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land or sea,

Far up the lake 'twere safest land,
Himself would row him to the strand.

Canto Third.
He gave his counsel to the wind,
While Malcolm did, unheeding, bind,

The Gathering.
Round dirk and pouch and broad-
sword rollid,

TIME rolls his ceaseless course. The His ample plaid in tighten’d fold,

race of yore, And stripp'd his limbs to such array

Who danced our infancy upon their As best might suit the watery way;

knee, XXXVII.

And told our marvelling boyhood Then spoke abrupt :'Farewell to thee,

legends store, Pattern of old fidelity!'

Of their strange ventures happ'd by The Minstrel's hand he kindly press'd,

How are they blotted from the things

that be! O! could I point a place of rest! My sovereign holds in ward my land,

How few, all weak and wither'd of My uncle leads my vassal band;

their force, To tame his focs, his friends to aid,

Wait on the verge of dark eternity, Poor Malcolin has but heart and blade.

Like stranded wrecks, the tide

returning hoarse, Yet, if there be one faithful Græme Who loves the Chieftain of his name,

To swecp them from our sight! Time

rolls his ceaseless course. Not long shall honour'd Douglas dwell, Like hunted stag, in mountain cell; Yet live there still who can remember Nor, cre yon pride-swoll'n robber well, dlare -

How, when a mountain chief his I may not give the rest to air !

bugle blew, Tell Roderick Dhu, I owed him | Both field and forest, dingle, cliff, and nought,

dell, Not the poor service of a boat,

And solitary heath, the signal knew; To waft me to yon mountain-side.' And fast the faithful clan around him Then plunged he in the flashing tide.

drew, Bold o'er the flood his head he bore, What time the warning note was And stoutly steer'd liim from the

keenly wound, shore;

What time aloft their kindred banner And Allan strain'd his anxious eye,

flew, Far 'mid the lake his form to spy', While clamorous war-pipes yell'd Darkening across cach puny wave,

the gathering sound, To which the moon her silver gave. And while the Fiery Cross glanced, Fast as the cormorant could skim,

like a meteor, round. The swimmer plied each active limb; Then landing in the moonlight dell, Loud shouted, of his wcal to tell. The summer dawn's reflected hue The Minstrel heard the far halloo, To purple changed Loch Katrine blue; And joyful from the shore withdrew. ' Mildly and soft the western brecze

Just kiss'd the Lake, just stirr'd the





And the pleased lake, like maiden coy, Mingled with shivers from the oak,
Trembled but dimpled not for joy; Rent by the lightning's recent stroke:
The mountain-shadows on her breast Brian, the Hermit, by it stood,
Were neither broken nor at rest; Barefooted, in his frock and hood.
In bright uncertainty they lie, His grisled beard and matted hair
Like future joys to Fancy's eye. Obscured a visage of despair;
The water-lily to the light

His naked arms and legs, seam'd o'er, Her chalice rear'd of silver bright; The scars of frantic penance bore. The doe awoke, and to the lawn, That monk, of savage form and face, Begemm’d with dew-drops, led her The impending danger of his race fawn;

Had drawn from deepest solitude, The grey mist left the mountain side, Far in Benharrow's bosom rude. The torrentshow'dits glistening pride; Not his thc mien of Christian priest, Invisible in flecked sky,

But Druid's, from the grave released, The lark sent down her revelry; Whose harden'd heart and eye might The blackbird and the speckled thrush

brook Good-morrow gave from brake and On human sacrifice to look ;

And much, 'twas said, of heathen lore In answer coo'd the cushat dove Mix'd in the charms he mutter'd o'er. Her notes of peace, and rest, and love. The hallow'd creed gave only worse

And deadlier emphasis of curse; Nothoughtof peace, nothought of rest,

No peasant sought that Hermit's Assuaged the storm in Roderick's

prayer, breast.

His cave the pilgrim shunn'd with care, Withsheathed broadsword in his hand, The eager huntsman knew his bound, Abrupt he paced the islet strand,

And in mid chase call’d off his hound; And eyed the rising sun, and laid

Or if, in lonely glen or strath, His hand on his impatient blade.

The desert-dweller met his path, Beneath a rock, his vassals' care

He pray'd, and sign’d the cross Was prompt the ritual to prepare,

between, With deep and deathful meaning

While terror took devotion's mien. fraught;

v. For such Antiquity had taught

OfBrian's birth strange tales were told. Was preface meet, ere yet abroad

His mother watch'd a midnight fold, The Cross of Fire should take its road.

Built decp within a dreary glen, The shrinking band stood oft aghast

Where scatter'd lay the bones of men, At the impatient glance he cast;

In some forgotten battle slain, Such glance the mountain eagle threw, And bleach'd by drifting windand rain. As, from the cliffs of Benvenue,

It might have tamed a warrior's heart, She spread her dark sails on the wind, To view such mockery of his art ! And, high in middle heaven, reclined, The knot-grass fetter'd there the hand With her broad shadow on the lake,

Which once could burst an iron band; Silenced the warbiers of the brake,

Beneath the broad and ample bone, IV.

That buckler'd heart to fear unknown, A heap of' wither'd boughs was piled, A feeble and a timorous guest, Of juniper and rowan wild,

The field-fare framed her lowly nest;



There the slow blind-worm left his Till with fired brain and nerves o'erslime

strung, On the fleet limbs that mock'd at time; And heart with mystic horrors wrung, And there, too, lay the leader's skull, Desperate he sought Benharrow's Still wreathed with chaplet, flush'd den, and full,

And hid him from the haunts of men. For heath-bell with her purple bloom Supplied the bonnet and the plume. All night, in this sad glen, the maid The desert gave him visions wild, Sate, shrouded in her mantle's shade : Such as might suit the spectre's child. -She said no shepherd sought her where with black cliffs the torrents side,

toil, No hunter's hand her snood untied;

He watch'd the wheeling eddies boil, Yet ne'er again to braid her hair

Till, from their foam, his dazzled eyes The virgin snood did Alice wear;

Beheld the River I)emon rise; Gone was her maiden glee and sport, | The mountain mist took form and limb, Her maiden girdle all too short,

Of noontide hag, or goblin grim ; Nor sought she, from that fatal night, | The midnight wind came wild and Or holy church or blessed rite,

dread, But lock'd her secret in her breast,

Swell'd with the voices of the dead; And died in travail, unconfess'd.

Far on the future battle-heath
His eye beheld the ranks of death :

Thus the lone Seer, from mankind Alone, among his young compeers,

hurid, Was Brian from his infant years;

Shaped forth a disembodied world. A moody and heart-broken boy, One lingering sympathy of mind Estranged from sympathy and joy,

Still bound him to the mortal kind; Bearing each taunt which careless The only parent he could claim tongue

Of ancient Alpine's lineage came. On his mysterious lineage flung.

Late had he heard, in prophet's dream, Whole nights he spent by moonlight The fatal Ben-Shie’s boding scream : pale,

Sounds, too, had come in midnight To wood and stream his hap to wail,

blast, Till, frantic, he as truth received Of charging steeds, carcering fast What of his birth the crowd believed, | Along Benharrow's shingly side, And sought, in mist and meteor fire,

Where mortal horseman ne'er might To meet and know his Phantom Sire! ride; In vain, to soothe his wayward fate,

The thunderbolt had split the pine; The cloister oped her pitying gate; All augur'd ill to Alpine's line. In vain, the learning of the age He girt his loins, and came to show Unclasp'd the sable-letter'd page; The signals of impending woe, Even in its treasures he could find And now stood prompt to bless or ban, Food for the fever of his mind.

As bade the Chieftain of his clan. Eager he read whatever tells Of magic, cabala, and spells, And every dark pursuit allicd

'Twas all prepared; and from the rock. To curious and presumptuous pride; ¡ A goat, the patriarch of the flock,



Before the kindling pile was laid, Ben-an's grey scalp the accents knew, And pierced by Roderick’s ready blade. The joyous wolf from covert drew, Patient the sickening victim cyed The exulting eagle scream'd afar,— The life-blood ebb in crimson tide, They knew the voice of Alpine's war. Down his clogg'd beard and shaggy

limb, Till darkness glazed his eyeballs dim. The shout was hush'd on lake and fell, The grisly priest, with murmuring | The monk resumed his mutter'd spell: prayer,


Dismal and low its accents came, A slender crosslet form’d with care,

The while he scathed the Cross with A cubit's length in measure due ;

flame ; The shaft and limbs were rods of yew, And the few words that reach'd the air, Whose parents in Inch-Cailliach wave Although the holiest name was there, Their shadows o'er Clan-Alpine's grave, | Had more of blasphemy than prayer. And, answering Lomond's breezes But when he shook above the crowd deep,

Its kindled points, he spoke aloud : Soothemanya chieftain's endless sleep. The Cross, thus form’d, he heldon high, At this dread sign the ready spear !

Woc to the wretch who fails to rear With wasted hand, and haggard eye,

For, as the flames this symbol sear, Andstrangeand mingled feelings woke, While his anathema he spoke :

His home, the refuge of his fear,

A kindred fate shall know; Far o'er its roof the volumed flame

Clan-Alpine's vengeance shall proWoe to the clansman, who shall view

claim, This symbol of sepulchral yew, While maids and matrons on his name Forgetful that its branches grew

Shall call down wretchedness and Where weep the heavens their holiest

shame, dew

And infamy and woe.' On Alpine's dwelling low! Deserter of his Chieftain's trust, Then rose the cry of females, shrill He ne'er shall mingle with their dust, As goss-hawk's whistle on the hill, But, from his sires and kindred thrust, Denouncing misery and ill, Each clansman's execration just Mingled with childhood's babbling trill

Shall doom him wrath and woe.' Of curses stammer'd slow; He paused ;-the word the vassals Answering, with imprecation dread, took,

"Sunk be his home in embers red ! With forward step and fiery look, And cursed be the meanest shed On high their naked brands they Thate'er shall hide the houseless head, shook,

We doom to want and woe!' Their clattering targets wildly strook; A sharp and shrieking echo gave, And first in murmur low,

Coir-Uriskin, thy goblin cave! Then, like the billow in his course, And the grey pass where birches wave That far to seaward finds his source, On Beala-nam-bo. And flings to shore his muster'd force, Burst, with loud roar, their answer

XI. livarse,

Then deeper paused the priest anew, Woc to the traitor, woe!' i And hard his labouring breath he drew,


While, with set teeth and clenched | Dancing in foam and ripple still, hand,

When it had near'd the mainland hill; And eyes that glow'd like fiery brand, i And from the silver beach's side He meditated curse more dread, Still was the prow three fathom wide, And deadlier, on the clansman's head, When lightly bounded to the land Who, summon’d to his Chieftain's aid, | The messenger of blood and brand. The signal saw and disobey 'd. Thecrosslet's points of sparkling wood, He quenched among the bubbling Speed, Malise, speed! the dun deer's blood,

hide And, as again the sign he rear'd,

On fleeter foot was never tied. Hollowand hoarse his voice was heard: Speed, Malise, speed: such cause of "When flits this Cross from man to

haste man,

Thine active sinews never braced. Vich-Alpine's summons to his clan, Bend 'gainst the steepy hill thy Burst be the car that fails to heed!

breast, Palsied the foot that shuns to speed !

Burst down like torrent from its crest; May ravens tear the careless eyes,

With short and springing footstep pass Wolves make the coward heart their The trernbling bog and false morass; prize!

Across the brook like roebuck bound, As sinks that blood-stream in the earth, ; And thread the brake like questing So may his heart's-blood drench his hound; hearth!

The crag is high, the scaur is deep, Is dies in hissing gore the spark,

Yet shrink not from the desperate leap : Quench thou hislight, Destruction dark, Parch'd are thy burning lips and brow, And be the grace to him denied,

Yet by the fountain pause not now; Bought by this sign to all beside!' Herald of battle, fate, and fear, He ceased; no echo gave agen

Stretch onward in thy fleet carcer! The murmur of the deep Amen.

The wounded hind thou track'st not

now, XII,

Pursuest not maid through greenwood Then Roderick, with impatient look, bough, From Brian's hand the symbol took : Nor pliest thou now thy flying pace, "Speed, Malise, speed!' he said, and | With rivals in the mountain race: gavc

But danger, death, and warrior deed, The crosslet to his henchman brave. Are in thy course; speed, Malise, • The muster-place be Lanrick mead

speed! Instant the time; speed,Malise, speed!' Like heath-bird, when the hawks pursue,

Fast as the fatal symbol flies, A barge across Loch Katrine flew; In arms the huts and hamlets rise ; lIigh stood the henchman on the i From winding glen, from upland prow;

brown, So rapidly the barge-men row, They pour'd cach hardy tenant down. The bubbles, where they launch'd the Nor slack'd the messenger his pace; boat,

He show'd the sign, he named the Were all unbroken and afloat,



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