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That the bright sword of Argentine
Should in a tyrant's quarrel shine;
But, for your brave request,
Be sure the honour'd pledge you gave
In every battle-field shall wave
Upon my helmet-crest s
Believe, that if my hasty tongue
Hath done thine honour causeless wrong,
It shall be well redress'd.
Not dearer to my soul was glove,
Bestow'd in youth by lady's love,
Than this which thou hast given !
Thus, then, my noble foe I greet;
Health and high fortune till we meet,
And then what pleases Heaven.”
VII. Thus parted they—for now, with sound Like waves rolld back from rocky ground,
The friends of Lorn retire ;
Each mainland chieftain, with his train,
Draws to his mountain towers again,
Pondering how mortal schemes prove vain,
And mortal hopes expire. - i.
But through the castle double guard,
By Ronald's charge, kept wakeful ward,
Wicket and gate weré trebly barr'd,
By beam and bolt and chain;
Then of the guests, in courteous sort,
He pray'd excuse for mirth broke short,
And bade them in Artornish fort
Now torch and menial tendance led
Chieftain and knight to bower and bed,
And beads were told, and aves said, ..
And soon they sunk away
Into such sleep, as wont to shed
Oblivion on the weary head,
After a toilsome day.
But soon up-roused, the Monarch cried
To Edward slumbering by his side, ..
« Awake, or sleep for aye!
Evep now there jarr'd a secret door-
A taper-light gleams on the floor
· Up, Edward, up, I say ! -
Some one glides in like midnight ghost-
– Nay, strike not ! 'tis our noble Host.”--
Advancing then his taper's flame, ... .
Ronald stept forth, and with him came !
Dunvegan's chief-each bent the knee
To Bruce in sign of fealty,
And proffer'd him his sword,
And hail'd him, in a monarch's stile,
As king of mainland and of isle,
And Scotland's rightful lord.
“ And 0;" said Ronald, “ Own'd of Heaven !
Say, is my erring youth forgiven,
By falsehood's arts from duty driven,
Who rebel falchion drew,
Yet ever to thy deeds of fame,
Even while I strove against thy claim,
Paid homage just and true ?”— “ Alas! dear youth, the unhappy time,”. Answer'd the Bruce, " must bear the crime,
Since, guiltier far than you,
Even I”-he paused; for Falkirk's woes.
Upon his conscious soul arose.
The Chieftain to his breast he press'd,
And in a sigh conceal’d the rest.
They proffer'd aid, by arms and might,
To repossess him in his right;
But well their counsels must be weigh'd,
Ere banners raised and musters made,
For English hire and Lorn's intrigues
Bound many chiefs in southern leagues.
In answer, Bruce his purpose bold
To his new vassals frankly told.
“ The winter worn in exile o’er,
I long'd for Carrick's kindred shore.
I thought upon my native Ayr,
And long'd to see the burly fare
That Clifford makes, whose lordly call.
Now echoes through my father's hall.
But first my course to Arran led,
Where valiant Lennox gathers head,
And on the sea, by tempest toss'd,
Our barks dispersed, our purpose cross’d,
Mine own, a hostile sail to shun,
Far from her destined course had run,
When that wise will, which masters ours,
Compelld us to your friendly towers.”—
Then Torquil spoke: “ The time craves speed ! We must not linger in our deed,