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And with our bard, in brake forlorn,
Held converse till the break of morn.
Their ghostly rites, their looks, their mould,
Or words to man, he never told;
But much he learned of mystery,
Of that was past, and that should be.
Thenceforth he troubles oft divined,
And scarcely held his perfect mind;
Yet still the song, admired when young,
He loved, and that in Court he sung.
“Macgregor, Macgregor, remember our foemen;
The moon rises broad from the brow of Ben-Lomond;
The clans are impatient, and chide thy delay;
Arise let us bound to Glen-Lyon away.”—
Stern scowled the Macgregor, then silent and sullen, He turned his red eye to the braes of Strathfillan;
“ Go, Malcolm, to sleep, let the clans be dismissed; The Campbells this night for Macgregor must rest.”—
“Macgregor, Macgregor, our scouts have been flying, Three days, round the hills of M'Nab and Glen-Lyon; Of riding and running such tidings they bear, We must meet them at home else they'll quickly be here."—
“The Campbell may come, as his promises bind him,
And haughty M*Nab, with his giants behind him;
This night I am bound to relinquish the fray,
And do what it freezes my vital to say.
Forgive me, dear brother, this horror of mind;
Thou knowest in the strife I was never behind,
Nor ever receded a foot from the van,
Or blenched at the ire or the prowess of man.
But I've sworn by the cross, by my God, and by all!
An oath which I cannot, and dare not recall—
Ere the shadows of midnight fall east from the pile,
To meet with a spirit this night in Glen-Gyle.
Last night, in my chamber, all thoughtful and lone,
I called to remembrance some deeds I had done,
When entered a lady, with visage so wan,
And looks, such as never were fastened on man.
I knew her, O brother I knew her too well
Of that once fair dame such a tale I could tell,
As would thrill thy bold heart; but how long she remained,
So racked was my spirit, my bosom so pained,
I knew not—but ages seemed short to the while.
Though proffer the Highlands, nay, all the green isle,
- With length of existence no man can enjoy,
The same to endure, the dread proffer I'd fly
The thrice-threatened pangs of last night to forego,
Macgregor would dive to the mansions below.
Despairing and mad, to futurity blind,
. The present to shun, and some respite to find,
I swore, ere the shadow fell east from the pile,
To meet her alone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.
She told me, and turned my chilled heart to a stone,
The glory and name of Macgregor was gone:
That the pine, which for ages had shed a bright halo,
Afar on the mountains of Highland Glen-Falo,
Should wither and fall ere the turn of yon moon,
Smit through by the canker of hated Colquhoun:
That a feast on Macgregors each day should be common,
For years, to the eagles of Lennox and Lomond.
A parting embrace, in one moment, she gave: Her breath was a furnace, her bosom the gravel Then flitting elusive, she said, with a frown,
“Macgregor, thy fancies are wild as the wind;
The dreams of the night have disordered thy mind.
Come, buckle thy panoply—march to the field—
See, brother, how hacked are thy helmet and shield
Ay, that was M'Nab, in the height of his pride,
When the lions of Dochart stood firm by his side.
This night the proud chief his presumption shall rue;
Rise, brother, these chinks in his heart-blood will glue:
Thy fantasies frightful shall flit on the wing,
When loud with thy bugle Glen-Lyon shall ring.”—
Like glimpse of the moon through the storm of the night, Macgregor's red eye shed one sparkle of light: It faded—it darkened—he shuddered—he sighed—
Away Went Macgregor, but went not alone;
To watch the dread rendezvous, Malcolm has gone.
They oared the broad Lomond, so still and serene,
And deep in her bosom, how awful the scene :
O'er mountains inverted the blue waters curled,
And rocked them on skies of a far nether world.
All silent they went, for the time was approaching; The moon the blue zenith already was touching; No foot was abroad on the forest or hill, No sound but the lullaby sung by the rill; Young Malcolm at distance, ended, trembling the while— Macgregor stood lone by the brook of Glen-Gyle.