Speed, Malise, speed! The lake is past,
Duncraggan’s huts appear at last,
And peep, like moss-grown rocks, half seen
Half hidden in the copse so green;
There mayst thou rest, thy labor done,
Their lord shall speed the signal on.—
As stoops the hawk upon his prey,
The henchman shot him down the way.
What woful accents load the gale?
The funeral yell, the female wail!
A gallant hunter’s sport is o’er,
A valiant warrior fights no more.
Who, in the battle or the chase,
At Roderick’s side shall fill his place!—
Within the hall, where torch’s ray
Supplies the excluded beams of day,
Lies Duncan on his lowly bier,
And o’er him streams his widow’s tear.
His stripling son stands mournful by,
His youngest weeps, but knows not why;
The village maids and matrons round
The dismal coronach resound.
He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,
When our need was the sorest.
The font, reappearing,
From the rain-drops shall borrow,
But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow!
The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest,
But our flower was in flushing,
When blighting was nearest.
Fleet foot on the correi,
Sage counsel in cumber,
Red hand in the foray,
How sound is thy slumber!
Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone, and forever!
See Stumah, who, the bier beside
His master’s corpse with wonder eyed,
Poor Stumah! whom his least halloo
Could send like lightning o’er the dew,
Bristles his crest, and points his ears,
As if some stranger step he hears.
’T is not a mourner’s muffled tread,
Who comes to sorrow o’er the dead,
But headlong haste or deadly fear
Urge the precipitate career.
All stand aghast:—unheeding all,
The henchman bursts into the hall;
Before the dead man’s bier he stood,
Held forth the Cross besmeared with blood;
’The muster-place is Lanrick mead;
Speed forth the signal! clansmen, speed!’
Angus, the heir of Duncan’s line,
Sprung forth and seized the fatal sign.
In haste the stripling to his side
His father’s dirk and broadsword tied;
But when he saw his mother’s eye
Watch him in speechless agony,
Back to her opened arms he flew
Pressed on her lips a fond adieu,—