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The Lady of the Lake
by Sir Walter Scott


Excerpts From The Lady of the Lake

CANTO SECOND - THE ISLAND Part ii **
Hail to the chief who in triumph advances!
Honoured and blessed be the ever-green pine!
Long may the tree in his banner that glances,
Flourish the shelter and grace of our line!
Heaven send it happy dew,
Earth lend it sap anew;
Gaily to burgeon, and broadly to grow,
While every Highland glen
Sends our shout back agen,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,
Blooming at Beltane, *** in winter to fade;
When the whirlwind has stripped every leaf on the mountain,
The more shall Clan Alpine exult in her shade.
Moored on the rifted rock,
Proof to the tempest's shock,
Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow;
Menteith and Breadalbane, then
Echo his praise agen,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Proudly our pibroch has thrilled in Glen Fruin,
And Banochar's groans to our slogan replied:
Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin,
And the best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her side.
Widow and Saxon maid,
Long shall lament our raid,
Think of Glen-Alpine with fear and with woe;
Lennox and Leven-glen
Shake when they hear agen,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the Highlands!
Stretch to your oars, for the ever-green pine!
O! that the rosebud that graces yon islands,
Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine!
O that some seedling gem
Worthy such noble stem,
Honoured and blessed in their shadow might grow!
Loud should Clan Alpine then
Ring from her deepmost glen,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

CANTO THIRD - THE GATHERING Part ii
The heath this night must be my bed,
The bracken curtain for my head,
My lullaby the warder's tread,
Far, far from love and thee, Mary
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid,
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid!
It will not waken me, Mary!
I may not, dare not, fancy now
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow;
I dare not think upon thy vow,
And all it promised me, Mary.
No fond regret must Norman know;
When bursts Clan Alpine on the foe,
His heart must be like bended bow,
His foot like arrow free, Mary.
A time will come with feeling fraught!
For, if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover's dying thought
Shall be a thought on thee, Mary
And if returned from conquered foes,
How blithely will the evening close,
How sweet the linnet sing repose
To my young bride and me, Mary.

CANTO SIXTH - THE GUARD ROOM Part ii - LAMENT
"And art thou cold and lowly laid,
Thy foeman's dread, thy people's aid,
Breadalbane's boast, Clan Alpine's shade!
For thee shall none a requiem say?
For thee, who loved the minstrel's lay,
For thee, of Bothwell's house the stay,
The shelter of her exiled line,
E'en in this prison-house of thine,
I'll wail for Alpine's honoured pine!

"What groans shall yonder valleys fill!
What shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill!
What tears of burning rage shall thrill,
When mourns thy tribe thy battles done,
Thy fall before the race was won,
Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun!
There breathes not clansman of thy line,
But would have given his life for thine!
But, woe for Alpine's honoured pine!

"Sad was thy lot on mortal stage!
The captive thrush may brook the cage,
The prisoned eagle dies for rage.
Brave spirit, do not scorn my strain!
And, when its notes awake again,
Even she, so long beloved in vain,
Shall with my harp her voice combine,
And mix her woe and tears with mine,
To wail Clan Alpine's honoured pine!"

 
   
 

Great Poetry Books by Sir Walter Scott: