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Lady Rand. Thou dost not think so : woeful as
I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues.
But whither goest thou now?
Lord Rand. Straight to the camp,
Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands
Of expectation, and impatient asks
Each who arrives, if he is come to tell
The Danes are landed.
Lady Rand. O! may adverse winds,
Far from the coast of Scotland, drive their fleet!
And every soldier of both hosts return
In peace and safety to his pleasant home!
Lord Rand. Thou speak’st a woman's, hear a
warrior's wish : Right from their native land, the stormy north, May the wind blow, till every keel is fix’d Immoveable in Caledonia's strand ! Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion, And roving armies shun the fatal shore. Lady Rand. War I detest : But war with
foreign foes, Whose manners, language, and whose looks are
strange, Is not so horrid, nor to me so hateful,
As that which with our neighbours oft we wage.
A river here, there an ideal line, .
By fancy drawn, divides the sister kingdoms.
On each side dwells a people similar,
As twins are to each other; valiant both :
Both for their valour famous through the world.
Yet will they not unite their kindred arms,
And, if they must have war, wage distant war,
But with each other fight in cruel conflict. -
Gallant in strife, and noble in their ire,
The battle is their pastime. They go forth
Gay in the morning, as to summer sport ;
When ev’ning comes, the glory of the morn,
The youthful warrior, is a clod of clay.
Thus fall the prime of either hapless land ;
And such the fruit of Scotch and English wars.
Lord Rand. I'll hear no more : this melody
A soldier drop his sword, and doff his arms,
Sit down and weep the conquests he has made ;
Yea, (like a monk) sing rest and peace in heaven
To souls of warriors in his battles slain.
Lady, farewell : I leave thee not alone;
Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.
Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love: Urged by affection, I have thus presumed To interrupt your solitary thoughts; And warn you of the hours that you neglect, And lose in sadness.
Lady Rand. So to lose my hours Is all the use I wish to make of time. · Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my
state: But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man, Never did sister thus a brother mourn. What had your sorrows been if you had lost, In early youth, the husband of your heart ?
Lady Rand. Oh!
Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious love, And ill-timed mention of your brother's fate ? Forgive me, lady: humble though I am, The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune : So fervently I love you, that to dry These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away. Lady Rand. What power directed thy uncon
scious tongue To speak as thou hast donc ? to name
Anna. I know not :
But since my words have made my mistress tremble,
I will speak so no more; but silent mix
My tears with her’s.
Lady Rand. No, thou shalt not be silent.
I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be
Henceforth the instructed partner of my woes.
But what avails it ? Can thy feeble pity
Roll back the flood of never-cbbing time?
Compel the earth and ocean to give up
Their dead alive?
Anna. What means my noble mistress ?
Lady Rand. Didst thou not ask what had my
If I in early yoạth had lost a husband ?-
In the cold bosom of the earth is lodged,
Mangled with wounds, the husband of my youth ;
And in some cavern of the ocean lies
My child and his!
Anna. O! lady, most revered !
The tale wrapt up in your amazing words
Deign to unfold.
Lady Rand. Alas! an ancient feud,
Hereditary evil, was the source
Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed,
That my brave brother should in battle save
The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe:
The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship.
To see the vaunted sister of his friend
Impatient, Douglas to Balarmo came,
Under a borrow'd name.My heart he gain'd;
Nor did I long refuse the hand he begg’d:
My brother's presence authorized our marriage.
Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings of
Had o'er us flown, when my loved lord was call'd
To fight his father's battles; and with him,
In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go.
Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was told
That the false stranger was Lord Douglas' son.
Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword,
And question’d me. Alone, forsaken, faint,
Kneeling beneath his sword, fault'ring, I took
An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would
Wed one of Douglas' name.-Sincerity,
Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave
Thy onward path ! although the earth should