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I 'll lightly front each high emprise To give the walls their destined height For one kind glance of those bright | The sturdy oak and ash unite ; eyes.
While moss and clay and leaves Permit me, first, the task to guide
combin'd Your fairy frigate o'er the tide.' To fence each crevice from the wind. The maid, with smile suppress'd and The lighter pine-trees, over-head, sly,
Their slender length for rafters The toil unwonted saw him try;
spread, For seldom sure, if e'er before, And wither'd heath and rushes dry His noble hand had grasp'd an oar : Supplied a russet canopy. Yet with main strength his strokes Due westward, fronting to the green, he drew,
A rural portico was seen, And o'er the lake the shallop flew ; Aloft on native pillars borne, With heads erect, and whimpering cry, Of mountain fir, with bark unshorn, The hounds behind their passage ply. Where Ellen's hand had taught to Nor frequent does the bright oar break twine The dark’ning mirror of the lake, The ivy and Idaean vine, Until the rocky isle they reach, The clematis, the favour'd flower And moor their shallop on the beach. Which boasts the name ofvirgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear XXV.
Loch Katrine's keen and searching air. The strangerview'd the shore around; An instant in this porch she staid, 'Twas all so close with copsewood And gaily to the stranger said, bound,
On heaven and on thy lady call, Nor track nor pathway might declare And enter the enchanted hall!' That human foot frequented there, Until the mountain-maiden show'd
XXVII. A clambering unsuspected road, My hope, my heaven, my trust must be, That winded through the tangled My gentle guide, in following thee.' screen,
He cross`d the threshold—and a clang And open'd on a narrow green, Of angry steel that instant rang. Where weeping birch and willow To his bold brow his spirit rush'd, round
But soon for vain alarm he blush'd With their long fibres swept the When on the floor he saw display', ground.
Cause of the din, a naked blade Here, for retreat in dangerous hour, Dropp'd from the sheath, that careless Some chief had framed a rustic bower. flung,
Upon a stag's huge antlers swung ; XXVI.
For all around, the walls to grace, It was a lodge of ample size,
Hung trophies of the fight or chase: But strange of structure and device; A target there, a bugle here, Of such materials, as around
A battle-axe, a hunting-spear, The workman's hand had readiest And broadswords, bows, and arrows found;
store, Lopp'd off their boughs, their hoar With the tusk'd trophics of the boar. trunks bared,
Here grins the wolf as when he died, And by the hatchet rudely squared. And there the wild-cat's brindled hide
The frontlet of the elk adorns,
And from his deadliest foeman's door Or mantles o'er the bison's horns ; Unquestion'd turn, the banquet o'er. Pennons and flags defaced and stain'd, At length his rank the stranger names, That blackening streaks of blood “The Knight of Snowdoun, James retain'd,
Fitz-James; And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white, Lord of a barren heritage, With otter's fur and seal's unite, Which his brave sires, from age to In rude and uncouth tapestry all,
age, To garnish forth the silvan hall. By their good swords had held with XXVIII.
toil; The wondering stranger round him
His sire had fallen in such turmoil, gazed,
And he, God wot, was forced to stand And next the fallen weapon raised:
Oft for his right with blade in hand. Few were the arms whose sinewy This morning, with Lord Moray's train, strength
He chased a stalwart stag in vain, Sufficed to stretch it forth at length;
Outstripp'd his comrades, miss'd the And as the brand he poised and sway'd,
deer, "I never knew but one,' he said,
Lost his good steed,andwander'd here.' • Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield
Fain would the Knight in turn require A blade like this in battle-field.' She sigh'd, then smiled and took the
The name and state of Ellen's sire.
Well show'd the elder lady's mien, word : 'You see the guardian champion's Ellen, though more her looks display'd
That courts and cities she had seen; sword;
The simple grace of silvan maid, As light it trembles in his hand,
In speech and gesture, form and face, As in my grasp a hazel wand; My sire's tall form might grace the part "Twere strange, in ruder rank to find
Show'd she was come of gentle race. Of Ferragus or Ascabart;
Such looks, such manners, and such But in the absent giant's hold
mind. Are women now, and menials old.'
Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun
gave, The mistress of the mansion came, Dame Margaret heard with silence Mature of age, a graceful dame;
grave; Whose easy step and stately port Or Ellen, innocently gay, Had well become a princely court;
Turn'd all inquiry light away-To whom, though more than kindred Weird women we! by dale and down knew,
We dwell, afar from tower and town. Young Ellen gave a mother's due. We stem the flood, we ride the blast, Meet welcome to her guest she made, On wandering knights our spells we And every courteous rite was paid
cast; That hospitality could claim,
While viewless minstrels touch the Though all unask'd his birth and string, name.
'Tis thus our charmed rhymes we sing.' Such then the reverence to a guest, She sung, and still a harp unseen That fellest foe might join the feast, Fill'd up the symphony between.
Sleep! the deer is in his den ;
Sleep! thy hounds are by theelying;
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen, “Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er, How thy gallant steed lay dying. Sleep the sleep that knows not | Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done, breaking;
Think not of the rising sun, Dream of battled fields no more, For at dawning to assail ye,
Days of danger, nights of waking. Here no bugles sound reveillé.' In our isle's enchanted hall,
XXXIII. Hands unseen thy couch are strew
The hall was clear'd—the stranger's ing,
bed Fairy strains of music fall,
Was there of mountain heatherspread, Every sense in slumber dewing.
Where oft a hundred guests had lain, Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
And dream'd their forest sports again. Dream of fighting fields no more : Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
But vainly did the heath-flower shed
Its moorland fragrance round his head; Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
Not Ellen's spell had lull'd to rest No rude sound shall reach thine car,
The fever of his troubled breast. Armour's clang, orwar-steed champ
In broken dreams the image rose ing,
Of varied perils, pains, and woes: Trump nor pibroch summon here
His steed now flounders in the brake, Mustering clan, or squadron tramp
Now sinks his barge upon the lake; ing.
Now leader of a broken host, Yet the lark's shrill fife may come
His standard falls, his honour's lost. At the day-break from the fallow,
Then,—from my couch may heavenly And the bittern sound his drum,
might Booming from the sedgy shallow.
Chase that worst phantom of the Ruder sounds shall none be near,
night!-Guards nor warders challenge here,
Again return'd the scenes of youth, Here's no war-steed's neighandchamp
Of confident undoubting truth ; ing,
Again his soul he interchanged Shouting clans, or squadrons stamping. With friends whose hearts were long
They come, in dim procession lcd, She paused – then, blushing, led the lay The cold, the faithless, and the dead; To grace the stranger of the day.
As warm each hand, each brow as gay, Her mellow notes awhile prolong As if they parted yesterday. The cadence of the flowing song, And doubt distracts him at the viewTill to her lips in measured frame
O were his senses false or true? The minstrel
spontaneous Dream'd he of death, or broken vow,
Or is it all a vision now?
'Iluntsman, rest! thy chase is done; At length, with Ellen in a grove
While our slumbrous spells assail ye, He seem’d to walk, and speak of love; Dream not, with the rising sun, She listen'd with a blush and sigh,
Bugles here shall sound reveillé, His suit waswarm, his liopes were high.
He sought her yielded hand to clasp, Can I not frame a fever'd dream, And a cold gauntlet met his grasp : But still the Douglas is the theme? The phantom's sex was changed and I'll dream no more ; by manly mind gone,
Not even in sleep is will resign d. Upon its head a helmet shone; My midnight orisons said o'er, Slowly enlarged to giant size,
I'll turn to rest, and dream no more.' With darken'd cheek and threatening His midnight orisons he told, eyes,
A prayer with every bead of gold, The grisly visage, stern and hoar, Consign'd to heaven his cares and To Ellen still a likeness bore.
Until the heath-cock shrilly crew, The hearth's decaying brands were And morning dawn'd on Benvenuc.
The Joland. high, And thoughts on thoughts, a countless throng,
At morn the black-cock trims his jetty Rush'd, chasing countless thoughts
'Tis morning prompts the linnet's
blithest lay, Until, the giddy whirl to cure, He rose, and sought the moonshine
All Nature's children feel the matin
Of life reviving with reviving day ;
And while yon little bark glides down The wild-rose, eglantine, and broom,
the bay, Wasted around their rich perfume;
Wafting the stranger on his way The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm,
again, The aspens slept beneath the calm ;
Morn's genial influence roused a The silver light, with quivering glance,
minstrel grey, Play'd on the water's still expanse:
And sweetly o'er the lake was heard Wild were the heart whose passion's
thy strain, sway
Mix'd with the sounding harp, OwhiteCould rage beneath the sober ray!
hair'd Allan-Bane ! He felt its calm, that warrior guest, While thus he communed with his breast :
SONG. "Why is it, at each turn I trace Not faster yonder rowers' might Some memory of that exiled race ? Flings from their oars the spray, Can I not mountain-maiden spy, Not faster yonder rippling bright, But she must bear the Douglas eye ? That tracks the shallop's course in Can I not view a Highland brand,
light, But it must match the Douglas hand ?
Melts in the lake away,
Than men from memory erase
Reclined against a blighted tree, The benefits of former days;
As wasted, grey, and worn as he. Then, stranger, go ! good speed the To minstrel meditation given, while,
His reverend brow was raised to Nor think again of the lonely isle.
As from the rising sun to claim High place to thee in royal court,
A sparkle of inspiring flame. High place in battled line,
His hand, reclined upon the wire, Good hawk and hound forsilvan sport, Seem'd watching the awakening fire; Where beauty sees the brave resort, So still he sate, as those who wait The honour'd meed be thine !
Till judgment speak the doom of fate; True be thy sword, thy friend sincere, So still, as if no breeze might dare Thy lady constant, kind, and dear, To lift one lock of hoary hair; And lost in love's and friendship’s smile So still, as life itself were fled, Be memory of the lonely isle.
In the last sound his harp had sped.
Upon a rock with lichens wild, "But if beneath yon southern sky
Beside him Ellen sate and smiled. A plaided stranger roam,
Smiled she to see the stately drake Whose drooping crest and stifled sigh, Lead forth his fleet upon the lake, And sunken cheek and heavy eye, While her vex'd spaniel, from the Pine for his Highland home;
beach Then, warrior, then be thine to show Bay'd at the prize beyond his reach? The care that soothes a wanderer's Yet tell me, then, the maid who knows, woe ;
Why deepen’d on her check the rose ? Remember then thy hap ere while, Forgive, forgive, Fidelity! A stranger in the lonely isle.
Perchance the maiden smiled to see
Yon parting lingerer wave adieu, Or if on life's uncertain main
And stop and turn to wave anew; Mishap shall mar thy sail ;
And, lovely ladies, ere your ire If faithful, wise, and brave in vain,
Condemn the heroine of my lyre, Woe, want, and exile thou sustain
Show me the fair would scorn to spy, Beneath the fickle gale;
And prize such conquest of her eye! Waste not a sigh on fortune changed, On thankless courts, or friends estranged,
While yet he loiter'd on the spot, But come where kindred worth shall It seem'd as Ellen mark'd him not; smile
But when he turn'd him to the glade, To greet thee in the lonely isle.' One courteous parting sign she made;
And after, oft the knight would say,
That not when prize of festal day As died the sounds upon the tide, Was dealt him by the brightest fair The shallop reach'd the mainland side, Who e'er wore jewel in her hair, And ere his onward way he took, So highly did his bosom swell, The stranger cast a lingering look, As at that simple mute farewell. Where easily his eye might reach Now with a trusty mountain-guide, The Harper on the islet beach, And his dark stag-hounds by his side,