ページの画像
PDF
ePub

6 A torch,” the Monarch cried, “ What, ho! ..
Now shall we Cuthbert's tidings know." ".
But evil news the letters bare,
The Clifford's force was strong and ware, i
Augmented, too, that very morn,.
By mountaineers who came with Lorn.
Long harrow'd by oppressor's hand,
Courage and faith had fled the land,
And over Carrick, dark and deep, ..
Had sunk dejection's iron sleep. ::
Cuthbert had seen that beacon-flame,
Unwitting from what source it came. ;
Doubtful of perilous event,
Edward's mute messenger he sent,
If Bruce deceived should venture o'er, .
To warn him from the fatal shore.... .

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

As round the torch the leaders crowd,
Bruce read these chilling news aloud.

" What council, nobles, have we now ?

To ambush us in green-wood bough, .
And take the chance which fate may send .
To bring our enterprise to end,.. .!?
Or shall we turn us to the main
As exiles, and embark again ?”—
Answer'd fierce Edward, “ Hap what may,
In Carrick, Carrick’s Lord must stay.
I would not minstrels told the tale,
Wild-fire or meteor made us quail.”—
Answer'd the Douglas, “ If my liege
May win yon walls by storm or siege,
Then were each brave and patriot heart
Kindled of new for loyal part.”—
Answer'd Lord Ronald, “ Not for shame
Would I that aged Torquil came,
And found, for all our empty boast,
Without a blow we fled the coast.
I will not credit that this land,“
So famed for warlike heart and hand,

orm

[ocr errors]

The nurse of Wallace and of Bruce,
Will long with tyrants hold a truce.”-
“ Proye we our fate--the brunt we'll bide !"
So Boyd and Haye and Lennox cried ;
So said, so vow'd, the leaders all; .
So Bruce resolved : 66 And in my hall
Since the bold Southern make their home,
The hour of payment soon shall come,
When with a rough and rugged host
Clifford may reckon to his cost.
Meantime, through well-known bosk and dell,
I'll lead where we may shelter well.”—

[ocr errors]

XVII.
Now ask you whence that wond'rous light,
Whose fairy glow beguiled their sight ?-
It ne'er was known---yet grey-hair'd eld
A superstitious credence held,
That never did a mortal hand
Wake its broad glare on Carrick strand ;

Nay, and that on the self-same night
When Bruce cross’d o'er, still gleams the light.
Yearly it gleams o'er mount and moor,
And glittering wave and crimson'd shore-
But whether beam celestial, lent
By Heaven to aid the King's descent,
Or fire hell-kindled from beneath,
To lure him to defeat and death,
Or were it but some meteor strange,
Of such as oft through midnight range,
Startling the traveller late and lone,
I know not- and it ne'er was known.

XVIII.

Now up the rocky pass they drew,
And Ronald, to his promise true,
Still made his arm the stripling's stay,
To aid him on the rugged way.
“ Now cheer thee, simple Amadine !
Why throbs that silly heart of thine ?”

- That name the pirates to their slave, (In Gaelic 'tis the Changeling) gave “ Dost thou not rest thee on my arm ? Do not my plaid-folds hold thee warm? Hath not the wild bull's treble hide This targe for thee and me supplied ? Is not Clan-Colla's sword of steel ? And, trembler, canst thou terror feel ? Cheer thee, and still that throbbing heart; From Ronald's guard thou shalt not part.”-O! many a shaft, at random sent,

an

Finds mark the archer little meant !
And many a word, at random spoken,
May sooth or wound a heart that's broken !
Half sooth’d, half grieved, half terrified,
Close drew the page to Ronald's side ;
A wild delirious thrill of joy

Was in that hour of agony,

As up the steepy pass he strove,
Fear, toil, and sorrow, lost in love!

« 前へ次へ »