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Far other flush were on thy brow,
That, shaded by the bonnet, now
Assumes but ill the blithesome cheer
Of bridegroom when the bride is near!
Yes, sweep they on !- We will not leave,
For them that triumph, those who grieve.
With that armada gay
Be laughter loud and jocund shout,
And bards to cheer the wassail rout,
• With tale, romance, and lay;
And of wild mirth each clamorous art,
Which, if it cannot cheer the heart,
May stupify and stun its smart,
For one loud busy day.
Yes, sweep they on! But with that skiff
Abides the minstrel tale,
Where there was dread of surge and cliff, Labour that strain'd each sinew stiff,
And one sad Maiden's wail.
All day with fruitless strife they toild,
With eve the ebbing currents boild
More fierce from streight and lake;
And mid-way through the channel met
Conflicting tides that foam and fret,
And high their mingled billows jet,
As spears, that, in the battle set,
Spring upward as they break.
Then too the lights of eve were past,
And louder sung the western blast
On rocks of Inninmore;
Rent was the sail, and strain’d the mast,
And many a leak was gaping fast,
And the pale steersman stood aghast,
And gave the conflict o'er.
. : XIX.
'Twas then that One, whose lofty look
Nor labour dull’d nor terror shook,
Thus to the Leader spoke;
“ Brother, how hopest thou to abide
The fury of this wilder'd tide,
Or how avoid the rock's rude side,
Until the day has broke?
Didst thou not mark the vessel reel,
With quivering planks, and groaning keel,
At the last billow's shock?
Yet how of better counsel tell,
Though here thou seest poor Isabel
Half dead with want and fear;
For look on sea, or look on land,
Or yon dark sky, on every hand
Despair and death are near.. . For her alone I grieve-on me Danger sits light by land and sea,
I follow where thou wilt;
Either to bide the tempest's lour,
Or wend to yon unfriendly tower,
Or rush amid their naval power,
With war-cry wake their wassail-hour,
And die with hand on hilt.”
That elder Leader's calm reply
In steady voice was given, 66 In man's most dark extremity
Oft succour dawns from Heaven.
Edward, trim thou the shatter'd sail,
The helm be mine, and down the gale...
Let our free course be driven ;
So shall we ’scape the western bay,
The hostile fleet, the unequal fray,
So safely hold our vessel's way
Beneath the Castle wall ;
For if a hope of safety rest,
'Tis on the sacred name of guest,
Who seeks for shelter, storm-distressid,
Within a chieftain's hall.
If not-it best beseems our worth,
Our name, our right, our lofty birth,
By noble hands to fall.” —
The helm, to his strong arm consign'd,
Gave the reef”d sail to meet the wind,
And on her alter'd way,
Fierce bounding, forward sprung the ship,
Like greyhound starting from the slip
To seize his flying prey. Awaked before the rushing prow, The mimic fires of ocean glow,
Those lightnings of the wave;