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They mourn'd him pent within the hold,
And like acclaim would Douglas greet,
Of the dark city casts a sullen glance,
Of sinful man the sad inheritance ; Summoning revellers from the lagging dance,
And scaring prowling robber to his den ; Gilding on battled tower the warder's lance,
And warning student pale to leave his pen, And yield his drowsy eyes to the kind nurse of men. What various scenes, and, O! what scenes of wo,
Are witness'd by that red and struggling beam! The feverd patient, from his pallet low,
Through crowded hospitals beholds its stream ; The ruin'd maiden trembles at its gleam ;
The debtor wakes to thought of gyve and jail ; The lovelorn wretch starts from tormenting dream;
The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale, Trims her sick infant's couch, and soothes his feeble wail.
II. At dawn the towers of Stirling rang With soldier step and weapon clang, While drums, with rolling note, foretell Relief to weary sentinel, Through narrow loop and casement barr'd, The sunbeams sought the court of guard, And struggling with the smoky air, Deadend the torch's yellow glare. In comfortless alliance shone The lights through arch of blackend stone, And show'd wild shapes in garb of war, Faces deform'd with beard and scar, All haggard from the midnight watch, And fever'd with the stern debauch ; For the oak table's massive board, Flooded with wine, with fragments stored, And beakers drain’d, and cups o’erthrown, Show'd in what sport the night had flown. Some, weary, snored on floor and bench : Some labour'd still their thirst to quench; Some, chill'd with watching, spread their hands O’er the huge chimney's dying brands, While round them, or beside them fung, At every step their harness rung.
* Stabbed by James II. in Suirling castle.
III. These drew not for their fields the sword, Like tenants of a feudal lord, Nor own'd the patriarchal claim Of chieftain in their leader's name; Adventurers they, from far who roved, To live by battle which they loved. There th’Italian's clouded face; The swarthy Spaniard's there you trace ; The mountain-loving Switzer there More freely breathed in mountain air ; The Fleming there despised the soil, That paid so ill the labourer's toil; The rolls show'd French and German name; And merry England's exiles came, To share, with ill-conceald disdain Of Scotland's pay the scanty gain. All brave in arms, well train'd to wield The heavy halbert, brand, and shield; In camps licentious, wild, and bold; In pillage, fierce and uncontrollid; And now, by holy-tide and feast, From rules of discipline released.
Says that Beelzebub Jurks in ber kerchief so sly, And Apollyon shoots darts from her merry black
eye ; Yet whoop, Jack ! kiss Gillian the quicker, Till she bloom like a rose, and a fig for the vicar! Our vicar thus preaches—and why should he not? For the dues of his cure are the placket and pot : And 'tis right of his office poor laymen to lurch, Who infringe the domains of our good mother
church. Yet whoop, bully-boys ! off with your liquor, Sweet Marjorie's the word, and a fig for the vicar
VI. The warder's challenge, heard without, Stay'd in mid roar the merry shout. A soldier to the portal went“ Here is old Bertram, sirs, of Ghent; And, beat for jubilee the drum! A maid and minstrel with him come.” Bertram, a Fleming, gray and scarr'd, Was entering now the court of guard, A harper with him, and in plaid All muffled close, a mountain maid, Who backward shrunk to 'scape the view Of the loose scene and boisterous crew. “ What news ?” they roard :—- I only know, From noon till eve we fought the foe, As wild and as untameable As the rude mountains where they dwell. On both sides store of blood is lost, Nor much success can either boast." “ But whence thy captives, friend ? such spoil As theirs must needs reward thy toil. Old dost thou wax, and wars grow sharp; Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp! Get thee an ape, and trudge the land, The leader of a juggler band.”—
IV. They held debate of bloody fray, Fought 'twixt Loch-Katrine and Achray. Fierce was their speech, and ’mid their words, Their hands oft grappled to their swords ; Nor sunk their tone to spare the ear Of wounded comrades groaning near, Whose mangled limbs, and bodies gored, Bore token of the mountain sword, Though neighbouring to the court of guard, Their prayers and feverish wails were heard : Sad burden to the ruffian joke, And savage oath by fury spoke ! At length up started John of Brent, A yeoman from the banks of Trent; A stranger to respect or fear, In peace a chaser of the deer, In host a hardy mutineer, But still the boldest of the crew, When deed of danger was to do. He grieved, that day, their games cut short, And marr'd the dicer's brawling sport, And shouted loud, “ Renew the bowl ! And, while a merry catch I troll, Let each the buxom chorus bear, Like brethren of the brand and spear.”
SOLDIER'S SONG. Our vicar still preaches that Peter and Poule Laid a swinging long curse on the bonny brown
bowl, That there's wrath and despair in the jolly black
VII. “No, comrade; no such fortune mine. After the fight, these sought our line, That aged harper and the girl, And, having audience of the earl, Mar bade I should purvey them steed, And bring them hitherward with speed. Forbear your mirth and rude alarm, For none shall do them shame or harm." “ Hear ye his boast?” cried John of Brent, E’er to strife and jangling bent; “ Shall he strike doe beside our lodge, And yet the jealous niggard grudge To pay the forester his fee! I'll have my share, howe'er it be, Despite of Moray, Mar, or thee." Bertram his forward step withstood; And, burning in his vengeful mood, Old Allan, though unfit for strife, Laid hand upon his dagger-knife; But Ellen boldly stepp'd between, And dropp'd at once the tartan screen: So, from his morning cloud, appears The sun of May, through suramer tears. The savage soldiery amazed, As on descendant angel gazed ;
* A bacchanalian interjection, borrowed from the Dutch.
E'en hardy Brent, abash'd and tamed, Stood half admiring, half ashamed.
Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower
XI. When Ellen forth with Lewis went, Allan made suit to John of Brent: “My lady safe, 0 let your grace Give me to see my master's face ! His minstrel 1-to share his doom Bound from the cradle to the tomb. Tenth in descent, since first my sires Waked for his noble house their lyres, Nor one of all the race was known But prized its weal above their own. With the chief's birth begins our care; Our harp must soothe the infant heir, Teach the youth tales of fight, and grace His earliest feat of field or chase;. In peace, in war, our rank we keep, We cheer his board, we soothe his sleep. Nor leave him till we pour our verse, A doleful tribute ! o'er his hearse. Then let me share his captive lot; It is my right-deny it not !”“ Little we reck," said John of Brent, “ We southern men, of long descent; Nor wot we how a namema word Makes clansmen vassals to a lord : Yet kind my noble landlord's part, God bless the house of Beaudesert! And, but I loved to drive the deer More than to guide the labouring steer, I had not dwelt an outcast here. Come, good old minstrel, follow me Thy lord and chieftain shalt thou see.”
XII. Then, from a rusted iron hook, A bunch of ponderous keys he took, Lighted a torch, and Allan led Through grated arch and passage dread. Portals they pass’d, where, deep within, Spoke prisoner's moan, and fetters' din; Through rugged vaults, where loosely stored, Lay wheel, and axe, and headsman's sword, And many a hideous engine grim, For wrenching joints, and crushing limb,
3 0 2
By a, tists form’d, who deem'd it shame
-“ Hark, miostrel! I have heard thee play,
XIII. As the tall ship, whose lofty prore Shall never stem the billows more, Deserted by her gallant band, Amid the breakers lies astrand So, on his couch, lay Roderick Dhu! And oft his fever'd limbs he threw In toss abrupt, as when her sides Lie rocking in th' advancing tides, That shake her frame to ceaseless beat, Yet cannot heave her from her seat; 0! how unlike her course at sea ! Or his free step on hill and lea! Soon as the minstrel he could scan, -“What of thy lady? of my clan ? My mother ?-Douglas ?—tell me all! Have they been ruin'd in my fall? Ah, yes! or wherefore art thou here? Yet speak-speak boldly-do not fear.” (For Allan, who his mood well knew, Was choak'd with grief and terror too.) “ Who fought—who fled ?-old man, be brief; Some might-for they had lost their chief. Who basely live ?—who bravely died ?” “0, calm thee, chief !” the minstrel cried, “ Ellen is safe ;'--" For that, thank heaven!” “ And hopes are for the Douglas given; The Lady Margaret too is well, And, for thy clap-on field or fell, Has never barp of minstrel told, Of combat fought so true and bold. Thy stately pine is yet upbent, Though many a goodly bough is rent.”
No ripple on the lake,
The deer has sought the brake;
The springing trout lies still,
Benledi's distant hill.
That mutters deep and dread,
The warrior's measured tread?
That on the thicket streams,
The sun's retiring beams?
I see the Moray's silver star
That up the lake comes winding far! To hero boune for battle strife,
Or bard of martial lay, 'Twere worth ten years of peaceful life,
One glance at their array!
XIV. The chieftain rear'd his form on high, And fever's fire was in his eye; But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks Checker'd his swarthy brow and cheeks.
XVI. “ Their light-arm'd archers far and near
Survey'd the tanz'ed ground,
Their centre ranks, with pike and spear,
A twilight forest frown'd,
The stern battalia crown'd.
Still were the pipe and drum ;
The sullen march was dumb.
Or wave their flags abroad;
That shadow'd o'er their road.
Can rouse no lurking foe,
Save when they stirr'd the roe;
High swelling, dark, and slow.
Above the tide, each broadsword bright
Each targe was dark below;
They hurl'd them on the foe.
- My banner man, advance!
Upon them with the lance !"
As deer break through the broom ;
They soon make lightsome room.
Where, where was Roderick then!
Were worth a thousand men.
The battle's tide was pour'd;
Vanish'd the mountain sword.
Receives her roaring linn,
Suck the wild whirlpool in,
The archery appear :
Are maddening in the rear.
Pursuers and pursued;
The spearmen's twilight wood ?
Bear band both friend and foe!'
At once lay levell’d low;
As their Tinchel* cows the game!
We'll drive them back as tame.'
The lowering scowl of heaven
To the deep lake has given;
But not in mingled tide;
And overhang its side ;
“ Bearing before them, in their course,
* A circle of sportsmen, who, by surrounding a great space, and gradually narrowing, brought immense quan. tities of deer together, which usually made desperate efforts to break through the Tinchel.