The Lady of the Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Lady of the Lake.
And mournful answer notes of woe;
And the proud march which victors tread
Sinks in the wailing for the dead. 
O, well for me, if mine alone
That dirge’s deep prophetic tone! 
If, as my tuneful fathers said,
This harp, which erst Saint Modan swayed,
Can thus its master’s fate foretell,
Then welcome be the minstrel’s knell.’

VIII.

’But ah! dear lady, thus it sighed,
The eve thy sainted mother died;
And such the sounds which, while I strove
To wake a lay of war or love,
Came marring all the festal mirth,
Appalling me who gave them birth,
And, disobedient to my call,
Wailed loud through Bothwell’s bannered hall. 
Ere Douglases, to ruin driven,
Were exiled from their native heaven.—­
O! if yet worse mishap and woe
My master’s house must undergo,
Or aught but weal to Ellen fair
Brood in these accents of despair,
No future bard, sad Harp! shall fling
Triumph or rapture from thy string;
One short, one final strain shall flow,
Fraught with unutterable woe,
Then shivered shall thy fragments lie,
Thy master cast him down and die!’

IX.

Soothing she answered him:  ’Assuage,
Mine honored friend, the fears of age;
All melodies to thee are known
That harp has rung or pipe has blown,
In Lowland vale or Highland glen,
From Tweed to Spey—­what marvel, then,
At times unbidden notes should rise,
Confusedly bound in memory’s ties,
Entangling, as they rush along,
The war-march with the funeral song?—­
Small ground is now for boding fear;
Obscure, but safe, we rest us here. 
My sire, in native virtue great,
Resigning lordship, lands, and state,
Not then to fortune more resigned
Than yonder oak might give the wind;
The graceful foliage storms may reeve,
’Fine noble stem they cannot grieve. 
For me’—­she stooped, and, looking round,
Plucked a blue harebell from the ground,—­
’For me, whose memory scarce conveys
An image of more splendid days,
This little flower that loves the lea
May well my simple emblem be;
It drinks heaven’s dew as blithe as rose
That in the King’s own garden grows;
And when I place it in my hair,
Allan, a bard is bound to swear
He ne’er saw coronet so fair.’ 
Then playfully the chaplet wild
She wreathed in her dark locks, and smiled.

X.

Her smile, her speech, with winning sway
Wiled the old Harper’s mood away. 
With such a look as hermits throw,
When angels stoop to soothe their woe
He gazed, till fond regret and pride
Thrilled to a tear, then thus replied: 
’Loveliest and best! thou little know’st
The rank, the honors, thou hast lost! 
O. might I live to see thee grace,
In Scotland’s court, thy birthright place,
To see my favorite’s step advance
The lightest in the courtly dance,
The cause of every gallant’s sigh,
And leading star of every eye,
And theme of every minstrel’s art,
The Lady of the Bleeding Heart!’

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Lady of the Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook