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Fast by Moneira's sullen brook,
Which murmurs through that lonely wood.
Soft fell the night, the sky was calm,
When three successive days had flown;
And summer mist in dewy balm
Steep'd heathy bank, and mossy stone.
The moon, half-hid in silv'ry flakes,
Afar her dubious radiance shed,
Quiv'ring on Katrine's distant lakes,
And resting on Benledi's head.
Now in their hut, in social guise,
Their sylvan fare the chiefs enjoy;
And pleasure laughs in Ronald's eyes,
As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy.
"What lack we here to crown our bliss,
While thus the pulse of joy beats high?
What, but fair woman's yielding kiss,
Her panting breath, and melting eye?
"To chase the deer of yonder shades,
This morning left their father's pile
The fairest of our mountain maids,
The daughters of the proud Glengyle.
"Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart,
And dropp'd the tear, and heaved the sigh:
But vain the lover's wily art,
Beneath a sister's watchful eye.
"But thou may'st teach that guardian fair, While far with Mary I am flown,
Of other hearts to cease her care,
And find it hard to guard her own.
"Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see The lovely Flora of Glengyle,
Unmindful of her charge and me,
Hang on thy notes, 'twixt tear and smile.
"Or, if she choose a melting tale,
All underneath the greenwood bough,
Will good St Oran's rule prevail,
Stern huntsman u the rigid brow ?"—
-"Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death, No more on me shall rapture rise, Responsive to the panting breath,
Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes.
"E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe,
Where sunk my hopes of love and fame,
I bade my harp's wild wailings flow,
On me the seer's sad spirit came.
"The last dread curse of angry heav'n,
With ghastly sights and sounds of woe,
To dash each glimpse of joy, was giv'n-
The gift, the future ill to know.
"The bark thou saw'st, yon summer morn,
So gaily part from Oban's bay,
My eye beheld her dash'd and torn,
Far on the rocky Colonsay.
"Thy Fergus too-thy sister's son,
Thou saw'st, with pride, the gallant's pow'r,
As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe,
He left the skirts of huge Benmore.
"Thou only saw'st their tartans wave,
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,
Heard'st but the pil roch, answ'ring brave
To many a target clanking round.
"I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears,
I saw the wound his bosom bore,
When on the serried Saxon spears
He pour'd his clan's resistless roar.
"And thou, who bidst me think of bliss,
And bidst my heart awake to glee,
And court, like thee, the wanton kiss,-
That heart, O Ronald, bleeds for thee!
"I see the death-damps chill thy brow;
I hear thy Warning Spirit cry;
The corpse-lights dance-they're gone, and now—! No more is giv'n to gifted eye!"
• Tartans-The full Highland dress, made of the chequered stuf so termed.
"Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams, Sad prophet of the evil hour!
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams, Because to-morrow's storm may lour?
"Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe, Clangillian's chieftain ne'er shall fear; His blood shall bound at rapture's glow, Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spear. "E'en now, to meet me in yon dell,
My Mary's buskins brush the dew."He spoke, nor bade the chief farewell, But call'd his dogs, and gay withdrew. Within an hour return'd each hound; In rush'd the rousers of the deer; They howl'd in melancholy sound, Then closely couch beside the Seer. No Ronald yet; though midnight came, And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams, As, bending o'er the dying flame,
He fed the watch-fire's quiv'ring gleams.
Sudden the hounds erect their ears,
And sudden cease their moaning howl;
Close press'd to Moy, they mark their fears
By shiv'ring limbs and stifled growl.
Untouch'd, the harp began to ring,
As softly, slowly, oped the door;
And shook responsive ev'ry string,
As light a footstep press'd the floor.
And, by the watch-fire's glimm'ring light,
Close by the Minstrel's side was seen
An huntress maid, in beauty bright,
All dropping wet her robes of green.
All dropping wet her garments seem;
Chill'd was her cheek, her bosom bare,
As, bending o'er the dying gleam,
She wrung the moisture from her hair.
With maiden blush she softly said,
O gentle huntsman, hast thou seen,
In deep Glenfinlas' moon-light glade,
A lovely maid in vest of green:
"With her a chief in Highland pride
His shoulders bear the hunter's bow,
The mountain dirk adorns his side,
Far on the wind his tartans flow?"
"And who art thou? and who are they?"
All ghastly gazing, Moy replied:
"And why, beneath the moon's pale ray
Dare ye thus roam Glenfinlas' side ?
"Where wild Loch Katrine pours her tide,
Blue, dark, and deep, round many an isle
Our father's tow'rs o'erhang her side,
The castle of the bold Glengyle.
"To chase the dun Glenfinlas deer,
Our woodland course this morn we bore,
And haply met, while wand'ring here,
The son of great Macgillianore.
"O aid me, then, to seek the pair,
Whom, loit'ring in the woods, I lost;
Alone I dare not venture there,
Where walks, they say, the shrieking ghost."
"Yes, many a shrieking ghost walks there;
Then, first, my own sad vow to keep,
Here will I pour my midnight pray'r,
Which still must rise when mortals sleep."
"O first, for pity's gentle sake,
Guide a lone wand'rer on her way!
For I must cross the haunted brake,
And reach my father's tow'rs ere day."
"First, three times tell each Ave bead,
And thrice a Pater-noster say;
Then kiss with me the holy reed:
So shall we safely wind our way."
"O shame to knighthood, strange and foul!
Go, doff the bonnet from thy brow,
And shroud thee in the monkish cowl,
Which best befits thy sullen vow.
"Not so, by high Dunlathmon's fire,
Thy heart was froze to love and joy,
When gaily rung thy raptur'd lyre,
To wanton Morna's melting eye."
Wild star'd the Minstrel's eyes of flame,
And high his sable locks arose,
And quick his colour went and came,
As fear and rage alternate rose.
"And thou! when by the blazing oak
I lay, to her and love resign'd,
Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke,
Or sail'd ye on the midnight wind!
"Not thine a race of mortal blood,
Nor old Glengyle's pretended line
Thy dame, the Lady of the Flood,
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine."
He mutter'd thrice St Oran's rhyme,
And thrice St Fillan's pow'rful prayer;
Then turn'd him to the eastern clime,
And sternly shook his coal-black hair.
And, bending o'er his harp, he flung
His wildest witch-notes on the wind;
And loud, and high, and strange, they rung,
As many a magic change they find.
Tall wax'd the Spirit's alt'ring form,
Till to the roof her stature grew;
Then, mingling with the rising storm,
With one wild yell, away she flew.
Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear:
The slender hut in fragments flew;
But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was wav'd by wind, or wet by dew.
Wild mingling with the howling gale,
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise;
High o'er the Minstrel's head they sail,
And die amid the northern skies.
The voice of thunder shook the wood,
As ceas'd the more than mortal yell;