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And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.
IV. Less loud the sounds of sylvan war Disturbed the heights of Uam-Var, And roused the cavern, where, 'tis told, A giant made his den of old ; For ere that steep ascent was won, High in his pathway hung the sun, And many a gallant, stayed perforce, Was fain to breathe his faltering horse; And of the trackers of the deer Scarce half the lessening pack was near ; So shrewdly, on the mountain-side, Had the bold burst their mettle tried.
The noble stag was pausing now
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wandered o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And pondered refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood grey,
That waved and wept on Loch Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Ben-venue.
Fresh vigour with the hope returned,
With flying foot the heath he spurned,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.
'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er, As swept the hunt through Cambus-more,
What reins were tightened in despair,
When rose Benledi’s ridge in air ;
Who flagged upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunned to stem the flooded Teith,-
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.
Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reached the lake of Vennachar ;
And when the Brigg of Turk was won,
The headmost horseman rode alone.
VII. Alone, but with unbated zeal, That horseman plied the scourge and steel; For, jaded now, and spent with toil, Embossed with foam, and dark with soil, While every gasp with sobs he drew, The labouring stag strained full in view. Two dogs of black St. Hubert's breed, Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed, Fast on his flying traces came, And all but won that desperate game; For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch, Vindictive toiled the bloodhounds stanch; Nor nearer might the dogs attain, Nor farther might the quarry strain. Thus up the margin of the lake, Between the precipice and brake, O’er stock and rock their race they take.
The hunter marked that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
And deemed the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barred the way;
Already glorying in the prize,
Measured his antlers with his eyes ;
For the death-wound, and death halloo,
Mustered his breath, his whinyard drew,
But, thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunned the shock,
And turned him from the opposing rock;
Then, dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosach's wildest nook
His solitary refuge took.
There, while close couched, the thicket shed
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head,
He heard the baffled dogs in vain
Rave through the hollow pass amain,
Chiding the rocks that yelled again.
ix. Close on the hounds the hunter came, To cheer them on the vanished game; But, stumbling in the rugged dell, The gallant horse exhausted fell. The impatient rider strove in vain To rouse him with the spur and rein, For the good steed, his labours o'er, Stretched his stiff limbs, to rise no more ; Then, touched with pity and remorse, He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse.
I little thought, when first thy rein I slacked upon the banks of Seine, That Highland eagle e'er should feed On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed! Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, That cost thy life, my gallant grey!'
Then through the dell his horn resounds,
From vain pursuit to call the hounds.
Back limped, with slow and crippled pace,
The sulky leaders of the chase ;
Close to their master's side they pressed,
With drooping tail and humbled crest;
But still the dingle's hollow throat
Prolonged the swelling bugle-note.
The owlets started from their dream,
The eagles answered with their scream,
Round and around the sounds were cast,
Till echo seemed an answering blast;
And on the hunter hied his way,
To join some comrades of the day;
Yet often paused, so strange the road,
So wondrous were the scenes it showed.
From The Lady of the Lake.
THE summer dawn's reflected hue
1 To purple changed Loch Katrine blue;
Mildly and soft the western breeze
Just kissed the lake, just stirred the trees,
And the pleased lake, like maiden coy,
Trembled, but dimpled not for joy;
The mountain-shadows on her breast
Were neither broken nor at rest;
In bright uncertainty they lie,
Like future joys to Fancy's eye.
The water-lily to the light
Her chalice reared of silver bright;
The doe awoke, and to the lawn,
Begemmed with dewdrops, led her fawn ;
The grey mist left the mountain side,
The torrent showed its glistening pride ;
Invisible in flecked sky,
The lark sent down her revelry;
The blackbird and the speckled thrush
Good-morrow gave from brake and bush;
In answer cooed the cushat dove,
Her notes of peace, and rest, and love.
From The Lady of the Lake.
THE LAY OF ROSABELLE.
H listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feat of arms I tell ;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay,
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.
-Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.
'.The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the Water Sprite,
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
'Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch ;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?'
''Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
To night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.
''Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide,
If 'tis not filled by Rosabelle.'-