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For knight more true in thought and deed
Than Argentine ne'er spurr'd a steed) .
And Ronald, who his meaning guess'd,
Seem'd half to sanction the request.
This purpose fiery Torquil broke ;-
66 Somewhat we've heard of England's yoke,
He said, “ and, in our islands, Fame
Hath whisper'd of a lawful claim,
That calls the Bruce fair Scotland's Lord,
Though dispossess'd by foreign sword.
This craves reflection-but though right
And just the charge of England's Knight,
Let England's crown her rebels seize,
Where she has power ;-in towers like these,
'Midst Scottish Chieftains summon'd here
To bridal mirth and bridal cheer,
Be sure, with no consent of mine,
Shall either Lorn or Argentine
With chains or violence, in our sight,
Oppress a brave and banish'd knight.

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Then waked the wild debate again,
With brawling threat and clamour vain.
Vassals and menials, thronging in,
Lent their brute rage to swell the din;
When, far and wide, a bugle-clang
From the dark ocean upward rang.

66 The Abbot comes !” they cry at once,
6 The holy man, whose favour'd glance

Hath sainted visions known;
Angels have met him on the way,
Beside the blessed martyrs' bay, . .

And by Columba's stone.
His monks have heard their hymnings high.
Sound from the summit of Dun-Y,

To cheer his penance lone,
When at each cross, on girth and wold,. "
(Their number thrice an hundred-fold,)
His prayer he made, his beads he told,

With Aves many a one

He comes our feuds to reconcile,

A sainted man from sainted isle ; · We will his holy doom abide,

The Abbot shall our strife decide.”

XXII.
Scarcely this fair accord was o'er,
When through the wide revolving door

The black-stoled brethren wind; Twelve sandall’d monks, who reliques bore, With many a torch-bearer before,

And many a cross behind.
Then sunk each fierce up-lifted hand,
And dagger bright and flashing brand

Dropp'd swiftly at the sight;
They vanish'd from the Churchman's eye,
As shooting stars, that glance and die,

Dart from the vault of night.

XXIII.

The Abbot on the threshold stood,

And in his hand the holy rood;

Back on his shoulders flow'd his hood,

The torch's glaring ray
Shew'd, in its red and flashing light,
His wither'd cheek and amice white,
His blue eye glistening cold and bright,

His tresses scant and grey. 6. Fair Lords,” he said, “ Our Lady's love, And peace be with you from above,

And Benedicite ! -But what means this? no peace is here ! Do dirks unsheathed suit bridal cheer?

Or are these naked brands
A seemly shew for Churchman's sight,
When he comes summon’d to unite

Betrothed hearts and hands ?”

XXIV.

Then, cloaking hate with fiery zeal,
Proud Lorn first answer'd the appeal ;

“ Thou comest, O holy Man, True sons of blessed church to greet, But little deeming here to meet

A wretch, beneath the ban Of Pope and Church, for murder done Even on the sacred altar-stone ! Well may'st thou wonder we should know." Such miscreant here, nor lay him low, Or dream of greeting, peace, or truce, With excommunicated Bruce ! Yet well I grant, to end debate, Thy sainted voice decide his fate."

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And knighthood's oath and honour's laws;

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