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“Never mind whom," answered Gurth, who had now got his herd before him, and, with the aid of Fangs, was driving them down one of the long dim vistas which we have endeavored to describe.

“Nay, but I must see the riders,” answered Wamba. “Perhaps they are come from fairy-land with a message from King Oberon.”

“A murrain take thee!” rejoined the swineherd. “Wilt thou talk of such things while a terrible storm of thunder and lightning is raging within a few miles of

Hark, how the thunder rumbles ! and for summer rain, I never saw such broad downright flat drops fall out of the clouds. The oaks, too, notwithstanding the calm weather, sob and creak with their great ghs, as if announcing a tempest. Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt: credit me for once, and let us home ere the storm begins to rage, for the night will be fearful.”

Wamba seemed to feel the force of this appeal, and accompanied his companion, who began his journey after catching up a long quarter-staff which lay upon the grass beside him. This second Eumæus strode hastily down the forest glade, driving before him, with the assistance of Fangs, the whole herd of his inharmonious charge.

THE LADY OF THE LAKE.

FIRST READING.

au'gu-ry, prophecy, prediction.
brāke, a thicket, underbrush.
brand, a sword.
blaze, sign of rank, blazon.
crest, helmet.
fell, a barren or stony hill.

| plaid (plād), a Scotch shawl worn

by men.
sols'tice (sol'stis), hot season.
stock, fallen trees.
wöld, a wilderness.
wreath, heap.

I.

The shades of eve come slowly down,
The woods are wrapt in deeper brown,
The owl awakens from her dell,
The fox is heard upon the fell;
Enough remains of glimmering light
To guide the wanderer's steps aright,
Yet not enough from far to show
His figure to the watchful foe.
With cautious step, and ear awake,
He climbs the crag and threads the brake;
And not the summer solstice there
Tempered the midnight mountain air,
But every breeze that swept the wold
Benumbed his drenched limbs with cold.
In dread, in danger, and alone,
Famished and chilled, through ways unknown,
Tangled and steep, he journeyed on,
Till, as a rock's huge point he turned,
A watch-fire close before him burned.

II.

Beside its embers, red and clear, Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer; And up he sprung with sword in hand : “Thy name and purpose ! Saxon, stand!” A stranger.” — “What dost thou require?" “Rest and a guide, and food and fire. My life's beset, my path is lost, The gale has chilled my limbs with frost. Art thou a friend to Roderick?” -“ No." “Thou darest not call thyself a foe?” “I dare! to him and all the band He brings to aid his murderous hand.” “Bold words! but, though the beast of game The privilege of chase may claim, Though space and law the stag we lend Ere hound we slip or bow we bend, Who ever recked, where, how, or when The prowling fox was trapped or slain ? Thus treacherous scouts — yet sure they lie, Who say thou cam’st a secret spy!” “They do, by Heaven! Come Roderick Dhu, And of his clan the boldest two, And let me but till morning rest, I write the falsehood on their crest." “If by the blaze I mark aright, Thou bear'st the belt and spur of knight.” — “Then by these tokens mayst thou know Each proud oppressor's mortal foe.”

Enough, enough; sit down and share A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare."

III.

He gave him of his Highland cheer,
The hardened flesh of mountain deer;
Dry fuel on the fire he laid,
And bade the Saxon share his plaid.
He tended him like welcome guest,
Then thus his further speech addressed :-
“Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu
A clansman born, a kinsman true;
Each word against his honor spoke
Demands of me avenging stroke;
Yet more— upon my fate, 'tis said,
A mighty augury is laid.
It rests with me to wind

my

hornThou art with numbers overborne; It rests with me, here, brand to brand, Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand. But, not for clan, nor kindred's cause, Will I depart from honor's laws. To assail a wearied man were shame, And stranger is a holy name. Guidance and rest, and food and fire, In vain he never must require. Then rest thee here till dawn of day; Myself will guide thee on the way, O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward, Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard, As far as Coilantogle's ford. From thence thy warrant is thy sword.” "I take thy courtesy, by Heaven, As freely as 'tis nobly given!”

“Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry
Sings us the lake's wild lullaby.”
With that he shook the gathered heath,
And spread his plaid upon the wreath;
And the brave foemen, side by side,
Lay peaceful down like brothers tried,
And slept until the dawning beam
Purpled the mountain and the stream.

THE LADY OF THE LAKE.

SECOND READING.

brack'en, fern-brake.

matins, morning prayers. copse, brushwood.

o'siers (o'zhers), willows. falcon (faw'kn), a kind of trained sheen, bright, glittering. hawk.

shin'gles (shing'glz), loose gravel. Gael (gāl), a Scotch Highlander. sooth, truth. heather (hethler), an evergreen wilder-ing, bewildering.

shrub found in the Highlands. wreck'ful, ruinous, destructive.

I.

FAIR as the earliest beam of eastern light,

When first, by the bewildered pilgrim spied, It smiles upon the dreary brow of night,

And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming tide,

And lights the fearful path on mountain side, – Fair as that beam, although the fairest far,

Giving to horror grace, to danger pride, Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star, Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the brow of

War.

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