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DOUGLAS TO LORD RANDOLPH. MY name is Norval : on the Grampian bills My father feeds his flock; a frugal swain, Whose constant cares were to increase his store, And keep his only son, myself, at home. For I had heard of battles, and I long'd To follow to the field some' warlike lord ; And Heaven soon granted what my sire denied. This moon, which rose last night round as my shield, Had not yet filled her horns, when, by her light, A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills, Rush'd like a torrent down upon the vale, Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled For safety, and for succour. I alone, With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows, Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd The road he took, then hasted to my friends : Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men, I met advancing. The pursuit I led, Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe. We fought and conquerd. Ere a sword was drawn, An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief, Who wore that day the arms which now I wear. Returning home in triumph, 1 disdain'd The shepherd's slothful lite ; and having heard That our good king had summon'd bis bold peers To lead their warriors to the Carron side, I left my father's house, and took with me A chosen servant to conduct my steps :Yon trembling coward, who for sook his master. Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers,
And Heaven-directed, came this day to do
MOST potent, grave, and reverend Seigniors, My very noble and approv'd good masters, That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter, It is most true ; true, I have married her ; The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent: no niore. Rude am I in speech, And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace ; For since these arms of mine had seven years pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have usd Their dearest action in the tented field ; And little of this great world can I speak, More than pertains to feats of broils and battle ; And therefore little shall I grace my cause, In speaking for myself. Yet, by your patience, I will a round unvar:lish'd tale deliver, Of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic, (For such proceeding I am charg'd witbal) I won his daughter with.
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me ; Still question'd me the story of my life, From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes, That I have past. I ran it through, e’en from my boyish days, To th’ very moment that he bade me tell it. Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances, Of moving accidents by flood and field ; Of hair breadth 'scapes in the imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
-yet she wishod
NOW stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height,
Oh, spare ye war-hounds, spare their tender age !
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies; Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes ; Eliza's name along the camp he calls, Eliza echoes through the canvas walls ; Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread, O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead, Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood, Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood !-Soon hears his listning son the welcome sounds, With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds :“ Speak low,” he cries, and gives his little hand, « Eliza sleeps upon the dew.cold sand ; “ Poor weeping babe with bloody fingers press'd, « And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast; “ Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake« Why do you weep ? ---Mama will soon awake.”
“ She'll wake no more ! the hopeless mourner cried, Upturnd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and sigh'd ; Stretch'd on she ground a while entranc'd he lay, And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay; And then upsprung with wild convulsive start, And all the Father kindled in his heart ; « Oh, Heaven's !” he cried, “ my first rash vow forgive ! “ These bind to earth, for these I pray to live !"Round his chill babes he wrap'd his crimson vest, And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breast.
THE MORALIZER CORRECTED