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XXIII.

XXV.

Ilis coat it was all of the greenwood “Who is this maid? what means her lay?

huc, She hovers o'er the hollow way,

And so blithely he trill'd the And flutters wide her mantle grey,

Lowland lay: As the lone heron spreads his wing, • It was not that I meant to tell ... By twilight, o'er a haunted spring.' But thou art wise and guessest well.' • 'Tis Blanche of Devan,' Murdoch said, Then, in a low and broken tone,

A crazed and captive Lowland maid, And hurried note, the song went on. Ta'en on the morn she was a bride, Still on the Clansman, fearfully, When Roderick foray'd Devan-side. She fix'd her apprehensive eye; The gay bridegroom resistance made, Then turn'd it on the Knight, and then Andfeltour Chief's unconquer'd blade; Her look glanced wildly o'er the glen. I marvel she is now at large, But oft she 'scapes from Maudlin's charge.

* The toils are pitch'd, and the stakes Hence, brain-sick fool!' He raised his

are set, bow:

Ever sing merrily, merrily; Now if thou strik'st her but onc blow,

The bows they bend, and the knives I'll pitch thee from the cliff as far

they whet, As ever peasant pitch'd a bar!'

Ilunters live so cheerily. “Thanks, champion, thanks !' the maniac cried,

• It was a stag, a stag of ten, And press'd her to Fitz-James's side; Bearing its branches sturdily ; "See the grey pennons I prepare He came stately down the glen, To seek my true-love through the air! Ever sing hardily, hardily. I will not lend that savage'groom, To break his fall, one downy plume!

• It was there he met with a wounded No! deep amid disjointed stones,

doc, The wolves shall batten on his bones,

She was blecding deathfully ; And then shall his detested plaid,

She warn'd him of the toils below, By bush and brier in mid-air staid,

O, so faithfully, faithfully! Wave forth a banner fair and free,

"He had an eye, and he could heed, Meet signal for their revelry.'

Ever sing warily, warily ;
IIe had a foot, and he could speed –

Hunters watch so narrowly.' ‘Hush thee, poor maiden, and be still!'

XXVI. 0! thou look'st kindly, and I will. Mine eye has dried and wasted becn, Fitz-James's mind was passion-tossid, But still it loves the Lincoln green;

When Ellen's hints and fears werelost; And, though mine car is all unstrung,

But Murdoch's shout suspicion Still, still it loves the Lowland tongue.

wrought,

And Blanche's songconviction brought. *For O my sweet William was Not like a stag that spies the snare, forester true,

But lion of the hunt aware, lle stole poor Blanche's heart Ile waved at once his blade on high, away!

Disclose thy treachery, or die.'

XXIV.

wave

Forth at full speed the Clansman flew, It once was bright and clear as thine,
But in his race his bow he drew. But blood and tears have dimm'd its
The shaft just grazed Fitz-James'screst, shine.
And thrill’d in Blanche's faded breast: I will not tell thee when 'twas shred,
Murdoch of Alpine ! prove thy speed, Norfrom what guiltless victim's head-
For ne'er had Alpine's son such need! My brain would turn !-but it shall
With heart of fire, and foot of wind,
The fierce avenger is behind ! Like plumage on thy helmet brave,
Fate judges of the rapid strife Till sun and wind shall bleach the
The forfeit death-the prize is life! stain,
Thy kindred ambush lies before, And thou wilt bring it me again.-
Close couch'd upon the heathery moor; I waver still. O God! more bright
Them couldst thou reach :—it may | Let reason beam her parting light !
not be-

O! by thy knighthood's honour'd sign,
Thineambush’dkin thou ne'ershaltsee, And for thy life preserved by mine,
The fiery Saxon gains on thee! When thou shalt see a darksome man,
-Resistless speeds the deadly thrust, Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's
As lightning strikes the pine to dust ; Clan,
With foot and hand Fitz-James must With tartans broad, and shadowy
strain,

plume, Ere he can win his blade again. And hand of blood, and brow of gloom, Bent o'er the fall’n, with falcon eye, Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong, He grimly smiled to see him die ; And wreak poor Blanche of Devan's Then slower wended back his way,

wrong! Where the poor maiden bleeding lay. They watch for thee by pass and

fell ... XXVII.

Avoid the path ...0 God!.. She sate beneath the birchen-tree,

farewell.' Her elbow resting on her knee; She had withdrawn the fatal shaft, And gazed on it, and feebly laugh'd ; A kindly heart had brave Fitz-James; Her wreath ofbroom and feathersgrey, Fast pour'd his eyes at pity's claims; Daggled with blood, beside her lay. And now, with mingled grief and ire, The Knight to stanch the life-stream He saw the murder'd maid expire. tried ;

'God, in my need, be my relief, *Stranger, it is in vain!' she cried. As I wreak this on yonder Chief!' « This hour of death has given me more A lock from Blanche's tresses fair Of reason's power than years before ; Heblended with her bridegroom's hair; For, as these ebbing veins decay, The mingled braid in blood he dyed, My frenzied visions fade away. And placed it on his bonnet-side : A helpless injured wretch I die, "By Him whose word is truth! I swear, And something tells me in thine eye, No other favour will I wear, That thou wert mine avenger born.-- | Till this sad token I imbrue Seest thou this tress?-O! still I've In the best blood of Roderick Dhu! worn

But hark! what means yon faint halloo? This little tress of yellow hair, The chase is up; but they shall know, Through danger, frenzy, and despair: The stag at bay 's a dangerous foc.'

XXVIII.

Barr'd from the known but guarded

XXX. way,

Beside its embers red and clear, Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James Bask'd in his plaid a mountaineer ; must stray,

Anduphesprung with sword in hand, Andoft mustchange his desperate track,

“Thy name and purpose! Saxon, By stream and precipice turn’d back.

stand.' lieartless, fatigued, and faint, at length,

"A stranger.' What dost thou reFrom lack of food and loss of strength,

quire?' lic couch'd him in a thicket hoar,

Rest and a guide, and food and fire. And thought his toils and perils o’er: My life's beset, my path is lost, Of all my rash adventures past,

Thegale has chill'd my limbs with frost.' This frantic feat must prove the last !

Art thou a friend to Roderick?' 'No.' Whoe'erso mad but might haveguess'd, Thou darest not call thyself a foe?' That all this Highland hornet's nest

*I dare! to him and all the band Would muster up in swarms so soon As e'er they heard of bands at Doune? Bold words: but, though the beast

He brings to aid his murderous hand.' Like bloodhounds now they search

of game me out,Hark, to the whistle and the shout!- Though space and law thestag we lend,

The privilege of chase may claim, If farther through the wilds I go,

Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend, I only fall upon the foe: I'll couch me here till evening grey,

Whoeverreck'd, where, how, or when,

The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain? Then darkling try my dangerous way.' Thus treacherous scouts,- yet sure ΧΧΙΧ. ,

Who say thou cam'st a secret spy! The shades of eve come slowly down, "They do, by heaven! Come Roderick The woods are wrapt in deeper brown,

Dhu, The owl awakens from her dell,

And of his clan the boldest two, The fox is heard upon the fell;

And let me but till morning rest, Enough remains of glimmering light

I write the falsehood on their crest.' To guide the wanderer's steps aright,

If by the blaze I mark aright, Yet not enough from far to show

they lie

6

Thou bear'st the belt and spur of His figure to the watchful foe.

Knight.' With cautious step, and car awake,

*Then by these tokens mayest thou He climbs the crag and threads the

know brake; And not the summer solstice, there,

Each proud oppressor's mortal foc.' Temper'd the midnight mountain air,

! • Enough, enough; sit down and share

A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare.' But every breeze, that swept the wold, Benumb'd his drenched limbs with

cold. In dread, in danger, and alone, Ile gave him of his Ilighland cheer, Famish'd and chill'd, through ways The harden’d flesh of mountain deer; unknown,

Dry fuel on the fire he laid, Tangled and steep, he journey'd on ; And bade the Saxon share his plaid. Till, as a rock's huge point he turn’d, He tended him like welcome guest, Awatch-fire close before him burn'd. | Then thus his farther speech address'd:

XXXI.

'Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu And lights the fearful path on mounA clansman born, a kinsman true;

tain side,Each word against his honour spoke, Fair as that beam, although the Demands of me avenging stroke;

fairest far, Yet more,—upon thy fate, 'tis said, Giving to horror grace, to danger A mighty augury is laid.

pride, It rests with me to wind my horn, Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's Thou art with numbers overborne;

bright star, It rests with me, here, brand to brand, , Through all the wreckful storms that Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand:

cloud the brow of War. But, not for clan, nor kindred's cause, Will I depart from honour's laws;

II. To assail a wearied man were shame, That early beam, so fair and sheen, And stranger is a holy name; Was twinkling through the hazel Guidance and rest, and food and fire,

screen, In vain he never must require. When, rousing at its glimmer red, Then rest thee here till dawn of day; The warriors left their lowly bed, Myself will guide thee on the way, Look'd out upon the dappled sky, O'er stock and stone, through watch Mutter'd their soldier matins by, and ward,

And then awaked their fire, to steal, Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard, As short and rude, their soldier meal. As far as Coilantogle's ford ;

That o'er, the Gael around him threw From thence thy warrant is thy sword.' His graceful plaid of varied hue, I take thy courtesy, by heaven, And, true to promise, led the way, As freely as 'tis nobly given !' By thicket green and mountain grey. • Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry A wildering path! they winded now Sings us the lake's wild lullaby.' Along the precipice's brow, With that he shook the gather'd heath, Commanding the rich scenes beneath, And spread his plaid upon the wreath; The windings of the Forth and Teith, And the brave foemen, side by side, And all the vales beneath that lie, Lay peaceful down,like brothers tried, | Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky; And slept until the dawning beam Then, sunk in copse, their farthest Purpled the mountain and the stream. glance

Gain'd not the length of horseman's

lance.

'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain Х Canto Fifth.

Assistance from the hand to gain;

So tangled oft, that, bursting through, The Combat.

Each hawthorn shed her showers of

dew,Fair as the earliest beam of eastern That diamond dew, so pure and clear, light,

It rivals all but Beauty's tear.' When first, by the bewilderd pil

III. grim spied, It smiles upon the dreary brow of night, At length they came where, stern and And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming steep, tide,

The hill sinks down upon the deep.

I.

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Here Vennachar in silver flows, Moves our free course by such fix'd
There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose;
Ever the hollow path twined on, As gives the poor mechanic law's ?
Beneath steep bank and threatening Enough, I sought to drive away
stone;

The lazy hours of peaceful day;
An hundred men might hold the post Slight cause will then suffice to guide
With hardihood against a host. A Knight's free footsteps far and
The rugged mountain's scanty cloak

wide, Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak, A falcon flown, a greyhound stray'd, With shingles bare, and cliffs between, The merry glance of mountain maid: And patches bright of bracken green, Or, if a path be dangerous known, And heather black, that waved so high, The danger's self is lure alone.' It held the copse in rivalry. But where the lake slept deep and still, · Thy secret keep, I urge thee not; Dankosiers fringed the swampand hill; Yet, ere again ye sought this spot, And oft both path and hill were torn; | Say, heard ye nought of Lowland war; Where wintry torrents down had borne,

Against Clan-Alpine, raised by Mar?'

“No, by my word;-of bands prepared And heap'd upon the cumber'd land Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand.

To guard King James's sports I heard ;

Nor doubt I aught, but, when they hear So toilsome was the road to trace,

This muster of the mountaineer,
The guide, abating of his pace,
Led slowly through the pass's jaws,

Their pennons will abroad be flung,

Which else in Doune had peaceful And ask'd Fitz-James, by what strange

hung.' He sought these wilds, traversed by Their silken foldsshould feast the moth.

'Free be they flung! for we were loth few,

Free be they flung! as free shall wave Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.

Clan-Alpine's pine in banner brave. iv.

But, Stranger, peacefulsince you came, •Brave Gael, my pass in danger tried, Whence the bold boast by which you

Bewilder'd in the mountain game, Hangs in my belt, and by my side;

show Yet, sooth to tell,' the Saxon said, I dreamt not now to claim its aid.

Vich-Alpine's vow'd and mortal foe?' When here, but three days since, Nought of thy Chieftain, Roderick

*Warrior, but yester-morn, I knew I came, Bewilder'd in pursuit of game,

Dhu,

Save as an outlaw'd desperate man, All seem'd as peaceful and as still

The chief of a rebellious clan, As the mist slumbering on yon hill;

Who, in the Regent's court and sight, Thy dangerous Chief was then afar,

With ruffian dagger stabb'd a knight: Nor soon expected back from war.

Yet this alone might from his part Thus said, at least, my mountain

Sever cach true and loyal heart.' guide, Though deep, perchance, the villain lied.'

Wrothful at such arraignment foul, Yet why a second venture try?' Dark lower'd the clansman's sable A warrior thou, and ask me why?

scowl,

cause

VI.

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