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"Now must I teach to hew the beech
XIV. BALLAD-(Continued) The hand that held the glaive,
'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good greenwood, For leaves to spread our lowly bed,
Though the birds have stilled their singAnd stakes to fence our cave.
The evening blaze dot: Alice raise, "And for vest of pall, thy fingers small,
And Richard is fagots bringing.
Before Lord Richard stands,
And, as he crossed and blessed himself,
"I fear not sign," quoth the grisly elf, “O Richard! if my brother died,
“That is made with bloody hands." 'Twas but a fatal chance; For darkling was the battle tried,
But out then spoke she, Alice Brand, And fortune sped the lance.
That woman void of fear,
"And if there's blood upon his hand, "If pall and vair no more I wear,
'Tis but the blood of deer.” Nor thou the crimson sheen,
"Now loud thou liest, thou bold of mood! As warm, we'll say, is the russet gray,
It cleaves unto his hand, As gay the forest-green.
The stain of thine own kindly blood, "And, Richard, if our lot be hard,
The blood of Ethert Brand.” And lost thy native land,
Then forward stepped she, Alice Brand, Still Alice has her own Richard,
And made the holy sign, And he his Alice Brand.”
“And if there's blood on Richard's hand, XIII. BALLAD-(Continued)
A spotless hand is mine. 'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good greenwood, “And I conjure thee, Demon elf, So blithe Lady Alice is singing;
By Him whom Demons fear, On the beech's pride, and oak's brown side,
To show us whence thou art thyself, Lord Richard's ax is ringing.
And what thine errand here?” Up spoke the moody Elfin King,
xv. BALLAD-(Continued) Who woned within the hill
“'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in Fairyland 340 Like wind in the porch of a ruined church,
When fairy birds are singing,
Our moonlight's circle's screen?
“And gaily shines the FairylandBeloved of our Elfin Queen?
But all is glistening show, Or who may dare on wold to wear
Like the idle gleam that December's beam
Can dart on ice and snow. The fairies' fatal green?
"And fading, like that varied gleam, “Up, Urgan, up! to yon mortal hie,
Is our inconstant shape, For thou wert christened man;
Who now like knight and lady seem, For cross or sign thou wilt not fly,
And now like dwarf and ape. For muttered word or ban.
"It was between the night and day, "Lay on him the curse of the withered heart, When the Fairy King has power, The curse of the sleepless eye;
That I sunk down in a sinful fray, Till he wish and pray that his life would part, And, 'twixt life and death, was snatched Nor yet find leave to die."
away 277. vest of pall, garment of rich cloth.
To the joyless Elfin bower. green, the elves and gnomes wore green, and were angered when any mortal ventured to wear that color.
880. kindly, kindred.
“But wist I of a woman bold,
XVII Who thrice my brow durst sign,
“Sweet Ellen, dear my life must be I might regain my mortal mold,
Since it is worthy care from thee; As fair a form as thine."
Yet life I hold but idle breath She crossed him once she crossed him When love or honor's weighed with death. twice
Then let me profit by my chance, That lady was so brave;
And speak my purpose bold at once. The fouler grew his goblin hue,
I come to bear thee from a wild, The darker grew the cave.
Where ne'er before such blossom smiled;
By this soft hand to lead thee far She crossed him thrice, that lady bold; From frantic scenes of feud and war. He rose beneath her hand
Near Bochastle my horses wait; The fairest knight on Scottish mold, They bear us soon to Stirling gate. Her brother, Ethert Brand!
I'll place thee in a lovely bower, Merry it is in good greenwood.
I'll guard thee like a tender flower"When the mavis and merle are singing,
“O hush, Sir Knight! 'twere female art But merrier were they in Dunfermline gray,
To say I do not read thy heart; When all the bells were ringing.
Too much, before, my selfish ear
Was idly soothed my praise to hear.
That fatal bait hath lured thee back,
In deathful hour, o'er dangerous track; Just as the minstrel sounds were stayed,
And how, O how, can I atone
421 A stranger climbed the steepy glade; His martial step, his stately mien,
The wreck my vanity brought on! His hunting suit of Lincoln green,
One way remains—I'll tell him allHis eagle glance, remembrance claims
Yes! struggling bosom, forth it shall! 'Tis Snowdoun's Knight, 'tis James Fitz
Thou, whose light folly bears the blame, James.
Buy thine own pardon with thy shame! Ellen beheld as in a dream,
But first-my father is a man
Outlawed and exiled, under ban;
The price of blood is on his head,
430 What evil hap has brought thee here?" “An evil hap how can it be
Still wouldst thou speak?—then hear the
truth! That bids me look again on thee?
Fitz-James, there is a noble youth-
If yet he is!-exposed for me
And mine to dread extremityAnd marshaled, over bank and bourne,
Thou hast the secret of my heart; 435 The happy path of my return." "The happy path!-what! said he naught Forgive, be generous, and depart!" Of war, of battle to be fought, Of guarded pass?" "No, by my faith!
Fitz-James knew every wily train Nor saw I aught could augur scathe.” “O haste thee, Allan, to the kern,
A lady's fickle heart to gain, -Yonder his tartans I discern;
But here he knew and felt them vain. Learn thou his purpose, and conjure
There shot no glance from Ellen's eye, 440 That he will guide the stranger sure!
To give her steadfast speech the lie;
In maiden confidence she stood,
Though mantled in her cheek the blood,
And told her love with such a sigh Had not been bribed by love or fear,
Of deep and hopeless agony, Unknown to him to guide thee here."
As death had sealed her Malcolm's doom, 858. sign, mark with the sign of the cross. 371. Dun
And she sat sorrowing on his tomb. fermline, the residence and burial place of the early Hope vanished from Fitz-James's eye, kings of Scotland. 385. my former guide, Red Murdoch, Canto Fourth, stanza vii. 392. augur scathe, foretell danger.
487. trala, lure, enticement.
Now wound the path its dizzy ledge
They say my brain is warped and wrungI cannot sleep on Highland brae,
I cannot pray in Highland tongue. But were I now where Allan glides, Or heard my native Devan's tides, So sweetly would I rest, and pray That Heaven would close my wintry day! 'Twas thus my hair they bade me braid, 535
They made me to the church repair; It was my bridal morn, they said,
And my true love would meet me there. But woe betide the cruel guile
All in the Trosach's glen was still;
591, 532. Allan, Devan, two streams which flow into the lowland plain from the hills of Perthshire (in which the scene of the story is laid).
471. lordship, lands, estate.
That drowned in blood the morning smile!
Still on the Clansman, fearfully,
“The toils are pitched, and the stakes are
set, Ever sing merrily, merrily; The bows they bend, and the knives they
whet, Hunters live so cheerily. 'It was a stag, a stag of ten,
Bearing its branches sturdily; He came stately down the glen,
Ever sing hardily, hardily. “It was there he met with a wounded doe,
She was bleeding deathfully;
Oh, so faithfully, faithfully!
Ever sing warily, warily;
Hunters watch so narrowly.”
“Who is this maid? What means her lay?
bow. “Now, if thou strik'st her but one blow, I'll pitch thee from the cliff as far As ever peasant pitched a bar!"“Thanks, champion, thanks!" the maniac
XXIV “Hush thee, poor maiden, and be still!” “Oh! thou look’st kindly, and I will. Mine eye has dried and wasted been, But still it loves the Lincoln green; And, though mine ear is all unstrung, Still, still, it loves the Lowland tongue.
Fitz-James's mind was passion-tossed,
“For O my sweet William was forester true,
He stole poor Blanche's heart away! 579 His coat it was all of the greenwood hue, And so blithely he trilled the Lowland
lay! "It was not that I meant to tell ... But thou art wise and guessest well.” Then, in a low and broken tone, And hurried note, the song went on.
890. tolls are pitched, snares are laid. 693. Hunters, Clan Alpine's men. 594. stag of ten, stag having ten branches on his antlers; hence, noble game, FitzJames. 898. wouaded doe, Blanche. 617. thrilled la, pierced.
And now, with mingled grief and ire,
The fiery Saxon gains on thee!
wrong! They watch for thee by pass and fell Avoid the path ...O God!... farewell.”
XXVIII A kindly heart had brave Fitz-James; 675 Fast poured his eyes at pity's claims,
The shades of eve come slowly down,