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My name is Norval. On the Grampian hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain;
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I have heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord;
And heaven soon granted what my sire denied.
This moon, which rose last night round as my shield,
Had not yet filled her horns, when, by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians from the hills
Rushed like a torrent down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took ; then hasted to my friends,
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought?and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn
An arrow from my bow had pierced their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and, having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps?
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I passed these towers;
And, heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
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Probable period of publication:
1880-1900 shelfmark: RB.m.143(023)
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