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So say the blushes and the sighs,
Believe, his father's castle won,
That Bruce's earliest cares restore
The speechless page to Arran's shore;
In that lone convent's silent cell.
There Bruce's slow assent allows
Fair Isabel the veil and vows;
And there, her sex's dress regain'd,
Resounded with the din of war;
And many a month, and many a day,
In calm seclusion wore away.
' These days, these months, to years had worn, When tidings of high weight were borne
To that lone island's shore;
Northward of Tweed, but Stirling's towers,
And they took term of truce,
To yield them to the Bruce.
To summon prince and peer,
At Berwick-bounds to meet their Liege,
With buckler, brand, and spear.
Forth marshall'd for the field;
There rode each knight of noble name,
With banner, blade, and shield !
For Neustria's knights obey'd, Gascogne hath lent her horsemen good, And Cambria, but of late subdued,
Sent forth her mountain-multitude,
And Connoght pour'd from waste and wood Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre rude
Dark Eth O'Connor sway'd.
Right to devoted Caledon
With menace deep and dread;
Round the pale pilgrim's head. Not with such pilgrim's startled eye King Robert mark’d the tempest nigh!
Resolved the brunt to bide,
His royal summons warn’d the land,
To combat at his side.
O who may tell the sons of fame,
From Cheviot to the shores of Ross,
From Solway-Sands to Marshal's-Moss,
All boun'd them for the fight. Such news the royal courier tells, Who came to rouse dark Arran's dells ;
But farther tidings must the ear
Of Isabel in secret hear.
These in her cloister walk, next morn,
Thus shared she with the Maid of Lorn.
« My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere
Hath been to Isabel ?
Judge then the sorrow of my heart, When I must say the words, We part !
The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation free
On happier fortunes fell.