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"De Bruce! I rose with purpose dread
To speak my curse upon thy head,
And give thee as an outcast o'er
To him who burns to shed thy gore ;-
But, like the Midianite of old,

Who stood on Zophim, heaven-controul'd,
I feel within mine aged breast
A power that will not be repress'd.
It prompts my voice, it swells my veins,
It burns, it maddens, it constrains!--
De Bruce, thy sacrilegious blow
Hath at God's altar slain thy foe:
O'er-master'd yet by high behest,

I bless thee, and thou shalt be bless'd!".
He spoke, and o'er the astonish'd tarong
Was silence, awful, deep, and long.


Again that light has fired his eye,
Again his form swells bold and high,
The broken voice of age is gone,
'Tis vigorous manhood's lofty tone:-
"Thrice vanquish'd on the battle-plain,
Thy followers slaughter'd, fled, or ta'en,
A haunted wanderer on the wild,
On foreign shores a man exiled,
Disown'd, deserted, and distress'd,
I bless thee, and thou shalt be bless'd;
Bless'd in the hall and in the field,
Under the mantle as the shield.
Avenger of thy country's shame,
Restorer of her injured fame,
Bless'd in thy sceptre and thy sword,
De Bruce, fair Scotland's rightful Lord,
Bless'd in thy deeds and in thy fame,
What lengthen'd honours wait thy name!
In distant ages, sire to son

Shall tell thy tale of freedom won,
And teach his infants, in the use
Of earliest speech, to faulter Bruce.
Go, then, triumphant! sweep along
Thy course, the theme of many a song!
The Power, whose dictates swell my breast,
Hath bless'd thee, and thou shalt be bless'd !--


Enough my short-lived strength decays,
And sinks the momentary blaze.-

Heaven hath our destined purpose broke,
Not here must nuptial vow be spoke;
Brethren, our errand here is o'er,

Our task discharged. Unmoor, unmoor!-
His priests received the exhausted Monk,
As breathless in their arms he sunk.
Punctual his orders to obey,

The train refused all longer stay,

Embark d, raised sail, and bore away." P. 75.

With this magnificent description, the canto concludes. In the beginning of the third, the Lord of Loru demands his daughter back from Ronald, and utters a vow that she shall never marry the friend of Bruce. She is no where to be found—but intelligence is given that she had escaped in the bark of the Abbot. The Lord of Lorn, after dispatching Cormac Doil, a notorious pirate, in pursuit of the fugitive, departs-In the middle of the night, Bruce and his brother Edward are suddenly awakened by the appearance of their host and the chieftain of Dunvegan, who swear fealty to him as monarch of Scotland. Some portion at least of this devotion to the cause of Bruce on the part of Ronald, appears to flow from his attachment to Isabel, the monarch's sister, whom he had seen before in the Holy Land. They agree to leave the castle, and to retreat for a while to Ireland, to muster their allies, and to arrange their plans for future action. As they pass the island of Skye; Ronald proposes to Bruce that they should land for the purpose of hunting a mountain deer. They disembark with Allan, the page of Ronald. As they proceed, they meet unexpectedly with five men, two of whom are of a superior cast, and the remaining three serfs; on being questioned, they state themselves to have been shipwrecked upon the coast; they invite Bruce and Ronald to their hut to partake of a fallow deer which they had just killed; and give them the unwelcome information that their galley, which was moored off the shore, upon the appearance of a southern vessel, bad set sail and fled. Though fearful of treachery, they agree to follow these rough and suspicious strangers.

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His garb was such as minstrels wear,
Dark was his hue, and dark his hair,
His youthful cheek was marr'd by care,
His eyes in sorrow drown'd.

"Whence this poor boy?"-As Ronald spoke,
The voice his trance of anguish broke;

As if awaked from ghastly dream,

He raised his head with start and scream,
And wildly gazed around;

Then to the wall his face he turn'd,
And his dark cheek with blushes burn'd.


"Whose is the boy?" again he said.
By chance of war our captive made;
He may be yours, if you should hold
That music has more charms than gold;
For, though from earliest childhood mute,
The lad can deftly touch the lute,

And on the rote and viol play,
And well can drive the time away
For those who love such glee;
For me, the favouring breeze, when loud
It pipes upon the galley's shroud,
Makes blither melody.”—

"Hath he, then, sense of spoken sound?"-
"Aye; so his mother bade us know,

A crone in our late shipwreck drown'd,
And hence the silly stripling's woe,
More of the youth I cannot say,
Our captive but since yesterday;
When wind and weather wax'd so grim,
We little listed think of him.—

Sit to your

But why waste time in idle words?
cheer-unbelt your swords."-
Sudden the captive turn'd his head,
And one quick glance to Ronald sped,
It was a keen and warning look,

And well the Chief the signal took," P. 108.

After their meal, they agree to watch by turns. The various thoughts which agitate the bosoms of Ronald and Bruce during their watch, are well described. Young Allan's turn comes last, which gives the poet the opportunity of marking in the most natural and happy manner, that insensible transition from the reality of waking thought, to the fanciful visions of slumber, and that delusive power of the imagination which so blends the confines of these separate states, as to deceive and sport with the efforts even of determined vigilance.


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-Hark! hears he not the sea-nymph speak
Her anger in that thrilling shriek?—
No! all too late, with Allan's dream
Mingled the captive's warning scream!
As from the ground he strives to start,
A ruffian's dagger finds his heart!
Upward he casts his dizzy eyes,


Murmurs his master's name, .and dies!" P. 11%


Bruce is awakened by the sound, and with Ronald succeeds in dispatching all his assailants, the chief of whom proves to be the pirate Cormac Doil: who knowing him well, had forged the tale of the boat's departure to detain the monarch in the island, and to seize his opportunity of dispatching him. After a very sweet and Virgilian lamentation over the body of Allan, the Euryalus of our poet, they retreat from the island, accompanied by the dumb page whom they have discovered in Cormac's hut.

At the commencement of the fourth Canto, they regain their bark, where Bruce is informed that during his absence tidings had been received of the death of the English monarch, and of the accession of many powerful chieftains to the standard of their native king. Upon this intelligence they shape their course towards Arran. The scenery of the different islands, by whose shores they sail, is delineated with our poet's usual accuracy and spirit; nor are the various tales attached to the several objects as they pass in review before our eyes, omitted. The cruelty of the jealous chieftain of Canna, who immured his wife in a lonely castle, and the suffocation of the inhabitants of the isle of Egg, who with their families had taken refuge within a cavern, by the Macleods, are both most poetically described. During the voyage, Lord Ronald declares to Bruce his affection for Isabel, the monarch's sister, considering himself released from his engagement to Edith, by her sudden flight. To his proposal, Bruce returns no definite answer; but the dumb page, who had witnessed


the scene, appears so sensibly affected as to draw the attention of the chieftains. They land at the convent of St. Bride's, in which Isabel had taken refuge; Bruce, attended by the page, repairs to his sister's cell, and reveals to her the love which Ronald entertained towards her; she, however, refuses to hear his suit, till he shall lay at her feet both, his ring and the acquittal of his oath to the maid of Lorn.'

The fifth Canto opens with the description of Isabel at her devotions, after rising from which she discovers upon the pavement a ring with a scroll attached to it, restoring the promise of Ronald to Edith. She wonders from whence it could arrive. No one, it appeared, had approached the convent that morning, except the page of her brother, whom her attendant had observed passing rapidly from the chapel, with tears bursting from his eyes. "The truth at once on Isabel,

As darted by a sun-beam, fell.

"Tis Edith's self!-her speechless woe,
Her form, her looks, the secret show!
-Instant, good Mona, to the bay,
And to my royal brother say,
I do conjure him seek my cell,

With that mute page he loves so well.".
"What! know'st thou not his warlike host
At break of day has left our coast?
My old eyes saw them from the tower.
At eve they couch'd in green-wood bower,
At dawn a bugle-signal, made

By their bold Lord, their ranks array'd;
Up sprung the spears through bush and tree,
No time for benedicite!

Like deer, that, rousing from their lair,

Just shake the dew-drops from their hair,
And toss their armed crests aloft,

Such matins theirs!" P. 177.

Isabel dispatches Augustine, the chaplain of the convent, to Bruce, to demand the page at his hands. Upon Bruce's declaration to the friar that he had sent the boy to St. Bride, there to remain unmolested, Edward, the monarch's brother, professes that he had dispatched him with the royal mandate to Cuthbert, on the shore of Carrick the friar returns from his unsuccessful mission, and bears a request from Ronald to Isabel, that she would send her knight some token of her favour to wear on his crest, and promises that the page shall be his peculiar charge.


"Now on the darkening main afloat,

Ready and mann'd rocks every boat;



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