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And busy talkers said they bore
Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore; At dawn the towers of Stirling rang
At noon the deadly fray begun, With soldier-step and weapon-clang,
And lasted till the set of sun.

While drums, with rolling note, foretell
Thus giddy rumour shook the town, Relief to weary sentinel.
Till closed the Night her pennons Through narrow loop and casement

The sunbeams sought the Court of

Canto Sixth.

And, struggling with the smoky air,

Deaden'd the torches' yellow glare.
The Guard-Room.

In comfortless alliance shone
The lights through arch of blacken'd

stone, The sun, awakening, through the Andshow'd wild shapes in garb of war, smoky air

Faces deform’d with beard and scar, Of the dark city casts a sullen glance, All haggard from the midnight watch, Rousing each caitiff to his task of care, And fever'd with the stern debauch; Of sinful man the sad inheritance;

For the oak table's massive board, Summoning revellers from the lagging Flooded with wine, with fragments dance,

stored, Scaring the prowling robber to his And beakers drain’d, and cups o'erden;

thrown, Gilding on battled tower the warder's Show'd in what sport the night had lance,

flown. And warning student pale to leave | Some, weary, snored on floor and


Some labour'd still their thirst to And yield his drowsy eyes to the kind nurse of men.


Some, chill'd with watching, spread What various scenes, and, O! what their hands scenes of woe,

O'er the huge chimney's dying brands, Are witness'd by that red and while round them, or beside them struggling beam !

flung, The fever'd patient, from his pallet low, At every step their harness rung. Through crowded hospital beholds

its stream; The ruin'd maiden trembles at its These drew not for their fields the gleam,

sword, The debtor wakes to thought of Like tenants of a feudal lord, syve and jail,

Nor own'd the patriarchal claim The love-lorn wretch starts from Of Chieftain in their leader's name; tormenting drcam ;

Adventurers they, from far who roved, The wakeful mother, by the glim- To live by battle which they loved. mering pale,

There the Italian's clouded face, Trims her sick infant's couch, and 'Ihe swarthy Spaniard's there you soothes his feeble wail.


his pen,



The mountain-loving Switzer there Let cach the buxom chorus bear,
More freely breathed in mountain-air; · Like brethren of the brandand spear:-
The Fleming there despised the soil,
That paid so ill the labourer's toil ;
Their rolls show'd French and Ger-

soldier's song. man name; And merry England's cxiles came, Our vicar still preaches that Peter To share, with ill conccal'd disdain,

and Poule Of Scotland's pay the scanty gain. Laid a swinging long curse on the All brave in arms, well train'd to wield bonny brown bowl, The heavy halberd, brand, and shield; ' That there's wrath and despair in the In camps licentious, wild, and bold; jolly black-jack, In pillage fierce and uncontroll'd; And the seven deadly sins in a flagon And now, by holytide and feast,


of sack; From rules of discipline released. Yet whoop, Barnaby! off with thy


Drink upsces out, and a fig for the They held debate of bloody fray,

vicar! Fought 'twixt Loch Katrine and Achray.

Our vicar he calls it damnation to sip Fierce was their speech, and, ’inid The ripe ruddy dew of a woman's their words,

dear lip, Their hands oft grappled to their | Says, that Beelzebub lurks in her swords ;

kerchief so sly, Nor sunk their tone to spare the ear

And Apollyon shoots darts from her Of wounded comrades groaning near,

merry black eye; Whose mangled limbs, and bodies Yet whoop, Jack! kiss Gillian the gored,

quicker, Bore token of the mountain sword,

Till she bloom like a rose, and a fig Though, neighbouring to the Court

for the vicar: of Guard, Their prayers and feverish wails were

Our vicar thus preaches—and why

should he not? hcard; Sad burden to the ruffian joke,

For the dues of his cure are the And savage oath by fury spoke!

placket and pot; At length up-started John of Brent,

And 'tis right of his office pour laymen A yeoman from the banks of Trent;

to lurch, A stranger to respect or fear,

Who infringe the domains of our good

Mother Church.
In peace a chaser of the deer,
In host a hardy mutineer,

Yet whoop, bully-boys: off with your But still the boldest of the crew,

liquor, When deed of danger was to do.

Sweet Marjorie's the word, and a fig He grieved, that day, their games cut

for the vicar: short,

VI. And marr'd the dicer's brawling sport, And shouted loud, “Renew the bowl! | The warder's challenge, heard without, And, while a merry catch I troll, Staid in mid-roar the merry shout.



A soldier to the portal went,

Old Allan, though unfit for strife, 'Here is old Bertram, sirs, of Ghent; Laid hand upon his dagger-knife; And, beat for jubilee the drum! But Ellen boldly stepp'd between, Amaid and minstrel with him come.' And dropp'd at once the tartan screen: Bertram, a Fleming, grey and scarr’d, So, from his morning cloud, appears Was entering now the Court of Guard, | The sun of May, through summer tears. A harper with him, and in plaid The savage soldiery, amazed, All muffled close, a mountain maid, ! As on descended angel gazed; Who backward shrunk to 'scape the Even hardy Brent, abash'd and tamed, view

| Stood half admiring, half ashamed. Of the loose scene and boisterous crew. *What news ?' they roar'd. “I only know,

Boldly she spoke, 'Soldiers, attend ! From noon till eve we fought with foe, My father was the soldier's friend; As wild and as untamcable

Cheer'd him in camps, in marches led, As the rude mountains where they

And with him in the battle bled. dwell;

Not from the valiant, or the strong, On both sides store of blood is lost, Should exile's daughter suffer wrong.' Nor much success can either boast.' Answer'd De Brent, most forward still But whence thy captives, friend? | In every feat or good or illsuch spoil

I shame me of the part I play'd: As theirs must needs reward thy toil. And thou an outlaw's child, poor maid! Old dost thou wax, and wars grow | An outlaw I by forest laws, sharp;

Andmerry Needwood knowsthe cause. Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp! 'Poor Rosc - if Rose be living now'-Get thee an ape, and trudge the land, i He wiped his iron eye and brow .. The leader of a juggler band.'

* Must bear such age, I think, as thou. Hear ye, my mates ;-) go to call

The Captain of our watch to hall: No, comrade; no such fortune mine. There lies my halberd on the floor; After the fight these sought our line, And he that steps my halberd o'er, That aged harper and the girl,

To do the maid injurious part, And, having audience of the Earl, My shaft shall quiver in his heart ! Mar bade I should purvey them steed, , Beware loose speech, or jesting rough: And bring them hitherward with speed. 'Ye all know John de Brent. Enough.' Forbear your mirth and rude alarm, For none shall do them shame or harm.'

Their Captain came, a gallant young, ‘Hearye his boast?'cried John of Brent, (Of Tullibardine's house he sprung,, Ever to strife and jangling bent; | Nor wore he yet the spurs of knight;

Shall he strike doe beside our lodge, Gay was his mien, his humour light, And yet the jealous niggard grudge And, though by courtesy controllid, To pay the forester his fee?

Forward his speech, his bearing bold, I'll have my share, howe'er it be, The high-born maiden ill could brook Despite of Moray, Mar, or thee.' The scanning of his curious look Bertram his forward step withstood; And dauntless eye;-and yet, in sooth. And, burning in his vengeful mood, Young Lewis was a generous youth;




But Ellen's lovely face and mien, Perchance, in jeopardy of war,
Ill suited to the garb and scene, Where gayer crests may keep afar.'
Mightlightly bear construction strange, With thanks ('twas all she could) the
And give loosc fancy scope to range.

*Welcome to Stirling towers, fair maid! His rugged courtesy repaid.
Come ye to seek a champion's aid,
On palfrey white, with harper hoar,
Like errant damosel of yore?

When Ellen forth with Lewis went, Does thy high quest a knight require, Allan made suit to John of Brent : Or may the venture suit a squire ?' My lady safe, O let your grace Her dark eye flash'd; she paused and Give me to see my master's face! sigh'd,

His minstrel I; to share his doom O what have I to do with pride! Bound from the cradle to the tomb); Through scenes of sorrow, shame, and Tenth in descent, since first my sires strife,

Waked for his noble house their lyres; A suppliant for a father's life,

Nor one of all the race was known I crave an audience of the King. But prized its weal above their own. Behold, to back my suit, a ring, With the Chief's birth begins our care; The royal pledge of grateful claims, Our harp must soothe the infant heir, Given by the Monarch to Fitz-James. Teach the youth tales of fight, and grace

His earliest feat of field or chase ;

In peace, in war, our rank we keep, The signet-ring young Lewis took, Wecheer his board, wesoothe hissleep, With deep respect and alter'd look; Nor leave himn till we pour our verse, And said, “This ring our duties own; A doleful tribute ! o'er his hearse. And pardon, if to worth unknown, Then let me share his captive lot; In semblance mean obscurely veild, It is my right, deny it not !' Lady, in aught my folly fail'd.

Little we reck,' said John of Brent, Soon as the day flings wide his gates, We Southern men, of long descent; The King shall know whatsuitor waits. | Nor wot we how a name, a word, Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower Makes clansmen vassals to a lord: Repose you till his waking hour; Yet kind my noble landlord's part, Female attendance shall obey

God bless the house of Beaudesert! Your hest, for service or array. And, but I loved to drive the deer, Permit I marshall you the way.' More than to guide the labouring steer, But, ere she followed, with the grace I had not dwelt an outcast here. And open bounty of her race,

Come, good old Minstrel, follow me; She bade her slender purse be shared Thy Lord and Chieftain shalt thou see.' Among the soldiers of the guard. Therest with thanks their guerdon took; But Brent, with shy and awkward look, Then, from a rusted iron hook, On the reluctant maiden's hold A bunch of ponderous keys he took, Forced bluntly back the proffer'd gold- Lighted a torch, and Allan led 'Forgive a haughty English heart, Through grated arch and passage dread; And o forget its ruder part !

Portals they pass'd, where, deep The vacant purse shall be my share,

within, Which in my barret-cap I'll bear, | Spoke prisoner's moan, and fetters'din;


Through rugged vaults, where, loosely | That shake her frame with ceaseless stored,

beat, Lay wheel, and axe, and headsman's Yet cannot heave her from her seat; sword,

O! how unlike her course at sea ! And many an hideous engine grim, Or his free step on hill and lea! Forwrenching joint, and crushing limb, Soon as the Minstrel he could scan, By artist form’d, who deem'd it shame • What of thy lady? of my clan ? And sin to give their work a name. My mother? Douglas ? tell me all ? They halted at a low-brow'd porch, Have they been ruin'd in my fall ? And Brent to Allan gave the torch, Ah, yes! or wherefore art thou here? While bolt and chain he backward Yet speak, speak boldly, do not fear.' roll'd,

(For Allan, who his mood well knew, And made the bar unhasp its hold. Was choked with grief and terror They enter'd : 'twas a prison-room

too.) — Of stern security and gloom,

· Who fought-who fled ? Old man, Yet not a dungeon ; for the day

be brief; Through lofty gratings found its way, Some might-for they had lost their And rude and antique garniture

Chicf. Deck'd the sad walls and oaken floor; Who basely live? who bravely died ?' Such as the rugged days of old O, calm thee, Chief!' the Minstrel Deem'd fit for captive noble's hold.

cried, * IIere,' said De Brent, thou mayst 'Ellen is safe.'-'For that, thank remain

Heaven!' Till the leech visit him again.

' And hopes are for the Douglas given; Strict is his charge, the warders tell, The Lady Margaret, too, is well ; To tend the noble prisoner well.' And, for thy clan,--on field or fell, Retiring then, the bolt he drew, Has never harp of minstrel told, And the lock's murmurs growl'd anew. Of combat fought so true and bold. Roused at the sound, from lowly bed Thy stately Pine is yet unbent, A captive feebly raised his head; Though many a goodly bough is rent.' The wondering Minstrel look'd, and

knew Not his dear lord, but Roderick Dhu! The Chieftain rear'd his form on high, For, come from where Clan-Alpine

And fever's fire was in his eye; fought,

But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks They, erring, deem'd the Chief he Chequer'd his swarthy brow and sought.

clieeks. --'Hark, Minstrel! I have heard thee

play, As the tall ship, whose lofty prore With measure bold, on festal day, Shall never stem the billows more, In yon lone isle, . ..again where nc'er Deserted by her gallant band, Shall harper play, or warrior hear! ... Amid the breakers lies astrand, That stirring air that peals on high, So, on his couch, lay Roderick Dhu! | O'er Dermid's race our victory. And oft his fever'd limbs he threw Strike it! and then (for well thou In toss abrupt, as when her sides

canst) Lic rocking in the advancing tides,

Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced,



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