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Nor, Edith, judge thyself betray'd,
Though Robert knows that Lorn's high Maid
And his poor silent page were one.
Versed in the fickle heart of man,
Earnest and anxious hath he look'd
How Ronald's heart the message brook'd
That gave him, with her last farewell,
The charge of Sister Isabel,
To think upon thy better right,
And keep the faith his promise plight.
Forgive him for thy sister's sake,
At first if vain repinings wake
Long since that mood is gone:
Now dwells he on thy juster claims,
And oft his breach of faith he blames
Forgive him for thine own !"
66 No! never to Lord Ronald's bower Will I again as paramour"
« Nay, hush thee, too impatient maid,
Until my final tale be said ! -
The good King Robert would engage
Edith once more his elfin page,
By her own heart, and her own eye,
Her lover's penitence to try-
Safe in his royal charge, and free,
Should such thy final purpose be,
Again unknown to seek the cell,
And live and die with Isabel.” —
Thus spoke the maid-King Robert's eye
Might have some glance of policy;
Dunstaffnage had the monarch ta’en,
And Lorn had own'd King Robert's reign;
Her brother had to England fled,
And there in banishment was dead;
Ample, through exile, death, and flight,
O’er tower and land was Edith's right;
This ample right o'er tower and land
Were safe in Ronald's faithful hand.
VIII. Embarrass'd eye and blushing cheek Pleasure and shame, and fear bespeak! Yet much the reasoning Edith made : 6. Her sister's faith she must upbraid, Who gave such secret, dark and dear, In council to another's ear. Why should she leave the peaceful cell ?How should she part with Isabel ?How wear that strange attire agen? How risk herself ’midst martial men ?And how be guarded on the way?At least she might entreat delay.” – Kind Isabel, with secret smile, Saw and forgave the maiden's wile, Reluctant to be thought to move At the first call of truant love.
IX. Oh, blame her not !when zephyrs wake, The aspen's trembling leaves must shake; When beams the sun through April's shower, It needs must bloom, the violet flower; And Love, howe'er the maiden strive, Must with reviving hope revive ! A thousand soft excuses came, To plead his cause 'gainst virgin shame. Pledged by their sires in earliest youth, He had her plighted faith and truthThen, 'twas her Liege's strict command, And she, beneath his royal hand, A ward in person and in land :And, last, she was resolved to stay Only brief space one little dayClose hidden in her safe disguise From all, but most from Ronald's eyes
But once to see him more !-nor blame
Her wish-to hear him name her name !
Then, to bear back to solitude
The thought, he had his falsehood rued !
But Isabel, who long had seen
Her pallid cheek and pensive mien,
And well herself the cause might know,
Though innocent, of Edith's woe,
Joy'd, generous, that revolving time
Gave means to expiate the crime.
High glow'd her bosom as she said,
6 Well shall her sufferings be repaid !"
Now came the parting hour-a band
From Arran's mountains left the land;
Their chief, Fitz-Louis, had the care
The speechless Amadine to bear
To Bruce, with honour, as behoved
To page the monarch dearly loved.