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Lady R. Alas, my lord, I've heard unwelcome


The Danes are landed.

Lord R. Ay, no inroad this

Of the Northumbrian bent to take a spoil:
No sportive war, no tournament essay,

Of some young knight resolv'd to break a spear,
And stain with hostile blood his maiden arms.
The Danes are landed; we must beat them back,
Or live the slaves of Denmark.

Lady R. Dreadful times.

Lord R. The fenceless villages are all forsaken; The trembling mothers and their children lodg'd In well-girt towers and castles; whilst the men Retire indignant. Yet, like broken waves, They but retire more awful to return.

Lady R. Immense, as fame reports, the Danish host.

Lord R. Were it as numerous as loud fame reports,

An army knit like ours would pierce it thro':
Brothers, that shrink not from each other's side,
And fond companions, fill our warlike files:
For his dear offspring, and the wife he loves,
The husband, and the fearless father arm.
In vulgar breasts heroic ardour burns,
And the poor peasant mates his daring lord.

Lady R. Men's minds are temper'd, like their swords, for war;

Hence early graves; hence the lone widow's life. And the sad mother's grief-embitter'd age

Where is our gallant guest?

Lord R. Down in the vale

I left him, managing a fiery steed,

Then, having shew'd his wounds, he'd sit him down,

And all the live-long day discourse of war.
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf
He cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts;
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use
Of the deep column, and the lengthen'd line,
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm.
For all that Saracen or Christian knew
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known.
(Trumpet sounds)
Lord R. From whence those sounds?

Don. My lord, the trumpets of the troops of

Their valiant leader hails the noble Randolph. Lord R. Mine ancient guest, does he the warriors lead?

Has Denmark rous'd the brave old knight to arms?

Don. No; worn with warfare, he resigns the


His eldest hope, the valiant John of Lorn, Now leads his kindred bands.

Lord R. Glenalvon, go,

With hospitality's most strong request
Entreat the chief.

He urges on, impatient of delay,
Don. My lord, requests are vain.



[Exit Glen.

Stung with the tidings of the foe's approach.
Lord May victory sit on the warrior's plume.
of men; his flocks and herds are safe;
e from war's alarms his pastures lie,
By mountains inaccessible secur'd:
Yet foremost he into the plain descends,

Whose stubbornness had foil'd the strength and Eager to bleed in battles not his own.


Of every rider. But, behold he comes,
In earnest conversation with Glenalvon.


Glenalvon! with the lark arise; go forth,
And lead my troops that lie in yonder vale:
Private I travel to the royal camp:

Norval, thou go`st with me. But say, young man,
Where didst thou learn so to discourse of war,
And in such terms, as I o'erheard to-day?
War is no village science, nor its phrase
A language taught amongst the shepherd swains.
Norv. Small is the skill my lord delights


In him he favours.-Hear from whence it came.
Beneath a mountain's brow, the most remote
And inaccessible, by shepherds trod,

In a deep cave, form'd by no mortal hand,
A hermit liv'd, a melancholy man,

Who was the wonder of our wand'ring swains.
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself,
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed,
Water his drink, his food the shepherds' alms.
I went to see him, and my heart was touch'd
With reverence and pity. Mild he spake,
And, ent'ring on discourse, such stories told
As made me oft revisit his sad cell.
For he had been a soldier in his youth;
And fought in famous battles, when the peers
Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led,
Against th' usurping Infidel display'd
The blessed cross, and won the Holy Land.
Pleas'd with my admiration, and the fire

Such were the heroes of the ancient world:
Contemners they of indolence and gain:
But still for love of glory and of arms,
Prone to encounter peril, and to lift
Against each strong antagonist the spear.
I'll go
and press the hero to my breast.
[Exit with Donald.
Lady R. The soldier's loftiness, the pride and

Investing awful war, Norval, I see,
Transport thy youthful mind.

Norv. Ah, should they not?

Bless'd be the hour I left my father's house!


I might have been a shepherd all my days, And stole obscurely to a peasant's grave. Now, if I live, with mighty chiefs I stand; And, if I fall, with noble dust I lie.

His speech struck from me, the old man would shake

His years away, and act his young encounters.

Lady R. There is a gen'rous spirit in thy breast, That could have well sustain'd a prouder fortune. Since lucky chance has left us here alone Unseen, unheard, by human eye or ear,

I will amaze thee with a wondrous tale.

Norv. Let there be danger, lady, with tho secret,

That I may hug it to my grateful heart,

And prove my faith. Command my sword, my


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Lady R. Then learn of me, thou art not Norval's | Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think

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Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.

Norv. You that are skill'd so well in the sad

Of my unhappy parents, and with tears
Bewail their destiny, now have compassion
Upon this offspring of the friends you lov'd.
Oh! tell me who, and where my mother is!
Oppress'd by a base world, perhaps she bends
Beneath the weight of other ills than grief;
And, desolate, implores of heaven the aid
Her son should give. It is, it must be so-
Your countenance confesses that she's wretched.
Oh, tell me her condition! Can the sword-
Who shall resist me in a parent's cause?

My tale will move each gentle heart to pity,
My life incline the virtuous to believe.

Norv. To be the son of Douglas is to me
Inheritance enough. Declare my birth,

And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.
Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and in-


Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son,
The noblest blood in all the land's abash'd,
Having no lacquey but pale poverty.

But how I purpose to redress thy wrongs
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs
That we should part before yon chiefs return.
Retire, and from thy rustic follower's hand
Receive a billet, which thy mother's care,
Anxious to see thee, dictated before
This casual opportunity arose

Of private conference. Its purport mark:
For as I there appoint, we meet again.
Leave me, my son, and frame thy manners still
To Norval's, not to noble Douglas' state.

Norv. I will remember. Where is Norval now?
That good old man.

Lady R. At hand conceal'd he lies,

An useful witness. But beware, my son,
Of yon Glenalvon; in his guilty breast
Besides a villain's shrewdness, ever prone

To false conjecture, he hath griev'd my heart.

Norv. Has he, indeed? Then let yon false Glen-
Beware of me.

Lady R. There bursts the smother'd flame.
Oh, thou all righteous and eternal King!
Who father of the fatherless art call'd,
Protect my son !-Thy inspiration, Lord,
Hath fill'd his bosom with that sacred fire,


Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woe!-My son, my Which in the breasts of his forefathers burn'd;


Norv. Art thou my mother?

Set him on high like them that he may shine,
The star and glory of his native land!

Lady R. I am thy mother, and the wife of Then let the minister of death descend,


Norv. Ever let me kneel.

Lady R. Image of Douglas. Fruit of fatal love!
All that I owe thy sire, I pay to thee.

Norv. Respect and admiration still possess me,
Checking the love and fondness of a son.
Yet I was filial to my humble parents.

But did my sire surpass the rest of men,

As thou excellest all of womankind?

And bear my willing spirit to its place.
Yonder they come. How do bad women find
Unchanging aspects to conceal their guilt?
When I by reason, and by justice urg'd,
Full hardly can dissemble with these men
In nature's pious cause.

Lord R. Yon gallant chief,

Lady R. Arise, my son. In me thou dost be- Of arms enamour'd, all repose disclaims.


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A mine of gold, a kingdom for her dowry.
For let her seem, like the night's shadowy queen
Cold and contemplative-he cannot trust her;
She may, she will bring shame and sorrow on

The worst of sorrow, and the worst of shame! Glen. Yield not, ay lord, to such afflicting thoughts;

But let the spirit of a husband sleep,
Till your own senses make a sure conclusion.
This billet must to blooming Norval go:
At the next turn awaits my trusty spy;
I'll give it him refitted for his master.
In the close thicket take your secret stand;
The moon shines bright, and your own eyes may
Of their behaviour.

Lord R. Thou dost counsel well.

Glen. Permit me now to make one slight essay.
Of all the trophies which vain mortals boast,
By wit, by valour, or by wisdom won,
The first and fairest, in a young man's eye,
Is woman's captive heart. Successful love
With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind;
And the proud conqueror in triumph moves,
Air-borne, exalted above vulgar men.

Lord R. And what avails this maxim?
Glen. Much, my lord!

Withdraw a little: I'll accost young Norval,
And with ironical, derisive counsel
Explore his spirit. If he be no more
Than humble Norval, by thy favour rais'd,
Brave as he is, he'll shrink astonished from me:
But if he be the favourite of the fair,
Lov'd by the first of Caledonia's dames,
He'll turn upon me, as the lion turns
Upon the hunter's spear.

"Lord R. "Tis shrewdly thought.

Glen. When we grow loud, draw near. But let

my lord

[Exit Lord Randolph.

His rising wrath restrain.
"Tis strange, by heav'n!
That she should run full tilt her fond career,
To one so little known. She, too, that seem'd
Pure as the winter stream, when ice, emboss'd,
Whitens its course. Even I did think her chaste,
Whose charity exceeds not. Precious sex!
Whose deeds lascivious pass Glenalvon's thoughts!

His port I love; he's in a proper mood
To chide the thunder, if at him roar'd.
Has Norval seen the troops?

Doug. The setting sun,
With yellow radiance, lighten'd all the vale;
And, as the warriors mov'd, each polish'd helm,
Corslet, or spear, glanc'd back his gilded beams.
The hill they climb'd, and halting at its top,
Of more than mortal size, tow'ring they seem'd,
An host angelic, clad in burning arms.

Glen. Thou talk'st it well: no leader of our host
In sounds more lofty speaks of glorious war.

Doug. If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name,
My speech will be less ardent. Novelty
Now prompts my tongue, and youthful admiration
Vents itself freely; since no part is mine
Of praise, pertaining to the great in arms.

Glen. You wrong yourself, brave sir; your mar-
tial deeds
Have rank'd you with the great: but mark me,

Lord Randolph's favour now exalts your youth
Above his vet'rans of famous service.

Let me, who know these soldiers, counsel you.

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Glen. Thy truth! thou'rt all a lie; and false as

Is the vain-glorious tale thou told'st to Randolph.
Doug. If I were chain'd unarm'd, and bed-rid
Perhaps I should revile: but, as I am,

I have no tongue to rail. The humble Norval
Is of a race who strive not but with deeds.
(Aside.) Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valour,
And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword,
I'd tell thee-what thou art. I know thee well.
Glen. Dost thou not know Glenalvon, born to
Ten thousand slaves like thee?

Doug. Villain, no more!

Doug. So I am;

And who is Norval in Glenalvon's eyes?

Glen. A peasant's son; a wandering beggar-boy;
At best, no more; even if he speak the truth.
Doug. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my

Draw, and defend thy life. I did design
To have defled thee in another cause;
But heav'n accelerates its vengeance on thee.
Now, for my own and Lady Randolph's wrongs.

Lord R. Hold I command you both. The man that stirs, Makes me his foe.

Doug. Another voice than thine,

That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolph.
Glen. Hear him, my lord; he's wondrous con-
Mark the humility of shepherd Norval!
Doug. Now you may scoff in safety.

(Sheathes his sword.)

Lord R. Speak not thus,

Taunting each other; but unfold to me
The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you.
Doug. Nay, my good lord, though I revere you

My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment.
I blush to speak: I will not, cannot speak
Th' opprobrious words that I from him have borne.
To the liege lord of my dear native land
I owe a subject's homage; but, ev'n him,
And his high arbitration, I'd reject.
Within my bosom reigns another lord;
Honour, sole judge, and umpire of itself.
If my free speech offend you, noble Randolph,
Revoke your favours, and let Norval go
Hence, as he came alone, but not dishonour'd.
Lord R. Thus far I'll mediate with impartial
voice :

The ancient foe of Caledonia's land

Now waves his banners o'er her frighted fields.
Suspend your purpose, till your country's arms
Repel the bold invader; then decide

The private quarrel.

Glen. I agree to this.

Doug. And L


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Which, in the wilderness, so long conceal'd
The blossom of thy youth.

Doug. Not worse the fruit,

That in the wilderness the blossom blow'd.
Among the shepherds, in the bumble cot,
I learn'd some lessons, which I'll not forget
When I inhabit yonder lofty towers.

I, who was once a swain, will ever prove
The poor man's friend: and, when my vassals

Norval shall smooth the crested pride of Douglas.
Old N. Let me but live to see thine exaltation!
Yet grievous are my fears. Oh! leave this place,
And those unfriendly towers.

Doug. Why should I leave them?

Old N. Lord Randolph and his kinsman seek
your life.

Doug. How know'st thou that?
Doug. I will inform you how.

When evening came, I left the secret place
Appointed for me by your mother's care,
And fondly trod in each accustom'd path
That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd,
I was alarm'd with unexpected sounds
Of earnest voices. On the persons came:
Unseen, I lurk'd and overheard them name
Each other as they talk'd; Lord Randolph this,
And that Glenalvon: still of you they spoke,

[Exit with Donald. And of the lady: threat'ning was their speech,
Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hear it.
'Twas strange, they said; a wonderful discov'ry:
And, ever and anon, they vow'd revenge.

Let not our variance mar the social hour,
Nor wrong the hospitality of Randolph.
Nor frowning anger, nor yet wrinkled hate,
Shall stain my countenance. Smooth thou thy


Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame.
Doug. Think not so lightly, sir, of my resentment;
When we contend again, our strife is mortal.

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Doug. This is the place, the centre of the grove;
Here stands the oak, the monarch of the wood.
How sweet and solemn is this midnight scene!
The silver moon, unclouded, holds her way
Thro' skies, where I could count each little star.
The fanning west wind scarcely stirs the leaves;
The river, rushing o'er its pebbled bed,
Imposes silence with a stilly sound.
In such a place as this, at such an hour,
If ancestry can be in aught believ'd,
Descending spirits have convers'd with man,
And told the secrets of the world unknown.

Old N. 'Tis he: but what if he should chide me

His just reproach I fear.

(Douglas turns and sees him.)

Forgive, forgive;
Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man,
Who bred Sir Malcolm's heir a shepherd's son?
Doug. Welcome to me; thou art my father still:
Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy.
Welcome to me; my fortunes thou shalt share,
And, ever honour'd, with thy Douglas live.

Old N. And dost thou call me father? Oh! my


I think that I could die, to make amends

Doug. Revenge! for what?

Old N. For being what you are,

Sir Malcolm's heir. How else have you offended?
When they were gone, I hied me to my cottage,
And there sat musing how I best might find
Means to inform you of their wicked purpose.
But I could think of none; at last, perplex'd,
I issu'd forth, encompassing the tower
With many a wary step and wishful look.
Now Providence hath brought you to my sight,
Let not your too courageous spirit scorn
The caution which I give.

Doug. I scorn it not

My mother warn'd me of Glenalvon's baseness;
But I will not suspect the Noble Randolph.

In our encounter with the vile assassins,

I mark'd his brave demeanour; him I'll trust.
Old N. I fear you will, too far.
Doug. Here, in this place,

I wait my mother's coming; she shall know
What thou hast told; her counsel I will follow;
And cautious ever are a mother's counsels.
You must depart; your presence may prevent
Our interview.

Old N. My blessing rest upon thee!

Oh! may heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from the

And from the sword of foes, be near thee still;
Turning mischance, if aught hang o'er thy head,
All upon mine!

Doug. He loves me like a parent;
And must not, shall not, lose the son he loves;
Altho' his son has found a nobler father.
Eventful day! how hast thou chang'd my state!
Once on the cold and winter-shaded side
Of a bleak hill, mischance had rooted me,
Never to thrive, child of another soil;
Transplanted now to the gay sunny vale,
Like the green thorn of May my fortune flow'rs.
Ye glorious stars! high heav'ns resplendent host;
To whom I oft have of my lot complain'd,

For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twas my crime Hear and record my soul's unalter'd wish;

Living, or dead, let me but be renown'd!
May heav'n inspire some fierce gigantic Dane,
To give a bold defiance to our host!
Before he speaks it out, I will accept;
Like Douglas conquer, or like Douglas die.

Lady R. My son! I heard a voice-
Doug. The voice was mine.

Lady R. Didst thou complain aloud to nature's ear,

That thus in dusky shades, at midnight hours, By stealth, the mother and the son should meet? (Embracing him.) Doug. Oh; on this happy day, this better birthday,

My thoughts and words are all of hope and joy.
Lady R. Sad fear and melancholy still divide
The empire of my breast with hope and joy.
Now hear what I advise.

Doug. First, let me tell

What may the tenor of your counsel change.
Lady R. My heart forebodes some evil!
Doug. "Tis not good.-

At eve, unseen by Randolph and Glenalvon,
The good old Norval, in the grove, o'erheard
Their conversation: oft they mention'd me
With dreadful threat'nings; you, they sometimes

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In a most fearful season. Oh! my long-lost hope!
If thou to giddy valour giv'st the rein,
To-morrow I may lose my son for ever.
The love of thee, before thou saw'st the light,
Sustain'd my life when thy brave father fell
If thou shalt fall, I have nor love nor hope
In this waste world! My son remember me!
Doug. What shall I say? how can I give you

Thou genuine offspring of the daring Douglas!
But rush not on destruction: save thyself,
And I am safe. To me they mean no harm.
Thy stay but risks thy precious life in vain.
That winding path conducts thee to the river.
Cross where thou seest a broad and broken way;
Which, running eastward, leads thee to the camp.
Instant demand admittance to Lord Douglas;
Shew him these jewels, which his brother wore.
Thy look, thy voice, will make him feel the truth;
Which I, by certain proof, will soon confirm.

Doug. 1 yield me and obey; but yet, my heart
Bleeds at this parting. Something bids me stay,
And guard a mother's life. Oft have I read
Of wondrous deeds by one bold arm achiev'd.
Our foes are two; no more: let me go forth,
And see if any shield can guard Glenalvon.

Lady R. If thou regard'st thy mother, or rever'st Thy father's memory, think of this no more. One thing I have to say before we part; Long wert thou lost; and thou art found, my child,

The god of battles of my life dispose.

As may be best for you! for whose dear sake
I will not bear myself as I resolv'd.
But yet consider, as no vulgar name,
That which I boast sounds amongst martial men,
How will inglorious caution suit my claim?
The post of fate, unshrinking, I maintain.
My country's foes must witness who I am.
On the invader's heads I'll prove my birth,
Till friends and foes confess the genuine strain.
If, in this strife I fall, blame not your son;
Who, if he live not honour'd, must not live.

Lady R. I will not utter what my bosom feels
Too well I love that valour which I warn.
Farewell, my son! my counsels are but vain:
And, as high heav'n hath will'd it, all must be.
Gaze not on me, thou wilt mistake the path;
I'll point it out again.
[Exit with Douglas.
Lord R. Not in her presence.

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Doug. It was Glenalvon.

Just as my arm had master'd Randolph's sword.
The villain came behind me; but I slew him.
Lady R. Behind thee! Ah! thou'rt wounded!
Oh! my child,
How pale thou look'st! and shall I lose thee now?
Doug. Do not despair: I feel a little faintnees;
I hope it will not last. (Leans upon his sword.)

Lady R. There is no hope!
And we must part; the hand of death is on thee.
Oh, my beloved child! Oh, Douglas, Douglas.
(Douglas growing more and more faint.)
Doug. To soon we part; I have not long been

Oh, destiny, hardly thou deal'st with me;
Clouded and hid, a stranger to myself,
In a low and poor obscurity I liv'd.

Lady R. Has heav'n preserv'd thee for an end like this?

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