judicious ; for throughout, the reader is kept in interesting suspense as to the catastrophe; and when he at length arrives at it, he blames his own dulness that he could not earlier discover the mystery that hung round the person of Mador. The hunting expeditions in that age continued for many days amid the wilds and mountains, and it consisted of a cavalcade provided with all the necessaries of life, which could not be procured in the uninhabited country; the royal tent was pitched every night, surrounded by those of the nobility and attendants, with the appearance of a small encampment. For several days the chase had been continued, when on a sudden the King disappeared; his secret departure and return are thus mentioned :

" The morning rose, but scarce they could discern

When Night gave in her sceptre to the day,
The clouds of heaven were moor’d so dark and dern,

And wrapt the forest in a shroud of gray.
Man, horse, and hound, in listless languor lay,
For the wet rack traversed the mountain's brow ;

But, long, ere night, the Monarch stole away;
His courtiers searchi’d, and raised the loud balloo,
But well they knew their man, and made not much ado.
“ Another day came on, another still,

And aye the clouds their drizzly treasures shed;
The pitchy mist hung moveless on the hill,
And hooded every pine-tree's reverend head:

The heavens seem'd sleeping on their mountain bed
The stragling roes mistimed their noontide den,

And stray'd the forest, belling for the dead,
Started at every rustle-paused, and then
Sniff’d, whistling in the wind, and bounded to the glen.
“ The King was lost, and much conjecture past.

At length the morning rose in lightsome blue,
Far to the west her pinken veil she cast;

Up rose the frighted sun, and softly threw

A golden tint along the moorland dew :
The mist had sought the winding vales, and lay

A slumbering ocean of the softest hue,
Where mimic rainbows bent in every bay,
And thousand islets smiled amid the watery way.
“The steeps of proud Ben-Glow the nobles scaled,

For there they heard their Monarch’s bugle yell;
First on the height, the beauteous morn he hail'd,

And rested, wondering, on the heather bell.
The amber blaze that tipt the moor and fell,

The fleecy clouds that rolld afar below,

The hounds' impatient whine, the bugle's swell,
Raised in his breast a more than wonted glow.

The nobles found him pleased, nor farther strove to know." This division is extended to rather too great a length; independently of a long detail of the hunting, including some of the not very poetical names of the dogs and descriptions of the country, which possess considerable picturesque. ness, a long harper's song is inserted, which must be to. tally unintelligible to all wlio are not masters of the rudest dialects of Scotland; besides this, is given a dispute among the knights upon “ gospel faith and superstition's spell;" after which, the hunt is terminated by the entrance of a mys. terious stranger, who beckons the King away, for what purpose is never disclosed. The second Canto opens with a description of old Kincraigy, “a man of right ungainly cour. tesy,” and “ honest as a Highlander may be;" and of his wife, “ full of blithe jolliment and boisterous glee;" after which we are introduced to their daughter, the heroine.

“ But O the lovely May,* their only child,

Was sweeter than the flower that scents the gale!
Her lightsome form, and look so soothing mild,

The loftiest minstrel song would much avale;

And she was cheerful, forwardsome and hale;
And she could work the rich embroidery,

Or with her maidens bear the milking pail;
Yet, dight at beltane reel, you could espy
No lady in the land who with this May could vie.
“And many a younker sigli'd her love to gain ;

Her steps were haunted at the bught and penn;
But all their prayers and vows of love were vain,
Her choice was fix'd on Albert of the Glen:

No youth was be, nor winsomest of men,
For he was proud, and full of envy's gall;

But what was lovlier to the damsel's ken,
He had wide lands, and servants at his call;
Her sire was liegeman bound, and held of him his all.
“ The beauteous May, to parents' will resign'd,
· Opposed not that which boded nothing ill;
It gave an ease and freedom to her mind,

And wish, the anxious interval to kill;
She listed wooer's tale with right goodwill;

* A May, in old Scottish ballads and romances, denotes a young lady, or maiden somewhat above the lower class.

And she would jest, and smile, and heave the sigh;

Would torture whining youth with wicked skill,
Turn on her heel, then off like lightning fiy,

Leaving the hapless wight resolved forthwith to die.” The day is wet, and Mador (the King in disguise) arrives, and without much ceremony takes shelter, and begins immediately to tune and scrape bis violin, which is certainly not a very picturesque instrument, though Raphael may have placed it in the hands of Apollo presiding on Parnassus. The following stanzas, in which the King is represented as delighting the old dame and her daughter, while Kincraigy sits surly by, is liable to the same objection: it may be a true and humorous picture of a Scotch wandering fiddler, but it does not become the dignity of a king.

“The minstrel strain'd and twisted sore his face,

Beat with his heel, and twinkled with his eye;
But still, at every effort and grimace,

Louder and quicker rush'd the melody;

The dancers round the floor in mazes fiy,
With cheering whoop, and wheel, and caper wild

The jolly dame did well her mettle ply!
Even old Kincraigy, of his spleen beguiled,
Turn’d his dark brow aside, soften’d his looks and smiled.
“ When supper on the ashen board was set,

The Minstrel, all unmask'd, jocosely came,
Brought his old chair, and, without pause or let,

Placed it betwixt the maid and forthright dame.

They sıniled, and asked his lineage and his name-
'Twas Mador of the Moor, a name renown'd!

A kindred name of theirs, well known to fame,
A high-born name! but old Kincraigy frown'd,

Such impudence in man, he ween’d, had not been found." The jolly Mador insinuates himself into the good graces of the canty dame, and by degrees creeps into the innocent warm heart of Ila. Having remained at Kincraigy's a day or two, making the falling rain an excuse, a fine day arrives, and he departs, Ila accompanying him to row him across the ferry. The whole day was consumed on this short journey, and what passed, the poet thus ambiguously relates :

“ O read not, lovers !-sure you may not think

That Ila Moore by minstrel airs was won !-'Twas nature's cordial glow, the kindred link

That all unweeting chains two hearts in one ! Crit. Rev. Vol. IV. August, 1816.

Then why should mankind ween the maid undone,
Though with her youth she seek the woodland deep,

Rest in a bower to view the parting sun,
Lean on bis breast, at tale of woe to weep,
Or sweetly, on his arm, recline in mimic sleep?
“O I have seen, and fondly blest the sight,

The peerless charms of maiden's guileful freak?
Through the dark eye-lash peep the orb so bright;

The wily features so demurely meek ;

The smile of love half dimpling on the cheek;
The quaking breast, that heaves the sigh withal !

The parting lips which more than language speak!--
Of fond delights, which memory can recall,
Of beauty's feigned sleep far, far outdoes them all!
“ O'er such a sleep the enamour'd Minstrel hung,

Stole one soft kiss, but still she sounder fell !
The half-form'd sentence died upon her tongue;

'Twas through her sleep she spoke !-Pray was it well,

Molesting helpless maiden in the dell,
On sweet restoring slumber so intent?

Our Minstrel framed resolve I joy to tell;
'Twas not to harni that beauteous innocent,
For no delight, nor joy, that fancy might present.
“When at the ferry, silent long they stood,

And eyed the red-beam on the pool that lay,
Or baseless shadow of the waving wood.-

That lonely spot, upon the banks of Tay,

Still bears the maiden's name, and shall for aye,
Warm was the parting sigh their bosoms drew!

For sure the joys of that enchanting day,
'Twas worth an age of sorrow to renew!

Then, glancing oft behind, they sped along the dew.” Shortly afterwards, perhaps not thinking that he had made the matter sufficiently clear, he mentions other endear· ments that had passed between the maid and the minstrel.

The third Canto speaks of Kincraigy expelled by Al. bert, and of bis settlement in his miserable cottage. The description of Ila forsaken by her lover, taunted by her mo. ther, and scowled upon by her father, is very touching, and the following song to her new-born infant, is as pathetic as any part of the poem :

“ Be still, my babe! he still !—the die is cast!

Beyond thy weal no joy remains for me!
Thy mother's spring was clouded and o’erpast

Erewhile the blossom open'd on the tree !

But I will nurse thee kindly on my knee,
In spite of every taunt and jeering tongue;

O thy sweet eye will melt my wrongs to see!
And thy kind little heart with grief be wrung!
Thy father's far away, thy mother all too young!
“ If haggard poverty should overtake,

And threat our onward journey to forelay,
For thee I'll pull the berries of the brake,

Wake half the night, and toil the live-long day;

And when proud manhood o'er thy brow shall play,
For me thy bow in forest shall be strung.

The memory of my errors shall decay,
And of the song of shame I oft have sung,
Of father far away, and mother all too young!
. But 0; when mellow'd lustre gilds thine eye,

And love's soft passion thrills thy youthful frame,
Let this memorial bear thy mind on high

Above the guilty and regretful flame,

The mildew of the soul, the mark of shame!
Think of the fruit before the bloom that sprung!

When in the twilight bower with beauteous dame,
Let this unbreathed lay hang on thy tonguem

Thy father's far away, thy mother all too young!" Unable longer to sustain the intense agony arising from such complicated causes, she resolves to fly to the court of Scotland held at Strevline, or Stirling, with her unchristened child; there she hopes to hear tidings of its father. On her road she meets with a Palmer, more properly who ought to have been called a pilgrim, originally being “ Lord of Stormont's fertile bound,” and not living by casual charity on his penitential journey: but Mr. Scott has himself confounded these two characters, and probably Mr. Hogg, who follows his example, was not aware of any distinction. Ila, consistently with the superstitious dread of the times, fears that this Palmer is an evil spirit in disguise, with design to deprive her of her offspring unhallowed by any religious ceremony. During a storm, they take shelter for the night in a ruined hovel, and the relation of the manner in which it is spent, the fears of lla, who imagines she sees elvish faces peeping from every ragged crevice, and the silent orisons of the Palmer, who seems inwardly to repent some hidden crime, is one of the most striking and wellmanaged pictures in the poem : the group of the lovely and trembling damsel, the innocent and sleeping infant, and the venerable Palmer, round a small fire which had been raised

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