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No! wildly while his virtues gleam,
XV. " What think I of him? wo the while That brought such wanderer to our isle ! Thy father's battle brand, of yore For Typemap forged by fairy lore, What time he leagued, no longer foes, His border spears with Hotspur's bows, Did, self-unscabbarded, foreshow The footsteps of a secret foe. If courtly spy had harbour'd here, What may we for the Douglas fear? What for this island, deem'd of old Clan-Alpine's last and surest hold? If neither spy nor foe, I pray, What yet may jealous Roderick say! Nay, wave not thy disdainful head! Bethink thee of the discord dread That kindled when at Beltane game Thou led'st the dance with Malcolm Græme; Still, though thy sire the peace renew'd, Smoulders in Roderick's breast the feud; Beware !-But hark, what sounds are these? My dull ears catch no faltering breeze, No weeping birch, nor aspen's wake, Nor breath is dimpling in the lake, Still is the canna's* hoary beard,Yet, by my minstrel faith, I heardAnd hark again! some pipe of war Sends the bold pibroch from afar.”
See, flashing at each sturdy stroke,
XVI. Far up the lengthen'd lake were spied Four darkening specks upon the tide, That, slow enlarging on the view, Four mann'd and masted barges grew, And, bearing downwards from Glengyle, Steer'd full upon the lonely isle ; The point of Brianchoil they pass'd, And to the windward as they cast, Against the sun they gave to shine The bold Sir Roderick's banner'd pine. Nearer and nearer as they bear, Spears, pikes, and axes Nash in air. Now might you see the tartans brave, And plaids apd plumage dance and wave; Now see the bonnets sink and rise, As his tough oar the rower plies ;
Honour'd and bless'd be the ever-green pine! Long may the tree in his banner that glances Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line !
Heaven send it happy dew,
* The drone of the bagpipe.
Gayly to bourgeon, aad broadly to grow ;
While every highland glen
Sends our shout back agen, “Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe !" Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,
Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade; When the whirlwind has stripp'd every leaf on the
mountain, The more shall Clan-Alpine exult in her shade.
Moord in the rifted rock,
Proof to the tempest's shock, Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow;
Menteith and Breadalbane, then,
Echo his praise agen, * Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe !"
And Bannochar's groans to our slogan replied, Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin, And the best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her
Long shall lament our aid,
Lennox and Leven-glen
Shake when they hear agen, - Roderigh Vich Alpine ahu, bo ! jerou !" Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the highlanas !
Stretch to your oars for the ever-green pine :
Worthy such noble stem,
Loud should Clan-Alpine then
Ring from her deepmost glen, Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho ! ieroe.”
The islet far behind her lay,
XXI. With all her joyful female band, Had lady Margaret sought the strand. Loose on the breeze their tresses fiew, And high their snowy arms they threw; As echoing back with shrill acclaim And chorus wild, the chieftain's name; While, prompt to please, with mother's art, The darling passion of his heart, The dame called Ellen to the strand, To greet her kinsman ere he land: “ Come, loiterer, come! a Douglas thou, And shun to wreath a victor's brow!"Reluctantly, and slow, the maid Th’ unwelcome summoning obey'd, And, when a distant bugle rung, In the mid path aside she sprung:“ List, Allan-bane! from main land cast, I hear my father's signal blast. Be ours,” she cried,“ the skiff to guide, And waft him from the mountain side." Then, like a sunbeam, swist and bright, She darted to her shallop light, And, eagerly while Roderick scann'a For her dear form his mother's band,
Closed his dark wing, relax'd his eye,
XXVII. Sir Roderick, who to meet them came, Redden'd at sight of Malcolm Græme. Yet, not in action, word, or eye, Fail'd aught in hospitality, In talk and sport they whiled away The morning of that summer day; But at high noon a courier light Held secret parley with the knight; Whose moody aspect soon declared, That evil were the news he heard. Deep thought seem'd toiling in his head; Yet was the evening banquet made, E'er he assembled round the Aame, His mother, Douglas, and the Græme, And Ellen, too; then cast around His eyes, then fix'd them on the ground, As studying phrase that might avail Best to convey unpleasant tale. Long with his dagger’s hilt he play'd, Then raised his haughty brow, and said :
XXV. Of stature tall, and slender frame, But firmly knit, was Malcolm Græme. The belted plaid and tartan hose Did ne'er more graceful limbs disclose ; His flaxen hair, of sunny hue, Curl'd closely round his bonnet blue. Train'd to the chase, his eagle eye The ptarmigan in snow could spy: Each pass, by mountain, lake, and heath, He knew, through Lennox and Menteith; Vain was the bound of dark brown doe, Wheu Malcolm bent his sounding bow, And scarce that doe, though wing'd with fear, Outstripp'd in speed the mountaineer: Right up Ben-Lomond could he press, And not a sob his toil confess. His form accorded with a mind Lively and ardent, frank and kind ; A blither heart, till Ellen came, Did never love nor sorrow tame; It danced as lightsome in his breast, As play'd the feather on his crest. Yet friends who nearest knew the youth, His scorn of wrong, bis zeal for truth, And bards, who saw his features bold, When kindled by the tales of old, Said, were that youth to manhood grown, Not long should Roderick Dhu's renown Be foremost voiced by mountain fame, But quail to that of Malcolm Graeme.
XXVIII. “ Short be my speech ;-nor time affords, Nor my plain temper, glozing words. Kinsman and father,-if such name Douglas vouchsafe to Roderick's claim ; Mine honour'd mother ;-Ellen-why, My cousin, turn away thine eye? And Græme; in whom I hope to know Full soon a noble friend or foe, When age shall give thee thy command, And leading in thy native land ;List all !—The king's vindictive pride Boasts to have tamed the border-side, Where chiefs, with hound and hawk who came To share their monarch's sylvan game, Themselves in bloody toils were snared, And when the banquel they prepared, And wide their loyal portals fung, O'er their own gateway struggling hung. Loud cries their blood from Meggat's mead, From Yarrow braes, and banks of Tweed, Where the lone streams of Ettrick glide, And from the silver Teviot's side ; The dales where martial clans did ride Are now one sheepwalk waste and wide. This tyrant of the Scottish throne, So faithless and so ruthless known, Now hither comes; his end the same, The same pretext of sylvan game. What grace for highland chiefs judge ye, By fate of border chivalry. Yet more; amid Glenfinlas' green, Douglas, thy stately form was seen. This by espial sure I know; Your counsel in the streight I show."
XXVI. Now back they wend their watery way, And, “O my sire !” did Ellen say, “ Why urge thy chase so far astray? And why so late return’d? And why"The rest was in her speaking eye. “My child, the chase I follow far, 'Tis mimicry of noble war; And with that gallant pastime reft Were all of Douglas I have left. I met young Malcolm as I stray'd Far eastward, in Glenfinlas' shade, Nor stray'd I safe ; for, all around, Hunters and horsemen scour'd the ground. This youth, though still a royal ward, Risk'd life and land to be my guard, And through the passes of the wood Guided my steps, not unpursued; And Roderick shall his welcome make, Despite old spleen, for Douglas' sake. Then must he seek Strath-Endrick glen, Nor peril aught for me agen.”
XXIX. Ellen and Margaret fearfully Sought comfort in each other's eye, Then turn'd their ghastly look, each one, This to her sire, that to her son. The hasty colour went and came In the bold cheek of Malcolm Græmc:
But from his glance it well appear'd,
Headlong to plunge himself below, 'Twas but for Ellen that he fear'd;
And meet the worst his fears foreshow While sorrowful, but undismay'd,
Thus, Ellen, dizzy and astound, The Douglas thus his counsel said:
As sudden ruin yawn'd around, “ Brave Roderick, though the tempest roar, By crossing terrors wildly toss'd, It may but thunder and pass o'er ;
Still for the Douglas fearing most, Nor will I here remain an hour,
Could scarce the desperate thought withstand, To draw the lightning on thy bower ;
To buy his safety with her hand.
Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy Canst aid him with a gallant band,
In Ellen's quivering lip and eye, Submission, homage, humbled pride,
And eager rose to speak-but ere Shall turn the monarch's wrath aside.
His tongue could hurry forth his fear, Poor remnants of the bleeding heart
Had Douglas mark'd the hectic strife, Ellen and I will seek, apart,
Where death seem'd combating with life; The refuge of some forest cell,
For to her cheek, in feverish flood, There, like the hunted quarry, dwell,
One instant rush'd the throbbing blood, Till on the mountain and the moor,
Then ebbing back, with sudden sway, The stern pursuit be past and o’er.”—
Left its domain as wan as clay.
“ Roderick, enough! enough!” he cried, XXX.
“My daughter cannot be thy bride ; “ No, by mine honour,” Roderick said,
Not that the blush to wooer dear, “So help me, heaven, and my good blade !
Nor paleness that of maiden fear. No, never! blasted be yon pine,
It may not be—forgive her, chief, My fathers' ancient crest and mine,
Nor hazard aught for our relief. If from its shade in danger part
Against his sovereign Douglas ne'er The lineage of the bleeding heart!
Will level a rebellious spear. Hear my blunt speech, grant me this maid
'Twas I that taught his youthful hand
To rein a steed and wield a brand ;
I see him yet, the princely boy!
Not Ellen more my pride and joy :
I love him still, despite my wrongs
By hasty wrath and slanderous tongues.
O seek the grace you well may find,
Without a cause to mine combined.”
Twice through the hall the chieftain strode ;
The waving of his tartans broad, Shall scare the slumbers of King James !
And darken’d brow, where wounded pride -Nay, Ellen, blench not thus away,
With ire and disappointment vied, And, mother, cease these signs, I pray
Seem'd, by the torch's gloomy light, I meant not all my heart might say.
Like the ill demon of the night, Small need of inroad, or of fight,
Stooping his pinions' shadowy sway When the sage Douglas may unite
Upon the ’nighted pilgrim's way: Each mountain clan in friendly band,
But, unrequited love! thy dart To guard the passes of their land,
Plunged deepest its envenom'd smart, Till the foild king, from pathless glen,
And Roderick, with thine anguish stung, Shall bootless turn him home agen.”
At length the hand of Douglas wrung,
While eyes, that mock'd at tears before, XXXI.
With bitter drops were running o'er. There are who have, at midnight hour,
The death pangs of long cherish'd hope In slumber scaled a dizzy tower,
Scarce in that ample breast had scope, And, on the verge that beetled o'er
But, struggling with his spirit proud, The ocean tide's incessant roar,
Convulsive heaved its checker'd shroud, Dream'd calmly out their dangerous dream. While every sob—so mute were allTill waken'd by the morning beam,
Was heard distinctly through the hall. When, dazzled by the eastern glow,
The son's despair, the mother's look, Such startler cast his glance below,
Ill might the gentle Ellen brook ; And saw unmeasured depth around,
She rose, and to her side there came, And heard unintermitted sound,
To aid her parting steps, the Græme.
Then Roderick from the Douglas brokeDid he not desperate impulse feel
As flashes flame through sable smoke, 87
3 m 2
Kindling its wreaths, long, dark and low,
XXXVI. Old Allan follow'd to the strand, (Such was the Douglas's command,)
And anxious told, how, on the morn,
1. TIME rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore
Who danced our infancy upon their knee, And told our marvelling boyhood legends store,
Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea, How are they blotted from the things that be!
How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Wait, on the verge of dark eternity,
Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls his
ceaseless course. Yet live there still who can remember well,
How, when a mountain chief bis bugle blew, Both field and forest, dingle, cliff, and dell,
And solitary heath, the signal knew;