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Fast on his flying traces came,

And all but won that desperate game;

For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch,
Vindictive toil'd the bloodhounds stanch;
Nor nearer might the dogs attain,
Nor farther might the quarry strain.
Thus up the margin of the lake,
Between the precipice and brake,
O'er stock and rock their race they take.
The Hunter mark'd that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary,
And deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barr'd the way;
Already glorying in the prize,

Measured his antlers with his eyes;
For the death-wound and death-halloo,
Muster'd his breath, his whinyard drew1;
But thundering as he came prepared,
With ready arm and weapon bared,
The wily quarry shunn'd the shock,
And turn'd him from the opposing rock;
Then dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,
In the deep Trosach's wildest nook 2
His solitary refuge took.

There, while close couch'd, the thicket shed
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head,
He heard the baffled dogs in vain
Rave through the hollow pass amain,
Chiding the rocks that yell'd again.
Close on the hounds the hunter came,
To cheer them on the vanish'd game;

1 46 When the stag turned to bay,
the ancient hunter had the perilous
task of going in upon, and killing or
disabling the desperate animal. At
certain times of the year this was
held particularly dangerous, a wound
received from a stag's horn being
then deemed poisonous, and more
dangerous than one of the tusks of
a boar, as the old rhyme testifies:
"If thou be hurt with hart, it brings

thee to thy bier,

But barber's hand will boar's hurt

heal, therefore thou need'st not
fear."

At all times, however, the task was dangerous, and to be adventured upon wisely and warily, either getting behind the stag while he was gazing on the hounds, or by watching an opportunity to gallop roundly in upon him, and kill him with the sword." Sir W. Scott, Notes to the Lady of the Lake.

"Trosachs, a surpassingly romantic mountain vale, between Lochs Achray and Katrine. The word Trosachs signifies a bristled region." Gaz. of Scotland.

But, stumbling in the rugged dell,
The gallant horse exhausted fell.
The impatient rider strove in vain
To rouse him with the spur and rein,
For the good steed, his labours o'er,
Stretch'd his stiff limbs, to rise no more;
Then, touch'd with pity and remorse,
He sorrow'd o'er the expiring horse.
"I little thought, when first thy rein
I slack'd upon the banks of Seine,
That Highland eagle e'er should feed
On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed!
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day,
That costs thy life, my gallant grey!"

Then through the dell his horn resounds,
From vain pursuit to call the hounds.
Back limp'd, with slow and crippled pace,
The sulky leaders of the chase;
Close to their master's side they press'd,
With drooping tail and humbled crest;
But still the dingle's hollow throat
Prolong'd the swelling bugle-note.
The owlets started from their dream,
The eagles answer'd with their scream,
Round and around the sounds were cast,
Till echo seem'd an answering blast;
And on the hunter hied his way,
To join some comrades of the day;
Yet often paused, so strange the road,
So wondrous were the scenes it show'd.

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1 Chamouni, one of the valleys of the Alps, is twelve miles in length

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Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? so long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!1
The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base

Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines 2
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! but when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!

O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,

Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer
I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,

So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,

Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thoughts,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing-there,

As in her natural form, swell'd vast to heaven!

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

and one mile in width. It has an elevation of 3,300 feet above the level of the sea, and is surrounded by glaciers and lofty mountains, among which rises Mont Blanc to the height of 15,781 feet above the sea.

1 "Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains,

They crowned him long ago,

2

On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds,

With a diadem of snow."
"The Alp
of horrid snow, and rock, and shaggy
shade;

Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald
scalp
Nods to the storm."

Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,

Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink :
Companion of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star1, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, O wake, and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents2 fiercely glad!
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns call'd you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shatter'd and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,

Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam?

And who commanded-and the silence came
"Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?"

Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain -
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!

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Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven,
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garments at your feet? -
God!-let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer; and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder-God!

1 "Mont Blanc is here spoken of as a star, because of its height above the vale; a rosy star, because its peak is flushed at dawn with the rosy tints reflected from the clouds, so that it becomes in this way co-herald of the

dawn, with the morning star.". Payne's Studies in Poetry.

"Besides the rivers, Arvè and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides." -Coleridge.

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!1
Ye wild goats2 sporting round the eagle's nest!
Ye eagles3, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the elements !

Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!

Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet, the avalanche, unheard 5,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast-
Thou too again, stupendous mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow-travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me-rise, O ever rise,
Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit, throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

Coleridge.

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