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Lady of the Lake


constructions, and I have quoted many ” parallelisms ” from
Shakespeare and his contemporaries. I believe I have referred to
my edition of Shakespeare in only a single instance (on iii. 17),
but teachers and others who have that edition will find many
additional illustrations in the Notes on the passages cited.
While correcting the errors of former editors, I may have
overlooked some of my own. I am already indebted to the careful
proofreaders of the University Press for the detection of
occasional slips in quot ations or references; and I shall be very
grateful to my readers for a memorandum of any others that they
may discover.
Cambridge, June 23, 1883..
Argument.
The scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity
of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Pert hshire. The time
of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each Day
occupy a Canto.
THE LADY OF THE LAKE.
CANTO FIRS T.
The Chase.
Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan’s spring
And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling,
Muing with verdant ringlet every string,–
O Minstrel Harp, still must shine accents sleep?
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
2
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep,
Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd,
When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Aroused the fearful or subdued the proud.
At each according pause was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high!
Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bowed;
For still the burden of thy minstrelsy
Was Knighthood’s dauntless deed, and Beauty’s matchless eye.
O, wake once more ! how rude soe’er the hand
That ventures o’er thy magic maze to stray;
O, wake onc e more ! though scarce my skill command
Some feeble echoing of shine earlier lay:
Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain,
Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touched in vain.
Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
I.
The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan’s rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney’s hazel shade;
But when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich’s head,
The deep-mouthed bloodhound’s heavy bay
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