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"My lord, with gratitude this sword I take,
Esteem the present for the giver's sake.
It still may find the way it oft explored,
And glut with hostile blood its second lord;
To bloody honour hew its wasteful path,
A faithful sickle in the fields of death."
He thus. With placid mein great Indulph rose,
And spoke : "Thus always meet our Albion's foes;
With foreign blood your native arms adorn,
And boldly fight for ages yet unborn.

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For us, my lords, fought all our godlike sires;
The debt we owe to them our race requires:

Though future arms our country should enslave,

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She shall acquit our ashes in the grave;

Posterity degen'rate, as they groan,

Shall bless their sires, and call their woes their own.

Let us, my lords, each virtuous spark inspire,

And where we find it, blow it to a fire.

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Thy service, gallant Alpin, in this war,

Shall both be Indulph's and the senate's care.
Meantime, with manly sports and exercise,
Let us from bus'ness turn the mental eyes:
The mind relaxed acquires a double force,
And with new vigour finishes the course."

He added not the godlike chiefs obey;
All rise at once; great Indulph leads the way.
The palace here, and there a virid mound,
Confine a flow'ry spot of grassy ground.
The under-rock, emerging through the green,
Chequers with hoary knobs the various scene.
Thither repair the chiefs and sceptered king,
And bend upon the plain the hollow ring.
Obedient servants from the palace bear
The horny bow, the helm, the shining spear,
The mail, the corslet, and the brazen shield;
And throw the ringing weight upon the field.

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Imperial Indulph, tow'ring o'er the plain,

With placid words addressed the warrior train:
"Let those who bend the stubborn bow arise,
And with the feathered shaft dispute the prize;
An antique bow a Balearian wore,

When Romans thundered on our Albion's shore.
The skilful archer, dealing death afar,

Threw on our Scottish host the distant war;
Great Fergus springs, a king devoid of fear,
And through his body shoots the reeking spear;
The bloody spoil through striving cohorts brings,
And sends this relic down to after kings."

Thus, grasping the long bow, the monarch said:
Rose valiant Grahame and youthful Somerled.
Next Gowal in the strife demands a part,
Famed on his native hills to wing the dart.

Full on the mound a helm, their aim, was placed;
And Gowal drew the nerve first to his breast;
The bow reluctant yields, then backward springs;
The nerve resounds, through air the arrow sings.
Close to the aim, the earth the arrow meets,
And, as it vibrates, the bright helmet beats.
Applause ensues. The shaft was sent by Grahame,
And cut its brazen journey through the aim.
The prize on him the murm'ring chiefs bestow,

Till Somerled assumes the ancient bow.

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The dancing chord the leaping arrow left,

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And, rushing, took on end Grahame's birchen shaft;

Tore on its way, around the shivers fly,

And Somerled brings off the prize with joy.

"Who," cries the king," this shield his prize shall bear,
And fling with skilful hand the martial spear?
Behind this buckler mighty Kenneth stood,
When Tay, impurpled, ran with Pictish blood."
He said, and placed a mark, the knobby round,
And measured back with equal steps the ground.

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The valiant Grahame, the mountain-youth, arose;
Gowal again his martial stature shows;

Bent on the knobby splendour of the prize,
First from his hand the singing weapon flies.
The steel-head marked a circle as it run,
Flamed with the splendour of the setting sun.

Thus when the night the weeping sky o'er-veils,
Athwart the gloom the streaming meteor sails,
Kindles a livid circle as it flies,

And with its glory dazzles human eyes.

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Thus flew the spear, and sinking in the mound,

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With quick vibrations beat the air around;

But missed the shield. Grahame's not unpractised art

Dismisses through the air the murm'ring dart:

Full on the middle boss it takes the shield;

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Falls on the boss, and perforates the shield;

The waving shaft is planted on the mound;

And with applause the neighbouring rocks resound.

Young Somerled wrenched from the rock a quoit,

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A huge, enormous, sharp, unweildy weight;
Such now-a-days as many panting swains
A witness rear on long-contested plains:

Slow-bending down, at length the hero springs;
The rolling rock along the heavens sings;
Falling, it shakes at once the neighb'ring ground,
And on the face of earth indents a wound.

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Thus when strong winds the aged tow'r invade,

And throw the shapeless ruin from its head;
It falls, and cleaves its bed into the ground;

The valley shakes, and rocks complain around.

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All try the mark to reach, but try in vain;
All falling short, unequal wound the plain.
Alpin with diffidence assumes the stone,
For such a space had Somerled o'erthrown:
Th' unwieldy rock a while he weighs with care,

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Then springing sends it whizzing through the air;

The word'ring warriors view it as it rolls;
Far o'er the distant mark the discus falls;
It shakes the plain, and deals a gaping wound,
Such as when headlong torrents tear the ground.
Th' applauding chiefs own in the manly game
The hero great as in the fields of fame.
Culena, leaning on her snowy arms,
Observant from the window points her charms.
Th' imperial virgin saw with pleasant pain,
The fav'rite youth victorious on the plain:
Sadly she sighed, accusing cruel fate,
Which chained her in captivity of state.

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The veil of night had now inwrapt the pole;

The feast renewed, goes round the sparkling bowl.

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Great Indulph rose with favour-speaking mein;

Approaching Alpin thus the king began:

"Say, will the stranger tell from whence he came, To reap this harvest of unrivalled fame?

Nobler the youth, who, though before unknown,

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From merit mounts to virtue and renown,

Than he, set up by an illustrious race,

Totters aloft, and scarce can keep his place!"

The monarch spoke: attentive look the peers, And long to drink his voice with greedy ears.

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THE HIGHLANDER:

A POEM.

CANTO V.

THE hero, rising from his lofty seat,

Thus unpresumptuously accosts the great:

"The fame of Denmark passed our mountains o'er,
And filled our ears on Abria's distant shore:

Brave Rynold starts: the aged chief alarms,
And kindles all his family to arms.

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A hundred youths, who, from the sounding wood,

Or towering mountain, brought their living food,
Obey the bag-pipe's voice; for all in view
Of Rynold's seat, the friendly canton grew.
The hoary warrior leads the onward path,
No stranger to the road which led to death.
Behind advancing, I, with martial care,
Lead on the youthful thunder-bolts of war;
With arms anticipate the kindling fire,

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And move to every motion of my sire.

"On Grampus night her mantle round us throws;

We slept on heath; the dappled morn arose :

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