"The Stag At Eve Had Drunk His Fill"

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Context: Sir Walter Scott seems to have felt, like Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) later, that certain places cry out for appropriate actions. Scott felt this mood very strongly in the wild countryside around Loch Katrine which inspired him to write The Lady of the Lake. Often in this poem the action is secondary to descriptions of majestic nature. Canto I opens by setting a mood of peace with a description of the evening ritual of the great red deer which will be driven in the coming dawn in a frantic hunt through the wild Trossachs valley:

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The stag at eve had drunk his fill,Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,And deep his midnight lair had madeIn lone Glenartney's hazel shade.

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