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“ The chief resumes : “My brave, my only son!
Yes, Alpin, I may call thee all my own;
I shall not veil a secret in my death ;
Take then this story of my latest breath :
The twentieth season liv'ries o'er the year,
Since on the Severn's banks I met the war;
In private feud, against a Saxon lord,
The great Dumbar had raised his kindred sword;
I on the foe my bow auxiliar bend,
And join afar our fam’ly's ancient friend :
Returning thence, I next the Tay divide,
That very night the great king Malcolm died.
My clan in arms might then preserve their king;
But fate withstood; along in arms we ring.
An infant's cries, at distance, took my ear,
I went, found thee a helpless orphan there.'

The king, who long infixed in dumb surprise,
Run o'er the speaking youth with searching eyes,
Here stopt him short, his arms around him flung,
And silent on th' astonished warrior hung;
My son, my son, at last, perplexed, he cries,
My Duffus ! tears hung in his joyful eyes :
The crowding tide of joy his words suppressed;
He clasps the youth in silence to his breast.
Th’astonished chiefs, congealed in dumb amaze,
Stiffened to silence, on each other gaze.
Sudden their cheeks are varied with surprise,
And glad disorder darted from their eyes.

As when before the swains, with instant sound,
The forky bolt descending tears the ground;
They stand; with stupid gaze each other eye:
So stood the chiefs oppressed with sudden joy.

At length, relaxed from fetters of surprise,
“ Weicome, brave youth !” the sceptered senior cries.
“ Welcome to honours justly thine alone,
Triumphant mount, though late, thy father's throne.








To thee with joy the sceptre I resign;
And waft the kingdom to the coming line.”

He said : and thus the youth : " I only know
To shoot the spear, and bend the stubborn bow;
Unskilled to stretch o'er nations my command,
Or in the scales of judgment poise a land.
Wield still the sceptre which with grace you wear,
And guide with steadier hand the regal car;
While, looking up to thee, with humble eye,
I first transcribe


future rules of sway;
Till late enjoy the throne which you bequeath,
And only date dominion from thy death.”

Resolved he spoke: bursts of applause around
Break on the chiefs : with joy the halls resound.
As when some valiant youth returns from far,
And leaves the fields of death, and finished war; .
Whom time and honest scars another made,
And friendly hope long placed among the dead;
At first his sire looks with indifference on,
But soon he knows, and hangs upon his son:
So all the chiefs the royal youth embrace;
While joys, tumultuous, rend the lofty place.

While thus the king and noble chiefs rejoice,
Harmonious bards exalt the tuneful voice :
A select band by Indulph's bounty fed,
To keep in song the mem'ry of the dead!
They handed down the ancient rounds of time,
In oral story and recorded rhyme.

The vocal quire in tuneful concert sings
Exploits of heroes, and of ancient kings:
How first in Fergus Caledonia rose ;
What hosts she conquered, and repelled what foes.
Through time in reg'lar series they decline,
And touch each name of the Fergusian line;

eat Caractacus, Fergus' awful sword; That bravely lost his country, this restored :






Hibernia's spoils, Gregorius' martial fire;
The stern avenger of his murdered sire :
Beneath his sword, as yet, whole armies groan,
And a whole nation paid the blood of one.
At length descend the rough impetuous strains
To valiant Duffus, and the slaughtered Danes :
The battle lives in verse; in song they wound;
And fallen squadrons thunder on the ground.

Thus in the strain the bards impetuous roll,
And quaff the generous spirit of the bowl,
At length from the elab'rate song respire;
The chiefs remove, and all to rest retire.






Now in the blushing east the morn arose ;
Its lofty head in grey the palace shows.
Within, the king and valiant chiefs prepare
To urge the chace, and wage the mountain-war.
The busy menials through the palace go;
Some whet the shaft, and others try the bow;
This viewed the toils; that taught the horn to sound;
Another animates the sprightly hound.

For the fleet chace the fair Culena arms,
And from the gloom of sorrow 'wakes her charms :
The hero's royal birth had reached her ear,
And sprightly hope assumed the throne of care.
Around her slender waist the cincture slides;
Her mantle flows behind in crimson tides.


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Bright rings of gold her braided ringlets bind;
The rattling quiver, laden, hangs behind.
She seized, with snowy hand, the polished bow,
And moved before, majestically slow.
The chiefs behind advance their sable forms,
And with dark contrast heighten all her charms.

Thus, on expanded plains of heavenly blue,
Thick-gathered clouds the queen of night pursue;
And as they crowd behind their sable lines,
The virgin light with double lustre shines.

The maid her glowing charms thus onward bears;
His manly height aside young Duffus rears.
Her beauty he, his manhood she admires;
Both moved along, and fed their silent fires.

The hunters to the lofty mountains came :
Their eager breasts anticipate the game :
The forest they divide, and sound the horn;
The generous hounds within their bondage burn,
Struggle for freedom, long to stretch away,
And in the breeze already find the prey.

At the approaching noise the starting deer
Croud on the heath, and stretch away in fear,
Wave, as they spring, their branchy heads on high,
Skim o'er the wild, and leave the aching eye.
The eager hounds, unchained, devour the heath;
They shoot along, and pant a living death :
Gaining upon their journey, as they dart,
Each from the herd selects a flying hart.
Some urged the bounding stag a different way,
And hung with open mouth upon the prey:
Now they traverse the heath, and now assail
The rising hill, now skim along the vale :
Now they appear, now leave the aching eyes ;
The master follows with exulting cries,
Fits, as he flies, the arrow to the string ;
The rest within the ratlling quiver ring :





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