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them on to vengeance with his trusty sword, but they waited in vain. With a deep and ominous sound it was whispered hoarsely that he had mysteriously disappeared !

The chief warder of the Castle, however, now manfully put himself at their head; and, tracing the horse's bloody hoofprints on the frozen snow, they soon reached the wood at Thornton, where, to their grief and horror, in a dark clump of mountain pine, they found the mangled remains of the barbarously murdered King.

Wild and deep now loudly arose the coronach's ringing wail, striking terror into the hearts of the cowardly assassins, who still hovered round the scene of the murder. But, guided by their bloody track, their fierce avengers were soon on the pursuit. Following close on their heels, they gave instant chase, pursuing the assassins o'er the snowy moonlit plain. Almost overtaken, they betook themselves to the lake of Forfar, which being but imperfectly frozen over, the ice gave way, and they miserably perished in sight of their avengers, but not until the spirit of their murdered King had appeared unto them, wielding the sword of vengeance o'er their guilty heads as they sank to rise no more.

To the keen eye of the warder, two only seemed to die in the lake, whereas all along the vale the bloody footprints of three different persons were distinctly traceable on the snow, until, having reached the lonely pine wood on the shore, the imprints of one had disappeared! The absence of their noble host from the Castle when the blood-smeared steed appeared at its gates did to him seem mysterious and unaccountable. He kept these dark thoughts, however, within his own breast, trusting to time to unravel the mystery.

The avengers now retraced their footsteps to the wood of Thornton, where they had left one of their number in charge of the body of the King. Clad in a flowing robe of Kendal green, the Bard of Glamis, grey and hoary with years, walked with stately and measured tread before the royal corpse, which, amidst profound grief, was now borne to the silent halls of the Castle. On approaching the gates, where still stood the faithful steed of the murdered monarch, the aged minstrel strung his jewelled harp, and thus, in solemn accents, sung :

THE MINSTREL'S LAMENT.

Oh ! dark was the hour,

Remorseless the power,
That laid our young King Malcolm low;

No harm reck'd he,

Or black treachery,
Or vile and dark assassins' blow.

In gladsome mood

He reach'd the dark wood,
His steed dashing cheerily ;

No time to repent,

Quick as lightning was sent
His soul to eternity !

Now shed the salt tear

O'er his blood-red bier,
And heave the sigh deep of sorrow ;

Reign no more will he,

Ne'er on earth shall he see
The dawn of the beautiful morrow.

Jehovah is nigh ;

Though th' assassins may fly,
'Tis time of their sins they were sbriven,

For now we call down

The Almighty's frown,

And the swift awful vengeance of Heaven ! In the wood of Thornton, to the eastward of the village of Glamis, and on the spot where the murder was committed, there is a large cairn of stones surrounding an ancient obelisk, which is called King Malcolm's gravestone.

The obelisk stands at a short distance from the road, in the most gloomy part of the wood, realising to the fullest extent all our high and weird imaginings of the dark and bloody scene. On this gravestone are rudely sculptured the figures of two men who are represented as forming the bloody conspiracy. A lion and a centaur on the upper part seem to be emblematical of the cowardly nature and horrible barbarity of the crime. Several kinds of fishes are also represented on the stone as symbolical of the loch in which the murderers unexpectedly met a watery grave.

For long years after the assassination of Malcolm, the Lord of Glamis often took his sad and solitary way to the dark and lonely wood of Thornton, and lowly bowed his weary head over the spot where the tragical event occurred.

This strange conduct did not escape the keen and ever-watchful eye of the warder, who, not unjustly, thought he had now detected sufficient to unveil the mystery already alluded to.

A stronger confirmation of his dark suspicions, however, was soon to be afforded to him. About this time the proud Earl of Angus, with his fair daughter Finella, arrived on a visit to Glamis Castle. The Lord of Glamis was instantly smitten with the matchless beauty of the fascinating maiden. His love being apparently returned, he boldly asked her hand in marriage from her lordly father, which priceless boon was most courteously and graciously granted.

By a strange fascination or infatuation, the Lord of Glamis, one morning of quiet summer beauty, led his affianced bride to the lonely wood of Thornton, and there, bound by a holy oath, they solemnly plighted their troth to each other. Not content with this mutual compact, the Lord of Glamis called aloud for the spirit of the murdered King to appear and be witness of their solemn engagement.

Sad, fatal wish! Wrapped in his shroud of clotted gore, the monarch appeared to the terror-stricken maiden, and, casting on them both a withering frown of revengeful scorn, slowly disappeared again among the silent dead !

And yet at length these two were wed, and a family of three sons grew up in beauty around them ; but a curse seemed to have settled upon them, each striving for the mastery. So they led a very unhappy, wretched life.

One morn, with ominous foreboding, it was hoarsely whispered their hopeful heir could not be found, and the

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Lord of Glamis immediately ordered strict search to be made for the missing boy.

“On, on with me, o’er glen and hill,” he excitedly exclaimed. Some scour the wood and some the plain, and return not from the search until your young

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have found, and placed him safe within my loving arms, and then throughout the Castle halls shall mirth and song abound to celebrate his restoration to his father and his friends."

But ah! the dawning of the following morn still saw them sad pursue their search in vain, till, having reached the troubled lake, their worst fears were realised ; for there upon the crested waves was sleeping his last sleep the heir to all those wide domains—the hope and joy of the proud Lord of Strathmore!

Soon again was heard the bitter wail of lamentation and sorrow, for one of their other sons had with youthful curiosity, crept his devious way to where the loftiest towers in grim array frowned sternly o'er the donjon keep of the Castle, and looking over the deep chasm, his little head grew giddy, and down into the gulf below he fell, and before the eyes of his father was dashed to pieces on the ground.

Their other child, a lovely and amiable boy, was now tended and caressed with the most anxious care and filial love. All in vain! Watched by a father's loving eye, the sportive boy one summer morn was joyously bounding o'er the greensward in front of the Castle, when, swift and suddenly as the lightning's flash, a wild and heavily-antlered stag, with one furious, fatal stroke, laid the lovely prattler dead at his father's feet.

Full oft, though revelling in sumptuous, almost regal magnificence, would Glamis and his proud ladye mourn their sad and bitter fate, and inwardly curse that fatal morn they pledged their love and plighted their troth at the gravestone of the murdered King.

It was a wild and stormy winter's eve. The old grey towers and battlements of the Castle shook to their foundations as the blustering tempest expended its demoniac wrath on the grand old feudal pile. Guests and retainers were alike awestruck with terror when now there mingled with and rose above the fury of the gale the long, loud, wailing shrieks of mortal agony, as if from one imploring help from the attacks of some deadly enemy.

The host had not been seen since the storm began! Apprehensive of some fearful catastrophe, all excepting Ladye Glamis now frantically rushed to the private chamber of the Lord of Glamis, situate in one of the gloomiest battlements of the Castle. The shrieks of agony and implorations for mercy had ceased, and there, on the cold oaken floor, lay the dead body of Glamis, the contorted features of the corpse vividly indicative of some fearful struggle with the Prince of Darkness, or his avenging legions from Pandemonium's innermost hell !

With great expressions of grief, the Ladye Glamis gave her Lord a sumptuous funeral, but none believed her professions of sorrow; and when in Thornton Wood she was shortly after

; wards found by some of her menials weltering in her blood, no tears were shed over her, nor vespers sung or said -- they buried her in silence where she fell, no priest or minstrel breaking by bead or harp the stillness of the scene :

And to this day no voice of song
Is ever heard these woods among-
'Tis there the ravens croaking fly,
And owl and bat hold revelry.

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