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You, Herbert and Luffness, alight,
Afar, ere to the hill he drew,
XVIII. “ Stand, Bayard, stand !”--the steed obey'd, With arching neck and bended head, And glancing eye, and quivering ear, As if he loved his lord to hear. No foot Fitz-James in stirrup stay'd, No grasp upon the saddle laid, But wreath'd his left hand in the mane, And lightly bounded from the plain, Turn'd on the horse his armed heel, And stirr’d his courage with the steel. Bounded the fiery steed in air, The rider sate erect and fair, Then, like a bolt from steel crossbow Forth launch'd, along the plain they go. They dash'd that rapid torrent through, And up Carhonie's hill they Аew; Still at the gallop prick'd the knight, His merry men follow'd as they might. Along thy banks, swift Teith! they ride, And in the race they mock thy tide ; Torry and Lendrick now are past, And Deanstown lies behind them cast; They rise, the banner'd towers of Doune, They sink in distant woodland soon; Blair-Drummond sees the hoofs strike fire, They sweep like breeze through Ochtertyre; They mark just glance and disappear The lofty brow of ancient Kier ; They bathe their coursers' sweltering sides, Dark Forth! amid thy sluggish tides, And on th' opposing shore take ground, With plash, with scramble, and with bound. Right hand they leave thy cliffs, Craig-Forth! And soon the bulwark of the north, Gray Stirling, with her towers and town, Upon their fleet career look'd down.
XIX. As up the flinty path they strain'd, Sudden his steed the leader rein'd; A signal to his squire he flung, Who instant to his stirrup sprung: “ Seest thou, De Vaux, yon woodsman gray, Who townward holds the rocky way, Of stature tall and poor array? Mark'st thou the firm, yet active stride, With which he scales the mountain side ? Know'st thou from whence he comes, or whom ?” “No, by my word ;-a burley groom He seems, who in the field or chase A baron's train would nobly grace.” •Out, out, De Vaux! can fear supply, And jealousy, no sharper eye?
XX. The Douglas, who had bent his way From Cambus-Kenneth's abbey gray, Now, as he climb'd the rocky shell, Held sad communion with himself:“Yes! all is true my fears could frame: A prisoner lies the noble Græme, And fiery Roderick soon will feel The vengeance of the royal steel. I, only I, can ward their fate, God grant the ransom come not late! The abbess hath her promise given, My child shall be the bride of heaven: Be pardon'd one repining tear! For He, who gave her, knows how dear, How excellent but that is by, And now my business is—to die. -Ye towers! within whose circuit dread A Douglas by his sovereign bled, And thou, O sad and fatal mound! That oft hast heard the death axe sound, As on the noblest of the land Fell the stern headsman's bloody hand, The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb Prepare, for Douglas seeks his doom! -But hark! what blithe and jolly peal Makes the Franciscan steeple reel? And see! upon the crowded street, In motley groups what masquers meet! Banner and pageant, pipe and drum, And merry morrice dancers come. I guess, by all this quaint array, The burghers hold their sports to-day James will be there ; he loves such show, Where the good yeoman bends his bow, And the tough wrestler foils his foe, As well as where, in proud career, The high-born tilter shivers spear. I'll follow to the castle park, And play my prize: King James shall mark, If age has tamed these sinews stark, Whose force so oft, in happier days, His boyish wonder loved to praise."
XXI. The castle gates were open flung, The quivering drawbridge rock'd and rung, And echoed loud the flinty street Beneath the courser's clattering feet, As slowly down the deep descent Fair Scotland's king and nobles went, While all along the crowded way Was jubilee and lond huzza.
And ever James was bending low,
Douglas would speak, but in his breast
XXII. Now, in the castle park, drew out Their chequer'd bands the joyous rout. There morricers, with bell at heel, And blade in hand, their mazes wheel; But chief, beside the butts, there stand Bold Robin Hood and all his bandFriar Tuck, with quarterstaff and cowl, old Scathelocke, with his surly scowl, Maid Marion, fair as ivory bone, Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John; Their bugles challenge all that will, In archery to prove their skill. The Douglas bent a bow of might, His first shaft center'd in the white, And, when in turn he shot again, His second split the first in twain. From the king's hand must Douglas take A silver dart, the archers' stake; Fondly be watch'd, with watery eye, Some answering glance of sympathy ;No kind emotion made reply! Indifferent as to archer wight, The monarch gave the arrow bright.
XXIV. The vale with loud applauses rang, The Ladie's Rock sent back the clang. The king, with look unmoved, bestow'd A purse well fli'd with pieces broad. Indignant smiled the Douglas proud, And threw the gold among the crowd, Who now, with anxious wonder, scan, And sharper glance, the dark gray man ; Till whispers rose among the throng, That heart so free, and hand so strong, Must to the Douglas' blood belong: The old men mark'd, and shook the head, To see his hair with silver spread, And wink'd aside, and told each son Of feats upon the English done, Ere Douglas of the stalwart hand Was exiled from his native land. The women praised his stately form, Though wreck'd by many a winter's storm ; The youth with awe and wonder saw His strength surpassing nature's law. Thus judged, as is their wont, the crowd, Till murmur rose to clamours loud. But not a glance from that proud ring of peers who circled round the king, With Douglas held communion kind, Or call'd the banish'd man to mind; No, not from those who, at the chase, Once held his side the honour'd place, Begirt his board, and, in the field, Found safety underneath his shield For he whom royal eyes disown, When was his form to courtiers known?
XXIII. Now, clear the ring ! for, hand to hand, The manly wrestlers take their stand. Two o'er the rest superior rose, And proud demanded mightier foes Nor call'd in vain ; for Douglas came. -For life is Hugh of Larbert lame; Scarce better John of Alloa's fare, Whom senseless home his comrades bear. Prize of the wrestling match, the king To Douglas gave a golden ring, While coldly glanced his eye of blue, As frozen drop of wintry dew.
XXV. The monarch saw the gambols fag, And bade let loose a gallant stag, Whose pride, the holiday to crown, Two favourite greyhounds should pull down, That venison free, and Bourdeaux wine Might serve the archery to dine. But Lufra-whom from Douglas' side, Nor bribe nor threat could e'er divide, The fleetest hound in all the northBrave Lufra saw, and darted forth. She left the royal hounds midway, And, dashing on the antler'd prey, Sunk her sharp muzzle in his flank, And deep the flowing lifeblood drank.
And to the leading soldier said,
The king's stout huntsman saw the sport By strange intruder broken short, Came up, and, with his leash unbound, In anger struck the noble hound. -The Douglas had endured, that morn, The king's cold look, the nobles' scorn, And last, and worst to spirit proud, Had borne the pity of the crowd; But Lufra had been fondly bred To share his board, to watch his bed, And oft would Ellen Lufra's neck, In maiden glee, with garlands deck; They were such playmates, that with name Of Lufra, Ellen's image came. His stifled wrath is brimming high, In darken'd brow and flashing eye; As waves before the bark divide, The crowd gave way before his stride ; Needs but a buffet and no more, The groom lies senseless in his gore. Such blow no other hand could deal, Though gauntleted in glove of steel.
“ Hear, gentle friends! ere yet for me Ye break the bands of fealty. My life, my honour, and my cause, I tender free to Scotland's laws; Are these so weak as must require The aid of our misguided ire? Or, if I suffer causeless wrong, Is then my selfish rage so strong, My sense of public weal so low, That, for mean vengeance on a foe, Those cords of love I should unbind Which knit my country and my kind ? Oh no! believe, in yonder tower It will not soothe my captive hour, To know those spears our foes should dread, For me in kindred gore are red. To know, in fruitless brawl begun For me, that mother wails her son ; For me, that widow's mate expires; For me, that orphans weep their sires, That patriots mourn insulted laws, And curse the Douglas for the cause. 0! let your patience ward such ill, And keep your right to love me still!”
XXVI. Then clamour'd loud the royal train, And brandish'd swords and staves amain. But stern the baron's warning—" Back! Back, on your lives, ye menial pack ! Beware the Douglas !-yes, behold, King James ! the Douglas, doom'd of old, And vainly sought for near and far, A victim to atone the war: A willing victim now attends, Nor craves thy grace but for his friends." _“Thus is my clemency repaid ? Presumptuous lord !” the monarch said; “Of thy misproud ambitious clan, Thou, James of Bothwell, wert the man, The only man, in whom a foe My woman mercy would not know; But shall a monarch's presence brook Injurious blow and haughty look ? What ho! the captain of our guard ! Give the offender fitting ward. Break off the sports !”-for tumult rose, And yeomen 'gan to bend their bow's ;“ Break off the sports !”—he said, and frown'd; “ And bid our horsemen clear the ground.”
XXIX. The crowd's wild fury sunk again In tears as tempests melt in rain : With lifted hands and eyes, they pray'd For blessings on his generous head, Who for his country felt alone, And prized her blood beyond his own. Old men, upon the verge of life Bless'd him who stay'd the civil strife; And mothers held their babes on high, The self-devoted chief to spy, Triumphant over wrong and ire, To whom the prattlers owed a sire: E'en the rough soldier's heart was moved: As if behind some bier beloved, With trailing arms and drooping head, The Douglas up the hill he led, And at the castle's battled verge, With sighs resign'd his honour'd charge.
XXVII. Then uproar wild and misarray Marr'd the fair form of festal day. The horsemen prick'd among the crowd, Repell’d by threats and insult loud; To earth are borne the old and weak ; The timorous fly, the women shriek ; With fint, with shaft, with staff, with bar, The hardier urge tumultuous war. At once round Douglas darkly sweep The royal spears in circle deep, And slowly scale the pathway steep ; While on the rear in thunder pour The rabble with disorder'd roar. With grief the noble Douglas saw The commons rise against the law,
XXX. Th' offended monarch rode apart, With bitter thought and swelling heart, And would not now vouchsafe again Through Stirling's streets to lead his train. “O Lennox, who would wish to rule This changeling crowd, this common fool? Hear'st thou,” he said, “the loud acclaim, With which they shout the Douglas' name? With like acclaim the vulgar throat Strain'd for King James their morning note: With like acclaim they hail'd the day When first I broke the Douglas' sway;
And like acclaim would Douglas greet,
They mourn'd him pent within the hold, If he could hurl me from my seat.
“ Where stout Earl William was of old ;»*. Who o'er the herd would wish to reign,
And there his word the speaker stay'd, Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain ?
And finger on his lip he laid, Vain as the leaf upon the stream,
Or pointed to his dagger blade. And fickle as a changeful dream;
But jaded horsemen, from the west, Fantastic as a woman's mood,
At evening to the castle press’d; And fierce as frenzy's fever'd blood.
And busy talkers said they bore Thou many-headed monster thing,
Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore ; O! who would wish to be thy king
At noon the deadly fray begun,
And lasted till the set of sun.
Thus giddy rumour shook the town, “But soft! what messenger of speed
Till closed the night her pennons brown.
CANTO VI. “ He prays, my liege, your sports keep bound
The sun awakening, through the smoky air The outlaw'd chieftain, Roderick Dhu,
Of the dark city casts a sullen glance, Has summon'd his rebellious crew;
Rousing each caitiff to his task of care, 'Tis said, in James of Bothwell's aid
Of sinful man the sad inheritance; These loose banditti stand array'd.
Summoning revellers from the lagging dance, The Earl of Mar, this morn, from Doune, And scaring prowling robber to his den ; To break their muster march'd, and soon Gilding on batiled tower the warder's lance, Your grace will hear of battle fought;
And warning student pale to leave his pen, But earnestly the earl besought,
And yield his drowsy eyes to the kind nurse of men. Till for such danger he provide,
What various scenes, and, O! what scenes of wo, With scanty train you will not ride."
Are witness'd by that red and struggling beam! XXXII.
The fever'd patient, from his pallet low, Thou warn'st me I have done amiss
Through crowded hospitals beholds its stream;
The ruín'd maiden trembles &t its gleam ; I should have earlier look'd to this ;
The debtor wakes to thought of gyve and jail : I lost it in this bustling day.
The lovelorn wretch starts from tormenting dream; -Retrace with speed thy former way;
The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale, Spare not for spoiling of thy steed,
Trims her sick infant's couch, and soothes his feeble The best of mine shall be thy meed.
wail. Say to our faithful Lord of Mar, We do forbid th' intended war;
II. Roderick, this morn, in single fight,
At dawn the towers of Stirling rang Was made our prisoner by a knight;
With soldier step and weapon clang, And Douglas hath himself and cause
While drums, with rolling note, foretell Submitted to our kingdom's laws.
Relief to weary sentinel, The tidings of their leaders lost
Through narrow loop and casement barr'd, Will soon dissolve the mountain host,
The sunbeams sought the court of guard, Nor would we that the vulgar feel,
And struggling with the smoky air, For their chiefs' crimes, avenging steel.
Deadend the torch's yellow glare. Bear Mar our message, Braco; fly !"
In comfortless alliance shone He turn'd his steed—“My liege, I hie,
The lights through arch of blacken'd stone, Yet, ere I cross this lily lawn,
And show'd wild shapes in garb of war, I fear the broadswords will be drawn.”
Faces deform'd with beard and scar, The turf the flying courser spurn'd,
All haggard from the midnight watch, And to his towers the king return'd.
And fever'd with the stern debauch ;
For the oak table's massive board,
Flooded with wine, with fragments stored, Ill with King James's mood that day
And beakers drain'd, and cups o’ertbrown, Suited gay feast and minstrel lay;
Show'd in what sport the night had flown. Soon were dismiss'd the courtly throng,
Some, weary, snored on floor and bench: And soon cut short the festal song.
Some labour'd still their thirst to quench; Nor less upon the sadden'd town,
Some, chill'd with watching, spread their hands The evening sunk in sorrow down.
O'er the huge chimney's dying brands, The burghers spoke of civil jar,
While round them, or beside them flung, of rumour'd feuds and mountain war,
At every step their harness rung.
* Stabbed by James II. in Stirling castle.
Says that Beelzebub lurks in her kerchief so sly, These drew not for their fields the sword,
And Apollyon shoots darts from her merry black Like tenants of a feudal lord,
Yet whoop, Jack! kiss Gillian the quicker,
Till she bloom like a rose, and a fig for the vicar! Adventurers they, from far who roved,
Our vicar thus preaches—and why should he not? To live by battle which they loved.
For the dues of his cure are the placket and pot: There th’Italian's clouded face;
And 'tis right of his office poor laymen to larch, The swarthy Spaniard's there you trace ; Who infringe the domains of our good mother The mountain-loving Switzer there
church. More freely breathed in mountain air ;
Yet whoop, bully-boys ! off with your liquor, The Fleming there despised the soil,
Sweet Marjorie's the word, and a fig for the vicar That paid so ill the labourer's toil; The rolls show'd French and German name;
VI. And merry England's exiles came,
The warder's challenge, heard without, To share, with ill-conceal'd disdain
Stay'd in mid roar the merry shout. Of Scotland's pay the scanty gain.
A soldier to the portal wentAll brave in arms, well train’d to wield
“ Here is old Bertram, sirs, of Ghent; The heavy halbert, brand, and shield;
And, beat for jubilee the drum! In camps licentious, wild, and bold;
A maid and midstrel with him come.” In pillage, fierce and uncontrollid;
Bertram, a Fleming, gray and scarrd, And now, by holy-tide and feast,
Was entering now the court of guard, From rules of discipline released.
A harper with him, and in plaid
All muflled close, a mountain maid,
Who backward shrunk to 'scape the view
of the loose scene and boisterous crew. Fought 'twixt Loch-Katrine and Achray.
“ What news ?” they roard: "I only know, Fierce was their speech, and ’mid their words,
From noon till eve we fought the foe, Their hands oft grappled to their swords;
As wild and as untameable Nor sunk their tone to spare the ear
As the rude mountains where they dwell. Of wounded comrades groaning near,
On both sides store of blood is lost, Whose mangled limbs, and bodies gored,
Nor much success can either boast." Bore token of the mountain sword,
“ But whence thy captives, friend? such spoil Though neighbouring to the court of guard,
As theirs must needs reward thy toil. Their prayers and feverish wails were heard:
Olj dost thou wax, and wars grow sharp ; Sad burden to the ruffian joke,
Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp! And savage oath by fury spoke !
Get thee an' ape, and trudge the land,
The leader of a juggler band.”-
“No, comrade; no such fortune mine. In host a hardy mutineer,
After the fight, these sought our line, But still the boldest of the crew,
That aged harper and the girl, When deed of danger was to do.
And, having audience of the earl, He grieved, that day, their games cut short,
Mar bade I should purvey them steed, And marr’d the dicer's brawling sport,
And bring them hitherward with speed. And shouted loud, “ Renew the bowl!
Forbear your mirth and rude alarm, And, while a merry catch I troll,
For none shall do them shame or harm." Let each the buxom chorus bear,
“ Hear ye his boast ?” cried John of Brent, Like brethren of the brand and spear.”
E’er to strife and jangling bent;
“ Shall he strike doe beside our lodge,
And yet the jealous niggard grudge
To pay the forester bis fee! Our vicar still preaches that Peter and Poule
I'll have my share, howe'er it be, Laid a swinging long curse on the bonny brown
Despite of Moray, Mar, or thee.” bowl,
Bertram his forward step withstood; That there's wrath and despair in the jolly black
And, burning in his vengeful mood, jack, And the seven deadly sins in a flagon of sack;
Old Allan, though unfit for strife,
Laid hand upon bis dagger-knife; Yet whoop, Barnaby ! off with the liquor,
But Ellen boldly stepp'd between, Drink upsees* out, and a fig for the vicar!
And dropp'd at once the tartan screen : Our vicar he calls it damnation to sip
So, from his morning cloud, appears The ripe ruddy dew of a woman's dear lip,
The sun of May, through summer tears.
The savage soldiery amazed, * A bacchanalian interjection, borrowed from the Dutch. As on descendant angel gazed ;