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   Chapter 73 No.73

The Lady of the Lake By Walter Scott Characters: 1264

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

Then Roderick from the Douglas broke-

765 As flashes flame through sable smoke,

Kindling its wreaths, long, dark, and low,

To one broad blaze of ruddy glow,

So the deep anguish of despair

Burst, in fierce jealousy, to air.

770 With stalwart grasp his hand he laid

On Malcolm's breast and belted plaid:

"Back, beardless boy!" he sternly said,

"Back, minion! hold'st thou thus at naught

The lesson I so lately taught?

775 This roof, the Douglas, and that maid,

Thank thou for punishment delayed."

Eager as a greyhound on his game

Fiercely with Roderick grappled Graeme.

"Perish my name, if

aught afford

780 Its Chieftain's safety save his sword!"

Thus as they strove, their desperate hand

Griped to the dagger or the brand,

And death had been-but Douglas rose,

And thrust between the struggling foes

785 His giant strength: "Chieftains, forego!

I hold the first who strikes, my foe.

Madmen, forbear your frantic jar!

What! is the Douglas fallen so far,

His daughter's hand is deemed the spoil

790 Of such dishonorable broil!"

Sullen and slowly they unclasp,

As struck with shame, their desperate grasp,

And each upon his rival glared,

With foot advanced, and blade half bared.

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