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Glancing among the noble rout
And yet it moves me more,
Scann'd the gay presence o'er,
The mantle veil both face and eye,
Nor could her form's fair symmetry.”
And whisper'd closely what the ear
Then question’d, high and brief,
With Carrick's outlaw'd Chief?
* It must be remembered by all who have read the Scottish history, that after he had slain Comyn at Dumfries, and asserted his right to the Scottish crown, Robert Bruce was reduced to the
And if, their winter's exile o'er,
greatest extremity by the English and their adherents. He was crowned at Scone by the general consent of the Scottish barons, but his authority endured but a short time. According to the phrase said to have been used by his wife, he was for that year “a summer king, but not a winter one.” On the 29th March, 1306, he was crowned king at Scone. Upon the 19th June, in the same year, he was totally defeated at Methven, near Perth; and his most important adherents, with few exceptions, were either executed or compelled to embrace the English interest, for safety of their lives and fortunes. After this disaster, his life was that of an outlaw, rather than a candidate for monarchy. He separated himself from the females of his retinue, whom he sent for safety to the Castle of Kildrummie, in Aberdeenshire, where they afterward became captives to England. From Aberdeenshire, Bruce retreated to the mountainous parts of Breadal. bane, and approached the borders of Argyleshire. There, as mentioned in the Appendix, Note D, and more fully in Note F, he was defeated by the Lord of Lorn, who had assumed arms against him in revenge of the death of his relative, John the Red Comyn. Escaped from this peril, Bruce, with his few attendants, subsisted by hunting and fishing, until the weather compelled them to seek better sustenance and shelter than the Highland mountains afforded. With great difficulty they crossed, from Rowardennan probably, to the western banks of Lochlomond, partly in a miserable boat, and partly by swimming. The valiant and loyal Earl of Lennox, to whose territories they had now found their way, welcomed them with tears, but was unable to assist them to make an effectual head. The Lord of the Isles, then in possession of great part of Cantyre, received the fugitive monarch and future restorer of his country's independence, in his Castle of Dunnaverty, in that district. But treason, says Barbour, was so general, that the King durst not abide there. Accordingly, with the remnant of his followers, Bruce embarked for Rath-Erin, or Rachrine, the Recina of Ptolemy, a small island, lying almost opposite to the shores of Ballycastle, on the
Or launch'd their galleys on the main,
With look of equal scorn;-
I warn thee he has sworn,
To Allaster of Lorn."
Then whisper'd Argentine,“ The lay I named will carry smart To these bold strangers' haughty heart,
If right this guess of mine."
Kindled Allaster of
coast of Ireland. The islanders at first fled from their new and armed guests, but upon some explanation submitted themselves to Bruce's sovereignty. He resided among them until the approach of spring, [1306,) when he again returned to Scotland, with the desperate resolution to reconquer his kingdom, or perish in the attempt. The progress of his success, from its commence ment to its completion, forms the brightest period in Scottisb history.
He ceased, and it was silence all,
The Broach of Lorn.
[See Appendix, Note F.] * Great art and expense was bestowed upon the fibula, or broach, which secured the plaid, when the wearer was a person of importance. Martin mentions having seen a silver broach of a hundred marks value. “It was broad as any ordinary pewter plate, the whole curiously engraven with various animals, &c. There was a lesser buckle, which was wore in the middle of the larger, and above two ounces weight; it had in the centre a large piece of crystal, or some finer stone, and this was set all round with several finer stones of a lesser size.”+ Western Islands. Pennant has given an engraving of such a broach as Martin describes, and the workmanship of which is very elegant. It is said to have belonged to the family of Lochbuy.— See PENNANT's Tour, vol, iii. p. 14.
Or, mortal-moulded, comest thou here, From England's love, or France's fear?
6 When the gem was won and lost,
Song concluded. “ Vain was then the Douglas brand, . Vain the Campbell's vaunted hand,
* The gallant Sir James, called the Good Lord Douglas, the most faithful and valiant of Bruce's adherents, was wounded at the battle of Dalry. Sir Nigel, or Niel Campbell, was also in that unfortunate skirmish. He married Marjorie, sister to Robert Bruce, and was among his most faithful followers. In a manuscript account of the house of Argyle, supplied, it would