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The Lady of the Lake By Walter Scott Characters: 1296

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

Of Brian's birth strange tales were told.

His mother watched a midnight fold,

Built deep within a dreary glen,

Where scattered lay the bones of men

95 In some forgotten battle slain,

And bleached by drifting wind and rain.

It might have tamed a warrior's heart,

To view such mockery of his art!

The knot-grass fettered there the hand

100 Which once could burst an iron band;

Beneath the broad and ample bone,

That bucklered heart to fear unknown,

A feeble and a timorous guest,

The fieldfare framed her lowly nest;note

105 There the slow blindworm left his slime

On the fleet limbs that mocked at time;

And there, too, lay the leader's skull,

Still wreathed with chaplet, flushed and full,

For heath-bell with her purple bloom

110 Supplied the bonnet and the plume.

All night, in this sad glen, the maid

Sat, shrouded in her mantle's shade:

She said no shepherd sought her side,

No hunter's hand her snood untied;

115 Yet ne'er again to braid her hair

The virgin snood did Alice wear;note

Gone was her maiden glee and sport,

Her maiden girdle all too short,

Nor sought she, from that fatal night,

120 Or holy church or blessed rite,

But locked her secret in her breast,

And died in travail, unconfessed.

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