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My Sovereign's charge, and adverse fate,
Turn we to Bruce, whose curious ear Have made our meeting all too late : Must from Fitz-Louis tidings hear; Yet this may Argentine,
With him, a hundred voices tell As boon from ancient comrade, crave- of prodigy and miracle, A Christian's mass, a soldier's grave.' * For the mute page had spoke.'
* Page!' said Fitz-Louis, 'rather say
An angel sent from realms of day Bruce press'd his dying hand-its To burst the English yoke. grasp
I saw his plume and bonnet drop, Kindly replied; but, in his clasp,
When hurrying from the mountaintop: It stiffen’d and grew cold A lovely brow, dark locks that wave, * And, O farewell!' the victor cried, To his bright eyes new lustre gave, Of chivalry the flower and pride, A step as light upon the green The arm in battle bold,
As if his pinions waved unseen!' The courteous mien, the noble race, Spoke he with none?' With noneThe stainless faith, the manly face!
one word Bid Ninian's convent light their shrine Burst when he saw the Island Lord For late-wake of De Argentine. Returning from the battle-field.' O’er better knight on death-bier laid, What answer made the Chief?' 'He Torch never gleam'd, nor mass was kneelid, said !'
Durst not look up, but mutter'd low, xxxv,
Some mingled sounds that none might Nor for De Argentine alone
know, Through Ninian's church these torches And greeted him 'twixt joy and fear, shone,
As being of superior sphere.' And rose the death-prayer's awful tone.
XXXVII. That yellow lustre glimmer'd pale Even upon Bannock’s bloody plain, On broken plate and bloodied mail, Heap'd then with thousands of the Rent crest and shatter'd coronet,
slain, Of Baron, Earl, and Banneret; 'Mid victor monarch's musings high, And the best names that England Mirth laugh'd in good King Robert's knew
eye. Claim'd in the death-prayer dismaldue. 'And bore he such angelic air,
Yet mourn not, Land of Fame! Such noble front, such waving hair? Though ne'er the leopards on thy Hath Ronald kneelid to him?' he said, shield
* Then must we call the church to aid ; Retreated from so sad a field,
Our will be to the Abbot known, Since Norman William came. Ere these strange news are wider Oft may thine annals justly boast
blown; Of battles stern by Scotland lost; To Cambuskenneth straight ye pass, Grudge not her victory,
And deck the church for solemn mass, When for her freeborn rights she To pay for high deliverance given, strove;
A nation's thanks to gracious Heaven. Rights dear to all who freedom love, Let him array, besides, such state,
To none so dear as thee! As should on princes' nuptials wait;
Ourself the cause, through fortune's By generous friendship given-had spite,
fate allow'd, That once broke short that spousal It well had bid thee rank the proudest rite,
of the proud!
Allangel now; yet little less than all,
below! Go forth, my Song, upon thy What 'vails it us that patience to venturous way;
recall, Go boldly forth ; nor yet thy master Which hid its own to soothe all blame,
other woe; Who chose no patron for his What 'vails to tell, how Virtue's humble lay,
purest glow And graced thy numbers with no Shone yet more lovely in a form so
friendly name, Whose partial zcal might smooth And, least of all, what 'vails the thy path to fame.
world should know There was- and O! how many That one poor garland, twined to sorrows crowd
deck thy hair, Into these two brief words !—there Is hung upon thy hcarse, to droop was a claim
and wither there!
END OF THE LORD OF THE ISLES.
Introduction and Notes to the Lord of the Jøles.
INTRODUCTION TO THE EDITION OF 1833.
I COULD hardly have chosen a subject more position of his trifling work, were affected popular in Scotland than anything connected by a circumstance which 'occasioned with the Bruce's history, unless I had attempted many tears and so much sorrow. True it is, that of Wallace. But I am decidedly of that''The Lord of the Isles' was concluded opinion that a popular, or what is called unwillingly and in haste, under the painful
taking title, though well qualified to ensure feeling of one who has a task which must be the publishers against loss, and clear their finished, rather than with the ardour of one shelves of the original impression, is rather who endeavours to perform that task well. apt to be hazardous than otherwise to the Although the poem cannot be said to have reputation of the author, He who attempts made a favourable impression on the public, a subject of distinguished popularity, has not the sale of fifteen thousand copies enabled the privilege of awakening the enthusiasm of the author to retreat from the field with the his audience; on the contrary, it is already honours of war. awakened, and glows, it may be, more In the ineantime, what was necessarily to ardently than that of the author himself. In be considered as a failure was much reconthis case, the warmth of the author is inferior ciled to my feelings by the success attending to that of the party whom he addresses, who my attempt in another species of composition. has, therefore, little chance of being in Bayes's 'Waverley' had, under strict incognito, taken phrase, 'elevated and surprised by what he its flight from the press, just before I set out has thought of with more enthusiasm than the upon the voyage already mentioned; it had writer. The sense of this risk, joined to the now made its way to popularity, and the consciousness of striving against wind and success of that work and the volumes which tide, made the task of composing the proposed followed, was sufficient to have satisfied poem somewhat heavy and hopeless; but, like a greater appetite for applause than I have at the prize-fighter in 'As You Like It,' I was any time possessed. to wrestle for my reputation, and not neglect I may as well add in this place, that, being any advantage. In a most agreeable pleasure inuch urged by my intimate friend, now un. Hoyage, which I have tried to commemorate happily no more, William Erskine (a Scottish in the Introduction to the new edition of judge, by the title of Lord Kinedder), I agreed "The Pirate,' I visited, in social and friendly to write the little romantic tale called The company, the coasts and
islands of Scotland, Bridal of Triermain'; but it was on the and made myself acquainted with the locali condition that he should make no serious ties of which I meant to treat. But this effort to disown the composition, if report voyage, which was in every other cffect so should lay it at his door. As he was more delightful, was in its conclusion saddened by than suspected of a taste for poetry, and as I one of those strokes of fate which so often took care, in several places, to mix something mingle themselves with our pleasures. The which might resemble (as far as was in my accomplished and excellent person who had power) my friend's feeling and manner, the recommended to me the subject for 'The Lay irain easily caught, and two large editions of the Last Minstrel,' and to whom I proposed were sold. A third being called for, Lord to inscribe what I already suspected might Kinedder became unwilling to aid any longer be the close of my poetical labours, was a deception which was going farther than he unexpectedly removed from the world, which expected or desired, and the real author's she seemed only to have visited for purposes name was given l'pon another occasion, of kindness and benevolence. It is needless I sent up another of these trifles, which, like to say how the author's feelings, or the com- ' schoolboys' kites, served to show how the
wind of popular taste was setting. The a very good imitation of my own style, which manner was supposed to be that of a rude bore such a resemblance to 'Harold the minstrel or scald, in opposition to The Bridal Dauntless,' that there was no discovering the of Triermain,' which was designed to belong original from the imitation; and I believe rather to the Italian school. This new fugitive that many who took the trouble of thinking piece was called 'llarold the Dauntless'; upon the subject, were rather of opinion that and I am still astonished at my having com my ingenious friend was the true, and not the initted the gross error of selecting the very fictitious Simon Pure. Since this periori, name which Lord Byron had made so famous. which was in the year 1817, the author has not It encountered rather an odd fate. My in been an intruder on the public by any genious friend, Mr. James Hogg, had pub-poetical work of importance. lished, about the same time, a work called The Poetic Mirror,' containing imitations of
WALTER SCOTT. the principal living poets. There was in it ABBOTSFORI), April 1830
- P. 412.
the Lord of the Isles. The conference terininThy rugged halls, Artornish! rung.
ated in a treaty, by which the Lord of the Isles agreed to become a vassal to the crown
of England, and to assist Edward IV and The ruins of the Castle of Artornish are James Earl of Douglas, then in banishment, situated upon a promontory, on the Morien, in subduing the realm of Scotland. or mainland side of the Sound of Mull, a name The first article provides, that John de Isle, given to the deep arm of the sea, which di Earl of Ross, with his son Donald Balloch, vides that island from the continent. The , and his grandson John de Isle, with all their situation is wild and romantic in the highest subjects, men, people, and inhabitants, br: degree, having on the one hand a high and, come vassals and 'liegemen to Edward IV precipitous chain of rocksoverhanging the sea, of England, and assist him in his wars in and on the other the narrow entrance to the Scotland or Ireland; and then follow the beautiful salt-water lake, called Loch Alline, allowance's to be made to the Lord of the which is in many places finely fringed with Isles, in recompense of his military service, copsewood. The ruins of Artornishi are not and the provisions for dividing such conquests noir very considerable, and consist chiefly of as their united arms should inake upon the the remains of an oll keep, or tower, with frag mainland of Scotlandamong theconfed rates. ments of outwarddefences. But in former days These appear such curious illustrations of the it was a place of great consequence, being one period, that they are here subjoined: of the principal strongholds which the Lords 'Item, The seid John Erle of Kosse shall, of the Isles, luring the period of their story from the seid fest of Whittesontvde next independence, possessed upon the mainland comyng, verely, duryng his lyf, have and of Argyleshire. llere they assembled what take, for tees and wages in tyme of peas, of popular tradition calls iheir parliaments, the seid most high and Christien piiner!'. meaning, I suppose, their cour plenure, or marc sterlyng of Englysh money; and in assembly of feudal and patriarchal vassals tyme of werte, as long as he shall entende: and dependents. From this Castle of Artornish, with his myght and power in the said upon the 19th day of October, 1401, John de werres, in manner and fourme abovesaid, Yle, designing himself Earl of Ross and Lord he shall have wages of cc. lb, sterlyng of of the Isles, granted, in the style of an in English money yearly; and after the rate (lependent sovereign, a commission to his of the tyme that he shall be occupied in the trusty and well-beloved cousins, Ronald of seid werres. the Isles, and Duncan, Arch-Dean of the Isles, 'Item, The seid Donald shall, from the for empowering them to enter into a treaty seid feste of Whittesontyde, have and take, with the most excellent Prince Edward, by during his lyf, vrly, in tyme of pras, for the grace of God, King of France and England his fees and wages, xx I. sterlyng of Englysh and Lord of Ireland. Edward IV, on his money, and, when he shall bi occupied in part, named Laurence, Bishop of Durham, intend to the werie, with his myght and the Earl of Worcester, the Prior of St. John's | power, and in manner and fourme aboveseid, Lord Wenlock, and Mr. Robert Stillington, he shall have and take, for his wages yearly, keeper of the privy seal, his deputies and xl l. sterlynge of Englysh money; or for the commissioners, to confer with those named by rate of the tyine of werre
"Item, The scid John, sonn and heire
Note II. apparant of the said Ionald, shall have and
Rude Heiskar's scal, through surges dark, take, yerely, from the seid fest, for his fees and
wages, in the tyme of peas, * 1. sterlynge Will long pursue the minstrel's bark. of Englysh money; and for tyme of werre, and his intendyng thereto, in manner and
The seal displays a taste for music, which fourme aboveseid, he shall have, for his fees
could scarcely be expected from his habits and wages, yearly xx l. sterlynge of Englysh
and local predilections. They will long folmoney, or after the rate of the tyme that low a boat in which any inusical instrument he shall be occupied in the werre: 'And the
is played, and even a tune simply whistled seid John, th' Erle Donald and John, and
has attractions for them. The Dean of the eche of them, shall have good and sufficiaunt
Isles says of Heiskar, a small uninhabited paiment of the seid fees and wages, as wel
rock, about twelve (Scottish) miles from the for tyme of peas as of werre, accordyng isle of l'ist, that an infinite slaughter of seals to thees articules and appoyntements. Item,
takes place there. It is appointed, accorded, concluded, and finally determined, that, if it so be that hereafter the said reaume of Scotlande, or the
NOTE III. more part thereof, be conquered, subdued,
- a turret's airy head, and brought to the obeissance of the seid Slender and steep, and battled round, most high and Christien prince, and his
O'erlovk'd dark Mull! thy mighty heires, or successoures, of the seid Lionell, in
Sound.-P. 414. fourme aboveseid descendyng, be the assist The Sound of Mull, which divides that ance, helpe, and aide of the said John Erle island from the continent of Scotland, is one of Rosse, and Donald, and of James Erle of of the most striking scenes which the Hebrides Douglas, then, the said fees and wages for afford to the traveller. Sailing from Oban the tyme of peas cessyng, the same erles to Aros, or Tobermory, through a narrow and Donald shall have, by the graunte of the channel, yet deep enough to bear vessels of same most Christien prince, all the posses the largest burden, he has on his left the bold sions of the said reaume beyonde Scottishe and mountainous shores of Mull; on the right see, they to be departed equally betwix those of that district of Argyleshire, called them: eche of them, his heires and succes. Morven, or Morvern, successively indented sours, to holde his parte of the seid most by deep salt-water lochs, running up many Christien prince, his heires and successours, miles inland. To the south-eastward arise for evermore, in right of his croune of a prodigious range of mountains, among England, by homage and feaute to be done which Cruachan-Ben is pre-eminent; and to therefore.
the north-east is the no less huge and pic'Item, If so be that, by th' aide and assist turesque range of the Ardnamurchan hills. ence of the seid James Erle of Douglas, the Many ruinous castles, situated generally upon said reaume of Scotlande be conquered and cliffs overhanging the ocean, add interest to subdued as above, then he shall have, enjoie,
Those of Donolly and Dunand inherite all his own possessions, landes, staffnage are first passed, then that of Duart, and inheritaunce, on this syde the Scottishe formerly belonging to the chief of the warlike see; that is to saye, betwixt the seid Scot and powerful sept of Macleans, and the scene tishe see and Englande, such he hath rejoiced of Miss Baillie's beautiful tragedy, entitled and be possessed of before this; there to holde 'The Family Legend.' Still passing on to the them of the said most high and Christien prince,. northward, Artornish and Aros becoine visible his heires, and successours, as is abovesaid, for upon the opposite shores; and, lastly Minevermore, in right of the coroune of Englonde, 'garry, and other ruins of less distinguished as weel the said Erle of Douglas, as his heires note. In fine weather, a grander and more and successours, by homage and feaute to be impressive scene, both from its natural done therefore.'-RYMER'S Fidera Conven beauties and associations with ancient history tiones Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta and tradition, can hardly be imagined. Publica, fol. vol. v. 1741.
When the weather is rough, the passage is Such was the treaty of Artornish; but it does both difficult and dangerous, from the not appear that the allies ever made any very narrowness of the channel, and in part from active effort to realize their ambitious designs. the number of inland lakes, out of which sally It will serve to show both the power of these forth a number of conflicting and thwarting reguli, and their independence upon the crown tides, making the navigation perilous to open of Scotland.
boats. The sudden flaws and gusts of wind It is only farther necessary to say of the which issue without a moment's warning Castle of Artornish that it is almost opposite! from the mountain glens, are equalli to the Bay of Aros, in the Island of the Mull, formidable. So that in unsettled weather, where there was another castle, occasional a stranger, if not much accustomed to the residence of the Lords of the Isles.
sea, may sometimes add to the other sublime sensations excited by the scene, that feeling of dignity which arises from a sense of danger.