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Back from the bier with strong recoil,

Still onward as they go,
Doth he in vain his harrow'd head,

And writhing body throw.
For, closing round, a band of fiends

Full fiercely with him deal,
And force him o'er the bier to bend,

With their fangs of red-hot steel.
Still on they moved, and stopp'd at length,

In the midst of the trembling hall,
When the dismal dirge, from its loudest pitch,

Şunk to a dying fall.
But what of horror next ensued,

No mortal tongue can tell,
For the thrill'd life paused in Malcom's heir,

In a death-like trance he fell.
The morning rose with cheerful light,

On the country far and near,
But neither in country, tower, nor town,

Could they find Sir Malcom's heir.
They sought him east, they sought him west,

O’er hill and vale they ran,
And met him at last on the blasted heath,

A crazed and wretched man.
He will to no one utter his tale,

But the priest of St. Cuthbert's cell, And aye, when the midnight warning sounds,

He hastens his beads to tell.

Up brizzled the locks of Malcom's heir,

And his heart it quickly beat, And his trembling steed shook under his hand,

And Swain cower'd close to his feet.
When, lo! a faint light through the porch

Still strong and stronger grew,
And shed o'er the walls and the lofty roof

Its wan and dismal hue.
And slowly entering then appear'd,

Approaching with soundless tread,
A funeral band in dark array,

As in honour of the dead.
The first that walk'd were torchmen ten

To lighten their gloomy road,
And each wore the face of an angry fiend,

And on cloven goats' feet trod.
And the next that walk'd as mourners meet,

Were murderers twain and twain,
With bloody hands and surtout red,

Befoul'd with many a stain.
Each with a cut-cord round his neck,

And red-strain'd, starting eyen,
Show'd that upon the gibbet tree

His earthly end had been.
And after these, in solemn state,

There came an open bier,
Borne on black, shapeless, rampant forms,

That did but half appear.
And on that bier a corse was laid,

As corse could never lie,
That did by decent hands composed

In nature's struggles die.
Nor stretch'd, nor swathed, but every limb

In strong distortion lay,
As in the throes of a violent death

Is fix'd the lifeless clay.
And in its breast was a broken knife,

With the black blood bolter'd round;
And its face was the face of an aged man,

With the filleted locks unbound.
Its features were fix'd in horrid strength,

And the glaze of its half-closed eye
A last dread parting look express'd,

Of wo and agony.
But, oh! the horrid form to trace,

That follow'd it close behind,
In fashion of the chief mourner,

What words shall minstrel find ?
In his lifted hand, with straining grasp,

A broken knife he press'd,
The other half of the cursed blade

Was that in the corse's breast.
And in his blasted, horrid face,

Full strongly mark'd, I ween, The features of the aged corse

In life's full prime were seen. ... gnash thy teeth and tear thy hair,

And roll thine eyeballs wild, Thou horrible, accursed son,

With a father's blood defiled!


A FEAST was spread in the baron's hall,

And loud was the merry sound, As minstrels play'd at lady's call,

And the cup went sparkling round. For gentle dames sat there, I trow,

By men of mickle might,
And many a chief with dark-red brow,

And many a burly knight.
Each had fought in war's grim ranks,

And some on the surgy sea,
And some on Jordan's sacred banks,

For the cause of Christentie.
But who thinks now of blood or strife,

Or Moorish or Paynim foe? Their eyes beam bright with social life,

And their hearts with kindness glow. “Gramercie, chieftain, on thy tale!

It smacks of thy merry mood.”“ Ay, monks are sly, and women frail,

Since rock and mountain stood." “ Fy, fy! sir knight, thy tongue is keen,

'Tis sharper than thy steel.”— “So, gentle lady, are thine eyen,

As we poor lovers feel. « Come, pledge me well, my lady gay,

Come, pledge me, noble frere ; Each cheerful mate on such a day,

Is friend or mistress dear,”

And louder still comes jeer and boast,

As the flagons faster pour,
Till song, and tale, and laugh are lost

In a wildly mingled roar.
Ay, certes, 'tis an hour of glee,

For the baron himself doth smile,
And nods his head right cheerily,

And quaffs his cup the while.
What recks he now of midnight fear,

Or the night wind's dismal moan?
As it tosses the boughs of that Elden Tree,

Which he thinketh so oft upon ?
Long years have past since a deed was done,

By its doer only seen, And there lives not a man beneath the sun,

Who wotteth that deed hath been. So gay was he, so gay were all,

They mark'd not the growing gloom ;
Nor wist they how the darkening hall

Lower'd like the close of doom.
Dull grew the goblet's sheen, and grim

The features of every guest,
And colourless banners aloft hung dim,

Like the clouds of the drizzly west.
Hath time pass'd then so swift of pace ?

Is this the twilight gray ?
A flash of light pass'd through the place,

Like the glaring noon of day.
Fierce glanced the momentary blaze

O'er all the gallant train,
And each visage pale, with dazzled gaze,

Was seen and lost again.
And the thunder's rolling peal, from far,

Then on and onward drew,
And varied its sound like the broil of war,

And loud and louder grew.
Still glares the lightning blue and pale,

And roars th' astounding din ;
And rattle the windows with bickering hail,

And the rasters ring within.
And cowering hounds the board beneath

Are howling with piteous moan,
While lords and dames sit still as death,

And words are utter'd none.
At length in the waning tempest's fall,

As light from the welkin broke,
A frighten'd man rush'd through the hall,

And words to the baron spoke. “ The thunder hath stricken your tree so fair,

Its roots on green-sward lie.”— “What tree ?”_The Elden planted there

Some thirty years gone by.” “ And wherefore starest thou on me so,

With a face so ghastly wild ?” “White bones are found in the mould below,

Like the bones of a stripling child.”
Pale he became as the shrouded dead,

And his eyeballs fix'd as stone;
And down on his bosom dropp'd his head,

And be utter'd a stifled groan.

Then from the board, each guest amazed,

Sprang up, and curiously Upon his sudden misery gazed,

And wonder'd what might be. Out spoke the ancient seneschal, “I

pray ye stand apart, Both gentle dames and nobles all,

This grief is at his heart.
“Go, call St. Cuthbert's monk with speed,

And let him be quickly shriven,
And fetch ye a leech for his body's need,

To dight him for earth or heaven.”
“No, fetch me a priest,” the baron said,

In a voice that seem'd utter'd with pain; And he shudder'd and shrunk, as he faintly bade

His noble guests remain. “ Heaven's eye each secret deed doth scan,

Heaven's justice all should fear : What I confess to the holy man,

Both heaven and you shall hear.”
And soon St. Cuthbert's monk stood by

With visage sad, but sweet,
And cast on the baron a piteous eye,

And the baron knelt low at his feet. “O, father! I have done a deed

Which God alone did know;
A brother's blood these hands have shed,

With many a fiend-like blow : “ For fiends lent strength like a powerful charm,

And my youthful breast impell’d, And I laugh'd to see beneath my arm

The sickly stripling quell’d.
A mattock from its pit I took,

Dug deep for the Elden Tree,
And I tempted the youth therein to look

Some curious sight to see.
“ The woodmen to their meal were gone,

And ere they return'd again,
I had planted that tree with my strength alone,

O’er the body of the slain.
“ Ah! gladly smiled my father then,

And seldom he smiled on me, When he heard that my skill, like the skill of men,

Had planted the Elden Tree.
“But where was his eldest son so dear,

Who nearest his heart had been ?
They sought him far, they sought him near,

But the boy no more was seen.
“ And thus his life and lands he lost,

And his father's love beside :
The thought that ever rankled most

In this heart of secret pride.
“Ah! could the partial parent wot

The cruel pang he gives,
To the child neglected and forgot,

Who under his cold eye lives !
“ His elder rights did my envy move,

These lands and their princely hall ; But it was our father's partial love,

I envied him most of all.

“ Now thirty years have o'er me pass'd,

And, to the eye of man,
My lot was with the happy cast,

My heart it could not scan.
“O! I have heard in the dead of night,

My murder'd brother's groan,
And shudder'd, as the pale moonlight

On the mangled body shone.
“ My very miners, pent in gloom,

Whose toil my coffers stored,
And cursed belike their cheerless doom,

Were happier than their lord. « 0, holy man! my tale is told

With pain, with tears, with shame; May penance hard, may alms of gold,

Some ghostly favour claim ? “ The knotted scourge shall drink my blood,

The earth my bed shall be, And bitter tears my daily food,

To earn Heaven's grace for me."
Now, where that rueful deed was done,

Endow'd with rights and lands,
Its sharp spires brightening in the sun,

A stately abbey stands.
And the meek'st monk, whose life is there

Still spent on bended knee,
Is he who built that abbey fair,

And planted the Elden Tree,

“ With fast unbroke and thirst unslaked,

Must we on the hard ground sleep?
Or, like ghosts from vaulted charnel waked,

Our cheerless vigil keep?”
“ Hard hap this day in bloody field,

Ye bravely have sustain'd,
And for your pains this dismal bield,

And empty board have gain'd.
“ Hie, Malcom, to that varlet's steed,

And search if yet remain
Some homely store, but good at need,

Spent nature to sustain.
“ Cheer up, my friends! still heart in hand,

Though few and spent we be, We are the pith of our native land,

And we shall still be free. “ Cheer up! though scant and coarse our meal,

In this our sad retreat,
We'll fill our horn to Scotland's weal,

And that will make it sweet."
Then all, full cheerly, as they could,

Their willing service lent, Some broke the boughs, some heap'd the wood,

Some struck the sparkling flint. And a fire they kindled speedily,

Where the hall's last fire had been,
And pavement, walls, and rafters high,

In the rising blaze were seen.
Red gleam on each tall buttress pour'd

The lengthen'd hall along,
And tall and black behind them lower'd

Their shadows deep and strong.
The ceiling, ribb'd with massy oak,

From bickering flames below,
As light and shadow o'er it broke,

Seem'd wavering to and fro.
Their scanty meal was on the ground,

Spread by the friendly light,
And they made the brown horn circle round,

As cheerly as they might.
Some talk of horses, weapons, mail,

Some of their late defeat,
By treachery caused, and many a tale

Of Southron spy's retreat.
“ Ay, well,” says one, “my sinking heart

Did some disaster bode,
When faithless Fadon's wily art

Beguiled us from the road."
“ But well repaid by Providence

Are such false deeds we see ; He's had his rightful recompense,

And cursed let him be.” “0! curse him not! I needs must rue

That stroke so rashly given : If he to us were false or true,

Is known to righteous Heaven.”
So spoke their chief, then silent all

Remain'd in sombre mood,
Till they heard a bugle's larum call

Sound distant through the wood.


ON Gask's deserted ancient hall

Was twilight closing fast,
And, in its dismal shadows, all

Seem'd lofty, void, and vast.
All sounds of life, now reft and bare,

From its walls had pass'd away,
But the stir of small birds shelter'd there,

Dull owl, or clattering jay.
Loop-hole and window, dimly seen,

With faint light passing through,
Grew dimmer still and the dreary scene

Was fading from the view : When the trampling sound of banded men,

Came from the court without;
Words of debate and call, and then

A loud and angry shout.
But mingled echoes from within

A mimic mockery made,
And the bursting door, with furious din,

On jarring hinges bray'd.
An eager band, press'd rear on van,

Rush'd in with clamorous sound,
And their chief, the goodliest, bravest man

That e'er trode Scotish ground.
Then spoke forthwith that leader bold,

“We war with wayward fate: These walls are bare, the hearth is cold,

And all is desolate.



“ Rouse ye, my friends !” the chieftain said,

“ That blast, from friend or foe, Comes from the west; through forest shade

With wary caution go, “ And bring me tidings. Speed ye well !”

Forth three bold warriors pass'd,
Then from the east with fuller swell

Was heard the bugle blast.
Out pass'd three warriors more; then shrill

The horn blew from the north,
And other eager warriors still,

As banded scouts, went forth.
Till from their chief each war-mate good

Had to the forest gone,
And he, who fear'd not flesh and blood,

Stood by the fire alone.
He stood, wrapp'd in a musing dream,

Nor raised his drooping head,
Till a sudden, alter'd, paly gleam

On all around was spread.
Such dull, diminish’d, sombre sheen

From moon eclipsed, by swain
Belated, or lone herd is seen

O'er-mantling hill and plain.
Then to the fitful fire he turn'd,

Which higher and brighter grew,
Till the flame like a baleful meteor burn'd

Of clear sulphureous blue.
Then wist the chief, some soul unblest,

Of spirit of power was near;
And his eyes adown the hall he cast,

Yet naught did there appear.
But he felt a strange, unearthly breath

Upon the chill air borne,
And he heard at the gate, like a blast of wrath,

The sound of Fadon's horn.
Owls, bats, and swallows, fluttering, out

From hole and crevice flew,
Circling the lofty roof about,

As loud and long it blew.
His noble hound sprang from his lair,

The midnight rouse to greet,
Then, like a timid trembling hare,

Couch'd at his master's feet.
Between his legs his drooping tail,

Like dog of vulgar race,
He hid, and with strange piteous wail

Look'd in his master's face.
The porch seem'd void, but vapour dim

Soon fill'd the lowering room,
Then was he aware of a figure grim,

Approaching through the gloom.
And striding as it onward came,

The vapour wore away,
Till it stood distinctly by the flame,

Like a form in the noon of day.
Well Wallace knew that form, that head,

That throat unbraced and bare,
Mark'd deep with streaming circlet red,
And he uttered a rapid prayer.

But when the spectre raised its arm,

And brandish'd its glittering blade,
That moment broke fear's chilly charm

On noble Wallace laid.
The threaten'd combat was to him

Relief; with weapon bare,
He rush'd upon the warrior grim,

But his sword shore empty air.
Then the spectre smiled with a ghastly grin,

And its warrior-semblance fled, And its features grew stony, fix’d, and thin,

Like the face of the stiffen'd dead.
The head a further moment crown'd,

The body's stately wreck
Shook hideously, and to the ground

Dropt from the bolter'd neck.
Back shrunk the noble chief aghast,

And longer tarried not,
But quickly to the portal pass'd,

To shun the horrid spot.
But in the portal, stiff and tall,

The apparition stood,
And Wallace turn'd and cross'd the hall,

Where entrance to the wood.
By other door he hoped to snatch,

Whose pent arch darkly lower'd, But there, like sentry on his watch,

The dreadful phantom tower'd.
Then up the ruin'd stairs so steep,

He ran with panting breath,
And from a window-desperate leap!

Sprang to the court beneath.
O'er wall and ditch he quickly got,

Through brake and bushy stream,
When suddenly through darkness shot

A red and lurid gleam.
He look'd behind, and that lurid light

Forth from the castle came;
Within its circuit through the night

Appear'd an elrich flame.
Red glow'd each window, slit, and door,

Like mouths of furnace hot,
And tint of deepest blackness wore

The walls and steepy moat.
But soon it rose with brightening power,

Till bush and ivy green,
And wall-flower, fringing breach and tower,

Distinctly might be seen.
Then a spreading blaze with eddying sweep,

Its spiral surges rear'd,
And then aloft on the stately keep,

Fadon's Ghost appear’d.
A burning rafter, blazing bright,

It wielded in its hand;
And its warrior forin, of human height,

Dilated grew, and grand.
Coped by a curling tawny cloud,

With tints sulphureous blent,
It rose with burst of thunder loud,

And up the welkin went.

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High, high it rose with widening glare,

Sent far o'er land and main,
And shut into the lofty air,

And all was dark again.
A spell of horror lapt him round,

Chill’d, motionless, amazed,
His very pulse of life was bound

As on black night he gazed.
Till harness'd warriors' heavy tread,

From echoing dell arose ;
“ Thank God!" with utter'd voice, he said,

“For here come living foes." With kindling soul that brand he drew

Which boldest Southron fears,
But soon the friendly call he knew,

Of his gallant, brave compeers.
With haste each wondrous tale was told,

How still, in vain pursuit,
They follow'd the horn through wood and wold,

And Wallace alone was mute. Day rose ; but silent, sad and pale,

Stood the bravest of Scottish race; And each warrior's heart began to quail,

When he look'd in his leader's face.


HE, who with journey well begun, Beneath the beam of morning's sun, Stretching his view o'er hill and dale, And distant city, (through its veil Of smoke, dark spires and chimneys showing,) O'er harvest lands with plenty flowing, What time the roused and busy, meeting On king's highway, exchange their greeting, Feels his cheer'd heart with pleasure beat, As on his way he holds. And great Delight hath he, who travels late, What time the moon doth hold her state In the clear sky, while down and dale Repose in light so pure and pale ! While lake, and pool, and stream are seen Weaving their maze of silvery sheen,While cot and mansion, rock and glade, And tower and street, in light and shade Strongly contrasted, are, I trow! Grander than aught of noonday show, Soothing the pensive mind.

The carriage lamps a white light throw
Along the road, and strangely show
Familiar things which cheat the eyes,
Like friends in motley masker's guise.
“What's that? or dame, or mantled maid,
Or herdboy gather'd in his plaid,
Which leans against yon wall his back?
No; 'tis in sooth a tiny stack
Of turf or peat, or rooty wood,
For cottage fire the winter's food."-
“Ha! yonder shady nook discovers
A gentle pair of rustic lovers.
Out on't! a pair of harmless calves,
Through straggling bushes seen by halves."
“What thing of strange unshapely height
Approaches slowly on the light,
That like a hunchback'd giant seems,
And now is whitening in its beams??
'Tis but a hind, whose burly back
Is bearing home a loaded sack.”—
“ What's that, like spots of flecker'd snow,
Which on the road's wide margin show?
'Tis linen left to bleach by night.”—
“Graʼmercy on us ! see I right?
Some witch is casting cantraips there;
The linen hovers in the air-
Pooh! soon or late all wonders cease,
We have but scared a flock of geese.”—
Thus ost through life we do misdeem
Of things that are not what they seem.
Al! could we there with as slight scathe
Divest us of our cheated faith!
And then belike, when chiming bells
The near approach of wagon tells,
He wistful looks to sec it come,
Its bulk emerging from the gloom,
With dun tarpauling o'er it thrown,
Like a huge mammoth, moving on.
But yet more pleased, through murky air
He spies the distant bonfire’s glare;
And, nearer to the spot advancing,
Black imps and goblins round it dancing ;
And, nearer still, distinctly traces
The featured disks of happy faces,
Grinning aud roaring in their glory,
Like Bacchants wild of ancient story,
And making murgeons to the flame,
As it were playmate of their game.
Full well, I trow, could modern stage
Such acting for the nonce engage,
A crowded audience every night
Would press to see the jovial sight;
And this, from cost and squeezing free,
November's nightly travellers see.

Through village, lane, or hamlet going,
The light from cottage window showing
Its inmates at their evening fare,
By rousing fire, and earthenware-
And pewter trenches on the shelf,-
Harmless display of worldly pelf
Is transient vision to the eye
Of hasty traveller passing by ;
Yet much of pleasing import tells,
And cherish'd in the fancy dwells,
Where simple innocence and mirth
Encircle still the cottage hearth.

And yet,

When moon is dark, and sun is set,
Not reft of pleasure is the wight,
Who, in snug chaise, at close of night
Begins his journey in the dark,
With crack of whip and ban-dog's bark,
And jarring wheels, and children bawling,
And voice of surly ostler, calling
To postboy, through the mingled din,
Some message to a neighbouring inn,
Which sound confusedly in his ear;
The lonely way's commencing cheer.

With dull November's starless sky
O'er head, his fancy soars not high.

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