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

And he 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. “0, 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 impellid, 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.
“ Ab! gladly smiled my father then,

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

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, sts 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
He's had his rightful recompense,

And cursed let him be.”
“O! 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

Remaind 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.

see ;

But when the spectre raised its arm,

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

On noble Wallace laid.

* 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 passid,
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 un braced and bare,
Mark'd deep with strearning circlet red,

And he uttered a rapid prayer.

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 be quickly got,

Through brake and bushy stream,
When suddenly through darkness sho

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-fower, 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.

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,

Frong 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 spow
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 oft through life we do misdeem
Of things that are not what they seem.
Ah! could we there with as slight scathe
Divest us of our cbeated faith!
And then belike, when cbiming bells
The near approach of wagon tells,
He wistful looks to see 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 and 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.

Across the road a fiery glare

Or, should they stray to thoughts of pain, Doth blacksmith's open forge declare,

A dimness o'er the baggard train, Where furnace blast, and measured din

A mood and hour like this will throw, Of hammers twain, and all within,

As vex'd and burden'd spirits know. The brawny mates their labour plying,

Night, loneliness, and motion are From heated bar the red sparks flying,

Agents of power to distance care; And idle neighbours standing by

To distance, not discard; for then, With open mouth and dazzled eye,

Withdrawn from busy haunts of men, The rough and sooty walls with store

Necessity to act suspended, Of chains and horseshoes studded o'er,

The present, past, and future blended, An armory of sullied sheen,

Like figures of a mazy dance, All momently are heard and seen.

Weave round the soul a dreamy trance, Nor does he often fail to meet,

Till jolting stone, or turnpike gate Ip market town's dark narrow street

Arouse him from the soothing state. (E'en when the night on pitchy wings

And when the midnight hour is past, The sober hour of bed-time brings,)

If through the night his journey last, Amusement. From the alehouse door,

When still and lonely is the road, Having full bravely paid his score,

Nor living creature moves abroad, Issues the tipsy artizan,

Then most of all, like fabled wizard, With tipsier brother of the can,

Night slily dons her cloak and vizard, And oft to wile him homeward tries

His eyes at every corner greeting, With coaxing words, so wondrous wise!

With some new slight of dexterous cheating, The dame demure, from visit late,

And cunningly his sight betrays, Her lantern borne before in state

E’en with his own lamps' partial rays. By sloven footboy, paces slow,

The road, that in fair simple day With patten'd feet and hooded brow.

Through pasture land or corn-fields lay, Where the seam'd window-board betrays

A broken hedge-row's ragged screen Interior light, full closely lays

Skirting its weedy margin green, The eavesdropper his curious car,

With boughs projecting, interlaced Some neighbour's fireside talk to hear;

With thorn and brier, distinctly traced While, from an upper casement bending,

On the deep shadows at their back, A household maid, belike, is sending

That deeper sink to pitchy black, From jug or ewer a slopy shower,

Appearing oft to fancy's eye, That makes him homeward fleetly scour.

Like woven boughs of tapestrie,From lower rooms few gleams are sent,

Seems now to wind through tangled wood, From blazing hearth, through chink or rent; Or forest wild, where Robin Hood, But from the loftier chambers pcer,

With all his outlaws, stout and bold, (Where damsels doff their gentle geer,

In olden days his reign might hold, For rest preparing,) tapers bright,

Where vagrant school-boy fears to roam, Which give a momentary sight

The gipsy's haunt, the woodman's home. Of some fair form with visage glowing,

Yea, roofless barn, and ruin'd wall, With loosen'd braids and tresses flowing,

As passing lights upon them fall, Who, busied, by the mirror stands,

When favour'd by surrounding gloom, With bending head and upraised hands,

The castle's ruin'd state assume. Whose moving shadow strangely falls

The steamy vapour that proceeds With size enlarged on roof and walls.

From moistend hide of weary steeds, Ah! lovely are the things, I ween,

And high on either hand doth rise, By arrowy speed's light glam’rie seen!

Like clouds, storm-drifted, past him fies; Fancy, 30 touch'd, will long retain

While liquid mire, by their hoof'd feet That quickly seen, por seen again.

Cast up, adds magic to the cheat, But now he spies the flaring door

Glancing presumptuously before him, Of bridled Swan or gilded Boar,

Like yellow diamonds of Cairngorum. At which the bowing waiter stands

How many are the subtle ways, To know th’alighting guest's commands.

By which sly night the eye betrays, A place of bustle, dirt, and din,

When in her wild fantastic mood, Cursing without, scolding within ;

By lone and wakeful traveller wooed ! Of narrow means and ample boast,

Shall I proceed? O no! for pow The traveller's stated halting post,

Upon the black horizon's brow Where trunks are missing or deranged,

Appears a line of tawny light; And parcels lost and horses changed.

Thy reign is ended, witching night! Yet this short scene of noisy coil

And soon thy place a wizard elf, But serves our traveller as a foil,

(But only second to thyself Enhancing what succeeds, and lending

In glam'rie's art) will quickly take, A charm to pensive quiet, sending

Spreading o'er meadow, vale, and brake, To home and friends, left far behind,

Her misty shroud of pearly white:The kindliest musings of his mind;

A modest, though deceitful wight,

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