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'Lord Rand. I ask'd that question, and he answered not: But I must know who my deliverer is.
[ To the Stranger.
Strang. A low-born man, of parentage obscure, Who nought can boast but his desire to be A soldier, and to gain a name in arms.
Lord Rand. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennobled
By the great King of kings! thou art ordain'd
And stamp'd a hero by the sovereign hand
Of Nature! blush not, flower of modesty,
As well as valour, to declare thy birth.
Strang. My name is Norval: on the Grampian
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord:
And heav'n soon granted what my sire deny'd.
This moon which rose last night, round as my
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her light, A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rush'd like a torrent down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd • . -
The road he took, then hasten'd to my friends,
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men, -
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierced their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Camm side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps :—
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I past these towers,
And, heav'n-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
Lord Rand. He is as wise as brave. Was ever
With such a gallant modesty rehearsed?
My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now
A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight
Contend with princes for the prize of fame.
I will present thee to our Scottish king,
Whose valiant spirit ever valour loved.—
Ha, my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear?
. Lady Rand. I cannot say: for various affections,
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell;
Yet each of them may well command a tear.
I joy that thou art safe; and I admire
Him and his fortunes who hath wrought thy safety;
Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own.
Obscure and friendless, he the army sought,
Bent upon peril, in the range of death
Resolved to hunt for fame, and with his sword
To gain distinction which his birth deny'd.
In this attempt unknown he might have perish'd,
And gain'd, with all his valour, but oblivion.
Now, graced by thee, his virtue serves no more
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope
He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown
Are brought within the compass of his sword.
On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke,
And bless'd the wonder-working Lord of heaven.
Lord Rand. Pious and grateful ever are thy
My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the way.
Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon,
In honour and command shall Norval be.
Norv. I know not how to thank you. Rude I
In speech and manners: never till this hour
Stood I in such a presence; yet, my lord,
'There's something in my breast, which makes me
To say, that Norval ne'er will shame thy favour. Lady Rand. I will be sworn thou wilt not.
Thou shalt be
My knight; and ever, as thou didst to-day,
With happy valour guard the life of Randolph.
Lord Rand. Well hast thou spoke. Let me for-
bid reply. [ To Norval.
We are thy debtors still; thy high desert
O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed,
As was at first intended, to the camp.
Some of my train, I sec, are speeding hither,
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay.
Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall see
The chosen warriors of thy native land,
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandish'd swords.
Norv. Let us begone, my lord.
Lord Rand. [ To Lady Randolph.] About
the time that the declining sun
Shall his broad orb o'er yonder hills suspend,
Expect us to return. This night once more
Within these walls I rest; my tent I pitch
To-morrow in the field.—Prepare the feast.
Free is his heart who for his country fights:
He in the eve of battle may resign
Himself to social pleasure; sweetest then,
When danger to a soldier's soul endears
The human joy that never may return.
[Exeunt Randolph and Norval.
Lady Randolph and Anna.
Lady Band. His parting words have struck a
O Douglas, Douglas! tender was the time
When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!
How many years of anguish and despair
Has heaven annex'd to those swift-passing hours
Of love and fondness! Then my bosom's flame,