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-“My Liege, and with a loyal heart !-
But other charge I have to tell,"
And spoke the hest of Isabel.
" Now by Saint Giles,” the monarch cried, 66 This moves me much !-this morning tide, I sent the stripling to Saint Bride, With my commandment there to bide."
“ Thither he came the portress show'd, But there, my Liege, made brief abode.”
66 'Twas I,” said Edward, “ found employ
Of nobler import for the boy.
Deep pondering in my anxious mind,
A fitting messenger to find,
To bear thy written mandate o'er
To Cuthbert on the Carrick shore,
I chanced, at early dawn, to pass
The chapel gate to snatch a mass.
I found the stripling on a tomb
Low-seated, weeping for the doom
That gave his youth to convent-gloom.
I told my purpose, and his eyes
Flash'd joyful at the glad surprise.
He bounded to the skiff, the sail
Was spread before a prosperous gale,
And well my charge he hath obey'd;
For, see! the ruddy signal made,
That Clifford, with his merry-men all,
Guards carelessly our father's hall.”-
X. “ O wild of thought, and hard of heart !" Answer'd the Monarch, “ on a part
Of such deep danger to employ
· A mute, an orphan, and a boy!
Unfit for flight, unfit for strife,
Without a tongue to plead for life!
Now, were my right restored by Heaven, ...
Edward, my crown I would have given,
Ere, thrust on such adventure wild, i
I perild thus the helpless child.”-
--Offended half, and half submiss,
“ Brother and Liege, of blame like this,"
Edward replied, “ I little dream'd...
A stranger messenger, I deemid,
Might safest seek the beadsman's cell,
Where all thy squires are known so well.
Noteless his presence, sharp his sense,
His imperfection his defence.
If seen, none can his errand guess;
If ta’en, his words no tale express-
Methinks, too, yonder beacon's shine
Might expiate greater fault than mine."-
“ Rasb," said King Robert, “ was the deed .
But it is done.--Embark with speed !--
Good Father, say to Isabel
How this unhappy chance befel ;
If well we thrive on yonder shore,
Soon shall my care her page restore.
Our greeting to our sister bear,
And think of us in mass and prayer.”—
XI. “ Aye !"-said the Priest, “ while this poor hand Can chalice raise or cross command, While my old voice has accents' use, Can Augustine forget the Bruce !"Then to his side Lord Ronald press'd, And whisper'd, “ Bear thou this request, That when by Bruce's side I fight, For Scotland's crown and freedom's right, The princess grace her knight to bear Some token of her favouring care; It shall be shown where England's best May shrink to see it on my crest. And for the boy-since weightier care For royal Bruce the times prepare,
The helpless youth is Ronald's charge, His couch my plaid, his fence my targe."He ceased; for many an eager hand Had urged the barges from the strand. Their number was a score and ten, They bore thrice three-score chosen men. With such small force did Bruce at last The dye for death or empire cast !
Now on the darkening main afloat,
Ready and mann'd rocks every boat;
Beneath their oars the ocean's might
Was dash'd to sparks of glimmering light.
Faint and more faint, as off they bore,
Their armour glanced against the shore,
And, mingled with the dashing tide,
Their murmuring voices distant died.
66 God speed them !” said the Priest, as dark
On distant billows glides each bark;