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Lady of the Lake


Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.
II.
As Chief, who hears his warder call,
’To arms! the foemen storm the wall,’
The antlered monarc h of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
But ere his fleet career he took,
The dew-drops from his flanks he shook;
Like crested leader proud and high
Tossed his beamed frontlet to the sky;
A moment gazed adown the dale,
A moment snued the tainted gale,
A moment listened to the cry,
That thickened as the chase drew nigh;
3
Then, as the headmost foes appeared,
With one brave bound the copse he cleared,
And, stretching forward free and far,
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
III.
Yelled on the view the opening pack;
Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once
The awakened mountain gave response.
A hundred dogs bayed deep and strong,
Clattered a hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
A hundred voices joined the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild halloo,
No rest Benvoirlich’s echoes knew.
Far from the tumult fled the roe,
Close in her covert cowered the doe,
The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering ey e,
Till far beyond her piercing ken
The hurricane had swept the glen.
Faint, and more faint, its failing din
Returned from cavern, cli, and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.
IV.
Less loud the sounds of sylvan war
Disturbed the heights of Uam-V ar,
And roused the cavern where, ’t is told,
A giant made his den of old;
For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stayed perforc e,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer
Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
So shrewdly on the mountain-side
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.
V.
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