Before that tide of flight and chase,
How shall it keep its rooted place,
The spearmen’s twilight wood?— "
“Down, down,” cried Mar, “your lances down’
Bear back both friend and foe! “—
Like reeds before the tempest’s frown,
That serried grove of lances brown
At once lay levelled low;
And closely shouldering side to side,
The bristling ranks the onset bide.— "
“We’ll quell the savage mountaineer,
As their Tinchel cows the game!
They come as fleet as forest deer,
We’ll drive them back as tame.”
’Bearing before them in their course
The relics of the archer force,
Like wave with crest of sparkling foam,
Right onward did Clan-Alpine come.
Above the tide, each broadsword bright
Was brandishing like beam of light,
Each targe was dark below;
And with the ocean’s mighty swing,
When heaving to the tempest’s wing,
They hurled them on the foe.
I heard the lance’s shivering crash,
As when the whirlwind rends the ash;
I heard the broadsword’s deadly clang,
As if a hundred anvils rang!
But Moray wheeled his rearward rank
Of horsemen on Clan-Alpine’s flank,—
“My banner-man, advance!
I see,” he cried, “their column shake.
Now, gallants! for your ladies’ sake,
Upon them with the lance!”—
The horsemen dashed among the rout,
As deer break through the broom;
Their steeds are stout, their swords are out,
They soon make lightsome room.
Clan-Alpine’s best are backward borne—
Where, where was Roderick then!
One blast upon his bugle-horn
Were worth a thousand men.
And refluent through the pass of fear
The battle’s tide was poured;
Vanished the Saxon’s struggling spear,
Vanished the mountain-sword.
As Bracklinn’s chasm, so black and steep,
Receives her roaring linn
As the dark caverns of the deep
Suck the wild whirlpool in,
So did the deep and darksome pass
Devour the battle’s mingled mass;
None linger now upon the plain
Save those who ne’er shall fight again.
’Now westward rolls the battle’s din,
That deep and doubling pass within.—
Minstrel, away! the work of fate
Is bearing on; its issue wait,
Where the rude Trosachs’ dread defile
Opens on Katrine’s lake and isle.
Gray Benvenue I soon repassed,
Loch Katrine lay beneath me cast.
The sun is set;—the clouds are met,
The lowering scowl of heaven
An inky hue of livid blue
To the deep lake has given;
Strange gusts of wind from mountain glen