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“There,” said the Bruce, " blew Edward's horn!
What can have caused such brief return?
And see, brave Ronald,-see him dart
O'er stock and stone like hunted hart
Precipitate, as is the use,
In war or sport, of Edward Bruce.
-He marks us, and his eager cry
Will tell his news ere he be nigh."-
Loud Edward shouts, “What make ye here,
Warring upon the mountain deer,
When Scotland wants her King?
A bark from Lennox crossed our track,
With her in speed I hurried back,
These joyful news to bring-
The Stuart stirs in Teviotdale,
And Douglas wakes his native vale;
Thy storm-tossed fleet hath won its way
With little loss to Brodick-Bay; .
And Lennox, with a gallant band,
Waits but thy coming and command
To waft them o'er to Carrick strand.
There are blithe news !—but mark the close !
Edward, the deadliest of our foes,
As with his host he northward passed,
Hath on the Borders breathed his last."-
Still stood the Bruce-his steady cheek
Was little wont his joy to speak,
But then bis colour rose :
“Now, Scotland ! shortly shalt thou see,
With God's high will, thy children free,
And vengeance on thy foes!
Yet to no sense of selfish wrongs,
Bear witness with me Heaven, belongs
My joy o'er Edward's bier;
I took my knighthood at his hand,
And lordship held of him, and land,
And well may vouch it here,
That, blot the story from his page
Of Scotland ruined in his rage,
You read a monarch brave and sage,
And to his people dear."-
“Let London's burghers mourn her lord,
And Croydon monks his praise record,"
The eager Edward said ;
“Eternal as his own, my hate
Surmounts the bounds of mortal fate,
And dies not with the dead !
Such hate was his on Solway's strand,
When vengeance clenched his palsied hand,
That pointed yet to Scotland's land,
As his last accents prayed
Disgrace and curse upon his heir,
If he one Scottish bead should spare,
Till stretched upon the bloody lair
Each rebel corpse was laid !
Such hate was his, when his last breath
Renounced the peaceful house of death,
And bade his bones to Scotland's coast
Be borne by his remorseless host,--
As if his dead and stony eye
Could still enjoy her misery!
Such hate was his,-dark, deadly, long;
Mine,-as enduring, deep, and strong!"-
“Let women, Edward, war with words,
With curses monks, but men with swords :
Nor doubt of living foes, to sate
Deepest revenge and deadliest hate.
Now, to the seal behold the beach,
And see the galleys' pendants stretch
Their fluttering length down favouring gale!
A board, aboard ! and hoist the sail.
Hold we our way for Arran first,
Where meet in arms our friends dispersed;
Lennox the loyal, De la Haye,
And Boyd the bold in battle fray.
I long the hardy band to head,
And see once more my standard spread.-
Does noble Ronald share our course,
Or stay to raise his island force?”—
“Come weal, come woe, by Bruce's side,"
Replied the Chief, “will Ronald bide.
And since two galleys yonder ride,
Be mine, so please my liege, dismissed
To wake to arms the clans of Uist,
And all who hear the Minche's roar,
On the Long Island's lonely shore.
The nearer Isles, with slight delay,
Ourselves may summon in our way
And soon on Arran's shore shall meet,
With Torquil's aid, a gallant fleet,
If aught avails their Chieftain's hest
Among the islesmen of the west.”—
Thus was their venturous counsel said.
But, ere their sails the galleys spread,
Coriskin dark and Coolin high
Echoed the dirge's doleful cry;
Along that sable lake passed slow,-
Fit scene for such a sight of woe,-
The sorrowing islesmen, as they boxe
The murdered Allan to the shore.
At every pause, with dismal shout,
Their coronach of grief rung out,
And ever, when they moved again,
The pipes resumed their clamorous strain,
And, with the pibroch's shrilling wail,
Mourned the young heir of Donagaile.
Round and around, from cliff and cave,
His answer stern old Coolin gave,
Till high upon his misty side
Languished the mournful notes, and died.
For never sounds by mortal made,
Attained his high and haggard head,
That echoes but the tempest's moan,
Or the deep thunder's rending groan.
Merrily, merrily, bounds the bark,
She bounds before the gale,
The mountain breeze from Ben-na-darch
Is joyous in her sail !
With fluttering sound like laughter hoarse
The cords and canvas strain;
The waves, divided by her force,
In rippling eddies chased her course,
As if they laughed again.
Not down the breeze more blithely few,
Skimming the wave, the light sea-mew,
Than that gay galley bore
Her course upon that favouring wind,
And Coolin's crest has sunk behind,
And Slapin's caverned shore. ,
'Twas then that warlike signals wake
Dunscaith's dark towers and Eisord's lake,
And soon from Cavilgarrigh's head
Thick wreaths of eddying smoke were spread
A summons these of war and wrath
To the brave clans of Sleate and Strath;
And, ready at the sight,
Each warrior to his weapon sprung,
And targe upon his shoulder flung,
Impatient for the fight.
Mac-Kinnon's chief, in warfare grey,
Had charge to muster their array,
And guide their barks to Brodick-Bay.
Signal of Ronald's high command,
A beacon gleamed o'er sea and land,
From Canna's tower, that, steep and grey,
Like falcon-nest o'erhangs the bay.
Seek not the giddy crag to climb,
To view the turret scathed by time;
It is a task of doubt and fear
To aught but goat or mountain deer.
But rest thee on the silver beach,
And let the aged herdsman teach
His tale of former day;
His cur’s wild clamour he shall chide,
And for thy seat by ocean's side,
His varied plaid display;
Then tell, with Canna's Chieftain came,
In ancient times, a foreign dame
To yonder turret grey.
Stern was her lord's suspicious mind,
Who in so rude a jail confined
So soft and fair a thrall !
And oft when moon on ocean slept,
That lovely lady sate and wept
Upon the castle wall,
And turned her eye to southern climes,
And thought perchance of happier times,
And touched her lute by fits, and sung
Wild ditties in her native tongue.
And still, when on the cliff and bay
Placid and pale the moonbeams play,
And every breeze is mute,
Upon the lone Hebridean's ear
Steals a strange pleasure mixed with fear,
While from that cliff he seems to bear
The murmur of a lute, And sounds, as of a captive lone, That mourns her woes in tongue unknown. Strange is the tale—but all too long Already hath it stayed the song
Yet who may pass them by,
That crag and tower in ruins grey,
Nor to their hapless tenant pay
The tribute of a sigh!
Merrily, merrily, bounds the bark
O'er the broad ocean driven,
Her path by Ronin's mountains dark.
The steersman's band has given.
And Ronin's mountains dark have sent
Their hunters to the shore, And each his ashen bow unbent,
And gave his pastime o'er, And at the Island Lord's command, For hunting-spear took warrior's brand. On Scoor-Eigg next a warning light Summoned her warriors to the fight; A numerous race, ere stern Macleod O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode, When all in vain the ocean cave Its refuge to his victims gave. The Chief, relentless in his wrath, With blazing heath blockades the path ; In dense and stilling volumes rolled, The vapour filled the caverned Hold ! The warrior-threat, the infant's plain, The mother's screams, were heard in vain ;