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A mekill bounden weather bore.
They meet the king, and balsed' bim there.
And the king them their haulsing yauld;?
And asked whether they would ?
They said, Robert the Bruce they sought;
For meet with him giff that they might,
Their duelling with him would they ma’.3
The king said, “ Gif that ye will see,
Hold furth your way with me,
And I shall make you soon bim see.”
They perceived, by his speaking,
That he was the self-same Robert King,
And changed countenance, and late ; 4
And held nought in the first state.
For they were foes to the king,
And thought to come into skulking ;
And dwell with him, while that they saw
Their point, and bring him thereof daw.5
They granted till his speech forthy,
But the king, that was witty,
Perceived well, by their having,
That they loved him nothing.
And said, “ Fellows, you must all three,
Further acquaint till that we be,
All be your selven furth go.
And on the same wish we two
Shall follow behind, weil near.”
Quoth they, “Sir, it is no mister
To trow in us any ill.”
“ None do 1,” said he ; “ but I will
That ye go forth thus, while we
Better with other koowen be."
I Saluted. ? Returned their salute. 3 Make. 4 Gesture or manner. 5 Kill him.'
6 Therefore. . 7 There is no need.
“ We grant,” they said, “ since ye will so."
And forth upon their gate gan go.
Thus went they till the night was near,
And then the foremost coming were
Till a waste husband-house ;' and there
They slew the weather that they bear,
And struck fire to roast their meat ;
And asked the king if he would eat,
And rest him till the meat was dight.
The king, that hungry was, I hight,
Assented to their speech in hy,
But he said he would anerly?
At a fire, and they all three
On no wise with them together be.
In the end of the house they should ma'
Another fire : and they did sua.
They drew them in the house end,
And half the weather till him send.
And they roasted in haste their meat,
And fell right freshly for to eat.
For the king well long fasted had ;
And had right much travel made :
Therefore he eat full egrely.
And when he had eaten bastily,
He had to sleep so mekill will,
That he might set no let theretill.
For when the wames3 filled are,
Men worthyst heavy evermore;
And to sleep draws heavyness.
The king, that all for-travelleds was,
Saw that bim worthyt sleep need was z
Till his fostyr-brother he says,
' Husbandman's house, cottage.
“May I trust in thee, me to wake, :
Till I a little sleeping take po
6. Ya, sir,” he said, “ till I may dree.!!!..
The king tben winked a little way,
And sleeped not full entirely ;
But glanced up oft suddenly,
For he had dread of these three men,
That at the t' other fire were then.
That they his foes were he wyst;
Therefore he sleeped, as fowll on twist.?
The king sleeped but a little than,
When sic sleep fell on his man,
That he might not hold up his eye,
But fell in sleep and routed high.
Now is the king is great perille:
For sleep he so a little while,
He shall be dead, forouten dreid,
For the three traitors took good heed,
That he on sleep was, and his man:
In full great haste they raise up than,
And drew their swords hastily ;
And went towards the king in hy,
when that they saw him sleep sua,
And sleeping thought they would him slay.
The king upblinked kastily,
And saw his man sleeping him by,
And saw coming the t' other three.
Quickly on foot got he;
And drew his sword out, and them met.
And as he went his foot he set
Upon his man well heavily.
He wakened, and rose dizzely,
For the sleep mastered him so,
That or he got up ane of tho
That came for to slay the king,
Gave him a stroke in his rising,
So that he might belp him no more. -
The king so straitly stad' was there,
That he was never yet so stad.
No were the arming 2 that he had,
He had been dead, forouten mair.
But not forthy 3 on such manner
He helped him, in that bargain,4
That the three traitors he has slain,
Through God's grace, and his manbood.
His foster-brother there was dead.
Then was he wondre will off wayne,
When he saw bim left alone.
His fostyr-brother lamented he,
And waryet all the t' other three.
And syne his way took him alone,
And right towards his tryst? is gone.
THE BRUCE, Book VII. line 105.
Note V. And mermaid's alabaster grot, Who bathes her limbs in sunless well, Deep in Strathaird's enchanted cell.–St. XXVIII. p. 117. Imagination can hardly conceive any thing more beautiful than the extraordinary grotto discovered not many years since upon the estate of Alexander Mac-Allister, Esq. of Strathaird. It has since been much and deservedly celebrated, and a full
I So securely situated. 2 Had it not been for the armour he wore. 3 Nevertheless, 4 Fray or dispute. 5 Much afflicted.
6 Cursed. ? The place of rendezvous appointed for his soldiers.
account of its beauties has been published by Dr Mac-Leay of Oban. The general impression may perhaps be gathered from the following extract from a journal already quoted, which, written under the feelings of the moment, is likely to be more accurate than any attempt to recollect the impressions then received.
6 The first entrance to this celebrated cave is rude and unpromising; but the light of the torches, with which we were provided, was soon reflected from the roof, floor, and walls, which seem as if they were sheeted with marble, partly smooth, partly rough with frost-work and rustic ornaments, and partly seeming to be wrought into statuary. The floor forms a steep and difficult ascent, and might be fancifully compared to a sheet of water, which, while it rushed whitening and foaming down a declivity, had been suddenly arrested and consolidated by the spell of an enchanter. Upon attaining the summit of this ascent, the cave opens into a splendid gallery, adorned with the most dazzling crystallizations, and finally descends with rapidity to the brink of a pool, of the most limpid water, about four or five yards broad. There opens beyond this pool a portal arch, formed by two columns of white spar, with beautiful chasing upon the sides, which promises a continuation of
One of our sailors swam across, for there is no other mode of passing, and informed us (as indeed we partly saw by the light he carried) that the enchantment of Maccalister's cave terminates with this portal, a little beyond which there was only a rude cavern, speedily choked with stones and