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That aged harper and the girl;
The high-born maiden ill could brook And, having audience of the Earl,
The scanning of his curious look Mar bade I should purvey them steed, And dauntless eye;--and yet, in sooth, And bring them hitherward with speed. Young Lewis was a generous youth; Forbear your mirth and rude alarm, But Ellen's lovely face and mien, For none shall do them shame or harm." - Ill suited to the garb and scene, "Hear ye his boast?” cried John of Might lightly bear construction strange, Brent,
And give loose fancy scope to range.Ever to strife and jangling bent;
Welcome to Stirling towers, fair maid! “Shall he strike doe beside our lodge, Come ye to seek a champion's aid, And yet the jealous niggard grudge On palfrey white, with harper hoar, To pay the forester his fee?
Like errant damosel of yore? I'll have my share, howe'er it be,
Does thy high quest a knight require, Despite of Moray, Mar, or thee.”
Or may the venture suit a squire?”. Bertram his forward step withstood; Her dark eye flashed;—she paused and And, burning in his vengeful mood,
sighed, Old Allan, though unfit for strife,
“Oh, what have I to do with pride! Laid hand upon his dagger-knife;
Through scenes of sorrow, shame, and strife, But Ellen boldly stepped between,
A suppliant for a father's life,
Given by the Monarch to Fitz-James." As on descended angel gazed;
With deep respect and altered look;
And said :-"This ring our duties own;
In semblance mean obscurely veiled,
Soon as the day flings wide his gates,
The King shall know what suitor waits. Should exile's daughter suffer wrong. Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower Answered De Brent, most forward still Repose you till his waking hour; In every feat or good or ill:
Female attendance shall obey “I shame me of the part I played;
Your hest, for service or array.
But, ere she followed, with the grace
Among the soldiers of the guard.
But Brent, with shy and awkward look, The Captain of our watch to hall:
On the reluctant maiden's hold There lies my halberd on the floor;
Forced bluntly back the proffered gold;-And he that steps my halberd o'er,
Forgive a haughty English heart,
And, oh, forget its ruder part!
Where gayer crests may keep afar." Their Captain came, a gallant young, — With thanks,-'twas all she could,—the (Of Tullibardine's house he sprung,)
Where played, with many-coloured gleams, | It trickled still, the starting tear, Through storied pane the rising beams. When light a footstep struck her ear, In vain on gilded roof they fall,
And Snowdoun's graceful Knight was And lightened up a tapestried wall;
near. And for her use a menial train
She turned the hastier, lest again A rich collation spread in vain.
The prisoner should renew his strain. The banquet proud, the chamber gay, “O welcome, brave Fitz-James !” she Scarce drew one curious glance astray;
said; Or, if she looked, 'twas but to say,
How may an almost orphan maid With better omen dawned the day
Pay the deep debt" O
say not so! In that lone isle, where waved on high To me no gratitude you owe. The dun deer's hide for canopy;
Not mine, alas ! the boon to give, Where oft her noble father shared
And bid thy noble father live; The simple meal her care prepared; I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, While Lufra, crouching by her side, With Scotland's King thy suit to aid. Her station claimed with jealous pride; No tyrant he, though ire and pride And Douglas, bent on woodland game, May lead his better mood aside. Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Græme; Come, Ellen, come !-'tis more than Whose answer, oft at random made,
time,-The wandering of his thoughts betrayed. He holds his court at morning prime.” Those who such simple joys have known, With beating heart, and bosom wrung, Are taught to prize them when they're As to a brother's arm she clung. gone.
Gently he dried the falling tear, But sudden, see, she lifts her head! And gently whispered hope and cheer; The window seeks with cautious tread. Her faltering steps half led, half stayed, What distant music has the power
Through gallery fair and high arcade, To win her in this woful hour!
Till, at his touch, its wings of pride 'Twas from a turret that o'erhung
A portal arch unfolded wide. Her latticed bower, the strain was sung.
Within 'twas brilliant all and light,
A thronging scene of figures bright;
It glowed on Ellen's dazzled sight,
As when the setting sun has given “My hawk is tired of perch and hood,
Ten thousand hues to summer even,
And from their tissue fancy frames
Aërial knights and fairy dames.
Still by Fitz-James her footing stayed; Hunting the hart in forests green,
A few faint steps she forward made, With bended bow and blood-hound free,
Then slow her drooping head she raised, For that's the life that's meet for me.
And fearful round the presence gazed; " I hate to learn the ebb of time
For him she sought, who owned this From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime;
state, Or mark it as the sun-beams crawl, Inch after inch, along the wall.
The dreaded Prince, whose will was The lark was wont my matins ring,
fate! The sable rook my vespers sing;
She gazed on many a princely port, These towers, although a king's they be,
Might well have ruled a royal court; Have uot a hall of joy for me.
On many a splendid garb she gazed“No more at dawning morn I rise,
Then turned bewildered and amazed; And sun myself in Ellen's eyes,
For all stood bare, and in the room Drive the fleet deer the forest through,
Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. And homeward wend with evening dew; A blithesome welcome blithely meet,
To him each lady's look was lent; And lay my trophies at her feet,
On him each courtier's eye was bent; While fled the eve on wing of glee,-
'Midst furs, and silks, and jewels sheen, That life is lost to love and me!”
He stood, in simple Lincoln green, x.
The centre of the glittering ring,The heart-sick lay was hardly said, And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's The list'ner had not turned her head,
Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, As wreath of snow, on mountain breast, Thus learn to right the injured cause. Slides from the rock that gave it rest, Then, in a tone apart and low :Poor Helen glided from her stay,
“Ah, little traitress! none must know And at the Monarch's feet she lay; What idle dream, what lighter thought, No word her choking voice commands,-- What vanity full dearly bought, She showed the ring, she clasped her Joined to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew hands!
My spell-bound steps to Ben-venue, Oh! not a moment could he brook, In dangerous hour, and all but gave The generous Prince, that suppliant look! Thy Monarch's life to mountain glaive!”Gently he raised her; and, the while, Aloud he spoke :—“Thou still dost hold Checked with a glance the circle's smile; That little talisman of gold, Graceful, but grave, her brow he kissed, Pledge of my faith, Fitz-James's ringAnd bade her terrors be dismissed :- What seeks fair Ellen of the King?” “Yes, Fair; the wandering poor Fitz-James
XIV. The fealty of Scotland claims.
Full well the conscious maiden guessed To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring; He probed the weakness of her breast; He will redeem his signet-ring.
But, with that consciousness, there came Ask nought for Douglas;--yester even A lightning of her fears for Græme, His Prince and he have much forgiven: And more she deemed the Monarch's ire Wrong hath he had from slanderous Kindled 'gainst him who, for her sire, tongue
Rebellious broad-sword boldly drew; I, from his rebel kinsmen, wrong.
And, to her generous feeling true, We would not to the vulgar crowd
She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu. Yield what they craved with clamour loud; / “Forbear thy suit;--the King of kings Calmly we heard and judged his cause--- Alone can stay life's parting wings: Our council aided, and our laws.
I know his heart, I know his hand, I stanched thy father's death-feud stern, Have shared his cheer, and proved his With stout De Vaux and gray Glencairn; brand; And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own My fairest earldom would I give The friend and bulwark of our Throne. --- To bid Clan-Alpine's chieftain live ! But, lovely infidel! how now?
Hast thou no other boon to crave, What clouds thy misbelieving brow? No other captive friend to save?”. Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid; Blushing, she turned her from the King, Thou must confirm this doubting maid.” And to the Douglas gave the ring, XIII.
As if she wished her sire to speak Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, The suit that stained her glowing cheek. And on his neck his daughter hung. “Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force, The Monarch drank, that happy hour, And stubborn Justice holds her course! The sweetest, holiest draught of Power, Malcolm, come forth!"--And, at the word, When it can say, with godlike voice, Down kneeled the Græme to Scotland's Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice!
Lord. — Yet would not James the general eye For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, On nature's raptures long should pry; From thee may Vengeance claim her dues, He stepped between--“Nay, Douglas, nay, Who, nurtured underneath our smile, Steal not my proselyte away!
Hast paid our care by treacherous wile, The riddle 'tis my right to read,
And sought, amid thy faithful clan,
Dishonouring thus thy loyal name-
Fetters and warder for the Græme!' 'Tis under name which veils my power, His chain of gold the King unstrung, Nor falsely veils--for Stirling's tower The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung; Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims, Then gently drew the glittering band, And Normans call me James Fitz-James. And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand!
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
"Tis now the dead of night, and half the Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful world
neighings, Is with a lonely sclemn darkness hung ! Piercing the night's dull ear. -Hark! from Yet I (so coy a dame is Sleep to me)
the tents, With all the weary courtship of
The armourers accomplishing the knights, My care-tired thoughts, can't win her to With clink of hammers closing rivets
up, Though even the stars do wink, as 'twere Give dreadful note of preparation; while
with overwatching. I'll forth and walk a while. - The air's Like sacrifices, by their fires of watch, refreshing,
With patience sit, and inly ruminate And the ripe harvest of the new-mown The morning's danger. By yon heaven,
hay Gives it a sweet and wholesome odour,-- Impatience chides this tardy-gaited Night, How awful is this gloom!-- And hark! from Which, like a foul and ugly witch, doth camp to camp
limp The hum of either army stilly sounds, So tediously away.-I'll to my couch, That the fixed sentinels almost receive And once more try to sleep her into The secret whispers of each other's watch: morning
It has been said, by some critic, that Shakspeare was distinguished from the other dramatic writers of his day only by his wit; that they had all his other qualities but that ;—that one writer had as much sense ; another, as much fancy; another, as much knowledge of character; another, the same depth of passion; and another, as great power of language. This statement is not true; nor is the inference from it well founded, even if it were. This person does not seem to be aware, that, upon his own showing, the great distinction of Shakspeare's genius was its virtually including the genius of all the great men of his age, and not its differing from them in one accidental particular.
The striking peculiarity of Shakspeare's mind was its generic quality, its power of communication with all other minds ; so that it contained a universe of thought and feeling within itself, and no one peculiar bias or exclusive excellence more than another. He was just like any other man, but that he was like all other
He was the least of an egotist that it was possible to be. He was nothing in himself, but he was all that others were, or that they could become. He not only had in himself the germs of every faculty and feeling, but he could follow them by anticipation, intuitively, into all their conceivable ramifications, through every change of fortune, or conftict of passion, or turn of thought. He had “a mind reflecting ages past” and present; all the people that ever lived were there. There was no respect of persons with him. His genius shone equally on the evil and on the good, on the wise and the foolish, the monarch and the beggar. “All corners of the earth; kings, queens, and states ; maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave,” are hardly hid from his searching glance. He was like the genius of humanity, changing places with all of us at pleasure, and playing with our purposes as with
He turned the globe round for his amusement, and surveyed the generations of men and the individuals as they passed, with their different concerns, passions, follies, vices, virtues, actions, and motives ; as well those they knew as those they did not know or acknowledge to themselves. The dreams of childhood, the ravings of despair, were the toys of his fancy. Airy beings waited at his call and came at his bidding Harmless fairies “nodded to him and did him their courtesies ;” and the night-hag bestrode the blast at the command of “his so potent art."
He had only to speak of anything, in order to become that thing, with all the circumstances belonging to it. When he conceived of a character, whether real or imaginary, he not only entered into all its thoughts and feelings, but seemed instantly, and as if by touching a secret spring, to be surrounded with all the same objects, “subject to the same skyey influences,” the same local, outward, and unforeseen accidents, which would occur in reality. Thus, the character of Caliban not only stands before us with a language and manners of his own, but the scenery and situation of the enchanted island he inhabits, the traditions of the place, its strange noises, its hidden recesses," his frequent haunts, and ancient neighbourhood," are given with a miraculous truth of