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Lady R. Oh!

160 Anna. Havel distress'd you with officious love, And ill-tim'd mention of your brother's fate? Forgive me, Lady: humble though I am, The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune : So fervently I love you, that to dry Those piteous tears, I'd throw my life

away. Lady R. What power directed thy unconscious

tongue To speak as thou hast done ! to name

Anna. I know not :
But since my words have made my mistress tremble,
I will speak so no more: but silent mix
My tears with hers.

Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent.
I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be
Henceforth th' instructed partner of my woes.
But what avails it? Can thy feeble pity
Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time?
Compel the earth and ocean to give up
Their dead alive?

180 Anna. What means my noble mistress ? Lady R. Did'st thou not ask what had my sorrows

been, If I in early youth had lost a husband :In the cold bosom of the earth is lodgid, Mangl'd with wounds, the husband of my youth ; And in some cavern of the ocean lies My child and his.-

Anna. Oh! Lady most rever'd!"

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The tale wrapt up in your amazing words
Deign to unfold.

Lady R. Alas! an ancient feud,
Hereditary evil, was the source
Of my misfortues. Ruling fate decreed,
That my brave brother should in battle save
The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe :
The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship.
To see the vaunted sister of his friend,
Impatient, Douglas to Balarmo came,
Under a borrow'd name.-My heart he gain'd; 200-
Nor did I long refuse the hand he begg'd :
My brother's presence authoris'd our marriage.
Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings of down,
Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was call'd
To fight his father's battles; and with him,
In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go.
Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was told
That the false stranger was lord Douglas' son.
Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword
And question'd me. Alone, forsaken, faint,
Kneeling beneath his sword, fault'ring I took
An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would
Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity!
Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave
Thy onward path, although the earth should gape,
And from the gulph of hell destruction cry,
To take dissimulation's winding way, -

Anna. Alas! how few of woman's fearful kind Durst own a truth so hardy!

220

Lady R. The first truth
Is easiest to avow. This moral learn,
This precious moral from my tragic tale.
In a few days the dreadful tidings came
That Douglas and my brother both were slain.
My lord ! my life! my husband !--mighty God!
What had I done to merit such affliction ?

Anna. My dearest lady! many a tale of tears
I've listen'd to; but never did I hear
A tale so sad as this.

Lady R. In the first days
Of my distracting grief, I found myself-
As women wish to be who love their lords.
But who durst tell my father ? The good priest
Who join'd our hands, my brother's ancient tutor,
With his lov'd Malcolm, in the battle fell :
They two alone were privy to the marriage.
On silence and concealment I resolvid,
Till time should make my father's fortune mine.
That very night on which my son was born,
My nurse, the only confident I had,

240 Set out with him to reach her sister's house : But nurse, nor infant have I ever seen, Or heard of, Anna, since that fatal hour. “ My murder'd child !-had thy fond Mother fear'd “ The loss of thee, she had loud fame defy'd, “ Despis'd her father's rage, her father's grief, “ And wander'd with thee through the scorning

world." Anna. No:seen nor heard of 1 then perhaps he lives.

D

Lady R. No. It was dark December; wind and rain Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay The destin'd road ; and in its swelling flood My faithful servant perish'd with my child. “Oh! hapless son of a most hapless sire ! “ But they are both at rest; and I alone “ Dwell in this world of woe, condemn’d to walk, “ Like a guilt-troubled ghost, my painful rounds;" Nor has despiteful fate permitted me The comfort of a solitary sorrow. Though dead to love, I was compell’d to wed

260 Randolph, who snatch'd me from a villain's arms; And Randolph now possesses the domains, That by Sir Malcolm's death on me devolv'd; Domains, that should to Douglas' son have giv'n A baron's title and a baron's power. “ Such were my soothing thoughts, while I bewailid “ The slaughter'd father of a son unborn. “ And when that son came, like a ray from heav'n, “ Wbich shines and disappears; alas ; my child ! “ How long did thy fond mother grasp the hope « Of having thee, she knew not how, restor'd. “ Year after year hath worn her hope away ; “ But left still undiminish'd her desire. Anna. The hand that spins th’uneven thread of

life, « May smooth the length that's yet to come of yours.

Lady R. Not in this world; I have consider'd well " It's various evils, and on whom they fall. " Alas? how oft does goodness wound itself

" And sweet affection prove the spring of woe. 280
Oh! had I died when my lov'd husband fell !
Had some good angel op'd to me the book
Of Providence, and let me read my life,
My heart had broke, when I beheld the sum
Ofills, which one by one I have endur'd.

Anna. That God, whose ministers good angels are,
Hath shut the book, in mercy to mankind;
But we must leave this theme : Glenalvon comes ;
I saw him bend on you his thoughtful eyes,
And hitherwards he slowly stalks his way.

Lady R. I will avoid him. An ungracious person Is doub y irksome in an hour like this. Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph's

heir ? Lady R. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's

virtues.
Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind
An artificial image of himself :
And he with ease can vary to the taste
Of different men, its features. “ Seli-denied,

30.0 “ And master of his appetites he seems : “ But his fierce nature, like a fox chain'd up, “ Watches to seize unseen the wish'd-for prey. “ Never were vice and virtue pois'd so ill, " As in Glenalvon's unrelenting mind.” Yet is he brave and politic in war, And stands aloft in these unruly tiines. Why I describe him thus I'll tell hereafter.

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