The Lady of the Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 305 pages of information about The Lady of the Lake.
Aloft on native pillars borne,
Of mountain fir with bark unshorn
Where Ellen’s hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idaean vine,
The clematis, the favored flower
Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine’s keen and searching air. 
An instant in this porch she stayed,
And gayly to the stranger said: 
’On heaven and on thy lady call,
And enter the enchanted hall!’


’My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gentle guide, in following thee!’—­
 He crossed the threshold,—­and a clang
Of angry steel that instant rang. 
To his bold brow his spirit rushed,
But soon for vain alarm he blushed
When on the floor he saw displayed,
Cause of the din, a naked blade
Dropped from the sheath, that careless flung
Upon a stag’s huge antlers swung;
For all around, the walls to grace,
Hung trophies of the fight or chase: 
A target there, a bugle here,
A battle-axe, a hunting-spear,
And broadswords, bows, and arrows store,
With the tusked trophies of the boar. 
Here grins the wolf as when he died,
And there the wild-cat’s brindled hide
The frontlet of the elk adorns,
Or mantles o’er the bison’s horns;
Pennons and flags defaced and stained,
That blackening streaks of blood retained,
And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white,
With otter’s fur and seal’s unite,
In rude and uncouth tapestry all,
To garnish forth the sylvan hall.


The wondering stranger round him gazed,
And next the fallen weapon raised:—­
Few were the arms whose sinewy strength
Sufficed to stretch it forth at length. 
And as the brand he poised and swayed,
‘I never knew but one,’ he said,
’Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield
A blade like this in battle-field.’ 
She sighed, then smiled and took the word: 
’You see the guardian champion’s sword;
As light it trembles in his hand
As in my grasp a hazel wand: 
My sire’s tall form might grace the part
Of Ferragus or Ascabart,
But in the absent giant’s hold
Are women now, and menials old.’


The mistress of the mansion came,
Mature of age, a graceful dame,
Whose easy step and stately port
Had well become a princely court,
To whom, though more than kindred knew,
Young Ellen gave a mother’s due. 
Meet welcome to her guest she made,
And every courteous rite was paid
That hospitality could claim,
Though all unasked his birth and name. 
Such then the reverence to a guest,
That fellest foe might join the feast,
And from his deadliest foeman’s door
Unquestioned turn the banquet o’er
At length his rank the stranger names,
’The Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James;

Project Gutenberg
The Lady of the Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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