Imágenes de páginas

• Nor think you unexpected come
To yon lone isle, our desert bome:
Before the heath had lost the dew,
This morn a couch was pulled for you;
On yonder mountain's purple head
Have p!armigan and heath-cock bled,
And our broad aets have swept the mero
To furnish forth your evening cheer.'
6 Now by the rood, my lovely maid,
Your courtesy has erred,” he said;
“ No right have I 10 claim, misplaced,
The welconie of expected guest,
A wanılerer here, by fortune tost,
My way, my friends, my courser lost,
I ne'er before, believe me, fair,
Have ever drawn your mountain air,
"Till on this lake's romantic strand, .
I found a fay in fairy land.”
of I well believe,” the maid replied,
As her light skiff approached the side,
"I well believe, that ne'er before
Your foot has trod Loch-Katrine's sbore;
But yet, as far as yesternight,
Old Allan-bane forelolü your plight:
A gray-haired sire, whose eye intent
Was on the visioned future bent.
He saw your steea, a dappled gray,
Lie dead beneath the birchen way;
Painted exact your form and mitn,
Your hunting suit of Lincoln green,
That tassel'd horn .so gaily gilt,
That falchion's crooked blade and hilt,
That cap with heron's plumage trim,
And yon two hounds so dark and grim,
He bade that all should ready be,
To grace a guest of fair degree;
But light I held his prophecy,
And deemed it was my father's horn,
Whose echoes o'er the lake were borne.”

The stranger smiled-Since to your home,
A destined errant knight I come,
Announced by prophet sooth and old,
Doomed, doubtless, for achievement bold,
I'll lightly front each high emprize,
For one kind glance of those bright eyes;
Permit me, first, the task to guide
Your fairy frigaie o'er the tide.'
The maid with smile suppressed and sly,
The toil unwonted saw him try;

For seldom, sure, if ere before,
His noble hand had grasped an oar:
Yet with main strength his strokes he drew,
And o'er the lake the shallop flew;
With heails erect, and whimpering cry,
The hounds behind their passage ply,
Nor frequent does the bright oar break
The darkening mirror of the lake,
Until the rocky isle they reach,
And moor their shallop on the beach.
The stranger viewed the shore around;
'Twas all so close with copse-wood bound,
Nor track nor path-way might declare
That human foot frequented there,
Until the mountain-maiden showed
A clambering unsuspected road,
That winded through the tangled screen,
And opened on a narrow green,
Where weeping birch and willow round
With their long fibres swept the ground;
Here, for retreat in dangerous hour,
Some chief had framed a rustic bower.

It was a lodge of ample size, But strange of structure and device; Of such materials as around The workman's hand had readiest found. Lopped of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared, And by the hatchet rudely squared, To give the walls their destined height, The sturdy oak and ash unite; While moss and clay and leaves combined To fence each crevice from the wind. The lighter pine-trees over-head, Their slender length for rafters spread; And withered heath and rushes dry Supplied a russet canopy. Due westward, fronting to the green A rural portico was seen, Alost on native pillars-borne, Of mountain fir with bark unshorn, Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine The ivy and Idæan vine, The clematis, the favored flower, Which boasts the name of virgin-bower; And every hardy plant could bear Loch-Katrine's keen and searching air. An instant in this porch she staid, And gaily to the stranger said,

* On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall."

“My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gent.e guide, in following thee.”


FITZ-JAMES. The shades of eve come slowly down, The woo:ls are wrapp'd in deeper brown, The owl awakens from her dell, The fox is heard upon the fell; Enough remains of glimmering light To guide the wanderer's steps aright, Yet not enough from far to show His figure to the watch ful foe. With cautious step, and ear awake, He climbs the crag and threads the brake; And not the summer so]stice there, Temper'd the midnight mountain air, But every breeze, that swept the wold, Benumbed his drenched limbs with cold. In dread, in danger, and alone, Famished and chilleil, through ways unknown Tangled and stcep, he journeyed on; Till, as a rock's huge point he turned, A watch-fire close before him burned.

Beside its embers red and clear,
Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer;
Anil up he sprung with sword in hand,
6. Thy name and purpose! Saxon, stand-
“ A stranger."-"What dost thou require?
- Rest and a guide, and food and fire.
My life's beset, my path is lost,

The gale has chilied my limbs with frost.”
« Art thou a friend to Roderick ?"-"No."
« Thou darest not call thyself a soe?"-
1 I dare! to him and all the band
He brings to aid his murderous hand."--,
66 Bold words !—but, though the beast of game
The privilege of chase may claim,
Though space and law the stag we lend,
Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend,
Who ever reck’d, where, how, or when,
The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain?

Thus treacherous scouts,-yet sure they lie, Who say thou camest a secret spy!” « They ilo, by heaven -Come Roderick Dhu, And of his clan the boltlest two, And let me but till morning rest, I write the falsehood on their crest.”— “ If by the blaze I mark aright, Thou bea’rst the belt and spur of Knight.” « Then, by these tokens may'st thou know, Each proud oppressor's mortal foe.”« Enough, enough; sit down and share A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare."

He gave him of his highland cheer,
The harden'd flesh of mountain deer
Dry fuel on the fire he laid,
And bade the Saxon share his plaid
He tended him like welcome guest,
Then thus his further speech addressed,
« Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu,
A clansman born, a kinsman true;
Each word against his honor spoke
Demands of me avenging stroke;
Yet more,-upon thy fate, 'lis said
A mighty augury is laid.
It rests with me to wind my horn,
Thou art with numbers overborne;
It rests with me, here, brand to brand,
Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand;
But, nor for clan, nor kindred's cause,
Will I depart from honor's laws:
To assail a wearied man were shame,
And stranger is a holy name;
Guidance and rest, and food and fire,
In vain he never must require
Then rest thee here till dawn of day,
Myself will guide thee on the way,
O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward,
Till past Clan- Alpine's outmost guard,
As far as Coilantogle's ford;
From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”_
I take thy courtesy, by Heaven,
As freely as 'tis nobly given!"
« Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry
Sings us the lake's wild lullaby.”_
With that he shook the gathered heath,
And spread his plaid upon the wreath;
And the brave foemen, side by side,
Lay peaceful down like brothers tried,
And slept until the dawning beam
Purpled the mountain and the stream.

Fair as the earliest beam of eastern light,
When first, by the bewililer'd pilgrim spied,
It smiles upon the dreary brow of night,
And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming tide,
And lights the fearful path on mountain sile,
Fair as that beam, although the fairest far,
Giving to horror grace, to danger pride,
Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star,
Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the brow

of War.

That early beam, so fair and sheen,
Was twinkling through the hazel screen,
When, rousing at its glimmer red,
The warriors left their lowly bed,
Looked out upon the dappled sky,
Multered their soldier matins by,
And then awaked their fire, to steal,
As short and rude, their soldier meal.
That o'er, the Gael* around him threw
His graceful plaid of varied huc,
And, true to promise, led the way,
By thicket green and mountain gray.
A wildering path —they winded now
Along the precipice's brow,
Commanding the rich scenes beneath,
The windings of the Forth and Teith,
And all the vales between that lie,
Till Stirling's lurrets melt in sky;
Then, sunk in copse, their farthest glance
Gained not the length of horseman's lance;
'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain
Assistance from ihe hand to gain :
So tangled ofi, lhat bursting through,
Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew,--
That diannond dew, so pure and clear,
It rivals all but Beauty's tear!

At length they came where, stern and steep,
The bill sinks down upon the deep;
Herc Vennachar in silver flowe,
There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose.
Ever the hollow path twined on,
Ben cath steep bank and threatening stone;
An hundred inen might hold the post
With hardihood against a host.

* The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and terms the Lowlander, Sassenach, or Saxon.

« AnteriorContinuar »