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The spatter'd brain and bubbling blood Hiss'd on the half-extinguish'd wood,
The miscreant gasp'd and fell !.. Nor rose in peace the Island Lord; One caitiff died upon his sword, ; And one beneath his grasp lies prone, In mortal géapple over-thrown." . But while Lord Ronald's dagger drank The life-blood from his panting flank, The Father-ruffian of the band : ...i Behind him rears a coward hand !
-O for a moment's aid, Till Bruce, who deals no double blow, Dash to the earth another foe, to
Above his comrade laid ! .. And it is gain'd- the captive sprung On the raised arm, and closely clung,
And, ere he shook him loose, : The master'd felon press’d the ground, And gasp'd beneath a mortal wound,
While o'er him stands the Bruce.
Give me to know the purpose dark,
That arm'd thy hand with murderous knife,
Against offenceless stranger's life ?" —
“ No stranger thou !" with accent fell,
Murmur'd the wretch; “ I know thee well;
And know thee for the foeman sworn
Of my high chief, the mighty Lorn.”-
" Speak yet again, and speak the truth
For thy soul's sake!—from whence this youth ?
His country, birth, and name declare,
And thus one evil deed repair.”-
_“ Vex me no more !... my blood runs cold...
No more I know than I have told.
We found him in a bark we sought
With different purpose ... and I thought" ....
Fate cut him short; in blood and broil,.
As he had lived, died Cormac Doil.
Then resting on his bloody blade,
The valiant Bruce to Ronald said,
“ Now shame upon us both that boy
Lifts his mute face to heaven,
And clasps his hands, to testify
His gratitude to God on high,
For strange deliverance given.
His speechless gesture thanks hath paid;
Which our free tongues have left unsaid !”-
He raised the youth with kindly word,
But mark'd him shudder at the sword :
He cleansed it from its hue of death,
And plunged the weapon in its sheath.
6 Alas, poor child ! unfitting part
Fate doom'd, when with so soft a heart,
And form so slight as thine, She made thee first a pirate's slave, Then, in his stead, a patron gave
Of wayward lot like mine;
A landless prince, whose wandering life
Is but one scene of blood and strife-
Yet scant of friends the Bruce shall be, ..
But he'll find resting-place for thee.- . ;
Come, noble Ronald I o'er the dead
Enough thy generous grief is paid, *. .
And well has Àillan's fate been wroke ;
Come, wend we hence the day has broke.
Seek we our bark-I trust the tale
Was false, that she had hoisted sail."-.
. XXXII. . . .
Yet; ere they left that charnel-cell,
The Island Lord bade sad farewell
To Allan:-“Who shall tell this tale,”
He said, “in halls of Donagaile !
Oh, who his widow'd mother tell,
That, ere his bloom, her fairest fell! -
Rest thee, poor youth ! and trust my care,
For mass and knell and funeral prayer ;
While o'er those caitiffs, where they lie;
The wolf shall snarl, the raven cry!”-
And now the eastern mountain's head
On the dark lake threw lustre red;
Bright gleams of gold and purple streak
Ravine and precipice and peak-
(So earthly power at distance shows;
Reveals his splendour, hides his woes.)
O’er sheets of granite dark and broad,
Rent and unequal, lay the road.
In sad discourse the warriors wind,
And the mute captive moves behind.