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   Chapter 53 No.53

The Lady of the Lake By Walter Scott Characters: 1443

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"Thou shakest, good friend, thy tresses gray-

That pleading look, what can it say

But what I own?-I grant him brave,

270 But wild as Bracklinn's thundering wave;note

And generous-save vindictive mood,

Or jealous transport, chafe his blood;

I grant him true to friendly band,

As his claymore is to his hand;note

275 But O! that very blade of steel

More mercy for a foe would feel:

I grant him liberal, to fling

Among his clan the wealth they bring,

When back by lake and glen they wind,

280 And in the Lowland leave behind,

Where once some pleasant hamlet stood,

A mass of ashes slaked with blood.

The hand that for my father fought,

I honor, as his daughter ought;

285

But can I clasp it reeking red,

From peasants slaughtered in their shed?

No! wildly while his virtues gleam,

They make his passions darker seem,

And flash along his spirit high,

290 Like lightning o'er the midnight sky.

While yet a child-and children know,

Instinctive taught, the friend and foe-

I shuddered at his brow of gloom,

His shadowy plaid, and sable plume;

295 A maiden grown, I ill could bear

His haughty mien and lordly air;

But, if thou join'st a suitor's claim,

In serious mood, to Roderick's name,

I thrill with anguish! or, if e'er

300 A Douglas knew the word, with fear.

To change such odious theme were best-

What think'st thou of our stranger guest?"

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