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Whose failing breath and nerveless form
Bespoke him brother of the worm,
While visions of the days gone by
Flitted before his glazing eye,
And the old monarch's failing breath
Spoke of the fast approach of death-
Awe-struck, he kiss'd the feeble hand
That once had fought for fair Scotland,
And pledged his knightly word,
That he the Bruce's heart would bear,
With reverence due and chanted prayer,
Unto the Holy Sepulchre
Of our most blessed Lord.
"He prays you by your knighthood's oath, And by the cross you wear,
And by your master's dying 'hest,
And by your lady fair:—
He prays you by your courtesy,
To lend his cause your blade-
Flower of the Scottish chivalry,
Come to the cross's aid!"
Out spake the gentle Douglas then: "I may not by my vow,
Thus summon'd to the cross's aid, the holy strife forego.
But oh! thou distant Solyma, long space it must be, ere
A pilgrim, I shall bend my knee beside the sepulchre.
Oh! that I first might seek the land of my dear Saviour's birth,
And lay my honour'd master's heart in Syria's holy earth,
And lave, by Jordan's sainted stream, my
care-worn, furrow'd brow,
Ere sword again I draw. Enough! I may not-for my vow!"
On rush'd the Douglas-never knight
More valiant sought the field of fight ;
Amidst the fray his snowy crest
Danced like the foam on ocean's breast,
Like levin brand his broadsword flash'd,
And foemen bent, and targets crash'd.
With stalwart arm and giant form
He charged like spirit of the storm;
—as upon the mountain side,
So late the trackless forest's pride,
Uprooted by the wintry blast,
The prostrate sapling oaks are cast—
Lo, where he spread his dread career,
Bent Moslem crest and Moslem spear;
While ever, 'midst the mêlée, high
And clear peal'd forth his battle cry.
They err'd not-they err'd not, a spell of power Nerved the arm of the Douglas that fatal hour: For lo! to his faithful bosom press'd
In its jewell'd casket of orient gold,
The heart that once throbb'd in the Bruce's
Was borne into fight by that baron bold.
Marvel ye, then, that his arm was strong?
That he humbled the pride of the Paynim throng?
That where'er he turn'd, from his dreaded track
The swarth sons of Afric, dismay'd, drew back?
E'en as the wild waves flow back from the
When it spurns back their might and derides their shock.
"Pass on, brave heart, as thou wert wont,
Th' embattled hosts before: Douglas will die, or follow thce
To conquest, as of yore!"
They met, they closed, dread was the strife,
More dear the gage than fame or life:
There foot to foot and hand to hand,
They stood opposed, and brand cross'd brand.
And mace and bickering falchion there
Mingled with scimitar and spear.
Steel rang on steel-the war-steeds' tread
Trampled the dying and the dead,
The lurid clouds of dust on high
Rose eddying to the darken'd sky,
The vulture snuff'd the scent of blood,
And screaming roused her loathsome brood.
But the pale crescent waned-the host
Of Osmyn saw the battle lost;
And loth to fly, but forced to yield,
Abandon'd sullenly the field.
Where was the Douglas? on the plain
They found him midst the heap of slain :
Faithful in death, his good right hand
Held with firm grasp his broken brand,
While, o'er the sacred casket laid,
A bulwark of his corse he made.
And deem ye not, while ever there
To highest heaven rose ceaseless prayer,
For Scotland's worth, and Scotland's weal,
For truth to guide, for peace to heal,
For light to choose the better part,
For grace to sain her every smart,
For freedom and for equal laws,
For men to strive for freedom's cause
And guard the land he loved the best,
The spirit of the prince was blest?
Oh! doubt it not-if it be given
By mercy of indulgent heaven
To parted spirits, from above
To hover round the land they love,
That bending from a higher sphere
The prince's spirit linger'd near,
Still in the holy anthem blending,
Scotland to heaven's great Lord commending.
The fane' is fallen-the rite is o'er
The choral anthem peals no more,
The moonbeam strays thro' nave and aisle,
And the verdant ivy clings round the pile.
It recks not-like dew 'neath the sunny ray,
The hallow'd fabric may pass away:
It recks not for deep in the patriot's breast
The names of his country's heroes rest,
And a thrill of pride it will aye impart,
That Scottish earth wraps the prince's heart.
LADY FLORA HASTINGS.
OLD songs! old songs!-what heaps I knew,
From "Chevy Chase" to "Black-eyed Sue:"
From "Flow, thou regal purple stream,"
To Rousseau's melancholy "Dream!"
I loved the pensive "Cabin Boy,"
With earnest truth and real joy;
My warmest feelings wander back
To greet "Tom Bowling" and "Poor Jack;"
And O, "Will Watch, the smuggler bold,"
My plighted troth thou'lt ever hold.
I doated on the "Auld Scot's sonnet,"
As though I'd worn the plaid and bonnet;
I went abroad with "Sandy's Ghost,"
I stood with "Bannockburn's" brave host,
And proudly toss'd my curly head
With "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled!"
I shouted "Comin' through the rye,"
With restless step and sparkling eye,
And chas'd away the passing frown
With "Bonny ran the burnie down."
The tiny "Warbler" from the stall,
The fluttering ballad on the wall,
The gipsy's glee, the beggar's catch,
The old wife's lay, the idiot's snatch,
The schoolboy's chorus, rude and witty,
The harvest strain, the carol ditty-
I tax'd ye all, I stole from each,
I spurn'd no teacher that could teach;—