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But soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be. Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leprous distillment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That; swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And, with a sudden vigor, it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood : so did it mine,
Add a most instant tetter barked about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched;
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unanēled;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
O horrible! O horrible ! most horrible !
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
But, howsoe'er thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to Heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glowworm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire ;
Adieu, adieu, adieu ! remember me.
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else ?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stifly up! Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the tables of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial, fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there ;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by Heaven !
U most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, curséd villain! .
My tables,-meet it is. I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain !
* Macgregor, Macgregor, remember our foemen;
The moon rises broad from the brow of Ben-Lomond;
The clans are impatient, and chide thy delay;
Arise ! let us bound to Glen-Lyon away.”—
Stern scowled the Macgregor, then silent and sullen,
He turned his red eye to the braes of Strathfillan :
“Go, Malcolm, to sleep, let the clans be dismissed;
The Campbells this night for Macgregor must rest.”
II. “Macgregor, Macgregor, our scouts have been flying, Three days round the hills of M'Nab and Glen-Lyon; Of riding and running such tidings they bear, We must meet them at home else they'll quickly be here,
“The Campbell may come, as his promises bind him, And haughty M'Nab, with his giants behind him;
This night I am bound to relinquish the fray,
And do what it freezes my vitals to say.
“Forgive me, dear brother, this horror of mind;
Thou knowest in the strife I was never behind,
Nor ever receded a foot from the van,
Or blenched at the ire or the prowess of man:
But I've sworn, by the cross, by my God, and my all!
An oath which I can not, and dare not recall-
Ere the shadows of midnight fall east from the pile,
To meet with a spirit this night in Glen-Gyle.
“Last night, in my chamber, all thoughtful and lone, I called to remembrance some deeds I had done, When entered a lady, with visage so wan, . And looks, such as never were fastened on man. I. knew her, O brother! I knew her too well! Of that once fair dame such a tale I could tell As would thrill thy bold heart; but how long she remained So racked was my spirit, my bosom so pained, I knew not-but ages seemed short to the while, Though, proffer the Highlands, nay, all the green isle, With length of existence no man can enjoy, The same to endure, the dread proffer I'd fly! The thrice-threatened pangs of last night to forego, Macgregor would dive to the mansions below. Despairing and mad, to futurity blind, The present to shun and some respite to find, I swore, ere the shadow fell east from the pile, To meet her alone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.
v. She told me, and turned my chilled heart to a stone The glory and name of Macgregor were gone.
That the pine, which for ages had shed a bright halo
Afar on the mountains of Highland Glen-Falo,
Should wither and fall ere the turn of yon moon
Smit through by the canker of hated Colquhoun :
That a feast on Macgregors each day should be common,
For years, to the eagles of Lennox and Lomond.
“A parting embrace, in one moment she gave; Her breath was a furnace, her bosom the grave! Then fitting illusive, she said, with a frown, • The mighty Macgregor shall yet be my own !!”
“Macgregor, thy fancies are wild as the wind;
The dreams of the night have disordered thy mind,
Come, buckle thy panoply-march to the field-
See, brother, how hacked are thy-helmet and shield !
Ay, that was M’Nab, in the hight of his pride,
When the lions of Dochart stood firm by his side.
This night the proud chief his presumption shall rue;
Rise, brother, these chinks in his heart-blood will glue;
Thy fantasies frightful shall flit on the wing,
When loud with thy bugle Glen-Lyon shall ring."
Like glimpse of the moon through the storm of the night,
Macgregor's red eye shed one sparkle of light:
It faded—it darkened-he shuddered-he sighed -
“No! not for the universe !” low he replied.
Away went Macgregor, but went not alone :
To watch the dread rendezvous, Malcolm has gone.
They oared the broad Lomond, so still and serene,
And deep in her bosom, how awful the scene !
O’er mountains inverted, the blue waters curled,
And rocked them on skies of a far nether world.
ix. All silent they went, for the time was approaching; The moon the blue zenith already was touching; No foot was abroad on the forest or hill, No sound but the lullaby sung by the rill: Young Malcolm, at distance couched, trembling the while Macgregor stood lone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.
Hew minutes had passed, ere they spied on the stream A skiff sailing light, where a lady did seem; Her sail was the web of the gossamer's loom; The glow-worm her wake-light, the rainbow her boom; A dim rayless beam was her prow and her mast, Like wold-fire at midnight, that glares on the waste. Though rough was the river with rock and cascade, No torrent, no rock, her velocity stayed ; She wimpled the water to weather and lee, And heaved as if born on the waves of the sea. Mute Nature was roused in the bounds of the glen; The wild deer of Gairtney abandoned his den, Fled panting away, over river and isle, Nor once turned his eye to the brook of Glen-Gyle.
The fox iled in terror; the eagle awoke
As slumbering he dozed on the shelve of the rock;
Astonished, to hide in the moonbeam he flew,
And screwed the night-heaven till lost in the blue.
Young Malcolm beheld the pale lady approach,
The chieftain salute her, and shrink from her touch.
He saw the Macgregor kneel down on the plain,
As begging for something he could not obtain;
She raised him indignant, derided his stay,
Then bore him on board, set her sail, and away.