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XXVII.

Have they not been on gibbet bound, At length, resolved in tone and brow, Their quarters flung to hawk and Sternly he question dhim—And thou, hound,

Unhappy! what hast thou to plead, And hold we here a cold debate, Why I denounce not on thy decd To yield more victims to their fate ? That awful doom which canons tell What! can the English Leopard's Shuts paradise, and opens hell; mood

Anathema of power so dread, Never be gorged with northern blood? It blends the living with the dead, Was not the life of Athole shed Bids cach good angel soar away, To soothe the tyrant's sicken'd bed? And every ill one claim his prey; And must his word, till dying day, Expels thee from the Church's care, Be nought but quarter, hang, and slay! And deafens Heaven against thy Thou frown'st, De Argentine; my : prayer; gage

Arms every hand against thy life, Is prompt to prove the strife I wage.' Bans all who aid thee in the strife,

Nay, cach whose succour, cold and

scant, Nor deem,' said stout Dunvegan's With meanest alms relieves thy want; knight,

Haunts thee while living, and, when That thou shalt brave alone the fight!

dead, By saints of isle and mainland both, Dwells on thy yet devoted head, By Woden wild (my grandsire's Rends Honour's scutcheon from thy oath),

hearse, Let Rome and England do their worst, Stills o'er thy bier the holy verse, Howe'er attainted or accursed, And spurns thy corpse from hallow'd If Bruce shall e'er find friends again

!

ground, Once more to brave a battle-plain, | Flung like vile carrion to the hound; If Douglas couch again his lance, Such is the dire and desperate doom Or Randolph dare another chance, : For sacrilege, decreed by Rome; Old Torquil will not be to lack

And such the well-deservéd meed With twice a thousand at his back. | Of thine unhallow'd, ruthless decd.' Nay, chafe not at my bearing bold, Good Abbot! for thou know'st of old, Torquil's rude thought and stubborn · Abbot!' The Bruce replied, 'thy' will

charge Smack of the wild Norwegian still ; It boots not to dispute at large. Nor will I barter Freedom's cause This much, howe'er, I bid thee know, For England's wealth, or Rome's, Yo selfish vengeance dealt the blow', applause.'

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For Comyn died his country's foc.
Nor blame I friends whose ill-time

speed
The Abbot scem d with eye severe Fulfill'd my soon-repented deed,
The hardy Chieftain's speech to hear; Nor censure those from whose stern
Then on King Robert turn'd the Monk,

tongue But twice his courage came and sunk,

The dire anathema has rung. Confronted with the hero's look ; I only blame mine own wild ire, Twice fell his eye, his accents shook; : By: Scotland's wrongs incensed to fire.

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XXIX.

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XXVIII.

XXXII.

more.

Heaven knows my purpose to atone, I feel within mine aged breast
Far as I may, the evil done,

A power that will not be repress’dl. And hears a penitent's appeal It prompts my voice, it swells my From papal curse and prelate's zeal.

veins, My first and dearest task achieved, It burns, it maddens, it constrains ! Fair Scotland from her thrall relieved, De Bruce, thy sacrilegious blow Shall many a priest in cope and stole Hath at God's altar slain thy foe: Say requiem for Red Comyn's soul, O'ermaster'd yet by high behest, While I the blessed cross advance, I bless thce, and thou shalt be bless'd!' And expiate this unhappy chance He spoke, and o'er the astonish'd In Palestine, with sword and lance.

throng But, while content the Church should | Was silence, awful, deep, and long.

know My conscience owns the debt I owe, Unto De Argentine and Lorn

Again that light has fired his eye, The name of traitor I return,

Again his form swells bold and high, Bid them defiance stern and high, The broken voice of age is gone, And give them in their throats the lic! | 'Tis vigorous manhood's lofty tone:These brief words spoke, I speak no * Thrice vanquish'd on the battle-plain,

Thy followers slaughter'd, fled, or Do what thou wilt; my shrist is o’er.' ta'en,

A hunted wanderer on the wild,
XXX.

On foreign shores a man exil'd,
Like man by prodigy amazed, Disown’d, deserted, and distress’d,
Upon the King the Abbot gazed; I bless thee, and thou shalt be bless'd!
Then o'er his pallid features glance Bless'd in the hall and in the field,
Convulsions of ecstatic trance.

Under the mantle as the shield. His breathing came more thick and Avenger of thy country's shame, fast,

Restorer of her injured fame, And from his pale blue eyes were cast Bless’d in thy sceptre and thy sword, Strange rays of wild and wandering De Bruce, fair Scotland's rightful Lord, light;

Bless'd in thy decds and in thy fame, L'prise his locks of silver white, What lengthen'd honours wait thy Flush'd is his brow, through every name! vein

In distant ages, sire to son In azure tide the currents strain, Shall tell thy tale of freedom won, And undistinguish'd accents broke And teach his infants, in the use The awful silence ere he spoke. Of earliest speech, to falter Bruce.

Go, then, triumphant! sweep along

Thy course, the theme of many a song! 'De Bruce! I rose with purpose dread | The Power, whose dictates swell my To speak my curse upon thy head,

breast, And give thee as an outcast o'er Hath bless'd thee, and thou shalt be To him who burns to shed thy gore:

bless'd! But, like the Midianite of old,

Enough—my short-lived strength Who stood on Zophim, heaven-con decays, trollid,

And sinks the moinentary blaze.

XXXI.

III.

1.

Heaven hath our destined purpose

| Then murmuring sounds of doubt and broke,

fear, Not here must nuptial vow be spoke; Close pour'd in many an anxious car, Brethren, our errand here is o'er,

The solemn stillness broke; Our task discharged. I'nmoor, un And still they gazed with eager guess, moor!'

Where, in an oriel's deep recess, His priests received the exhausted | The Island Prince seem'd bent to press Monk,

What Lorn, by his impatient cheer, As breathless in their arms he sunk. And gesture fierce, scarce deign'd to Punctual his orders to obey,

hcar. The train refused all longer stay, Embark’d, raised sail, and bore away. Starting at length, with frowning look,

IIis hand he clench'd, his headheshook,

And sternly flung apart· And deem'st thou me so mean of mood, As to forget the mortal feud,

And clasp the hand with blood imbrued Canto Third.

From my dear Kinsman's heart ? Is this thy rede ? - a due return

For ancient league and friendship Hast thou not mark'd, when oer

sworn! thy startled head

But well our mountain proverb show's Sudden and deep the thunder-pcal . The faith of Islesmen ebbs and flows. has rollid,

Be it even so; believe, cre long, Hlow, when its echocs fell, a silence. He that now bears shall wreak the dead

wrong. Sunk on the wood, the meadow, Call Edith-call the Maid of Lorn! and the wold ?

My sister, slaves! For further scorn, The ryc-grass shakes not on the Be sure nor she nor I will stay. sod-built fold,

Away, De Argentine, away! The rustling aspen's leaves are mute We nor ally nor brother know, and still,

In Bruce's friend, or England's foe.' The wall-flower waves not on the ruin'd hold,

But who the Chieftain's rage can tell, Till, murmuring distant first, then

When, sought from lowest dungeon cell near and shrill,

To highest tower the castle round, Thc savage whirlwind wakes, and

No Lady Edith was there found! sweeps the groaning hill.

Heshouted,' Falschood-treachery'!
Revenge and blood! a lordly meed

To him that will avenge the deed ! Artornish! such a silence sunk A Baron's lands!'-His frantic mood Upon thy halls, when that grey Monk Was scarcely by the news withstood,

His prophet-specch had spoke; That Morag shared his sister's flight, And his obedient brethren's sail | And that, in hurry of the night, Was stretch'd to meet the southern ; Scaped noteless, and without remark, gale

Two strangers sought the Abbot's bark. Before a whisper woke.

[1 Scuit seems to have missed or dropt a line here.]

IV.

II.

VI.

* Man every galley ! fly-pursue !
The priest his treachery shall rue!
Ay, and the time shall quickly come
When we shall hear the thanks that

Rome
Will pay his feigned prophecy!'
Such was fierce Lorn's indignant cry;
And Cormac Doil in haste obey'd,
Hoisted his sail, his anchor weigh'd
(For, glad of each pretext for spoil,
A pirate sworn was Cormac Doil).
But others, lingering, spoke apart,-
• The Maid has given her maiden heart

To Ronald of the Isles,
And, fearful lest her brother's word
Bestow her on that English Lord,

She seeks Iona's piles,
And wisely deems it best to dwell
A votaress in the holy cell,
Until these feuds so fierce and fell

The Abbot reconciles.'

And I,' the princely Bruce replied,
• Might term it stain on knighthood's

pride
That the bright sword of Argentine
Should in a tyrant's quarrel shine;

But, for your brave request,
Be sure the honour'd pledge you gave
In every battle-field shall wave

Upon my helmet-crest ;
Believe, that if my hasty tongue
Hath done thine honour causeless

wrong,

It shall be well redress'd.
Not dearer to my soul was glove,
Bestow'd in youth by lady's love,

Than this which thou hast given !
Thus, then, my noble foe I greet;
Health and high fortune till we meet,

And then-what pleases Heaven.'

VII.

Thus parted they ; for now, with sound As impotent of ire, the hall

Like waves rollid back from rocky Echo'd to Lorn's impatient call,

ground, * My horse, my mantle, and my train ! The friends of Lorn retire; Let none who honours Lorn remain ! Each mainland chieftain, with his train, Courteous, but stern, a bold request Draws to his mountain towers again, To Bruce De Argentine express'd. Pondering how mortal schemes prove • Lord Earl,' he said, “I cannot chuse vain, But yield such title to the Bruce,

And mortal hopes expire. Though name and carldom both are But through the castle double guard, gone,

By Ronald's charge, kept wakeful Since he braced rebel's armour on

ward, But, Earl or serf- rude phrase was Wicket and gate were trebly barr'd, thine

By beam and bolt and chain ; Of late, and launch'd at Argentine ; Then of the guests, in courteous sort, Such as compels me to demand Hepray'd excuse formirth broke short, Redress of honour at thy hand. And bade them in Artornish fort We need not to each other tell

In confidence remain. Thatboth can wield their weapons well; Now torch and menial tendance led

Then do me but the soldier grace, Chieftain and knight to bower and bed, This glove upon thy helm to place And beads were told, and Aves said, Where we may meet in fight;

And soon they sunk away And I will say, as still I've said, Into such sleep, as wont to shed Though by ambition far misled, Oblivion on the weary head, Thou art a noble knight.'

After a toilsome day.

VIII.

X.

* The winter worn in exile o'er,

I long'd for Carrick's kindred shore. But soon uproused, the Monarch cried

| I thought upon my native Ayr, To Edward slumbering by his side,

And long'd to see the burly fare "Awake, or sleep for aye ! That Clifford inakes, whose lordly call Even now there jarr'd a secret door,

Now echoes through my father's hall. A taper-light gleams on the floor,

But first my course to Arran led, Up, Edward, up, I say!

Where valiant Lennox gathers head, Some one glides in like midnight | And on the sea, by tempest toss'd, ghost

Our barks dispersed, our purpose Nay, strike not ! 'tis our noble Host.'

cross'd, Advancing then his taper's flame,

| Mine own, a hostile sail to shun, Ronald stept forth, and with him came i Far from her destined course had run, Dunvegan's chief-cach bent the

When that wise will, which masters knee

ours, To Bruce in sign of fealty,

Compell'd us to your friendly towers.' And proffer'd him his sword, And hail'd him, in a monarch's style, As king of mainland and of isle,

Then Torquil spoke : 'The time craves And Scotland's rightful lord. • And O,' said Ronald, 'Own'd of We must not linger in our deed,

speed! Heaven !

But instant pray our Sovereign Liege,
Say, is my erring youth forgiven,
By falsehood's arts from duty driven, Thevengeful Lorn, with all his powers,

To shun the perils of a siege.
Who rebel falchion drew,

Lies but too near Artornish towers, Yet ever to thy deeds of fame,

And England's light-arm' v'essels Even while I strove against thy claim,

ride, Paid homage just and true ?'

Not distant far, the waves of Clyde, · Alas! dear youth, the unhappy time;" Prompt at these tidings to unmoor. Answer'd the Bruce, 'must bear the And sweep each strait, and guard cach crime,

shore. Since, guiltier far than you,

Then, till this fresh alarm pass by, Even I'—he paused; for Falkirk's woes

Secret and safe my Licge inust lie Upon his conscious soul arose.

In the far bounds of friendly Skye, The Chieftain to his breast he pressid, Torquil thy pilot and thy guide. And in a sigh conceal’d the rest.

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Not so, brave Chieftain, Ronald

cricd;
IX.

Myself will on my Sovereign wait, They proffer'd aid, by arms and might, And raise in arms the men of Sleate', To repossess him in his right; Whilst thou, renown'd where chiefs But well their counsels must be debate, weigh'd,

Shalt sway their souls by counsel Ere banners raised and musters made,

sage, For English hire and Lorn's intrigues And awe them by thy locks of age.' Bound many chiefs in southern leagues, . And if my words in weight shall fail, In answer, Bruce his purpose bold This ponderous sword shall turn the To his new vassals frankly told.

scale.'

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