Page images

Mean time young Alpin seeks the king and peers:
But fair Culena in his bosom bears.
In vain against the rising flame he strove,
For all the man diffolv'd at once to love.

Within the high:arch?d hall the nobles lat,
And form'd in council the reviving Itate;
For instant peace folicitous prepare,
And raise a bulwark 'gainst the future war.
No high-flown zeal the patriot hurld along,
No secret gold engag'd the speaker's tongue.
No jarring feeds a tyrant fown,
Nor cunning senate :undermines the throne.
To;public good their public thoughts repair,
And CALEDONIA is the gen'ral care.
No orator in pompous phrases shines,
Or veils with public weal his base designs.
Truth stood conspicuous, undisguis’d by art,
They spoke the homely language of the heart,

Arriv'd the gallant warrior of the night;
They hear with eager joy the gloomy fight.
His conduct, courage, and compassion raise,
And ev'ry voice is forward in his praise.

The great DUMBAR his awful stature rears, His temples whiten'd with the snow of years.

On the brave youth he bends his folemn look,
Then, turning round, thus' to the nobles spoke.
* Beneath the royal banher, Scots afar
Had urg'd on Humber's banks the foreign war ;
My father dead, tho' young I took the shield,
And led my kindred-warriors to the field.
The noble CALEDONIÀN camp was laid
Within the bofom of a spacious mead.
Green-rising hills encompass’d it around,
And these king Malcolin with his archers crown?d;
Full on the right a spacious wood arose,
And thither night convey'd a band of foes.
The king commands a chief to clear the wood,
And I the dang’rous fervice claim aloud.
I went, expelld the foes, and kill'd their lord,
And ever since have worn his shining sword.
I now retire from war, in age to rest;
Take it brave youth; for you can wield it best.”
He faid, and reach'd the sword.---- The youth

Shooting the heavy blade athwart bis side,
“ My lord with gratitude this sword I take,
Esteem the present for the giver's fake.

It still may find the way it oft explor'd,
And glut with hostile blood its second lord;
To bloody honour hew its wasteful path,
A faithful fickle in the fields of death.

He thus.---With placid mein great INDULPH rose, And spoke;

“ Thus always meet oor Albion's foes; With foreign blood your native arms adorn, And boldly fight for ages yet unborn. Tor us, my lords, fought all our godlike fires; The debt we owe to them, our race requires : Tho’ future arms our country should enslave, She shall acquit our ashes in the grave; Posterity degen’rate, as they groan, Shall bless their Tires, and call their woes their own. Let us, my lords, each virt'ous fpark inspire, And where we find it, blow it to a fire. Thy service, gallant Alpin, in this war, Shall both be Indulph's and the senate's care, Mean time, with manly sports and exercise Let us from bus’ness turn ihe mental eyes : The mind relax'd acquires a double force, And with new vigour finishes the course.”

He added not : the godlike chiefs obey ; All rise at once ; great INDULPH leads the way.

The palace here, and there a virid mound, Confine a flow'ry spot of grassy ground. The under-rock, emerging thro' the green, Chequers with hoary knobs the various scene. Thither repair the chiefs and scepter'd king, And bend upon the plain the hollow ring. Obedient servants from the palace bear The horny bow, the helm, the shining spear, The mail, the corslet, and the brazen shield; And throw the ringing weight upon the field. Imperial INDULPH, tow'ring o'er the plain, With placid words address’d the warrior-train: 66 Let those who bend the stubborn bow arise, And with the feather'd saft dispute this prize; An antique bow a BALEARIAN wore, Wher. Romans thunder'd on our ALBION's Thore. The skilful archer, dealing death afar, Threw on our Scottish host the distant war; Great Fergus springs, a king devoid of fear, And thro' his body shoots the reeking spear ; The bloody spoil thro' striving cohorts brings, And sends this relique down to after kings.”

Thus, grasping the long bow, the monarch said: Rose valiant Grahame and youthful SOMERLED.

Next Gowal in the strife demands a part,
Fam'd on his native hills to wing the dart.

Full on the mound a helm, their aim, was placid;
And GowaL drew the nerve, fift, to his breaft;
The bow reluctant yields, then backward springs;
The nerve resounds, thro' air the arrow fings.
Close to the aim, the earth the arrow meets,
And as it vibrates the bright helmet beats.
Applause ensues.... The shaft was sent by Grahame,
And cut its brazen journey thro' the aim.
The prize on him the murm'ring chiefs bestow,
Till SOMERLED assumes the antient bow.
The dancing chord the leaping arrow left,
And, rushing, took on end Grahame's birchen Saft;
Tore on its way, around the shivers fly,
And SOMERLED brings off the prize with joy.
u Who," cries the king, “ this shield his prize

shall bear, And Aling with skilful hand the martial spear? Behind this buckler mighty KENNETH stood, When Tay, impurpled, ran with Pi&tish blood."

He said, and plac'd a mark, the knobby roun And measurid back with equal steps the groun

« PreviousContinue »