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But instant pray our Sovereign Liege
To shun the perils of a siege.
The vengeful Lorn, with all his powers,
Lies but too near Artornish towers, -
And England's light-arm'd vessels ride,
Not distant far, the waves of Clyde,
Prompt at these tidings to unmoor,
And sweep each strait, and guard each shore.
Then, till this fresh alarm pass by,
Secret and safe my Liege must lie
In the far bounds of friendly Skye,
Torquil thy pilot and thy guide."
56 Not so, brave Chieftain,”? Ronald cried;
« Myself will on my Sovereign wait,
And raise in arms the men of Sleate,
Whilst thou, renown'd where chiefs debate,
Shalt sway their souls by council sage,
And awe them by thy locks of age.”—
* And if my words in weight shall fail, This ponderous sword shall turn the scale."
- The scheme,” said Bruce, "contents me well;
Meantime, 'twere best that Isabel,
For safety, with my bark and crew,
Again to friendly Erin drew.
There Edward, too, shall with her wend,
In need to cheer her and defend,
And muster up each scatter'd friend."-
Here seem'd it as Lord Ronald's ear
Would other counsel gladlier hear;
But, all achieved as soon as plann'd,
Both barks, in secret arm'd and mann'd,
From out the haven bore;
On different voyage forth they ply,
This for the coast of winged Skye,
And that for Erin's shore.
With Bruce and Ronald bides the tale.
To favouring winds they gave the sail,
Till Mull's dark headlands scarce they knew,
And Ardnamurchan's hills were blue.
But then the squalls blew close and hard,
And, fain to strike the galley's yard,
And take them to the oar, i.'' With these rude seas, in weary plight, They strove the livelong day and night, Nor till the dawning had a sight
Of Skye's romantic shore.
Where Coolin stoops him to the west,
They saw upon his shiver'd crest .
The sun's arising gleam ; .
But such the labour and delay,
Ere they were moor’d in Scavigh bay, .
(For calmer heaven compell’d to stay)
· He shot a western beam.
Then Roland said, “ If true mine eye,
These are the savage wilds that lie
North of Strathnardill and Dunskye;
No human foot comes here,
And, since these adverse breezes blow,
If my good Liege love hunter's bow,
What hinders that on land we go,
And strike a mountain deer?
Allan, my Page, shall with us wend; .
A bow full deftly can he bend,
And, if we meet an herd, may send
A shaft shall mend our cheer.”—
Then each took bow and bolts in hand,
Their row-boat launch'd and leapt to land,
And left their skiff and train, Where a wild stream, with headlong shock, Came brawling down its bed of rock,
To mingle with the main.
A while their route they silent made,
As men who stalk for mountain-deer, Till the good Bruce to Ronald said,
“ St Mary! what a scene is here !
I've traversed many a mountain-strand,
Abroad and in my native land,
And it has been my lot to tread
Where safety more than pleasure led;
Thus, many a waste I've wander'd o'er,
Clombe many a crag, cross'd many a moor,
But, by my halidome,
A scene so rude, so wild as this,
Yet so sublime in barrenness,
Ne’er did my wandering footsteps press,
Where'er I happ'd to roam."
No marvel thus the Monarch spake;
For rarely human eye has known A scene so stern as that dread lake,
With its dark ledge of barren stone. Seems that primeval earthquake's sway Hath rent a strange and shatter'd way
Through the rude bosom of the hill,