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HALIDON HILL.

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War 's the rash reaper, who thrusts in his sickle
Before the grain is white. In threescore years

And ten, which I have seen, I have outlived
ACT 1.

Well nigh two generations of our nobles.

The race which holds yon summit is the third.
SCENE I.

VIPONT. The northern side of the eminence of Halidon. The Thou mayst outlive them also. back scene represents the summit of the ascent, occu

PRIOR. pied by the rear-guard of the Scottish Army. Bodies

Heaven forefend! of armed Men appear as advancing from differ- My prayer shall be, that Heaven will close my eyes, ent points to join the main Body.

Before they look upon the wrath to come. Enter De Vipont and the Prior of MAISON-DIEU. •

VIPONT.

Retire, retire, good father! – Pray for Scotland-
VIPONT.

Think not on me. Here comes an ancient friend, No farther, father-here I need no guidance

Brother in arms, with whom to-day I 'll join me. I have already brought your peaceful step

Back to your choir, assemble all your brotherhood, Too near the verge of battle.

And weary Heaven with prayers for victory.
PRIOR.

PRIOR.
Fain would I see you join some baron's banner,

Heaven's blessing rest with thee, Before I say farewell. The honour'd sword

Champion of Heaven, and of thy suffering country! That fought so well in Syria should not wave

(Exit PRIOR. VIPont draws a little aside, and Amid the ignoble crowd.

lets down the beaver of his helmet. VIPONT. Each spot is noble in a pitched field,

Enter Swinton, followed by Reynald and others, to So that a man has room to fight and fall on't.

whom he speaks as he enters, But I shall find out friends. "T is scarce twelve years

SWINTON.
Since I left Scotland for the wars of Palestine, Halt here, and plant my pennon, till the Regent
And then the flower of all the Scottish nobles

Assign our band its station in the host.
Were known to me ; and I, in my degree, .

REYNALD.
Sor all unknown to them,

That must be by the standard. We have had.
PRIOR.

That right since good Saint David's reign at least. Alas! there have been changes since that time; Fain would I see the Marcher would dispute it. The royal Bruce, with Randolph, Douglas, Grahame,

SWINTON.
Then shook in field the banners which now moulder Peace, Reynald! . Where the general plants the soldier,
Over their graves i' the chancel.

There is his place of honour, and there only
VIPONT.

His valour can win worship. Thou 'rt of those,
And thence comes it,

Who would have war's deep art bean the wild semThat while I look'd on many a well-known crest

blavce And blazon'd shield, as hitherward we came,

Of some disorder'd hunting, where, pell-mell, The faces of the barons who display'd them

Each trusting to the swiftness of his horse, Were all unknown to me. Brave youths they seem'd;

Gallants press on to see the quarry fall. Fet, surely fitter to adorn the tilt-yard,

Yon steel-clad southrons, Reynald, are no deer; Than to be leaders of a war. Their followers,

And England's Edward is no stag at bay. Young like themselves, seem like themselves unprac

VIPONT (advancing). tised

There needed not, to blazon forth the Swinton,
Look at their battle-rank.

His ancient burgonet, the sable Boar
PRIOR.

Chain'd to the goarled oak,-nor his proud step, I cannot gaze on 't with undazzled cye,

Nor giant stature, nor the ponderous mace, hotlick the rays dart back from shield and helmet, Which only he of Scotland's realm can wield: And sword and battle-axe, and spear and pennon.

His discipline and wisdom mark the leader, fare 't is a gallant show! The Bruce himself

As doth his frame the champion. Hail, brave Swinton! Jath often conquer'd at the head of fewer

SWINTON. And worse appointed followers.

Brave Templar, thanks ! Such your cross'd shoulder VIPONT.

speaks you; Ly, but 't was Bruce that led them. Reverend Father, But the closed visor, which conceals your features, I is not the falchion's weight decides a combat; Forbids more knowledge. Umfraville, perhapst is the strong and skilful hand that wields it.

VIPONT (unclosing his helmet). Il fate, that we should lack the noble king,

No ; one less worthy of our sacred order. ind all his champions now! Time call'd them nota

Yet, unless Syrian suns have scorch'd my features for when I parted hence for Palestine,

Swart as my sable visor, Alan Swinton le brows of most were free from grizzled hair. Will welcome Symon Vipont. PRIOR.

SWINTON (embracing him). oo true, alas! But well you know, in Scotland,

As the blitbe reaper few hairs are silver'd underneath the helmet; Welcomes a practised mate, when the ripe harvest

Les ders Dr in with a sui

$WINTOS T' 'Sun Tut Jemen vir TunE INC"

pier, what think'st thou me!-See yonder rock, T . i *02 MESEL me a Ber-Jenis F u ch die Botantin gushes-is it less La š mumsf earsmes uri agars af atasant, though waters flow from it?

Framers but moster eyes, They are avenged ; s e mc cil ter were-all the proud Gordon

af van es Sfe-blood dred my father's sword, Tir lips Sams Drogas, lossngas 1 "Tiene tart he thiand my father's lineage, SPR: 51:20. ure 793

bolt. 12 Iwepe my soas; and, as the Gordon Ruam preku r us ne som den . PT BR feet, there was a kar for him, T: 1 sek site Burm is

see on the changed with the rest.- We had been friends,

Tai karte banquet and the chase together,
Frane suše be sade--and our first cause of strife,
The me pode of both, was but a light one.

TIPOX.
Tuaz senas babe 73 ad a barde

F ire at fead, sises, sith the mighty Gordon ? Ba d it rins. Tiere $ € a boy

SVINTOX. Left in mind toe om bus sure th e bendir fent Here in this Border-land. To bens a sud-here s set a man beid H ere ne sire's quarrels descend upon the soo,

! be a part of his inheritance

As the stroag cascle and the ancient Blazon, i ere parite vengeance holds the scales of justice,

l agniag each drop of blood as scrupulously And roader baita cempied

k Jews oe Lombards balance silver pence,

Not in this land, twist Solway and Saint Abb's, A thousand fouever- ch, with friends at fins Bares a bitterer fead than mine and theirs,

The Sviaton and che Gordon. | Abies and make them wert wat so lead

TIPOят. A thousand founters s ent to sixty homes

You, with some threescore lances—and the Gordon la twelve years' space- o the brave seas, Sir Alan, Leading a thousand followers. Alas. I fear to ask

SWIXTOX.
TITOS.

Tog rate bim far too low. Since you sought Palestine, All shain, De Vipont. In my empts bome

He bach had grants of barovies and lordslips A pony babe lisps, to a vidow modur.

In the far-distant North A thousand horse « Where is my grandsite wherefore do you weep His wathers friends and, rassals always namber'd. Bat for that pratiler, Lraisas boase is beirless. Add Badenoch kerne, and horse from Dee and Spet, I'm an oki oak, from with the foresters

Ile 'll count a thousand more.–And now, De Vipon, Have herd four goodly booghs, and left beside me the Boar-beads seem in your eyes less worthy, .. Only a sapang, which the fun may crash

For lack of followers-seek yonder standard| As be springs over it

Thę bounding Stag, with a brave bost aroand it: TIPOST.

There the young Gordon makes his earliest field, Ait shain-alas! . .

And pants to win his spurs. His father's friend, SVETOS.

is well as mine, thou wert-go, join his pennon, Ay, all, De Vipont. And their attributes,

And grace him with thy presence. | Jobo with the Long Spear-Archibald with the Are

VIPONT. - Richard the Ready-and my youngest darling

When you were friends, I was the friend of both, · My Fair-buired William-do but nos survive

dod nor I can be enemy to neither; Ja measures which the gray-haird miastrels sing Bat my poor persoo, though but slight the aid, When they make maidens weep.

| Joins on this field the banner of the two VIPONT.

Which hath the smallest following These vars with England, they have rooted out

SWINTOS. · The flowers of Christendom. Knighes, vbo might win Spoke like the generous knight, who gave up all,

The sepulchre of Christ from the rude beachen, Learling and lordship. in a heathen land
Fall ia unholy warfare!

To fight a christian soldier-vel, s earnest,
SWINTOX.

I pray, De Vipoal, you would join the Gordoa
Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named it; In this high battle. T is a woble youth,
Bat not with England - would her cloth-vard shafts So fame doth rouch him,-amorous, quick, and vakant,
Had bored their cuirasses! Their lives bad been Takes knighthood, too, this day, and well may use
Lost like their grandsire's, in the bold defence

His spurs too rashly in the wish to win them. 1. Of their dear country-but in private feud

A friend like thee beside him ia the fight, With the proud Gordon, fell my Long-speard John, Were worth a hundred spears, to rein his ralour He with the Ave, and he men calld the Ready,

And temper it with prudence :-i is the aged eagle
Ay, and my Fair-baird Will-the Gordon's wrath Teaches his brood to gaze upon the sun,
Devour'd my gallant issue.

With eye undazzled.
VIPOST.

VIPONT.
Since thou dost weep, their death is unavenged? Alas, brave Swintoa! Wouldst thou train the hanter

hat soon must bring thee to the bay? Your custom,

. . LENNOX.
our most unchristian, savage, fieod-like custom, Nay, lordings, put no shame upon my counsels ;
inds Gordon to avenge his father's death. .

I did but say, if we retired a little,
SWINTON.

We should have fairer field and belter vantage.
Thy, be it so! I look for nothing else:

I've seen King Robert-ay, the Bruce himselfly part was acted when I slew his father,

Retreat six leagues in length, and think no shame on 'e. venging my four sons—Young Gordon's sword,

REGENT. fit should find my heart, can ne'er inflict there. Ay, but King Edward sent a haughty message, pang so poignant as his father's did.

Defying us to battle on this field, ut I would perish by a noble hand,

This very hill of Halidon; if we leave it nd such will his be if he bear bim nobly, .

Uofought withal, it squares not with our honour. lobly and wisely on this field of Halidon.

.. SWINTON (apart). Enter a PURSUIVANT.

A perilous honour, that allows the enemy,

And such an enemy as this same Edward, -
PURSUIVANT.

To chuse our field of battle! He knows how ir Knights, io council !—'t is the Regent's order, . .

To make our Scottish pride betray its master 'bat knights and men of leading meet him instantly T Into the pitfall, lefore the royal standard. Edward's army

: . [During this speech the debate among the s seen from the hill-summit.

Nobles seems to continue.
SWINTON.

SUTHERLAND (aloud). ay to the Regent, we obey his orders.

We will not back one furlong-not one yard, . . (Exit PURSUIVANT.

No, nor one inch ; where'er we find the foe, To REYNALD. Hold thou my casque, and furl my or where the foe finds us, there will we fight him. pennop up

Retreat will dull the spirit of our followers, lose to the staff. I will not show my crest,

Who now stand prompt for battle. for standard, till the common foe shall challenge

- ROSS. them.

My lords, methinks great Morarchat has doubts, I'll wake no civil strife, nor tempt the Gordon . That, if his northern clans once turn the seam Nith aught that's like defiance.

Of their check'd hose behind, it will be hard - VIPONT.

To halt and rally them.: : :
Will he not know your features ?

SUTHERLAND.
SWINTON.

Say'st thou, Mac-Donnell !Add another falsehood, He never saw me. In the distant north, .

And name when Morarchat was coward or traitor! Agaiost his will 't is said, his friends detain'd him . Thine island race, as chronicles can tell, . 1 During his purture-caring not, belike,

Were oft affianced to the southron cause; To trust a pledge so precious near the Boar-tusks,

Loving the weight and temper of their gold, It was a natural but needless caution:

More than the weight and temper of their steel. wage no war with children, for I think ?

. . REGÉNT. Too deeply on mine own.

; . 1 .'

Peace, my lords, ho! . ...

.

VIPONT.
I have thought on it, and will see the Gordon

Ross (throwing down his glove).

| Mac-Donnell will not peace! There lies my pledge, As we go hence to council. I do bear

Proud Morarchat, to witness thee a liar. A cross, which binds me to be christian priest,

• MAXWELL. As well as christian champion. God may grant,

Brought I all Nithsdale from the Western Border; That), at once his father's friend and yours,

Left I my towers exposed to foraying England,
May make some peace betwixt you.

And thieving Annandale, to see such misrale?
SWINTON.

JOHNSTONE.
When that your priestly zeal, and knightly valour, whe

Who speaks of Annandale? Dare Maxwell slander Shall foree the grave to render up the dead.

The gentle house of Lochwood ? . (Exeunt severally

• REGENT.

Peace, lordings, once again. We represent
SCENE II.

| The Majesty of Scotland-in our presence The summit of Halidon Hill, before the Regent's Tent. Brawling is treason.

The Royal Standard of Scotland is seen in the back . . SUTHERLAND. ground, with the Pennons and Banners of the prin- Were it in presence of the king himself, cipal Nobles around it.

What should prevent my saying-Council of Scottish Nobles and Chiefs. SUTHERLAND,

Enter LindeSAY. Ross, LENNOX, MAXWELL, and other Nobles of the. highest rank, are close to the Regent's person, and in the act of keen debate. VIPont, with GORDON You must determine quickly. Scarce a mile and others, remain grouped, at some distance on the Parts our van-guard from Edward's. On the plain, right hand of the stage. On the left, standing also Bright gleams of armour flash through clouds of dust, apart, is Swinton, alone and bare-headed. The Like stars through frost-mist-steeds neigh, and weaNobles are dressed in Highland or Lowland habits, pons clashas historical costume requires. Trumpets, Heralds, And arrows soon will whistle-the worst sound etc. are in attendance.

That waits on English war. You must determine.

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LINDESAY.

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REGENT.
We are determined. We will spare proud Edward Pray you, do not so;
Half of the ground that parts us.-Onward, lords; Anon I'll give you reason why you should not.
Saint Andrew strike for Scotland! We will lead There's other work in hand-
The middle ward ourselves, the royal standard.

GORDON.
Display'd beside us; and beneath its shadow

I will but ask his name. There's in his presence
Shall the young gallants whom we knight this day, Something that works upon me like a spell,
Figlie for their golden spurs.-Lennox, thou 'rt wise, Or like the feeling made my childish ear
And wilt obcy command-lead thou the rear.

Doat upon tales of superstitious dread,
*
LENNOX. *

Attracting while they chill'd my heart with fear.
The rear :-why I the rear? The van were fitter Now, born the Gordon, I do feel right well
For Him who fought abreast with Robert Bruce. I'm bound to fear nought earthly-and I fear nought.
. .. SWINTON (apart).

I'll know who this man is-Discretion hath forsaken Lennox too!

[Accosts SPINTOS The wisdom he was forty years in gathering

Sir Knight, I pray you, of your gentle courtesy, Has left him in an instant., 'Tis contagious

To tell your honqur'd name. I am ashamed,
Even to witness frenzy. **

Being unknown in arms, to say that mine
SUTHERLAND.

Is Adam Gordon.
The Regent hath determined well. The rear

ŚWINTON (shows emotion, but instantly subdues it). Suits him the best who counsell'd our retreat. It is a name that soundeih in my car "LENNOX, . .

Like to a death-knell-ay, and like the call Proud northeru thane, the van were soon the rear, Of the shrill trumpet to the mortal lists; Werc'thy disorder'd followers planted there."

Yet 't is a name which ne'er hath been dishonour'd, SUTHERLAND.

And never will, I trust-most surely never . Ther, for that very word, I make a vow,

By such a youth as thou. By my broad earldom and my father's soul,

GORDON. That if I have not leading of the van,

There's a mysterious courtesy in this, ... I will not fight to-day!

.

And yet it yields no answer to my question. -
ROSS.

I trust, you hold the Gordon not unworthy
Morarchiat! thou the leading of the van!

To know the name he asks ?
Not whilst Mac-Donnell lives.

SWINTON.
Swinton (apart).

Worthy of all that openness and honour
Nay, then a stone would speak. "

May show to friend or foe—but, for my name, (Addresses the REGent.) May't please your grace, Vipont will show it you; and, if it sound And yours, great lords, lo hear an old man's counsel, Harsh in your ear, remember that it knells there That hath seen fights cnow. These open bickerings But at your own request. This day, at least, Dishearten all our host. If that your grace,

Though seldom wont to keep it in concealment, With these great earls and lords, must needs debate, As there's no cause I should, you had not heard it Let the closed tent conceal your disagreement;

GORDON. Else 't will be said, ill fares it with the flock,

This strange--
If shepherds wrangle when the wolf is nigh.

VIPOXT.
REGENT.

The mystery is needful. Follow me. .
The old knight coupsels well. Let every lord

[They retire behind the side Scene! Or chief, who leads five hundred men or more,

SWINTON (looking after them). Follow to council--others are excluded

| 'T is a brave youth. How blush'd his noble cheek, We'll have no vulgar censurers of our conduct. While youthful modesty, and the embarrassment

(Looking at Swinton. Of curiosity, combined with wonder,
Young Gordon, your bigh rank and numerous following And half suspicion of some slight intended,
Give you a seat with us, though yet unknighed. All mingled in the flush; but soon 't will deepen
GORDON.

Into revenge's glow. How slow is Vipont! -
I pray you pardon me. My youth's unfit

I wait the issue, as I've seen spectators
To sit in council, when that knight's gray hairs Suspend the motion even of the eye-lids,
And wisdom wait without.

When the slow gunner, with his lighted match,
REGENT.

Approach'd the charged cannon, in the act
Do as you will ; we deiga not bid you twice.

To waken its dread slumbers.- Now't is out;

He draws his sword, and rushes towards me,
[ The Regent,' Ross, SUTHERLAND,‘Lennox,
MAXWELL, etc., enter the Tent. The rest

Who will nor seek nor shun him.
remain grouped about the Stage..

Enter GORDON, withheld by VIPONT.
GORDON (observing swinton)...
That helmetless old knight, his giant stature,

Hold, for the sake of Heaven !-0, for the sake
His awful accents of rebuke and wisdom,

Of your dear country, hold!-Has Swinton slain your Have caught my fancy strangely. He doth seem

father, Like to some visiou'd form which I have dream'd of, And must you, therefore, be yourself a parricide, But never saw with waking eyes till now.

And stand recorded as the selfish traitor, * I will accost him.

Who, in fier hour of need, his country's cause

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Deserts, that he may wreak a private wrong?ook to yon banner-That is Scotland's standard; dok to the Regent-he is Scotland's general; ook to the English--they are Scotland's foemen! lethink thee, then, thou art a son of Scotland, Ind thiok on nought beside. .

GORDON. le bath come here to brave me!-Off!-Unhand me!Thou canst not be my father's ancient friend, That stand'st 'twixt me and him who slew my father.

VIPONT. Pou know not Swinton. Scarce one passing thought Of his high mind was with you; now, his soul s fixed on this day's battle. You might slay him It unawares before he saw your blade drawn.stand still, and watch him close. . Enter Maxwell from the Tent.

SWINTON:
low go our councils, Maxwell, may I ask?

MAXWELL
As wild, as if the very wind and sea
With every breeze and every billow bauled
For their precedence.

SWINTON. . . .
Most sure they are possess'd! Some evil spirit,
To mock their valour, robs them of discretion.
Fre, fic, opon't!- that Dunfermline's tomb
Could render up the Bruce! that Spain's red shore
Could give us back the good Lord James of Douglas!
Or that fierce Randolph, with his voice of terror,.,.
Were here, to awe these brawlers to submission!

VIPONT (tu GORDON).
Thou hast perused him at more leisure now.

GORDON.
I see the giant form which all men speak of.,
The stately port—but not the sullen eye,
Not the blood-thirsty look, that should belong.
To him that made me orphan. I shall need
To name my father twice ere I can strike *
At such gray hairs, and face of such command;
Yet my hand clenches on my falchion-hilt,
lo token he shall die.

viponr.
Need I again remind you, that the place
Permits not private quarrel ?

GORDON.
I'm calm, I will not seek-nay, I will shun it-
And yet methinks that such debate's the fashion.
You've heard how taunts, reproaches, and the lie
The lie itself, hath flown from mouth to mouth;
As if a band of peasants were disputing
About a foot-ball match, rather than chiefs
Were ordering a battle. I am young,
And lack experience ; tell me, brave De Vipont,
Is such the fashion of your wars in Palestine?

VIPONT.
Such it at times hath been; and then the Cross
Hath sunk before the Crescent. Heaven's cause
Won as not victory where wisdom was not.
Lehold yon English host come slowly on,
With equal front, rank marsball'd upon rank,
As if one spirit ruled one moving body;
The leaders, in their places, each prepared
To charge, support, and rally, as the fortune
Of changeful battle needs :-then look on ours,

Broken, disjointed, as the tumbling šarges
Which the winds wake at random. Look on both,
And dread the issue;- yet there might be succour.

GORDON.
We're fearfully o'ermatch'd in discipline;
So even my inexperienced eye can judge.
What succour save in Heaven?

VIPONT.
Heaven acts by human means. The artist's skill
Supplies in war, as in mechanic crafts,
Deficiency of tools. There's courage, wisdom, -
And skill enough, live in one leader here,
As, flung into the balance, might avail
To counterpoise the odds 'twixt that ruled host
And our wild multitude.- I must not name him,

GORDON. ".
I guess, but dare not ask. ---What band is yonder,
Arranged as closely as the English discipline i
llath inarshalld their best files ? .

VIPONT.
Know'st thou not the pennon?
One day, perhaps, thou'lt see it all too closely. -
It is Sir Alån Swinton's.

GORDON.
These, then, are bis, - the relics of his power;
Yet worth an host of ordinary men.-
And I must slay my country's sagest leader,
And crush by numbers that determined handful,
When most my country needs their practised aid,
Or men will say, « There goes degenerate Gordon;
His father's blood is on the Swinton's sword,
And lis is in his scabbard!» . ii (Muses.

VIPONT (apart).
Bigh blood and mettle, mix'd with early wisdom,
Sparkle in this brave youth. If he survive
This evil-omen'd day, I pawn my word,
Tlat, in the ruin which I now forebode,
Scotland has treasure left.-How close he eyes
Each look and step of Swinton! Is it hate,
*Or is it admiration, or are both . .
Commingled strangely in that steady gaze? .

(Swinton and MAXWELL return from the
bottom of the Stage.

MAXWELL: The storm is laid at length amongst these counsellors;- 1 See, they come forth.

Swiston.

And it is more than time; For I can mark the van-guard archery l landling their quivers--bending up their bows.

Enter the Regent and Scottish Lords.

A REGENT.
Thus shall it be then, since we may no better,
Aod, since no lord will yield one jot of way
To this bigh argency, or give the van-guard
Up to another's guidance, we will abide them
Even on this bent; and as our troops are rank'd,
So shall they meet the foc. Chief, nor thane,
Nor voble, can complain of the precedence
Which chance has thus assign'd him..
SWINTON (apart).

O, sage discipline That teaves to chance the marshalling of a batde!

* GORDON. Move him to speech, De Vipont.

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