,
Nor falsely veils—for Stirling's tower
Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims,
And Normans call me James Fitz-James.
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws,
Thus learn to right the injured cause.”-
Then, in a tone apart and low,
- Áb, little trait'ress ! none must know
What idle dream, what lighter thought,
What vanity full dearly bought,
Joined to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew
My spell-bound steps to Benvenue,
In dangerous hour, and all but gave
Thy Monarch's life to mountain glaive !"-
A loud he spoke-"Thou still dost hold
That litttle talisman of gold,
Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ring-
What seeks fair Ellen of the King ?”
Full well the conscious maiden guessed,
He probed the weakness of her breast;
But, with that consciousness, there came
A lightning of her fears for Græme,
And more she deemed the monarch's ire
Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire,
Rebellious broad-sword boldly drew;
And, to ber generous feeling true,
She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu.
“Forbear thy suit :the King of kings
Alone can stay life's parting wings.
I know his heart, I know his hand,
Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand ;--
My fairest earldom would I give
To bid Clan-Alpine's Chieftain live !
Hast thou no other boon to crave ?
No other captive friend to save?”—
Blushing, she turned her from the King,
And to the Douglas gave the ring,
As if she wished her sire to speak
The suit that stained 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 kneeled the Grame to Scotland's lord,
“For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
From thee may Vengeance claim her dues,
Who, nurtured underneath our smile,
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile.
And sought, amid thy faithful clan,
A refuge for an outlawed man,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.-
Fetters and warder for the Græme !"
His chain of gold the King unstrung,
The links o'er Malcolm's neck he fung,
Then gently drew the glittering band,
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand.
Harp of the North, farewell ! The hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.
Resume thy wizard elm ! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy; Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea, And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee. Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp !
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,
Through secret woes the world has never known, When on the weary night dawned wearier day,
And bitterer was the grief devoured alone. That I o'erlive auch 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 spellAnd now, 'tis silent all !- Enchantress, fare thee well!