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To many a mingled sound at once
The awaken'd mountain gave response
A hundred dogs bay'd deep and strong,
Clatter'd a hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
A hundred voices join'd the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild halloo,
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew.
Far from the tumult fled the roe,
Close in her covert cower'd the doe,
The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wandering eye,
Till far beyond her piercing ken
The hurricane had swept the glen,
Faint, and more faint, its failing din
Return’d from cavern, cliff and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.
Less loud the sounds of sylvan war
Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var,
And roused the cavern, where, 'tis told,
A giant made his den of old ;
For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stay'd perforce,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer,
Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
So shrewdly, on the mountain side,
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.
The noble stag was pausing now
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wander'd o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And ponder'd refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood gray,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pine-trees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
Fresh vigour with the hope return'd,
With flying foot the heath he spurn’d,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.
'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er,
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more ;
What reins were tightend in despair,
When rose Benledi's ridge in air;
Who flagg'd upon Bochastle's heath,
Who shunn'd to stem the flooded Teith,-
For twice that day, from shore to shore,
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er.
Few were the stragglers, following far,
That reach'd the lake of Vennachar;
And when the Brigg of Turk was won,
The headmost horseman rode alone.
Alone, but with unbated zeal,
That horseman plied the scourge and steel;
For jaded now, and spent with toil,
Emboss'd with foam, and dark with soil,
While every gasp with sobs he drew,
The labouring stag strain'd full in view.
Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,
Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed,
Fast on his flying traces came,
And all but won that desperate game;
For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch
Vindictive toild the bloodhounds stanch;
Nor nearer might the dogs attain,
Nor farther might the quarry strain.
Thus up the margin of the lake,
Between the precipice and brake,
O’er stock and rock their race they take.
The Hunter mark'd that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
Aud deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barr'd the way;
Already glorying in the prize,
Measured his antlers wit]
For the death-wound and death-halloo,
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew ;-
But thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunn’d the shock,
And turn'd him from the opposing rock;
Then dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosach's wildest nook
His solitary refuge took.
There, while close couch'd, the thicket shed
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head,
He heard the baffled dogs in vain
Rave through the hollow pass amain,
Chiding the rocks that yell’d again.
Close on the hounds the hunter came,
To cheer them on their vanish'd game;
But, stumbling in the rugged dell,
The gallant horse exhausted fell.
The impatient rider strove in vain
To rouse him with the spur and rein,
For the good steed, his labours o'er, Stretch'd his stiff limbs, to rise no more; Then, touch'd with pity and remorse, He sorrow'd o'er the expiring horse. “I little thought, when first thy rein I slack'd upon the banks of Seine, That Highland eagle e'er should feed On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed! Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, That costs thy life, my gallant grey!” Then through the dell his horn resounds, From vain pursuit to call the hounds. Back limp'd with slow and crippled pace, The sulky leaders of the chase; Close to their master's side they press'd, With drooping tail and humble crest; But still the dingle's hollow throat Prolong'd the swelling bugle-note. The owlets started from their dream, The eagles answer'd with their scream, Round and around the sounds were cast, Till echo seem'd an answering blast; And on the hunter hied his way, To join some comrades of the day; Yet often paused, so strange the road, So wondrous were the scenes it show'd.
THE HOME OF DOUGLAS.
The Stranger view'd the shore around;
'Twas all so close with copsewood bound,
Nor track nor pathway might declare
That human foot frequented there,
Until the mountain-maiden show'd
A clambering, unsuspected road,
That winded through the tangled screen,
And open'd on a narrow green,
Where weeping birch and willow round
With their long fibres swept the ground.
Here, for retreat in dangerous hour,
Some Chief had framed a rustic bower.
It was a lodge of ample size,
But strange of structure and device;
Of such materials, as around
The workman's hand had readiest found.
Lopp'd of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared,
And by the hatchet rudely squared,
To give the walls their destined height,
The sturdy oak and ash unite;
While moss and clay and leaves combined
To fence each crevice from the wind.
The lighter pine-trees over-head
Their slender length for rafters spread,
And wither'd heath and rushes dry
Supplied a russet canopy,
Due westward, fronting to the green,
A rural portico was seen,
Aloft on native pillars borne,
Of mountain fir with bark unshorn,