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No! do not scorn, although its As if wild woods and waves had hoarser note
pleasure Scarce with the cushat's homely song , In listing to the lovely measure. can vie,
And ne'er to symphony more sweet Though faint its beauties as the tints i Gave mountain echoes answer meet, remote
Since, met from mainland and from isle, That gleam through mist in autumn's Ross, Arran, Ilay, and Argyle, evening sky,
Each minstrel's tributary lay And few as leaves that tremble, sear Paid homage to the festal day. and dry,
Dull and dishonour'd were the bard, When wild November hath his bugle Worthless of guerdon and regard, wound;
Deaf to the hope of minstrel fame, Nor mock mytoil-alonely gleaner , Or lady's smiles, his noblest aim, Through fields time-wasted, on sad Who on that morn's resistless call inquest bound,
Were silent in Artornish hall. Where happier bards of yore have richer harvest found.
"Wake, Maid of Lorn!''twas thus they So shalt thou list, and haply not sung, unmoved,
And yet more proud the descant rung, Toa wild tale of Albyn'swarrior day; Wake, Maid of Lorn! high right is In distant lands, by the rough West
To charm dull sleep from Beauty's Stilllive some relics ofthe ancientlay. bowers; For, whenon Coolin's hills the lights Earth, Ocean, Air, have nought so shy decay,
But owns the power of minstrelsy. With such the Seer of Skye the eve In Lettermore the timid deer beguiles ;
Will pause, the harp's wild chime to 'Tis known amid the pathless wastes hear; of Reay,
Rude Heiskar's seal, through surges In Harries known, and in Iona's dark, piles,
Will long pursue the minstrel's bark; Where rest from mortal coilthe Mighty | To list his notes, the eagle proud of the Isles.
Will poise him on Ben-Cailliach's
cloud; Then let not Maiden's car disdain
The summons of the minstrel train, WAKE, Maid of Lorn!' the Minstrels But, while our harps wild music make, sung.
Edith of Lorn, awake, awake! Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung, And the dark seas, thy towers that lave, Heaved on the beach a softer wave, O wake, while Dawn, with dewy As 'mid the tuneful choir to keep
shine, The diapason of the Deep.
Wakes Nature's charms to vie with Lull'd were the winds on Inninmore, thine! And green Loch-Alline's woodland She bids the mottled thrush rejoice shore,
To mate thy melody of voice;
The dew that on the violet lies
Nor could their tenderest numbers Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes;
bring But, Edith, wake, and all we see One sigh responsive to the string. Ofsweet and fair shall yield to thee!' As vainly had her maidens vied "She comes not yet,' grey Ferrand In skill to deck the princely bride. cried ;
Her locks, dark-brown length • Brethren, let softer spell be tried, 1 array'd, Those notes prolong'd, that soothing, Cathleen of Ulne, 'twas thine to braid; theme,
Young Eva with meet reverence drew Which best may mix with Beauty's On the light foot the silken shoe, dream,
While on the ankle's slender round And whisper, with their silvery tone, Those strings of pearl fair Bertha The hope she loves, yet fears to own.' wound, He spoke, and on the harp-strings died That, bleach'd Lochryan's depths The strains of flattery and of pride;
within, More soft, more low, more tender fell Seem'd dusky still on Edith's skin. The lay of love he bade them tell. But Einion, of experience old,
Had weightiest task—the mantle's fold iv.
In many an artful plait she tied, "Wake, Maid of Lorn! the momentsfly, 'To show the form it seem'd to hide,
Which yet that maiden-name allow; Till on the floor descending rollid Wake, Maiden, wake! the houris nigh, Its waves of crimson blent with gold.
When Love shall claim a plighted
By Fear, thy bosom's fluttering guest, 0! lives there now so cold a maid, By Hope, that soon shall fears Who thus in beauty's pomp array'd, remove,
In beauty's proudest pitch of power, We bid thee break the bonds of rest, And conquest won—the bridal hour, And wake thee at the call of Love: ! With every charm that wins the heart,
By Nature given, enhanced by Art, Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay Could yet the fair reflection view,
Lies many a galley gaily mann'd, In the bright mirror pictured true, We hear the merry pibrochs play, And not one dimple on her cheek
We see the streamers' silken band. A tell-tale consciousness bespeak ?What Chieftain's praise these pibrochs Lives still such maid ?— Fair damsels, swell,
say, What crest is on these banners wove, For further vouches not my lay, The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell Save that such lived in Britain's islc, The riddle must be read by Love,' When Lorn's bright Edith scorn'd to
Retired her maiden train among,
(Strict was that bond-most kind of Impledge her spousal faith to wed all
The heir of mighty Somerled! Inviolate in Highland hall)
Ronald, from many a hero sprung, Grey Morag sate a space apart,
The fair, the valiant, and the young, In Edith's eyes to read her heart. LORD OF THE ISLES, whose lofty name In vain the attendants' fond appeal A thousand bards have given to fame, To Morag's skill, to Morag's zeal; The mate of monarchs, and allied She mark'd her child receive their care, On equal terms with England's pride. Cold as the image sculptured fair From chieftain's tower to bondsman's (Form of some sainted patroness)
cot, Which cloister'd maids combine to Who hears the tale, and triumphs not? dress;
The damsel dons her best attire, She mark'd—and knew her nursling's | The shepherd lights his beltane fire; heart
Joy, joy! each warder's horn hath In the vain pomp took little part.
sung, Wistfula while she gaz'd-then press'd Joy, joy ! cach matin bell hath rung; The maiden to her anxious breast The holy priest says grateful mass, In finish'd loveliness—and led Loud shouts each hardy galla-glass, To where a turret's airy head,
No mountain den holds outcast boor Slender and steep, and battled round, Of heart so dull, of soul so poor, O'erlook'd, dark Mull! thy mighty But he hath flung his task aside, Sound,
And claim'd this morn for holy-tide; Where thwarting tides, with mingled Yet, empress of this joyful day, roar,
Edith is sad while all are gay.' Part thy swarth hills from Morven's shore.
Proud Edith's soul came to her cye,
Resentment check'd the struggling • Daughter,' she said, these seas sigh, behold,
Her hurrying hand indignant dried Round twice a hundred islands rolld, The burning tears of injured prideFrom Hirt, that hears their northern Morag, forbear! or lend thy praise roar,
To swell yon hireling harpers' lays; To the green Ilay's fertile shore; Make to yon maids thy boast of power, Or mainland turn, where many a tower That they may waste a wondering Owns thy bold brother's feudal power, hour, Each on its own dark cape reclined, Telling of banners proudly borne, And listening to its own wild wind, Of pealing bell and bugle-horn, From where Mingarry, sternly placed, Or, theme more dear, of robes of price, O'erawes the woodland and the waste, Crownlets and gauds of rare device. To where Dunstaffnage hears the But thou, experienced as thou art, raging
Think'st thou with these to cheat the Of Connal with his rocks engaging.
heart, Think'st thou, amid this ample round, That, bound in strong affection's chain, A single brow but thine has frown'd, Looks for return and looks in vain ? To sadden this auspicious morn,
No! sum thine Edith's wretched lot That bids the daughter of high Lorn In these brief words-Hcloves her not!
Debate it not; too long I strove Hush, daughter, hush! thy doubts To call his cold observance love,
remove, All blinded by the league that styled More nobly think of Ronald's love. Edith of Lorn-while yet a child Look, where beneath the castle grey She tripp'd the heath by Morag's His fleet unmoor from Aros bay! side
See'st not cach galley's topmast bend, The brave Lord Ronald's destined : As on the yards the sails ascend? bride.
Iliding the dark-blue land, they rise Ere yet I saw him, while afar
Like the white clouds on April skies; His broadsword blazed in Scotland's · The shouting vassals man the oars, war,
Behind them sink Mull's mountain Train'd to believe our fates the same,
shores, My bosom throbb’d when Ronald's Onward their merry course they keep
| Through whistling breeze and foaming Came gracing Fame's heroic tale,
deep. Like perfume on the summer gale. And mark the headmost, scaward cast, What pilgrim sought our halls, nor Stoop to the freshening gale her mast, told
As if she veil'd its banner'd pride Of Ronald's deeds in battle bold; To greet afar her prince's bride! Who touch'd the harpto heroes' praise, Thy Ronald comes, and while in speed But his achievements swell’d the lays? His galley mates the flying steed, Even Morag- - not a tale of fame Hechides hersloth!' Fair Edith sigh’d, Was hers but closed with Ronald's ; Blushı’d, sadly smiled, and thus replied:
name, lle came! and all that had been told Of his high worth seem'd poor and
"Sweet thought, but vain! No, Morag! cold,
| mark, Tamc, lifeless, void of energy,
Type of his course, yon lonely bark, Unjust to Ronald and to me!
That oft hath shiftcd helm and sail
Since peep of morn, my vacant eyes "Since then, what thought had Edith's Have view'd by fits the course she heart
tries; And gave not plighted love its part ? Now, though the darkening scud And what requital ? cold delay,
comes on, Excuse that shunnid the spousal day. . And dawn's fair promises be gone, It dawns, and Ronald is not here! And though the weary crew may see Hunts he Bentalla's nimble deer, Our sheltering haven on their lee, Or loiters he in secret dell
Still closer to the rising wind To bid some lighter love farewell, They strive her shivering sail to bind, And swear, that though he may not Still nearer to the shelves' dread verge
At every tack her course they urge, A daughter of the House of Lorn, As if they fear'd Artornish mcre Yet, when these formal rites are o'er, Than adverse winds and breakers' Again they meet, to part no more?'
Full many a shrill triumphant note Sooth spoke the maid. Amid the tide Saline and Scallastle bade float
The skiff she mark'd lay tossing sore, Their misty shores around; And shifted oft her stooping side And Morven's echoes answer'd well,
In weary tack from shore to shore. And Duart heard the distant swell Yet on her destined course no more Come down the darksome Sound.
She gain'd, of forward way, Than what a minstrel may compare To the poor meed which peasants | And if that labouring bark hey spied,
So bore they on with mirth and pride, share,
'Twas with such idle eye
As nobles cast on lowly boor,
When, toiling in his task obscure, Her boltsprit kiss'd the broken
They pass him careless by,
Let them sweep on with heedless eyes! waves, Where in white foam the ocean raves
But, had they known what mighty Upon the shelving shore.
In that frail vessel lay,
The famish'd wolf, that prowls the
wold, Nor for Artornish Castle drew,
Had scatheless pass'd the unguarded Nor steer'd for Aros bay.
Ere, drifting by these galleys bold, Thus while they strove with wind and
Unchallenged were her way!
And thou, Lord Ronald, sweepthou on, seas,
With mirth, and pride, and minstrel Borne onward by the willing breeze,
tonc ! Lord Ronald's fleet swept by,
But had'st thou known who sail'd so Streamer'd with silk, and trick'd with
Far other glance were in thine eye! Mann'd with the noble and the bold
Far other flush were on thy brow, Of Island chivalry, Around their prows the ocean roars,
That, shaded by the bonnet, now
Assumes but ill the blithesome cheer And chafes beneath their thousand
Of bridegroom when the bride is near! oars,
Yet bears them on their way: So chafes the war-horse in his might, Yes, sweep they on! We will not That fieldward bears some valiant leave, knight,
For them that triumph, those who Champs, till both bit and boss are white, grieve. But, foaming, must obey.
With that armada gay On each gay deck they might behold Be laughter loud and jocund shout, Lances of steel and crests of gold, And bards to cheer the wassail rout, And hauberks with their burnish'd fold, With tale, romance, and lay ;
That shimmer'd fair and free; And of wild mirth each clamorous art And each proud galley, as she pass'd, Which, if it cannot cheer the heart, To the wild cadence of the blast May stupify and stun its smart, Gave wilder minstrelsy.
For one loud busy day.