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Few minutes had passed, ere they spied on the stream,
A skiff sailing light, where a lady did seem;
Her sail was the web of the gossamer's loom,
The glow-worm her wakelight, the rainbow her boom;
A dim rayless beam was her prow and her mast,
Like wold-fire, at midnight, that glares on the waste.
Though rough was the river with rock and cascade,
No torrent, no rock, her velocity staid;
She wimpled the water to weather and lee,
And heaved as if borne on the waves of the sea.
Mute Nature was roused in the bounds of the glen;
The wild deer of Gairtney abandoned his den,
Fled panting away, over river and isle,
Nor once turned his eye to the brook of Glen-Gyle.
The fox fled in terror; the eagle awoke,
As slumbering he dozed on the shelve of the rock;
Astonished, to hide in the moon-beam he flew,
And screwed the nightheaven till lost in the blue.
Young Malcolm beheld the pale lady approach,
The chieftain salute her, and shrink from her touch.
He saw the Macgregor kneel down on the plain,
As begging for something he could not obtain;
She raised him indignant, derided his stay,
Then bore him on board, set her sail, and away.
Though fast the red bark down the river did glide,
Yet faster ran Malcolm adown by its side;
"Macgregor! Macgregor f he bitterly cried;
"Macgregor! Macgregor I'" the echoes replied.
He struck at the lady, but, strange though it seem,
His sword only fell on the rocks and the stream;
But the groans from the boat, that ascended amain,
Were groans from a bosom in horror and pain.—
They reached the dark lake, and bore lightly away;
Macgregor is vanished for ever and aye!
Abrupt as glance of morning sun,
The bard of Lomond's lay is done.
Loves not the swain, from path of dew,
At morn the golden orb to view,
Rise broad and yellow from the main,
While scarce a shadow lines the plain;
Well knows he then the gathering cloud
Shall all his noontide glories shroud,
Like smile of morn before the rain,
Appeared the minstrel's mounting strain.
As easy inexperienced hind,
Who sees not coming rains and wind,
The beacon of the dawning hour,
Nor notes the blink before the shower,
Astonished, 'mid his open grain,
Sees round him pour the sudden rain-
So looked the still attentive throng,
When closed at once Macfarlane's song.
Time was it—when he 'gan to tell
Of spectre stern, and barge of hell;
Loud, and more loud, the minstrel sung;
Loud, and more loud, the chords he rung;
Wild grew his looks, for well he knew
The scene was dread, the tale was true;
And ere Loch-Ketturine's wave was won,
Faultered his voice, his breath was done.
He raised his brown hand to his brow,
To veil his eye's enraptured glow;
Flung back his locks of silver gray,
Lifted his crutch, and limped away.
"It is his lot to fight a knight
The Bard of Clyde stepped next in view;
Tall was his form, his harp was new;
Brightened his dark eye as he sung;
A stammer fluttered on his tongue;
A captain in the wars was he,
And sprung of noble pedigree.
THE TWELFTH BARD'S SONG.
u What makes Earl Walter pace the wood
In the wan light of the moon?Why altered is Earl Walter's mood
So strangely, and so soon ?"—
Whom man could never tame, To-morrow, in his Sovereign's sight,
Or bear perpetual shame."—
"Go warn the Clyde, go warn the Ayr,
Go warn them suddenly,
If none will fight for Earl Walter,
Some one may fight for me."—
"Now hold your tongue, my daughter dear, Now hold your tongue for shame!For never shall my son Walter Disgrace his father's name.
"Shall ladies tell, and minstrels sing,
How lord of Scottish blood,
By proxy fought before his king?
No, never! by the rood !"—