صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now
A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight

Contend with princes for the prize of fame.
I will present thee to our Scottish king,
Whose valiant spirit ever valour lov'd.
Ah! my Matilda, wherefore starts that tear ?

Lady R. I cannot say : for various affections, And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell; Yet each of them may well command a tear. I joy that thou art safe ; and I admire Him and his fortunes, who hath wrought thy safety ; Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own. Obscure and friendless, he the army sought, Bent upon peril, in the range of death Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword To gain distinction which his birth denied. In this attempt unknown he might have peris'd, And gain'd with all his valour, but oblivion. Now, grac'd by thee, his virtue serves no more Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown Are brought within the compass of his sword; On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke, And bless'd the wonder-working Lord of Heaven.

Lord R. Pious and grateful ever are thy thoughts ! My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the way. Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon, In honour and command shall Norval be.

Nor. I know not how to thank you. Rude I am,


1 120

In speech and manners: never till this hour
Stood I in such a presence : yet, my lord,
There's something in my breast, which makes me

To say, that Norval ne’er will shame thy favour.

Lady R. I will be sworn thou wilt not. Thou shalt be My knight; and ever, as thou didst to day, With happy valour guard the life of Randolph. Lord R. Well hast thou spoke. Let me forbid reply.

We are thy debtors still! Thy high desert
O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed,
As was at first intended, to the camp.
Some of my train, I see are speeding hither,
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay.,
Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall see
The chosen warriors of thy native land,
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandish'd swords.

Nor. Let us be gone, my lord.
Lord R. [To Lady RANDOLPH.] About the time

that the declining sun
Shall his broad orbit o'er yon hills suspend,
Expect us to return. This night once more
Within these walls I rest ; iny tent I pitch
Tomorrow in the field. Prepare the feast,
Free is his heart who for his country fights :
He in the eve of battle may resign
Hiinself to social pleasu

sure : sweetest then,

When danger to a soldier's soul endcars
The human joy that never may return.

[Exeunt RANDOLPH and NORVAL. Lady R. His parting words have struck a fatal truth. Oh, Douglas ! Douglas! tender was the time When we two parted, ne'er to meet again! 140 How many years of anguish and despair Has Heaven annex'd to those swift-passing hours Of love and fondness. “ Then my bosom's Hame “Oft, as blown back by the rude breath of fear “Return'd, and with redoubled ardour blaz’d." Anna. May gracious Heav'n pour the sweet balm

of peace Into the wounds that fester in your breast ! For carthly consolation cannot cure them.

Lady R. One only cure can Heav'n itself bestow ;A grave—that bed in which the weary rest. Wretch that I am! Alas! why am I so ? At every happy parent I repine ! How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval ! She for a living husband bore her pains, And heard him bless her when a man was born: She nurs'd her smiling infant on her breast ; Tended the child, and reard the pleasing boy: She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth In grace and comeliness surpass his peers :

160 Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son, And to the roaring waters gave my child.

Anna. Alas! alas! why will you thus resume Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth

Would for a while have won you from your woe.
On him intent you gazed, with a look
Much more delighted, than your pensive eye
Has deign’d on other objects to bestow.

Lady R. Delighted, say'st thou ? Oh! even there

mine eye


Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow;
I thought that had the son of Douglas liv'd,
He might have been like this young gallant stranger,
And pair'd with him in features and in shape.
In all endowments, as in years, I deem,
My boy with blooming Norval might have number'd.
While thus I mus’d, a spark from fancy fell
On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness
For this young stranger wand'ring from his home,
And like an orphan cast upon my care.
I will protect thee, said I to myself,
With all my power, and grace with all my

Anna. Sure Heav’n will bless so gen'rous a resolve.
You must, my noble dame, exert your power:
You must awake : devices will be fram’d,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval,

Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head will work Against a rival in his kinsman's love, If I deter him not; I only can. Bold as he is, Glenalvon will beware How he pulls down the fabric that I raise. I'll be the artist of young Norval's fortune.

'Tis pleasing to admirel most apt was I " To this affection in my better days ;

“Though now I seem to you shrunk up, retir'd
“ Within the narrow compass of my woe.
“ Have you not sometimes seen an early flower
“Open its bud, and spread its silken leaves,
“ To catch sweet airs, and odours to bestow ;

199 “ Then, by the keen blast nipt, pull in its leaves, “ And, though still living, die to scent and beauty? “ Emblem of me ; affliction, like a storm, “ Hath kill'd the forward blossom of my heart.”

Enter GLENALVON. Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble Randolph? Lady R.Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of the base

Glen. I have; and that the villains may not ’scape, With a strong band I have begirt the wood. If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken, And torture force from them th’ important secret, Whether some foe of Randolph hir'd their swords, Or if

Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love.
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. [Exit Anna.

Glen. To him your counsels always are commands.
Lady R. I have not found so; thou art known to me.
Glen. Known!
Lady R. And most certain is my cause of knowledge.

Glen. What do you know? By the most blessed cross,
You much amaze me. No created being,
Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon.
Lady R. Is guilt so bold ? and dost thou make a



« السابقةمتابعة »