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XVIII. “ So said I—and believed in sooth,” Ronald replied, “ I spoke the truth. Yet now I spy, by yonder stone, Five men, they mark us, and come on; And by their badge on bonnet borne, I guess them of the land of Lorn, Foes to my Liege.”_" So let it be ; I've faced worse odds than five to three -- But the poor page can little aid ;. Then be our battle thus array'd, If our free passage they contest; Cope thou with two, I'll match the rest.” “ Not so, my Liege--for by my life, This sword shall meet the treble strife; My strength, my skill in arms, more small, And less the loss should Ronald fall. But islesmen soon to soldiers grow, com Allan has sword as well as bow,

And were my Monarch's order given,
Two shafts should make our number even."
6 No! not to save my life!” he said ;
6 Enough of blood rests on my head,
Too rashly spilld--we soon shall know,
Whether they come as friend or foe.”-

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Nigh came the strangers, and more nigh ;-''
Still less they pleased the Monarch's eye.
Men were they all of evil mien,
Down-look’d, unwilling to be seen;
They moved with half-resolved pace,
And bent on earth each gloomy face.
The foremost two were fair array'd,
With brogue and bonnet, trews and plaid,
And bore the arms of mountaineers,
Daggers and broadswords, bows and spears.
The three, that lagg'd small space behind,
Seem'd serfs of more degraded kind;

Goat-skins or deer-hides, o'er them cast,
Made a rude fence against the blast;
Their arms and feet and heads were bare,
Matted their beards, unshorn their hair ;
For arms, the caitiffs bore in hand,
A club, an axe, a rusty brand.

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Onward, still mute, they kept the track ;
“ Tell who ye be, or else stand back,"
Said Bruce; “ In deserts when they meet,
Men pass not as in peaceful street.”
Still, at his stern command, they stood,
And proffer'd greeting brief and rude,
But acted courtesy so ill,
As seem'd of fear, and not of will.
“ Wanderers we are, as you may be;
Men hither driven by wind and sea,
Who, if you list to taste our cheer,
Will share with you this fallow deer."..

« If from the sea, where lies your bark ?”_ “ Ten fathom deep in ocean dark ! Wreck'd yesternight; but we are men, Who little sense of peril ken. The shades come down the day is shut-Will you go with us to our hut?"“ Our vessel waits us in the bay; Thanks for your proffer-have good day.”“ Was that your galley, then, which rode Not far from shore when evening glow'd ?” " It was.”_" Then spare your needless pain, There will she now be sought in vain. We saw her from the mountain head, When with St George's blazon red A southern vessel bore in sight, And yours raised sail, and took to flight.”

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“ Now, by the rood, unwelcome news !” Thus with Lord Ronald communed Bruce;

“ Nor rests there light enough to show If this their tale be true or no.

The men seem bred of churlish kind,

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Yet rugged brows have bosoms kind;
We will ge with them-food and fire
And sheltering roof our wants require.
Sure guard 'gainst treachery will we keep,
And watch by turns our comrades' sleep.-
Good fellows, thanks; your guests we'll be,
And well will pay the courtesy.
Come, lead us where your lodging lies,
-Nay, soft ! we mix not companies.-
Shew us the path o'er crag and stone,
And we will follow you ;– lead on.”-

XXII.
They reach'd the dreary cabin, made
Of sails against a rock display'd,

And there, on entering, found
A slender boy, whose form and mien

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