The Lord Of Clas

The Lord of Clas to his hunting is gone,

Over plain and sedgy moor;

The glare of his bridle bit has shone

On the heights of wild Benmore.

Why does he stay away from hound?

Nor urge the fervid chase?

Where is the shrill blast of his bugle sound?

And the bloom of his radiant face?

The Lord of Clas has found other game

Than the buck and timi

His heart is warm'd by other flame,

His eyes with love-light glow.

On the mountain side a damsel he met

Collecting flowers wild;

Her eyes like diamonds were set,

And modest as a child.

Fair was her face, and lovely to see

Her form of slender mould,

Her dark hair waved in tresses free

On shoulders arch and bold.

The Lord of Clas did blush and sigh

When the lovely maid he saw;

He stoutly tried to pass her by;

His bridle rein did draw.

But his heart quick flutter'd in his breast,

The rein fell from his hand,

In accents weak the maid address'd,

While trembling did he stand.

"Fair lady, may I ask your name?

And what your purpose here?

From what bright homestead far you came?

And is your guardian near?"

Answer'd the maid with haughty mien,

That show'd her high estate:

"I know not, sir, why you should glean

Such knowledge as you prate.

I ask'd not your name, or whence you came?

Nor on you deign'd a look;

Wherefore should you my wrath inflame,

By taking me to book?"

The chieftain high was now subdu'd,

And lower'd was his crest;

With deep humility imbued

The maid he thus address'd:

"My lady fair, your beauteous mien

My heart has deep impress'd;

Altho' I hear the chase so keen,

My thoughts with you do rest.

I did essay to pass your charms,

And spurr'd my steed to flight,

But your dazzling beauty numb'd my arms,

And chain'd me to your sight.

If I may humbly crave your love,

I'll tell you my degree:

I am the Lord of yonder grove

And of this mountain free.

These broad lands will your dowry be,

If you my suit receive,

And ye shall urge the chase with me

From morn to winter eve."

The maid's reply was firm, yet bland,

And in a calmer mood:

"I thank you, sir, for your offer'd hand,

With dowry large and good.

I thank you for all your praises fair,

And for your gallant grace;

Had we but met an earlier year

I might be Lady Clas.

Behold this ring on my finger worn--

A token of plighted love;

Lo, he who plac'd it there this morn

Sits on yon cairn above."

The chieftain look'd to the lonely cairn

And saw the Knight of Lleyn!

Like mountain deer he flew o'er the sarn,

And there no more was seen!