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And deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
X. Then through the dell his horn resounds, From vain pursuit to call the hounds. Back limp'd, with slow and crippled pace, The sulky leaders of the chase; Close to their master's side they press d, With drooping tail and humbled crest; But still the dingle's hollow throat Prolong‘d the swelling bugle-note. The owlets started from their dream, The eagles answer'd with their scream, Round and around the sounds were cast, Till echo seem'd an answering blast; And on the hunter hied his To join some comrades of the day; Yet often paused, so strange the road, So wondrous were the scenes it show'd.
XI. The western waves of ebbing day Rollid o'er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire, Was bathed in floods of living fire, But not a setting beam could glow Within the dark ravines below, Where twined the path in shadow hid, Round many a rocky pyramid,
Shooting abruptly from the dell
XIV. And now, to issue from the glen, No pathway meets the wanderer's ken, Unless lie climb, with footing nice, A far-projecting precipice. (4) The broom's tough roots his ladder made, The hazel saplings lent Vieir aid; And thus an airy point he won, Where, gleaming with the selling sun, One burnish'd sheet of living gold, Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolld, Ja all her length far winding lay, With promontory, creek, and bay, And islands that, empurpled bright, Floated amid the livelier light, And mountains, that like giants stand, : To sentinel enchanted land. High on the south, huge Ben-venue Down on the lake in masses threw Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurld; The fragments of an earlier world; A wildering forest feather'd o'er His ruin'd sides and summit hoar, While on the north, through middle air, Ben-an heaved high bis forehead bare.
XII. Boon nature scatter'd, free and wild, Each plant, or flower, the mountain's child. Tere eglantine embalm'd the air, Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale, and violet flower, Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride, Group'd their dark hues with every stain The weather-beaten crags retain. With bouglis that quaked at every breath, Gray birch and aspen wept beneath ; Aloft, the ash and warrior oak Cast anchor in the rifted rock; And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung His shatter'd trunk, and frequent flung, Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high, His boughs athwart the narrow'd sky. Ilighest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glist'ning streamers waved and danced, The wanderer's eye could barely view The summer heaven's delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might scem The scenery of a fairy dream.
XV. From the steep promontory gazed The stranger, raptured and amazed. And «What a scene were here,» he cried, « For princely pomp or churchman's pride! On this bold brow, a lordly tower; In that soft vale, a lady's bower; On yonder meadow, far away, The lurrets of a cloister gray. How blithely might the bugle-liorn Chide, on the lake, the lingering morn! How sweet, at eve, the lover's lute Chimc, when the groves were still and mute! And, when the midnight moon should lave Her forehead in the silver wave, How solemn on the ear would come The holy matin's distant hum, While the deep peal's commanding tope Should wake, in yonder islet lone, A sainted hermit from his cell, To drop a bead with every knell And bugle, lute, and bell, and all, Should cach bewilder'd stranger call To friendly feast, and lighted hall.
XIII. Onward, amid the copse 'gan peep A narrow inlet, still and deep, Affording scarce such breadth of brim, As served the wild-duck's brood to swim. Lost for a space, through thickets veering, But broader when again appearing, Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face Could on the dark-blue mirror trace; And farther as the hunter stray'd, Still broader sweep its channels made. The shapey mounds no longer stood, Emerging from entangled wood, But, wave-encircled, seem'd to float, Like castle girdled with its moat; Yet broader floods extending still, Divide them from their parent hill, Till each, retiring, claims to be An islet in an inland sea.
XVI. « Blithe were it then to wander here! But no:v, --beshrew yon nimble deer,Like that same hermit's, thin and spare, The copse must give my evening fare; Some mossy bank my couch must be, Some rustling oak my canopy. Yet pass we that;--the war and chase Give little choice of restiog-place;A summer night, in green-wood spent, Were but to-morrow's merriment: But hosts may in these wilds abound, Such as are better miss'd than found; To meet with Highland plunderers here Were worse than loss of steed or deer.-- (5)
I am alone;-my bugle-strain
XVIII. And ne'er did Grecian chiscl trace A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace, Of finer form, or lovelier face! What though the sun, with ardent frown, Ilad slightly tinged her cheek with brown, The sportive toil, which, short and light, Had dyed her glowing huc so bright, Served too in hastier swell to show Short glimpses of a breast of snow: What though no rule of courtly grace To measured mood had train'd her pace, A foot more light, a step more true, Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the dew; Een the slight hare-bell raised its head, Elastic from her airy tread; What though upon her speech there hung The accents of the mountain tongue, Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, The list'ner held bis breath to hear.
XIX. A chieftain's daughter seem'd the maid; Her satin spood, her silken plaid, Her golden brooch, such birth betray'd. And seldom was a snood amid Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, Whose glossy black to shame might bring The plumage of the raven's wing; And seldom o'er a breast so fair, Mantled a plaid with modest care, And never brooch the fold combined Above a lieart more good and kind. Her kindness and ber worth to spy, You need but gaze on Ellen's eye ; Not Katrine, ia her mirror blue, Gives back the shaggy banks more true,
Thau every free-born glance confess'd
XXI. On his bold visage middle age Had slightly press'd its signet sage, Yet had not quench'd the open truth, And fiery vehemence of youth; Forward and frolic glec was there, The will to do, the soul to dare, The sparkling glance, soon blown to fire, Of hasty love, or headlong ire. His jimbs were cast in manly mauld, For hardy sports, or contest bold; And though in peaceful garb array'd, And weaponless except his blade, His stately mien as well implied A high-born heart, a martial pride, As if a baron's crest he wore, And sheathed in armour trod the shore. Slighting the petty necd lie show'd, Be told of his benighted road; His ready specch flowd fair and free, In phrase of gentlest courtesy; Yet seem'd that tone, and gesture bland, Less used to sue than to command.
XXI. A while the maid the stranger cyed, And, rcassured, at length replied, That Highland halls were open still To wildcr'd wanderers of the bill. « Nor think you unexpected come To yon lone isie, our desert home;
In rude and uncouth tapestry all, To garnislı forth the sylvan ball.
XXVIII. The wondering stranger round him gazed, And next the fallen weapon raised ; Few were the arms whose sinewy strength Sufficed to stretch it forth at length. And as the brand he poised and sway'd, « I never knew but one,» he said, « Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield A blade like this in battle-field.»She sigh'd, then smiled, and took the word; « You see the guardian champion's sword : As light it trembles in his hand, As in my grasp a hazel wand; My sire's tall form might grace the part Of Ferragus, or Ascabart; (8) But in the absent giant's hold Are women now,
and menials old,»
« Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking; Dream of baliled fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking. In our isle's enchanted hall,
Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Every sense in slumber dewing.
XXIX. The mistress of the mansion came, Mature of age, a graceful dame; Whose casy step and stately port llad well become a princely court, To whom, though more than kindred knew, Young Ellen gave a mother's due. Meet welcome to her guest she made, And every courteous right was paid, That hospitality could claim, Though all unask'd his birth and name. (9) Such then the reverence to a guest, That fellest foe might join the feast, And from his deadliest foeman's door Unquestion'd turn, the banquet o'er. At length his rank the stranger names, « The Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James ; Lord of a barren heritage, Which his brave sires, from age to age, By their good swords had held with toil; His sire had fallen in such lurmoil, And he, God woi, was forced to stand Oft for his right with blade in hand. This morning with Lord Moray's traiu lle chased a stalwart stag in vain, Outstripp'd liis comrades, miss'd the deer, Lost his good steed, and wander'd here.»--
«No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
Armour's clang, or war-steed champing, Trump nor pibroch summon here
Mustering clan, or squadron cramping. Yet the lark's shrill fife may come
At the day-break from the fallow, And the bittern sound his drum,
Booming from the sedgy shallow. Ruder sounds shall none be near, Guards nor warders challenge here, Here's no war-steed's neigh and champing, Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.»-
XXXII. She paused—then, blushing, led the lay To grace
the stranger of the day. Her mellow notes awhile prolong The cadence of the flowing song, Till to her lips in measured frame The minstrel verse spontaneous came.
«lluntsman, rest! thy chase is done,
While our slumbrous spells assail ye, Dream not, with the rising sun,
Bugles here shall sound reveillie. Sleep! the deer is in his den ;
Sleep! the hounds are by thee lying; Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen,
How thy gallant steed lay dying.
XXX. Fain would the knight in turn require The name and state of Ellen's sire; Well show'd the elder lady's mien, That courts and cities she had seen; Ellen, though more her looks display'd The simple grace of sylvan maid, In speech and gesture, form and face, Show'd she was come of gentle race; "T were strange in ruder raok to find Such looks, such manners, and such mind. Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave, Dame Margaret heard with silence grave; Or Ellen, innocently gay, Turn'd all inquiry light away :« Wierd women we! by dale and down We dwell, afar from tower and town;
XXXIII. The hall was clear'd-the stranger's bed Was there of mountain heather spread, Where oft an hundred guests had lain, And dream'd their forest sports again. But vainly did the heath-flower shed Its moorland fragrance round his licad;