صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


fealty. Oh! may, that precious liquor followed by the queen and her attendyield composure and gentle comfort, ants. Starno then addressed the priests, from the toils of life.”

and besought them to retire to their The king of Morven, with a smile, temple, as the palace was no longer a placed the garland on the head of his place fit for their reception, now his beloved spouse ; who, raising the cup daughter had committed sacrilege : yet in her hand, and, full of pious fear, lest committed her to the care of the pontiff, something dire should be contrived that he might endeavour, by his wise against the life of herillustrious husband, counsel, to divert her frenzy. But especially as she deemed the last words Fingal was too wise to be imposed on of the pontiff to be mysterious, she by their insidious arts : he openly acraised it to her lips, and was going to cused them of wronging her peaceful drink, when Starno and the high priest, bosom by some wicked incantations, and as if with one voice, cried, “ Hold, im- vowed to avenge her injuries; and pious maid ! nor dare to profane our if he found his surmises true, which holy rites, and sacred mysteries, with at present were locked in his own breast, this worthless deed.”

not all the might of Lochlin should reAgandecca was now convincedoftheir sist the sword chat should be brandished barbarous meaning, and a dire trembling in her righteous cause. seized her limbs. She remembered her Fingal, his attendants, and the infeextorted vow, not to betray any of the rior priests, being withdrawn, the moactions in which her father, and the narch and the high priest were once priests of Odin were engaged ; and her more left in conference: and, exaspe soul recoiled with horror. At length, rated with being foiled in their late atin faint accents, she exclaimed, “ Be- tempt, were busy in planning new lieve me, holy seer, if this contain soft schemes for the destruction of Morven's antidote for heartfelt anguish, I am king, who had immediately on his remuch in need of the refreshing beve- tiring from the chapel, sought out Ullin, rage.” “Beware," replied the priest;" the venerable seer who had attended " the vollied lightning darts with angry him to Lochlin. By him he sent a tenflash, and cleaves the heart of whoso- der message to Agandecca, requesting ever dare profane our solemn act. Then her to meet him at the Marble Hall. take this cup, and to thy faithful bride- A courteous answer was returned, that groom shew thy fealty.

she would not fail to observe an apAgandecca, with a distracted air, pointment with him whom yet her soul threw away the cup, and exclaimed, held most dear. The interval of time “ Down, perfidions potion, down. Now was employed by the faithful Ullin in let the lightning flash, and Odin thun- kind endeavours to persuade his moder, and the deep caverned earth gape narch to leave the unpropitious shores to receive me. No dread of punishment of his perfidious and irreconcilable eneand no reward, should lure me to com- my: beseeching him to listen to his mit a deed so foul.” The high priest, intreaties, and to be assured, that no with an assumed consternation, and ig- thing but perils and death environed norance of her meaning, inquired what him about. Fingal. remarked, that he cause compelled her to the impious would never fly from Lochlin, and deed. “ Ask you the cause,” said the leave his bride, his beauteous AganMaid of Lochlín, with much meaning decca, exposed to priestly craft and in her countenance. “ 'Tis I that am brutal outrage. Ullin replied, that at doomed to suffer; doomed by your that period he would no further urge wisdom, not, I trust, by those who go- bis beloved monarch; but he was well vern, and have pity on mankind.” aware that even his much-wronged With these words Agandecca withdrew, princess would endeavour to persuade

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

him to leave the fatal coast, and trust After much time spent in tender de to the Almighty Powers to re-unite bate, and agony of sorrow, Fingal them. Ullin then withdrew, and left agreed to leave Lochlin ; but only on Fingal absorbed in a sorrowful contem- the condition that Agandecca would, in plation, from which he was aroused by hopes of happer times, and the fatal, the entrance of Agandecca, who, with mystery being absolved promise to streaming eyes and dishevelled hair, ad

preserve her plighted troth, nor ever sanced to meet her bosom's lord. He admit another love. To this she readily clasped her in his arms, and with agreed : But, alas ! her prophetic soul. tender eagerness besought her to explain foreboded that happiness was fed never the cause that made her (when the so- to return. At length they tore themlemn rites were proceeding in fit order, selves from each other. “ Adieu," was and her father attending with fair com- faintly articulated ; and they retired to pliance,) break through the ceremony their separate apartments. with so undue a violence. The ill- Ullin, to whom Fingal immediately fated Agandecca answered with a sigh, communicated his intention of returnthat her lips were barred from giving ing to his own kingdom, was overjoyed him the satisfaction he required, by an at the delightful tidings. He assemawful oath, wbich she must never di- bled all the followers of his royal master vulge, on pain of forfeiting her eternal together, and by his order preparations happiness ; assured him of her unalter- for their embarking were commenced. able love, and intreated him to depart This unwelcome resolution soon came without delay from the unpropitious to Starno's knowledge, and overwhelmshores of Lochlin, nor longer court his ed him with dismay, lest his destined own destruction. Fingal, with tremu- victim should escape from his snares, lous accents, inquired if his departure and return to Morven in safety.would give peace to her troubled breast. Nay, his treachery would become a " It would," replied the peerless maid ; public theme ; and he had much to " for it would kill me ; and only in the dread from the vengeance of a people grave can. I have rest from sorrow." who desired nothing more earnestly than "I will never leave thee," replied Fin- that their princess should be united to gal; “thou art mine by the most in- Morven's king. Their nuptials had dissoluble ties. No power shall part been solemnized in the chapel of Starus-no compulsion tear thee from my no's palace; how then should he account bosom. No, the stnpendous cliffs that for these broken rites, or the departure strongly guard the shore of Lochlin, of Fingal ? But his cruel spirit soon shall be cleft, and scattered along the suggested to him an infernal scheme, billows of the northern main ere I will which, with the aid of the high priest, abandon thee to woe, nor strive to suc- he resolved to execute : and for this purcour thee. Let danger frown with the pose he sought out the youthful moblack horror of a storm descending on narch, and expressed his surprise at the troubled ocean, I will brave its ut- what he deemed a strange resolve, of most fury.” “Fingal, thou knowest,” Fingal and his brave followers leaving replied, the weeping bride, “ that not a Lochlin. Fingal, with an haughty tone, wish or thought was ever harboured caused by his unmerited wrongs, rewithin this bosom, that would shrink plied, that their bonds of friendship had abashed from the severest scrutiny.— been most rudely rent asunder; nor For am I ashamed to tell thee that my could he hold of slight account, the heart, which never glowed with any strange event of that disastrous day. flame but that imparted by thine own, The king of Lochlin remarked, that prays and implores thee to speed thy though some malignant foe had, by dire parting hence.”

and unknown incantations, hindered

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the union of their houses, it concerned dagger, with strict orders that he should, the welfare of their states, that no con- in case the king of Morven escaped the tention, or symptom of disunion, should ambush, by taking a contrary route, disturb their mutual harmony. Fingal follow him, and plunge the dagger in demanded if ever he had seemed ad- his breast. verse. Starno replied, that if his sub- Starno had just concluded his instrucjects thought their friendship unreal, tions to Lelan, when Agandecca rushed their fierce, vindictive spirits might into the room, and, with zealous eageragain blaze with contagious discord; ness, inquired of her father why he deand besought him to veil with guise of tained Fingal from embarking, and conamity, their transient difference, and jured him, by all the love be bore her, let his going hence wear every sem

to send an immediate mandate for his blance of happy reconcilement. Fin- departure. Starno replied, that her ingal demanded how such resemblance trusion merited his deep displeasure ; could be effected. Starno replied, that and her perseverance in a wrong cause, the means were obvious ; that with the his malediction. " But remember, morning beam they would go forth, and fond girl," added the cruel monarch,

, in the adjacent forest hunt the tusky “thy oath of secrecy, and compliance boar; and having shared their sports with our desires, nor stain thy soul and banquet, the prince might then to with perjury. Thy lover dies. Soon his native isles retire in peace. Fingal as the clarion in the adjacent wild accepted the invitation with real joy, as shall sound, then mayest thou smite he thought it a fit pretence for him to thy widowed bosom all in vain; for remain longer in Lochlin, notwithstand- then my arm shall rise victorious, and ing the promise he had made to Agan- this vaunting spoiler shall fall a victim decca, of instantly departing for the to my just revenge.” With these words peaceful shores of Albion; and again a Starno left his wretched daughter, who thought of the mysterious behaviour of flew to the apartment of her royal moStarno made him resolve not to leave ther, and on her knees intreated her to the northern princess, till he had disco- interpose, nor let her sire imbrue his vered what arts had been practised to hands in the blood of him to whom her reduce her to the pitiable state of an- faith was plighted, and who never guish she endured.

wronged, but honoured and revered him. Starno then gave audience to Lelan, She then revealed to the afflicted queen who was a servile creature of the high the dread purposes of Starno ; and la. priest's, and ready to commit any act mented that children should blush for of atrocity by which he could gain the and condemn the deeds of those they gold of his superiors. This hardened were bound to honour. " And shall wretch was instructed to prepare a cho- 1,” exclaimed the wretched princess, sen band, who should at dawn of morn “ conceal the horrid purpose! Better be stationed in ambush beyond the divulge the dread intention, and prevent nearest hill, inyested with trees and the accomplishment." "Would you," thickets. They were to conceal them- replied the queen, “consign thy soveselves, ready armed, within that bushy reign to the rage and fury of Morven's dell, till they heard the peal of the king's resentment ?" “ No, it is to save him loud clarion, which was sounded only whom my father and thyself urged me in times of urgent danger ; then, while to receive as my vowed lord, and thy the warriors of Fingal were parted from adopted son; and to preserve my pa. him, and ranging the forest in pursuit of rent from a deed nature revolts at. Shall the wild boar, was the unsuspecting it be handed down in future ages, that monarch to be attacked and slain. he ensnared the youth into his toils, and Starno then gave to Lelan a poisoned then plunged into his bosom the blade

go, arm



of an assassin ? On either side destruc- nouncing Fingal, and his premeditated tion threatens me; a gulph gapes to re- murder, his rage knew no bounds; pasceive, and overwhelm thy Agandecca. sion transported him beyond the conOh ! Fingal, to save thee, must I lose fines of reason; and had the ill-fated my honoured sire ?- To save my sire, maiden been present, she would doubtmust I lose my Fingal ? But have I not Jess have fallen a victim to his resentrenounced him, disavowed the baneful ment. As soon as he became more passion ? I can never be his willing calm, he strictly charged the queen not bride, yet I cannot, having the power to let Agandecca leave her apartments to hinder it, be accessary to his mur- that evening, as any interview she might der.” “ Go then, go, deluded girl !” obtain with Fingal might be fatal to said the queen of Lochlin with much Lochlin. The queen replied, she saw asperity;

outlandish the threatened danger, and would enspoiler to deprive the people of their deavour to counteract its

progress; but king. Go, deprive me of my existence; observed, she could not avoid lamentfor think not that I can survive the loss ing the fate of those, who, like the genof you, and the lord of my due reverence tle Agandecca, might purchase splenand regard. Alas for me thou carest dour and pre-eminence, by thwarting not not; my sorrows are remote from thy unworthy inclinations ; for these in eveconsideration.” “Oh! my parent, ry state must be repelled; but by subsaid the weeping princess, *" in pity duing those ingenuous feelings which wring not my distracted heart, that ever virtue sanctions

and fair fame approves. clings to thee ; for thou hast been a The king of Lochlin, when left to himtender mother to thine Agandecca. And self, severely deprecated his own folly, when I am no more, as soon I think I that, for the indulgence of venting his shall be, let my remembrance then, and indignation against his daughter, he had my acknowledged love to thee, with my betrayed a design he ought most carethanks thus tendered at an hour when fully to have guarded from her knowsad forebodings fill my soul, and dauntledge. But he resolved with speed to urge me with awful horror, sooth the grief the accomplishment of his design; and that may embitter thy declining years." then, by baving recourse to the high As soon as the woe-worn Agandecca priest, to terrify

Agandecca into the ob had retired to her chamber, the queen servance of the vow of secrecy she had repaired to her royal husband, and strove taken at Odin's shrine, that he should to divert him from pursuing the assas- rest secure from the imputation of a sination of the king of Morven, and to murderer. Poor Agandecca, distracted let the youth depart in safety. She re- at the painful confinement she had enpresented to him, in the most mild terms dured, resolved, at the hazard of her that language could devise, that as Agan- own life, to save that of the king of decca had refused at the altar to seal the Morven. The oath she had taken struck nuptial ceremony, by presenting the her with awe and gloomy horror ; yet chalice to her husband according to the she could not help regarding it as of a directions of the high priest, the refusal nature too cruel to be approved on high, of him would be looked on as the volun- and ratber the work of a tyrant father, tary act of the princess, and his depar- and a crafty priest. Radnor, a young ture be attributed as the consequence of page, who attended her, and whose this event.

eyes (though he knew not the extent of When Starno understood, from the her sufferings) filled with tears of symdiscourse of the queen, that Agandecca pathy and compassion for her unmerited had revealed the mystery of his trans- woes, with kind, but submissive accent, actions, that she had confessed to her inquired if he could do aught that would mother the vow she had taken of re- mitigate her grief. Agandecca present

[ocr errors]

ed him with a gold ring, set with pearls of Morven, who was addressing a few of inestimable value ; and besought him words to the little page, of tender into repair to the king of Morven, and quiry concerning her whom his soul held warn him to meet her in the first dell most dear, Agandecca appeared; and in the adjacent forest, ere the return of Fingal, with a tender embrace, demandAurora should quite have chased away ed why she would thus expose her dethe darkness of the night ; and to tell licate frame amid the chilling mists and him, that Agandecca had something at the cold dews that autumnal night that early hour to impart, that would shed on the yellow leaf. Agandecnot brook delay, nor let her rest in ca answered, that all times and seapeace, till she had eased her heart of

sons were now alike to her ; that, should the ponderous load the uncommunicat- the welkin roar with desolating storms, ed knowledge had occasioned. The little they were not so fierce as the storm page executed his important mission to within her bosom, which drove her reathe satisfaction of his royal mistress, and son headlong to despair; but that all happily was not observed by any of her hope was, that her soul might surStarno's attendants. Fingal did not vive the ruin of her earthly structure, retire to his couch that night, for busy and might rise superior to the care and thought kept him waking: the lovely, loud turmoil that vex this cloudy dwelldistressed Ågandecca employed his at- ing. tention, as to what methods he should Fingal besought her, that, if ever his take to extricate her from her present voice could win her assent, to disclose misery, and convey her safe to Morven. the cause of her affliction. Ullin, starting from a frightful dream, Agandecca replied, with tremulous rushed into the apartment, and earnestly accents, that before she disclosed those conjured his beloved master not to ex- tidings which would overcome him with


in the forest on the en- horror when he knew their fatal imsuing moin ; but all he could urge was port, she had a boon to crave, a request in vain ; Fingal was resolved to abide to ask, and which she earnestly intrealby the promise he had given the king ed him to grant.-- You intreat me, of Lochlin, of parting with a shew of my Agandecca ! say rather you comamity and peace. The sable darkness mand me to the fulfilling of your of night was just beginning to disperse, wish.

wish. Agandecca besought him to and streaks of radiant light to adorn the spare her father ; to vow that no sudsky, when Agandecca left her chamber, den ire or furious mood of vengeance attended by her faithful page, and re- should impel him, however just his paired to the silent dell, where she had cause might seem, to slay the royal appointed to meet her beloved Fingal. Starno, and bereave her of a parent. For fear of being surprised by any of “ Need I vow,” replied Fingal, “if my her father's subjects in this lone place, own father, illustrious Combal reigned, she retired into the thickest part of the that I would not conspire against his recess, and left her attendant to watch life; as sacred to my soul as was the the arrival of the youthful monarch, life of Combal, or is now my own, Fingal was true to the appointment; glowing in the prime of youthful hope, and not many minutes elapsed, before so sacred is the sire of Agandecca. Nay, he appeared on his milk white courser I could almost complain of thee, and alone, without any of his retinue; for say, my faith and love are wronged by he had ordered them to wait at the en- thy intreaty." The apprehensive maid trance of the forest till he should rejoin replied, that she well knew his loyalty them, in order to wait Starno's arrival, and faith, and merciful temper ; that, that they might pursue the chase. As trusting in that, she would unfold a soon as she heard the voice of the king tale of horrid purport, and warn him

pose his

« السابقةمتابعة »