페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

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 Carron 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

tale
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 blcss'd the wonder-working Lord of heaven.

Lord Band. Pious and grateful ever are thy

thoughts!

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

am

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

bold

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 Hand. 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 see, 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 Rand. His parting words have struck a

fatal truth.

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,

Oft, as blown back by the rude breath of fear,
Return'd, and with redoubled ardour blazed.

Anna. May gracious heaven pour the sweet balm

of peace

Into the wounds that fester in your breast!
For earthly consolation cannot cure them.

Lady Rand. One only cure can heaven itself bestow;

A grave—that bed in which the weary rest.
Wretch that I am! Alas! why am I so?
At every happy parent I repine!
How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval!
She for a living husband bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a man was born:
She nursed her smiling infant on her breast;
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy.
She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth . '•
In grace and comeliness surpass his peers:
Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son,
And to the roaring waters gave my child.

Anna. Alas, alas! why will you thus resume Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth Would for a while have won you from your woe. On him intent you gazed, with a look

« 이전계속 »