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Which oft decrees an undeserved doom. Let schoolmen tell us why---From whence these sounds ?

[Trur pet's at a distance.

120

Enter an Officer. Offi. My lord, the trumpets of the troops of Lorn: The valiant leader hails the noble Randolph. Lord R. Mine ancient guest! Does he the warriors

lead ? Has Denmark rous’d the brave old knight to arms ?

Offi. No; worn with warfare, he resigns the sword.
His eldest hope, the valiant John of Lorn,
Now leads his kindred bands.

Lord R. Glenalvon, go.
With hospitality's most strong request
Entreat the chief.

[Exit Glenalvon.
Offi. My lord, requests are vain.
He urges on, impatient of delay,
Stung with the tidings of the foe's approach.

Lord R. May victory sit on the warrior's plume ! Bravest of men! his flocks and herds are safe; Remote from war's alarms his pastures lie, By niountains inaccessible secur'd: Yet foremost he into the plain descends, Eager to bleed in battles not his own. Such were the heroes of the ancient world ; Contemners they of indolence and gain ; But still, for love of glory and of arms, Prone to encounter peril, and to lift, Against each strong antagonist, the spear.

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I'll
go
and
press the hero to my breast.

[Exit with the Officer. Lady R. The soldier's loftiness, the pride and pomp Investing awful war, Norval, I see,

140 Transport thy youthful mind.

Nor. Ah! should they not?
Bless'd be the hour I left my father's house !
I might have been a shepherd all my days,
And stole obscurely to a peasant's grave.
Now, if I live, with mighty chiefs I stand ;
And, if I fall, with noble dust I lie.

Lady R. There is a generous spirit in thy breast,
That could have well sustain'd a prouder fortune.
This
way with me; under

yon spreading beech,
Unseen, unheard, by human eye or ear,
I will amaze thee with a wond'rous tale.

Nor. Let there be danger, Lady, with the secret,
That I may hug it to my grateful heart,
And prove my faith. Command

my sword,

my

life: These are the sole possessions of poor

Norval.
Lady R. Know'st thou these gems?

Nor. Durst I believe mine eyes,
I'd say I knew them, and they were my father's.
Lady R. Thy father's, say'st thou ? Ah, they were
thy father's!

161
Nor. I saw them once, and curiously enquir'd
Of both my parents, whence such splendor came ?
But I was check'd, and more could never learn.

Lady R. Then learn of me, thou art not Norval's

son.

Nor. Not Norval's son !
Lady R. Nor of a shepherd sprung.
Nor. Lady, who am I then?

Lady R. Noble thou art ;
For noble was thy sire.

Nor. I will believe
Oh, tell me farther! Say, who was my father!

Lady R. Douglas !
Nor. Lord Douglas, whom to-day I saw ?
Lady R. His younger brother.
Nor. And in yonder camp ?
Lady R. Alas!

Nor. You make me tremble---Sighs and tears!
Lives

my
brave father?

180 Lady R. Ah! too brave, indeed ! He fell in battle ere thyself was born.

Nor. Ah me, unhappy! Ere I saw the light !
But does my mother live? I may conclude,
From my own fate, her portion has been sorrow.

Lady R. She lives; but wastes her life in constant

woe,

Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.

Nor. You that are skill'd so well in the sad story Of my unhappy parents, and with tears Bewail their destiny, now have compassion Upon the offspring of the friends you

lov'd. Oh, tell me who and where my mother is ! Oppress’d by a base world, perhaps she bends Beneath the weight of other ills than grief; And, desolate, implores of Heaven the aid

200

Her son should give. It is, it must be so-
Your countenance confesses that she's wretched.
Oh, tell me her condition! Can the sword
Who shall resist me in a parent's cause ?
Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woes—

-My son! my son ! I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas !

[Falls upon his neck. Nor. Oh, heaven and earth ? how wond'rous is my

fate! Art thou my mother ? Ever let me kneel !

Lady R. Image of Douglas ! fruit of fatal love!
All that I owe thy sire, I pay to thee.

Nor. Respect and admiration still possess me.
Checking the love and fondness of a son:
Yet I was filial to my

humble

parents. But did

my
sire
surpass

the rest of men, As thou excellest all of womankind ? Lady R. Arise, my son. In me thou dost behold

poor remains of beauty once admir'd.
The autumn of my days is come already :
For sorrow made my summer haste away,
Yet in my prime I equallid not thy father :
His eyes were like the eagle's, yet sometimes
Liker the dove's; and, as he pleas’d, he won
All hearts with softness, or with spirit aw'd

Nor. How did he fall! Sure 'twas a bloody field
When Douglas died. Oh, I have much to ask!

LadyR.Hereafter thou shalt hear the lengthened tale Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.

G

The

220

At present this-Thou art the rightful heir
Ot yonder castle, and the wide domains
Which now lord Randolph, as my husband, holds.
But thou shalt not be wrong'd ; I have the power
To right thee still. Before the King I'll kneel,
And call lord Douglas to protect his blood.
Nor. The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
Lady R. But we shall need both friends and favour,

boy,
To wrest thy lands and lordship from the gripe
Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think
My tale will move each gentle heart to pity,
My life incline the virtuous to believe.

Nor. To be the son of Douglas is to me
Inheritance enough. Declare my birth, 240
And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.
Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and

injustice
Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son!
The noblest blood of all the land's abash’d,
Having no lacquey but pale poverty.
Too long hast thou been thus attended, Douglas,
Too long hast thou been deem'd a peasant's child.
The wanton heir of some inglorious chief
Perhaps has scorn'd thee in the youthful sports,
Whilst thy indignant spirit swell'd in vain.
Such contumely thou no more shalt bear:
But how I purpose to redress thy wrongs
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs
That we should part before yon chiefs return.

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