« PreviousContinue »
“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.
au'gu-ry, prophecy, prediction.
| plaid (plād), a Scotch shawl worn
The shades of eve come slowly down,
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."
He gave him of his Highland cheer,
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
THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
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.
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