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Full text of "The poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, bart., containing Lay of the last ministrel, Marmion, Lady of the lake, Don Roderick, Rokeby, Ballads, lyrics, and songs. With a life of the author"

LIBRARY 

Univ -/sity of 
c^uorn 
Irvine 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

IRVINE 

IN MEMORY OF 

Gerald Sherman 






&^ 




PR 

5305 



POETICAL WORKS 



SIR ffALTEK SCOTT, BART., 



LAV OF THE LAST MINSTREL, MARMION, LADY OK THB 

LAKE, DON RODERICK, ROKEbY, BALLADS, 

LYRICS, AND SONGS. 



WITH A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR. 



NEW YORK: 

D. APPLETON & CO., 200 BROADWAY. 
PHILADELPHIA: 

GEORGE S. APPLETON, 148 CHESTNUT ST- 
MDCCCXLIII. 



CONTENTS. 



IfUIom OF TB AOTHOB, ... . T 

POEM*. 

Lay of the Last Minstrel, .... 1 

Murm: in, ....... W 

Lady of the Lake, 267 

Don Roderick, 43 

Rolteby, 433 

BAZ^ADI AND LYBICAL PIKCXS. 

Glemftnlas, or Lord Ronald's Coronach, . . . 971 

Tne Eve of Saint John, ..... 978 

Cadynw Custle, 5Bt 

The Grey Brother, ..... 590 

Thomas the Rhymer, Part I. .... 565 

Part II. altered from ancient 

prophecies, ... 598 

Part III. modem, . . .600 

The Fire Kin*, . .... 606 

Frederick and Alice, . . . . . .609 

The WUd Huntsman, ..... 12 

ECHO*. 

War Song of the Royal Edinburgh Light Dragoons, , 618 

The Norman Horse Shoe, .... 619 

The Dying Bard, G2I 

The Maid of Toro, 628 



MEMOIR OP THE AUTHOR, 



SIR WALTER SCOTT -was one of the sons of Walter 
Scott Esq., writer to the signet, by Anne, daughter 
of Dr John Rutherford, professor of the practice of 
medicine, in the university of Edinburgh; and was 
born in that city, on the fifteenth of August, 1771, 
being the third of a family consisting of six sons and 
one daughter. His paternal grandfather, Mr Robert 
Scott, fanner at Sandyknow, m the vicinity of Smail- 
holm Tower, in Roxburghshire was the son ot Mr 
Walter Scott, a younger son of Walter Scott ot Rae- 
burn third son of Sir William Scott of Harden. 

The above-mentioned Walter lived at the time of 
the restoration, and embraced the tenets of quaker- 
ism but for this he endured no little persecution, 
both from Presbyterian and Episcopalian Walter, 
the second son of this gentleman, and father to the 
novelist's grandfather, was so zealous a Jacobite that 
he made a vow never to shave his beard till the 
exiled house of Stuart should be restored, whence he 
acquired the name of Beardie. 

Dr John Rutherford, maternal grandfather to the 
Eubject of this memoir, and one of the pupils of Boer- 
haave, was the first professor of the practice of phy- 
sic in the university of Edinburgh, to which office he 
was elected in 1727, and which he resigned in ITbb, 
in favour of the celebrated Dr John Gregory. His 



MEMOIR OP 

wife, the maternal grandmother of Sir Walter, was 
Jean Svrinton, daughter of Swinton of Swinton, in 
Berwickshire, one of the oldest families in Scotland, 
and at one period very powerful. Sir Walter has in- 
troduced a chivalric representative of this race into 
his drama of " Halidon Hill." 

Existence opened upon the author of Waverley, in 
one of the duskiest parts of the northern capital, which 
was the head of the College Wynd, a narrow alley 
leading from the Cowgate to the gate of the college ; 
and before he was two years old, he received a fall 
out of the arms of a careless nurse, which injured his 
right foot, and rendered him lame for life ; but this 
accident did not otherwise affect his health or general 
activity. His mother, who had a taste for poetry, and 
was intimately acquainted with the poets of her day, 
particularly Ramsay, Blacklock, Beattie, and Burns, 
is said to have shown a mother's fondness when the 
boy made his first attempt at verse. Before Sir 
Walter could receive any impressions from the roman- 
tic scenery of the old town of Edinburgh, he was re- 
moved, on account of the delicacy of his health, to 
the country, and lived for a considerable period under 
the charge of his paternal grandfather at Sandyknow. 
This farm is situate upon a rising ground, near the 
bottom of Leader Water, and overlooks a large part 
of the vale of Tweed. In the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the farm-house, upon a rocky foundation, 
stood the Border fortlet called Smailholm Tower, 
which possessed many features to attract the attention 
of the young poet. At the " evening fire" of Sandy- 
know also, Sir Walter learned much of that Border 
lore which he afterward 1 ) m-ought, up in LIB fictions. 
_ After having undergone the usual routine of juve- 
nile instruction, Sir Walter became a pupil in the 
High School of Edinburgh ; but as a scholar, he ap- 
pears to have been by no means remarkable for pro- 
ficiency. There is his own authority for saying, that 
even in the exercise of metrical translation, he fell 
far short of some of his companions ; although others 
pretend that this was a department in which he al- 
ways manifested a superiority. There is one anec- 
dote, however, worth preserving, connected -with this 



THE AUTHOR. VU 

period. It is said, that Burns, -while at Professor 
Ferguson's one day, was struck by some lines attach- 
ed to a print of a soldier dying in the snow. He in- 
quired by whom they were written and none of the 
company having returned answer, after a pause, the 
youthful poet replied, " They are by Langhorne." 
Burns fixed his large bright eyes on the boy, and 
striding up to him, said, " Jt is no common course of 
reading which has taught you this : this lad will be 
heard of yet." 

With regard to Sir Walter's inclination for ficti- 
tious story, we have his own testimony, at the distance 
of nearly half a century, for this habit of his early 
youth : " I must refer to a very early period of my 
life, were I to point out my first achievements as a 
tale-teller; but I believe some of my old school-fel- 
lows can still bear witness that I had a distinguished 
character for that talent, at a time when the ap- 
plause of my companions was my recompense for the 
disgraces and punishments which the future romance- 
wnter incurred for being idle himself, and keeping 
others idle, during hours that should have been em- 
ployed on our tasks. The chief enjoyment of my 
holidays was to escape with a chosen friend, who had 
the same taste w ith myself, and alternately to recite 
to each other such wild adventures as we were able 
to devise. We told, each in turn, interminable 
tales of knight-errantry, and battles, and enchant- 
ments, which were continued from one day to another 
as opportunity offered, without our ever thinking of 
bringing them to a conclusion. As we observed a 
strict secrecy on the subject of this intercourse, it ac- 
quired all the character of concealed pleasure : and 
we used to select for the scenes of our indulgence, 
long walks through the solitary and romantic en- 
virons of Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, Braid Hills, 
and similar places in the vicinity of Edinburgh ; and 
the recollection of those holidays still forms an oasis 
in the pilgrimage which I have to look back upon." 

After having been two years under the rector of 
the High School, Sir Walter entered himself, in 1783, 
for the Humanity or Latin class in the university of 
Edinburgh, under Professor Hill, and the Greek class 



under Professor Dalzell ; and for the latter, once 
more, in 1784. But the only other class for which 
he seems to have matriculated at the College, was 
that of Logic, under Professor Bruce, in 1785. ' Al- 
though he may perhaps have attended other classes 
without matriculation, there is reason to believe that 
his irregular health produced a corresponding irregu- 
larity in his academical studies. The result, it is to 
be feared, was, that he entered life much in the con- 
dition of his illustrious prototype, the bard of Avon 
that is, "with a little Latin'and less Greek." He 
had now given up the character of a student, with the 
intention of preparing himself for the bar, when he 
was overtaken by a severe illness; an account of 
which, and its important effects on his future character 
and course, he has thus given in the autobiographical 
chapter formerly referred to : 

" When boyhood advancing into youth required 
more serious studies and graver cares, :. long illness 
threw me back on the kingdom of fiction, as if it were 
by a species of fatality. My indisposition arose, in 
part at least, from my having broken a blood-vessel ; 
and motion and speech were for a long time pronoun- 
ced positively dangerous. For several weeks I was 
confined strictly to bed, during which time I was 
not allowed to speak above a whisper, to eat more 
than a spoonful or two of boiled rice, or to have more 
covering than one thin counterpane. When the 
reader is ^informed that I was at this time a growing 
youth, with the spirits, appetite, and impatience ot 
fifteen, and suffered, of course, greatly under this 
severe regimen, which the repeated return of my dis- 
order rendered indispensable, he will not be surprised 
that I was abandoned to my own discretion, so far 
as reading (my almost sole amusement) was concern- 
ed, and still less so, that I abused the indulgence 
which left my time so much at my own disposal. 

'I There was at this time a circulating library at 
Edinburgh, founded, I believe, by the celebrated 
Allan Ramsay, which, besides containing a most re- 
spectable collection of books of every description, was, 
as might have been expected, peculiarly rich in works 
of fiction. It exhibited specimens of every kind, from 



THE AUTHOR. 

omances of chivalry, and the ponderous folios of 
and Cassandra, down to the mort approved 
WOI-KS of later times. I was plunged into this great 
ocean of reading without compass or pilot ; and i 
when some on&ad the charity to play at chess with 
roe I was allowed to do nothing save read, from 
morning to night. I was, in kindness and pity which 
jperW erroneous, however natural, permitted to 
select my subjects of study at my own pleasure, upon 
he si principle that the humours of childrenare 
indulged to keep them out of mischief. As my taste 
and appetite were gratified in nothing else, I indem- 
nified myself by becoming a glutton of books. Ac- 
cordingly, I believe I read dmost all the ^.romances, 
old plavs, and epic poetry, in that formidable collec- 
tion and no doubt was unconsciously amassing ma. 
terials for the task in which it has been my lot to be 

S '^At thT&ame time I did not in all respects abuse 
the license permitted me. Familiar acquaintance 
with the specious miracles of fiction brought with it 
Tome degree of satiety, and I began by degrees to 
eek in histories, memoirs, voyages and trve and 
the like, events nearly as wonderfu u .those *nic 
were the work of the imagination, with the additional 
Advantage that they were, at least, in a great measure 
true. The lapse of nearly two years, during which I 
was left to the service of my own free will, was fol- 
lowed by a temporary residence m the country where 
I wa again very lonely, but for the amusement which 
I derived fromagooi though oU-&.Honed library. 
The va<me and wild use which I made of this advan- 
tage I Lnnot describe better than by referring my 
reader to the desultory studies of Waverley in a simi- 
lar situation : the passages concerning whosejeadmg 
were imitated from recollections of my own. 

His two years' residence in the country completely 
restored his health, and as it was necessary to pursue 
his studies for the bar, he attended the lectures of 
professor Dick on civil law, in the college, and per- 
formed the duties of a writer's apprentice under _his 
father. In alluding to this period he says: 
severe studies necessary to render me tit for my pro- 
fession, occupied the greatest part of my time, and fc 



MEMOIR OP 



society of my friends and companions, who wero 
about to enter life along with me, filled up the inter- 
val with the usual amusements of young men. I was 
in a situation which rendered serious labour indispen- 
sable ; for, neither possessing, on the one hand, any 
of those peculiar advantages which are supposed to 
favour a hasty advance in the profession of the law 
nor being on the other hand exposed to unusual ob- 
stacles to interrupt my progress, I might reasonably 
expect to succeed according to the greater or less de- 
gree of trouble which I should take to qualify myself 
as a pleader." 

On the 10th of July, 1792, when just on the point 
of completing his twenty-first year, he was called to 
the bar as an advocate, and enabled, by the affluence 
of his father, to begin life in an elegant house in a 
fashionable part of the town ; but it was not his lot 
to acquire either wealth or distinction at the bar. 
The truth is, his mind was not yet emancipated from 
that enthusiastic pursuit of knowledge which had dis- 
tinguished his youth. His necessities, were not so 
great as to make an exclusive application to his pro- 
fession imperative ; and he therefore seemed destined 
to join, what a sarcastic barrister has termed, " the 
ranks of the gentlemen who are not anxious for busi- 
ness ' Although he could speak readily and fluently 
at the bar, his intellect was not at all of a forensic 
cast. He appeared to be too much of the abstract 
and unworldly scholar, to assume readily the habits of 
an adroit pleader ; and, even although he had been 
perfectly competent to the duties, it is a question if 
his external aspect and general reputation would have 
permitted the generality of agents to intrust them to 
his hands. 

At the time when Sir Walter entered public life 
almost all the respectable part of the community were' 
indignant at the hostile menaces of France ; and nu- 
merous bodies of volunteer militia were consequently 
formed to meet the threatened invasion. In the be- 
ginning of 1797, the gentlemen of Mid- Lothian imi- 
tated the example, by imbodying themselves in a 
cavalry corps, under the name of the Royal Mid- 
Lothian Regiment of Cavalry ; and Mr Walter Scott 
had the honour to be appointed its adjutant, for which 



THE AUTHOR. 

nffice his lameness was considered no bar He was 
very zeaTous officer, and highly popular m the regt- 
Int on account of his extreme f^^L"* 
Bowers of social entertainment; and his appointment 
an intimacy with the most considerable man 



of his life, he has thus given an account of the cir- 



US of 

" 



, 

.higher degree of repuM.on th, 

eonHrmed, ld now lo* h,s lepot.tioi 

ough h .till li;.dMl,,,p.*rf 



Elt. the n. direct th. 

S a cis was formed, of six or seven mtimate 
Kds, who proposed to make themselves acquainted 
'vith the GerWn language. They were m the hab^ 
of living much together, and the time they spent in 
thi stuly was felt as a period of great amusement 
One source of this diversion was the ^'"-* 
of their number, the present author, who ad vers 
the necessary toils of grammar and its rules, was 11 



ill MEMOIR OF 

the practice of fighting his way to the knowledge of 
the German by his acquaintance with the Scottish 
and Anglo-Saxon dialects, and, of course, frequently 
committing blunders, which were not lost on his more 
accurate and more studious companions." 

About this period that is, in the year 1793 or 
1794 Mrs Barbauld paid a visit to Edinburgh. She 
lived in the house of Professor Dugald Stewart, and 
one evening she astonished the family circle to a great 
degree, by reading aloud a translation of Burger's 
"Lenore, 1 ' executed by Mr Taylor of Norwich. A 
friend who had heard it, told Sir Walter what im- 
pression the recitation had occasioned, and repeated 
to him the rude but striking passage, descriptive 01 
the supernatural speed of the ghostly horseman and 
his mistress : 

"Tramp, tramp, along the land they rode, 

Splash, splosh, alunjf the sea, 

Hurra, the dead can rule apace, 

Dost fear to ride with uie ?" 

Inspired with a strong desire to see the original, Sir 
Walter, with great difficulty, obtained a copy from 
Germany, through the kind offices of Mrs Scott of 
Harden, who was a German by birth. " The per- 
usal," says Sir Walter, " rather exceeded than disap- 
pointed the expectations which the report of Mr 
Stewart's family had induced me to form ; and the 
book had only been a few hours in my possession, 
when I found myself giving an animated account of 
the poem to a friend, and rashly added a promise to 
furnish a copy in English ballad verse. I well recol- 
lect that I began my task after supper, and finished 
it about daybieak the next morning, (it consists of 
sixty-six stanzas,) by which time the ideas which the 
task had a tendency to summon up were rather of an 
uncomfortable character." 

The young poet was so much pleased with his suc- 
cess on this occasion, as to attempt a few more trans- 
lations from Burger, particularly of the poem entitled 
"Der Wilde Jager." "In the course of a few 
weeks," says he, " my own vanity, and the favourable 
opinion of my friends, interested by the revival of a 
species of poetry, containing a germ of popularity, of 
which, perhaps, they were not themselves aware, 



THE AUTHOR. illl 

urged me to the decisive step of sending a selection, 
at least, of my translations to the press, to save the 
numerous applications which were made for copies. 
When was an author deaf to such a recommendation ? 
In 1796, the present author was prevailed on, by re- 
quest of friends, to indulge his own vanity, hy publish- 
-ing the translation of * Lenore,* with that of ' The 

W ild Huntsman,' in a thin quarto The fate 

of this, my first publication, was by no means flatter- 
ing. I distributed so many copies among my friends, 
as materially to interfere with the sale ; and the num- 
ber of translations which appeared in England about 
the same time, including that of Mr Taylor, to whom 
I had been so much indebted, and which was pub- 
lished in the Monthly Magazine, were sufficient to 

exclude a provincial writer from competition 

In a word, my adventure proved a dead loss ; and a 
great part of the edition was condemned to the ser- 
vice of the trunkmaker." This failure, instead of 
disposing the new-fledged bard to retire from the field 
of letters, rather tempted him to proceed, in order 
" to show the world that it had neglected something 
worth notice." He pursued the German language 
keenly, procured more books in that language from 
their native country, and extended his views to the 
dramatic authors, BO that early in 1799, he published 
" Goetz of Berlichingen, a tragedy translated from 
Goethe." 

The next efforts of Sir Walter Scott were of higher 
promise and power, but still they wer as much anti- 
quarian as poetical ; we allude to his " Minstrelsy of 
the Scottish Border," and his " Sir Tristrem." The 
vein of poetry was by this time discovered, and the 
request of Monk Lewis to contribute to his Tales of 
Wonder, soon determined Scott's career. " Glenfin- 
las," " The Baron of Smaylhome," and " The Fire- 
King," were the gems of the book ; and poor Lewis, 
then at the head of the ballad school of diablerie, 
found himself in the predicament of a sorcerer who 
has, evoked a demon so much more powerful than 
himself as to deprive him of his wand. From that 
period the destiny of Sir Walter Scott was fixed he 
Bet up, to use his own words, like a hawker, on the 
strength of a couple of ballads. 



On Christmas eve, 1797, Sir Walter -was married 
to Miss Margaret Carpenter, daughter of the deceased 
John Carpenter, Esq., of the city of Lyons, a gentle- 
man who had fallen a victim to the excesses of tlie 
French revolution. Soon after his marriage, he 
established himself, during the vacations, in a de- 
lightful retreat at Laswade, on the hanks of the 
Esk, about five miles to the south of Edinburgh. 

For some years before the end of the century, Sir 
Walter had been in the habit of making, periodically, 
what he called " raids " into Liddesdale, for the pur- 
pose of collecting the ballad poetry of that romantic 
and most primitive district. He travelled thither, 
from Roxburghshire, in an old gig, which also con- 
tained his early friend and local guide, Mr Robert 
Shortreed of Jedburgh, sheriff-substitute of the county. 
Introduced by this gentleman, Sir Walter paid visits 
to many of the farmers and small proprietors, among 
whom, or among their retainers, he picked up several 
capital specimens of the popular poetry of the district, 
descriptive of adventures of renown which took place 
in the days of yore, besides impressing his mind with 
that perception of the charade: ol he people, which 
he afterwards imbodied in his Dandle IHnmont. Mr 
Shortreed, who was a most intelligent person, used 
to relate an amusing anecdote, illustrative of the shv 
manners of this sequestered race. On visiting a par- 
ticular person, whose name and place of residence 
are sufficiently indicated by his usual designation of 
"Willie o 1 Milburn," the honest farmer was from 
home, but returned while Sir Walter was tying up 
his horse in the stable. On being told by Mr SEort- 
reed that an Edinburgh advocate was come to see 
him, he expressed great alarm, and even terror as to 
the character of his visitor, the old fear of the law 
being still so very rife in Liddesdale as even to ex- 
tend to the simple person of any of its administra- 
tors. What idea Willie had formed of an Edinburgh 
barrister cannot exactly be denned; but, having 
gone out to reconnoitre, he soon after came back with 
a countenance of so mirthful a cast as evidently be- 
spoke a relieved mind. " Is yon the advocate ?" he 
inquired of Mr Shortreed. " Yes, Willie," answered 
that gentleman. " Deil o' me's feared for them 



THE AUTHOR. xv 

then," cried the farmer; "yens just a chield like 
oursells !" , . 

It was not alone necessary on such occasions to 
-write down old ballads from recitation, but to store 
up tbe materials of notes by which the ballads them- 
selves might be illustrated. On this account Scott 
visited many scenes alluded to in the metrical narra- 
tives and opened his ear to all the local anecdotes and 
legends which were handed down by the peasantry 
He had a most peculiar, and even mysterious mode of 
committing these to memory. He used neither pen- 
cil nor pen, but seizing upon any twig or piece of 
wood which he could tind, marked it by means of a 
cla*p-knife, with various notches, representing parti- 
cular ideas in his own mind ; and these afterwards 
were strung up before him in his study at home, like 
the nick-sticks over a baker's desk, or the string-al- 
phabet of a blind man. He seemed to have invented 
this algebraic system of memorandum-making ior 
his own use ; and, to all appearance, was as conver- 
sant with its mysteries as he could be with the more 
common accomplishment of writing. When his own 
pockets were inconveniently stuffed with notes he 
would request Mr Shortreed to take charge of a few ; 
and often that gentleman has discharged as much 
timber from his various integuments, as, to use his 
own phrase, quoted from Burns, might have mended 
a mill The truth is, Sir Walter was blessed with a 
memory of extraordinary power, so that a very slight 
notation was necessary to bring to his recollection 
anything he had ever heard. The collections of Scott 
in Liddesdale, joined to various contributions from 
reciters in other parts of the country, formed his nrst 
publication of note, the Minstrelsy of the Scottish 
Border. This work which was issued in 1802, dis- 
played a vast quantity of curious and abstruse learn- 
ing and in particular, a most intimate acquaintance 
with a district of Scotland which had hitherto re- 
ceived hardly any attention either from the historian 
or the antiquary. Previous to this period in Decem- 
ber 1799 he had been appointed sheriff of Selkirk- 
shire, an office which rendered it necessary that he 
should reside a certain part of the year in Selkirk- 
ehire and he therefore engaged the house of Asnie- 



xvi MEMOIR OF 

steil, on the banks of the Tweed, which continued to 
be his country residence till he removed to Abbots- 
ford. In 1804, Mr Scott increased his reputation as 
a luerary antiquary, by publishing the ancient min- 
strel tale of " Sir Tribtrem," which he showed, in a 
learned disquisition, to have been composed by 
Thomas of Ercildoune, commonly called Thomas the 
Rhymer, who flourished in the thirteenth century. 
By this publication, it was established that the ear- 
liest existing poem in the English language was writ- 
ten by a native of the Lowlands of Scotland. 

But for the ensuing circumstances of the poet's 
life, it will be best to resort to his own narrative, 
introductory to a late edition of the Lay of the Last 
Minstrel. 

The history of the rise and progress of this poem, 
the author has himself thus related : 

"The lovely young countess of Dalkeith. after- 
wards Harriet, duchess of Buccleuch, had come to 
the land of her husband, with the desire of making 
herself acquainted with its traditions and customs. 
She soon heard enough of Border lore : among others, 
an aged gentleman of property, near Langholm, (Mr 
Stoddart,) communicated to her ladyship the story of 
Gilpin Homer, a tradition in which the narrator, 
and many more of that county, were firm believers. 
The young countess, much delighted with the legend, 
and the gravity and full confidence with which it was 
told, enjoined it on me as a task to compose a ballad 
en the subject. Of course, to hear was to obey ; and 
thus the goblin story, objected to by several critics 
as an excrescence upon the poem, was in fact, the oc- 
casion of its being written. 

" It was, to the best of my recollection, more than 
a year after Mr Stoddart's visit, that, by way of ex- 
periment, I composed the first two or three stanzas 
of ' The Lay of the Last Minstrel. 1 I was shortly 
afterwards visited by two intimate friends, whom I 
was in the habit of consulting on my attempts at com- 
position, having equal confidence in their sound taste 
and friendly sincerity. In this specimen I had. in 
the phrase of the Highland servant, packed all that 
was my own, at least, for I had also included a line 
of invocation, a little softened, from Coleridge 



THE AUTHOR, XTO 

1 Mary, mother, shield us well.' 

As neither of my friends said much to me on the 
subject of the stanzas I showed them before their de- 
parture, I had no doubt that their disgust had been 
greater than their good nature chose to express. 
Looking upon them, therefore, as a failure, I threw 
the manuscript into the fire, and thought as little 
more as I could of the matter. Some time after- 
wards, I met one of my two counsellors, who inquired, 
with considerable apneaiance of interest, about the 
progress of the romance I had commenced, and was 
greatly surprised at learning its fate. He confessed 
that neither he nor our mutud friend had been at 
first able to give a precise opinion on a poem so much 
out of the common road ; but that as they walked 
home together to the city, they had talked much on 
the subject, and the result was an earnest desire that 
I would proceed with the composition. 

" The poem, being once licensed by the critics as 
fit for the market, was soon finished, proceeding at 
about the rate of a canto per week. There was, in- 
deed, little occasion for pause or hesitation, when a 
troublesome rhyme might be accommodated by an al- 
teration of the stanza, or where an incorrect measure 
might be remedied by a variation of the rhyme. 

" It was finally published in 1805, and may be re- 
garded as the first work in which the writer, who has 
been since so voluminous, laid his claim to be con- 
sidered as an original author." 

During the year 1806, Sir Walter collected his 
oriffinal compositions in the ballad style into a small 
volume, which he published under the title of "Bal- 
lads and Lyrical Pieces." In 1808, he published his 
second poem of magnitude, " Marmion," in which, 
we are informed by himself, he took great pains, and 
was disposed to take still more, if the distresses of a 
friend nad not " rendered it convenient at least, if 
not necessary, to hasten its publication. By good 
fortune," says Sir Walter, " the novelty of the sub- 
ject, and, if 'I may say so, some force and vivacity of 
description, were allowed to atone for many imperfec- 
tions. Thus, the second experiment was, in my case, 
decidedly successful." 



MEMOIR OF 



r 7 C T 

thereafter appeared Th Works 5 John" n^ 
in eighteen flumes, Ulustoted with Not " SSri' 
00, Critical, and Explanatory and a 1 Mfo ^ 
Author, by Walter Scott, Esq^' 'n 1809 hi fl ' I 



Fortunately for all the lovers of poetry, the m, 

th 






the 



THE AUTHOR. 

Its progress was for some time slow ; but, after the 
first two or three months, its popularity increased in 
a degree which must have satisfied the expectations 
of the author, had these been far more sanguine 
than he -jver entertained. To Waverley succeeded, 
in 1815 Guy Mannering; in 1816, the Antiquary, 
and the First Series of the Tales of my Landlord, 
containing the Black Dwarf and Old Mortality ; in 
1818, Rob Roy, and the Second Series of the lalea 
of my Landlord, containing the Heart of Mid- 
Lothian ; and, in 1819, the Third Series of the Tales 
of my Landlord, containing the Bride of Lammer- 
moor and a Legend of Montrose. 

Having now drawn upon public curiosity to the ex- 
tent of tw-lve volumes under two incognitos, he 
thought it necessary to adopt a third ; and, according- 
ly he intended Ivanhoe, which appeared in the be- 
ginning of 1820, to come forth as the first work of a 
new candidate for public favour ; namely, Lawrence 
Templeton. From this design he was diverted by 
the publication of a novel at London, pretending to 
be a fourth series of the Tales of my Landlord. It 
-was therefore judged necessary that Ivauhoe should 
appear as a veritable production of the author of 
Waverley. To it succeeded, in the course of the same 
year the Monastery and the Abbot, which were 
reckoned the least meritorious of all his prose tales. 
In the beginning of the year 1821 appeared Keml- 
worth making twelve volumes, if not written, at 
least published, in as many months. In 1822 he pro- 
duced the Pirate and the Fortunes of Nigel ; in 1823, 
Peveril of the Peak and Quentin Durward; in 1824 
St Ronan's Well and Redgauntlet ; in 1825, Tales of 
the Crusaders; in 1826, Woodstock; in 1827, 
Chronicles of the Canongate, first series ; in 1828 
Chronicles of the Canongate, second series ; in 182J, 
Anne of Geierstein ; and, in 1831, a fourth series of 
Tales of my Landlord, in four volumes, containing 
two tales, respectively entitled, Count Robert of 
Paris, and Castle Dangerous. The whole of these 
novels, except where otherwise specified, consisted of 
three volumes, and, with those formerly enumerated, 
make up the amount of his fictitious prose composi- 
tions to the enormous sum of seventy-four volumes. 



Throughout the whole of his career, hoth as a poet 
and novelist, Sir Walter was in the habit of turning 
aside occasionally to less important avocations of n 
literary character. He was a contributor to the Edin 
burgh Review during the first few years of its exis- 
tence, and to the Quarterly Review he was a con- 
siderable contributor, especially for the last five or 
six_ years of his life, duriug which, that excellent 
periodical was conducted by his son-in-law, Mr Lock- 
hart. To the Supplement of the Sixth Edition of 
.the Encyclopedia Britannica, he contributed the arti- 
cles " Chivalry," " Romance," and the ' Drama " 
In 1814, he edited "The Works of Swift," in 19 
volumes, with a Life of the Author ; a heavy work, 
but which, nevertheless, required a reprint some years 
afterwards. In 1814, Sir Walter gave his name and 
an elaborate introductory essay to a work, entitled 
" Border Antiquities," (two vols., 4to,) which con- 
sisted of engravings of the principal antique objects 
on both sides of the Border, accompanied by descrip- 
tive letter-press. In 1815, he made a tour through 
France and Belgium, visiting the scene of the recent 
victory over Napoleon. The result was a lively tra- 
veller's volume, under the title of "Paul's Letters to 
ais Kinsfolk," and a poem styled " The Field of 
Waterloo." In the same year, he joined with Mr 
Robert Jameson and Mr Henry Weber, in composing 
quarto on Icelandic Antiquities. In 1819, he pub- 
lished " An Account of the Regalia of Scotland," and 
undertook to furnish the letter-press to a second col- 
lection of engravings, under the title of " Provincial 
Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland" 
In 1822, Sir Walter published "Trivial Poems and 
Triolets, by P. Carey, with a Preface ;" and, in 1822 
appeared his dramatic poem of " Halidon Hill." In 
the succeeding year, he contributed a smaller drama- 
tic poem, under the title of " Macduff's Cross," to a 
collection of Miss Joanna Baillie. The sum of his 
remaining poetical works may here be made up by 
adding "The Doom of Devorgoil," and "The Auchin- 
Y" e Tragedy," which appeared in one volume in 
1VM. It cannot be said of any of these compositions, 
that they have made a deep impression upon the pub- 
lic. In consequence of these high literary achieve- 



THE AUTHOR. 



tnents, his Majesty George IV. was pleased, in March, 
1K20, to create him a baronet of the United Kingdom, 
bfling the first to whom he had extended that honour 
after his accession to the crown. 

In 1825, Mr Constable having projected a cheap 
series of original and selected works, engaged Sir 
Walter to compose a "Life of Bonaparte." This 
work was in progress, when, in January, 1826, 
Messrs Constable & Co., became bankrupt. For 
many years before, Sir Walter had been in the habit 
of drawing bills, at long dates, upon his publishers,' 
as payment of the copy-right of his works ; and, as he 
occasionally was obliged with their acceptances on 
the strength of works not yet written, he was in some 
measure compelled, by a sense of gratitude, to give 
his name to other obligations, which were incurred 
by the house, for the purpose of taking up Jthe origi- 
nal engagements. Thus, although Sir Walter ap- 
peared to receive payment for his literary labours in 
a very prompt manner, he was pledging away his 
name all the while, for sums perhaps not rauch in- 
ferior in amount to those which he realized ; so that, 
in the long run, he stood engaged to certain banks, 
in behalf of Messrs Constable & Co., for, it is said, 
about 60,000; in other words, a great portion of 
the earnings of his literary life. 

The blow was endured with a magnanimity wor- 
thy of the greatest writer of the age. In the mar- 
riage contract of Sir Walter's eldest son, the estate 
of Abbotsford had been settled upon the young pair, 
and it was therefore beyond the reach of his creditors. 
By this legal arrangement, indeed. Sir Walter had 
hardly any property to present against the immense 
amount of his debts. There was one asset, however, 
which greatly surpassed the worldly goods of most 
debtors his head. " Gentlemen," said he to the claim- 
ants using the Spanish proverb, " time and I against 
two. Let me take this good ally into company, and I 
believe I shall be able to pay you every farthing." He 
further proposed, in their behalf, to insure the sum of 
22,000 upon his life. A trust deed was accordingly 
executed, in which he was considered a member of 
the printing firm of James Ballantyne & Co, ; and it 
appeared that the whole debts, including what must 






MEMOIR OP 



yond vhat was oririnaHv 
autumn of 1826 he faid ^v' 
himself with sev^J ocal ,nd 
saryfor his work On tit 
in the kindest rnanner bvK 
ded Charts X F SS& 
appeared in the sumo 
pro d uced) it is 



, - 

, ^ P ^ ted - In th 

- , ^ *" a ^ Uaint 
' St . n ? 1 detail s neces- 

^ 10 " WaS received 
ftl march ' the 



to the affairs of the 

1 h 



bought by Mr Robert cld P Ilf - 

Archibald Constable & S > a '/ 4^ J ate rm 
pose of republishing the w'hoie ,%' l f r the P 1 "" 
series of volumes illustraW h ? ^f Uniform 
and amended in manS fbt^" f l"^ prefaces ' 
of the author. Sir \V C J ^ 6 fin ' shm g touchea 

^ I** the profit s, y 



THE AUTHOR. 



xxiii 



aid This was a most fortunate design. The new 
edition began to appear in June, 1829; and such was 
its adaptation-to the public convenience, and the 
eagerness of all ranks of people to contribute towards 
the reconstruction of the author's fortunes, that the 
sale soon reached an average of twenty-three thou- 
sand copies, which is a greater sale than any previous 
publication had ever obtained. ,,.,,,,, fi L 

In November, 1828, Sir Walter published the first 
part of a juvenile history of Scotland, under the title 
of " Tales of a Grandfather," being addressed to his 
grandchild, John Hugh Lockhart, whom he typified 
under the appellation of Hugh Littleiohn, Esq In 

1829 appeared the second, and, m 1830, the third 
and concluding series of this charming book In 

1830 he also contributed a graver history ot bcotland, 
in two volumes, to the periodical work called Gard- 
ner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia." In the same year, ap- 
peared his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, 
as a volume of Mr Murray's " Family Library. The 
profits of these various publications, but especially 
His share of the profits of the new edition of his novels, 
enabled him, towards the end of the year 1830, to 
pay a dividend of three shillings in the pound which, 
but for the accumulation of interest, would hav e re- 
duced his debts to nearly one-half. Of 54,000 which 
had now been paid, all except six or seven thousand 
had been produced by his own literary labours a act 
which fixes the revenue of his intellect for the last 
four or five years at nearly 10,000 a-year. Besides 
this sum, Sir Walter had also paid up the premium 
of the policy upon his life, which as already men- 
tioned, secured zpost obit interest of 22,000 to his 
creditors. .. 

During the succeeding winter, symptoms ot para- 
lysis a disease hereditary in his family, began to be 
manifested, which became gradually more violent. In 
the following autumn, his physicians recommended a 
residence in Italy, as a means of delaying the ap- 
proaches of his illness; and, by the kind offices of Capt. 
Basil Hall, permission was obtained for him to sail in 
his Majesty's ship, the Barham, which was then fatting 
out for Malta. He set sail from Portsmouth, on the 
27th of October, and visited Malta, Naples, and Rome. 



MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR. 



But feeling that his strength was rapidly decaying, 
he determined upon returning to his native country, 
in order that his hones might not be laid (to use the 
language of his own favourite minstrelsy) '' far from 
the Tweed." His journey was performed too rapidly 
for his strength. For six days he travelled seventeen 
hours a-day. The consequence was, that, in passing 
down the Rhine, he experienced a severe attack of 
his malady, which produced complete insensibility, 
and would have inevitably carried him off, but for the 
presence of mind of his servant, who bled him profusely. 
On his arrival in London, he ordered his journey to be 
resumed ; and, on Saturday, July 7th, 1832 he departed 
by sea to Scotland, reached Abbotsford, and seemed 
revived. The cloud, however, gradually descended 
upon him ; he grew weaker and weaker and, on 
the 21st of September, 1832, he died amidst his family, 
without any appearance of pain. 

Of his moral chani"'. r 'he following interesting 
sketch has been given by the pen of Mr Chambers : 
" It is by far the greatest glory of Sir Walter Scott, 
that he shone equally as a good and virtuous man, as 
he did in his capacity of the first fictitious writer of 
the age. His behaviour through life was marked by 
undeviating integrity and purity, insomuch that no 
scandalous whisper was ever yet circulated against 
him. The traditionary recollection of his early life 
is burdened with no stain of any sort. His character 
as a husband and a father, is altogether irreproach- 
able. Indeed, in HO single relation of life does it ap- 
pear that he ever inr ;r-ed the least blame. His 
good sense, and good ieenng united, appear to have 
guided him aright through all the difficulties and 
temptations of life ; and, even as a politician, though 
blamed by many for hi= .-.-elusive sympathy in the 
cause of established rule, he was always acknowledged 
to be too benevolent and too unobtrusive to call for 
severe censure. Along with the most perfect up- 
rightness of conduct, he was characterized by extra- 
ordinary simplicity of manners. He was invariably 
gracious and kind, and it was impossible ever to de- 
tect in his conversation a symptom of his grounding 
the slightest title to consideration upon his literary 
fame, or of his even being conscious of it." 



THE 

LAY 

OF 

THE LAST MINSTREL 



IN SIX CANTOS. 



TO 

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 
CHARLES, EARL OF DALKEITH, 
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

TDK Poem, now offered to tne D "Mic, is intended to illustrate the 
customs and manners, which anciently prevailed on the Borders 
of England and Scotland. The inhabitants, living in a state partly 
pastoral and partly warlike, and combining habits of constant de- 
predation with the influence of a rude spirit of chivalry, were 
often engaged in scenes, highly susceptible of poetical ornament. 
As the description of scenery and manners was more the object of 
the Auibtr, *h&:>a crinKned and regijlar narrative, the plan of 
the ancient metrical romance was adopted, which allows greater 
latitude, in this respect, tb"l wor'd or consistent with the dignity 
of a regular poem. The same nv/del offered other facilities, as it 
permits an occasional s'x'ppn of rao-wire, which, in some de- 
gree, authorizes the changes or rytnm in the text. The machin- 
ery also, adopted from popular belief, would have seemed puerile 
in a Poem, which did not partake of the rudeness of the old 
Ballad, or Metrical Romance. 

For these reasons, the Poem was put into the mouth of an 
ancient Minstrel, the last of the race, who, as he is supposed to 
have survived the Revolution, might have caught somewhat of 
the refinement of modern poetry, without losing the simplicity 
of his original model. The date of the tale itself is about the middle 
of the sixteenth century, when most of the personages actually 
nourished. The time occupied by the action is three nights and 
three days. 



INTRODUCTION. 



THF way was long, the wind was cold, 

The Minstrel was infirm and old ; 

His withered cheek, and tresses gray, 

Seemed to have known a better day; 

The harp, his sole remaining joy, 

Was carried by an orphan boy. 

The last of all the bards was he, 

Who sung of Border chivalry ; 

For, well-a-day ! their date was fled, 

His tuneful brethren all were dead ; 

And he, neglected and oppressed, 

Wished to be with them, and at rest. 

No more, on prancing palfrey borne, 

He carolled, light as lark at morn; 

No longer courted and caressed, 

High placed in hall, a welcome guest, 

He poured, to lord and lady gay, 

The unpremeditated lay : 

Old times were changed, old manners gone ; 

A stranger filled the Stuart's throne ; 

The bigots of the iron time 

Had called his harmless art a crime. 

A wandering harper, scorned and poor, 

He begged his bread from door to door; 

And tuned, to please a peasant's ear, 

The harp, a King had loved to hear. 



* INTRODUCTION. 

He passed where Newark's stately towel 
Looks out from Yarrow's birdien bower: 
The Minstrel gazed with wishful eye 
No humbler resting place was nigh, 
With hesitating step, at last, 
The embattled portal-arch he passed, 
Whose ponderous grate, and massy bar, 
Had oft rolled back the tide of war, 
But never closed the iron door 
Against the desolate and poor. 
The Duchess* marked his weary pace, 
His timid mien, and reverend face, 
And bade her page the menials tell, 
That they should tend the old man well i 
For she had known adversity, 
Though born in such a high degree ; 
In pride of power, in beauty's bloom, 
Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb. 

When kindness had his wants supplied, 
And the old man was gratified, 
Began to rise his minstrel pride : 
And he began to talk anon, 
Of good Earl Francisf, dead and gone, 
And of Earl Walter^, rest him God ! 
A braver ne'er to battle rode : 
And how full many a tale he knew, 
Of the old warriors of Buccleuch ; 
And, would the noble Duchess deign 
To listen to an old man's strain, 
Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak, 
He thought even yet, the sooth to speak, 
That, if she loved the harp to hear, 
He could make music to her ear. 

The humble boon was soon obtained ; 
The Aged Minstrel audience gained. 

Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch and Moiimnuth, representative 
of the ancient lords of liuccleuoh, and widow of the unfortu- 
nate James, Duke of Monmonth, who w;is beheaded in JiiSj. 

t Francis Scott, Karl of Buccleuch, father to the dnci K . 
t Walter, Karl of Buccleuch, grandfather to thu duchess, and a 
celebrated warrior. 



INTRODUCTION. 

But, -when he reached the room of state, 
Where she, with all her ladies, sate, 
Perchance he wished hii hoon denied ; 
For when to tune his harp he tried, 
His trembling hand had lost the ease, 
Which marks security to please ; _ 
And scenes, long past, of joy and pain, 
Came wildering o er his aged brain- 
He tried to tune his harp in vain. 
The pitving Duchess praised its chime, 
And gave him heart, and gave him time, 
Till every string's according glee 
Was blended into harmony. 
And then, he said, he would full fain 

He could recall an ancient strain, 

He never thought to sing again. 

It was not framed for village churles, 

But for high dames and mighty earls ; 

He had plaved it to King Charles the (rood, 

When he kept court at Holyrood ; 

And much he wished, yet feared, to try 

The long forgotten melody. 

Amid the strings his fingers strayed, 
And an uncertain warbling made, 
And oft he shook his hoar)- head. 
But when he caught the measure wild 
The old man raised his face, and smiled; 
And lightened up his faded eye, 
With all a poet's ecstasy! 
In varying cadence, soft or strong, 
He swept the sounding chords along : 
The present scene, the future lot, 
His toils, '.lis wants, were all forgot: 
Cold diffidence, and age's frost, 
In the full tide of song were lost; 
Each blank, in faithless memory void, 
The poet's glowing thought supplied; 
And, while his harp responsive rung, 
'Twas thus the LATEST MINSTREL sung. 



THE 

LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL. 

CANTO FIRST. 



I. 

THE feast was over in Branksome tower,* 

And the Ladye had gone to her secret bo'wer; 

Her bower, that was guarded by word and by spell 

Deadly to hear, and deadly to tell 

Jesu Maria, shield us well! 

No living wight, save the Ladye alone, 

Had dared to cross the threshold stone. 

II. 

The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all; 

Knight, and page, and household squire. 
Loitered through the lofty hall, 

Or crowded round the ample fire. 
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase, 

Lay stretched upon the rushy floor, 

chtf" f^f re 'i K f J * mes L Sir w "l>am Scott, of Bucolench. 

^ttASwaas3j3SjSS 
E|?r?S2ysSfi2M!B 

whUe se"urity'wM e au " ob'Tc"^ "^ "* ^ Buccleuch family, 
riSi!fn !,n tS , !i"'" d u!!^ n ' and its, strength U obvioua fro / mthS 



CANTO 1] LA.T OF THE LAST MINSTREL. 7 

And urged, in dreams, the forest race, 
From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor. 

HI. 

Nine-and-twenty knights of fame 

Hung their shields in Branksome Hall; 
Nine-and-twenty squires of name 

Brought them their steeds from bower to stall; 
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall 
Waited, duteous, on them all : 
They were all knights of mettle true, 
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch. 

IV 

Ten of them were sheathed in steel, 
With belted sword, and spur on heel : 
They quitted not their harness bright, 
Neither by day, nor yet by night: 

They lay down to rest 

With corslet laced, 
Pillowed on buckler cold and hard; 

They carved at the meal 

With gloves of steel, [barred. 

And they drank the red wine through the helmet 

v. 

Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men, 
Waited the beck of the warders ten; 
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight, 
Stood saddled in stable day and night, 
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow, 
And with Jed wood-axe at saddle bow;T 
A hundred more fed free in stall: 
Such was the custom of Branksome HalL 

The ancient barons of Buccleuch, retained in their household, 
at Branksome. a number of gentlemen of their own name, who 

which each possessed for his border service- n 

^^^ 

ed 6, Jedwooi or Jed 



8 LAT OF THE [CANTO I. 

VI. 

Why do these steeds stand ready dight ? 
Why watch these warriors, armed, by night? 
They -watch, to hear the blood-hound haying ; 
They watch, to hea'- tlie war-horn braying; 
To see St George's \>-.l cross streaming, 
To see the midnight beacon gleaming; 

They watch, against Southern force and guile, 
Lest Scroop, or Howard, or Percy's powers, 
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers, 
From Warkworth, or Naworth, or merry Carlisle.* 



Such is the custom of Branksome-Hall. 

Many a valiant knight is here ; 
But he, the Chieftain of them all, 
His sword hangs rusting on the wall, 

Beside his broken spear. 
Bards long shall tell, 
How lord Walter fell !f 
When startled burghers fled, afar,, 
The furies of the Border war ; 
When the streets of high DunedinJ 
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden, 
And heard the slogan's deadly yell 
Then the Chief of Branksome fell. 



Can piety the discord heal, 

Or stanch the death-feud's enmity ? 
Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal, 

Can love of blessed charity? 

* Branksome Castle was continually exposed to the attacks oi 
the English, both from its situation and the restless military dis- 
position of its inhabitants, who were seldom on good terms with 

t Sir Walter Scott, of Buccleueh, succeeded to his grandfather. 
Sir David, in 1492. He was a brave and powerful baron, and 
warden of the west marches of Scotland ; and was slain by the 
Kerrs in the streets of Edinburgh, in 1552. This is the event 
alluded to in Stanza VII.; and the poem is supposed to open 
Bhortlv after it had taken place. 

J Edinburgh. 

The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border olau. 



CANTO !.) t-AST MINSTREL. 

No ! vainly to each holy shrine, 

In mutual pilgrimage, they drew;* 
Implored, in vain, the grace divine 

For chiefs, their own red falchions slew : 
While Cessford owns the rule of Car,f 

While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott, 
The slaughtered chiefs, the mortal jar, 

The havoc of the feudal war, 
Shall never, never be forgot ! 

IX. 

In sorrow, o'er lord Walter's bier 
The warlike foresters had bent; 
And many a flower, and many a tear, 

Old Teviot's maids and matrons lent: 
But o'er her warrior's bloody bier 
The Ladye dropped nor flower nor tear! 
Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain, 
Had locked the source of softer woe; 
And burning pride, and high disdain, 

Forbade the rising tear to flow; 
Until, amid his sorrowing clan, 

Her son lisped from the nurse's knee 
" And, if I live to bo a man, 

" My father's death revenged shall be!" 
Then fast the mother's tears did seek 
To dew the infant's kindling cheek. 

x. 

All loose her negligent attire, 

All loose her golden hair, 
Hung Margaret o'er her slaughtered sire, 

And wept in wild despair. 

* Amone other expedients resorted to for stanching the fend 
betwixt the Scotts and the Kerrs, there was a bond executed, 
in 15 1J 9, between the heads of each clan, binding themselves to 
perform reciprocally the four principal pilgrimages of Scotland, 
for the benefit of the souls of those of the opposite name who 
had fallen in the quarrel. Such pactions were not uncommon 
in feudal times; but they were often, as in the present case, void, 
of the desired effect. 

t The family of Ker, Kerr, or Car, was very powerful on 
the Border. Fynes Morrison remarks, in his Travels, that their 
inflm nee extended from the rillaee of Preston Grange, in Lothmn. 
to the limits of England. The Duke of Roxburghe represents Ker 
of CeMtbrd. 

A 2 



10 LAY OP THE [CANTC T- 

But not alrne the bitter tear 

Had filial grief supplied ; 
For hopeless love, and anxious fear, 

Had lent their mingled tide : 
Nor in her mother's altered eye 
Dared she to look for sympathy. 
Her lover, 'gainst her father's clan, 

With Car in arms had stood, 
When Mathouse-burn to Melrose ran, 

All purple with their blood. 
And well she knew, her mother dread, 
Before lord Cranstouu she should wed,* 
Would see her on her dying bed. 



Of noble race the Ladye came ; 
Her father was a clerk of fame, 

Of Bethune's line of Picardie :-f" 
He learned the art, that none may name, 

In Padua, far beyond the sea.J 
Men said, he changed his mortal frame 

By feat of magic mystery; 
For when, in studious mood, he paced 

St Andrew's cloistered hall, 
His form no darkening shadow traced 

Upon the sunny wall ! 

* The Cranstouns, Lord Cranstoun, are an ancient Border 
family, whose chief seat was at Crailing in Teriotdale. They 
were at this time at feud with the clan of Scott ; for it appears 
that the Lady of Buccleuch, in 1557, beset the laird of Cranstonn, 
eeking his life. Nevertheless, the same Cranstoun, or perhaps hi 
on, was married to a daughter of the same lady. 

+ The Bethunes were of French origin, and the name was ac- 
counted among the most uoble in France. The family of Bethune, 
or Beatoun, in Fife, produced three learned and dignified prelates; 
and from it was descended Dame Janet Beaton, Lady Buccleuch, 
widow of Sir Walter Scott of Brankaome. She was a woman ol 
masculine spirit, and possessed the hereditary anilities of her 
family in such a degree, that the superstition of the vulgar im- 
puted them to supernatural knowledge. 

J Padua was long supposed by the Scottish peasants to be th 
principal school of necromancy. 

The vulgar conceive, that when a class of students have made 
a certain progress in their mystic studies, they are obliged to run 
through a subterraneous hallj where the devil literally catches the 
hindmost in the race, unless he crosses the hall so speedily, that 
the arch enemv can only apprehend his shadow. Those, who 
ki,re thus lust difir shadow, always prove the beet magicians. 



CANTO 1] 



LAST MINSTBBL. 



11 



And of his skill, as bards avow, 

He taught that Ladye fair, 
Till to her bidding she could bow 

The viewless forms of air.* 
And now she sits in secret bower, 
In old Lord David's western tower, 
And listens to a heavy sound, 
That moans the mossy turrets round* 
Is it the roar of Teviot's tide, _ 

That chafes against the scaur'sf red side P 
Is it the wind that swings the oaks.-' 
Is it the echo from the rocks ? 
What may it be, the heavy sound, 
That moans old Branksome's turrets round 



XIII. 



At the sullen, moaning sound, 

The ban-dogs bay and howl; 
And, from the turrets round, 
Loud whoops the startled owl. _ 
In the hall, both squire and knight 
Swore that a storm was near, 
And looked forth to view the night ; 

But the night was still and clear I 

XIV. 

From the sound of Teviot's tide, 
Chafing with the mountain's side, 
From the groan of the wind-swung oak, 
From the sullen echo of the rock, 
From the voice of the coming storm, 

The Ladye knew it well ! 
It was the Spirit of the Flood that spoke, 

And he called on the Spirit of the FelL 

* The Scottish vulgar, believe in the existence ot spirit. ""Ming 
in the air, or in the waters, to wh 8e . a **i c ' r h ^ 1 H T ^S Mou 



12 LAT OF THE [CANTO I 

XV. 

RIVER SPIRIT. 

"Sleepest thou, brother?" 

MOUNTAIN SPIRIT. 

"Brother, nay 

On my hills the moon-beams play 
From Craik-cross to Skeli'hill-pen, 
By every rill, in every glen, 

Merry elves their morrice pacing, 

To aerial minstrelsy, 
Emerald rings on brown heath tracing, 

Trip it deft and merrily. 
Up, and mark their nimble feet ! 
Up, and list their music sweet !" 

XVI. 

RIVER SPIRIT. 
"Tears of an imprisoned maiden 

Mix with my polluted stream ; 
Margaret of Branksome, sorrow-laden, 

Mourns beneath the moon's pale beam. 
Tell me, thou, who viewest the stars, 
When shall cease these feudal jars ? 
What shall be the maiden's fate? 
Who shall be the maiden's mate ?" 



MOUNTAIN SPIRIT. 

" Arthur's slow wain his course doth -roll, 
In utter darkness, round the pole ; 
The Northern Bear lowers black and grim.; 
Orion's studded belt is dim ; 
Twinkling faint, and distant far, 
Shimmers through mist each planet star; 

111 may I read their high decree : 
But no kind- influence deign they shower 
On. Teviot's tide, and Branksome's tower, 

Till pride be quelled, and love be free." 

XVIII. 

The unearthly voices ceast, 
And the heavy sound was still ; 



OA.NTOIO 



LAST M^STttEL. 13 



It died on the river's breast, 

It died on the side of the hill. 
But round Lord David's tower 

The sound still floated near ; 
For it rung in the Ladye's bower, 

And it rung in the Ladye's ear. 
She raised her stately head, 

And her heart throbbed high with pride: 
" Your mountains shall bend, 
And your streams ascend, 

Ere Margaret be our foeman's bride !" 



The Ladye sought the lofty hall, 

Where many a bold retainer lay, 
And, with jocund din, among them all, 

Her son pursued his infant play. 
A fancied moss-trooper, the boy* 

The truncheon of a spear bestrode, 
And round the hall, right merrily, 

In mimic foray rode. 
Even bearded knights, in arms grown old, 

Share in his frolic gambols bore, 
Albeit their hearts, of rugged mould, 
Were stubborn as the steel they wore. 
For the gray warriors prophesied, 

How the brave boy, in future war, 
Should tame the Unicorn's pride, 

Exalt the Crescents and the Star.f 



The Ladye forgot her purpose high, 

One moment, and no more ; 
One moment gazed with a mother's eye, 

As she paused at the arched door : 

* Moss-trooper was the usual appellation of the maraudert upon 
the Border; a profession diligently pursued by the iiihabitantl 
on both aides, and bvnone more actively and successfully than by 
Buccleuch's clan. Their predatory inroads were termed forayg. 

t The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a chi- 
veron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three molletl 
able. Crest, an unicorn's head erased proper. The Sootts of 
Buccleuch bore, Or ou a bend azure ; a star of six points betwixt 
two crefceutl of the lint. 



14 



LAY OF THE 



[CANTO I. 



Then, from amid the armed train, 

She called to her William of Delorain*.* 

XXI. 

A stark moss-trooping Scott was he, 
As e'er couched border lance hy knee : 
Through Solway sands, through Tarras moss, 
Blindfold, he knew the paths to cross ; 
By wily turns, by desperate bounds, 
Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds ;f 
In Eske, or Liddel, fords were none, 
But he would ride them, one by one ; 
Alike to him was time or tide, 
December's snow, or July's pride ; 
Alike to him was tide, or time, 
Moonless midnight, or matin prime : 
Steady of heart, and stout of hand, 
As ever drove prey from Cumberland ; 
Five times outlawed had he been, 
By England's king and Scotland's queen. 

XXII. 

" Sir William of Deloraine, good at need, 
Mount thee on the wightest steed ; 
Spare not to spur, nor stint to ride, 
Until thou come to fair Tweedside ; 
And in Melrose's holy pile 
Seek thou the Monk of St Mary's aisle. 
Greet the father well from me ; 

Say, that the fated hour is come, 
And to-night he shall watch with thee, 

To win the treasure of the tomb : 
For this will be St Michael's night, 
And, though stars be dim, the moon is bright- 
And the Cross, of bloody red, 
Will point to the grave of the mighty dead. 



The lands of Delor 
Tially possessed by the ] 
granted by them to vass 

t The kings anrf hi- 
riders, were so 



eroes of Seo 
obliged to 



ricke Forest, were immemo- 
iily, and were occasionally 
i, for Border-service, 
id, as well as the Border- 
v how to evade the pursuit 

opping the dog was to cross a 



CANTO L] 



LAST MINSTKEL. 



15 



XXIII. 

" What he gives thee, see thou keep; 
Stay not thou for food or sleep : 
Be it scroll, or be it book, 
Into it, knight, thou must not look; 
If thou readest, thou art lorn! ^ 
Better had'st thou ne'er been born, 

XXIV. 

" O swiftly can speed my dapple-gray steed, 

Which drinks of the Teviot clear; 
Ere break of day," the warrior 'gan say, 

" Again will I be here : 
And safer by none may thy errand be done, 

Than, noble dame, by me ; 
Letter nor line know I never a p ne i 

Wer't my neck-verse at Hairibee. 

XXV. 

Soon in his saddle sate he fast, 
And soon the steep descent he past, 
Soon crossed the sounding barbican,t 
And soon the Teviot side he won. 
Eastward the wooded path he rode; 
Green hazels o'er his basnet nod: 
He passed the Peel* of Goldiland, 
And crossed old Borthwick's roaring strand; 
Dimly he viewed the Moat-hill's mound.fc 
Where Druid shades still flitted round; 
In Hawick twinkled many a light ; 
Behind him soon they set in night; 
And soon he spurred his courser keen 
Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.|| 



, the place of executing th 



marauders at 



f ^ff^bican, the defence of the ooter gate of a feudal castle. 
J Peel, A Border tower. Hawick, which, from its 



5 ^|'The t JSS?of Hazeldean, corruptly Hassendean, belonged for- 
merly to a family of SeotU. 



LAY OF THE [CANTO 

XXVI. 

The clattering hoofs the watchmen mark; 
" Stand, ho ! thou courier of the dark." 
" For Branksome, ho !" the knight rejoined, 
And left the friendly tower behind. 
He turned him now from Teviotside, 

And, guided by the tinkling rill, 
Northward the dark ascent did ride, 

And gained the moor at Horseliehill 
Broad on the left before him lay, 
For many a mile, the Roman way.* 

XXVII. 

A moment now he slacked his speed, 
A moment breathed his panting steed; 
Drew saddle-girth and corslet-band, 
And loosened in the sheath his brand. 
On Minto-crags the moon-beams glint 
Where Barnhill hewed his bed of flint ;f 
Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest, 
Where falcons hang their giddy nest, 
Mid cliffs, from whence his eagle eye 
For many a league his prey could spy; 
Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne| 
The terrors of the robber's horn; 
Cliffs, which, for many a later year, 
The warbling Doric reed shall hear, 
When some sad swain shall teach the grove, 
Ambition is no cure for love. 

XXVIII. 

Unchallenged, thence past Deloraine 
To ancient Riddel's fair dornain,^ 

Bh* <^ n an ient Roman r ad, crossing through part of Roxburgh- 

raJaiflvSPV T emb '?*? of clift ' wl ich rise suddenly above the 
vale of leviot. A small platform, on a projectin" crau- coirii an 1 



CANTO I] LAST MINSTREL. 

Where Aill, from mountains freed, 
] >own from the lakes did raving come; 
Each wave was crested with tawny foam, 

Like the mane of a chestnut steed. 
In vain ! no torrent, deep or broad, 
Might bar the bold moss-trooper's road. 

XXIX. 

At the first plunge the horse sunk low, 

And the water broke o'er the saddle-bow; 

Above the foaming tide, I ween, 

Scarce half the charger's neck was seen ; 

For he was barded* from counter to tail, 

And the rider was armed complete in mail; 

Never heavier man and horse 

Stemmed a midnight torrent's force. 

The warrior's very plume, I say, 

Was daggled by the dashing spray; 

Yet, through good heart, and our Ladye's grace, 

At length he gained the landing place. 



Now Bowden Moor the m;irch-man won, 

And sternly shook his plumed head, 
As glanced his eye o'er Halidon; - f - 

For on his soul the slaughter red 
Of that unhallowed morn arose, 
When first the Scott and Car were foes; 
When royal James beheld the fray, 
Prize to the victor of the day ; 
When Home and Douglas, in the van, 
Bore down Buccleuch's retiring clan, 
Till gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear 
Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear. 

XXXI. 

In bitter mood he spurred fast, 
And soon the hated heath was past; 

Barded, or barbed, applied to a horse ccoutere4 with armour. 

t Halidon, near Melrose, was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cess- 
ford, now demolished. About a quarter of a mile to the northward 
lay the field of battle betwixt Bucclecch and Angus, (1526) which 
u called to this day the Skirmish field. 



18 LAY OF THE [CANTO 1. 

And far beneath, in lustre wan, 

Old Metros' rose, and fair Tweed ran : 

Like some tall rock, with lichens gray, 

Seemed, dimly huge, the dark Abbaye. 

When Hawick he passed, had curfew rung, 

Now midnight laudsf were in Melrose sung. 

The sound upon the fitful gale, 

In solemn wise did rise and fail, 

Like that wild harp, whose magic tone 

Is wakened by the winds alone. 

But when Melrose he reached, 'twas silence all; 

He meetly stabled his steed in stall , 

And sought the convent's lonely walL 

HERE paused the harp ; and with its swell 
The Master's fire and courage fell : 
Dejectedly, and low, he bowed, 
And, gazing timid on the crowd, 
He seemed to seek, in every eye, 
If they approved his minstrelsy; 
And, diffident of present praise, 
Somewhat he spoke of former _days, 
And how old age, and wandering long, 
Had done his hand and harp some wrong. 

The Duchess, and her daughters fair, 
And every gentle ladye there, 
Each after each, in due degree, 
Gave praises to his melody; 
His hand was true, his voice was clear, 
And much they longed the rest to hear. 
Encouraged thus, the Aged Man, 
After meet rest, again began. 

* The monastery of Melrose, founded bv King David I., is the 
finest specimen ,,t (inthir architecture, and Gothic sculpture, whicl 
Scotland can boast. The stone of which it is built, retams perfect 
sharpness, MI that cvtn the most minute ornaments seem as entirl 
as when newlv wrought. In some of the cloisters, there are re- 
presentations ot flowers, vegetables, fee., carved in stone, with 
accuracy and precision so delicate, that we almost d.strust our 
roues, when we consider the difficulty of subjecting so hard a 
substance to such intricate and exquisite modulation. 

f Lauds, the midnight service of the Catholic church. 




QM 'uvud 



CAirrono LAST MINSTREL. 19 



CANTO SECOND. 



I. 

IF thou would'st view fair Melrose aright, 

Go visit it by the pale moonlight; 

For the gay beams of lightsome day 

Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray. 

When the broken arches are black in night, 

And each shafted oriel glimmers white ; 

When the cold light's uncertain shower 

Streams on the ruined central tower; 

When buttress and buttress, alternately, 

Seem framed of ebon and ivory; 

When silver edges the imagery, 

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;* 

When distant Tweed is heard to rave, 

And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave, 

Then go but go alone the while 

Then view St David's ruined pile :f 

And, home returning, soothiy swear, 

Was never scene so sad and fair! 

n. 

Short halt did Deloraine make there; 
Little recked he of the scene so fair. 
With dagger's hilt, on the wicket strong, 
He struck full loud, and struck full long. 
The porter hurried to the gate 
" Who knocks so loud, and knocks so late?" 
"From Branksome I," the warrior cried; 
And strait the wicket opened wide : 

For Branksome's chiefs had in battle stood, 
To fence the rights of fair Melrose ; 



t David the first of Scotland, who was sainted for hi W 
in founding and endowing Metose, anther monasteries 



20 LAY OF THE [CANTO H. 

And lands and livings, many a rood, 

Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose. 

III. 

Bold Deloraine his errand said; 
The porter bent his humble head; 
With torch in hand, and feet unshod, 
And noiseless step, the path he trod; 
The arched cloisters, far and wide, 
Bang to the warrior's clanking stride; 
Till, stooping low his lofty crest, 
He entered the cell of the ancient priest, 
And lifted his barred aventayle,f 
To hail the Monk of St Mary's aisle. 

IV. 

" The Ladye of Branksome greets thee by me; 

Says, that the fated hour is come, 
And that to-night I shall watch with thee, 

To win the treasure of the tomb." 
From sackcloth couch tbe Monk arose, 

With toil his stiffened limbs he reared; 
A hundred years had flung their snows 

On his thin locks and floating beard. 

v. 

And strangely on the Knight looked he, 

And his blue eyes gleamed wild and wide; 
" And, dar'st thou, warrior! seek to see 

What heaven and hell alike would hide? 
My breast, in belt of iron pent, 

With shirt of hair and scourge of thorn; 
For threescore years, in penance spent, 

My knees those flinty stones have worn; 
Yet all too little to atone 
For knowing what should ne'er be known. 

Would'st thou thy every future year _ 
In ceaseless prayer and penance drie, 

Yet wait thy latter end with fear- 
Then, daring warrior, follow me !" 

The Bnccleuch family were great benefactors to the abbey 
Melrose. 
t Aventayle, visor of the helmet. 



OANTO HO LAST MINSTREL. 21 

VI. 

" Penance, father, -will I none; 

Prayer know I hardly one ; 

For mass or prayer can I rarely tarry, 

Save to patter an Ave Mary, 

When I ride on a Border foray:* 

Other prayer can I none ; 

So speed me my errand, and let me begone. 



Again on the Knight looked the Churchman old, 

And again he sighed heavily; 
For he had himself been a warrior bold, 

And fought in Spain and Italy. 
And he thought on the days that were long since by, 
When his limbs were strong, and his courage was 
Now, slow and faint, he led the way, [high: 

Where, cloistered round, the garden lay; 

The pillared arches were over their head, 
And beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.f 

VIII. 

Spreading herbs, and flowerets bright, 
Glistened with the dew of night; 
Nor herb, nor floweret, glistened there, 
But was carved in the cloister-arches as fair. 
The Monk gazed long on the lovely moon, 

Then into the night he looked forth ; 
And red and bright the streamers light 
Were dancing in the glowing north. 
So had he seen, in fair Castile, 

The youth in glittering squadrons start; 
Suddenly the flying jennet wheel, 
Ani hurl the unexpected dart.J 

* The Borderers were very ignorant about religious matters. 
But however deficient ki real religion, they regularly told their 
beads, and never with more zeal than when going on a plundering 
expedition. 

t The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulchre. 

j The warlike pastime of throwing the jerreed, has prevailed m 
the east from time immemorial, and was imitated in the military 
came called Juego fa Ins canal, which the Spaniards borrowed 
from their Mool ish invader*. 



22 LAY OF THE [CANTO tt. 

He knew, by the streamers that shot so bright, 
That spirits were riding the northern light. 

IX. 

By a steel-clenched postern door, 

They entered now the chancel tall; 
The darkened roof rose high aloof 

On pillars, lofty, and light, and small; 
The key-stone, that locked each ribbed aisle. 
Was a tteur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ; 
The corbells* were carved grotesque and grim; 
And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim, ' 
"With base and with capital flourished around, 
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had hound. 

x. 

Full many a scutcheon and banner, riven, 
Shook to the cold night- wind of heaven, 

Around the screened altar's pale ; 
And there the dying lamps did burn 
Before thy low and lonely urn, 
O gallant Chief of Otterburne,-)" 

And thine, dark Knight of Liddesdale !J 
O fading honours of the dead ! 
O high ambition, lowly laid ! 

XI. 

The moon on the east oriel shone, 
Through slender shafts of shapely stone, 



* Corbetls, the projections from which these arches sprine. 
U8ally cut in a fantastic face, or mask. 

iJv The famous and desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 
15th August, 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called Hotspur, and 
James Earl of Douglas. The Scots won the day, dearly purchased 
by the death of their gallant general, the Earl of Douglas, who was 
slam in the action. He was buried at Melrose beneath the high 

I William Douglas, called the knight of Liddesdale, flourished 
during the reign of David II. ; and was so distinguished by hig 
valour, that he was called the Flower of Chivalry He WM .lain 
while hunting in Ettrick Forest, by his own godsun and chieftain, 
William Earl of Douglas, and was interred, with great pomp in 
Meirose abbey, where his tomb is still shown. 

It .s impossible to conceive a more beautiful specimen of 
Gothic architecture, in its purity, than the eastern window o 
Melrose abbey. Sir James Hall, has traced the Gothic order 



CANTO IL] LAST MINSTREL. 23 

By foliaged tracery combined; 
Thou would' st have thought some fairy's hand, 
'Twixt poplars straight, the osier wand, 

In many a freakish knot, had twined; 
Then framed a spell, when the work was done, 
And changed the willow- wreaths to stone. 

The silver light, so pale and faint, 

Showed many a prophet, and many a saint, 
Whose image on the glass was dyed; 

Full in the midst, his Cross of Red 

Triumphant Michael brandished, 

And trampled the Apostate's pride. 
The moon-beam kissed the holy pane, 
And threw on the pavement a bloody stain. 

XII. 

They sate them down on a marble stone, 

A Scottish monarch slept below;* 
Thus spoke the Monk, in solemn tone : 

" I was not always a man of woe; 
For Paynim countries I have trod, 
And fought beneath the Cross of God; 
Now, strange to my eyes thine arms appear, 
And their iron clang sounds strange to my ear. 

XIII. 

" In these far climes, it was my lot 
To meet the wondrous Michael Scott ;T 

A wizard of such dreaded fame, 
That when, in Salamanca's cave,i 

through its various forms, and seemingly eccentric ornaments, 
to an architectural imitation of maker-work ; and this ingenious 
system is alluded to in the romance. 

* A large marble stone, in the chancel of Melrose, is pointed ont 
as the mounn tit of Alexander II. 

+ Sir Miciia Scott of Balwearie flourished during the 13th cen- 
tnry; but bv a poetical anachronism, he is here placed ma later 
ST He was a !nan of much learning, chiefly acquired m foreign 
countries, and he passed among his contemporaries for a skilru] 
nwician. Dempster informs us, that htr remembers to have heard 
in UU youth, that the magic books of Michael Scott were still m 
existence, but could not be opened without danger, on account 
of tile fiends who were thereby invoked. 

* Spain, from the reliques, doubtless, of Arabian learning and 
luperstition, was accounted a favourite residence of inaffic.ans 
There were public schools, where magic, or rather the science* 
supposed t* involve its inyateries,Trere regularly taugh.,at I oledo. 



24 LAY OF THE [CANTO II. 

Him listed his magic wand to wave, 
The bells would ring in Notre Dame! 

Some of his skill he taught to me ; 

And, Warrior, I could say to thee 

The words, that cleft Eildon hills in three, 
And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone :* 

But to speak them were a deadly sin; 

And for having but thought them my heart within, 
A treble penance must be done. 

XIV. 

" When Michael lay on his dying bed, 

His conscience was awakened; 

He bethought him of his sinful deed, 

And he gave me a sign to come with speed: 

I was in Spain when the morning rose, 

But I stood by his bed ere evening close. 

The words may not again be said, 

That he spoke to me, on death-bed laid; 

They would rend this Abbaye's massy nave, 

And pile it in heaps above his grave. 

XV. 

" I swore to bury his Mighty Book, 

That never mortal might therein look; 

And never to tell where it was hid, 

Save at his chief of Branksome's need; 

And when that need was past and o'er, 

Again the volume to restore. 

I buried him on St Michael's night, 

When the bell tolled one, and the moon was bright ; 

And I dug his chamber among the dead, 

When the floor of the chancel was stained red, 

Seville, and Salamanca. In the latter city, they were held in a 

deep cavern ; the mouth of which was walled up by Queen Isabella, 

wife of King Ferdinand. 

* Michael Scott was much embarrassed by a spirit, for whom he 

was under the necessity of finding constant employment. He 
ommanded him to build a cauld, or dam-head, across the Tweed 
t Kelso: it was accomplished in one night. Michael next ordered, 

that Eildon hill, which was i.hen a uniform cone, should be divided 
nto three. Another night wag sufficient to part its summit into 
tiree picturesque peaks. At length tha enchanter conquered this 

indefatigable dyjmon, by employing him in making ropes out of 

ea-sand. 



CANTO II] 



LAST MINSTREL. 25 



That his patron's Cross mii;b.t over him ware, 
And scare the fiends from the Wizard's grave. 

XVI. 

' It was a night of woe and dread, 

When Michael in the tomb I laid; 

Strange sounds along the chancel past, 

The banners waved without a blast," 

Still spoke the Monk, when the bell tolled one ! 

I tell you. that a braver man 

Than "William of Deloraine, good at need, 

Against a foe ne'er spurred a steed; 

Yet somewhat was he chilled with dread, 

And his hair did bristle upon his head. 

XVII. 

"Lo, Warrior! now, the Cross of Red 

Points to the grave of the mighty dead; 

Within it burns a wondrous light, 

To chase the spirits that love the night : 

That lamp shall burn unquenchably, 

Until the eternal doom shall be."* 

Slow moved the Monk to the broad flag-stone, 

Which the bloody Cross was traced upon : 

He pointed to a secret nook; 

An iron bar the warrior took; 

And the Monk made a sign, with his withered hand, 

The grave's huge portal to expand. 



With beating heart to the task he went; 

His sinewy frame o'er the grave-stone bent; 

With bar of iron heaved amain, 

Till the toil-drops fell from his brows, like rain. 

It was by dint of passing strength, 

That he moved the massy stone at length. 

I would you had been there, to see 

How the light broke forth so gloriously, 

* Baptists Porta, and other authors who treat of natural map'e, 
talk much of eternal lamps, pretended to have been found burning 
in ancient sepulchres. One of these perpetual lamps is said to have 
been discovered in the tomb of Tulliola, the daughter of Cicero. 



26 LAY OP THE [CANTO TL 

Streamed upward to the chancel roof, 
And through the galleries far aloof! 
No earthly flame blazed e'er so bright: 
It shone like heaven's own blessed light; 

And, issuing from the tomb, 
Showed the Monk's cowl, and visage pale, 
Danced on the dark-brow' d Warrior's mail, 
And kissed his waving plume. 



Before their eyes the Wizard lay, 
As if he had not been dead a day. 
His hoary beard in silver rolled, 
He seemed some seventy winters old; 

A palmer's amice wrapped him round, 

With a wrought Spanish baldric bound, 
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea: 

His left hand held his Book of Might; 

A silver cross was in his right; 

The lamp was placed beside his knee: 
High aud majestic was his look, 
At which the fellest fiends had shook, 
And all unruffled was his face: 
They trusted his soul had gotten grace. 

XX. 

Often had William of Deloraine 
Rode through the battle's bloody plain, 
And trampled down the warriors slain, 

And neither known remorse or awe; 
Yet now remorse and awe he own'd; 
His breath came thick, his head swam round, 

When this strange scene of death he saw. 
Bewildered and unnerved he stood, 
And the priest prayed fervently, and loud : 
With eyes averted prayed lie ; 
He might not endure the sight to see, 
Of the man he had loved so brotherly. 

XXI. 

And when the Priest his death-prayer had prayed, 
Thus unto Deloraine he said: 



CANTO 0.1 LAST MI.NbTREL. 27 

" Now speed thee what thou hast to do, 

Or, Warrior, we may dearly rue; 

For those, thou uiayest not look upon, 

Are gathering fast round the yawning stone I" 

Then Deloraine, in terror, took 

From the cold hand the Mighty Book, 

With iron clasped, and with iron hound: 

He thought, as he took it, the dead man frowned ; 

But the glare of the sepulchral light, 

Perchance, had dazzled the warrior's sight. 



When the huge stone sunk o'er the tomb, 

The night returned, in double gloom ; 

For the moon had gone down, and the stars were few; 

And, as the Knight and Priest withdrew, 

With wavering steps and dizzy brain, 

They hardly might the postern gain. 

Tis said, as through the aisles they passed, 

They heard strange noises on the blast ; 

And through the cloister-galleries small, 

Which at mid-height thread the chancel wall, 

Loud sobs, and laughter louder, ran, 

And voices unlike the voice of man ; 

As if the fiends kept holiday, 

Because these spells were brought to day. 

I cannot tell how the truth may be ; 

I say the tale as 'twas said to me. 



" Now, hie thee hence," the Father said, 
" And, when we are on death-bed laid, 
O may our dear Ladye, and sweet St John, 
Forgive our souls for the deed we have done P* 

The monk returned him to his cell, 
And many a prayer and penance sped ; 

When the convent met at the noontide bell 

The Monk of St Mary's aisle was dead ! 
Before the cross was the body laid, 
With hands clasped fast, as if still he prayed. 



28 



LAY OF THE [ CANTO tt 



XXIV. 

The Knight breathed free in the morning wind, 

And strove his hardihood to find: 

He was glad when he passed the tombstones gray, 

Which girdle round the fair Abbaye ; 

For the mystic Book, to his bosom prest, 

Felt like a load upon his breast ; 

And his joints, with nerves of iron twined, 

Shook, like the aspen leaves in wind. 

Full fain was he when the dawn of day 

Began to brighten Cheviot gray ; 

He joyed to see the cheerful light, 

And he said Ave Mary, as well as he might. 



The sun had brightened Cheviot gray, 

The sun had brightened the Carter's* side; 
And soon beneath the rising day 

Smiled Branksome towers and Teviofs tide. 
The wild birds told their warbling tale, 

And wakened every flower that blows; 
And peeped forth the violet pale, 

And spread her breast the mountain rose ; 
And lovelier than the rose so red, 

Yet paler than the violet pale, 
She early left her sleepless bed, 

The fairest maid of Teviotdale. 



Why does fair Margaret so early awake, 

And don her kirtle so hastilie ; 
And the silken knots, which in hurry she would make, 

Why tremble her slender lingers to tie ; 
Why does she stop, and look often around, 

As she glides down the secret stair ; 

And why does she pat the shaggy blood-hound, 

As he louses him up from his lair ; 
And, though she passes the postern alone, 
Why is not the watchman's bugle-blown? 

* A mountain on the Border of England, above Jedburgh. 



CANTO ttj LAST MINSTREL. 29 



The ladye steps in doubt and dread, 

Lest her watchful mother hear her tread ; 

The lady caresses the rough blood-hound, 

Lest his voice should waken the castle round ; 

The watchman's bugle is not blown, 

For he was her foster-father's son ; 

And she glides through the greenwood at dawn of light, 

To meet Baron Henry, her own true knight. 



The Knight and Ladye fair are met, 

And under the hawthorn's boughs are set 

A fairer pair were never seen 

To meet beneath the hawthorn green. 

He was stately, and young, and tall ; 

Dreaded in battle, and loved in hall : 

And she, when love, scarce told, scarce hid, 

Lent to her cheek a livelier red; 

When the half sigh her swelling breast 

Against the silken ribband pressed ; 

When her blue eyes their secret told, 

Though shaded by her locks of gold 

Where would you iiud the peerless fair, 

With Margaret of Branksome might compare ! 

XXIX. 

And now, fair dames, methinks I see 

You listen to my minstrelsy ; 

Your waving locks vr backward throw, 

And sidelong bend you t necks of snow : 

Ye ween to hear a melting tale, 

Of two true lovers in a dale; 

And how the Knight, with tender fire, 

To paint his faithful passion strove ; 
Swore, he might at her feet expire, 

But never, never cease to love ; 
And how she blushed, and how she sig 
And, half consenting, half denied, 
And said that she would die a maid : 
Yet, might the bloody feud be stayed, 



30 LAY OF THE [CANTO II 

Henry of Cranstoun, and only he, 
Margaret of Branksome's choice should be. 

XXX. 

Alas ! fair dames, your hopes are vain ! 
My harp has lost the enchanting strain ; 

Its lightness wo.uld my age reprove : 
My hairs are gray, my limbs are old, 
My heart is dead, my veins are cold : 

I may not, must not, sing of love. 



Beneath an oak, mossed o'er hy eld, 
The Baron's Dwarf his courser held, 

And held his crested helm and spear : 
That Dwarf was scarcely an earthly man, 
If the tales were true, that of him ran 

Through all the Border, far and near. 
' Twas said, when the Baron a hunting rode 
Through Reedsdale's glens, but rarely trod, 

He heard a voice cry, " Lost ! lost ! lost f 

And, like tennis-ball by raquet tossed, 
A leap, of thirty feet and three, 

Made from the gorse this elfi-n shape, 

Distorted like some dwarfish ape, 

And lighted at Lord Cranstoun's knee. 

Lord Cranstoun was some whit dismayed ; 

'Tis said that five good miles he rade, 

To rid him of his company; 
But where he rode one mile, the Dwarf ran four, 
And the Dwarf was first at the castle door. 



Use lessens marvel, it is said. 

This elvish Dwarf with the Baron staid ; 

Little he ate, and less he spoke, . 

Nor mingled with the menial flock ; 

And oft apart his arms he tossed, 

And often muttered, " Lost ! lost ! lost P* 
He was waspish, arch, and litherlie, 
But well Lord Cranstoun served h : 



CANTO IL] 



tAST MINSTBEI, 31 



And he of his service was full fain ; 
For once he tad been ta'en or slain, 
An' it had not been his ministry. 
All, between Home and Hermitage, 
Talked of Lord Cranstoun's Goblin Page. 



For the Baron went on pilgrimage, 
And took with him this elvish Page, 

To Mary's chapel of the Lowes : 
For there, beside Our Ladye's lake, 
An offering he had sworn to make, 

And he would pay his vows. 
But the Ladye of Branksome gathered a band 
Of the best that would ride at her command 

The trysting place was Newark Lee. 
Wat of Harden came thither amain, 
And thither came John of Thirlestaine, 
And thither came William of Deloraine; 

They were three hundred spears and three. 
Through Douglas- burn, up Yarrow stream, 
Their horses prance, their lances gleam. 
They came to St Mary's lake ere day ; 
But the chapel was void, and the Baron away. 
They burned the chapel for very rage, 
And cursed Lord Cranstoun's Goblin Page.* 

XXXIV. 

And now, in Branksome's good green wood, 

As under the aged oak he stood, 

The Baron's courser pricks his ears, 

As if a distant noise he hears. 

The Dwarf waves his long lean arm on high. 

And signs to the lovers to part and fly; 

No time was then to vow or sigh. 

" Upon 25th June, 1557, Dame Janet Beatoune T,aclv Buc- 
cleuch and a frreat number of the name of Scott, delaitit (accused) 
for coming to the kirk of St .^fary of the I/ou-es, to the number 
of two hundred persons bodin in feir of weii-e (arranged in, 
armour), and breaking open the doors of the said kirk, in" order 
to apprehend the laird. >f C.-anstoune for his destruction." Abririge- 
ment of Bonks af Adjuvt-ruil in Advocates' Library. It is said, 
that, upon tula rising, the kirk of St Mary was burned by the 



32 LAY OF THE [CANTO I! 

Fair Margaret, through the hazel grove, 
Flew like the startled cushat-dove :* 
The Dwarf the stirrup held and rein ; 
Vaulted the knight on his steed amain, 
And, pondering deep that morning's scene, 
Rode eastward through the hawthorns green. 

WHILE thus he poured the lengthened tale, 
The Minstrel's voice began to fail : 
Full slyly smiled the observant page, 
And gave the withered hand of age 
A goblet, crowned with mighty wine, 
The blood of Velez' scorched vine. 
He raised the silver cup on high, 
And, while the big drop tilled his eye, 
Prayed God to bless the Duchess long, 
And all who cheered a son of song. 
The attending maidens smiled to see, 
How long, how deep, how zealously, 
The precious juice the minstrel quaffed ; 
And he, emboldened by the draught, 
Looked gaily back to them, and laughed. 
The cordial nectar of the bowl 
Swelled his old veins, and cheered hia soulj 
A lighter, livelier prelude ran, 
Ere thus his tale again began. 



CANTO THIRD. 

I. 

AND said I that my limbs were old; 
And said I that my blood was cold, 
And that my kindly fire was tied, 
And my poor withered heart was dead, 
And that I might not sing of lover- 
How could I to the dearest theme, 

Wood pigeoc. 



CANTO HI.] 



LAST MINSTREL. 33 



That ever warmed a minstrel's dream, 

So foul, so false, a recreant pvovc ! 
How could I name love's very name, 
Nor wake my heart to notes of flame ! 

II. 

In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed ; 
In war, he mounts the warrior's steed; 
In halls, in gay attire is seen ; 
In hamlets, dances on the green. 
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, 
And men below, and saints above ; 
For love is heaven, and heaven is love. 

ill. 

So thought Lord Cranstoun, as I ween, 

While, pondering deep the tender scene, 

He rode through Branksome's hawthorn green. 

But the Page shouted wild and shrill 
And scarce his helmet could he don, 

When downward from the shady hill 
A stately knight came pricking on. 
That warrior's steed, so dapple-gray, 
Was dark with sweat, and splashed with clay ; 

His armour red with many a stain : 
He seemed in such a weary plight, 
As if he had ridden the live-long night; 

For it was William of Deloraine. 

IV. 

But no whit weary did he seem, 

When, dancing in the sunny beam, 

He marked the crane on the Baron's crest ;* 

For his ready spear was in his rest. 

Few were the words, and stern and high, 
That marked the foemeu's feudal hate ; 
For question lierce, and proud reply, 
Gave signal soon of dire debate. 



The crest of the Craiistouns, in allusion to their name, is a 
crane dormant, holding n sMne in l.is toot, with ail emphatic 
Border motto. Thou shall want ere I want. 

B'2 



34 



LAY OF THE 



Their very coursers seemed to know 
That each was other's mortal foe; 
And snorted fire, when wheeled around, 
To give each knight his vantage ground. 

v. 
In rapid round the Baron bent; 

He sighed a sigh, and prayed a prayer: 
The prayer was to his patron saint, 

The sigh was to his ladye fair. 
Stout Deloraine nor sighed, nor prayed, 
Nor saint, nor ladye, called to aid; 
But he stooped his head, and couched his spear, 
And spurred his steed to full career. 
The meeting of these champions proud 
Seemed like the bursting thunder-cloud. 

VI. 

Stern was the dint the Borderer lent! 
The stately Baron backwards bent; 
Bent backward? to his horse's tail, 
And his plume3 went scattering on the gale; 
The tough ash spear, so stout and true, 
Into a thousand Hinders llew. 
But Cranstoun's lance, of more avail, 
Pierced through, like silk, the Borderer's mail; 
Through shield, and jack, and acton, past, 
Deep in his bosom broke at last. 
Still sate the warrior saddle-fast, 
Till, stumbling in the mortal shock, 
Down went the steed, the girthing broke, 
Hurled on a heap lay man and horse. 
The Baron onward passed his course; 
Nor knew so giddy rolled his brain 
His foe lay stretched upon the plain. 

VII. 

But when he reined his courser round, 
And saw his foeman on the ground 

Lie senseless as the bloody clay, 
He bade his page to staunch the wound, 

And there beside the warrior stay, > i 



CANTO HI.] LAST MINSTREL. 85 

And tend him in his doubtful state, 
And lead him to Branksome castle-gate: 
His noble mind was inly moved 
For the kinsman of the maid he loved. 
"This shall thou do without delay; 
No longer here myself may stay: 
Unless the swifter I speed away, 
Short shrift will be at my dying day." 



Away in speed Lord Cranstoun rode; 

The Goblin- Page behind abode: 

His lord's command he ne'er withstood, 

Though small his pleasure to do good. 

As the corslet off he took, 

The Dwarf espied the Mighty Book! 

Much he marvelled, a knight of pride 

Like a book-bosomed priest should ride:* 

He thought not to search or staunch the wound, 

Until the secret he had found. 



The iron band, the iron clasp, 
Resisted long the elfin grasp; 
For when the first he had undone, 
It closed as he the next begun. 
Those iron clasps, that iron band, 
Would not yield to unchristened hand, 
Till he smeared the cover o'er 
With the Borderer's curdled gore; 
A moment then the volume spread, 
And one short spell therein he read. 
It had much of glamourf might, 
Could make a ladye seem a knight; 
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall, 
Seem tapestry in lordly hall; 

* There is a tradition, that friars were wont to come from Mel- 
rose, or .'edburgh, to baptize and marry in the parish of (Tnthank; 
and, from being in use to carry the mass-book in their bosomi, 
they were called Book a-bfviftm?g. 

+ Glamour, in the legends of Scottish npertition. means the 
magic power of imposing on the eve-sipht of the spectators, so 
that toe appearance of an object sb ill be totally different from tuo 
reality. 



36 LAY OF THE L CAWTO 10. 

A nut-shell seem a gilded barge, 

A sheeling* seem a palace large, 

And youth seem age. and age seem youth 

All was delusion, nought was truth. 

x. 

He had not read another spell, 

When on his cheek a buffet fell, 

So fierce, it stretched him on the plain, 

Beside the wounded Deloraine. 

From the ground he rose dismayed, 

And shook his huge and matted head; 

One word he muttered, and no more 

" Man of age, thou smitest sore !" 

No more the Elfin Page durst try 

Into the wondrous Book to pry; 

The clasps, though smeared with Christian gore, 

Shut faster than they were before. 

He hid it underneath his cloak. 

Now, if you ask who gave the stroke, 

I cannot tell, so mot I thrive; 

It was not given by man alive. 



Unwillingly himself he addressed, 

To do his master's high behest : 

He lifted up the living corse, 

And laid it on the weary horse; 

He led him into Branksome hall, 

Before the beards of the warders all; 

And each did after swear and say, 

There only passed a wain of hay. 

He took him to Lord David's tower, 

Even to the Ladye's secret bowier; 

And, but that stronger spells were spread, 

And the door might not be opened, 

He had laid him on her very bed. 

Whate'er he did of gramarye, -f- 

Was always done maliciously ; 

A shepherd's hut. + Magifl,, 



37 



CANTO III.] I-AST MINSTREL. 

He flung the warrior on the ground, 

And the blood welled freshly from the -wound. 

XII. 

As he repassed the outer court, 

He spied the fair young child at sport: 

He thought to train him to the wood; 

For, at a word, be it understood, 

He was always for ill, and never for good. 

Seemed to the boy, some comrade gay 

Led him forth to the woods to play; 

On the draw-bridge the warders stout 

Saw a terrier and lurcher passing out. 

XIII. 

He led the boy o'er bank and fell, 

Until they came to a woodland brook; 
The running stream dissolved the spell,* 

And his own elvish shape he took. 
Could he have had his pleasure wilde, 
He had crippled the joints of the noble child; 
Or, with his fingers long and lean, 
Had strangled him in fiendish spleen : 
But his awful mother he had in dread, 
And also his power was limited; 
So he but scowled on the startled child, 
And darted through the forest wild; 
The woodland brook he bounding crossed, 
And laughed, and shouted, "Lost! lost! lostT 



Full sore amazed at the wonderous change, 

And frightened, as a child might be, 
At the wild yell and visage strange, 

And the dark words of gramarye, 
The child, amidst the forest bower, 
Stood rooted like a lilye flower; 

It is a firm article of popular taith, that no enchantment cn 
subsist iu a living stream. Nay if you can interpose a brook be- 
twixt vou and witi-hes, spectres, or even tiends,you are m perfect 
safety. Bums* inimitable Tarn o' Shanter turns entirely upon 
such & circumstance. 



\ 

38 LAY OF THE [CANTO HI. 

And when at length, with trembling pace, 
He sought to find where Branksome lay, 

He feared to see that grisly face 

Glare from some thicket on his way 
Thus, starting oft, he journeyed on, 
And deeper in the wood is gone, 
For aye the more he sought his way, 
The farther still he went astray, 
Until he heard the mountains round 
Eing to the baying of a hound. 



And hark! and hark! the deep-moutned bark 

Comes nigher still, and nigher; 
Bursts on the path a dark blood-hound. 
His tawny muzzle tracked the ground, 

And his red eye shot fire. 
Spon as the wildered child saw he, 
He flew at him right furioushe. _ 
I ween you would have seen with joy 
The bearing of the gallant boy, 
When, worthy of his noble sire, _ 

His wet cheek glowed 'twixt fear and ire! 
He faced the blood-hound manfully, 
And held his little bat on high; 
So fierce he struck, the dog, afraid. 
At cautious distance hoarsely bayed, 

But still in act to spring; 
When dashed an archer through the glade, 
And when he saw the hound was stayed, 

He drew his tough bow-string; 
But a rough voice cried, "Shoot not, hoy! 
Ho ! shoot not, Edward 'tis a boy! 

XVI. 

The speaker issued from the wood, 
And checked his fellow's surly mood, 

And quelled the ban-dog's ire: 
He was an English yeoman good, 

Ana bora in Lancashire. 



CANTO IIL] * AST MINSTKEL. 39 

Well could he hit a fallow deer 

Five hundred feet him fro; 

ith hand more true, and eye more clear, 

No archer bended bow. 
His coal-black hair, shorn round and close, 

Set off his sun-burned face; 
Old England's sign, St George's cross, 

His barret-cap did grace; 
His bugle horn hung by his side, 

All in a wolf-skin baldric tied; 
And his short faulchion, sharp and clear, 
Had pierced the throat of many a deer. 

XVII. 

His kirtle, made of forest green, 

Reached scantly to his knee; 
And, at his belt, of arrows keen 

A furbished sheaf bore he; 
His buckler scarce in breadth a span, 

No longer fence nad he; 
He never connted him a man, 

Would strike below the knee; 
His slackened bow was in his hand, 
And the leash, that was his blood-hound's band.* 

XVIII. 

He would not do the fair child harm, 
But held him with his powerful arm, 
That he might neither tight nor nee; 
For when the Red-Cross spied he, 
The boy strove long and violently. 
"Now, by St George," the archer cries, 
"Edward, methinks we have a prize! 
This boy's fair face, and coijrage free, 
Shows he is come of high degree." 

XIX. 

"Yes! I am come of high degree, 

For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch ; 
And, if thou dost not set me free, 

ThU sketch of an English veoman is imitated from Drayton 
accou-.it of Kobin HO...I .] Mi followers. To wound an antago- 
nist in the tnigh, or leg, *aa reckoned contrary to the law of arnu. 



40 LAY OF THE [CANTO Itt 

False Suthron, thou shalt dearly rue! 
For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, 
And William of Deloraine, good at need, 
And every Scott from Esk to Tweed; 
And, if thou dost not let me go, 
Despite thy arrows, and thy bow, 
I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow !" 

XX. 

"Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy! 
My mind was never set so high; 
But if thou art chief of such a clan, 
And art the son of such a man, 
And ever comest to thy command. 

Our wardens had need to keep in good order: 
My bow of yew to a hazel wand, 

Thou'lt make them work upon the Border, 
^"eantime, be pleased to come with me, 
For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see; 
I think our work is well begun, 
When we have taken thy father's son." 

XXI. 

Although the child was led away, 
In Branksome still he seemed to stay, 
For so the Dwarf his part did play, 
And, in the shape of that young boy, 
He wrought the castle much annoy. 
The comrades of the young Buccleuch 
He pinched, and beat, and overthrew; 
Nay, some of them he well nigh slew. 
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tie; 
And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire, 
He lighted the match of his bandelier,* 
And woefully scorched the hackbutteer.'f 
It may hardly be thought, or said, 
The mischief that the urchin made, 
Till many of the castle guessed, 
That the young Baron was possessed. 



* Bandelicr, belt for carrying ammunition, 
t Sac/tkiUleer, musketeer. 



CANTO III.] LAST MINSTRBL. 41 



Well I ween, the ch.irra he held 
The noble Ladye had soon dispelled; 
But she was deeply busied then 
To tend the wounded Deloraine. 

Much she wondered to find him lie, ' 
On the stone threshold stretched along; 

She thought some spirit of the sky 

Had done the bold moss-trooper wrong, 
Because, despite her precept dread, 
Perchance he in the Book had read; 
But the broken lance in his bosom stood, 
And it was earthly steel and wood. 



She drew the splinter from the wound, 

And with a charm she staunched the blood;* 

She bade the gash be cleansed and bound: 
No longer by his couch she stood; 

But she has ta'en the broken lance, 
And washed it from the clotted gore, 
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.-f" 

William of Deloraine in trance, 

Whene'er she turned it round and round, 
Twisted, as if she galled his wound. 
Then to her maidens she did say, 
That he should be whole man and sound, 
Within the course of a night and day. 

Full long she toiled; for she did rue 

Mishap to friend so stout and true. 



So passed the day the evening fell, 
'Twas near the time of curfew bell; 
The air was mild, the wind was calm, 
The stream was smooth, the dew was halm ; 



See several charms for this purpose in Reginald Scot'i Dit- 
eorerif of tntchcraft, p. 273. 

t This idea is taken from Sir Kenelm Digby's account of his 
n-rr.pathetic powder, with which he cured alL-wonnd by merely 
minting with it the weapon that h*d inflicted them. 



42 LAY OF THE [CANTO Dl 

E'en' the rude watchman, on the tower, 
Enjoyed and blessed the lovely hour. 
Far more fair Margaret loved and hlessed 
The hour of silence and of rest. 
On the high turret sitting lone, 
She waked at times the lute's soft tone; 
Touched a wild note, and all between 
Thought of the bower of hawthorns green; 
Her golden hair streamed free from band, 
Her fair cheek rested on her hand, 
Her blue eyes sought the west afar, 
For lovers love the western star. 

XXV. 

Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen, 

That rises slowly to her ken, 

And, spreading broad its wavering light, 

Shakes its loose tresses on the night? 

Is yon red glare the western star ? 

O, 'tis the beacon-blaze of war ! 

Scarce could she draw her tightened breath; 

For well she knew the fire of death ! 

XXVI. 

The warder viewed it blazing strong, 
And blew his war-note loud and long, 
Till, at the high and haughty sound, 
Rock, wood, and river, rung around. 
The blast alarmed the festal hall, 
And startled forth the warriors all ; 
Far downward, in the castle-yard, 
Full many a torch and cresset glared; 
And helms and plumes, confusedly tossed, 
Were in the blaze half-seen, half-lost; 
And spears in wild disorder shook, 
Like reeds beside a frozen brook. 

XXVII. 

The Seneschal, whose silver hair 
Was reddened by the torches' glare, 
Stood in the midst, with gesture proud, 
And issued forth his mandates loud. 



CANTO HI] 



LAST MINSTREL. 48 



" On Penchryst glows a bale* of fire, 

And three are kindling on Priesthaughsmre;+ 

Ride out, ride out, 

The foe to scout ! 

Mount, mount for Branksome,+ every man! 
Thou, Todrig, warn the Johnstone clan, 

That ever are true and stout. 
Ye need not send to Liddesdale; 
For, when they see the blazing bale, 
Elliots and Armstrongs never fail. 
Ride, Alton, ride, for death and life. 
And warn the warden of the strife. 
Youne; Gilbert, let our beacon blaze, 
Our km, and clan, and friends, to raise." 

xxvni. 

Fair Margaret, from the turret head, 
Heard, far below, the coursers' tread, 

While loud the harness rung, 
As to their seats with clamour dread, 

The ready horsemen sprung; 
And trampling hoofs, and iron coats, 
And leaders' voices, mingled notes, 
And out ! and out ! 
In hasty route, 

The horsemen galloped forth; 
Dispersing to the south to scout, 

And east, and west, and north, 
To view their coming enemies, 
And warn their vassals, and allies. 

XXIX. 

The ready page, with hurried hand, 
Awaked the need-fire's :|| slumbering brand, 
And ruddy blushed the heaven : 

Bale, beacon faggot, t See not* on p. 45. 

J Mount for Branktome, was the gathering word of th 
Scott*. 

On account of the clannish feeling* of relationship that sub- 
sisted aimmg the Borderers, a Border chief could muster a large 
frre at a very short uotice, whether for the purpoe of surprise or 

II Xettt-firt, baacoa. 



44 LAY OF THE [CANTO 1U. 

For a sheet of flame, from the turret high, 
Waved like a blood-flag on the sky, 

All flaring and uneven, 
And soon a score of fires, I ween, 
From height, and hill, and cliff, were seen; 
Each with warlike tidings fraught; 
Each from each the signal caught; 
Each after each they glanced to sight, 
As stars arise upon the night. 
They gleamed on many a dusky tarn,* 
Haunted by the lonely earn;^ 
On many a cairn's gray pyramid, 
Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid;!{r 
Till high Dunedin the blazes saw, 
From Soltra and Dumpender Law; 
And Lothian heard the Regent's order, 
That all should bowneg them for the Border. 



The livelong night in Branksome rang 

The ceaseless sound of steel; 
The castle-bell, with backward clang, 

Sent forth the larum peal; 
Was frequent heard the heavy jar; 
Where massy stone and iron bar 
Were piled on echoing keep and tower, 
To whelm the foe with deadly shower; 
Was frequent heard the changing guard, 
And watch-word from the sleepless ward; 
While, wearied by the endless din, 
Blood-hound and ban-dog yelled within. 

XXXI. 

The noble Dame, amid the broil, 
Shared the gray Seneschal's high toil, 
And spoke of danger with a smile; 

* Tarn, a mountain Lake. + Earn, a ScottUh eagle. 

J The cairns, or piles nf loose stone, which crown the summit of 
mot of our Scottish liills. seem usually to have been sepulchral 
monuments. Six Hat stones ;ire commonly found in the centre, 
forming a cavity of greater or smaller dimensions, in which an urn 
is often placed. 

Bovine, make ready. 



CANTO IV.] i-AST MINSTREL. 45 

Cheered the young knights, and council sage 
Held with the chiefs of riper age. 
No tidings of the foe were brought, 
Nor of his numbers knew they ought, 
Nor in what time the truce he sought. 

Some said, that there were thousands ten, 
And others weened that it was nought 
But Leven Clans, or Tynedale men, 
Who came to gather in black mail ;* 
And Liddesdale, with small avail, 

Might drive them lightly back agen. 
So passed the anxious night away, 
And welcome was the peep of day. 



CEASED the high sound the listening throng 

Applaud the Master of the Song; 

And marvel much, in helpless age, 

So hard should be his pilgrimage. 

Had he no friend no daughter dear, 

His wandering toil to share and cheer; 

No son, to be his father's stay, 

And guide him on the rugged way? 

" Aye ! once he had but he was dead !** 

Upon the harp he stooped his head, 

And busied himself the strings withal, 

To hide the tear, that fain would fall. 

In solemn measure, soft and slow, 

Arose a father's notes of woe. 



CANTO FOURTH. 

i. 
SWEET Teviot ! on thy silver tide 

The glaring bale-fires-f- blaze no more; 

# Protection-money exacted by free-booters, 

+ The Border beacons, from their number and position, formed 
sort of telegraphic communication with Edinburgh. The act of 
Varliament 1455, c. 4-8, directs that one bale or fagaot shall be warn- 
ing of the approach of the English in any manner ; two bales, that 
they are coming indeed; four bales, blazing beside each other, tlul 
(he enemy are in great force. 



46 LAY OP THB [CANTO IV 

No longer steel-clad warriors ride 

Along thy wild and willowed shore 
Where'er thou wind'st by dale or hill, 
All, all is peaceful, all is still, 

As if thy waves, since Time was horn, 
Since first they rolled upon the Tweed, 
Had only heard the shepherd's reed, 

Nor started at the bugle-horn. 



Unlike the tide of human time, 

Which, though it change in ceaseless Haw, 

Retains each grief, retains each crime, 

Its earliest course was doomed to kno"W, 
And, darker as it downward bears, 
Is stained with past and present tears. 

Low as that tide has ebbed with me, 
It still reflects to memory's eye 
The hour, rriy brave, my only boy, 

Fell by the side of great Dundee.* 
Why, when the volleying musket played 
Against the bloody Highland blade, 
Why was not I beside liim laid ! 
Enough- he died the death of fame ; 
Enough he died with conquering Gram*. 

III. 
Now over Border dale and fell, 

Full wide and far was terror spread; 
For pathless marsh, and mountain cell, 

The peasant left his lowly shed.+ 
The frightened flocks and herds were pent 
Beneath the peel's rude battlement; 
And maids and matrons dropped the tear, 
While ready warriors seized the spear. 
From Branksome's towers, the watchman's eye 
Dun wreaths of distant smoke can spy, 

* The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Kfflycrankle. 

t The Morasses were the nsual refuge of the Border herdsmen, 
on the approach of an English army. Caves, hewed in the most 
dangerous and inaccessible places, also afforded an occasional re- 
treat. 



CANTO IV.] tAST MINSTREL. 

Which, curling in the rising sun, 
Showed southern ravage was begun,* 

IV. 

Now loud the heedful gate- ward cried 
" Prepare ye all for blows and blood! 
Watt Tinlinn, from the Liddle-side,f 

Comes wading through the flood. 
__ Full oft the Tynedale snatchers knock 
At his lone gate, and prove the lock; 
It was but last St Barnabright 
They sieged him a whole summer night, 
But fled at morning; well they knew, 
In vain he never twanged the yew. 
Right sharp has been the evening shower, 
That drove him from his Liddle tower; 
And, by my faith," the gate- ward said, 
" I think 'twill prove a Warden-Raid.":}: 

v. 

While thus he spoke, the bold yeoman 
Entered the echoing barbican. 
He led a small and shaggy nag, 
That through a bog, from hag to hag, 
Could bound like any Bilhope stag;]] 
It bore his wife and children twain ; 
A half-clothed serfU was all their train : 
His wife, stout, ruddy, and dark-browed, 
Of silver broach and bracelet proud,** 
Laughed to her friends among the crowd. 



* The mutual cruelties of the Borderen, and the personal hatred 
of the Warden? gave to the Border wars, between England and 
Scotland, a character of savage atrocity which could not be para- 
lelled even in the wars of the sixteenth century. 

t Watt Tinlinn was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and 
held for his Border service a small tower on the frontiers of tiid- 
detidale. Watt was, by profession, a tutor (shoemaker), but, by 
inclination and practice, an archer and warrior. 

J An inroad commanded by the Warden in person, 

The broken ground iu a bog. 

|| Bilhope was famous among hunters for bucks and roes. 

4 Bonds-man. 

** The Borderers, on account of being exposed to haying their 
houses burned or plundered, were anxious to dia^luy splendour iu 
decorating and ornamenting their females. 



4ft LAY OF THB JCANTO IV. 

He was of stature passing tall, 

But sparely formed, and lean withal : 

A battered morion on his brow; 

A leathern jack, as fence enow, 

On his broad shoulders loosely hung; 

A border-axe behind was slung; 

His spear, six Scottish ells in length, 
Seemed newly dyed with gore; 

His shafts and bow, of wondrous strength, 
His hardy partner bore. 



Thus to the Ladye did Tinlinn show 

The tidings of the English foe : 

" Belted Will Howard is marching here,* 

And hot Lord Dacre, with many a spear, 

And all the German liagbut-men, - t < 

Who have lone lain at Askertain: 

They crossed the Liddle at curfew hour, 

And burned my little lonely tower; 

The fiend receive their souls therefor! 

It had not been burned this year and more. 

Barn-yard and dwelling. Ma/ing bright, 

Served to guide me on my (light; 

But I was chased the livi -long night. 

Black John of Akeshaw, and Fergus Graeme, 

Fast upon my traces came, 

Until I turned at Priesthaugh-Scrogg, 

And shot their horses in the bog, 

* Lord William Howard, third Bon of Thnirai, duke of Norfolk. 
By a poetical anachronlim, he is introduced into the romance a 
few years earlier than he actually flourbdied. lie .1- " 
the Western Marches; and from the rijr'mt with which he re- 
pressed the Border excpuet, the name "f Belted Will Howard it 
till famous hi our traditiou. The v ell-known name ot D.ui e is 
derived from the exploit* of one of their .m.vtttirs at the siejre of 
Acre or Ptnlemau, under Richard Cn-ii dr I.irii. The lord Dacre 
of this period, was a man of hot and obstinate character, as appeari 
from some particulars ..f I .,r,l Suirey's letter to Henry VIII.. -,'i* ing 
an account nt his l,eha\ iinir .it tin ,i,. a e anil aim m nf Ji-ilburgh. 

+ Iu the wars with Scotland. II. -my VIII.. an. 
employed numerous bauds ot nn 

Pinky there were in the 1 - luitteen. 

m miltkrteer* ou font, anil twohinidi< : . ..iu|Hise.l 

chiefly of foreigners. Krom the battle -\ , ut K'.?>- 

ixh painters, we U'arn that Ui.' I,m -. 

marched to ail <u&ault with their riyht knees baied. 



CANTO IVJ LAST MINSTREL. 49 

Slew Fergus with my lance outright 

I had him long at high despite : 

He drove my cows last Eastern's night." 

VII. 

Now weary scouts from Liddesdale, 

Fast hurrying in, confirmed the tale; 

As far as they could judge by ken, 

Three hours would bring to Teviot's strand 
Three thousand armed Englishmen. 

Meanwhile, full many a warlike band, 
From Teviot, Aill, and Ettrick shade. 
Came in, their Chiefs defence to aid, 

VIII. 

From fair St Mary's silver wave, 

From dreary Gamescleuch's dusky height, 
His ready lances Thirlestane brave* 

Arrayed K> 'e:ith a banner bright, 
The treasured Heur-de-luce he claims 
To wreathe his shield, since royal James, 
Encamped by Fala's mossy wave, 
The proud distinction grateful gave, 

For faith mid feudal jars; 
What time, save Thirlestane alone, 
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none 

Would march to southern wars; 
And hence, in fair remembrance worn, 
Yon sheaf of spears his crest has borne : 
Hence his high motto shines revealed, 
" Ready, a) e ready," for the field. 

IX. 

An aged knight, to danger steeled, 
With many a moss-trooper, came on: 



* When James had assembled hia nobility at Fain, to invade 
England, and was disappointed by their refusal, Sii John Scott of 
Thirlestane alone declared dims if ready to follow the king wher- 
ever he should lead. In memory of his 'fidelity, Jain's granted to 
bis family a charter of arms, entitling them to bear a border of 
fleurs-de-We, similar to the tr usiirf in the royal arias, with m 
bundle of spears for the crest; motto, Ready, aye ready. 
C 



SO iAY OF THE {CANTO IV. 

And azure in a golden field, 

The stars and crescent graced his shield, 

Without the bend of Murdieston.* 
Wide lay his lands round Oakwood tower, 
And wide round haunted Castle-Ower; 
High over Borthwick's mountain flood, 
His wood-embosomed mansion stood; 
In the dark glen, so deep below, 
The herds of plundered England low ; 
His bold retainers' daily food, 
And bought with danger, blows, and blood. 
Marauding chief! his sole delight 
The moonlight raid, the morning fight; 
Not even the Flower of Yarrow's charms, 
In youth, might tame his rage for arms; 
And still, in age, he spurned at rest, 
And still his brows the helmet pressed, 
Albeit the blanched locks below 
Where white as Dinlay's spotless snow: 

Five stately warriors drew the sword 
Before their father's band; 

A braver knight than Harden's lord 
Ne'er belted on a brand. 

x. 

Whitslade the Hawk, and Headshaw came, 
And warriors more than I may name; 
From Yarrow-cleuch to Hindhaugh-swair, 

From Woodhouselie to Chester-glen, 
Trooped man and horse, and bow and spear; 

Their gathering word was Bellenden.T 
And better hearts o'er Border sod 
To siege or rescue never rode. 

* Walter Scott of Harden, who flourished during the reign of 
Queen Mary, was a renowned Border freebooter, whose castle was 
situate upon the very brink of a dark and precipitous dell, through 

cess of this glen he is said to have kept his spoil, which served for 
the daily maintenance ot his retainers, until the production of a 
pair of clean spurs in a covered dish, announced to the hungry 
band, that they must ride for a supply of provisions. He wa 
married to Mary Scott, called in song the Flower or Yarrow. 

t Ballenden is situated ne ir the head of Borthwick water, and, 
being in the centre of the possessions of the Scotts, was frequently 
used a their place of rendezvous and gathering word. 



CANTO IV.] 



LAST MINSTREL. 51 



The Ladye marked the aids come in, 
And high her heart of pride arose ; 
She hade her youthful son attend, 
That he might know his father's friend, 

And learn to face his foes. 
" The boy is ripe to look on war ; 

I saw him draw a cross-bow stiff, 
And his true arrow struck afar 

The raven's nest upon the cliff; 
The Red Cross, on a southern breast, 
Is broader than the raven's nesti 
Thou, Whitslade, shalt teach him his weapon to 
And o'er him hold his father's shield." [wield, 



Well may you think, the wily Page 

Cared not to face the Ladye sage. 

He counterfeited childish fear, 

And shrieked, and shed full many a tear, 

And moaned and plained in manner wild. 
The attendants to the Ladye told, 

Some fairy, sure, had changed the child, 

That wont to be so free and bold. 
Then wrathful was the noble dame; 
She blushed blood-red for very shame : 
" Hence ! ere the clan his faintness view ; 
Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch ! 
Watt Tinlinn, thou shalt be his guide 
To Rangleburn's lonely side. 
Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line, 
That coward should e'er be son of mine I" 

XII. 

A heavy task Watt Tinlinn had, 
To guide the counterfeited lad. 
Soon as his palfrey felt the weight 
Of that ill-omen'd elvish freight, 
He bolted, sprung, and reared amain, 
Nor heeded bit, nor curb, nor rein. 
It cost Watt Tinlinn raickle toil 
To drive him but a Scottish mile; 
But, as a shallow brook they crossed, 



52 LAY OF THE [CANTO I? 

The elf, amid the running stream, 
His figure changed, like lorm in dream, 

And fled, and shouted, " Lost ! lost ! lost !" 
Full fast the urchin ran and laughed, 
But faster still a cloth-yard shaft 
Whistled from startled Tinlinn's yew, 
And pierced his shoulder through and through. 
Although the imp might not be slain, 
And though the wound scon healed again, 
Yet, as he ran, he yelled for pain ; 
And Watt of Tinlinn, much aghast, 
Rode back to Branksome fiery fast. 



Soon on the hill's steep verge he stood, 
That looks o'er Branksome's towers and wood ; 
And martial murmurs, from below, 
Proclaimed the approaching southern foe. 
Through the dark wood, in mingled tone, 
Were Border-pipes and bugles blown ; 
The coursers' neighing he could ken, 
And measured tread of marching men ; 
While broke at times the solemn hum, 
The Almayn's sullen kettle-drum ; 

And banners tall, of crimson sheen, 
Above the copse appear ; 

And, glistening through the hawthorns green, 
Shine helm, and shield, and spear. 

XIV. 

Light forayers first, to view the ground, 
Spurred their fleet coursers loosely round 

Behind, in close array and fast, 
The Kendal archers, all in green, 

Obedient to the bugle blast, 

Advancing from the wood are seen. 
To back and guard the archer band, 
Lord Dacre's bill-men were at hand ; 
A hardy race, on Irthing bred, 
With kirtles white, and crosses red, 
Arrayed beneath the banner tall, 
' That streamed o'er Acre's conquered wall ; 



CANTO IV.] LAST MINSTREL. 



53 



And minstrels, as they marched in order. [der." 
Played, " Noble Lord Dacre, he dwells on the Bor- 



Behind the English bill and bow, 
The mercenaries, firm and slow, 

Moved on to fight, in dark array, 
By Conrad led of Wolfenstein, 
TV ho brought the band from distant Rhine, 

And sold their blood for foreign pay. 
The camp their home, their law the sword, 
They knew no country, owned no lord :* 
They were not armed like England's sons, 
But bore the levin-darting guns; 
Buff-coats, all frounced and 'broidered o'er, 
And morsing-horns+ and scarfs they wore ; 
Each better knee was bared, to aid 
The warriors in the escalade ; 
All, as they marched, in rugged tongue, 
Songs of Teutonic feuds they sung. 



But louder still the clamour grew, 

And louder still the minstrels blew, 

When, from beneath the greenwood tree, 

Rode forth Lord Howard's chivalry ; 

His men at arms, with glaive and spear, 

Brought up the battle's glittering rear. 

There many a youthf A knight, full keen 

To gain his spurs, in arms was seen ; 

With favour in his crest,' or glove, 

Memorial of his ladye-love. 

So rode they forth in fair array, 

Till full their lengthened lines display; 

Then called a halt, and made a stand, 

And cried, " St George, for merry England !" 

Such were the mercenary soldiers who figure in the middle 
ages under the names of Brabau^oixs, Candottierri, and Free-Com- 
panion* who farmed their serv*cea fo the best bidders, and pro- 
claimed themselves "the friends of God, and enemies of all the 
world.' 

t Powder flasks. 



54 LAY OF THE 



[CANTO IV 



XVII. 

Now every English eye, intent, 
On Brauksome s armed towers was bent ; 
So near they were, that they might know 
The straining harsh of each cross-bow ; 
On battlement and bartizan 
Gleamed axe, and spear, and partizan ; 
Falcon and culver,* on each tower, 
Stood prompt their deadly hail to shower; 
And flashing armour frequent broke 
From eddying whirls of sable smoke, 
Where, upon tower and turret head, 
The seething pitch and molten lead 
Keeked, like a witch's cauldron red. 
While yet they gaze, the bridges fall, 
The wicket opes, and from the wall 
Rides forth the hoary Seneschal. 

XVIII. 

Armed he rode, all save the head, 

His white beard o'er his breast-plate spread ; 

Unbroke by age, erect his seat, 

He ruled his eager courser's gait ; 

Forced him, with chastened fire, to prance, 

And, high curvetting, slow advance : 

In sign of truce, his better hand 

Displayed a peeled willow wand; 

His squire, attending in the rear, 

Bore high a gauntlet on a spear. -f 

When they espied him riding out, 

Lord Howard and Lord Dacre stout 

Sped to the front of their array, 

To hear what .this old knight should say. 

XIX. 

" Ye English warden lords, of you 
Demands the Ladye of Buccleuch, 

Ancient pieces of artillery. 

* A glove upon a lance was the emblem of faith among the an- 
cient Borderers, who were wont, when any one broke his word, 
to expose this emblem, and proclaim him a faithless villain at tli 
first Border meeting. 



CANTO IV. 1 



LAST MINSTEEL. 55 



Why, 'gainst the truce of Border-tide, 

In hostile guise ye dare to ride, 

With Kendal bow, and Gilsland brand, 

And all your mercenary band, 

Upon the bounds of fair Scotland ? 

My Ladye reads you swith return; 

And, if but one poor straw you burn, 

Or do our towers so much molest, 

As scare one swallow from her nest, 

St Mary! but we'll light a brand, 

Shall warm your hearths in Cumberland." 



A wrathful man was Dacre's lord. 
But calmer Howard took the word : 
" May't please thy Dame, Sir Seneschal, 
To seek the castle's outward wall; 
Our pursuivant-at-arms shall show, 
Both why we came, and when we go." 
The message sped, the noble Dame 
To the walls' outward circle came; 
Each chief around leaned on his spear, 
To see the pursuivant appear. 
All in Lord Howard's livery dressed, 
The lion argent decked his breast; 
He led a boy of blooming hue 
O sight to meet a mother's view ! 
It was the heir of great Buccleuch. 
Obeisance meet the herald made, 
And thus his master's will he said. 

XXI. 

" It irks, high Dame, my noble Lords, 
'Gainst ladye fair to draw their swords: 
But yet they may not tamely see, 
All through the western wardenry, 
Your law-contemning kinsmen ride, 
And burn and spoil the Border-side; 
And ill beseems your rank and birth 
To make your towers a flemens-firth.* 

* An asylum for oatlaw*. 



6b LAY OF THE [CANTO IV 

We claim from thee William of Deloraine, 
That he may suffer march-treason pain:* 
It was but last St Cuthbert's even 
He pricked to Stapleton on Leven, 
Harried'f' the lands of Richard Musgrave, 
And slew his brother by dint of glaive. 
Then, since a lone and widowed Dame 
These restless riders may not tame, 
Either receive within thy towers 
Two hundred of my master's powers, 
Or straight they sound their warison,J 
And storm and spoil thy garrison; 
And this fair boy, to London led, 
Shall good King Edward's page be bred." 

XXII. 

He ceased and loud the boy did cry, 

And stretched his little arms on high; 

Implored for aid each well-known face, , 

And strove to seek the Dame's embrace. 

A moment changed that Ladye's cheer, , 

Gushed to her eye the unbidden tear; 

She gazed upon the leaders round, 

And dark and sad each warrior frowned; 

Then, deep within her sobbing breast 

She locked the struggling sigh to rest; 

Unaltered and collected stood, 

And thus replied, in dauntless mood. 

XXIII. 

" Say to your Lords of high emprize, 

Who war on woman and on boys, 

That either William of Deloraine 

Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain, 

* Several species of offences, peculiar to the Border, constituted 
what was called march-treason. Among others, was the crime cf 
riding, or causing to ride, against the opposite country during the 
rime of truce. 

t Plundered . t Note of assault. 

f In dubioiu cases, the innocence of Border-criminal* WM 
occasionally referred to their own oath. 



CANTO IV.] LAST MINSTREL. 57 

Or else he will the combat take 
'Gainst Musgrave, for his honour's sake. 
No knight in Cumberland so good, 
But William may count with him kin and blood. 
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword, 
When English blood swellsd Ancram ford ;* 
And but that Lord Dacre's steed was wight, 
And bare him ably in the flight, 
Himself had seen him dubbed a knight. 
For the young heir of Brauksome's line, 
God he his aid, and God he mine ; 
Through me no friend shall meet his doom ; 
Here while I live, no foe finds room. 

Then, if thy lords their purpose urge, 
Take our defiance loud and high ; 

OUT slogan is their lyke-wake-)- dirge, 

Our moat, the grave where they shall lie." 



Prond she looked round, applause to claim 
Then lightened Thirlestane's eye of flame ; 

His bugle Watt of Harden blew ; 
Pensils and pennons wide were flung, 
To heaven the Border slogan rung, 

" St Mary for the young Buccleuch f* 
The English war-cry answered wide, 

And forward bent each southern spear ; 
Each Kendal archer made a stride, 

And drew the bow-string to his ear : 
Each minstrel's war-note loud was blown ; 
But, ere a gray-goose shaft had flown, 

A horseman galloped from the rear. 



* The dignity of knighthood, according to the original institu- 
tion, had this peculiarity, that it did not flow from the monarch 
but could be conferred by one who himself possessed it, upon any 
squire who, after due probation, was found to merit the honour 
of chivalry. The battle of Ancram Moor, or Peniel -heuch, which 
was fought A. D. IMS, was considered sufficient prooation for that 
honour. The English, commanded by Sir Ralph Evers and Sir 
Brian Latoun, were totally route-', and both their leaders slain in 
the action. The Scottish army was commanded by Archibald 
Douglas, Earl of Angus, assisted by the laird of Bnccleuch and 
Norman Lesley. 

t Lyke-wake, the watching a corpse prerious to interment. 

c2 



gg LAY OF THE [CAirTOK. 

XXV. 

" Ah ! noble Lords F' he, breathless, said, 

"What treason has your march betrayed? 

What make you here, from aid so far, 

Before you walls, around you war? 

Your foemen triumph in the thought, 

That in the toils the lion's caught. 

Already on dark Ruberslaw 

The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw : 

The lances, waving in his train, 

Clothe the dun heath like autumn grain; 

And on the Liddle's northern strand, 

To bar retreat to Cumberland, 

Lord Maxwell ranks his merry-men good, 

Beneath the eagle and the rood ; 

And Jedwood, Eske, and Teviotdale, 

Have to proud Angus come ; 
And all the Merse and Lauderdale 
Have risen with haughty Home. 
An exile from Northumberland, 

In Liddesdale I've wandered long; 
But still my heart was with merry England, 

And cannot brook my country's wrong, 
And hard I've spurred all night, to show 
The mustering of the coming foe." 

XXVI. 

" And let them come !" fierce Dacre cried; 
" For soon yon crest, my father's pride, 
That swept the shores of Judah's sea, 
And waved in gales of Galilee, 
From Branksome's highest towers displayed, 
Shall mock the rescue's lingering aid ! 
Level each harquebuss on row ; 
Draw, merry archers, draw the bow; 
Up, bill-men, to the walls, and cry, 
Dacre for England, win or die !" 

XXVII. 

" Yet hear," quoth Howard, " calmly hear, 
Nor deem my words the words of fear : 

Weapon-schaw, the military array of a county. 



CANTO JV.l LAST MINSTEEL. 59 

For who in field or foray slack 

Saw the blanche liou e'er fall back?* 

But thus to risque our Border flower 

In strife against a kingdom's power, 

Ten thousand Scots 'gainst thousands three, 

Certes, were desperate policy. 

Nay, take the terms the Ladye made, 

Ere conscious of the advancing aid : 

Let Musgrave meet fierce Deloraine-1" 

In single fight ; and if he gain, 

He gains for us ; but if he's crossed, 

'Tis but a single warrior lost : 

The rest, retreating as they came, 

Avoid defeat, and death, and shame.' 1 * 

XXVIII. 

Ill could the haughty Dacre brook 
His brother- warden's sage rebuke ; 
And yet his forward step he staid, 
And slow and sullenly obeyed : 
But ne'er again the Border side 
Did these two lords in friendship ride ; 
And this slight discontent, men say, 
Cost blood upon another day. 

XXIX. 

The pursuivant-at-arms again 

Before the castle took his stand ; 
His trumpet called, with parleying strain, 

The leaders of the Scottish band ; 
And he defied, in Musgrave' s right, 
Stout Deloraine to single fight ; 
A gauntlet at their feet he laid, 
And thus the terms of fight he said : 
" If in the lists good Musgrave's sword 

Vanquish the knight of Deloraine, 
Your youthful chieftain, Branksome's lord, 

Shall hostage for his clan remain : 

This was the cognisance of the noble house of Howard in all 
its branches. The crest, or bearing, of a warrior, was often ued 

+ Trial by single combat, 80 peculiar to the feudal system, waa 
common on the Border*. 



60 LAY OF THE [CANTO IT. 

If Deloraine foil good Musgrave, 
The boy his liberty shall have. 

Howe'er it falls, the English band, 
Unharming Scots, by Scots unharmed, 
In peaceful march like men unarmed, 

Shall straight retreat to Cumberland." 



Unconscious of the near relief, 

The proffer pleased each Scottish chief, 

Though much the Ladye sage gainsayed : 
For though their hearts were brave and true, 
From Jedwood's recent sack they knew, 

How tardy was the regent's aid ; 
And you may guess the noble Dame 

Durst not the secret prescience own, 
Sprung from the art she might not name, 

By which the coming help was known. 
Closed was the compact, and agreed 
That lists should be enclosed with speed 

Beneath the castle on a lawn : 
They fixed the morrow for the strife, 
On foot, with Scottish axe and knife, 

At the fourth hour from peep of dawn ; 
When Deloraine, from sickness freed, 
Or else a champion in his stead, 
Should for himself and chieftain stand, 
Against stout Musgrave, hand to hand. 



I know right well, that, in their lay, 
Full many minstrels sing and say, 

Such combat should be made on horse, 
On foaming steed, in full career, 
With brand to aid, when as the spear 

Should shiver in the course : 
But he, the jovial Harper, taught* 
Me, yet a youth, how it was fought, 

In guise which now I say : 

' * The person, here alluded to, is one of om ancient Border 
minstrels, called Rattling Hearing Willie. Willie chanced to 



CANTO IV.3 LAST MINSTREL. 

He knew each ordinance and clause 
Of black Lord Archibald's battle laws, 

In the old Douglas' day. 
He brooked not, he, that scoffing tongue 
Should tax his minstrelsy with wrong, 

Or call his song untrue : 
For this when they the goblet plied, 
And such rude taunt had chafed his pride, 

The hard of Reull he slew. 
On Teviot's side, in fight, they stood, 
And tuneful hands were stained with blood; 
Where still the thorn's white branches wave, 
Memorial o'er his rival's grave. 



Why should I tell the rigid doom, 
That dragged my master to his tomb ; 

How Ousenam's maidens tore their hair, 
Wept till their eyes were dead and dim, 
And wrung their hands for love of him, 

Who died at Jedwood Air ? 
He died ! his scholars, one by one, 
To the cold silent grave are gone ; 
And I, alas ! survive alone, 
To muse o'er rivalries of yore, 
And grieve that I shall hear no more 
The strains, with envy heard before ; 
For, with my minstrel brethren fled, 
My jealousy of song is dead. 



61 



HE paused : the listening dames again 
Applaud the hoary Minstrel's strain ; 
With many a word of kindly cheer, 
In pity half, and half sincere, 
Marvelled the Duchess how so well 
His legendary song could tell 

quarrel with oneof his own profession, distinguished by the odd name 
of Sweet Milk, from a place on Rule water so called. They retired 
to decide the contest with their swords, and Sweet Milk was killed 
on the spot ; in consequence of which Willie was taken and executed 
at Jedburgh, bequeathing his name to the beautiful Scotch air, 
wOled "Rattling Boaring Willie." 



62 



LAY OF THE [CAKTO T. 



Of ancient deeds, so long forgot ; 
Of feuds, whose memory was not ; 
Of forests, now laid waste and bare ; 
Of towers, which harbour now the hare ; 
Of manners, long since changed and gone ; 
Of chiefs, who under their gray stone 
So long had slept, that fickle Fame 
Had blotted from her rolls their name, 
And twined round some new minion's head 
The fading wreath for which they bled ; 
In sooth, 'twas strange, this old man's verse 
Could call them from their marble hearse. 

The Harper smiled, well pleased ; for ne'er 
Was flattery lost on poet's ear : 
A simple race ! they waste their toil 
For the vain tribute of a smile ; 
E'en when in age their flame expires, 
Her dulcet breath can fan its fires : 
Their drooping fancy wakes at praise, 
And strives to trim the short-lived blaze. 

Smiled then, well-pleased, the Aged Man, 
And thus his tale continued ran. 



CANTO FIFTH, 
i. 

CALL it not vain : they do not err, 
Who say, that, when the Poet dies, 

Mute Nature mourns her worshipper, 
And celebrates his obsequies ; 

Who say, tall cliff, and cavern lone, 

For the departed bard make moan ; 

That mountains weep in crystal rill ; 

That flowers in tears of balm distil ; 

Through his loved groves that breezes algh, 

And oaks, in deeper groan, reply ; 



CANTO V-1 



LAST MINSTREL. 63 



And rivers teach their rushing wave 
To murmur dirges round his grave. 



Not that, in sooth, o'er mortal urn 

Those things inanimate can mourn ; 

But that the stream, the wood, the gale, 

Is vocal with the plaintive wail 

Of those, who, else forgotten long, 

Lived in the poet's faithful song, 

And, with the poet's parting breath. 

Whose memory feels a second death. 

The maid's pale shade, who wails her lot, 

That love, true love, should be forgot, 

From rose and hawthorn shakes the tear 

Upon the gentle minstrel's bier : 

The phantom knight, his glory fled, 

Mourns o'er the fields he heaped with dead ; 

Mounts the wild blast that sweeps amain, 

And shrieks along the battle-plain : 

The chief, whose antique crowtlet long 

Still sparkled in tl.e feudal song, 

Now, from the mountain's misty throne, 

Sees, in the thanedom once his own, 

His ashes undistinguished lie, 

His place, his power, his memory die : 

His groans the lonely caverns fill, 

His tears of rage impel the rill ; 

All mourn the minstrel's harp unstrung, 

Their name unknown, their praise unsung. 

in. 

Scarcely the hot assault was staid, 
The terms of truce were scarcely made, 
When they could spy, from Branksome's towers, 
The advancing march of martial powers ; 
Thick clouds of dust afar appeared, 
And trampling steeds were faintly heard ; 
Bright spears, above the columns dun, 
Glanced momentary to the sun ; 
And feudal banners fair displayed 
The bands that moved to Branksome's aid. 



64 LAY OF THE {CANTO V. 

IV. 

'Vails not to tell each hardy clan, 

From the fair Middle Marches came ; 
The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,* 

Announcing Douglas, dreaded name ! 
'Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn, 
Where the Seven Spears of Wedderburn+ 

Their men in battle-order set ; 
And Swinton laid the lance in rest, 
That tamed of yore the sparkling crest 

Of Clarence's Plantagenet.J 
Nor lists, I say, what hundreds more, 
From the rich Merse and Lammermore, 
And Tweed's fair borders, to the war, 
Beneath the crest of old Dunbar, 

And Hepburn's mingled banners come, 
Down the steep mountain glittering far, 

And shouting still, " a Home ! a Home P' 



Now squire and knight, from Branksome sent, 

On many a courteous message went ; 

To every chief and lord they paid 

Meet thanks for prompt and powerful aid ; 

And told them, how a truce was made, 
And how a day of fight was ta'en 
'Twixt Musgrave and stout Deloraine ; 
And how the Ladye prayed them dear, 

* The bloody heart was the well-known cognisance of the house 
of Douglas, assumed from t.ie time of Good I^ord James, to whose 
care Robert Bruce committed his heart, to be carried to the Holy 

t Sir David Home of Wedderburn, slain in the fatal battle of 
Flodden, left seven sons who were called the Seven Spears of 
Wedderburne. 

J At the battle of Bouge in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, 
brother to Henry V., ivas unhorsed by Sir John Swinton of Swiu- 
ton, who distinguished him by a cjronet set with precious stones, 
which he wore around his helmet. 

The Earls of Home, were descendants of the Dunbars, ancient 
Earls of March The slogan, or war-cry, of this powerful family 
was, "a Home! a Home!" The Hepburiu, a powerful family ul 
East Lothian, were usually in close alliance with the Ho 



CANTO V.] LAST MINSTREL. 66 

That all would stay the fight to see, 

And deign, in love and courtesy, 
To taste of Branksome cheer. 
Nor, while they bade to feast each Scot, 
Were England's noble Lords forgot ; 
Himself, the hoary Seneschal, 
Kode forth, in seemly terms to call 
Those gallant foes to Branksome Hall. 
Accepted Howard, than whom knight 
Was never dubbed, more bold in fight; 
Nor, when from war and armour free, 
More famed for stately courtesy : 
But angry Dacre rather chose 
In his pavilion to repose. 

VI. 

Now, noble Dame, perchance you ask, 

How these two hostile armies met ? 
Deeming it were no easy task 

To keep the truce which here was set; 
Where martial spirits, all on fire, 
Breathed only blood and mortal ire. 
By mutual inroads, mutual blows, 
By habit, and by nation, foes, 

They met on Teviot's strand : 
They met, and sate them mingled down, 
Without a threat, without a frown, 

As brothers meet in foreign land : 
The hands, the spear that lately grasped, 
Still in the mailed gauntlet clasped, 

Were interchanged in greeting dear ; 
Visors were raised, and faces shown, 
And many a friend, to friend made known, 

Partook of social cheer. 
Some drove the jolly bowl about ; 

With dice and draughts some chased the day ; 
And some, with many a merry shout, 
In riot revelry, and rout, 

Pursued the foot-ball play.* 

* The foot-ban was anciently a very favourite iport all through 
Scotland, but especially ou the Borders. 



66 



LAY OF THE [CANTO V, 



Yet be it known, had bugles blown, 

Or sign of war been seen ; 
Those bands, so fair together ranged, 
Those hands, so frankly interchanged, 

Had dyed with gore the green : 
The merry shout by Teviot-side 
Had sunk in war-cries wild and wide, 

And in the groan of death ; 
And whingers,* now in friendship bare, 
The social meal to part and share, 

Had found a bloody sheath. 
'Twixt truce and war, such sudden change 
Was not unfrequent, nor held strange, 

In the old Border-day ;t 
But yet on Branksome's towers and town, 
In peaceful merriment, sunk down 

The sun's declining ray. 



The blithesome signs of wassel gay 
Decayed not with the dying day ; 
Soon through the latticed windows tall, 
Of lofty Branksome's lordly hall, 
Divided square by shafts of stone, 
Huge flakes of ruddy lustre shone ; 
Nor less the gilded rafters rang 
With merry harp and beakers' clang ; 

And frequent, on the darkening plain, 
Loud hollo, whoop, or whistle ran, 

As bands, their stragglers to regain. 

Give the shrill watch- word of their clan ; 

And revellers, o'er their bowls, proclaim 

Douglas 01 Dacre's conquering name. 

A sort of knife, or poniard. 

t Notwithstanding the constant wars upon the Bordert, the 
Inhabitants on either side appear to have regarded each other lik 
the outposts of hostile armies, and often carried on something re- 
sembling friendly intercourse, even in the middle of hostilities, 84 
that the governments of both countries were jealous of their 
cherishing too Ultimate a connexion. 



CANTO T.] LIST MWSTREL. 67 

IX. 
Lees frequent heard, and fainter still, 

At length the various clamours died ; 
And you might hear, from Branksome hill, 

No sound but Teviot's rushing tide ; 
Save, when the changing sentinel 
The challenge of his watch could tell ; 
And save, where, through the dark profound, 
The clanging axe and hammer's sound 

Rung from the nether lawn ; 
For many a husy hand toiled there, 
Strong pales to shape, and heams to square, 
The lists' dread barriers to prepare, 

Against the morrow's dawn. 

x. 

Margaret from hall did soon retreat, 

Despite the Dame's reproving eye, 
Nor marked she, as she left her seat, 

Full many a stifled sigh : 
For many a noble warrior strove 
To win the flower of Teviot's love, 

And many a bold ally. 
With throbbing head and anxious heart. 
All in her lonely bower apart, 

In broken sleep she lay : 
By times, from silken couch she rose ; 
While yet the bannered hosts repose, 

She viewed the dawning day : 
Of all the hundreds sunk to rest, 
First woke the loveliest and the best. 

XI. 

She gazed upon the inner court, 

Which in the tower's tall shadow lay ; 
Where coursers' clang, and stamp, and snort, 

Had rung the live-long yesterday ; 
Now still as death ; till, stalking slow, 

The jingling spurs announced his tread, 
A stately warrior passed below ; 

But when he raised his plumed head 
Blessed Mary ! e in it be ? 



68 LAY OF THE [CANTO 

Secure, as if in Ousenam bowers, 

He walks through Branksome's hostile towers 

With fearless step and free. 
She dare not sign, she dare not speak 
Oh ! if one page's slumbers break, 

His blood the price must pay ! 
Not all the pearls Queen Mary wears, 
Not Margaret's yet more precious tears, 

Shall buy his life a day. 

XII. 

Yet was his hazard small for well 
You may beihink you of the spell 

Of that sly urchin Page; 
This to his lord he did impart 
And made him seem, by glamour art, 

A knight from Hermitage. 
Unchallenged, thus, the warder's post, 
The court, unchallenged, thus he crossed, 

For all the vassalage : 
But, O ! what magic's quaint disguise 
Could blind fair Margaret's azure eyes ! 

She started from her seat ; 
While with surprise and fear she strove, 
And both could scarcely master love 

Lord Henry's at her feet. 



Oft have I mused, what purpose bad 
That foul malicious urchin had 

To bring this meeting round ; 
For happy love's a heavenly sight, 
And by a vile malignant sprite 

In such no joy is found: 
And oft I've deemed, perchance ho thought 
Their erring passion might have wrought 

Sorrow, and sin, and shame; 
And death to Cranstoun's gallant Knight, 
And to the gentle Ladye bright, 

Disgrace, and loss of fame. 
But earthly spirit could not tell 
The heart of them that loved so well; 



CANTO V.] LAST MINSTREL. 69 

True love's the gift which God has given 
To man alone beneath the heaven. 

It is not Fantasy's hot fire, 

Whose wishes, soon as> granted, fly; 

It liveth not in fierce desire, 

With dead desire it doth not die : 
It is the secret sympathy, 
The silver link, the silken tie, 
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, 
In hody and in soul can bind. 
Now leave we Margaret and her Knight, 
To tell you of the approaching fight. 

XIV. 

Their warning blast the bugles blew, 
The pipe's shrill port aroused each clan; 

In haste, the deadly strife to view, 
The trooping warriors eager ran : 

Thick round the lists their lances stood, 

Like blasted pines in Ettricke wood; 

To Branksome many a look they threw, 

The combatants' approach to view, 

And bandied many a word of boast, 

About the knight each favoured most. 
XV. 

Meantime full anxious was the Dame ; 

For now arose disputed claim, 

Of who should fight for Deloraine, 

'Twixt Harden and 'twixt Thirlestaine: 
They 'gan to reckon kin and rent, 
And frowning brow on brow was bent; 

But yet not long the strife for, lo! 
Himself, the Knight of Deloraine, 
Strong, as it seemed, and free from pain, 
In armour sheathed from top to toe, 

Appeared, and craved the combat due. 

The Dame her charm successful knew, 

And the fierce chiefs their claims withdrew. 

XVI. 

When for the lists they sought the plain, 
The stately Ladye's iilken rein 



70 LAY OF THE [CANTO 7 

Did noble Howard hold; 
Unarmed by her side he walked, 
And much, in courteous phrase, they talked 

Of feats of arms of old. 
Costly his garb, his Flemish ruff 
Fell o'er his doublet, shaped of buff, 

With satin slashed, and lined; 
Tawny his boot, and gold his spur, 
His cloak was all of Poland fur, 

His hose with silver twined; 
His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt, 
Hung in a broad and studded belt; 
Hence, in rude phrase, the Borderers still 
Called noble Howard, Belted Will. 

XVII. 

Behind Lord Howard and the Dame, 
Fair Margaret on her palfrey came, 

Whose foot-cloth swept the ground; 
White was her wimple, and her veil, 
And her loose locks a chaplet pale 

Of whitest roses bound ; 
The lordly Angus, by her side, 
In courtesy to cheer her tried; 
Without his aid, her hand in vain 
Had strove to guide her broidered rein. 
He deemed, she shuddered at the sight 
Of warriors met for mortal fight; 
But cause of terror, all unguessed, 
Was fluttering in her gentle breast, 
When, in their chairs of crimson placed, 
The Dame and she the barriers graced. 

XVIII. 

Prize of the field, the young Buccleuch 
An English knight led forth to view; 
Scarce rued the boy his present plight, 
So much he longed to see the fight. 
Within the lists, in knightly pride, 
High Home and haughty Dacre ride; 
Their leading staffs of steel they wield, 
As marshals of the mortal field : 



CAMTO V] LAST MINSTREL. 

While to each knight their care assigned 
Like vantage of the sun and wind. 
Then heralds hoarse did loud proclaim, 
In king and queen, and wardens' name, 

That none, while lasts the strife, 
Should dare, by look, or sign, or word, 
Aid to a champion to afford, 

On peril of his life; 
And not a breath the silence broke, 
Till thus the alternate heralds spoke : 

XIX. 

ENGLISH HERALD. 

Here standeth Richard of Musgrave, 

Good knight and true, and freely born, 
Amends from Deloraine to crave, 

For foul despiteous scathe and scorn. 
He sayeth, that William of Deloraino 

Is traitor false by Border laws; 
This with his sword he will maintain, 

So help him God, and his good causa! 

xx. 

SCOTTISH HERALD. 

Here standeth William of Deloraine, 
Good knight and true, of noble strain, 
Who sayeth, that foul treason's stain, 
Since he bore arms, ne'er soiled his coat; 
And that, so help him God above, 
He will on Musgrave s body prove, 
He lyes most foully in his throat 

LORD DACRE. 

Forward, brave champions, to the fight! 
Sound trumpets ! 

LORD HOME. 

" God defend the right!" 

Then, Teviot ! how thine echoes rang, 
When bugle-sound and trumpet-clang 

Let ioose the martial foes, 
And in mid list, with shield poised high, 
And measured step and wary eye, 

The combatants did close. 



71 



72 LAY OF THE [CANTO V. 

XXI. 

Ill would it suit your gentle ear, 

Ye lovely listeners, to hear 

How to the axe the helms did sound, 

And blood poured down from many a wound; 

For desperate was the strife, and long, 

And either warrior fierce and strong. 

But, were each dame a listening knight, 

I well could tell how warriors fight; 

For I have seen war's lightning flashing, 

Seen the claymore with bayonet clashing, 

Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing, 

And scorned, amid the reeling strife, 

To yield a step for death or life. 

XXII. 

'Tis done, 'tis done ! that fatal blow 

Has stretched him on the bloody plain ; 

He strives to rise Brave Musgrave, no ! 
Thence never shalt thou rise again! 

He chokes in blood some friendly hand 

Undo the visor's barred band, 

Unfix the gorget's iron clasp, 

And give him room for life to gasp! 

O, bootless aid ! haste holy Friar, 

Haste, ere the sinner shall expire ! 

Of all his guilt let him be shriven, 

And smooth his path from earth to heaven. 

XXIII. 

In haste the holy Friar sped ; 
His naked foot was dyed with red, 

As through the lists he ran ; 
Unmindful of the shouts on high, 
That hailed the conqueror's victory, 

He raised the dying man ; 
Loose waved his silver beard and hair, 
As o'er him he kneeled down in prayer; 
And still the crucifix on high 
He holds before his darkening eye ; 
And still he bends an anxious ear, 
His faltering penitence to hear ; 



CAMTO V.] 1AST MINSTREL. 73 

Still props him from the bloody sod, 
Still, even when soul and body part, 
Pours ghostly comfort on his heart, 

And bids him trust in God ! 
Unheard he prays ; the death pang's o'er ! 
Richard of Musgrave breathes no more. 



As if exhausted in the fight, 
Or musing o'er the piteous sight, 

The silent victor stands ; 
His beaver did he not unclasp, 
Marked not the shouts, felt not the grasp 

Of gratulating hands. 
When lo ! strange cries of wild surprise, 
Mingled with seeming terror, rise 

Among the Scottish bands ; 
And all, amid the thronged array, 
In panic haste gave open way 
To a half-naked ghastly man, 
Who do ,,-nward from the castle ran : 
He crossed the barriers at a bound, 

And wild and haggard looked around, 
As dizzy, and in pain ; 

And all, upon the armed ground, 

Knew William of Deloraine ! 
Each ladye sprung from seat with speed ; 
Vaulted each marshall from his steed ; 

" And who art thou," they cried, 
"Who hast this battle fought and won?" 
His plumed helm was soon undone 

" Cranstoun of Teviotside ! 
For this fair prize I've fought and won,"- 
And to the Ladye led her son. 



Full oft the rescued boy she kissed, 
And often pressed him to her breast ; 
For, under all her dauntless show, 
Her heart had throbbed at every blow ; 
Yet not Lord Cranstonn deigned she greet, 
Though low he kneeled at her feet. 

D 



74 LAY OF THK [CANTO V 

Me lists not tell what words were made, 
What Douglas, Home, and Howard said- 

For Howard was a generous foe 
And how the clan united prayed, 

The Ladye would the feud forego, 
And deign to bless the nuptial hour 
Of Cranstoun' s Lord and Teviot's Flower. 



She looked to river, looked to hill, 

Thought on the Spirit's prophecy. 
Then broke her silence stern and still, 

" Not you, but Fate, has vanquished me ; 
Their influence kindly stars may shower 
On Teviot's tide and Branksome's tower, 

For pride is quelled, and love is free." 
She took fair Margaret by the hand, 
Who, breathless, trembling, scarce might stand ; 

That hand to Cranstoun s lord gave she. 
"As I am true to thee and thine, 
Do thou be true to me and mine ! 

This clasp of love our bond shall be ; 
For this is your betrothing day, 
And all these noble lords shall star, 

To grace it with their company. ' 



All as they left the listed plain, 

Much of the story she did gain : 

How Cranstoun fought with Deloraine, 

And of his Page, and of the Book, 

Which from the wounded knight he took ; 

And how he sought her castle nigh, 

That morn, by help of gramarye ; 

How, in Sir William's armour dight, 

Stolen by his Page, while slept the knight, 

He took on him the single ftgiit. 

But half his tale he left unsaid, 

And lingered till he joined the maid. 

Cared not the Ladye to betray 

Her mystic arts <n view of day ; 



CANTO V.] LAST MINSTREL. 75 

But 'well she thought ; ere midnight came, 

Of that strange Page the pride to tame, 

From his foul hands the Book to save, 

And send it back to Michael's grave. . 

Needs not to tell each tender word 

Twist Margaret and 'twixt Cranstoun's lord; 

Nor how she told of former woes, 

And how her bosom fell and rose, 

While he and Musgrave bandied blows 

Needs uot these lovers' joys to tell ; 

One day, fair maids, you'll know them well. 



William of Deloraine, some chance 
Had wakened from his deathlike trance ; 

And taught that, in the listed plain, 
Another, in his arms and shield, 
Aginst fierce Musgrave axe did wield, 

Under the name of Deloraine. 
Hence, to the field, unarmed, he ran, 
And hence his presence scared the clan, 
Who held him for some fleeting wraith,* 
And not a man of blood and breath. 

Not much this new ally he loved, 

Yet, when he saw what hap had proved, 
He greeted him right heartilie : 

He would not waken old debate, 

For he was void of rancorous hate, 

Though rude, and scant of courtesy ; 
In raids he spilt but seldom blood, 
Unless when men at arms withstood, 
Or, as was meet, for deadly feud. 
He ne'er bore grudge for stalwart blow, 
Ta'en in fair light from gallant foe : 

And so 'twas seen of him, e'en now, 

\V hen on dead Musgrave he looked down ; 

Grief darkened on his rugged brow, 

Though half disguised with a frown ; 
And thus, while sorrow beiit his head, 
His foeman's epitaph he made. 

* The spectral apparition of a living person. 



76 LAY 01' TIUC [CAHTO V. 

XXIX. 

" Now, Richard Musgrave, liest thou here ! 

I -ween, my deadly enemy ; 
For if I slew thy brother dear, 

Thou slewest a sister's son to me; 
And when I lay ia dungeon dark, 

Of Naworth Castle, long months three, 
Till ransomed for a thousand mark, 

Dark Musgrave, it was long of thee. 
And, Musgrave, could our tight be tried, 

And thou wert now alive, as I, 
No mortal man should us divide, 

Till one, or both of us, did die : 
Yet, rest thee God ! for well I know, 
I ne'er shall lind a nobler foe. 
In all the northern counties here, 
Whose word is, Snatte, spur, and spear,* 
Thou wert the best to follow gear. 
'Twas pleasure, as we looked behind, 
To see how thou the chace couldst wind, 
Cheer the dark blood-hound on his way, 
And with the bugle rouse the fray !) 
I'd give the lands of Deloraine, 
DarK Musgrave were alive again." 

XXX. 

80 mourned he, till Lord Dacre's band 
Were bowning back to Cumberland. 
They raised brave Musgrave from the field, 
And laid him on his bloody shield ; 
On levelled lances, four and four, 
By turns, the noble burden bore : 
Before, at times, upon the gale, 
Was heard the Minstrel's plaintive wail ; 
Behind, four priests, in sable stole, 
Sung requiem for the warrior's soul : 

* The lands, that over Oute to Berwick forth do bear, 
Have for their blazon had, the sualle, spur, and spear. 

Potly-albton, Song xxxiH. 

t The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the in- 
jured party and his friends with blood-hounds and bugle-bore, 
and was called the hot-trod. He was entitled, if bin day could 
trace the scent, to follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom ; 
a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed. 



LAST MINSTREL. 77 



CANTO V.] 

Around, the horsemen slowly rode ; 
With trailing pikes the spearmen trod ; 
And thus the gallant knight they hore, 
Through Liddesdale, to Leven's shore ; 
Thence to Holme Coltrame's lofty nave, 
And laid him in his father's grave. 



THE harp's wild notes, though hushed the song, 

The mimic march of death prolong ; 

Now seems it far, and now a-near, 

Now meets, and now eludes the ear ; 

Now seems some mountain side to sweep, 

Now faintly dies in valley deep ; 

Seems now as if the Minstrel's wail, 

Now the sad requiem loads the gale ; 

Last, o'er the warrior's closing grave, 

Bung the full choir in choral stave. 

After due pause, they bade him tell, 
Why he who touched the harp so well, 
Should thus, with ill-rewarded toil, 
Wander a poor and thankless soil, 
When the more generous southern land 
Would well requite his skilful hand. 

The Aged Harper, howsoe'er 
His only friend, his harp, was dear, 
Liked not to hear it ranked so high 
Above his flowing poesy ; 
Less liked he still that scornful jeer 
Misprized the land, he loved so dear ; 
High was the sound, as thus again 
The Bard resumed his minstrel strain. 



78 LAY OF THE ICANTO VI. 



CANTO SIXTH. 

i. 

BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 

This is my own, my native land ! 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned, 
As home his footsteps he hath turned, 

From wandering on a foreign strand ! 
If such there breathe, go, mark him well ; 
For him no Minstrel raptures swell ; 
High though his titles, proud his name, 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; 
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, 
The wretch, concentered all in self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And, doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung. 

n. 

O Caledonia ! stern and wild, 

Meet nurse for a poetic child ! 

Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, 

Land of the mountain and the flood, 

Land of my sires ! what mortal hand 

Can e'er untie the filial band, 

That knits me to thy ragged strand ! 

Still, as I view each well-known scene, 

Think what is now. and what hath been, 

Seems as, to me, of all bereft, 

Sole friends thy wooas and streams were left, 

And thus I love tnem newer still, 

Even in extremity of ill. 

By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, 

Though none should guide my feeble way; 

Still feel the breeze down Ettricke break, 

Although it chill my withered cheek ; 

Still lay my head by Teviot stone, 

Though there, forgotten and alone, 

The Bard may draw his parting groan. 



CANTO VI.J LAST MINSTREL. 79 



Not scorned like me ! to Branksomo Hall 
The Minstrels came, at festive call ; 
Trooping they came, from near and far, 
The jovial priests of mirth and war ; 
Alike for feast and fight prepared, 
Battle and banquet both they shared. 
Of late, before each martial clan, 
They blew their death-note in the van, 
But now, for every merry mate, 
Rose the portcullis' iron grate ; 
They sound the pipe, they strike the string, 
They dance, they revel, and they sing, 
Till the rude turrets shake and ring. 

IT. 

Me lists not at this tide declare 

The splendour of a spousal rite, 
How mustered in the chapel fair 

Both maid and matron, squire and knight ; 
Me lists not tell of owches rare, 
Of mantles gresn, and braided hair, 
And kirtles furred with miniver ; 
What plumage waved the altar round, 
How spurs, and ringing chainlets, sound : 
And hard it were for bard to speak 
The changeful hue of Margaret's cheek ; 
That lovely hue, which comes and flies, 
Aa awe and shame alternate rise ! 



Some bards have sung, the Ladye high 
Chapel or altar came not nigh ; 
Nor durst tho rites of spousal grace, 
So much she feared each holy place. 
. False slanders these : I trust right well, 
She wrought not by forbidden spell ;* 



* Popular belief, made a favourable distinction betwixt magi- 
command the evil spirits, and the latter to serve, or at leant to bo 



80 LAY OF THE [CANTO VI 

"or mighty words and signs have power 
O'er sprites in planetary hour : 
Yet scarce I praise their venturous part, 
Who tamper with such dangerous art. 

But this for faithful truth I say: 
The Ladye by the altar stood, 

Of sable velvet her array, 

And on her head a crimson hood, 
With pearls embroidered and entwined, 
Guarded with gold, with ermine lined ; 
A merlin sat upon her wrist, 
Held by a leash of silken twist.* 



The spousal rites were ended soon : 
'Twas now the merry hour of noon, 
And in the lofty arched hall 
Was spread the gorgeous festival. 
Steward and squire, with hee Iful haste, 
Marshalled the rank of every guest ; 
Pages, with ready blade, were there, 
The mighty meal to carve and share : 
O'er capon, heron-shew, and crane, 
And princely peacock's gilded train, 
And o'er the boar-head, garnished brave, 
And cygnet from St Mary's wave ;f 
O'er ptarmigan and veiiison, 
The priest had spoke his benison. 
Then rose the riot and the din, 
Above, beneath, without, within ! 
For from the lofty balcony, 
Rung trumpet, shalm, and psaltery ; 

A merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was usually carried by ladies of 
rank, as a falcon was, in time of peace, by a knight or baron. 

t I he peacock was considered, during chivalrous times, a dish 
of pecuhar solemnity. It was introduced on days of grand festival, 
and was the signal for the adventurous knights to vnw toiS 
perilous deed "before the peacock and the ladies." The boar's 
head was also a dish of feudal splendour. In Scotland it WM 
sometimes surrounded with little banners, displavine the colours 
of the baron at whose board it was served. St'Marv's Lake, at 
the head of the river Yarrow, is often the resort of mints of wild 
waua. 



CAIfTO VI] 



^ ST MINSTREL 



Their clanging bowls old warriors quaffed, 
Loudly they spoke, and loudly laughed; 
Whispered young knights, in tone more mild, 
To ladies fair, and ladies smiled. 
The hooded hawks, high perched on heam, 
The clamour joined with whistling scream, 
And flapped their wings, and shook their belli, 
In concert with the stag-hounds' yells. 
Round go the flasks of ruddy wine, _ 
From Bourdeaux, Orleans, or the Rhine; 
Their tasks the busy sewers ply, 
And all is mirth and revelry. 

VII. 

The Goblin Page, omitting still 

No opportunity of ill, 

Strove now, while blood ran hot and high, 

To rouse debate and jealousy ; 

Till Conrad, lord of Wolfenstein, 

By nature fierce, and warm with wine, 

And now in humour highly crossed, 

About some steeds his band had lost, 

High words to words succeeding still, _ 

Smote, with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill ; 

A hot and hardy Rutherford, 

Whom men called Dickon Draw-the-Sword. 

He took it on the Page's saye, 

Hunthill had driven these steeds away. 

Then Howard, Home, and Douglas rose, 

The kindling discord to compose : 

Stern Rutherford right little said, 

But bit his glove, and shook his head. t 

A fortnight thence, in Ingle wood, 

Stout Conrad, cold, and drenched in blood, 

His bosom gored with many a wound, 

Was by a woodman's lyme-dog found ; 

Unknown the manner of his death, 

Gone was his brand, both sword and sheath ; 



^ 



+ To bite the thumb, or the 
upon the Border, a a pledge 



82 LAY OF THE LCANTO VI. 

But ever from that time, 'twas said, 
That Dickon wore a Cologne blade. 

Till. 

The Dwarf, who feared his master's eye 

Might his foul treachery espie, 

Now sought the castle buttery, 

Where many a yeoman, bold and free, 

Revelled as merrily and well 

As those, that sat in lordly selle. 

Watt Tinliiin, there, did frankly raise 

The pledge to Arthur Fire- the- Braes ;* 

And he, as by his breeding bound, 

To Howard's merry-men sent it round. 

To quit them, on the English side, 

Red Roland Forster loudly cried, 

" A deep carouse to yon fair bride !" 

At every pledge, from vat and pail, 

Foamed forth, in floods, the nut-brown ale ; 

While shout the riders every one, 

Such day of mirth ne'er cheered their clan, 

Since old Buccleuch the name did gain, 

When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en.'f 1 

IX. 

The wily Page, with vengeful thought, 

Remembered him of Tinlinn's yew, 
And swore, it should be dearly bought, 

That ever he the arrow drew. 
First, he the yeoman did molest, 
With bitter gibe and taunting jest ; 
Told, how he fled at Solway strife, 
And how Hob Armstrong cheered his wife ; 
Then, shunning still his powerful arm, 
At unawares he wrought him harm ; 

* The person bearing this redoubtable nomme de guerre, was an 
Elliot, and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale. He occurs in 
the list of Border riders, in 1597. 

t The old Scottish tradition is, that the founder of the Buccleuch 
family was a Galwegian exile, who ran down and secured a buck, 
which had thrown out Kenneth Macalpine and all hi* nobles ijQ 



CANTO VL] LAST MINSTKKL. 

From trencher stole his choicest cheer, 

Dashed from his lips his can of beer, 

Then, to his knee sly creeping on, 

With bodkin pierced him to the bone : 

The venomed wound, and festering joint, 

Long after rued that bodkin's point. 

The startled yeoman swore and spurned, 

And board and flaggons overturned ; 

Riot and clamour wild began ; 

Back to the hall the urchin ran ; 

Took in a darkling nook his post, 

And grinned and muttered, " Lost ! lost ! lost r 

X. 

By this, the Dame, lest further fray 

Should mar the concord of the day, 

Had bid the Minstrels tune their lay. 

And first stept forth old Albert Graeme, 

The Minstrel of that ancient name : 

Was none who struck the harp so well, 

Within the land Debateable ; 

Well friended too, his hardy kin, 

Whoever lost, were sure to win ; 

They sought the beeves, that made their broth, 

In Scotland and in England both. 

In homely gutee, as nature bade, 

His simple song the Borderer said. 

XL 

ALBERT GRAEME. 



It was an English ladye bright 

The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall, 

And she would marry a Scottish knight, 
For Love will still be lord of all. 

Blithely they saw the rising sun, 
When he shone fair on Carlisle wall, 

But they were sad ere day was done, 
Though Love was still the lord of all. 

Ber sire gave brooch and jewel fine 
Where the sun shines fail on Carlisle wall; 



84 LAT OP THE C CANTO VI 

Her brother gave but a flask of -wine, 
For ire that Love was lord of all. 

For she had lands, both meadow and lee, 
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall, 

And he swore her death, ere he would see 
A Scottish knight the lord of all ! 

XII. 
That wine she had not tasted well, 

The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall ; 
When dead, in her true love's arms, she fell, 

For Love was still the lord of all. 

He pierced her brother to the heart, 

Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall ; 

So perish all, would true love part, 
That Love may still be lord of all ! 

And then he took the cross divine, 

Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall, 

And died for her sake in Palestine, 
So Love was still the lord of all. 

Now all ye lovers, that faithful prove, 

The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall, 
Pray for their souls, who died for love, 

For Love shall still be lord of all 1 

XIII. 

As ended Albert's simple lay, 
Arose a bard of loftier port ; 
For sonnet, rhime, and roundelay, 

Renowned in haughty Henry's court : 
There rung thy harp, unrivalled long, 
Fitztraver of the silver song. 
The gentle Surrey loved his lyre 

Who has not heard of Surrey's fame? 
His was the hero's soul of fire, 

And his the bard's immortal name, 
And his was love, exalted high 
By all the glow of chivalry.* 

* Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, the most accomplished cavalier 
of his time, wan beheaded on Towerhill in 1546 ; a victim to tha 



CANTO VI 3 " "" " " 



LAST MINSTREL. 



XIV. 

They sought, together, climes afar, 

And oft, within some olive grove, 
When evening came, with twinkling star, 

They sung of Surrey's absent love. 
His step the Italian peasant staid, 

And deemed, that spirits from on high, 
Round where some hermit saint was kid, 

Were breathing heavenly melody; 
So sweet did harp and voice combine, 
To praise the name of Geraldine. 

xv. 

Fitztraver ! O what tongue may say 

The pangs thy faithful bosom knew, 
When Surrey, of the deathless lay, 

Ungrateful Tudor s sentence slew? 
Regardless of the tyrant's frown, 
His harp called wrath and vengeance down. 
He left, for Naworth's iron towers, 
Windsor's green glades, and courtly bowers, 
And, faithful to his patron's name, 
With Howard still Fitztraver came ; 
Lord William's foremost favourite he, 
And chief of all his minstrelsy. 

XTI. 
FITZTRAVER. 

'Twos All-soul's eve, and Surrey's heart beat high ; 

He heard the midnight-bell with anxious start, 
Which told the mystic hour, approaching nigh, 

When wise Cornelius promised, by his art, 
To show to him the ladye of his heart, 

Albeit betwixt them roared the ocean grim ; 
Yet so the sage had hight to play his part, 

mean jealousy of Henry Y1IT. It is said that in his travels, Cor- 
nelius Agrippa, the celebrated alchemist, showed him, m a look- 
fag-"lassrtbe lovely Geraldine, to whose service he had devoted 
SI pen aVid his sword. The vision represented her as indisposed, 
ami reclined upon * couch, reading bar lover's verse, by the light 
of a waxen taper. 



$6 LA* 0V THE [CAOTO Vi, 

That he should see her form in life and limb. 
And mark, if still she loved, and still she thought 
of him. 

XVII. 

Dark was the vaulted room of gramarye, 

To which the wizard led the gallant knight, 
Save that before a mirror, huge and high, 

A hallowed taper shed a glimmering light 
On mystic implements of magic might, 

On cross, and character, and talisman, 
And almagest, and altar, nothing bright : 

For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan, 
As watch-light, by the bed of some departing man, 

XVIII. 

But soon, within that mirror, huge and high, 

Was seen a self-emitted light to gleam ; 
And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy, 

Cloudy and indistinct, as feverish dream; 
Till, slow arranging, and denned, they seem 

To form a loi dly and a lofty room, 
Part lighted by a lamp with silver beam, 

Placed by a couch of Agra's silken loom, 
And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid hi 
gloom. 

XIX. 

Fair all the pageant but how passing fair 

The slender form, which lay on couch of Ind ! 
O'er her white bosom strayed her hazel hair, 

Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined ; 
All in her night-robe loose, she lay reclined, 

And, pensive, read from tablet eburnine 
Some strain, that seemed her inmost soul to find : 

That favoured strain was Surrey's raptured line, 
That fair and lovely form, the Ladye Geraldine. 



Slow rolled the clouds upon the lovely form, 
And swept the goodly vision all away 

So royal envy rolled the murky storm 
O'er my beloved Master's glorious daj. 



CANTO VI.] LAST MINSTREL. 

Thou jealous, ruthless tyrant ! Heaven repay 
On thee, and on thy children's latest line, 

The wild caprice of thy despotic sway, 

The gory bridal bed, the plundered shrine, 
The murdered Surrey's blood, the tears of Geraldine ! 

XXI. 

Both Scots, and Southern chiefs, prolong 
Applauses of Fitztraver's song : 
These hated Henry's name as death, 
And those still held the ancient faith. 
Then, from his seat, with lofty air, 
Rose Harold, bard of brave St Clair; 
St Clair, who, feasting high at Home, 
Had with that Lord to battle come. 
Harold was born where restless seas 
Howl round the storm-swept Orcades ; 
Where erst St Clairs held princely sway, 
O'er isle and islet, strait and bay ; 
Still nods their palace to its fall, 
Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall ! * 
Thence oft he marked fierce Pentland rave, 
As if grim Odinn rode her wave ; 
And watched, the whilst, with visage pale 
And throbbing heart, the struggling sail ; 
For all of wonderful and wild 
Had rapture for the lonely child. 

XXII. 

And much of wild and wonderful, 
In these rude isles, might Fancy cull ; 




88 LAY OF THE [CANTO VL 

For thither came, in times afar, 

Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war, 

The Norsemen, trained to spoil and blood, 

Skilled to prepare the raven's food ; 

Kings of the main their leaders brave, 

Their barks the dragons of the wave.* 

And there, in many a stormy vale, 

The Scald had told his wondrous tale ; 

And many a Runic column high 

Had witnessed grim idolatry. 

And thus had Harold, in his youth, 

Learned many a Saga's rhime uncouth, 

Of that Sea-Snake, tremendous curled, 

Whose monstrous circle girds the world ; 

Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell 

Maddens the battle's bloody swell ft 

Of chiefs, who, guided through the gloom 

By the pale death-lights of the tomb, 

Ransacked the graves of warriors old, 

Their faulchions wrenched from corpses' hold, 

Waked the deaf tomb with war's alarms, 

And bade the dead arise to arms !J 

With war and wonder all on flame, 

To Roslin's bowers young Harold came, 

Where, by sweet glen and greenwood tree, 

He learned a milder minstrelsy ; 

Yet something of the Northern spell 

Mixed with the softer numbers welL 



HAROLD. 

O listen, listen, ladies gay ! 
No haughty feat of arms I tell : 

The chiefs of the Ftkingr or Scandinavian pirate*, assumed 
*he title of Srtkonungr, or Sea-kings. Ships, in the inflated lan- 
guage of the Scalds, are often termed the serpents of the ocean. 

t Thejormungandr, or Snake of the Ocean, whose folds surround 
the earth, is one of the wildest fictions of the old northern mytho- 
logy. The dread Maids were the falkyriur, or Selectors of the 
Slain, despatched by Odin from Valhala, to choose those who were 
to die, and to distribute the contest. They are well known to the 
English reader, as Gray's Fatal Sisters. 

+ The northern warriors were usually entombed with their 
arms, and their other treasures. The ghosts of these warriors 
were not wont tamely to suffer their tombs to be plundered ; and 
hence the mortal heroes had an additional temotation to attempt 



CANTO Vi] LAST MIHSTREL. 

Soft is the note, and sad the lay, 
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.* 

" Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew ! 

And, gentle ladye, deign to stay ! 
Rest tliee in Castle Ravensheudvf- 

Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day. 

" The blackening wave is edged with white ; 

To inch+ and rock the sea-mews fly ; 
The fishers have heard the Water Sprite, 

Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh. 

" Last night the gifted seer did view 
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay ; 

Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch : 
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day !" 

" 'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir 

To-night at Roslin leads the ball, 
But that my Ladye-mother there 

Sits lonely in her castle-hall. 

u Tis not because the ring they ride, 

And Lindesay at the ring rides well, 
But that my sire the wine will chide, 

If 'tis not filled by Rosabelle." 

XXIV. 

O'er Roslin all that dreary night 

A wonderous blaze was seen to gleam ; 

'Twas broader than the watch-fire light, 
And redder than the bright rnoo-i-beam. 

It glared on Roslin's castled rock, 

ft ruddied all the copse- wood glen ; 
Twas seen from Drydeu's groves of oak, 

And seen from caverned Hawthornden. 

guoh adventures j for they held nothing more worthy of thrir 
valour than to encounter supernatural beings. 

* This was a famUy name in the house of St Clair. Henry St 
Clair, the second of the line, married Rosabelle, fourth daughter 
of the Earl of fitratherne. 

t A large and strong castle, now ruinous, situated betwixt 
Kirkaldy and Dysart, on a steep crag, washed by the r'irth of 
Furrh. 

; Inch, Me. 



90 tAY OF THE [CANTO VI. 

Seemed all on fire that cLapel proud, 

Where Roslin's chiefs uncoflined lie ; 
Each Baron, for a sable shroud, 

Sheathed in his iron panoply. 1 * 

Seemed all on fire within, around, 

Deep sacristy and altar's pale ; 
Shone every pillar foliage-hound, 

And glimmered all the dead men's mail. 

Blazed battlement and pinnet high, 

Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair- 
So still they blaze, -when fate is nigh 
The lordly line of high St Clair. 

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold 
Lie buried within that proud chapelle ; 

Each one the holy vault doth hold 
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle. 

And each St Clair was buried there, 

With candle, with book, and with knell ; 

But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung, 
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle. 

XXV. 

So sweet was Harold's piteous lav, 

Scarce marked the guests the darkened hall, 
Though, long before the sinking day, 

A wonderous shade involved them all : 
It was not eddying mist or fog, 
Drained by the sun from fen or bog ; 

Of no eclipse had sages told ; 
And yet, as it came on apace, 
Each one could scarce his neighbour's face, 

Could scarce his own stretched hand, behold. 
A secret horror checked the feast, 
And chilled the soul of every guest ; 

* The beautiful chapel of Knslin is still in tolerame preservation. 
It was founded in 1446 by WUIiriin M I'luii. 1'n.u.t.- . i Oikney, 
Ac., fcc., who built the castle ol Kusliu, where IK' i 
princely splendour. The chapei in iaiJ to appear on fire IMVM"II 
ti Hie n oath of any of his descend* tits. The Harm* of Koslinwei* 
buried ui uiuuui iu a vault UuiMili iliu i:U..^ci Hour. 



CAJTTO VI] "Bt MINSTREL. 

Even the high Dame stood half aghast, 

She knew some evil on the blast ; 

The elvish Page fell to the ground 

And, shuddering, muttered, " Found ! found ! found f 

XXVI. 

Then sudden through the darkened air 

A flash of lightning came ; 
So broad, so bright, so red the glare, 

The castle seemed on name ; 
Glanced every rafter of the hall, 
Glanced every shield upon the wall; 
Each trophied beam, each sculptured stone, 
Were instant seen, and instant gone ; 
Full through the guests' bedazzled band 
Resistless flashed the levin-brand. 
And filled the hall with smouldering smoke, 
As on the elvish Page it broke. 

It broke, with thunder long and loud, 

Dismayed the brave, appalled the proud, 
From sea to sea the larum rung ; 

On Berwick wall, and at Carlisle withal, 

To arms the startled warders sprung. 
When ended was the dreadful roar, 
The elvish Dwarf was seen no more ! 



Some heard a voice in Branksome Hall, 
Some saw a sight, not seen by all ; 
That dreadful voice was heard by some, 
Cry, with loud summons, " GYLBIN, COME T 
And on the spot where burst the brand, 

Just where the Page had flung him down, 
Some saw an arm, and some a hand, 

And some the waving of a gown. 
The guests in silence prayed and shook, 
And terror dimmed each lofty look : 
But none of all the astonished train 
Was so dismayed as Doloraine ; 
His blood did freeze, bis brwu did uurn, 
Twas feared his mind would ne'er return; 



92 LAY OF THE rcAJTTO VX. 

For he was speechless, ghastly, wan, 
Like him, of whom the story ran, 
Who spoke the spectre-hound iu Man.* 
At length, by tits, he darkly told, 
With broken hint, and shuddering cold 
That he had seen, right certainly, 
A shape with amice wrapped around, 
With a, wrought Spanish baldric bound, 
Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea ; 
And knew but how it mattered not 
It was the wizard, Michael Scott. 



The anxious crowd, with horror pale, 
All trembling, heard the wonderous tale ; 

No sound was made, no word was spoke, 

Till noble Angus silence broke ; 
And he a solemn sacred plight 

Did to St Bryde of Douglas make,-} 4 

That he a pilgrimage would take 

To Melrose Abbey, for the sake 

Of Michael's restless sprite. 
Then each, to ease his troubled breast, 
To some blessed saint his prayers addressed 
Some to St Modan made their vows, 
Some to St Mary of the Lowes, 
Some to the Holy Rood of Lisle, 
Some to our Lady of the Isle ; 
Each did his patron witness make, 
That he such pilgrimage would take. 
And monks should sing, and bells should toll, 
All for the weal of Michael's soul. 
While vows were ta'en, and prayers were prayed, 
'Tis said the noble Dame, dismayed, 
Renounced, for aye, dark magic's aid. 

Called in the Manx language the Mauthe Doog. The story ig, 
that a fool-hardy person who would question this phantom, received 
surli a shock from the interview, that he remained speechless till 
Ai* death, which happened only three days afttir. 

t This was a favourite saint of the house of Douglas, and of th 
Earl ut Augus, m particular. 



CANTO VI.] LAST MINSTREL. 93 

XXIX. 

Nought of the bridal will I tell, 
Which after in short space befell ; 
Nor how brave sons and daughters fair 
Blessed Teviot's Flower and Cranstoune'sheir; 
After such dreadful scene, 'twere vain 
To wake the note of mirth again ; 
More meet it were to mark the day 

Of penitence and prayer divine, 
When pilgrim-chiefs, in sad array, 

Sought Melrose holy shrine. 

XXX. 

With naked foot, and sackcloth vest, 
And arms enfolded on his breast, 

Did every pilgrim go ; 
The standers-by might hear uneath, 
Footstep, or voice, or high-drawn breath, 

Through all the lengthened row : 
No lordly look, no martial stride, 
Gone was their glory, sunk their pride, 

Forgotten their renown ; 
Silent and slow, like ghosts, they glide 
To the high altar's hallowed side, 

And there they kneeled them down ; 
Above the suppliant chieftains wave 
The banners of departed brave ; 
Beneath the lettered stones were laid 
The ashes of their fathers dead ; 
From many a garnished niche around, 
Stern saints, and tortured martyrs, frowned. 

XXXI. 

And slow up the dim aisle afar, 
With sable cowl and scapular, 
And snow-white stoles, in order due, 
The holy Fathers, two and two, 

In long procession came ; 
Taper, and host, and book they bare, 
And holy banner, flourished fair 

With the Redeemer's name ; 



94 



IAT OF THE [CANTO VI. 



Above the prostrate pilgrim band 
The mitred Abbot stretched his hand, 

And blessed them as they kneeled ; 
With holy cross he signed them all, 
And prayed they might be sage in hall, 

Aud fortunate in field. 
Then mass was sung, and prayers were said, 
And solemn requiem for the dead ; 
And bells tolled out their mighty peal, 
For the departed spirit's weal ; 
And ever in the office close 
The hymn of intercession rose ; 
Aud far the echoing aisles prolong 
The awful burthen of the song, 

DIES IR^E, DIKS ILLA, 
SOLVET SiECLUM IN FAVILLA; 

While the pealing organ rung ; 
Were it meet with sacred strain 
To close my lay, so light and vain, 

Tiius the holy Fathers sung. 

HYMN FOR THE DEAD. 

That day of -wrath, that dreadful day, 
When heaven and earth shall pass away, 
What power shall be the sinner's stay ? 
How snail he meet that dreadful day ? 
When, shrivelling like a parched scroll, 
The flaming heavens together roll ; 
When louder yet, and yet more dread, 
Swells the high trump that wakes the dead ; 
O ! on that day, that wrathful day, 
When man to judgment wakes from clay, 
Be THOU the trembling sinner's stay, 
Though heaven and earth shall pass away ! 

HUSHED is the harp the Minstrel gone. 

And did he wander forth alone ? 

Alone, in indigence and age, 

To linger out his pilgrimage? 

No close beneath proud Newark's tower, 

Arose the Minstrel's lowly bower ; 



CANTO VI.] LAST MINSTREL. 

A simple hut ; but there was seen 
The little garden hedged with green, 
The cheerful hearth, and lattice clean. 
There sheltered wanderers, by the blaze, 
Oft heard the tale of other days ; 
For much he loved to ope his door, 
And give the aid he begged before. 
So passed the winter's day ; but still, 
When summer smiled on sweet Bowhill, 
And July's eve, with balmly breath, 
Waved the blue-bells on Newark-heath; 
When throstles sung in Hare-head shaw, 
And corn \vas green on Carterhaugh, 
And nourished, broad, Blackandro's oak, 
The aged Harper's soul awoke ! 
Then would he sing achievements high, 
And circumstance of chivalry, 
Till the rapt traveller would stay, 
Forgetful of the closing day ; 
And noble youths, the strain to hear, 
Forsook the hunting of the deer; 
And Yarrow, as he rolled along, 
Bore burden to the Minstrel's song. 



M A R M I N, 

A 

TALE OF FLODDEN FIELD: 



IN SIX CANTOS. 



ALAS ! THAT SCOTTISH MAID SHOULD SING 
THE COMBAT WHERE HER LOVER FELL ! 

THAT SCOTTISH BARD SHOULD WAKE THE STRING, 
THE TRIUMPH OF OUR FOES TO TELL ! LEYDEN. 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 
HENRY, LORD MONTAGUE 

<frc. <5-c. 4-c. 

THIS ROMANCE IS INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

IT is hardly to be expected, that an Author whom the 
Public has honoured with some degree of applause 
should not be again a trespasser on their kindness. 
Yet the Author of MARMION must be supposed to feel 
some anxiety concerning its success, since he is 
sensible that he hazards, by this second intrusion, 
any reputation which his first Poem may have pro- 
cured him. The present Story turns upon the private 
adventures of a fictitious character ; but is called a 
Tale of Flodden Field, because the hero's fate is con- 
nected with that memorable defeat, and the causes 
which led to it. The design of the Author was, if 
possible, to apprise his readers, at the outset, of the 
date of his Story, and to prepare them for the man- 
ners of the Age in which it is laid. Any historical 
narrative, far more an attempt at Epic composition, 
exceeded his plan of a Romantic Tale ; yet he may be 
permitted to hope, from the popularity of THE LAY 
OF THE LAST MINSTREL, that an attempt to paint 
the manners of the feudal times, upon a broader 
scale, and in the course of a more interesting story, 
will not be unacceptable to the Public. 

The Poem opens about the commencement of 
August, and concludes with the defeat of Flodden, 
4th September, 1513. 



M A R M I O N. 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FIRST. 
To WILLIAM STEWART ROSE, Esq. 

Ashestiel, Ettricke Forets. 

NOVEMBER'S sky is chill and drear, 
November's leaf is red and sear : 
Late, gazing down the steepy linn, 
That hems our little garden in, 
Low in its dark and narrow glen, 
You scarce the rivulet might ken. 
So thick the tangled green-wood grew, 
So feeble trilled the streamlet through : 
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen 
Through bush and brier, no longer green, 
Vbi angry brook, it sweeps the glade, 
Brawls over rock and wild cascade, 
And, foaming brown with doubled sp 
Hurries its waters to the Tweed. 

No longer Autumn's glowing red 
Upon our Forest hills is shed ; 
No more, beneath the evening beam, 
Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam ; 
Away hath passed the heather-bell, 
That bloomed so rich on Needpath-fell; 
Sallow his brow, and russet bare 
Are now the sister-heights of Yare. 
The sheep, before the pinching heaven, 
To sheltered dale and down are driven, 
Where yet some faded herbage pines, 
And yet a watery sun-beam shines : 
In meek despondency they eye 
The withered sward and wintry sky, 



-00 MARMION. 

And far beneath their summer hill, 
Stray sadly by Glenkinnon's rill : 
The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold, 
And wraps him closer from the cold ; 
His dogs no mercy circlss v/hf.l, 
But, shivering, follow at his heel ; 
A cowering glance they often cast, 
As deeper moans the gathering blast. 

My imps, though hardy, bold, and wild, 
As best befits the mountain child, 
Feel the sad influence of the hour, 
And wail the daisy's vanished flower; 
Their summer gambols tell, and mourn, 
And anxious ask, Will spring return, 
And birds and lambs again be gay, 
And blossoms clothe the hawthorn spray? 

Yes, prattlers, yes. The daisy's flower 
Again shall paint your summer bower ; 
Again the hawthorn shall supply 
The garlands you delight to tie ; 
The lambs upon the lea shall bound, 
The wild birds carol to the round, 
And while you frolic light as they, 
Too short shall seem the summer day. 

To mute and to material things 
New life revolving summer brings ; 
The genial call dead Nature hears, 
And in her glory re-appears. 
But O ! my country's wintry state 
What second spring shall renovate? 
Wnat powerful call shall bid arise 
The buried warlike, and the wise ; 
The mind, that thought for Britain's weal, 
The hand, that grasped the victor steel ? 
The vernal sun new life bestows 
Even on the meanest flower that blows ; 
But vainly, vainly, may he shiue, 
Where Glory weeps o'er NELSON'S shrine; 
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom, 
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowed tomb ! 



[CANTO T. 



CANTO I.] MARMION. 

Deep' graved in every British heart, 
O never let those names depart ! 
Say to your sons, Lo, here his grave, 
Who victor died on Gadite wave ; 
To him, as to the burning levin, 
Short, bright, resistless cou. c was given; 
Where'er his country's foes \,ere found, 
Was heard the fated thunder's sound, 
Till hurst the bolt on yonder shore, 
Rolled, blaxed, destroyed, and was no more. 

Nor mourn ye less his perished worth, 
Who bade the "conqueror go forth, 
And launched that thunderbolt of war 
On Egypt, Hafnia,* Trafalgar ; 
Who,~born to guide such high emprize, 
For Britain's weal was early wise ; 
Alas ! to whom the Almighty gave, 
For Britain's sins, an early grave ; 
His worth, who, in his mightiest hour, 
A bauble held the pride of power, 
Spurned at the sordid lust of pelf, 
And served his Albion for herself; 
Who, when the frantic crowd amain 
Strained at subjection's bursting rein, 
O'er their wild mood full conquest gained, 
The pride, he would not crush, restrained, 
Showed their fierce zeal a worthier cause, [laws. 
And brought the freeman's arm to aid the freeman s 

Had'st thou but lived, though stripp'd of power, 
A watchman on the lonely tower, 
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land, 
When fraud or danger were at hand ; ; 

By thee, as by the beacon-light, 
Our pilots had kept course aright ; 
As some proud column, though alone, 
Thy strength had propp'd the tottering throne. 
Now is the stately column broke, 
The beacon-light is quenched in smoke, 
The trumpet's silver sound is still, 
The warder suent on the hill ! 



1 02 MARMION. 

Oh, think, how to his latest day, 
When Death, just hovering, claimed his prey, 
With Palinure's unaltered mood, 
Finn at his dangerous post he stood 
Each call for needful rest repelled, 
With dying hand the rudder held, 
Till, in his fall, with fateful sway, 
The steerage of the realm gave way ! 
Then, while on Britain's thousand plains, 
One unpolluted church remains, 
Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around 
The bloody tocsin's maddening sound, 
But still, upon the hallowed day, 
Convoke the swains to praise and pray ; 
While faith and civil peace are dear, 
Grace this cold marble with a tear, 
He, who preserved them, PITT, lies here ! 

Nor yet suppress the generous sigh, 
Because his Rival slumbers nigh ; 
Nor be thy req/iiescat dumb, 
Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb. 
For talents mourn, untimely lost, 
When best employed, and wanted most ; 
Mourn genius high, and lore profound. 
And wit that loved to play, not wound ; 
And all the reasoning powers divine, 
To penetrate, resolve, combine ; 
And feelings keen, and fancy's glow, 
They sleep with him who sleeps below ; 
And, if thou mourn' st they could not save 
From error Him who owns this grave, 
Be every harsher thought suppressed, 
And sacred be the last long rest. 
Here, where the end of earthly things 
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings ; 
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue, 
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung ; 
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong 
The distant notes of holy song, 
As if some angel spoke agen, 
All peace on earth, good- will to men; 
If ever from an English heart, 
O here let prejudice depart, 



CCANTO I 



CANTO tl MARMION. 103 

And, partial feeling cast aside, 
Record, that Fox a Briton died ! ^ 
When Europe crouched to France's yoke, 
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke, 
And the firm Russian's purpose brave 
Was bartered by a timorous slave, 
Even then dishonour's peace he spurned, 
The sullie> jlive-branch returned, 
Stood for his country's glory fast, 
And nailed her colours to the mast. 
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave, 
A portion in this honoured giuve ; 
And ne'er held marble in its trust 
Of two such wondrous men the dust. 

With more than mortal powers endowed, 
How high they soared above the crowd I 
Theirs was no common party race, 
Jostling by dark intrigue for place ; 
Like fabled Gods, their mighty war 
Shook realms and nations in its jar ; 
Beneath each banner proud to stand, 
Looked up the noblest of the land, 
Till through the British world were known 
The names of PITT and Fox alone. 
Spells of such force no wizard grave 
E'er framed in dark Thessaliau cave, 
Though his could drain the ocean dry, 
And force the planets from the sky. 
These spells are spent, and, spent with these, 
The wine of life is on the lees. 
Genius, and taste, and talent gone, 
For ever tombed beneath the stone, 
Where, taming thought to human pnde . 
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side. 
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear, 
Twill trickle to his rival's bier ; 
O'er PITT'S the mournful requiem sound, 
And Fox's shall the notes rebound. 
The solemn echo seems to cry, 
" Here let their discord with them die; 
" Speak not for those a separate doom, 
" Whom Fate made brothers in the tomb, 



104 MARMION. [CANTO I 

" But search the land of living men, 

" Where wilt thou find their like agen ?" 

Rest, ardent Spirits ! till the cries 
Of dying Nature bid you rise ; 
Not even your Britain's groans can pierce 
The leaden silence of your hearse : 
Then, O how impotent and vain 
This grateful tributary strain ! 
Though not unmarked from northern clime, 
Ye heard the Border Minstrel's rhyme : 
His Gothic harp has o'er you rung ; 
The bard you deigned to praise, your deathless names 



Stay yet, illusion, stay a while, 
My wildered fancy still beguile ! 
From this high theme how can I part, 
Ere half unloaded is my heart ! 
For all the tears e'er sorrow drew, 
And all the raptures fancy knew, 
And all the keener rush of blood, 
That throbs through bard in bard-like mood, 
Were here a tribute mean and low, 
Though all their mingled streams could flow 
Woe, wonder, and sensation high, 
In one spring-tide of ecstasy. 
It will not be it may not last 
The vision of enchantment's past : 
Like frost-work in the morning ray, 
The fancied fabric melts away ; 
Each Gothic arch, memorial stone, 
And long, dim, lofty aisle are gone, 
And, lingering last, deception dear, 
The choir's high sounds die on my ear. 
Now slow return the lonely down, 
The silent pastures bleak and brown, 
The farm begirt with copse-wood wild, 
The gambols of each frolic child, 
Mixing their shrill cries with the tone 
Of Tweed's dark waters rushing on. 

Prompt on unequal tasks to run, 
Thus Nature disciplines her son : 



CANTO t] MABMION. 103 

Meeter, she says, for me to stray, 

And waste the solitary day, 

In plucking from yon fen the reed, 

And watching it float down the Tweed ; 

Or idly list the shrilling lay 

With which the milk-maid cheers her way, 

Marking its cadence rise and fail, 

As from the field, beneath her pail, 

She trips it down the uneven dale : 

Meeter for me, by yonder cairn, 

The ancient shepherd's tale to learn, 

Though oft he stop in rustic fear, 

Lest his old legends tire the ear 

Of one, who, in his simple mind, 

May boast of book-learned taste refined. 

But thou, my friend, canst fitly tell, 
(For few have read romance so well) 
How still the legendary lay 
O'er poet's bosom holds its sway ; 
How on the ancient minstrel strain 
Time lays his palsied hand in vain ; 
And how our hearts at doughty deeds, 
By warriors wrought in steely weeds, 
Still throb for fear and pity's sake ; 
As when the Champion of the Lake 
Enters Morgana' s fated house, 
Or in the Chapel Perilous, 
Despising spells and damons' force, 
Holds converse with the unburied corse ; 
Or when, Dame Ganore's grace to move, 
(Alas ! that lawless was their love) 
He sought proud Tarquin in his den, 
And freed full sixty knights ; or when, 
A sinful man, and unconfessed, 
He took the Sangreal's holy quest, 
And, slumbering, saw the vision high, 
He might not view with waking eye.* 

The mightiest chiefs of British song 
Scorned not such legends to prolong : 

* These allusions refer to the adventures of Sir Tiauncelot of tie 
take BO agreeably told in the old romance of the Morte Arthur. 
2 



106 MAKMION. [CANTO I 

They gleam through Spenser's elfin dream, 

And mix in Milton s heavenly theme ; 

And Dryden, in immortal strain, 

Had raised the Table Round again,* 

But that a ribald king and court 

Bade him toil on, to make them sport ; 

Demanded for their niggard pay, 

Fit for their souls, a looser lay, 

Licentious satire, song, and play ; 

The world defrauded of the high design, [lofty line. 

Profaned the God-given strength, and marred the 

Warmed by such names, well may we then, 
Though dwindled sons of little men, 
Essay to break a feeble lance 
In the fair fields of old romance ; 
Or fcoek the moated castle's cell, 
Where long through talisman and spell, 
While tyrants ruled, and damsels wept, 
Thy Genius, Chivalry, hath slept : 
There sound the harpings of the North, 
Till he awake and sally forth, 
On venturous quest to prick again, 
In all his arms, with all his train, 
Shield, lance, and brand, and plume, and scarf, 
Fay, giant, dragon, squire, and dwarf, 
And wizard with his wand of might, 
And errant maid on palfrey white. 
Around the Genius weave their spells, 
Pure Love, who scarce his passion tells , 
Mystery, half veiled and half revealed ; 
And Honour, with his spotless shield ; 
Attention, with fixed eye ; and Fear, 
That loves the tale she shrinks to hear ; 
And gentle Courtesy ; and Faith, 
Unchanged by sufferings, time, or death ; 

Dryden had projected an epic poem, the subject of which was 
to have been the exploits of king Arthur ; and had be been ena- 
bled to accomplish luch a work, ft would have been undoubtedly 
a glorious monument of English genius, as well as record ot Ku- 
glish heroism. But the ingratitude of Charles II., and his cour- 
tiers, by whom he was abandoned to poverty and neglect, obliged 
him to labour for his present wants, and the scheme was unior- 
tunately abandoned. 




Bay set on NornamE castled- steep, 
frnfl Tcreeds fair river, iroad. and deep 
An.d Cheviote mo"ian.tainB lone: 



107 



CANTO 1] MARMION. 

And Valour, lion-mettled lord, 
Leaning upon his own good sword. 

Well has thy fair achievement shown, 
A worthy meed may thus be won ; 
Ytene's* oaks beneath whose shade 
Their theme the merry minstrels made, 
Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold,f 
And that Red King, J who, while of old 
Through Boldrewood the chase he led, 
By his loved huntsman's arrow bled 
Ytene's oaks have heard again 
Renewed such legendary strain ; 
For thou hast sung, how He of Gaul, 
That Amadis so famed in hall, 
For Oriana, foiled in fight 
The Necromancer's felon might; 
And well in modern verse hast wove 
Partenopex's mystic love : 
Hear then, attentive to my lay. 
A knightly tale of Albion's elder day. 



CANTO FIRST. 
CJe Castle. 

i. 

DAT set on Norham's castled steep, 
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep, 

And Cheviot's mountains lone : 
The battled towers, the Donjon Keep,|| 
The loop-hole grates where captives weep, 
The flanking walls that round it sweep, 

In yellow lustre shone. 

* The new forest in Hampshire, anciently so called. 

+ Ascapart was a huge giant, and Bevis of Southampton a gal- 
lant knight, who both fipire in the early English romances. 

X William Rufus. 

The ruinous castle of Norham, is situated on the southern bank 
of the Tweed, about six miles above Berwick. The extent of its 
ruins, as well as its historical importance, shows it to have been a 
place of magnificence, as well as strength. 

II The donjon, was the strongest part of a feudal castie: a hisrh 
quare tower, with walls of tremendous thickness, situated in the 
centre of the other buildings, from which, however, it was usually 



108 MARMION. [CANTO I. 

The warriors on the turrets high, 
Moving athwart the evening sky, 

Seemed forms of giant height : 
Their armour, as it caught the rays, 
Flashed hack again the western blaze, 

In lines of dazzling light. 

IT. 

St George's banner, broad and gay, 
Now faded, as the fading ray 

Less bright, and less, was flung; 
The evening gale had scarce the power 
To wave it on the Donjon tower, 

So heavily it hung. 
The scouts had parted on their search, 

The castle gates were barr'd ; 
Above the gloomy portal arch, 
Timing his footsteps to a march, 

The warder kept his guard, 
Low humming, as he paced along, 
Some ancient Border gathering song. 

ill. 

A distant trampling sound he hears ; 
He looks abroad, and soon appears, 
O'er Horncliff-hill, a plump* of spears, 

Beneath a pennon gay ; 
A horseman, darting from the crowd, 
Like lightning from a summer cloud, 
Spurs on his mettled courser proud, 

Before the dark array. 
Beneath the sable palisade, 
That closed the castle barricade, 

His bugle-horn he blew ; 
The warder hasted from the wall, 
And warned the Captain in the hall, 

For well the blast he knew : 

detached. It contained the great hall, and principal rooms of state 
for solemn occasions, and also the prison of the fortress ; from which 
last circumstance we derive the modern and restricted use of the 
word dunyrvn. 

* This wor.l properly applies to a flight of waterfowl, but is ap- 
plied, by analog, to a body of horse. 

There is a Knight of the North Country, 
Which leads a lusty plump of spears. 

t'lvdden Field. 



CANTO I.] -MABMION. 109 

And joyfully that Knight did pall, 
To sewer, squire, and seuescnal. 

IV. 

" Now broach ye a pipe of Malvoisie, 

Bring pasties of the doe, 
And quickly make the entrance free, 
And bid my heralds ready be, 
And every minstrel sound his glee, 

And all our trumpets blow ; 
And, from the platform, spare ye not 
To fire a noble salvo-shot : 

Lord Marmion waits below." 
Then to the Castle's lower ward 

Sped forty yeomen tall, 
The iron-studded gates unbarred, 
Raised the portcullis 1 ponderous guard, 
The lofty palisade unsparred, 

And let the draw-bridge falL 



Along the bridge Lord Marmion rode, 

Proudly his red-roan charger trod, 

His helm hung at the saddle-bow ; 

Well, by his visage, you might know 

He was a stalworth knight, and keen, 

And had in many a battle been ; 

The scar on his brown cheek revealed 

A token true of Bosworth field ; 

His eye-brow dark, and eye of fire, 

Showed spirit proud, and prompt to ire ; 

Yet lines of thought upon his cheek, 

Did deep design and counsel speak. 
His forehead, by his casque worn bare, 
His thick moustache, and curly hair, 
Coal-black, and grizzled here and there, 

But more through toil than age ; 
His square- turned joints, and strength of limb, 
Showed him no carpet knight so trim, 
But, in close fight, a champion grim, 
In camps, a leader sage. 



110 MARMIOIf. [CAWTO* 

VI. 

Well was he armed from head to heel, 
In mail, and plate, of Milan steel ;* 
But his strong helm, of mighty cost, 
Was all with burnish'd gold emhoss'd ; 
Amid the plumage of the crest, 
A falcon hovered on her nest, 
With wings outspread, and forward breast ; 
E'en such a falcon, on his shield, 
Soared sable in an azure field : 
The golden legend bore aright, 

" WHO CHECKS AT ME, TO DEATH IS BIGHT." 

Blue was the charger's broidered rein ; 
Blue ribbons decked his arching mane ; 
The knightly housing's ample fold 
Was velvet blue, and trapp'd with gold. 

VII. 

Behind him rode two gallant squires, 
Of noble name, and knightly sires ; 
They burned the gilded spurs to claim ; 
For well could each a war-horse tame, 
Could draw the bow, the sword could sway, 
And lightly bear the ring away ; 
Nor less with courteous precepts stored, 
Could dance in hall, and carve at board, 
And frame love ditties passing rare, 
And sing them to a lady fair. 

VIII. 

Four men-at-arms came at their backs, 

With halbard, bill, and battle-axe : 

They bore Lord Marmion's lance so strong, 

And led his sumpter mules along, 

And ambling palfrey, when at need 

Him listed ease his battle-steed. 

The last, and trustiest of the four, 

On high his forky pennon bore; 

Like swallow's tail, in shape and hue, 

Flutter'd the streamer glossy blue, 

* The artists of Milan were famous in the middle agM for their 
skill in armour. 



Ill 



Wnere, blazoned sable, as before, 
The towering falcon seemed to soar. 
Last, twenty yeomen, two and two, 
In hosen black, and jerkins blue, 
"With falcons broider d on each breast, 
Attended on their lord's behest. 
Each, chosen for an archer good, 
Knew hunting-craft by lake or wood ; 
Each one a six-foot bow could bend, 
And far a cloth-yard shaft could send ; 
Each held a boar-spear tough and strong, 
And at their belts their quivers rung. 
Their dusty palfreys, and array, 
Showed they had marched a weary way. 

IX. 

Tis meet that I should tell you now, 
How fairly armed, and ordered how, 

The soldiers of the guard, 
With musquet, pike, and morion, 
To welcome noble Marmion, 

Stood in the castle-yard ; 
Minstrels and trumpeters were there, 
The gunner held his linstock yare, 

For welcome-shot prepared : 
Entered the train, and such a clang, 
As then through all his turrets rang, 

Old Norham never heard. 

x. 

The guards their morrice-pikes advanced, 

The trumpets flourished brave, 
The cannon from the ramparts glanced, 

And thundering welcome gave. 
A blythe salute, in martial sort, 

The minstrels well might sound, 
For, as Lord Marmion crossed the court, 

He scattered angels round. 
" Welcome to Norham, Marmion ! 

Stout heart, and open hand ! 
Well dost thou brook thy gallant roan, 

Thou flower of English land P* 



112 MARMION. [CANTO I. 

XI. 

Two pursuivants, whom tabards deck, 
With silver scutcheon round their neck, 

Stood on the steps of stone, 
By which you reach the Donjon gate, 
And there, with herald pomp and state, 

They hailed Lord Marmion : 
They hailed him Lord of Fontenaye, 
Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbaye, 

Of Tamworth tower and town ;* 
And he, their courtesy to requite, 
Gave them a chain ot twelve marks weight, 

All as he lighted down. 
" Now largesse, largesse, Lord Marmion, ") 

Knight of the crest of gold ! 
A hlazon'd shield, in battle won, 

Ne'er guarded heart so bold." 

XII. 

They marshall'd him to the castle-hall, 

Where the guests stood all aside, 
And loudly flourished the trumpet-call, 

And the heralds loudly cried, 
" Room, lordlings, room for Lori Marmion, 

With the crest and helm of gold ! 
Full well we know the trophies won 

In the lists at Cottiswold : 
There, vainly Ralph de Wilton strove 

'Gainst Marmion's force to stand ; 
To him he lost his ladye-love, 

And to the king his laud. 

* la earlier times, the family of Marmion, lords of Fontenay, in 
Tiormandy, was highly distinguished. Kobert de Marmion, Lord 
of Fomeiiay, a distinguished follower of the Conqueror, obtained 
a grant of the castle and town of Tamworth, and also of the manor 
Of Scrivelby, in Lincolnshire, by the honourable service of being 
the royal champion, as the ancestors of Marmion had formerly 
been to theDiikes of Normandy. The family became extinct, and 
the office of royal champion was adjudged to Sir John Dyinoke, 
to whom the manor of Scrivelby had descended by one of the co- 
heiresses of Robert de M.irmion. 

+ This was the cry with which heralds and pursuivants were 
wont to acknowledge the bounty received from the knights. The 
heralds, like the minstrels, were a rai-e allowed to have great 
claims upon the liberality of the knights, of whose feats they kept 
a record, and proclaimed tnetu aloud, as in the text, upon suitable 
occasions. 



CA>"TO L] MABMJOK. 

Ourselves beheld the listed field, 

A sight both sad and t'air ; 
We saw Lord Marn'Mii pierce his shield, 

And saw his saddie bare ; 
We saw the victor win the crest, 

He wears with worthy pride ; 
And on the gibbet-tree, reversed, 

His foeman's scutcheon tied. 
Place, nobles, for the Falcon- Knight ! 

Room, room, ye gentles gay, 
For him who conquered in the right, 

Marmion of Fontenaye !" 



Then stepped to meet that noble lord, 

Sir Hugh the Heron bold, 
Baron of Twisell, and of Ford, 

And Captain of the Hold. ^ 

He led Lord Marmion to the deas, 

Raised o'er the pavement high, 
And placed him in the upper place 

They feasted full and high : 
The whiles a Northern harper rude 
Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud, 

" How the fierce Thirwulls, and Ridleys all, 
Stout Wulimondsuridc, 
And Hard-riding Dick, 

And Hughie of ffawdon, and Will o" the Wall* 
Have set on Sir Albany Featlierstonhaugh, 
And taken his life at the Deadinans-sliaw 

Scantly Lord Marmion's ear could brook 
The harper's barbarous lav ; 

Yet much he praised the pains he took, 

And well those pains did pay : 
For lady's suit, and minstrel's strain, 
By knight should ne'er be heard in vain. 



" Now, good Lord MarmioB," Heron says, 

" Of your fair courtesy. 
I pray you bide some little space, 

In this poor tower witu me. 



113 



114 MARMION. [CANTO L 

Here may you keep your arms from rust, 

May breathe your -war-horse well ; 
Seldom hath pass'd a week, but giust 

Or feat of arms befell : 
The Scots can rein a mettled steed, 

And love to couch a spear ; 
St George ! a stirring life they lead^ 

That have such neighbours near. 
Then stay with us a little space, 

Our northern wars to learn ; 
I pray you for your lady's grace." 

Lord Marmion's brow grew stern. 



The Captain mark'd his altered look, 

And gave a squire the sign ; 
A mighty wassel bowl he took, 

And crown' d it high with wine. 
" Now pledge me here, Lord Marmion : 

But first I pray thee fair, 
Where hast thou left that Page of thine, 
That used to serve thy cup of wine, 

Whose beauty was so rare? 
When last in Raby towers we met, 

The boy I closely eyed, 
And often marked his cheeks were wet, 

With tears he fain would hide : 
His was no rugged horse-boy's hand, 
To burnish shield, or sharpen brand, 

Or saddle battle-steed ; 
But meeter seemed for lady fair, 
To fan her cheek, or curl her hair, 
Or through embroidery, rich and rare, 

The slender silk to lead : 
His skin was fair, his ringlets gold, 

His bosom when he sigh'd, 
The russet doublet's rugged fold 

Could scarce repel its pride ! 
Say, hast taoa given that lovely youth 

To serve in lady's bower? 
Or was the gentle page, in sooth, 

A gentle paramour? 



CAHT01] HAJWOON. H5 

XVI. 

iiord Marmion ill could brook such jest ; 

He rolled his kindling eye, 
With pain his rising wrath suppressed, 

Yet made a calm reply : 
" That hoy thou thought'st so goodly fair, 

He might not brook the northern air. 
More of his fate if thou would' st learn, 

I left him sick in Lindisfarn : 
Enough of him. But, Heron, say, 
Why does thy lovely lady gay 
Disdain to grace the hall to-day ? 
Or has that dame, so fair and sage, 
Gone on some pious pilgrimage ?" 
He spoke in covert scorn, for fame 
Whispered light tales of Heron's dame. 

XVII. 
Unmarked, at least unrecked, the taunt, 

Careless the Knight replied, 
" No bird, whose feathers gayly flaunt, 

Delights in cage to bide : 
Norham is grim, and grated close, 
Hemmed in by battlement and fosse, 

And many a darksome tower ; 
And better loves my lady bright, 
To sit in liberty and light, 

In fair Queen Margaret's bower. 
We hold our greyhound in our hand, 

Our falcon on our glove ; 
But where shall we find leash or band, 

For dame that loves to rove ? 
Let the wild falcon soar her swing, 
She'll stoop when she has tired her wing." 

XVIII. 

" Nay, if with Royal James's bride 
The lovely Lady Heron bide, 
Behold me here a messenger, 
Your tender greetings prompt to bear; 
For, to the Scottish court addressed, 
I journey at our king's behest, 



116 MARMlOlf. [CANTO II. 

And pray you, of your grace, provide 
For me, and mine, a trusty guide. 
I have not ridden in Scotland since 
James backed the cause of that mock prince, 
Wai-beck, that Flemish counterfeit, 
Who on the gibbet paid the cheat. 
Then did I march with Surrey's power, 
What time we razed old Ayton tower."* 

XIX. 

" For such like need, my lord, I trow, 
Norham can find you guides enow ;+ 
For here be some have pricked as far 
On Scottish ground, as to Dunbar ; 
Have drunk the monks of St Bothan's ale, 
And driven the beeves of Lauderdale ; 
Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods, 
And given them light to set their floods." J 

XX. 

" Now, in good sooth," Lord Marmion cried, 

" Were I in warlike- wise to ride, 

A better guard I would not lack, 

Than your stout forayers at my back : 

But, as in form of peace I go, 

A friendly messenger, to know, 

Why through all Scotland, near and far, 

Their king is mustering troops for war, 

The sight of plundering Border spears 

Might justify suspicious fears, 

And deadly feud, or thirst of spoil, 

Break out in some unseemly broil : 

A herald were my fitting guide ; 

Or friar, sworn in peace to bide ; 

* In 1496, Perkin Wai-beck was received honourably in Scot- 
land; and James IV., after conferring upon him in marriage his 
own relation, the Lady Catharine Gordon, made war on England 
in behalf of his pretensions. To retaliate an invasion ot England, 
Surrey advanced into Berwickshire at the head of considerable 
forces, but retreated after taking the inconsiderable fortress ot 
Ayton. 

t The garrisons of the English castle* of Wark, Norham, and 
Berwick, were very troublesome neighbours t') Scotland. 

J This is a phrase, by which the Borderers jocularly intimated 
the burning of a house. 



CANTO VI HARMION. 

Or pardoner, or travelling priest, 
Or strolling pilgrim, at the least." 



The Captain mused a little space, 

And passed his hand across his face. 

" Fain would I find the guide you want, 

But ill may spare a pursuivant, 

The only men that safe can ride 

Mine errands on the Scottish side. 

Then, though a bishop built this fort, 

Few holy brethren here resort ; 

Even our good chaplain, as I ween, 

Since our last siege, we have not seen : 

The mass he might not sing or say, 

Upon one stinted meal a-day; 

So, safe he sat in Durham aisle, 

And prayed for our success the while. 

Our Norham vicar, woe betide, 

Is all too well in case to ride. 

The priest of Shoreswood he could rein 

The wildest war-horse in your train ; 

But then, no spearman in the hall 

Will sooner swear, or stab, or brawl. 

Friar John of Tillmouth were the man ; 

A blithesome brother at the can, 

A welcome guest in hall and bower, 

He knows eich castle, town, and tower, 

In which the wine and ale is good, 

'Twixt Newcastle and Holy- Rood. 

But that good man, as ill befalls, 

Hath seldom left our castle walls, 

Since on the vigil of St Bede, 

In evil hour, he crossed the Tweed, 

To teach Dame Alison her creed. 

Old Bughtrig found him with his wife ; 

And John, an enemy ta strife, 

Sans frock and hood, fled for his life. 

The jealous churl hath deeply swore, 

That, if again he ventures o'er, 

He shall shrieve penitent no more. 

Little he loves such risques, I know; 

Yet, in your guard, perchance will go." 



117 



118 MARMIOW. [CANTO i 



Young Selby, at the fair hall-board, 
Carved to his uncle, and that lord, 
And reverently took up the word. 
" Kind uncle, woe were we each one, 
If harm should hap to Brother John. 
He is a man of mirthful speech, 
Can many a game and gambol teach ; 
Full well at tables can he play, 
And sweep at bowls the stake away, ' 
None can a lustier carol bawl, 
The needfullest among us all, 
When time hangs heavy in the hall, 
And snow comes thick at Christmas tide, 
And we cau neither hunt, nor ride 
A foray on the Scottish side. 
The vowed revenge of Bughtrig rude, 
May end in worse than loss of hood. 
Let Friar John, in safety, still 
In chimney-corner snore his fill, 
Roast hissing crabs, or Waggons swill : 
Last night, to Norham there came one, 
Will better guide Lord Marmion." 
" Nephew," quoth Heron, " by my fay, 
Well hast thou spoke ; say forth thy say." 

XXIII. 

" Here is a holy Palmer* come, 

From Salem first, and last from Rome ; 

One, that hath kissed the blessed tomb, 

And visited each holy shrine, 

In Araby and Palestine 

On hills of Armenie hath been, 

Where Noah's ark may yet be seen ; 

By that Red Sea, too, hath he trod, 

Which parted at the prophet's rod ; 

In Sinai's wilderness he saw 

The Mount, where Israel heard the law, 



CANTO L] MAEMION. 

Mid thunder-dint, and flashing levin, 
And shadows, mists, and darkness, given. 
He shows Saint James's cockle-shell, 
Of fair Montserrat, too, can tell ; 

And of that Grot where Olives nod, 
Where, darling of each heart and eye, 
From all the youth of Sicily, 
Saint Rosalie retii-ed to God.* 

XXIV. 

" To stout Saint George of Norwich merry, 
Saint Thomas, too, of Canterbury, 
Cnthhert of Durham and Saint Bede, 
For his sins' pardon hath he prayed. 
He knows the passes of the North, 
And seeks far shrines beyond the Forth ; 
Little he eats, and long will wake, 
And drinks but of the stream or lake. 
This were a guides o'er moor and dale ; 
But, when our John hath quaffed his ale, 
As little as the wind that blows, 
And warms itself against his nose, 
Kens he, or cares, which way he goes." 



" Gramercy T quoth Lord Marmion, 
" Full loth were I, that Friar John, 
That venerable man, for me, 
Were placed in fear, or jeopardy. 

If this same Palmer will me lead 
From hence to Holy- Rood, 

Like his good saint, I'll pay his meed, 

Instead of cockle-shell, or bead, 

With angels fair and good. 
I love such holy ramblers ; still 
They know to charm a weary hill, 

With song, romance, or lay : 

" Sante Rosalia wa of Palermo, and born of a rery noMe 
family, and abhorred so much the vanities of this world, that she 

body was found in that clrK of a rock, on that almost iuaccessib * 
lauunlbin, where now her chapel i* built." 



120 MARMION. [CANTO I. 

Some jovial tale, or glee, or jest, 
Some lying legend at the least, 
They bring to cheer the way." 

XXTI. 

" All ! noble sir," young Selby said, 

And finger on his lip he laid, 

" This man knows much, perchance e'en more 

Than he could learn by holy lore. 

Still to himself he's muttering, 

And shianks as at some unseen thing. 

Last night we listened at his cell ; 

Strange sounds we heard, and, sooth to tell, 

He murmured on till morn, howe'er 

No living mortal could be near. 

Sometimes I thought I heard it plain, 

As other voices spoke again. 

I cannot tell I like it not 

Friar John hath told us it is wrote, 

No conscience clear, and void of wrong, 

Can rest awake, and pray so long. 

Himself still sleeps before his beads 

Have marked ten aves, and two creeds." 



" Let pass," quoth MarmSon ; " by my fay, 
This man shall guide me on my way, 
Although the great arch-fiend and he 
Had sworn themselves of company; 
So please you, gentle youth, to call 
This Palmer to the castle-hall." 
The summoned Palmer came in place ; 
His sable cowl o'erhung his face ; 

In his black mantle was he clad, 

With Peter's keys, in cloth of red, 
On his broad shoulders wrought ; 

The scallop shell his cap did deck; 

The crucifix around his neck 
Was from Loretto brought; 
His sandals were with travel tore, 
Staff, budget, bottle, scrip, he wore ; 
The faded palm-branch in his hand, 
Showed pilgrim from the Holy Laud. 



CA>TO 10 MABMION. 



121 



Whenas the Palmer came in hall, 

Nor lord, nor knight, was there more tall, 

Or had a statelier step withal, 

Or looked more high and keen ; 
For no saluting did he wait, 
But strode across the hall of state, 
And fronted Marmion where he sate, 

As he his peer had been. 
But his gaunt frame was worn with toil ; 
His cheek was sunk, alas the while ! 
And when he struggled at a smile, 

His eye looked haggard wild. 
Poor wretch ! the mother that him bare, 
If she had been in presence there, 
In his wan face, and sun-burned hair, 

She had not known her child. 
Danger, long travel, want, or woe, 
Soon change the form that best we know 
For deadly fear can time outgo, 

And blanch at once the hair ; 
Hard toil can roughen form and face, 
And want can quench the eye's bright grace, 
Nor does old age a wrinkle trace, 

More deeply than despair. 
Happy whom none of these befall, 
But this poor Palmer knew them all. 

XXIX. 

Lord Marmion then his boon did ask ; 
The Palmer took on him the task, 
Sohewould march with morning tide, 
To Scottish court to be his guide. 
" But I have solemn vows to pay, 
And may not linger by the way, 
To fair Saint Andrew's bound, 
Within the ocean-cave to pray,* 

* St Regulus, (Scotticf, St Rule) a monk of Patrae, in Aphain, 
warned by a vision, is said, A.D. 370, to have sailed westward, until 
he landed at St Andrew's, in Scotland, where he founded a chapel 
and tower. A cave, nearly fronting the ruinous castle of tUa 
Archbishops of St Andrew's, bears the name of this religious 
person. 



MAKMION. iCANTO i 

Where good Saint Rule his holy lay, 
From midnight to the dawn of day, 

Sung to the billows' sound; 
Thence to Saint Fillau's blessed well, 
Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel, 

And the crazed brain restore : * 
Saint Mary grant, that cave or spring 
Could back to peace my bosom bring, 

Or bid it throb no more !" 

XXX. 

And now the midnight draught of sleep, 
Where wine and spices richly steep, 
In massive bowl of silver deep, 

The page presents on knee. 
Lord Marmion drank a fair good rest, 
The Captain pledged his noble guest, 
The cup went thro gh among the re.t, 

Who drained it .nerrily ; 
Alone the Palmer passed it by, 
Though Selby pressed him courteouriy. 

This was the sign the feast was o'er; 

It hushed the merry v.'assel roar, 
The minstrels ceased to sound. 

Soon in the castle nought was heard, 

But the slow footstep of the guard, 
Pacing his sober round. 

XXXI. 

With early dawn Lord Marmion rose: 

And first the chapel doors unclose ; 

Then, after morning rites were done, 

(A hasty mass from Friar John,) 

And knight and squire had broke their fast, 

On rich substantial repast, 

Lord Marmiou's bugles blew to horse. 

Then came the stirrup-cup in course; 

Between the Baron and his host, 

No point of courtesy was lost : 

St Xilliin was a Scottish a;nt of some reputation. Tliere are, 
in Perthshire, several wells and priiisr dedicate 1 to ht Killar., 
which are still places of pilgrimage and oHermifS, even among the 
Proles tan uu 



CANTO It] MARMION. 123 

High thanks were by Lord Mannion paid, 
Solemn excuse the Captain made, 
Till, tiling from the gate, had past 
That ftobie train, their Lord the last. 

Then loudly rung the trumpet-call ; 

Thunderea the cannon from the wall, 
And shook the Scottish shore ; 

Around the castle eddied, slow, 

Volumes of smoke as white as snow, 

And hid its turrets hoar ; 
Till they rolled forth upon the air, 
And met the river breezes there, 
Which gave again the prospect fair. 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO SECOND. 
To tine REV. JOHN MAKRIOT, M.A. 

As/iestiel, Ettricke Forest, 
THE scenes are desart now and hare, 
Where nourished once a forest fair,* 
When these waste glens with copse were lined, 
And peopled with the hart and hind. 
Yon thorn perchance whose prickly spears 
Have fenced him for three hundred years, 
While fell around his green compeers 
Yon lonely thorn, would he could tell 
The changes of his parent dell, 
Since he, so grey and stubborn now, 
Waved in each breeze a sapling hough ; 
Would he could tell how deep the shade, 
A thousand mingled branches made ; 
How broad the shadows of the oak, 
How clung the rowanf to the rock, 
And through the foliage showed his head, 
With narrow leaves, and berries red ; 

Ettricke Forest, now a range of mountainous sheep walla, 
was anciently reserved for the pleasure of the royal chase. When 
the king hunted there, he often summoned the array of the coun- 
try to meet and assist his sport. These huntings had, of course, a 
Solitary character, and attendance upon them was a part of the 
duty of a vaial. 

t Mountain-ash, 



124 MAEMION. [CANTO n, 

What pines on every mountain sprung, 
O'er every dell what birches hung, 
In every breeze what aspens shook, 
What alders shaded every brook ! 

" Here, in my shade," methinks he'd say, 
" The mighty stag at noontide lay : 
The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game, 
(The neighbouring dingle bears his name,) 
With lurching step around me prowl, 
And stop against the moon to howl ; 
The mountain boar, on battle set, 
His tusks upon my stem would whet ; 
While doe and roe, and red-deer good, 
Have bounded by through gay green- wood. 
Then oft, from Newark's riven tower, 
Sallied a Scottish monarch's power : 
A thousand vassals mustered round, 
With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound ; 
And I might see the youth intent, 
Guard every pass with cross-bow bent ; 
And through the brake the rangers stalk, 
And falc'ners hold the ready hawk ; 
And foresters, in green-wood trim, 
Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grim, 
Attentive, as the bratchet's* bay 
From the dark covert drove the prey, 
To slip them as he broke away. 
The startled quarry bounds amain, 
As fast the gallant grey-hounds strain ; 
Whistles the arrow from the bow, 
Answers the harquebuss below ; 
While all the rocking hills reply, 
fo hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry, 
And bugles ringing liglitsomely." 



t rue tale or tne outlaw Murray, wno new OIK i>ewarK , 
and Eltricke Forest againft the king, may be found ia tlie "Eor- 




CAJTTO TLJ MARMION. 123 

But not more blythe that sylvan court, 

Than we have been at humbler sport ; 

Though small our pomp, and mean our game, 

Our mirth, dear Harriot, was the same. 

Remember' st thou my grey-hounds true? 

O'er holt, or hill, there never iiew, 

From slip, or leash, there never sprang, 

More fleet of foot, or sure of fang. 

Nor dull, between each merry chase, 

Passed by the intermitted space ; 

For we had fair resource in store, 

In Classic, and in Gothic lore : 

We marked each memorable scene, 

And held poetic talk between ; 

Nor hill, nor brook, we paced along, 

But had its legend, or its song. 

All silent now for now are still 

Thy bowers, untenanted Bowhill ! 

No longer, from thy mountains dun, 

The yeoman hears the well-known gun, 

And, while his honest heart glows warm, 

At thought of his paternal farm, 

Round to his mates a brimmer fills, 

And drinks, " The Chieftain of the Hills !" 

No fairy forms, in Yarrow's bowers, 

Trip o'er the walks, or tend the flowers, 

Fair as the elves whom Janet saw, 

By moonlight, dance on Carterhaugh ; 

No youthful barons left to grace, 

The Forest-Sheriffs lonely chase, 

And ape, in manly step and tone, 

The majesty of Oberon : 

And she is gone, whose lovely face 

Is but her least and lowest grace ; 

Though if to Sylphid Queen 'twere given, 

To show our earth the charms of heaven, 

She could not glide along the air, 

With form more light, or face more fair. 

No more the widow's deafened ear 

Grows quick, that lady's step to hear : 

der Minstre'sy." In the Maefarl me MS., am,- other causes of 
James the Fifth's charter to the burgh, is mentioned, that the 
citizen* assisted him to suppress this dangerous outlaw. 



126 MARMION. CCA-VTO II. 

At noontide she expects her not, 
Nor busies her to trim the cot ; 
Pensive she turns her humming wheel, 
Or pensive cooks her orphans' meal ; 
Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread, 
The gentle hand by which they're fed. 

From Yair, which hills so closely bind, 
Scarce can the Tweed his passage find, 
Though much he fret, and chafe, and toil, 
Till all his eddying currents boil, 
Her long^descended lord is gone, 
And left us by the stream alone. 
And much I miss those sportive boys, 
Companions of my mountain joys, 
Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth, 
When thought is speech, and speech is truth. 
Close to my side, with what delight, 
They pressed to hear of Wallace wight, 
When, pointing to his airy mound, 
I called his ramparts holy ground !* 
Kindled their brows to hear me speak ; 
And I have smiled, to feel my cheek, 
Despite the difference of our years, 
Return again the glow of theirs. 
Ah, happy boys ! such feelings pure, 
They will not, cannot long endure ; 
Condemned to stem the world's rude tide, 
You may not linger by the side ; 
For Fate shall thrust you from the shore, 
And Passion ply the sail and oar, 
Yet cherish the remembrance still, 
Of the lone mountain, and the rill ; 
For trust, dear boys, the time will come, 
When fiercer transport shall be dumb, 
And you will think right frequently, 
But, well I hope, without a sigh, 
On the free hours that we have spent, 
Together, on the brown hill's bent. 

When, musing on companions gone, 
We doubly feel ourselves aJone, 

* There is, on a high mountainous ridge above the farm of 
Ashestiel, a fosse called Wallace's Trench. 



127 



CAKTO tt] MARMION. 

Something, my friend, we yet may gain, 

There is a pleasure in this pain : 

It soothes the love of lonely rest, 

Deep in each gentler heart impressed, 

'Tis silent amid worldly toils, 

And stifled soon by mental broils ; 

But, in a bosom thus prepared, 

Its still small voice is often heard, 

Whispering a mingled sentiment, 

'Twist resignation and content. 

Oft in my mind such thoughts awake, 

By lone St Mary's silent lake ;* 

Thou know'st it well, nor fen, nor sedge, 

Pollute the pure lake's crystal edge ; 

Abrupt and sheer, the mountains sink 

At once upon the level brink ; 

And just a trace of silver sand 

Marks where the water meets the land. 

Far in the mirror, bright and blue, 

Each hill's huge outline you may view; 

Shaggy with heath, but lonely bare, 

Nor tree, nor bush, nor brake is there, 

Save where, of land, yon slender line 

Bears thwart the lake the scattered pine. 

Yet even this nakedness has power, 

And aiJj the feeling of the hour : 

Nor thicket, dell, nor copse you spy, _ 

Where living thing concealed might lie; 

Nor point, retiring, hides a dell, 

Where swain, or woodman lone, might dwell; 

There's nothing left to fancy's guess, 

You see that all is loneliness : 

And silence aids though these steep hills 

Send to the lake a thousand rills ; 

In summer tide, so soft they weep, 

The sound but lulls the ear asleep ; 



This beautiful sheet of wa >-r fonn the reervoir from which 
the Yarrow lakes its source. iVear the lower extremity of the 
lake, are the ruins of Drylmpe Tower, the biith-place of Mary 
bcott, daiuhur -,' Ph lip Scott of Dryhope, and famous by the 
traditional iiamt "'.!. Flower of Yarrow. She was married to 
Waller Scc.tl of F... n, 110 less reuowned for his ciejuedalious, 
tiuu l.is briiie for hi >eauty. 



128 MAEMION. [CANTO II 

Your horse's hoof-tread sounds too rude, 
So stilly is the solitude. 

Nought living meets the eye or ear, 
But well I ween the dead are near ; 
For though, in feudal strife, a foe 
Hath laid Our Lady's chapel low,* 
Yet still, beneath the hallowed soil, 
The peasant rests him from his toil,, 
And, dying, bids his bones be laid, 
Where erst his simple fathers prayed. 

If age had tamed the passions' strife, 
And fate had cut my ties to life, 
Here, have I thought, 'twere sweet to dwell, 
And rear again the chaplain's cell, 
Like that same peaceful hermitage, 
Where Milton longed to spend his age. 
'Twere sweet to mark the setting day, 
On Bourhope's lonely top decay ; 
And, as it faint and feeble died, 
On the broad lake, and mountain's side, 
To say, " Thus pleasures fade away ; 
Youth, talents, beauty, thus decay, 
And leave us dark, forlorn, and grey ;" 
Then gaze on Dryhope's ruined tower, 
And think on Yarrow's faded P'lower. 
And when that mountain-sound I heard, 
Which bids us be for storm prepared, 
The distant rustling of his wings, 
As up his force the Tempest brings, 
'Twere sweet, ere yet his terrors rave, 
To sit upon the Wizard's grave ;) 
That wizard Priest's, whose bones are thrust 
From company of holy dust ; 

The chapel of Saint Mary of the Lowes (de lacubut) was situ- 
ated on the eastern side of the lake, to which it gives name. U 
was injured bv the clan of Scott, in a feud with the Cra.istouns; 
but continued to be a pla,-e of worship duriiiz the seventeenth 
century The vestiges nf the building can now scarcely be traced, 
but the buri.il gioun I is still used as a cemetery. 

t At one corner of the burial ({round of the demolished chapel, 
out without its precincts, is a Binall mound, called Binrarn's cvrte, 

" f * BeCrOmilltic " e8t " 



CANTO n.] MARMION. 129 

On which no sun-beam ever shines ^> 

(So superstition's creed divines,) 

Thence view the lake, with sullen roar, 

Heave her broad billows to the shore ; 

And mark the wild swans mount the gale, 

Spread wide through mist their snowy sail, 

And ever stoop again, to lave 

Their bosoms on the surging wave : 

Then, when against the driving hail 

No longer might my plaid avail, 

Back to my lonely home retire, 

And light my lamp, and trim my fire : 

There ponder o'er some mystic lay, 

Till the wild tale had all its sway, 

And, in the bittern's distant shriek, 

I heard unearthly voices speak, 

And thought the Wizard Priest was come, 

To claim again his ancient home ! 

And bade my busy fancy range, 

To frame him fitting shape and strange, 

Till from the task my brow I cleared. 

And smiled to think that I had feared. 

But chief, 'twere sweet to think such life, 
(Though but escape from fortune's strife,) 
Something most matchless good, and wise, 
A great and grateful sacrifice ; 
And deem each hour, to musing given, 
A step upon the road to heaven. 

Yet him, whose heart is ill at ease, 
Such peaceful solitudes displease : 
He loves to drown his bosom's jar 
Amid the elemental war : 
And my black Palmer's choice had been 
Some ruder and more savage scene, 
lake that which frowns round dark Lochskene,* 
There eagles scream from isle to shore ; 
Down all the rocks the torrents roar; 
O'er the black waves incessant driven, 
Dark mists infect the summer heaven ; 

* A mountain lake, of considerable size, at the head of the Mof- 
tat- water. 

F2 



130 



MAIWIOX [CAN10 II. 



Through the rude barriers of the lake, 
Away its hurrying waters break, 
Faster and whiter dash and curl, 
Till down yon dark abyss they hurl. 
Rises the fog-smoke white as'snow, 
Thunders the viewless streair below, 
Diving, as if condemned to lave 
Some demon's subterranean cave, 
Who, prisoned by enchanter's spell, 
Shakes the dark rock with groan and yell. 
And well that Palmer's form and mien 
Had suited with the stormy scene, 
Just on the edge, straining his ken 
To view the bottom of the den, 
Where, deep deep down, and far within, 
Toils with the rocks the roaring linn ; 
Then, issuing forth one foamy wave, 
And wheeling round the Giant's Grave, 
White as the snowy charger's tail, 
Drives down the pass of Moffatdale. 

Harriot, thy harp, on Isis strung, 
To many a Border theme has rung : 
Then list to me, and thou shalt know 
Of this mysterious Man of Woe. 



CANTO SECOND. 
{)e donbenf. 



THE breeze, which swept away the smoke, 

Round Norham Castle rolled ; 
When all the load artillery spoke. 
With lightning-flash, and thunder-stroke, 

As Marmion left the Hold. 
It curled not Tweed alone, that breeze ; 
For, far upon Northumbrian seas, 

It freshly blew, and strong, 
Where, from high Whitby's cloistered pile, 
Bound to Saint Cuthbert's Holy Isle. 

It bore a bark along. 



CA.VTO 1I.J MAKMION. 131 

Upon the gale she stooped her side, 
And bounded o'er the swelling tide, 

As she were danciug home ; 
The merry seamen laui-hed, to see 
Their gallant ship so lustily 

Furrow the green sea-foam. 
Much joyed they in their honoured freight ; 
For, on the deck, in chair of state,* 
The Abbess of Saint Hilda placed. 
With five fair nuns, the galley graced. 

II. 

'Twas sweet to see these holy maids, 
Like birds escaped to green-wood shades, 

Their first night from the cage, 
How timid, and how curious too, 
For all to them was strange and new, 
And all the common sights they view, 

Their wonderment engage. 
One eyed the shrouds and swelling sail, 

With many a benedicite ; 
One at the rippling surge grew pale, 

And would for terror pray; 
Then shrieked, because the sea-dog, nigh, 
His round black head, and sparkling eye, 

Reared o'er the foaming spray; 
And one would still adjust her veil, 
Disordered by the summer gale, 
Perchance lest some more worldly eye 
Her dedicated charms might spy ; 
Perchance, because such action graced 
Her fair-turned arm and slender waist. 
Light was each simple bosom there, 
Save two, who ill might pleasure share, 
The Abbess, and the Novice Clare. 

The Abbey of Whitby contained both monks and nans of 
me Benedictine order; but, contrary to what was usu*l m such 
establishments, the abbess was superior to the abbot, umuauve, 
was called Holy Island, from the sanctity of its ancient monastery, 
uid from its li'ivinir been the epi-copal seat of the see of Durham 
d.irir" the early atres of British Chrsitianity. St Cuthbert, who 
was S rxth bishop of Durham, bestoxved the name of his "patri- 
mony" upon the extensive property of the see. Lindisfarne is not 
nroperly an island, but rather, a semi-isle ; for although surround- 
3u bv the sea at full tide, the ebb leaves the sands dry between it 
and the off *ite coast of Northumberland, from wbuch it a about 
two miles distant. 



132 MARMION. 

III. 

The Abbess was of noble blood, 
But early took the veil and hood, 
Ere upon life she cast a look, 
Or knew the world that she forsook. 
Fair too she was, and kind had been 
As she was fair, but ne'er had seen 
For her a timid lover sigh, 
Nor knew the influence of her eye ; 
Love, to her ear, was but a name, 
Combined with vanity and shame 
Her hopes, her fears, her joys, were all 
Bounded within the cloister wall : 
The deadliest sin her mind could reach, 
Was of monastic rule the breach ; 
And her ambition's highest aim, 
To emulate Saint Hilda's fame. 
For this she gave her ample dower, 
To raise the convent's eastern tower ; 
For this, with carving rare and quaint, 
She decked the chapel of the saint, 
And gave the relique-shrine of cost, 
With ivory and gems embost. 
The poor her convent's bounty blest, 
The pilgrim in its halls found rest. 

IV. 

Black was her garb, her rigid rule 
Reformed on Benedictine school ; 
Her cheek was pale, her form was spare ; 
Vigils, and penitence austere, 
Had early quenched the light of youth, 
But gentle was the dame in sooth ; 
Though vain of her religious sway, 
She loved to see her maids obey, 
Yet nothing stern was she in cell, 
And the nuns loved their Abbess well. 
Sad was this voyage to the dame ; 
Summoned to Lindisfarne, she came, 
There, with Saint (Juttibert's Abbot old, 
And Tynemouth's Prioress, to hold 
A chapter of Saint Benedict, 
For inquisition stern and strict. 



ICANTOtt 



CANTO 110 MARMION. 

On two apostates from the faith, 
And, if need were, to doom to death. 

v. 

Nought say I here of Sister Clare, 
Save this, that she -was young and fair ; 
As yet a novice unprofessed, 
Lovely, and gentle, but distressed. 
She was betrothed to one now dead, 
Or worse, who had dishonoured fled. 
Her kinsmen bade her give her hand 
To one, who loved her For her land : 
Herself almost heart-broken now, 
Was bent to take the vestal vow, 
And shroud, within Saint Hilda's gloom, 
Her blasted hopes and withered bloom. 

YI. 

She sate upon the galley's prow, 
And seemed to mark the waves below ; 
Nay seemed, so fixed her look and eye, 
To count them as they glided by. 
She saw them not 'twas seeming all 
Far other scene her thoughts recall, 
A sun-scorched desart, waste and bare, 
Nor wave, nor breezes, murmured there ; 
There saw she, where some careless hand 
O'er a dead corpse had heaped the sand, 
To hide it till the jackalls come, 
To tear it from the scanty tomb. 
See what a woeful look was given, 
As she raised up her eyes to heaven ! 

VII. 

Lovely, and gentle, and distressed 

These charms might tame the fiercest breast : 

Harpers have sung, and poets told, 

That he, in fury uncontrolled, 

The shaggy monarch of the wood. 

Before a virgin, fair and good, 

Hath pacified his savage mood. 

But passions in the human frame 

Oft put the lion's rage to shame : 



133 



134 MAHMION. [CANTO H. 

And jealousy, by dark intrigue, 

With sordid avarice in league, 

Had practised, with their bowl and knife, 

Against the mourner's harmless life. 

This crime was charged 'gainst those who lay 

Prisoned in Cuthbert's islei gray. 

VIII. 

And now the vessel skirts the strand 

Of mountainous Northumberland ; 

Towns, towers, and halls, successive rise, 

And catch the nuns' delighted eyes. 

Monk-Wearmouth soon behind them lay, 

And Tynemouth's priory and bay ; 

They marked, amid her trees, the hall 

Of lofty Seaton-Delaval ; 

They saw the Blythe and Wansbeck floods 

Rush to the sea through sounding woods ; 

They past the tower of Widderington, 

Mother of many a valiant son ; 

At Coquet-isle their beads they tell, 

To the good Saint who owned the cell ; 

Then did the Alne attention claim, 

And Warkworth, proud of Percy's name ; 

And next, they crossed themselves, to hear 

The whitening breakers sound so near, 

Where, boiling through the rocks, they roar 

On Dunstanborough's caverned shore ; 

Thy tower; proud Bamborough, marked they here, 

King Ida's castle, huge and square, 

From its tall rock look grimly down, 

And on the swelling ocean frown ; 

Then from the coast they bore away, 

And reached the Holy Island's bay. 

IX. 

The tide did now its flood-mark gain, 
And girdled in the Saint's domain : 
For with the flow and ebb, its stile 
Varies from continent to isle ; 
Dry-shod, o'er sands, twice eiery day, 
The pilgrims to tba shrine find way ; 



CAJTTO IL] MARM10N. 

Twice every day, the waves efface 
Of staves and saudaied feet the trace. 
As to the port the galley flew, 
Higher and higher :ose to view 
The Castle, with its; battled walls, 
The ancient monastery's halls, 
A solemn, huge, and dark -red pile, 
Placed on the margin of the isle. 



In Saxon strength that Abbey frowned, 
With massive arches broad and r -und, 

That rose alternate, row and row 

On ponderous columns, short and low, 
Built ere the art was known, 

By pointed risle, and shafted stalk, 

The arcades of an alley'd walk 

To emulate in stone. 
On the deep walls, the heathen Dane 
Had poured Lis impious rage in vain ; 
And needful was such strength to these, 
Exposed to the tempestuous seas, 
Scourged by the wind's eternal sway, 
Open to rovers herce as they, 
"W hich could twelve hundred years withstand 
Winds, v.-aves, and northern pirates' hand. 
Not but that portions of the pile, 
Rebuilded in a later stile, 
Showed where the spoiler's hand had been ; 
Not but the wasting sea-breeze keea 
Had worn the pillar's curving quaint, 
And mouldered in his niche the saint, 
And rounded, with consuming power, 
The pointed angles of each tower : 
Yet still entire the Abbey stood, 
Like veteran, worn, but unsubdued. 

XI. 

Soon as they neared his turrets strong, 
The maideus raised Saint Hilda's song, 
And \uth the sea- wave and the wind, 
Their voices, sweetly shrill, combined, 
And made harmonious close ; 



135 



136 MARMION. [CANTO IT. 

Then, answering from the sandy shore, 

Half-drowned amid the breakers' roar. 

According chorus rose : 
Down to the haven of the Isle, 
The monks and nuns in order file, 

From Cuthbert's cloisters grim ; 
Banner, and cross, and reliques there, 
To meet Saint Hilda's maids, they bare ; 
And, as they caught the sounds oa air, 

They echoed back the hymn. 
The islanders, in joyous mood, 
Rushed emulously through the flood, 

To hale the bark to land ; 
Conspicuous by her veil and hood, 
Signing the cross, the Abbess stood, 

And blessed them with her hand. 

XII. 

Suppose we now the welcome said, 
Suppose the Convent banquet made ; 

All through the holy dome, 
Through cloister, aisle, and gallery, 
Wherever vestal maid might pry, 
Nor risk to meet unhallowed eye, 

The stranger sisters roam : 
Till fell the evening damp with dew, 
And the sharp sea-breeze coldly blew, 
For there, even summer night is chill. 
Then, having strayed and gazed their fill, 

They closed around the tire ; 
And all, in turn, essayed to paint 
The rival merits of their saint, 

A theme that ne'er can tire 
A holy maid ; for, be it known, 
That their saint's honour is their own. 

XIII. 

Then Whitby's nuns exulting told, 
How to their house three barons bold 

Must menial service do ; 
While horns blow out a note of shame. 
And monks cry " Fye upon your name ! 
In wrath, for loss ot sylvan game, 

Saint Hilda's priest ye slew." 



CANTO IT.] MARMION. 137 

" This, on Ascension-day, each year, 
While labouring on our harbour-pier, 
Must Herbert, Bruce, and Percy hear." 
They told, how in their convent cell 
A Saxon princess once did dwell, 

The lovely Edelfled ;* 
And how, of thousand snakes, each one 
Was changed into a coil of stone,^ 

When holy Hilda prayed ; 
Themselves, within their holy bound, 
Their stony folds had often found. 
They told, how sea-fowls' pinions fail,J 
As over Whitby's towers they sail, 
And, sinking down, with flutterings faint, 
They do their homage to the saint. 

XIV. 

Nor did Saint Cuthbert's daughters fail, 
To vie with these in holy tale ; 
His body's resting-place, of old, 
How oft their patron changed, they told ; 

* She was the daughter of King Osway, who, in gratitude to 
heaven f ,r the <reat "ictory which he won in 65f). against Penda, 
the pa^an kin? of Mercia. dedicated Edelfleda, then but a year 
lid ito the 8 ervW of God in the monastery of Whitby, of which 
6t Hilda was then abbess. She afterwards adorned the place of 
ner education with ereat magnificence. 

t The reliques of the makes which infested the precincts of the 
convent, and were, at the abbess's prayer, not only beheaded, but 
petrified, are still found about the rocks, and are termed fcy fossil- 

"* MrChaVhor., in his History of Whitby, points out the true 
ortein of the fable, from the number of sea-Riills, that, when flying 
from a storm, often aliaht near Whitby ; and from the woodcocks, 
and other birds of passage, which do the same upon their arrival on 

Sh s1t "cuthbe^died in the Farne islands, and his body was 
brought to I.mdisfarne, where it remained until a descent < 
Danel about 763. when the monks fled to Scotland, with his re 
liques: they paraded him through Scotland for several years, and 
came as far west as Whithorn, in Galloway, whence they at- 
tempted to sail for Ireland, but were driven back by temptats. 
He at lenzth made a halt at Norham ; thence he went to Melrose, 
where he remained stationary for a short time, and then raiisej 
oimself to be launched upon the Tweed in a stone coffin, which 
nded him at Tillmouth, m ^nrthumberlaud. r rom T.,imo,ith, 
Cuthbfrt wandered into Yorkshire; and at lensrth made a Ion? 
itayat Chester-1e-strel, to which the bishop's see was transferred. 
At Icn-fth, the Danes continuing to infest the country, the monks 
remnved to Rippoii f .r a season ; and it was in return from thence 
to Cheter-le-st reel, that, passing through a forest called Dnnholme, 
the Snint and his carriage became immoveable at a place named 
Ward law, or Wardiiaw. 



138 MARMION. tCANTO H. 

How, when the rude Dane burned their pile, 
The monks fled forth from Holy Isle ; 
O'er northern mountain, marsh, and moor, 
From sea to sea, from shore to shore, 
Seven years Saint Cuthbert's corpse they bore. 
They rested them in fair Melrose ; 

But though, alive, he loved it well, 
Not there his reliques might repose ; 

For, wondrous tale to tell ! 
In his stone-coffin forth he rides, 
(A ponderous bark for river tides) 
Yet light as gossamer it glides, 
Downward to Tillmouth cell. 
Nor long was his abiding there, 
For southward did the saint repair ; 
Chester-le-Street, and Rippon, saw 
His holy corpse, ere Wardilaw 

Hailed him with joy and fear ; 
And, after many wanderings past, 
He chose his lordly seat at last, 
Where his cathedral, huge and vast 

Looks down upon the Wear : 
There, deep in Durham's Gothic shade, 
His reliques are in secret laid ; 

But none may know the place, 
Save of his holiest servants three, 
Deep sworn to solemn secrecy, 
Who share that wondrous grace. 

xv. 

Who may his miracles declare ! 
Even Scotland's dauntless king, and heir, 

(Although with them they led 
Galwegians, wild as ocean's gale, 
And Lodon's knights, all sheathed in mail, 
And the bold men of Teviotdale,) 

Before his standard fled.* 
'Twas he, to vindicate his reign, 
Edged Alfred's falchion on the Dane, 

'When David L, with his son Henry invaded Northumberland 
in 1136, the English host marched against them under the holy 
banner of St Cuthbert ; to the efficacy of which was imputed the 
great victory which they obtained at Northallerton, 



CANTO II.1 MAKM10N. 139 

And turned the conqueror back again,* 
When, with his N ormaa bowyer Band, 
He came to waste Northumberland. 

XVI. 

But fain Saint Hilda's nuns would learn, 
If, on a rock by Lindisfarn, 
Saint Cuthbert sits, and toils to frame 
The sea-born beads that bear his name :+ 
Such tales had Whitby's fishers told, 
And said they might his shape behold, 

And hear his anvil sound ; 
A deadened clang, a huge dim form, 
Seen but, and heard, when gathering storm, 

And night were closing round. 
But this, as tale of idle fame, 
The nuns of Lindisfarn disclaim. 



While round the fire such legends go, 
Far different was the scene of woe, 
Where, in a secret aisle beneath, 
Council was held of life and death. 

It was more dark and lone that vault, 
Than the worst dungeon cell ; 

Old Colwulf built it, J for his fault, 

In penitence to dwell, 
When he, for cowl and beads, laid down 
The Saxon battle-axe and crown. 

* The Saint we are told appeared in a vision to Alfred, when 
lurkine in the marshes of Glastonbury, and promised him assist- 
ance and victory over his heathen enemies. As to William the Con 
queror, having intimated an indiscreet curiosity to view the Saint's 
body, he was, while in the act of commanding the shrine to be 
opened, seiied with heat, sickness, and such a panic terror, that 
he fled and never drew his bridle till he got to the river Tees. 

t Cuthbert since his death, has acquired the reputation of forging 
those Entrochi which are found among the rocks of Holy Island, 
and pass there by the name of St Cuthbert's Beads. While at thi 
task, he is supposed to sit during the night upon a certain rock, and 
use another as his anvil. 

J Ceolwolf, or Colwulf, King of Northumberland, flourished in 
the eighth century. He abdicated the throne about 738, and retired 
to Holy Island, where he died in the odour of sanctity. These 
penitential- vaults served as places of meeting for the chapter, when 
measures ot uncommon severity were to be adopted. But their 
most frequent use, lu implied by the name, was as places for per- 
forming penances, or undergoing punishment. 



140 MARMION. [CANTO It 

This den, which, chilling every sense. 

Of feeling, hearing, sight, 
Was called the Vault of Penitence, 

Excluding air and light, 
Was, by the prelate Sexhelm, made 
A place of burial, for such dead 
As, having died in mortal sin, 
Might not be laid the church within. 
'Twas now a place of punishment ; 
Whence if so loud a shriek were sent, 

As reached the upper air, 
The hearers blessed themselves, and said, 
The spirits of the sinful dead 

Bemoaned their torments there. 

XVIII. 

But though, in the monastic pile, 
Did of this penitential aisle 

Some vague tradition go, 
Few only, save the Abbot, knew 
Where the place lay ; and still more few 
Were those, who had from him the clew 

To that dread vault to go. 
Victim and executioner 
Were blind-fold when transported there. 
In low dark rounds the arches hung, 
From the rude rock the side- walls sprung; 
The grave-stones, rudely sculptured o'er, 
Half sunk in earth, by time half wore, 
Were all the pavement of the floor ; 
The mildew drops fell one by one, 
With tinkling plash, upon the stone. 
A cresset,* in an iron chain, 
Which served to light this drear domain, 
With damp and darkness seemed to strive, 
As if it scarce might keep alive ; 
And yet it dimly served to show 
The awful conclave met below. 

XIX. 

There, met to doom in secrecy, 

Were placed the heads of convents three : 

* Antique chandelier. 



CANTO H.I MARMIOX. 141 

All servants of Saint Benedict, 
The statutes of whose oraer strict 

Oil iron table lay; 

In long black dress, on seats of stone, 
Behind were these three judges shown, 

By the pale cresset's ray : 
The Abbess of Saint Hilda's there, 
Sate for a space with visage bare, 
Until, to hide her bosom's swell, 
And tear-drops that for pity fell, 

She closely drew her veil : 
Yon shrouded figure, as I guess, 
By her proud mien and flowing dress, 
Is Tynemouth's haughty Prioress,* 

And she with awe looks pale : 
And he, that Ancient Man, whose sight 
Has long been quenched by age's night, 
Upon whose wrinkled brow alone, 
Nor ruth, nor mercy's trace is shown, 

Whose look is hard and stern, 
Saint Cuthbert's Abbot is his style ; 
For sanctity called, through the isle, 

The Saint of Lindisfarn. 

XX. 

Before them stood a guilty pair; 
But, though an equal fate they share, 
Yet one alone deserves our care. 
Her sex a page's dress belied ; 
The cloak and doublet, loosely tied, 
Obscured her charms, but could not hide. 

Her cap down o'er her face she drew ; 
And, on her doublet breast, 

She tried to hide the badge of blue, 

Lord Marmion's falcon crest. 
But, at the Prioress' command, 
A Monk undid the silken band, 

That tied her tresses fair, 
And raised the bonnet from her head, 
And down her slender form they spread, 

In ringlets rich and rare. 

A in the cat of Whitby and of Holy Island, the introduction 
of nuns at Tyoeuioulo, in toe reign of Henry VIIL, is au ana- 



142 MARMION. [CANTO It 

Constance de Beverly they know, 
Sister professed of Fontevraud, 
Whom the church numbered with the dead, 
For broken vows, and convent fled. 



When thus her face was given to view, 

(Although so pallid was her hue, 

It did a ghastly contrast bear, 

To those bright ringlets glistering fair,) 

Her look composed, and steady eye, 

Bespoke a matchless constancy ; 

And there she stood so calm and pale, 

That, but her breathing did not fail, 

And motion slight of eye and head, 

And of her bosom, warranted, 

That neither sense nor pulse she lacks, 

You might have thought a form of wax, 

Wrought to the life, was there ; 

So still she was, so pale, so fair. 



Her comrade was a sordid soul, 

Such as does murder for a meed ; 
Who, but of fear, knows no controul, 
Because his conscience, seared and foul, 

Feels not the import of his deed ; 
One, whose brute-feeling ne'er aspires 
Beyond his own more brute desires. 
Such tools the tempter ever needs, 
To do the savagest of deeds ; 
For them no visioned terrors daunt, 
Their nights no fancied spectres haunt ; 
One fear with them, of all most base, 
The fear of death, alone finds place. 
This wretch was clad in frock and cowl, 
And shamed not loud to moan and howl, 
His body on the floor to dash, 
And crouch, like hound beneath the lash ; 
While his mute partner, standing near, 
Waited her doom without a tear. 



CANTO HO MARMIO*. 

XXIII. 

Yet well the luckless wretch might shriek, 
Well might her paleness terror speak ! 
For there were seen, in that dark wall, 
Two niches, narrow, deep, and tall. 
Who enters at such griesly door, 
Shall ne'er, I ween, tind exit more. 
In each a slender meal was laid, 
Of roots, of water, and of bread : 
By each, in Benedictine dress, 
Two haggard monks stood motionless ; 
Who, holding high a blazing torch, 
Showed the grim entrance of the porch : 
Reflecting back the smoky beam, 
The dark-red walls and arches gleam. 
Hewn stones and cement were displayed, 
And building tools in order laid.* 

XXIT. 

These executioners were chose, 
As men who were with mankind foes, 
And, with despite and envy fired, 
Into the cloister had retired ; 

Or who, in desperate doubt of grace, 

Strove, by deep penance, to efface 
Of some foul crime the stain. ; 

For, as the vassals of her will, _ ' 

Such men the church selected still, 

As either joyed in doing ill, 

Or thought more grace to gain, 
If, in her cause, they wrestled down 
Feelings their nature strove to own. 
By strange device were they brought there, 
They knew not how, and knew not where. 

XXV. 

And now that blind old Abbot rose, 
To speak the Chapter's doom, 

It U well known, that tlie religious who broke their TOWS of 
chastity, were subjected to the same penalty as the Roman res tala 
in a siriiiUr case. V sriwll niche, sufficient to enclose their bodies, 
was made in ths missive wall of the convent ; a slender pittance 
of food and water was deooited in it, and the awful words, \ AD 
i PACXM, were the signal for immuring the criminal. 



144 MARMION. [CANTO U. 

On those the wall was to enclose, 

Alive, within the tomb ; 
But stopped, because that woeful maid, 
Gathering her powers, to speak essayed. 
Twice she essayed, and twice in vain ; 
Her accents might no utterance gain ; 
Nought but imperfect murmurs slip 
From her convulsed and quivering lip : 

'Twixt each attempt all was so still, 

You seemed to hear a distant rill 
'Twas ocean's swells and falls ; 

For though this vault of sin and fear 

Was to the sounding surge so near, 

A tempest there you scarce could hear, 
So massive were the walls. 

XXVI. 

At length, an effort sent apart 
The blood that curdled to her heart, 

And light came to her eye, 
And colour dawned upon her cheek, 
A hectic and a fluttered streak, 
Like that left on the Cheviot peak, 

By Autumn's stormy sky ; 
And when her silence broke at length, 
Still as she spoke, she gathered strength, 

And armed herself to bear. 
It was a fearful sight to see 
Such high resolve and constancy, 

In form so soft and fair. 

XXVII. 

" I speak not to implore your grace ; 

Well know I, for one minute's space -\ 

Successless might I sue : 
Nor do I speak your prayers to gain ; 
For if a death of lingering pain, 
To cleanse my sins, be penance vain, 

Vain are your masses too. 
I listened to a traitor's tale, 
I left the convent and the veil, 
For three long years I bowed my pride. 
A horse- boy in his train to ride j 



CANTO IL] MAEMION. 

And well my folly's meed he gave, 
Who forfeited, to be his slave, 
All here, and all beyond the grave. 
He saw young Clara's face more fair, 
He knew her of broad lands the heir, 
Forgot his vows, his faith forswore, 
And Constance was beloved no more. 
"Tis an old tale, and often told ; 

But, did my fate and wish agree, 
Ne'er had been read, in story old, 
Of maiden true betrayed for gold, 
That loved, or was avenged, like me ! 



" The king approved his favourite's aim ; 
In vain a rival barred his claim, 

Whose faith with Clare's was plight, 
For he attaints that rival's fame 
With treason's charge and on they came, 
In mortal lists to fight 
Their oaths are said, 
Their prayers are prayed, 
Their lances in the rest are laid, 
They meet in mortal shock ; 
And hark ! the throng, with thundering cry, 
Shout, ' Marmion, Marmion, to the sky ! 

De Wilton to the block f 
Say ye, who preach heaven shall decide, 
When in the lists two champions ride, 

Say, was heaven's justice here ? 
When, loyal in his love and faith, 
Wilton found overthrow or death, 

Beneath a traitor's spear. 
How false the charge, how true he fell, 
This guilty packet best can tell." 
Then drew a packet from her breast, 
Paused, gathered voice, and spoke the rest. 

XXIX. 

" Still was false Marmion's bridal staid; 
To Whitby's convent tted the maid, 
The hated match to shun. 



146 MARMION. [CANTO II. 

4 Ho ! shifts she thus ?' King Henry cried, 
' Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride, 

If she were sworn a nun.' 
One way remained the king's command 
Sent Marmion to the Scottish land : 
I lingered here, and rescue plaim'd 

For Clara and for me : 
This caitiff Monk, for gold, did swear, 
He would to Whitby's shrine repair, 
And, by his drugs, my rival fair 

A saint in heaven should be. 
But ill the dastard kept his oath, 
Whose cowardice hath undone us both. 

XXX. 

" And now my tongue the secret tells, 
Not that remorse my bosom swells, 
But to assure my soul, that none 
Shall ever wed with Marmion. 
Had fortune my last hope betrayed, 
This packet, to the king conveyed, 
Had given him to the headsman's stroke, 
Although my heart that instant broke. 
Now, men of death, work forth your will, 
For I can suffer, and be still ; 
And come he slow, or come he fast, 
It is but death who comes at last. 



" Yet dread me, from my living tomb, 

Ye vassal slaves of bloody Rome ! 

If Marmion's late remorse should wake, 

Full soon such vengeance will he take, 

That you shall wish the fiery Dane 

Had rather been your guest again. 

Behind, a darker hour ascends ! 

The altars quake, the crosier bends, 

The ire of a despotic king 

Rides forth upon destruction's wing ; 

Then shall these vaults, so strong and deep, 

Burst open to the sea- winds' sweep ; 

Some traveller then shall find my bones, 

Whitening amid disjointed stones, 



CANTO IL] MARMION. 

And, ignorant of priests' cruelty, 
Marvel such relics here should be." 



Fixed was her look, and stern her air ; 

Back from her shoulders streamed her hair ; 

The locks, that wont her brow to shade, 

Stared up erectly from her head ; 

Her figure seemed to rise iaore high; 

Her voice, despair's wild energy 

Had given a tone of prophecy. 

Appalled the astonished conclave sate ; 

With stupid eyes, the men of fate 

Gazed on the light inspired form, 

And listened for the avenging storm ; 

The judges felt the victim's dread ; 

No hand was moved, no word was said, 

Till thus the Abbot's doom was given, 

Kaising his sightless balls to heaven : 

" Sister, let thy sorrows cease ; 

Sinful brother, part in peace !" 

From that dire dungeon, place of doom, 
Of execution too, and tomb, 

Paced forth the judges three ; 

Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell 

The butcher- work that there befell, 

When they had glided from the cell 

Of sin and misery. 

XXXIII. 

An hundred winding steps convey 
That conclave to the upper day ; 
But, ere they breathed the fresher air, 
They heard the shriekings of despair, 

And many a stifled groan : 
With speed their upward way they take, 
(Such speed as age and fear can make,) 
And crossed themselves for terror's sake, 

As hurrying, tottering on. 
Even in the vesper's heavenly tone, 
They seemed to hear a dying groan, 
And bade the passing knell to toll 
For 'welfare of a parting soul. 



148 



fCANTO HI. 



Slow o'er the midnight wave it swung, 
Northumbrian rocks in answer rung ; 
To Warkworth cell the echoes rolled, 
His beads the wakeful hermit told ; 
The Bamborough peasant raised his head, 
But slept ere half a prayer he said ; 
So far was heard the mighty knell, 
The stag sprung up on Cheviot Fell, 
Spread his broad nostril to the wind, 
Listed before, aside, behind ; 
Then couched him down beside the hind, 
And quaked among the mountain fern, 
To hear that sound so dull and stern. 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO THIRD. 

To WILLIAM ERSKINE, Esq. 

Ashestiel, Eltrioke Forest, 
LIKE April morning clouds, that pass, 
With varying shadow, o'er the grass, 
And imitate, on field and furrow, 
Life's chequered scene of joy and sorrow; 
Like streamlet of the mountain north, 
Now in a torrent racing forth, 
Now winding slow its silver train, 
And almost slumbering on the plain ; 
Like breezes of the autumn day, 
Whose voice inconstant dies away, 
And ever swells again as fast, 
When the ear deems its murmur past ; 
Thus various, my romantic theme 
Flits, winds, or sinks, a morning dream. 
Yet pleased, our eye pursues the trace 
Of Light and Shade's inconstant race ; 
Pleased, views the rivulet afar, 
Weaving its maze irregular ; 
And pleased, we listen as the breeze 
Heaves its wild sigh through Autumn trees. 
Then wild as cloud, or stream, or gale, 
Flow on, flow uiiconlineu, my tale. 



CANTO III.] MARMION. 149 

Need I to thee, dear Erskine, tell, 
I love the licence all too well, 
In sound now lowly, and now strong, : 

To raise the desultory song ? ; 

Oft, when mid such capricious chime, 
Some transient fit of loftier rhyme, 
To thy kind judgment seemed excuse 
For many an error of the muse ; 

Oft hast thou said, " If still mis-spent, 
Thine hours to poetry are lent, 
Go, and to tame thy wandering course, 
Quaff from the fountain at the source ; 
Approach those masters, o'er whose tomb 
Immortal laurels ever bloom : 
Instructive of the feebler bard, 
Still from the grave their voice is heard ; 
From them, and from the paths they show'd, 
Choose honoured guide and practised road ; 
Nor ramble on through brake and maze, 
With harpers rude of barbarous days. 

" Or deem'st thou not our later time 
Yields topic meet for classic rhyme ? 
Hast thou no elegiac verse 
For Brunswick's venerable hearse ? 
What ! not a line, a tear, a sigh, 
When valour bleeds for liberty ? 
Oh, hero of that glorious time, 
When, with unrivalled light sublime, 
Though martial Austria, and though all 
The might of Russia, and the Gaul, 
Though banded Europe stood her foes 
The star of Brandenburgh arose, 
Thou could'st not live to see her beam 
For ever quenched in Jena's stream. 
Lamented chief ! it was not given, 
To thee to change the doom of heaven, 
And crush that dragon in his birth, 
Predestined scourge of guilty earth. 
Lamented chief ! not thine the power, 
To save in that presumptuous hour, 
When Prussia hurried to the field, 
And snatched the spear, but left the shield : 



150 MARMION. [CANTO m. 

Valour and skill 'twas thine to try, 
And, tried in vain, 'twas thine to die. 
Ill had it seemed thy silver hair 
The last, the bitterest pang to share, 
For princedoms reft, and scutcheons riven, 
And birthrights to usurpers given ; 
Thy land's, thy children's wrongs to feel, 
And witness woes thou could' st not heal ! 
On thee relenting heaven bestows 
For honoured life an honoured close ; 
And when revolves, in time's sure change, 
The hour of Germany's revenge, 
When, breathing fury for her sake, 
Some new Arminius shall awake, 
Her champion, ere he strike, shall come 
To whet his sword on BRUNSWICK'S tomb. 

" Or of the Red-Cross hero teach, 
Dauntless in dungeon as on breach : 
Alike to him the sea, the shore, 
The brand, the bridle, or the oar ; 
Alike to him the war that calls 
Its votaries to the shattered walls, 
Which the grim Turk besmeared with tflood, 
Against the Invincible made good ; 
Or that, whose thundering voice could wake 
The silence of the polar lake, 
When stubborn Russ, and metal'd Swede, 
On the warped wave their death-game played ; 
Or that, where vengeance and affright 
Howl'd round the father of the fight, 
Who snatched on Alexandria's sand 
The conqueror's wreath with dying hand. 

" Or, if to touch such chord be thine, 
Restore the ancient tragic line, 
And emulate the notes that rung 
From the wild harp which silent hung, 
By silver Avon's holy shore, 
Till twice an hundred years rolled o'er ; 
When she, the bold Enchantress, came, 
With fearless hand and heart on flame ! 
From the pale willow snatched the treasure, 
And swept it with a kindred measure, 



CANTO IIL] MARMION. 

Till Avon's swans, while rung the grove 
With Monfort's hate and Basil's love, 
Awakening at the inspired strain, _ ^ 

Deemed their own Shakspeare lived again. 

Thy friendship thus thy judgment wronging, 
With praises not to me belonging, 
In task more meet for mightiest powers, 
Would'st thou engage my thriftless hours. 
But say, my Erskine, hast thou weighed 
That secret power by all obeyed, 
Which warps not less the passive mind, 
Its source concealed or undefined ; 
Whether an impulse, that has birth 
Soon as the infant wakes on earth, 
One with our feelings and our powers, 
And rather part of us than ours ; 
Or whether fitlier termed the sway 
Of habit, formed in early day ? 
Howe'er derived, its force confessed 
Rules with despotic sway the breast, 
And drags us on by viewless chain, 
While taste and reason plead in vain. 
Look east, and ask the Belgian why, 
Beneath Batavia's sultry sky, 
He seeks not eager to inhale 
The freshness of the mountain gale, 
Content to rear his whitened wall 
Beside the dank and dull canal ? 
He'll say, from youth he loved to see 
The white sail gliding by the tree. 
Or see yon weather-beaten hind, 
Whose'sluggish herds before him wind, 
Whose tattered plaid and rugged cheek 
His northern clime and kindred speak ; 
Through England's laughing meads he goes, 
And England's wealth around him flows : 
Ask if it would content him well, 
At ease in these gay plains to dwell, 
Where hedge-rows spread a verdant screen, 
And spires and forests intervene, 
And the neat cottage peeps between? 



152 MARMION. [CANTO lit 

No ! not for these will he exchange 
His dark Lochaber's boundless range, 
Nor for fair Devon's meads forsake 
Bennevis grey and Garry's lake. 

Thus, while I ape the measure wild 
Of tales that charmed me yet a child, 
Rude though they be, still with the chime 
Return the thoughts of early time ; 
And feelings, roused in life's first day, 
Glow in the line, and prompt the lay. 
Then rise those crags, that mountain tower, 
Which charmed my fancy's wakening hour. 
Though no broad river swept along, 
To claim, perchance, heroic song ; 
Though sighed no groves in summer gale, 
To prompt of love a softer tale ; 
Though scarce a puny streamlet's speed 
Claimed homage from a shepherd's reed ; 
Yet was poetic impulse given, 
By the green hill and clear blue heaven. 
It was a barren scene, and wild, 
Where naked cliffs were rudely piled ; 
But ever and anon between 
Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green ; 
And well the lonely infant knew 
Recesses where the wall-flower grew, 
And honey-suckle loved to crawl 
Up the low crag and mined wall ; 
I deemed such nooks the sweetest shade 
The sun in all his round surveyed ; 
And still I thought that shattered tower 
The mightiest work of human power ; 
And marvelled, as the aged hind 
With some strange tale bewitched my mind, 
Of forayers, who, with headlong force, 
Down from that strength had spurred their hone 
Their southern rapine to renew, 
Far in the distant Cheviots blue, 
And, home returning, filled the hall 
With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl. 
Methought that still with tramp and clang 
The gate- way's broken arches rang ; 



CANTO nt] MABMIOW. 153 

Methought grim features, seamed with scars, 

Glared through the windows' rusty bars. 

And ever, by the winter hearth, 

Old tales I heard of woe or mirth, 

Of lovers' sleights, of ladies' charms, 

Of witches' spells, of warriors' arms ; 

Of patriot battles, won of old 

By Wallace wight and Bruce the bold ; 

Of later fields of feud and fight, 

When, pouring from their Highland height, 

The Scottish clans, in headlong sway, 

Had swept the scarlet ranks away. 

While stretched at length upon the floor, 

Again I fought each combat o'er, 

Pebbles and shells, in order laid, 

The mimic ranks of war displayed ; 

And onward still the Scottish Lion bore, 

And still the scattered Southron fled before. 

Still, with vain fondness, could I trace, 
Anew, each kind familiar face, 
That brightened at our evening fire ; 
From the thatched mansion's grey-haired Sire, 
Wise without learning, plain and good, 
And sprung of Scotland's gentler blood ; 
Whose eye in age, quick, clear, and keen, 
Showed what in youth its glance had been ; 
Whose doom discording neighbours sought, 
Content with equity unbought ; 
To him the venerable Priest, 
Our frequent and familiar guest, 
Whose life and manners well could paiut 
Alike the student and the saint ; 
Alas ! whose speech too oft I broke 
With gambol rude and timeless joke : 
For I was wayward, bold, and wild, 
A self-will'd imp, a grandame's child ; 
But half a plague, and half a jest, 
Was still endured, beloved, carest. 

From me, thus nurtured, dost thou ask 
The classic poet's well-conned task ? 
Nay, Erskine, nay on the wild hill 
Let the wild heatnbell flourish still ; 



1 54 MARMION. 



CCANTO m. 



Cherish the tulip, prune the vine, 
But freely let the woodbine twine, 
And leave untrimmed the eglantine : 
Nay, my friend, nay since oft thy praise 
Hath given fresh vigour to my lays, 
Since oft thy judgment could refine 
My flattened thought, or cumbrous line, 
Still kind, as is thy wont, attend, 
And in the minstrel spare the friend. 
Though wild as cloud, as streams, as gale, 
Flow forth, flow unrestrained, my tale ! ' 



CANTO THIRD. 

CTje Hostel, or Inn. 
i. 

THE livelong day Lord Mannion rode : 
The mountain path the Palmer showed ; 
By glen and streamlet winded still, 
Where stunted birches hid the rill. 
They might not choose the lowland road, 
For the Merse forayers were abroad, 
Who, tired with hate and thirst of prey^ 
Had scarcely failed to bar their way. 
Oft on the trampling band, from crown 
Of some tall cliff, the deer looked down ; 
On. wine of jet, from his repose 
In the deep heath, the black-cock rose ; 
Sprung from the gorse the timid roe, 
Nor waited for the bending bow ; 
And when the stony path began, 
By which the naked peak they wan, 
Up flew the snowy ptarmigan. 
The noon had long been passed before 
They gained the height of Lammermoor 
Thence winding down the northern way 
Before them, at the close of day, 
Old Gifford's towers and hamlet lay. 

II. 

No summons calls them to the tower, 
To spend the hospitable hour. 



CA:*TO m? MA.UMION. 155 

To Scotland's camp the Lord was gone ; 
His cautious dame, in bower alone, 
Dreaded her castle to unclose, 
So late, to unknown friends or foes. 

On through the hamlet as they paced, 

Before a porch, whose front was graced 

With hush and flaggon trimly placed, 
Lord Mannion drew his rein : 

The village inn* seemed large, though rude 

Its cheerful fire and hearty food 

Might well relieve his train. 
Down from their seats the horsemen sprung, 
With jingling spurs the court-yard rung ; 
They bind their horses to the stall, 
For forage, food, and firing call, 
And various clamour fills the hall, 
Weighing the labour with the cost, 
Toils everywhere the bustling host. 

ill. 

Soon by the chimney's merry blaze, 
Through the rude hostel might you gaze ; 
Might see, where, in dark nook aloof, 
The rafters of the sooty roof 

Bore wealth of winter cheer ; 
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store, 
And gammons of the tusky boar, 

And savoury haunch of deer. 
The chimney arch projected wide; 
Above, around it, and beside, 

Were tools for housewives' hand : 
Nor wanted, in that martial day, 
The implements of Scottish fray, 

The buckler, lance, and brand. 
Beneath its shade, the place of state, 
On oaken settle Marmion sate, 

* If the Scottish inns were not good, it was not for want of en- 
couragement from the legislature ; who, so early as the reign of 
James L, not only enacted, that in all boroughs and fairs there be 
hostellaries, having stables and chambers, and provision for man 
and horse, but, by another statute, ordained, that no man, travel- 
ling on horse or foot, should presume to lodge any where except 
^n these hostellaries ; nd that no person, save innkeepers, should 
receive such travellers, under the penalty of forty shillings, for 
exercising such hospitality. 



150 MARMIOX [CANTO 111 

And viewed around the blazing hearth, 
His followers mix in noisy mirth, 
Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide, 
From ancient vessels ranged aside, 
Full actively their host supplied, 

IT. 

Their's was the glee of martial breast, 
And laughter their's at little jest ; 
And oft Lord Marmion deigned to aid, 
And mingle in the mirth they made 
For though, with men of high degree, 
The proudest of the proud was he, 
Yet, trained in camps, he knew the art 
To win the soldier's hardy heart. 
They love a captain to obey, 
Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May ; 
With open hand, and brow as free, 
Lover of wine, and minstrelsy ; 
Ever the first to scale a tower, 
As venturous in a lady's bower : 
Such buxom chief shall lead his host 
From India's tires to Zembla's frost. 



Resting upon his pilgrim staff, 

Right opposite the Palmer stood ; 
His thin dark visage seen but half, 

Half hidden by his hood. 
Still fixed on Marmion was his look, 
Which he, who ill such gaze could brook, 

Strove by a frown to quell ; 
But not for that, though more than once 
Full met their stern encountering glance, 

The Palmer's visage fell. 

VI. 

By fits less frequent from the crowd 
Was heard the burst of laughter loud ; 
For still, as squire and archer stared 
On that dark face and matted beard, 
Their glee and game declined. 



CANTO EL] MABJUOX. 

All gazed at length in silence drear, 
Unbroke, save when in comrade's ear 
Some yeoman, wondering in his fear, 

Thus whispered forth his mind : 
" Saint Mary ! saw'st thou e'er such sight ? 
How pale his cheek, his eye how bright, 
Whene'er the fire-brand's fickle light 

Glances beneath his cowl ! 
Full on our Lord he sets his eye ; 
For his best palfrey, would not I 

Endure that sullen scowl." 

VII. 

But Marmion, as to chase the awe 

Which thus had quelled their hearts, who saw 

The ever-varying fire-light show 

That figure stern and face of woe, 

Now called upon a squire : 
" Fitz- Eustace, know'st thou not some lay. 
To speed the lingering night away ? 

\V e slumber by the fire." 

Till. 

" So please you," thus the youth rejoined, 
" Our choicest minstrel's left behind. 
Ill may we hope to please your ear, 
Accustomed Constant's strains to hear. 
The harp full deftly can he strike, 
And wake the lover's lute alike ; 
To dear Saint Valentine, no thrush 
Sings livelier from a spring-tide bush ; 
No nightingale her love-lorn tune 
More sweetly warbles to the moon. 
Woe to the cause, whate'er it be, 
Detains from us his melody. 
Lavished on rocks, and billows stern, 
Or duller monks of Lindisfarn. 
Now must I venture as I may, 
To sing his favourite roundelay." 



A mellow voice Fitz- Eustace had, 
The air he chose wag wild and sad ; 



157 



158 MARM10N. 

Such have I heard, in Scottish land, 
Else from the busy harvest band, 
When falls before the mountaineer, 
On lowland plains, the ripened ear. 
Now one shrill voice the notes prolong, 
Now a wild chorus swells the song : 
Oft have I listened, and stood still, 
As it came softened up the hill, 
And deemed it the lament of men 
Who languished for their native glen ; 
And thought, how sad would be such sound, 
On Susquehana's swampy ground, 
Kentucky's wood-encumbered brake, 
Or wild Ontario's boundless lake, 
Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain, 
Recalled fair Scotland's hills again 1 



SONG. 
Where shall the lover rest, 

Whom the fates sever 
From his true maiden's breast, 

Parted for ever ? 
Where, through groves deep and high, 

Sounds the far billow, 
Where early violets die, 

Under the willow. 

CHORUS. 

Eleu loro y &c. Soft shall be his pillow. 

There, through the summer day,. 

Cool streams are laving ; 
There, while the tempests sway, 

Scarce are boughs waving ; 
There, thy rest shalt thou take, 

Parted for ever, 
Never again to wake,, 

Never, O never. 

CHORUS. 

Eleu loro, &c. Never. O never. 



[CANTO in. 



CANTO m.] MARMTOJI. 

XI. 

Where shall the traitor rest, 

He, the deceiver, 
Who could win maiden's breast, 

Ruin, and leave her ? 
In the lost battle, 

Borne down hy the flying, 
Where mingles war's rattle, 

With groans of the dying. 

CHORUS. 

Eleu loro, &c. There shall he be lying. 

Her wing shall the eagle flap, 

O'er the false-hearted ; 
His warm blood the wolf shall lap, 

Ere life be parted. 
Shame and dishonour sit 

By his grave ever ; 
Blessing shall hallow it, 

Never, O never. 

CHORUS. 

Eleu loro, &c. Never, O never. 



It ceased, the melancholy sound ; 
And silence sunk on all around. 
The air was sad ; but sadder still 

It fell on Marmion's ear, 
And plained as if disgrace and ill, 
And shameful death, were near. 
He drew his mantle past his face, 

Between it and the band, 
And rested with his head a space. 

Reclining on his hand. 
His thoughts I scan not ; but I ween, 
That, could their import have been seen, 
The meanest groom in all the hall, 
That e'er tied courser to a stall, 
Would scarce have wished to be their prey, 
For Lutterward and Fontenaye. 



159 



160 



[CANTO lit 



High minds, of native pride and force, 
Most deeply feel thy pangs, Rmorse ! 
Fear for their scourge, mean villains have, 
Thou art the torturer of the brave ; 
Yet fatal strength they boast to steel 
Their minds to bear the wounds they feel ; 
Even while they writhe beneath the smart 
Of civil conflict in the heart. 
For soon Lord Marmion raised his head, 
And, smiling, to Fitz-Eustace said : 
" Is it not strange, that, as ye sung, 
Seemed in mine ear a death-peal rung, 
Such as in nunneries they toll 
For some departing sister's soul ? 

Say, what may this portend?" 
Then first the Palmer silence broke, 
(The livelong day he had not spoke,) 

"The death of a dear friend."* 



Marmion, whose steady heart and eye 
Ne'er changed in worst extremity ; 
Marmion, whose soul could scantly brook, 
Even from his king, a haughty look ; 
Whose accent of command controlled, 
In camps the boldest of the bold 
Thought, look, and utterance, failed him now, 
Fallen was his glance, and flushed his brow : 

For either in the tone, 
Or something in the Palmer's look, 
So full upon his conscience strook, 

That answer he found none. 
Thus oft it haps, that when within 
They shrink at sense of secret sin, 

A feather daunts the brave : 
A fool's wild speech confounds the wise, 
And proudest princes vail their eyes 

Before their meanest slave. 

Among other omens amone the Scottish peasantry, is what is 
called the s dead-bell f that tint-ling in .;ie ears which the country 
people regard ai the secret intelligence of tome friend's decease. 



CANTO III. J MABMION. 

XV. 

Well might he falter !- by his aid 
Was Constance Beveiley betrayed; 
Not that he augur' d of the doom, 
Which on the living closed the ton.b; 
But tired to hear the desperate maid 
Threaten by turns, beseech, upbraid , 
And wroth, because, in wild despair, 
She practised on the life of Clare ; 
Its fugitive the church he gave, 
Though not a victim, but a slave ; 
And deemed restraint in convent strange, 
Would hide her wrongs, and her revenge. 
Himself, proud Henry's favourite peer, 
Held Romish thunders idle fear, 
Secure his pardon he might hold, 
For some slight roulct of penance-gold. 
Thus judging, he gave secret way, 
When the stern priests surprised their jrey 
His train but deemed the iavourite page 
Was left behind, to spare his ge ; 
Or other if they deemed, none dared 
To mutter what he thought and heard : 
Woe to the vassal, who durst pry 
Into Lord Marmion's privacy ! 

XVI. 

His conscience slept^-he deemed her well, 
And safe secured in distant cell ; 
But wakened by her favourite lay, 
And that strange Palmer's boding say, 
That fell so ominous and drear, 
Full on the object of his fear, 
To aid remorse's venomed throes, 
Dark tales of convent vengeance rose ; 
And Constance, late betrayed and scorned, 
All lovely on his soul returned : 
Lovely as when, at treacherous call, 
She left her convent's peaceful wall, 
Crimsoned with shame, with terror mute, 
Dreading alike escape, pursuit, 
Till love, victorious o'er alarms, 
Hid fears and blushes in his arm* 



161 



162 



[CANTO UL 



XVII. 

" Alas !" he thought, " how changed that mien J 

How changed these timid looks have been, 

Since years of guilt, and of disguise, 

Have steeled her hrow, and armed her eyes ! 

No more of virgin terror speaks 

The blood that mantles in her cheeks ; 

Fierce, and unfeminine, are there, 

Frenzy for joy, for grief despair ; 

And I the cause for whom were given 

Her peace on earth, her hopes in heaven ! 

Would," thought he, as the picture grows, 

" I on its stalk had left the rose ! 

Oh why should man's success remove 

The very charms that wake his love ! 

Her convent's peaceful solitude 

Is now a prison harsh and rude ; 

And, pent within the narrow cell, 

How will her spirit chafe and swell ! 

How brook the stern monastic laws ! 

The penance how and I the cause ! 

Vigil and scourge perchance even worse !" 

And twice he rose to cry " to horse !" 

And twice his sovereign's mandate came, 

Like damp upon a kindling flame ; 

And twice he thought, " Gave I not charge 

She should be safe, though not at large ? 

They durst not, for their island, shred 

One golden ringlet from her head." 

XVIII. 

While thus in Marmion's bosom strove 
Repentance and reviving love, 
Like whirlwinds, whose contending sway 
I've seen Loch Vennachar obey, 
Their Host the Palmer's speech had heard, 
And, talkative, took up the word : 
" Ay, reverend Pilgrim, you, who stray 
From Scotland's simple land away, 

To visit realms afar, 
Full often learn the art to know, 
Of future weal, or future woe, 
By word, or sign, or star ; 



163 



CANTO 111.] MARM10X. 

Yet might a knight his fortune hear, 
If, knight-like, he despises fear, 
Not far from hence ; if fathers old 
Aright our hamlet legend told." 
These broken words the menials move, 
(For man-els still the vulgar love ;) 
And, Marmion giving licence cold, 
His tale the host thus gladly told. 

XIX. 

THE HOST'S TALE. 

" A clerk could tell what years have flown 
Since Alexander filled our throne, 
(Third monarch of that warlike name,) 
And eke the time when here he came 
To seek Sir Hugo, then our lord : 
A hraver never drew a sword ; 
A wiser never, at the hour 
Of midnight, spoke the word of power ; 
The same, whom ancient records call 
The founder of the Gohlin-Hall.* 
I would, Sir Knight, your longer stay 
Grave you that cavern to survey. 
Of lofty roof, and ample size, 
Beneath the castle deep it lies : 
To hew the living rock profound, 
The floor to pave, the arch to round, 
There never toiled a mortal arm, 
It all was wrought by word and charm ; 
And I have heard my grandsire say, 
That the wild clamour and affray 
Of those dread artisans of hell, 
Who laboured under Hugo's spell, 
Sounded as loud as ocean's war, 
Among the caverns of Dunbar. 



" The king Lord Gifford's castle sought, 
Deep-labouring with uncertain thought : 

A vaulted hall under the ancient castle of Gifford, or Yeste 
(tor it bears either name indifferently,) the construction ot whw 
has. from a very remote period, been ascribed to magic 



164 MARMIOX CCArs'TO HI. 

Even then he mustered all his host, 

To meet upon the western coast ; 

For Norse and Danish galleys plied 

Their oars -within the firth of Clyde. 

There floated Haco's banner trim,* 

Ahove Norweyan warriors grim, 

Savage of heart, and large of limb ; 

Threatening both continent and isle, 

Bute, Arran, Cunninghame, and Kyle. 

Lord Gifford, deep beneath the ground, 

Heard Alexander s bugle sound, 

And tarried not his garb to change, 

But, in his wizard habit strange,T 

Came forth, a quaint and fearful sight ! 

His mantle lined with fox-skins white ; 

His high and wrinkled forehead bore 

A pointed cap, such as of yore 

Clerks say that Pharaoh's Magi wore ; 

His shoes were marked with cross and spell ; 

Upon his breast a pentacle ;+ 

His zone, of virgin parchment thin, 

Or, as some tell, of dead man's skin, 

Bore many a planetary sign, 

Combust, and retrograde, and trine ; 

And in his hand he held prepared, 

A naked sword without a guard. 



" Dire dealings with the fiendish race 
Had marked strange lines upon his face ; 
Vigil and fast had worn him grim, 
His eyesight dazzled seemed, and dim, 

In 126S, Haco, King of Norway, came into the Firth of Clyde 
with a powerful armament, and made a descent at Largs, in Ayr- 
shire. He was encountered and defeated, on the 2d October, by 
Alexander III. Haco retreated to Orkney, where he died soon 
after this disgrace. 

t Magicians, as is well known, were very curious in tlie clinic* 
and form of their vestments. The particulars of Sir Hugo's dresi 
are to be found in the Discourse concerning Devils and Spirits, an- 
nexed to REGINALD SCOTT'S Dilcovery of Witchcraft, edition 1665. 

J A peiitacle is a piece of fine linen, folded vith five corner*, 
according to the five senses, and suitably inscribed with charac- 
ters. This the magician extends towards the spirits hich ho 
evokes, when they are stubborn "nd rebellious.. 



165 



CANTO in.] MARMION. 

As one unused to upper day; _ 
Kven his ovra menials with dismay 
Beheld, Sir Knight, the griesly sire, 
In this unwonted wild attire ; 
Unwonted, for traditions run, 
He seldom thus beheld the sun. 
1 1 know,' he said, his voice was hoarse, 
And broken seemed its hollow force, 
' I know the cause, although untold, 
Why the king seeks his vassal's hold : 
Vainly from me my liege would know 
His kingdom's future weal or woe : 
But yet, if strong his arm and heart, 
His courage may do more than art. 

XXII. 

" ' Of middle air the demons proud, 
Who ride upon the racking cloud, 
Can read, in fixed or wandering star, 
The issue of events afar ; 
But still their sullen aid withhold 
Save when by mightier force controlled. 
Such late I summoned to my hall ; 
And though so potent was the call, 
That scarce the deepest nook of hell 
I deemed a refuge from the spell, 
Yet, obstinate in silence still, 
The haughty demon mocks my skill. 
But thou, who little know'st thy might, 
As born upon that blessed night, 
When yawning graves, and dying groan, 
Proclaimed hell's empire overthrown, 
With untaught valour shalt compel 
Response denied to magic spell.' 
* Gramercy,' quoth our monarch free, 
4 Place him but front to front with me, 
And, by this good and honoured brand, 
The gift of Co3ur-de-Lion's hand, 
Sootlily I swear, that, tide what tide. 
The demon shall a buffet bide.' 

* It is a popular article of faith, that those who are born 
Christmas, or Good-Friday, hare the power of seeing spirits, : 
e veil of commanding them. 



166 



[CANTO TO. 



His bearing bold the wizard viewed, 

And thus, well pleased, his speech renewed 

' There spoke the blood of Malcolm ! mark : 
Forth pacing hence, at midnight dark, 
The rampart seek, whose circling crown 
Crests the ascent of yonder down ; 
A southern entrance slialt thou find ; 
There halt, and there thy bugle wind, 
And trust thine elfin foe to see, 
In guise of thy worst enemy : 
Couch then thy lance, and spur thy steed- 
Upon him ! and Saint George to speed ! 
If he go down, thou soon shalt know, 
Whate'er these airy sprites can show ; . 
If thy heart fail thee in the strife, 
I am no warrant for thy life.' 

XXIII. 

" Soon as the midnight bell did ring, 

Alone, and armed, rode forth the king 

To that old camp's deserted round : 

Sir Knight, you well might mark the mound. 

Left hand the town, the Pictish race 

The trench, long since, in blood did trace ; 

The moor around is brown and bare, 

The space within is green and fair. 

The spot our village children know, 

For there the earliest wild flowers grow; 

But woe betide the wandering wight, 

That treads its circle in the night ! 

The breadth across, a bowshot clear, 

Gives ample space for full career ; 

Opposed to the four points of heaven, 

By four deep gaps is entrance given. 

The southernmost our monarch past, 

Halted, and blew a gallant blast ; 

And on the north, within the ring, 

Appeared the form of England's king ; 

Who then a thousand leagues afar, 

In Palestine waged holy war : 

Yet arms like England's did he wield, 

Alike the leopards in the shield, 






[CANTO HT. MARMION. 

Alike his Syrian courser's frame, 
The rider's length of limb the same : 
Long afterwards did Scotland know, 
Fell Edward* was her deadliest foe. 

XXIT. 

" The vision made our monarch start, 
But soon he mann'd his nohle heart, 
And in the first career they ran, 
The Elfin Knight fell horse and man ; 
Yet did a splinter of his lance 
Through Alexander's visor glance, 
And razed the skin a puny wound. 
The king, light leaping to the ground, 
With naked blade his phantom foe 
Compelled the future war to show. ^ 
Of Largs he saw the glorious plain, 
Where still gigantic bones remain, 

Memorial of the Danish war; 
Himself he saw, amid the field, 
On high his brandished war-axe wield, 
And strike proud Haco from his car, 
While, all around the shadowy kings. 
Denmark's grim ravens cower'd their wings. 
'Tis said, that, in that awful night, 
Remoter visions met his sight, 
Fore-showing future conquests far, 
When our sons' sons wage northern war ; 
A royal city, tower and spire, 
Reddened the midnight sky with fire ; 
And shouting crews her navy bore, 
Triumphant, to the victor shore. 
Such signs may learned clerks explain, 
They pass the "wit of simple swain. 

XXV. 

" The joyful king turned home again, 
Headed his host, and quelled the Dane ; 
But yearly, when returned the night 
Of his strange combat with the sprite, 
His wound must bleed and smart ; 

* Edward L, surnamed Longshank*. 



167 



168 MARMION. tCAHTO III. 

Lord Gifford then would gibing say, 
* Bold as ye were, my liege, ye pay 

The penance of your start. 
Long since, beneath Dunfermline's nave, 
King Alexander fills his grave, 

Our Lady give him rest ! 
Yet still the nightly spear and shield 
The elfin warrior doth wield, 

Upon the brown hill's breast ; 
And many a knight hath proved his chance 
In the charmed ring to break a lance, 

But all have foully sped ; 
Save two, as legends tell, and they 
Were Wallace wight, and Gilbert Hay. 

Gentles, my tale is said." 

XXVI. 

The quaighs* were deep, the liquor strong, 
And on the tale the yeoman throng 
Had made a comment sage and long, 

But Marmion gave a sign ; 
And, with their lord, the squires retire ; 
The rest, around the hostel fire, 

Their drowsy limbs recline ; 
For pillow, underneath each head, 
The quiver and the targe v/ere laid : 
Deep slumbering on the hostel floor, 
Oppressed with toil and ale, they snore : 
The dying flame, in fitful change, 
Threw on the group its shadows strange. 

XXVII. 

Apart, and nestling in the hay 
Of a waste loft, Fitz- Eustace lay ; 
Scarce, by the pale moonlight, were seen 
The foldings of his mantle green : 
Lightly he dreamt, as youth will dream, 
Of sport by thicket, or by stream, 
Of hawk or hound, of ring or glove, 
Or, lighter yet, of lady's love. 
A cautious tread his slumber broke, 
And, close beside him, when he woke, 

* A wooden cup, composed of stares hooped togethra. 



CANTO III.] MARMIOX. 169 

In moonbeam half, and half in gloom, 
Stood a tall form, -with nodding pkune ; 
But, ere his dagger Eustace drew, 
His master Marruion's voice he knew. 

XXVIII. 

" Fitz- Eustace i rise, I cannot rest ; 
Yon churl's wild legend haunts my breast, 
And graver thoughts have chafed my mood ; 
The air must cool my feverish blood ; 
And fain would I ride forth, to see 
The scene of elfin chivalry. 
Arise, and saddle me my steed ; 
And, gentle Eustace, take good heed 
Thou dost not rouse these drowsy slaves ; 
I would not, that the prating knaves 
Had cause for saying, o'er their ale, 
That I could credit such a tale." 
Then softly down the steps they slid, 
Eustace the stable door undid, 
And, darkling, Marmion's steed arrayed, 
While, whispering, thus the Baron said : 

XXIX. 

" Did'st never, good my youth, hear tell, 

That in the hour when I was born, 
St Creorge, who graced my sire's chapelle, 
Down from his steed of marble fell, 

A weary wight forlorn ? 
The flattering chaplains all agree, 
The champion left his steed to me. 
I would, the omen's truth to show, 
That I could meet this Elfin Foe ! 
Blithe would I battle, for the right 
To ask one question at the sprite : - 
Vain thought ! for elves, if elves there be, 
An empty race, by fount or sea, 
To dashing waters danca and sing, 
Or round the green oak wheel their ring." 
Thus speaking, he his steed bestrode, 
And from the hostel slowly rode. 

XXX. 

Fitz- Eustace followed him abroad, 
Auc marked Mm pace the village road, 

H 



170 MAKMION. tCAXTO Ht 

And listened to his horse's tramp, 
Till, by the lessening sound, 

He judged that of the Pictish camp 
Lord Marmion sought the rouno. 
Wonder it seemed, in the squire's eyes, 
That one, so wary held, and wise, 
Of whom 'twas said, he scarce received 
For gospel, what the church believed, 

Should, stirred by idle tale, 
Ride forth in silence of the night, 
As hoping half to meet a sprite, 

Arrayed in plate and mail. 
For little did Fitz-Eustace know, 
That passions, in contending flow, 

Unfix the strongest mind ; 
Wearied from doubt to doubt to flee, 
We welcome fond credulity, 

Guide confident, though blind. 

XXXI. 

Little for this Fitz-Eustace cared, 
But, patient, waited till he heard, 

At distance pricked to utmost speed, 

The foot-tramp of a flying steed, 
Come town- ward rushing on : 

First, dead, as if on turf it trod, 

Then, clattering on the village road, 

In other pace than forth he yode,* 

Returned Lord Marmion. 
Down hastily he sprung from selle, 
And, in his haste, well nigh he fell ; 
To the squire's hand the rein he threw 
And spoke no word as he withdrew ; 
But yet the moonlight did betray, 
The falcon crest was soiled with clay ; 
And plainly might Fitz-Eustace see, 
By stains upon the charger's knee, 
And his left side, that on the moor 
He had not kept his footing sure. 
Long musing on these wondrous signs, 
At length to rest the squire reclines, 

Used by old Poets for vxnt. 



CANTO IV.1 MASMIOH. 

Broken and short ; for still, between, 
Would dreams of terror intervene : 
Eustace did ne'er so blithely mark 
The nrst notes of the morning lark. 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FOURTH. 
To JAMES SKENE, Esq. 

^tshestiel, Ettricke Forett. 
AN ancient minstrel sagely said, 
" Where is the life which late we led ?" 
That motley clown, in Arden wood, 
Whom humorous Jaques with envy viewed, 
Not even that clown could amplify, 
On this trite text, so long as I. 
Eleven years we now may tell, 
Since we have known each other well ; 
Since, riding side by side, our hand 
First drew the voluntary brand ; 
And sure, through many a varied scene, 
Unkindness never came between. 
Away these winged years have flown, 
To join the mass of ages gone ; 
And though deep marked, like all below, 
With chequered shades of joy and woe; 
Though thou o'er realms and seas hast ranged, 
Marked cities lost, and empires changed, 
While, here, at home, my narrower ken 
Somewhat of manners saw, and men ; 
Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears, 
Fevered the progress of these years, 
Yet now, days, weeks, and months, but seem 
The recollection of a dream, 
So still we glide down to the sea 
Of fathomless eternity. 

Even now, it scarcely seems a day, 
Since first I tuned this idle lay ; 
A task so often thrown aside, 
When leisure graver cares denied, 



172 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

That now, November's dreary gale, 
Whose voice inspired my opening tale, 
That same November gale once more 
Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow shore ; 
Their vex'd boughs streaming to the sky, 
Once more our naked birches sigh ; 
And Blackhouse heights, and Ettricke Pen, 
Have don'd their wintry shrouds again ; 
And mountain dark, and flooded mead, 
Bid us forsake the banks of Tweed. 
Earlier than wont along the sky, 
Mixed with the rack, the snow-mists fly : 
The shepherd, who, in summer sun, 
Has something of our envy won, 
As thou with pencil, I with pen, 
The features traced of hill and glen ; 
He who, outstretched, the livelong day, 
At ease among the heath-flowers lay, 
Viewed the light clouds with vacant look, 
Or slumbered o'er his tattered book, 
Or idly busied him to guide 
His angle o'er the lessened tide ; 
At midnight now, the snowy plain 
Finds sterner labour for the swain. 

When red hath set the beamless sun, 
Through heavy vapours dank and dun ; 
When the tired ploughman, dry and warm, 
Hears, half asleep, the rising storm 
Hurling the hail, and sleeted rain, 
Against the casement's tinkling pane ; 
The sounds that drive wild deer, and fox, 
To shelter in the brake and rocks, 
Are warnings which the shepherd ask 
To dismal, and to dangerous task. 
Oft he looks forth, and hopes, in vain, 
The blast may sink in mellowing rain ; 
Till, dark above, and white below, 
Decided drives the flaky snow, 
And forth the hardy swain must go. 
Long, with dejected look and whine, 
To leave the hearth his dogs repine ; 
Whistling, and cheering them to aid, 
Around his back he wreathes the plaid : 



CANTO IV.] MARTdlON. 1~3 

His flock he gathers, and he guides 

To open downs, and mountain sides, 

Where, fiercest though the tempest blow, 

Least deeply lies the drift below. 

The blast, that whistles o'er the fells, 

Stiffens his locks to icicles ; 

Oft he looks back, while, streaming far, 

His cottage window seems a star, 

Loses its feeble gleam, and then 

Turns patient to the blast again, 

And, facing to the tempest's sweep, 

Drives through the gloom his lagging sheep : 

If fails his heart, if his limbs fail, 

Benumbing death is in the gale ; 

His paths, his landmarks, all unknown, 

Close to the hut, no more his own, 

Close to the aid he sought in vain, 

The morn may find the stiffen'd swain: 

His widow sees, at dawning pale, 

His orphans raise their feeble wail; 

And, close beside him, in the snow, 

Poor Yarrow, partner of their woe, 

Couches upon his master's breast, 

And licks his cheek, to break his rest. 

Who envies now the shepherd's lot, 
His healthy fare, his rural cot, 
His summer couch by greenwood tree, 
His rustic kirn's* loud revelry, 
His native hill notes, tuned on high, 
To Marion of the blithesome eye ; 
His crook, his scrip, his oaten reed, 
And all Arcadia's golden creed ? 

Changes not so with us, my Skene, 
Of human life the varying scene ? 
Our youthful summer oft we see 
Dance by on wings of game and glee, 
While the dark storm reserves its rage, 
Against the winter of our age : 
As he, the ancient chief of Troy, 
His manhood spent in peace and joy ; 

* The Scottish harvest-home. 



174 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

But Grecian fires, and loud alarms, 
Called ancient Priam forth to arms. 
Then happy those, since each must drain 
His share of pleasure, share of pain, 
Then happy those, heloved of heaven, 
To whom the mingled cup is given ; 
Whose lenient sorrows find relief, 
Whose joys are chastened hy their grief. 
And such a lot, my Skene, was thine, 
When thou of late wert doomed to twine, 
Just when thy bridal hour was by, 
The cypress with the myrtle tie ; 
Just on thy bride her Sire had smiled, 
And blessed the union of his child, 
When love must change its joyous cheer, 
And wipe affection's filial tear. 
Nor did the actions, next his end, 
Speak more the father than the friend : 
Scarce had lamented Forbes paid 
The tribute to his Minstrel's shade ;* 
The tale of friendship scarce was told, 
Ere the narrator's heart was cold. 
Far may we search before \ve find 
A heart so manly and so kind. 
But not around his honour'd urn, 
Shall friends alone and kindred mourn ; 
The thousand eyes his care had dried, 
Pour at his name a bitter tide ; 
And frequent falls the grateful dew, 
For benefits the world ne'er knew. 
If mortal charity dare claim 
The Almighty's attributed name, 
Inscribe above his mouldering clay, 
" The widow's shield, the orphan's stay.** 
Nor, though it wake thy sorrow, deem 
My verse intrudes on this sad theme ; 
For sacred was the pen that wrote, 
" Thy father's friend forget thou not :" 

* Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Baronet ; unequalled, perhaps, 
in the degree of individual affection entertained for him by nil 
friends, as well as in the general respect and esteem of Scotland at 
large. His " Lite ol Beattie," whom he befriended and patronised 
in life, as well as celebrated after his decease, vns not long pub- 
lished, before the benevolent and affectionate biographer was called 
to follow the subject of his narrative. 



CA>TO IVO MARMION. 175 

And grateful title may I plead, 
For many a kindly word and deed, 
To bring my tribute to bis grave : 
"Tis little but 'tis all I have. 

To thee, perchance, this rambling straia 
Recalls our summer walks again ; 
When doing nought, and, to speak true, 
Not anxious to find aught to do, 
The wild unbounded hills we ranged, 
While oft our talk its topic changed, 
And desultory, as our way, 
Ranged unconfined from grave to gay. 
Even when it flagged, as oft will chance, 
No effort made to oreak its trance, 
We could right pleasantly pursue 
Our sports in social silence too. 
Thou gravely labouring to pourtray 
The blighted oak's fantastic spray ; 
I spelling o'er, with much delight, 
The legend of that antique knight, 
Tirante by name, ycleped the White. 
At either's feet a trusty squire, 
Pandour and Camp, with eyes of fire, 
Jealous, each other's motions viewed, 
And scarce suppressed their ancient feud. 
The laverock whistled from the cloud ; 
The stream was lively, but not loud ; 
From the white-thorn the May-flower shed 
Its dewy fragrance round our head ; 
Not Anei lived more merrily 
Under the blossom'd bough, than we. 

And blithesome nights, too, have been ours, 
When Winter stript the summer's bowers ; 
Careless we heard, what now I hear, 
The wild blast sighing deep and drear, 
When fires were bright, and lamps beamed gay, 
And ladies tuned the lovely lay ; 
And he was held a laggard soul, 
Who shunn'd to quaff the sparkling bowl. 
Then he, whose absence we deplore, 
Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore, 
The longer missed, bewailed the more ; 



176 MARMION. tCANTO IV. 

And thou, and I, and dear-loved R , 

And one whose name I may not say, 

For not Mimosa's tender tree 

Shrinks sooner from the touch than he, 

In merry chorus well combined. 

With laughter drowned the whistling wind. 

Mirth was within ; and Care without 

Might gnaw her nails to hear our shout. 

Not but amid the buxom scene 

Some grave discourse might intervene 

Of the good horse that bore him best, 

His shoulder, hoof, and arching crest : 

For, like mad Tom's,* our chiefest care, 

Was horse to ride, and weapon wear. 

Such nights we've had ; and, though the game 

Of manhood be more sober tame, 

And though the field-day, or the drill, 

Seem less important now yet still 

Such may we hope to share again. 

The sprightly thought inspires my strain ; 

And mark, how like a horseman true, 

Lord Maxmion's march I thus renew. 

CANTO FOURTH. 
STfje Camp. 



EUSTACE, I said, did blithely mark 
The first notes of the merry lark. 
The lark sung shrill, the cock he crew, 
And loudly Marmion's bugles blew, 
And, with their light and lively call, 
Brought groom and yeoman to the stall. 

Whistling they came, and free of heart ; 
But soon their mood was changed : 

Complaint was heard on every part, 

Of something disarranged. 
Some clamoured loud for armour lost ; 
Some brawled and wrangled with the host ; 
" By Becket's bones," cried one, " I fear, 
That some false Scot has stolen my spear I" 

* See King Liar. 



177 



CANTO IV.] MAKM1UM. 

Voung Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire, 

Found his steed wet with sweat and mire ; 

Although the rated horse-boy sware, 

Last night he dressed him sleek and fair. 

While chafed the impatient squire like thunder, 

Old Hubert shouts, in fear and wonder, 

' Help, gentle Blount ! help, comrades all! 

Bevis lies dying in his stall : 

To Marmiou who the plight dare tell, 

Of the good steed he loves so well ?" 

Gaping for fear and ruth, they saw 

The charger panting on his straw ; 

Till one, who would seem wisest, cried, 

" What else hut evil could betide, 

With that cursed Palmer for our guide ? 

Better we had through mire and bush 

Been lanthorn-led by Friar Rush."* 

II. 

Fitz-Eustace, who the cause but guessed, 

Nor wholly understood, 
His comrades' clamorous plaints suppressed; 

He knew Lord Marmion's mood. 
Him, ere he issued forth, he sought, 
And found deep plunged in gloomy thought, 

And did his tale display 
Simply, as if he knew of nought 

To cause such disarray. 
Lord Marmion gave attention cold, 
Nor marvelled at the wonders told, 
Passed them as accidents of course, 
And bade his clarions sound to horse. 



Young Henry Blount, meanwhile, the cost 
Had reckoned with their Scottish host ; 
And, as the charge he cast and paid, 
" 111 thou deserv st thy hire," he said ; 

This personage was a sort of Robin Goodfellow, and Jack 
0* I.anthorn. It is in allusion to this mischievous demon that 
M ikon's clown speaks, 

She was pinched, and pulled, she said, 
And he by/riar 1 * ianltiorn led. 
H2 



178 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

" Dost see, thou knave, my horse's plight? 

Fairies have ridden him all the night, 

And left him in a foam ! 
I trust, that soon a conjuring band, 
With English cross and blazing brand, 
Shall drive the devils from this land, 

To their infernal home : 
For in this haunted den, I trow, 
All night they trampled to and fro."- 
The laughing host looked on the hire, 
"Gramercy, gentle southern squire, 
And if thou com'st among the rest, 
With Scottish broad-sword to be blest, 
Sharp be the brand, and sure the blow, 
And short the pang to undergo." 
Hre stayed their talk, for JVIarmion 
Gave now the signal to set on. 
The Palmer showing forth the way, 
They journeyed all the morning day. 



The green-sward way was smooth and good, 

Through Humbie's and through Saltoun's wood ; 

A forest glade, which, varying still, 

Here gave a view of dale and hill ; 

There narrower closed, till over head 

A vaulted screen the branches made. 

" A pleasant path," Fitz-Eustace said ; 

" Such as where errant knights might see 

Adventures of high chivalry ; 

Might meet some damsel flying fast, 

With hair unbound, and looks aghast ; 

And smooth and level course were here, 

In her defence to break a spear. 

Here, too, are twilight nooks ami dells ; 

And oft, in such, the story tells, 

The damsel kind, from danger freed, 

Did grateful pay her champion's meed." 

He spoke to cheer Lord Marmion's mind; 

Perchance to show his lore designed ; 
For Eustace much had pored 

Upon a huge romantic tome, 

In the hall- window of his home, 



CANTO IV.] HARMON. 1"9 

Imprinted at the antique dome 

Of Caxton or De Worde. 
Therefore he spoke, but spoke in vain, 
For Marmion answered nought again. 



Now sudden distant trumpets shrill, 
In notes prolonged by wood and hill, 

Were heard to echo far ; 
Each ready archer grasped his bow, 
But by the flourish soon they know, 

They breathed no point of war. 
Yet cautious, as in foeman's land, 
Lord Mannion's order speeds the band, 

Some opener ground to gain ; 
And scarce a furlong had they rode, 
When thinner trees, receding, showed 

A little woodland plain. 
Just in that advantageous glade, 
The halting troop a line had made, 
As forth from the opposing shade 

Issued a gallant train. 



First came the trumpets, at whose clang 
So late the forest echoes rang ; 
On prancing steeds they forward pressed, 
With scarlet mantle, azure vest ; 
Each at his trump a banner wore, 
Which Scotland's royal scutcheon bore 
Heralds and pursuivants, by name 
Bute, Islay, Slarchmount, Rothsay, came, 
In painted tabards, proudly showing 
Gules, Argent, Or, and Azure glowing, 

Attendant on a King-at-arms, 
Whose hand the armorial truncheon held, 
That feudal strife had often quelled, 

When -wildest its alarms. 

VII. 

He was a man of middle age ; 
In aspect manly, grave, and sage, 



180 MARMIOW. [CA2ITO IV. 

As on king's errand come ; 
But in the glances of his eye, 
A penetrating, keen, and sly 

Expression found its home ; 
The flash of that satiric rage, 
Which, bursting on the early stage, 
Branded the vices of the age, 

And broke the keys of Home. 
On milk-white palfrey forth he paced ; 
His cap of maintenance was graced 

With the proud heron-plume. 
From his steed's shoulder, loin, and breast, 

Silk housings swept the ground, 
With Scotland's arms, device, and crest, 

Embroidered round and round. 
The double tressure might you see, 

First by Achaius borne, 
The thistle, and the fleur-de-lis, 

And gallant unicorn. 
So bright the king's armorial coat, 
That scarce the dazzled eye could note, 
In living colours, blazoned brave, 
The Lion, which his title gave. 
A train, which vrell beseemed his state, 
But all unarmed, around him wait. 

Still is thy name in high account, 
And still thy verse has charms, 

Sir David Lindesay of the Mount, 
Lord Lion King-at-arms !* 



Down from his horse did Marmion spring, 
Soon as he saw the Lion-King ; 
For well the stately Baron knew, 
To him such courtesy was due, 



* Sir David Lindesay was well known for his early efforts in 
favour of the reformed doctrines. It was often an office impnsi-a 
ou tke Lion Kiiig-at-arma to receive foreign ambassadors. Tha 
office of heralds, m feudal times, being held of the utmost import- 
ance, the inauguration of the Kings-at-arms, who preside,! ,.ver 
their colleges, was proportionally solemn. In fact, it was tlie 
mimicry at a royal coronation, except that the unction wai uiauo 
with wine instead of otL 



CANTO IV.] MARMION. 

Whom royal James himself -had crowned, 
And on his temples placed the round 

Of Scotland's ancient diadem ; 
And -wet his brow with hallowed wine, 
And on his finger given to shine 

The emblematic gem. 
Their mutual greetings duly made, 
The Lion thus his message said : 
" Though Scotland's King hath deeply swore, 
Ne'er to knit faith with Henry more, 
And strictly hath forbid resort 
Prom England to his royal court ; 
Yet, for he knows Lord Marmion's name, 
And honours much his warlike fame, 
My liege hath deemed it shame, and lack 
Of courtesy, to turn him back ; 
And, by his order, I, your guide, 
Must lodging fit and fair provide. 
Till finds King James meet time to see 
The flower of English chivalry." 



Though inly chafed at this delay, 
Lord Marmion bears it as he may. 
The Palmer, hia mysterious guide, 
Beholding thus his place supplied, 

Sought to take leave in vain : 
Strict was the Lion-King's command, 
That none, who rode in Marmion's band, 

Should sever from the train : 
" England has here enow of spies 
In Lady Heron's witching eyes ;" 
To Marchmount thus, apart, he said, 
But fair pretext to Marmion made. 
The right-hand path they now decline, 
And trace against the stream the Tyne. 



At length up that wild dale they wind, 

Where Crichtoun-Castle crowns the bank ;* 

A large ruinous caatle on the banks of the Tyne, about e- 
milt." from Edinburgh. 



182 MARMION. [CANTO IV 

For there the Lion's care assigned 

A lodging meet for Marmion's rank 
That Castle rises on the steep 

Of the green vale of Tyne ; 
And far beneath, where slow they creep 
From pool to eddy, dark and deep, 
Where alders moist, and willows weep, 

You hear her streams repine. 
The towers in different ages rose ; 
Their various architecture shows 

The builders' various hands ; 
A mighty mass, that could oppose, 
When deadliest hatred fired its foes, 

The vengeful Douglas bands. 



Crichtoun ! though now thy miry court 

But pens the lazy steer and sheep, 

Thy turrets rude, and tottered Keep, 
Have been the minstrel's loved resort. 
Oft have I traced within thy fort, 

Of mouldering shields the mystic sense, 

Scutcheons of honour, or pretence. 
Quartered in old armorial sort, 

Remains of rude magnificence : 
Nor wholly yet hath time defaced 

Th) lordly gallery fair ; 
Nor yet the stony cord unbraced, 
Whose twisted knots, with roses laced, 

Adorn thy ruined stair. 
Still rises unimpaired, below, 
The court-yard's graceful portico ; 
Above its cornice, row and row 
Of fair hewn facets richly show 

Their pointed diamond form, 
Though there but houseless cattle go 

To shield them from the storm. 
And, shuddering, still may we explore, 

Where oft whilome were captives pent, 
The darkness of thy Massy More ; 

Or, from thy grass-grown battlement, 
May trace, in undulating line, 
The sluggish mazes of the Tyne. 




u'r . i 

iui.sb mtuses of QIC ' 



CANTO IV.] 



Another aspect Crichtoun showed, 

As through its portal Marmion rode ; 

But yet 'twas melancholy state 

Received him at the outer gate ; 

For none were in the castle then, 

But women, boys, or aged men. 

With eyes scarce dried, the sorrowing dame, 

To welcome noble Marmion, came ; 

Her son, a stripling twelve years old, 

Proffered the Baron's rein to hold ; 

For each man, that could draw a sword, 

Rad marched that morning with their lord, 

Fjxl Adam Hepburn,* he who died 

On Flodden, by his sovereign's side. 

Lcng may his Lady look in vain ! 

She ne'er shall see his gallant train 

Come sweeping back through Crichtoun-Dean. 

'Twas a brave race, before the name 

Of hated Bothwell stained their fame. 



And here two days did Marmion rest, 
With every rite that honour claims, 

Attended as the king's own guest, 

Such the command of royal James ; 
Who marshalled then his land's array, 
Upon the Borough moor that lay. 
Perchance he would not foeman's eye 
Upon his gathering host should pry, 
Till full prepared was every band 
To march against the English land. 
Here while they dwelt, did Lindesay's wit 
Oft cheer the Baron's moodier fit ; 
And, in his turn, he knew to prize 
Lord Marmion's powerful mind, and wise, 
Trained in the lore of Rome, and Greece, 
And policies of war and peace. 

* He was the second Earl of Bothwell, and fell in the field of 
Flodden, where, he distinguished himself by a turious atnaujpt to 
retrieve the day. 



184 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

XIV. 

It chanced, as fell the second night, 

That on the battlements they walked, 
And, by the slowly fading light, 

Of varying topics talked ; 
And, unaware, the Herald- bard 
Said Marmion might his toil have spared, 

In travelling so far ; 
For that a messenger from heaven 
In vain to James had counsel given 

Against the English war :* 
And, closer questioned, thus he told 
A tale, which chronicles of old 
In Scottish story have enrolled : 

xv. 
SIR DAVID LINDESAY'S TALE. 

Of all the palaces so fair, 
Built for the royal dwelling, 

In Scotland, far beyond compare 

Linlithgow is excelling ; 
And in its park, in jovial June, 
How sweet the merry linnet's tune, 

How blithe the blackbird's lay ! 
The wild buck bells+ from ferny brake, 
The coot dives merry on the lake, 
The saddest heart might pleasure take 

To see all nature gay. 
But June is to our Sovereign dear 
The heaviest month in all the year : 

* This story is told by Pitscottie with characteristic simplicity. 
Buchanan, in more elegant, though not more impressive language, 
tells the same story, and quotes the personal information of our 
Sir David I.itidesay. The king's throne, in St Catharine's aisle, 
which he had constructed for himself, with twelve stalls for the 
Knights Companions of the Order of the Thistle, is still shown 
as the place where the apparition was seen. 

t Bell seems to be an abbreviation of bellow. A gontle knight 
in the reign of Henry VIII., Sir Thomas Wortley, built Waiitley 
Lodge, in Wanclifie Forest, for the pleasure (as an ancient inscrip- 
tion testifies) of " listening to the hart's bell," 

J The rebellion against James III. was signalized by the cruel 
circumstance of his son's presence in the hosiile army. When the 
king saw his own banner displayed against him, and his son in the 
faction of his enemies, he lost the little courage lie ever possessed, 
fled out of the field, fell from his horse as it started at a woman 
and water-pitcher, and was slain, it is not well understood by 
whom. 



CANTO IT.] MARMION. 

Too well his cause of grief you know, 
June saw his father's overthrow. 
Woe to the traitors, -who could bring 
The princely boy against his King ! 
Still in his conscience burns the sting. 
In offices as strict as Lent, 
King James's June is ever spent. 

XVI. 

" When last this ruthful month was come, 
And in Linlithgow's holy dome 

The King, as wont, was praying ; 
While for his royal father's soul 
The chaunter's sung, the bells did toll, 

The Bishop mass was saying 
For now the year brought round again 
The day the luckless king was slain 
In Katharine's aisle the monarch knelt, 
With sackcloth-shirt, and iron belt, 
And eyes with sorrow streaming; 
Around him, in their stalls of state, 
The Thistle's Knight-Companions sate, 

Their banners o er them beaming. 
I too was there, and, sooth to tell, 
Bedeafened with the jangling knell, 
Was watching where the sunbeams fell, 
Through the stained casement gleaming ; 
tit, while I marked what next befell, 
It seemed as I were dreaming. 
Stepped from the crowd a ghostly wight, 
In azure gown, with cincture white ; 
His forehead bald, his head was bare, 
Down hung at length his yellow hair. 
Now, mock me not, when, good my Lord, 
I pledge to you my knightly word, 
That, when I saw his placid grace, 
His simple majesty of face, 
His solemn bearing, and his pace 

So stately gliding on, 
Seemed to me ne'er did limner paint 
So just an image of the Saint, 
Who propped the Virgin in her faint, 
The loved Apostle John. 



185 



186 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 



" He stepped before the Monarch's chair, 
And stood -with rustic plainness there, 

And little reverence made ; 
Nor head, nor body, bowed nor bent, 
But on the desk his arm he leant, 

And words like these he said, 
In a low voice, but never tone 
So thrilled through vein, and nerve, and bone: 
' My mother sent me from afar, 
Sir King, to warn thee not to war, 

Woe waits on thine array ; 
If war thou wilt, of woman fair, 
Her witching wiles and wanton snare, 
James Stuart, doubly warned, beware : 

God keep thee as he may !' 
The wondering Monarch seemed, to seek 

For answer, and found none ; 
And when he raised his head to speak, 

The monitor was gone. 
The Marshal and myself had cast 
To stop him as he outward past ; 
But, lighter than the whirlwind's blast, 

He vanished from our eyes, 
Like sunbeam on the billow cast, 
That glances but, and dies." 



While Lindesay told this marvel strange, 

The twilight was so pale, 
He marked not Marmion's colour change, 

While listening to the tale : 
But, after a suspended pause, 
The Baron spoke : " Of Nature's laws 

So strong I hold the force, 
That never super-human cause 

Could e'er controul their course ; 
And, three days since, had judged your aim 
Was but to make your guest your game. 
But I have seen, since past the Tweed, 
What much has changed my sceptic creed, 



CANTO IV.] MARMION. 

And made me credit aught." He staid, 
And seemed to wish his words unsaid ; 
But, by that strong emotion pressed, 
Which prompts us to unload our breast, 

Even when discovery's pain, 
To Lindesay did at length unfold 
The tale his village host had told, 

At Gifford, to his train. 
Nought of the Palmer says he there, 
And nought of Constance, or of Clare : 
The thoughts, which broke his sleep, he seems 
To mention but as feverish dreams. 

XIX. 

" In vain," said he, " to rest I spread 
My burning limbs, and couched my head : 

Fantastic thoughts returned ; 
And, by their wild dominion led, 

My heart within me burned. 
So sore was the delirious goad, 
I took my steed, and forth I rode, 

And, as the moon shone bright and cold, 
Soon reached the camp upon the wold. 
The southern entrance I passed through, 
And halted, and my bugle blew. 
Methought an answer met my ear, 
Yet was the blast so low and drear, 
So hollow, and so faintly blown, 
It might be echo of my own. 



Thus judging, for a little space 
I listened, ere I left the place ; 

But scarce could trust my eyes, 
Nor yet can think they served me true, 
When sudden in the ring I view, 
In form distinct of shape and hue, 

A mounted champion rise. 
I've fought, Lord- Lion, many a day, 
In single fight, and mixed affray, 
And ever, I myself may say, 

Have borne me as a knight ; 



187 



1 88 MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

But when this unexpected foe 

Seemed starting from the gulph helow, 

I care not though the truth I show, 

I trembled with affright ; 
And as I placed in rest my spear, 
My hand so shook for very fear, 

I scarce could couch it right. 

xxi. 

*' Why need my tongue the issue tell ? 
We ran our course, my charger fell : 
What could he 'gainst the shock of hell ? 

I rolled upon the plain. 
High o'er my head, with threatening hand, 
The spectre shook his naked hrand, 

Yet did the worst remain ; 
My dazzled eyes I upward cast, 
Not opening hell itself could blast 

Their sight, like what I saw ! 
Full on his face the moonbeam strook, 
A face could never be mistook ! 
I knew the stern vindictive look, 

And held my breath for awe. 
I saw the face of one who, fled 
To foreign climes, has long been dead. 

I well believe the last ; 
For ne'er, from visor raised, did stare 
A human warrior, with a glare 

So grimly and so ghast. 
Thrice o'er my head he shook the blade ; 
But when to good Saint George I prayed, 
(The first time e'er I asked his aid,) 

He plunged it in the sheath ; 
And, on his courser mounting light, 
He seemed to vanish from my sight : 
The moon-beam drooped, and deepest night 

Sunk down upon the heath. 
'Twere long to tell what cause I have 

To know his face, that met me there, 
Called by his hatred from the grave. 

To cumber upper air : 
Dead or alive, good cause had he 
To be my mortal enemy." 



CANTO IVO MARMIOI*. 189 



Marvelled Sir David of the Mount ; 
Then, learned in story, 'gan recount 

Such chance had hap'q of old, 
When once, near Norham, there did fight 
A spectre fell, of liendish might, 
In likeness of a Scottish knight, 

With Brian Buhner bold, 
And trained him nigh to disallow 
The aid of his baptismal vow. 

" And such a phantom, too, 'tis said, 

With Highland broad-sword, targe, and plaid, 

And fingers red with gore, 
Is seen in Rothiemurcus glade, 
Or where the sable pine-trees shade 
Dark Tomantoul, and Achnaslaid, 

Dromouchty, or Glenmore. 
And yet, whate'er such legends say, 
Of warlike demon, ghost, or fay, 

On mountain, moor, or plain, 
Spotless in faith, in bosom bold, 
True son of chivalry should hold 

These midnight terrors vain ; 
For seldom Lave such spirits power 
To harm, save in the evil hour, 
When guilt we meditate within, 
Or harbour nnrepented sin." 
Lord Marmion turned him half aside, 
And twice to clear his voice he tried, 

Then pressed Sir David's hand, 
But nought, at length, in answer said ; 
And here their farther converse staid, 

Each ordering that his band 
Should bowne them with the rising day, 
To Scotland's camp to take their way, 

Such was the King's command. 

XXIII. 

Early they took Dun-Edin's road, 
And I could trace each step they trode ; 
Hill, brook, nor dell, nor rock, nor stone 
Lies on the path to me unknown. 



190 MARMION. [CANTO W. 

Much might it'boast of storied lore; 
But, passing such digression o'er, 
Suffice it, that their route was laid 
Across the furzy hills of Braid. 
They passed the glen and scanty rill, 
And climbed the opposing bank, until 
They gained the top of Blackford Hill. 

XXIV. 

Blackford ! on whose uncultured breast, 

Among the broom, and thorn, and whin, 
A truant-boy, I sought the nest, 
Or listed, as I lay at rest, 

While rose, on breezes thin, 
The murmur of the city crowd, 
And, from his steeple jangling loud, 

Saint Giles's mingling din. 
Now, from the summit to the plain, 
Waves all the hill with yellow grain ; 

And o'er the landscape as I look, 
Nought do I see unchanged remain, 

Save the rude cliffs and chiming brook. 
To me they make a heavy moaij, 
Of early friendships past and gone. 

XXV. 

But different far the change has been, 

Since Marmion, from the crown 
Of Blackford, saw that martial scene 

Upon the bent so brown : 
Thousand pavilions, white as snow, 
Spread all the Borough-moor below,* 

Upland, and dale, and down : 
A thousand did I say ? I ween, 
Thousands on thousands there was seen, 
That chequered all the heath between 

The streamlet and the town ; 
In crossing ranks extending far, 
Forming a camp irregular ; 

The Borough, or Comn-.OM Moor of Edinburgh, iraa of Tery 
great extent, reaching from the southern walls of tlw city to Uie 
bottom of Braid HUln. 



CANTO IT.] MARMION. 

Oft giving 'way, where still there stood 

Some reliques of the old oak wood, 

That darkly huge did intervene, 

And tamed the glaring white with green : 

In these extended lines there lay 

A martial kingdom's vast array. 

XXVI. 

For from Hebudes, dark with rain, 
To eastern Lodon's fertile plain, 
And from the southern Redswire edge, 
To farthest llosse's rocky ledge ; 
From west to east, from south to north, 
Scotland sent all her warriors forth. 
Mannion might hear the raingled hum 
Of myriads up the mountain come ; 
The horses' tramp, and tingling clank, 
Where chiefs reviewed their vassal rank, 

And charger's shrilling neigh ; 
And see the shifting lines advance. 
While frequent flashed, from shield and lance, 

The sun s reflected ray. 

XXVII. 

Thin curling in the morning air, 
The wreaths of failing smoke declare, 
To embers now the brands decayed, 
Where the night-watch their fires had made. 
They saw, slow rolling on the plain, 
Full many a baggage-cart and wain, 
And dire artillery's clumsy car, 
By sluggish oxen tugged to war ; 
And there were Borthwick's Sisters Seven,* 
, And culverins which France had giveu. 
Ill-omened gift ! the guns remain 
The conqueror's spoil on Flodden plain. 

XXVIII. 

Nor marked they less, where in the air 
A thousand streamers flaunted fair ; 
Various in shape, device, and hue, 
Green, sanguine, purple, red, and blue, 

Seren culverins so called, cut by one Borthtrkk. 



191 



MARMION. [CANTO IV. 

Broad, narrow, swallow-tailed, and square, 
Scroll, pennon, pensil, bandrol,* there 

O'er the pavilions flew. 
Highest, and midmost, was descried 
The royal banner, floating wide ; 

The staff, a pine-tree strong and straight, 
Pitched deeply in a massive stone, 
Which still in memory is shown, 

Yet bent beneath the standard's weight, 

Whene'er the western wind unrolled, 
With toil, the huge and cumbrous fold, 

And gave to view the dazzling field, 

Where, in proud Scotland's royal shield, 
The ruddy Lion ramped in gold-j 



Lord Marmion viewed the landscape bright, 
He viewed it with a chiefs delight, 
Until within him burned his heart, 
And lightning from his eye did part, 

As on the battle-day ; 
Such glance did falcon never dart, 

When stooping on his prey. 
" Oh ! well, Lord- Lion, hast thou said, 
Thy King from warfare to dissuade 

Were but a vain essay ; 
For, by Saint George, were that host mine, 
Not power infernal, nor divine, 
Should once to peace my soul incline, 
Till I had dimmed their armour's shine 

In glorious battle fray !" 
Answered the bard, of milder mood : 
" Fair is the sight, and yet 'twere good, 

That kings would think withal, 
When peace and wealth their land have blessed, 
'Tis better to sit still at rest, 

Than rise, perchance to fall." 



* Each of these feudal ensign* intimated the different rank of 
those entitled to display them. 

t The well-known arms of Scotland. According to Boethiiu 
nd Buchanan, the double treasure round th rbield, \raa first un- 
turned by Achaiust Kimf of Scotland* contemporary ot Gharle* 
magne. 



CANTO IV.] MABMION. 193 

XXX. 

Still on the spot Lord Marmion stayed, 
For fairer scene he ne'er surveyed. 

When sated with the martial show 

That peopled all the plain below, 

The wandering eye could o'er it go, 

And mark the distant city glow 
With gloomy splendour red ; 

For on the smoke-wreaths, huge and slow, 

That round her sable turrets flow, 
The morning beams were shed. 

And tinged them with a lustre proud, 

Like that which streaks a thunder-cloud. 
Such dusky grandeur clothed the height, 
Where the huge castle holds its state 

And all the steep slope down, 
Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky, 
Piled deep and massy, close and high, 

Mine own romantic town ! 
But northward far, with purer blaze, 
On Ochil mountains fell the rays, 
And as each heathy top they kissed, 
It gleamed a purple amethyst. 

Yonder the shores of File you saw; 

Here Preston- Bay, and Berwick-Law ; 
And, broad between them rolled, 

The gallant Firth the eye might note, 

Whose islands on its bosom float, 

Like emeralds chased in gold. 
Fltz-Eustace' heart felt c! , ely pent; 
As if to give his rapture veut, 
The spur he to his charger lent, 

And raised his bridle-hand. 
And, making demi-volte in air, 
Cried, " Where's the coward that would not dare 

To fight for such a land ! 
The Lindesay smiled his joy to see ; 
Nor Marmion's frown repressed his glee. 

XXXI. 

Thus while they looked, a flourish proud, 
Where mingled trump, and clarion loud* 
I 



194 MARMIOU. 

And fife, and kettle-drum, 
And sackbut deep, and psaltery 
And war-pipe with discordant cry, 
And cymbal clattering to the sky, 
Making wild music bold and high, 

Did up the mountain come ; 
The whilst the bells, with distant chime, 
Merrily tolled the hour of prime, 

And thus the Lindesay spoke : 
" Thus clamour still the war-notes when 
The King to mass his way has to" en, 
Or to St Catherine's of Sienne, 

Or chapel of Saint Rocque. 
To you they speak of martial fame ; 
But me remind of peaceful game, 

When blither was their cheer, 
Thrilling in Falkland-woods the air, 
In signal Hone his steed should spare, 
But strive which foremost might repair 

To the downfall of the deer. 



" Nor less," he said, " when looking forth, 
I view yon Empress of the North 

Sit on her hilly throne ; 
Her palace's imperial bowers, 
Her castle, proof to hostile powers, 
Her stately nails, and holy towers 

Nor less," he said, " I moan, 
To think what woe mischance may bring, 
And how these merry bells may ring 
The death-dirge of our gallant 'King ; 

Or, with their larum, call 
The burghers forth to watch and ward, 
'Gainst southern sack and fires to guard 

Dun-Edin's leaguered wall. 
But not, for my presaging thought, 
Dream conquest sure, or cheaply bought ! 

Lord Marmion, I say nay : 
God is the guider of the field, 
He breaks the champion's spear and shield,- 

But thou thyself shalt say, 



[CANTO iv. 



CANTO V.] MARMION. 

"When joins yon host in deadly stowre, 
That England's dames must weep in bower, 

Her monks the death-mass sing ; 
For never saw'st thou such a power 

Led on by such a King." 
And now, down winding to the plain, 
The barriers of the camp they gain, 

And there they made a stay. 
There stays the Minstrel, till he fling 
His hand o'er every Border string, 
And fit his harp the pomp to sing, 
Of Scotland's ancient Court and King, 

In the succeeding lay. 



195 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FIFTH. 
To GEORGE ELLIS, Esq. 

Edinburgh. 

WHEN dark December glooms the day, 

And takes our autumn joys away ; 

When short and scant the sunbeam throws, 

Upon the weary waste of snows, 

A cold and profitless regard. 

Like patron on a needy bard ; 

When sylvan occupation's done, 

And o'er the chimney rests the gun, 

And hang in idle tronhy, near, 

The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear j 

When wiry terrier, rough and grim, 

And greyhound with his length of limb, 

And pointer, now employed no more, 

Cumber our parlour's narrow floor ; 

When in his stall the impatient steed 

Is long condemned to rest and feed ; 

When from our snow-encircled home, 

Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam. 

Since path is none, save that to bring 

The needful water from the spring ; 

When wrinkled news-page, thrice con'd o'er, 

Beguiles the dreary 1 hour no more. 



196 MAB.MION. [CANTO V. 

And darkling politician, crossed, 
Inveighs against the lingering post, 
And answering house- wife sore complains 
Of carriers' snow-impeded wains : 
When such the country cheer, I come, 
Well pleased, to seek our city home ; 
For converse, and for books, to change 
The Forest's melancholy range, 
And welcome, with renewed delight, 
The husy day, and social night. 

Not here need my desponding rhyme 
Lament the ravages of time, 
As erst by Newark's riven towers, 
And Ettricke stripped of forest bowers.* 
True, Caledonia s Queen is changed,"!* 
Since on her dusky summit ranged, 
Within its steepy limits pent, 
By bulwark, line, and battlement, 
And flanking towers, and laky flood, 
Guarded and garrisoned she stood, 
Denying entrance or resort, 
Save at each tall embattled port ; 
Above whose arch, suspended, hung 
Portcullis spiked with iron prong. 
That long is gone, but not so long, 
Since, early closed, and opening late, 
Jealous revolved the studded gate ; 
Whose task from eve to morning tide 
A wicket churlishly supplied. 
Stern then, and steel-girt was thy brow, 
Dun-Edin ! O, how altered now, 
When safe amid thy mountain court 
Thou sitt'st, like Empress at her sport, 
And liberal, unconfined, and free, 
Flinging thy white arms to the sea, 
For thy dark cloud, with umbered lower, 
That hung o'er cliff, and lake, and tower, 

* See Introduction to Canto II. 

t The old Town of Edinburgh was secured on the north side by 
a lake, now drained, and on the south by a wall, which there was 
gome attempt to make defensible even so late as 1745. The gates, 
and the greater part of the wall, have been pulled down, m th 
coune of the late extensive aud beautiful enlargement of the tity. 



CANTO V.] MARMION. 

Thou gleam'st against the western ray 
Ten thousand lines of brighter day. 

Not she, the championess of old, 
In Spenser's magic tale enrolled, 
She for the charmed spear renowned, 
Which forced t-ich knight to kiss the ground,- 
Not she more changed, when, placed at rest, 
What time she was Malbecco's guest,* 
She gave to flow her maiden vest; 
When from the corslet's grasp relieved, 
Free to the sight her bosom heaved ; 
Sweet was her blue eye's modest smile, 
Erst hidden by the aventayle ; 
And down her shoulders graceful rolled 
Her locks profuse, of paly gold. 
They who whilome, in midnight fight, 
Had marvelled at her matchless might, 
No less her maiden charms approved, 
But looking liked, and liking loved.f 
The sights could jealous pangs beguile, 
And charm Malbecco's cares awhile ; 
And he, the wandering Squire of Dames, 
Forgot his Columbella's claims, 
And passion, erst unknown, could gain 
The breast of blunt Sir Satyrane ; 
Nor durst light Paridel advance, 
Bold as he was, a looser glance, 
She charmed, at once, and tamed the heart, 
Incomparable Britomarte ! 

So thou, fair City ! disarrayed 
Of battled wall, and rampart's aid, 
As stately seem'st, but lovelier far 
Than in that panoply of war. 
Nor deem that from thy fenceless throne 
Strength and security are flown ; 
Still, as of yore, Queen of the North ! 
Still canst thou send thy children forth. 



See "The Fairy Queen," Book ITL Canto IX. 
+ " For every one her liked, and every one her loved." 



197 



SPKNIIB cu abovt. 



198 MABMION. [CANTO V. 

Ne'er readier at alarm-bell's call 
Thy burghers rose to man thy wall, 
Than now, in danger, shall be thine, 
Thy dauntless voluntary line ; 
For fosse and turret proud to stand, 
Their breasts the bulwarks of the land. 
Thy thousands, trained to martial toil, 
Full red would stain their native soil, 
Ere from thy mural crown there fell 
The slightest knosp, or pinnacle. 
And if it come, as come it may, 
Dun-Edin ! that eventful day, 
Renowned for hospitable deed, 
That virtue much with heaven may plead, 
In patriarchal times whose care 
Descending angels deigned to share ; 
That claim may wrestle blessings down 
On those who fight for the Good Town, 
Destined in every age to be 
Refuge of injured royalty ; 
Since first, when conquering York arose, 
To Henry meek she gave repose,* 
Till late, with wonder, grief, and awe, 
Great Bourbon's reliques, sad she saw. 

Truce to these thoughts ! for, as they rise, 
How gladly I avert mine eyes, 
Bodings, or true or false, to change, 
For Fiction's fair romantic range, 
Or for Tradition's dubious light, 
That hovers 'twixt the day and night : 
Dazzling alternately and dim, 
Her wavering lamp I'd rather trim, 
Knights, squires, and lovely dames to see, 
Creation of my fantasy, 
Than gaze abroad on reeky fen, 
And make of mists invading men. 
Who loves not more the night of June 
Than dull December's gloomy noon ? 
The moonlight than the fog of frost ? 
And can we say, which cheats the most ? 

* Henry VI., with his queen, his heir, and the chiefs of his 
family, ed to Scotland after tbe fatal battle of Tnwtou. 



199 



CANTO V.] MARMION. 

But who shall teach my harp to gala 
A sound of the romantic strain, 
Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere 
Could win the Second Henry's ear,* 
Famed Beauclerc called, for that he loved 
The minstrel, and his lay approved ? 
Who shall these lingering notes redeem, 
Decaying on Oblivion's stream ; 
Such notes as from the Breton tongue 
Marie translated, Blondel sung ? 
O ! born Time's ravage to repair, 
And make* thy dying Muse thy care ; 
Who when his scythe her hoary foe 
Was poising for the final blow, 
The weapon from his hand could wring, 
And break his glass, and shear his wing, 
And bid, reviving in his strain, 
The gentle poet live again ; 
Thou, who canst give to lightest lay 
An unpedantic moral gay, 
Nor less the dullest theme bid flit 
On wings of unexpected wit ; 
In letters as in life approved, 
Example honoured, and beloved, 
Dear ELLIS ! to the bard impart 
A lesson of thy magic art, 
To win at once the head and heart, 
At once to charm, instruct, and mend, 
My guide, my pattern, and my friend ! 

Such minstrel lesson to bestow 
Be long thy pleasing task, but, O ! 
No more by thy example teach 
What few can practise, all can preach ; 
With even patience to endure 
Lingering disease, and painful cure, 
And boast affliction's pangs subdued 
By mild and manly fortitude. 
Enough, the lesson has been given : 
Forbid the repetition, Heaven ! 



The courts of our Anglo-Norman kinfts, rather than those o 
the French mouarchs, produced the birth of romance literature. 



200 MARMION. CCANTO V. 

Come, listen, then ! for thou hast known. 
And loved, the Minstrel's varying tone ; 
Who, like his Border sires of old, 
Waked a wild measure, rude and bold, 
Till Windsor's oaks, and Ascot plain, 
With wonder heard the northern strain. 
Come, listen ! bold in thy applause, 
The Bard shall scorn pedantic laws ; 
And, as the ancient art could stain 
Achievements on the storied pane, 
Irregularly traced and planned, 
But yet so glowing and so grand ; 
So shall he strive, in changeful hue, 
Field, feast, and combat, to renew, 
And loves, and arms, and harpers' glee, 
And all the pomp of chivalry. 

CANTO FIFTH. 



b 

THE train has left the hills of Braid ; 
The barrier guard have open made, 
(So Lindesay bade,) the palisade, 

That closed the tented ground, 
Their men the warders backward drew, 
And carried pikes as they rode through, 

Into its ample bound. 
Fast ran the Scottish warriors there, 
Upon the Southern band to stare ; 
And envy with their wonder rose, 
To see such well-appointed foes ; 
Such length of shafts, such mighty bows, 
So huge, that many simple thought, 
But for a vaunt such weapons wrought ; 
And little deemed their force to feel, 
Through links of mail, and plates of steel, 
When, rattling upon Flodden vale, 
The cloth-yard arrows flew like hail.* 

This is no poetical exaggeration. In some of the comities of 
England, distinguished for archery, shafts of this > traordinary 
length were actually used. 



CANTO V.] MARMiON. 201 

II. 

Nor less did Marmion's skilful view 
Glance every line and squadron through ; 
And much he marvelled one small land 
Could marshal forth such various band : 

For men-at-arms were here, 
Heavily sheathed in mail and plate, 
Like iron towers for strength and weight, 
Oil Flemish steeds of bone and height, 

With battle-axe and spear. 
Young knights and squires, a lighter train, 
Practised their chargers on the plain, 
By aid of le. of hand, and rein, 

Each warlike feat to show ; 
To pass, to wheel, the croupe to gain, 
And high curvett, that not in vain 
The sword-sway might descend amaia 

On foeman's casque below. 
He saw the hardy burghers there 
March armed, on foot, with faces bare,* 

For visor they wore none, 
Nor waving plume, nor crest of knight ; 
But burnished were their corslets bright, 
Their brigantines, and gorgets light, 

Like very silver shone. 
Long pikes they had for standing fight, 

Two-handed swords they wore, t 
And many wielded mace of weight, 

And bucklers brighi they bore. 

in. 

On foot the yeoman too, but dressed 
In his steel jack, a swarthy vest, 

With iron quilted well ; 
Each at his back, (a slender store,) 
His forty days' provision bore, 

As feudal statutes tell. 
His arms were halbard, axe, or spear, 
A cross-bow there, a hagbut here, 

The Scottish burgesses were appointed to be armed with bowl 
and sheaves, swonl. buckler, knife, spear, or a good axe instead of 
a bow, if worth 10(1: their armour to be of white or bright har- 
ness. They wore tchite halt, i'.e. bright steel caps, without cret 

i 2 



202 



CCANTO v. 



A dagger-knife, and brand. * 
Sober he seemed, and sad of cheer, 
As loth to leave his cottage dear, 

And inarch to foreign strand ; 
Or musing who would guide his steer, 

To till the fallow land. 
Yet deem not in his thoughtful eye 
Did aught of dastard terror lie ; 

More dreadful far his ire, 
Than theirs, who, scorning danger's name, 
In eager mood to battle came, 
Their valour like light straw on flame, 

A fierce but fading fire. 

IV. 

Not so the Borderer : bred to war, 
He knew the battle's din afar, 

And joyed to hear it swell. 
His peaceful day was slothful ease ; 
Nor harp, nor pipe, his ear could please, 

Like the loud slogan yell. 
On active steed, with lance and blade, 
The light-armed pricker plied his trade, 

Let nobles fight for fame ; 
Let vassals follow where they lead, 
Burghers, to guard their townships, bleed, 

But war's the Borderers' game. 
Their gain, their glory, their delight, 
To sleep the day, maraud the night, 

O'er mountain, moss, and moor ; 
Joyful to fight they took their way, 
Scarce caring who might win the day, 

Their booty was secure, 
^hese, as Lord Marmion's train passed by, 
Looked on at first with careless eye, 
Nor marvelled aught, well taught to know 
The form and force of English bow. 

* Bows and quivers were hi vain recommended to the peasantry 
of Scotland, by repeated statutes; spears and axes seem univeiS 
sally to have been used instead of them. Their defensive armour 

pons cross-bows and culverim All wore swords of excellent 
temper, and a voluminous handkerchief round their neck, not for 
cold, but for cutting. The mace also was much used in the Scot- 
tisharmy. Whenthe feudal array of thekin^dum was called forth, 
each man was obliged to appear with forty dujV provision. 



CANTO V.] MARMION. 

But when they saw the Lord arrayed 
In splendid arms, and rich brocade, 
Each Borderer to his kinsman said, 

" Hist, Ringan ! seest thou there ! 
Canst guess which road they'll homeward ride ? 
O ! could we but on Border side, 
By Eusedale glen, or Liddell's tide, 

Beset a prize so fair ! 
That fangless Lion, too, their guide, 
Might chance to lose his glistering hide ; 
Brown Maudlin, of that doublet pied, 

Could make a kirtle rare." 



Next Marmion marked the Celtic race, 
Of different language, form, and face, 

A various race of man ; 
Just then the chiefs their tribes arrayed, 
And wild and garish semblance made, 
The chequered trews, and belted plaid, 
And varying notes the war-pipes brayed 

To every varying clan ; 
Wild through their red or sable hair 
Looked out their eyes, with savage stare, 

On Marmion as he past ; 
Their legs above the knee were bare ; 
Their frame was sinewy, short, and spare, 

And hardened to the blast ; 
Of taller race, the chiefs they own 
Were by the eagle's plumage known. 
The hunted red-deer's undressed hide 
Their hairy buskins well supplied ; 
The graceful bonnet decked their head ; 
Back from their shoulders hung the plaid 
A broad-sword of unwieldy length, 
A dagger proved for edge and strength, 

A studded targe they wore, 
And quivers, bows, and shafts, but, O ! 
Short was the shaft, and weak the bow, 

To that which England bore. 
The Isles-men carried at their backs 
The ancient Danish battle-axe. 



203 



204 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

They raised a wild and -wondering cry, 
As with his guide rode Marmion by. 
Loud were their clamouring tongues, as when 
The clanging sea-fowl leave the ten, 
And, with their cries discordant mixed, 
Grumbled and yelled the pipes betwixt. 



Thus through the Scottish camp they passed, 
And reached the City gate at last, 
Where all around, a wakeful guard, 
Armed burghers kept their watch and ward. 
Well had they cause of jealous fear, 
When lay encamped, in field so near, 
The Borderer and the Mountaineer. 
As through the bustling streets they go, 
All was alive with martial show ; 
At every turn, with dinning clang, 
The armourer's anvil clashed and rang ; 
Or toiled the swarthy smith, to wheel 
The bar that arms the charger's heel ; 
Or axe, or falchion, to the side 
Of jarring grind-stone was applied. 
Page, groom, and squire, with hurrying pace, 
Through street, and lane, and market-place, 

Bore lance, or casque, or sword ; 
While burghers, with important face, 

Described each new-come lord, 
Discussed his lineage, told his name, 
His following,* and his warlike fame. 
The Lion led to lodging meet, 
Which high o'erlooked the crowded street 

There must the Baron rest, 
Till past the hour of vesper tide, 
And then to Holy- Rood must ride, 

Such was the King's behest. 
Meanwhile the Lion s care assigns 
A banquet rich, and costly wines,*]* 

To Marmion and his train. 



Following Feudal Retainers. 

t In all transactions of great or petty importance, a present of 
riiie was an uniform aiiU indispensable pielirainarjr. 



205 



And when the appointed hour succeeds, 
The Baron dons his peaceful weeds, 
And following Lindesay as he leads, 
The palace-halls they gain. 

VII. 

Old Holy- Rood rung merrily, 

That night, with wassel, mirth, and glee : 

King James within her princely bower 

Feasted the chiefs of Scotland's power, 

Summoned to spend the parting hour ; 
For he had charged, that his array 
Should southward march by break of day. 
Well loved that splendid monarch aye 

The banquet and the song, 
By day the tourney, and by night 
The merry dance, traced fast and light, 
The masquers quaint, the pageant bright, 

The revel loud and long. 
This feast outshone his banquets past ; 
It was his blithest, and his last. 

The dazzling lamps, from gallery gay, 

Cast on the court a dancing ray ; 

Here to the harp did minstrels sing; 

There ladies touched a softer string ; 

With long-eared cap, and motley vest, 

The licensed fool retailed his jest ; 

His magic tricks the juggler plied ; 

At dice and draughts the gallants vied ; 
While some, in close recess apart. 
Courted the ladies of their heart, 

Nor courted them in vain ; 
For often, in the parting hour. 
Victorious love asserts nis power 

O'er coldness and disdain ; 

And flinty is her heart, can view 

To battle march a lover true, 

Can hear, perchance, his last adieu, 

Nor own her share of pain. 

Tirr. 

Through this mixed crowd of glee and game, 
The King to greet Lord Marmion came, 
While, reverend, all made room. 



206 MARMIOJJ. [CAUTO V. 

An easy task it -was, I trow, 
King James's manly form to know, 
Although, his courtesy to show. 
He doffed, to Marmion bending low. 

His broidered cap and plume. 
For royal were his garb and mien, 

His cloak, of crimson velvet plied, 

Trimmed with the fur of martin wild; 
His vest, of changeful satin sheen, 

The dazzled eye beguiled ; 
His gorgeous collar hung adown. 
Wrought with the badge of Scotland's crown, 
The thistle brave, of old renown ; 
His trusty blade, Toledo right, 
Descended from a baldric bright; 
White were his buskins, on the heel 
His spurs inlaid of gold and steel ; 
His bonnet, all of crimson fair, 
Was buttoned with a ruby rare : 
And Marmion deemed he ne'er had seen 
A prince of such a noble mien. 



The monarch's form was middle size ; 
For feat of strength, or exercise, 

Shaped in proportion fair ; 
And hazel was his eagle eye, 
And auburn of the darkest dye, 

His short cnrled beard and hair. 
Light was his footstep in the dance, 

And firm his stirrup in the lists ; 
And, oh ! he had that merry glance, 

That seldom lady's heart resists. 
Lightly from fair to fair he flew, 
And loved to plead, lament, and sue ; 
Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain I 
For monarchs seldom sigh in vain. 

I said he joyed in banquet-bower ; 
But, mid his mirth, 'twas often strange^ 
How suddenly his cheer would change, 

His look o ercast and lower, 
If, in a sudden turn, he felt 
The pressure of his iron belt, 



CANTO V.] MARMION. 207 

That bound bis breast in Denance-pain, 
In memory of his father slain.* 
Even so frwas strange how, evermore, 
Soon as the passing pang was o'er, 
Forward he rushed, with double glee, 
Into the stream of revelry : 
Thus, dim-seen object of affright 
Startles the courser in his flight, 
And half he halts, half springs aside ; 
But feels the quickening spur applied, 
And, straining on the tightened rein, 
Scours doubly swift o'er hill and plain. 

x. 

O'er James's heart, the courtiers say, 
Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway :>f- 

To Scotland's court she came, 
To be a hostage for her lord, 
Who Cessford's gallant heart had gored, 
And with the King to make accord, 

Had sent his lovely dame. 
Nor to that lady free alone 
Did the gay King allegiance own ; 

For the fair Queen of France 
Sent him a Turquois ring, and glove, 
And charged him, as her knight and love, 

For her to break a lance ; 
And strike three strokes with Scottish brand, 
And march three miles on southern land, 
And bid the banners of his band 

In English breezes dance. 
And thus, for France's Queen, he drest 
His manly limbs in mailed vest ; 

* To the weight -rf this belt James added certain ounces every 
year that he lived, "lie person and character of James are delin- 
eated according to tt'. best historians. He was wont, during his 
fits of devotion, to assume the dress, and conform to the rules, of 
the order of Franciscans ; and when he had thus done penance for 
gome time in Stirling, to plunge again into the tide of pleasure. 

t Our historians impute to the king's infatuated passion the 
delays which led to the fatal deieat of Floddeu. 

J The Queen of Frauce wrote a lo . e-letter to the King of Scot- 
land, calling him her lore, and. beseeching him to raise her au 
army, and come three feet of grofcud on English ground, for her 
ake. To that effect ?he sent him a ring off her finger, with four- 
teen thousand French crowns to pay his expenses. 



208 MARMION. 



[CANTO V. 



And thus admitted English fair, 
His inmost counsels still to share: 
And thus, for both, he madly planned 
The ruin of himself and land ! 

And yet, the sooth to tell, 
Nor England's fair, nor France's Queen, 
Were worth one pearl-drop, bright and sheen, 

From Margaret's eyes that fell, 
His own Queen Margaret, who, in Lithgow's bower, 
All lonely sat, and wept the weary hour. 

XI. 

The Queen sits lone in Lithgow pile, 

And weeps the weary day, 
The war against her native soil, 
Her Monarch's risk in battle broil : 
And in gay Holy- Rood, the while, 
Dame Heron rises with a smile 

Upon the harp to play. 
Fair was her rounded arm, as o'er 

The strings her fingers flew ; 
And as she touched and tuned them all, 
Even her bosom's rise and fall 

Was plainer given to view ; 
For, all for heat, was laid aside 
Her wimple, and her hood untied. 
And first she pitched her voice to sing, 
Then glanced her dark eye on the King, 
And then around the silent ring ; 
And laughed, and blushed, and oft did say 
Her pretty oath, by Yea, and Nay, 
She could not, would not, durst not play ! 
At length, upon the harp, with glee, 
Mingled with, arch simplicity, 
A soft, yet lively, air she rung, 
While thus the wily lady sung. 

XII. 
LOCHINVAR. 

LiDY HERON'S Son*. 

O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west, 
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best ; 



MAKJUON. 

And save his good broad-sword be -weapons had none 
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone. 
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, 
There never was knight Irke the young Lochinvar. 
He staid not for brake, and he stopped not for stone, 
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none ; 
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate, 
The bride had consented, the gallant canie late : 
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, 
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. 

So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, 

Among bride' s-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, 

and all : 

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, ^ 
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,) 
" come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, 
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar ?" 
" I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied ; 
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide 
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine, 
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. 
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, 
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar." 
The bride kissed the goblet ; the knight took it up, 
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup. 
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh, 
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye. 
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, 
" Now tread we a measure f said young Lochmvar. 
So stately his form, and so lovely her face, 
That never a hall such a galliard did grace ; 
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, 
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and 

plume; 
And the bride-maidens whispered, " 'Twere better by 

far 

To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochin- 
var." 

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, 
When they reached the iuli door and the charger 
stood near ; 



210 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, 

So light to the saddle before her he sprung ! 

" She is won ! we are gone, over bank, bush, and 

scaur ; 
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young 

Lochinvar. 

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby 

clan; 
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and 

they ran : 

There was racing, and chasing, on Cannobie Lee, 
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. 
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, 
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar? 

XIII. 

The Monarch o'er the syren hung, 
And beat the measure as she sung ; 
And, pressing closer, and more near, 
He whispered praises in her ear. 
In loud applause the courtiers vied ; 
And ladies winked, and spoke aside. 

The witching dame to Marmion threw 
A glance, where seemed to reign 

The pride that claims applauses due, 

And of her royal conquest, too, 
A real or feigned disdain : 

Familiar was the look, and told, 

Marmion and she were friends of old. 
The King observed their meeting eyes, 
With something like displeased surprise; 
For monarchs ill can rivals brook, 
Even in a word, or smile, or look. 
Straight took he forth the parchment broad, 
Which Marmion's high commission showed : 
" Our Borders sacked by many a raid, 
Our peaceful liege-men robbed," he said ; 
" On day of truce our Warden slain, 
Stout Barton killed, his vessels ta'en 
Unworthy were we here to reign. 
Should these for vengeance cry in vain ; 
Our full defiance, hate, and scorn, 
Our herald has to Henry borne." 



CAWTO V.] MARMIOX 211 

XIV. 

He paused, and led where Douglas stood, 
And with stern eye the pageant viewed : 
I mean that Douglas, sixth of yore, 
Who coronet of Angus bore, 
And, when his blood and heart were high, 
Did the third James in camp defy, 
And all his minions led to die 

On Lauder's dreary flat : 
Princes and favourites long grew tame, 
And trembled at the homely name 

Of Archibald Bell-the-Cat.* 
The same who left the dusky vale 
Of Hermitage in Liddisdale, 

Its dungeons, and its towers, 
Where BothwelTs turrets brave the air, 
And Bothwell bank is blooming fair, 

To fix his princely bowers. 
Though now, in age, he had laid down 
His armour for the peaceful gown, 

And for a staff his brand, 
Vet often would flash forth the fire. 
That could, in youth, a monarch's ire 

And minion's pride withstand ; 
And even that day, at council board, 

Unapt to soothe his sovereign's mood, 

Against the war had Angus stood, 
And chafed his royal LonLf 

Archibald DougUt, Earl of Angus, a man remarkable for 
trengtn of body and mind, acquired the popular name of Bell' 
the~Cat* npon the following remarkable occasion. When the 
Scottish nobility had assembled to deliberate on putting the ob- 
!&? fa . v ? an f Jam" III. to leath, Lord Grey told them 
the fable of the mice, who resolved that one of their number should 
put a bell round the neck of the cat to warn them of its coming ; 
bat no one was so hardy as to attempt it. ' I understand the 
moral" said Angus : " I will ttell-lfif-cat." He bearded the kine to 
purpose by hanging the favourites over the bridge of Lauder 
Cochran their chief being elevated higher than the ?est. 

t Angus was an old man when the war against England was re- 
solved upon. He earnestly spoke against that measure from it 
commencement ; and, on the eve of the battle of Flodden, re- 
monstraled so freely upon the impolicy of lighting, that the king 
aid to him, with scorn and indignation, " if Iw was afraid, he 
nugbt go home.- The earl burst into lean, at this insupportable 
insult, and retired accordingly, leaving his sons, George, master 
of Angus, and Sir William, of Gk-nbervie, to command his fol- 
lowers. They were both slain in the battle, with two hundred 
(rentlemen of the name of Douglas. 



212 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

XV. 

His giant-form, like ruined tower, 
Though fallen its muscles' brawny vaunt, 
Huge-boned, and tall, and grim, and gaunt, 

Seemed o'er the gaudy scene to lower : 
His locks and beard in silver grew ; 
His eye-brows kept their sable hue. 
Near Douglas when the Monarch stood, 
His bitter speech he thus pursued : 
" Lord Marmion, since these letters say 
That in the North you needs must stay, 

While slightest hopes of peace remain, 
Uncourteous speech it were, and stern, 
To say Return to Lindisfarn, 

Until my herald come again. 
Then rest you in Tantallon Hold ;* 
Your host shall be the Douglas bold, 
A chief unlike his sires of old. 
He wears their motto on his blade,')' 
Their blazon o'er his towers displayed ; 
Yet loves his sovereign to oppose, 
More than to face his country s foes. 
And, I bethink me, by Saint Stephen, 

But e'en this morn to me was given 
A prize, the first-fruits of the war, 
Ta en by a galley from Dunbar, 

A bevy of the maids of heaven. 
Under your guard, these holy maids 
Shall safe return to cloister shades, 
And, while they at Tantallon stay, 
Requiem for Cochran's soul may say." 
And, with the slaughtered favourite's name, 
Across the Monarch's brow there came 
A cloud of ire, remorse, and shame. 

* The ruins of Tantallon Castle occupy a high rock projecting 
Into the German Ocean, about two miles east of North Berwick. 
The building is not seen till a close approach, as there is rising 
ground betwixt it and the land. The circuit is of large extent, 
fenced upon three sides by the precipice which overhangs the sea, 
and on the fourth by a double ditch and very strong outworks. 

+ A very ancient sword, in possession of Lord Douglas, nears, 
among a xreat deal of flourishing, two hands pointing to a heart, 
which is plaiKd betwixt them, and the date 1329, being the year 
in which liruce charged the Good Lord Douglas to carry hi* heart 
to the Holy Laud. 



MAKMIO*. 

XVI. 

In answer nought could Angus sreak : 

His proud heart swelled well nigh to break : 

He turned aside, and down his cheek 
A burning tear there stole. 

His hand the monarch sudden took. 

That sight his kind heart could not hrook : 
" Now, by the Bruce's soul, 

Angus, my hasty speech forgive ! 

For sure as doth his spirit live, 

As he said of the Douglas old, 

I well may say of you, 
That never king did subject hold, 
In speech more free, in war more bold, 

More tender, and more true :* 
Forgive me, Douglas, once again. 
And, while the King his hand did rtrain, 
The old man's tears fell down like rain, 
To seize the moment Marmion tried, 
And whispered to the King aside : 
" Oh ! let such tears unwonted plead 
For respite short from dubious deed ! 
A child will weep at bramble's smart, 
A maid to see her sparrow part, 
A stripiing for a woman's heart : 
But woe awaits a country, when 
She sees the tears of bearded men.^ 
Then, oh ! what omen, dark and high, 
When Douglas wets hia manly eye r 

xvn. 

Displeased was James, that stranger viewed 
And tampered with his changing mood. 
" Laugh those that can, weep those that may," 
Thus did the fiery Monarch say, 
" Southward I march by break of day ; 
And if within Tantallon strong, 
The good Lord Marmion tarries long, 
Perchance our meeting next may faU 
At Tamworth, in his castle-hall.'" 

ODowolas! DowglMl 
Tendir aud trew. 

The Bovlatt. 



213 



214 



[CANTO V. 



The haughty Marmion felt the taunt, 

And answered, grave, the royal vaunt : 

" Much honoured were my humble home, 

If in its halls King James should come ; 

But Nottingham has archers good, 

And Yorkshire men are stern of mood ; 

Northumbrian prickers wild and rude. 

On Derby Hills the paths are steep ; 

In Ouse and Tyne the fords are deep ; 

And many a banner will be torn, 

And many a knight to earth be borne, 

And many a sheaf of arrows spent, 

Ere Scotland's King shall cross the Trent : 

Yet pause, brave prince, while yet you may." 

The Monarch lightly turned away, 

And to his nobles loud did call, 

" Lords, to the dance, a hall ! a hall !"* 

Himself his cloak and sword flung by, 

And led Dame Heron gallantly ; 

And minstrels, at the royal order, 

Rung out " Blue Bonnets o'er the Border." 

XVITI. 

Leave we these revels now, to tell 
What to Saint Hilda's maids befell, 
Whose galley, as they sailed again 
To Whitby, by a Scot was ta'sn. 
Now at Dun-Edin did they bide, 
Till James should of their fate decide ; 

And soon, by his command, 
Were gently summoned to prepare 
To journey under Marmion's care, 
As escort honoured, safe, and fair, 

Again to English land. 
The Abbess told her chaplet o'er, 
Nor knew which Saint she should implore ; 
For when she thought of Constance, sore 

She feared Lord Marmion's mood. 
And judge what Clara must have felt ! 
The sword, that hung in Marmion's belt 

Had drunk De Wilton's blood. 

The aucieut cry to make room for a dance, or pageant 



CANTO V.] MAEMION. 

Unwittingly, King James had given, 

As guard to Whitby's slides, 
Hie man most dreaded under heaven 

By these defenceless maids ; 
Yet what petition could avail, 
Or who would listen to the tale 
Of woman, prisoner and nun, 
Mid bustle of a war begun ? 
They deemed it hopeless to avoid 
The convoy of their dangerous guide. 



Their lodging, so the King assigned. 
To Marmion's, as their guardian, joined ; 
And thus it fell, that, passing nigh, 
The Palmer caught the Abbess' eye, 

Who -warned him by a scroll, 
She had a secret to reveal, 
That much concerned the Church's weal, 

And health of sinners' soul ; 
And, with deep charge of secrecy, 

She named a place to meet, 
Within an open balcony, 
That hung from dizzy pitch, and high, 

Above the stately street ; 
To which, as common to each home, 
At night they might in secret come. 



At night in secret there they came, 
The Palmer and the holy dams. 
The moon among the clouds rode high, 
And all the city hum was by. 

Upon the street, where late before 
Did din of war and warriors roar, 

You might have heard a pebble fall, 
A beetle hum, a cricket sing, 
An owlet flap his boding wing 

On Giles's steeple tall. 
The antique buildings, climbing high. 
Whose Gothic frontlets sought the sky, 
Were here wrapt deep in shade ; 



215 



216 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

There on their brows the moon-bfam broke, 
Through the faint wreaths of silvery smoke, 

And on the casements played. 
And other light was none to see, 

Save torches gliding far, 
Before some chieftain of degree, 
Who left the royal revelry 

To bowne him for the war. 
A solemn scene the Abbess chose ; 
A solemn hour, her secret to disclose. 



" O, holy Palmer !" she began, 
" For sure he must be sainted man, 
Whose blessed feet have trod the ground 
Where the Redeemer's tomb is found ; 
For his dear Church's sake, my tale 
Attend, nor deem of light avail, 
Though I must speak of worldly love, 
How vain to those who wed above ! 
De Wilton and Lord Marmion wooed 
Clara de Clare, of Gloster's blood ; 
(Idle it were of Whitby's dame, 
To say of that same blood I came ;) 
And once, when jealous rage was high, 
Lord Marmion said despiteously, 
Wilton was traitor in his heart, 
And had made league with Martin Swart,* 
When he came here on Simnel's part ; 
And only cowardice did restrain 
His rebel aid on Stokefield's plain, 
And down he threw his glove : the thing 
Was tried, as wont, before the King ; 
Where frankly did De Wilton own, 
That Swart in Guelders he had known ; 
And that between them then there went 
Some scroll of courteous compliment. 
For this he to his castle sent ; 
But when his messenger returned. 
Judge how De Wilton's fury burned : 

A German general, who commanded the auxiliaries ent by 
the Ducheis of Burgundy with Lambert Simnel. He wa Ao. 
feated and killed at Stokefield. 



CAJtTO V.J MARMION. 217 

For in his packet there were laid 
Letters that claimed disloyal aid, 
And proved King Henry's cause betrayed. 
His fame, thus blighted, in the field 
He strove to clear, by spear and shield ; 
To clear his fame in vain he strove, 
For wondrous are His ways above ! 
Perchance some form was unobserved ; 
Perchance in prayer, or faith, he swerved ;* 
Else how could guiltless champion quail, 
Or how the blessed ordeal fail? 

XXII. 

" His squire, who now De Wilton saw 
As recreant doomed to suffer law, 

Repentant, owned in vain, 
That, while he had the scrolls in care, 
A stranger maiden, passing fair, 
Had drenched him with a beverage rare; 

His words no faith could gain. 
With Clare alone he credence won, 
Who, rather than wed Mannion, 
Did to Saint Hilda's shrine repair, 
To give our house her livings fair, 
And die a vestal vot'ress there. 
The impulse from the earth was given, 
But bent her to the paths of heaven. 
A purer heart, a lovelier maid, 
Ne'er sheltered her in Whitby's shade, 
No, not since Saxon Edelfled ; 

Only one trace of earthly strain, 
That for her lover's loss 

She cherishes a sorrow vain, 

And murmurs at the cross. 
And then her heritage ; it goes 

Along the banks of Tame ; 
Deep fields of grain the reaper mows, 
In meadows rich the heifer lows, 
The falconer, and huntsman, knows 

Its woodlands for the game. 

* It was early necessary for those who felt themselves obliged 
to believe in the divine judgment being enunciated in the trial ky 
duel, to find salvos for the strange and obviously precarious 
chances of the combat. 



218 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

Shame were it to Saint Hilda dear, 
And I, her humble vot'ress here, 

Should do a deadly sin, 
Her temple spoiled before mine eyes, 
If this false Marmion such a prize 

By my consent should win : 
Yet hath our boisterous Monarch sworn, 
That Clare shall from our house be torn 
And grievous cause have I to fear, 
Such mandate doth Lord Marmion bear. 



" Now, prisoner, helpless, and betrayed 
To evil power, I claim thine aid, 

By every step that thou hast trod 
To holy shrine, and grotto dim ; 
By every martyr's tortured limb ; 
By angel, saint, and seraphim, 
And by the Church of God ! 
For mark : When Wilton was betrayed, 
And with his squire forged letters laid, 
She was, alas ! that sinful maid, 

By whom the deed was done, 
! shame and horror to be said ! 

She was a perjured nun : 
No clerk in all the laud, like her, 
Traced quaint and varying character. 
Perchance you may a marvel deem, 

That Marmion's paramour, 
(For such vile thing she was,) should scheme 

Her lover's nuptial hour ; 
But o'er him thus she hoped to gain, 
As privy to his honour's stain, 

Illimitable power : 
For this she secretly retained 

Each proof that might the plot reveal, 
Instructions with his hand and seal ; 
And thus Saint Hilda deigned, 
Through sinner's perfidy impure, 
Her house's glory to secure, 
And Clare's immortal weaL 



CAJTTO V.] MARMION. 2l9 

XXIV. 

" 'Twere long, and needless, here to tell, 
How to my hand these papers fell ; 

With me they must not stay. 
Saint Hilda, keep her Abbess true ! 
Who knows what outrage he mignt do, 

While journeying by the wav? 

! blessed Saint, if e'er again 

1 venturous leave thy calm domain, 
To travel or by land or main, 

Deep penance may I pay ! 
Now, saintly Palmer, mark my prayer : 
I give this packet to thy care, 
For thee to stop they will not dare; 

And, O ! with cautious speed, 
To Wolsey's hand the papers bring, 
That he may show them to the King ; 

And for thy well-earned meed, 
Thou holy man, at Whitby's shrine, 
A weekly mass shall still be thine, 

While priests can sing and read. 
What ail'st thou ? Speak !" For as he took 
The charge, a strong emotion shook 

His frame ; and, ere reply, 
They heard a faint, yet shrilly tone, 
Like distant clarion feebly blown, 

That on the breeze did die ; 
And loud the Abbess shrieked in fear, 
" Saint Withold save us ! What is here ! 

Look at yon City Cross ! 
See on its battled tower appear 
Phantoms, that scutcheons seem to rear, 

And blazoned banners toss !" 

XXV. 

Dun-Edin's Cross,* a pillar'd stone, 
Hose on a turret octagon ; 

* The cross of Edinburgh was an ancient and curious structure 
The lower part was an octagonal tower, sixteen feet in diameter 
and about nfteu feet high. At each angle there was a pillar, and 
between them an arch, of the Grecian shape. Above these was a 
projecting battlement, with a turret at each corner, and medal- 
lions, of rude but curious workmanship, between them. Above 
this roe the proper Cross, a column of one stone, upwards of 
twenty feet high, surmounted with an unicorn. From the tower 
f Ihe.Crotfg, the heralds published the acts of Parliament* 



220 MARMION. CCAHTO V. 

(But now is razed that monument^ 
Whence royal edict rang, 

And voice of Scotland's law was sent, 

In glorious trumpet clang. 
O ! be his tomb as lead to lead, 
Upon its dull destroyer's head !- 
A minstrel's malison* is said. ) 
Then on its battlements they saw 
A vision, passing Nature's law, 

Strange, wild, and dimly seen ; 
Figures, that seemed to rise and die, 
Gibber and sign, advance and fly, 
While nought confirmed could ear or eye 

Discern of sound or mien. 
Yet darkly did it seem, as there 
Heralds and Pursuivants prepare, 
With trumpet sound, and blazon fair, 

A summons to proclaim ; 
But indistinct the pageant proud, 
As fancy forms of midnight cloud, 
When flings the moon upon her shroud 

A wavering tinge of flame ; 
It flits, expands, and shifts, till loud, 
From midmost of the spectre crowd, 

This awful summons came :}" 

xxvi. 

" Prince, prelate, potentate, and peer, 

Whose names I now shall call, 
Scottish, or foreigner, give ear ! 
Subjects of him who sent me here, 
At his tribunal to appear, 

I summon one and all : 
I cite you by each deadly sin, 
That e'er hath soiled your hearts within; 
I cite you by each brutal lust, 
That e'er defiled your earthly dust, 

By wrath, by pride, by fear, 

t - . e. Curse. 

t This supernatural citation is mentioned If all ortr Scottish 
historians. It was probably, like the apparition at Linlithg'nv, an 
attempt, by those averse to the war, to impose ucon tho superiti- 
tiou. temper of James IV. 






CANTO V.] MARMIOIf. 

By each o'er-mastering passion's tone, 
By the dark grave, and dying groan I 
When forty days are past and gone, 
I cite you, at your Monarch's throne, 

To answer and appear." 
Then thundered forth a roll of names : 
The first was thine, unhappy James ! 

Then all thy nobles came ; 
Crawford, Glencairn, Montrose, Argyle, 
Ross, Bothwell, Forbes, Lennox, Lyle, 
Why should I tell their separate style ? 

Each chief of birth and fame, 
Of Lowland, Highland, Border, Isle, 
Fore-doomed to Flodden's carnage pile, 

Was cited there by name ; 
And Marmion, Lord of Fontenaye, 
Of Lutterward, and Scrivelbay, 
De Wilton, erst of Aberley, 
The self-same thundering voice did say. 

But then another spoke : 
" Thy fatal summons I deny, 
And thine infernal lord defy, 
Appealing me to Him on High, 

Who burst the sinner's yoke.** 
At that dread accent, with a scream, 
Parted the pageant like a dream, 

The siunmoner was gone. 
Prone on her face the Abbess fell, 
And fast, and fast, her heads did tell; 
Her nuns came, startled by the yell, 

And found her there alone. 
She marked not, at the scene aghast, 
What time, or how, the Palmer passed. 



221 



Shift we the scene. The camp doth move. 

Dun-Edin's streets are empty now, 
Save when, for weal of those they love, 

To pray the prayer, and vow the vow, 
The tottering child, the anxious fair, 
The erey-haired sire, with pious care, 
To chapels and to shrines repair. 
Where is the Palmer now ? and where 



222 MABMION. 

The Abbess, Marmion, and Clare? 
Bold Douglas ! to Tantallon fair 

They journey in thy charge: 
Lord Marmion rode on his right hand, 
The Palmer still was with the band ; 
Angus, like Lindesay, did command, 

That none should roam at large. 
But in that Palmer's altered mien 
A wondrous change might now be seen; 

Freely he spoke of war, 
Of marvels wrought by single hand, 
When lifted for a native land ; 
And still looked high, as if he planned 

Some desperate deed afar. 
His courser would he feed, and stroke, 
And, tucking up his sable frocke, 
Would first his mettle bold provoke, 

Then soothe, or quell his pride. 
Old Hubert said, that never one 
He saw, except Lord Marmion, 

A steed so fairly ride. 

XXVIII. 

Some half-hour's march behind, there came 
By Eustace governed fair, 

A troop escorting Hilda's Dame, 
With all her nuns, and Clare. 

No audience had Lord Marmion sought ; 
Ever he feared to aggravate 
Clara de Clare's suspicious hate ; 

And safer 'twas, he thought, 

To wait till, from the nuns removed, 
The influence of kinsmen loved, 
And suit by Henry's self approved, 

Her slow consent had wrought. 

His was no flickering flame, that dies 
Unless when fanned*by looks and sighs, 
And lighted oft at lady's eyes ; 
He longed to stretch his wide command 
O'er luckless Clara's ample land: 
Besides, when Wilton with him vied, 
Although the pang of humbled pride 
The place of jealousy supplied, 



[CANTO T. 



CANTO V.] 



223 



Yet conquest, by that meanness "won 

He almost loathed to think upon, 

Led him, at times, to hate the cause, 

Which made him hurst through honour's laws. 

If e'er he loved, 'twas her alone, 

Who died within that vault of stone. 

XXIX. 

And now, when close at hand they saw 
North- Berwick's town and lofty Law, 
Fitz- Eustace hade them pause a while, 
Before a venerable pile,* 

Whose turrets viewed, afar. 
The lofty Bass, the Lambie Isle, 

The ocean's peace, or war. 
At tolling of a bell, forth came 
The convent's venerable Dame, 
And prayed Saint Hilda's Abbess rest 
With her, a loved and honoured guest, 
Till Douglas should a bark prepare, 
To waft her back to Whitby fair. 
Glad was the Abbess, you may guess, 
And thanked the Scottish Prioress ; 
And tedious were to tell, I ween, 
The courteous speech that passed between. 

O'erjoyed the nuns their palfreys leave : 
But when fair Clara did intend. 
Like them, from horseback to descend, 

Fitz- Eustace said, " I grieve, 

Fair lady, grieve e'en from my heart, 

Such gentle company to part. 
Think not discourtesy, 

But Lords' commands must be obeyed ; 

And Marmion and the Douglas said, 
That you must wend with me. 

Lord Marmion hath a letter broad, 

Which to the Scottish Earl he showed, 

Commanding, that, beneath his care, 

Without delay, you shall repair, 

To your good kinsman, Lord Fitz-Clare." 

"The convent alluded to a a foundation of Cistertian nuns ni 
Hortu Berwick, of which there are still gome remains. It v 
founded by Duncan Earl of fife, in 1216. 



224 MARMIOM. [CANTO V. 



The startled Abbess loud exclaimed ; 
But she, at whom the blow was aimed, 
Grew pale as death, and cold as lead, 
She deemed she heard her death-doom read. 
" Cheer thee, my child !" the Abbess said, 
" They dare not tear thee from my hand, 
To ride alone with armed band." 

" Nay, holy mother, nay," 
Fitz- Eustace said, " the lovely Clare 
Will be in Lady Angus' care, 

In Scotland while we stay ; 
And, when we move, an easy ride 
Will bring us to the English side, 
Female attendance to provide 

Befitting Gloster's heir ; 
Nor thinks, nor dreams, my noble lord, 
By slightest look, or act, or word, 

To harass Lady Clare. 
Her faithful guardian he will be, 
Nor sue for slightest courtesy 

That e'en to stranger falls, 
Till he shall place her, safe and free, 

Within her kinsman's halls." 
He spoke, and blushed with earnest grace 
His faith was painted on his face, 

And Clare's worst fear relieved. 
The Lady Abbess loud exclaimed 
On Henry, and the Douglas blamed, 

Entreated, threatened, grieved ; 
To martyr, saint, and prophet prayed, 
Against Lord Marmion inveighed, 
And called the Prioress to aid, 
To curse with candle, bell, and book, 
Her head the grave Cistertian shook: 
" The Douglas, and the King," she said, 
" In their commands will be obeyed ; 
Grieve not, nor dream that harm can fall 
The maiden in Tantallon hall." 



The Abbess, seeing strife was vain, 
Assumed her wonted state again, 



CANTO V.] MABMION. 225 

For much of state she had, 
Composed her veil, and raised her head, 
And " Bid," in solemn voice she said, 

" Thy master, hold and bad, 
The records of his house turn o'er, 

And, when he shall there written see, 

That one of his own ancestry 

Drove the Monks forth of Coventry,* 
Bid him his fate explore ! 

Prancing in pride of earthly trust, 

His charger hurled him to the dust, 

And, hy a base plebeian thrust, 
He died his band before. 

God judge 'twixt Marmion and me ; 

He is a chief of high degree, 
And I a poor recluse ; 

Yet oft, in holy writ, we see 

Even such weak minister as me 
May the oppressor bruise : 

For thus, inspired, did Judith slay 
The mighty in his sin, 

And Jael thus, and Deborah," 

Here hasty Blount broke in : 
" Fitz- Eustace, we must march our tand ; 
St Anton' fire thee ! wilt thou stand 
All day, with bonnet in thy hand, 

To hear the Lady preach? 
By this good light ! if thus we stay, 
Lord Marmion, for our fond delay, 

Will sharper sermon teach. 
Come, don thy cap, and mount thy horse ; 
The Dame must patience take perforce." 

XXXII. 

" Submit we then to force," said Clare ; 
" But let this barbarous lord despair 
His purposed aim to win ; 

* Robert de Marmion, in the reign of King Stephen, having ex 
lled the monks from the church of Coventry, was not long of 

iencing the divine judgment, as the sa 

d his Suaster. Having waged a feudal 
fell, 



pell 



e . 

ter, Marmion's horse fell, as he charged against a body of tho 
's follower* : the rider's thigh being broken by the fall, hu 
wa cut off by a common foot-soldier, ere he could receive 



Ches 

Earl's foll 

head wa cut off by 

any succo 



226 MARMION. [CANTO V. 

Let him take living, land, and life ; 
But to be Marmiou's wedded wife 

In me were deadly sin : 
And if it be the king's decree, 
That I must find no sanctuary, 
Where even a homicide might coma, 

And safely rest his head, 
Though at its open portals stood, 
Thirsting to pour forth blood for blood, 

The kinsmen of the dead ; 
Yet one asylum is my own, 

Against the dreaded hour ; 
A low, a silent, and a lone, 

Where kings have little power. 
One victim is before me there. 
Mother, your blessing, and in prayer 
Remember your unhappy Clare !" 
Loud weeps the Abbess, and bestowa 

Kind blessings many a. one ; 
Weeping and wailing loud arose 
Bound patient Clare, the clamorous woes 

Of every simple nun. 
His eyes the gentle Eustace dried, 
And scarce rude Blount the sight could bide. 

Then took the squire her rein, 
And gently led away her steed, 
And, by each courteous word and deed, 

To cheer her strove in vain. 

XXXIII. 

But scant three miles the band had rode, 

When o'er a height they passed, 
And, sudden, close before them showed 

His towers, Tantallon vast : 
Broad, massive, high, and stretching far, 
And held impregnable in war. 
On a projecting rock they rose, 
And round three sides the ocean flows ; 
The fourth did battled walls enclose, 

And double mound and fosse. 
By narrow draw-bridge, outworks strong, 
Through studded gates, an entrance long, 

To the main court they cross. 



MAKMION. 227 



CAJfTO V.] 

It "was a wide and stately square ; 
Around were lodgings, fit and fair, 

And towers of various form, 
Which on the court projected far, 
And broke its lines quadrangular. 
Here was square keep, there turret high, 
Or pinnace that sought the sky, 
Whence oft the Warder could descry 

The gathering ocean-storm. 



Here did they rest. The princely care 
Of Douglas, why should I declare, 
Or say they met reception fair ? 

Or why the tidings say, 
Which, varying, to Tantallon came, 
By hurrying posts, or fleeter fame, 

With every varying day? 
And, first, they heard King James had won 

Ettall, and Wark, and Ford ; and then, 

That Norham castle strong was ta'en. 
At that sore marvelled Marmion ; 
And Douglas hoped his Monarch's hand 
Would soon subdue Northumberland : 

But whispered news there came, 
That, while his host inactive lay, 
And melted by degrees away, 
King James was dallying off the day 

With Heron's wily dame. 
Such acts to chronicles I yield ; 

Go seek them there, and see : 
Mine is a tale of Flodden Field, 

And not a history. 
At length they heard the Scottish host 
On that high ridge had made their post, 

Which frowns o'er Millfield Plain ; 
And that brave Surrey many a band 
Had gathered in the southern land, 
And marched into Northumberland, 

And camp at Wooler ta'en. 
Marmion, like charger in the stall, 
That hears without the trumpet call, 



228 MARWIOX 

Began to chafe, and swear : 
" A sorry thing to hide my head 
In castle, like a fearful maid, 

When such a field is near ; 
Needs must I see this battle-day : 
Death to my fame, if such a fray 
Were fought, and Marmion away ! 

The Douglas, too, I wot not why, 

Hath 'bated of his courtesy : 
No longer in his halls I'll stay." 
Then bade his band, they should array 
For march against the dawning day. 



[CANTO VI. 



INTRODUCTION TO CANTO SIXTH. 
To RICHAKD HEBEB, Esq. 

Mertoun- House, Christmas. 
HEAP on more wood ! the wind is chill ; 
But let it whistle as it will, 
We'll keep our Christmas merry still. 
Each age has deemed the new-born year 
The fittest time for festal cheer : 
Even heathen yet, the savage Dane 
At lol more deep the mead did drain ;* 
High on the beach his galleys drew, 
And feasted all his pirate crew ; 
Then in his low and pine-built hall, 
Where shields and axes decked the wall, 
They gorged upon the half- dressed steer ; 
Caroused in seas of sable beer ; 

* The lol of the heathen Danes (a word still applied to Christ- 
mas in Scotland,) was solemnized with great festivity. The hu- 
mour of the Danes at table displayed itself in pelting each other 
with bones ; and Torfeus tells a curious story, of one Hottus, who 
was so generally assailed with these missiles, that he constructed, 
out of the bones with which he was overwhelmed, a very respect- 
able intrenchment, against those who continued the raillery. In the 

hey danced with such fury, holding each other by the hands, 
that, if the grasp of any failed, he was pitched into the fire with 
the velocity of a sling. The sufferer, on such occasions, w;is in- 
stantly plucked out, and obliged to quaff off a certain measure of 
nalty fat "apoiling the king' 3 fire." 



229 



While round, in brutal jest, -were thro-wn 

The half-gnawed rib, and marrow-bone ; 

Or listened all, in grim delight, 

While scalds yelled out the joys of fight. 

Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie, 

While -wildly loose their red locks fly, 

And dancing roud the blazing pile, 

They make such barbarous mirth the while, 

As best might to the mind recall 

The boisterous joys of Odin's hall. 

And well our Christian sires of old 
Loved when the year its course had rolled, 
And brought blithe Christmas back again, 
With all his hospitable train. 
Domestic and religions rite 
Gave honour to the holy night : 
On Christmas eve the bells were rang ; 
Ou Christmas eve the mass was sung ;* 
That only night, in all the year, 
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear. 
The damsel donned her kirtle sheen ; 
The hall was dressed with holly green ; 
Forth to the wood did merry-men go, 
To gather in the misletoe. 
Then opened wide the baron's hall 
To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ; 
Power laid his rod of rule aside, 
And Ceremony doffed his pride. 
The heir, with roses in his shoes, 
That night might village partner choose ; 
The lord, underogating, share 
The vulgar game of " post and pair." 
All hailed, with uncontrolled delight, 
And general voice, the happy night, 
That to the cottage, as the crown, 
Brought tidings of salvation down. 

The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, 
Went roaring up the chimney wide ; 
The huge hall- table's oaken face, 
Scrubbed till it shone, the day to grace, 

* In Roman Catholic countries, mass ii never said at 
cepting on Christmas eve. 



230 MAEMION. [CANTO VT. 

Bore then upon its massive board 

No mark to part the squire and lord. 

Then was hrought in the lusty brawn, 

By old blue-coated serving-man ; 

Then the grim boar's-head frowned on high, 

Crested with hays and rosemary. 

Well can the green-garbed ranger tell, 

How, when, and where, the monster fell ; 

What dogs before his death he tore, 

And all the baiting of the boar. 

The wassel round in good brown bowls, 

Garnished with ribbons, blithely trowls. 

There the huge sirloin reeked ; hard by 

Plumb-porridge stood, and Christmas pye ; 

Nor failed old Scotland to produce, 

At such high-tide, her savoury goose. 

Then came the merry masquers in, 

And carols roared with blythesoine din ; 

If unmelodious was the song, 

It was a hearty note, and strong. 

Who lists may in their mumming seo 

Traces of ancient mystery ;* 

White shirts supplied the masquerade, 

And smutted cheeks the visors made; 

But, ! what masquers richly dight 

Can boast of bosoms half so light ! 

England was merry England, when 

Old Christmas brought his sports again. 

'Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale ; 

'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale ; 

A Christmas gambol oft could cheer 

The poor man's heart through half the year. 

Still linger in our northern clime 
Some remnants of the good old time ; 
And still, within our vallies here, 
We hold the kindred title dear, 
Even when perchance its far-fetched claim 
To Southron ear sounds empty name ; 

It seems certain, that the Mummers of England, who nsed to 
go about iu disguise to the neighbouring houses, bearing the then 
ageless ploughshare; and the Guuards of hcotlaud, not yet iu 
total disuse, pieseut, in some indistinct decree, a shadow of the 
Old mysteries, which were the origin of the Eugliiih diaixuu 



CANTO VI] MARMIOX. 231 

For course of blood, our proverbs deem, 
Is warmer than the mountain-stream.* 
And thus, my Christmas still I hold 
Where my great-grandsire came of old ;t 
With amber beard, and flaxen hair, 
And reverend apostolic air 
The feast and holy-tide to share, 
And mix sobriety with wine, 
And honest mirth with thoughts divine : 
Small thought was his, in after time 
E'er to be hitched into a rhyme. 
The simple sire could only boast, 
That he was loyal to his cost ; 
The banished race of kings revered, 
And lost his land, but kept his beard. 

In these dear halls, where welcome kind, 
Is with fair liberty combined ; 
Where cordial friendship gives the hand, 
And flies constraint the magic wand 
Of the fair dame that rules the land. 
Little we heed the tempest drear, 
While music, mirth, and social cheer, 
Speed on their wings the passing year. 
And Mertoun's halls are fair e'en now, 
When not a leaf is on the bough. 
Tweed loves them well, and turns again, 
As loath to leave the sweet domain ; 
And holds his mirror to her face, 
And clips her with a close embrace : 
Gladly as he, we seek the dome, 
And as reluctant turn us home. 

How just, that, at this time of glee, 
My thoughts should, Heber, turn to the* ! 
For many a merry hour we've known, 
And heard the chimes of midnight's tone. 



rb meant to vindi - 



, * "P" 

Ha" 
Hard , 

the uuaJI property he had, by 

of the house of s'tuirt. 



8 Y.'rable old gentleman wa the younger brother cf 
"f T h f J^f"- ,.*'* tlfe cadet of f cadet of thi 
family, he had very little to loe: yet be contrived to IOM 



232 MARMION. [CANTO VI. 

Cease, then, my friend ! a moment cease, 
And leave these classic tomes in peace ! 
Of Roman and of Grecian lore, 
Sure mortal brain can hold no more. 
These ancients, as Noll Bluff might say, 
Were "pretty fellows in their day,"* 
But time and tide o'er all prevail 
On Christmas eve a Christmas tale 
Of wonder and of war " Profane ! 
"What ! leave the lofty Latian strain, 
Her stately prose, her verse's charms, 
To hear the clash of rusty arms ; 
In Fairy Land or Limho lost, 
To jostle conjuror and ghost, 
Goblin and witch !" Nay, Heber dear, 
Before you touch my charter, hear, 
Though Leyden aids, alab ! no more, 
My cause with many-languaged lore, 
This may I say : in realms of death 
Ulysses meets Alcides' wraith; 
./Eneas, upon Thracia's shore, 
The ghost of murdered Polydore ; 
For omens, we in Livy cross, 
At every turn, locutus Bos. 
As grave and duly speaks that ox, 
As if he told the price of stocks ; 
Or held, in Rome republican, 
The place of Common-councilman. 

All nations have their omens drear, 
Their legends wild of woe and fear. 
To Cambria look the peasant see, 
Bethink him of Glendowerdy, 
And shun "the spirii's blasted tree." 
The Highlander, whose red claymore 
The battle turned on Maida's shore, 
"W ill, on a Friday morn, look pale, 
If asked to tell a fairy tale :"( 

* "Hannibal was a pretty fellow, tir a very pretty fellow In 
his day." Old Bachelor. 

f The belief iu fairies, is deeply impressed on the Highlanders, 
who think they are particularly offended with mortals, who talk 
of them, who wear their favourite colour green, or in any respect 
interfere with their affairs. This is particularly to be avoided on 
Friday, when they are more active, and possessed of greater 
power. 



CANTO VL3 MARMION. 233 

He fears the vengsful Elfin King, 
Who leaves that day his grassy ring ; 
Invisible to human ken, 
He walks among the sons of men. 

Didst e'er, dear Heber, pass along 
Beneath the towers of Franchemont,* 
Which, like an eagle's nest in air, 
Hang o'er the stream and hamlet fair? 
Deep in their vaults, the peasants say, 
A mighty treasure buried lay, 
Amassed through rapine, and through wrong, 
By the last lord of Franchemont. 
The iron chest is bolted hard, 
A Huntsman sits, its constant guard; 
Around his neck his horn is hung, 
His hanger in his belt is slung; 
Before his feet his bloodhounds lie : 
An 'twere not for his gloomy eye, 
Whose withering glance .no heart can brook, 
As true a huntsman doth he look, 
As bugle e'er in brake did sound 
Or ever hollowed to a hound. 
To chase the fiend, and win the prize, 
In that same dungeon ever tries 
An aged Necromantic Priest; 
It is an hundred years at least, 
Since 'twixt them first the strife begu 
And neither yet has lost or won. 
And oft the conjuror's -words will make 
The stubborn Demon groan and quake; 
And oft the bands of iron break, 
Or bursts one lock, that still amain, 
Fast as 'tis opened, shuts again. 
That magic strife within the tomb 
May last until the day of doom, 

* It is finnlv believed by the neighbouring peasantry, that the 
last Baron of 'Frauchemont deposited, in one of the vaults ..f the 
castle, a ponderous chest, containing an immense treasure in gold 
and silver, which, by gome magic spell, was intrusted to tlie care 
of the devil, who is constantly found sitting on the chest in the 
thape of a huntsman. Any one adventurous enough to touch the 
Chest, is instantly seized 'with tUe palsy. Yet if any body can 
discover the mystic word* used by the person who deposited 
the treasure, aittl pronounce them, tbe fiend muit uiiUuUy 



234 MARMTOW. COANTO VI. 

Unless the Adept shall learn to tell 
The very word that clenched the spell, 
When Franch'mont locked the treasure cell. 
An hundred years are past and gone, 
And scarce three letters has he won. 

Such general superstition may 
Excuse for old Pitscottie say; 
Whose gossip history has given 
My song the messenger from heaven, 
That warned, in Lithgow, Scotland's King, 
Nor less the infernal summoning. 
May pass the monk of Durham's tale, 
Whose Demon fought in Gothic mail; 
May pardon plead for Fordun grave, 
Who told of Gifford's Gohiin-Cave. 
But why such instances to you, 
Who, in an instant, can review 
Your treasured hoards of various lore, 
And furnish twenty thousand more? 
Hoards, not like their' s whose volumes rest 
Like treasures in the Franch'mont chest; 
While gripple owners still refuse 
To others what they cannot use ; 
Give them the priest's whole century, 
They shall not spell you letters three ; 
Their pleasure in the book's the same 
The magpie takes in pilfered gem. 
Thy volumes, open as thy heart, 
Delight, amusement, science, art, 
To every ear and eye impart; 
Yet who, of all who thus employ them, 
Can, like the owner's self, enjoy them? 
But, hark! I hear the distant drum: 
The day of Flodden field is come. 
Adieu, dear Heber ! life and health, 
And store of literary wealth. 

CANTO SIXTH. 



i. 

WHILE great events were on the gale, 
And each hour brought a varying tale, 



CANTO VI.] MARMION. 235 

And the demeanour, changed and cold, 

Of Douglas, fretted Marmion bold, 

And like the impatient steed of war, 

He snuffed the battle from afar ; 

And hopes were none, that back again, 

Herald should come from Terouenne, 

Where England's King in leaguer lay, 

Before decisive battle-day; 

While these things were, the mournful Clare 

Did in the Dame's devotions share : 

For the good Countess ceaseless prayed, 

To Heaven and Saints, her sons to aid, 

And, with short interval, did pass 

From prayer to book, from book to masa, 

And all in high Baronial pride, 

A life both dull and dignified; 

Yet as Lord Marmion nothing pressed 

Upon her intervals of rest, 

Dejected Clara well could bear 

The formal state, the lengthened pra* r, 

Though dearest to her wounded bea' 

The hours that she might spend aput. 



I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep 

Hung o'er the margin of the deep, 

Many a rude tower and rampart there 

Repelled the insult of the air, 

Which, when the tempest vexed the sky, 

Half breeze, half spray, came whistling by 

Above the rest, a turret square 

Did o'er its Gothic entrance bear, 

Of sculpture rude, a stony shield; 

The Bloody Heart was in the field, 

And in the chief three mullets stood, 

The cognizance of Douglas blood. 

The turret held a narrow stair, 

Which, mounted, gave you access where 

A parapet's embattled row 

Did seaward round the castle go; 

Sometimes in dizzy steps descending, 

Sometimes in narrow circuit bending, 

Sometimes in platform broad extending, 



236 MAKMION. I CANTO YI. 

Its varying circle did combine 

Bulwark, and bartisan, and line, 

And bastion, tower, and vantage-coign; 

Above the booming ocean leant 

The far-projecting battlement ; 

The billows burst, in ceaseless flow, 

Upon the precipice below. 

Where'er Tantallon faced the land, 

Gate- works, and walls, were strongly manned; 

No need upon the sea-girt side ; 

The steepy rock, and frantic tide, 

Approach of human step denied; 

And thus these lines, and ramparts rude, 

Were left in deepest solitude. 

III. 

And, for they were so lonely, Clare 
Would to these battlements repair, 
And muse upon her sorrows there, 

And list the sea-bird's cry; 
Or slow, like noon-tide ghost, would glide 
Along the dark-gray bulwarks' side, 
And ever on the heaving tide 

Look down with weary eye. 
Oft did the cliff, and swelling main, 
Recall the thoughts of Whitby's fane, 
A home she might ne'er see again; 

For she had laid adown, 
So Douglas bade, the hood and veil, 
And frontlet of the cloister pale, 

And Benedictine gown : 
It were unseemly sight, he said, 
A novice out of convent shade. 
Now her bright locks, with sunny glow 
Again adorned her brow of snow; 
Her mantle rich, whose borders, roundj 
A deep and fretted broidery bound, 
In golden foldings sought the ground; 
Of holy ornament, alone 
Remained a cross with ruby stone; 

And often did she look 
On that which in her hand she bore 
With velvet bound, and broidered o'er, 

Her breviary book. 



CANTO VI] MAMIIOff. 

In such a place, so lone, so grim, 
At dawning pale, or twilight dim, 

It fearful would have been, 
To meet a form so richly dressed, 
With book in hand, and cross on breast, 

And such a woeful mien. 
Fitz-Eustace, loitering with his bow, 
To practise on the gull and crow, 
Saw her, at distance, gliding slow, 

And did by Mary swear, 
Some love-lorn Fay she might have been, 
Or, in romance, some spell-bound queen; 
For ne'er, in work-day world, was seen 

A form so witching fair. 



Onco -walking thus, at evening tide, 

It chanced a gliding sail she spied, 

And, sighing, thought "The Abbess there, 

Perchance, does to her home repair; 

Her peaceful rule, where Duty, free, 

Walks hand in hand with Charity; 

Where oft Devotion's tranced glow 

Can such a glimpse of heaven bestow, 

That the enraptured sisters see 

High vision, and deep mvstery; 

The very form of Hilda fair, 

Hovering upon the sunny air, 

And smiling on her votaries' prayer. 

O ! wherefore to my duller eye, 

Did still the Saint her form deny! 

Was it, that, seared by sinful scorn, 

My heart could neither melt nor burn? 

Or lie my warm affections low, 

With him that taught them first to glow? 

Yet, gentle Abbess, well I knew, 

To pay thy kindness grateful due, 

And well could brook the mild command, 

That ruled thy simple maiden band. 

How ditt'erent now 1 , condemned to bide 

My doom from this dark tyrant's pride. 

But Marmion has to learn, ere long, 

That constant mind, and hate of wrong, 



238 MARMIOIT. [CANTO Tt 

Descended to a feeble girl, 

From Red De Clare, stout Gloster's Earl: 

Of such a stem, a sapling weak, 

He ne'er shall bend, although he break. 



"But see! what makes this armour here?" 

For in her path there lay 

Targe, corslet, helm ; she viewed them near. 
"The breast-plate pierced! Aye, much I fear, 
Weak fence wert thou 'gainst foeman's spear, 
That hath made fatal entrance here, 

As these dark blood-gouts say. 
Thus Wilton ! Oh ! not corslet's ward, 
Not truth, as diamond pure and hard, 
Could be thy manly bosom's guard, 

On yon disastrous day !" 
She raised her eyes in mournful mood, 
WILTON himself before her stood ! 
It might have seemed his passing ghost, 
For every youthful grace was lost; 
And joy unwonted, and surprise, 
Gave their strange wildness to his eyes. 
Expect not, noble dames and lords, 
That I can tell such scene in words : 
What skilful limner e'er would choose 
To paint the rainbow's varying hues, 
Unless to mortal it were given 
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven? 

Far less can my weak line declare 
Each changing passion's shade; 

Brightening to rapture from despair, 

Sorrow, surprise, ana pity there, 

And joy, with her angelic air, 

And hope, that paints the future fair, 

Their varying hues displayed : 
Each o'er its rival's ground extending, 
Alternate conquering, shifting, blending, 
Till all, fatigued, the conflict yield, 
And mighty Love retains the field. 
Shortly I tell what then he said,. 
By many a tender word delayed^ 



CANTO VI] MAEMION. 239 

And modest Hush, and bursting sigh, 
And question kind, and fond reply. 

VI. 

DE WILTON'S HISTORY. 

"Forget 'we that disastrous day, 

When senseless in the lists I lay. 

Thence dragged, but how I cannot know, 

For sense and recollection fled, 
I found me on a pallet low, 

Within my ancient beadsman's shed. 
Austin, remember' st thou, my Clare, 

How thou didst blush, when the old man, 
' When first our infant love began, 
Said we would make a matchless pair? 
Menials, and friends, and kinsmen fled 
From the degraded traitor's bed, 
He only held my burning head, 
And tended me for many a day, 
While wounds and fever held their sway. 
But far more needful was his care, 
"When sense returned to wake despair 
For I did tear the closing wound, 
And dash me frantic on the ground, 
If e'er I heard the name of Clare. 
At length, to calmer reason brought, 
Much by his kind attendance wrought, 
f With him I left my native strand, 
And, in a palmer's weeds arrayed, 
My hated name and form to shade, 

I journeyed many a land; 
No more a lord of rank and birth, 
But mingled with the dregs of earth. 
Oft Austin for my reason feared, 
When I would sit, and deeply brood 
On dark revenge, and deeds of blood, 
Or wild mad schemes upreared. 

My friend at length fell sick, and said, 

God would remove him soon; 
And while upon his dying bed, 
He begged of mo a boon 



240 



[CANTO TL 



If ere my deadliest enemy 
Beneath my brand should conquered lie, 
Even then my mercy should awake, 
And spare his life for Austin's sake. 



" Still restless as a second Cain, 
To Scotland next my rout was ta'en. 

Full well the paths I knew; 
Fame of my fate made various sound, 
That death in pilgrimage I found. 
That I had perished of my wound,- 

None cared which tale was true: 
And living eye could never guess 
De Wilton in his palmer's dress; 

For now that sable slough is shed, 

And trimmed my shaggy beard aad head, 
I scarcely know me in a glass. 
A chance most wond'rous did provide, 
That I should be that Baron's guide 

I will not name his name ! 
Vengeance to God alone belongs; 
But, when I think on all my -wrongs, 

My blood is liquid flame ! 
And ne'er the time shall I forget, 
When, in a Scottish hostel set, 

Dark looks we did exchange : 
What were his thoughts I cannot tell 
But in my bosom mustered Hell 

Its plans of dark revenge. 



"A word of vulgar augury, 

That broke from me, I scarce knew why, 

Brought on a village tale; 
Which wrought upon his moody sprite 
And sent him armed forth by night 

I borrowed steed and mail. 
And weapons, from his sleeping band ; 

And, passing from a postem door, 
We met, and 'countered, hand to hand, 

He fell on Gifford-moor. 



CANTO VI.] MABMIOM. 

For the death-stroke ray brand I drew, 
(O then my helmed head he knew, 

The Palmer s cowl was gone,) 
Then had three inches of my blade 
The heavy debt of vengeance J>ai(l>- 
My hand the thought of Austin staid ; 

I left him there alone. 
O good old man ! even from the grave, 
Thv spirit could thy master save : 
If t had slain my foeman, ne'er 
Had Whitby's Abbess, in her fear, 
Given to my hand this packet dear, 
Of power to clear mv injured fame, 
And vindicate De Wilton's name. 
Perchance you heard the Abbess tell 
Of the strange pageantry of Hell, 

That broke our secret speech 
It rose from the infernal shade, 
Or featly was some juggle played, 

A tale of peace to teach. 
Appeal to Heaven I judged was best, 
"When my name came among the rest. 

IX. 

" Now here, within Tantallon Hold, 

To Douglas late my tale I told, 

To whom my house was known of old. 

Won by my proofs, his falchion bright 

This eve anew shall dub me knight. 

These were the arms that once did turn 

The tide of fight on Otterburne, 

And Ham- Hotspur forced to yield, 

When the' Dead Douglas won the held. 

These Angus gave his armourer's care, 

Ere morn, shall every breach repair; 

For nought, he said, was in his halls, 

But ancient armour on the walls, 

And aged chargers in the stalls, 

And women, priests, and gray-haired men ; 

The rest were all in Twisell glen. 

And now I watch my armour here, 

By law of arms, till midnight's near ; 

mere James encamped before taking port en Flodden. 
L 



242 MARMION. 

Then, once again a belted knight, 
Seek Surrey's camp with dawn of light. 



[CANTO VI 



" There soon again we meet, my Clare ! 
This Baron means to guide thee there : 
Douglas reveres his king's command, 
Else would he take thee from his hand. 
And there thy kinsman, Surrey, too, 
Will give De Wilton justice due. 
Now meeter far for martial broil, 
Firmer my limbs, and strung by toil, 

Once more" " O, Wilton ! must we then 

Risk new-found happiness again, 
Trust fate of arms once more ? 
And is there not a humble glen, 
Where we, content and poor, 
Might build a cottage in the shade, 
A shepherd thou, and I to aid 

Thy task on dale and moor ? 
That reddening brow ! too well I know, 
Not even thy Clare can peace bestow, 

While falsehood stains thy name : 
Go then to fight ! Clare bids thee go ! 
Clare can a warrior's feelings know, 

And weep a warrior's shame ; 
Can Red Earl Gilbert's spirit feel, 
Buckle the spurs upon thy heel, 
And belt thee with thy brand of steel, 
And send thee forth to fame !** 



That night, upon the rocks and bay, 
The midnight moon-beam slumbering lay, 
And poured its silver light, and pure, 
Through loop-hole, and through embrazure, 

Upon Tantallon tower and hall ; 
But chief where arched windows wide 
Illuminate the chapel's pride, 

The sober glances fall. 

Much was there need ; though, seamed with scars, 
Two veterans of the Douglas' wars, 



MARMION. 243 

Though two gray priests were there, 
And each a blazing torch held high, 
You could not by their blaze descry 

The chapel's carving fair. 
Amid that dim and smoky light. 
Chequering the silvery moon-shine bright, 

A bishop by the altar stood,* 

A noble lord of Douglas blood, 
With mitre sheen, and rocquet white ; 

Yet showed his meek and thoughtful eye 

But little pride of prelacy : 

More pleased that, in a barbarous age 

He gave rude Scotland Virgil's page, 
Than that beneath his rule he held 
The bishopric of fair Dunkeld. 
Beside him ancient Angus stood, 
Doffed his furred gown, and sable hood : 
O'er his huge form, and visage pale, 
He wore a cap and shirt of mail ; 
And lean'd his large and wrinkled hand 
Upon the huge and sweeping brand, 
Which wont, of yore, in battle-fray, 
His foeman's limbs to shred away, 
As wood-knife lops the sapling spray. t 
He seemed as, from the tombs around 

Rising at judgment-day, 
Some giant Douglas may be found 

In all his old array ; 
So pale his face, so huge his limb, 
So old his arms, his look so grim. 

xn. 

Then at the altar Wilton kneels, 
And Clare the spurs bound on his heels ; 
And think what next he must have felt. 
At buckling of the falchion belt ! 

* The wen-known Gawain Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, son of 
Archibald Bell-the-Cat, Earl of Angus. He was author of a Scot- 
tish metrical version of the ^5nein, and of many other poetical 
pieces of great merit. He bad not at this period attained the 
mitre. 

t Ang-us had strength and personal activity corresponding to his 
courage. Spens of Kilspindin, a favourite of James IV., having 
spoken of him lightly, the Earl met him while hawking, and 
compelling him to single combat, at oua blow cut asunder hi* 
thigh bone, and killed him on the snot. 



244 MARMION. [CANTO VI. 

And judge how Clara changed her hue, 
While fastening to her lover's side 
A friend, which, though in danger tried, 

He once had found untrue ! 
Then Douglas struck him with his hlade : 
" Saint Michael and Saint Andrew aid, 

I dub thee knight. 
Arise Sir Ralph, De Wilton's heir ! 
For king, for church, for lady fair, 

See that thou fight." 
And Bishop Gawain, as he rose, 
Said, " Wilton ! grieve not for thy woes, 

Disgrace, and trouble, 
For He, who honour best bestows, 

May give thee double." 
De Wilton sobbed, for sob he must 
" Where'er I meet a Douglas, trust 

That Douglas is my brother 1" 
" Nay, nay," old Angus said, " not so ; 
To Surrey's camp thou now must go, 

Thy wrongs no longer smother. 
I have two sons in yonder field ; 
And, if thou meet'st them under shield, 
Upon them bravely do thy worst ; 
And foul fall him that blenches first !" 



Not far advanced was morning day, 
When Marmion did his troop array 

To Surrey's camp to ride ; 
He had safe-conduct for his band, 
Beneath the royal seal and hand, 

And Douglas gave a guide : 
The ancient Earl, with stately grace, 
Would Clara on her palfrey place, 
And whispered, in an under tone, 
" Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown." 
The train from out the castle drew ; 
But Marmion stopp'd to bid adieu : 

" Though something I might plain," he said, 
" Of cold respect to stranger guest, 
Sent hither by your king's behest, 

While in Tantallon's towers I staid ; 



945 
CANTO VL] MARMION. 

Part we in friendship from your land, 

And, noble Earl, receive my hand." 
But Douglas round him drew his cloak, 
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke : 

" My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still 

Be open at my sovereign's will, 

To each one whom he lists, howe'er 

Unmeet to be the owner's peer, 

My castles are my king's alone, 

From turret to foundation-stone 

The hand of Douglas is his own ; 

And never shall in friendly grasp 

The hand of such as Marmiou clasp. 

XIV 

Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like tire, 
And shook his very frame for ire, 

And " This to me !" he said, 
" An 'twere not for thy hoary beard, 
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared 

To cleave the Douglas' head ! 
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer, 
He, who does England's message here, 
Although the meanest in her state, 
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate: 
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, 

Even in thy pitch of pride, 
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near, 
(Nay, never look upon your lord, 
And lay your hands upon your sword,) 

I tell thee, thou'rt defied ! 
And if thou said'st, I am not peer 
To any lord in Scotland here, 
Lowland or Highland, far or near, 
Lord Angus, thou hast lied r 
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage 
O'ercame the ashen hue of age : 
Fierce he broke forth : " And dar'st thou then 
To beard the lion in his den, 

The Douglas in his hall ? 
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go? 
No, by Saint Bryde of Bothwell, no ! 
Up drawbridge, groomswhat, Warder ho I 
Let the portcullis fall." 



246 MARMION. [CANTO VL 

Lord Marmion turned, well was his need, 
And dashed the rowels in his steed, 
Like arrow through the arch- way sprung, 
The ponderous grate behind him rung : 
To pass there was such scanty room, 
The bars, descending, razed his plume.* 

XV. 

The steed along the drawbridge flies, 

Just as it trembled on the rise ; 

Not lighter does the swallow skim 

Along the smooth lake's level brim : 

And when Lord Marmion reached his baud, 

He halts, and turns with clenched hand, 

And shout of loud defiance pours, 

And shook his gauntlet at the towers. 

" Horse ! horse !" the Douglas cried, " and chase !" 

But soon he reined his fury's pace : 

" A royal messenger he came, 

Though most unworthy of the name. 

A letter forged ! Saint Jude to speed ! 

Did ever knight so foul a deed ! 

At first in heart it liked me ill, 

When the King praised his clerkly skill. 

Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine, 

Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line : 

* This ebullition of violence in the potent Earl of Angus is not 
without its example in the real history of the house of Douglas, 
Maclellan, tutor of Bomby, having refused to acknowledge the 
pre-eminence claimed by Douglas over the Barons of Galloway, 
was imprisoned by the Earl, in his castle of the Thrieve. Sir Pat- 
rick Gray, uncle to the tutor of Bomby, obtained from the King a 
"sweet letter of supplication," pr.tying the Earl to deliver his 
prisoner into Gray's hand. When Sir Patrick arrived at the castle, 
he was received with all due honour ; but while he was at dinner, 
the earl caused his prisoner to be led forth and beheaded. After 
dinner, Sir Patrick presented the king's letter to the Earl, who led 
him forth to the green, where the gentleman was lying dead, and 
said, " Sir Patrick, you are come a little too late ; yonder is your 
sister's son lying, but he wants the head: take his body, and do 
with it what you wilL" Sir Patrick answered again with a sore 
heart, and said, " My lord, if ye have taken from him his head, 
dispone upon the body as you please :" and with that called for his 
horse, and when he was on horseback, he sa : d to the Earl, "My 
lord, if I live, you shall be rewarded for your labours, that you have 
used at this time, according to your demerits." At this the Earl 
was highly offended, and cried for horse. Sir Patrick, seeing the 
Earl's fury, spurred his horse, but he was chased near Edinburgh 
re they left him. 



CA>'TO VI. J MARMIOX 247 

So swore I, and I swear it still, 
Let my boy-bishop fret hi* fill. 
Saint Mary mend my fiery mood ! 
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood, 
I thotfght to slay him where he stood. 
'Tis pity of him, too," he cried; _ 
" Bold can he speak, and fairly ride ; 
I warrant him a warrior tried." 
With this his mandate he recalls, 
And slowly seeks his castle halls. 

XVI. 

The day in Marmion's journey -wore ; 
Yet, ere his passion's gust was o'er, 
They crossed the heights of Stanrigg-moor. 
His troop more closely there he scann'd, 
And missed the Palmer from the band. 
" Palmer or not," young Blount did say, 
" He parted at the peep of riay ; 
Good sooth it was in strange array." 
"In what array?" said Mannion, quick. 
" My lord, I ill can spell the trick ; 
But all night long, with clink and bang, 
Close to my couch did hammers clang ; 
At dawn the falling drawbridge rang, 
And from a loop-hole while I peep, 
Old Bell-the-Cat came from the Keep, 
Wrapped in a gown of sables fair, . 
As fearful of the morning air ; 
Beneath, when that was blown aside, 
A rusty shirt of mail I spied, 
By Archibald won in bloody work, 
Against the Saracen and Turk : 
Last night it hung not in the hall ; 
I thought some marvel would befall. 
And next I saw them saddled lead 
Old Cheviot forth, the Earl's best steed ; 
A matchless horse, though something old, 
Prompt to his paces, cool and bold. 
I heard the Sheriff Sholto say, 
The Earl did much the Master* pray 
To use him on the battle-day ; 

4t Hia eldest son. the Master 



248 MARMION. [CANTO Vt 

But he preferred" " Nay, Henry, cease ! 
Thou sworn horse-courser, hold thy peace. 
Eustace, thou bear'st a brain I pray, 
What did Blouut see at break of day ?" 



" la brief, my lord, we both descried 
(For I then stood by Henry's side) 
The Palmer mount, and outwards ride, 

Upon the Earl's own favourite steed ; 
All sheathed he was in armour bright, 
And much resembled that same knight. 
Subdued by you in Cotswold fight ; 

Lord Angus wished him speed." 
The instant that Fitz- Eustace spoke, 
A sudden light on Marmion broke ; 
" Ah ! dastard fool, to reason lost !" 
He muttered ; " Twas not fay nor ghost, 
I met upon the moonlight wold, 
But living man of earthly mould. 

O dotage blind and gross ! 
Had I but fought as wont, one thrust 
Had laid De Wilton in the dust, 

My path no more to cross. 
How stand we now ? he told Ms tale 
To Douglas ; and with some avail ; 

'Twas therefore gloomed his rugged brow. 
Will Surrey dare to entertain, 
'Gainst Marmion, charge disproved and vain ? 

Small risk of that I trow. 
Yet Clare's sharp questions must I shun ; 
Must separate Constance from the Nun 

what a tangled web we weave, 
When first we practise to deceive . 
A. Palmer too ! no wonder why 

1 felt rebuked beneath his eye : 

I might have known there was but one, 
Whose look could quell Lord Marmion." 



Stung with these thoughts, he urged to speed 
His troop, and reached, at eve, the Tweed, 



CANTO VI] MARMION. 249 

Where Lennel's convent closed their march:* 
(There now is left but one frail arch, 

Yet mourn thou not its cells; 
Our time a fair exchange has made; 
Hard by, ill hospitable shade, 

A reverend pilgrim dwells, 
Well worth the whole Bernardino brood, 
That e'er wore sandal, frock, or hood.) 
Yet did Saint Bernard's Abbot there 
Give Marmion entertainment fair, 
And lodging for his train, and Clare. 
Next morn the Baron climbed the tower, 
To view afar the Scottish power, 

Encamped on Flodden edge : 
The white pavilions made a show, 
Like remnants of the winter snow, 

Along the dusky ridge. 
Long Marmion looked : at length his eye 
Unusual movement might descry, 

Amid the shifting lines : 
The Scottish host drawn out appears, 
For, flashing on the hedge of spears 

The eastern sun-beam shines. 
Their front now deepening, now extending, 
Their flank inclining, wheeling, bending, 
Now drawing back, and now descending, 
The skilful Marmion well could know, 
They watched the motions of some foe, 
Who traversed on the plain below. 

XIX. 

Even so it was : from Flodden ridge 
The Scots beheld the English host 
Leave Barmore-wood, their evening post, 
And heedful watched them as they crossed 

The Till by Twisel bridge, t 

Thi was a Cistertian house of religion, now almost entirely 
demolished. It is situated uea^ Coldstream, almost opposite to 
CornhilL. and consequently very near to Flodden Field. 

t On the evening previous to the memorable battle of Flodden, 
Surrey's head-qtKirters were at Barmoor wood, and King James 
held an inaccessible position on the ridge of Flodrien hills, one of 
the last anil lowest eminences detached from the ridge of Cheviot. 
The Till, a deep and slow river, windeil between the armies. On 
the morning of the 9th September, 1513, Surrey marched in a 

1.2 



250 MARM10N. [CANTO VI. 

High sight it is, and haughty, -while 
They dive into the deep defile; 
Beneath the caverned cliff they fall, 
Beneath the castle's airy wall. 

By rock, hy oak, by hawthorn tree, 
Troop after troop are disappearing; 
Troop after troop their banners rearing, 

Upon the eastern bank you see. 
Still pouring down the rocky den, 

Where flows the sullen Till, 
And rising from the dim- wood glen, 
Standards on standards, men on men, 

In slow succession still, 
And sweeping o'er the Gothic arch, 
And pressing on, in ceaseless march, 

To gain the opposing hill. 
That morn, to many a trumpet-clang, 
Twisel! thy rocks deep echo rang; 
And many a chief of birth and rank, 
Saint Helen ! at thy fountain drank. 
Thy hawthorn glade, which now we see 
In spring-tide bloom so lavishly, 
Had then from many an axe its doom, 
To give the inarching columns room. 

XX. 

And why stands Scotland idly now, 
Dark Flodden ! on thy airy brow, 
Since England gains the pass the while, 
And struggles through the deep defile? 
What checks the fiery soul of James? 
Why sits that champion of the Dames 

Inactive on his steed, 
And sees, between him and his land, 
Between him and Tweed's southern strand, 

His host Lord Surrey lead? 

north-westerly direction, and, turning eastward, crossed the Till, 
with his van and artillery, at Twisel bridge, nigh where tht 
river joins the Tweed, his rear-guard column pawns about a 
mile higher, by a ford. This movement had the double effect ol 
placing his army between King James and his supplies from 
Scotland, and of striking the Scottish monarch with kin-prise, as 
Ac teems to have relied on the depth of the river in liis front. 



CANTO VL] 



MARMION. 251 



What vails the vain knight-errant's brand? 
O, Douglas, for thy leading wand ! 
Fierce Randolph, for thy speed! 
O for one hour of Wallace wight, 
Or well skilled Bruce, to rule the fight, 
And cry " Saint Andrew and our right f ' 
Another sight had seen that morn, 
From Fate's dark book a leaf been torn, 
And Flodden had been Bannock-bourne! 
The precious hour has passed in vain, 
And England's host has gained the plain; 
Wheeling their march, and circling still, 
Around the base of Flodden-hill. 

XXI. 

Ere yet the bands met Marmion's eye, 
Fitz-Eustace shouted loud and high, 
" Hark ! hark ! my lord, an English drum! 
And see ascending squadrons come 

Between Tweed's river and the hill, 
Foot, horse, and cannon : hap what hap, 
Mv basnet to a 'prentice cap, 

Lord Surrey's o'er the Till ! 
Yet more ! yet more ! how fair arrayed 
They file from out the hawthorn shade, 

And sweep so gallant by ! 
With all their banners bravely spread, 

And all their armour flashing high, 
Saint George might waken from the dead, 

To see fair England's standards fly." 
"Stint in thy prate," quoth Blount; " thou'dst best, 
And listen to our lord's behest." 
With kindling brow Lord Marmion said, 
" This instant be our band arrayed : 
The river must be quickly crossed, 
That we may join Lord Surrey's host. 
If fight King James, as well I trust, 
That fight he will, and fight he must, 
The Lady Clare behind our lines 
Shall tarry, while the battle joins." 

XXII. 

Himself he swift on horseback threw, 
Scarce to the Abbot bade adieu : 



252 MARMION. tCANTO Tt 

Far less -Would listen to his prayer, 
To leave behind the helpless Clare. 
Down to the Tweed his band he drew, 
And muttered, as the flood they view, 
" The pheasant in the falcon s claw, 
He scarce will yield to please a daw : 
Lord Angus may the Abbot awe, 

So Clare shall bide with me." 
Then on that dangerous ford, and deep, 
Where to the Tweed Leafs eddies creep, 

He ventured desperately ; 
And not a moment will he bide, 
Till squire, or groom, before him ride ; 
Headmost of all he stems the tide, 

And stems it gallantly. 
Eustace held Clare upon her horse, 

Old Hubert led her rein, 
Stoutly they braved the current's course, 
And, though far downward driven per force, 

The southern bank they gain ; 
Behind them, straggling, came to shore, 

As best they might, the train : 
Each o'er his head his yew-bow bore, 

A caution notx in vain ; 
Deep need that day that every string, 
By wet unharmed, should sharply ring. 
A moment then Lord Marmion staid, 
And breathed his staed, his men arrayed, 

Then forward moved his band, 
Until, Lord Surrey's rear-guard won, 
He halted by a cross of stone, 
That, on a hillock standing lone, 

Did all the field command. 

XXIII. 

Hence might they see the full array 
Of either host, or deadly fray ;* 

* When the English army, by theirskilful counter-march, were 
fairly placed between King James and his own country, tho 
Scottish monarch resolved to fight; and, setting fire to his tents, 
descended from the ridge of Flodden to somre the neighbouring 
eminence of Braukstone, on which that village is built. Thus 
the two armies met, almost without seeing each otner. The 
English army advanced in four divisions. When the smoke waa 
somewhat dispersed, they perceived the Scots, who had moved 
down the hill in a similar order of buttle, and in deep silence. 



CAXTO VL] MARMIOX. 253 

Their marshalled lines stretched east and west, 

And fronted north and soutu, 
And distant salutation past 

From the loud cannon mouth ; 
Not in the close successive rattle, 
That breathes the voice of modern hattle, 

But slow and far between, 
The hillock gained, Lord Marmion staid : 
" Here, by this cross,' ' he gently said, 

" You well may view the scene. 
Here shalt thou tarry, lovely Clare : 
O ! think of Marmion in thy prayer ! 
Thou wilt not ? well, no less my care 
Shall, watchful, for thy weal prepare. 
You, Blount and Eustace, are her guard, 

With ten picked archers of my train ; 
With England if the day go hard, 

To Berwick speed amain. 
But, if we conquer, cruel maid ! 
My spoils shall at your feet be laid, 

When here we meet again." 
He waited not for answer there, 
And would not mark the maid's despair, 

Nor heed the discontented look 
From either squire ; but spurred amain, 
And, dashing through the battle-plain, 

His way to Surrey took. 

XXIT. 

" The good Lord Marmion, by my life ! 

Welcome to danger's hour ! 
Short greeting serves in time of strife : 

Thus have I ranged my power : 
Myself will rule this central host, 

Stout Stanly fronts their right, 
My sons command the vaward post, 

With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight ;* 

Lord Dacre, with his horsemen light, 

* 6ir Brian Tunstall, called in the romantic language of tile 
time, Tuustall the Undefi ed, was one of the few Englishmen of 
rank slain at Flodden, Perhaps he derived his epithet of und-'filed 
from hia white armour and banner, as well as from his unstained 
loyalty and kuightly laith. Hi* place of roudeuce was Thurland 
Castle. 



254 MARMION. 



[CANTO VI. 



Shall be in rear- ward of the fight, 
And succour those that need it most. 

Now, gallant Marmion, well I know, 

"Would gladly to the vanguard go ; 
Edmund, the Admiral, Tunstall there, 
With thee their charge will blithely share ; 
There fight thine own retainers too, 
Beneath De Burg, thy steward true." 
" Thanks, noble Sorry !" Marmion said, 
Nor further greeting there he paid ; 
But, Carting like a thunderbolt, 
First in the vanguard made a halt, 

Where such a shout there rose 
Of "Marmion ! Marmiou !" that the cry 
Up Flodden mountain shrilling high, 

Startled the Scottish foes. 



Blount and Fitz-Eustace rested still 
With Lady Clare upon the hill ; 
On which, (for far the day was spent,) 
The western sunbeams now were bent. 
The cry they heard, its meaning knew, 
Could plain their distant comrades view : 
Sadly to Blount did Eustace say, 
" Unworthy office here to stay ! 
No hope of gilded spurs to-day. 
But, see ! look up on Flodden bent, 
The Scottish foe has fired his tent." 

And sudden, as he spoke, 
From the sharp ridges of the hill, 
All downward to the banks of Till, 

Was wreathed in sable smoke ; 
Volumed and vast, and rolling far, 
The cloud enveloped Scotland's war, 

As down the hill they broke ; 
Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, 
Announced their march ; their tread alon, 
At times one warning trumpet blown, 

At times a stifled hum, 
Told England, from his mountain-throne 

King James did rushing come. 



CANTO VL] HARMON. 

Scarce could they hear, or see their foes, 
Until at -weapon-point they close. 
They close, in clouds of smoke and dust, 
With sword-sway, and -with lance's thrust; 

And such a yell was there, 
Of sudden and portentous birth, 
As if men fought upon the earth, 

And fiends in upper air. 
Long looked the anxious squires ; their eye 
Could in the darkness nought descry. 



At length the freshening western hlast 
Aside the shroud of battle cast ; 
And, first, the ridge of mingled spears 
Above the brightening cloud appears ; 
And in the smoke the pennons flew, 
As in the storm the white sea-mew. 
Then marked they, dashing broad and far, 
The broken billows of the war, 
And plumed crests of chieftains brave, 
Floating like foam upon the wave ; 

But nought distinct they see : _ 
Wide raged the battle on the plain ; 
Spears shook, and falchions flashed amain ; 
Fell England's arrow-flight like rain ; 
Crests rose, and stooped, and rose again, 

Wild and disorderly. 
Amid the scene of tumult, high 
They saw Lord Marmion's falcon fly: 
And stainless Tunstall's banner white, 
And Edmund Howard's lion bright, 
Still bear them bravely in the fight ; 

Although against them come, 
Of gallant Gordons many a one, 
And many a stubborn Highlandman, 
And many a rugged Border clan, 

With Huntley, and with Home. 



Far on the left, unseen the while, 
Stanley broke Lennox and ArgyLe ; 



256 MARM10N. CCANTO VL 

Though there the western mountaineer 
Rushed with hare bosom on the spear, 
And flung the feeble targe aside, 
And with both hands th6 broad-sword plied : 
'Twas vain. But Fortune, on the right, 
With tickle smile, cheered Scotland s fight. 
Then fell that spotless banner white, 

The Howard's lion fell ; 
Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon flew 
"With wavering night, while fiercer grew 

Around the battle yell. 
The Border slogan rent the sky ! 
A Home ! a Gordon ! was the cry ; 

Loud were the clanging blows ; 
Advanced, forced back, now low, now high, 

The pennon sunk and rose ; 
As bends the bark's mast in the gale, 
When rent are rigging, shrouds, and sail, 

It wavered mid the foes. 
No longer Blount the view could bear : 
" By heaven, and all its saints ! I swear, 

I will not see it lost ! 
Fitz-Eustace, you with Lady Clare 
May bid your beads, and patter prayer, 

I gallop to the host." 
And to the fray he rode amain, 
Followed by all the archer train. 
The fiery youth, with desperate charge, 
Made, for a space, an opening large, 

The rescued banner rose, 
But darkly closed the war around, 
Like pine-tree, rooted from the ground, 

It sunk among the foes. 
Then Eustace mounted too ; yet staid, 
As loth to leave the helpless maid, 

When, fast as shaft can fly, 
Bloodshot his eyes, his nostrils spread, 
The loose rein dangling from his head, 
Housing and saddle bloody red, 

Lord Marmion's steed rushed by ; 
And Eustace, maddening at the sight, 

A look and sign to Clara cast, 

To mark he would return in haste, 
Then plunged into vLe fight. 



CANTO VL] MARMICN. 257 

XXVIII. 

Ask me not -what the maiden feels, 
Left in that dreadful hour alone : 
Perchance her reason stoops, or reels ; 
Perchance a courage, not her own, 
Braces her mind to desperate tone. 
The scattered van of England wheels ; 
She only said, as loud in air 
The tumult roared, " Is Wilton there?" 
They fly, or, maddened by despair, 
Fight hut to die." Is Wilton there P' 
With that, straight up the hill there rode 

Two horsemen drenched with gore, 
And in their arms, a helpless load, 

A wounded knight they here. 
His hand still strained the broken brand; 
His arms were smeared with blood, and sand : 
Dragged from among the horses' feet, 
Witt dinted shield, and helmet beat, 
The falcon-crest and plumage gone, 
Can that be haughty Marmion ! . . . . 
Young Blount his armour did unlace, 
And, gazing on his ghastly face, 

Said" By Saint George, he's gone ! 
That spear-wound has our master sped, 
And see the deep cut on his head ! 

Good night to Marmion." 
" Unnurtured Blount ! thy brawling cease : 
He opes his eyes," said Eustace ; " peace P' 

XXIX. 

When, doffed his casque, he felt free air, 
Around'gan Marmion wildly stare : 
"Where's Harry Blount? Fitz- Eustace where? 
Linger ye here, ye hearts of hare ! 
Redeem my pennon, charge again ! 
Cry ' Marmion to the rescue !' Vain ! 
Last of my race, on battle plain 
That shout shall ne'er be heard again ! 
Yet my last thought is England's : fly, 
To Dacre bear my signet-ring ; 
Tell him his squadrons up to bring. 
Fitz-Eustace, to Lord Surrey hie : 



258 MARMION. [CANTO VI. 

Tunstall lies dead upon the field ; 

His life-blood stains the spotless shield : 

Edmund is down ; my life is reft ; 

The Admiral alone is left. 

Let Stanley charge with spur of fire,- 

With Chester charge, and Lancashire, 

Full upon Scotland's central host, 

Or victory and England's lost. 

Must I bid twice ? hence, varlets ! fly ! 

Leave Marmion here alone to die." 

They parted, and alone he lay ; 

Clare drew her from the sight away, 

Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan, 

And half he murmured, " Is there none, 

Of all my halls have nurst, 
Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring 
Of blessed water, from the spring, 

To slake my dying thirst !" 



O, woman ! in our hours of ease, 
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, 
And variable as the shade 
By the light quivering aspen made ; 
When pain and anguish wring the brow 
A ministering angel thou ! 
Scarce were the piteous accents said, 
When, with the Baron's casque, the maid 

To the nigh streamlet ran : 
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears ; 
The plaintive voice alone she hears, 

Sees but the dying man. 
She stooped her by the runnel's side, 

But in abhorrence backward drew 
For, oozing from the mountain wide. 
Where raged the war, a dark red tide 

Was curdling in the streamlet blue. 
Where shall she turn ! behold her mark 

A little fountain-cell, 
Where water, clear as diamond-spark, 

In a stone basin fell. 
Above, some half- worn letters say, 



CANTO VI.] MARiUOPf. 

"Drink, toears. pilgrim, ttrinfe. antr 
jf or. tfje. fetnfc. soul, of vW. rej; 
SLSBfjo. built, tfjts. cross, anli toell." 

She filled the helm, and back she hied, 
And with surprise and joy espied 

A Monk supporting Marmion's head ; 
A pious man, whom duty brought 
To dubious verge of battle fought, 

To shrieve the dying, bless the dead. 



Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave, 
And, as she stooped his brow to lave 
" Is it the hand of Clare," he said, 
" Or injured Constance, bathes my head P 

Then, as remembrance rose, 
" Speak not to me of shrift or prayer ! 

I must redress her woes. 
Short space, few words, are mine to spare ; 
Forgive and listen, gentle Clare !" 

" Alas !" she said, " the while, 
O think of your immortal weal ! 
Tn vain for Constance is your zeal ; 

She died at Holy Isle. ' 

Lord Marmion started from the ground, 

As light as if he felt no wound ; 

Though in the action burst the tide, 

In torrents, from his wounded side. 

" Then it was truth P' he said " I knew 

That the dark presage must be true. 

I would the Fiend, to whom belongs 

The vengeance due to all her wrongs, 
Would spare me but a day ! 

For wasting fire, and dying groan, 

And priests slain on the altar stonei, 

Might bribe him for delay. 
It may not be ! this dizzy trance 
Curse on yon base marauder's lance, 
And doubly cursed my failing brand ! 
A sinful heart makes feeble hand." 
Then, fainting, down on earth he sunk, 
Supported by the trembling Monk. 



239 



260 MAKMION. [CANTO VI 



With fruitless labour, Clara bound, 

And strove to staunch, the gushing wound : 

The Monk, with unavailing cares, 

Exhausted all the Church's prayers ; 

Ever, he said, that, close and near, 

A lady's voice was in his ear, 

And that the priest he could not hear, 

For that she ever sung, 
" In the lost battle, borm down by the flying, 
Where mingles war's rattle with groan* oftlie dying I" 

So the notes rung ; 

" Avoid thee, Fiend ! with cruel hand, 
Shake not the dying sinner's sand ! 
O look, my son, upon yon sign 
Of the Redeemer's grace divine ; 

O think on faith and bliss ! 
By many a death-bed I have been, 
And many a sinner's parting seen, 

But never aught like this." 
The war, that for a space did fail, 
Now trebly thundering swelled the gale, 

And STANLEY ! was the cry ; 
A light on Marmion's visage spread, 

And fired his glazing eye : 
With dying hand, above his head 
He shook the fragment of his blade, 

And shouted " Victory ! 

" Charge, Chester, charge ! On, Stanley, on !" . . . 
Were the last words of Marmion. 

XXXIII. 

By this, though deep the evening fell, 
Still rose the battle's deadly swell, 
For still the Scots, around their king, 
Unbroken, fought in desperate ring. 
Where's now their victor vaward wing, 

Where Huntley, and where Home? 
O for a blast of that dread horn, 
On Fontarabian echoes borne, 

That to King Charles did come,- 
When Rowland brave, and Olivier, 
And every paladin and peer,- 



CANTO VL] MAHMIOIC. 

On Roncesvalles died ! 
Such blast might warn them, not in vain, 
To quit the plunder of the slain, 
And turn the doubtful day again, 

While yet on Flodden side, 
Afar, the Royal Standard tiies, 
And round it toils and bleeds and dies, 

Our Caledonian pride ! 
In vain the wish for far away, 
While spoil and havoc mark their way, 
Near Sybil's Cross the plunderers stray. 
" O Lady," cried the Monk, " away !" 

And placed her on her steed ; 
And led her to the chapel fair, 

Of Tilmouth upon Tweed. 
There all the night they spent in prayer, 
And, at the dawn of morning, there 
She met her kinsman, Lord Fitz-Clare. 

XXXIV. 

But as they left the darkening heath, 
More desperate grew the strife of death. 
The English shafts in vollies hailed. 
In headlong charge their horse assailed : 
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep, 
To break the Scottish circle deep, 
That fought around their king. 
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow 
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go, 
Though-bill-men plie the ghastly blow, 

Unbroken was the ring ; 
The stubborn spearmen still made good 
Their dark impenetrable wood, 
Each stepping where his comrade stood, 

The instant that he fell. 
No thought was there of dastard flight ; 
Linked in the serried phalanx tight, 
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight, 

As fearlessly and well ; 
Till utter darkness closed her wine 
O'er their thin host and wounded king. 
Then skilful Surrey's sage commands 
Led back from strife his shattered bands ; 



262 MARMION. CCANTO VL 

And from the charge they drew, 
As mountain-waves, from wasted lands, 

Sweep back to ocean blue. 
Then did their loss his foemen know ; 
Their king, their lords, their mightiest low, 
They melted from the field as snow, 
When streams are swoln and south winds blow, 

Dissolves in silent dew. 
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash, 
While many a broken band, 
Disordered, through her currents dash, 

To gain the Scottish land ; 
To town and tower, to down and dale, 
To tell red Flodden's dismal tale, 
And raise the universal wail. 
Tradition, legend, tune, and song, 
Shall many an age that wail prolong : 
Still from the sire the son shall hear 
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear, 

Of Flodden's fatal field, 
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear, 

And broken was her shield ! 

XXXV. 

Day dawns upon the mountain's side : 
There, Scotland ! lay thy bravest pride, 
Chiefs, knights, and nobles, many a one ; 
The sad survivors all are gone. 
View not that corpse mistrustfully, 
Defaced and mangled though it be ; 
Nor to yon Border castle high 
Look northward with upbraiding eye ; 

Nor cherish hope in vain, 
That, journeying far on foreign strand, 
The Royal Pilgrim to his land 

May yet return again. 
He saw the wreck his rashness wrought ; 
Reckless of life, he desperate fought, 

And fell on Flodden plain :* 

* There can be no doubt that King James fell in the battle of 
Flodden. He was killed, says the curious French Gazette, within 
a lance's length of the Karl of Surrey j and the same account adds, 
that none at bu division were made prisoners, though many were 



CANTO VL] MAKSUON. 263 

And well in death his trusty brand, 
Firm clenched within his maaly hand, 

Beseemed the monarch slain. 
But, ! how changed since yon hlythe night ! 
Gladly I turn me from the sight, 

Unto my tale again. 

XXXTI. 

Short is my tale : Fitz- Eustace' care 

A pierced and mangled body bare 

To moated Lichfield's lofty pile ; 

And there, beneath the southern aisle, 

A tomb, with Gothic sculpture fair, 

Did long Lord Marmion's image bear. 

(Now vainly for its site you look ; 

'Twas levelled, when fanatic Brook 

The fair cathedral stormed and took ;* 

But, thanks to heaven, and good Saint Chad, 

A guerdon meet the spoiler had !) 

There erst was martial Marmion found, 

His feet upon a couchant hound, 

His hands to heaven upraised ; 
And all around, on scutcheon rich, 
And tablet carved, and fretted niche, 

His arms and feats were blazed. 
And yet, though all was carved so fair, 
And priests for Marmion breathed the prayer, 
The last Lord Marmion lay not there. 
From Ettrick woods, a peasant swam 
Followed his lord to Flodden plain, 

kCled a circumstance that testifies the desperation of their resis- 
tance. The Scottish historians record many of the idle reports 
which passed among the vulgar of their day. Home was accused, 
bv the popular voice, not only of failing to support the king, but 
even ofhaving carried him out of the field, and murdered him. 
Other reports (rave a still more romantic turn to the king's fate, 
and averred, that Jam** weary of greatness after the carnage 
amonz his nobles, had gone on a pilgrimage to merit absolution for 
the death of his father, ana the breach of his oath of amity to 
Henrv 

fnis storm of Lichfteld cathedral, which had been garrisoned 
on the part of the king, took | lace in the great civil war. Lord 
Brook, who, with Sir John Gill, commanded the assailants, was 
Shot with a musket ball through the visor of his helmet. The 
royalists remarked, that he *-as killed by a shot fired from st 
Chad's Cathedral, and upon St Chad's day, and received his death- 
wound in the very eye with which, he had said, he hoped to se* 
the ruin of all the cathedrals in England. 



264 MARMION. CCANTO VI 

One of those flowers, whom plaintive lay 
In Scotland mourns as " wede away :" 
Sore wounded, Sybil's Cross he spied, 
And dragged him to its foot, and died, 
Close by" the noble Marmion's side. 
The spoilers stripped and gashed the slain, 
And thus their corpses were mista'en ; 
And thus, in the proud Baron's tomb, 
The lowly woodsman took the room. 

XXXVII. 

Less easy task it were, to show 

Lord Marmion s nameless grave, and low. 

They dug his grave e'en where he lay, 
But every mark is gone ; 

Time's wasting hand has done away 

The simple Cross of Sybil Grey, 
And broke her font of stone : 

But yet from out the little hill 

Oozes the slender springlet still. 
Oft halts the stranger there, 

For thence may best his curious eye 

The memorable field descry ; 
And shepherd boys repair 

To seek the water-flag and rush, 

And rest them by the hazel bush, 
And plait their garlands fair ; 

Nor dream they sit upon the grave, 

That holds the bones of Marmion brave. 
When thou shalt find the little hill, 
With thy heart commune, and be still. 
If ever, in temptation strong, 
Thou left'st the right path for the wrong ; 
If every devious step, thus trode, 
Still led thee farther from the road ; 
Dread thou to speak presumptuous doom, 
On noble Marmion's lowly tomb ; 
But say, " He died a gallant knight, 
With sword in hand, for England's right." 

XXXVIII. 

I do not rhyme to that dull elf, 
Who cannot image to himself, 



CANTO VI.] 



235 



That all through Flodden's dismal night, 

Wilton was foremost in the fight ; 

That, when brave Surrey's steed was slain, 

'Twas Wilton mounted him again ; 

'Twas Wilton's brand that deepest hewed, 

Amid the spearmen's stubborn wood! 

Unnamed by Hollinsbed or Hall, 

He was the living soul of all ; 

That, after fight, his faith made plain, 

He won his rank and lands again ; 

And charged his old paternal shield 

With bearings won on Flodden field. 

Nor sing I to that simple maid, 

To whom it must in terms be said, 

That king and kinsmen did agree, 

To bless fair Clara's constancy ; 

Who cannot, unless I relate, 

Paint to her mind the bridal's state ; 

That Wolsey's voice the blessing spoke. 

More, Sands, and Denny, passed the joke : 

That bluff King Hal the curtain drew, 

And Catherine's hand the stocking threw ; 

And afterwards, for many a day, 

That it was held enough to say, 

In blessing to a wedded pair, 

" Love they like Wilton and like Clare !" 

L'ENVOY. 



Why then a final note prolong, 

Or lengthen out a closing song, 

Unless to bid the gentles speed, 

Who long have listed to my rede ?* 

To Statesmen grave, if such may deiga 

To read the Minstrel's idle strain, 

Sound head, clean hand, and piercing wit, 

And patriotic heart as PITT ! 

A garland for the hero's crest, 

And twined by her he loves the best ; 

* (Tied generally for tale, 

X 



266 MARMION. [CAKTO Tl 

To every lovely lady bright, 

What can I wish but faithful knight? 

To every faithful lover too, 

What can I wish but lady true? 

And knowledge to the studious gage ; t 

And pillow soft to head of age. 

To thee, dear schoolboy, whom my lay 

Has cheated of thy hour of play 

Light task, and merry holiday ! 

To all, to each, a fair good night, 

And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light ! 




IN SIX CANTOS 



TO THE 
MOST NOBLE 

JOHN JAMES, MARQUIS OF ABERCORN, 

ifC. <5-c. 4-c. 
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED 

BV 
THE AUTHOR. 



ARGUMENT. 

The Scene of the following Poem is chiefly in the 
vicinity of Loch-Katrine, in the West Highlands of 
Perthshire. The time of action includes six days, and 
the transactions of each day occupy a Canto. 



an 
LADY OF THE LAKE. 



CANTO FIRST. 
fie Cftase. 

HARP of the North ! that mouldering long hast hung 
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring, 

And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung, 
Till envious ivy did around thee cling. 
Muffling with verdant ringlet every string 

Oh minstrel Harp ! still must thine accents sleep ? 
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring, 

Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep, 

Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep? 

Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon, 

Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, 
When lay of hopeless love, or glory won, 

Aroused the fearful, or subdued the proud. 

At each according pause, was heard aloud 
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high ! 

Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bow'd; 
For still the burthen of thy minstrelsy 
Was Knighthood's dauntless deed, and Beauty's 
matchless eye. 

Oh wake once more ! how rude soe'er the hand 
That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray ; 

Oh wake once more ! though scarce my skill com- 
mand 

Some feeble echoing; of thine earlier lay : 
Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away 

And all unworthy of thy aobler strain, 
Yet if one heart throb higher at its away, 



270 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO I 

The -wizard note has not been touched 5n vain. 
Then silent be no more ! Enchantress, wake again. 



The stag at eve had drunk his fill, 

Where danced the moon on Monan's rill, 

And deep his midnight lair had made 

In lone Glenartney's hazel shade ; 

But, when the sun his beacon red 

Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head, 

The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay 

Resounded up the rocky way, 

And faint, from farther distance borne, 

Were heard the clanging hoof and horn. 



As chief who hears his warder call, 

" To arms ! the foemen storm the wall !" 

The antler'd monarch of the waste 

Sprang from his heathery couch in haste. 

But, ere his fleet career he took, 

The dew-drops from his flanks he shook ; 

Like crested leader proud and high, 

Tossed his beamed frontlet to the sky ; 

A moment gazed adown the dale, 

A moment snuffed the tainted gale, 

A moment listened to the cry, 

That thickened as the chase drew nigh; 

Then, as the headmost foes appeared, 

With one brave bound the copse he cleared, 

And, stretching forward free and far, 

Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var. 



Yelled on the view the opening pack 
Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back ; 
To many a mingled sound at once 
The awakened mountain gave response. 
An hundred dogs bayed deep and strong, 
Clattered an hundred steeds along, 
Their peal the merry horns rang out, 
An hundred voices joined the shout ; 



CANTO I.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 271 

With Lark, and whoop, and wild halloo, 
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew. 
Far from the tumult fled the roe, 
Close in her covert cowered the doe, 
The falcon, from her cairn on high, 
Cast on the rout a wondering eye, 
Till far beyond her piercing ken, 
The hurricane had swept the glen. 
Paint, and more faint, its failing din 
Returned from cavern, cliff, and linn, 
And silence settled, wide and still, 
On the lone wood and mighty hilL 

IV. 

Less loud the sounds of sylvan war 
Disturbed the heights of tlam-Var, 
And roused the cavern where 'tis told 
A giant made his den of old ;* 
For ere that steep ascent was won, 
High in the pathway hung the sun, 
And many a gallant, stayed per-force, 
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse ; 
And of the trackers of the deer 
Scarce half the lessening pack was near ; 
9o shrewdly, on the mountain side, 
Had the bold burst their mettle tried. 

v. 

The noble Stag was pausing now 
Upon the mountain's southern brow, 
Where broad extended far beneath, 
The varied realms of fair Menteith, 
With anxious eye he wandered o'er 
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor, 
And pondered refuge from his toil, 
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle. 
But nearer was the copsewood grey 
That waved and wept on Loch- Achray, 
And mingled with the pine-trees blue 
On the bold cliffs of Ben- venue. 

' Ua-rar, or Uaighmor, is a mountain to the north-east of 
Callender, Stirlingshire. The name signifies a great den or cavern; 
and that small enclosure, or recess referred to, is surrounded with 
large rocks, and open above head. It is situated on the south-side, 
and is supposed by the old sportsmen in the neighbourhood, to 
hare beeu a toil for deer. 



272 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO I. 

Fresh vigour with the hope returned 
With flying foot the heath he spurned, 
Held westward with unwearied race, 
And left behind the panting chase. 

Ti. 

'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er, 
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more ; 
What reins were tightened in despair, 
When rose Benledi s ridge in air ; 
Who flagged upon Bochastle's heath, 
Who shunned to stem the flooded Teith- 
For twice, that day, from shore to shore, 
The gallant Stag swam stoutly o'er. 
Few were the stragglers, following far, 
That reached the lake of Vennachar ; 
And when the Brig of Turk was won, 
The headmost Horseman rode alone. 

VII. 

Alone, hut with unbated zeal, 

That horseman plied the scourge and steel ; 

For, jaded now, and spent with toil, 

Embossed with foam, and dark with soil, 

While every gasp with sobs he drew, 

The labouring Stag strained full in view. 

Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed,* 

Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed, 

Fast on his flying traces came, 

And all but won that desperate game ; 

For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch, 

Vindictive toiled the bloodhounds staunch ; 

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. 

Tin. 

The hunter marked that mountain high, 
The lone lake's western boundary, 

* Blood-hounds bred by the Abbots of St Hubert, which were 
of remarkable strength, swiftness, aud keenness of scent, and 
therefore greatly prized in hunting. 



CANTO L] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 273 

And deemed the Stag must turn to bay, 
Where that huge rampart barred the way ; 
Already glorying in the prize, 
Measured his antlers with his eyes ; 
For the death- wound, and death-halloo, 
Mustered his breath, his whinyard. drew ;* 
But, thundering as he came prepared, 
With ready arm and weapon bared, 
The wily quarry shunned the shock, 
And turned him from the opposing rock ; 
Then, dashing down a darksome glen, 
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken, 
In the deep Trosachs' wildest nook 
His solitary refuge took. 
There while, close couched, 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 yelled again. 

IX. 

Close on the hounds the hunter came, 
To cheer them on the vanished game ; 
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, 
Stretched his stiff limbs, to rise no more. 
Then, touched with pity and remorse, 
He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse : 
" I little thought, when first thy rein 
I slacked 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 !" 

x. 

Then through the dell his horn resounds, 
From vain pursuit to call the hounds. 

When the stag turned to bay, the ancient hunter bad the 
perilous task of going in upon, ami killing or disabling the daipor- 
ate aniitul, 

M2 



274 THE LADT OF THE LAKE. [CANTO I. 

Back limped, with slow and crippled pace, 
The sulky leaders of the chase : 
Close to their master's side they pressed, 
With drooping tail and humbled crest ; 
But still the dingle's hollow throat 
Prolonged the swelling bugle-note. 
The owlets started from their dream, 
The eagles answered with their scream, 
Round and around the sounds were cast, 
Till echo seemed 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. 



The western waves of ebbing day* 
Rolled o'er the glen their level way ; 
Each purple peak, each flinty spire, 
Was bathed in floods of living fire. 
But not a setting beam could glow 
Within the dark ravines below, 
Where twined the path, in shadow hid, 
Round many a rocky pyramid, 
Shooting abruptly from the dell 
Its thunder-splintered pinnacle ; 
Round many an insulated mass, 
The native bulwarks of the pass, 
Huge as the tower which builders vain 
Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain. 
Their rocky summits, split and rent, 
Formed turret, dome, or battlement, 
Or seemed fantastically set 
With cupola or minaret, 
Wild crests as pagod ever decked, 
Or mosque of eastern architect. 
Nor were these earth-born castles bare, 
Nor lacked they many a banner fair ; 
For, from their shivered brows displayed, 
Far o'er the unfathomable glade, 
All twinkling with the dew-drop sheen, 
The briar-rose fell in streamers green 



CANTO 17 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 275 

And creeping shrubs of thousand dyes, 
Waved in the west-wind's summer sighs. 



Boon nature scattered, free and wild, 
Each plant or flower, the mountain's child. 
Here eglantine embalmed the air, 
Hawthorn and hazel mingled there ; 
The primrose pale, and violet flower, 
Found in each clift a narrow bower ; 
Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, 
Emblems of punishment and pride, 
Grouped their dark hues with every stain, 
The weather-beaten crags retain ; 
With boughs that quaked at every breath, 
Grey birch and aspen wept beneath ; 
Aloft, the ash and warrior oak 
Cast anchor in the rifted rock ; 
And higher yet, the pine-tree hung 
His shatter'd trunk, and frequent flung, 
Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high, 
His boughs athwart the narrowed sky 
Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, 
Where glistening streamers waved and danced, 
The wanderer's eye could barely view 
The summer heaven's delicious blue ; 
So wondrous wild, the whole might seem 
The scenery of a fairy dream. 



Onward, amid the copse 'gan peep 
A narrow inlet still and deep, 
Affording scarce such breadth of brim 
As served the wild-duck's brood to swim ; 
Lost for a space, through thickets veering, 
But broader when again appearing, 
Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face 
Could on the dark-blue mirror trace ; 
And farther as the hunter stray' d, 
Still broader sweep its channels made. 
The shaggy mounds no longer stood, 
Emerging from entangled wood, 



276 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. L CANTO I. 

But, wave-encircled, seemed to float, 
Like castle girdled with its moat ; 
Yet broader floods extending still, 
Divide them from their parent hill, 
Till each, retiring, claims to be 
An islet in. an inland sea. 

XIT. 

And now, to issue from the glen, 

No pathway meets the wanderer's ken, 

Unless he climb, with footing nice, 

A far projecting precipice.* 

The broom's tough roots his ladder made, 

The hazel saplings lent their aid ; 

And thus an airy point he won, 

"Where, gleaming with the setting sun, 

One burnish'd sheet of living gold, 

Loch- Katrine lay beneath him rolled ; 

In all her length far winding lay, 

With promontory, creek, and bay, 

And islands that, empurpled bright. 

Floated amid the livelier light ; 

And mountains, that like giants stand, 

To centinel enchanted land. 

High on the south, huge Ben-venue 

Down to the lake in masses threw 

Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurled, 

The fragments of an earlier world ; 

A wildering forest feathered o'er 

His ruined sides and summit hoar, 

While on the north, through middle air, 

Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare. 

xv. 

From the steep promontoiy gazed 
The Stranger, raptured and amazed ; 
And, " What a scene was here," he cried, 
" For princely pomp or churchman's pride ! 
On this bold brow, a lordly tower ; 
In that soft vale, a lady's bower ; 

* Until the present road was made through thi3 romantic pass, 
there was 110 mode of issuing out of the detile called the Trosachs, 
except by a sort oi ladder, composed of the branches and roots of 



CANTO L] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 277 

On yonder meadow, far away, 

The turrets of a cloister grey. 

How blithely might the bugle horn 

Chide, on the lake, the lingering morn ! 

How sweet, at eve, the lover's lute 

Chime, when the groves were still and mute ! 

And, when the midnight moon sfiould lave 

Her forehead in the silver wave, 

How solemn on the ear would come 

The holy matin's distant hum, 

While the deep peal's commanding tone 

Should wake, in yonder islet lone, 

A sainted hermit from his cell, 

To drop a bead with every knell ! 

And bugle, lute, and bell, and all, 

Should each bewildered stranger call 

To friendly feast, and lighted hall. 

XVI. 

" Blithe were it then to wander here ! 
But now beshrew yon nimble deer ! 
Like that same hermit's, thin and spare, 
The copse must give my evening fare ; 
Some mossy bank my couch must be, 
Some rustling oak my canopy. 
Yet pass we that the war and chase 
Give little choice of resting-place ; 
A summer night, in green- wood spent, 
Were but to-morrow s merriment ; 
But hosts may in these wilds abound, 
Such as are better missed than found ; 
To meet wttb. highland plunderers here 
Were worse than loss of steed or deer.* 
I am alone ; my bugle strain 
May call some straggler of the train ; 
Or, fall the worst that may betide, 
Ere now this falchion has been tried." 

XVII. 

But scarce again his horn he wouud, 
When lo ! forth starting at the sound, 

* The clans in the neighbourhood of Looh Katrine, from their 
jiroximity to the Lowlands, were among the moat warlike and 
predatory of the highlaudera. 



278 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO j. 

From underneath an aged oak. 

That slanted from the islet rock, 

A damsel, guider of its way, 

A little skiS shot to the bay, 

That round the promontory steep 

Led its deep line in graceful sweep, 

Eddying, in almost viewless wave, 

The weeping willow twig to lave; 

And kiss, with whispering sound and slow, 

The beach of pebbles bright as snow. 

The boat had touch'd this silver strand, 

Just as the hunter left his stand, 

And stood concealed amid the brake, 

To view this Lady of the Lake. 

The maiden paused, as if again 

She thought to catch the distant strain, 

With head up-raised, and look intent, 

And eye and ear attentive bent, 

And locks flung back, and lips apart, 

Like monument of Grecian art. 

In listening mood, she seemed to stand 

The guardian. Naiad of the strand. 

XVIII. 

And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace 

A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace, 

Of finer form, or lovelier face ! 

What though the sun, with ardent frown, 

Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown 

The sportive toil, which, short and light, 

Had dyed her glowing hue so bright, 

Served too in hastier swell to show 

Short glimpses of a breast of snow ; 

What though no rule of courtly grace 

To measured mood had trained her pace 

A foot more light, a step more true, 

Ne'er from the heath-flower dashed the dew ; 

E'en the slight hare-bell raised its head, 

Elastic from her airy tread : 

What though upon her speech there hung 

The accents of the mountain tongue 

Those silver sounds, so soft, so dear, 

The listener held his breath to hear. 



CANTO I.} THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 
XIX. 

A chieftain's daughter seemed the maid ; 
Her satin snood, her silken plaid, 
Her golden hrooch, such birth betray' d. 
And seldom was a snood amid 
Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid, 
Whose glossy black to shame might bring 
The plumage of the raven's wing ; 
And seldom o'er a breast so fair, 
Mantled a plaid with modest care, 
And never brooch the folds combined 
Above a heart more good and kind. 
Her kindness and her worth to spy, 
You need but gaze on Ellen's eye ; 
Not Katrine, in her mirror blue, 
Gives back the shaggy banks more true, 
Than every free-born glance confessed 
The guileless movements of her breast ; 
Whether joy danced in her dark eye, 
Or woe or pity claimed a sigh, 
Or filial love was glowing there, 
Or meek devotion poured a prayer, 
Or tale of injury called forth 
The indignant spirit of the north. 
One only passion, unrevealed, 
With maiden pride the maid concealed, 
Yet not less purely felt the flame ; 
Oh need I tell that passion's name? 



Impatient of the silent horn, 

Now on the gale her voice was borne : 

" Father !" she cried the rocks around 

Loved to prolong the gentle sound, 

A while she paused, no answer came 

"Malcolm, was thine the blast?" the name 

Less resolutely uttered fell, 

The echoes could not catch the swell. 

" A stranger I," the Huntsman said, 

Advancing from the hazel shade. 

The maid alarmed, with hasty oar, 

Pushed her light shallop from the shore, 



279 



280 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. CCANTO I. 

And, when a space -was gained between, 
Closer she drew her bosom's screen ; 
(So forth the startled swan would swing, 
So turn to prune his ruffled wing.) 
Then safe, though fluttered and amazed, 
She paused, and on the stranger gazed. 
Not his the form, nor his the eye, 
That youthful maidens wont to fly. 



On his bold visage middle age 

Had slightly pressed its signet sage, 

Yet had not quenched the open truth, 

And fiery vehemence of youth ; 

Forward and frolic glee was there, 

The will to do, the soul to dare, 

The sparkling glance, soon blown to fire, 

Of hasty love, or headlong ire. 

His limbs were cast in manly mould, 

For hardy sports, or contest bold; 

And though in peaceful garb arrayed, 

And weaponless, except his blade, 

His stately mien as well implied 

A high-born heart, a martial pride, 

As if a baron's crest he wore, 

And sheathed in armour trod the shore. 

Slighting the petty need he showed, 

He told of his benighted road : 

His ready speech flowed fair and free, 

In phrase of gentlest courtesy; 

Yet seemed that tone and gesture bland 

Less used to sue than to command. 

XXII. 

A while the maid the stranger eyed, 
And, reassured, at last replied, 
That highland halls were open still 
To wildered wanderers of the hill. 
" Nor think you unexpected com 
To yon lone isle, our desert homr 
Before the heath had lost the de , 
This morn, a couch was pulled ior you ; 



CANTO I.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 281 

On yonder mountain's purple head 
Have ptarmigan and heath-cock bled, 
And our broad nets have swept the mere, 
To furnish fonh your evening cheer." 
" Now, by the rood, my lovely maid, 
Your courtesy has erred," he said ; 
'No right have I to claim, misplaced, 
The welcome of expected guest. 
A wanderer, here by fortune tost, 
My way, my friends, my courser lost, 
I ne'er before, believe me, fair, 
Have ever drawn your mountain air, 
Till on this lake's romantic strand, 
I found a fay in fairy land." 

XXIII. 

" I well believe," the maid replied. 

As her light skiff approached the side 

" I well believe, that ne'er before 

Your foot has trod Loch- Katrine's shore ; 

But yet, as far as }esternight, 

Old Allau-bane foretold your plight 

A grey-haired sire, whose eye intent 

Was on the visioned future bent.* 

He saw your steed, a dappled grey, 

Lie dead beneath the birchen way ; 

Painted exact your form and mien, 

Your hunting suit of Lincoln green, 

That tassell'd horn so gaily gilt, 

That falchion's crooked blade and hilt, 

That cap with heron's plumage trim, 

And yon two hounds so dark and grim. 

He bade that all should ready be, 

To grace a guest of fair degree ; 

But light I held his prophecy, 

And deemed it was my father's horn, 

Whose echoes o'er the hike were borue." 

* A superstitious belief in second siqht prevailed in the Hijfhr 
lands : it was called in G lelic TatMtaruVfk, u.,m Tuuh. ..n ua 
real or shadowy apptarance; and tboK pouMud of the faculty ari 
cnlled Taw.'ia/n'n, which may be aptly translated viaiouarie* 
They pretended to see visions, and to be luiorai^ii of tuture event* 
which obtained for them an extraordinary iuiiutuico over liieiy 



282 



THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO L 



XXIV. 

The Stranger smiled : " Since to your home, 

A destined errant knight I come, 

Announced by prophet sooth and old, 

Doomed, doubtless, for achievement bold, 

Til lightly front each high emprize, 

For one kind glance of those bright eyes ; 

Permit me, first, the task to guide 

Your fairy frigate o'er the tide." 

The maid, with smile suppressed and sly 

The toil unwonted saw him try ; 

For seldom, sure, if e'er before, 

His noble hand had grasped an oar : 

Yet with main strength his strokes he drew, 

And o'er the lake the shallop flew ; 

With heads erect and whimpering cry, 

The hounds behind their passage ply. 

Nor frequent does the bright oar break 

The darkening mirror of the lake, 

Until the rocky isle they reach, 

And moor their shallop on the beach. 

XXV. 

The Stranger viewed the shore around ; 
'Twas all so close with copse-wood bound, 
Nor track nor pathway might declare 
That human foot frequented there, 
Until the mountain-maiden showed 
A clambering unsuspected road, 
That winded through the tangled screen, 
And opened on a narrow green, 
Where weeping birch and willow round 
With their long fibres swept the ground ; 
Here, for retreat in dangerous hour, 
Some chief had framed a rustic bower.* 

XXVI. 

It was a lodge of ample size, 

But strange of structure and device ; 

* In these turbulent times the Celtic chieftain had usually some 
place of retreat for the hour of necessity, which, as circumstances 
would admit, was a tower, a cavern, or a rustic hut in a strong 
and secluded situation. 



CANTO L] 



THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 



Of such materials, as around 

The workman's hand had readiest found. 

Lopped of their boughs, their hoar trunks bared, 

And by the hatchet rudely squared, 

To give the walls thcii destined height, 

The sturdy oak and ash unite : 

"While moss, and clay, and leaves combined 

To fence each crevice from the wind. 

The lighter pine-trees, over-head, 

Their slender length for rafters spread, 

And withered heath and rashes dry 

Supplied a russet canopy. 

Due westward, fronting to the green, 

A rural portico was seen, 

Aloft 011 native pillars borne, 

Of mountain fir with bark unshorn, 

Where Ellen's hand had taught to twine 

The ivy and Idaean vine, 

The clematis, the favoured flower, 

Which boasts the name of virgin-bower, 

And every hardv plant could bear 

Loch- Katrine's keen and searching air. 

An instant in this porch she staid, 

And gaily to the stranger said, 

" On heaven and on thy lady call, 

And enter the enchanted hall !" 



" My hope, my heaven, my trust must be, 
My gentle guide, in following thee." . 
He crossed the threshold and a clang 
Of angry steel that instant rang. 
To his bold brow his spirit rushed, 
But soon for vain alarm he blushed, 
When on the floor he saw displayed, 
Cause of the din, a naked blade 
Dropped from the sheath, that careless flung 
Upon a stag's huge antlers swung ; 
For all around, the walls to grace, 
Hung trophies of the fight or chase : 
A target there, a bugle here, 
A battle-axe, a hunting spear, 



284 TI1E LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO L 

And broad-swords, bows, and arrows store, 
With the tusked trophies of the boar. 
Here grins the wolf as when he died, 
And there the wild-cat's brindled hide 
The frontlet of the elk adorns, 
Or mantles o'er the bison's horns ; 
Pennons and flags defaced and stained, 
That blackening streaks of blood retained, 
And deer-skins, dappled, dun, and white, 
With otter's fur arid seal's unite, 
In rude and uncouth tapestry all, 
To garuish forth the sylvan hall. 

XXVIII. 

The wondering Stranger round him gazed, 

And next the fallen weapon raised ; 

Few were the arms whose sinewy strength 

Sufficed to stretch it forth at length. 

And as the brand he poised and swayed, 

" I never knew but one," he said, 

" Whose stalwart arm might brook to wield 

A blade like this in battle field." 

She sighed, then smiled and took the word ; 

" You see the guardian champion's sword : 

As light it trembles in his hand, 

As in my grasp a hazel wand ; 

My sire's tall form might grace the part 

Of Ferragus, or Ascabart ;* 

But in the absent giant's hold 

Are women now, and menials old." 

XXIX. 

The mistress of the mansion came, 
Mature of age, a graceful dame ; 
Whose easy step and stately port 
Had well become a princely court, 
To whom, though more than kindred knew, 
Young Ellen gave a mother's due. 
Meet welcome to her guest she made, 
And every courteous rite was paid, 

* The first of these giants is well known to the admirers of 
Anosto, by thenameof Ferrau Hewas an antagonist of Orlando, 
and was slain by him in single combat. Ascapart, or Asrabart, 
makea a very material figure in the Ulster}' ot Deris of Hainplun, 
by whom he was conquered. 



CA>TTO I.] THE LADY OF THE LiKE. 285 

That hospitality could claim, 

Though all unasked his birth and name.* 

Such then the reverence to a guest, 

That fellest foe might join the feast, 

And from his deadliest foeman's door 

Unquestion'd turn, the banquet o'er. 

At length his rank the Stranger names 

" The knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James ; 

Lord of a barren heritage, 

^\ hich his brave sires, from age to age, 

By their good swords had held with toil ; 

His sire had fallen in such turmoil, 

And he, God wot, was forced to stand 

Oft for his right with blade in hand. 

This morning with Lord Moray's train 

He chased a stalwart stag in vain, 

Outstripped his comrades, missed the deer, 

Lost his good steed, and wandered here." 



Fain would the Knight in turn require 
The name and state of Ellen's sire ; 
Well showed the elder lady's mien, 
That courts and cities she had seen ; 
Ellen, though more her looks displayed 
The simple grace of sylvan maid, 
In speech and gesture, form and face, 
Showed she was come of gentle race ; 
'Twere strange in ruder rank to find 
Such looks, such manners, and such mind. 
Each hint the Knight of Snowdoun gave, 
Dame Margaret heard with silence grave ; 
Or Ellen, innocently gay, 
Turned all inquiry light away. 
" AVierd women we ! by dale and down, 
We dweil afar from tower and town. 
We stem the flood, we ride the blast, 
On wandering knights our spells we cast ; 



286 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO I. 

While viewless minstrels touch the string, 
'Tis thus our charmed rhymes we sing." 
She sang, and still a harp unseen 
Filled up the symphony between.* 



SONG. 

" Soldier, rest ! thy warfare o'er, 

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking ; 
Dream of battled fields no more, 

Days of danger, nights of waking. 
In our isle's enchanted hall, 

Hands unseen thy couch are strewing, 
Fairy strains of music fall, 

Every sense in slumber dewing. 
Soldier, rest ! thy warfare o'er, 
Dream of fighting fields no more ; 
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking, 
Morn of toil, nor night of waking. 

" No rude sound shall reach thine ear, 

Armour's clang, or war-steed champing, 
Trump nor pibroch summon here 

Mustering clan, or squadron tramping. 
Yet the lark's shrill fife may come 

At the daybreak from the fallow, 
And the bittern sound his drum, 

Booming from the sedgy shallow. 
Ruder sounds shall none be near, 
Guards nor warders challenge here, 
Here's no war-steed's neigh and champing, 
Shouting clans or squadrons stamping." 

XXXII. 

She paused then, blushing, led the lay 
To grace the stranger of the day ; 
Her mellow notes awhile prolong 
The cadence of the flowing song, 
Till to her lips in measured frame 
The minstrel verse spontaneous came. 

The hlehlam'.ers delighted much in music, and harper* were 
received as welcome g^iestf, in the highlands of Scotland, until 




oi'i >< tmrutced Quests hud lain, 
again. 



CANTO I.] THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 287 

SOMO continued. 

" Huntsman, rest ! thy chase is done, 

While our slumbrous spells assail ye, 
Dream not, with the rising sun, 

Bugles here shall sound reveille. 
Sleep ! the deer is in his den ; 

Sleep ! thy hounds are by thee lying ; 
Sleep ! nor dream in yonder glen, 

How thy gallant steed lay dying. 
Huntsman, rest ! thy chase is done, 
Think not of the rising sun, 
For at dawning to assail ye, 
Here no bugles sound reveille." 



The hall was cleared the Stranger's bed 

Was there of mountain heather spread, 

Where oft an hundred guests had lain, 

And dreamed their forest sports again. 

But vainly did the heath-flower shed 

Its moorland fragrance round his head; 

Not Ellen's spell had lulled to rest 

The fever of his troubled breast. 

In broken dreams the image rose 

Of varied perils, pains, and woes ; 

His steed now flounders in the brake, 

Now sinks his barge upon the lake ; 

Now leader of a broken host, 

His standard falls, his honour's lost. 

Then from my couch may heavenly might 

Chase that worst phantom of the night ! 

Again returned the scenes of youth, 

Of confident undoubting truth ; 

Again his soul he interchanged 

With friends whose hearts were long estranged. 

They come, in dim procession led, 

The cold, the faithless, and the dead; 

As warm each hand, each brow as gay, 

As if they parted yesterday. 

And doubt distracts him at the view, 

Oh were his senses false or true! 



288 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO I 

Dreamed he of death, or broken vow, 
Or is it all a vision now ! 



At length, with Ellen in a grove, 

He seemed to walk, and speak of love ; 

She listened with a blush arid sigh ; 

His suit was warm, his hopes weie high. 

He sought her yielded hand to clasp, 

And a cold gauntlet met Ills grasp ; 

The phantom's sex was changed and gone, 

\j pon its head a helmet shone ; 

Slowly enlarged to giant si/e, 

With darkened cheek and threatening eyes, 

The grisly visage, stern and hoar, 

To Ellen still a likeness bore. 

He woke, and, panting with affright, 

Recalled the vision of the night. 

The hearth's decaying brands were red, 

And deep and dusky lustre shed, 

Half showing, half concealing all 

The uncouth trophies of the hall. 

Mid those the stranger fixed his eye 

Where that huge falchion hung on high. 

And thoughts on thoughts, a countless throng, 

Bushed, chasing countless thoughts along, 

Until, the giddy whirl to cure, 

He rose, and sought the moonshine pure. 



The wild rose, eglantine, and broom, 
Wafted around their rich perfume ; 
The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm, 
The aspens slept beneath the calm ; 
The silver light, with quivering glance, 
Played on the water's still expanse 
Wild were the heart whose passion's sway 
Could rage beneath the sober ray ! 
He felt its calm, that warrior guest, 
While thus he communed with his breast : 
" Why is it at each turn I trace 
Some memory of that exiled race ? 



CANTO II.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 289 

Can I not mountain maiden spy, 
But she must bear the Douglas eye ? 
Can I not view a highland brand, 
But it must match the Douglas hand ? 
Can I not frame a fevered dream, 
But still the Douglas is the theme ? 
I'll dream no more by manly ruiiid 
Not even in sleep is will resigned. 
My midnight orison said o'er, 
I'll turn to rest, and dream no more." 
His midnight orison he told, 
A prayer with every bead of gold, 
Consigned to heaven his cares and woes, 
And sank in undisturbed repose ; 
Until the heath-cock shrilly crew, 
And morning dawned on Ben- venue. 



CANTO SECOND. 

Or Islanlr. 
i. 

AT morn the black-cock trims his jetty wing, 

*Tis morning prompts the linnet's blythest lay, 
All nature's children feel the matin spring 
Of life reviving, with reviving day ; 
And while yon little bark glides down the bay, 
Wafting the stra.-.ger on his way again, 

Morn's genial influence roused a Minstrel grey,* 
And sweetly o'er the lake was heard thy strain, 
Mix'd with tLe sounding harp, oh white-haired Allan- 
bane ! 

H. 
SONG. 

" Not faster yonder rowers' might 
Flings from their oars the spray, 

* Highland chieftains, to a late period, retained in their service 
the bard, as a family officer. The bard WHS the historian and 
genealogist of the clan, besides being the domestic mvisiciau of the 
chief, aud sometimes the preceptor of the young laird. 
N 



290 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO H 

Not faster yonder rippling bright, 

That tracks the shallop's course in light, 

Melts in the lake away, 
Than men from memory erase 
The benefits of former days ; 
Then, Stranger, go ! good speed the while, 
Nor think again of the lonely isle. 
" High place to thee in royal court, 

High place in battled line, 
Good hawk and hound for sylvan sport, 
Where Beauty sees the brave resort, 

The honoured meed be thine ! 
True be thy sword, thy triend sincere, 
Thy lady constant, kind, aud dear, 
And lost in love's and friendship s smile, 
Be memory of the lonely isle. 

III. 
SONG continued. 

" But if beneath von southern sky 

A plaided stranger roam, 
Whose drooping crest and stifled sigh, 
And sunken cheek and heavy eye, 

Pine for his highland home ; 
Then, warrior, then be thine to show 
The care that soothes a wanderer's woe ; 
Remember then thy hap ere while 
A stranger in the lonely isle. 

" Or if on life's uncertain main 

Mishap shall mar thy sail ; 
If faithful, wise, and brave in vain, 
Woe, want, and exile thou sustain 

Beneath the fickle gale ; 
Waste not a sigh on fortune changed, 
On thankless courts, or friends estranged, 
But come where kindred worth shall smile, 
To greet thee in the lonely isle." 



As died the sounds upon the tide, 

The shallop reached the main-land side, 



CANTO II.] THE LADY OF THE LA.KE. 291 

And ere his onward way he took, 
The Stranger cast a lingering look, 
\Vhere easily his eye might reach 
The Harper on the islet beach, 
Reclined against a blighted tree, 
As wasted, grey, and worn as he. 
To minstrel meditation given, 
His reverend brow was raised to heaven, 
As from the rising sun to claim 
A sparkle of inspiring flame. 
His hand, reclined upon the wire, 
Seemed watching the awakening fire ; 
^ So still he sate, as those who wait 
Till judgment speak the doom of fate ; 
So still, as if no breeze might dare 
To lift one lock of hoary hair ; 
So still as life itself were fled, 
Jn the last sound his harp had sped. 

T. 

Upon a rock with lichens wild, 
Beside him Ellen sate and smiled. 
Smiled she to see the stately drake 
Lead forth his fleet upon the lake, 
While her vexed spaniel, from the beach, 
Bayed at the prize beyond his reach ? 
Yet tell me then the maid who knows, 
Why deepened on her cheek the rose ? 
Forgive, forgive, Fidelity ! 
Perchance the maiden smiled to see 
Yon parting lingerer wave adieu, 
And stop and turn to wave anew ; 
And, lovely ladies, ere your ire 
Condemn the heroine of my lyre, 
Show me the fair would scorn to spy, 
And prize such conquest of her eye ! 

VI. 

While yet he loitered on the spot, 
It seemed as Ellen marked him not, 
But when he turned him to the glade, 
One courteous parting sign she made* 
And after, oft the knight would say, 
That not when prize of festal day 



292 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO II. 

Was dealt him by the brightest fair, 

Who e'er wore jewel in her hair, 

So highly did his bosom swell, 

As at that simple mute farewell. 

Now with a trusty mountain guide, 

And his dark stag-hounds by his side, 

He parts the maid, unconscious still, 

Watched him wind slowly round the hill ; 

But when his stately form was hid, 

The guardian in her bosom chid 

" Thy Malcolm ! vain and seltish maid !" 

'Twas thus upbraiding conscience said ; 

" Not so had Malcolm idly hung 

On the smooth phrase of southern tongue ; 

Not so had Malcolm strained his eye 

Another step than thine to spy." 

" Wake, Allan-bane !" aloud she cried, 

To the old Minstrel by her side, 

" Arouse thea from thy moody dream ! 

I'll give thy harp heroic theme, 

And warm thee with a noble name ; 

Pour forth the glory of the Graeme."* 

Scarce from her lip the word had rushed, 

When deep the conscious maiden blushed, 

For of his clan, in hall and bower, 

Young Malcolm Graeme was held the flower. 

VII. 

The Minstrel waked his harp three times 
Arose the well-known martial chimes, 
And thrice their high heroic pride 
In melancholy murmurs died. 
" Vainly thou bidd'st, oh noble maid P* 
Clashing his withered hands, he said, 
"Vainly thou bidd'st me wake the strain, 
Though all unwont to bid in vain. 

This ancient and powerful family held extensive possessions 
in the counties of Dunbarton and Stirling. Few families can boast 
of more historical renown, having claim to three of the most re- 
markable characters in the Scottish annals. Sir John the Graane. 
the faithful and undaunted compatriot of Wallace, who fell in the 
unfortunate field of Falkirk, in (<*>. The celebrated Marquis of 
Montrose, in whom De Retz saw realized his abstract idea of the 
heroes of antiquity. And, John Grahame of Clavei house, Viscouut 
of Dundee, who fell iu the arms of victory. 



CA>'TO IL] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 293 

Alas ! than mine a mightier hand 

Has tuned my harp, my strings has spanned ; 

I touch the chords of joy, but low 

And mournful answer notes of woe ; 

And the proud march which victors tread, 

Sinks in the wailing for the dead. 

Oh well for me, if mine alone 

That dirge's deep prophetic tone ! 

If, as my tuneful fathers said, 

This harp, which erst Saint Modan swayed, 

Can thus its master's fate foretell, 

Then welcome be the minstrel's knell ! 

TUT. 

" But ah ! dear lady, thus it sighed 

The eve thy sainted mother died ; 

And such the sounds which, while I strove 

To wake a lay of war or love, 

Came marring all the festal mirth. 

Appalling me who gave them birth, 

And, disobedient to my call, 

Wailed loud through Dothwell's bannered hafl, 

Ere Douglases to ruin driven, 

Were exiled from their native heaven.* 

Oil ! if yet worse mishap and woe 

My master's house must undergo, 

Or aught but weal to Ellen fair, 

Brood in these accents of despair, 

No future bard, sad harp ! shall fling 

Triumph or rapture from thy string ; 

One short, one final strain shall flow, 

Fraught with unutterable woe, 

Then shivered shall thy fragments lie, 

Thy master cast him down and die." 

* The downfall of the Douglases of the house of Angus, during 
the reign of James V. 1528, is the event alluded to in the text. 
The Earl of Angus, had married the queen Dowager, and availing 
himself of the right which he thus acquired, as well as of his ex- 
tensive power, he retained the king in a sort of tutelage, which 
approached very near to captivity. This treatment so exasperated 
the youthful and chivalrous king that when he effected his escape 
to Stirling Castle, he swore in his auger that no Douglas should, 
while he lived and reignetl, find favour or countenance in Scotland 
and he followed out hw revenge, with such an inveterate hatred, 
that even their nearest friends, in the remotest parts of Scotland 
durst not entertain them unless under the strictest and closest 



294 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO II. 
IX. 

Soothing she answered him, " Assuage, 

Mine honoured friend, the fears of age ; 

All melodies to thee are known, 

That harp has rung, or pipe has blown, 

In lowland vale, or highland glen, 

From Tweed to Spey what marvel, then, 

At times, unbidden notes should rise, 

Confusedly bound in memory's ties, 

Entangling, as they rush along, 

The war-march with the funeral song? 

Small ground is now for boding fear ; 

Obscure, but safe, we rest us here. 

My sire, in native virtue great, 

Resigning lordship, lands, and state, 

Not then to fortune more resigned, 

Than yonder oak might give the wind ; 

The graceful foliage storms may reave, 

The "noble stem they cannot grieve. 

For me" she stooped, and, looking round, 

Plucked a blue hare-bell from the ground, 

" For me, whose memory scarce conveys 

An image of more splendid days, 

This little flower, that loves the lea, 

May well my simple emblem be ; 

It drinks heaven's dew as blithe as rose 

That in the King's own garden grows, 

And when I place it in my hair, 

Allan, a bard is bound to swear 

He ne'er saw coronet so fair." 

Then playfully the chaplet wild 

She wreathed in her dark locks, and smiled. 



Her smile, her speech, with winning sway, 
Wiled the old harper's mood away. 
With such a look as hermits throw 
When angels stoop to soothe their woe, 
He gazed, till fond regret and pride 
Thrilled to a tear, then thus replied : 
" Loveliest and best ! thou little knowst 
The rank, the honours thou hast lost ! 



CANTO It] THE L4DY OF THE LAKE. 296 

Oh might I live to see thee grace, 
In Scotland's court, thy birthright place, 
To see my favourite's step advance, 
The lightest in the courtly dance, 
The cause of every gallant's sigh, 
And leading star of every eye, 
And theme of every minstrel's art, 
The Lady of the Bleeding Heart !"* 



" Pair dreams are these," the maiden cried, 
(Light was her accent, yet she sighed,) 
" Yet is this mossy rock to me 
Worth splendid chair and canopy ; 
Nor would my footstep spring more gay 
In courtly dance than blithe strathspey, 
Nor half so pleased mine ear incline 
To royal minstrel's lay as thine ; 
And then for suitors proud and high, 
To bend before my conquering eye, 
Thou, flattering bard ! thyself wilt say, 
That grim Sir Roderick owns its sway. 
The Saxon scourge, Clan- Alpine's pride, 
The terror of Loch- Lomond's side, 
Would, at my suit, thou know'st, delay 
A Lennox foray for a day." 

XII. 

The ancient bard his glee repressed : 

" 111 hast thou chosen theme for jest ! 

For who, through all this western wild, 

Named black Sir Roderick e'er, and smiled ? 

In Holy- Rood a knight he slew -,-f- 

I saw, when back the dirk he drew, 

Courtiers give place before the stride 

Of the undaunted homicide ; 

And since, though outlawed, hath his hand 

Pull sternly kept his mountain land. 

The well-known cognizance of the Douglas family. 

t This was no uncommon occurrence in the court of Scotland ; 
and even the royal presence scarcely restrained the ferocious feuds 
which were the perpetual source of bloodshed auioiu the Scottish 



296 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO It 

Who else dared give ah ! woe the day, 

That I such hated truth should say 

The Douglas, like a stricken deer, 

Disowned by every noble peer, 

Even the rude refuge we have here 

Alas, this wild marauding chief 

Alone might hazard our relief, 

And now thy maiden charms expand, 

Looks for his guerdon in thy hand ; 

Full soon may dispensation sought, 

To back his suit, from Rome be brought. 

Then, though an exile on the hill, 

Thy father, as the Douglas, still 

Be held in reverence and fear. 

But though to Roderick thou'rt so dear, 

That thou might'st guide with silken thread 

Slave of thy will, this chieftain dread ; 

Yet, oh loved maid, thy mirth refrain ! 

Thy hand is on a lion's mane." 



" Minstrel," the maid replied, and high 
Her father's soul glanced from her eye, 
" My debts to Roderick's house I know : 
All that a mother could bestow, 
To Lady Margaret's care I owe, 
Since first an orphan in the wild 
She sorrowed o'er her sister's child 
To her brave chieftain son, from ire 
Of Scotland's king who shrouds my sire, 
A deeper, holier debt is owed ; 
And, could I pay it with my blood, 
Allan ! Sir Roderick should command 
My blood, my life but not my hand. 
Rather will Ellen Douglas dwell 
A votaress in Maronan s cell ;* 
Rather through realms beyond the sea, 
Seeking the world's cold charity, 
Where ne'er was spoke a Scottish word, 
And ne'er the name of Douglas heard, 

* The parish of Kilmaronock, at the eastern extremity of Loch- 
Lonioud, derives its name from a. cell or chapel, dedicated to Saint 
Maronoch, or Marouac, about whose sauctity very little is now 
remembered. 



CAIsTO IL] THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 297 

An outcast pilgrim -will she rove, 
Thau wed the man shb cannot love. 

XIV. 

"Thou shak'st, good friend, thy tresses grey 

That pleading look, what can it say 

But what I own ? I grant him brave, 

But wild as Bracklinn's thundering wave ;* 

And generou? save vindictive mood, 

Or jealous transport chafe his Mood : 

I grant him true to friendly band, 

As his claymore is to his hand : 

But oh ! that very blade of steel 

More mercy for a foe would feel : 

I grant him liberal, to fiing 

Among his clan the wealth they bring, 

When back by lake and glen they wind, 

And in the Lowland leave behind, 

Where once some pleasant hamlet stood, 

A mass of ashes slaked with blood. 

The hand, that for my father fought, 

I honour, as his daughter ought ; 

But can I clasp it recking red, 

From peasants slaughtered in their shed? 

No ! wildly while his virtues rleam, 

They make his passions aarker seem, 

And flash along his spirit high, 

Like lightning o'er the midnight sky. 

Whi! e yet a child and children know, 

Instinctive taught, the friend and foe 

1 shuddered at his brow of gloom, 

His shadowy plaid, and sable plume ; 

A maiden grown, I ill could bear 

His haughty mien and lordly air ; 

But, if thou join'st a suitor's claim, 

In serious mood, to Roderick's name, 

I thrill with anguish ! or, if e'er 

A Douglas knew the word, with fear. 

To change such odious theme were best 

What think' st thou of our stranger guest ?" 

' This a a beautiful cascade made at a place palled the Bridge of 
Bracklinn, by a mountain stream called the Kcltie, about a mile 
from the Tillage of CaUaader, in Menteith. 

3 



298 THE LIDY OP THE LAKE. [CANTO tt 

XV. 

" What think I of him ? woe the while 

That brought such wanderer to our isle ! 

Thy father's battle-brand, of yore 

For Tine-man forged by fairy lore,* 

What time he leagued, no longer foes, 

His Border spears with Hotspur's bows, 

Did, self unscabbarded, foreshow 

The footstep of a secret foe.'f' 

If courtly spy, and harboured here, 

What may we for the Douglas fear? 

What for this island, deemed of old 

Clan- Alpine's last and surest hold ? 

If neither spy nor foe, I pray 

What yet may jealous Roderick say ! 

Nay, wave not thy disdainful head ! 

Bethink thee of the discord dread, 

That kindled when at Beltane game, 

Thou ledd'st the danc with Malcolm Grseme ; 

Still, though thy sire the peace renewed, 

Smoulders in Roderick's breast the feud ; 

Beware ! But hark, what sounds are these ? 

My dull ears catch no faltering breeze, 

No weeping birch, nor aspens wake, 

Nor breath is dimpling in the lake, 

Still is the canna'sj hoary beard, 

Yet, by my minstrel faith, I heard, 

And hark again ! some pipe of war 

Sends the bold pibroch from afar." 

xvr. 

Far up the lengthened lake were spied 
Four darkening specks upon the tide, 
That, slow enlarging on the view, 
Four manned and masted barges grew, 

* Archibald, the third Earl of Douglas, was so unfortunate in 
all his enterprises, that he acquired the epithet of TINEMAN, be- 
cause he lined or lost his followers in every battle which he fought. 
He was made prisoner by Hotspur in the bloody battle of Homil- 
don-hill near Wooler, and lie after-.vards Ml at the battle of Verneuil 
with the flower of the Scottish chivalry, then serving ;\9 auxiliaries 
in France, and about two thousand common soldiers, A.D. l!ik 

t It was a superstitious belief, that enchanted swords possessed 
the power of leaping out of their scabbards, to indicate the presence 
of an enemy, 

I Cotton-grass, 



CANTO 11.] THE IADT OF THE LAKE. 299 

And bearing downwards from Glengyle, 

Steered full upon the lonely isle ; 

The point of Brianchoil they passed, 

And, to the windward as they cast, 

Against the sun they gave to shine 

The bold Sir Roderick's bannered pine. 

Nearer and nearer as they bear, 

Spears, pikes, and axes flash in air. 

Now might you see the tartans brave, 

And plaids and plumage dance and wave ; 

Now see the bonnets sink and rise, 

As his tough oar the rower plies ; 

See, flashing at each sturdy stroke, 

The wave ascending into smoke ; 

See the proud pipers on the bow, 

And mark the gaudy streamers flow 

From their loud chanters* down, and sweep 

The furrowed bosom of the deep, 

As, rushing through the lake amain, 

They plied the ancient Highland strain. 

XVII. 

Ever, as on they bore, more loud 

And louder rung the pibroch proud. ]* 

At first the sounds, by distance tame, 

Mellowed along the waters came, 

And, lingering long by cape and bay, 

Wailed every harsher note away ; 

Then, bursting bolder on the ear, 

The clan's shrill Gathering they could hear; 

Th/>se thrilling sounds, that call the might 

Of old Clan- Alpine to the tight. 

Thick beat the rapid notes, as when 

The mustering hundreds shake the glen, 

And, hurrying at the signal dread, 

The battered earth returns their tread. 

The drone of the bagpipe. 

+ The connoisseurs iu pipe-music affect to discover in a well- 
composed pibroch, the imitative sounds of march, conflict, flight, 
pursuit, and all the "current of a heady fight." It began with a 
irave motion, resembling a march ; then gradually quickened into 
the onset ; ran off with noisy contusion, ami turbulent rapidity, to 
imitate the conflict and pursuit ; then welted into a few nourishes 
of triumphant joy ; and perhaps cloned with the wild and slow 
M'ailings of a funeral procession. 






soo 



THE LADY OF THE LAKE. t CANTO 11 



Then prelude light, of livelier tone, 
Expressed their merry marching on, 
Ere peal of closing battle rose, 
With mingled outcry, shrieks, and blows j 
And mimic din of stroke and ward, 
As broad-sword upon target jarred ; 
And groaning pause, ere yet again, 
Condensed, the battle yelled amain ; 
The rapid charge, the rallying shout, 
Retreat borne headlong into rout, 
And bursts of triumph, to declare 
Clan-Alpine's conquest all were there. 
Nor ended thus the strain ; but slow, 
Sunk in a moan prolonged and low, 
And changed the conquering clarion swell, 
For wild lament o'er those that fell. 
XVIII. 

The war-pipes ceased ; but lake and hill 
Were busy with their echoes stiil ; 
And, when they slept, a vocal strain 
Bade their hoarse chorus wake again, 
While loud an, hundred clansmen raise 
Their voices in their Chieftain's praise. 
Each boatman, bending to his oar, 
With measured sweep the burthen bore, 
In such wild cadence, as the breeze 
Makes through December's leafless trees. 
The chorus first could Allan know, 
" Roderigh Vich Alpine, ho ! iro !" 
And near, and nearer as they rowed, 
Distinct the martial ditty flowed. 



BOAT SONG. 

Hail to the chief who in triumph advances ! 

Honoured and blessed be the ever-green Pine ! 
Long may the Tree in his banner that glances, 
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line ! 
Heaven send it happy dew, 
Earth lend it sap anew, 
Gaily to bourgeon, and broadly to grow, 
While every highland glen 



CA7ITO n.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 301 

Sends our shout back agen, 
" Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho ! ieroe P'* 
Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain, 

Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade ; 
When the whirlwind has stripped every leaf on the 

mountain, 
The more shall Clan- Alpine exult in her shade. 

Moored in the rifted rock, 

Proof to the tempest's shock, 
Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow ; 

Menteith and Breadalbane, then, 

Echo his praise agen, 
" Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho ! ieroe !" 

XX. 

Proudly our pibroch has thrilled in Glen Frain, 
And Banachar's groans to our slogan replied; 
Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin, 
And the best of Loch- Lomond lie dead on her side.^ 

Widow and Saxcn maid 

Long shall lament our raid, 
Think of Clan- Alpine with fear and with woe ; 

Lennox and Leven-glen 

Shake when they hear agen, 
" Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho ! ieroe P* 

Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the Highlands ! 

Stretch to your oars, for the ever-green Pine ! 
Oh ! that the rose-bud that graces yon islands, 

Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine ! 

* Besides his ordinary name and surname, which were chiefly 
used in his intercourse with the Lowlands, every Highland chief 
had an epithet expressive of his patriarchal dignity as head of the 
clan, and commonly another peculiar to himself, which distinguish- 
ed him from the chieftains of the same race. This was sometimes 
derived from complexion, as dhu or ray ; sometimes from size, as 
bey or mare; at other times, from some particular exploit, or from 
some peculiarity of habit or appearance. The line of the text 
therefore signifies, 

Black Roderick, the descendant of Alpine. 
+ The Lennox, as the district is called which encircles the lower 
extremity of Loch- Lomond, was peculiarly exposed to the incur- 
sions of the mountaineers who inhabited the inaccessible fastnesses 
at the upper end of Oie !ke, and the neighbouring district of Loch- 
Katrine. These were often marked by circumstances of great 
ferocity. 



302 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO It 

Oil that some seedling gem, 

Worthy such noble stem, 
Honoured and blessed in their shadow might grow ! 

Loud should Clan-Alpine then 

Ring from her deepmost glen, 
" Roderigh Vich Alpine dim, ho I ieroe 1" 



With all her joyful female band, 

Had Lady Margaret sought the strand. 

Loose on the breeze their tresses ilew, 

And high their snowy arms they threw, 

As echoing back with shrill acclaim 

And chorus wild the chieftain's name ; 

While, prompt to please, with mother's art, 

The darling passion of his heart, 

The Dame called Ellen to the strand, 

To greet her kinsman ere he land ; 

" Come, loiterer, come ! a Douglas thou, 

And shun to wreathe a victor's brow?" 

Reluctantly and slow, the maid 

The unwelcome summoning obeyed, 

And, when a distant bugle rung, 

In the mid-path aside she sprung: 

" List, Allan-bane I/rom mainland cast, 

I hear my father's signal blast. 

Be ours," she cried, " the skiff to guide, 

And waft him from the mountain side." 

Then, like a sunbeam swift and bright, 

She darted to her shallop light 

And, eagerly while Roderick scanned, 

For her dear form, his mother's band, 

The islet far behind her lay, 

And she had landed in the bay. 

XXII. 

Some feelings are to mortals given, 

With less of earth in them than heaven; 

And if there be a human tear 

From passion's dross refined and clear 

A tear so limpid and so meek, 

It would not stain an angel's cheek, 



CANTO II.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 303 

'Tis that which pious fathers shed 
Upon a duteous daughter's head ! 
And as the Douglas to his breast 
His darling Ellen closely pressed, 
Such holy drops her tresses steep'd, 
Though 'twas an hero's eye that weep'd. 
Nor while on Ellen's faltering tongue 
Her filial welcomes crowded hung, 
Marked she, that fear (affection's proof) 
Still held a graceful youth aloof; 
No ! not till Douglas named his name, 
Although the youth was Malcolm Graeme. 

xxin. 

Allan, with wistful look the while, 

Marked Roderick landing on the isle; 

His master piteously he eyed, 

Then gazed upon the chieftain's pride, 

Then dashed, with hasty hand, away 

From his dimmed eye the gathering spray; 

And Douglas, as his hand he laid 

On Malcolm's shoulder, kindly said, 

" Canst thou, young friend, no meaning spy 

In my poor follower's glistening eye? 

I'll tell thee : he recalls the day, 

When in my praise he led the lay 
CTer the arched gate of Bothwell proud, 

While many a minstrel answered loud, 
When Percy's Norman pennon, won 
In bloody field, before me shone, 
And twice ten knights, the least a name 
As mighty as yon chief may claim, 
Gracing my pomp, behind me came. 
Yet trust me, Malcolm, not so proud 
Was I of all that marshalled crowd, 
Though the waned crescent owned my might, 
And m my train trooped lord and knight, 
Though Blantyre hymned her holiest lays, 
And Bothwell's bards flung back my praise, 
As when this old man's silent tear, 
And this poor maid's affection dear, 
A welcome give more kind and true 
Than aught my better fortunes knew. 



304 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO II 

Forgive, my friend, a father's boast; 
Oh ! it out-beggars all I lost !" 



Delightful praise ! like summer rose, 
That brighter in the dew-drop glows, 
The bashful maiden's cheek appeared 
For Douglas spoke, and Malcolm heard. 
The Hush of shame-faced joy to hide, 
The hounds, the hawk, her cares divide : 
The loved caresses of the maid 
The dogs with crouch and whimper paid ; 
And, at her whistle, on her hand 
The falcon took his favourite stand, 
Closed his dark wing, relaxed his eye, 
Nor, though unhooded, sought to lly. 
And trust, while in such guise she stood, 
Like fabled Goddess of the >',\.ml, 
That if a father's partial thought 
O'erweighed her worth and beauty aught, 
Well might the lover's judgment fail, 
To balance with a juster scale ; 
For with each secret glance he stole, 
The fond enthusiast sent his soul. 

XXV. 

Of stature fair, and slender frame. 
But firmly knit, was Malcolm Graeme. 
The belted plaid and tartan Lose 
Did ne'er more graceful limlc disclose ; 
His flaxen hair, of sunny hue, 
Curled closely round his bonnet blue ; 
Trained to the chase, his eofjt eye 
The ptarmigan in snow could spy ; 
Each pass, by mountain, lake, and heath, 
He knew, through Lennox and Menteith ; 
Vain was the bound of dark- brown doe, 
When Malcolm bent his sounding bow% 
And scarce that doe, though winged with fear, 
Outstripped in speed the mountaineer ; 
Right up Ben- Lomond could he press, 
And not a sob his toil confess 



CANTO II.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 305 

His form accorded with a mind 
Lively and ardent, frank and kind ; 
A blither heart, till Ellen came, 
Did never love nor sorrow tame ; 
It danced as lightsome in his breast, 
As played the feather on his crest. 
Yet friends, who nearest knew the youth, 
His scorn of wrong, his zeal for truth, 
And bards, who saw his features bold, 
When kindled by the tales of old, 
Said, were that youth to manhood grown, 
Not long should Roderick Dhu's renown 
Be foremost voiced by mountain fame, 
But quail to that of Malcolm Graeme. 

XXVI. 

Now back they wend their watery way, 
And, " Oh my sire !" did Ellen say, 
"Why urge thy chase ?o far astray? 
And why so late retimed? And why" 
The rest was in her speaking eye. 
" My child, t le chase I follow far, 
"Pis mimicry of noble war ; 
And with that gallant pastime reft 
Were all of Douglas I have left. 
I met young Malcolm as I strayed 
Far eastward, in Glenfinlas' shade, 
Nor strayed I safe ; for, all around, 
Hunters and horsemen scoured the ground. 
This youth, though still a royal ward, 
Risked life and land to be my guard, 
And through the passes of the wood 
Guided my steps not unpursued ; 
And Roderick shall his welcome make, 
Despite old spleen, for Douglas' sake. 
Then must he seek Strath- Endrick glen, 
Nor peril aught for me agen." 

XXVII. 

Sir Roderick, who to meet them came, 
Reddened at sight of Malcolm Graeme, 
Yet, nor in action, word, or eye, 
Failed aught in hospitality. 



306 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO II. 

In talk and sport they whiled away 
The morning of that summer day; 
But at high noon a courier light 
Held secret parley with the knight, 
Whose moody aspect soon declared, 
That evil were the news he heard. 
Deep thought seemed toiling in his head ; 
Yet was the evening banquet made, 
Ere he assembled round the flame, 
His mother, Douglas, and the Graeme 
And Ellen too ; then cast around 
His eyes, then fixed them on the ground, 
As studying phrase that might avail 
Best to convey unpleasant tale. 
Long with his dagger's hilt he played, 
Then raised his haughty brow, and said : 

XXVIII. 

" Short be my speech ; nor time affords, 

Nor my plain temper, glozing words. 

Kinsman and father if such name 

Douglas vouchsafe to Roderick's claim ; 

Mine honoured mother ; Ellen why, 

My cousin, turn away thine eye? 

And Graeme ; in whom I hope to know 

Full soon a noble friend or foe, 

When age shall give thee thy command, 

And leading in thy native land 

List all ! The King's vindictive pride 

Boasts to have tamed the Border-side, 

Where chiefs, with hound and hawk who came 

To share their monarch's sylvan game, 

Themselves in bloody toils were snared, 

And when the banquet they prepared, 

* In 1529, James V., determined to extirpate the Border rnbbert, 
who, during his minority, had committed many excesses, assembled 

nobility and their followers, who were directed to bring their 
hawks and dogs with them, that the monarch miicht refresh him- 
elf with sport during the intervals of military execution. With 
this array he swept through Ettricke forest, hang-ed over the gate 
of his own castle Piers Cockburn of Henderland, and cnuscd Adam 
Scott of Tushielaw, who was distinguished bv the title ot King of 
the Border, and the noted John Armstrong r>( Gilnockie, to be ex- 
ecuted. The effect of this severity was such, that, as the vulgar 
expressed it, " the rush bush kept the oow." 



CANTO n.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 307 

And -wide their loyal portals flung, 

O'er their own gateway struggling hung. 

Loud cries their blood from Meggat's mead, 

From Yarrow braes, and banks of Tweed, 

Where the lone streams of Ettricke glide, 

And from the silver Teviot's side ; 

The dales, where martial clans did ride, 

Are now one sheep-walk waste and wide. 

This tyrant of the Scottish throne, 

So faithless, and so ruthless known, 

Now hither comes ; his end the same, 

The same pretext of sylvan game. 

What grace for Highland chiefs judge ye, 

By fate of Border chivalry.* 

Yet more ; amid Glenfinlas green, 

Douglas, thy stately form was seen. 

This by espial sure I know : 

Your counsel in the straight I show." 



Ellen and Margaret fearfully 

Sought comfort in each other's eye, 

Then turned their ghastly look, each one, 

This to her sire, that to her son. 

The hasty colour went and came 

In the bold cheek of Malcolm Graeme ; 

But, from his glance it well appeared, 

'Twas but for Ellen that he feared ; 

While sorrowful, but undismay'd. 

The Douglas thus his counsel said: 

" Brave Roderick, though the tempest roar, 

It may but thunder and pass o'er ; 

Nor will I here remain an hour, 

To draw the lightning on thy bower ; 

For well thou know'st, at this grey head 

The royal bolt were fiercest sped. 

For thee, who, at thy King's command, 

Canst aid him with a gallant band, 

James was, in fact, attentive to restrain rapine and feudal op- 
pression not only up.-n the Border, but also in the highlands and 
the isles, ninny of the chief men of which he detained as hostages 
for toe behariour of their vassals. 



308 THK LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO n. 

Submission, homage, humbled pride, 
Shall turn the Monarch's wrath aside. 
Poor remnants of the Bleeding Heart, 
Ellen and I will seek, apart, 
The refuge of some forest cell ; 
There, like the hunted quarry, dwell, 
Till, on the mountain and the moor, 
The stern pursuit be passed and o'er." 



" No, by mine honour !" Roderick said, 

" So help me heaven, and my good blade ! 

N o, never ! Blasted be yon pine, 

My fathers' ancient crest, and mine, 

If from its shade in danger part 

The lineage of the Bleeding Heart ! 

Hear my blunt speech. Grant me this maid 

To wife, thy counsel to mine aid ; 

To Douglas, leagued with Roderick Dhu, 

Will friends and allies flock enow ; 

Like cause of doubt, distrust, and grief, 

Will bind to us each Western Chief. 

When the loud pipes my bridal tell, 

The Links of Forth shall hear the knell, 

The guards shall start in Stirling's porch ; 

And when I light the nuptial torch, 

A thousand villages in flames, 

Shall scare the slumbers of King James. 

Nay, Ellen, blench not thus away, 

And, mother, cease these sighs, I pray; 

I meant not all my heat might say. 

Small need of inroad, or of iight, 

When the sage Douglas may unite 

Each mountain clan in friendly band, tih^; 

To guard the passes of their land, 

Till the foiled King, from pathless glen, 

Shall bootless turn him home agen." 

XXXI. 

.There are who have, at midnight hour, 
In slumber scaled a dizzy tower. 
And, on the verge that beetled o'er 
The ocean-tide's incessant roar, 



CANTO EL] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 309 

Dreamed calmly out their dangerous dream, 

Till wakened by the morning beam ; 

When, dazzled by the eastern glow, 

Such startler cast his glance below, 

And saw unmeasured depth around, 

And heard unintermitted sound, 

And thought the battled fence so frail, 

It waved like cobweb in the gale ; 

Amid his senses' giddy wheel, 

Did he not desperate impulse feel, 

Headlong to plunge himself below, 

And meet the worst his fears foreshow ! 

Thus, Ellen, dizzy and astound, 

As sudden ruin yawned around, 

By crossing terrors wildly tossed, 

Still fjr the Douglas fearing most, 

Could scarce the desperate thought withstand, 

To buy his safety with her hand. 



Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy 
In Ellen's quivering lip and eye, 
And eager rose to speak but ere 
His tongue could hurry forth his fear, 
Had Douglas marked the hectic strife, 
Where death seemed combating with life ; 
For to her cheek, in feverish flood, 
One instant rushed the throbbing blood 
Then ebbing back, with sudden swa/, 
Left its mam as wan as clay. 
" Rodf enough ! enough !" he cried, 
"M_ _, .er cannot be thy bride; 
Not that the blush to wooer dear, 
Nor paleness that of maiden fear. 
It may not be forgive her, chief, 
Nor hazard aught for our relief. 
Against his sovereign, Douglas ne'er 
Will level a rebellious spear. 
'Twas 1 that taught his youthful hand 
To rein a steed and wield a brand. 
I see him yet, the princely boy! 
Not Ellen more my pride and joy; 



310 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO II. 

I love Mm still, despite my -wrongs, 
By hasty wrath, and slanderous tongues. 
Oh seek the grace you well may find, 
Without a cause to mine combined." 

XX III. 

Twice through the hall tne Chieftain strode, 
The waving of his tartans broad, 
And darkened brow, where wounded pride 
With ire and disappointment vied, 
Seemed, by the torch's gloomy light, 
Like the ill Dsemon of the night, 
Stooping his pinions' shadowy sway 
Upon the nighted pilgrim's way: 
But, unrequited Love ! thy dart 
Plunged deepest its envenomed smart, 
And Roderick, with thine anguish stung, 
At length the hand of Douglas wrung, 
While eyes, that mocked at tears before, 
With bitter drops were running o'er. 
The death-pangs of long-cherished hope 
Scarce in that ample breast had scope, 
But, struggling with his spirit proud, 
Convulsive heaved its chequered shroud, 
While every sob so mute were all 
Was heard distinctly through the hall. 
The son's despair, the mother's look, 
111 might the gentle Ellen brook; 
She rose, and to her side there came, 
To aid her parting steps, the Graeme. 

XXXIV. 

Then Roderick from the Douglas broke 
As flashes flame through sable smoke, 
Kindling its wreaths, long, dark, and low, 
To one broad blaze of ruddy glow, 
So the deep anguish of despair 
Burst, in fierce jealousy, to air. 
With stalwart grasp his hand he laid 
On Malcolm's breast and belted plaid : 
" Back, beardless boy !" he sternly said, 
" Back, minion ! hold'st thou thus at naught 
The lesson I so lately taught? 



CANTO IL] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 311 

This roof, the Douglas, and that maid, 
Thank thou for punishment delayed." 
Eager as greyhound on his game, 
Fiercely with Roderick grappled Grseme. 
"Perish my name, if aught afford 
Its chieftain safety, save his sword!" 
Thus as they strove, their desperate hand 
Griped to the dagger or the brand, 
And death had been but Douglas rose, 
And thrust between the struggling foes 
His giant strength: "Chieftains, forego! 
I hold the first who strikes, my foe, 
Madmen, forbear your frantic jar! 
What ! is the Douglas fallen so far, 
His daughter's hand is deemed the spoil 
Of such dishonourable broil. 1 " 
Sullen and slowly, they unclasp, 
As struck with shame, their desperate grasp, 
And each upon his rival glared, 
With foot advanced, and blade half bared. 

XXXV. 

Ere yet the brands aloft were flung, 
Margaret on Roderick's mantle hung, 
And Malcolm heard his Ellen's scream, 
As faltered through terrific dream. 
Then Roderick plunged in sheath his sword, 
And veiled his wrath in scornful word. 
"Rest safe till morning; pity 'twere 
Such cheek should feel the midnight air!* 
Then may'st thou to James Stuart tell, 
Roderick will keep the lake and fell, ' 
Nor lackey, with his free-born clan, 
The pageant pomp of earthly man. 
More would he of Clan- Alpine know, 
Thou canst our strength and passes show. 
Malise, what ho?" -his henchmanf came- 
"Give our safe conduct to the Greeme." 



vr eT respect so essential to the character 

?^ui a-tata ' th= 

t This officer who was a sort of secretary, was to be readv 
pon aU occasions, to venture his lite in d7fenceVf his master' 



312 THE LADY OP THE LAKE. [CA^TO H 

Young Malcolm answered, calm and bold, 
" Fear nothing for thy favourite hold. 
The spot, an angel deigned to grace, 
Is blessed, though robbers haunt the place ; 
Thy churlish courtesy for those 
Reserve, who fear to be thy foes. 
As safe to me ths mountain way 
At midnight, a.-, in blaze of day, 
Though, with his boldest at his back, 
Even Roderick Dhu beset the track. 
Brave Douglas lovely Ellen nay, 
Nought here of parting will I say. 
Earth does not hold a lonesome glen, 
So secret, but we meet agen. 
Chieftain ! we too shall find an hour," 
He said, and left the sylvan bower. 

XXXVI. 

Old Allan followed to the strand, 
(Such was the Douglas's command,) 
And anxious told, how, on the morn, 
The stern Sir Roderick deep had sworn, 
The Fiery Cross should circle o'er 
Dale, glen, and valley, down, and moor. 
Much were the peril to the Graeme, 
From those who to the signal came; 
Far up the lake 'twere safest land, 
Himself would row him to the strand. 
He gave his counsel to the wind, 
While Malcolm did, unheeding, bind, 
Round dirk and pouch and broad-sword rolled, 
His ample plaid in tightened fold, 
And stripped his limbs to such array 
As best might suit the watery way. 

XXXVIL 

Then spoke abrupt : " Farewell to thee, 
Pattern of old fidelity !" 
The minstrel's hand he kindly pressed, 
" Oh ! could I point a place of rest ! 
My sovereign holds in ward my land, 
My uncle leads my vassal band; 



CANTO m.J THE LADY OF THK LAKE. 313 

To tame his foes, his friends to aid, 
Poor Malcolm has but heart and blade : 
Yet, if there be one faithful Graeme, 
"Who loves the Chieftain of his name, 
Not long shall honoured Douglas dwell, 
Like hunted stag, in mountain cell: 
Nor, ere yon pride-swollen robber dare 
I may not give the rest to air! 
Tell Roderick Dhu, I owed him nought, 
Not the poor service of a boat, 
To waft me to yon mountain side;" 
Then plunged he in the flashing tide. 
Bold o'er the flood his head he bore, 
And stoutly steered him from the shore; 
And ^ Allan strained his anxious eye, 
Far 'mid the lake his form to spy. 
Darkening acrot::-; each puny wave, 
To which the moon her silver gave. 
Fast as the cormorant could skim, 
The swimmer plied each active limb; 
Then landing in the moonlight dell, 
Loud shouted of his weal to tell. 
The Minstrel heard the far halloo, 
And jojful from the shore withdrew. 



CANTO THIRD. 

e steering. 



Time rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore 
Who danced our infancy upon their knee, 

And told our marvelling boyhood legends store 
Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or s-a, 
How are they blotted from the things that 1 e! ' 

How few, all weak and withered of th~eir force 
Wait, on the verge of dark eternity, 

Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse 

To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls his cease- 
less course. 



314 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO HI. 

Yet live there still -who can remember well, 

How, when a mountain chief his bugle blew, 
Both field and forest, dingle, cliff, and dell, 

And solitary heath, the signal knew; 

And fast the faithful clan around him drew, 
What time the warning note was keenly wound, 

What time aloft their kindred banner flew, 
While clamorous war-pipes yelled the gathering 

sound, 

And while the Fiery Cross glanced, like a meteor, 
round.* 

II. 

The summer dawn's reflected hue 

To purple changed Loch-Katrine blue ; 

Mildly and soft the west m breeze 

Just kissed the lake, just stirred the trees, 

And the pleased lake , like maiden coy, 

Trembled but dimpled not for joy; 

The mountain shadows on her breast 

Were neither broken nor at rest ; 

In bright uncertainty they lie, 

Like future joys to Fancy's eye. 

The water lily to the light 

Her chalice rear'd of silver bright ; 

The doe awoke, and to the lawn, 

Begemmed with dew-drops, led her fawn; 

The grey mist left the mountain side, 

The torrent showed its glistening pride; 

Invisible in flecked sky, 

The lark sent down her revelry; 

The blackbird and the speckled thrush 

Good-morrow gave from brake and bush ; 

When a chieftain designed to summon his clan, upon any 
emergency, he slew a goat, and making a cross of any light wood, 
scared its extremities in the fire, and extinguished them in the 
blood of the animal This was called the Fiery Cross, and also the 
Crost of Shame, because disobedience to the symbol inferred in- 
famy. It was passed with incredible celerity through all the dis- 
trict which owed allrgiance to the chief, and also among his allies 
and neighbours, if the danger was common to them, and at sight 
of the Fiery Cross, every man, from sixteen years old to sixty, 
capable of bearing arms, was obliged instantly to repair, in his best 
arms and accoutrements, to the flace of rendezvous. He who 
faUed to appear, suffered the extremities of fire and sword, which 
were emblematically denounced by the bloody and burned marks 
upon this warlike signal. 



CANTO m.] THE LADY OF IHK LA KE. 315 

In answer cooed the cushat dove, 
Her notes of peace, and rest, and love. 

lit. 

No thought of peace, no thought of rest, 
Assuaged the storm in Roderick's breast. 
"\\ itb sheathed broad-sword in his hand, 
Abrupt he paced the islet strand, 
And eyed the rising sun, and laid 
His hand on his impatient blade. 
Beneath a rock, his vassals' care 
Was prompt the ritual to prepare, 
With deep and deathful meaning fraught; 
For such Antiquity had taught 
Was preface meet, ere yet abroad 
The Cross of Fire should take its road. 
The shrinking band stood oft aghast 
At the impatient glance he cast; 
Such glance the mountain eagle threw, 
As, from the cliffs of Ben- venue, 
She spread her dark sails on the wind, 
And high in middle heaven reclined, 
With her broad shadow on the lake, 
Silenced the warblers of the brake. 



A heap of withered boughs was piled, 
Of juniper and rowan wild, 
Mingled with shivers from the oak, 
Bent by the lightning's recent stroke. 
Brian the Hermit by it stood, 
Barefooted, in his frock and hood. 
His grisled beard and matted hair 
Obscured a visage of despair; 
His naked arms and legs, seamed o'er, 
The scars of frantic penance bore. 
That Monk, of savage form and face, 
The impending danger of his race 
Had drawn from deepest solitude, 
Far in Benharrow's bosom rude. 
Not his the mien of Christian priest 
But Druid's, from the grave released, 



316 THK LADY OF THE LAKE. [CA^TQ III. 

Whose hardened heart and eye might brook 

On human sacrifice to look. 

And much, 'twas said, of heathen lore 

Mixed in the charms he muttered o'er; 

The hallowed creed gave only worse 

And deadlier emphasis of curse. 

No peasant sought that Hermit's prayer, 

His cave the pilgrim shunned v.-ith care; 

The eager huntsman knew his bound, 

And in mid chase called off his hound; 

Or if, in lonely glen or strath, 

The desert-dweller met his path, 

He prayed, and signed the cross between, 

While terror took devotion's mien. 



Of Brian's birth strange tales were told.* 
His mother watched a midnight fold, 
Built deep within a dreary glen, 
Where scattered lay the bones of men, 
In some forgotten battle slain, 
And bleached by drifting wind and rain. 
It might have tamed a warrior's heart, 
To view such mockery of his art ! 
The knot-grass fettered there the hand, 
Which once could burst an iron band; 
Beneath the broad and ample bone, 
That bucklered heart to fear unknown, 
A feeble and a timorous guest, 
The field- fare framed her lowly nest; 
There the slow blind-worm left his slime 
On the fleet limbs that mocked at time; 
And there, too, lay the leader's skull, 
Still wreathed with chaplet flushed and full, 
For heath-bell, with her purple bloom, 
Supplied the bonnet and the plume. 
All night, in this sad glen, the maid 
Sate shrouded in her mantle's shade : 
She said, no shepherd sought her side, 
No hunter's hand her snood untied, 

* The legend which follows is not of the author's invention, 
being adopted in almost every particular, from the geographical 
collections made by the laird of Macfarlaaa. 



CANTO III] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. S17 

Yet ne'er again to braid her hair 
The virgin snood did Alice wear:* 
Gone *ras her maiden glee and sport, 
Her maiden girdle all too short, 
Nor sought she, from that fatal night, 
Or holy church or blessed rite, 
But locked her secret in her breast, 
And died in travail, unconfessed. 

VI. 

Alone, among his young compeers, 

Was Brian from his infant years; 

A moody and heart-broken boy, 

Estranged from sympathy and joy, 

Bearing each taunt which careless tongue 

On his mysterious lineage flung. 

Whole nights he spent by moonlight pale, 

To wood and stream his hap to waiL 

Till, frantic, he as truth received 

What of his birth the crowd believed, 

And sought, in mist and meteor tire, 

To meet and know his Phantom Sire ! 

In vain to soothe his wayward fate, 

The cloister oped her pitying gate ; 

In vain, the learning of the age 

Unclasped the sable-lettered page ; 

Even in its treasures he could find 

Food for the fever of his mind. 

Eager he read whatever tells 

Of magic, cabala, and spells, 

And every dark pursuit allied 

To curious and presumptuous pride, 

Till, with fired brain and nerves o'erstrung, 

And heart with mystic horrors wrong, 

Desperate he sought Benharrow's den, 

And hid him from the haunts of men. 

* The mood, or ribband, with which a Scottish bus braided hei 
hair, had an emblematical signification, anil applied to her maiden 
character. It was exchanged T.>r the currA, toy, or coif, when she 
passed, by marriage, into the matron stale. But if the damsel 
wait so unfortunate as to lose pr^tevxinns to the name 'if maiden, 
without gaining a right to that of matron, she was neither per- 
mitted to use the snood nor advanced to the graver dignity of the 
curcA. 



318 THE LADT OF THE LAKE. [CANTO HI. 
VII. 

The desert gave him visions "wild, 

Such as might suit the Spectre's child. 

Where with black cliffs the torrents toil, 

He watched the wheeling eddies boil, 

Till, from their foam, his dazzled eyes 

Beheld the river demon rise ; 

The mountain mist took form and limb 

Of noontide hag, or goblin grim ; 

The midnight wind came wild and dread, 

Swelled with the voices of the dead 

Far on the future battle-heath 

His eye beheld the ranks of death : 

Thus the lone Seer, from mankind hurled, 

Shaped forth a disembodied world. 

One lingering sympathy of mind 

Still bound him to the mortal kind ; 

The only parent he could claim 

Of ancient Alpine's lineage came. 

Late had he heard, in prophet's dream, 

The fatal Ben-Shie's boding scream ;* 

Sounds, too, had come in midnight blast, 

Of charging steeds, careering fast 

Along Benharrow's shingly side, 

Where mortal horseman ne'er might ride ;{ 

The thunderbolt had cplit the pine 

All augur'd ill to Alpine's line. 

He girt his loins, and came to show 

The signals of impending woe, 

And now stood prompt to bless or ban, 

As bade the Chieftain of his clan. 

VIII. 

'Twas all prepared and from the rock, 
A goat, the patriarch of the flock 

* Most great families in the Highlands were supposed to have a 
tutelar, or domestic spirit, either of male or female appearance, 
who took an interest in their prosperity, and intimated, by iU 
waitings any approaching disaster. The Beu-Shie implies the 
female Fairy, whose lamentations were often supposed to precede 
the death of a chieftain of particular families. 

t A presage of this kind is still believed to announce death to 
the ancient highland family of M'Lean of Lochbuy. The spirit of 
an ancestor slain in battle is heard to gallop along a stony bank, 
and then to ride thrice around the family residence, ringing ti 
fairy bridle, aud thus intimating the approaching calamity. 



CA^TO III.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 319 

Before the kindling- pi'.e was laid, 
And pierced by Roderick's ready blade. 
Patient the sickening victim eyed 
The life-blood ebb in crimson tide, 
Down his clogged beard and shaggy limb, 
Till darkness glazed his eyeballs dim. 
The grisly priest, with murmuring prayer, 
A slender crosslet framed with care. 
A cubit's length in measure due ; 
The shaft and limbs were rods of yew, 
Whose parents in Inch-Cailliach wave 
Their shadows o'er Clan- Alpine's grave,* 
And, answering Lomond's breezes deep, 
Soothe many a chieftain's endless sleep. 
The Cross, thus formed, he held on high, 
With wasted hand and haggard eye, 
And strange and minglod feelings woke, 
While his anathema he spoke. 

IX. 

" Woe to the clansman, who shall view 
This symbol of sepulchral yew, 
Forgetful that its branches grew 
Where weep the heavens their holiest dew 

On Alpine's dwelling low! 
Deserter of his Chieftain's trust, 
He ne'er shall mingle with their dust, 
But from his sires and kindred thrust, 
Each clansman's execration just 

Shall doom him wrath and woe." 
He paused the word the vassals took, 
With forward step and fiery look, 
On high their naked brands they shook, 
Their clattering targets wildly strook ; 

And first, in murmur low, 
Then, like the billow in his course, 
That far to seaward finds his source, 
And flings to shore his mustered force, 
Burst, with loud roar, their answer hoarse, 

" Woe to the traitor, woe !" 

Inch- Cailliach, the If'? of Nuns, or of Old Women, is a most 
beautiful island at the 1< rer extremity of Locb-I,omnnd. The 
burial ground there continues to be used, and contains the family 
places of sepulture of several families, claiming a descent from the 
old Scottish King Alpine. 






320 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IIL 

Ben-an's grey scalp the accents knew, 
The joyous wolf from covert drew, 
The exulting eagle screamed afar 
They knew the voice of Alpine's war. 

x. 

The shout was hushed on lake and fell, 
The Monk resumed his muttered spell. 
Dismal and low its accents came, 
The while he scathed the Cross with flame ; 
And the few words that reached the air, 
Although the holiest name was there, 
Had more of blasphemy than prayer. 
But when he shook above the crowd 
Its kindled points, he spoke aloud : 
" Woe to the wretch, who fails to rear 
At this dread sign the ready spear ! 
For, as the flames this symbol sear, 
His home, the refuge of his fear, 

A kindred fate shall know ; 
Far o'er its roof the volumed flame 
Clan-A'pine's vengeance shall proclaim, 
While maids and matrons oa his name 
Shall call down wretchedness and shame, 

And infamy and woe !" 
Then rose the cry of females, shrill 
As goss-hawk's whistle on the hill, 
Denouncing misery and ill, 
Mingled with childhood's babbling trill 

Of curses stammered slow ; 
Answering, with imprecation dread, 
" Sunk be his home in embers red ! 
And cursed be the meanest shed 
That e'er shall hide the houseless head 

We doom to want and woe !" 
A sharp and shrieking echo gave, 
Coir-Uriskin, thy goblin cave! 
And the grey pass where birches wave, 

On Beala-nam-bo. 

XI. 

Then deeper paused the priest anew, 
And hard his labouring breath he drew, 
"While, with set teeth and clenched hand, 
And eyes that glowed like fiery brand, 



CANTO m.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 321 

He meditated curse more dread, 
And deadlier, on the clansman's head, 
Who summoned to his Chieftain's aid. 
The signal saw and disobeyed. 
The crosslet's points of sparkling wood, 
He quenched among the bubbling blood, 
And as again the sign he reared, 
Hollow and hoarse his voice was heard : 
" When nits this Cross from man to man, 
Vich- Alpine's summons to his clan, 
Burst be the ear that fails to heed ! 
Palsied the foot that shuns to speed 
May ravens tear the careless eyes ! 
Wolves make the coward heart their prize ! 
As sinks that blood-stream in the earth, 
So may his heart's-blood drench his hearth! 
As dies in hissing gore the spark, 
Quench thou his light, Destruction dark ! 
And be the grace to him denied, 
Bought by this sign to all beside f 
He ceased : no echo gave agen 
The murmur of the deep Amen. 



Then Roderick, with impatient look, 
From Brian's hand the symbol took : 
" Speed, Malise, speed !" he said, and gave 
The crosslet to his henchman brave; 
" The muster- place be Lanric mead 
Instant the time speed, Malise, speed !" 
Like heath-bird, when the hawks pursue, 
A barge across Loch-Katrine flew ; 
High stood the henchman on the prow ; 
So rapidly the harge-men row, 
The hubbies, where they launched the boat, 
VV ere all unbroken and afloat, 
Dancing in foam and ripple still, 
When it had neared the mainland hill ; 
And from the silver beach's side 
Still was the prow three fathoms wide, 
When lightly bounded to Iht land, 
The messenger of blood and brand. 
Oil 



322 



THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO UL 



XIII. 

Speed, Malise, speed ! the dun deer's hide 
On fleeter foot was never tied.* 
Speed, Malise, speed ! such cause of haste 
Thine active sinews never braced. 
Bend 'gainst the steepy hill thy breast, 
Burst down like torrent from its crest ; 
With short and springing footsteps pass 
The trembling bog and false morass ; 
Across the brook like roebuck bound, 
And thread the brake like questing hound ; 
The crag is higa, the scaur is deep, 
Yet shrink not from the desperate leap ; 
Parched are thy burning lips and brow, 
Yet by the fountain pause not now ; 
Herald of battle, fate, and fear, 
Stretch onward in thy fleet career ! 
The wounded hind thou track'st not now 
Pursu'st not maid through greenwood bough, 
Nor pliest thou now thy flying pace 
With rivals in the mountain race ; 
But danger, death, and warrior deed 
Are in thy course Speed, Malise, speed ! 



Fast as the fatal symbol flies, 

In arms the huts and hamlets rise ; 

From winding glen, from upland brown, 

They poured each hardy tenant down. 

Nor slacked the messenger his pace ; 

He showed the sign, he named the place, ' 

And, pressing forward like the wind, 

Left clamour and surprise behind. 

The fisherman forsook the strand, 

The swarthy smith took dirk and brand ; 

With changed cheer, the mower blithe 

Left in the half-cut swathe his scythe ; 

The herds without a keeper strayed, 

The plough was in raid-furrow staid, 

The brogue or shoe of the Highlanders is made of half-dried 
leather, with holes to admit and let out the water. The ancient 
buskin was still ruder, being made of the undressed deer's hide, 
with the hair outwards, a circumstance which procured the High- 
landers the well-known epithet of redthankt. 



CANTO III.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 323 

The falc'ner tossed his hawk away, 

The hunter left the stag at bay ; 

Prompt at the signal of alarms, 

Each son of Alpine rushed to arms ; 

So swept the tumult and affray 

Along the margin of Achray. 

Alas, thou lovely lake ! that e'er 

Thy hanks should echo sounds of fear ! 

The rocks, the bosky thickets, sleep 

So stilly on thy bosom deep, 

The lark's blithe carol from the cloud, 

Seems for the scene too gaily loud. 

xv. 

Speed, Malise, speed ! the lake is past, 
Duncraggan's huts appear at last, 
And peep, like moss-grown rocks, half seen, 
Half hidden in the copse so green ; 
There may'st thou rest, thy labour' done, 
Their Lord shall speed the signal on. 
As stoops the hawk upon his prey, 
The henchman shot him down the way. 
What -woeful accents load the gale ? 
The funeral yell, the female wail ! 
A gallant hunter's sport is o'er, 
A valiant warrior fights no more. 
Who, in the battle or the chase, 
At Roderick's side shall fill his place ! 
Within the hall, where torch's ray 
Supplies the excluded beams of day, 
Lies Duncan on his lowly bier, 
And o'er him streams his widow's tear. 
His stripling son stands mournful by, 
His youngest weeps, but knows not why ; 
The village maids and matrons round 
The dismal coronach* resound. 

XVI. 
CORONACH. 

He is gone on the mountain, 

He is lost to the forest, 
The Coronach of ^tbe Highlander., W a> a wild expression of 

fort " bylhe n " mrue " ' er <***> { * 



324 THE LADV OF THE LAKE. [CANTO III. 

Like a summer-dried fountain, 

When our need was the sorest. 
The font, re-appearing, 

From the rain-drops shall borrow, 
But to us comes no cheering, 

To Duncan no morrow ! 
The hand of the reaper 

Takes the ears that are hoary, 
But the voice of the weeper 

Wails manhood in glory ; 
The autumn winds rushing 

Waft the leaves that are searest, 
But our flower was in flushing, 

When blighting was nearest. 
Fleet foot on the correi,* 

Sage counsel in cumber, 
Red hand in the foray, 

How sound is thy slumber ! 
Like the dew on the mountain, 

Like the foam on the river, 
Like the bubble on the fountain, 

Thou art gone, and for ever ! 

XVII. 

See Stumah, 1 )* who, the bier beside, 

His master's corpse with wonder eyed 

Poor Stumah ! whom his least halloo 

Could seud like lightning o'er the dew, 

Bristles his crest, and points his ears, 

As if some stranger step he hears. 

'Tis not a mourner's muffled tread, 

Who comes to sorrow o'er the dead, 

But headlong haste, or deadly fear, 

Urge the precipitate career. 

All stand aghast : unheeding all, 

The henchman bursts into the hall ! 

Before the dead man's bier he stood, 

Held forth the Cross besmeared with blood ! 

" The muster-place is Lanrick mead ; 

Speed forth the signal ! clansmen, speed P* 

* Or coiri. The hollow side of the hill, where game usually 
+ Faithful. The name of a dog. 



CANTO HI.] THE LADY OF THK LAKB. 325 

XVIII. 

Angus, the heir of Duncan's line, _ 

Sprang forth and seized the fatal sign. 

In haste the stripling to his side 

His father's dirk and broad-sword tied ; 

But when he saw his mother's eye 

Watch him in speechless agony, 

Back to her opened arms he flew, 

Pressed on her lips a fond adieu. 

" Alas !" she sohbed " and yet be gone, 

And speed thee forth, like Duncan's son ! 

One look he cast upon the bier, 

Dashed from his eye the gathering tear, 

Breathed deep, to clear his labouring breast, 

And tossed aloft his bonnet crest, 

Then, like the high-bred colt when freed 

First he essays his tire and speed, 

He vanished, and o'er moor and moss 

Sped forward with the Fiery Cross. 

Suspended was the widow's tear, 

While yet his footsteps she could hear ; 

And when she marked the henchman's eye 

Wet with unwonted sympathy, 

u Kinsman," she said, " his race is run, 

That should have sped thine errand on ; 

The oak has fallen the sapling bough 

Is all Duncraggan's shelter now. 

Yet trust I well, his duty done, 

The orphan's God will guard my son. 

And you, in many a danger true, 

At Duncan's host your blades that drew, 

To arms, and guard that orphan's head ! 

Let babes and women waii the dead." 

Then weapon-clan, and murtial call, 

Resounded through the funeral hall, 

While from the walls the attendant band 

Snatched sword and targe, with hurried hand ; 

And short and flitting energy 

Glanced from the mourner s sunken eye, 

As if the sounds to warrior dear 

Might rouse her Duncan from his bier. 

But faded soon that borrowed force; 

Grief claimed his right, and tears their course. 



326 



THE LADY OF TflE LAKE. [CANTO TIL 



XIX. 

Benledi saw the Cross of Fire, 
It glanced like lightning up Strath-Ire. 
O'er dale and hill the summons Hew, 
Not rest nor pause young Angus knew ; 
The tear that' gathered in his eye, 
He left the mountain breeze to dry; 
Until, where Teith's young waters roll, 
Betwixt him and a wooded knoll, 
That graced the sable strath with green, 
The chapel of Saint Bride was seen. 
Swoln was the stream, remote the bridge, 
But Angus paused not on the edge ; 
Though the dark waves danced dizzily, 
Though reeled his sympathetic eye, 
He dashed amid the torrent's roar ; 
His right hand high the crosslet bore, 
His left the pole-axe grasped, to guide 
And stay his footing in the tide. 
He stumbled twice the foam splashed high, 
With hoarser swell the stream raced by ; 
And had he fallen for ever there, 
Farewell Duncraggan's orphan heir ! 
But still, as if in parting life, 
Firmer he grasped the Cross of strife, 
Until the opposing bank he gained, 
And up the chapel pathway strained. 

xx. 

A blithesome rout, that morning tide, 
Had sought the chapel of Saint Bride. 
Her troth Tombea's Mary gave 
To Norman, heir of Armandave, 
And, issuing from the Gothic arch, 
The bridal now resumed their march. 
In rude, but glad procession, came 
Bonnetted sire and coif-clad dame ; 
And plaided youth, with jest and jeer, 
Which snooded maiden would not hear; 
And children, that, unwitting why, 
Lent the gay shout their shrilly cry ; 
And minstrels, that in measures vied 
Before the young and bonny bride, 



CA?TTO niO THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 327 

Whose downcast eye and cheek disclose 
The tear and blush of morning rose. 
With virgin step, and liashful hand, 
She held the kerchiefs snowy Land ; 
The gallant bridegroom, by her side, 
Beheld his prize with victor's pride, 
And the glad mother in her ear 
Was closely whispering word of cheer. 



Who meets them at the church-yard gate ? 
The messenger of fear and fate ! 
Haste in his hurried accent lies, 
And grief is swimming in his eyes. 
All dripping from the recent flood, 
Panting and travtl-soiled he stood, 
The fatal sign of fire and sword 
Held forth, and spoke the appointed word : 
" The muster-place is Lanrick mead ; 
Speed forth the signal ! Norman, speed !" 
And must he change so soon the hand, 
Just linked to his by holy band, 
For the fell cross of blood and brand ? 
And must the day, so blithe that rose, 
And promised rapture in the close, 
Before its setting hour, divide 
The bridegroom from the plighted bride ? 
Oh fatal doom ! it must ! it must ! 
Clan- Alpine's cause, her Chieftain's trust, 
Her summons dread, brooks no delay ; 
Stretch to the race away ! away ! 



Yet slow he laid his plaid aside, 
And, lingering, eyed his lovely bride, 
Until he saw the starting tear 
Speak woe he might not stop to cheer ; 
Then, trusting not a second look, 
In haste he sped him up the brook, 
Nor backward glanced till on the heath 
Where Lubnaig's lake supplies the Teith 
What in the racer's bosom stirred? 
The sickening pang of hope deferred, 



328 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO III. 

And memory, with a torturing train 

Of all his morning visions vain. 

Mingled with love's impatience, came 

The manly thirst for martial fame ; 

The stormy joy of mountaineers, 

Ere yet they rush upon the spears ; 

And zeal for clan and chieftain burning, 

And hope, from well-fought field returning, 

With \var's red honours on his crest, 

To clasp his Mary to his hreast. 

Stung by such thoughts, o'er bank and brae, 

Like fire from flint he glanced away, 

While high resolve, and feeling strong, 

Burst into voluntary song. 



SONG. 

The heath this night must be my bed, 
The bracken* curtain for my head, 
My lullaby the warder's tread, 

Far, far from love and thee, Mary ; 
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid, 
My couch may be my bloody plaid, 
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid I 

It will not waken me, Mary ! 
I may not, dare not, fancy now 
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow 
I dare not think upon thy vow, 

And all it promised me, Mary. 
No fond regret must Norman know ; 
When bursts Clan- Alpine on the foe, 
His heart must be like bended bow, 

His foot like arrow free, Mary ! 

A time will come with feeling fraught ! 
For, if I fall in battle fought, 
Thy hapless lover's dying thought 

Shall be a thought on thee, Mary ! 
And if returned from conquered foes, 
How blithely will the evening close, 
How tweet the linnet sing repose 

To my young bride and me, Mary ! 

* Bracken Fern. 



CANTO IIL] THE LADY OF THE LAKB. 



Not faster o'er tfev heathery braes, 
Balquidder, speeds the midnight blaze,* 
Rushing in conflagration strong, 
Thy deep ra vines and dells along, 
Wrapping thy cliffs in purple glow, 
And reddening the dark lakes below ; 
Nor faster speeds it, nor so far, 
As o'er thy heaths the voice of war. 
The signal roused to martial coil 
The sullen margin of Loch-Voil, 
Waked still Loch-Doine, and to the source 
Alarmed, Balvaig, thy swampy course ; 
Thence southward turned its rapid road 
Adown Strath-Gartney's valley broad, 
Till rose in arms each man might claim. 
A portion in Clan- Alpine's name ; 
From the grey sire, whose trembling hand 
Could hardly buckle on his brand, 
To the raw boy, whose shaft and bow 
Were yet scarce terror to the crow. 
Each valley, each sequestered glen, 
Mustered its little horde of men, 
That met as torrents from the height, 
In Highland dale their streams unite, 
Still gathering, as they pour along, 
A voice more loud, a tide more strong, 
Till at the rendezvous they stood 
By hundreds prompt for blows and blood ; 
Each trained to arms since life began, 
Owning no tie but to his clan, 
No oath, but by Ids Chieftain's hand,t 
No law, but Roderick Dhu's command. 



That summer morn had Roderick Dhu 
Surveyed the skirts of Ben- venue, 

The heath on the Scottish moorlands i oftra set on fire, that 
sheep may have the advantage of the yonns; Iwi 
ed in room of the tough old hather planU. This custom pro- 
es occasionally the most beautiful nocturnal appearance, suni- 

o the discharge of a volcan<\ 

The deep and implicit respect paid by the highland c!aii<mn 
heir chief, rendered this both a ccimaou and a solemn uatu. 



330 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO 111. 

And sent his scouts o'er hill and heath, 

To view the frontiers of Menteith. 

All backward came with news of truce ; 

Still lay each martial Grseme and Bruce, 

In Rednock courts no horsemen wait, 

No banner waved on Cardross gate, 

On Duchray's towers no beacon shone, 

Nor scared the herons from Loch-Con ; 

All seemed at peace. Now, wot ye why 

The Chieftain, with such anxious eye, 

Ere to the muster he repair, 

This western frontier scanned with care ? 

In Ben-venue's most darksome cleft, 

A fair, though cruel pledge was left ; 

For Douglas, to his promise true, 

That morning from the isle withdrew, 

And in a deep sequestered dell 

Had sought a low and lonely cell. 

By many a bard in Celtic tongue, 

Has Coir-nan-Uriskin* been sung ; 

A softer name the Saxon gave, 

And called the grot the Goblin-care. 



It was a wild and strange retreat, 
As e'er was trod by outlaw's feet. 
Thj dell, upon the mountain's crest, 
Yawned like a gash on warrior's breast ; 
Its trench had stayed full many a rock, 
Hurled by primeval earthquake shock 
From Ben- venue's grey summit wild, 
And here, in random ruin piled, 
They frowned incumbent o'er the spot, 
And formed the rugged sylvan grot. 
The oak and birch, with mingled shade, 
At noontide there a twilight made, 

* This is a very steep and most romantic hollow in the moun- 
tain of Ben-venue, overhanging the south-eastern extremity of 
I,och-Katrine. It is surrounded with stupendous rocks, and over- 
shadowed with birch trees, mingled with oaks, the spontaneous 
production of the mountain, even where its cliffs appear denuded 
of soil. The name signifies, the den of the shaggy men, and tradi- 
tion has ascribed to the urtsA, who gives name to the cavern, a 
figure between a goat and a man ; iu short, precisely that of the 
Qreciau satyr. 



CANTO IIL] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 33 

Unless when short and sudden shone 
Some straggling beam on cliff or stone, 
With such a glimpse as prophet's eye 
Gains on thy depth, Futurity. 
No murmur waked the solemn still, 
Save tinkling of a fountain rill ; 
But when the wind chafed with the lake 
A sullen sound would upward break, 
With dashing hollow voice, that spoke 
The incessant war of wave and rock. 
Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway, 
Seemed nodding o'er the cavern grey. 
From such a den the wolf had sprung, 
In such the wild cat leaves ber young; 
Yet Douglas and his daugliier fair, 
Sought, for a space, their safety there. 
Grey Superstition's whisper dread 
Debarred the spot to vulgar tread ; 
For there, she said, did fays resort, 
And satyrs hold their sylvan court, 
By moonlight tread their mystic maze, 
And blast the rash beholder's gaze. 

XXVII. 

Now eve, with western shadows long, 
Floated on Katrine bright and strong, 
When Roderick, with a chosen few, 
Repassed the heights of Ben- venue. 
Above the Goblin-cave they go, 
Through the wild pass of Beal-nam-bo ;* 
The prompt retainers speed before, 
To launch the shallop from the shore, 
For cross" Loch- Katrine lies his way 
To view the passes of Achray, 
And place his clansmen in array. 
Yet lags the Chief in musing mind, 
Unwonted sight, his men behind. 
A single page, to bear his sword, 
Alone attended on his lord ; 
The rest their way through thickets break, 
And soon await him by the lake. 

* Bealach-nam-Bo, or the pass of cattle, is a most magnificent 
glade, overhung with aged birch tree*, a little higher op the 
mountain than the Cor- 



332 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO III. 

It was a fair and gallant sight, 

To view them from the neighbouring height, 

By the low-levelled sunbeam's light ; 

For strength and stature, from the clan 

Each warrior was a chosen man, 

As even afar might well be seen, 

By their proud step and martial mien. 

Their feathers dance, their tartans iloat, 

Their targets gleam, as by the boat 

A wild and warlike group they stand, 

That well became such mountain strand. 

XXVIII. 

Their Chief, with step reluctant, still 
Was lingering on the craggy hill, 
Hard by where turned apart the road 
To Douglas's obscure abode. 
It was but with that dawning morn 
That Roderick Dhu had proudly sworn, 
To drown his love in war's wild roar, 
Nor think of Ellen Douglas more ; 
But he who stems a stream with sand, 
And fetters flame with ilaxen band, 
Has yet u harder task to prove 
By firm resolve to conquer love ! 
Eve finds the Chief, like restless ghost, 
Still hovering near his treasure lost ; 
For though his haughty heart deny 
A parting meeting to his eye, 
Still fondly strains his anxious ear 
The accents of her voice to hear, 
And inly did he curse the breeze 
That waked to sound the rustling trees. 
But, hark ! what mingles in the strain ? 
It is the harp of Allan-bane, 
That wakes its measures slow and high, 
Attuned to sacred minstrelsy. 
What melting voice attends the strings ? 
'Tis Ellen, or an angel, sings ! 

XXIX. 

HYMN TO THE VIRGIN. 

Ave Maria! maiden mild! 
Listen to a maiden's prayer ; 



CAXTO IM.3 THE LADT OF THE LAKE. 333 

Thou canst hear though from the wild 

Thou canst save amidst despair. 

Safe may we sleep beneath thy care, 
Though banished, outcast, and reviled 

Maiden, hear a maiden's prayer ! 
Mother, hear a suppliant child ! 

Ave Maria! 
Ave Maria, ! undefiled ! 

The flinty couch we now must share, 
Shall seem with down of eider piled, 

If thy protection hover there. 

The murky cavern's heavy air 
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled ; 

Then, Maiden, hear a maiden's prayer ! 
Mother, list a suppliant child ! 

Ave Maria ! 
Ave Maria ! Stainless styled ! 

Foul demons of the earth and air, 
From this their wonted haunt exiled, 

Shall flee before thy presence fair. 

"We bow us to our lot of care, 
Beneath thy guidance reconciled ; 

Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer ! 
And for a father hear a child ! 

Ave Maria ! 



Died on the harp the closing hymn 
Unmoved in attitude and limb, 
As listening still, Clan- Alpine's lord 
Stood leaning on his heavy sword, 
Until the page, with humble sign, 
Twice pointed to the sun's decline. 
Then, while his plaid he round him cast, 
" It is the last time 'tis the last" 
He muttered thrice " the last time e'er 
That angel-voice shall Roderick hear !" 
It was a goading thought his stride 
Hied hastier down the mountain side ; 
Sullen he flung him in the boat, 
And instant cross the lake it shot. 
They landed in that sin - ery bay, 
And eastward held their hasty way, 



334 THE LADY OF THE LAKB. CCANTO IV. 

Till, with the latest beams of light, 
The band arrived on Lanrick height, 
Where mustered in the vale below, 
Clau- Alpine's men in martial show. 



A various scene the clansmen made, 

Some sate, some stood, some slowly : 

But most, with mantles folded round, 

Were couched to rest upon the ground, 

Scarce to be known by curious eye, 

From the deep heather where they lie, 

So well was matched the tartan screen 

With heath-bell dark and brackens green ; 

Unless where, here and there, a blade, 

Or lance's point, a glimmer made, 

Like glow-worm twinkling through the shade. 

But, when, advancing through the gloom, 

They saw the Chieftain's eagle plume, 

Their shout of welcome, shrill and wide, 

Shook the steep mountain's steady side. 

Thrice it arose, and lake and fell 

Three times returned the martial yell. 

It died upon Bochastle's plaiu, 

And Silence claimed her evening reign. 



CANTO FOURTH. 



i. 

M THE rose is fairest when 'tis budding new, 

And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears ; 
The rose is sweetest v> ashed with morning dew, 
And love is loveliest when embalmed in tears. 
Oh wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears, 
I bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave, 
Emblem of hope and love through future years !" 
Thus spoke young Norman, heir of Armandave, 
What time the suu arose on Vennachar's broad wave. 



CAXTO IVO THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 
II. 

Such fond conceit, half said, half sun?, 

Love prompted to the bridegroom's tongue. 

All while he stripped the wild-rose spray, 

His axe and bow beside him lay 

For on a pass 'twixt lake and wood, 

A wakeful sentinel he stood. 

Hark ! on the rock a footstep rung, 

And instant to his arms he sprung. 

" Stand, or thou diest ! What, Malise ? soon 

Art thou returned from Braes of Doune. 

By thy keen step and glance I l^now, 

Thou bring'st us tidings of the toe." 

(For while the Fiery Cross hied on, 

On distant scout had Malise gone.) 

" Where sleeps the Chief?" the henchman said. 

" Apart, in yonder misty glade ; 

To his lone couch 111 be your guide. 1 ' 

Then called a slumberer by his side, 

And stirred him with his slackened bow 

" Up, up, Glentarkin ! rouse thee, ho ! 

We seek the Chieftain ; on the track, 

Keep eagle watch till I come back." 

in. 

Together up the pass they sped : 

" What of the foeman ?" Norman said. 

" Varying reports from near and far ; 

This certain that a band of war 

Has for two days been ready boune, 

At prompt command, to march from Doune ; 

King James, the while, with princely powers, 

Holds revelry in Stirling towers. 

Soon will this dark and gathering cloud 

Speak on our glens in thunder loud. 

Inured to bide such bitter bout, 

The warrior's plaid may bear it out ; 

But, Norman, how wilt thou provide 

A shelter for thy bonny bride ?" 

" What ! know ye not that Roderick's care 

To the lone isle hath caused repair 

Each maid and matron of the clan, 

And everv child and aged man 



335 



336 THE LADY OP THE LAKE. [CANTO IV 

Unfit for arms? and given his charge, 
Nor skiff nor shallop, boat nor barge, 
Upon these lakes shall float at large, 
But all beside the islet moor, 
That such dear pledge may rest secure ? M 



" 1r Tis well advised the Chieftain's plan 

Bespeaks the father of his clan. 

But -wherefore sleeps Sir Roderick Dhu 

Apart from all his followers true ?" 

*' It is, because last evening-tide 

Brian an augury hath tried, 

Of that dread kind which must not be 

Unless in dread extremity, 

The Taghairm* called; by which, afar, 

Our sires foresaw the events of war. 

Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew - * 

MAL1SE. 

" Ah ! well the gallant brute I knew, 
The choicest of the prey we had, 
When swept our merry-men Gallangad. 
His hide was snow, his horns were dark, 
His red eye glowed like fiery spark ; 
So fierce, so tameless, and so fleet, 
Sore did he cumber our retreat, 
And kept our stoutest ken.es in awe, 
Even at the pass of Beal 'maha. 
But steep aud flinty was the road, 
And sharp the hurrying pikeman's goad, 
And when we came to Dennan's Row, 
A child might scatheless stroke his brow." 

v. 

NORMAN. 

" That bull was slaiu ; his reeking hide 
They stretched the cataract beside, 

* One of the most noted of the Highland modes of divination 
was the Taghairm. A pn-win was wrappe.1 up in the Bkin ofa 
newly-slain bullock, and deposited bei,le a water-fall, or in some 
other wild, and unusual situation, where he revolved iu his mind 
the question proposed, and whatever was impressed Ujpnn hun by 
)ii-s rxaltcit imagination, passe,! for the inspiration 01 the disem- 
bodied spirits which haunt theie desoUte recesses. 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 337 

Whose waters their wild tumult toss 

Adown the black and craggy boss 

Of that huge cliff, whose ample verge 

Tradition calls the Hero's Targe.* 

Couched on a shelve beneath its brink, 

Close where the thundering torrents sink, 

Rocking beneath their headlong sway, 

And drizzled by the ceaseless spray, 

Midst groan of rock, and roar of stream, 

The wizard waits prophetic dream. 

Nor distant rests the Chief: but hush ! 

See, gliding slow through mist and bush, 

The Hermit gains you rock, and stands 

To gaze upon our slumbering bands. 

Seems he not, Malise, like a ghost, 

That hovers o'er a slaughtered host ? 

Or raven on the blasted oak, 

That, watching while the deer is broke, 

His morsel claims with sullen croak ?"-\- 

" Peace ! pepce ! to other than to me, 

Thy words were evil augury; 

But still I hold Sir Roderick's blade 

Clan- Alpine's omen and her aid, 

Not aught that, gleaned from heaven or helL 

Yon fiend-begotten monk can tell. 

The Chieftain joins him, see and now, 

Together they descend the brow." 



And, as they came with Alpine's Lord 
The Hermit Monk held solemn word : 
" Roderick ! it is a fearful strife, 
For man endowed with mortal life, 
Whose shroud of sentient clay can still 
Feel feverish pang and fainting chill, 

There is a rock so named in the forest of Glenfinlas, by which 
a tumultuary cataract takes its course. 

t In cutting up, or, as it was technically called, breaking the 

slaughtered s tae, the forester had his allotted portion; the hounds 

had a certain allowance ; ant), to m-tke the division as general as 

the very birds had their share also. "There is a little 

pristle," says Tuberville, *' which is upon the spoone of the bri&kei, 

which we call the raven's bone; and I have seen in some places 

a raven so wont and accustomed to it, that she would never fail 

to croak and cry for it all the time you were in breaking up of tb 

deer, and would aot depart till she had it." 

P 



338 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IV. 

Whose eye can stare in stony trance, 

Whose hair can rouse like warrior's lance 

'Tis hard for such to view, unfurl'd, 

The curtain of the future world. 

Yet witness every quaking limb, 

My sunken pulse, mine eyeballs dim, 

My soul with harrowing anguish torn, 

This for my Chieftain have I borne ! 

The shapes that sought my fearful couch, 

An human tongue may ne'er avouch 

No mortal man save he, who, bred 

Between the living and the dead, 

Is gifted beyond nature's law. 

Had e'er survived to say he saw. 

At length the fateful answer came, 

In characters of living flame ! 

Not spoke in word, nor blazed in scroll, 

But borue and branded on my soul ; 

WHICH SPILLS THE FOREMOST FOEMAN'S LIFE, 
THAI PARTY CONQUERS IN THE STRIFE."* 



" Thanks, Brian, for thy zeal and care ! 
Good is thine augury, and fair. 
Clan- Alpine ne'er in battle stood, 
But first our broad-swords tasted blood. 
A surer victim still I know, 
Self-offered to the auspicious blow : 
A spy hath sought my land this morn, 
No eve shall witness his return ! 
My followers guard each pass's mouth, 
To east, to westward, and to south ; 
Red Murdoch, bribed to be his guide, 
Has charge to lead his steps aside, 
Till, in deep path or dingle brown, 
He light on those shall bring him down. 
But see, who comes his news to show ! 
Malise ! what tidings of the foe ?" 

* This was an aujury frequently attended to. It is said tha 
the Highlanders under M'mtrose were sn deeply imbued with th 
notion, that on the mornine of the battle of 'Tippermnor, they 
murdered a defeuceleu herdsman, merely to secure thii advan- 
tage. 



CANTO IV.J THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 



" At Doune, o'er many a spear and glaive, 

Two Barons proud their banners -wave. 

I saw the Moray's silver star, 

And marked the sable pale of Mar." 

" By Alpine's soul, high tidings those ! 

I love to hear of worthy foes. 

When move they on?" " To-morrow's noon 

Will see them here for hattle boune." 

" Then shall it see a meeting stern ! 

But, for the place ssy, couldst thou learn 

Nought of the friendly clans of Earn ? 

Strengthened by them we well might bide 

The battle on Benledi's side. 

Thou couldst not? well ! Clan- Alpine's men 

Shall man the Trosachs' shaggy glen ; 

Within Loch- Katrine's gorge we 11 fight, 

All in our maids' and matrons' sight, 

Each for his hearth and household fire, 

Father for child, and son for sire 

Lover for maid beloved ! but why 

Is it the breeze affects mine eye ? 

Or dost thou come, ill-omen' d tear ! 

A messenger of doubt or fear ? 

No ! sooner may the Saxon lance 

Unfix Benledi from his stance, 

Than doubt or terror can pierce through 

The unyielding heart of Roderick Dhu ; 

'Tis stubborn as his trusty targe. 

Each to his post ! all know their charge.' 

The pibroch sounds, the bands advance, 

The broad-swords gleam, the banners dance, 

Obedient to the Chieftain's glance 

I turn me from the martial roar, 

And seek Coir-Uriskin once more. 



Where is the Dsuglas ? he is gone ; 
And Ellen sits on the grey stone 
Fast by the cave, and makes her moan ; 
While vainly Allan's words of cheer 
Are poured on her unheeding ear. 



340 THE LADY OF THE LA.KE. [CANTO IV. 

" He will return dear lady, trust ! 
With joy return ; he will he must ! 
Well waj it time to seek afar 
Some refuge from impending war, 
When e'en Clan- Alpine's rugged swarm 
Are cow'd by the approaching storm. 
I saw their boats, with many a light, 
Floating the live-long yesternight, 
Shifting like flashes darted forth 
By the red streamers of the north ; 
I marked at morn how close they ride, 
Thick moored by the lone islet's side, 
Like wild ducks couching in the fen, 
When stoops the hawk upon the glen. 
Since this rude race dare not abide 
The peril on the mainland side, 
Shall not thy noble father's care 
Some safe retreat for thee prepare ?" 

x. 

" No, Allan, no ! Pretext so kind 
My wakeful terrors could not blind. 
When in such tender tone, yet grave, 
Douglas a parting blessing gave, 
The tear that glistened in his eye 
Drowned not his purpose fixed and high. 
My soul, though feminine and weak, 
Can image his ; e'en as the lake, 
Itself disturbed by slightest stroke, 
Reflects the invulnerable rock. 
He hears reports of battle rife, 
He deems himself the cause of strife. 
I saw him redden, when the theme 
Turned, Allan, on thine idle dream, 
Of Malcolm Graeme in fetters bound, 
Which I, thou said'st, about him wound. 
Think' st thou he trow'd thine omen aught ? 
Oh no ! 'twas apprehensive thought 
For the kind youth for Roderick too 
(Let me be just) that friend so true ; 
In danger both, and in our cause ! 
Minstrel, the Douglas dare not pause. 
Why else that solemn warning given, 
' If not on earth we meet ia heaven?' 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 341 

"\Vhy else, to Cambus-kenneth's fane, 
If eve return him not again, 
Am I to hie and make me known ? 
Alas ! he goes to Scotland's throne, 
Buys his friends' safety with his own ; 
lie goes to do what I had done, 
Had Doiiglas' daughter been his son !" 

XI. 

" Nay, lovely Ellen ! dearest, nay ! 

If aught should his return delay, 

He only named yon holy fane 

As fitting place to meet again. 

Be sure he's safe ; and for the Graeme, 

Heaven's blessing on his gallant name ! 

My visioned sight may yet prove true, 

Nor bode of ill to him or you. 

When did my gifted dream beguile ? 

Think of the stranger at the isle, 

And think upon the harpings slow, 

That presaged this approaching woe ! 

Sooth was my prophecy of fear ; 

Believe it when it augurs cheer. 

Would we had left this dismal spot ! 

Ill luck still haunts a fairy grot, 

Of such a wond rous tale I know 

Dear lady, change that look of woe ! 

My heart was wont thy grief to cheer " 

ELLEN. 

" Well, be it as thou wilt ; I hear, 
But cannot stop the bursting tear." 
The Minstrel tried his simple art, 
But distant far was Ellen's heart. 

XII. 

BALLAD. 
ALICE BRAND.* 

Merry it is in the good green wood, 

When the mavisf and merlej are singing, 

This little fairy tale a founded upon a very curious Danish 
ballad, which occurs in the KIK.MPK VitKH, a collection of heroic 
ones, first published in 1591, and reprinted in 1695. 
t Thrush. : Blackbird. 



342 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. LCANTO IV. 

When the deer sweeps by, and the bounds are in cry, 
And the hunter's horn is ringing. 

" Oh Alice Brand ! my native land 

Is loft for love of you ; 
And we must hold by wood and wold, 

As outlaws wont to do. 

" Oh Alice ! 'twas all for thy locks so bright, 

And 'twas all for thine eyes so blue, 
That on the night of our luckless flight, 

Thy brother bold I slew. 

" Now must I teach to hew the beech, 

The hand that held the glaive, 
For Ifiaves to spread our lowly bed, 

And stakes to fence our cave. 

" And for vest of pall, thy fingers small, 

Ihat wont on harp to stray, 
A cloak mr t shear from the slaughtered deer 

To keep the cold away." 

" Oh Richard ! if my brother died, 

'Twas but a fatal chf.uce ; 
For darkling was the battle tried, 

And Fortune sped the lance. 

" If pall and vair no more I wear, 

Nor thou the crimson sheen, 
As warm, we'll say, is the russet grey, 

As gay the foresVgreen. 

" And, Richard, if our lot be hard, 

And lost thy native land, 
Still Alice has her own Richard, 

And he his Alice Brand." 



XIII. 

BALLAD continued. 

'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good green wood, 

So bli'' e Lady Alice is singing ; 
On the beech's pride, and the oak's brown side, 

Lord Richard's axe is ringing. 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 343 

Up spoke the moody Elfin. King, 

"Who won'd within the hill * 
Like wind in the porch of a ruined church, 

His voice was ghostly shrill. 

" Why sounds yon stroke on beech and oak, 

Our moonlight circle's screen? 
Or who comes here to chase the deer, 

Beloved of our Elfin Queen? 
Or who may dare on wold to wear 

The fairy's fatal green ?+ 

" Up, Urgf n, up ! to yon mortal hie, 

For thou wert christened man ; 
For cross or sign thou wilt not fly, 

For muttered word or ban. 

" Lay on him the curse of the withered heart, 

The curse of the sleepless eye ; 
Till he wish and pray that his life would part, 

Nor yet find leave to die." 
XIV. 

BALLAD continued. 
'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in good green wood, 

Though the birds have stilled their singing; 
The evening blaze doth Alice raise, 

And Richard u faggots bringing. 

Up Urgan starts, that hideous dwarf 

Before Lord Richard stands, 
And, as he crossed and blessed himself, 
" 1 fear not sign," quoth the grisly elf, 

" That is made with bloody hands." 

The Daoint ShP, or men of peace of the Highlanders, are be- 
lieved to inhabit certain round grassy eminences, where they 
celebrate their nocturnal festivities by the light of the moon. 
Many, it is said, of mortal race have been entertained in their se- 
cret recesses; but unhappy is the mortal who joins in 1 leir jovs, 
or ventures to partakf of their dainties. By this indulgence, he 
forfeits for ever the society of men, and is bound down irrevocably 
to the condition of a Shi'ich, or man of peace. 

t As the daaine tht, or men of peace, wore green habits, they 
were supposed to take offence when any mortals ventured to as- 
some their favourite colour. 

J The elves were supposed greatly to envy the privileges ac- 
quired by Christian initiation, and they gave to those mortals who 
bad fallen into their power, a certain precedence, founded upon 
thi* advantageous distinction. 



344 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IV. 

But out then spoke she, Alice Brand, 

That woman void of fear 
" And if there's hlood upon his hand, 

'Tis hut the blood of deer." 

" Now loud thou liest, thou bold of mood ! 

It cleaves unto his hand, 
The stain of thine own kindly blood, 

The blood of Ethert Brand." 

Then forward stepp'd she, Alice Brand, 

And made the holy sign 9 

" And if there's blood on Richard's hand, 

A spotless hand is mine. 
" And I conjure thee, Demon elf, 

By Him whom Demons fear, 
To show us whence thou art thyself ? 

And what thine errand here?" 



BALLAD continued. 

" 'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in Fairy-land, 

When fairy birds are singing, 
When the court doth ride by their monarch's side, 

With bit and 1 ridle ringing : 

"And gaily shines the Fairy land 

But all is glistening show, 
Like the idle gleam that December's beam 

Can dart on ice and snow. 
" And fading, like that varied gleam, 

Is our inconstant shape. 
Who now like knight and lady seem, 

And now like dwarf and ape. 

" It was between the night and day, 

When the Fairy King has power, 
That I sank down in a sinful fray, 
And, 'twixt life and death, was snatched away 

To the joyless Elfin bower.* 

* The subjects of Fairy land were recruited from the region* of 
humaiiitv, so that many of those who were in this world supposed 
to have discharged the debt of nature, had only become denuaoa 
of the " Loud of Kaery." 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. J 

" But wist I of a woman bold, 

Who thrice my brow durst sign, 
I might regain my mortal moid 

As fair a fona as thine." 
She crossed him once she crossed him twice 

That lady was so brave ; 
The fouler grew his goblin hue, 

The darker grew the cave. 

She crossed him thrice, that lady bold : 

He rose beneath her hand 
The fairest knight on Scottish mold, 

Her brother, Ethert Brand ! 

Merry it is in the good green wood. 
When the mavis and merle are singing, 

But merrier were they in Dunfermline grey, 
When ail the bells were ringing. 

XVI. 

Just as the minstrel sounds were staid, 
A stranger climbed the sleepy glade ; 
His martial step, his stately mien, 
His hunting suit of Lincoln green, 
His eagle glance remembrance claims 
Tis Snowdoun's Knight 'tis James Fitz-James ! 
Ellen beheld as in a dream, 
Then starting, scarce suppressed a scream : 
" Oh stranger ! in such hour of fear, 
What evil hap has brought thee here?" 
" An evil hap how can it be, 
That bids me look again on thee? 
By promise bound, my former guide 
Met me betimes this morning tide, 
And marshall 'd, over bank and bourne, 
The happy path of my return." 
" The happy path ! what ! said he nought 
Of war, of battle to be fought, 
Of guarded pass?"" No, by my faith! 
Nor saw I aught could augur scathe." 
" Oh haste thee, Allan, to the kern 
Yonder his tartans I discern ; 
Learn thou his purpose, and conjure 
That he will guide the stranger sure I 

P2 



346 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO rv. 

What prompted thee, unhappy man? 
The meanest serf in Roderick's clan 
Had not been bribed by love or fear, 
Unknown to him, to guide thee here." 



" Sweet Ellen, dear my life must be, 

Since it is worthy care from thee ; 

Yet life I hold but idle breath, 

When love or honour's weighed "with death. 

Then let me profit by my chance, 

And speak my purpose bold at once. 

I come to bear thee from a wild, 

Where ne'er before such blossom smiled; 

By this soft hand to lead thee far 

From frantic scenes of feud and war. 

Near Bochastle my horses wait ; 

They bear us soon to Stirling gate. 

I'll place thee in a lovely bower, 

I'll guard thee like a tender flower " 

" Oh ! hush, Sir Knight ! twere female art 

To say I do not read thy heart ; 

Too much, before, my selfish ear 

Was idly soothed my praise to hear. 

That fatal bait hath lured thee back, 

In deathful hour, o'er dangerous track 

And how, oh how, can I atone 

The wreck my vanity brought on ! 

One way remains I'll tell him all 

Yes ! struggling bosom, forth it shall ! 

Thou, whose light folly bears the blame, 

Buy thine own pardon with thy shame ! 

But first my father is a man 

Outlawed and exiled, under ban ; 

The price of blood is on his head, 

With me 'twere infamy to wed. 

Still would'st thou speak? then hear the truth ! 

Fitz-James, there is a noble youth 

If yet he is ! exposed for me 

And mine to dread extremity 

Thou hast the secret of my heart ; 

Forgive, be generous, and depart." 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 347 



Fitz-James knew every wily train 

A lady's fickle heart to gain, 

But here he knew and felt them vain, 

There shot no glance from Ellen's eye, 

To give her steadfast speech the lie ; 

In maiden confidence she stood, 

Though mantled in her cheek the blood, 

And told her love with such a sigh 

Of deep and hopeless agony, 

As death had sealed her Malcolm's doom, 

And she sat sorrowing on his tomb. 

Hope vanished from Fitz-James's eye, 

But not with hope fled sympathy. 

He proffered to attend her side, 

As brother would a sister guide. 

" Oh ! little knowest thou Roderick's heart ! 

Safer for both we go apart. 

Oh haste thee, and from Allan learn, 

If thou may'st trust yon wily kern." 

With hand upon his forehead laid, 

The conflict of his mind to shade, 

A parting step or two he made ; 

Then, as some thought had crossed his brain, 

He paused, and turned, and came again. 

XIX. 

" Hear, lady, yet, a parting word ! 
It chanced in fight that my poor sword 
Preserved the life of Scotland's lord. 
This ring the grateful Monarch gave, 
And bade, when I had boon to crave, 
To bring it back, and boldly claim 
The recompense that I would name. 
Ellen, I am no courtly lord, 
But oue who lives by lance and sword, 
Whose castle is his helm and shield, 
His lordship, the embattled field. 
What from a prince can I demand, 
Who neither reck of state nor land? 
Ellen, thy hand the ring is thine ; 
Each guard and usher knows the sign. 



348 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IV. 

Seek thou the king without delay ; 

This signet shall secure thy way ; 

Aud claim thy suit, whate er it be, 

As ransom of his pledge to me." 

He placed the golden circlet on, 

Paused kissed her hand and then was goue. 

The aged Minstrel stood aghast, 

So hastily Fitz-James shot past. 

He joined his guide, and wending down 

The ridges of the mountain brown, 

Across the stream they took their way, 

That joins Loch- Katrine to Achray. 



All in the Trosachs' glen was still, 
Noontide was sleeping on the hill : 
Sudden his guide whooped loud and high 
" Murdoch ! was that a signal cry?' 1 
He stammered forth " I shout to scare 
Yon raven from his dainty fare." 
He looked he knew the raven's prey, 
His own brave steed : ; ' Ah ! gallant grey I 
For thee for me perchance 'twere well 
We ne'er had seen the Trosachs' dell. 
Murdoch, move first but silently ; 
Whistle or whoop, and thou shall die." 
Jealous and sullen on they fared, 
Each silent, each upon his guard. 

XXI. 

Now wound the path its dizzy ledge 
Around a precipice's edge, 
When lo ! a v/asted female form. 
Blighted by wrath of sun and storm, 
In tattered weeds and wild array, 
Stood on a cliff beside the way, 
And glancing round her restless eye 
Upon the wood, the rock, the sky, 
Seemed nought to mark, yet all to spy. 
Her brow was wreathed with gaudy broom; 
With gesture wild she waved a plume 
Of feathers, which the eagles fling 
To crag and cliif from dusky wing ; 



THE LADY OF THE LiKE. 



349 



CANTO IV.] 

Such spoils her desperate step had sought, 
Where scarce was footing for the goat. 
The tartan plaid she first descried, 
And shrieked, till all the rocks replied; 
As loud she laughed when near they drew, 
For then the lowland garb she knew, 
And then her hands she wildly wrung, 
And then she wept, and then she sung. 
She sung! the voice, in better time, 
Perchance to harp or lute might chime; 
And now, though strained and roughened, still 
Rung wildly sweet to dale and hilL 

XXIL 

SONG. 

"They bid me sleep, they bid me pray, 

They say my brain is warped and wrung- 
I cannot sleep on highland brae, 

I cannot pray in highland tongue. 
But were I now where Allan glides, 
Or heard my native Devar.'s tides, 
So sweetly would I rest and pray 
That heaven would close my wmtery day! 

" Twas thus my hair they bade me braid, 

They bade me to the church repair; 
It was my bridal morn, they said, 

And my true love would meet me there, 
But woe betide the cruel guile, _ 
That Browned in blood the morning smile! 
And woe betide the fairy dream !^ 
I only waked to sob and scream. 

XXIII. 

" Who is this maid? what means her ky? 
She hovers o'er the hollow way, 
And flutters wide her mantle grey, 
As the lone heron spreads his wmg, ( 
Bv twilight, o'er a haunted spring. 
"'Tis Blanche of Devan," Murdoch said, 
"A crazed and captive lowland maid, 
Ta'en on the mom she was a bride, 
When Roderick forayed Devan-side. 



350 THE LADT OF THE LAKE. [CANTO iv. 

The gay bridegroom resistance made, 

And felt our Chief's unconquered blade, 

I marvel she is now at large, 

But oft she 'scapes from Maudlin's charge; 

Hence, brain-sick fool!" He raised his bow: 

"Now, if thou strik'st her but one blow, 

I'll pitch thee from the cliff as far 

As ever peasant pitched a bar." 

"Thanks, champion, thanks!'' the Maniac cried, 

And pressed her to Fitz-James's side. 

" See the grey pennons I prepare, 

To seek my true-love through the air! 

I will not lend that savage groom, 

To break his fall, one downy plume ! 

No! deep amid disjointed stones, 

The wolves shall batten on his bones, 

And then shall his detested plaid, 

By bush and briar in mid-air staid, 

Wave forth a banner fair and free, 

Meet signal for their revelry." 



"Hush thee, poor maiden, and be still!" 
"Oh! thou look'st kindly, and I will. 
Mine eye has dried and wasted been, 
But still it loves the Lincoln green; 
And, though mine ear is all unstrung, 
Still, still it loves the lowland tongue. 

For oh my sweet William -was forester true, 
He stole poor Blanche's heart away ! 

His coat it was all oi' the greenwood hue, 
And so blithely he trilled the lowland lay!, 

It was not that I meant to tell... 
But thou art wise, and guessest well." 
Then, in a low and broken tone, 
And hurried note, the song went on. 
Still on the Clansman, fearfully, 
She fixed her apprehensive eye; 
Then turned it on the Knight, and then 
Her look glanced wildly o'er the glen. 



CANTO IV.] THK LADY OF THE LAKE. 351 

XXV. 

" The toils are pitched, and the stakes are set, 

Ever sing merrily, merrily; 
The bows they bend, and the knives they whet 
Hunters live so cheerily. 

" It was a stag, a stag of ten,* 

Bearing his branches sturdily; 
He came stately down the glen, 

Ever sing hardily, hardily. 

" It was there he met with a wounded doe, 

She was bleeding deatbfully; 
She warned him of the toils below, 

Oh so faithfully, faithfully! 

" He had an eye, and he could heed, 

Ever sing warily, warily; 
He had a foot, and he could speed 
Hunters watch so narrowly." 



Fitz-James's mind was passion-toss' d, 
When Ellen's hints and fears were lost; 
But Murdoch's shout suspicion wrought, 
And Blanche's song conviction brought. 
Not like a stag that spies the snare, 
But lion of the hunt aware, 
He waved at once his blade on high, 
" Disclose thy treachery, or die !" 
Forth at full speed the Clansman flew, 
But in his race his bow he drew: 
The shaft just grazed Fitz-James's crest, 
And thrilled in Blanche's faded breast. 
Murdoch of Alpine! prove thy speed, 
For ne'er had Alpine's son such need! 
With heart of fire, and foot of wind, 
The fierce avenger is behind! 
Fate judges of the rapid strife 
The forfeit, death the prize is life! 
Thy kindred ambush lies before, 
Close couched upon the heathery moor; 

* Having tea branches oa his autlerfc 



352 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IV. 

Them couldst thou reach it may not be 
Thine ambushed kin thou ue 07 shalt see, 
The fiery Saxon gains on thee ! 
Resistless speeds the deadly thrust, 
As lightning strikes the pine to dust; 
With foot and hand Fitz-James must strain, 
Ere he can win his blade again. 
Bent o'er the fall'n, with falcon eye, 
He griml)' smiled to see him die; 
Then slower wended back his way 
Where the poor maiden bleeding lay. 

XXVIL 

She sate beneath the birchen tree, 

Her elbow resting on her knee ; 

She had withdrawn the fatal shaft, 

And gazed on it, and feebly laughed 

Her wreath of broom and feathers grey, 

Daggled with blood, beside her lay. 

The Knight to stanch the life-stream tried 

"Stranger, it is in vain!" she cried; 

"This hour of death has given me more 

Of reason's power than years before ; 

For, as these ebbing veins decay, 

My frenzied visions fade away. 

A helpless injured wretch I die, 

And something tells me in thine eye, 

That thou wert mine avenger born. 

Seest thou this tress? Oh! still I've worn 

This little tress of yellow hair, 

Through danger, frenzy, and despair! 

It once was bright and clear as thine, 

But blood and tears have dimmed its shine. 

I will not tell thee when 'twas shred, 

Nor from what guiltless victim's head 

My brain would turn ! but it shall wave 

Like plumage on thy helmet brave, 

Till sun and wind shall bleach the stain, 

And thou will bring it me again. 

I waver still! Oh God! more bright 

Let Reason beam her parting light ! 

Oh! by thy knighthood's honoured sign, 

Aud for thy life preserved by mine, 



CAXTO IV.] THE LADY OF 1HE LAKE. 

When thou shalt see a darksome man, 
Who boasts him Chief of Alpine's clan, 
With tartans broad and shadowy plume, 
And hand of blood, and brow of gloom, 
Be thy heart bold, thy weapon strong, 
And wreak poor Blanche of De van's wrong! 
They watch for thee by pass and fell . . . 
Avoid the path ... Oh God ! . . . farewell!" 

XXVIII. 

A kindly heart had brave Fitz-Jaroes, 

Fast poured his eye at pity's claims; 

And now, with mingled grief and ire, 

He saw the murdered maid expire. 

" God, in my need, be my relief, 

As I wreak this on yonder Chief !" 

A lock from Blanche's tresses fair 

He blended with her bridegroom's hair ; 

The mingled braid in blood he dyed, 

And placed it on his bonnet side : 

" By Him whose word is truth ! I swear 

No other favour will I wear, 

Till this sad token I embrue 

In the best blood of Roderick Dhu ! 

But hark ! what means yon faint halloo ? 

The chase is up but they shall know, 

The stag at bay's a dangerous foe." 

Barred from the known but guarded way, 

Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James must stray. 

And oft must change his desperate track, 

By stream and precipice turned back. 

Heartless, fatigued, and faint, at length, 

From lack of food and loss of strength, 

He couch'd him in a thicket hoar, 

And thought his toils and perils o'er : 

" Of all my rash adventures past, 

This frantic feat will prove the last ! 

Who e'er so mad but might have guess'd, 

That all this highland hornet's nest 

Would muster up in swarms so soon 

As e'er they heard of bands at Doune ? 

Like bloodhounds now they search me out 

Hark, to the whistle and the shout ! 



353 



354 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO IV. 

If farther through the wilds I go, 
I only fall upon the foe ; 
I'll couch me here till evening grey, 
Then darkling try my dangerous way. 

XXIX. 

The shades of eve come slowly down, 

The woods are wrapped in deeper brown, 

The owl awakens from her dell, 

The fox is heard upon the fell ; 

Enough remains of glimmering light 

To guide the wanderer's steps aright, 

Yet not enough from far to show 

His figure to the watchful foe. 

With cautious step, and ear awake, 

He climbs the crag and threads the brake ; 

And not the summer solstice, there, 

Temper' d the midnight mountain air, 

But every breeze that swept the wold, 

Benumbed his drenched limbs with cold. 

In dread, in danger, and alone, 

Famished and chilled, through ways unknown, 

Tangled and steep, he journuy'd on ; 

Till, as a rock's huge point he turned, 

A watch-fire close before him burned. 



Beside its embers red and clear, 

Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer ; 

And up he sprung with sword in hand 

" Thy name and purpose ! Saxon, stand !" 

" A stranger." ' What dost thou require !" 

" Rest and a guide, and food and fire. 

My life's beset, my path is lost, 

The gale has chilled my limbs with frost." 

" Art thou a friend to Roderick !" " No." 

" Thou darest not call thyself a foe ?" 

" I dare ! to him and all the hand 

He brings to aid his murderous hand." 

" Bold words ! but, though the beast of game 

The privilege of chase may claim, 

Though space and law the stag we lend, 

Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend, 



CANTO IV.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 355 

TV ho ever reck'd, where, how, or when, 

The prowling fox was trapped or slain ?* 

Thus, treacherous scouts yet sure they lie, 

Who say thou cani'st a secret spy !" 

" They do, by Heaven ! Come Roderick Dhu, 

And of his clan the boldest two, 

And let me but till morning rest, 

I write the falsehood on their crest." 

" If by the blaze I mark aright, 

Thou bear'Bt the belt and spur of Knight." 

" Then, by these tokens may'st thou know, 

Each proud oppressor's mortal foe." 

" Enough, enough ; sit down and share 

A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare." 



He gave him of his highland cheer, 
The hardened flesh of mountain deer :f 
Dry fuel on the fire he laid, 
And bade the Saxon share his plaid. 
He tended him like welcome guest, 
Then thus his further speech addressed : 
" Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu 
A clansman born, a kinsman true ; 
Each word against his honour spoke, 
Demands of me avenging stroke ; 
Yet more - -upon thy fate, 'tis said, 
A mighty augury is laid. 
It rests with me to wind my horn, 
Thou art with numbers overborne ; 
It rests with me, here, brand to brand, 
Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand : 
But nor for clan nor kindred's cause, 
Will I depart from honour's laws : 

Saint John actually used this illustration whon enraeed in 
confuting the ]>lca of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of 
StrafforcTj-'-Il was true, we giw laws to hare, and deer, because 
they are beasts of chase ; but it \va never accounted either cruelty 
or foul play to knock foxes or wolves on the head as they can be 
found, because they are be, IMS of prey." 

i The Scottish Highlanders, in former times, devoured their 
yeniion raw, without any further preparation than compressing 
it between two bntons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and 
render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy 



356 THa i.ADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

To assail a wearied man were shame, 

A stranger is a holy name ; 

Guidance and rest, and food and fire, 

In vain he never must require. 

Then rest thee here till dawn of day ; 

Myself will guide thee on the way, 

O er stock and stone, through watch and ward, 

Till past Clan Alpine's outmost guard, 

As far as Coilantogle's ford 

From thence thy warrant is thy sword." 

" I take thy courtesy, by Heaven, 

As freely as 'tis nobly given !" 

" Well, rest thee ; for the bittern's cry 

Sings us the lake's wild lullaby." 

With that he shook the gathered heath, 

And spread his plaid upon the wreath ; 

And the brave foemen, side by side, 

Lay peaceful down like brothers tried, 

And slept until the dawning beam 

Purpled the mountain and the stream. 



CANTO FIFTH. 

%t CcmSat. 



FAIR as the earliest beam of eastern light, 
When first, by the bewildered pilgrim spied, 

It smiles upon the dreary brow of night, 
And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming tide, 
And lights the fearful path oil mountain side ; 

Fair as that beam, although the fairest far, 
Giving to horror grace, to danger pride, 

Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star, 

Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the brow 
of war. 



That early beam, so fair and sheen, 
Was twinkling through the hazel screen, 






CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 357 

When, rousing at its glimmer red, 
The warriors left their lowly bed, 
Looked out upon the dappled sky, 
Muttered their soldier matins by, 
And then awaked their fire, to steal, 
As short and rude, their soldier meal. 
That o'er, the Gael* around him threw 
His graceful plaid of varied hue, 
And, true to promise, led the way, 
By thicket green and mountain grey. 
A wildering path ! they winded now 
Along the precipice's brow, 
Commanding the rich scenes beneath, 
The windings of the Forth and Teith, 
And all the vales between that lie, 
Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky ; 
Then, sunk in copse, their farthest glance 
Gained not the length of horseman's lance. 
'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain 
Assistance from the hand to gain ; 
So tangled oft, that, bursting through, 
Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew 
That diamond dew, so pure and clear, 
It rivals all but Beauty's tear ! 



At length they came where, stem and steep, 
The hill sinks down upon the deep. 
Here Vennachar in silver flows, 
There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose ; 
Ever the hollow path twined on, 
Beneath steep bank and threatening stone ; 
An hundred men might hold the post 
With hardihood against a host, 
The rugged mountain's scanty cloak 
Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak, 
With shingles bare, and cliffs between, 
And patches bright of bracken green, 
And heather black, that waved so high, 
It held the copse in rivalry. 

* The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and trim* 
the LowlanJrt Stmenaih, or Saxons. 



358 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

But where the lake slept deep and still, 
Dank osiers fringed the swamp and hill ; 
And oft both path and hill were torn, 
Where wintry torrent down had borne, 
And heaped upon the cumbered land 
Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand. " 
So toilsome was the road to trace, 
The guide, abating of his pace, 
Led slowly through the pass's jaws. 
And asked Fitz-James, by what strange cause 
He sought these wilds, traversed by few 
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu ? 

IV. 

" Brave Gael, my pass, in danger tried, 
Hangs in my belt, and by my side ; 
Yet, sooth to tell," the Saxon said, 
" I dreamed not now to claim its aid. 
When here, but three days since, I came, 
Bewildered in pursuit of game, 
All seemed as peaceful and as still, 
As the mist slumbering on yon hill ; 
Thy dangerous chief was then afar, 
Nor soon expected back from war. 
Thus said, at least, my mountain guide, 
Though deep, perchance, the villain lied." 
" Yet why a second venture try?" 
" A warrior thou, and ask me why ? 
Moves our free course by such fixed cause, 
As gives the poor mechanic laws ? 
Enough, I sought to drive away 
The lazy hours of peaceful day ; 
Slight cause will then suffice to guide 
A knight's free footsteps far and wide, 
A falcon flown, a greyhound strayed, 
The merry glance of mountain maid ; 
Or, if a path be dangerous known, 
The danger's self is lure alone." 

v. 

" Thy secret keep, I urge thee not ; 
Yet, ere again ye sought this spot, 
Say, heard ye nought of lowland war, 
Against Clan- Alpine raised by Mar ?" 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 359 

" No, by my word ; of bands prepared 
To guard King James's sports I beard ; 
Nor doubt I aught, but, when they Lear 
This muster of the mountaineer, 
Their pennons will abroad be flung, 
Which else in Doune had peaceful hung." 
" Free be they flung ! for we were loth 
Their silken folds should feast the moth. 
Free be they flung ! as free shall wave 
Clan- Alpine's pine in banner brave. 
But, stranger, peaceful since you came, 
Bewildered in the mountain game, 
Whence the bold boast by which you show 
Vich- Alpine's vowed and mortal foe ?" 
" Warrior, but yester-morn I knew 
Nought of thy Chieftain, Roderick Dim, 
Save as an outlaw'd desperate man, 
The chief of a rebellious clan, 
Who, in the Regent's court and sight, 
With ruffian dagger stabbed a knight ; 
Yet this alone might from his part 
Sever each true and loyal heart." 

VI. 

Wrothful ".t such arraignment foul, 
Dark lowered the clansman's sable scowl. 
A space he paused, then sternly said 
" And heardst thou why he drew his blade 
Heard' st thou that shameful word and blow 
Brought Roderick's vengeance on his foe ? 
What reck'd the Chieftain, if he stood 
On highland heath or Holy- Rood? 
He rights such wrong where it is given, 
If it were in the court of heaven." 
" Still was it outrage ; yet, 'tis true, 
Not then claimed sovereignty his due ; 
While Albany, with feeble hand, 
Held borrowed truncheon of command.* 
The young king, mew'd in Stirling tower, 
Was stranger to re=pect and power. 

There is scarcely a more disorderly period in Scottlih history 
than that which succeeded the battle of Flodden, aad occupied 
the minority of James V. 



360 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

But then, thy Chieftain's robber life ! 
Winning mean prey by causeless strife, 
Wrenching from ruin d lowland swain 
His herds and harvest reared in vain 
Methinks a soul like thine should scorn 
The spoils from such foul foray borne." 

VII. 

The Gael beheld him grim the while, 
And answered with disdainful smile 
" Saxon, from yonder mountain high, 
I marked thee send delighted eye, 
Far to the south and east, where lay, 
Extended in succession gay, 
Deep waving fields and pastures green, 
With gentle slopes and groves between : 
These fertile plains, that softened vale, 
Were once the birthright of the Gael ; 
The stranger came with iron hand, 
And from our fathers reft the land. 
Where dwell we now ? See, rudely swell 
Crag over crag, and fell o'er fell. 
Ask we this savage hill we tread, 
For fattened steer or household bread 
Ask we for Hocks these shingles dry, 
And well the mountain might reply 
' To you, as to your sires of yore, 
Belong the target and claymore ! 
I give you shelter in my breast, 
Your own good blades must win the rest.' 
Pent in this fortress of the North, 
Think'st thou we will not sally forth, 
To spoil the spoiler as we may, 
And from the robber rend the prey ? 
Ay, by my soul ! While on yon plain 
The Saxon rears one shock of grain ; 
While, of ten thousand herds, there strays 
But one along yon river's maze 
The Gael, of plain and river heir, 
Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share.* 

1 n* T h ^ G h e !i Kreat traditio " al historians, never forgot that the 
Lowlands had, at some remote period, been the property of their 
Celtic forefathers, which furnished an ample vindication ,t 1,1 
the ravages that they could make ou the unfortunate districts 
which lay within their reach. 



CATTO V.] THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 

Where live the mountain chiefs who hold, 
That plundering lowland field and fold 
Is ought but retribution true ? 
Seek other cause 'gainst Roderick Dhu." 



Answered Fitz- James " And, if I sought, 

Think'st thou no other could be brought ? 

What deem ye of my path waylaid, 

My life given o'er to ambuscade ?" 

" As of a meed to rashness due : 

Hadst thou sent warning fair and true 

I seek my hound, or falcon strayed, 

I seek, good faith, a Highland maid 

Free hallst thou been to come and go ; 

But secret path marks secret foe. 

Nor yet, for this, even as a spy, 

Hadst thou, unheard, been doomed to die, 

Save to fulfil an augury." 

" Well, let it pass ; nor will I now 

Fresh cause of enmity avow, 

To chafe thy mood and cloud thy brow. 

Enough, I am by promise tied 

To match me with this man of pride ; 

Twice have I sought Clan- Alpine's glen 

In peace ; but when I come agen, 

I come with banner, brand and bow, 

As leader seeks his mortal foe. 

For love-lorn swain, in lady's bower, 

Ne'er panted for the appointed hour, 

As I, until before me stand 

This rebel Chieftain and his band." 



" Have then thy wish !" he whistled shrill, 
And he was answered from the hill ; 
Wild as the scream of the curlew, 
From crag to crag the signal flew. 
Instant, through copse and heath, arose 
Bonnets, aud spears, and bended bows 
On right, on left, above, below. 
Sprang up at once the lurking foe ; 
<* 



361 



362 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V 

From shingles grey their lances start, 

The bracken-bush sends forth the dart, 

The rushes and the willow-wand 

Are bristling into axe and brand, 

And every tuft of broom gives life 

To plaided warrior armed for strife. 

That whistle garrisoned the glen 

At once with full five hundred men, 

As if the yawning hill to heaven 

A subterranean host had given. 

Watching their leader's beck and will, 

All silent there they stood and still. 

Like the loose crags whose threatening mass 

Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass, 

As if an infant's touch could urge 

Their headlong passage down the verge, 

With step and weapon forward flung, 

Upon the mountain-side they hung. 

The mountaineer cast glance of pride 

Along Benledi's living side, 

Then fixed his eye and sable brow 

Full on Fitz-James " How say'st thou now ? 

These are Clan- Alpine's warriors true ; 

And, Saxon I am Roderick Dhu !" 



Fitz-James was brave : though to his heart 

The life-blood thrilled with sudden start, 

He mann'd himself with dauntless air, 

Returned the Chief his haughty stare, 

His back against a rock he bore, 

And firmly placed his foot before ; 

" Come one, come all ! this rock shall fly 

From its firm base as soon as I !" 

Sir Roderick marked and in his eyes 

Respect was mingled with surprise, 

And the stern joy which warriors feel 

In foemen worthy of their steel. 

Short space he stood then waved his hand ; 

Down sank the disappearing band ; 

Each warrior vanished where he stood, 

In broom or bracken, heath or wood; 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 363 

Sank brand and spear and bended bow, 

In osiers pale and copses low : 

It seemed as if their mother Earth 

Had swallowed up her warlike birth. 

Tlie wind's last breath had tossed in air 

Peunon, and plaid, and plumage fair 

The next but swept a lone hill-side, 

Where heath and fern were waving wide ; 

The sun's last glance was glinted back, 

From spear and glaive, from targe and jack 

The next, all unrenected, shone 

On bracken green and cold grey stone. 



Pitz-James looked round yet scarce believed 
The witness that his sight received ; 
Such apparition well might seem 
Delusion of a dreadful dream. 
Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed, 
And to his look the Chief replied, 
" Fear nought nay, that I need not say- 
But doubt not aught from mine array. 
Thou art my guest ; 1 pledged my word 
As far as Coilautogle ford : 
Nor would I call a clansman's brand 
For aid against one valiant hand, 
Though on our strife lay every vale 
Rent by the Saxon from the GaeL 
So move we on ; I only meant 
To show the reed on which you leant, 
Deeming this path you might pursue 
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu." 
They moved : I said Fitz-James was brave 
As ever knight that belted glaive ; 
Yet dare not say, that now his blood 
Kept on its wont and tempered flood, 
As, following Roderick's stride, he drew 
That seeming lonesome pathway through, 
Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife 
With lances, that to take his life 
Waited but signal from a guide, 
So late dishonoured and defied. 



864 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CAXTO T. 

Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round 
The vanished guardians of the ground, 
And still from copse and heather deep, 
Fancy saw spear and hroad-sword peep, 
And in the plover's shrilly strain, 
The signal whistle heard again. 
Nor breathed he free till far behind 
The pass was left ; for then they wind 
Along a wide and level green, 
Where neither tree nor tuft was seen, 
Nor rush, nor bush of broom was near, 
To hide a bonnet or a spear, 

XII. 

The Chief in silence strode before, 

And reached that torrent's sounding shore, 

Which, daughter of three mighty lakes, 

From Vennachar in silver breaks, 

Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines 

On Bochastle the mouldering lines, 

Where Rome, the Empress of the world, 

Of yore her eagle wings unfurl'd.* 

And here his course the Chieftain staid, , 

Threw down his target and his plaid, 

And to the lowland warrior said : 

"Bold Saxon ! to his promise just, 

Vich- Alpine has discharged his trust. 

This murderous chief, this ruthless man, 

This head of a rebellious clan, 

Hath led thee safe, through watch and ward, 

Far past CJfin- Alpine's outmost guard. 

Now, man to man, and steel to steel, 

A chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel. 

See, here, all vantageless I stand, 

Armed, like thyself, with single brand ; 

For this is Coilantogle ford, 

And thou must keep thee with thy sword." 

XIII. 

The Saxon paused : " I ne'er delayed. 
When foeman bade me draw my blade ; 

* Upon a small eminence, called the Dun of Bochastle, and in- 
deed on the plain itself, are some intrenchmeiits which have been 
thoufffat Koman. There is adjacent to Callander a villa, entitled 
the Human Camp. 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 

Nay more, brave Chief, I vow'd thy death ; 

Yet sure thy fair and generous faith, 

And my deep debt for life preserved, 

A better meed have well reserved : 

Can nought but blood our feud atone ? 

Are there no means?" " Mo, Stranger, none! 

And hear to fire thy flagging zeal 

The Saxon cause rests on thy steel ; 

For thus spoke Fate by prophet bred 

Between the living and the dead : 

' Who spills the foremost foeman's life, 

His party conquers in the strife.' " 

" Then, by my word," the Saxon said, 

" The riddle is already read. 

Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff 

There lies Rd Murdoch, stark and stifil 

Thus Fate has solved her prophecy, 

Then yield to Fate, and not to me. 

To James, at Stirling, let us go, 

When, if thou wilt be still his foe, 

Or if the King shall not agree 

To grant thee grace and favour free, 

I plight mine honour, oath, and word, 

That, to thy native strengths restored, 

With each advantage shalt thou stand. 

That aids thee now to guard thy land.' 

XIV. 

Dark lightning flashed from Roderick's eye 
" Soars thy presumption, then, so high, 
Because a wretched kern ye slew, 
Homage to name to Roderick Phu ? 
He yields not, he, to man nor Fate ! 
Thou add'st but fuel to my hate 
My clansman's blood demands revenge. 
Not yet prepared ? By heaven, I change 
My thought, and hold thy valour light 
As that of some vain carpet-knight, 
Who ill deserved my courteous care, 
And whose best boast is but to wear 
A braid of his fair lady's hair." 
" I thank thee, Roderick, for the word ! 
It nerves my heart, it steel* my sword ; 



365 



366 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

For I have sworn this braid to stain 
In the best blood that warms thy vein. 
Now, truce, farewell ! and ruth, be gone ! 
Yet think not that by thee alone, 
Proud Chief ! can courtesy be shown ; 
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn, 
Start at my whistle clansmen stern, 
Of this small horn one feeble blast 
Would fearful odds against thee cast. 
But fear not doubt not which thou wilt 
We try this quarrel hilt to hilt." 
Then each at once his falchion drew, 
Each on the ground his scabbard threw, 
Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain, 
As what they ne'er might see again ; 
Then foot, and point, and eye opposed, 
In dubious strife they darkly closed. 

XV. 

Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu, 
That on the field his targe he threw,* 
Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide 
Had death so often dashed aside ; 
For, trained abroad his arms to wield, 
Fitz- James's blade was sword and shield,"!" 
He practised every pass and ward, 
To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard ; 
While less expert, though stronger far, 
The Gael maintained unequal war. 
Three times in closing strife they stood, 
And thrice the Saxon sword drank blood 
No stinted draught, no scanty tide, 
The gushing flood the tartans dyed. 
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain, 
And showered his blows like wintry rain, 
And, as firm rock, a castle-roof, 
Against the winter shower is proof, 

* A round target of light wood, covered with strong leather, 
and studded with brass or iron, was a necessary part ot'a High- 
lander's equipment. A person tlms armed had a considerable 
advantage in private fi ay. 

t The use of defensive armour, and particularly of the buckler 
or target, was geural in Queen Elizabeth's time, although that of 
the single rapier seeias to have been occasionally practised mucb 
earlier. 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 367 

The foe, invulnerable still, 
Foiled his -wild rage by steady skill ; 
Till, at advantage ta'en, his brand _ 
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand, 
And, backwards borne upon the lea, 
Brought the proud Chieftain to his knee. 



" Now, yield thee, or, by Him -who made 

The world, thy heart's blood dyes my blade f 

" Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy ! 

Let recreant yield who fears to die." 

Like adder darting from his coil, 

Like wolf that dashes through the toil, 

Like mountain-cat who guards her young 

Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung, 

Received, but reck'd not of a wound, 

And locked his arms his foeman round. 

Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own ! 

No maiden's hand is round thee thrown ! 

That desperate grasp thy frame might feel 

Through bars of brass and triple steel ! 

They tug, they strain ! down, down, they go, 

The Gael above, Fitz- James below ! 

The Chieftain's gripe his throat compress d, 

His knee was planted in his breast ; 

His clotted locks he backward threw, 

Across his brow his hand he drew,_ 

From blood and mist to clear his sight, 

Then gleam' d aloft his dagger bright 1 

But hate and fury ill supplied 

The stream of life's exhausted tide, 

And all too late the advantage came, 

To turn the odds of deadly game; 

For, while the dagger gleamed on high, 

Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye. 

Down came the blow ! but in the heath 

The erring blade found bloodless sheath. 

The struggling foe may now unclasp 

The fainting Chiefs relaxing grasp ; 

Unwounded from the dreadtul close, 

But breathless all, Fitz-James arose. 



368 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

XVII. 

He faltered thanks to Heaven for life, 

Redeemed, unhoped, from desperate strife ; 

Next on his foe his look he cast. 

Whose every gasp appeared his last ; 

In Roderick's gore he dipp'd the hraid, 

" Poor Blanche ! thy wrongs are dearly paid ; 

Yet with thy foe must die, or live, 

The praise that Faith and Valour give." 

With that he blew a hugle-note, 

Undid the collar from his throat, 

Unhonnetted, and by the wave 

Sate down his brow and hands to lave. 

Then faint afar are heard the feet 

Of rushing steeds in gallop fleet ; 

The sounds increase, and now are seen 

Four mounted squires in Lincoln green ; 

Two who bear lance, and two who lead, 

By loosened rein, a saddled steed ; 

Kach onward held his headlong course, 

And by Fitz-James rein'd up his horse,, 

With wonder viewed the bloody spot 

" Exclaim not, gallants ! question not. 

You, Herbert and Luffness, alight, 

And bind the wounds of yonder knight ; 

Let the grey palfrey bear his weight, 

We destined for a fairer freight, 

And bring him on to Stirling straight ; 

I will before at better speed, 

To seek fresh horse and fitting weed. 

The sun rides high ; I must be boune 

To see the archer-game at noon ; 

But lightly Bayard clears the let, 

De Vaux and Herries, follow me ! 



" Stand, Bayard, stand !" the steed obeyed, 
With arching neck and bended head, 
And glancing eye, and quivering ear, 
As if he loved his lord to hear. 
No foot Fitz-James in stirrup staid, 
No grasp upon the saddle laid, 




And noon- the bulwark of the North, 
Cray Stiilin"'. with her towers and town, 
Upon, their fteet cttteer ]ook.'d down. 



369 



CANTO Y.} THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 

But wreathed his left hand in the mane, 
And lightly bounded from the plain, 
Turned on the horse nis armed heel, 
And stirred his couiage with the steeL 
Bounded the fiery steed in air, 
The rider sate erect and fair, 
Then, like a holt, from steel cross-bow 
Forth launched, along the plain they go. 
They dashed that rapid torrent through, 
And up Carhonie's hill they Hew ; 
Still at the gallop pricked the Knight, 
His merry-men followed as they might. 
Along thy hanks, swift Teith ! they ride, 
And in the race they mock thy tide ; 
Torry and Lendrick now are past, 
And Deanstown lies behind them cast ? 
They ris, the bannered towers of Doune, 
They sink in distant woodland soon ; 
Blair- Drummond sees the hoofs strike fire, 
They sweep like breeze through Ochtertyre ; 
They mark just glance and disappear 
The lofty brow of ancient Keir ; 
They bathe their coursers' sweltering sides, 
Dark Forth ! amid thy sluggish tides, 
And on the opposing shore take ground, 
With plash, with scramble, and with bound. 
Right hand they leave thy cliffs, Craig-fortk, 
And soon the bulwark of the North, 
Grey Stirling, with her towers and town, 
Upon their fleet career looked down. 

XIX. 

As up the flinty path they strained, 

Sudden his steed the leader reined ; 

A signal to his squire he flung, 

Who instant to his stirrup sprung : 

" Seest thou, De Vaux, yon woodsman grey, 

Who town-ward holds the rocky way, 

Of stature tall and poor array ? 

Mark'st thou the firm, vet active stride, 

With which he scales the mountain side ? 

Know'st thou from whence he comes, or whom f 

" No, by my word ; a burly groom 



370 THE LADV OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

He seems, who in the field or chase 

A Baron's train would nobly grace." 

" Out, out, De Vaux ! can fear supply 

And jealousy, no sharper eye ? 

Afar, ere to the hill he drew, 

That stately form and step I knew ; 

Like form in Scotland is not seen, 

Treads not such step on Scottish green. 

'Tis James of Douglas, by saint Serle ! 

The uncle of the banished Earl. 

Away, away, to court, to show 

The near approach of dreaded foe : 

The king must stand upon his guard ; 

Douglas.and he must meet prepared." 

Then ri^ht hand wheeled their steeds, and straight 

They won the castle's postern gate. 

XX. 

The Douglas, who had bent his way 
From Cambus-Kenneth's abbey grey, 
Now, as he climbed the rocky shelf, 
Held sad communion with himself : 
" Yes ! all is true my fears could frame ; 
A prisoner lies the noble Graeme, 
And fiery Roderick soon will feel 
The vengeance of the royal steel. 
I, only I, can ward their fate 
God grant the ransom come not late ! 
The Abbess hath her promise given, 
My child shall be the bride of heaven; 
Be pardoned one repining tear ! 
For He who gave her, knows how dear, 
How excellent but that is by, 
And now my business is to die. 
Ye towers ! within whose circuit dread 
A Douglas by his sovereign bled, 
And thou, oh sad and fatnl mound ! 
,That oft has heard the death-axe sound,* 

Stirling was often polluted with noble blond. Tlie fete nf 
William, eighth Earl of Douglas, whom James the Second stabbed 
in Stirling Castle with his own hand, and while under his royal 
safe-conduct, is familiar to all who read Scottish history. Mur- 
dack, Duke of Albany, Duncan, Earl of Lennox, his father-m-law, 
and his two sons, Walter and Alexander Stewart, were executed 
At Stirling in 1+25. They were beheaded upon an eminence with- 
out the castle walls, but making part of the same hill. 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 371 

As on the noblest of the land 

Fell the stern headsman's bloody hand 

The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb 

Prepare for Douglas seeks his doom ! 

But hark ! what blithe and jolly peal 

Makes the Franciscan steeple reel ? 

And see ! upon the crowded street, 

In motley groups what masquers meet ! 

Banner and pageant, pipe and drum, 

And merry morrice-dancers come. 

I guess, by all this quaint array, 

The burghers hold their sports to-day. 

James will be there he loves such show, 

Where the good yeoman bends his bow, 

And the tough wrestler foils his foe, 

As well as where, in proud career, 

The high-born tilter shivers spear. 

I'll follow to the Castle-park, 

And play my prize King James shall mark, 

If age has tamed these sinews stark, 

"Whose force so oft, in happier days, 

His boyish wonder loved to praise." 

XXI. 

The Castle gates were open flung, 

The quivering draw-bridge rocked and rtm^ 

And echoed loud the flinty street 

Beneath the coursers' clattering feet, 

As slowly down the deep descent 

Fair Scotland's King and nobles went, 

While all along the crowded way 

Was jubilee and loud huzza. 

And ever James was bending low, 

To bis white jennet's saddle bow, 

Doffing his cap to city dame, 

Who smiled and blushed for pride and shame, 

And well the simperer might be vain 

He chose the fairest of the train. 



Every burzh of Scotland, had its solemn play, or festiv 
when feats Of archery were exhibited, and prizes distributed 
those who excelled in wrestling, hurling the bar, and the oth 
' ' 



festival, 
ed to 

, , other 

pymnaatk exercises '<f the period. James V.'s ready participation 
m these p-ipjlar amusements was one cause of his acquiring the 
title of Kin; of the Commons. The usual priie to the best shooter 
was a silver arrow. 



372 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

Gravely lie greets each city sire, 
Commends each pageant's quaint attire, 
Gives to the dancers thanks aloud, 
And smiles and nods upon the crowd, 
Who rend the heavens with their acclaims, 
" Long live the Commons' King, King James !" 
Behind the King thronged peer and knight, 
And noble dame and damsel bright, 
Whose fiery steeds ill brooked tne stay 
Of the steep street and crowded way. 
But in the train you might discern 
Dark lowering brow and visage stern '. 
There nobles mourned their pride restrained, 
And the mean burghers' joys disdained ; 
And chiefs, who, hostage for their clan, 
Were each from home a banished man, 
There thought upon their own grey tower, 
Their waving woods, their feudal power, 
And deemed themselves a shameful part 
Of pageant, which they cursed in heart 

XXII. 

Now in the Castle-park, drew out 
Their chequered bands the joyous route. 
There morricers, with hell at heel, 
And blade in hand, their mazes wheel j 
But chief, beside the butts, there stand 
Bold Robin Hood* and all his band 
Friar Tuck with quarter-staff and cowl, 
Old Scathelocke with his surly scowl, 
Maid Marian, fair as ivory bone, 
Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John ; 
Their bugles challenge all that will, 
In archery to prove their skill. 
The Douglas bent a bow of might 
His first shaft centered in the white, 
And when in turn he shot again, 
His second split the first in twain. 
From the King's hand must Douglas take 
A silver dart, the archers' stake; 

The exhibition of this renowned outlaw and his band was a 
favourite frolic in Scotland as well as Knelaud at such festivals ai 
we are describing. The game of Eouiii Hood was usually acted 
ill May. 



CATTTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 373 

Fondly he watched, with watery eye, 
Some answering glance of sympathy 
No kind emotion made reply ! 
Indifferent as to archer wight, 
The monarch gave the arrow bright 



Now, clear the ring ! for, hand to hand, 
The manly wrestlers take their stand. 
Two o'er the rest superior rose, 
And proud demanded mightier foes, 
Nor called in vain ; for Douglas came. 
For life, is Hugh of Larbert lame ; 
Scarce better John of Alloa's fare, 
Whom senseless home his comrades hear. 
Prize of the wrestling match, the King 
To Douglas gave a golden ring,* 
While coldly glanced his eye of blue, 
As frozen drop of winter dew. 
Douglas would speak, but in his breast 
His struggling soul his words suppress'd: 
Indignant then he turned him where 
Their arms the brawny yeoman bare, 
To hurl the massive bar in air. 
When each his utmost strength had shown, 
The Douglas rent an earth-fast stone 
From its deep bed, then heaved it high, 
And sent the fragment through the sky, 
A rood beyond the farthest mark ; 
And still in Stirling's royal park, 
The grey-haired sires who know the past, 
To strangers point the Douglas-cast, 
And moralize on the decay 
Of Scottish strength in modern day. 



The vale with loud applauses rang, 
The Ladies' Rock sent back the clang ; 
The King, with look unmoved, bestowed 
A purse well filled with pieces broad. 

* The usual prize of a wrestling was a ram and a r!n Th ram 
no: being very poetical is omitted in the story. 



374 THE LADY OF THE LAKK. CCA.VTO V. 

Indignant smiled the Douglas proud. 
And threw the gold among the crowd; 
Who now, with anxious wonder, scan, 
And sharper glance, the dark grey man ; 
Till whispers rose among the throng, 
That heart so free, and hand so strong, 
Must to the Douglas' blood belong : 
The old men mark'd, and shook the head, 
To see his hair with silver spread, 
And winked aside, and told each sot 
Of feats upon the English done, 
Ere Douglas of the stalwart hand 
Was exiled from his native land. 
The -women praised his stately form, 
Though wreck'd by many a winter's storm 
The youth, with awe and wonder, saw 
His strength surpassing Nature's law, 
Thus judged, as is their wont, the crowd, 
Till murmurs rose to clamours loud. 
But not a glance from that proud ring 
Of peers who circled round the King, 
With Douglas held communion kind, 
Or called the banished man to mind: 
No, not from those who, at the chase, 
Once held his side the honoured place, 
Begirt his board, and, in the field, 
Found safety underneath his shield , 
For he, whom royal eyes disown, 
When was his form to courtiers known.' 

XXV. 

The monarch saw the gambols flag, 

And bade let loose a gallant stag. 

Whose pride, the holiday to crown, 

Two favourite grey-hounds should pull down. 

That venison free, and Bourdeaux wine, 

Might serve the archery to dine. 

But Lufra whom from Douglas' side 

Nor bribe nor threat could e'er divide 

The fleetest hound in all the North, 

Brave Lufra saw, and darted forth. 

She left the royal hounds mid-way, 

And, dashing on the antler' d prey, 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 375 

Sank her sharp muzzle in his flank, 
And deep the flowing life-blood drank. 
The King's stout huntsman saw the sport 
By strange intruder broken short, 
Came up, and, with his leash unbound. 
In anger struck the noble hound. 
The Douglas had endured, that morn, 
The King's cold look, the nobles' scorn, 
And last, and worst to spirit proud, 
Had borne the pity of the crowd ; 
But Lufra had been fondly bred, 
To share his board, to watch his bed, 
And oft would Ellen, Lufra's neck, 
In maiden glee, with garlands deck ; 
They were such playmates, that with namo 
Of Lufra, Ellen's image came. 
His stifled wrath is brimming high, 
In darkened brow and flashing eye ; 
As waves before the bark divide, 
The crowd gave way before his stride 
Needs but a buffet and no more, 
The groom lies senseless in his gore. 
Such blow no other hand could deal. 
Though gauntletted in glove of steel. 



Then clamoured loud the royal train. 

And brandished swords and staves amain ; 

But stern the Baron's warning " Back ! 

Back on your lives, ye menial pack! 

Beware the Douglas. Yes ! behold, 

King James, the Douglas, doomed of old, 

And vainly sought for near and far, 

A victim to atone the war. 

A willing victim, now attends. 

Nor craves thy grace but for his friends." 

" Thus is my clemency repaid ? 

Presumptuous Lord P the monarch said ; 

" Of thy mis-proud ambitious clan, 

Thou, James of Bothwell, wert the man 

The only man, in whom a foe 

My woman-mercy would not know: 



376 THE LADY OF THE LAKK. CCATs'TO T 

But shall a Monarch's presence brook 

Injurious blow, and haughty look ? 

What ho ! the Captain of our Guard I 

Give the offender fitting ward. 

Break off the sports !" for tumult rose, 

And yeoman 'gan to bend their bows 

" Break off the sports !" he said, and frowned, 

" And bid our horsemen clear the ground." 



Then uproar wild and misarray 

Marr'd the fair form of festal day. 

The horsemen pricked among the crowd, 

Repelled by threats and insult loud ; 

To earth are borne the old aiid weak, 

The timorous fly, the women shriek ; 

With flint, with shaft, with staff, with bar, 

The hardier urge tumultuous war. 

At once round Douglas darkly sweep 

The royal spears in circle deep, 

And slowly scale the pathway steep ; 

While on their rear in thunder pour 

The rabble with disordered roar. 

With grief the noble Douglas saw 

The commons rise against the law 

And to the leading soldier said, 

" Sir John of Hyndford ! 'twas my blade 

That knighthood on thy shoulder laid ; 

For that good deed, permit me then 

A word with these misguided men. 

XXVIII. 

" Hear, gentle friends ! ere yet, for me, 
Ye break the bands of fealty. 
My life, my honour, and my cause, 
I tender free to Scotland's laws. 
Are these so weak as must require 
The aid of your misguided ire? 
Or, if I suffer causeless wrong. 
Is then my selfish rage so strong, 
My sense of public weal so low. 
That, for mean vengeance on a foe, 



CANTO V.J 



THE LADY OP THE LAKE. $77 



Those chords of love I should unbind, 

Which knit my country and my kind ? 

Oh no ! Believe, in yonder tower 

It will not soothe my captive hour, 

To know those spears our foes should dread, 

For me in kindred gore are red ; 

To know, in fruitless brawl begun, 

For me, that mother wails her son ; 

B'or me, that widow's mate expires, 

For me, that orphans weep their sires, 

That patriots mourn insulted laws, 

And curse the Douglas for the cause. 

Oh let your patience ward such ill. 

And keep your right to love me still!" 



The crowd's wild fury sunk again 

In tears, as tempests melt in rain. 

With lifted hands and eyes, they prayed 

For blessings on his generous head, 

Who for his country felt alone. 

Who prized her blood beyond his own. 

Old men, upon the verge of life, 

Blessed him who staid the civil stilt'e ; 

And mothers held their babes on high, 

The self-devoted chief to spy. 

Triumphant over wrong and ire, 

To whom the prattlers owed a sire : 

Even the rough soldier's heart was moved ; 

As if behind some bier beloved, 

With trailing arms and drooping head, 

The Douglas up the hill he led, 

And at the castle's bat* Led verge, 

With sighs, resigned his honoured charge. 



The offended Monarch rode apart, 
With bitter thought and swelling heart, 
And would not now vouchsafe again 
Through Stirling streets to lead his train. 
" Oh Lennox, who would wish to rule 
This changeling crowd, this common fool ! 



. 



378 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO V. 

Hear'st thou," he said, " the loud acclaim 
With which they shout the Douglas name ? 
With like acclaim, the vulgar throat 
Strained for King James their morning note , 
With like acclaim they hailed the day 
When first I hroke the Douglas' sway ; 
And like acclaim would Douglas greet, 
If he could hurl me from my seat. 
Who o'er the herd would wish to reign, 
Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain ? 
Vain as the leaf upon the stream, 
And fickle as a changeful dream ; 
Fantastic as a woman's mood, 
And fierce as Frenzy's fevered blood. 
Thou many-headed monster-thing, 
Oh who would wish to be thy king ! 



" But soft ! -what messenger of speed 

Spurs hitherward his panting steed? 

I guess his cognizance afar 

What from our cousin, John of Mar ?" 

" He prays, my liege, your sports keep bound 

Within the safe and guarded ground : 

For some foul purpose yet unknown 

Most sure for evil to the throne 

The outlawed Chieftain, Roderick Dhu, 

Has summoned his rebellious crew; 

'Tis said, in James of Bothwell's aid 

These loose banditti stand arrayed. 

The Earl of Mar, this morn, from Doune, 

To break their muster marched, and soon 

Your grace will hear of battle fought; 

But earnestly the Earl besought, 

Till for such danger he provide, 

With scanty train you will not ride." 

XXXII. 

" Thou warn'st me I have done amiss, 
I should have earlier looked to this : 
I lost it in this bustling day. 
Retrace with speed thy former way 



CANTO V.] THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 379 

Spare not for spoiling of thy steed, 
The best of mine shall be thy meed, 
Say to our faithful Lord of Mar, 
We do forbid the intended war : 
Roderick, this morn, in single fight, 
Was made our prisoner by a knight, 
And Douglas hath himself and cause 
Submitted to our kingdom's laws. 
The tidings of their leaders lost 
Will soon dissolve the mountain host, 
Nor would we that the vulgar feel, 
For their Chiefs crimes, avenging steel. 
Bear Mar our message, Braco, fly." 
He turned his steed " My liege, I hie, 
Yet, ere I cross this lily lawn, 
I fear the broad-swords will be drawn.'" 
The turf the flying courser spurned, 
And to his towers the King returned. 



Ill with King James's mood that 
Suited gay feast and minstrel lay ; 
Soon were dismissed the courtly throng, 
And soon cut short the festal song. 
Nor less upon the saddened town 
The evening sank in sorrow down , 
The burghers spoke of civil jar, 
Of rumoured feuds and mountain war, 
Of Moray, Mar, and Roderick Dhu, 
All up in arms : the Douglas too, 
They mourned him pent within the hold 
" Where stout Earl William was of old ;* 
And there his word the speaker staid, 
And finger on his lip he laid, 
Or pointed to his dagger blade. 
But jaded horsemen from the west, 
At evening to the castle pressed ; 
And busy talkers said they bore 
Tidings of fight on Katrine's shore ; 

* Stabbed by James II. in Stirling Castle. 



380 THK LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO VI. 

At noon the deadly fray begun, 
And lasted till the set of sun. 
Thus giddy rumour shook the town, 
Till closed the Night her pennons brown. 



CANTO SIXTH. 
Cfje uartt Uoom. 



The sun, awakening, through the smoky air 

Of the dark city casts a sullen glance, 
Bousing each caitiff to his task ot care. 

Of sinful man the sad inheritance ; 

Summoning revellers from the lagging dance, 
Scaring the prowling robber to his den ; 

Gilding on battled tower the warder's lance, 
And warning student pale to leave his pen, 
And yield his drowsy eyes to the kind nurse of men. 

What various scenes, and oh ! what scenes of woe, 

Are witnessed by that red and struggling beam ! 
The fevered patient, from his pallet low, 

Through crowded hospital beholds it stream ; 

The ruined maiden trembles at its gleam, 
The debtor wakes to thoughts of gyve and jail, 

The love-lorn wretch starts from tormenting dream ; 
The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale, 
Trims her sick infant's couch, and soothes his feeble 

wail. 

II. 

At dawn the towers of Stirling rang 
With soldier-step and weapon clang, 
While drums, with rolling note, foretell 
Relief to weary sentinel. 
Through narrow loop and casement barr'd, 
The sunbeams sought the Court of Guard, 
And, struggling with the smoky air, 
Deadened the torches' yellow glare. 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF TUB LAKE. 381 

In comfortless alliance shone 
The lights through arch of blackened stone, 
And snowed wild shapes in garb of war. 
Faces deformed with beard and scar, 
All haggard from the midnight watch, 
And fevered with the stern debauch ; 
For the oak table's massive board, 
Flooded with wine, with fragments stored, 
And beakers drained, and cups o'erthrown, 
Showed in what sport the night had flown. 
Some, weary, snored on floor and bench ; 
Some laboured still their thirst to quench; 
Some, chilled with watching, spread their hands 
O'er the huge chimney's dying brands, 
While round them, or beside them flung, 
At every step their harness rung. 

IIL 

These drew not for their fields the sword, 
Like tenants of a feudal lord, 
Nor owned the patriarchal claim 
Of chieftain in their leader's name, 
Adventurers* they, from far who roved. 
To live by battle vvhich they loved. 
There the Italian's clouded face, 
The swarthy Spaniard's there you trace; 
The mountain-loving Switzer there 
More freely breathed in mountain-air, 
The Fleming there despised the soil, 
That paid so ill the labourer's toil ; 
Their rolls showed French and German name; 
And merry England's exiles came, 
To share, with ill-concealed disdain, 
Of Scotland's pay the scanty gain. 
All brave in arms, well trained to wield 
The heavy halbert, brand, and shield ; 
In camps, licentious, wild, and bold ; 
In pillage, fierce and uncontrolled ; 
And now, by holytide and feast, 
From rules of discipline released. 

James V. Deems first to have introduced, in addition to fha 
national militia, the service of a small nnmber of mercenaries, who 
formed a body-guard, called the Foot-Baud. 



382 THE LADY OF THE LiKE. [CANTO TL 
IV. 

They held debate of bloody fray, 

Fought 'twixt Loch-Katrine and Achray. 

Fierce was their speech, and, mid their words, 

Their hands oft grappled to their swords ; 

Nor sank their tone to spare the ear 

Of wounded comrades groaning near, 

Whose mangled limbs, and bodies gored, 

Bore token of the mountain sword, 

Though, neighbouring to the court of guard, 

Their prayers and feverish wails were heard ; 

Sad burdened to the ruffian joke, 

And savage oath by fury spoke ! 

At length upstarted John of Brent, 

A yeoman from the banks of Trent ; 

A stranger to respect or fear, 

In peace a chaser of the deer. 

In host a hardy mutineer, 

But still the boldest of the crew, 

When deed of danger was to do. 

He grieved, that day their games cut short, 

And marr'd the dicers' brawling sport, 

And shouted loud, " Renew the bowl ! 

And, while a merry catch I troll, 

Let each the buxom chorus bear, 

Like brethren of the brand and spear." 

v. 

SOLDIER'S SONG. 

Our vicar still preaches that Peter and Poule 
Laid a swinging long curse on the bonny brown bowl, 
That there's wrath and despair in the jolly black jack, 
And seven deadly sins in a flagon of sack : 
Yet whoop, Barnaby ! off with thy liquor, 
Drink upsees* out, and a fig for the vicar ! 
Our vicar he calls it damnation to sip 
The ripe ruddy dew of a woman's dear lip, 
Says, that Belzebub lurks in her kerchief so sly, 
And Apollyon shoots darts from her merry black eye ; 
Yet whoop, Jack ! kiss Gillian the quicker, 
Till she bloom like a rose, and a fig for the vicar ! 

* A Bacchanalian interjection, borrowed from the Dutdk 



CANTO VL1 THE LADY OP THE LAKE. 383 

thus es-an w ot 



ine's the word, and a fig for the Vicar ! 



VI. 

The -warder's challenge heard without 
Stayed m mid roar the merry shout 
A soldier to the portal went 

Here is old Bertram, sirs, of Ghent: 
And, beat for jubilee the drum ! 
A maid and minstrel with him coma- 
Bertram, a Fleming, grey and scarr'd, 
Was entering now the court of guard? 
A harper with him, and, in plaid 
AU muffled close, a mountain maid 
Who backward shrank to 'scape the view 
n the loose scene and boisterous crew 

What news ?" they roared : I only know 
From noon till eve we fought with foe 
As wild and as untameable, 
As the rude mountains where they dwell 
On both sides store of blood is lost 
Nor much success can either boast " 

But whence thy captives, friend? such spoil 
As theirs must needs reward thv toil 
Old dost thou wax, and wars grow sharp 
Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp 
t thee an ape, and trudge the land? 
Ine leader of a juggler band."* 

VII. 

"No, comrade ; no such fortune mine. 
Alter the fight, these sought our line, 
Jnat aged harper and the girl, 
And, having audience of the Earl 
Mar bade 1 should purvey them steed 
Ana bring them hitherward with speed. 



TX r ' 

verted 



384 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO Vt 

Forbear your mirth and rude alarm, 

For none shall do them shame or harm." 

" Hear ye his boast !" cried John of Brent, 

fiver to strife and jangling bent ; 

" Shall he strike doe beside our lodge, 

And yet the jealous niggard grudge 

To pay the forester his lee ? 

I'll nave my share howe'er it be, 

Despite of Moray, Mar, or thee." 

Bertram his forward step withstood ; 

And, burning in his vengeful mood, 

Old Allan, though unfit for strife, 

Laid hand upon his dagger-knife ; 

But Ellen boldly stepp d between, 

And dropp'd at once the tartan screen ; 

So, from his morning cloud, appears 

The sun of May, through summer tears. 

The savage soldiery, amazed, 

As on descended angel gazed ; 

Even hardy Brent, abashed and tamed, 

Stood half admiring, half ashamed. 



Boldly she spoke " Soldiers, attend ! 
My father was the soldier's friend ; 
Cheered him in camps, in marches led, 
And with him in the battle bled. 
Not from the valiant, or the strong, 
Should exile's daughter suffer wrong." 
Answered De Brent, most forward still 
In every feat or good or ill, 
" I shame me of the part I played ; 
And thou an outlaw's child, poor maid ! 
An outlaw I by Forest laws, 
And merry Needwood knows the cause. 
Poor Rose if Rose be living now" 
He wiped his iron eye and brow, 
" Must bear such age, I think, as thou. 
Hear ye, my mates ; I go to call 
The Captain of our watch to hall : 
There lies my halbert on the floor ; 
And he that steps my halbert o'er, 



CANTO VL] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 385 

To do the maid injurious part, 
My shaft shall quiver in his heart ! 
Beware loose speech, or jesting rough : 
Ye all know John de Brent. Enough." 

IX. 

Their Captain came, a gallant young- 
(Of Tullibardine's house he sprung) : 
Nor wore he yet the spurs of knight ; 
Gray was his mien, his humour light, 
And, though by courtesy controlled, 
Forward his speech, his hearing hold. 
The high-born maiden ill could brook 
The scanning of his curious look 
And dauntless eye ; and yet, in sooth, 
Young Lewis was a generous youth ; 
But Ellen's lovely face and mien, 
Ill-suited to the garb and scene, 
Might lightly bear construction strange, 
And give loose fancy scope to range. 
" Welcome to Stirling towers, fair maid ! 
/ Come ye to seek a champion's aid, 
On palfrey -white, with harper hoar, 
Like errant damosel of yore? 
Does thy high quest a knight require, 
Or may the venture suit a squire ?" 
Her dark eye flashed ; she paused and sighed, 
" Oh -what have I to do with pride ! 
Through scenes of sorrow, shame, and strife, 
A suppliant for a father's life, 
I crave an audience of the King. 
Behold, to back my suit, a ring, 
The royal pledge of grateful claims, 
Given by the Monarch to Fitz-James." 

x. 

The signet ring young Lewis took, 
With aeep respect and altered look; 
And said " This ring our duties own ; 
And pardon, if, to worth unknown, 
In semblance mean obscurely veiled, 
Lady, in aught my folly failed. 
Soon as the day flings wide his gates, 
The King shall know what suitor waits. 

B 



386 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO Vt 

Please you, meanwhile, in fitting bower 

Repose you till his waking hour ; 

Female attendance shall obey 

Your best, for service or array. 

Permit I marshal you the way." 

But, ere she followed, with the grace 

And open bounty of her race. 

She bade her slender purse be shared 

Among the soldiers of the guard. 

The rest with thanks their guerdon took ; 

But Brent, with shy and awkward look, 

On the reluctant maiden's hold 

Forced bluntly back the protfered gold ; 

" Forgive a haughty English heart, 

And oh, forget its ruder part ! 

The vacant purse shall be my share, 

Which in my barret-cap I'll bear, 

Perchance, in jeopardy of war, 

Where gayer crests may keep afar." 

With thanks 'twas all she could the maid 

His rugged courtesy repaid. 

XI. 

When Ellen forth with Lewis went, 
Allan made suit to John of Brent : 
" My lady safe, oh let your grace 
Give me to see my master's face ! 
His minstrel I to share his doom 
Bound from the cradle to the tomb. 
Tenth in descent, since first my sires 
Waked for his noble house their lyres, 
Nor one of all the race was known 
But prized its weal above their own. 
With the Chiefs birth begins our care ; 
Our harp must soothe the infant heir, 
Teach the youth tales of fight, and grace 
His earliest feat of field or chase ; 
In peace, in war, our rank we keep, 
We cheer his board, we soothe his sleep, 
Nor leave him till we pour our verse, 
A doleful tribute ! o'er his hearse. 
Then let me share his captive lot ; 
It is my right deny it not 1" 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 387 

" Little we reck," said John of Brent, 
" We southern men, of long descent ; 
Nor wot we how a name a word 
Makes clansmen vassals to a lord : 
Yet kind my noble landlord's part 
God bless the house of Beaudesert ! 
'And, but I loved to drive the deer. 
More than to guide the labouring steet, 
I had not dwelt an outcast here. 
Come, good old Minstrel, follow me; 
Thy Lord and Chieftain shalt thou see," 



Then, from a rusted iron hook, 

A bunch of ponderous keys he took, 

Lighted a torch, and Allan led 

Through grated arch and passage dread. 

Portals they passed, where, deep within, 

Spoke prisoner's moan and fetters' din ; 

Through rugged vaults, where, loosely stored, 

Lay wheel, and axe, and headsman's sword, 

And many an hideous engine grim, 

For wrenching joint, and crushing limb, 

By artists formed, who deemed it shame 

And sin to give their work a name. 

They halted at a low-browed porch, 

And Brent to Allan gave the torch, 

While bolt and chain he backward rolled, 

And made the bar unhasp its hold. 

They entered 'twas a prison-room 

Of stern security and gloom, 

Yet not a dungeon ; for the day 

Through lofty gratings found its way, 

And rude and antique garniture 

Decked the sad walls and oaken floor ; 

Such as the rugged days of old, 

Deem'd fit for captive noble's hold. 

" Here,'' said De Brent, "thou may'st remain 

Till the Leach visit him again. 

Strict is his charge, the warders tell, 

To tend the noble prisoner welL" 

Retiring then the bolt he drew. 

And the lock's murmurs growl'd anew. 



388 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO VI. 

Roused at the sound, from lowly bed 
A captive feebly raised his head; 
The wondering Minstrel looked, and knew 
Not his dear lord, but Roderick Dhu ! 
For, come from where Clan-Alpine fought, 
They, erring, deemed the Chief he sought. 

XIII. 

As the tall ship, whose lofty prore 

Shall never stem the billows more, 

Deserted by her gallant band, 

Amid the breakers lies astrand, 

So, on his couch, lay Roderick Dhu ! 

And oft his fevered limbs he thrt'.v 

In toss abrupt, as when her sides 

Lie rocking in the advancing tides, 

That shake her frame with ceaseless beat, 

Yet cannot heave her from her seat 

Oh ! how unlike her course on sea ! 

Or his free step on hill and lea ! 

Soon as the Minstrel he could scan, 

" What of thy lady ? of my clan? 

My Mother? Douglas? tell me all ! 

Have they been ruined in my fall ? 

Ah, yes ! or wherefore art thou here ! 

Yet speak speak boldly ! do not tear.' 1 * 

(For Allan, who his mood well knew, 

Was choked with grief and terror too.) 

" Who fought? who fled ? Old man, be brief; 

Some might for they had lost their Chief. 

Who basely live? who bravely died?" 

" Oh, calm thee, Chief!" the Minstrel cried, 

" Ellen is safe ;" " For that, thank Heaven !** 

" And hopes are for the Douglas given ; 

The Lady Margaret too is well, 

And, for thy clan on field or fell, 

Has never harp of minstrel told, 

Of combat fought so true and bold. 

Thy stately pine is yet unbent, 

Though many a goodly bough is rent." 

XIV. 

The Chieftain reared his form on high, 
And fever's fire was in his eye ; 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. OWS 

But ghastly, pale, and livid streaks 

Chequered his swarthy brow and cheeks. 

" Hark, Minstrel ! I have heard thee play 

"With measure bold on festal day, 

In yon lone isle . . . again where ne'er 

Shall harper play, or warrior hear . . . 

That stirring air that peals on high, 

O'er Dermid's race our victory. 

Strike it ! and then (for well thou canst) 

Free from thy minstrel-spirit glanced, 

Fling me the picture of the fight, 

When met my clan the Saxon might. 

I'll listen, till my fancy hears 

The clang of swords, the crash of spears ! 

These grates, these walls, shall vanish then, 

For the fair field of fighting men, 

And my free spirit burst away, 

As if it soared from battle fray." 

The trembling bard with awe obeyed 

Slow on the harp his hand he laid ; 

But soon remembrance of the sight 

He witnessed from the mountain's height, 

With what old Bertram told at night, 

Awakened the full power of song, 

And bore him in career along; 

As shallop launched on river's tide, 

That slow and fearful leaves the side, 

But, when it feels the middle stream, 

L)rives downward swift as lightning's beam. 

XV. 
BATTLE OF BEAL* AN DU1NE.* 

" The Minstrel came once more to view 
The eastern ridge of Ben-venue, 
For, ere he parted, he would say, 
Farewell to lovely Loch-Achray 
Where shall he find, in foreign land, 
So lone a lake, so sweet a strand ! 

* A skirmish actually took place at a pass thus called in the 
Trosacbs, and clnwd with the remarkable incident mentioned in 
the text. It happened however so late as the invasion of Scotland 
by Oliver Cromwell, one of whose soldiers was thus slain just as 
he had almost secured the means of conveyance for his companions 
to the island at the extremity of Loch-Katrine. His party oil 
witnessing his fate, abandoned their ferocioui enterprise. 



390 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. fCAKTO VL 

There is no breeze upon the fern, 

No ripple on the lake, 
Upon her eyrie nods the erne, 

The deer has sought the brake ; 
The small birds will not sing aloud, 

The springing trout lies still, 
So darkly glooms yon thunder cloud, 
That swathes, as with a purple shroud, 

Benledi's distant hill. 
Is it the thunder's solemn sound 

That mutters deep and dread, 
Or echoes from the groaning ground 

The warrior's measured tread? 
la it the lightning's quivering glance 

That on the thicket streams, 
Or do they flash on spear and lance 

The sun's retiring beiuns? 
I see the dagger-crest of Mar, 
I see the Moray's silver star, 
Wave o'er the cloud of Saxon war, 
That up the lake comes winding far ! 
To hero boune for battle- strife, 

Or bard of martial lay, 
'Twere worth ten years of peaceful life^ 

One glance at their array ! 

XVI. 

" Their light-armed archers far aud near 

Surveyed the tangled ground, 
Their centre ranks, with pike and spear, 

A twilight forest frowned, 
Their barbed horsemen, in the rear, 

The stern battalia crowned. 
No cymbal clashed, no clarion rang, 

Still were the pipe and drum ; 
Save heavy tread, and armour's clang, 

The sullen march was dumb. 
There breathed no wind their crests to shake, 

Or wave their flags abroad ; 
Scarce the frail aspen seemed to quake, 

That shadowed o'er their road. 
Their vaward scouts no tidings bring, 

Can rouse no lurking foe, 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 391 

Nor spy a trace of living thing, 

Save when they stirred the roe ; 
The host moves, like a deep sea-wave, 
Where rise no rocks its pride to brave, 

High- swelling, dark, and slow. 
The lake is passed, and now they gain 
A narrow and a broken plain, 
Before the Trosachs' rugged jaws ; 
And here the horse and spearmen pause, 
While, to explore the dangerous glen, 
Dive through the pass the archer-men. 

XVJL 

" At once there rose so wild a yell 
Within that dark and narrow dell, 
As all the fiends, from heaven *nat fell, 
Had pealed the banner-cry of hell ! 
Forth from the pass in tumult driven, 
Like chaff before the wiul of heaven, 

The archery appear: 

,For life ! for life ! their flight they ply- 
And shriek, and shout, and battle-cry, 
And plaids and bonnets waving high, 
And broad-swords flashing to the sky, 

Are maddening in their rear. 
Onward they drive, in dreadful race, 

Pursuers and pursued ; 
Before that tide of flight and chase, 
How shall it keep its rooted place, 
The spearmen's twilight wood? 
' Down, down," cried Mar, ' your lances down ! 

Bear back both friend and foe !' 
Like reeds before the tempest's frown, 
That serried grove of lances brown 

At once lay levell'd low ; 
And closely shouldering side to side, 
The bristling ranks the onset bide. 
' We'll quell the savage mountaineer, 
As their Tinchel* cows the game ! 

* A circle of sportsmen, -who, by surrounding a great space, and 
gradually D Arrowing, brought immense quaii tities ot deer together, 
which usually mode desperate enur u to break through the Tinchti. 



392 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO VI. 

They come as fleet as forest deer, 
We'll drive them hack as tame. 



" Bearing hefore them, in their course, 
The relics of the archer force, 
Like wave with crest of sparkling foam, 
Right onward did Clan- Alpine come. 
Above the tide, each broad-sword bright 
Was brandishing like beam of light, 

Each targe was dark below ; 
And with the ocean's mighty swing, 
When heaving to the tempest's wing, 

They hurled them on the foe. 
I heard the lance's shivering crash, 
As when the whirlwind rends the ash ; 
I heard the broad-sword's deadly clang, 
As if an hundred anvils rang ! 
But Moray wheeled his rearward rank 
Of horsemen on Clan- Alpine's flank 

' My banner-man, advance ! 
I see, 1 he cried, 'their column shake. 

Now, gallants ! for your ladies' sake, 
Upon them with the lance P 
The horsemen dashed among the rout, 
As deer break through the broom ; 
Their steeds are stout, their swords are out, 

They soon make lightsome room. 
Clan- Alpine's best are backward borne 

Where, where was Roderick then ! 
One blast upon his bugle-horn 

Were worth a thousand men. 
And refluent through the pass of fear 

The battle's tide was pour'd ; 
Vanished the Saxon's struggling spear. 

Vanished the mountain sword. 
As Bracklinn's chasm, so black and steep, 

Receives her roaring linn, 
As the dark caverns of the deep 

Suck the wild whirlpool in, 
So did the deep and darksome pass 
Devour the battle's mingled mass; 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 

None linger now upon the plain, 
Save those who ne'er shall fight again. 



" Now westward rolls the battle's din, 
That deep and doubling pass within. 
Minstrel, away ! the work of fate 
Is bearing on : its issue wait, 
Where the rude Trosachs' dread defile 
Opens on Katrine's lake and isle. 
Grey Ben- venue I soon repassed, 
Loch-Katrine lay beneath me cast. 

The sun is set the clouds are met 
The lowering scowl of heaven 

An inky hue of livid blue 

To the deep lake has given ; 
Strange gusts of wind from mountain glen 
Swept o'er the lake, then sunk agen. 
I heeded not the eddying surge, 
Mine eye but saw the Trosach's gorge, 
Mine ear but heard that sullen sound, 
Which like an earthquake shook the ground, 
And spoke the stern and desperate strife 
That parts not but with parting life, 
Seeming, to minstrel-ear, to toll 
The dirge of many a passing soul. 

Nearer it comes the dim-wood glen 

The martial flood disgorged agen, 

But not in mingled tide ; 
The plaided warriors of the North, 
High on the mountain thunder forth, 

And overhang Hs side ; 
While by the lake below appears 
The darkening cloud of Saxon spears. 
At weary bay each shattered baud, 
Eyeing their foemen, sternly stand ; 
Their banners stream like tatter'd sail, 
That flings its fragments to the gale, 
And broken arms and disarray 
Marked the fell havoc of the day. 

K2 



393 



394 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CAITTO VI 

XX. 

" Viewing the mountain's ridge askance, 
The Saxons stood in sullen trance. 
Till Moray pointed with his lance. 

And cried ' Behold yon isle ! 
See ! none are left to guard its strand, 
But women weak, that wring the hand : 
'Tis there of yore the robber band 

Their booty wont to pile ; 
My purse, with bonnet-pieces store, 
To him will swim a bow-shot o'er, 
And loose a shallop from the shore. 
Lightly we'll tame the war- wolf then, 
Lords of his mate, and brood, and den. 
Forth from the ranks a spearman sprung, 
On earth his casque and corslet rung, 

He plunged him in the wave : 
All saw the deed the purpose knew, 
And to their clamours Ben- venue 

A mingled echo gave ; 
The Saxons shout, their mate to cheer, 
The helpless females scream for fear, 
And yells for rage the mountaineer. 
'Twas then, as by the outcry riven, 
Poured down at once the lowering heaven ; 
A whirlwind swept Loch- Katrine s breast, 
Her billows reared their snowy crest. 
Well for the swimmer swelled they high, 
To mar the Highland marksman's eye ; 
For round him showered, 'mid rain and hail, 
The vengeful arrows of the Gael. 
In vain. He nears the isle and lo ! 
His hand is on a shallop's bow. 
Just then a flash of lightning came, 
It tinged the waves and strand with flame ; 
I marked Duncraggan's widowed dame, 
Behind an oak I saw her stand, 
A naked dirk gleamed in her hand : 
It darkened but amid the moan 
Of waves I heard a dying groan ; 
Another flash ! the spearman floats 
A weltering corse beside the boats, 



CA>TO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 

And the stern Matron o'er him stood, 
Her hand and dagger streaming blood. 

xxi. 

" ' Revenge ! revenge P the Saxons cried, 
The Gaels' exulting shout replied. 
Despite the elemental rage, 
Again they hurried to engage ; 
But, ere they closed in desperate fight, 
Bloody with spurring came a knight, 
Sprang from his horse, and, from a crag. 
\V as-ed 'twixt the hosts a milk-white flag. 
Clarion and trumpet by his side 
Rang forth a truce-note high and wide, 
While, in the monarch's name, afar 
A herald's voice forbade the war, 
For Bothwell's lord, and Roderick bold, 
Were both, he said, in captive hold." 
But here the lay made sudden stand 
The harp escap'd the minstrel's hand ! 
Oft had he stolen a glance, to spy 
How Roderick brooked his minstrelsy : 
At first, the Chieftain, to the chime, 
With lifted hand, kept feeble time ; 
That motion ceased yet feeling strong 
Varied his look as changed the song ; 
At length, no more his deafened ear 
The minstrel melody can hear ; 
His face grows sharp his hands are clenched, 
As if some pang his heart-strings wrenched ; 
Set are his teeth, his fading eye 
Is sternly fixed on vacancy. 
Thus, motionless, and moanless, drew 
His parting breath, stout Roderick Dhu ! 
Old Allan-bane looked on aghast, 
While grim and still his spirit passed ; 
But when he saw that life was fled, 
He poured his wailing o'er the dead, 

XXII. 
LAMENT. 

" And art thou cold, and lowly laid, 
Thy foemen's dread, thy people's aid, 
Breadalbane's boast, Clan- Alpine's shade ; 



390 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO \l 

For thee shall none a requiem say ! 
For thee, \vho loved the minstrel's lay, 
For thee, of Bothwell's house the stay, 
The shelter of her exiled line, 
E'en in this prison-house of thine, 
I'll wail for Alpine's honoured pine ! 

" What groans shall yonder valleys fill ! 
What shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill I 
What tears of burning rage shall thrill, 
When mourns thy tribe thy battles done, 
Thy fall before the race was won, 
Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun ! 
There breathes not clansman of thy line, 
But would have given his life for thine. 
Oh woe for Alpine's honoured pine ! 

" Sad was thy lot on mortal stage ! 
The captive thrush may brook the cage, 
The prisoned eagle dies for rage. 
Brave spirit, do not scorn my strain ! 
And, when its notes awake again, 
Even she, so long beloved in vain, 
Shall with my harp her voice combine, 
And mix her woe and tears with mine, 
To wail Clan- Alpine's honoured pine." 



Ellen, the while, with bursting heart, 

Remained in lordly bower apart, 

Where played, with many-coloured gleams, 

Through storied pane the rising beams. 

In vain on gilded roof they fall, 

And lighten'd up a tapestried wall, 

And for her use a menial train 

A rich collation spread in vain, 

The banquet proud, the chamber gay, 

Scarce drew one curious glance astray ; 

Or, if she looked, 'twas but to say, 

With better omen dawned the day 

In that lone isle, where waved on high 

The dun deer's hide for canopy; 

Where oft her noble father snared 

The simple meal her care prepared. 



CANTO VL] THE LADT OF THE LAKE. 397 

While Lufra, crouching by her side, 

Her station claimed with jealous pride; 

And Douglas, bent on woodland game, 

Spoke of the chase to Malcolm Grseme, 

Whose answer, oft at random made, 

The wandering of his thoughts betrayed 

Those who such simple joys have known 

Are taught to prize them when they're gone. 

But sudden, see, she lifts her head ! 

The window seeks with cautious tread. 

What distant music has the power 

To win her in this woeful hour ! 

'Twas from a turret that o'erhung 

Her latticed bower, the strain was song. 



LAY OF THE IMPRISONED HUNTSMAN. 

" My hawk is tired of perch and hood, 
My idle- grey hound loathes his food, 
My horse is weary of his stall, 
And I am sick of captive thralL 
I wish I were as I have been, 
Hunting the hart in forests green, 
With bended bow and bloodhound free, 
For that's the life is meet for me. 

I hate to learn the ebb of time, 
From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime, 
Or mark it as the sunbeams crawl, 
Inch after inch, along the wall 
The lark was wont my matins ring, 
The sable rook my vespers sing ; 
These towers, although a king's they he, 
Have not a hall of joy for me. 
No more at dawning morn I rise, 
And sun myself in Ellen's eyes, 
Drive the fleet deer the forest through, 
And homeward wend with evening dew ; 
A blithesome welcome blithely meet, 
And lay my trophies at her feet, 
AV hile Hed the eve on wing of glee 
That life is lost to love and me !" 



398 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO Vt 

XXV. 

The heart-sick lay "was hardly said, 

The list'ner had not turned her head, 

It trickled still, the starting tear, 

When light a footstep struck her ear, 

And Snowdoun's graceful Knight was near. 

She turned the hastier, lest again 

The prisoner should renew his strain. 

" Oh welcome, brave Fitz-James !" she said ; 

*' How may an almost orphan maid 

Pay the deep debt." " Oh say not so 

To me no gratitude you owe. 

Not mine, alas ! the boon to give, 

And bid thy noble father live ; 

I can but be thy guide, sweet maid, 

With Scotland's King thy suit to aid. 

No tyrant he, though ire and pride 

May lead his better mood aside. 

Come, Ellen, come ! 'tis more than time ; 

He holds his court at morning prime." 

AVith beating heart, and bosom wrung, 

As to a brother's arm she clung. 

Gently he dried the falling tear, 

And gently whispered hope and cheer ; 

Her faltering steps half led, half staid, 

Through gallery fair and high arcade, 

Till, at his touch, its wings of pride 

A portal arch unfolded wide. 



Within 'twas brilliant all and light, 
A thronging scene of figures bright ; 
It glowed on Ellen's dazzled sight, 
As when the setting sun has given 
Ten thousand hues to summer even, 
And, from their tissue, fancy frames 
Aerial knights and fairy dames. 
Still by Fitz-James her footing staid 
A few faint steps she forward made, 
Then slow her drooping head she raised 
And fearful round the presence gazed ; 



CANTO VI.] THE LADY OF THE LAKE. 399 

For him she sought, who owned this state, 

The dreaded prince whose will was fate t 

She gazed on many a princely port, 

Might well have ruled a royal court ; 

On many a splendid garb she gazed 

Then turned bewildered and amazed, 

For all stood bare ; and, in the room, 

Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume. 

To him each lady's look was lent, 

On him each courtier's eye was bent ; 

Midst furs, and silks, and jewels sheen, 

He stood, in simple Lincoln green, 

The centre of the glittering ring 

And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King!* 

XXVII. 

As wreath of snow on mountain breast, 

Slides from the rock that gave it rest, 

Poor Ellen glided from her stay, 

And at the Monarch's feet she lay; 

No word her choking voice commands 

She showed the ring she clasped her hands. 

Oh ! not a moment could he brook, 

The generous prince, that suppliant look ! 

Gently he raised her and the while 

Checked with a glance the circle's smile. 

Graceful, but grave, her brow he kissed, 

And bade her terrors be dismissed 

" Yes, Fair ; the wandering poor Fitz- James 

The fealty of Scotland claims. 

To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring 

He will redeem his signet ring. 

Ask nought for Douglas yester even, 

His prince and he have much forgiven : 

Wrong hath he had from slanderous tongue, 

I from his rebel kinsmen, wrong. 

We would not to the vulgar crowd 

Yield what they craved with clamour loud ; 

* James V., from his anxious attention to the interests of the 
lower and most oppressed das* of his subjects, was as we bare 
Ireii, popularly termed the l\ing of the Curnmtjnx. For the pur- 
pose ot seeing that justice was regularly administered, and fre- 
quently from the less justifiable motive of gallantry, lie used to 
traverse the vicinage of his several palaces ui various disguk.es. 



400 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO VL 

Calmly we heard and judged his cause, 
Our council aided and our laws. 
I stanched thy father's death-feud stern, 
With stout De Vaux and grey Glencairn ; 
And Bothwell's Lord henceforth we own 
The friend and bulwark of our Throne. 
But, lovely infidel, how now ? 
What clouds thy misbelieving brow ? 
Lord James of Douglas, lend thine aid ; 
Thou must confirm this doubting maid." 

XXVIII. 

Then forth the noble Douglas sprung, 

And on his neck his daughter hung. 

The Monarch drank, that happy hour, 

The sweetest, holiest draught of power 

When it can say, with godlike voice, 

Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice ! 

Yet would not James the general eye 

On nature's raptures long should pry ; 

He stepp'd between " Nay, Douglas, nay, 

Steal not my proselyte away ! 

The riddle 'tis my right to read, 

That brought this happy chance to speed. 

Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray, 

In life's more low but happier way, 

'Tis under name which veils my power, 

Nor falsely veils for Stirling's tower 

Of yore the name of Snowdoun claims,* 

And Normans call me James Fitz-James. 

Thus watch I o'er insulted laws, 

Thus learn to right the injured cause." 

Then, in a tone apart and low, 

" Ah, little trait'ress ! none must know 

What idle dream, what lighter thought, 

What vanity full dearly bought, 

Joined to thine eye's dark witchcraft, drew 

My spell-bound steps to Ben-venue, 

* William of Worceter, who wrote about the middle of th 
fifteenth century, calls Stirling Castle f.nowdouu. It was pro- 
bably derived from the romantic legend which connected htirliuff 
with Kin* Arthur, to which the mention of the round table gives 
countenance. 



CANTO VI] 



THE I.ADY OF THE LAKE. 401 



Tn dangerous hour, and all but gave 
Thy monarch's life to mountain glaive f 
Aloud he spoke " Thou still dost hold 
That little talisman of gold, 
Pledge of my faith, Fitz- James's ring 
What seeks fair Ellen of the King?" 

XXIX. 

Full well the conscious maiden guessed, 

He probed the weakness of her breast ; 

But, with that consciousness, there came 

A lightening of her fears for Grseme, 

And more she deemed the monarch's ire 

Kindled 'gainst him, who, for her sire, 

Rebellious broadsword boldly drew ; 

And to her generous feeling true, 

She craved the grace of Roderick Dhu. 

" Forbear thy suit : the King of kings 

Alone can stay life's parting wings. 

I know his heart, I know his hand, 

Have shared his cheer, and proved his brand ; 

My fairest earldom would I give 

To bid Clan- Alpine's Chieftain live ! 

Hast thou no other boon to crave ? 

No other captive friend to save ?" 

Blushing, she turned her from the King 

And to the Douglas gave the ring, 

As if she wished her sire to speak 

The suit that stained her glowing cheek. 

" Nay, then, my pledge has lost its force. 

And stubborn justice holds her course. 

Malcolm, come forth f And, at the word, 

Down kneel'd the Grseme to Scotland's Lord. 

' For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, 

From thee may Vengeance claim her dues, 

Who, nurtured underneath our smile. 

Hast paid our care by treacherous wile, 

And sought amid thy faithful clan, 

A refuge for an outlawed man, 

Dishonouring thus thy loyal name. 

Fetters and warder for the Graeme !" 

His chain of gold the King unstrung, 

The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung, 



402 THE LADY OF THE LAKE. [CANTO VI. 

Then gently drew the glittering hand, 
And laid the clasp on Ellen's hand. 



Harp of the North, farewell ! The hills grow dark, 

On purple peaks a deeper shade descending ; 
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark, 

The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending. 

Resume thy wizard elm ! the fountain lending, 
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy ; 

Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending, 
With distant echo from the fold and lea, 
And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing 
bee. 

Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp ! 

Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway, 
And little reck I of the censure sharp 

May idly cavil at an idle lay. 

Much have I -owed thy strains on life's long way, 
Through secret woes the world has never known, 

When on the weary night dawned wearier day, 
And bitterer was the grief devoured alone. 
That I o'erlive such woes, Enchantress ! is thine own. 

Hark ! as my lingering footsteps slow retire, 

Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string ! 
'Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire, 

'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. 

Receding now, the dying numbers ring 
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, 

And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring 
A wandering witch-note of the distant spell 
And now, 'tis silent all! Enchantress, fare- thee- well! 






THE 



VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



THK following poem ia founded upon a Spanish tradition, parti- 
cularly detailed in the notes ; but bearing, in general, mat Don 
Roderick, the last Gothic King of Spain, when the invasion of the 
Moors was impending, had the temerity to descend into an ancient 
vault, near Toledo, the opening of which had been denounced ai 
fetal to the Spanish monarchy. The legend adds, that his rash 
curiosity was mortified by an emblematical representation of those 
Saracens who, in the year 714, defeated him in battle, and reduced 

of the revolutions of Spain down to the present eventful crisis o? 
the Peninsula; and to divide it, by a supposed change of scene, 
into three periodi. Thejirit of these represents the invasion of the 
Moors, the defeat and death of Roderick, and closes with the 
peaceful occupation of the country by the victors. The second 
period embraces the state of the Peninsula, when the conquests of 
the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East and West Indies had 
raised to the highest pitch the renown of their arms ; sullied, how- 
ever, by superstition and cruelty. An allusion to the inhumanities 
of the Inquisition terminates this picture. The last part of the 
poem opens with the ^ate of Spain previous to the unparalleled 
treachery of Buonaparte ; [fives a sketch of the usurpation at- 
tempted upon that unsuspicious and friendly kingdom, and ter- 
minates with the arrival of the British succours. It umy be farther 
proper to mention, that the object ol the poem is less to com- 
memorate or detail particular incidents, than to exhibit a general 
and impressive picture of the several periods brought upon the 
stage. 

I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, especially by 
one who has already experienced more than ordinary indulgence, 
to offer any apology for the inferio-Jty of the poetry to the subject 
it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to 
mention, that, while I was hasti.y executing a work, written for 
a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the task was most 
cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of Lord President 
Blair, and Lord Viscount Melville. In those distinguished charac- 
ters, I had not only to regret persons whose live* were most im- 
portant to Scotland, but also whose notice and patronage honoured 
my entrance upon active life j and I may add, with melancholy 
pride, who permitted my more advanced age to claim no common 
share in their friendship. Under such interruptions, the following 
verses, which my best and happiest efforts must have left far mi- 
worthy of their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance 
of negligence and incoherence, which, in othar circumstances, I 
might have been able to remove. 

EDINBURGH, June 4, 1811. 



THE 
VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



CIO D10NO1I KZMOR 
TOX HUMANA VAI.BTY 



INTRODUCTION. 

L 

LIVES there a strain, whose sounds of mounting 

May rise distinguish'd o'er the din of war, [fire, 
Or died it with yon master of the lyre, 

Who sung beleaguer' d Ilion's evil star ? 
Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, 

Wafting its descant wide o'er Ocean's range ; 
Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood could mar, 

All as it swell'd 'twixteach loud trumpet-change, 
That clangs to Britain victory, to Portugal revenge ! 

IL 

Yes ! such a strain, with all-o'erpowering measure, 

Might melodize with each tumultuous sound, 
Each voice of fear or triumph, woe or pleasure, 

That rings Mondego's ravaged shores around ; 
The thundering cry of hosts with conquest crown'd, 

The female shriek, the ruin'd peasant's moan, 
The shout of captives from their chains unbound, 

The foil'd oppressor's deep and sullen groan, 
A nation's choral nymn for tyranny o'erthrown. 

in. 

But we weak minstrels of a laggard day, 
Skill'd but to imitate an elder page, 



406 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

Timid and raptureless, can we repay 

The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age ? 
Thou giv'st our lyres a theme, that might engage 
Those that could send thy name o'er sea and 

land, 
While sea and land shall .'sst ; for Homer's rage 

A theme; a theme for Milton's mighty hand 
How much unmeet for us. a faint degenerate band ! 

IV. 

Ye mountains stern ! within whose rugged breast 

The friends of Scottish freedom found repose ; 

5Te torrents ! whose hoarse sounds have soothed 

their rest, 

Returning from the field of vanquish'd foes ; 
Say, have ye lost each wild majestic close, 

That erst the choir of bards or druids flung, 
' What time their hymn of victory arose, 

And Cattraeth's glens with voice of triumph 

rung, 

And mystic Merlin harp'd, and grey-hair'd Lly- 
warch sung.* 

V. 

O ! if your wilds such minstrelsy retain, 

As sure your changeful gales seem oft to say, 
When sweeping wild and sinking soft again, 

Like trumpet-jubilee, or harp's wild sway ; 
If ye can echo such triumphant lay, 

Then lend the note to him has loved you long 
Who pious gather'd each tradition grey, 

That floats your solitary wastes along, 
And with affection vain gave them new voice in song. 

VI. 

For not till now, how oft soe'er the task 
Of truant verse hath lighten'd graver care, 

* Much of the ancient poetry, preserved in Wales, refers to 
events which happened in the North-west of England and South- 
west of Scotland', where the Britons for a lo?ig time made a ctaud 
against the Saxons. Llywarch, the celebrated bard and monarch, 
was Prince of Argoon, in Cumberland ; and his youthful exploits 
were performed upon the Border, although in his* age he was 
driven into Powys by the successes of the Anglo-Saxons. As for 
Merlin Wyllt, or the Savage, his name of Caledonia:), and his re- 
treat into the Caledonian wood, appropriates him to I- 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 407 

From muse or sylvan was he wont to asK, 

In phrase poetic, inspiration fair; 
Careless hetjave his numbers to the air, 

They came unsought for, if applauses came ; 
Nor for himself prefers he now the prayer ; 

Let but his verse befit a hero's fame, 
Immortal be the verse ! forgot the poet's name. 

TIL 

Hark, from yon misty cairn their answer toss'd : 

u Minstrel ! the fame of whose romantic lyre, 
Capricious swelling now, may soon be lost, 

Like the light flickering of a cottage fire : 
If to such task presumptuous thou aspire, 

Seek not from us the meed to warrior due; 
Age after age has gathered son to sire. 

Since o-.ir grey cliffs the din of conflict knew, 
Or, pealing through our vales, victorious bugles blew. 

VIII. 

- " Decay'd our old traditionary lore, 

Save where the lingering fays renew their ring, 

By milk-maid seen beneath the hawthorn hoar, 

Or round the marge of Minchmore's haunted 

spring ;* [ s ' n g. 

Save where their legends grey-hair' d shepherds 

That now scarce win a listening ear but thine, 
Of feuds obscure, and border ravaging, 

And rugged deeds recount in rugged line, 
Of moonlight foray made on Teviot, Tweed, or Tyne. 

IX. 

" No ! search romantic lands, where the near Sun 
Gives with unstinted boon ethereal flame, 

Where the rude villager, his labour done, 

In verse spontaneous^ chants some favour'd 
name i 



* A copious fountain upon the ridge of Minchmore, called the 
Cheesewell, is supposed to be sacred to the fuiiies, and it was cus- 
tomary to propitiate them bv throwing in something upon pass- 
ing it. 

t The flexibility of the Italian and Spanish languages, renders 
these countries distinguished for the talent of improvisation. 



408 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

Whether Olalia's charms his tribute claim 
Her eye of diamond, and her locks of jet; 

Or -whether, kindling at the deeds of Graeme,* 

He sing, to wild Morisco measure set, 
Old Albin's red claymore, green Erin's bayonet ! 



" Explore those regions, where the flinty crest 

Of wild Nevada ever gleams with snows, 
Where in the proud Alhambra's ruined breast 

Barbaric monuments of pomp repose ; 
Or where the banners of more ruthless foes 

Than the fierce Moor, float o'er Toledo's fane, 
From whose tall towers even now the patriot throws 

An anxious glance, to spy upon the plain 
The blended ranks of England, Portugal, and Spain. 



" There, of Numantian fire a swarthy spark 

Still lightens in the sun-burnt native's eye; 
The stately port, slow step, and visage dark, 

Still mark enduring pride and constancy, 
And, if the glow of feudal chivalry 

Beam not, as once, thy nobles' dearest pride, 
Iberia ! oft thy crestless peasantry 

Have seen the plumed Hidalgo quit their side, 
Have seen, yet dauntless stood 'gainst fortune fought 
and died. 



" And cherish'd still by that unchanging race, 

Are themes for minstrelsy more high than thine ; 
Of strange tradition many a mystic trace, 

Legend and vision, prophecy and sign ; 
Where wonders wild of Arabesque combine 

With Gothic imagery of darker shade, 
Forming a model meet for minstrel ane. [said : 

Go, seek such theme !" The Mountain Spirit 
With filial awe I heard I heard, and I obey'd. 

* The name of Grnhume, in England is usually pronotuwed us a 
dissyllable. 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 409 



THE VISION. 

i. 

REARING their crests amid the cloudless skies, 

And darkly clu- -:ring in the pale moonlight, 
Toledo's holy towers and spires arise, 

As from a trembling lake of silver -white ; 
Their mingled shadows intercept the sight 

Of the broad burial-ground outstretch 1 d belcrw> 
And nought disturbs the silence of the night ; 

All sleeps in sullen shade, or silver glow, 
All save the heavy swell of Teio's ceaseless flow. 

n. 

All save the rushing swell of Teio's tide, 

Or, distant heard, a courser's neigh or tramp ; 
Their changing rounds as watchful horsemen ride, 

To guard the limits of King Roderick's camp, 
For, through the river's night-fog rolling damp, 

Was many a proud pavilion dimly seen, 
Which glimmer'd hack, against the moon's fair 

Tissues of silk and silver twisted sheen, [lamp, 
And standards proudly pitch' d, and warders arm d 
between. 

III. 

But of their Monarch's person keeping ward, 

Since last the deep-mouth'd bell of vespers toll'd, 
The chosen soldiers of the royal guard 

Their post beneath the proud Cathedral hold : 
A band unlike their Gothic sires of old, 

Who, for the cap of steel and iron mace, 
Bear slender darts, and casques bedeck' d with gold, 

While silver-studded blts their shoulders grace, 
Where ivory quivers ring in the broad falchion's 
place. 

IV. 
In the light language of an idle court, 

They murmur'd at their master's long delay, 
And held his lentfthen'd orisons in sport : [stay, 
" What ! will Don Roderick here till morning 
S 



410 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

To wear in shrift and prayer the night away ? 
And are his hours in such dull penance past 
For fair Florinda's plunder'd charms to pay?"* 

Then to the east their weary eyes they cast, 
And wish'd the lingering dawu would glimmer forth 
at last. 

V. 

But, far within, Toledo's Prelate lent 

An ear of fearful wonder to the King ; 
The silver lamp a fitful lustre sent, 

So long that sad confession witnessing : 
For Roderick told of many a hidden thing, 

Such as are lothly utter d to the air, 
When Fear, Remorse, and Shame, the bosom wring, 

And Guilt his secret burthen cannot bear^ 
And Conscience seeks in speech a respite from 
Despair. 



Full on the Prelate's face, and silver hair, 

The stream of failing light was feebly roll'd ; 
But Roderick's visage, though his head was bare, 

Was shadow'd by his hand and mantle's fold. 
While of his hidden soul the sins he told, 

Proud Alaric's descendant could not brook, 
That mortal man his bearing should behold, 

Or boast that he had seen, when conscience shook, 
Fear tame a monarch's brow, remorse a warrior's 
look. 

VII. 

The old man's faded cheek wax'd yet more pale, 
As many a secret sad the king bewray 'd ; 

And sign and glance eked out the unfinished tale, 
When in the midst his faltering whisper staid, 

* The invasion of the Moors is generally attributed to the for- 
cible violation committed by Roderick upon Florinda, called by 
the Moors, Caba, ..r Cava, the daughter of Count Julian. In hia 
indignation Julian formed an alliance with the Moors, and coun- 
tenanced the invasion of Spain l_y abodyol Saracens and Africans, 
commanded by the celebrated Tarik ; the issue of which was tlia 
defeat ami death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the 
whole peninsula by the enemy. 



TUE VISION 0V DON RODERICK. 411 

" Thus royal Witiza* -was slain," he said ; 
" Yet, holy father, deem not it was I."- 
Thus still Ambition strives her crimes to shade 

" O rather deem 'twas stern necessity ! _ 
Self-preservation hade, and I must kill or die. 

VIII. 

" And, if Florinda's shrieks alarm'd the air, 

If she invoked her absent sire in vain, 
And on her knees implored that I would spare, 

Yet, reverend priest, thy sentence rash retrain! 
All is not as it seems the female train _ 

Know by their bearing to disguise their mood: 
But Conscience here, as if in high disdain, 

Sent to the Monarch's cheek the burning blood- 
He stay'd his speech abrupt and up the Prelata 
stood. 

IX. 

' harden'd offspring of an iron race ! 

What of thy crimes, Don Roderick, shall I say? 
What alms, or prayers, or penance can efface 

Murder's dark spot, wash treason's stain away ! 
For the foul ravisher how shall I pray, [boast ? 

Who, scarce repentant, makes his crime his 
How hope Almighty vengeance shall delay, 

Unless, in mercy to yon Christian host, 
He spare the shepherd, lest the guiltless sheep bo 
lost." 

X. 
Then kindled the dark tyrant in his mood 

And to his -brow return'd its dauntless gloom ; 
"And welcome then," he cried, "be blood lor blood, 

For treason treachery, for dishonour doom ! 
Yet will I know whence come they, or by whom. 

Show, for thou canst give forth the fated key, 
And guide me, Priest, to that mysterious room, 

Where, if aught true in old tradition be, 
His nation's future fates a Spanish King shall see." 



father 1 Spanish history. 



412 THE VISION OF DO.N ROM RICK. 



" Ill-fated prince ! recall the desperate word, 

Or pause ere yet the omen thou obey ! 
Bethink, yon spell-bound portal would afford 

Never to former Monarch entrance-way ; 
Nor shall it ever ope, old records say, 

Save to a King, the last of all his line, 
What time his empire totters to decay, 

And treason digs, beneath, her fatal mine, 
And, high above, impends avenging wrath divine." 

XII. 

" Prelate ! a Monarch's fate brooks no delay ! 

Lead on !" The ponderous key the old man took, 
And held the winking lamp, and led the way 

By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook, 
Then on an ancient gateway bent his look ; 

And, as the key the desperate King essav'd, 
Low mutter'd thunders the Cathedral shooi, 

And twice he stopp'd, and twice new effort made, 
Till the huge bolts roll'd back, and the loud hinges 
bray'd. 



Long, large, and lofty, was that vaulted hall ; 

Roof, walls, and floor, were all of marble stone. 
Of polish' d marble, black as funeral pall, 

Carved o'er with signs and characters unknown. 
A paly light, as of the dawning, shone 

Through the sad bounds, but whence they could 

not spy ; 
For window to. the upper air was -none ; 

Yet, by that light, Don Roderick could descry 
Wonders that ne'er till then were seen by mortal eye, 

XIV. 

Grim sentinels, against the upper wall, 

Of molten bronze, two Statues held their place ; 

Massive their naked limbs, their stature tall, 
Their frowning foreheads golden circles grace. 

Moulded they seem'd for kings of giant race, 
That lived and siim'd before the avenging flood 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



413 



This grasp' d a scythe, that rested on a mace ; 
This spread his wings for flight, that pondering 

stood, 
Each stubborn seem'd and stern, immutable of mood. 

XV. 

Fix'd was the right-hand Giant's brazen look 

Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand, 
As if its ebb he measured by a book, 

Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand ; 
In -which was wrote of many a falling land, 

Of empires lost, and kings to exile driven ; 
And o'er that pair their names in scroll expand 
" Lo, DESTINY and TIME ! to whom by Heaven 
The guidance of the earth is for a season given." 

XVI. 
Even while they read, the sand-glass wastes away; 

And, as the last and lagging grains did creep, 
That right-hand (riant 'gan his club upsway, 

As one that startles from a heavy sleep. 
Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep 

At once descended with the force of thunder, 
And, hurling down at once, in crumbled heap, 

The marble boundary was rent asunder, 
And gave to Roderick's view new sights of fear and 
wonder. 

XVII. 
For they might spy, beyond that mighty breach, 

Realms as of Spain in vision'd prospect laid, 
Castles and towers, in due proportion each, 

As by some skilful artist's hand portray 'd: 
Here, cross'd by many a wild Sierra's shade. 

And boundless plains that tire the traveller s eye; 
There, rich with vineyard and with olive-glade, 
Or deep-embrown' d by forests huge and high, 
Or wash'd by mighty streams, that slowly mur- 
mur d by. 

XVIII. 

And here, as erst upon the antique stage 

Pass'd forth the bands of masquers trimly led, 



4 1 4 THE VISION OF PON RODERICK. 

In various forms, and various equipage, 
While fitting strains the hearer's fancy fed ; 

So, to sad Roderick's eye in order spread, 
Successive pageants fill'd that mystic scene, 

Showing the fate of hattles ere they bled, 

And issue of events that had not heen ; [tween. 
And ever and anon strange sounds were heard be- 

XIX. 

First shrill 'd an unrepeated female shriek! 

It seem'd as if Don Roderick knew the call, 
For the bold blood was blanching in his cheek. 

Then answer'd kettle-drum and atabal, 
Gong-peal and cymbal-clank the ear appal, 

The Tecbir war-cry, and the Lelies yell,* 
Ring wildly dissonant along the hall. 

Needs not to Roderick their dread import tell 
" The Moor !" he cried, " the Moor ! ring out the 
tocsin bell ! 

XX. 

"They come ! they come ! I see the groaning lands 

White with the turbans of each Arab horde, 
Swart Zaarah joins her misbelieving bands, 

Alia and Mahomet their battle-word, 
The choice they yield the Koran or the sword. 

See how the Christians rush to arms amain ! 
In yonder shout the voice of conflict roar'd ; 

The shadowy hosts are closing on the plain 
Now, God and St lago strike, for the good cause of 
~ " i f" 



XXI. 

" By heaven, the Moors prevail ! the Christians 
yield ! 

Their coward leader gives for flight the sign ! 
The sceptred craven mounts to quit the field 

Is not yon steed Orelia? Yes, 'tis mine !-f- 

The tecbir, (derived from the words Jlla. acbar, Gd is most 
mighty.) was the original war-cry of the Saracens. Ihe f.e/ie, 
well known to the Christians during the crusades, is the shout of 
sllla ilia sllla, the Mahomedaii coiik'ssion ot faith. 

tin the laitle of Xeres fou'.ht by Don Roderick against the 
Moors AD. 714. the Spaniards were defeated with great slaughter, 
and the king himself was drowned in the Xeres while crossing it 
in his flight. Orelia, the courser of Don Roderick, was celebrated 
tor her speed and form. 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



415 



But never was she turn'd from battle line ; 

Lo ! vrhere the recreant spurs o'er stock and 

Curses pursue the slave and wrath divine ! [stone ! 

Rivers engulf him !" " Hush," in shuddering 

tone, 

The Prelate said ; " rash Prince, yon vision'd form's 
thine own." 

XXII. 

Just then, a torrent crossed the flier's course ; 

The dangerous ford the Kingly Likeness tried; 
But the deep eddies whelm' d both man and horse, 

Swept like benighted peasant down the tide ; 
And the proud Moslemah spread far and wide, 

As numerous as their native Idfcust band ; 
Berber and Ismael's sons the spoils divide, 

With naked scimitars mete out the land, 
And for their bondsmen base the freeborn natives 
brand. 

XXIII. 

Then rose the grated Harem, to enclose 
The loveliest maidens of the Christian line ; 

Then, menials to their misbelieving foes, 
Castile's young nobles held forbidden wine ; 

Then, too, the holy Cross, salvation's sign, 
By impious hands was from the altar thrown, 

And the deep aisles of the polluted shrine 



The 



Echoed, for holy hymn and organ tone, 
Santon's frantic dance, the Fakir's gibbering 



XXIV. 

How fares Don Roderick ? E'en as one who spies 

Flames dart their glare o'er midnight's sable 

woof, 
And hears around his children's piercing cries, 

Aud sees the pale assistants stand aloof; 
While cruel Conscience brings him bitter proof, 

His folly, or his crime, have caused his grief ; 
And, while above him nods the crumbling roof, 

He curves earth and heaven himself in chief- 
Desperate oi earthly aid, despairing Heaven's relief ! 



416 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



That scythe-armed Giant turned his fatal glass, 

And twilight on the landscape closed her wings ; 
Far to Asturian hills the war-sounds pass, 

And in their stead rebeck or timbrel rings; 
And to the sound the bell-deck'd dancer springs, 

Bazars resound as when their marts are met, 
In tourney light the Moor his jerrid ilings, 

And on the land a? evening seem'd to set, 
The Imaum's chant was heard from mosque or 
minaret. 

XXVI. 

So pass 1 d that pageant. Ere another came, 

The visionary scene was wrapp'd in smoke. 
Whose sulph'rous wreaths were cross' d by sheets 

of flame ; 

With every flash a bolt explosive broke, 
Till Roderick deem'd the fiends had burst their 

yoke, 
And waved 'gainst heaven the infernal gon- 

.alone ! 

For War a new and dreadful language spoke. 
Never by ancient warrior heard or known ; 
Lightning and smoke her breath, and thunder was 
her tone. 

XXVII. 

From the dim landscape roll the clouds away 

The Christians have regain'd their heritage ; 
Before the Cross has waned the Crescent's ray, 

And many a monastery decks the stage, 
And lofty church, and low-brow' d hermitage. 

The land obeys a Hermit and a Knight, 
The Genii these of Spain for many an age ; 

This clad in sackcloth, that in armour bright, 
And that was VALOUR named, this BIGOTRY was 
bight. 

XXVIII. 

VALOUR was harness'd like a Chief of old, 

Ajm'd at all points, and prompt for knightly gest ; 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 417 

His sword was temper'd in the Ebro cold, 
Morena's eagle-plume adorn'd his crest, 

The spoils of Afric's lion bound his breast. 

Fierce he stepp'd forward and flung down his 

As if of mortal kind to brave the best. [gag 6 ! 

Him follow'd his Companion, dark and sage, 
As he, my Master, sung the dangerous Archirnage. 

XXIX. 

Haughty of heart and brow the Warrior came, 

In look and language proud as proud might be, 
Vaunting his lordship, lineage, fights and fame, 

Yet was that bare-foot Monk more proud than 
And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree, [he ; 

So round the loftiest soul his toils he wound. 
And with his spells subdued the fierce and free, 

Till ermined Age, and Youth in arms renown'd, 
Honouring bis scourge and hair-cloth, meekly kiss'd 
the ground. 



And thus it chanced that VALOUR, peerless Knight, 

Who ne'er to King or Kaisar veil'd his crest, 
Victorious still in bull-feast, or in fight, 

Since first his limbs with mail he did invest, 
Stoop'd ever to that Anchoret's behest ; 

Nor reason'd of the right nor of the wrong, 
But at his bidding laid the lance in rest, 

And wrought fell deeds the troubled world along, 
For he was fierce as brave, and pitiless as strong. 

XXXI. 

Oft his proud galleys sought some new found world, 

That latest sees the sun, or first the morn ; 
Still at that Wizard's feet their spoils he hurl'd, 

Ingots of ore from rich Potosi borne, 
Crowns by Caciques, aigrettes by Omrahs worn. 

Wrought of rare gems, but broken, rent, and 
Idols of gold from heathen temples torn, [foul ; 

Bedabbled all with blood. With grisly scowl 
The Hermit mark'd the stilus, and smiled beneath 
his cowl. 

82 



418 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

XXXII. 

Then did he bless the offering, and bade make 

Tribute to heaven of gratitude and praise ; 
And at his word the choral hymns awake, . 

And many a hand the silver censer sways. 
But with the incense-breath these censers raise, 

Mix steams from corpses smouldering in the fire ; 
The groans of prison 'd victims mar the lays, 

And shrieks of agony confound the quire, 
While, 'mid the mingled sounds, the darken'd scenes 
expire. 

XXXIII. 

Preluding light, were strains of music heard, 

As once again revolved that measured sand; 
Such sounds as when, for sylvan dance prepared, 

Gay Xeres summons forth her vintage band ; 
When foi the light Bolero ready stand 

The Mozo blithe, with gay Muchacha met,* 
He conscious of his broider'd cap and band, 

She of her netted locks and light corsette, 
Each tiptoe perch' d to spring, and shake the Castanet. 



And well such strains the opening scene became} 

For VALOUR had relaxed his ardent look, 
And at a lady's feet, like lion tame, 

Lay stretch' d, full loth the weight of aims to 

brook ; 
And soften'd BIGOTRY, upon his book, 

Patter'd a task of little good or ill : 
But the blithe peasant plied his pruning-hook, 

Whistled the muleteer o er vale and hill, 
And rung from village-green the merry Seguidille. 

XXXV. 

Grey Royalty, grown impotent of toil, 
Let the grave sceptre slip his lazy hold, 

And careless saw his rule become the spoil 
Of a loose Female and her Minion bold ; 

The Bolero is a very light and active dance, much practised 
by the Spaniards, in which castanets are always used. Moxo aud 
Muchacha are equivalent to our phrase of lad and lost. 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 419 

But peace was on the cottage and the fold, 

From court intrigue, from bickering faction far , 
Beneath the chesnut tree Love's tale was told ; 

And to the tinkling of the light guitar, 
Sweet stoop d the western sun, sweet rose the even- 
ing star. 

XXXVI. 

As that sea-cloud, in size like human hand 

When first from Carmel by the Tishbite seen, 
Came slowly overshadowing Israel's land, 

Awhile, perchance, bedeck'd with colours sheen, 
While yet the sunbeams on its skirts had been, 

Limning with purple and with gold its shroud, 
Till darker folds obscured the blue serene, 

And blotted heaven with one broad sable cloud 
Then sheeted rain burst down, and whirlwinds howl'd 
aloud ; 



^K\en so upon that peaceful scene was pour'd, 

Like gathering clouds, full many a foreign band, 
And HE, their Leader, wore in sheath his sword, 

And offer'd peaceful front and open hand ; 
Veiling the perjured treachery he plann'd, 

By friendship's zeal and honour's specious guise, 
Until he won the passes of the land ; 
Then, burst were honour's oath, and friendship's 

ties ! 

He clutch'd his vulture-grasp, and call'd fair Spain 
his prize. 

XXXVIII. 

An Iron Crown his anxious forehead bore ; 

And well such diadem his heart became, 
Who ne'er his purpose for remorse gave o'er, 

Or check'd his course for piety or shame ; 
Who, train'd a soldier, deem'd a soldier's fame 

Might flourish in the wreath of battles won, 
Though neither truth nor honour deck'd his name; 

Who, placed by fortune on a Monarch's throne, 
Reck'd not of Monarch's faith, or Mercy's kingly tone. 



420 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

XXXIX. 

From a rude isle his ruder lineage came : 

The spark, that, from a suburb hovel's hearth 
Ascending, wraps some capital in flame, 

Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth. 
And for the soul that bade him waste the earth 

The sahle land-flood from some swamp obscure, 
That poisons the glad husband-field with dearth, 

And by destruction bids its fame endure, 
Hath not a source more sullen, stagnant, and impure. 

XL. 

Before that Leader strode a shadowy Form : 

Her limbs like mist,her torch like meteor show'd, 
With which she beckon'd him through right and 

storm, 

And all he crush'd that cross'd his desperate road, 
Nor thought, nor fear'd, nor look'd on what he 

trode ; 
Realms could not glut his pride, hlood could not 

slake, 

So oft as e'er she shook her torch abroad 
It was AMBITION bade his terrors wake, 
Nor deign'd she, as of yore, a milder form to take. 

XLI, 

No longer now she spurn'd at mean revenge, 

Or stay'd her hand for conquer' d foeman s moan, 
As when, the fates of aged Rome to change, 

By Caesar's side she cross d the Rubicon ; 
Nor joy d she to bestow the spoils she won, 

As when the banded powers of Greece were task'd 
To war beneath the Youth of Macedon : 

No seemly veil her modern minion ask'd, 
He saw her hideous face, and loved the fiend uu- 
mask' d. 

XLII. 

That Prelate mark'd his march On banners blazed 
With battles won in many a distant land, 

On eagle-standards and on arms he gaz'd ; 
" And hop'st thou, then," he said, " thy power 
shall stand? 



THE VJPTON OF DON RODERICK. 421 

O thou hast builded on the shifting sand, 

And thou hast temper' d it with slaughter's flood ; 

And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's hand ! 

Gore-moisten'd trees shall perish in the bud, 
And, by a bloody death, shall die the Man of Blood !" 

XLIII. 

The ruthless Leader beckon' d from his train 
A wan fraternal Shade, and bade him kneel, 

And paled his temples with the crown of Spain, 
While trumpets rang, and heralds cried, " Cas- 
tile !"* 

Not that he loved him No ! in no man's weal, 
Scarce in his own, e'er joy'd that sullen heart ; 

Yet round that throne he bade his warriors wEeel, 

.That the poor puppet might perform his part, 

And be a sceptred slave, at his stem beck to start. 

xuv. 

But on the Natives of that Land misused, 

Not long the silence of amazement hung, 
Nor brook d they long their friendly faith abused ; 

For, with a common shriek, the general tongue 
Exclaim' d, "To arms!" and fast to arms they sprung. 

And VALOUR woke, that Genius of the laud ! 
Pleasure, and ease, and sloth, aside he flung, 

As burst the awakening Nazarite his band, 
When 'gainst his treacherous foes he clench'd his 
dreadful hand. 

XLT. 

That mimic Monarch now cast anxious eye 

Upon the Satraps that begirt him round, 
Now doff d his royal robe in act to fly, 

And from his brow the diadem unbound 
So oft, so near, the Patriot bugle wound. 

From Tarik's walls to Bilboa's mountains blown 
These martial satellites hard labour found, 

To guard awhile his substituted throne 
Light recking of his cause, but battling for their own. 

The heralds at the coronation of a Spanish monarch proclaim 
hi name three times, and repeat tlirfej time the word Ctutitla, 



422 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

XLVI. 

From Alpuhara's peak that bugle rung, 

And it was echoed from Corunna's wall ; 
Stately Seville responsive war-shout flung, 

Granada caught it in her Moorish hall ; 
Galicia hade her children fight or fall, 

Wild Biscay shook his mountain-coronet, 
Valencia roused her at the haitle-call, 

And, foremost still where Valour's sons are met 
Fast started to his gun each fiery Miquelet. 



But unappall'd, and burning for the fight, 
The Invaders march, of victory secure ; 
Skilful their force to sever or unite, 

And train'd alike to vanquish or endure. 
Nor skilful less, cheap conquest to ensure, 
Discord to breathe, and jealousy to sow, 
To quell by boasting, and by bribes to lure ; 
While nought against them bring the unprac- 
tised foe, 

Save hearts for freedom's cause, and hands for free- 
dom's blow. 

XLVIII. 

Proudly they march but O ! they march not forth 

By one hot field to crown a brief campaign, 
As when their eagles, sweeping through the North, 

Pestroy'd at every stoop an ancient reign ! 
Far other fate had Heaven decreed for Spain; 

In vain the steel, in vain the torch was plied, 
New Patriot armies started from the slain, 

High blazed the war, and long, and far, and wide, 
And oft the God of Battles bless'd the righteous side. 

XLIX. 

Nor unatoned, where Freedom's foes prevail, 
Remain'd their savage waste. With blade and 
brand, 

By day the Invaders ravaged hill and dale, 
But, with the darkness, the Guerilla band 

Came like night's tempest, and avenged the land, 
And claim'd for blood the retribution due. 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 423 

and lopp'd the mu rderou s 

**& when ' er tLe scene her beams sL 

Midst ruins the> had nude the spoilers' corpses knew 

For ih ?T r d b defeat vi ^oty ' 
* or that sad pageant of events to & 



U. 



so felly proved, so firmly 

jaMW 

v UI ' 



424 THE VISIOM OF DON RODERICK. 

Mil. 

Nor thine alone such wreck. Gerona fair ! 

Faithful to death thy heroes should be sung, 
Manning the towers while o'er their heads the air 

Swart as the smoke from raging furnace hung ; 
Now thicker darkening where the mine was sprung, 

Now briefly lighten'd by the cannon's flare, 
Now arch'd with fire-sparks as the bomb was flung, 

And reddening now with conflagration's glare, 
While by the fatal light the foes fo^ storm prepare. 



While all around was danger, strife, and fear, 

While the earth shook, and darken'd was the sky, 
And wide Destruction stunned the listening ear, 

Appall'd the heart, and stupified the eye, 
Afar was heard that thrice-repeated cry, 

In which old Albion's heart and tongue unite, 
Whene'er her soul is up and pulse beats high, 

Whether it hail the wine-cup or the fight, 
And bid each arm he strong, or bid each heart be light. 



Don Roderick turn'd him as the shout grew loud 

A varied scene the changeful vision show'd, 
For where the ocean mingled with the cloud, 

A gallant navy sternm'd the biltows broad. 
From mast and stern St George's symbol flow'd, 

Blent with the silver cross to Scotland dear ; 
Mottling the sea their landward barges row'd, 

And ilash'd the sun on bayonet, brand, and spear, 
And the wild beach retura'dthe seaman's jovial cheer. 



It was a dread, yet spi-it-stirring sight ! 

The billows foam'd beneath a thousand oars, 
Fast as they land the red-cross ranks unite, 

Legions on legions brightening all the shores. 
Then banners rise, and cannon-signal roars, 

Then peals the warlike thunder of the drum, 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 



425 



Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet-flourish pours, 

And patriot hopes awake, and doubts are dumb, 
For, bold in Freedom's cause, the bands of Ocean 
come! 

tvil. 
A various host they came whose ranks display 

Each mode in which the warrior meets the fight, 
The deep battalion locks its firm array, 

And meditates his aim the marksman light ; 
Far glance the lines of sabres flashing bright, 
Where mounted squadrons shake the echoing 

mead, 
Lacks^ot artillery breathing flame and night, 

Nor the fleet ordnance whirl'd by rapid steed, 
That rivals lightning's flash in ruin and in speed. 

LVIII. 

A various host from kindred realms they came, 

Brethren in arms, but rivals in renown 
For yon fair bands shall merry England claim, 

And with their deeds of valour deck her crown. 
Hers their bold port, and hers their martial frown, 
And hers their scorn of death in freedom's cause, 
Their eyes of azure, and their locks of brown, 

And the blunt speech that bursts without a pause, 
And freeborn thoughts, which league the Soldier 
with the Laws. 

VOL. 
And O! loved warriors of the Minstrel's land! 

Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans wave! 
The rugged form may mark the mountain band, 
And harsher features, and a mien more grave ; 
But ne'er in battle-field throbb'd heart so brave 

As that which beats beneath the Scottish plaid, 
And when the pibroch bids the battle rave, _ 

And level for the charge your arms are laid, 
Where lives the desperate foe, that for such onset 
Btaid! ' 

LX. 

Hark ! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings, 
Mingling wild mirth with war's stern minstrelsy, 



426 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

His jest while each blithe comrade round him flings, 

And moves to death with military glee : 
Boast, Erin, boast them ! tameless, frank, and free, 
In kindness warm, and fierce in danger known, 
Rough Nature's children, humorous as she: 
And HE, yon Chieftain strike the proudest 

tone 
Of thy bold harp, green Isle ! the Hero is tkjie own. 

LXI. 

Now on the scene Vimeira should be shown, 
On Talavera's fight should Roderick gaze, 
And hear Corunna wail her battle won, 

And see Busaco's crest with light'ning blaze : 
But shall fond fable mix with heroes' praise ? 
Hath Fiction's stage for Truth's long triumphs 

room? 
And dare her wild-flowers mingle with the bays, 

That claim a long eternity to bloom 
Around the warrior's crest, and o'er the warrior's 
tomb ! 



Or may I give adventurous Fancy scope, 

And stretch a bold hand to the awful veil 
That hides futurity from anxious hope, 

Bidding beyond it scenes of glory hail, 
And painting Europe rousing at the tale 

Of Spain's invaders from her confines hurl'd, 
While kindling Nations buckle on their mail, 

And Fame, with clarion-blast and wings un- 

furl'd, 
To freedom and revenge awakes an injured World. 

LXI1I. 

O vain, though anxious, is the glance I cast, 

Since Fate has mavk'd futurity her own : 
Yet Fate resigns to W orth the glorious past, 

The deeds recorded and the laurels won. 
Then, though the Vault of Destiny be gone, 

King, Prelate, all the phantasms of my brain, 
Melted away like mist- wreaths in the sun, 

Yet grant for faith, for valour, and for Spain, 
One note of pride and fire, a Patriot's parting strain. 



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 427 



CONCLUSION. 
I. 

"Who shall command Estrella's mountain-tide 

Back to the source, when tempest-chafed, to hie ? 
Who, -when Gascogne's vexed gulf is raging wide, 

Shall hush it as a nurse her infant's cry ? 
His magic power let such vain boaster try, 

And when the torrent shall his voice obey, 
And Biscay's whirlwinds list his lullaby, 

Let him stand forth and bar mine eagles* way, 
And they shall heed his voice, and at his bidding 
Stay. 

II. 

u Else, ne'er to stoop, till high on Lisbon's towers 

They close their wings, thp symbol of our yoke, 

And their own sea hath whelm'd yon red-cross 

Power!' 

Thus, on the summit of Alverca's rock, 
To Marshal, Duke, and Peer, Gaul's leader spoke. 
While downward on the land his legions press, 
Before them it was rich with vine and flock, 

And smiled like Eden in her summer dress ; 
Behind their wasteful march, a reeking wilderness.* 

III. 

And shall the hoastful Chief maintain his word, 
Though Heaven hath heard the wailings of the 

land. 

Though Lusitania whet her vengeful sword, 
Though Britons arm, and WELLINGTON com- 
mand ! 
No : grim Busaco's iron ridge shall stand 

An adamantine barrier to his force ! 
And from its base shall wheel his shatter' d band, 
As from the unshaken rock the torrent hoarse 
Bears off its broken waves, and seeks a devious 
course. 

* I have ventured to apply to the movements of the French army 
that sublime passage in the prophecies of Joel, Chnp. U. 3. " A lire 
devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth: the 
land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind thema 
desolate wilderness, yea. and nothing shall escape them." 



428 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

IT. 

Yet not because Alcoba's mountain-hawk 

Hath on his best and bravest made her food, 
In numbers confident, yon Chief shall baulk 

His Lord's imperial thirst for spoil and blood : 
For full in view the promised conquest stood, 
And Lisbon's matrons, from their walls, might 

sum 

The myriads that had half the world subdued, 
And hear the distant thunders of the drum, 
That bids the band of France to storm and havoc 
come. 

v. 

Four moons have heard these thunders idly roll'd, 

Have seen these wistful myriads eye their prey, 
As famish' d wolves survey a guarded fold 

But in the middle path, a Lion lay ! 
At length they move but not to battle-fray, 

Nor blaze yon fires where meets the manly fight ; 
Beacons of infamy, they light the way, 

Where cowardice and cruelty unite, 
To damn with double shame their ignominious flight ! 

VI. 

triumph for the Fiends of Lust and wrath ! 

Ne'er to be told, yet ne'er to be forgot, 
What wanton horrors mark'd th-.'ir wrackful path! 

The peasant butcher'd in his ruin'd cot, 
The hoary priest even at the altar shot, 

Childhood and age given o'er to sword and Hame, 
Woman to infamy ; no crime forgot, 

By which inventive daemons might proclaim 
Immortal hate to Man, and scorn of God's great 
name ! 

tn. 

The rudest sentinel, in Britain born, 

With horror paused to view the havoc done, 

Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn,* 
Wiped his stern eye, then fiercer grasp'd his gun. 

Even the unexampled gallantry of the British army in the 
campaign of 1S10-H, although they never fought but to conquer, 




THE VISION OF DON BODERICK. 

Nor with less zeal shall Britain's peaceful son 
Exult the debt of sympathy to pay ; 



b " d * "" " ort 

less lay. 



VIII. 



Fromthy dishonoured name and arms to ^clear- 
Fallen Child of Fortune, turn, redeem her favour 
here !t 

IX. 

Yet ere thou turn'st, collect each distant aid : 

Those chief that never heard the L">n roar ! 

Within whose souls lives not a trace portray d, 



O vainly gleams with steel Agueda's shore 
Vainly thy squadrons hide Assuava t plain, 

And front the ttving thunders s they roar, 

With frantic charge and tenfold odds, in yam! 

And wharavails thee that, for Cameron slam, 
WUdfrom hisplaided ranks the yell was given- 



^ do the,,, ,- Honour in UUtor^ 
ftuiished bpaiuards. *om they^ le 



ff^i^ 

t Ma.eua. truq-.entlv ..ll L l ^ ^ wouode a mort^Uy d-irui 

* rSSSTfaSTSS^ of the village caUed Ku^t 



430 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

Vengeance and grief gave mountain rage the rein, 
And, at the bloody spear-point headlong driven, 
Thy Despot's giant guards tied like the rack of 
heaven. 

XI. 

Go, haffled Boaster ! teach thy haughty mood 

To plead at thine imperious master s throne ! 
Sav, thou hast left his legions in their blood, 

Deceived his hopes, and frustrated thine own; 
Say, that thine utmost skill and valour shown 

By British skill and valour were outvied; 
Last say, thy conqueror was WELLINGTON ! 

And .if he chafe, be his own fortune tried 
God and our cause to friend, the venture we'll abide. 

XII. 

But ye, the heroes of that well-fought day, 

How shall a bard, unknowing and unknown, 
His meed to each victorious leader pay, 

Or bind on every brow the laurels won ? 
. Yet fain my harp would wake its boldest tone, 

O'er the wide sea to hail CADOGAN brave; 
And he, perchance, the minstrel note might own, 

Mindful of meeting brief that Fortune gave 
'Mid yon far western isles, that hear the Atlantic 
rave. 

Xili. 

Yes ! hard the task, when Britons wield the sword, 

To give each Chief and every field its fame : 
Hark ! Albuera thunders BERESFORD, 

And red Barossa shouts for dauntless GRAEME! 
O for a verse of tumult and of flame, 

Bold as the bursting of their cannon sound, 
To bid the world re-echo to their fame ! 

For never, upon gory battie-ground, 
With conquest's well-bought wreath were braver 
victors crowned ! 

d'Honoro He fell at the head of his native Highlanders, the 7!t 
and 79th, ivlio raised a dreadful shriek of grief and rae. They 

diers ever seeu, being a part of Buonaparte's selecte. -unnl, and 
bore them out of the contested ground at the point of t. - 1 bayonet. 



THE VISION OP DON RODERICK. 43J 



O who shall grudge him Albuera's bays, 

Who brought a race regenerate to the field, 
Roused them to emulate their fathers' praise, 

Temper'd their headlong rage, their courage 

steel'd,* 
And raised fair Lusitania's fallen shield, 

And gave new edge to Lusitania's sword, 
And taught her sons forgotten arms to wield 

Shiver' d my harp, and hurst its every chord, 
If it forget thy worth, victorious BERESFORD ! 

xv. 

Not on that bloody field of battle won, 

Though Gaul's proud legions roll'd like mist 

away, 

Was half his self-devoted valour shown, 
He gaged but life on that illustrious day; 
But when he toil'd those squadrons to array, 

Who fought like Britons in the bloody game, 
Sharper than Polish pike or assagay, 

He braved the shafts of censure and of shame, 
And, dearer far than life, he pledged a soldier's 
fame. 

XVI. 

Nor be his praise o'erpass'd who strove to hide 

Beneath the warrior's vest affection's wound. 
Whose wish, Heaven for his country's weal denied; 

Danger and fate he sought, but glory found. 
From clime to clime, where'er war's trumpets 
sound, 

The wanderer went ; yet, Caledonia ! still 
Thine was his thought in march and tented ground; 

He dreamed 'mid Alpine cliffs of Athole's hill, 
And heard in Ebro's roar his Lyndoch's lovely rilL 

* Fielil- \farshal Beresford, wa< contented to undertake all the 
hazard of obl"(]uv which might have been founded upon any mla- 
carriaire in the highly important experiment of training the Por- 
fujruese troop* to an' improved state of discipline. His generous 
devotednesa was amply rewarded by the conduct and, valour of 
the soldiers during the whole course of the war. 



432 THE VISION OF DON RODERICK. 

XVII. 

hero of a race renown'd of old, 

Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle-swell,* 
Since first distinguished in the onset bold, 

Wild sounding when the Roman rampart fell ! 
By Wallace' side it rung the Southron's knell, 

Alderne, Kilsythe, and Tibber own'd its fame, 
Tummell s rude pass can of its terrors tell, 

But ne'er from prouder field arose the name, 
Than when wild Ronda learn'd the conquering 
shout of GRAEME ! 

XVIII. 

But all too long, through seas unknown and dark, 

(With Spenser's parable I close my tale) 
By shoal and rock hath steer'd my venturous bark ; 

And land- ward now I drive before the gale, 
And now the blue and distant shore I hail, 

And nearer now I see the port expand, 
And now I gladly furl my weary sail, 

And, as the prow light touches on the strand, 
I strike my red-cross flag, and bind my skiff to land. 

* This stanza alludes to the various achievements of the warlike 
family of Graeme, or Grahame. They are said, to have descended 
from the Scottish chief, under whose command his countrvmeu 
itormed the wall built by the Emperor Severus. Sir John the 
Grahame, " the hardy wight and wise," is well known as the friend 
of Sir William Wallace. Alderne, Kilsyth, and Tibbermuir, ware 
scenes of the victories of the heroic Marquis of Mnntrnse. The 
pai of Killy-crankie is famous for the action between tv'mg Wilp 
Lam's forces and the Highlanders in 1689. 

" Where glad Dundee in faint huzza* expired.* 



ROKEB Y; 



IN STX CANTOS. 



TO 

JOHN R. S. MORRITT, ESQ. 
THIS POEM, 

THE SCENE OF WHICH IS LAID IN HIS BEAUTIFUL 
DEMESNE OF ROKEBY, 

IS INSCRIBED, 

IN TOKEN OF SINCERE FRIENDSHIP, 
BY 

WALTER SCOTT. 
Dec. 31, 1812. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

THE scene of this poem is laid at Rokeby, near 
Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, and shifts to the adjacent 
fortress of Barnard Castle, and to other places in that 
vicinity. 

The time occupied by the action is a space of five 
days, three of which are supposed to elapse between 
the end of the Fifth and beginning of the Sixth Canto. 

The date of the supposed events is immediately 
subsequent to the great battle of Marston Moor, 3d 
July, 1644. This period of public confusion has been 
chosen, without any puipose of combining the Fable 
with the Military or Political Events of the Civil War, 
but only as affording a degree of probability to the 
fictitious narrative now presented to the Public. 



ROKEBY. 



CANTO FIRST. 

i. 

THE Moon is in her summer glow, 
But hoarse and high the breezes blow, 
And, racking o'er her face, the cloud 
Varies the tincture of her shroud ; 
On Barnard's towers, and Tees's stream,* 
She changes as a guilty dream, 
When Conscience, with remorse and fear, 
Goads sleeping Fancy's wild career. 
Her light seems now the blush of shame, 
Seems now fierce anger's darker flame, 
Shifting that shade, to come and go, 
Like apprehension's hurried glow ; 
Then sorrow's livery dims the air, 
And dies in darkness, like despair. 
Such varied hues the warder sees 
Reflected from the woodland Tees, 
Then from old Baliol's tower looks forth, 
Sees the clouds mustering in the north, 
Hears, upon turret-roof and wall, 
By fits the plashing rain-drop fall, 
Lists to the breeze s boding sound, 
And wraps his shaggy mantle round, 

* The one* magnificent fortress of Barnard Castle derives it 
name frm iti founder. Bainanl Balinl, the ancestor nf the short 
and unfortunate dynasty of that name, which succeeded to the 
Scottish throne under the pxtromge of Kdward I. and Edward 
III. Baliol'i Tower, -ifterirards mentioned in the poem, is a round 
lower of great sue, situated at the western extremity of the build- 
ing. The prospect from the top of the Tower commands a rich and 
magnificent view oi the wooded valley of the Tee*. 



436 KOKEBY. ' CCANTO L 

II. 

Those towers, which in the changeful gleam 
Throw murky shadows on the stream, 
Those towers of Barnard hold a guest, 
The emotions of whose troubl'd breast, 
In wild and strange ciiifvisioa dri <sn, 
Rival the flitting rack of heaven. 
Ere sleep stern OSWALD'S senses tied, 
Oft had he chang'd his weary side, 
Compos'd his limbs and vainly sought 
By effort strong to banish thought. 
Sleep came at length, but with a train 
Of feelings true and fancies vain, 
Mingling, in wild disorder cast, 
The expected future with the past. 
Conscience, anticipating time, 
Already rues the enacted crime, 
And calls her furies forth, to shake 
The sounding scourge and hissing 
While her poor victim's outward throes 
Bear witness to his mental woes, 
And show what lesson may be read 
Beside a sinner's restless bed. 

III. 

Thus Oswald's labouring feelings trace 
Strange changes in his sleeping face, 
Rapid and ominous as these 
With which the moonbeams tinge 
There might be seen of shame the blush, 
There anger's dark and fiercer flush, 
While the perturbed sleeper's hand 
Seem'd grasping dagger-knife, or brand. 
Relax'd that grasp, the heavy sigh, 
The tear in the half-opening eye, 
The pallid cheek and brow confess'd 
That grief was busy in his breast ; 
Nor paus'd that mood a sudden start ' 
Impell'd the life-blood from the heart : 
Features convuls'd, and mutterings dread, 
Show terror reigns in sorrow's stead. 
That pang the painful slumber broke, 
And Oswald with a start awoke. 



CANTO L] BOKEBY. 

IT. 

He -woke, and fear'd again to close 
His eyelids in such dire repose ; 
He -woke, to watch the lamp, and tell 
From hour to hour the castle- bell. 
Or listen to tbe owlet's cry, 
Or the sad breeze that whistles by, 
Or catch, by fits, the tuneless rhyme 
With which the warder cheats the time. 
And envying think, how, when the sun 
Bids the poor soldier's watch be done, 
Couch'd on his straw, and fancy-free, 
He sleeps like careless infancy. 

T. 

Far town- ward sounds a distant tread, 
And Oswald, startirg from his bed, 
Hath caught it, though no human ear, 
Unsharpen'd by revenge and fear, 
Could e er distinguish norse's clank, 
Until it reach'd the castle bank. 
Now nigh and plain the sound appears, 
The warder's challenge now he hears, 
Then clanking chain.s and levers tell, 
That o'er the moat the drawbridge fell, 
And, in the castle court below, 
Voices are heard, and torches glow, 
As marshalling the stranger's way, 
Straight for the room where Oswald lay 
The cry was, " Tidings from the host, 
Of weight a messenger comes post." 
Stifling the tumult of his breast, 
His answer Oswald thus expressed 
" Bring food and wine, and trim the fire ; 
Admit the stranger, and retire." 

VI. 

The stranger came with heavy stride, 
The morion's plumes his visage hide, 
And the buff-coat, an ample fold, 
Mantles his form's gigantic mould.* 

* The use of complete suits of armour wa fallen into dlsuie 
daring the Civil War, though they werr still worn by leaders of 
rank and importance. Buff-coats continued to be worn by tli 
city trained- bauds till near the middle of the last century. 



438 KOKEBT. [CAKTO 1 

Full slender answer deipned he 

To Oswald's anxious courtesy, 

But mark'd, by a disdainful smile, 

He saw and scorn'd the petty wile, 

When Oswald chang'd the torch s place, 

Anxious that on the soldier's face 

Its partial lustre might be thrown, 

f o show his looks, yet hide his own. 

His guest, the while, laid low aside 

The ponderous cloak of tough bull's hide, 

And to the torch glanc'd broad and clear 

The corslet of a cuirassier ; 

Then from his brows the casque he drew, 

And from the dank plume dash'd the dew, 

From gloves of mail reliev'd his hands, 

And spread them to the kindling brands, 

And, turning to the genial board, 

Without a health, or pledge, or word 

Of meet and social reverence said. 

Deeply he drank, aim herceiy lea; 

As free from ceremony's sway, 

As famish' d wolf that tears his prey. 



With deep impatience, tinged with fear, 
His host beheld him gorge his cheer, 
And quaff the full carouse, that lent 
His brow a fiercer hardiment. 
Now Oswald stood a space aside, 
Now pac'd the room with hasty stride, 
In feverish agony to learn 
Tidings of deep and dread concern, 
Cursing each moment that his guest 
Protracted o'er his ruffian feast. 
Yet viewing with alarm, at last, 
The end of that uncouth repast, 
Almost he seem'd their haste to rue, 
As, at his sign, his train withdrew, 
And left him with the stranger, free 
To question of his mystery. 
Then did his silence long proclaim 
A struggle between fear and shame; 



CANTO tj ROKEBf . 439 

Tin. 

Much in the stranger's mien appears, 
To justify suspicious fears. 
On his dark face a scorching clime, 
And toil, had done the work of time, 
Roughen'd the brow, the temples bar'd, 
And sable hairs \vith silver shar'd, 
Yet left what age alone could tame 
The lip of pride, the eye of flame ; 
The full-drawn iip that upward curl'd, 
The eve, that seem'd to scorn the world. 
That lip had terror never blench'd ; 
Ne'er in that eye hath tear-drop quench'd 
The flash severe of swarthy glow, 
That mock'd at pain, and knew not woe. 
Inur'd to danger's direst form, 
Tornade and earthquake, flood and storm, 
Death had he seen by sudden blow, 
By wasting plague, by tortures slow,* 
By mine or breach, by steel or ball, 
Knew all his shapes, and scorn'd them all. 

IX. 

But yet, though BERTRAM'S harden'd look 
Unmov'd could blood and danger brook, 
Still worse than apathy had place 
On his swart brow and callous face ; 
For evil passions, cherish'd long, 
Had plough' d them with impression strong. 
All that gives gloss to sin, all gay 
Light folly, past with youth away, 
But rooted stood, in manhood's hour, 
The weeds of vice without their flower. 
And yet the soil in which they grew, 
Had it been tam'd when life was new, 
Had depth and vigour to bring forth 
The hardier fruits of virtuous worth. 

* The successes of the English in the predatory incursions upon 
Spanish America, during the reign of Elizabeth, had never been 
forgotten ; and, from that period downward, the exploits of Drake 
and Raleigh were imitated, upon.a smaller scale indeed, but with 
qually desperate valour, by small bands of pirates, gathered from 
all nations, but chiefly French and English. The character of 
Bertram is copied from those qualities by which the bucauien 
were generally distinguished. 



440 ' BOKEBT. CCANTO I. 

Not that, e'en then, his heart had known 
The gentler feelings' kindly tone ; 
But lavish waste had been refin'd 
To hounty in his chasten'd mind, 
And lust of gold, that waste to feed, 
Been lost in love of glory's meed, 
And, frantic then no more, his pride 
Had ta'en fair virtue for its guide. 



Even now, hy conscience unrestrained, 
Clogg'd by gross vice, hy slaughter stain' d, 
Still Knew his daring soul to soar, 
And mastery o'er the mind he here ; 
For meaner guilt, or heart less hard, 
Quail'd beneath Bertram's bold regard. 
And this felt Oswald, while in vain 
He strove, by many a winding train, 
To lure his sullen guest to show, 
Unask'd, the news he long'd to know, 
While on far other subject hung 
His heart, than falter' d from his tongue. 
Yet nought for ths t his guest did deign 
To note or spare his secret pain, 
But still, in stern and stubborn sort, 
Return'd him answer dark and short, 
Or started from the theme, to range 
In loose digression wild and strange, 
And forc'd the embarrass'd host to buy, 
By query close, direct reply. 

XI. 

A while he gloz'd upon the cause 
Of Commons, Covenant, pnd Laws, 
And Church Reform 'd but felt rebu 
Beneath grim Bertram's sneering look, 
Then stammer d " Has a field been fought ? 
Has Bertram news of battle brought ? 
For sure a soldier, famed so far 
tn foreign fields for feats of war, 
On eve of fight ne'er left the host, 
ntil the field were won and lost." 



CANTO I.J ROH.EBY. 441 

" Here, in your towers by circling Tees, 

You, Oswald Wycliffe, rest at ease ; 

Why deem it strange that others come 

To share such safe and easy home, 

From fields where danger, death and toil, 

Are the reward of civil broil?" 

" Nay, mc>ck not, friend ! since well we know 

The near .dvances of the foe, 

To mar our northern army's work, 

Encamp' d before beleaguer' d York ; 

Thy horse with valiant Fairfax lay, 

And must have fought how went the day ?" 

XII. 

" Wouldst hear the tale ? On Marston heath 
Met, front to front, the ranks of death ; 
Flourished the trumpets fierce, and now 
Fir'd was each eye, and flush'd each brow ; 
On either side loud clamours ring, 
' God and the Cause !' ' God and the King !' 
Right English all, they msh'd to blows, 
With nought to win, and all to lose. 
I could have laugh' d- -but lack'd the time 
To see, in phreuesy sublime, 
How the fierce zealots fought and bled, 
For king or btate, as humour led ; 
Some for a dream of public good, 
Some for church- tippet, gown and hood, 
Draining their veins, in death to claim 
A patriot's or a martyr's name 
Led Bertram Risingham the hearts, 
That counter'd there on adverse parts, 
No superstitious fool had I 
Sought El Dorados in the sky ! 
Chili had heard me through her states, 
And Lima op'd her silver gates, 
Rich Mexico I had march'd through, 
And sack d the splendours of Peru, 
Till sunk Pizarro's daring name. 
And, Cortez, thine, in Bertram's fame." 
" Still from the purpose wilt thou stray ! 
Good gentle friend, how weut the day f 
T2 



442 K0KEBY. [CANTt) I 



" Good am I deem'd at trumpet-sound, 

And good where goblets dance the round, 

Though gentle ne'er was join'd, till now, 

With rugged Bertram's breast and brow. 

But I resume. The battle's rage 

Was like the strife which currents wage 

Where Orinoco, in his pride, 

Rolls to the main no tribute tide, 

But 'gainst broad ocean urges far 

A rival sea of roaring war ; 

While, in ten thousand eddies driven, 

The billows fling their foam to heaven, 

And the pale pilot seeks in vain, 

Where rolls the rive/, where the main. 

Even thus upon the bloody field, 

The eddying tides of conflict wheel'd 

Ambiguous, till that heart of flame, 

Hot Rupert, on our squadrons came, 

Hurling against our spears a line 

Of gallants, fiery as their wine ; 

Then ours, though stubborn in their zeal, 

In zeal's despite began to reel. 

What wouldst thou more ? in tumult tost, 

Our leaders fell, our ranks were lost. 

A thousand men, who drew the sword 

For both the Houses and the Word, 

Preach d forth from hamlet, grange, and down, 

To curb the crosier and the crown, 

Now, stark and stiff, lie stretch'd in gore, 

And ne'er shall rail at mitre more. 

Thus far'd it, when I left the fight, 

With the good Cause and Commons' right." 



" Disastrous news !" dark Wycliffe said ; 
Assum'd despondence bent his head, 
While troubl'd joy was in his eye, 
The well-feign'd sorrow to belie. 
" Disastrous news ! when needed most, 
Told ye not that your chiefs were lost ? 



CANTO I.] ROKEBTt 443 

Complete the woful tale, and saj, 

Who fell upon that fatal day ; 

What leaders of repute and name 

Bought by their death a deathless fame. 

If such my direst foeman's doom, 

My tears shall dew his honour'd tomb. 

No answer? Friend, of all our host, 

Thou know'st whom I should hate the most, 

Whom thou too, once, were wont to hate, 

Yet leav'st me doubtful of his fate." 

With look unmov'd, " Of friend or foe, 

Aught," answer'd Bertram, " wouldst thou know, 

Demand in simple terms and plain, 

A soldier's answer shall thou gain ; 

For question dark, or riddle high, 

I have nor judgment nor reply. ' 



The wrath his art and fear suppress' d, 
Now blaz'd at once in Wyclitfe's breast ; 
And brave, from man so meanly born, 
Rous'd his hereditary scorn. 
" Wretch ! hast thou paid thy bloody debt ? 
PHILIP OF MORTHAM, lives he yet ? 
False to thy patron or thine oath, 
Trait'rous or perjur'd, one or both. 
Slave ! hast thou kept thy promise plight, 
To slay thy leader in the fight?'' 
Then from his seat the soldier sprung, 
And Wycliffe's hand he strongly wrung; 
His grasp, as hard as glove of mail, 
Forc'd the red blood-drop from the nail 
" A health !" he cried ; and, ere he quaft'd, 
Flung from him Wycliffe's hand, and laugh'd : 
" Now, Oswald Wycliffe, speaks thy heart I 
Now play'st thou well thy genuine part ! 
Worthy, but for thy craven fear, 
Like me to roam a bucanier. 
What reck'st thou of the Cause divine, 
If Mortham's wealth and lands be thine ? 
What car'st thou for beleaguer'd York, 
If this good hand have done its -work? 



444 ROKEBT. COAJTTO I. 

Or what though Fairfax and his best 
Are reddening Marston's swarthy breast, 
If Philip Mortham with them lie, 
Lending his life-blood to the dye ? 
Sit, then ! and as mid comrades free 
Carousing after victory, 
When tales are told of blood and fear, 
That boys and women shrink to hear, 
From point to point I frankly tell 
The deed of death as it befell. 

XVI. 

" When purpos'd vengeance I forego, 

Term me a wretch, nor deem me foe ; 

And when an insult I forgive, 

Then brand me as a slave, and live ! . 

Philip of Mortham is with those 

Whom Bertram Risingham calls foes ; 

Or whom more sure revenge attends, 

If number'd with ungrateful friends. 

As was his wont, ere battle glow'd, 

Along the marshall'd ranks he rode, 

And wore his visor up the wb.ile. 

I saw his melancholy smile, 

When, full oppos'd in front, he knew 

Where ROKEBV'S kindred banner flew. 

' And thus,' he said, ' will friends divide !' 

I heard, and thought how, side bv side, 

We two had turn'd the battle's tide, 

In many a well-debated field, 

Where Bertram's breast was Philip's shield, 

I thought on Darien's deserts pale, 

Where death bestrides the evening gale, 

How o'er my friend my cloak I threw, 

And fenceless fac'd the deadly dew ; 

I thought on Quariana's cliff, 

Where, rescu'd from our foundering skiff, 

Through the white breakers' wrath I bore 

Exhausted Mortham to the shore ; 

And when his side an arrow found, 

I suck'd the Indian's venom'd wound. 

These thoughts like torrents rush'd along, 

To sweep away my purpose strong. 



CANTO L] EOKKBY. 445 

xvir. 

" Hearts are not flint, and flints are rent ; 
Hearts are not steel, and steel is bent. 
When Mortham bade me, as of yore, 
Be near him in the battle's roar, 
I scarcely saw the spears laid low, 
I scarcely heard the trumpets blow; 
Lost was the war in inward strife, 
Debating Mortham 's death or life. 
'Twas then, I thought, how, lur'd to come, 
As partner of his wealth and home, 
Years of piratic wand* ring o'er, 
With him I sought our native shore. 
But Mortham 's lord grew far estrang'd 
From the bold heart with whom he rang'd ; 
Doubts, horrors, superstitious fears, 
Sadden'd and dimm'd descending years ; 
The wily priests their victim sought, 
And damn'd each free-born deed and thought. 
Then must I seek another home, 
My license shook his sober dome ; 
If 'gold he gave, in one wild day 
I revell'd thrice the sum away. 
An idle outcast then I stray 'd, 
Unfit for tillage or for trade. 
Deem'd, like the steel of rusted lance, 
Useless and dangerous at once. 
The women fear d my hardy look, 
At my approach the peaceful shook ; 
The merchant saw my glance of flame, 
And lock'd his hoards when Bertram came ; 
Each child of coward peace kept far 
From the neglected son of war. 

XVIII. 

" But civil discord gave the call, 
And made my trade the trade of alL 
By Mortham urg'd, I came again 
His vassals to the fight to train. 
What guerdon waited on my care ? 
I could not cant of creed or prayer ; 
Sour fanatics each trust obtaip'i, 
And I, dishonour 'd and disdain' d. 



446 ROKEBY. [CANTO I. 

Gain'd but the high and happy lot, 
In these poor arms to front the shot ! 
All this thou know'st, thy gestures tell ; 
Yet hear it o'er, and mark it well. 
'Tis honour bids me now relate 
Each circumstance of Mortham's fate. 

XIX. 

" Thoughts, from the tongue that slowly part, 
Glance quick as lightning through the heart. 
As my spur press a my courser's side, 
Philip of Mortham's cause was tried, 
And, ere the charging squadrons mix'd, 
His plea was cast, his doom was fix'd. 
I watch'd him through the doubtful fray, 
That chang'd as March's moody day, 
Till, like a stream that bursts its bank, 
Fierce Rupert thunder'd on our flank. 
'Twas then, midst tumult, smike, and strife, 
Where each man fought for death or life, 
'Twas then I fir'd my petronel, 
And Mortham, steed and rider, fell. 
One dying look he upward cast, 
Of wrath and anguish twas his last. 
Think not that there I stopp'd to view 
What of the battle should ensue ; 
But ere I clear'd that bloody press, 
Our northern horse ran masterless ; 
Monckton and Mitton told the news,* 
How troops of roundheads chok'd the Ouse, 
And many a bonny Scot, aghast, 
Spurring his palfrey northward, past, 
Cursing the day when zeal or meed 
First lur'd their Lesley o'er the Tweed, 
Yet when I reach'd the banks of Swale, 
Had rumour leani'd another tale ; 
With his barb'd horse, fresh tidings say, 
Stout Cromwell has redeem'd the day ;") 
But whether false the news, or true, 
Oswald, I reck as light as you." 

* Monckton and Mitton are villages near the river Onae, and 
not very distant from the field of battle 

t Cromwell, with his regiment ol cuirassiers, had a principal 
(hare in turning the fate of the day at Maritou Moor. 



CANTO 1] EOKEBT. 447 

XX 

Not then by Wycliffe might be shown, 
How his pride startled at the tone 
In which his complice, fierce and free, 
Asserted guilt's equality. 
In smoothest terms his speech he wove, 
Of endless friendship, faith, and love ; 
Promis'd and vow'd in courteous sort, 
But Bertram broke professions short. 
" Wycliffe, be sure not here I stay, 
No, scarcely till the rising day ; 
Warn'd by the legends of my youth, 
I trust not an associate's truth. 
Do not my native dales prolong 
Of Percy Rede the tragic song, 
Train 'd forward to his bloody fall, 
By Girsonfield, that treach rous Hall?* 
Oft, by the Pringle's haunted side, 
The shepherd sees his spectre glide. 
And near the spot that gave me name, 
The moated mound of Risin^ham,-]- 
Where Reed upon her margin sees 
Sweet Woodburne's cottages and trees, 
Some ancient sculptor's art has shown. 
An outlaw's image on the stone ; 
Unmatch'd in strength, a giant he, 
"With quiver'd back, and kirtled knee. 
Ask how he died, that hunter bold, 
The tameless monarch of the wold, 



According to the border legend, Perciral Reed, Ewnire, a 
keeper of Keedsdale, was betrayed by the Halls (hence -^nomi- 
nated the false-hearted Ha's) to a band of moss-trooper* the 
name of Crosier, who slew him at li&'inghnne, near the source of 
the Reed. The ^host of the murdered borderer was supposed to 
haunt the banks of a brook called the Friiule. 

T Risingham, upon the river li.-ed, near the beautiful hamlet of 
Woodburn, is an ancient Roman station, formerly called Habitan- 
cum. About hall a mile distant from Kuiuvham, upon an emi- 
nence covered with scattered birch-tree- and fragments of rock, 
rut upon a large ruck, iu alto relievo, a remarkable figure, 
called Rnhin of Hisiugham, or R. bin of Recdsdale. The popular 
tradition is, that it r-presenta a giant, whose brother resided at 
Woodburn, and be himse-fat Ri-mzham. It adds, that they ub- 
lUted by hunting, and that one of them, finding the game become 
too scarce to support them, poisoned his companion, to whose mem- 
ory the uiouunieiit was engraved. 



448 ROKEBT. [CANTO L 

And age and infancy can tell, 
By brother's treachery he fell. 
Thus -warn'd by legends of my youth, 
I trust to no associate's truth. 

XXI. 

" When last we reason'd of this deed, 
Nought, I bethink me, was agreed, 
Or by what rule, or when, or where, 
The wealth of Mortham we should share ; 
Then list, while 1 the portion name, 
Our differing laws give each to claim. 
Thou, vassal sworn to England's throne, 
Her rules of heritage must own ; 
They deal thee, as to nt-nrest heir, 
Thy kinsman's lands and livings fail', 
And these I yield : do thou revere 
The statutes of the Bucanier.* 
Friend to the sea, and ibeman sworn 
To all that on her wa ves are borne, 
When falls a mate in battle broil, 
His comrade heirs hi portion'd spoil ; 
When dies in fight a daring foe, 
He claims his wealth who struck the blow; 
And either rule to me assigns 
Those spoils of Indian seas and mines, 
Hoarded in Mortharr.'s caverns dark ; 
Ingot of gold and diamond spark, 
Chalice and plate from churches borne, 
And gems from shrieking beauty torn, 
Each string of pearl, each silver bar, 
And all the wealth of western war. 
I go to search, where, dark and deep, 
Those Trans-atlantic treasures sleep. 



* The " statutes of the Bucaniers" were, in reality, more eq\>>- 
table than could have'beon expected. When the expedition was 
completed, the fund of pm>-money acquit ed wa* thrown together, 
and the owners of the vessel I. ad then their sliare assigned for the 
expenses of the outfit. The surgeon's and carpenter's s.il:mi-s, 
with the price of provisions and ammunition, weie also defrayed. 
Then followed the compensation due to the maimrd and wound, d, 
rated according to the damage they lud sustained. After this act 
of justice and humanity, the remainder of the booty was div.tlud 
into aa many .-hares as there were Bucaniers. 



CANTO t] ROKEBY. 449 

Thou must along for, lacking thee, 
The heir will scarce find entrance free ; 
And then farewell. I haste to try 
t.ach varied pleasure wealth can buy ; 
A*Vhen cloy'd each wish, these wars afford 
*resh work for Bertram's restless sword." 

XXXI. 

An undecided answer hung 

On Oswald's hesitating tongue. 

Despite his craft, he heard with awe 

This ruffian slabber fix the law ; 

While his own troubled passions veer 

Through hatred, joy, regret, and fear : 

Joy'd at the soul that Bertram flies, 

Ae grudg'd the murderer's mighty prizn, 

Hated his pride's presumptuous tone, 

And fear'd to wend with him alone. 

At length, that middle course to steer, 

To cowardice and craft so dear, 

_His charge," he said, " would ill allow 
His absence from the fortress now ; 
WILFRID on Bertram should attend, 
His son should journey with his friend." 

XXIII. 

Contempt kept Bertram's anger down, 
And wreath'd to savage smile his frown. 
" Wilfrid, or thou 'tis one to me, 
Whichever bears the golden key. 
Yet think not but I mark, and smile 
To mark, thy poor and selfish wile ! 
If injury from me you fear, 
What, Oswald Wycliffe, shields thee here? 
I've sprung from walls more high than these, 
I've swam through deeper streams than Tees. 
Might I not stab thee ere one yell 
Could rouse the distant sentinel? 
Start not it is not my design, 
But, if it were, weak fence were thine ; 
And, trust me, that, in time of need, 
This hand hath done more desp'rate deed. 
Go, haste and rouse thy slumb'ring son; 
Time calls, and I must needs be gone.'' 



450 ROKEBY. [CANTO L 



Nought of his sire's ungenerous part 
Polluted Wilfrid's gentle heart ; 
A heart too soft from early life 
To hold with fortune needful strife. 
His sire, while yet a hardier race 
Of num'rous sons were Wyclift'e's grace, 
On Wilfrid set contemptuous l>rand, 
For feeble heart and forceless hand ; 
But a fond mother's care and joy 
Were centred in her sickly boy. 
No touch of childhood's frolic mood 
Show'd the elastic spring of blood ; 
Hour after hour he lov'd to pore 
On Shakspeare s rich and varied lore, 
But turn'd from martial scenes and light, 
From Falstaffs feast aud Percy's fight, 
To ponder Jacques' moral strain, 
And muse with Hamlet, wise in vain; 
And weep himself to soft repose 
O'er gentle Desdemona's woes. 

XXV. 

In youth he sought not pleasures found 
By youth in horse, and hawk, and hound, 
But loved the quiet joys that wake 
By lonely stream and silent lake ; 
In Deepdale's solitude to lie, 
Where all is cliff and copse and sky; 
To climb Catcastle's dizzy peak, 
Or lone Pendragon's mound to seek. 
Such was he wont : and there his dream 
Soar'd on some wild fantastic theme, 
Of faithful love, or ceaseless spring, 
Till Contemplation's wearied wing_ 
The enthusiast could no more sustain, 
And sad he sunk to earth again. 

XXVI. 

He lov'd as many a lay can telL 
Preserv'd in Stanmore's lonely dell. 
For his was minstrel's skill, he caught 
The art unteachable, untaught ; 



CANTO I.] ROKEBY. 

He lov'd his soul did nature frame 
For love, and fancy nurs d the flame ; 
Vainly he lov'd for seldom swain 
Of such soft mould is lov'd again; 
Silent he lov'd in every gaze 
AVas passion, friendship in his phrase. 
So mus'd his life away till died 
His brethren all, their father's pride. 
Wilfrid is now the only heir 
Of all his stratagems and care, 
And destin'd, darkling, to pursue 
Ambition's maze by Oswald's clue. 



Wilfrid must love and woo the bright 
Matilda, heir of Rokeby's knight. 
To love her was an easy hest, 
The secret empress of his breast ; 
To woo her was a harder task 
To one that durst not hope or ask. 
Yet all Matilda could, she gave 
In pity to her gentle slave ; 
Friendship, esteem, and fair regard, 
And praise, the poet's best reward ! 
She read the tales his taste approv'd, 
And sung the lays he fram'd or lov'd ; 
Yet, loath to nurse the fatal flame 
Of hopeless love in friendship's name, 
In kind raprice she oft withdrew 
The fa v' ring glance to friendship due, 
Then griev'd to see her victim's pain, 
And gave the dang'rous smiles again. 



So did the suit of Wilfrid stand, 
When war's loud summons wak'd the land. 
Three banners, floating o'er the Tees, 
The wo-foreboding peasant sees ; 
In concert oft they brav'd of old 
The bordering Scot's incursion bold : 
Frowning defiance in their pride, 
Their vassals now and lords divide. 



452 ROKEBY. [CANTO L 

From his fair hall on Greta banks, 
The Knight of Rokeby led his ranks, 
To aid the valiant northern Earls, 
Who drew the sword for royal Charles. 
Mortham, by marriage near allied, 
His sister had been Rokeby's bride, 
Though long before the civil fray, 
In peaceful grave the lady lay. 
Philip of Mortham rais'd his band, 
And march'd at Fairfax's command ; 
While Wycliffe, bound by many a train. 
Of kindred art with wily Vane, 
Less prompt to brave the bloody field, 
Made Barnard's battlements his shield, 
Secur'd them with the Lunedale powers, 
And for the Commons held the towers. 



The lovely heir of Rokeby's Knight 
Waits in his halls the event of fight ; 
For England's war rever'd the claim 
Of every unprotected name, 
And spar'd, amid its fiercest rage, 
Childhood and womanhood and age. 
But Wilfrid, son to Rokeby's foe, 
Must the dear privilege forego, 
By Greta's side, in evening grey, 
To steal upon Matilda's way, 
Striving, with fond hypocrisy, 
For careless step and vacant eye ; 
Calming each anxious look and glance, 
To give the meeting all to chance, 
Or framing as a fair excuse, 
The book, the pencil, or the muse ; 
Something to give, to sing, to say, 
Some modern tale, some ancient lay. 
Then, while the long'd-for minutes last, 
Ah ! minutes quickly over-past ! 
Recording each expression free, 
Of kind or careless courtesy, 
Each friendly look, each softer tone, 
As food for fancy when alone. 



CANTO I.] ROKEBT. 

All this is o'er but still, unseen, 
"Wilfrid may lurk in Eastwood green, 
To watch Matilda's wonted round, 
While springs his heart at every sound. 
She comes ! 'tis but a passing sight, 
Yet serves to cheat his weary night ; 
She comes not^-He will wait the hour, 
When her lamp lightens in the tow'r; 
Tis something yet, if, as she past, 
Her shade is o'er the lattice cast. 
" What is my life, my hope?" he said; 
" Alas ! a transitory shade." 

XXX. 

Thus wore bis life, though reason strov* 
For mastery in vain with love, 
Forcing upon his thoughts the sum 
Of present woe and ills to come, 
While still he turn'd impatient ear 
From Truth's intrusive voice severe. 
Gentle, indiffrent, and subdued,^ 
In all but this, unmov'd he view'd 
Each outward change of ill and good : 
But Wilfrid, docile, soft, and mild, 
Was Fancy's spoil'd and wayward child ; 
In her bright car she bu.le him ride, 
With one fair form to grace his side, 
Or, in some wild and lone retreat, 
Flung her high spells around his seat, 
Bath'd in her dews his languid head, 
Her fairy mantle o'er him spread, 
For him her opiates gave to flow, 
Which he who tastes, can ne'er forego, 
And plac' d him in her circle, free 
From every stern reality. 
Till, to the Visionary, seem 
Her day-dreams truth, and truth a dream. 

XXXI. 

Woe to the youth, whom Fancy gains, 
Winning from Reason's hand the reina, 
Pity and woe ! for such a mind 
Is soft contemplative, and kind ; 



454 ROKEBT. [CANTO I 

And woe to those who train such youtli, 
And spare to press the rights of truth, 
The mind to strengthen and anneal, 
While on the stithy glows the steel ! 
O teach him, -while your lessons last 
To judge the present hy the past ; 
Remind him of each wish pursued, 
How rich it glow d with promis'd good t 
Remind him of each wish enjoy'd, 
How soon his hopes possession cloy'd ! 
Tell him, we play unequal game, 
Whene'er we shoot by Fancy's aim ! 
And, ere he strip him for her race,- 
Show the conditions of the chase. 
Two sisters by the goal are set, 
Cold Disappointment and Regret ; 
One disenchants the winner's eyes, 
And strips of all its worth the prize. 
While one augments its gaudy show 
More to enhance the loser's woe. 
The victor sees his fairy gold, 
Transform'd, when won, to drossy mould, 
But still the vanquish' d mourns his loss, 
And rues, as gold, that glittering dross. 



More wouldst thou know yon tower survey 
Yon couch unpress'd since parting day, 
Yon untrimm'd lamp, whose yellow gleam, 
Is mingling with the cold moonbeam, 
And yon thin form ! the hectic red 
On his pale cheek unequal spread; 
The head reclin'd, the loosen' d hair, 
The limbs relax'd, the mournful air. 
See, he looks up ; a woful smile 
Lightens his wo-worn cheek a while, 
'Tis fancy wakes some idle thought, 
To gild the ruin she has wrought ; 
For, like the bat of Indian brakes, 
Her pinions fan the wound she makes, 
And soothing thus the dreamer's pain, 
She drinks his life-blood from the vein. 



CANTO I] SOKEBY. 455 

Now to the lattice turn his eyes, 
Vain hope ! to see the sun arise. 
The moon with clouds is still o'ercast , 
Still howls by fits the stormy blast ; 
Another hour must wear away, 
Ere the East kindle into day ; 
And hark ! to waste that weary hour, 
He tries the minstrel's magic power. 



SONG. 
To THE MOOK. 

Hail to thy cold and clouded beam, 

Pale pilgrim of the t; ubled sky ! 
Hail, though the mists that o er thee stream 

Lend to thy brow their sullen dye ! 
How should thy pure and peaceful eye 

Untroubled view our scenes below, 
Or how a tearless beam supply 

To light a world of war and wo ! 

Fair Queen ! I will not blame thee now, 

As once by Greta's fairy side ; 
Each little cloud that dimm'd thy brow 

Did then an angel's beauty hide. 
And of the shades I then could chide, 

Still are the thoughts to mem'ry dear, 
For, while a softer strain I tried, 

They hid my blush, and calm'd my fear. 

Then did I swear thy ray serene 

Was form'd to light some lonely dell, 
By two fond lovers only seen, 

Reflected from the crystal well, 
Or sleeping on their mossy cell, 

Or quivering on the lattice bright, 
Or glancing on their couch, to teD 

How swiftly wanes the summer night ! 

XXXIV. 

He starts a step at this lone hour ! 
A voice ! his father seeks the tow'r, 



456 ROKEBY. [CANTO H. 

With haggard look and troubled sense, 

Fresh from his dreadful conference. 

" Wilfrid ! what, not to sleep address'd ? 

Thou hast no cares to chase thy rest. 

Mortham has fall'n on Marston-moor ; 

Bertram brings warrant to secure 

His treasures, bought by spoil and blood, 

For the state's use and public good. 

The menials will thy voice obey; 

Let his commission have its way, 

In every point, in every word." 

Then, in a whisper, " Take thy sword ! 

Bertram is what I must not tell. 

I hear his hasty step farewell !" 



CANTO SECOND. 



FAB in the chambers of the west, 
The gale had sigh'd itself to rest; 
The moon was cloudless now and clear, 
But pale, and soon to disappear. 
The thin grey clouds wax dimly light 
On Brusleton and Houghton height; 
And the rich dale, that eastward lay, 
Waited the wakening touch of day. 
To give its woods and cultur'd plain, 
And tow'rs and spires, to light again. 
But, westward, Stanmore's shapeless swell, 
And Lunedale wild, and Kelton-fell, 
And rock-begirdled Gilmanscar, 
And Arkingarth, lay dark afar ; 
While, as a livelier twilight falls, 
Emerge proud Barnard s banner'd walls 
High crown'd he sits, in da\vning pale, 
The sovereign of the lovely vale. 

II. 

What prospects, from his watch-tower high, 
Gleam gradual on the warder's eye ! 



CAJTTO no ROKEBY. 467 

Far sweeping to the east, he sees 
Down his deep woods the course of Teei, 
And tracks his wand' rings by the steam 
Of summer vapours from the stream ; 
And ere he pace his destin'd hour 
By Brackenbury's dungeon-tower, 
These silver mists shall melt away, 
And dew the woods with glitt'ring spray. 
Then in broad lustre shall be shown 
That mighty trench of living stone, 
And each huge trunk that, from the side, 
Reclines him o'er the darksome tide, 
Where Tees, full many a fathom low, 
Wears with his rage no common foe ; 
For pebbly bank, nor sand-bed here, 
Nor clay-mound, checks his fierce career. 
Condemn'd to mine a channell'd war, 
O'er solid sheets of marble grey. 



Nor Tees alone, in dawning bright, 

Shall rush upon the ravish'd sight ; 

But many a tributary stream 

Each from its own dark dell shall gleam * 

Staindrop, who, from her silvan bowers 

Salutes proud Raby's battled towers ; 

The rural brook of Egliston, 

And Balder, nam'd from Odin's son ; 

And Greta, to whose banks ere long 

We lead the lovers of the song ; 

And silver Lune, from Stanmore wild, 

And fairy Thorsgill's murm'ring child. 

And last and least, but loveliest still, 

Romantic Deepdale's slender rill. 

Who in that dim-wood glen hath stray'd, 

Yet long'd for Rosliu's magic glade ? 

Who wand'ring there, hath sought to c. 

Ev'n for that vale so stern and strange, 

Where Cartland's Crags, fantastic rent, 

Through her green copse like spires are sent ? 

Yet, Albin, yet the praise be thine, 

Thy scenes and story to combine ! 

O 



458 EOKEBY. 

Thou bidd'st him, -who by Roslin strays, 

List to the deeds of other days ; 

'Mid Cartland's Crags thou show'st the cave, 

The refuge of thy champion brave ;* 

Giving each rock its storied tale, 

Pouring a lay for every dale, 

Knitting, as with a moral band, 

Thy native legends with thy land, 

To lend each scene the int'rest high 

Which genius beams from Beauty's eye. 

IV. 

Bertram awaited not the sight 

Which sun-rise shows from Barnard's height 

But from the tow'rs, preventing day, 

With Wilfrid took his early way, 

While misty dawn, and moonbeam pale, 

Still mingled in the silent dale. 

By Barnard's bridge of stately stone. 

The southern bank of Tees they won ; 

Their winding path then eastward cast, 

And Egliston's grey ruins pass'd ; 

Each on his own deep visions bent, 

Silent and sad they onward went. 

Well may you think that Bertram's mood, 

To Wilfrid savage seem'd and rude ; 

Well may you think bold Risingham 

Held Wilfrid trivial, poor, and tame ; 

And small the intercourse, I ween, 

Such uncongenial souls between. 

v. 

Stern Bertram shunn'd the nearer way, 
Through Rokebv's park and chase that lay, 
And, skirting high the valley's ridge, 
They cross'd by Greta's ancient bridge. 
Descending where her waters wind 
Free for a space and unconfin'd. 
As, 'scap'd from BrignaH's dark-wood glen, 
She seeks wild Mortham's deeper den. 

* Cartland Crags, near I,anark, celebrated as among the favour- 
ite retreats of Sir William Wallace. 



CANTO II.] BOKEBY. 459 

There, as his eye glanc'd o'er the mound, 
Raia'd by that Legion long renown' d, 
Whose votive shrine asserts their claim, 
Of pious, faithful, conquering fame, 
" Stern sons of war !" sad \V ilfrid sigh'd, 
" Behold the boast of Roman pride ! 
What now of all your luiis are known ? 
A grassy trench, a broken stone !" 
This to himself ; for moral strain 
To Bertram were address'd in vain. 

VI. 

Of different mood, a deeper sigh 
Awoke, when Rokeby's turrets high* 
Were northward i > the dawning seen 
To rear them o'er ,;..e thicket green. 
O then, though Spenser's self had stray'd 
Beside him thrcugh the lovely glade, 
Lending his rich luxuriant glow 
Of Fancy, all its charms to show 
Pointing the stream rejoicing free, 
As captive set at liberty, 
Flashing her sparkling waves abroad, 
And clam'ring joyful on her road ; 
Pointing where, up the sunny banks, 
The trees retire in scatter'd ranks, 
Save where, advanc'd before the rest, 
On knoll or hillock rears his crest, 
Lonely and huge, the giant Oak, 
As champions, when their band is broke. 
Stand forth to guard the rearward post. 
The bulwark of the scatter'd host 
All this, and more, might Spenser say, 
Yet waste in vain his magic lay, 
While Wilfrid eyed the distant tower, 
Whose lattice lights Matilda's bower. 

VII. 

The open vale is soon pass'd o'er, 
Rokeby, though nigh, is seen no more ; 

This ancient manor long gave name to a family by whom it U 
aid to have been possessed trom the Conquest downward, and who 
a i e u at ,''\ ffel ' e "! Ume9 d ''>S!ished in history. U was the Baron 
of H,,kehy who nnally ,U-lWued ih... insurrection of the Karl of 
I*orihumberluii;i duriug the reiyu of Heury IV. 



460 nOKEBT. [CANTO U. 

Sinking mid Greta's thickets deep, 

A wild and darker course they keep, 

A stern and lone, yet lovely road, 

As e'er the foot of Minstrel trode ! 

Broad shadows o'er their passage fell, 

Deeper and narrower grew the dell ; 

It seem'd some mountain rent and riven, 

A channel for the stream had given, 

So high the cliffs of limestone grey 

Hung beetling o'er the torrent's way, 

Yielding, along their rugged base, 

A flinty footpath's niggard space, 

Where he, who winds 'twixt rock and wave, 

May hear the headlong torrent rave, 

And like a steed in frantic fit, 

That flings the froth from curb and bit, 

May view her chafe her waves to spray, 

O'er every rock that bars her way, 

Till foam-globes on her eddies ride, 

Thick as the schemes of human pride 

That down life's current drive amain, 

As frail, as frothy, and as vain 1 



The cliffs that rear their haughty head 
High o'er the river's darksome bed, 
Were now all naked, wild, and grey 
Now waving all with greenwood spray ; 
Here trees to ev'ry crevice clung, 
And o'er the dell their branches hung ; 
And there, all splinter'd and uneven, 
The shiver 'd rocks ascend to heaven ; 
Oft, too, the ivy swath' d their breast, 
And wreath'd its garland round their crest, 
Or from the spires bade loosely flare 
Its tendrils in the middle air, 
As pennons wont to wave of old 
O'er the high feast of Baron bold, 
When revell'd loud the feudal rout, 
And the arch'd halls return'd their shout ; 
Such and more wild is Greta's roar, 
And such the echoes from her shore. 



CANTO IL] EOKEBT. 

And so the ivied banners' gleam 
Waved wildly o'er the brawling stream. 

IX. 

Now from the stream the rocks recede, 

But leave between no sunny mead, 

No, nor the spot of pebbly sand, 

Oft found by such a mountain strand , 

Forming such warm and dry retreat, 

As fancy deems the lonely seat, 

Where hermit, wand' ring from his cell, . 

His rosary might love to tell. 

But here, 'twixt rock and river, grew 

A dismal grove of sable yew, 

With whose sad tints were mingled seeu 

The blighted fir's sepulchral green. 

Seem'd that the trees their shadows casi 

The earth that nourished them to blast ; 

For never knew that swarthy grove 

The verdant hue that fairies love ; 

Nor wilding green, nor woodland flower. 

Arose within its baleful bower ; 

The dank and sable earth receives 

Its only carpet from the leaves, 

That from the with'ring branches cast, 

Bestrew' d the ground with every blast, 

Though now the sun was o'er the hill, 

In this dark spot 'twas twilight still, 

Save that ou Greta's farther side 

Some straggling beams through copsewood glide; 

And wild and savage contrast made 

That dingle's deep and fun'ral shade, 

With the bright tints of early day, 

Which, glimm'ring through the ivy spray, 

On the opposing summit lay. 

X. 

The lated peasant shunn'd the dell ; 
For Superstition wont to tell 
Of many a grisly sound and sifjlit, 
Scaring its path at dead of night. 
When Christmas logs blaze high and wide, 
Such wonders speed the festftl tide ; 



461 



462 ROKEDT. [CANTO H. 

Wliile Curiosity and Fear, 

Pleasure and Pain, sit crouching near, 

Till childhood's cheek no longer glows, 

And village maidens lose the rose. 

The thrilling int'rest rises higher, 

The circle closes nigh and nigher, 

And shudd'ring glance is cast behind, 

As louder moans the wintry wind. 

Believe, that fitting scene was laid 

For such wild tales in Mortham glade ; 

For who had seen, on Greta's side, 

By that dim light fierce Bertram stride, 

In such a spot, at such an hour, 

If toueh'd by Superstition's power, 

Might well have deem'd that Hell had given 

A murderer's ghost to upper heaven, 

While Wilfrid's form had seem'd to glide 

Like his pale victim by his side. 

XI. 

Nor think to village swains alone 
Are these unearthly terrors known ; 
For not to rank nor sex coufin'd 
Is this vain ague of the mind : 
Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard, 
'Gainst faith, and love, and pity barr'd, 
Have quak'd, like aspen leaves in May, 
Beneath its universal sway. 
Bertram had listed many a tale 
Of wonder in his native dale, 
That in his secret soul retain 'd 
The credence they in childhood gain'd : 
Nor less his wild advent'rous youth 
Believ'd in every legend's truth ; 
Learn'd when, beneath the tropic gale, 
Full swell'd the vessel's steady sail, 
And the broad Indian moon her light 
Pour'd on the watch of middle night, 
When seamen love to hear and tell 
Of portent, prodigy, and spell : 
What gales are sold on Lapland's shore,* 
How whistle rash bids ter:- pests roar, 

* Jhe Lapland witches were famous for the sale of prosperous 
winds which they disposed of to credulous mariners, 



CAXTO II ] ROKEBY. 463 

)f witch, of mermaid, and of sprite, 
Of Erick's cap and Elmo's light ;* 
Or of that Phantom Ship, whose fonn 
Shoots like a meteor through the storm ; 
When the dark scud comes driving hard, 
And lower'd is every top-sail yard, 
And canvass wove in earthly looms, 
No more to brave the storm presumes ! 
Then, 'mid the war of sea and sky, 
Top and top-gallant hoisted high, 
Full spread and crowded every sail, 
The Demon Frigate+ braves the gale ; 
And well the doom'd spectators know 
The harbinger of wreck and woe. 

XII. 

Then, too, were told, in stifled tone, 
Marvels and omens all their own ; 
How, by some desert isle or key,J 
Where Spaniards wrought their cruelty, 
Or where the savage pirate's mood 
Repaid it home in deeds of blood, 
Strange nightly sounds of woe and fear 
AppalTd the list'ning Bucanier, 
Whose light-arm'd shallop aachor'd lay 
In ambush by the lonely bay. 
The groan of grief, the shriek of pain, 
Ring from the moonlight groves of cane ; 

* That these are general superstition*, is well known to all who 
have been on ship-board, or who have conversed with seamen. 
They farther assert, that Ericus, King of Sweden, was so familiar 
with the evil spirits, that which way soever he turned his can. the 
wiud would presently blow that way. 

t This is an allusion to a well-known nautical superstition con- 
erning a fantastic vessel, called by sailors the Flying Dutchman 
and supposed to be seen about the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope. 
She is distinguished from earthly vessels by bearing a press of sail 
when ail others are unable, from stre<s of weather, to show HII 
iiich_ of canvass. The apparition of the ship is considered by the 
mariners as the worst of all possible omens. 

t These keys are small sandy patches, appearing just above the 
surface of ihe ocean Ai many of he atrocities which the bucau- 
iers practised on their prisoneri were committed in such spots, 
there are some of these keys which even now have an indifferent 
reputation among seamen, and where they are with difficulty pre- 
vailed on to remain ashore at nigl.t on iccomit of the visionary 
terrors incident to placet which have b._u thai contaminated. 



464 ROKEBY. [CANTO II. 

The fierce advent'rer's heart they scare, 
Who wearies mem'ry for a prayer, 
Curses the road-stead, and with gale 
Of early morning lifts the sail, 
To give, in thirst of blood and prey 
A legend for another bay. 

XIII. 

Thus, as a man, a youth, a child 

Train'd in the mystic and the wild, 

With this on Bertram's soul at times 

Rush'd a dark feeling of his crimes ; 

Such to his troubled soul their form, 

As the pale Death-ship to the storm, 

And such their omen dim and dread, 

As shrieks and voiees of the dead, 

That pang, whose transitory force 

Hover' d Twixt horror and remorse ; 

That pang, perchance, his bosom press'd, 

As Wilfrid sudden he addressed : 

" Wilfrid, this glen is never trod 

Until the sun rides high abroad ; 

Yet twice have I beheld to-day 

A Form, that seem'd to dog our way ; 

Twice from my glance it seem'd to flea 

And shroud itself by cliff or tree. 

How think'st thou? Is our path way-laid? 

Or hath thy sire my trust betray 'd ? 

If so " Ere, starting from his dream, 

That turn'd upon a gentler theme, 
Wilfrid had rous'd him to reply, 
Bertram sprung forward, shouting high, 
" Whatever thou art, thou now shalt stand !** 
And forth he darted, sword in hand. 
XIV. 

As bursts the levin in its wrath, 
He shot him down the sounding path ; 
Rock, wood, and stream, rang wildly out. 
To his loud step and savage shout. 
Seems that the object of his race 
Hath scal'd the cliffs ; his frantic chase 
Sidelong he turns, and now 'tis bent 
Right up the rock's tall battlement ; 



CANTO II.] BOKEBT. 465 

Straining each sinew to ascend, 

Foot, hand, and knee, their aid must lend. 

Wilfrid, all dizzy with dismay, 

Views, from beneath, his dreadful way : 

Now to the oak's warp'd roots he clings, 

Now trusts his weight to ivy strings ; 

Now, like the wild goat, must he daie 

An unsupported leap in air ; 

Hid in the shrubby rain-course now, 

You mark him by the crashing bough, 

And by his corslet's sullen clank, 

And by the stones spuni'd from the bank, 

And by the hawk scar'd from her nest, 

And ravens* croaking o'er their guest, 

Who deem his forfeit limbs shall pay 

The tribute of his bold essay. 

xv. 

See, he emerges ! desp'rate now 
All farther course Yon beetling brow, 
In craggy nakedness sublime, 
What heart or foot shall dare to climb ? 
It bears no tendril for his clasp, 
Presents no angle to his grasp : 
Sole stay his foot may rest upon, 
Is yon earth-bedded jetting stone. 
Balanc'd on such precarious prop, 
He strains his grasp to reach the top. 
Just as the dang'rous stretch he makes, 
By heav'n, his faithless footstool shakes! 
Beneath his tott'ring bulk it bends, 
It sways, it loosens, it descends ! 
And downward holds its headlong way, 
Crashing o'er rock and copsewood spray. 
Loud thunders shake the echoing dell ! 
Fell it alone ? alone it fell. 
Just on the very verge of fate, 
The hardy Bertram's falling weight 
He trusted to his sinewy hands, 
And on the top unharm'd he stands ! 

xvi. 

Wilfrid a safer path pursued ; 
At intervals where, rouehlv hew'd, 
"V2 



466 ROKE3Y. [CANTO H. 

Bude steps ascending from the dell 
Render'd the cliffs accessible. 
By circuit slow he thus attained 
The height that Risinghara had gain'd. 
And when he issued from the wood, 
Before the gate of Mortham stood.* 
'Twas a fair scene ! the sunbeam lay 
On battled tow'r and portal grey : 
And from the grassy slope he sees 
The Greta flow to meet the Tees ; 
Where, issuing from her darksome bed, 
She caught the morning's eastern red, 
And through the soft'ning vale below 
Roll'd her Dright waves, in rosy glow, 
All blushing, to her bridal bed, 
Like some shy maid in convent bred ; 
While linnet, lark, and blackbird gay, 
Sing forth her nuptial roundelay. 



'Twas sweetly sung that roundelay ; 
That summer morn shone blithe and gay; 
But morning beam, and wild-bird's call, 
Awak'd not Mortham's silent hall. 
No porter, by the low-brow'd gate, 
Took in the wonted niche his seat ; 
To the pav'd court no peasant drew; 
Wak'd to their toil no menial crew ; 
The maiden's carol was not heard, 
As to her morning task she far'd : 
In the void offices around, 
Rung not a hoof, nor bay'd a hound ; 
Nor eager steed, with shrilling neigh, 
Accus'd the lagging groom's delay; 
Untrimm'd, undress'd, neglected now, 
Was alley'd walk and orchard bough ; 
All spoke the master's absent care, 
All spoke neglect and disrepair. 

The situation of Mortham is eminently beautiful, occupying a 
high I auk, at the bottom of which the Greta winds out of tha 
dark, narrow, and romantic dell, which the text has attempted 
to describe, and flows onward through amore opeuvalUy to meet 
the Tees about a quarter of mile from the castle. 



CANTO a] BOKEBY. 467 

South of the gate, an arrow flight, 
Two mighty elms their limbs unite, 
As if a canopy, to spread 
O'er the lone dwelling of the dead ; 
For their huge boughs in arches bent 
Above a massive monument, 
Carv'd o'er in ancient Gothic wise, 
With many a scutcheon and device: 
There, spent with toil and sunk in gloom, 
Bertram stood pond'ring by the tomb. 

XT1II. 

" It vanish'd like a flitting ghost ! 
Behind this tomb," he said, " 'twas lost 
This tomb, where oft I deem'd lies stor'd 
Of Mortham's Indian wealth the hoard. 
'Tis true, the .jed servants said 
Here his lamented wife is laid ; 
But weightier reasons may be guess'd 
For their lord's strict and stern behest, 
That none should on his steps intrude, 
Whene'er he sought this solitude. 
An ancient mariner I knew, 
What time I sail'd with Morgan's crew, 
Who oft, 'mid our carousals, spake 
Of Raleigh, Forbisher, and Drake ; 
Advent' rous hearts ! who barter' d, bold, 
Their English steel for Spanish gold. 
Trust not, would his experience say, 
Captain or comrade with your prey ; 
But seek some charnel, when, at full, 
The moon gilds skeleton and skull ; 
There dig, and tomb your precious heap, 
And bid the dead your treasure keep ;* 
Sure stewards they, if fitting spell 
Their service to the task compel. 
Lacks there such charnel ? kill a slave, 
Or prisoner, on the treasure grave; 

* If time dill not permit the Buoaniers to lavish awry their plun- 
der in their usual debaucheries, th y were wont to hide it, in the 
desert islands and k -ys which they frequented. They are said to 
have had recourse to a horrid ritval, in order to secure an un- 
earthly guardian to their treasures. They killed a Negro or 
Spaniard, and buried him with the treasure, believing that liis 
fl'irit would haunt the spot, and terrify away all intruders. 



468 B.OKEBT. "CAJfTO II. 

And bid his discontented ghost 
Stalk nightly on his lonely post. 
Such was his tale. Its truth, I ween 
Is in my morning vision seen." 



Wilfrid, who scorn'd the legend wild, 

In mingled mirth and pity smil'd, 

Much marv'lling that a breast so bold 

In such fond tale belief should hold ; 

But yet of Bertram sought to know 

The apparition's form and show. 

The pow'r within the guilty breast, 

Oft vanquish'd, never quite suppress'd, 

That unsubdued and lurking lies 

To take the felon by surprise, 

And force him, as by magic spell, 

In his despite his guilt to tell, 

That pow'r in Bertram's breast awoke ; 

Scarce conscious he was heard, he spoke ; 

" 'Twas Mortham's form, from foot to head ! 

His morion, with the plume of red, 

His shape, his mien twas Mortham, right 

As when I slew him in the fight." 

"Thou slay him? thou?" With conscious start 

He heard, then mann'd his haughty heart - 

" I slew him ? I ! I had forgot 

Thou, stripling, knew'st not of the plot. 

But it is spoken nor will I 

Deed done, or spoken word, deny. 

I slew him ; I ! for thankless pride ; 

'Twas by this hand that Mortham died." 



Wilfrid, of gentle hand and heart, 

Averse to every active part, 

But most averse to martial broil, 

From danger shrunk, and turn'd from toil ; 

Yet the meek lover of the lyre 

Nurs'd one brave spark of noble fire ; 

Against injustice, fraud, or wrong, 

His blood beat high, his bond wax'd strong. 



CANTO 11.3 ROKEBT. 

Not his the nerves that could sustain 
Unshaken, danger, toil, and pain : 
But, \vhen that spark blaz'd forth to name, 
He rose superior to his frame. 
And now it came, that genrous mood ; 
And, in full current of his blood, 
On Bertram he laid desp'rate hand 
Plac'd firm his foot, and drew his brand. 
" Should every fiend, to whom thou rt sold, 
llise in thine aid, I keep my hold. 
Arouse there, ho ! take spear and sword ! 
Attack the murd'rer of your Lord ! 

XXI. 

A moment, fix'd as by a spell, 
Stood Bertram It seem'd miracle, 
That one so feeble, soft, and tame, 
Set grasp on warlike Risingham. 
But when he felt a feeble stroke, 
The fiend within the ruffian woke ! 
To wrench the sword from Wilfrid s hand, 
To dash him headlong on the sand, 
Was but one moment's work, one more 
Had drench'd the blade in Wilfrid s gore; 
But, in the instant it arose, 
To end his life, his love, his woes, 
A warlike form, that mark'd the scene, 
Presents bis rapier sheath'd between, 
Parries the fast-descending blow, 
And steps 'twixt Wilfrid and his foe; 
Nor then unscabbarded his brand, 
But, sternly pointing with his hand, 
With monarch's voice forbade the tight, 
And rnotion'd Bertram from his sight. 
" Go, and repent," he said, "while timo 
Is giv'n thee ; add not crime to crime. 

XXIt. 

Mute, and uncertain, and amaz'd 
As on a vision, Bertram gaz'd ! 
'Twas Mortham's bearing, bold and nigtt, 
His sinewy frame, his falcon eye, 
His look and accent of command, 
The martial gesture of his hand, 






470 BOKEBT. [CANTO tt 

His stately form, spare-built and tall, 

His war-bleach' d locks 'twas Mortham all. 

Through Bertram's dizzy brain career 

A thousand thoughts, and all of fear ; 

His wav'ring faith receiv'd not quite 

The form he saw as Mortham's sprite, 

But more he fear'd it, if it stood 

His lord, in living flesh and blood. 

What spectre can the charnel send, 

So dreadful as an injur'd friend? 

Then, too, the habit of command, 

Us'd by the leader of the band, 

When Risingham, for many a day, 

Had march'd and fought beneath his sway. 

Tam'd him and, with reverted face, 

Backwards he bore his sullen pace ; 

Oft stopp'd, and oft on Mortham star'd, 

And dark as rated mastiff t:'.ar'd ; 

But when the tramp of steeds was heard, 

Plung'd in the glen, and disappear'd, 

Nor longer there the Warrior stood, 

Retiring eastward through the wood ; 

But first to Wilfrid warning gives, 

" Tell thou to none that Mortham lives." 



Still rung these words in Wilfrid's ear, 

Hinting he knew not what of fear ; 

When nearer came the coursers' tread, 

And, with his father at their head, 

Of horsemen arm'd a gallant power 

Rein'd up their steeds before the tower. 

" Whence these pale looks, my son ?" he said 

"Where's Bertram? Why that naked blade?" 

Wilfrid ambiguously replied, 

(For Mortham's charge his honour tied,) 

" Bertram is gone the villain's word 

Avouch'd him murd'rer of his lord ! 

Even now we fought but, when your tread 

Announced you nigh, the felon fled." 

In Wycliffe s conscious eye appear 

A guilty hope, a guilty fear ; 



CANTO IL] ROKEBY. 471 

On his pale brow the dew-drop broke, 
And his lip qufcer'd as he spoke : 

xxrv. 

" A murd'rer ! Philip Mortham died 
Amid the battle's wildest tide. 
Wilfrid, or Bertram raves, or you ! 
Yet, grant such strange confession true, 
Pursuit were vain let him fly fax 
Justice must sleep in civil war." 
A gallant Youth rode near his side, 
Brave Rokeby's page, in battle tried ; 
That morn, an embassy of weight 
He brought to Barnard's castle gate, 
And follow'd now in Wycliffe's train, 
An answer for his lord to gain. 
His steed, whose arch'd and sable neck 
An hundred wreaths of foam bedeck, 
Chard not against the curb more high 
Than he at Oswald's cold reply ; 
He bit his lip, implor'd his saint, 
(His the old faith) then burst restraint. 

XXY. 

" Yes ! I beheld his bloody fall, 
By that base traitor's dastard ball, 
Just when I thought to measure sword, 
Presumptuous hope ! with Mortham's lord. 
And shall the murd'rer 'scape, who slew 
His leader, gen'rous, brave, and true ? 
Escape, while on the dew you trace 
The marks of his gigantic pace ? 
No ! ere the sun that dew shall dry, 
False Risingham shall yield or die. 
Ring out the castle 'larum bell ! 
Arouse the peasants with the knell ! 
Meantime disperse ride, gallants, ride ! 
Beset the wood on ev'ry side. 
But if among you one there be, 
That honours Mortham's memory, 
Let him dismount and follow me I 
Else on your crests sit fear and shame. 
And foul suspicion dog your name !" 



472 ROKEB*. [CAKTO O. 

XXTI. 

Instant to earth young REDMOND sprang ; 
Instant on earth the harness rung 
Of twenty men of Wycliffe's hand, 
Who waited not their lord's command* 
Redmond his spurs from buskins drew, 
His mantle from his shoulders threw, 
His pistols in his belt he plac'd, 
The green-wood gain'd, the footsteps trac'd. 
Shouted like huntsman to his hounds, 
" To cover, hark !" and in he bounds. 
Scarce heard was Oswald's anxious cry, 
" Suspicion ! yes pursue him fly 
But venture not, in useless strife, 
On ruffian desp'rate of his life, 
Whoever finds him, shoot him dead f 
Five hundred nobles for his head I" 



The horsemen gallop'd to make good 

Each path that issued from the wood. 

Loud from the thickets rung the shout 

Of Redmond and his eager route; 

With them was Wilfrid, stung with ire, 

And envying Redmond's martial fire, 

And emulous of fame. But where 

Is Oswald, noble Mortham's heir ? 

He, bound by honour, law, and faith, 

Avenger of his kinsman's death? 

Leaning against the elmin tree, 

With drooping head and slacken'd knee, 

And clenched teeth, and close-clasp 'd hands, 

In agony of soul he stands ! 

His downcast eye on earth is bent, 

His soul to ev'ry sound is lent ; 

For in each shout that cleaves the air, 

May ring disco v'ry and despair. 



What 'vail'd it him, that brightly play'd 
The morning sun on Mortham's glade? 
All seems in giddy round to ride, 
Like objects on a stormy tide, 



CANTO HO EOKBBT. 473 

Seen eddying by the moonlight dim, 
Imperfectly to sink and swim. 
What "vail'd it, that the fair domain, 
Its battled mansion, hill and plain, 
On which the sun so brightly shone, 
Envied so long, was now his own? 
The lowest dungeon, in that hour, 
Of Brackenbury's dismal tow'r, 
Had been his choice, could such a doom 
Have open'd Mortham's bloody tomb ! 
Forc'd, too, to turn unwilling ear 
To each surmise of hope or fear, 
Murmur'd among the rustics round, 
Who gather'd at the 'larum sound ; 
He dar'd not turn his head away, 
E'en to look up to heaven to pray, 
Or call on hell, in bitter mood, 
For one sharp death-shot from the wood ! 

XXIX. 

At length o'erpast that dreadful space, 
Back straggling came the scatter'd chase ; 
Jaded and weary, horse and man, 
Return'd the troopers, one by one. 
Wilfrid, the last, arriv'd to say, 
All trace was lost of Bertram's way, 
Though Redmond still, up Brignall wood, 
The hopeless quest in vain pursued. 
O, fatal doom of human race ! 
What tyrant passions passions chase I 
Remorse from Oswald's brow is gone, 
A v' rice and pride resume their throne ; 
The p: jg of instant terror by, 
They dictate thus, their slave's reply : 

XXX. 

" Ay let him range like hasty hound ! 
And if the grim wolfs lair be found, 
Small is my care how goes the game 
With Redmond, or with Risicgham. 
Nay, answer not, thou simple boy ! 
Thy fair Matilda, all to coy 



474 BOKKBT. [CANTO IL 

To thee, is of another mood 

To that bold youth of Erin's blood. 

Thy ditties will she freely praise, 

And pay thy pains with courtly phrase ; 

In a rough path will oft command 

Accept at least thy friendly hand ; 

His she avoids, or, urg'd and pray'd, 

Unwilling takes his proffer' d aid, 

While conscious passion plainly speaks 

In downcast look and blushing cheeks. 

Whene'er he sings, will she glide nigh, 

And all her soul is in her eye ; 

Yet doubts she still to tender free 

The wonted words of courtesy. 

These are strong signs ! yet wherefore Bigh, 

And wipe, effeminate, thine eye f 

Thine shall she be, if thou attend 

The counsels of thy sire and friend. 



" Scarce wert thou gone, when peep of light 
Brought genuine news of Marston's fight. 
Brave Cromwell turn'd the doubtful tide, 
And conquest bless d the rightful side; 
Three thousand cavaliers lie dead, 
Rupert and that bold Marquis tied; 
Nobles and knights, so proud of late. 
Must fine for freedom and estate. 
Of these, committed to my charge, 
Is Kokeby, prisoner at large ; 
Redmond, his page, arriv'd to say 
He reaches Barnard's tow'rs to-day. 
Right heavy shall his ransom be, 
Unless that maid compound with thee ! 
Go to her now be bold of cheer 
While her soul floats 'twixt hope and fear; 
It is the very change of tide, 
When best the femaie heart is tried 
Pride, prejudice, and modesty, 
Are in the current swept to isea ; 
And the bold swain, who plies his oar 
May lightly row his bark to shore." 



CAOTO HI.] BQKEBT. 47<5 

CANTO THIRD. 



THE hunting tribes of air and earth 
Respect the brethren of their birth ; 
Nature, who loves the claim of kind, 
Less cruel chase to each assign 'd. 
The falcon, pois'd on soaring wing, 
Watches the wild-duck by the spring ; 
The slow-hound wakes the fox's lair ; 
The greyhound presses on the hare ; 
The eagle pounces on the lamb ; 
The wolf devours the fleecy dam: 
Ev'n tiger fell, and sullen bear, 
Their likeness and their lineage spare, 
Man, only, mars kind Nature's plan, 
And turns the fierce pursuit on man ; 
Plying war's desultory trade, 
Incursion, flight, and ambuscade, 
Since Nimrod, Gush's mighty son, 
At first the bloody game bejun. 

II. 

The Indian, prowling for his prey, 

Who hears the settlers track his way. 

And knows in distant forest far 

Camp his red brethren of the war ; 

He, when each double and disguise 

To baffle the pursuit he tries, 

Low crouching now his head to hide, 

Where swampy streams through rushes glide. 

Now eov'ring with the wither d leares 

The foot-prints that the dew receives ; 

He, skill'd in ev'ry silvan guile, 

Knows not, nor tries, such various wile, 

As Risingham, when on the wind 

Arose the loud pursuit behind. 

In Redesdale his youth had heard 

Each art her wily dalesmen dar'd, 

When Rooken-edge, and Redswair high, 

To bugle rung and' blood-hound's cry, 



476 ROKEBT. CCAUTO in. 

Announcing Jedwood-axe and spear. 
And Lid'sdale riders in the rear ; 
And well his vent'rous life had prov'd 
The lessons that his childhood lov'd.* 



Oft had he shown, in climes afar, 

Each attribute of roving war ; 

The sharpen'd ear, the piercing eye, 

The quick resolve in danger nigh ; 

The speed, that in the flight or chase, 

Outstripp'd the Charib's rapid race 

The steady brain, the sinewy limb, 

To leap, to climb, to dive, to swim ; 

The iron frame, inur'd to bear 

Each dire inclemency of air, 

Nor less confirm'd to undergo 

Fatigue's faint chill, and famine's throe. 

These arts he prov'd, his life to save 

In peril oft by' land and wafe, 

On Arawaca's desert shore, 

Or where La Plata's billows roar, 

When oft the sons of vengeful Spain * 

Track'd the marauder's steps in vain. 

These arts, in Indian warfare tried, 

Must save him now by Greta's side. 

IT. 

Twas then, in hour of utmost need, 

He prov'd his courage, art, and speed. 

Now slow he stalk'd with stealthy pace. 

Now started forth in rapid race, 

Oft doubling oack in mazy train. 

To blind the trace the dews retain ; 

Now clombe the rocks projecting high, 

To baffle the pursuer's eye ; 

Now sought the stream, whose brawling sound 

The echo of his footsteps drown' d. 

the very edre of the Carter- Fell, which divides England' from 
Scotland. The Kookeu is a place upon Reedwater. Bertram, 
being described as a native of these dales, where the habits of 
hostile depredation long survived the uni n of the crowns, may 
have heen, in some decree, prepared by education lor the exerct^A 
of a similar trade iu the wais of the Bucauitrs. 



477 



But if the forest verge Le nears, 

There trample steeds, and glimmer spears ; 

If deeper down the copse he drew, 

He heard the rangers' loud halloo, 

Beating each cover while they came, 

As if to start the silvan game. 

'Twas then like tiger close beset 

At ev'ry pass with toil and net, 

'Counter a where'er he turns his glare, 

By clashing arms and torches' flare, 

Who meditates, with furious bound, 

To burst on hunter, horse, and hound, 

'Twas then that Bertram's soul arose, 

Prompting to rush upon his foes : 

But as that crouching tiger, cow'd 

By brandish'd steel and shouting crowd, 

Retreats beneath the jungle's shroud, 

Bertram suspends his purpose stern, 

And couches in the brake and fern, 

Hiding his face, lest foemen spy 

The sparkle of his swarthy eye. 

v. 

Then Bertram might the bearing trace 
Of the bold youth who led the chase ; 
Who paus'd to list for ev'ry sound, 
Climb'd ev'ry height to look around, 
Then rushing on with naked sword, 
Each dingle's bosky depths explor'd. 
'Twas Redmond by the azure eye ; 
'Twas Redmond by the locks that fly 
Disorder'd from his glowing cheek ; 
Mien, face, and form, young Redmond speak. 
A form more active, light, and strong, 
Ne'er shot the ranks of war along ; 
The modest, yet the manly mien, 
Might grace the court of maiden queen ; 
A face more fair you well might find, 
For Redmond's knew the sun and wind, 
Nor boasted, from their tinge when free, 
The charm of regularity ; 
But ev'ry feature had the pow'r 
To aid tn' expression of the hour : 



478 KOKEBY. [CANTO HI. 

Whether gay wit, and humour sly, 
Danc'd laughing in his light-blue eye ; 
Or bended brow, and glance of fire, 
And kindling cheek, spoke Erin's ire ; 
Or soft and sadden 'd glances show 
Her ready sympathy with woe ; 
Or in that wayward mood of mind, 
When various feelings are combin'd, 
When joy and sorrow mingle near, 
And hope's bright wings are check'd by fear, 
And rising doubts keep transport down. 
And anger lends a short-liv'd frown; 
In that strange mood which maids approve 
Ev'n when they dare not call it love ; 
With every change his features play'd, 
As aspens show the light and shade. 

VI. 

Well Risingham young Redmond knew : 
And much he marvell'd that the crew, 
Rous'd to revenge bold Mortham dead, 
Were by that Mortham 's foeman led ; 
For never felt his soul the woe, 
That wails a gen'rous foeman low, 
Far less that sense of justice strong, 
That wreaks a gen'rous foeman's wrong. 
But small his leisure now to pause ; 
Redmond is first, wfiate'er the cause : 
And twice that Redmond came so near 
Where Bertram couch d like hunted deer, 
The very boughs his steps displace, 
Rustled against the ruffian's face, 
Who, desp'rate, twice prepar'd to start, 
And plunge his dagger in his heart ! 
But Redmond turn'd a difTrent way, 
And the bent boughs resum'd their sway, 
And Bertram held it wise, unseen, 
Deeper to plunge in coppice green. 
Thus, circled in his coil, the snake, 
When roving hunters beat the brake, 
Watches with red and glist'ning eye, 
Prepar'd, if heedless step draw nigh, 



CANTO III.] ROKKBT. 4~9 

Witli forked tongue and venom'd fang 
Instant to dart the deadly pang ; 
But if the intruders turn aside, 
Away his coils unfolded glide, 
And through the deep savannah wind, 
Some undisturb'd retreat to find. 

VII. 

But Bertram, as he hack ward drew. 
And heard the loud pursuit renew, ' 
And Redmond's hollo on the wind, 
Oft mutter' d in his savage mind 
" Redmond O'Neale ! were thou aud I 
Alone this day's event to try, 
With not a second here to see, 
But the grey cliff and oaken tree, 
That voice of thine, that shouts so loud, 
Should ne'er repeat its summons proud ' 
No ! nor e'er try its melting power 
Again in maiden's summer bower." 
Eluded, now behind him die, 
Faint and more faint, each hostile cry ; 
He stands in Scargill wood alone, 
Nor hears he now a harsher tone 
Than the hoarse cushat's plaintive cry, 
Or Greta's sound that murmurs by ; 
And on the dale, so lone and wild, 
The summer sun, in quiet smil'd. 

VIII. 

He listen'd long with anxious heart, 
Ear bent to hear, and foot to start, 
And, while his stretch'd attention glows, 
Refus'd his weary frame repose. 
'Twas silence all he laid him down, 
Where purple heath profusely strown. 
And throatwort with its azure bell, 
And moss and thyme his cushion swell. 
There, spent with toil, he listless ey'd 
The course of Greta's playful tide ; 
Beneath, her banks now eddying dun, 
Now brightly gleaming to the sun, 
As, dancing over rock and stone, 
In yellow light her currents shone, 



480 ROKEBT. CCANTO IU. 

Matching in hue the fav'rite gem 

Of Albiu's mountain-diadem. 

Then, tir'd to watch the current's play, 

He turu'd his weary eyes away, 

To where the bank opposing show'd 

Its huge, square cliffs, through shaggy wood. 

One, prominent above the rest, 

Rear'd to the sun its pale grey breast ; 

Around its broken summit grew 

The hazel rude, and sable yew ; 

A thousand varied lichens dy'd 

Its waste and weather-beaten side 

And round its rugged basis lay, 

By time or thunder rent away, 

Fragments, that, from its frontlet torn, 

Were mantled now by verdant thorn. 

Such was the scene's wild majesty, 

That fill'd stern Bertram's gazing eye. 

IX. 

In sullen mood he lay reclin'd, 
Revolving, in his stormy mind, 
The felon deed, the fruitless guilt, 
His patron's blood by treason spilt ; 
A crime, it seem'd, so dire and dread, 
That it had pow'r to wake the dead. 
Then, pond'ring on his life betray'd 
By Oswald's art to Redmond's blade, 
In treach'rous purpose to withhold, 
So seem'd it, Mortham's promis'd gold, 
A deep and full revenge lie vow'd 
On Redmond, forward, fierce, and proud ; 
Revenge on Wilfrid on his sire 
Redoubl'd vengeance, swift and dire ! 
If, in such mood, (as legends say, 
And well believ'd that simple day,) 
The Enemy of Man has pow'r 
To profit by the evil hour, 
Here stood a wretch, prepar'd to change 
His soul's redemption for revenge !* 

* It is agreed by all writers upon magic and witchcraft, that re- 
venge was the most common motive for the pretended compact be- 
tween Satan arid his vasals. 



CANTO HI.] ROKEBT. 481 

But though his vows, with such a fire 
Of earnest and intense desire 
For vengeance dark and fell, were made, 
As well might reach hell's lowest shade, 
No deeper clouds the grove embrown'd, 
No nether thunders shook the ground ; 
The demon knew his vassal's heart, 
And spar'd temptation's needless art 

x. 

Oft, mingled with the direful theme, 
Came Mortham's form Was it a dream ? 
Or had he seen, in vision true, 
That very Mortham whom he slew? 
Or had in living' flesh appear'd 
The only man on earth he fear'd ? 
To try the mystic cause intent, 
His eyes, that on the cliff were hent, 
'Countered at once a dazzling glance, 
Like sm.oeam flash'd from sword or lance. 
At onoe he started as for fight, 
But not a foeman was in sight ; 
He heard the cushat's murmur hoarse, 
He heard the river's sounding course ; 
The solitary woodlands lay, 
As slumb'ring in the summer ray. 
He gaz'd, like lion rous'd, around, 
Then sunk again upon the ground. 
'Twas hut, he thought, some fitful beam, 
Glanc'd sudden from the sparkling stream ; 
Then plung'd him from his gloomy train 
Of ill-connected thoughts again, 
Until a voice behind him cried, 
" Bertram ! well met on Greta side." 

XI. 

Instant his sword was in his hand, 
As instant sunk the ready brand ; 
Yet, dubious still, oppos'd he stood 
To him that issued from the wood : 
" Guy Denzil ! is it thou ?" he said ; 
" Do we two meet in Scargill shade ! 
Stand back a space ! thy purpose show 
Whether thou com'st as friend or foe. 



482 ROKEBY. [CATTTO nt 

Report hath said, that Denzil's namo 

From Rokeby's band was raz'd with, shame." 

" A shame I owe that hot O'Neale, 

"Who told his knight, in peevish zeal, 

Of my marauding on the clowns 

Of Calverley and Bradford downs.* 

I reck not. In a war to strive, 

Where, save the leaders, none can thrive. 

Suits ill my mood ; and better game 

Awaits us both, if thou'rt the same 

Unscrupulous, bold Risingham, 

Who watch'd with me in midnight dark, 

To snatch a deer from Rokeby-park. 

How think' st thou?" " Speak thy purpose out ; 

I love not mystery or doubt." 



" Then, list. Not far there lurk a crew 

Of trusty comrades, stanch and true, 

Glean'd from both factions Roundheads, freed 

From cant of sermon and of creed ; 

And Cavaliers, whose souls, like mine, 

Spurn at the bonds of discipline. 

Wiser, we judge, by dale and wold, 

A warfare of our own to hold, 

Than breathe our last on battle-down, 

For cloak or surplice, mace or crown. 

Our schemes are laid, our purpose set, 

A chief and leader lack we yet. 

Thou art a wand'rer, it is said-*, 

For Mortham's death, thy steps way-laid, 

Thy head at price so say our spies, 

Who range the valley in disguise. 

Join then with us : though wild debate 

And wrangling rend our infant state, 

Each to an equal loath to bow, 

Will yield to chief renown'd as thou.'' 



The troops of the King, when they first took the field, were ai 
well disciplined as could be expected from cii-oumstanres. But ai 
the circumstances of Charles became less lavoorable, and hi* funds 
for regularly paying his forces decreased, habits of military hcn^e 
prevailed amoug them in greater excess. 



CANTO III.J ROKKBT. 483 

xnr. 

" E'en now," thought Bertram, " passion-stirr'd, 
I call'd on hell, and hell has heard! 
What lack I, vengeance to command, 
But of stanch comrades such a band ? 
This Deuzil, vow'd to ev'ry evil, 
Might read a lesson to the devil. 
Well, be it so ! each knave and fool 
Shall serve as my revenge's tool." 
Aloud, " I take thy proffer, Guy, 
But tell me where thy comrades lie ?" 
" Not far from hence," Guy Denzil said ; 
" Descend, and cross the river's bed, 
Where rises yonder cliff so grey." 
" Do thou," said Bertram, " lead the way. 
Then mutter'd, " It is best make sure ; 
Guy Denzil's faith was never pure." 
He follow'd down the steep descent, 
Then through the Greta's streams they went ; 
And, when they reach' d the farther shore, 
They stood the lonely cliff before. 

XIV. 

With wonder Bertram heard within 
The flinty rock a murmur'd din ; 
But when Guy pull'd the wilding spray, 
And brambles, from its base away, 
He saw, appearing to the air, 
A little entrance, low and square, 
Like op'ning cell of hermit lone, 
Dark, winding through the living stone. 
Here enter'd Denzil, Bertram here; 
And loud and louder on their ear, 
As from the bowels of the earth, 
Resounded shouts of boist'rous mirth. 
Of old, the cavern strait and rude, 
In slaty rock the peasant hew'd ; 
And Brignall's woods, and Scargill' 
E'en now, o'er many a sister cave, 
Where, far within the darksome rift, 
The wedge and lever ply their thrift 
But war had sileuc'd rural trade, 
And the deserted mine was made 



4S4 ROKEBT. [CANTO m. 

The banquet-hall and fortress too, 
Of Denzil and his desp'rate crew. 
There Guilt his anxious revel kept ; 
There, on his sordid pallet, slept 
Guilt-born Excess, the goblet drain' d 
Still in his slumb'ring grasp letain'd; 
Regret was there, his eye still cast 
With vain repining on the past ; 
Among the feasters waited near 
Sorrow, and unrepentant Fear, 
And Blasphemy, to frenzy driv'n, 
With his own crimes reproaching heav'n ; 
While Bertram show'd, amid the crew, 
The Master-Fiend that Milton drew. 



Hark ! the loud revel wakes again, 

To greet the leader of the train. 

Behold the group by the pale lamp, 

That struggles with the earthy damp. 

By what strange features Vice has known, 

To single out and mark her own ! 

Yet some there are, whose brows retain 

Less deeply stamp' d her brand and stain. 

See yon pale stripling ! when a boy, 

A mother's pride, a father's joy ! 

Now, 'gainst the vault's rude walls reclin'd, 

An early image fills his mind : 

The cottage, once his sire's, he sees, 

Embower'd upon the banks of Tees ; 

He views swe<3t Winston's woodland scene, 

And shares the dance on Gainford-green. 

A tear is springing but the zest 

Of some wild tale, or brutal jest, 

Hath to loud laughter stirr'd the rest. 

On him they call, the aptest mate 

For jovial song aud merry feat ; 

Fast flies his dream with dauntless air, 

As one victorious o'er Despair, 

He bids the ruddy cup go round, 

Till sense and sorrow both are drown' d ; 

And soon, in merry wassail, he, 

The life of all their revelry, 



CANTO lit] 

Peals his loud song ! The muse has found 
Her blossoms on the wildest ground, ^ 
'Mid noxious weeds at random strew'd, 
Themselves all profitless and rude. 
With desp'rate merriment he sung, 
The cavern to *he chorus rung ; 
Yet mingled with his reckless glee 
Remorse s bitter agony. 



O, Brignall hanks are wild and fair, 

And Greta woods are green. 
And you may gather garlands there, 

Would grace a summer queen. 
And as I rode by Dalton-hall, 

Beneath the turrets high, 
A maiden on the castle wall 

Was singing merrily, 

Chorus. 
"O, Brignall banks are fre.^ and fair, 

And Greta woods are green ; 
I'd rather rove with Edmund there, 

Than reign our English queen. * 

" If, Maiden, thon wouldst wend with me, 

To leave bo*,h tow'r and town, 
Thou first must guess what life lead we, 

That dwell by dale and down? 
And if thou canst that riddle read, 

As read full well you may, 
Then to the greenwood shalt thou tpeed, 

As blithe as Queen of May." 

Chorus. 
Yet sung she, " Brignall banks a.e fair, 

And GreU, woods are green ; 
I'd rather rove with Edmund there, 

Than reign our English queen. 



485 



486 KOKEBT. COANTO IU. 

XYII. 

" I read you, by your bugle-horn, 

And by your palfrey good, 
I read you for a ranger sworn, 

To keep the king's greenwood." 
"A Ranger, lady, winds his horn, 

And 'tis at peep of light ; 
His blast is heard at merry morn, 

And mine at dead of night." 

Chorus. 
Yet sung she, " Brignall banks are fair, 

And Greta woods are gay ; 
I would I were with Edmund there, 

To reign his Queen of May ! 

" With burnish'd brand and musketoon, 

So gallantly you come, 
I read you for a bold Dragoon, 

That lists the tuck of drum." 
" I list no more the tuck of drum, 

No more the trumpet hear ; 
But when the beetle sounds his hum, 

My comrades take the spear. 

Chorus. 
** And, ! though Brignall banks be fair, 

And Greta woods be gay, 
Yet mickle must the maiden dare, 

Would reign my Queen of May ! 



"Maiden ! a nameless life I lead, 

A nameless death I'll die ; 
The fiend, whose lantern lights the mead, 

Were better mate than I ! 
And when I'm with my comrades met, 

Beneath the greenwood bough, 
What once we were we all forget, 

Nor think what we are now. 



CANTO HI.] EOKEBY. 

Chorus. 

Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair, 
And Greta woods are gi >en, 
And you may gather garlands there 
Would grace a summer queen." 

When Edmund ceased his simple song, 
Was silence on the sullen throng, 
Till wak'd some ruder mate their glee 
With note of coarser minstrelsy. 
But, far apart, in dark divan, 
Denzil and Bertram many a plan, 
Of import foul and fierce, designed, 
While still on Bertram's grasping mind 
The wealth of murder' d Mortham hung ; 
Though half he fear'd his daring tongue. 
When it should give his wishes birth, 
Might raise a spectre from the earth ! 



At length his wondrous tale he told : 
When, scornful, smil'd his comrade hold; 
For, train'd in licence of a court, 
Religion's self was Denzil's sport : 
Then judge in what contempt he held 
The visionary tales of eld ! 
His awe for Bertram scarce repress' d 
The unbeliever's sneering jest. 
" 'Twere hard," he said, " for sage or seer 
To spell the subject of your fear ; 
Nor do I boast the art renown' d, 
Vision and omen to expound, 
Yet, faith if I must needs afford 
To spectre watching treasur'd hoard, 
As ban-dog keeps his master's roof, 
Bidding the plund'rer stand aloof, 
This doubt remains thy goblin gaunt 
Hath chosen ill his ghostly haunt ; 
For why his jjuard on Mortham hold, 
When Rokeby castle hath the gold 
Thy patron won on Indian soil, 
By stealth, by piracy, and spoil ?" 



4S7 



488 BOKEBY. [CANTO in. 



At this he paue.'d for angry shame 

Lower'd on the brow of RisingLa,rn. 

He blush'd to think, that he should seem 

Assertor of an a,iry dream, 

And gave his wrath anothe- tl-eme. 

" Denzil," he says, " thoug'u .wly laid, 

Wrong not the mem'ry of the dead ; 

For, while he liv'd, at Mortham's look 

Thy very soul, Guy Denzil, shook ! 

And when he tax'd thy breach of word 

To yon fair rose of Allenford, 

I saw thee crouch like chasten'd hound, 

Whose back the huntsman's lash hath founa. 

Nor dare to call his foreign wealtii 

The spoil of piracy or stealth ; 

He won it bravely with his brand, 

When Spain wag'd warfare with our land. 

Mark, too I brook no idle jeer, 

Nor couple Bertram's name with fear ; 

Mine is but half the demon's lot, 

For I believe, but tremble not, 

Enough of this. Say, why this hoard 

Thou deem'st at Rokeby castle stor'd; 

Or think'st that Mortham would bestow 

His treasure with his faction's foe ?" 



Soon quench'd was Denzil's ill-tim'd mirth ; 

Rather he would have seen the earth 

Give to ten thousand spectres birth, 

Than venture to awake to flame 

The deadly wrath of Risingham. 

Subroiss he answer' d, " Mortham's mind, 

Thou know'st, to joy was ill inclin'd. 

In youth, 'tis said, a gallant free, 

A lusty reveller was he ; 

But since return'd from over sea, 

A sullen and a silent mood 

Hath numb'd the current of his blood. 

Hence he refus'd each kindly call 

To Rokeby's hospitable hall, 



CANTO IT!.} KOKEBT. 

And our stout knight, at dawn of morn 

Who lov'd to hear the bugle-horn, 

Nor less, when eve his oaks embrown' d, 

To see the ruddy cup go round, 

Took urubrage that a friend so near 

Refus'd to share his chase and cheer ; 

Thus did the kindred barons jar, 

Ere they divided in the war. 

Yet, trust me, friend, Matilda fair 

Of Mortham's wealth is destin'd heir." 

XXIL 

" Destin'd to her ! to yon slight maid ! 
The prize my life had well nigh paid, 
When 'gainst Laroche, by Cayo's wave 
I fought, my patron s wealth to save ! 
Denzil., I knew him long, but ne'er 
Knew him that joyous cavalier, 
Whom youthful friends and early fame 
Call'd soul of gallantry a;rl game. 
A moody man, he sought our crew, 
Desp'rate and dark, whom no one knew ; 
And rose, as men with us must rise, 
By scorning life and all its ties. 
On each ad . nature rash he rov'd, 
As danger for itself he lov'd ; 
On his sad brow nor mirth nor wine 
Could e'er one wrinkled knot untwine ; 
111 was the omen if he smil'd, 
For 'twas in peril stern and wild ; 
But when he laugh' d, each luckless mate 
Might hold our fortune desperate. 
Foremost he fought in ev'ry broil, 
Then scornful turu'd him from the spoil; 
Nay, often strove to bar the way 
Between his comrades and their prey ; 
Preaching, ev'n then, to such as we, 
Hot with our dear-bought victory, 
Of mercy and humanity. 

XXIII. 

" I lov'd him -well His fearless part, 
His gallant leading, won my heart. 
x2 



489 



490 



ICANTO TO. 



And after each victorious firjht, 
'Twas I that wrangl'd for his right, 
Redeein'd his portion of tiie prey 
That greedier mates had torn away : 
In field and storm thrice sav'd his life, 
And once amid our comrades' strife. . 
Yes, I have lov d thee ! Well hath prov'd 
My toil, my danger, how I lov'd ! 
Yet will I mourn no more thy late, 
Ingrate in life, in death instate. 
Rise if thou canst !" he look'd around, 
And sternly stamp'd upon the ground 
" Kise, with thy hearing proud and high, 
Ev'n as this moru it met mine eve, 
And give me, if thou darst, the lie P* 
He paus'd then, calm and passion-freed, 
Bade Denzil with his tale proceed. 

XXIV. 

" Bertram, to thee I need not tell, 

What thou hast cause to wot so well, 

How Superstition's nets were twin'd 

Around the Lord of Mortham's mind : 

But since he drove thee from his tower, 

A maid he found in Greta 's bower, 

Whose speech, like David s harp, had swav, 

To charm his evil fiend away. 

I know not if her features mov'd 

Remembrance of the wife he lov'd ; 

But he would gaze upon her eye, 

Till his mood soften a to a sigh. 

He, whom no living mortal sought 

To question of his secret thought. 

Now ev'ry thought and care comes?' d 

To his fair niece's faithful breast ; 

Nor was there aught of rich and rare, 

In earth, in ocean, or in air, 

But it must deck Matilda s hair. 

Her love still bound him unto iife ; 

But then awoke the civil strife, 

And menials b<ir, by his commands, 

Three coffers, wnii tneu- iron bauus, 



CANTO III.] ROKEBY. 491 

From Mortham's van It. ?t midnight deep, 
To her lone bower in Rokeby-Keep, 
Pond'rous with gold and plate of pride 
His gift, if lie iii battle died." 



" Then Denzil, as I guess, lays train, 
The.-e iron-banded chests to gain ; 
Else, wherefore should he hover here. 
Where many a peril waits him near, 
For all his feats of war and peace, 
For plunder'd boors, and harts of grease ? 
Since through the hamlets as he far'd, 
What hearth has Guy's marauding spar'd, 
Or where the chase that hath not rung 
With Denzil's bow, at midnight strung?'' 
" I hold my wont my rangers go, . 
Ev'n now to track a milk-white doe. 
By llokeby-hall she takes her lair, 
In Greta wood she harbours fair, 
And when my huntsman marks her way, 
What think'st thou, Bertram, of the pray ? 
Were Rokeby's daughter in our power, 
We rate her ransom at her dower." 



" 'Tis well ! there's vengeance in the thought, 

Matilda is by Wilfrid sought; 

And hot-brain'd Redmond, too, 'tis saiJ, 

Pays lover s homage to the maid. 

Bertram she scorn d If met by chance, 

She turn'd from me her shudd'iiug ghuce, 

Like a nice dame, that will not brook 

On what she hates and loathes to look ; 

She told to Mortham she could ne'er 

Behold me without secret four, 

Foreboding evil : She may rue 

To find her prophecy fall true ! 

The war has weeded Rokeby's train, 

Few foll'wers in his halls remain ; 

If thy scheme miss, then, brief aud bold, 

We are enow to storm the hold ; 



492 ROKEBY. 

Bear off the plunder, and the dame. 
And leave the castle all in tiame." 



[CANTO nt 



XXVII. 

" Still art thou Valour's vent'rous son ! 

Yet ponder tirst the risk to run : 

The menials of the castle, true, 

And stubborn to their charge, though few ; 

The wall to scale the moat to cross 

The wicket-grate the inner fosse" 

" Fool ! if we tflench for toys like these, 

On what fair guerdon cau we seize ? 

Our hardiest venture, to explore 

Some wretched peasant's fenceless door, 

And the best prize we bear away, 

The earnings of his sordid day." 

" A while thy hasty taunt forbear : 

In sight uf road more sure and fair, 

Thou wouldst not choose, in blindfold wrath, 

Or wantonness, a desp'rate path ? 

List then ; for vantage or assault, 

From gilded vane to dungeon vault, 

Each pass of Rokeby-house I know : 

There is one postern, dark, and low, 

That issues at a secret spot, 

By most neglected or forgot. 

Now, could a spial of our train 

On fair pretext admittance gain, 

That sally-port might be unbarr'd : 

Then, vain were battlement and ward !" 



" Now speak' st thou well : to me the same, 

If force or art shall urge the game ; 

Indiff'rent, if like fox I wind, 

Or spring like tiger on the hind. 

But, hark ! our merry men so gay 

Troll forth another roundelay." 



" A weary lot ?s thine, fair maid, 
A weary lot is thine ! 



CANTO HI.] 



ROK.EBT. 493 



To pull the thorn thy brow to braid, 
And press the rue hit T ije ! 

A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien, 
A feather of the blue, 

A doublet of the Lincoln green, . 
No more of me you knew, 

My love ! 

No more of me you knew. 

" This morn is merry June, I trow, 

The rose is budding fain ; 
But she shall bloom in winter snow, 

Ere we two meet again." 
He turn'd his charger as he spake. 

Upon the river shore, 
He gave his bridle-reins a shake, 

Said, " Adieu for evermore, 

My love ! 
And adieu for evermore." 



" What youth 5s this, your band among, 
The best for minstrelsy and song ? 
In his wild no'es seem aptly met 
A strain of pleasure and regret." 
" Edmond of Winston is his name ; 
The hamlet sounded with the fame 
Of early hopes his childhood gave, 
Now center'd all in Brignall cave ! 
I watch him well his wayward course 
Shows oft a tincture of remorse. 
Some early love-shaft graz'd his heart, 
And oft the scar will ache and smart. 
Yet is he useful ; of the rest, 
By fits, the darling and the jest, 
His harp, his story, and his lay, 
Oft aid the idle hours away : 
When unemploy'd, each fiery mate 
Is ripe for mutinous debate. 
He tuned his strings e'en now again 
He wakes them, with a blither strain. 



494 ROKEBT. [CANTO IE. 



EO.Sil. 

ALI.F.N-A-IJit.Jt. 

Allen-a-Dale has no fagot for binning, 
Allen-a-Dale has no furrow for turning, 
Allen-a-Dale has no fleece for the spinning, 
Yet Allen-a-Dale has red gold for the \vinning. 
Come, read me my riddle ! come, hearken my tale ! 
And tell me the craft of bold Allen-a-Dale. 

The Baron of Ravensworth prances in pride, 
And he views his domains upon Arkindale side. 
The mere for his net, and the land for his game, 
The chase for the wild, and the park for the tame ; 
Yet the fish of the .Jake, and the deer of the vale, 
Are less free to Lord Dacre than Allen-a-Dale I 

Allen-a-Dale was ne'er belted a knight, 

Though his spur be as sharp, and his blade be as bright; 

Allen-a-Dale is no baron or lord, 

Yet twenty tall yeomen will draw at his word ; 

And the best of our nobles his bonnet will vail, 

\Vho at Rere-cross* on Stanmore meets Allen-a-Dale. 

Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come ; 
The mother, she ask'd of his household and home : 
" Though the castle of Richmond stand fair on the hill, 
My hall," quoth bold Allen, "shows gallanter still ; 
"f is the blue vault of heav'n, with its crescent so pale, 
And with all its blight spangles !" said Allen-a-Dale. 

The father was steel, and the mother was stone ; 
They lifted the latch, and they bade him be gone ; 
Hut loud, on the mo>vow, their wail and their cry : 
He had laugh 'd on the lass with his bonny black eye, 
And she fled to the forest to hear a love-tale, 
And the youth it was told by was Allea-a-Dale ! 

XXXI. 

" Thou see'st that, whether sad or gay, 
Love mingles ever in his lay. 

* This !s a fragment of an old cross, with its pediment, sur- 
rounded by an Intrencbmenti upnr. the very summit of the waste 
ridge of tnaumoi e, uear a. small Louie of entertainment called the 
Spinal. 



CANTO IV.] ROKEBT. 

But when his boyish wayward fit 
Is o'er, he hath address and wit ; 

! 'tis a brain of fire, can ape 
Each dialect, each various shape." 

" Nay, then, to aid thy project, Guy 
Soft ! who comes here ? ' " My trusty spy. 
Speak, Hamlin ! hast thou lodged our deer ?" 
" I have but two fair stags are near. 

1 watch' d her, as she slowly stray'd 
From Eglistone up Thorsgill glade; 
But Wilfrid Wycliffe sought her side, 
And then young Redmond, in his pride, 
Shot down to meet them on their way : 
Much, as it seem'd, was theirs to say : 
There's time to pitch both toil and net, 
Before their path be homeward set." 

A hurried and a \vhisper' d speech 
Did Bertram's will to Denzii teach ; 
Who, turning to the robber band, 
Bade four, the bravest, take the brand. 



495 



CANTO FOURTH. 

i. 

WHEN Denmark's raven soar'd on high, 
Triumphant through Northumbrian sky,* 
Till, hov'ring near, her fatal croak 
Bade Reged's Britons dread the yoke, 
And the broad shadow of her wing 
Blacken'd each cataract and spring, 
Where Tees in tumult leaves his source, 
Thund'ring o'er Caldron and High- Force ; 
Beneath the shade the Northmen came, 
Fix'd on each vale a Runic name, 

About the ye^r of God 866, the Dane*, niirter their celebrated 
lexers Itieua. (more pi.-iierly Agnar) and H.il.ba, song, it is said, 
of the still inure celebrated rl-jin.v.- I,"dbvog, inv;i;le<l Northumber- 
land, bringing with them the m igic.il stan.lard, so often .Mention- 
ed ii pory7 called R-:. rt",* Ka.mfan. from us b arm- the 
fisrure ot a raveii. They rennwml and extended their incursions, 
and b ean to colonize, eguai-taiog a kind of capital at York, from 
wliicli they spread tlieir couqueiU aud uicuruon* lu every direc- 
tion. 



496 



ECANTO nr 



Rear'd high their altars' rugged stone, 
And gave their Gods the land they won. 
Then, Balder, one bleak garth was thine, 
And one sweet brooklet's silver line, 
And Woden's Croft did title gain 
From the stern Father of the Slain ; 
But to the Monarch of the Mace, 
That held in fight the foremost place, 
To Odin's son, and Siria's spouse, 
Near Stratforth high they paid their vows, 
Remember'd Thor's victorious fame, 
And gave the dell the Thund'rer's name. 

B. 

Yet Scald or Kemper err'd, I ween, 
Who gave that soft and quiet scene, 
With all its varied light and shade, 
And every little sunny glade, 
And the blithe brook that strolls along 
Its pebbled bed with summer song, 
To the grim God of blood and scar, 
The grisly King of Northern War. 
O, better were its banks assign'd 
To spirits of a gentler kind ! 
For where the thicket-groups recede, 
And the rath primrose decks the mead, 
The velvet grass seems carpet meet 
For the light fairies' lively feet. 
Yon tufted knoll, with daisies strewn 
Might make proud Oberon a throne, 
While, hidden in the thicket nigh, 
Puck should brood o'er his frolic sly; 
And where profuse the wood-vetch clings 
Round ash and elm, in verdant rings, 
Its pale and arure-pencill'd flower 
Should canopy Titania's bower. 



Here rise no cliffs the vale to shada ; 
But, skirting ev'ry sunny glade, 
In fair variety of green 
The woodland lends its silvan screen. 



CA>TO IV.l BOKEBT. 

Hoary, yet haughty, frowns the oak, 
Its boughs hy weight of age? broke ; 
And tow'rs erect, in sable >pire, 
The pine-tree scatli'd by lightning-fire ; 
The drooping ash and birch, between, 
Hang their fair tresses o'er the green, 
And all beneath, at random grow 
Each coppice dwarf of varied show, 
Or, round the stems profusely twin'd, 
Fling summer odours on the wind. 
Such varied group Urbino's hand 
Round Him of Tarsus nobly plann'd, 
What time he bade proud Athens own 
On Mars's Mount the God Unknown ! 
Then grey Philosophy stood nigh, 
Though bent by age, in spirit high : 
There rose the scar-seam'd vet'ran's spear, 
There Grecian Beauty bent to hear, 
While Childhood at her foot was plac'd 
Or clung delighted to her waist. 

IV. 

" And rest we here," Matilda said, 
And sate her in the varying shade. 
Chance-met, we well may steal an hour, 
To friendship due from fortune's power. 
Thou, Wilfrid, ever kind, must lend 
Thy counsel to thy sister-friend ; 
And, Redmond, thou, at my behest, 
No farther urge thy desp'rate 'quest. 
For to my care a charge is, left, 
Dang'rous to one of aid bereft, 
Well nigh an orphan, and alone. 
Captive her sire, her house o'erthrown." 
Wilfrid, with wonted kindness grac'd, 
Beside her on the turf she plac'd ; 
Then paus'd, with downcast look and eye, 
Nor bade youiif Redmond seat him nigh, 
Her conscious diffidence he saw, 
Drew backward as in modest awe. 
And sat a little space remov'd, 
Unmark'd to gaze on her he lov'd. 



497 



498 ROKEBr. [CANTO IV. 

V. 

Wreath'd in its dark-brown rings, her hair 

Half hid Matilda's forehead fair. 

Half hid and half reveal'd to view 

Her full dark eye of hazel hue. 

The rose, with faint and feeble streak, 

So slightly ting'd the maiden's cheek, 

That you had said her hue was pale ; 

But if she fac'd the summer gale, 

Or spoke, or sung, or quicker mov'd, 

Or heard the praise of those she lov'd, 

Or when of int'rest was express'd 

Aught that wak'd feeling in her breast, 

The mantling blood in ready play 

Rivall'd the blush of rising day. 

There was a soft and pensive grace 

A cast of thought upon her face, 

That suited well the forehead high, 

The eyelash dark, and downcast eye; 

The mild expression spoke a mind 

]n duty firm, compos' d, resign'd: 

Tis that which Roman art has giv'o, 

To mark their maiden Queen of Heav'i 

In hours of sport, that mood gave way 

To Fancy's light and frolic play ; 

And when the dance, or tale, or song, 

In harmless mirth sped time along, 

Full oft her doting sire would call 

His Maud the merriest of them alL 

But days of war, and civil crime, 

Allow'd but ill such festal time, 

And her soft pensiveness of brow 

Had deepen'd into sadness now. 

In Marston field her father ta'en, 

Her friends dispers'd, brave Mortham slain, 

While ev'ry ill her soul foretold, 

From Oswald's thirst of pow'r and gold, 

And boding thoughts that she must part, 

With a soft vision of her heart, 

All lower'd around the lovely maid, 

To darken her dejection's shade. 



CANTO IV.] ROKKBY. 499 

VI. 

Who has not heard -while Erin yet 
Strove 'gainst the Saxon's iron liit> 
Who has not heard how brave O'Neale 
In English blood imbrued his steel, 
Against St George's cross bla/.'d high 
The banners of his Tanistry, 
To fiery Essex gave the foil, 
And reign'd a prince on Ulster's soil? 
But chief arose his victor pride, 
When that brave Marshal fought and died,* 
And Avon-Duff to ocean bore 
His billows red with Saxon gore. 
'Twos first in that disastrous tight, 
Rokeby and Mortham prov'd their might. 
There had they fall'ii among the rest, 
But pity touch' d a chieftain's breast ; 
The Tanist be to great O'Neale ;+ 
He check'd his foll'wers' bloody zeal, 
To quarter took the kinsman bold, 
And bore them to his mountain-hold, 
Gave them each silvan joy to know, 
Slieve-Donard's cliffs and woods could show, 
Shar'd with them Erin's festal cheer, 
Show'd them the chase of wolf and deer, 
AlW, when a fitting time was come, 
Safe and unransom'd sent them home, 
Loaded with many a gift, to prove 
A gen'rous foe's respect and love. 

The chief victory which Tyrone obtained orer the English wa 
in a battle fo<%ht near Black water, while he besieged a fort 
garrisoned by the Kn^'lish, hicli commanded the passes into hit 
country. He is said to have entertained a personal animosity 
against the kidght-marnhal, Sir Henry Bagmil, whom he ac- 
cused of detaining Ihe ietters which he sent to Queen Klizabeth, 
explan, rory of his conduct. :md ntferina terms of submission. The 
river, ca'h-d t>y the English, Ulxck water, is termed in Irish, Avoii- 
Du(f. which has the same signification. 

+ When iin Irish chief died, it iwu not the eldest sin who suc- 
ceeded to his authority, but a captain dented for the o. casioo ; 
after whom the eldest son tru general! r noininateil the Tanist, 
that is, the successor to the c iptain. the Tam-t. therefore, of 
O'Neale, was tl.e heir appirtnt of his power. This kind of suc- 
cession appean also to have regulated, in >vrv remote tioies, the 
uccession to the crown of Scotland, ll would have been impru- 
dent, if not impossible, to have averted a minor's right of succes- 
iion in those stormy days, when the principles of policy were the 
mere impulses of seinsnuesa and vioieuce. 



500 ROKEBT. [CANTO IV 



Years speed away. On Rokeby's head 
Some touch of early snow was shed ; 
Calm he enjoy' d, by Greta's wave, 
The peace which Janies the Peaceful gave, 
While Mortham, far beyond the main, 
Wag'd his fierce wars on Indian Spain. 
It chanc'd upon a wintry night, 
That whiten d Stanmore's stormy height, 
The chase was o'er, the stag was kill'd, 
In Rokeby hall the cups were fill'd, 
And by the huge stone chimney sate 
The Knight in hospitable state. 
Moonless the sky, the hour was late, 
When a loud summons shook the gate, 
And sore for entrance and for aid 
A voice of foreign accent pray'd. 
The porter answer'd to the call, 
And instant rush'd into the hall 
A Man, whose aspect and attire 
Startled vhe circle by the fire. 



His plaited hair in elf-locks spread* 

Around his bare and matted head ; 

On leg and thigh, close stretch'd and trim, 

His vesture show'd the sinewy limb ; 

In saffron dyed, a linen vest 

Was frequent folded round his breast ; 

A mantle long and loose he wore, 

Shaggy with ice, and staiu'd with gore, 

He clasp'd a burden to his heart, 

And, resting on a knotted dart, 

The snow from hair and beard he shook, 

And round him gaz'd with wilder' d look. 

* It would seem, that the ancient Irish dress was (the bonnet 
excepted) very s-imilar to that of the Scottish Highlanders. The 
want of a covering on the head waj supplied by the mode of plait- 
ing and arranging their hair, which was c:illed the glibbe .These 
glibbes, according to Spenser, were fit marks for a thief, since, 
when he wished to disaruise himseif, lie could either cut it off en- 
tirely, or so pull it over ius eyes ua to render it very hard to 
recognise him. 



CA*TO IV.] KOKEBT. 501 

Then up the hall, -with staggVIng pace 
He hasten' d by the blaze to place. 
Half lifeiess from the bitter air, 
His load, a Boy of beauty rare. 
To Rokeby, next, he louted low, 
Then stood erect his tale to show, 
With wild majestic port and tone, 
Like envoy of some barb'rous throne.* 
"Sir Richard, Lord of Rokeby, hear ! 
Turlough O'Neale salutes thee dear; 

He graces thee, and to thy care 

Young Redmond gives, his grandson fair. 

He bids thee breed him as thy son, 

For Turlough's days of joy are done; 

And other lords have seiz'd his land, 

And faint and feeble is his hand ; 

And all the glory of Tyrone 

Is like a morning vapour flown. 

To bind the duty on thy soul, 

He bids thee think on Erin's bowl ! 

If any wrong the young O'Neale, 

He bids thee think of Erin's steel. 

To Mortham first this charge was due, 

But, in his absence, honours you. 

Js'ow is my master's message by, 

And Fen-aught will contented die." 



His look grew fix'd, his cheek grew pale, 
He sunk when he had told his tale ; 
For, hid beneath his mantle wide, 
A mortal wound was in his side. 
Vain was all aid in terror wild, 
And sorrow, scream'd the orphan Child. 
Poor Ferranght rais'd his wistful eyes, 
Aad faintly strove to soothe his cries ; 
All reckless of his dying pain, 
He blest, and blest him o'er again ! 
And kiss'd the little hands outspread, 
And kiss'd and cross'd the infant head. 

The Irish chiefs, in their in'ercourne with the English, and 
with -.vh other, were wont lu a, ft time the lauguage and style of 
iuJepuudeut royalty. 



502 L.OKEBY. [CANTO IV. 

And, in his native tonsrr.e and phrase, 
Pray'd to each sahit to witch his days ; 
Then all his strength together drew, 
The charge to Rokeby to renew. 
When half was falter d from his breast, 
And half by dying signs expressed, 
" Bless thee, O'Neale !" he faintly said, 
And thus the faithful spirit fled. 

x. 

'Twas long ere soothing might prevail 
Upon the Child to end the tale : 
And then he said, that from his home 
His grandsire had been forc'd to roam, 
Which had not been if Redmond's hand 
Had but had strength to draw the brand, 
The brand of Lenaugh More the Red, 
That hung beside the grey wolf's head. 
'Twas from his broken phrase descried, 
His foster-father was his guide,* 
Who, in his charge, from Ulster bore 
Letters, and gifts a goodly store; 
But ruffians met them in the wood, 
Ferraught in battle boldly stood, 
Till wounded and o'erpower'd at length, 
And stripp'd of all, his failing strength 
Just hore him here and then the child 
Renew'd again his moaning wild. 

XI. 

The tear, down childhood's cheek that flows. 
Is like the dew-drop on the rose ; 
When next the summer breeze comes by, 
And waves the bush, the flower is dry. 
Won by their care, the orphan Child 
Soon on his new protector smil'd, 
With dimpled cheek and eye so fair, 
Through his thick curls of flaxen hair, 
But blithest laugh'd that cheek and eye, 
When Rokeby's little maid was nigh ; 

* There was no tie more sacr<M auionR the Irish than that ivliich 
connected the f'>ste>-faiher, as well as the nurse herself, with the 
Child they brought up. 



CAJJTO IV.] ROKEBT. 

"IVas his, irith elder brother's priiie, 
Matilda's tottering steps to guide ; 
His native lays in Iiish tongue, 
To soothe her infant ear he sung, 
And primrose twin'd with daisy fair, 
To form a chaplet for her hair. 
By lawn, hy grove, by brooklet's stratid, 
The children still were hand and hand, 
And good Sir Richard smiling eyed 
The early knot so kindly tied. 

XII. 

But summer months bring wilding shoott 
From bud to bloom, from bloom to fruit ; 
And years draw on our human span, 
From child to boy, from boy to man ; 
And soon in Rokeby's wood is seen 
A gallant boy in hunter's green. 
He loves to wake the felon boar, 
In his dark haunt on Greta's shore, 
And loves, against the deer so dun, 
To draw the shaft, or lift the gun : 
Yet more he loves, in autumn prime, 
The hazel's spreading boughs to climb, 
And down its cluster'd stores to hail, 
Where young Matilda holds her veil. 
And she, whose veil receives the shower, 
Is alter' d too, and knows her power ; 
Assumes a monitress's pride, 
Her Redmond's dang'rous sports to chide; 
Yet listens still to hear him tell 
How the grim wild-boar fought and feU, 
How at his fall the bugle rung. 
Till rock and greenwood answer flung; 
Then blesses her, that man can find 
A pastime of such savage kind ! 

XIII. 

But Redmond knew to weave his tale 
So well with praise of wood and dale, 
And knew so well each point to trace, 
Gives living int rest to the chas>e, 
And knew so well o'er all to throw 
His spirit's wild romantic tflow. 



503 



04 ROKKHY. [CANTO TV. 

That, while she blam'd, and wbiie she fear'd, 

She lov'd each vent'rous tale sne hoitrd. 

Oft, too, when drifted snow and rain 

To bow'r and hall their steps restrain. 

Together they explor'd the page 

Of glowing bard or gifted sage ; 

Oft p!ac'd the ev'ning fire beside, 

The u.iustrel art alternate tried, 

While gladsome harp and lively lay 

Bade winter night flit fast away : 

Thus from their childhood blending still 

Their sport, their study, and their skill, 

An union of the soul they prove, 

But must not think that it was love. 

But though they dar'd not, envious Fame 

Soon dar a to give that union name ; 

And when so often, side by side, 

From year to year the pair she ey'd, 

She sometimes blam'd the good old Knight, 

As dull of ear and dim of sight, 

Sometime his purpose would declare, 

That young O'Neale should wed his heir. 



The suit of Wilfrid rent disguise 
And bandage from the lovers' eyes ; 
'Twas plain that Oswald, for his son, 
Had Rokeby's favour well nigh won. 
Now must they meet with change of clieer. 
With mutual looks of shame and fear; 
Now must Matilda stray apart, 
To school her disobedient heart : 
And Redmond now alone must rue 
The love he never can subdue. 
But factions rose, and Rokeby swarc, 
No rebel's son should wed his heir; 
And Redmond, mirtur'd while a child 
In many a bard's traditions wild, 
Now sought the lonely wood or stream 
To cherish there a happier dream, 
Of maiden won by sword or laiiCO, 
As in the regions of romance ; 



CANTO IV.] ROKKBT. 505 

And count the heroes of his line, 
Great Nial of the Pledges Nine,* 
Shane- Dymasf wild, and Geraldine,t 
And Connan-more, who vow'd his race 
For ever to the fight and chase, 
And curs'd him, of his lineage born, 
Should sheathe the sword to reap the corn, 
Or leave the mountain and the wold, 
To shroud himself in castled hold. 
From such examples hope he drew. 
And brightea'd as the trumpet blew. 

XV. 

If brides were won by heart and blade, 
Redmond had both his cause to aid, 
And all beside of nurture rare 
That might beseem a baron's heir. 
TurloughO'Neale, in Erin's strife, 
On Rokeby's Lord bestow'd his life, 
And well did Rokeby's gen'rous Knight 
Young Redmond for the deed requite. 
Nor was his lib'ral care and cost 
Upon the gallant stripling lost : 
Seek the North Riding broad and wide, 
Like Redmond none could steed bestride. 
From Tynemouth search to Cumberland, 
Like Redmond none could wield a brand ; 
And then, of humour kind and free, 
And bearing him to each degree 
With frank and fearless courtesy, 
There never youth was form'd to steal 
Upon the heart like brave O'Neale. 

XVI. 

Sir Richard lov'd him as his son ; 
And when the days of peace were done, 

* Neal Naighvallaeh. or Of the Nine Hostages, is said to have 
been mmitrch <f ail Ireland, during the end of the fourth or be- 
giiminu of the fifth century. 

+ Thi* Shane-Ovmas, or John the Wanton, held the title an.l 
power of O'Ne ile in the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign, against 
whom he rebelled repeatedly. 

" The O'Neals were closely allied with this powerful and war- 
like f ami Iv Thi Cm-More curl any "fliis posterity who; !mld 
le..rn the 'Kns\M> lansuu-e, sow corn, or build houses, so as to uv 
Tit the English to settle in tlieir country. 



506 BOKEBT. [CANTO IV 

And to the gales of war he gave 
The banner of his sires to wave, 
Redmond, d'stinguish'd by his care, 
He chose thuc honoured flag to bear, 
And nam'J his page, the next degree 
In that old time to chivalry.* 
In five pitch' d fields he well maintain'd 
The honour'd place his worth obtain' d, 
And high was Redmond's youthful name 
Blaz'd in the roll of martial fame. 
Had fortune sniil'd on Marston fight, 
The eve had seen him dubb d a knight ; 
Twice, 'mid the battle's doubtful strife, 
Of Rokeby's Lord he saved the life, 
But when he saw him pris'ner made, 
He kiss'd and then resign'd his blade, 
And yielded him an easy prey 
To those who led the Knight away ; 
Resolv'd Matilda's sire should prove, 
In prison, as in fight, his love. 



When lovers meet in adverse hour. 

"Fis like a sun-glimpse through a shower, 

A watery ray, an instant seen, 

The darkly closing clouds between. 

As Redmond on the turf reclin'd, 

The past and present fill'd his mind : 

" It was not thus," Affection said, 

" I dream'd of my return, dear maid ! 

Not thus, when from thy trembling hand, 

I took the banner and the brand, 

When round me as the bugles blew, 

Their blades three hundred warriors drew, 

And, while the standard I unrolFd, 

Clash'd their bright arms, with clamour bold* 



* Oririnally, the order of chivalry embraced three ranks: I. 
The Paye ; 2. The Squire : 3. The KiiiglH. But, before the reign 
of Charles I., the custom of serving as a squire had fallen into dis- 
use, though the or.ler of the pace was still, to a certain degree, ill 
observance. This state of servitude was so far from inferring any 
thing degrading, that it-was considered as the regular school foi 
acquiriug every quality necessary tar future distiuctioji. 



CANTO IV.] KOKEBV. 

Where is that banner now? its pride 
Lies 'whelm' d in Ouse's sullen tide ! 
Where now these -warriors? in their gore, 
They cumber Marstou's dismal moor ; 
And what avails a useless brand, 
Held by a captive's shackled hand, 
That only would his life retain, 
To aid thy sire to bear his chain!" 
Thus Redmond to himself apart ; 
Nor lighter was his rival's heart ; 
For Wilfrid, while his gen'rous soul 
Disdain'd to profit by control, 
By many a sign could mark too plain, 
Save with such aid, his hopes were vain. 
But now Matilda's accents stole 
On the dark visions of their soul, 
And bade their mournful musing fly, 
Like mLit before the zephyr's sigh. 



" I need not to my friends recall, 
How Mortham shunn'd my father's hall ; 
A man of silence and of woe, 
Yet ever anxious to bestow 
On my poor self whate'er could prove 
A kinsman's confidence and love. 
My feeble aid could sometimes chase 
The clouds of sorrow for a space : 
But oft'uer, fix'd beyond my pow'r, 
I mark'd his deep despondence low'r. 
One dismal cause, by all unguess'd, 
His fearful confidence confess'd ; 
And twice it was my hap to see 
Examples of that agony. 
Which for a season can o'erstrain 
And wreck the structure of the brain. 
He had the awful pow'r to know 
Th' approaching mental overthrow. 
And while his mind had courage ye* 
To struggle with the dreadful lit. ' 
The victim writh'd against its throes, 
Like wretch beneath a murd'rer's blows. 



507 



508 ROKEBT. [CANTO IV. 

This malady, I well could mark, 
Sprung from some direful cause and dark 
But still he kept its source conceal' d, 
Till arming for the civil Held ; 
Then in my charge he hade me hold 
A treasure huge of gems and gold, 
With this disjointed dismal scroll, 
That tells the secret of his soul. 
In such wild words as oft betray 
A mind by anguish forc'd astray." 

XIX. 

MORTHAM'S HISTORY. 
" Matilda! thou hast seen me start, 
As if a dagger thrill'd my heart, 
\Vhe;i it has happ'd some casual phrase 
Wak'd mem'ry of my former days. 
Believe that few can backward cast 
Their thoughts with pleasure on the past ; 
But I ! my youth v;as rash and vain, 
And blood and rage my manhood stain, 
And my grey hairs must now descend 
To my cold grave without a friend ! 
E'en thou, Matilda, wilt disown 
Thy kinsman, when his guilt is known. 
And must I lift the bloody veil, 
That hides my dark and fatal tale ! 
I must I will Pale phantom, cease ! 
Leave me one little hour in peace ! 
Thus haunted, think'st thou I have skill, 
Thine own commission to fulfil;' 
Or, while thou point'st with gesture fierce, 
Thy blighted cheek, thy bloody hearse, 
How can I paint thee as thou wert, 
&o t.ir in face, so warm in heart ! 

XX. 

" Yes, she was fair ! Matilda, thou 
Hast a soft sadness on thy brow ; 
But hers was like the sunny glow, 
That laughs on earth and ail behiw ! 
We wedded secret there was need 
DifFring in country and in creed ; 



CANTO IV.] BOKEBT. 

And when to Mortham's tow'r she came, 
We mention' d not her race and name, 
Until thy sire, -who fought afar, 
Should turn him home from foreign war, 
On whose kind influence we relied 
To soothe her father s ire and pride. 
Few months we liv'd retir'd, unknown, 
To all but one dear friend alone, 
One darling friend I spare his shame, 
I will not write the villain's name ! 
My trespasses I might forget, 
And sue in vengeance for the debt 
Due by a brother worm to me, 
Ungrateful to God's clemency, 
That spar'd me penitential time, 
Nor cut me off amid my crime. 

XXI. 

" A kindly smile to all she lent, 
But on her husband's friend 'twas bent 
So kind, that from its harmless glee, 
The wretch misconstrued villany. 
Repuls'd in his presumptuous love, 
A 'vengeful snare the traitor wove. 
Alone we sat the flask had now'd, 
My blood with heat unwonted glow'd, 
When through the alley'd walk we spied 
With hurried step my Edith glide, 
Cow'ring beneath the verdant screen, 
As one unwilling to be seen. 
Words cannot paint the fiendish smile, 
That curl'd the traitor's cheek the while 
Fiercely I question'd of the cause; 
He made a cold and artful pause, 
Then pray'd it might not chafe my^mood- 
' There w'as a gallant in the wood P 
We had been shooting at the deer ; 
My cross-bow (evil chance !) was near : 
Fhat ready weapon of my wrath 
t caught, and, hasting up the path, 
Jn the yew grove my wife I found, 
A stranger's arms her neck had bound ; 



609 



510 ROKEBT. [CANTO IT. 

I mark'd his heart the bow I drew 
I loos' d the shaft 'twas more than true 1 
I found my Edith's dying charms 
Lock'd in her raurder'd brother's arms ! 
He came in secret to inquire 
Her state, and reconcile her sire. 

XXIT. 

" All fled my rage the villain first, 
Whose craft my jealousy had nurs'd; 
He sought in far and foreign clime 
To 'scape the vengeance of his crime. 
The manner of the slaughter done 
Was known to few, my guilt to none; 
Some tale my faithful steward fram'd 
I know not what of shaft mis-aim'd ; 
And ev'n from those the act who knew, 
He hid the hand from which it flew. 
Untouch'd by human laws I stood, 
But GOD had heard the cry of blood I 
There is a blank upon my mind, 
A fearful vision ill-delin'd, 
Of raving till my flesh was torn, 
Of dungeon-bolts and fetters worn 
And when I wak'd to woe more mild, 
And question'd of my infant child 
(Have I not written, thai she bare 
A boy, like summer morning fair?) 
With looks confus'd my menials tell, 
That armed men in Mortham dell 
Beset the nurse's evening way, 
And bore her, with her charge away. 
My faithless friend, and none but he, 
Could profit by this villany ; 
Him then, I sought, with purpose dread 
Of treble vengeance on his head ! 
He 'scap'd me but my bosom's wound 
Some faint relief from wand'ring found ; 
And over distant land and sea, 
I bore my load of misery. 

XXIII. 

" 'Twas then that fate my footsteps led 
Among a daring crew and diead, 



CA3TOIV.] 



ROKEBT. 



With whom full oft my hated life, 

I ventur'd in such desp'rate strife, 

That e'en my fierce associates saw 

INlv frantic deeds with doubt and awe. 

Much then I learo'd, and much can show, 

Of human guilt and human woe, 

Yet ne'er have, in my wand' rings, known 

A wretch, whose sorrows match'd my own ! 

It chanc'd, that after battle fray, 

Upon the bloody field we lay ; 

The yellow moon her lustre shed 

Upon the wounded and the dead, 

While, sense in toil and wassail drown'd, 

My ruffian comrades slept around, 

There came a voice its silver tone 

Was soft, Matilda, as thine own 

' Ah, wretch P it said, * \\hat mak'st thou new, 

While unaveng'd my bloody bier, 

While unprotected lives mine heir, 

Without a father's name and care ?* 



" I heard obey'd and homeward drew; 
The fiercest of our desp'rate crew 
I brought at time of need to aid 
My purpos'd vengeance, long delay'd. 
But, humble be my thanks to Heav'n, ^ 
That better hopes and thoughts has giv'n, 
And by our Lord's dear pray'r has taught, 
Mercy by mercy must be bought ! 
I et me in misery rejoice 
I've seen his face I've heard his voice 
I claim'd of him my only child 
As he disown'd the theft, he smil'd! 
That very calm and callous look, 
That fiendish sneer his visage took, 
As when he said, in scornful mood, 
' There is a gallant in the wood P 
I did not slay him as he stood- 
All praise be to my Makr r'^'n ' 
Long sulTrance is one path to heav'n," 



512 ROKEBT. 

XXV. 

Thus far the woeful tale "was heard, 
When something in the thicket stirr'd. 
Up Redmond sprung ; the villain Guy, 
(For he it was that lurk'd so nigh,) 
Drew back he durst not cross his steel 
A moment's space with brave O'Neale, 
For all the treasur'd gold that rests 
In Mortham's iron-banded chests. 
Redmond resum'd his seat he said, 
Some roe was rustling in the shade. 
Bertram laugh'd grimly, when he saw 
His tim'rous comrade backward draw. 
" A trusty mate art thou, to fear 
A single arm, and aid so near ! 
Yet have I seen thee mark a deer. 
Give me my carabine I'll show 
An art that thou wilt gladly know, 
How thou may'.st safely quell a foe." 

XXVI. 

On hands and knees fierce Bertram drew 

The spreading birch and Imels through, 

Till he had Redmond full in view ; 

The gun he levell'd Mark like this 

Was Bertram never known to miss, 

When fair oppos'd to aim there sate 

An object of his mortal hate. 

That day young Redmond's death had seen, 

But twice Matilda came between 

The carabine and Redmond's breast, 

Just ere the spring his finger press'd. 

A deadly oath the ruffian swore, 

But yet his fell design forbore : 

" It ne'er,'' he mutter d, " shall be said, 

That thus I scath'd thee, haughty maid!" 

Then mov'd to seek more open aim, 

When to his side Guy Denzil came : 

" Bertram, forbear ! we are undone 

For ever, if thou fire the gun. 

By all the fiends, an aimed i'orce 

Descends the dell, of foot and horse ! 



[CANTO IV- 



CANTO IV.] ROKEBT. 613 

We perish if they hear a shot 
Madman ! we have a s-fer plot 
Nay, friend, be nil d, and bear thee back ! 
Behold, down yonder hollow track, 
The warlike leader of the band 
Comes, with his broadsword in his hand." 
Bertram look'd up ; he saw, he knew 
That Denzil's fears had counsell'd true, 
Then curs'd his fortune and withdrew, 
Threaded the woodlands unde.scried, 
And gain'd the cave on Greta side. 

XXVII. 

They whom dark Bertram, in his wrath, 
Doom'd to captivity or death, 
Their thoughts to one sad subject lent, 
Saw not nor heard the ambushment. 
Heedless and unconcern'd they sate, 
While on the very verge of tate ; 
Heedless and unconcern'd reraain'd. 
When Heaven the murd'rer's arm restrain'd ; 
As ships drift darkling down the tide, 
Nor see the shelves o'er which they glide. 
Uninterrupted thus they heard 
What Mortham's closing tale declar'd, 
He spoke of wealth as of a load, 
By Fortune on a wretch bestow'd, 
In bitter mockery of hate, 
His cureless woes to aggravate ; 
But yet he pray'd Matilda's care 
Might save that treasure for his heir- 
His Edith's son for still he rav'd 
As confident his life was sav'd; 
In frequent vision, he averr'd, 
He saw his face, his voice he heard, 
Then argued calm had murder been, 
The blood, the corpses, had been seen ; 
Some had pretended too, to mark 
On Winderuiere a stranger bark, 
Whose crew, with jealous care, yet mild, 
Guarded a female and a child. 
While these faint proofs he toid anJ piess'd 
Hope seem'd to kiudle in his breast ; 

T 'I 



514 ROKEBT. CCAJJTO iv. 

Though inconsistent, vague, and Tain, 
It warp'd his judgment, aud his brain. 

XXVIII. 

These, solemn words his story close : 
" Heav'n witness for me, that I chose 
My part in this sad civil fight, 
Mov d by no cause but England's right. 
My country's groans have bid me draw 
My sword for gospel and for law ; 
These righted, I fling arms aside, 
And seek my son through Europe wide. 
My wealth, on which a kinsman nigh, 
Already casts a grasping eye, 
With thee njay unsuspected lie. 
When of my death Matilda hears, 
Let her retain her trust three years ; 
If none, from me, the treasure claim, 
Perish'd is Mortham's race and name. 
Then let it leave her gen'rous hand, 
And flow in Loi.'iity o'er the land; 
Soften the wounded pris'ner's lot, 
Rebuild the peasant's ruiu'd cot ; 
So spoils, acquir'd by tight afar, 
Shall mitigate domestic war." 

XXIX. 

The gen'rous youths, who well had known, 

Of Mortham's mind the pow'rful tone, 

To that high mind, by sorrow swerv'd. 

Gave sympathy his woes deserv'd ; 

But Wilfrid chief, who saw reveal'd, 

Why Mortham wish'd his life conceal'd, 

In secret, doubtless, to pursue 

The schemes his wilder' d fancy drew. 

Thoughtful he heard Matilda tell, 

That she would share her father's cell, 

His partner of captivity, 

Where'er his prison house should be ; 

Yet griev'd to think that Rokeby-hall, 

Dismantled, and forsook by all, 

Open to rapine and to stealth, 

Had now no safe-guard for the wealth. 






CANTO IV.] ROKEBT. 515 

Intrusted by her kinsman kind, 

And for such noble use design'd. 

" Was Barnard Castle then her choice," 

Wilfrid inquir'd with hasty voice, 

" Since there the victor's laws ordain, 

Her father must a space remain?" 

A flutter'd hope his accents shook, 

A flutter'd joy was in his look. 

Matilda hasten 'd to reply, 

For anger fiash'd in Redmond's eye ; 

" Duty," she said, with gentle grace, 

" Kind Wilfrid, has no choice of place ; 

Else had I for my sire assign'd 

Prison less galling to his mind, 

Than that his wild-wood haunts which se_^ 

And hears the murmur of the Tees, 

Recalling thus, with ev'ry glance, 

What captive's sorrow can enhance ; 

But where those woes are highest, there 

Needs Rokeby most his daughter's care." 

XXX. 

He felt the kindly check she gave, 

And stood abash'd then answer' d grave : 

" I sought thy purpose, noble maid, 

Thy doubts to clear, thy schemes to aid. 

I have beneath mine own command, 

So wills my sire, a gallant band, 

And well could send some horseman wight, 

To bear the treasure forth by night, 

And so bestow it as you deem 

In these ill days may safest seem." 

" Thanks, gentle Wilfrid, thanks," she said : 

" O, be it not one day delay'd ! 

And, more thy sister-friend to aid, 

Be thou thyself content to hold, 

In thine own keeping, Mortham's gold, 

Safest with thee." While thus she spoke, 

Ann'd soldiers on their converse broke, 

The same of whose approach afraid, 

The ruffians left their amlni^ <Je. 

Their chief to Wilfrid bended low, 

Then look'd around as for a foe. 



516 



[CANTO V. 



" What mean'st them, friend," young Wyclifie said 

" Why thus in arms beset the glade ?" 

" That would I gladly learn from you, 

For up my squadron as I drew, 

To exercise our martial game 

Upon the moor of Barnmghame, 

A stranger told you were waylaid, 

Surrounded, and to death betray' d. 

He had a leader's voice, I ween, 

A falcon glance, a warrior's mien. 

He bade me bring you instant aid ; 

I doubted not, and 1 obey'd." 

XXXI. 

Wilfrid chang'd colour, and amaz'd, 
Turn'd short, and on the speaker gaz'd ; 
While Redmond ev'ry thicket round 
Track'd em iiest as a questing hound, 
And Denzil's carabine he found ; 
Sure evidence, by which they knew 
The wair.lng was as kind as true. 
Wisest it seem'd, with cautious speed 
To leave the dell. It was agreed, 
That Redmond, with Matilda fair, 
And fitting guard, should home repair ; 
At nightfall Wilfrid should attend, 
With a strong band, his sister-friend, 
To bear with her from Rokeby's bowers 
To Barnard Castle's lofty towers, 
Secret anu Aafe the banded chests. 
In which the wealth of Mortham rests. 
This hasty purpose tix'd, they part, 
Each with a griev'd and anxious heart. 



CANTO FIFTH, 
i. 

THE sultry summer day is done, 
The western hills have hid the sun, 
But mountain peak and village spire, 
Retain reflection of his fire. 




Old Barnard's towers are purple sUll, 

lull: 

ml an.d .hicSli, the tower of Bowes 

:'!eel upon the iinvil .5| - 



CAJTTO V.] ROKEBT. 

Old Barnard's tow'rs are purple still, 
To those that gaze from Toller-hill ; 
Distant and high, the tow'r of Bowes 
Like steel upon the anvil glows ; 
And Stanmore's ridge, behind that lay, 
Rich with the spoils of parting day, 
In crimson and in gold array'd, 
Streaks yet a while the closing shade, 
Then slow resigns to dark'ning heaven 
The tints which brighter hours had given. 
Thus aged men, full loath and slow, 
The vanities of life forego, 
And couut their youthful follies o'er, 
Till Meui'ry lends her light no more, 



The eve, that slow on upland fades, 
Has darker cloo'd on Rokeby's glades, 
AVhere sunk within their banks profound, 
Her guardian streams to meeting wound. 
The stately oaks, whose sombre frown. 
Of noontide made a twilight brown, 
Impervious now to fainter light, 
Of twilight make an early night. 
Hoarse into middle air arose 
The vespers of the roosting crows, 
And with congenial murmurs seem 
To wake the Genii of the stream ; 
Far louder clamoar'd Greta's tide, 
And Tees in deeper voice replied, 
.A r:d titful wak'd the evening wind, 
Fitful in sighs its breath resign'd. 
Wilfrid, vhose fancy-nurtur'd soul 
Felt in tl - scene a soft control, 
With lighter footstep press'd the grouho 
And often paus'd to look around ; 
And though his path was to his love, 
Could not but linger in the grove, 
To drink the thrillii:g int'roat dear, 
Of awful pleasure check'd by fear. 
Such inconsistent moods have we, 
E'en when our passions strike the key. 



517 



518 ROKEBY. [CANTO V. 



Now, through the wood's dark mazes past, 
The op'ning lawn he reach' d at last, 
Where, silver' d by the moonlight ray, 
The ancient Hall before him lay. 
Those martial terrors long were fled, 
That frown'd of old around its head : 
The battlements, the turrets grey, 
Seem'd half abandon'd to decay ; 
On barbican and keep of stone 
Stern Time the foeman's work had done. 
Where banners the invader brav'd, 
The harebell now and wallflower wav'd : 
In the rude guard-room, where of yore 
Their weary hours the warders wore, 
Now, while the cheerful fagots blaze, 
On the pav'd floor the spindle plays ; 
The flanking guns dismounted lie, 
The moat is ruinous and dry, 
The grim portcullis gone and all 
The fortress turn'd to peaceful Hall. 

IV. 

But yet precautions, lately ta'en, 

Show'd danger's day reviv'd again ; 

The court-yard wall show'd marks of care, 

The fall'n defences to repair, 

Lending such strength as might withstand 

The insult of marauding band. 

The beams once more were taught to bear 

The trembling drawbridge into air, 

And not, till question'd o'er and o'er, 

For Wilfrid oped the jealous door ; 

And when he enter' d, bolt and bar 

Resum'd their place with sullen jar; 

Then, as he cross'd the vaulted porch, 

The old grey porter rais'd his torch, 

And view'd him o'er, from foot to head, 

Ere to the hall his steps he led. 

That huge old hall, of knightly state, 

Dismantled seem'd and desolate. 

The moon through transom-shafts of stone. 

Which cross'd the lattic'd oriels, shone, 



CANTO V.] ROKEBT. 519 

And by the mournful light sho gave, 
The Ciothic vault seem d funeral cave. 
Pennon and banner wav'd no mow 
O'er beams of stag and tusks of boar, 
Nor glimmering arms were marshaU'd seen^ 
To glance those silvan spoils between. 
Those arms, those ensigus, borne away, 
Accomplish d Rokeby's brave array, 
But all were lost on Marston's day ! 
Yet here and there the moonbeams fall 
Where armour yet adorns the wall, 
Cumbrous of size, uncouth to sight, 
And useless iu the modern fight ! 
Like vet' rail relic of the wars, 
Known only by neglected scars. 

v. 

Matilda soon to greet him came, 
And bade them light the evening flame ; 
Said, all for parting was prepar'd, 
And tarried but for Wilfrid's guard. 
But then, reluctant to unfold 
His father's avarice of gold, 
He hinted, that lest jealous eye 
Should on their precious burden pry, 
He judg d it best the castle gate 
To enter when the night wore late ; 
And therefore he had left command 
With those he trusted of his band, 
That they should be at Rokeby met, 
What time the midnight- watch was set. 
Now Redmond came, whose anxious care 
Till then was busied to prepare 
All needful, meetly to arrange 
The mansion for its mournful change. 
\V ith Wilfrid's care and kindness pieas'd, 
His cold unready hand he seiz'd, 
And press' d it, till his kindly ftrain. 
The gentle youth return 1 d atrain. 
Seein'd as between them this was said, 
"A while let jealousy be dead ; 
And let our contest be, v/iiose care 
Shill best assist this helpiesi fair." 



520 ROUEBY. [CANTO V. 

There was no speech the truce to bind, 

It was a compact of the mind. 

A gen'rous thought, at once impress'd 

On either rival's gen'rous breast. 

Matilda well the secret took, 

From sudden change of mien and look; 

And for not small had been her fear 

Of jealous ire and danger near 

Felt, ev'n in her dejected state, 

A joy beyond the reach of fate. 

They clos'd beside the chimney's blaze, 

And talk'd, and hop'd for happier days, 

And lent their spirits' rising glow 

A while to gild impending woe; 

High privilege of youthful time, 

Worth all the pleasures of our prime t 

The bick'ring fagot sparkl'd bright, 

And gave the scene of love to sight, 

Bade Wilfrid's cheek more lively glow, 

Play'd on Matilda's neck of snow, 

Her nut-brown curls and forehead high, 

And laugh'd in Redmond's azure eye. 

Two lovers by the maiden sate, 

Without a glance of jealous hate ; 

The maid her lovers sat between, 

With open brow and equal mien; 

It is a sight but rarely spied, 

Thanks to man's wrath and woman's pride. 

Tit. 

While thus in peaceful guise they sate, 
A knock alarm' d the outer gate, 
And ere the tardy porter stirr'd, 
The tinkling of a harp was heard. 
A manly voice of mellow swell, 
Bore burden to the music well. 

SONG. 

" Summer eve is gone and past, 
Summer dew is failing labt ; , 

I have wander'd all the day, 
Do not bid me farther stray 1 



CANTO VJ EOKEBT. 2 1 

Gentle hearts, of gentie kin, 
Take the waiuTriiig harper in !** 

But the stern porter answer gave, 

With " Get thee hence, thou strolling knave! 

The king wants soldiers ; war, I trow, 

Were meeter trade for such as thou." 

At this unkind reproof, again 

Answer' d the ready Minstrel's strain. 

SONG resumed. 

" Bid not me, in battle-field, 
Buckler lift, or broadsword wield ! 
All my strength and all my art 
Is to touch the gentle heart, 
With the wizard notes thut ring 
From the peaceful minstrel-string." 

The porter, all unmov'd, replied, 
Depart in peace, with Heav'n to guide ; 
If longer by the gate thou dwell, 
Trust me, thou bbait not part so welL" 



With somewhat of appealing look, 
The harper's part young Wilfrid took : 
" These notes so wild and ready thrill, 
They show no vulgar iniust el's skill ; 
Hard were his task to seek a home 
More distant, since the night is come; 
And for his faith I (hire engage 
Your Harpool s blood i> sour d by age; 
His gate, once readily dispiay'd, 
To greet the friend, the poor to aid, 
Now e'en to me, though known of old, 
Did but reluctantly unfold." 
" O blame not, as poor Harpool's crime, 
An evil of this evil time. 
He deems dependent on his care, 
The safety ol his patron's heir, 
Nor judges meet to ope t'ue tow'r 
To guest unknown at parting hour, 



522 ROKEBY. [CANTO V. 

Urging his duty to excess 

Of rough and stubborn faithfulness. 

For this poor harper, I would fain 

He may relax : Hark to his strain !** - 

IX. 

SONG resumed. 

" I have song of war for knight, 
Lay of love tor lady bright, 
Fairy tale to lull the heir, 
Goblin grim the maids to scare. 
Dark the night, and long till day, 
Do not bid me farther stray ! 

" Rokeby's lords of martial fame, 
I can count them name by name; 
Legends of their line there be, 
Known to few, but known to me ; 
If vou honour Rokeby's kin, 
Take the wand'ring harper in ! 

" Rokeby's lords had fair regard 
For the harp, and for the bard ; 
Baron's race throve never well, 
Where the curse of minstrel fell. 
If you love that noble kin, 
Take the weary harper in !" 



"Hark ! Harpool parleys there is 
Said Redmond, " that the gate will ope." 
" For all thy brag and boa ? t, I trow, 
Nought know'st thou of the Felon Sow," 
Quoth Harpool, " nor how Greta-side 
She roam'd, and Rokeby forest wide ; 
Nor how Ralph Rokeby gave the beast 
To Richmond's friars to make a, feast. 
Of Gilbert Griffinson the tale 
Goes, and of gallant Peter Dale, 
That well could strike with sword amain, 
And of the valiant son of Spain, 
Friar Middleton, and blithe Sir Ralrh; 
There were a jest to make us laugh ! 
If thou canst tell it in yon shade 
Thou'st won thy supper and thy bed." 



523 



CANTO V.] BOKEBY. 



Matilda smil'd; "Cold hope," said she, 
" From Harpool's love of minstrelsy ! 
But, for this harper, may we dare, 
Redmond, to mend his couch and fare ?" 
" O, ask not me ! At minstrel-string 
My heart from infancy would spring ; 
Nor can I hear its simplest strain, 
But it brings Erin's dream again, 
\Vhen plac'd by Owen Lysagh's knee, 
(The Filea of O'Neale was he,* 
A blind and bearded man, whose eld 
Was sacred as a prophet's held,) 
I've seen a ring of nigged kerne, 
With aspect shaggy, wild aud stern, 
Enchanted by the master s lay, 
Linger around the livelong day, 
Shift from wild rage to wilder glee, 
To love, to grief, to ecstasy, 
And feel each varied change of soul 
Obedient to the bard's control. 
Ah, Clandeboy ! thy friendly floor 
BLeve-Donard's c^k shall light no more ;- 
Nor Owen's harp, beside the blaze, 
Tell maiden's love, or hero's praise ! 
The mantling brambles hide thy hearth, 
Centre of hospitable mirth ; 
All undistinguish'd in the glade, 
My sires' glad home is prostrate laid, 
Their vassals wander wide and far, 
Serve foreign lords in distant war, 
And now the stranger's sons enjoy 
The lovely woods of Clandeboy f 
He spoke, and proudly turn'd aside. 
The starting tear to dry and hide. 



* The Filea, nr Ollnmh R Dan, wai the proper bard, or, ai th 
name literally implies, po-t. Each chii ftain of distiuction had on9 
or more in his service, whose office was usually hereditary. 

Clanriebuy is a district of 'Jl-tcr, formerly possessed by th 
lept of the O'Xe*les, and Sliev&'Donard, a romantic mountain iu 
the same province. The elm was riiineJ after Tyrone's jjreal r 
leiiiou, and U.eir places of abaci,! laid desolate. 



524 



[CANTO V. 



Matilda's dark and soften 'd eye 

Was glist'niug ere O'Neale's was dry. 

Her hand upon his arm she laid, 

" It is the will of heav'n," she said. 

" And think' st thou, Redmond, I can part 

From this l.ov'd home with lightsome heart, 

Leaving to wild neglect whate'er 

Ev'n from my infancy was dear? 

For in this ?alm domestic hound 

Were all Matilda's pleasures found. 

That hearth, my sire was wont to grace, 

Full soon may be a stranger's place ; 

This hall, in which a child I play'd, 

Like thine, dear Redmond, lowly laid, 

The hramble and the thorn may braid ; 

Or, pass'd for aye from me and mine, 

It ne'er may shelter Rokeby's line. 

Yet is this consolation giv'n, 

My Redmond, 'tis the will of heav'n." 

Her ^ord, her action, and her phrase 

Were kindly as in early days ; 

For cold reserve had lost its pow'r, 

In sorrow's sympathetic hour. 

Young Redmond dar'd not trust his Toice 

But rather had it been his choice 

To share that melancholy hour, 

Than, arm'd with all a chieftain's pow'r, 

In full possession to enjoy 

Slieve-Donard wide, and Clandehoy. 



The blood left Wilfrid's ashen cheek ; 
Matilda sees, and hastes to speak. 
" Happy in friendship's ready aid. 
Let all my murmurs here be staid ! 
And Rokeby's Maiden will not part 
From Rokeby's hall with moody heart. 
This night at least, for Rokeby's fame, 
The hospitable hearth shall flame, 
And, ere its native heir retire, 
Find for the wand'rer rest and fire, 



CANTO V.] BOKEDT. 525 

While this poor harper, by the Ware, 

Recounts the tale of other days, 

Bid Harpool ope the door with speed, 

Admit him, and relieve each need. 

Meantime, kind Wycliffe, wilt thou try 

Thy minstrel skill? Nay, no reply 

And look not sad ! I guess thy thought, 

Thy verse with laurels would be bought; 

And poor Matilda, landless now, 

Has not a garland for thy brow. 

True, I must leave sweet Rokeby's glades, 

Nor wander more in Greta shades ; 

But sure, no rigid jailer, thou 

Wilt a short prison- walk allow, 

Where sumn.er flow'rs grow wild at will, 

On Marwood-chase and Toller Hill ; 

Then holly green and lily gay 

Shall twine in guerdon of thy lay." 

The mournful youth, a space aside, 

To tune Matilda's harp applied ; 

And then a low sad descant rung, 

As prelude to the lay he sung. 



SONG. 

TH CYPRESS WHKATK. 
O, Lady, twine no wreath for me, 
Or twine it of the cypress-tree ! 
Too lively glow the lilies light, 
The varnish'd holly's all too bright, 
The May-flow'r and the eglantine 
May shade a brow less sad than mine ; 
But, Lady, weave no wreath for ine, 
Or weave it of the cypress-tree ! 

Let dimpl'd Mirth his temples twine 
With tendrils of the laughing vine; 
The manly oak, the pensive yew, 
To patriot and to sage be due ; 
The myrtle bough bids lovers live, 
But that Matilda will not give ; 
Then, Lady, twine no wreath lor me, 
Or twine it of the cypress-tree ! 



526 BOIJEBY. [CANTO V. 

Let merry England proudlr rear 
Her blended roses, bought "so dear; 
Let Albin bind her bonnet blua 
With heath and harebell dipp'd in dew; 
On favour' d Erin's crest be seen 
The flow'r she loves of em'rald green 
But, Lady, twine no wreath for me, 
Or twine it of the cypress-tree. 

Strike the wild harp, while maids prepare 
The ivy meet for minstrel's hair ; 
And, while his crown of laurel-leaves 
With bloody hand the victor weaves, 
Let the loud trump his triumph tell ; 
But when you hear the passing bell, 
Then, Lady, twine a wreath for me, 
And twine it of the cypress-tree. 

Yes ! twine tor me the cypress bough ; 
But, O Matilda, twine not now ! 
Stay till a few brief months are past, 
And I have look'd and lov'd my last! 
When villagers my shroud bestrew 
With panzies, rosemary, and rue, 
Then, Lady, weave a wreath for me, 
And weave it of the cypress- tree. 

XIV. 

O'Neale observ'd the starting tear, 
And spoke with kind and blithesome cheer 
" No, noble Wilfrid ! ere the day 
When mourns the land thy silent lay 
Shall many a wreath be freely wove * 
By hand of friendship and of love. 
I would not wish that rigid Pate 
Had doom'd thee to a captive s state, 
Whose hands are bound by honour's law, 
Who wears a sword he must not draw ; 
But were it so, in minstrel pride 
The land together would we ride, 
On prancing Steeds, like harpers old. 
Bound for the halls of barons bold, 
Each lover of the lyre we'd seok, 
From Michael's Mount to Skiddaw's Peak, 



CANTO V.I ROKEBT. 527 

Survey wild Albin's mountain strand, 
And roam green Erin's lovely land. 
While thou the gentler souls yhoultl move, 
With lay of pity auii ot love, 
And I, thy mate, in rougher straiu. 
Would sing of war and warriors slain. 
Old England's bards were vanquished then, 
And Scotland's vaunted Hawthornden, 
And, silenc'd on lernian shore, 
M'Curtin's harp should charm no more !"* 
In lively mood he spoke, to wile 
From Wilfrid's woe-worn cheek a smile. 



" But," said Matilda, " ere thy name, 

Good Redmond, gain its destin'd fame, 

Say, wilt thou kindly deign to call 

Thy brother-minstrel to the hall ? 

Bid all the household, too, attend, 

Each in his rank a humble friend ; 

I know their faithful hearts will grieve, 

When their poor Mistress takes her leave; 

So let the horn and beaker flow 

To mitigate their parting woe." 

The harper came ; in youth's first prime 

Himself ; in mode of olden time 

His garb was fashion'd, to express 

The ancient English minstrel's dress, 

A seemly gown of Kendal green, 

With gorget clos'd of silver sheen ; 

His harp in silken scarf was slung, 

And by his side an anlace hung. 

It seem'd some masquer's quaint array, 

For revel or for holiday. 

XVI. 

He made obeisance with a free 

Yet studied air of courtesy. 

Each look and .-u-.-ent, tram'd to please, 

Seem'd to affect a playful ease ; 

Vacfurtln, hereditary Ollanih of North Minister, and Wfl* 
to Oouough, Karl 01 Tliomnuil *aJ President of Minister. 



528 



ROKEBT. 



His face was of that doubtful kind, 
That wins the eye, but not the mind; 
Yet harsh it seem'd to deem amiss 
Of brow so young and smooth as this. 
His was the subtle look and sly, 
That, spying all, seems nought to spy : 
Round all the group his glances stole,' 
Unmark'd themselves, to mark the whole. 
Yet sunk beneath Matilda's look, 
Nor could the eye of Redmond brook. 
To the suspicious, or the old, 
Subtle and dangerous and bold 
Had seem'd this self-icvited guest; 
But young our lovers, and 'the rest, 
Wrapt in their sorrow and their fear 
At parting of their Mistress dear, 
Tear-blinded to the Castle-hall, 
Came as to bear her funeral pall. 



All that expression base was gone, 

When wak'd the guest his r,.iastrel tone ; 

It fled at inspiration's call. 

As erst the demon fled from Saul. 

More noble glance he cast around. 

More free-drawn breath insprr'd the sound, 

His pulse beat bolder and more high, 

In all the pride of minstrelsy ! 

Alas ! too soon that pride was o'er, 

Sunk with the lay that bade it soar ! 

His soul resurn'd, with habit's chain, 

Its vices wild and follies vain, 

And gave the talent, with him boni, 

To be a common curse and scorn. 

Such was the youth whom Rokeby's Maid, 

With condescending kindness, pray'd 

Here to renew the strain she lov'd, 

At distance heard and weii approv'd. 



CA.VTO V.} ROKF.BY. 529 

xvin. 

SONG* 
THE HIBF. 

I was a wild and wayward boy, 

My childhood scorn'cl each childish toy; 

Retir d from all, reserv'd and coy s 

To musing prone, 
I woo'd my solitary joy, 

My harp alone. 

My youth, with bold Ambition's mood, 
Despis'd the humble stream and wood, 
Where my poor father's cottage stood, 

To fame unknown ; 
What should my soaring views make good? 

My harp alone ! 

Love came with all his frantic fire, 
And wild romance of vain desire : 
The baron's daughter heard my lyre, 

And prais' d the tone; 
What could presumptuous hope inspire? 

My harp alone ! 

At manhood's touch the bubble burst, 
And manhood's pride the vision curst, 
And all that had my folly nurs'd 

Love's sway to own ; 
Yet spar'd the spell that lull'd me first, 

My harp alone ! 

Woe came with war, and want with woe ; 
And it was mine to undergo 
Each outrage of the rebel foe : 

Can aught atone 
My fields laid waste, my cot laid low ? 

My harp aloue ! 

Ambition's dreams I've seen depart, 
Have rued of penury the smart, 
Have felt of love the venom'd dart, 

When hope was ttowu ; 
Yet rests one solace to my heart, 

My harp alone ! 



530 ROK.EBT. [CANTO V. 

Then over mountain, moor, and hill, 
My faithful Harp, I'll bear thee still, 
And when this life of want auii 111 

Is well nigh gone, 
Thy strings mine elegy shall tlml], 

My Harp alone ! 

XIX. 

" A pleasing lay !" Matilda said ; 
But Harpool shook his old grey head, 
And took his baton and his torch, 
To seek his guard-room in the porch. 
Edmund observed with sudden change, 
Among the strings his fingers range, 
Until they wak'd a bolder glee 
Of military melody ; 
Then paus'd amid the martial sound, 
And look'd with well-feign'd fear around ; 
" None to this noble house belong," 
He said, " that would a Minstrel wrong, 
Whose fate has been, through good and ill, 
To love his Royal Master still ; 
And, with your honour'd leave, would fain 
Rejoice you with a loyal strain." 
Then, as assured by sign and look, 
The warlike tone again he took ; 
And Harpool stopp'd, and turn'd to hear 
A ditty of the Cavalier. 

xx. 

SONG. 

THE CAVALIER. 

While the dawn on the mountain was misty and grey, 
My true love has mounted his steed and away, 
Over hill, over valley, o'er dale, and o er down; 
Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for the 

Crown! 

He has doiTd the silk doublet the breast-plate to bear, 
He has placed the steel-cap o'er his long flowing hair, 
From his belt to his stirrup his broadsword hangs 

down, 
Heaven shield the brave Gallant that fights for the 

Crown! 



CANTO V.] 



531 



For the rights of fair England that broadsword he draws, 
Her King is his leader, her Church is his cause ; 
His 'watchword is honour, his pay is renown, 
GOD strike with the Gallant that strikes for the Crown. 

They may boast of their Fairfax, their Waller, and all 
The round headed rebels of Westminster Hall ; 
But tell these bold traitors of London's proud town, 
That the spears of the North have encircled the Crown. 

There's Derby and Cavendish, diead of their foes, 
There's Erin's high Ormond, and Scotland s Montrose ! 
Would you match the base Skippon, and Massey, and 

Brown, 
With the Barons of England, that fight for the Crown ! 

Now joy to the crest of the brave Cavalier ! 
Be his banner unconquer'd, resistless his spear, 
Till in peace and in triumph his toils he may drown, 
In a pledge to fair England, her Church, and her Crown, 

XXI. 

" Alas I" Matilda said, " that strain, 
Good harper, now is heard in vain ! 
The time has been, at such a sound, 
When Rokeby's vassals gather'd round, 
An hundred manly hearts would bound ; 
But now, the stirring verse we hear, 
Like trump in dying soldier's ear ! 
Listless and sad the notes we own, 
The pow'r to answer them is flown. 
Yet not without his meet applause 
Be he that sings the rightful cause, 
Ev'n when the crisis of its fate 
To human eye seems desperate. 
While Rokeby's Heir such pow'r retains, 
Let this slight guerdon pay thy pains : 
And, lend thy harp ; I fain would try, 
If my poor skill can aught supply, 
Ere yet I leave my fathers' hall, 
To mourn the cause in which we fall" 

XXII. 

The harper, with a downcast look, 
And trembling hand, her bounty took. 



532 



CCANTO V 



As yet, the conscious pride of art 
Had steel'd him in his treach'rous part ; 
A pow'rful spring, of force unguess'd. 
That hath each gentler mood suppress'd, 
And reign'd in many a human breast-, 
From his that plans the red campaign, 
To his that wastes the woodland reign. 
The failing wing, the blood-shot eye, 
The sportsman marks with apathy, 
Each feeling of his victim's ill 
Drown'd in his own successful skill. 
The vet'ran, too, who now no more 
Aspires to head the battle s roar, 
Loves still the triumph of his art, 
And traces on the pencill'd chart 
Some stern invader's destin'd way, 
Through blood and ruin to his prey; 
Patriots to death, and towns to flame 
He dooms, to raise another's name, 
And shares the guilt, though not the fame. 
What pays him for his span of time 
Spent in premeditated crime ? 
What against pity arms his heart? 
It is the conscious pride of art. 

XXIII. 

But principles in Edmund's mind 
Were baseless, vague, and undefin'd. 
His soul, like bark with rudder lost, 
On Passion's changeful tide was tost ; 
Nor Vice nor Virtue had the pow'r 
Beyond th' impression of the hour ; 
And, O ! when Passion rules, how rare 
The hours that fall to Virtue's share ! 
Yet now she rous'd her for the pride, 
That lack of sterner guilt supplied, 
Could scarce support him when arose 
The by that mourn'd Matilda's woes. 



THS FAKKWKI.L. 

The sound of Rokeby's woods I bear, 
They mingle with the socg : 



CANTO V.J ROKKBY. 

Dark Greta's voice is in mine car, 

I must not hear them long. 
From ev'ry lov'J and native haunt 

The native Heir must stray, 
And, like a ghost whom sunbeams daunt, 

Must part before the day. 

Soon from the halls my fathers rear'd, 

Their scutcheons may descend. 
A line so long belov'd ana fear'd 

May soon obscurely end. 
No longer here Matilda s tone 

Shall bid these echoes swell ; 
Yet shall thev hear her proudly own. 

The cause in which we fell. 

The Lady paus'd, and then again 
Resuui'd the lay in loftier strain. 

XXVI. 

Let our halls and tow'rs decay, 

Be cur name and line forgot, 
Lands and manors pafs away, 

We but share our Monarch's lot. 
If no more our annals show 

Battles won and banners taken, 
Still in death, defeat, and woe, 

Ours be loyalty unshaken ! 

Constant still in danger's hour, 

Princes own'd our lathers' aid ; 
Lands and honours, wealth and pow"r, 

Well their loyalty repaid. 
Perish wealth, and pow'r, and pride ! 

Mortal boons by mortals given 
But let Constancy abide, 

Constancy's the gift of Heaven. 

XXV. 

While thus Matilda's lay was heard, 
A thousand thoughts in Edmund stirr'd. 
In peasant life he might have known 
As fair a face, as sweet a tone ; 
But village notes could ne'er supply 
That rich and varied melody; 



533 



534 BOKEBT. 

And ne'er in cottasre-maid was seea 
The easy dignity oi' mien, 
Claiming respect, yet waving state, 
That marks the daughters of the groat, 
Yet not, perchance, had these alone 
His scheme of purpos'd guilt o'erthrown. 
But while her energy of mind 
Superior rose to griefs combin'd, 
Lending its kindling to her eye, 
Giving her form new majesty, 
To Edmund's thought Matilda seem'd 
The very object he had dream'd ; 
When, long ere guilt his soul had known, 
In Winston bow'rs he mus'd alone, 
Taxing his fancy to combine 
The face, the air, the voice divine, 
Of princess fair, by cruel fate 
Reft of her honours, pow'r, and state, 
Till to her rightful realm restor'd 
By destin'd hero's con^u'ring sword. 



" Such -was my vision !" Edmund thought ; 

" And have I, then, the ruin wrought 

Of such a maid, that fancy ne'er 

In fairest vision form'd her peer? 

Was it my hand that could unclose 

The postern to her ruthless foes ? 

Foes, lost to honour, law, and faith. 

Their kindest mercy suddeu death ! 

Have I done this ? I ! who have swore, 

That if the globe such angel bore, 

I would have trae'd its circle broad, 

To kiss the ground on which she trode ! 

And now O ! would that earth would rive. 

And close upon me while alive ! 

Is there no hope ? Is all then lost ? 

Bertram's already on his post ! 

Kv'n now, beside the Hall's arch'd door, 

I saw his shadow cross the floor ! 

He was to wait my signal strain 

A little respite thus we gain : 



[CANTO V. 



CAKTO V.] EOKEBT. 535 

By -what I heard the menials say, 

Young Wycliffe's troop are on their wav . 

Alarm precipitates the crime ! 

My harp must wear away the time." 

And then, in accents faint and low, 

He falter'd forth a tale of woe. 

XXVII. 
BALLAD. 

" And whither would you lead me, then ?" 

Quoth the Friar of orders grey ; 
And the Ruffians twain replied again, 

" By a dying woman to pray." 

" I see," he sa'd, " a lovely sight, 

A sight bodi little harm, 
A lady as a lily hright, 

With an infant on her arm." 

" Then do thine office, Friar grey, 

And see thou shrive her free ! 
Else shall the sprite, that parts to-night, 

Fling all its guilt on thee. 

" Let mass be said, and trentals read, 

When thou'rt to convent gone, 
And bid the bell of St Benedict 

Toll out its deepest tone." 

The shrift is done, the Friar is gone, 

Blindfolded as he came 
Next morning, all in Littlecot Hall 

Were weeping for their dame. 

Wild Darrell is an alter'd man, 

The village crones can tell ; 
He looks pale as clay, and strives to pray, 

If he hears the convent bell. 

If prince or peer cross Darrell's way, 

He'll beard him in his pride 
If he meet a Friar of orders grey, 

He droops and turns aside. 

XXVIII. 

" Harper ! methinks thy magic lays," 
Matilda said, " can goblins raise ! 



536 ROKEBT, [CANTO T. 

Well nigh my fancy can discern, 

Near the dark porch, a visage stern ; 

E'en now, in yonder shadowy nook, 

j S ee it i Redmond, Wilfrid, look ! 

A human form distinct and clear 

God, for thy mercy ! It draws near P' 

She saw too true. Stride after stride, 

The centre of that chamber wide 

Fierce Bertram gain'd ; then made a stand, 

And, proudly waving with his hand, 

Thunder'd " Be still, upon your lives ! 

He bleeds who speaks, he dies who strives." 

Behind their chief, the robber crew 

Forth from the darken' d portal drew, 

In silence save that echo dread 

Return'd their heavy measur'd tread. 

The lamp's uncertain lustre gave 

Their arms to gleam, their plumes to wave ; 

File after file in order pass, 

Like forms on Banquo s mystic glass. 

Then, halting at their leader's sign. 

At once they form'd and curv'd their line, 

Hemming within its crescent drear 

Their victims, like a herd of deer. 

Another sign, and to the aim 

Levell'd at once their muskets came, 

As waiting but their chieftain's word, 

To make their fatal volley heard. 



Back in a heap the menials drew ; 
Yet, ev'n in mortal terror, true, 
Their pale and startled group oppose 
Between Matilda and the foes. 
" O, haste thee, Wilfrid !" Redmond cried ; 
" Undo that wicket by thy side ! 
Bear hence Matilda- -gain the wood 
The pass may be a while made good 
Thy bj,nd, ere this, must sure be nigh 
O speak not dally not but fty !" 
While yet the crowd their motions hide, 
Through the low wicket door they glide. 



CAWTO V.} ROKEBY. 537 

Through vaulted passages they wind^ 
In Gothic intricacy twin'd ; 
. Wilfrid half led, and half he bore, 
Matilda to the postern-door, 
And safe beneath the forest tree, 
The Lady stands at liberty. 
The moonbeams, the fresh gale's caress, 
Renew 'd suspended consciousness ; 
" Where's Redmond ? * eagerly she cries : 
Thou answer'st not he dies ! he dieaj 
And thou hast left him, all bereft 
Of mortal aid with murd'rers left ! 
I know it well he would not yield 
His sword to man his doom is seal'd ! 
For my scorn'd life, which thou hast bought 
At price of his, I thank thee not." 

XXX. 

Th' unjust reproach, the angry look, 

The heart of Wilfrid could not brook, 

" Lady," he said, " my band so near, 

In safety thou mayst rest thee here. 

For Redmond's death thou shalt not mourn. 

If mine can buy his safe return." 

He tuvn'd away his heart throbb'd high, 

The tear was bursting from his eye ; 

The sense of her injustice press'd 

Upon the Maid's distracted breast, 

" S<-PV, Wilfrid, stay ! all aid is vain !" 

He heard, but tum'd him not again \ 

He reaches now the postern-door. 

Now enters and is seen no more. 

XXXI. 

With all the agony that e'er 
Was gender'd twixt suspense and fear, 
She watch'd the line of windows tail. 
Whose Gothic lattice lights the Hall, 
Distinguished by the paly red 
Tin- lamps in dim reflection shed, 
While ail beside in wan moonlight 
Each grvtt)d casement glimmer'd whiter 
Z'4 



538 ROKETtT. [CANTO V. 

No sight of Tiarm, no sound of ill, 
It is a deep and midnight stiii. 
Who look'd upon the scene, had gness'd 
All in the Castle -were at rest : 
When sudden on the windows shone 
A light'ning Hash, just seen and gone ! 
A shot is heard Again the flame 
Flash'd thick and fast a voile}' came ; 
Then echo'd wildly, from within, 
Of shout and scream the mingled din, 
And weapon-clash and madd'ning cry, 
Of those who kill, and those who die ! 
As fill'd the Hall with sulph'rous smoke, 
More red, more dark, the death-flash broke , 
And forms were on ihe lattice cast, 
That struck or struggled, as they past. 



What sounds upon the midnight wind 
Approach so rapidly behind ? 
It is, it is the tramp of steeds, 
Matilda hears the sound, she speeds, 
Seizes upon the leader's rein 
" 0, haste to aid, ere aid be vain ! 
Fly to the postern gain the Hall !" 
From saddle spring the troopers all ; 
Their gallant steeds, at liberty, 
Run wild along the moonlight lea. 
But, ere they burst upon the scene. 
Full stubborn had the conflict been. 
When Bertram mark'd Matilda's flight, 
It gave the signal for the fight ; 
And Rokeby's vet'rans, seam'd with scars 
Of Scotland s and of Erin s wars, 
Their momentary panic o'er, 
Stood to the arms which then they bore 
(For they were weapon'd, and prepar'd 
Their Mistress on her way to guard.) 
Then cheer'd them to the fight O'Neale, 
Then peal'd the shot, and clash'd the steel ; 
The war-smoke soon with sal-ie breath 
Darken d the scene of blood and death, 



CANTO V.] HOKEBT. 539 

While on the few defenders close 
The Bandits, with redoubled blows. 
And twice driv'n back, yet fierce and fell, 
Renew the charge with fruntic yell. 



Wilfrid has fall'n but o'er him stood 

Young Redmond, soil'd with smoke and blood, 

Cheering his mates with heart and hand 

Still to make good their desp'rate stand. 

" Up, comrades, up ! In Rokeby halls 

Ne'er be it said our courage falls. 

What ! faint ye for their savage cry, 

Or do the smoke- wreaths daunt your eye ? 

These rafters have return'd a shout 

As loud at Rokeby 's wassail rout, 

As thick a smoke these hearths have givea 

At Hallow-tide or Christmas-even.* 

Stand to it yet ! renew the fight, 

For Rokeby's and Matilda's right ! 

These slaves ! they dare not, hand to hand, 

Bide buffet from a true man's brand." 

Impetuous, active, fierce, and young, 

Upon th' advancing foes he sprung. 

W oe to the wretch at whom is bent 

His brandish'd falchion's sheer descent ! 

Backward they scatter'd as he came, 

Like wolves before the levin flame, 

When, mid their howling conclave driven, 

Hath glanc'd the thunderbolt of heaven. 

Bertram rush'd on but Harpool clasp'd, 

His knees, although in death he gasp d, 

His falling corpse before him flung, 

And round the trammell'd ruffian clung. 

Just then, the soldiers till'd the dome, 

And, shouting, charg'd the felons home 

So fiercely, that in panic dread, 

They broke, they yielded, fell, or fled, 

Bertram's stem voice they heed no more, 

Though heard above the battle's roar ; 

* Such an exhortation was. in similar circuniftancM, actttftfly 
given to tux follower* by a Wel.li cbiofiain. 



540 ROIiEBY. [CANTO V. 

While, trampling dovrn the dying man, 
He strove, with volley' d threat and ban, 
In scorn of odds, in fate's despite, 
To rally up the desp'rate fight. 

XXXIV. 

Soon murkier clouds the Hall enfold, 
Than e'er from battle-thunders roll'd ! 
So dense, the combatants scarce know 
To aim or to avoid the blow. 
Smoth'ring and blindfold grows the fight 
But soon shall dawn a dismal light ! , 
Mid cries, and clashing arms, there came 
The hollow sound of rushing flame ; 
New horrors on the tumult dire 
Arise the Castle is on fire ! 
Doubtful, if chance had cast the brand, 
Or frantic Bertram's desp'rate hand. 
Matilda saw for frequent broke 
From the dim casements gusts of smoke. 
Yon tow'r, which late so clear defiu'd 
On the fair hemisphere reclin'd. 
That, pencill'd on its azure pure, 
The eye could count each embrasure, 
Now, swath'd within the sweeping cloud, 
Seems giant-spectre in his shroud ; 
Till, from each loop-hole flashing light, 
A spout of tire shines ruddy bright, 
And, gathering to united glare, 
Streams high into the midnight air ; 
A dismal beacon, far and wide, 
That waken'd Greta's slumb'ring side. 
Soon all beneath, through gall'ry long 
And pendant arch, the fire flash'd strong, 
Snatching whatever could maintain, 
Raise, or extend, its furious reign ; 
Startling, with closer cause of dread, 
The females who the conflict fled, 
And now rush'd forth upon the plain, 
Filling the air with clamours vain. 

XXXV. 

But ceas'd not yet, the Hall within. 
The shriek, the shout, the carnage-din, 



CANTO V.] ROKEBY. 

Till bursting lattices give proof 

The flames have caught the rafter'd roof. 

What ! wait they till its beams amain 

Crash on the slayers and the slain.' 1 

Th' alarm is caught the drawbridge falls, 

The warriors hurry from the walls, 

But, by the conflagration's light, 

Upon the lawn renew the fight. 

Each straggling felon down was hew'd, 

Not one could gain the sheltering wood; 

But forth th' affrighted harper sprung, 

And to Matilda's robe he clung. 

Her shriek, entreaty, and command, 

Stopp'd the pursuer's lifted hand, 

Deuzil and he alive were ta'en ; 

The rest, save Bertram, all are slain. 

XXXVI. 

And where i: Bertram ? Soaring high, 
The gen'ral flame ascends the sky ; 
In gather' d group the soldiers gaze 
Upon the broad and roaring blaze, 
When, like infernal demon, sent 
Red from his penal element, 
To plague and to pollute the air, 
His face all gore, on fire his hair. 
Forth from the central mass of smoke 
The giant form of Bertram broke ! 
His brandish'd sword on high he rears, 
Then plung'd among opposing spears ; 
Round his left arm his mantle truss' d, 
Receiv'd and foil'd three lances' thrust. 
Nor these his headlong course withstood, 
Like reeds he snapp'd the tough ash- wood. 
In vain his foes around him clung ; 
With matchless force aside he flung 
Their boldest, as the bull, at bay, 
Tosses the ban-dogs from his way, 
Through forty foes his path he made. 
And safely gaiu'd the forest glade. 

xxxvii. 

Scarce was this final cottiict o'er. 
When from the postern Redmond bore 



541 



542 ROKEBT. 

Wilfrid, -who, as of life bereft. 
Had in the fatal Hall been left. 
Deserted there by all his train ; 
But Redmond saw, and turn'd again. 
Beneath an oak he laid him down, 
That in the blaze gleam'd ruddy brown, 
And then his mantle's clasp undid ; 
Matilda held his drooping head, 
Till, giv'n to breathe the freer air, 
Returning life repaid their care. 
He gaz'd on them with heavy sigh, 
" I could have wish'd ev'n thus to die !" 
No more he said for now with speed 
Each trooper had regain'd his steed ; 
The ready palfreys stood array'd, 
For Redmond and for Rokeby's Maid ; 
Two Wilfrid on his horse sustain, 
One leads his charger by the rein. 
But oft Matilda look'd behind, 
As up the Vale of Tees they wind, 
Where far the mansion of her sires 
Beacon'd the dale with midnight fires. 
Tn gloomy arch above them spread, 
The clouded heav'n lower'd bloody red : 
Beneath, in sombre light, the Hood 
Appear'd to roli in waves of blood. 
Then, one by one, was heard to fall 
The tow'r, the donjon-keep, the hall. 
Each rushing down with thunder sound, 
A space the conflagration drown'd ; 
Till, gathering strength, again it rose, 
Announc'd its triumph in its close, 
Shook wide its light the landscape o'er, 
Then sunk and Rokeby was no more ! 



[CANTO VI. 



CANTO SIXTH. 
I. 

THE summer sun, -whose early pow*r 
Was -wont to gild Matilda's bow'r, 



CANTO VI.] KOKEB*. 543 

And rouse her with his matin ray 
Her duteous orisons to pay, 
That morning sun has three times seen 
The flow'rs unfold on Rokeby green, 
But sees no more the slumbers fly 
From fair Matilda's hazel eye ; 
That morning sun has three times broke 
On Rokeby's glades of elm and oak, 
But, rising from their silvan screen, 
Marks no grey turrets' glance between. 
A shapeless mass lie keep and tow'r, 
That, hissing to the morning show'r, 
Can hut with smould'ring vapour pay 
The early smile of summer day. 
The peasant, to his labour bound, 
Pauses to view the blacken'd mound, 
Striving, amid the ruin'd space, 
Each well-remember'd spot to trace. 
That length of frail and fire-scorch 'd wall 
Once screen' d the hospitable hall ; 
When yondtr broken arch was whole, 
'Twas there was dealt the weekly dole ; 
And where yon tott'ring columns nod, 
The chapel sent the hymn to God. 
So flits the world's uncertain span ! 
Nor zeal for God, nor love for man, 
Gives mortal monuments a date 
Beyond the pow'r of Time and Fate. 
The tow'rs must share the builder's doom ; 
Ruin is theirs, and his a tomb : 
But better boon benignant Heav'n 
To Faith and Charity has giv'n, 
And bids the Christian hope sublime 
Transcend the bounds of Fate and Time. 



Now the third night of summer came, 
Since that which witness'd Rokeby's flame. 
On Brignall cliffs and Scargill brake 
The owlet's homilies awake, 
The bittern scream'd from rush and flag, 
The raven slumber'd on his crag, 



544 BOKEBT. [c 

Forth from his den the otter drew, 
Grayling and trout their tyrant knew, 
As between reed and sedge he peers, 
With fierce round snout and sharpeu'd ears, 
Or, prowling by the moonbeam cool, 
Watches the stream or swims the pool ; 
Perch'd on his wonted eyrie high, 
Sleep seal'd the tercelet's wearied eye, 
That all the day had watch'd so well 
The cushat dart across the dell. 
In dubious beam reflected shone 
That lofty cliff of pale grey stone, 
Beside whose base the secret cave 
To rapine late a refuge gave. 
The crag's wild crest of copse and yew 
On Greta's breast dark shadows threw ; 
Shadows that met or shunn'd the sight, 
With ev'ry change of fitful light ; 
As hope and fear alternate chase 
Our course through life's uncertain race. 



Gliding by crag and copsewood green, 
A solitary form was seen 
To trace with stealthy pace the wold. 
Like fox that seeks the midnight fold, 
And pauses oft, and cow'rs dismay'd, 
At ev'ry breath that stirs the shade. 
He passes now the ivy burfh, 
The owl has seen him, and is hush ; 
He passes now the dodder'd oak, 
He heard the startled raven croak ; 
Lower and lower he descends, 
Rustle the leaves, the brushwood bends ; 
The otter hears him tread the shore, 
And dives, and is beheld no more ; 
And by the cliff of pale grey stone 
The midnight wand'rer stands alone. 
Methinks. that by the moon we trace 
A well-remember'd form and face ! 
That stripling shape, that cheek so pale, 
Combine to tell a rueful tale, 



CANTO VI ] BOICEB7. 545 

Of pow'ra misns'd, of passion's force, 
Of guilt, of grief, and of remorse ! 
Tis Edmund's eye, at ev'ry sound 
That flings that guilty glance aroncd ; 
Tis Edmund's trembling haste divides 
The brushwood that the cavern hides ; 
And, when its narrow porch lies bare, 
'Tis Edmund's form that enters there. 



His flint and steel have sparkl'd bright, 
A lamp hath lent the cavern light 
Fearful and quick his eye surveys 
Each angle of the gloomy maze. 
Since last he left that stern abode. 
It seem'd as none its floor had trod ; 
Untouch'd appear'd the various spoil, 
The purchase of his comrades' toil ; 
Masks and disguises grim d with mud, 
Arms broken and defil'd with blood. 
And all the nameless tools that aid 
Night-felons in their lawless trade, 
Upon the gloomy walls were hung, 
Or lay in nooks obscurely flung. 
Still on the sordid board appear 
The relics of the noontide cheer : 
Flagons and empty flasks were there, 
And bench o'erthrown, and shatter'd chair; 
And all around the semblance show'd, 
As when the final revel glow'd, 
When the red sun was setting fast, 
And parting pledge Guy Denzil past. 
" To Rokeby treasure- vaults !" they quan'd, 
And shouted loud and wildly laugh'd, 
Pour'd madd'ning from the rocky door. 
And parted to return no more ! 
They found in Rokeby vaults their doom, 
A bloody death, a burning tomb ! 

r. 

There his own pennant dress he spies, 
DotFd to assume that quaint disguise ; 



546 ROKERY. [CANTO Vi 

And shudd'ring thought upon his glee, 

When prank'd in garb 01 minstrelsy. 

" O, be the fatal art accurst," 

He cried, "that mov'a my loily first; 

Till, brib'd by bandits' base applau.se, 

I burst through trod's and Nature's laws ! 

Three summer days are scantiy past 

Since I have trod this cavern last, 

A thoughtless wretch, and prompt to en 

But, O, as yet no murderer ! 

Ev'n now I list my comrades' cheer, 

That gen'ral laugh is in mine ear, 

Which rais'd my pulse, and steel'd my heart, 

As I rehears'd my treach'rous part 

And would that all since then could seem 

The phantom of a fever s dream ! 

But fatal Mem'ry notes too well 

The horrors of the dying yell, 

From my despairing mates that broke, 

When flash' d the fire and roll d the smoke ; 

When the avengers shouting came, 

And hemm'd us 'twixt the sword and flame ! 

My frantic flight,- the lifted brand, 

That angel's interposing hand ! 

If, for my life from slaughter freed, 

I yet could pay some grateful meed ! 

Perchance this object of my quest 

May aid" he turn'd, nor spoke the rest. 



Due northward from the rugged hearth, 

With paces five he metes the earth, 

Then toil'd with mattock to explore 

The entrails of the cavern floor, 

Nor paus'd till, deep beneath the ground, 

His search a small steel casket found. 

Just as he stoop'd to loose its hasp, 

His shoulder felt a giant grasp. 

He started, and look'd up aghast, 

Then shriek'd ! 'Twas Bertram held him fast 

" Fear not !" he said ; but who could hear 

That deep stern voice, and cease to fear? 



CANTO VI.} ROKEBY. 

" Fear not ! By heav'n he shakes as much 

As partridge in the falcon's clutch :" 

He rais'd him, and unloosed his hold, 

While from the op'ning casket roll'd 

A chain and reliquaire of gold. 

Bertram beheld it with surprise, 

Gaz'd on its fashion and device, 

Then, cheering Edmund as he could, 

Somewhat he smooth' d his nigged mood : 

For still the youth's half-lifted eye 

Quiver'd with terror's agony, 

And sidelong glanc'd, as to explore, 

In meditated flight, the door. 

" Sit," Bertram said, " from danger free : 

Thou canst not, and thou shalt not, flee. 

Chance brings me hither ; hill and plain 

I've sought for refuge-place in vain. 

And tell me now, thou aguish boy. 

What mak'st thou here? what means this toy? 

Denzil and thou, I mark'd, were ta'en ; 

What lucky chance unbound your chain? 

I deem'd, long since on Baliol's tow'r, 

Your heads were warp'd with sun and show'r. 

Tell me the whole and, mark ! nought e'er 

Chafes me like falsehood, or like fear." 

Gath'ring his courage to his aid, 

But trembling still, the youth obey'd. 

VII. 

" Denzil and I two nights pass'd o'er 

In fetters on the dungeon floor. 

A guest the third sad morrow brought ; 

Our hold dark Oswald Wycliffe sought, 

And ey'd my comrade long askanco, 

With fix'd and penetrating glance. 

' Guv Denzil art thou call d?' ' The same.' 

* At Court who serv'd wild Buckinghame ; 

Thence banish'd, won a keeper's place, 

So Villiers will'd, in Marwood-chase ; 

That lost I need not tell thee why 

Thou mad'st thy wit thy wants supply, 

Then fought for Rokeby : Have I guess'd 

My pris'ner right P ' At thy behest.' 



547 



548 ROKEBT. [CANTO VL 

He pans' d a -while, and then went on 

With low and confidential tone ; 

Me, as I judge, not then he saw, 

Close nestl'd in my couch of straw. 

1 List to me, Guy. Thou know'st the great 

Have frequent need of what they hate ; 

Hence, in their favour oft we see 

Unscrupl'd, useful men like thee. 

Were I dispos'd to bid thee live, 

What pledge of faith hast thou to give ?' 

VIII. 

" The ready Fiend, who never yet 
Hath fail'd to sharpen Denzil's wit, 
Prompted his lie ' His only child 
Should rest his pledge.' The Baron smil'd, 
And turn'd to me ' Thou art his son ?' 
I bow'd our fetters were undone. 
And we were led to hear apart 
A dreadful lesson of his art. 
Wilfrid, he said, his heir and son, 
Had fair Matilda's favour won; 
And long since had their union been, 
But for her father's bigot spleen, 
Whose brute and blindfold party-rage 
Would, force per force, her hand engage 
To a base kern of Irish earth, 
Unknown his lineage and his birth, 
Save that a dying ruffian bore 
The infant brat to Rokeby door. 
Gentle restraint, he said, would lead 
Old Rokeby to enlarge his creed ; 
But fair occasion he must find 
For such restraint well-meant and kind, 
The Knight being render'd to his charge 
But as a prisoner at large. 

IX. 

" He school'd us in a well-forg'd tale, 
Of scheme the Castle walls to scale, 
To which was leagued each Cavalier 
That dwells upon the Tyne and Wear ; 
That Rokeby, his parole forgot, 
Had dealt with us to aid the plot. 



CANTO VI.] ROKEBY. 549 

Such was the charge, which Denzil's zeal 

Of hate to Rokeby and O'Neale 

Proffer' d, as witness, to make good, 

Ev'n though the forfeit were their blood. 

I scrupled, until o'er and o'er 

His pris'ners' safety Wyclift'e swore ; 

And then alas ; what needs there more ? 

I knew I should not live to say 

The proffer I refus'd that day ; 

Asham'd to live, yet loath to die, 

I soil'd me with their infamy !" 

" Poor youth," said Bertram, "wav'ring still 

Unfit alike for good or ill ! 

But what fell next ?" " Soon as at large 

Was scroll'd and sign'd our fatal charge, 

There never yet, on tragic stage, 

Was seen so well a painted rage 

As Oswald's show'd ! With loud alarm 

He call'd his garrison to arm ; 

From tow'r to tow'r, from post to post, 

He hurried as if all were lost ; 

Consign'd to dungeon and to chain 

The good old knight and all his train ; 

Warn'd each suspected Cavalier, 

Within his limits, to appear 

To-morrow, at the hour of noon, 

In the high church of Eglistone." 

x. 

*' Of Eglistone ! Ev'n now I pass'd." 

Said Bertram, " as the night clos'd fast ; 

Torches and cressets glearn'd around, 

I heard the saw and hammer sound, 

And I could mark they toil'd to raise 

A scaffold, hung with sable baize, 

Which the grim headsman's scene display'd, 

Block, axe, and sawdust ready laid. 

Some evil deed will there be done, 

Unless Matilda wed his son ; 

She loves him not 'tis shrewdly guess'd 

That Redmond rules the damsel s breast. 

This is a turn of Oswald's skill ; 

But I may meet, and foil him still ! 



550 



[CANTO VI 



How cam'st thou to thy freedom ?" " There 

Lies mystery more dark and rare. 

In midst of Wycliffe's well feign' d rage, 

A scroll was offer' d by a page, 

Who told, a muffled horsemen late 

Had left it at the Castle gate. 

He broke the seal his cheek show'd change, 

Sudden, portentous, wild, and strange ; 

The mimic passion of his eye 

Was turn'd to actual agony ; 

His hand like summer sapling shook, 

Terror and guilt were in his look. 

Denzil he judg'd, in time of need, 

Fit counsellor for evil deed; 

And thus apart his counsel broke 

While with a ghastly smile he spoke : 



" ' As in the pageants of the stage, 

The dead awake in this wild age, 

Mortham whom all men deem'd decreed 

In his own deadly snare to bleed, 

Slain by a bravo, whom, o'er sea, 

He train'd to aid in murd'ring me, 

Mortham has 'scaped ! The coward shot 

The steed, but harm'd the rider not.' " 

Here, with an execration fell, 

Bertram leap'd up, and pac d the cell : 

" Thine own grey head, or bosom dark," 

He mutter'd, " may be surer mark !" 

Then sat, and sign'd to Edmund, pale 

With terror, to resume his tale. 

" Wycliffe went on : ' Mark with what flights 

Of wilder'd reverie he writes : 

THE LETTED. 

" Ruler of Mortham's destiny ! 

Though dead, thy victim lives to thee. 

Once had he all that binds to life 

A lovely child, a lovelier wife ; 

Wealth, fame, and friendship, were his otra 

Thou gav'gt the word, and they are flown. 



CANTO VI.] BOKEBV. 

Mark how he pays thee : To thy hand 
He yields his honours and his laud. 
One boon premis'd ; Restore his child! 
And, from his native land exil'd, 
Mortham no more returns to claim 
His lands, his honours, or his name ; 
Refuse him this, and from the slain 
Thou shalt see Mortham rise again. 1 



" This billet while the baron read, 
His falt'ring accents show'd his dread ; 
He press' d his forehead with his palm, 
Then took a scornful tone and calm ; 
' Wild as the winds, as billows wild ! 
What wot I of liis spouse or child? 
Hither he brought a joyous dame. 
Unknown her lineage or her name ; 
Her, in some frantic fit, he slew ; 
The nurse and child in fear withdrew. 
Heav'n be my witness ! wist I where 
To find this youth, my kinsman's heir, 
Unguerdon'd, I would give with joy 
The father's arms to fold his boy, 
And Mortham's lands and tow'rs resign 
To the just heirs of Mortham's line.' 
Thou know'st that scarcely e'en his fear 
Suppresses Denzil's cynic sneer ; 
'Then happy is thy vassal's part,' 
He said, 'to ease his patron's heart! 
In thine own jailer's watchful care 
Lies Mortham's just and rightful heir; 
Thy gen'rous wish is fully won, 
Redmond O'Neale is Mortham's son.* 



" Up starting with a frenzied look, 
His clenched hand the Baron shook : 
* Is Hell at work ? or dost thou rave, 
Or dar'st thou palter with me, slave ! 
Perchance thou wot'st not, Barnard's towers 
Have racks, of strange and ghastly powers.' 



551 



552 ROKEBT. tCAHTO VI 

Denzil, who -well his safety knew, 

Firmly rejoin'd ' I tell thee true. 

Thy racks' could give thee but to know 

The proofs, which I, untortured show. 

It chanc'd upon a winter night, 

When early snow made Stanmore white, 

That very night, when first of all, 

Redmond O'Neale saw Rokeby-hal!, 

It was my goodly lot to gain 

A reliquary and a chain, 

Twisted and chas'd of massive gold. 

Demand not how the prize I hold! 

It was not giv'n, nor lent, nor sold. 

Gilt tablets to the chain were hung, 

With letters in the Irish tongue. 

I hid my spoil, for there was need 

That I should leave the land with speed ; 

Nor then I deem'd it safe to bear 

On mine own person gems so rare. 

Small heed I of the tablets took, 

But since have spell'd them by the hook, 

When some sojourn in Erin's land 

Of their wild speech had given command. 

But darkling was the sense ; the phrase 

And language those of other days, 

Involved of purpose, as to foil 

An interloper's prying toil. 

The words, but not the sense, I knew, 

Till fortune gave the guiding clew. 

xiv. 

" ' Three days since was that clue reveal'd 
In Thorsgill as I lay conceal'd, 
And heard at full when Rokeby's Maid 
Her uncle's history displayed ; 
And now I can interpret well 
Each syllable the tablets tell. 
Mark, then : Fair Edith was the joy 
Of old O'Neale of Clandeboy ; 
But from her sire and country fled, 
In secret Mortham's lord to wed. 
O'Neale, his first resentment o'er, 
Despatch' d his son to Greta's shore, 



CANTO V L ] BOKEBT. 553 

Enjoining he should make him known 
(Until his farther will were shown) 
To Edith, but to her alone. 
What of their ill-starr'd meeting fell, 
Lord Wycliffe knows, and none &o 'well. 

XT. 

" ' O'Neale it was, who, in despair, 
Robb'd Mortham of his infant heir; 
He bred him in their nurture wild, 
And call'd him murder'd Connal's child. 
Soon died the nurse ; the Clan believ'd 
What from their Chieftain they receiv'd. 
His purpose was, that ne'er again 
The boy should cross the Irish main ; 
But, like his mountain sires, enjoy 
The woods and wastes of Clandebov. 
Then on the land wild troubles came, 
And stronger Chieftains urged a claim, 
And wrested from the old man's hands 
His native tow'rs, his father's lands. 
Unable then, amid the strife, 
To guard young Redmond's rights or life, 
Late and reluctant he restores 
The infant to his native shores, 
With goodly gifts and letters stor'd, 
With many a deep conjuring word, 
To Mortham and to Rokebjrs Lord. 
Nought knew the clod of Irish earth, 
Who was the guide, of Redmond's birth ; 
But deem'd his Chiefs commands were laid 
On both, by both to be obey'd. 
How he was wounded by the way 
I need not, and I list not say.' 



" ' A wond'rous tale ! and, grant it true, 
What,' Wycliffe answer'd, ' might I do ? 
Heav'n knows, as willingly as now 
I raise the bonnet from my brow, 
Would I my kinsman's manors fair, 
Restore to Mortham or his heir ; 
2 A. 



554 



[CANTO VI. 



But Mortham is distraught O'Neale 
Has drawn for tyranny his steel, 
Malignant to our rightful cause, 
And train' d in Rome's delusive laws. 
Hark thee apart !' They whisper' d long, 
Till Denzil's voice grew bold and strong : 
' My proofs! I never will,' he said, 
' Show mortal man where they are laid. 
Nor hope discovery to foreclose, 
By giving me to feed the crows ; 
For I have mates at large, who know 
Where I am wont such toys to stow. 
Free me from peril and from band, 
These tablets are at thy command ; 
Nor were it hard to form some train, 
To wile old Mortham o'er the main. 
Then, lunatic's nor papist's hand 

Should wrest from thine the goodly land.' . 

' I like thy wit,' said Wycliffe, ' we!) r 
But here in hostage shalt thou dwell. 
Thy son, unless my purpose err, 
May prove the trustier messenger. 
A scroll to Mortham shall he bear 
From me, and fetch these tokens rare. 
Gold sludt thou have, and that good store, 
And freedom, his commission o er ; 
But if his faith should chance to fail, 
The gibbet frees thee from the jail.' 

XVII. 

" Mesh'd in the net himself had t>FTn'd, 
What subterfuge could Denzil find? 
He told me, with reluctant sigh, 
That hidden here the tokens lie ; 
Conjur'd my swift return and aid, 
By all he scoff'd and disobey' d, 
And look'd as if the noose were tied, 
And I the priest who left his side. 
This scroll for Mortham Wycliffe gave, 
Whom I must seek by Greta s waf oj 
Or in the hut where chief he hides, 
Where Thorsgill's forester resides. 



CANTO -VT.] EOKEBY. 

(Thence cbanc'd it, wand'ring in the glade, 

That he descried our ambuscade). 

I was dismiss'd as evening fell. 

And reach'd but now this rocky cell. 

" Give Oswald's letter." Bertram read, 

And tore it fiercely, shred by shred : 

" All lies and villany ! to blind 

His noble kinsman's generous mind, 

And train him on from day to day, 

Till he can take his life away. 

And now, declare thy purpose, youth, 

Nor dare to answer, save the truth ; 

If aught I mark of Denzil's art, 

I'll tear the secret from thv heart I" 



" It needs not. I renounce," he said, 

My tutor and his deadly trade. 

Fix'd was my purpose to declare 

To Mortham, Redmond is his heir ; 

To tell him in what risk he stands, 

And yield these tokens to his hands. 

Fix'd was my purpose to atone, 

Far as I may, the evil done ; 

And iix'd it rests if I survive 

This night, nnd leave this cave alive." 

" And Denzil ?" " Let them ply the rack, 

Ev'n till his joints and sinews crack! 

If Oswald tear him limb from limb, 

What ruth can Denzil claim from him, 

Whose thoughtless youth he led astray, 

And damn'd to this unhallow d way? 

He school'd me, faith and vows were vain; 

Now let my master reap his gain." 

" True," answer'd Bertram, " 'tis his meed 

There's retribution in the deed. 

But thou thou art not for our course, 

Hast fear, hast pity, hast remorse ; 

And he, with us the gale who braves, 

Must heave such cargo to the waves, 

Or lag with overloaded orore, 

While barks unburden'd' reach the shore." 



655 



556 ROKEBT. [CANTO VI. 

XIX. 

He paus'd, and, stretching him at length. 
Seem'd to repose his bulky strength. 
Communing with his secret mind, 
As half he sat, and half reclin'd, 
One ample hand his forehead press'd, 
And one was dropp'd across his hreast. 
The shaggy eyebrows deeper came 
Above his eyes of swarthy flame ; 
His lip of pride a while forbore 
The haughty curve till then it wore ; 
Th' unalter d fierceness of his look 
A shade of darken'd badness took, 
For dark and sad a presage press'd 
Resistlessly on Bertram's breast, 
And when he spoke, his wonted tone, 
So fierce, abrupt, and brief, was gone. 
His voice was steady, low, and deep, 
Like distant waves when breezes sleep ; 
And sorrow mix'd with Edmund's fear, 
Its low unbroken depth to hear. 

XX. 

" Edmund, in thy sad tale I find 
The woe that warp'd my patron's mind, 
'Twould wake the fountains of the eye 
In other men, but mine are dry. 
Mortham must never see the fool, 
That sold himself base Wycliffe's tool ; 
Yet less from thirst of sordid gain, 
Than to avenge suppos'd disdain. 
Say, Bertram rues his fault ; a word, 
Till now, from Bertram never heard : 
Say, too, that Mortham's Lord he pray* 
To think but on their former days; 
On Quariana's beach and rock, 
On Cayo's bursting battle-shock, 
On Darien's sands and deadly dew, 
And on the dart Tlatzeca threw ; 
Perchance my patron yet may hear 
More that may grace his comrade's bier. 
My soul hath felt a secret weight, 
A warning oi' approaching fate : 



OANTO VI.J ROKEBY. 557 

A priest had said, ' Return, repent P 
As well to bid that rock be rent. 
Firm as that flint I face mine end ; 
My heart may burst, but cannot bend. 

XXI. 

" The dawning of my youth, with awe 
And prophecy, the Dalesmen saw ; 
For over Redesdale it came, 
As bodeful as their beacon-flame. 
Edmund, thy years were scarcely mine, 
When, challenging the Clans of Tyiie 
To bring their best my brand to prove. 
O'er Hexham's altar hung my glove;* 
But Tynedale, nor in tower nor town, 
Held champion meet to take it down. 
My noontide, India may declare ; 
Like her fierce sun, I fir'd the air! 
Like him, to wood and cave bade fly 
Her natives, from mine angry eye. 
Panama's maids shall long look pale 
When Risingham inspires the tale ; 
Chili's dark matrons long shall tame 
The froward child with Bertram's name. 
And now, my race of terror run, 
Mine be the eve of tropic sun ! 
No pale gradations quench his ray, 
No twilight dews his wrath allay; 
With disk like battle-target red, 
He rushes to his burning bed, 

* This custom among the Redesdale and Tynedale Borderen 'a 
thus mentioned in the interesting Life of Bernard Gilpin. " One 
Sunday morning, coining to a i hurch in those parts, before the 
people were assembled, he observed a glove hanging up, and wag 
informed by the sexton, that it was me mt as a challenge to any 

reach it him ; but upon his utterly refusing to touon it, he took it 
down himself, and put it into his breast. When the people were 
assembled, he went into the pulpit, and, before he concluded hia 
sermon, took occasion to rebuke them severely for these inhuman 
challenges. 'I hear,' said h-, 't:.i: one among you hath hanged 
up a glove, even in this sacred place, threatening to fight any one 
who taketh it down: see, I have tak.-n it down:' and, pulling out 
the glove, he held it up to the cnngre^nti'm, and then showed them 
bow unsuitable such savage practices were to the profession of 
Christianity, using suoh per.uasives to mutual love as he thought 
would most affect iham." Life of Bernard Gilpin, Loud. 17SS, 
Svu. p. 177. 



558 HOKEBY. CCANTO Vlv 

Dyes the -wide wave with bloody light, 
Then sinks at once and all is night. 

xxn, 

" Now to thy mission, Edmund. Fly, 
Seek Mortham out, and hid him hie 
To Richmond, where his troops are laid, 
And lead his force to Redmond's aid. 
Say, till he reaches Eglistone, 
A friend will watch to guard his son. 
Now, fare-thee-well ; for night draws on, 
And I would rest me here alone." 
Despite his ill-dissembl'd fear, 
There swam in Edmund's eye a tear; 
A tribute to the courage high, 
Which stoop'd not in extremity, 
But strove, irregularly great, 
To triumph o'er approaching fate ! 
Bertram beheld the dew-drop start, 
It almost touch'd his iron heart : 
" I did not think there lived," he said, 
" One, who would tear for Bertram shed." 
He loosen'd then his baldric's hold, 
A buckle broad of massive gold ; 
" Of all the spoil that paid his pains, 
But this with Risingham remains ; 
And this, dear Edmund, thou shalt take, 
And wear it long for Bertram's sake, 
Once more to Mortham speed amain; 
Farewell ! and turn thee not again." 

XXIII. 

The night has yielded to the morn, 
And far the hours of prime are worn, 
Oswald, who, since the dawn of day, 
Had curs'd his messenger's delay. 
Impatient question' d now his train, 
" Was Denzil's son return'd again ?" 
It chanc'd there answer' d of the crew, 
A menial, who young Edmund knew; 
" No son of Denzil this," he said ; 
A peasant boy from Winston glade, 



CAITTO VL] ROK.EBY. 659 

For song and minstrelsy renown'd, 

And knavish pranks, the hamlets round "-~ 

Not Denzil's son ! From Winston vale ! 
I hen it was false, that specious tale; 
Or, worse he hath despatch'd the j'outh 
1 o show to Mortham's Lord its truth. 
Fool that I was ! but 'tis too late . 

This is the very turn of fate ! 

The tale, or true or false, relies 
On Denzil's evidence ! He dies ! 
Ho ! Provost Marshal ! instantly' 
Lead Denzil to the gallows-tree ! 
Allow him not a parting word ; 
Short be the shrift, and sure the cord ! 
Then let his gory head appal 
Marauders from the Castle-wall 
Lead forth thy guard, that duty 'done, 
VV ith best despatch to Eglistuue 
Basil, tell Wilfrid he must straight 
Attend me at the castle-gate." 

XXIV. 

" Alas P' the old domestic said, 
And shook his venerable head, 
" Alas, my Lord ! full ill to-day 
May my young master brook the way ! 
The leech has spoke with grave alarm, 
Of unseen hurt, of secret harm, 
Of sorrow lurking at the h^art, 
That mars and lets his healing art."^ 
"Tush, teil not me ! Romantic bov$ 
Pine themselves sick for airy toys "* 
I will find cure for Wilfrid soon 
Bid him for Eglistone be boune 
And quick ! I hear the dull death-drum 
Jell Uenzil s hour of fate is come." 
He paus'd with scornful smile, and then 
Resum'd his train of thought agen. 
"Now comes my fortune's crisis near! 
Entreaty boots not instant fear 
Nought elae, can bend Matilda's' pride 
Or win her to be Wilfrid's bride. 



560 ROKEB7. {CANTO VI. 

But when she sees the scaffold plac'd. 

With axe and block and headsman grac'd, 

And when she deems, that to deny 

Dooms Redmond and her sire to die, 

She must give way. Then, were the line 

Of Rokehy once combin'd with mine, 

I gain the weather-gage of fate ! 

If Mortham come, he comes too late, 

While I, thus allied and prepared, 

Bid him defiance to his heard. 

If she prove stubborn, shall I dare 

To drop the axe ? Soft ! pause we there. 

Mortham still lives yon youth may tell 

His tale and Fail fax loves him well ; 

Else, where ii re should I now delay 

To sweep this Redmond from my way? 

But she to piety perforce 

Must yield. Without there ! Sound to horse." 

XXV. 

'Twas bustle in the court below, 

" Mount, and march forward !" Forth they go ; 

Steeds neigh and trample all around, 

Steel rings, spears glimmer, trumpets sound. 

Just then was sung his parting hymn ; 

And Denzil turn'd his eyeballs dim, 

And, scarcely conscious what he sees, 

Follows the horsemen down the Tees ; 

And scarcely conscious what he hears, 

The trumpets tingle in his ears. 

O'er the long bridge they're sweeping noW 

The van is hid by greenwood bough ; 

But ere the rearward had pass'd o'er, 

Guy Denzil heard and saw no more \ 

One stroke, upon the Castle bell, 

To Oswald rung his dying knell. 

XXVI. 

O, for that pencil, erst profuse 

Of chivalry's emblazon'd hues, 

That trac'd of old, in Woodstock bower, 

The pageant of the Leaf and Flower, 



CANTO VL] EOKEBT. 

And bodied forth the tourney high, 
Held for the hand of Einily ! 
Then might I paint the tumult broad, 
That to the crowded abbey flow'd, 
And pour'd, as with an ocean's sound, 
Into the church's ample bound ! 
Then might I show each varying mien, 
Exulting, woeful, or serene ; 
IndiiFrence, with his idiot stare, 
And Sympathy, with anxious air, 
Paint the dejected Cavalier, 
Doubtful, disarm'd, and sad of cheer; 
And his proud foe, whose formal eye 
Claim'd conquest now and mastery ; 
And the brute crowd, whose envious zeal 
Huzzas each turn of Fortune's wheel, 
And loudest shouts when lowest lie 
Exalted worth and station high. 
Yet what may such a wish avail? 
'Tis mine to tell an onward tale, 
Hurrying, as best I can, along, 
The hearers and the hasty song ; 
Like trav'ller when approaching home, 
Who sees the shades of evening come, 
And must not now his course delay, 
Or choose the fair, but winding way ; 
Nay, scarcely may his pace suspend, 
Where o'er his head the wildings bend, 
,To bless the breeze that cools his brow, 
Or snatch a blossom from the bough. 



The rev'rend pile lay wild and waste, 
Profan'd, dishonour'd, and defac'd. 
Tnror.gh storied lattices no more 
In soften'd light the sunbeams pour, 
Gilding the Gothic sculpture rich 
Of shrine, and monument, and niche, 
fhe Civil fury of the time 
Made sport of sacrilegious crime ; 
For dark Fanaticism rent 
Altar, and screen, and ornament, 
2 A 2 



561 



562 



[CANTO VJ. 



And peasant hands the tomhs o'erthrew 
Of Bowes, of Rokeby, and Fitz-Hugh. 
And now was seen, unwonted sight, 
In holy walls a scaffold dight! 
Where once the priest, of grace divine 
Dealt to his flock the mystic sign ; 
There stood the block display'd, and there 
The headsman grim his hatchet bare ; 
And for the word of Hope and Faith, 
Resounded loud a doom of death. 
Thrice the fierce trumpet's breath was heard, 
And echo'd thrice the herald's word, 
Dooming, for breach of martial laws, 
And treason to the Commons' cause, 
The Knight of Rokeby and O'Neale 
To stoop their heads to block and steel. 
The trumpets flourish'd high and shrill, 
Then was a silence dead and still ; 
And silent pray'rs to heav'n were cast, 
And stifling sobs were bursting fast, 
Till from the crowd began to rise 
Murmurs of sorrow or surprise, 
And from the distant isles there came 
Deep-mutter'd threats, with Wycliffe's name. 

XXVIII. 

But Oswald, guarded by his band. 

Pow'rful in evil, wav'd his hand, 

And bade Sedition's voice be dead, 

On peril of the murm'rer's head, 

Then first his glance sought Rokeby's Knight ; 

Who gaz'd on the tremendous sight, 

As calm as if he came a guest 

To kindred Baron's feudal feast, 

As calm as if that trumpet-call 

Were summons to the banner'd hall ; 

Firm in his loyalty he stood, 

And prompt to seal it with his blood. 

With downcast look drew Oswald nigh, 

He durst not cope with Rokeby's eye ! 

And said, with low and falt'ring breath, 

" Thou know'st the terms of life and death." 



CANTO VI.] ROKEBT. 563 

The Knight then turn'd, and sternly smil'd ; 

" The maiden is miue only child, 

Yet shall my blessing leave her head, 

If with a traitor's son she wed." 

Then Redmond spoke : " The life of one 

Might thy malignity atone, 

On me he flung a double guilt ! 

Spare Rokeby's blood, let mine be spilt !" 

Wycliffe had listen' d to his suit, 

But dread prevail'd, and he was mute. 

XXIX. 

And now he pours his choice of fear 

In secret on Matilda's ear ; 

" An union form'd with me and mine, 

Ensures the faith of Rokeby's line. 

Consent, and all this dread array, 

Like morning dream shall pass away ! 

Refuse, and, by my duty press' d, 

I give the word thou know'st the rest." 

Matilda, still and motionless, 

With terror heard the dread address, 

Pale as the sheeted maid who dies 

To hopeless love a sacrifice ; 

Then wrung her hands in agony, 

And round her cast bewilder'd eye. 

Now on the scaffold glanc'd, and now 

On Wycliffe's unrelenting brow. 

She veil'd her face, and, with a voice 

Scarce audible, " I make my choice ! 

Spare hut their lives ! for aught beside, 

Let Wilfrid's doom my fate decide. 

He once was gen'rous r As she spoke, 

Dark Wycliffe's joy in triumph broke : 

" \Vilfrid, where loiter'd ye so late? 

Why upon Basil rest thy weight ? 

Art spell-bound by enchanter s wand ? 

Kneel, kneel, and take her yielded hand; 

Thank her with ruptures, simple boy ! 

Should tears and trembling speak thy joy ?" 

" O hush, my sire ! To pray'r and tear 

Of mine thou hast refus'd thine ear ; 



564 ROKEBY. [CANTO VI. 

But now the awful hour draws on, 
When truth must speak in loftier tone." 

XXX. 

He took Matilda's hand ; " Dear maid, 

Couldst thou so injure me," he said, 

" Of thy poor friend so basely deem, 

As blend with him this barb rous scheme : 

Alas ! my efforts made in vain, 

Might well have sav'd this added pain. 

But now, hear witness, earth and heaven, 

That ne'er was hope to mortal given, 

So twisted with the strings of life, 

As this to call Matilda wife ! 

I hid it now for ever part, 

And with the effort bursts my heart." 

His feeble frame was worn so low, 

With wounds, with watching, find with woe, 

That nature could no more sustain 

The agony of mental , .an. 

He kneel' d his lip her hand had press'd, 

Just then he felt the stern arrest. 

Lower and lower sunk his head, 

They raised him, hut the life was fled ! 

Then, first alarm'd, his sire and train 

Tried ev'ry aid, hut tried in vain. 

The soul, too soft its ills to bear. 

Had left our mortal hemisphere, 

And sought in better world the meed, 

To blameless life by Heav'n decreed. 

XXXI. 

The wretched sire beheld, aghast, 
With Wilfrid all his projects past, 
All turn'd and centred on his son, 
On Wilfrid all and he was gone. 
" And I am childless now," he said : 
" Childless, through that relentless maid/, 
A lifetime's arts, in vain essay' d, 
Are bursting on their artist's head ! 
Here lies my Wilfrid dead and there 
Comes hated Mortham for his heir, 



CANTO VI.] ROKEBT. 65 

Eager to knit ir happy band 

"With Rokeby's heiress Redmond's hand. 

And shall their triumph soar o'er all 

The schemes deep-laid to work their fall? 

No ! deeds, which prudence might not dare, 

Appal not vengeance and despair. 

The murd'ress weeps upon his bier 

I'll change to real that feigned tear ! 

The, .Jl shall share destruction's shock; 

Ho ! lead the captives to the block f 

But ill his Provost could divine 

His feelings, and forbore the sign. 

** Slave ! to the block ! or I, or they, 

Snail face the judgment-seat this day !" 



The outmost crowd have heard a sound, 
Like horse's hoof on harden'd ground ; 
Nearer it came, and yet more near, 
The very deaths-men paus'd to hear. 
'Tis in the churchyard now the tread 
Hath wak'd the dwelling of the dead ! 
Fresh sod, and old sepulchral stone, 
Return the tramp in varied tone. 
All eyes upon the gateway hung, 
When through the Gothic arch there sprung 
A horseman arm'd, at headlong speed 
Sable his cloak, his plume, his steed. 
Fire from the flinty floor -was spurn'd, 
The vaults unwonted clang return'd ! 
One instant's glance around he threw 
From saddlebow his pistol drew. 
Grimly determin'd was his look ! 
His charger with the spurs he strook 
All scatter'd backward as he came, 
For all knew Bertram Risingham ! 
Three bounds that noble courser gave ; 
The first has reach'd the central nave, 
The second clear'd the chancel wide, 
The third he was at Wycliffe's side. 
Full levell'd at the Baron s head, 
Rung the report the bullet sped 



566 BOKEBY. [CANTO VI. 

And to his long account, and last, 
Without a groan dark Oswald past! 
All w.-.s so quick, that it might seem 
A flash of light' ning, or a dream. 



While yet the smoke the deed conceals, 
Bertram his ready charger wheels ; 
But flounder' d on the pavement-floor 
The steed, knd down the rider bore, 
And, bursting in the headlong sway, 
The faithless saddle-girths gave way. 
'Twas while he toil'd him to be freed, 
And with the rein to raise the steed, 
That from amazement's iron trance 
All Wycliffe's soldiers wak d at once. 
Sword, hallerd, musket- but, their blows 
Hail'd upon Bertram as he rose ; 
A score of pikes, with each a wound, 
Bore down and pinn'd him to the ground ; 
But still his struggling force he rears, 
'Gainst hacking brands and stabbing spears; 
Thrice from assailants shook him free, 
Once gain'd his feet, and twice his knee, 
By tenfold odds oppress'd at length, 
Despite his struggles and his strength, 
He took a hundred mortal wounds, 
As mute as fox 'mongst mangling hounds ; 
And when he died, his parting groan 
Had more of laughter than of moan! 
They gaz'd, as when a lion dies, 
And hunters scarcely trust their eyes, 
But bend their weapons on the slain, 
Lest the grim king should rouse again! 
Then blow and insult some renew'd, 
And from the trunk, the head had hew'd, 
But Basil's voice the deed forbade ; 
A mantle o'er the corse he laid : 
" Fell as he was in act and mind, 
He left no bolder heart behind : 
Then give him, for a soldier meet, 
A soldier's cloak for windingsheet." 



CANTO VI.] ROKEBY. 56? 



No more of death and dying pang, 

No more of trump and bugle clang, 

Though through the sounding woods there come 

Banner and bugle, trump and drum, 

Arm'd with such pow'rs as well had freed 

Young Redmond at his utmost need, 

And back'd with such a band of horse, 

As might less ample pow'rs enforce; 

Possess'd of ev'ry proof and sign 

That gave an heir to Mortham s line. 

And yielded to a father's arms 

> image of his Edith's charms, 

Mortham is come, to hear and see 

Of this strange morn the history. 

What saw he ? not the church's floor, 

Cumber d with .lead and stain'd with gore, 

What heard he ? not the clam'rous crowd, 

That shout their gratulations loud : 

Redmond he saw and heard alone, 

Clasp'd him, and sobb'd, " My son, my son" 



This chanc'd upon a summer morn. 

When yellow wav'd the heavy corn : 

But when brown August o'er the hind 

Call'd forth the reaper's busy band, 

A gladsome sight the silvan road 

From Eglistone to Mortham show'd, 

A while the hardy rustic leaves 

The task to bind and pile the sheaves, 

And maids their sickles fling aside, 

To gaze on bridegroom and on bride, 

And childhood's wond'rins; group draws near, 

And from the gleaner's hand the ear 

Drojps, while she folds them for a prav'r 

And blessing on the lovely pair. 

"Twas then the Maid of Rokeby gave 

Her plighted troth to Redmond brave ; 



568 KOKEBT. [CANTO VI 

And Teesdale can remember yet 
How Fate to Virtue paid her debt, 
And, for their troubles, bade them prove 
A lengthen' d life of peace and love. 



Time and Tide had thus their sway, 
Yielding, like an April day, 
Smiling noon foi sullen morrow, 
Years of joy for hours of sorrow I 



BALLADS, 
LYRICAL PIECES, 

AND 

SONGS. 



GLENFINLAS, 



LORD RONALD'S CORONACH. 

[The tradition, upon which the following stanzas are founded, 
runs thus: While two Highl ,nd hunters were passing the night in 
a solitary bothy (a hut, built for the purpose of hunting,) and 
making merry nver their venison aud whisky, one of them ex- 
pressed a wii-h, that they had pretty Usses, lo complete their party. 
The words were scarcely uttered, when two beautiful voting wo- 
men, habited in green, entered the hut, dancing and singing. One 

particularly to him, to leave the hut: the other remained, and, 
suspicious of the fair seducers, continued to phiy upon a trump, or 
Jew's harp, some strain, cons -entteJ to the Virgin Mary. Day at 
length came, and the temptress v inished. Searching in the forest, 
he found ihe bones oi his unfortunate triend ; who had been torn, 
to pieces and devoured by the tiend. into hose toils he had fallen. 
The place was from thence called, The Gtenufthe Green Women.] 



u For them thu viewless forms of air obey, 
Thfdr bidding heed, and at their beck repair ; 

They kuow what spiiit brews the stormful day, 
And heartless oft, like moody madness, stare, 

To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.' 



" O HONE a rie' ! O hone a rie' !* 

The pride of Albin's line is o'er, 
And fall'n Glenartney's stateliest tree ; 

We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more ! 

O, sprung from great Macgillianore, 
The chief that never fear'd a foe, 

How matchless was thy broad claymore, 
How deadly thine unerring bow ! 

Well can the Saxon widows tell, 

How, on the Teith's resounding shore, 

The boldest Lowland warriors fell, 
As down from Lenny's pass you bore. 

* O hone a ritf signifies" Alas for the prince, or chief." 



57'2 LORD RONALD'S 

But o'er his hills, on festal day, 

How bla/.'d Lord Ronald's. Beltane tree; 

While youths and maids the light strathspey 
So nimbly danc'd, with Highland glee. 

Cheer'd by the strength of Ronald's shell, 
E'en age forgot his treases hoar ; 

But now the loud lament we swell, 
O, ne'er to see Lord Ronald more ! 

From distant isles a chieftain came, 
The joys of Ronald's hajl to find, 

And chase with him the dark brown game 
That bounds o'er Albin's hills of wind. 

'Twas Moy; whom, in Columba's isle, 
The seer's prophetic spirit found, 

As, with a minstrel's fire the while, 
He wak'd his harp's harmonious sound. 

Full many a spell to him was known, 
Which wanu'ring spirits shrink to hear ; 

And many a lay of potent tone, 
Was never meant for mortal ear. 

For there, 'tis said, in mystic mood, 
High converse with the dead they hold, 

And oft espy the fated shroud, 

That shall the future corpse enfold. 

O so it fell, that on a day, 

To rouse the red deer from their den, 
The chiefs have ta'en their distant way, 

And scour'd the deep Glenfinlas glen. 

No vassals wait, their sports to aid, 

To watch their safety, deck their board : 
Their simple dress, the Highland plaid 

Their trusty guard, the Highland sword. 
Three summer days, through brake and dell. 

Their whistling shafts successful flew; 
And still, when dewy evening fell, 

The quarry to their hut they drew. 
In grey Glenfinlas' deepest nook 

The solitary cahin stood, 



573 



Fast by Moneira's sullen brook, 

Which murmurs through that lonely wood. 

Soft fell the night, the sky was calm, 
When three successive days had flown; 

And summer mist in dewy balm 

Steep'd heathy bank, and mossy stone. 

The moon, half-hid in silv'ry flakes, 
Afar her dubious radiance shed, 

Quiv'ring on Katrine's distant lakes, 
And resting on Benledi's head. 

Now in their hut, in social guise, 
Their sylvan fare the chiefs enjoy; 

And pleasure laughs in Ronald's eyes, 
As many a pledge he quaffs to Moy. 

" AVhat lark we here to crown our bliss, 
While thus the pulse of joy beats high? 

What, but fair woman's yielding kiss, 
Her panting breath, and melting eye? 

** To chase the deer of yonder shades, 
This morning left their father's pile 

The fairest of our mountain maids, 
Th daughters of the proud Glengyle. 

" Long have I sought sweet Mary's heart. 
And dropp'd the tear, and heaved the sigh: 

But vain the lover's wily art, 
Beneatli a sister's watchful eye. 

" But thou may'st teach that guardian fair, 
While far with Mary I am Hown, 

Of othei- hearts to cease her care, 
And find it hard to guard her own. 

" Touch but thy harp, thou soon shalt see 

The lovely Flora of Glengyle, 
Unmindful of her charge aud me, 

Hang on thy notes, 'twixt tear and smile. 

"Or, if she choose a melting tale, 

All underneath the greenwood bough, 

Will good St Gran's rale prevail. 

Stern, huntsman of the rigid brow ?" 



574 LORD RONALD'S 

" Since Enrick's fight, since Morna's death. 

No more on me shall rapture rise, 
Responsive to the panting breath, 

Or yielding kiss, or melting eyes. 

" E'en then, when o'er the heath of woe, 
Where sunk my hopes of love and fame, 

I hade my harp's wild wailings How, 
On me the seer's sad spirit came. 

" The last dread curse of angry heav'n, 
With ghastly sights and sounds of woe, 

To dash each glimpse of joy, was giv'n 
The gift, the future ill to know. 

" The hark thou saw'st, yon summer morn, 

So gaily part from Oban's bay, 
My eye beheld her dash'd and torn, 

Far on the rocky Colonsay. 

" Thy Fergus too thy sister's son, 

Thou saw'st, with pride, the gallant's pow'r, 

As marching 'gainst the Lord of Downe, 
He left the skirts of huge Benmore. 

" Thou only saw'st their tartans* wave, 
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound, 

Heard' st but the pii.roch, answ'ring brave 
To many a target clanking round. 

" I heard the groans, I mark'd the tears, 

I saw the wound his bosom bore, 
When on the serried Saxon spears 

He pour'd his clan's resistless roar. 

" And thou, who bidst me think of bliss, 
And bidst my heart awake to glee, 

And court, like thee, the wanton kiss, 
That heart, O Ronald, bleeds for thee ! 

"I see the death-damps chill thy brow; 

I hear thy Warning Spirit cry ; 
The corpse-lights dance they're gone, and now ! 

No more is giv'n to gifted eye !'" 

Tartara The full Highland dress, made of the cheqnered stag 
to termed. 



CORONACH. 575 

' " Alone enjoy thy dreary dreams, 

Sad prophet of the evil hour ! 
Say, should we scorn joy's transient beams, 

Because to-morrow s storm may lour ? 

" Or false, or sooth, thy words of woe, 
Clangillian's chieftain ne'er shall fear ; 

His blood shall hound at rapture's glow, 
Though doom'd to stain the Saxon spear. 

" E'en now, to meet me in yon dell, 
My Mary's buskins brush the dew." 

He spoke, nor bade the chief farewell, 
But call'd his dogs, and gay withdrew. 

Within an hour return'd each hound ; 

In rush'd the rousers of the deer ; 
They howl'd in melancholy sound, 

Then closely couch beside the Seer. 

No Ronald yet ; though midnight came, 
And sad were Moy's prophetic dreams, 

As, bending o'er the dying flame, 

He fed the watch-fire's quiv'ring gleams. 

Sudden the hounds erect their ears, 
And sudden cease their moaning_howl; 

Close press'd to Moy, they mark their fears 
By shiv'ring limbs and stifled growl. 

Untouch'd, the harp began to ring. 

As softly, slowly, oped the door; 
And shook responsive ev'ry string, 

As light a footstep press d the floor. 

And, by the watch-fire's glimm'ring light, 
Close by the Minstrel's side was seen 

An huntress maid, in beauty bright, 
All dropping wet her robes of ^een. 

All dropping wet her garments seem ; 

Chill'd was her cheek, her bosom bare, 
As, bending o'er the dying gleam, 

She wrung the moisture from her hair. 
With maiden blush she softly said, 

O gentle huntsman, hast thou seen, 



?6 LORD RONALD'S 

In deep Glenfinlas' moon-light glade, 
A lovely maid in vest of green : 

" With her a chief in Highland pride 
His shoulders bear the hunter's bow, 

The mountain dirk adorns his side, 
Far on the wind his tartans flow ?" 

" And who art thou ? and who are they?" 
All ghastly gazing, Moy replied : 

" And why, beneath the moon's pale raj- 
Dare ye thus roam Glenfinlas' side ?" 

" Where wild Loch Katrine pours her tide, 
Blue, dark, and deep, round many an isla 

Our father's tow'rs o'erhang her side, 
The castle of the bold Glengyle. 

" To chase the dun Glenfinlas deer, 

Our woodland course this morn we bore, 

And haply met, while wand'ring here, 
The son of great Macgillianore. 

" O aid me, then, to seek the pair, 
Whom, loit'ring in the woods, I lost ; 

Alone I dare not venture there, 

Where walks, they say, the shrieking ghost/ 

" Yes, many a shrieking ghost walks there ; 

Then, first, my own sad vow to keep, 
Here will I pour my midnight pray'r, 

Which still must rise when mortals sleep." 
" O first, for pity's gentle sake, 

Guide a lone wand'rer on her way ! 
For I must cross the haunted brake, 

And reach my father's tow'rs ere day." 

" First, three times tell each Ave bead, 

And thrice a Pater-noster say ; 
Then kiss with me the holy reed : 

So shall we safely wind our way." 

" O shame to knighthood, strange and foul ! 

Go, doff the bonnet from thy brow, 
And shroud thee in the monkish cowl, 

Which best befits thy sullen vow. 



577 



" Not so, by high Dunlathmon's fire, 
Thy heart was froze to love and joy, 

When gaily rung thy raptur'd lyre, 
To wanton Morna's melting eye." 

Wild star'd the Minstrel's eyes of flame, 
And high his sable locks arose, 

And quick his colour went and came, 
As fear and rage alternate rose. 

" And thou ! when by the blaz'ng oak 
I lay, to her and love resigned, 

Say, rode ye on the eddying smoke, 
Or sail'd ye on the midnight wind ! 

" Not thine a race of mortal blood, 
Nor old Glengyle's pretended line 

Thy dame, the Lady of the Flood, 
Thy sire, the Monarch of the Mine." 

He mutter'd thrice St Oran's rhyme, 
And thrice St Pillan's pow'rful prayer ; 

Then turn'd him to the eastern clime, 
And sternly shook his coal-black hair. 

And, bending o'er his harp, he flung 
His wildest witch-notes on the wind ; 

And loud, and high, and strange, they rung, 
As many a magic change they find. 

Tall wax'd the Spirit's ait'ring form, 
Till to the roof her stature grew; 

Then, mingling with the rising storm, 
With one wild yell, away she flew. 

Rain beats, liail rattles, whirlwinds tear: 
The slender hut in fragments flew ; 

But not a lock of Moy's loose hair 
Was wav'd by wind, or wet by dew. 

Wild mingling with the howling gale, 
Loud bursts of ghastly laughter rise ; 

High o'er the Minstrel s head they sail, 
And die amid the northern sk : es. 

The voice of thunder shook the wood, 
As ceas'd the more than mortal yell ; 

2 B 



578 EVE OF SAINT JOHN. 

And, spattering foul, a shower of blood 
Upon the hissing firebrands fell. 

Next, dropp'd from high a mangled arm; 

The fingers straiu'd an half-drawn blade : 
And last, the life-blood streaming warm, 

Torn from the trunk, a gasping head. 

Oft o'er that head, in battling field, 

Stream'd the proud crest of high Benmore ; 

That arm the broad claymore could wield, 
Which dy'd the Teith with Saxon gore. 

Woe to Moneira's sullen rills ! 

Woe to Gienfinlas' dreary glen ! 
There never son of Albiu's hills 

Shall draw the hunter s shaft agen ! 

E'en the tir'd pilgrim's burning feet 

At noon shall shun that shell' ring den. 
Lest, journeying in their rage, he meet 

The wayward Ladies of the Glen. 
And we behind the chieftain's shield, 

No more shall we in safety dwell ; 
None leads the people to the field 

And we the loud lament must swell. 

O hone a rie'! O hone a rie'! 

The i .'ide of Albin's line is o'er, 
And fall'n Glenartney's stateliest tree ; 

We ne'er shall see Lord Ronald more 



THE 

EYE OF SAINT JOHN. 

THE Baron of Smaylho'me rose with day, 

He spurr'd his courser on, 
Without stop or stay, down the rocky way 

That leads to Brotherstone. 

He we:it not with- the bold Buccleuch, 
His banner broad to rear ; 



EVE OP SAINT JOHN. 579 

Ho went not 'gainst th" English yew, 
To lift the Scottish spear. 

Yet his plate-jack* was brac'd, and his helmet 
was lac'd, 

And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore ; 
At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel sperthe, 

Full ten pound weight and more. 

The Baron return'd in three days' space, 

And his looks were sad and sour; 
Aud weary was his courser s pace, 

As he reach'd his rocky tower. 

He came not from where Ancram Moor 

Ran red v,-ith English blood; 
Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch, 

'Gainst keen lord Evers stood. 

Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd, 

His acton pierc d and tore ; 
His axe and his dagger with blood embru'd, 

But it was not English gore. 

He lighted at the Chapellage, 

He held him close and still ; 
And he whirled thrice for his little foot-page, 

His name was English Will. 

" Come thou hither, my little foot-page ; 

Come hither to my knee ; 
Thou art young, and tender of age, 

I think thou art true to me. 

" Come, tell me all that thou hast seen, 

And look thou tell me true ! 
Since I from Smaylho'nie tow'r have been, 

What did thy Ldy do?" 

" My lady, each night, sought the lonely light, 
That burns on the wild Watchfold ; 

For, from height to height, the beacons bright 
Of the English foemen told. 

" The bittern clamour'd from the moss, 
The wind blew loud and shrill ; 

* The plate-jack i coat armour; the vaunt-brace, or wam-brac^ 
Bimour for the body ; the sperthe, a battle-**.!. 



580 



EVE OF SAINT JOillV. 



Yet the craggy pathway sho did cross, 
To the eiry beacon hill. 

" I watch'd her steps, and silent came 

Where she sat her on a stone ; 
No watchman stood by the dreary flame ; 

It burned all alone. 

" The second night I kept her in sight, 

Till to the fire she came, 
And, by Mary's might ! an armed Knight 

Stood by the lonely name. 

" And many a word that warlike lord 

Did s'peak to my lady there ; 
But the rain fell fast, and Toud blew the blast, 

And I heard not what they were. 

" The third night there the sky was fair, 

And the mountain blast was still, 
As again I watch'd the secret pair, 

On tne lonesome beacon hill. 

" And I heard her name ir, the midnight hour, 

And name this holy eve ; 
And say, ' Come this "night to thy Jady's bower- 

Ask no bold Baron's leave. 

" ' He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch ; 

His lady is all alone; 
The door she'll undo to her knight so true, 

On the eve of good St John.' 

" ' I cannot come ; I must not come ; 

I dare not come to thee ; 
On the eve of Saint John I must wander alone : 

In thy bower I may not be.' 

" ' Now, out on thee, faint-hearted knight ! 

Thou should'st not say me nay; 
For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet, 

Is worth the whole summer's day. 

And I'li chain the blood-hound, and the warder 

shall not sound. 
And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair ; 



EVE OF SAINT JOHN. 



581 



So, by the black rood-stone,* and by holy St John, 
I conjure thee, my love, to be there T 

u ' Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush 

beneath my foot, 

And the warder his bu^le should not blow, 
Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the 

east, 
And my foot-step he would know.' 

" ' O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east ! 

For to Dryburgli the way he has ta'en; 
And there to say mass, till three days do pass, 

For the soul of a kiiight that is slayne.' 

" He turn'd him around, and grimly he frown'd ; 
Then he laugh' d right scornfully 
He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that 

knight, 
May as well say mass for me. 

44 * At the lone midnight hour, when bad spirits 
have pow'r, 

In thy chamber will I be.' 
With that he was gone, and my lady left alone, 

And no more did I see." 

Then changed, I trow, was that bold Baron's brow, 
From the dark to the blood-red high ; 

M Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast 

MB, 
For, by Mary, he shall die !" 

" His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red 
light: 

His plume it was scarlet and blue ; 
On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound, 

And his crest was a branch of the yew." 

" Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page, 

Loud dost thou lie to me ! 
For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould, 

All under the Eildon-tree."'f 

* The blark-rood of Melrose was a crucifix of black marble, and 
of superior sanctity. 

t Kiiilon-trev is said to be the spot where Thomas the Rhymer 
uttered his prophecua. 



582 E*E OF SAINT JOHN. 

" Yet hear but my word, my noble lord ! 

For I heard her name his name ; 
And that lady bright, she called the knight, 

Sir Richard of Coldinghame." 

The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow, 

From high blood- red to pale 
" The grave is deep and dark and the corpse is 
stiff and starTc 

So I may not trust thy tale. 

" Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose, 

And Eildon slopes to the plain, 
Full three nights ago> by some secret foe, 

That gay gallant was slain. 

" The varying light deceived thy sight, 
And the wild winds drowned the name ; 

For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the white monks 

do sing, 
For Sir Richard of Coldinghame P* 

He pass'd the court^gate, and he op'd the tow'r 

grate, 

And he mounted the narrow stair 
To the bartizan- seat, where, with maids that on 

her wait, 
He found his lady fair. 

That lady sat in mournful mood ; 

Look'd over hill and dale ; 
Over Tweed s fair flood, and Mertoun's wood, 

And all down Teviotdale. 

*' Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright !" 

" Now hail, thou Baron true ! 
What news, what news, from Ancram fight ? 

What news from the bold Buccleuch ?" 

" The Ancram Moor is red with gore, 

For many a southern fell ; 
And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore 

To watch our beacons well." 

The lady blush' d red, but nothing she said ; 
Nor added the Baron a word : 



EVE OF SAINT JOHN. 583 

Then she steppM down the stair to her chamber fair, 
And so did her moody lord. 

In sleep the lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd 
and turn'd, 

And oft to himself he said 

" The -worms around him creep, and his bloody - 
grave is deep .... 

It cannot give up the dead !" 
It was near the ringing of matin-bell, 

The night was well nigh done, 
When a heavy sleep on that Baron fell, 

On the eve of good St John. 

The lady look'd through the chamber fair, 

By the light of a dying ttanie ; 
And she was aware of a knight stood there 

Sir Richard of Coldinghame ! 

" Alas ! away, away !" she cried, 

" For the holy Virgin's sake !" 
" Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side ; 

But, lady, he will not awake. 

" By Eildon-tree, for long nights three, 

In bloody grave have I lain ; 
The mass and the death-pray'r are said for me, 

But, lady, they are said in vain. 

" By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand, 

Most foully slain I fell ; 
And my restless sprite on the beacon's height, 

For a space is doom'd to dwell. 

" At our trysting-place,* for a certain space 

I must wander to and fro ; 
But I had not had pow'r to come to thy bow'r, 

Had'st thou not conjur'd me so." 

Love master' d fear her brow she cross' d ; 

" How, Richard, hast thou speu ? 
And art thou sav'd, or art thou lost f 

The Vision shook his head ! 

w Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life 
So bid thy lord believe : 

* Trysting-place Place of rendezvous. 



584 CADYOW CASTLB. 

That lawless love is guilt above, 

This awful sign receive." 
He laid liis left palm on an oaken beam; 

His right upon her haad : 
The lady shrunk, and fainting sunk, 

For it scorch' d like a tiery brauu. 
The sable score, of fingers four. ^ 

Remains on that board impress d; 
And for evermore that lady wore 

A cov'riug on her wrist. 
There is a Nun in Dryburgh bower. 

Ne'er looks upon the sun : 
There is a Monk in Melrose tower, 

He speaketh word to none. 
That Nun, who ne'er beholds the day. 

That Monk, who speaks to none 
That Nun was Smaylho'me's Lady gay, 

That Monk the bold Baron, 



CADYOW CASTLE. 

ADDRESSED TO 
THE RIOHT HONOURABLE 

LADY ANNE HAMILTON. 

fin detailing the death of the regent Murray, which is made the 
ubiect of "he following ballad, it would be injustice to my reader 
?o use other words than those of Dr Robertson, whose account of 
that memoraMe event forms a beautiful piece of historical painting. 

\SnUtm, of Uothwel.haugh was the person who committed 
this "art aVous action. He had been condemned to death soon 
after the battle o. Langside. as we have already rri tod, and .owed 



r impre*!,, on hi,,, than the bcne.it he had re- 
ceived. an ron, that moment he vowed to be r.venfed of ihe ie- 
tent Party r;..'e string, hened and inflamed ins private resent- 
ment. HisYinsmeo, the Hamilton, ,,,,l,,uded the enterprise. 
The nrixims of that aire justilied the most desperate course be 
couldTuke to {,,' i,7veW^ce. He followed tl.e re.it for some 
time and watched for an opportunity to strike the blow. H 
ISvedC at last, to wait till his enemy should arrive at LinltSiao, 



CADYOW CASTLE. 585 

through which he was to pass, in hi* way from Stirling to Edin- 
burgh. He took his stand in a wooden ^.iliory, which had a win- 
dow to war Is the street ; spread a feather-bed on the floor, tu Inn 
der the n rise of his feet from being heard ; him,; up a Mack clot) 
behind him, that his shadow might not be observed from without ; 
and, afctr all thi preparation, culnruy expected the regent's ap- 
proach, who ha.' lodged, during the ni-jbt, in a house not far dis- 
tant. Some in .milli-t information of the danger, win. h threaten- 
ed him, hail ber.-n cnnveved to ihe regent, an I he paid o much re- 
g.ird to it, that he resolved to return by the same gate through 
which he had entered, and to fetch a compass round the town. 
Hut, as the crowd ab u'. the gate was gieat, and he himself unac- 
quaiute I with fear, he proceeded directly along the street; and the 
thrim_' of people obliging him to move very slowly, gave the 
assassin time to take so true an aim, that he shot him, with a 
liiiglc i.ullet, through the lower part of his belly, and killed the 
horse of a geuilemtn, who rode o<. hi* other side. His followers 
iustamlv endeavoured to bie.ik iuto the house, whence the ir-ow 
had come; but they found t'm <lonr strongly barricaded, an I, be- 
fore it could be forced o : xm. Hamilton had mounted a fleet horse, 
which stood ready for him at * b ick passage, and was ^ot far be- 
yond their reii-h. The regent died the same'night of his wouud." 
Uutuiy of Scotland, book v.] 

WHEN princely Hamilton's abode 

Ennobl'd C idyow's Gothic tow'rs, 
The song went round, the goblet flow'd. 

And revel sped the laughing hours. 

Then, thrilling to the harp's gay sound, 

So sweetly rung each vaulted wall, 
And echo'd light the dancer's bound, 

As mirth and music cheer'd the hall. 

But Cadyow's tow'rs, in ruins laid, 

And vaults, by ivy mantled o'er, 
Thrill to the music of the shade, 

Or echo Evan's hoarser roar. 

Yet still, of Cadyow's faded fame, 

You bid me tell a minstrel tale, 
And tune my harp, of Border frame, 

On the wild bauka of Evandale. 

For thou, from scenes of courtly pride, 
From pleasure's lighter scenes, canst turn, 

To draw oblivion's pail aside, 

And mark the loug forgotten urn. 

Then, noble maid ! at thy command. 
Again the crumbled halls shall rise ; 

Lo ! as on Evan's banks we suirid. 
The past returns the prese.it uies. 



586 CAPYOW CASTLE. 

Where \vitli the rock's wood-cover' d side 
Were blended late the ruins green. 

Rise turrets in fantastic pride, 

And feudal banners flaunt between : 

Where the rude torrent's brawling course 
Was shagg d with thorn and tangling sloe, 

The ashler buttress braves its force, 
And ramparts frown in battled row. 

'Tis night the shade of keep and spirt 
Obscurely dance on Evan's stream. 

And ti\ the wave the warder's fire 
Is chequering the moon-light beam. 

Fades slow their light ; the east is grey; 

The weary warder leaves his tow r; 
Steeds snort ; uncoupl'd stag-hounds bay, 

And inerry hunters quit the bow'r. 

The draw-bridgo falls they hurry out 
Clatters each plank and swinging chain, 

As, dashing o'er, the jovial route 

Urge the shy steed, and slack the rein. 

First of his troop, the Chief rode on : 
His shouting merry-men throng behind; 

The steed of princely Hamilton 

Was fleeter than the mountain wind. 

From the thick copse the roe-bucks bound, 
The startling red-deer scuds the plain ; 

For, the hoarse bugle's warrior sound 
Has rous'd their mountain haunts again. 

Through the huge oaks of Evandale, 

Whose Ijmbs a thousand years have worn, 

What sullen roar comes down the gale, 
And drowns the hunter's pealing horn? 

Mightiest of all the beasts of chace, 

That roam in woody Caledon, 
Crashing the forest in his race, 

The Mountain Bull comes thund'ring on. 

Fierce, on the hunters' quiver'd band, 
He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow, , 



fc CADYOW CASTLE. 587 

Spurns, -with black hoof and horn, the sand, 
And tosses high his mane ot' snow. 

Aim'd well, the chieftain's lance Las flown; 

Struggling in blood the savage lies ; 
His roar is sunk in hollow groan 

Sound, merry huntsmen ! sound the pryse !* 
"Tis noon against the knotted oak 

The hunters rest the idle spear ; 
Curls through the trees the slender smoke, 

Where yeomen dight the woodland cheer. 

Proudly the chieftain mark'd his clan, 
On greenwood lap all careless thrown, 

Yet miss'd his eye the boldest man, 
That bore the name of Hamilton. 

" Why fills not Bothwellhaugh his place, 
Still wont our weal and woe to share ? 

Why comes he not our sport to grace ? 
Why shares he not our hunter's fare ?** 

Stern Claud replied, with dark'ning face, 
(Grey Pasley's haughty lord was he) 

"At merry feast, or buxom chace, 
No more the warrrior shalt thou see. 

" Few suns have set. since Woodhouselee 
Saw Bothwellhaugh's bright goblets foam, 

When to his hearths, in social glee, 

The war-worn soldier turn'd him home. 

" There, wan from her maternal throes, 

His Marg'ret, beautiful and mild, 
Sate in her bow'r, a pallid rose, 

And peaceful nurs'd her new-born child. 

"0 change accurs'd ! past are those days: 
False Murray's ruthless spoilers came, 

And, for the hearth's domestic blaze. 
Ascends destruction's volum'd name. 

"What sheeted phantom wanders wild, 

Where mountain Eske through woodland flowi, 

Her arms enfold a shadowy child 
Oh, is it she, the pallid rose ? 

Pryte The note blown a: the death of the jame. 



588 CADYOW CASTLE. 

" The wilder' d trav'ller sees her plid 
And hears lier feeble voice with awe - 

' Revenge,' she cries, ' on Murray's pride ! 
And woe for injur'd Bothwellhaugh !' " 

He ceas'd and cries of rage and grief 
Burst mingling from the kindred band, 

And half arose the kindling Chief, 
And half unsheath'd his Arran brand. 

But who, o'er bush, o'er stream, and rock, 
Rides headlong, with resistless speed, 

Whose bloody poniard's frantic stroke 
Drives to the leap his jaded steed ; 

Whose cheek is pale, whose eye-balls glare, 
As one, some vision'd sight that saw, 

Whose hands are bloody, loose his hair? 
"Tis he ! 'tis he ! 'tis Bothwellhaugh ! 

From gory selle,* and reeling steed, 

Sprung the fierce horseman with a bound, 

And, reeking from the recent deed, 
He dash'd his carbine on the ground. 

Sternly he spoke " 'Tis sweet to hear, 
In good green- wood, the bugle blown ; 

But sweeter to Revenge's ear, 
To drink a tyrant's dying groan. 

" Your slaughter'd quarry proudly trode, 
At dawning morn, o'er dale and down, 

But prouder base-born Murray rode 

Through old Linlithgow's crowded town 

" From the wild Border's humbled side, 

In haughty triumph, marched he, 
While Knox relax'd his bigot pride. 

And smil'd, the trait'rous pomp to see. 

" But, can stern Pow'r, with all his vaunt, 
Or Pomp, with all her courtly glare, 

The settled heart of Vengeance daunt, 
Or change the purpose of Despair? 

ed by Spencer and other ancient 



CADTOW CASTLE. 589 

" With hackbut bent,* my secret stand 
Dark as the purpos'd deed, I chose, 

And mark'd, where, mingling in his band, 
Troop'd Scottish pikes and English bows. 

" Dark Morton, girt with many a spear, 

Murder's foul minion, led the van ; 
And clash' d their broad-swords in the rear, 

The wild Macfarlanes' pluided clan. 

" Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh, 

Obsequious at their Regent's rein, 
And haggard Lindesay's iron eye, 

That saw fair Mary weep in vain. 

" Mid pennon'd spears, a steely grove. 
Proud Murray's plumage floated high ; 

Scarce could his trampling charger move, 
So close the minions crowded nigh. 

" From the rais'd visor's shade, his eye, 
Dark-rolling, glanc'd the ranks along, 

And bis steel truncheon, wav'd on high, 
Seem'd marshalling the iron throng. 

" But yet his sadden'd brow confess'd 

A passing shade of doubt and awe ; 
Some fiend was whisp'ring in his breast, 

* Beware of injur'd Bothwellhaugh !* 

" The death-shot parts the charger springs- 
Wild rises tumult's startling roar ! 

And Murray's plumy helmet rings 
Rings on the ground, to rise no more. 

" What joy the raptur'd youth can feel, 

To hear her love the lov'd one tell, 
Or he, who broaches on his steel 

The wolf, by whom his infant fell ! 

" But dearer to my injur'd eye, 

To see in dust proud Murray roll ; 
And mine was ten times trebled joy 

To hear him groan his felon soul. 

" My Marg'ret's spectre glided near; 
With pride her bleeding victim saw ; 

* Hackbut ter.t Gun-cocked. 



590 THE GREY BROTHER. 

And shriek'd in his death-deifen'd ear,^ 
' Remember injur'd Bothwellhaugh !' 

"Then speed thce, noble Chatlerault ! 

Spread to the wind thy banner'd tree ! 
Each warrior bend his Clyde, dale bow ! 

Murray is fall'n, and Scotland free." 

Vaults ev'ry warrior to his steed ; 

Loud bugles join their wild acclaim 
" Murray is fall'n, and Scotland fieed ! 

Couch, Arran ! couch thy spear of flame V 
But, see ! the Minstrel vision fails 

The glimm'ring spears are seen no more ; 
The shouts of war die on the gales, 

Or sink in Evan's lonely roar. 
For the loud bugle, pealing high, 

The blackbird whistles down the vale, 
And sunk in ivied ruins lie 

The banner'd tow'rs of Evandale. 
For chiefs, intent on bloody deed, 

And Vengeance, shouting o'er the slain, 
Lo ! high-born Beauty rules the steed, 

Or graceful guides the silken rein. 
And long may Peace and Pleasure own 

The maids, who list the Minstrel's tale; 
Nor e'er a ruder guest be known 

On the fair banks of Evandale. 



THE GREY BROTHER. 

A FRAGMENT. 

CThe tradition, npon which tvis fragment is founded, rcgarifca 
house, upon the bir.my nf Gihnerto.i. near Linrade, in Mid 
Lothian. This bulletins, now called Gilmerton-Grange. was for- 
merly n;imed Burudale, from the ftilloiviiifc tragic adventure. n ' 

barony of Gilmertou belonged, of y re, to a gentleman, named 
Hero... who had one beautiful da.ighter Thi, young lady was 
seduced by the abbot of Newbottle, a richly endowed abbey, upon 
the banks of the South Ksk. now a seat of the marquis ot l,"thian. 
Heron cam.- to the kunwledtre of this circumstance, and learned, 
also, that the lovers carried ou their guilty intercourse by tb< 



THE GREY BROTHER. 591 

contrirance of the lady's nurse, who lived at this honse, of G'lmer- 
ton-Grange, or Burnaal. He formed a resolution of bloody ven- 
geance, undeterred by the svippost d sanctity of the clerical charac- 
ter, or by the monger claim* of natunl affe. !ion. Choosing, 
therefore, a dark and windy night- when the objects of his ven- 
geance were engaged in a stolen interview, he set tire to .1 stack 
of dried thorns, *ii i other combustibles, which he had caused to 
be piled against ti>e hou/w, ai.J reduced ;o a pile of glowing ashes 
the dwell. Mg, with all in inmates 

THe scene, with which the ballad opens, was suggested by the 
following curious passage, extracted from the lite of A-exauder 
Peden, one ot the \7'nderiu; an I persc iteil -tacher-* of the sect 
of Cameronians, .lurinx the reign of i har'.es II., an J his successor, 
James. " Afoul the same time he (PeJen) came to Andrew y,,i- 
mand's house, in the parUh of Alluway, in the shire of Avr, being 
to preach at iiii;;.t in his barn. After he came in, he halted a little, 
leaning upon a ch .ir-back. with his face covered ; when he lifted 
up I. is head, h s .id. There are i . this hou-e that 1 have no, one 
word of salvation unto .' lie halted a l.ttle i.gaiii saying, This is 
strange, tlia' the devil w\ 1 not go out, tltai we may begin our 
work!' Then there was a worn m we.it out, ill looked upuu al- 
mo-t a I her life, and to her living hour, t >r a witch, with many 
presumption, ul the same. It escaped me, in the friner passages, 
that John MuirheaJ (whom I have often m.-ntioned; t .Id oie. that 
when became troui Ireland to Galloway, lie was at f niiily-warship, 
and giving some notes upon the scri, i ure, ^vlien a very ill-looking 
man came, and s. ite Jowu wi hin the dour, at the back of the Ital- 
ian fpartitioi. of the cr.tta e:; immediate > lie halted, a-id said, 
'Theie i>. some unhappy bo ly just now come into this house. I 
charge hid t" go out, and nut t'<p my month I' The person went 
out, and hoi'?uiferf (went on), yet he jtu him neither come in nor 
go out" The Lift ant Pr.nttecirt uf Xr ^Ifjr, nifer Pe<fen, lot* 
Minuter of the tiupet at flew Glenluce, in Galiuway, part iL 



THE Pope he was saying the high, high mass, 

All on saint Peter's day, 
With the pow'r to him giv'n, by the saints inheav'n, 

To wash men's sins aivay. 

The Pope he was saying the blessed mass, 

And the people kneel'd around ; 
And from each man's soul his sins did pass, 

As he kiss' J the holy ground. 

And all, among the crowded throng, 

Was still, both limb and tongue. 
While through vaulted roof, and ables . loof, 

The holy accents rung. 

At the holiest word he quiver'd for fear, 

And faulter'd in the souud 
And, when he would the chalice rear, 

He dropp'd it on the ground. 



592 THE GREY BROTHER. 

" The breath of one, of evil deed, 

Pollutes our sacied day ; 
He has no portion in our creed, 

No part in what I say. 

" A being, whom no blessed word 

To ghostly peace can bring ; 
A wretch, at whose approach abhorr'd, 

.Recoils each holy thmg. 

" Up, up, unhappy ! haste, arise ! 

My adjuration i'ear ! 
I charge thee not to stop my voice, 

Nor longer tarry here !" 

Amid them all a Pilgrim kneel'd, 

In gown of sackcloth gray : 
Far journeying from his native field, 

He first saw Rome that day. 

For forty days and nights so drear, 

I ween, he had not spoke, 
And, save with bread and water clear, 

His fast he ne'er had broke. 

Amid the penitential flock, 

Seern'd none more bent to pray, 
But, when the Holy Father spoke, 

He rose, and went his way. 

Again unto his native land, 

His weary course he drew, 
To Lothian's fair and fertile strand, 

And Pentland's mountains blue. 

His unblest feet his native seat, 

Mid Eske's fair woods, regain ; 
Through woods more fair no stream more sweet 

Rolls to the eastern main. 

And Lords to meet the Pilgrim came, 

And vassals bent the knee ; 
For all mid Scotland's chiefs of fame, 

Was none more fam'd than he. 

And boldly for his country still, 
In battle he had stood, 



THE GREY BROTHER. 593 

Aye, e'en -when, on the banks of Till, 
Her noblest jujr'a iheir blood. 

Sweet are t!-e paths, O, passing sweet 1 

By Eske's fair streams that run, 
O'er airy steep, through copse vvood deep, 

Impervious to the sun. 

There the rapt poet's step may rove v 

And yield the muse the day ; 
There Beauty, led by timid Love, 

May shun the tell-tale ray ; 

from that fair dome, where suit is paid 

By blast of Lugie free, 
To Auchenuinn/'s hazel glade, 

And haunted Woodliouselee. 

Who knows not Melville's beechy grove, 

And Hoslin's rockj .,.e:i, 
Dalkeith, which all the virtues love, 

And classic Hawthorndan? 

Yet never a path, from day to day, 

The Pilgrim's footsteps range, 
Save but the solitary way 

To Burndale's ruined Grange. 

A woeful place was that, I ween, 

As sorrow could desire ; 
For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall, 

And the roof wa cath'd with h're. 

It fell upon a summer's eve, 

While, on Carnethy'f head, 
The last faint gleams of the sun's low beams 

Had streak 'd the ^i cy with red ; 

And the convent bell did vespers tell, 

Newbottle's oaks among, 
And mingled with the solemn knell 

Our Lady's evening song : 
The heavy knell, trc rlioir's feint swell. 

Came slowly down the v:nil, 
And on the Pilgrim's ear they fell, 

As his wonted path he did 'find. 



594 



THE GREY BROTHER. 



Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was, 

Nor ever rais'd his eye, 
Until he came to that dreary plate, 

Which did all in ruins lie. 

He gaz'd on the walls, so scath'd with fire. 

With many a bitter groan 
And there was aware of a Grey Friar, 

Resting him on a stone. 

" Now, Christ thee save !" said the Grey Brother 

" Some pilgrim them seem'st to be ;" 
"But in sore amaze did Lord Albert gaze, 

Nor answer again made he. 

" O come ye from east, or come ye from west, 

Or bring relicjues from over the sea, 
Or come ye from the shrine of Saint James the divine, 

Or Saint John of Beverley?" 

"I come not from the shrine of Saint James the divine, 

Nor bring reliques from over the sea ; 
I bring but a curse from our father, the Pope, 

Which for ever will cling to me." 
" Now, woeful Pilgrim, say not so i 

But kneel thee down by me, 
And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly sin. 

That absolved thou may'st be." 

" And who art thou, thou Grey Brother, 

That I should shrive to thee, 

When he, to whom are giv'n the keys of earth and 
heav'n, 

Has no pow'r to pardon me s " 

" O I am sent from a distant clime, 

Five thousand miles away, 
And all to absolve a foul, foul crime, 

Done Itere 'twixt night and day." 

The Pilgrim kneel' d him on the sand, 

And thus began Ids saye 
When on his neck an ice-cold hand 

Did that Grey Brother layc. 



THOMAS THE RHYMER 595 

THOMAS THE RHYMER. 

IN HIRES PARTS. 



fFiw personages are so renowned in tradition as Thomas of 
Erceldoune. known by the Kpp-llatioii of The R>iymer. It is 
agreed, on all haud*, that the residence, and probably the birth 
place, of this ancient bard, was Krcel.ioune. a village situate upon 
the Leadei, two miles above itsjuiicti 'n wiih th- Tweed. The 
rniiisot'au ancient tower arestill pointed out as the Rhymer's castle. 

Learmont ; and that the appellation ( The Rhymer was conferred 
on him in cot icquence ->f his poetical coinp-isitions. There remains, 
nevertheless, some doubt upon this subject. 

We are b-tier able to ascertain the perio I, at which Thomas of 
Erceldoune lived; being the Litter end of the thirteenth century. 
It cannot he doubted, that Thomas nl Erceldoune was a remarkable 
and important person iu hiS"Wii time, si ice very shortly after hi 
death, we find him celebrated JS a prophet, and as a poet Whether 
he himielf madi- any pretensions to the first of these characters, 
cr whether it was gratuitously conferr-d upon him by the credu- 
lity i-f posterity, it seems difficult to decide. The pupul ir tale 
bears, that Thomas was carried off. ;it an early age, t" the Fairy 
Land, where he acquired aU the knowledge wuieh made him 
afterwards so famous. Alter seven yars' residence he was per- 
mitted to return t the enrth, to enlighten and astonish his conn- 
try men, b\ his prophetic p wers, sti 1, however, remaining bound 
to return tn hi* royal mistress, when she shoul.l intimate her 
pleasure. Accordingly, while Thomas was maki -g merry with 
his friends, i-i the lower of Erceldoune, a person came running 'u, 
and told. w. :h marks of fear and astonishment, that a hart and 
band had left the neighbouring forest, a id were composedly and 
slowly p trading the street of the rill .ge. The prophet instantly 
arose, left his habitation, and followed the wonderful animals to 

The fol'owing ballad. i given frnm a copy, ohtaini"! from a lady, 
residing not far fro.,i Erreldoune. .-orrecte;! and enlarged by one in 
Mrs Brown's MSS To this old tale the author has ventured to 
add a Second Part, wmsisting of a kind of Cento, from the printed 
prophecies vulgarly ascribed to the Rhymer; and a Third Part, 
entirely mod-rn, founded upon the traditi >u of his having returned 
with the hart and hiiid, to the Laud of Faerie.] 

PART FIRST. 



TRUE .Thomas lay on Huntlie bank ; 

A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e ; 
And there he saw a ladye bright, 

Come riding down by the Eildon Tree. 

Her shirt was o' the grass-green silk, 
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne ; 



596 THOMAS THE RHYMER. 

At ilka tett of her horse's mane, 
Hang fifty siller bells and nine. 

True Thomas, he pull'd aff his cap, 

And louted low down to his knee, 
" All hail, thou mighty queen of heaven ! 

For thy peer on earth I never did see " 
" O no, O no, Thomas," she said ; 

"That name does not helang to me; 
I am but the queen of fair Eltland, 

That am hither come to visit thee. 

" Harp and carp, Thomas," she said ; 

" Harp and carp along with me; 
And if ye dare to kiss my lips, 

Sure of your bodie I will be." 

" Betide me weal, betide me woe, 

That v eird* shall never danton me." 
Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips, 

All underneath the Eildon Tree. 
" Now, ye maun go wi' me," she said ; 

" True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me ; 
And ye maun serve me seven years, 

Through weal or woe as may chance to be." 
She mounted on her milk-white steed ; 

She's ta'en true Thomas up behind ; 
And aye, whene'er her bridle rung, 

The steed flew swifter than the wind. 
O they rade on, and farther on ; 

The steed gaed swifter than the wind; 
Until they reach'd a desart wide, 

And living land was left behind. 

" Light down, light down, now, true Thomas, 

And lean your head upon my knee 
Abide, and rest a little space, 

And I will shew you ferlies three. 
" O see ye not yon narrow road, 

So thick beset with thorns and briers? 
That is the path of righteousness, 

Though after it but few enquires. 

That weird, $c. That destiny ihaU never frighten me. 



THOMAS THE RHYMER. 597 

" And see not ye that braid, braid road, 

That lies across that lily levcii? 
That is the path of wickedness, 

Though some call it the road to heaven. 

" And see not ye that bonny road, 
That winds about the fernie brae? 

That is the road to fair Eltiand, 

Where thou and 1 thi.s night maun ga. 

" But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue, 

\V hatever ye may hear or see 
For, if you speak word in Elflyn land, 

Ye'll ne'er get back to your' am countrie." 

they rade on, and farther on. 

And they waded through rivers aboon the knee, 
And they saw neither sun nor moon, 
But they heard the roaring of the sea. 

It was mirk, mirk night, and there was nae starn 
light, 

And they waded through red blude to the knee , 
For a' the blude, that's shed on earth, 

Kins through the springs o' that countrie. 
Syne they came on to a garden green, 

And she pu'd an apple frae a tree 
" Take this for thy wages, true Thomas ; 

It will give thee the tongue that can never lie." 

" My tongue is mine ain," true Thomas said; 
" A gudely gift ye wad gie to me ! 

1 neither dougnt to buy nor sell, 
At fair or tryst, where I may be. 

' I dought neither speak to prince or peer, 

Nor ask of grace from fair ladye." 
" Now hold thy peace !" the ladye said, 

" P"or, as I say, so must it be." 

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth, 

And a pair of shoes of velvet green ; 
And, till seven years were gane and past 

True Thomas ou earth was never seen. 



598 THOMAS THE RHYMER. 

PART SECOND. 

LTEREI) PROM ANCIENT PROPHECIES. 

IT Corspatrick f Comes Patrick), earl of Mar.-h, but more commonly 
taking his tn le from his castle of Uui.bar, acted a noted part duriua 
the wars of Edward I. in Scotland. As Th. ma, of Erreldoun^is 
said to have delivered to him his f ,m us prophecy of king Alex- 
ander's death, the author has chosen to introduce him into the 
following ballad. All the prophetic verses are selected t'rom Hart's 
A^'ieiS 1 of the Rhymer's predictions primed at Edinburgh 

WHEN seven years were come and gane, 

The sun blink'd fair on pool and stream ; 
And Thomas lay on Huntlie bank, 

Like one awaken'd from a dream. 
He heard the trampling of a steed, 

He saw the Hash of armour flee, 
And he beheld a gallant knight, 

Come riding down by the Eildon Tree. 
He was a stalwart knight, and strong; 

Of giant make he 'p ear 'd to be : 
He stirr'd his horse, as he were wode, 

Wi" gilded spurs, of faushion free. 

Says " Well met, well met, true Thomas! 

borne uncouth ferlies shew to me." 
Says " Christ thee save, Corspatrick brave ! 

Thrice welcome, good Dunbar, to me ! 

" Light down, light down, Corspatrick brave, 

And I will shew thee curses three, 
Shall gar fair Scotland greet and grane, 

And change the green to the black livery. 

"A storm shall roar, this very hour, 
From Rosse's Hills to Solway sea," 

" Ye lied, ye lied, ye warlock hoar ! 

For the sun shines sweet on fauld and lea." 

He put his hand on the earlie's head ; 

He shew'd him a rock, beside the sea. 
Where a king lay stiff, beneath his steed,* 

And steei-dight iiobies wip'd their e'e. 

King Alexander; killed by a fill from his horse, near King. 



THOMAS THE RHYMEE. 599 

" The ncist curse lights on Branxton Hills : 

By Flodden's high and heathery side, 
Shall wave a banner, red as blude, 

And chieftains throng wi' meikle pride. 
" A Scottish king shall come full keen ; 

The ruddy lion beareth he : 
A feather'd arrow sharp, I ween, 

Shall make him wink and warre to see. 
" When he is bloody, and all to bledde, 

Thus to^his men he still shall say 
4 For God's sake, turn ye back again, 

^Aud give yon southern folk a fray! 
Why should I lose the right i mine? 

My doom is not to die this day.'* 
" Yet turn ye to the eastern hand, 

And woe and wonder ye sail see ; 
How forty thousand spearmen stanu, 

Where yon rank river meets the sea. 
" There shall the lion lose the gylte, 

And the libbards bear it clean away ; 
At Pinkyn Cleuch there shall be spilt 

Much gentil blude that day." 
" Enough, enough, of curse and ban ; 

Some blessing shew thou uow to me, 
Or, by the faith o' my bodie," Corspatrick said, 

" Ye shall rue the day ye e'er saw me i" 
' The first of blessings I shall thee shew, 

Is by a barn, that's called of bread ;f 
Where Saxon men shall tine the bow, 

And find their arrows lack the head. 
" Beside that hrigg, out-ower that burn, 

Where the water bickereth bright and sheen, 
Shall many a falling courser spurn, 

And knights shall die in battle keen. 

The onwtaintv which lony prevailed in Scotland concerning 
tbe fate of James I *., is well known. 

t One of Thomas'! rhymes, preserved by tradition, runs thum: 
" The burn of br iii 

Shall run Tow reid.- 

Bannock-burn is the bro,,k here meant. The S<-nt give the nam 
cl MMMOt, to a thick round cake of unleavened bread. 



600 THOMAS THE RHYMER. 

" Beside a headless cross of stone, 

The libbards there shall lose the gree : 
The raven shall come, the erne shall go, 

And drink the Saxon blood sae free. 
The cross of stone they shall not know, 

So thick the corses there shall be." 
" But tell me now," said brave Dunbai, 

11 True Thomas, tell now unto me, 
"What man shall rule the isle Britain, 

Ev'n from the north to the southern sea ? 
" A French queen shall bear the sou, 

Shall rule all Britain to the sea : 
He of the Bruce' s blude shall come, 

As near as in the ninth degree. 
" The waters -worship shall his race ; 

Likewise the waves of the farthest sea ; 
For they shall ride ower ocean wide, ^ 

With hempen bridles, and horse of tree. 



PART THIRD. 

MODKRN. 

"WHEN seven years more had come and gone, 

Was war through Scotland spread, 
And Ruberalaw show'd high Dunyon 

His beacon blazing red. 
Then all by bonny Coldingknow, 

Pitch' d palliouns took their room, 
And crested helms, and spears a rowe, 

Glanc'd gaily through the broom. 
The Leader, rolling to the Tweed, 

Resounds the ensenzie ;* 
They rous'd the deer from Caddenhead, 

To distant Torwoodlee. 
The feast was spread in Ercildoune, 

In Learmont*s high and ancient hall ; 

Entenzit. War-cry, or gathering word. 



THOMAS THE RHYMER. 601 

And there were knights of great renown, 
And ladies, laced in pall. 

Nor lack'd they, while they sat at dine, 

The music, nor the tale. 
Nor goblets of the blood-red wine, 

Nor mantling quaighs* of ale. 

True Thomas rose, with harp in hand, 

When as the feast was done ; 
(In rcinstrel strife, in Fairy Land, 

The eliin harp he won.) 

Hush'd were the throng, both limb and tongue, 

And harpers for envy pale; 
And armed lords lean'd on their swords, 

And hearken'd to the tale. 
In numbers high, the witching tala 

The prophet pour'd along ; 
No after bard might e'er avail 

Those numbers to prolong. 

Yet fragments of the lofty strain 

Float down the tide of years, 
As, buoyant on the stormy main, 

A parted wreck appears. 

He sung King Arthur's table round : 

The warrior of the lake ; 
How courteous Gawaine met the wound, 

And bled for ladies' sake. 

Bui chief, in gentle Tristrem's praise, 

The notes melodious iwell ;( 
Was none excell'd in Arthur's days, 

The knight of Lionelle. 

For Marke, his cowardly uncle's right, 

A venom'd wound he bore ; 
When tierce Morholde he slew in fight, 

Upon the Irish shore. 

No art the poison might withstand j 
No med'cine could be found, 

* 9"" i 3>'- V^?* C..JM, composocl of .tare, hooped together 
t AlluJuig to rhomu the Khyiuer's cclebr^lrd roaaae* of Si> 
Trulrem. 

2c 



602 THOMAS THE RHYMES. 

Till lovely Isolde's lily hand 



ill lovely Isolde's lily ha 
Had prob'd the ranklin 



ig wound. 

With gentle hand and soothing tongue, 

She bore the leech's part ; 
And, while she o'er his sick-bed hung, 

He paid her with his heart. 

O fatal was the gift, I ween ! 

For, doom'd in evil tide, 
The maid must be rude Cornwall's queen. 

His cowardly uncle's bride. 

Their loves, their woes, the gifted bard 

In fairy tissue wove ; 
Where lords, and knights, and ladies bright, 

In gay confusion strove. 

The Garde Joyeuse, amid the tale, 
High rear'd its glittering head ; 

And Avalon's enchanted vale 
In all its wonders spread. 

Brengwain was there, and Segramore, 
And fiend-born Merlin's gramarye ; 

Of that fam'd wizard's mighty lore, 
O who could sing but he? 

Through many a maze the winning song 

In changeful passion led, 
Till bent at length the list'ning throng 

O'er Tristrem's dying bed. 

His ancient wounds their scars expand ; 

With agony his heart is wrung : 
O where is Isolde's lily hand, 

And where her soothing tongue ? 

She comes, she comes ! like flash of flame 

Can Overs' footsteps fly : 
She comes, she comes ! she only came 

To see her Tristrem die. 

She saw him die : her latest sigh 
Join'd 'n a kiss his parting breath: 

The gentlest pair that Britain bare 
United are in death. 



THOMAS THE RHYMER. 603 

There paus'd the harp ; its ling'ring sound, 

Died slowly on the ear ; 
The silent guests still bent around, 

For still they seem'd to hear. 
Then woe bruko torch in unrnwrs weak 

Nor ladies heav'd alone the sigh ; 
But, half ashom'd, the rugged cheek 

Did many a gauntlet dry. 

On Leader's stream, and Learmont's tow'r, 

The mists of evening close; 
In camp, in castle, or in bow'r, 

Each warrior sought repose. 
Lord Douglas, in his lofty tent, 

Dream 'd o'er the woeful tale ; 
When footsteps light, across the' bent, 

The warrior's ears assail. 

He starts, he wakes : " What, Richard, ho 

Arise, my page, arise ! 
What vent'rous wight, at dead of night, 

Dare step where Douglas lies !" 

Then forth they rushed : by Leader's tide 

A selcouth* sight they see 
A hart and hind pace side by side, 

As white as snow on Fairnalie. 
Beneath the moon, with gesture proud, 

They stately move and slow : 
Nor scare they at the gath'ring' crowd, 

Who marvel as they go. 

To Learmont's tow'r a message sped, 

As fast as page might run ; 
And Thomas started from his bed, 

And soon his clothes did on. 
First he woxe pale, and then woxe red 

Never a word be spake but three ; 
" My sand is run ; my thread is spun ; 

This sign regardeth me." 

The Elfin harp his neck around, 
In minstrel guise, he hung ; 



604 



THOMAS THE RHYMER, 



And on the wind, in doleful sound, 
Its dying accents rung. 

Then forth he went ; yet turn'd him oft 

To view his ancient hall ; 
On the grey tow'r, in lustre soft, 

The autumn moon-beams fall. 

And Leader's wave?, like silver sheen, 

Danc'd shimm'iing in the ray : 
In deep'ning mass, at distance seen, 

Broad Soltra s mountains lay. 

" Farewell, my father's ancient tow'r ! 

A long farewell," said he : 
" The scene of pleasure, pomp, or pow'r, 

Thou never more shalt be. 

" To Learmont's name no foot of earth 

Shall here again belong. 
And on thy hospitable hearth 

The hare shall leave her young. 

" Adieu ! Adieu !" again he cried, 

All as he turn'd him roun' 
" Farewell to Leader's silver tide ! 

Farewell to Ercildoune !" 

The hart and hind approach'd the place, 

As ling'ring yet he stood ; 
And there, before Lord Douglas' face, 

With them he cross'd the ilood. 

Lord Douglas leap'd on his berry-brown steed, 
And spurr'd him the Leader o'er ; 

But, though he rode with lightning speed, 
He never saw them more. 

Some aid to hill, and some to glen, 
Their wondrous course had been ; 

But ne'er in haunts of living men 
Again was Tnornas sceii. 



THK FIRE-KING. 605 

THE FIRE-KING. 

"The blessings of the evH Genii, which are curses, were upon 
lum - Eastern Jfefi. 

CThis ballad was written at the request of MR LEWIS, to be in. 
erted 1:1 lus ' Tales of W-nder." It is the third in i sei ies of four 
balla Is, on the subject nf Elementary Spirits. The storv is. how. 
ever, partlv historical : for it is recorded, that, during the stlturiM 
of ihf Latin kingdom nf Jerusalem, H kni/ht- tempi ir, ca led Saint- 
Alban, dee ttd to the Saracens, and defeate.l the Christians in 
"a"/ combats, . he wav n '"'lv routed and slain, in a conflict 
with King Baldwin, under the wall* of Jerusalem.] 

BOLD knights and fair dames, to my harp give an ear, 
Of love, and of war, and of wonder to hear ; 
And you haply may sigh, in the midst of your glee, 
At the tale of Count Albert, and fair Rosalie. 
O see you that castle, so strong and so high ? 
And see you that lady, the tear in her eye '-> 
And see you that palmer, from Palestine's land, 
The shell on his hat, and the staff in his hand ? 
" Now palmer, grey palmer, O tell unto me, 
What news bring you home from the Holy CountrLe? 
And how goes the warfare by Galilee's strand ? 
And how fare our nobles, the flow'r of the land? 
"O well goes the warfare by Galilee's wave, 
For Gilead, and Nablous, and Raniah we have ; 
And well fare our nobles by Mount Lebanon, 
For the Heathen have lost, and the Christians have 
won." 

Affair chain of sold 'mid her ringlets there hung; 
O'er the palmer's grey locks the fair chain has she 

Hung : 

" Oh palmer, grey palmer, this chain be thy fee, 
For the news thou hast brought from the Holy 

Countrie. 

" O palmer, good palmer, by Galilee's wave, 
O saw ye Count Albert, the gentle and brave ? 
When the Crescent went back, and the Red-cross 

rush'd on, 
O saw ye him foremost on Mount, Lebanon ?" 



" O lady, fair lady, the tree green it grows ; 
O lady, fair lady, the stream pure it Hows ; 
Your castle stands strong, and your hopes soar on high 
But lady, fair lady, all blossoms to die. 

"The green boughs they -wither, the thunderbolt falls, 
It leaves of your castle but levin-scorched walls ; 
The pure stream runs muddy ; the gay hope is gone ; 
Count Albert is pris'ner on Mount Lebanon." 
O she's ta'en a horse, should be fleet at her speed ; 
And she's ta'en a sword, should be sharp at her need ; 
And she has ta'en shipping for Palestine's laud, 
To ransom Count Albert from Soldaurie's hand. 
Small thought had Count Albert on fair Rosalie, 
Small thought .->n his faith, or his knighthood, had he ; 
A heathenish damsel his light heart had won, 
The Soldan's fair daughter of Mount Lebanon. 

"Oh Christian, brave Christian, my love vould'st 

thou be, 

Three things must thou do ere I hearken to thee : 
Our laws and our worship on thee shalt thou take; 
And this thou shalt first do for Zulema's sake. 
" And, next, in the cavern, where burns evermore 
The mystical flame which the Curdmans adore, 
Alone, and in silence, three nights shalt thou wake ; 
And this thou shalt next do for Zulema's sake. 
" And, last, thou shalt aid us with council and hand, 
To drive the Frank robber from Palestine's land ; 
For my lord and my love then Count Albert I'll take 
When all this is accomplish'd for Zulema's sake."- 

He has thrown by his helmet and crops-handled sword, 
Renouncing his knighthood, denying his Lord ; 
He has ta'en the green caftan, and turban put on, 
For the love of the maiden of fair Lebanon. 

And in the dread cavern, deep deep under ground, 
Which fifty steel gates and steel portals surround, 
He has watch'd until day-break, but sight saw he none, 
Save the flame burning bright on its altar of stone. 
Amaz'd was the princess, the soldan amaz'd, 
Sore murmur'd the priests as on Albert they gaz'd ; 



THE F1RB-KINQ. 607 

They search'd all his garments, and, under his weeds 
Iney found, and took from him, his rosary beads. 
Again in the cavern, deep deep under ground, 
He watch'd the lone night, while the winds whistled 

round ; 

Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh. 
Ihe flame burn d unmov'd,and nought else did he spy. 
Loud murmur'd the priests, and amaz'd was the king, 
While many dark spells of their witchcraft they sing 
They search d Albert's body, and, lo ! on his breast 
Was the sign of the Cross, by his father impress'd. 
The priests they erase it with care and with pain, 
And the recreant return 'd to the cavern again 

But, as he descended, a whisper there fe'l ' 

It was his good angel, who bade him farewell ! 
High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat 
And he turn'd him live steps, half resolv'd to retreat- 
But his heart it was hardened, his purpose was gone' 
Whence thought on the maiden of fair Lebanon. 

Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trod, 
VV hen the winds from the four points of heav'n were 

abroad ; 

They made each steel portal to rattle and ring, 
And, borne on the blast, came the dread Fire-King. 
Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh 
Ihe fire on the altar blaz'd bick'ring and high- 
In volcanic explosions the mountains proclaim' 
Ihe dreadful approach of the Monarch of Flame. 
Unmeasur'd in height, undistinguish'd in form 
His breath it was lightning, his voice it was storm 
1 ween the stout heart of Count Albert was tame 
When he saw in his terrors the Monarch of Flame. 

In his hand abroad falchion blue-glimmerd throueb. 

smoke, 
And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch h 

spoke : 
" With this brand shall thou conquer, thus lone and 

no more, 
Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore." 



608 IIIE FIRE-KING. 

The cloud-shrouded arm gives the weapon; and, see 
The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee : 
The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the fires, 
As, borne on his -whirlwind, the Phantom retires. 

Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynim among, 
Though his heart it was false, yet" his arm it was 

strong ; 
And the Red-cross wax'd faint, and the Crescent 

came on, 
From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon. 

From Lebanon's forests to Galilee's -wave, 

The sands of Samaar drank the blood of the brave ; 

Till the Knights of the Temple, and Knights of Saint 

John, 
With Salem's King Baldwin, against him came on. 

The 'war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied, 
The lances were-couch'd, and they clos'd on each 

side ; 

And horsemen and horses Count Albert o'erthrw, 
Till he pierc'd the thick tumult King Baldwin unto. 

Against the charm'd blade which Count Albert did 

wield 
The fence had been vain of the King's Red-cross 

shield ; 

But a Page thrust him forward the monarch before, 
And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore. 

So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low 
Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddle-bow ; 
And scarce had he bent to the Red-cross his head, 
" Bonne grace, notre Dame" he unwittingly said. 

Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was o'er, 
It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more ; 
But true men have said, that the lightning's red wing 
Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King. 

He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntletted hand ; 
He stretch'd, with one bufi'et, that Page on the strand ; 
As back from the stripling the broken casque roll'd, 
You might see the blue eyes, and the ringlets of gold. 



FREDERICK AND ALICE. 609 

Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare 

On those death-swimming eye-lolls, and blood-clotted 

hair; 

For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood. 
And dyed their long lances iu Saracen blood. 
The Saracens, Curdmans, and Ishmaelites yield 
To the scallop, the saltier, and crossletied shield; 
And the eagles were gorg'd with the infidel dead, 
From Bethsaida's fountains to Napr-'ali's head. 
The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain. 
Oh, who is yon Paynim lies stretch' d 'mid the slain? 
And who is yon Page lying cold at his knee? 
Oh, who but Count Albert and fair Rosalie. 
The Lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound, 
The Count he was left to the vulture and hound : 
Her soul to high mercy Our Iidy did bring ; 
.His went on the blast to the dread Fire-King. 

Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell, 
How the Red Cross it conquer' d, the Crescent it fell; 
And lords and gay ladies have sigh'd, 'mid their glee, 
At the tale of Count Albert and fair Rosalie. 



FREDERICK AND ALICE. 

[This tale is iniit ited, rather thiin tr.msLue'l, from a fragment 
introduced iu O..e;h t -'s Ci.m.li-.a vo.i Vi.l i Ui-lIt,'' where \t?s jung 
fcjr a member nt'd gang of banditti, to enga.-e t!i aUeiitiou of tlw 
Cunily, wliile his companions break iuto the castle.] 

FRED'RICK leaves the land of France, 

Homewards hastes his steps to measure; 
Careless casts the parting glance, 

On the scene of former pleasure ; 
Joying in his prancing steed, 

Keen to prove his untried blade, 
Hope s gay dreams the soldier lead 

Over mountain, moor, and glade. 

Helpless, ruin'd, left forlorn, 
Lovely Alice wept alone ; 
2c'2 



610 FREDERICK AND ALICE. 

Mourn 'd o'er love's fond contract torn, 
Hope, and peace, and honour flown. 

Mark her breast's convulsive throbs ! 

See, the tear of anguish flows i 
Mingling soon with bursting sobs, 

Loud the laugh of frenzy rose. 

Wild she curs' d, and wild she pray'd ; 

Sev'n long days and nights are o'er ; 
Death in pity brought his aid, 

As the village bell struck four. 

Far from her, and far from France, 
Faithless Fred' rick onward rides ; 

Marking, blithe, the morning's glanca 
Mantling o'er the mountain's sides. 

Heard ye not the boding sound, 
As the tongue of yonder tow'r 

Slowly, to the hills around, 

Told the fourth, the fated hour ? 

Starts the steed, and snuffs the air, 
Yet no cause of dread appears ; 

Bristles high the rider's hair, 

Struck with strange mysterious fears. 

Desp'rate, as his terrors rise, 
In the steed the spur he hides ; 

From himself in vain he flies ; 
Anxious, restless, on he rides. 

Sev'n long days, and sev'n long nights, 
Wild he wander' d, woe the while ! 

Ceaseless care, and causeless fright, 
Urge hib footsteps many a mile. 

Dark the sev'nth sad night descends ; 

Risers swell, and rain-streams pour ; 
While the deaf ning thunder lends 

All the terrors of its roar. 

Weary, wet, and spent with toil, 

Where his head shall Fred'rick hide? 

Where, but in yon ruined aisle, 
By the lightning's flash descried. 



FREDERICK AND ALICE. 611 

To the portal, dank and low, 

Past his steed the wand'rer bound ; 

Down a ruin'd staircase slow, 
Next his darkling way he wound. 

Long drear vaults before him lie ; 

Glimm'ring lights are seen to glide ! 
" Blessed Mary, hear my cry ! 

Deign a sinner's steps to guide !" 

Often lost their quiv'ring beam, 

Still the lights move slow before, 
Till they rest their ghastly gleam 

Right against an iron door. 

Thund'ring voices from within, 

Mix d with peals of laughter, rose; 
As they fell, a solemn strain 

Lent its wild and wondrous close ! 

'Midst the din, he seem'd to hear 

Voice of friends, by death remov'd; 

Well he knew that solemn air, 
'Twas the lay that Alice lov'd. 

Hark ! for now a solemn knell 

Four times on the still night broke ; 

Four times, at its deadeu'd swell, 
Echoes from the ruins spoke. 

As the lengthen'd clangours die, 

Slowly opes the iron door ! 
Straight a banquet met his eye, 

But a funeral's form it wore ! 
Coffins for the seats extend ; 

All with black the board was spread ; 
Girt by parent, brother, friend, 

Long si ,ice number'd with the dead ! 

Alice, in her ^rave-clothes bound, 

Ghastly smiling, points a seat ; 
All arose, with thund'ring sound; 

All th' expected stranger greet. 
High their meagre arms they wave, 

Wild their notes of welcome swell ; 



612 



THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 



' Welcome, traitor, to the grave ! 
Perjur'd, bid the light farewell ?" 



THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 

[This is a translation, or rather an imitation, of the I-nidi Jaaer 
of the German poet Burger. The tradition upon which it is found- 
ed bears, that formerly a Wildgi ave, or keeper of a royal torest, 
named Polketlburgh. was so much a .dieted to the pleasures of the 
chase, and otherwise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he 
y followed this unhallowed Amusement on the Sabbath, 
^ier day* consecrated to religious duly, hut accomnai.il 



people -idopted a superstition, founded proliably 011 Hie many 
ous uucouth soun.ls heard in the depth of a Germ .11 forest, 
ing the silence of the night They con. eived they still heard 
ory of the VVil^rave', Rounds} and the ivell-kl.ow,, cheer of 
te deceased hunter, the sounds of his horses' feet, and the rust- 
ling of the blanches before the game, the pack, and tne sportsmen, 
are also distinctly ducruuiualed ; but the phantoms, are rarely it 
ever, visible. J 

THE Wildgrave winds his bugle horn. 

To horsu, to horse ! halloo, halloo ! 
His fiery courser snuffs the morn, 

And thronging serfs their lord pursue. 
The eager pack, from couples freed, 

Dash thiough the bush, the brier, the brake; 
While answ'nng hound, and horn, and steed, 

The mountain echoes startling wake. 

The beams of God's own hallow'd day 
Had painted yonder spire with gold, 

And, calling sinful man to pray, 

Loud, long, and deep, the bell had toll'd : 

But still the Wildgrave onward rides ; 

Halloo, halloo ! and, hark again ! 
When, spuniug from opposing sides, 

Two Stranger Horsemen join the train. 

Who was each Stranger, left and right, 
Well may I guess, but dare not tell ; 

The right-hand steed was silver white, 
The left, the swarthy hue of hell. 



THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 613 

The right-hand horseman, young and fair, 

His smile was like the morn of May ; 
The left, from eye of tawny glare, 

Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray. 
He wav'd his huntsman's cap on high, 

Cried, " Welcome, welcome, noble lord! 
What sport on earth, or sea, or sky, 

To match the princely chase, afford?" 

"Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell," 
Cried the fair youth, with silver voice- 

" And for devotion's choral swell, 
Exchange the rude unhallow'd noise. 

" To-dav, th' ill-omen'd chase forbear, 

Yon bell yet summons to the fane ; 
To-day the Warning Spirit hear, 

To-morrow thou may'st mourn in vain." 
"Away, and sweep the glades along !" 

The Sable Hunter hoarse replies ; 
" To mutt'ring monks leave matin-song, 

And bells, and books, and mysteries." 

The Wildgrave spurr'd his ardent steed, 
^ And, launching forward with a bound, 
Who, for thy drowsy priestlike rede, 
Would leave the jovial horn and hound? 

" Hence, if our manly sport offend ! 

With pious fools go chant and pray : 
Well hast thou spoke, my dark-brow'd friend; 

Halloo, halloo ! and, hark away !" 

The Wildgrave spurr'd his courser light, 

O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill 
And on the left, and on the right, 

Each Stranger Horseman follow'd still. 
Up springs, from yonder tangl'd thorn, 

A stag more white than mountain snow 
And louder rung the Wildgrave's horn, 

' Hark forward, forward ! holla, ho P 
A heedless wretch has cross'd the way ; 

He gasp, the thund'ring hoofs below ; 



614 THE WILD UUNTSMEX 

But, live who can, or die who may, 
Still, " Forward, forward !" on they go. 

See, where yon simple fences meet, 

A field with autumn's blessings crown'd ; 

See, prostrate at the Wildgrave s feet, 
A husbandman, with toil embrowii'd : 

" mercy, mercy, noble lord ! 

Spare the poor's pittance," was his cry, 
" Earu'd by the sweat these brows have pour'd, 

In scorching hour of fierce July." 

Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads, 
The left still cheering to the prey ; 

Th' impetuous Earl no warning heeds 
But furious holds the onward way. 

" Away, thou hound ! so basely b'irn, 
Or dread the scourge's echoing blow !" 

Then loudly rung his bugle horn, 

" Hark forward, forward, holla, ho !" 

So said, so done : A single bound 

Clears the poor labourer's humble pale ; 

Wild follows man, and horse, and hound, 
Like dark December's stormy gale. 

And man, and horse, and hound, and horn, 
Destructive sweep the field along ; 

While, joying o'er the wasted corn, 

Fell Famine marks the madd'ning throng. 

Again up-rous'd, the tim'rous prey 

Scours moss, and moor, and holt, and hill 

Hard run, he feels his strength decay, 
And trusts for life his simple skill. 

Too dangerous solitude appear'd ; 

He seeks the shelter of the crowd, 
Amid the flock's domestic herd 

His harmless head he hopes to shroud. 

O'er moss, and moor, and holt, and hill, 
His track the steady blood-hounds trace ; 

O'er moss and moor, unwearied still, 
The furious Earl pursues the chase. 



THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 615 

Pull lowly did the herdsman fall ; 

" O spare, thou noble Baron, spare 
These herds, a widow's little all ; 

These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care." 

Earnest the right-hand Stranger pleads, 

The left still cheering to the prey ; 
The Earl nor pray'r nor pity heeds, 

But furious keeps the onward way. 

" Unmanner'd dog ! To stop my sport 
Vain were thy cant and beggar whine, 

Though human spirits, of thy sort, 

Were tenants of these carrion kine T' 

Again he winds his bugle horn, 

" Hark forward, forward, holla, ho P* 

And through the herd, in ruthless scorn 
He cheers his furious hounds to go. 

In heaps the throttled victims fall ; 

Down sinks their mangl'd herdsman near; 
The murd'rous cries the stag appal, 

Again he starts, new-nerv'd by fear. 

With blood besmear'd, and white with foam, ' 
While big the tears of anguish pour, 

He seeks, amid the forest's gloom, 
The humble hermit's hallow'd bow'r. 

But man, and horse, and horn, and hound, 

Fast rattling on his traces go ; 
The sacred chapel rung around 

With, " Hark away ! and, holla, ho !" 

All mild, amid the route profane, 
The holy hermit pour'd his pray'r ; 

" Forbear with blood God's house to' stain ; 
Revere his altar, and forbear ! 

The meanest brute has rights to plead, 

Which, wrong'd by cruelty, or pride, ' 
Draw vengeance on the ruthless head :- 

Be warn'd at length, and turn aside." 
Still the Fair Horseman anxious pleads ; 

The Black, wild whooping, points the'prey . 



616 THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 

Alas ! the Earl no warning heeds, 
But frantic keeps the forward way. 

" Holy or not, or right or wrong, 
Thy altar, and its rites, I spurn ; 

Not sainted martyrs' sacred song, 

Not God himself, shall make me turn!" 

He spurs his horse, he winds his horn, 
" Hark forward, forward, holla, ho !" 

But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne, 
The stag, the hut, the hermit, go. 

And horse, and man, and horn, and hound, 
And clamour of the chase, was gone ; 

For hoofs, and howls, and bugle sound, 
A deadly silence reign' d alone. 

Wild gaz'd the affrighted Earl around; 

He strove in vain to wake his horn; 
In vain to call ; for not a sound 

Could from his anxious lips be borne. 

He listens for his trusty hounds ; 

No distant baying reach'd his ears : 
His courser, rooted to the ground, 

The quick'ning spur unmindful bears. . 

Still dark and darker frown the shades, 
Dark, as the darkness of the grave ; 

And not a sound the still invades, 
Save what a distant tcrrent gave. 

High o'er the sinner's humbl'd head 
At "length the solemn silence broke ; 

And, from a cloud of swarthy red, 
The awful voice of thunder spoke. 

" Oppressor of creation fair ! 

Apostate Spirits' harden'd tool i 
Scorner of God ! Scourge of the poor ! 

The measure of thy cup is full. 

"Be chas'd for ever through the wood; 

For ever roam the affrighted wild ; 
And let thy fate instruct the proud, 

God's meanest creature is his child," 



THE WILD HUNTSMEN. 61? 

Tw*s hush'd : One flash, of sombre glare, 

With yellow ting'd the forests brown; 
Up rose the Wildgrave's bristling hair, 

And horror chill' d each nerve and bone. 
Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill; 

A rising v ind began to sing ; 
And louder, louder, louder still, 

Brought storm and tempest on its wing. 

Earth heard the call ; Her entrails rend : 
From yawning rifts, with many a yell. 

Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend 
The misbegotten dogs of hell. 

What ghastly Huntsman next arose, 
Well may I guess, but dare not tell ; 

His eye like midnight lightning glows, 
His steed the swarthy hue of hell. 

The Wildgrave flies o'er bush and thorn, 
With many a shriek of helpless woe ; 

Behind him hound, and horse, and horn, 
And, " Hark away, and holla, ho P* 

With wild despair's reverted eye, 

Close, close behind, he marks the throng, 

With bloody fangs, and eager cry ; 
111 frantic fear he scours along. 

Still, still shall last the dreadful chase, 

Till time itself shall have an end : 
By day, they scour earth's cavern'd space. 

At midnight's witching hour, asceud. 
This is the horn, and hound, and horse, 

That oft the lated peasant hears ; 
Appall'd, he si^-us the frequent cro^, 

when the wild din invades his ears. 

The wakeful priest oft drops a tear 
b or human pride, for human vroe, 

When, at his midnight m^ss. lie hears 
'ILu internal cry of, " Eciia, to !"' 



618 WAR sows. 

WAR SO IT d 



ROYAL EDINBURGH LIGHT DRAGOONS, 

WRITTEN DURING THE APPREHENSION Otf AN INVASION, 

To horse ! to horse ! the standard flies, 

The bugles sound the call; 
The Gallic navy stems the seas, 
The voice of Battle's on the breeze, 

Arouse ye, one and all ! 
From high Dunedin's tow'rs we come, 

A band of brothers true ; 
Our casques the ''sopard's spoils surround, 
With Scotland's hardy thistle croWd ; 

We boast the red and blue.* 
Though tamely crouch to Gallia's frown, 

Dull Holland's tardy train ; 
Their ravish'd toys though Romans mourn, 
Though gallant Switzers vainly spurn, 

And, foaming, gnaw the chain ; 

O ! had they mark'd th' avenging call 

Their brethren's murder gave, 
Disunion ne'er their ranks had mown, 
Nor patriot valour, desp'rate grown, 

Sought freedom in the grave ! 
Shall we, too, bend the stubborn head, 

In Freedom's temple born, 
Dress our pale cheek in timid smile, 
To hail a master in our isle, 

Or brook a victor's scorn? 

No ! though destruction o'er the land 

Come pouring as a flood, 
The sun, that sees our falling day, 
Shall mark our sabres' deadly sway, 

And set that night in blood. 

* The Royal Colours. 



THE NORMAN HORSE-SHOE. 619 

For gold let Gallia's legions fight, 

Or plunder's bloody gain ; 
Unbrib'd, unbought, our swords we draw, 
To guard our King, to fence our Lair, 

Nor shall their edge be vain. 

If ever breath of British gale 

Shall fan the tri-color, 
Or footstep of invader rr/Jfl, 
With rapine foul, and red -with blood, 

Pollute our happy shore, 

Then farewell home ! and farewell friends ! 

Adieu each tender tie ! 
Resolv'd, we mingle in the tide, 
Where charging squadrons furious ride, 

To conquer, or to die. 

To horse ! to horse ! the sabres gleam ; 

High sounds our bugle call ; 
Combin'd by honour's sacred tie, 
Our word is, Laws and Liberty! 

March forward, one and all ! 



THE NORMAN HORSE-SHOE. 




Aia - The War-song of the Men of Glamorgan 
I. 

RED glows the forge in Strie^uil's bounds, 
And hammers din, and anvil sounds, 
And armourers, with iron toil, 
Barb many a steed for battle's broil. 



620 THE NORMAN HORSE-SHOE. 

Foul fall the hand which bends the steel 
Around the courser's thundering heel, 
That e'er shall dint a sable wound 
On fair Glamorgan's velvet ground ! 

II. 

From Chepstow's tow'rs, ere dawn of morn, 
Was heard afar the bugle horn ; 
And forth, in banded pomp and pride, 
Stout Clare and fiery Neville ride. 
They swore, their banners broad should gleam, 
In crimson light, on Rymny's stream ; 
They vow'd, Caerphili's sod should feel 
The Norman charger's spurning heel. 

III. 

And sooth they swore the sun arose, 
And Rymny's wave with crimson glows; 
For Clare's red banner, floating wide, 
Roll'd down the stream to Severn's tide ! 
And sooth they vow'd the trampled green 
Show'd where hot Neville's charge had been : 
In every sable hoof-tramp stood 
A Norman horseman's curdling blood ! 

IV. 

Old Chepstow's brides may curse the toil, 
That arm'd stout Clare for Cambrian broil ; 
Their orphans long the art may rue, 
For Neville's war-horse forg'd the shoe. 
No more the stamp of armed steed 
Shall dint Glamorgan's velvet mead; 
Nor trace be there, in early springy 
Save of the Fairies' emerald ring. 



THE DYING BARD. 62] 

THE DYING BARD. 

adapted ; requesting, that it mi| 

An Daffydz Gangwen. 

I. 

DINAS EMLINN, lament ; for the moment is nigh 
When mute in the woodlands thine echoes shall die- 
JNo more by sweet Teivi Cadwallon shall rave 
And mix his wild notes with the wild dashing 'wave 



it. 



In spring and in autumn thy glories of shade 
Unhonour d shall flourish, unhonour'd shall fade- 
For soon shall be lifeless the eye and the tongue' 
hat view d them with rapture, with rapture that sung. 

ill. 

Thy sons, Dinas Emlinn, may march in their pride 
And chase the proud Saxon from Prestatyn's side- 
But where is the harp shall give life to their name? 
And where is the bard shall give heroes their fame? 

IV. 

And Oh, Dinas Emlinn ! thy daughters so fair 
Who heave the white bosom, and wave the dark hair 
What tuneful enthusiast shall worship their eye 
V\ hen half of their charms wiih Cadwallon shall die? 

v. 

Then adieu, silver Teivi ! I qu ; t thy lov'd scene 
Jo join the dim choir of the bards who have been 
With Lewarch, and Meilor, and Merlin the Old ' 
And sage Taliessin, high harping to hold. 

Vi. 

And adieu Dinas Emlinn ! still green be thy shades 
Lnconquer'd thy warriors, and matchless thy makk ' 
And thou, whose famt warblings my weakness can tell 
farewell, my lov'd Harp! my last treasure, fareweU ' 



622 THE MAID OF TOBO. 



THE MAID OF TORO. 

O, low shone the sun on the fair lake of Toro, 

And weak were the whispers that wav'd the dark 

wood, 
All as a fair maiden, bewilder'd in sorrow, 

Sorely sigh'd to the breezes, and wept to the flood. 
"O, saints ! from the mansions of bliss lowly bending; 

Sweet Virgin! who nearest the suppliant's cry; 
Now grant my petition, in anguish ascending, 

My Henry restore, or let Eleanor die !" 

All distant and faint were the sounds of the battle, 
With the breezes they rise, with the breezes they 

fail, 
Till the shout, and the groan, and the conflict's dread 

rattle, 
And the chase's wild clamour, came loading the 

gale. 
Breathless she gaz'd on the woodlands so dreary; 

Slowly approaching a warrior was seen ; 
Life's ebbing tide mark'd his footsteps so weary, 
Cleft was his helmet, and woe was his mien. 

" O, save thee, fair maid, for our armies are flying ! 

O, save thee, fair maid, for thy guardian is low ! 
Deadly cold on yon heath thy brave Henry is lying; 

And fast through the woodland approaches the 

foe." 
Scarce could he falter the tidings of sorrow, 

And scarce could she hear them, benumb'd with 

despair : 
And when the sun sunk on the sweet lake of Toro, 

For ever he set to the Brave, and the Fair. 



HELLYEIXYN. 



HELLVELLYN. 

[In the spring of 1805, a young gentleman of lalentt, and of a 
most amiable disposition, perished by losing his way on the moun- 
tain Hellvellyn. His remains w.-re not discovered till three months 
afterwards, when they werf found guarded by a faithful terrier- 
bitch, his constant attendant during frequent solitary rambles 
through the wilds of Cumberland and Westmoreland.] 

I CLIMB'D the dark brow of the mighty Hellvellyn, 
Lakes and mountains beneath me gleam'd misty 

and wide ; 

All was still, save, by fits -when tiie eagle was yell- 
ing, 

And starting around me the echoes replied. 
On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was 

bending, 

And Catchedicam its left verge was defending, 
One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending, 
When I mark'd the sad spot where the wand'rer 
had died. 

Dark green was that spot mid the brown mountain- 
heather, 

Where the Pilgrim of Nature lav stretch'd in decay, 
Like the corpse of an outcast abandon'd to weather, 

Till the mountain- winds wasted the tenantless clay. 
Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, 
For, faithful in death, his mute fav'rite attended, 
The much-lov'd remains of her master defended, 

And chas'd the hill-fox and the raven away. 

How long didst thou think that his silence was slum- 
ber ; 
When the wind wav'd his garment, how oft didst 

thou start ; 
How many long days and long weeks didst thou 

number, 

Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart? 
And, Oh! was it meet, that, no requiem read o'er 

him, 

No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him, 
And thou, little guardian, alone stretch'd before him, 
Unhonour'd the Pilgrim from life should depart ? 



624 HELLVKLLTN.- 

When a Prince to the fate of the Peasant has yielded, 
The tap'stry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall; 

With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded, 
And pages stand mute by the canopied pall : 

Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are 
gleaming; 

In the proudly-arch' d chapel the banners are beaming ; 

Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming, 
Lamenting a Chief of the Puople should fall. 

But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature, 

To lay down thy he? d like the meek mountain lamb ; 
When, wilder'd, he drops from some cliff huge in 

stature, 

And draws his last sob by the side of his dam. 
And more stately thy couch by this desart lake lying, 
Thy obsequies sung by the grey plover flying, 
With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying, 
In the arms of Hellvellyn and Catchedicam. 



THE END. 



BOOKS 

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HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION 
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importance than that of the Reformation in England. It signalized the 
overthrow, in one of its strongest holds, of the Romar, power, and gave an 
impulse to the human mind, the full results of which are even now but 
partly realized. Almost all freedom of inquiry all U mration in matters of 
religion, had its birth-hour then ; and without a familiar acquaintance with 
all its principal events, but little progress can be made in understanding 
the nature and ultimate tendencies of the revolution then effected. 

The History of Bishop BUKNET is one of the most celebrated and by far 
the most frequently quoted of any that has been written of this great event. 
Upon the original publication of the first volume, it was received in 
Great Britain with tho loudest and most extravagant encomiums. The 
author received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, and was request- 
ed by them to continue the work. In continuing it he had the assistance of 
the most learned and eminent divines of his time ; and he confesses his in- 
debtedness for important aid to LLOYD, TILLOTSON and STILLINQFI.EET, 
three of the greatest of England's Bishops. ' I know," says he, in his Pre- 
face to the second volume, " that nothing can more effectually recommend 
this work, than to say that it passed with their hearty approbation, after 
they had examined it with that care which their great zeal fur the cause con 
cerned in it, and their goodness to the author and freedom with him, obliged 
them to use." 

The present edition of this great work has been edited with laborious 
care by L)r. Nares, who professes to have corrected important errors into 
which the author fell, and to have made such improvements in the order of 
the work as will render it far more useful to the reader or historical student. 
Preliminary explanations, full and sufficient to the clear understanding of 
the author, are given, and marginal references are made throughout the 
book, so as greatly to facilitate and render accurate its consultation. The 
whole is published in four large octavo volumes of six hundred pages in 
each printed upon heavy paper in large and clear type. It contains por- 
traits of twenty-four of the most celebrated characters of the Reformation, 
and is issued in a very neat slyle. It will of course find a place in every 
theologian's library and will, by 110 means, we trust, be confined to that 
comparatively lirnitedsphere. 



D. Appleton Sf Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 3 

PALMER'S 
TREATISE ON THE CHURCH. 

A Treatise on the Church of Christ. Designed chiefly for the 
use of Students in Theology. By the Rev. William Palmer, 
M.A., of Worcester College, Oxford. Edited, with Notes, by 
the Right Rev. W. R. Whittingham, D.D., Bishop of the Pro- 
testant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Maryland. Two 
vols. 8vo., handsomely printed on fine paper. $5 00. 

"The treatise of Mr. Palmer is the best exposition and vindication of Church Principles 
that we have ever read ; excelling contemporaneous treatises in deplh of learning and soli- 
dity of judgment, as much as it excels older treatises on tlie like subjects, in adaptation to 
the wants and habits of the age. Of its influence in England, where it has passed through 
two editions, we have not ihe means to form an opinion ; but we believe that in this country 
it has already, even before its reprint, dime more to restore the sound tone of Catholic prin- 
ciples and feel ing than any other one work of the age. The author's learning and powers of 
eombinaiion and arrangement, great as they obviously are, are less remarkable than the sterl- 
ing good sense, the vigorous and solid judgment, which is every where manifest m the trea- 
tise, and confers on it its distinctive excellence. The style of the author is distinguished for 

reve'renlial; and always, so far as we remember, .sufficiently conciliatory. 

" To our clergy and intelligent laity, who desire to see the Church justly discriminated 
from Romanists on the one hand, and dissenting denominations on the other, we earnestly 
commend Palmer's Treatiseon the Church." AC Y. Churchman. 

PAROCHIAL SERMONS, 

BY JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, B.D., 

Fellow of the Oriel College and Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin's, 
Oxford. The six volumes of the London edition complete in 
two elegant 8vo. volumes of upwards of 600 pages each. $5 00. 
fr5~ Mr. Newman's Sermons have probably attained a higher character 
than any others ever published in this country. The following recom- 
mendatory letter (is one of the many) received by the publishers during 
their progress through the press. 

From the Bishop of North Carolina. 

Raleigh, Nov. 28, 1842. 

Your letter announcing your intention to republish the Parochial Sermons of the Rev. John 
Henry Newman, B.D., Oxfoid, has given me sincere pleasuie. In complying with your 
request for my opinion of them, I do not hesitate to say, after a constant use of them in my 
closet, and an observation of their effect upon some of my friends, for the last six years, that 
they aie among the very best praciical sermons in the English language; that while they are 
free from those extravagance* of opinion usually ascribed 10 the author of the 90th Tract, 
they assert in the strongest manner the true doctrines of the Reformation in England, and en- 
force with peculiar solemnity and effect that holiness of life, with the means thereto, so char- 
acteristic ofthe Fathers if that trying age. With high respect and esteem, your friend and 
ervant, L. S. IVES. 

HARE'S PAROCHIAL SERMONS. 

Sermons to a Country Congregation. By Augustus William 
Hare, A.M., late Fellow of New College, and Rector of Alton 
Barnes. One volume, royal 8vo. $2 25. 

" Any ne who can be pleased with delicacy of thought expressed in the most simple Ian 
guage ai.j one who can feel the charm of finding practical duties elucidated and enforced 
by apt and varied illu-!tration9--will be delighted with this volume, which presents us with the 
workings of a pious u c id highly gifted miud." Qt<ar. Review. 



D. Appleton $ Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 5 

CHURCHMAN'S LIBRARY. 

The volumes of this series are of a standard character and highly recom- 
mended by the Bishops emd Clergy of the Protestant Episcojjl Church. 



THE PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN; 

Or, Devout Penitent. By R. Sherlocke, D.D., with a Life of the Author, by 
the Right Rev. Bishop Wilson. One elegant volume. 16mo. 75 cents. 

THE CHURCHMAN'S COMPANION IN THE CLOSET; 

Or, a Complete Manual of Private Devotions. Collected from the -writings of 
Archbishop Laud, Bishop Andrewes, Bishop Ken, Dr. Hickes, Mr. Kettle- 
well, Mr. Spinckes, and other eminent old English Divines. With a Pre- 
face by Rsv. Mr. Spinckes. Edited by Francis E.Paget, M. A. One ele- 
gant volume, 16mo. $1 00. 

OF THE IMITATION OF CHRIST. 

Four books, by Thomas a Kempis, a new and complete edition, elegantly 
printed. 1 vol. 16mo. $1 00. 




Disce Mori, Learn to Die : a Religious Discourse, moving every Christian 
man to enter into a serious Remembrance of his End. By Christopher Sut- 
ton, D.D.. late Prebend of Westminster. 1 vol. 16mo., elegantly orna- 
mented. $1 00. 

SACRA PRIVATA : 

The Private Meditations, Devotions, and Prayers of the Right Rev. T. Wil- 
son, D.D., Lord Bishop of Soder and Man. First complete edition. 1 vol. 
royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented. $1 00. 

MEDITATIONS ON TH E SACRAM ENT. 

Godly Meditations upon the most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. By 
Christopher Sutton, D.D-, late Prebend of Westminster. 1 vol. royal 16mo., 
elegantly ornamented. $1 00. 

A DISCOURSE CONCERNING PRAYER 

And the frequenting Daily Public Prayer. By Symon Patrick, D.D., sometime 
Lord Bishop of Ely. Edited by Francis E. Paget, M.A., Chaplain to the 
Lord Bishop of Oxford. 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented. 75 cents. 



THOUGHTS IN PAST YEARS. 

1 collection of Poetry, chiefly Devotional. By the autlv 
ithedral." 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly printed. $1 2 

THE CHRISTMAS BELLS: 

Holy Tide, and other Poems. By the author of " ( 
lia," &c. 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented. *> 

These volumes will be followed by others of equal importance. 



A beautiful collection of Poetry, chiefly Devotional. By the author of "The 
Cathedral." 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly printed. $1 25. 



A Tale of Holy Tide, and other Poems. By the author of "Constance," 
"Virginia," <fcc. 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented. 75 cents. 



D. Appleton t Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 

Cabinet Edition of the Poets. 



COWPR'S COMPLETE POETICAL 
WORKS. 

The complet^roetical Works of William Cowper, Esq., including 
the Hymns and Translations from Mad. Guion, Milton, &c., and 
Adam, a Sacred Drama, from the Italian of Battista Andreini, 
with a Memoir of the Author, by the Rev. Henry Stebbing, A.M. 
Two elegantly printed volumes, 400 pages each, 16mo., with 
beautiful frontispieces. $1 75. 

This is the only complete American edition. 

Morality never found in genius a more devoted advocate than Cowper, nor 
has moral wisdom, in its plain and severe precepts, been ever more success- 
fully combined with the delicate spirit of poetry, than in bis works. He 
was endowed with all the powers which a poet could want who was to be the 
moralist of the world the reprover, but not the satirist, of men the teacher 
of simple truths, which were to be rendered gracious without endangering 
their simplicity. 

BURNS' COMPLETE POETICAL 
WORKS. 

The complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, with Explanatory 
and Glossarial Notes, and a Life of the Author, by James Cur- 
rie, M.D. 1 vol. 16mo. $1 25. 

This is the most complete edition which has been published, and contains 
the whole of the poetry comprised in the edition lately edited by Cunningham, 
as well as some additional pieces ; and such notes have been added as are cal- 
culated to illustrate the manners and customs of Scotland, so as to render the 
whole more intelligible to the English reader. 

" No poet, with the exception of Shakspeare, ever possessed the power of 
exciting- the most varied and discordant emotions with such rapid transitions." 
Sir W. Scott. 

MILTON'S COMPLETE POETICAL 
WORKS. 

The complete Poetical Works of John Milton, with Explanatory 
Notes and a Life of the Author, by the Rev. Henry Stebbing, 
A.M. Beautifully illustrated. 1 vol. 16mo. $125. 
The Latin and Italian Poems are included in this edition. 
Mr. Stebbing's notes will be found very useful in elucidating the learned 
allusions with which the text abounds, and they are also valuable for the 
correct appreciation with which the writer directs attention to the beau- 
ties of the author. 

SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS. 

The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. Containing Lay 
of the Last Minstrel, Marmion, Lady of the Lake, Don Rode- 
rick, Hokeby, Ballads, Lyrics, and Songs, with a Life of the 
Author. Uniform with Oowper, Burns, &c. 1 vol. 16mo $125. 

" Waker Scott is the most popuiur of all the poets of the present day, and de- 
servedly so He describes that which is most easily and generally understood 
with more vivacity anil effect than any other writer. His style H clear, flowing 
and transparent ; his sentiments, of which his style is an easy and natural me 
dium, are common to him with his readers." Haxlitt. 



10 D. Appleton $ Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 

GENERAL HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION 

In Europe, from the fall of the Roman Empire, to the French Revolution. 
By M. Guizot, Professor of History to the Kaculty des Lettres of Paris. 
Printed from the second English edition, with Occasional Notes, by C S. 
Henry, D.D., of New York. One handsome volume, 12mo. $1 UO. 
The third edition of this valuable we rk has just appeared, with numer- 



Blackstone asubject of such peculiar and unbounded praise ; a work close- 
ly condtri>ed, .ncludmg no'.hirig useless and omitting nothing essential 
written with grace, and conceived and arranged with consummate ability. 

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SOCIETY 

IN THE BARBAROUS AND CIVILIZED STATE. 
An Essay towards Discovering the Origin and Course of Human Improve- 

rnent. By W. Cooke Taylor, LL.D., &c., of Trinity College, Dublin. 

Uandsor .ely printed on fine paper. 2vols. 12mo $2 25. 

"The design of this work is to determine, from an examination of the 
various forms in which society has been found, what was the origin of 

vilization ; and under what circumstances those attributes of humanity 
which in one country become the foundation of social happiness, are in an- 
other perverted to the production of general misery.' 

CARLYLE ON HISTORY &, HEROES. 

On Heroes, Hero- Worship, and the Heroic in History. Six Lectures, re- 
ported with Emendations and Additions, by Thomas Carlyle. author of 
the French Revolution, Sartor Resartus, <tc. Elegantly printed in 1 
vol. 12mo. Second edition. $1 00. 

" And here we must close a work such as we have seldom seen the 
like of, and one which redeems the literature of our superficial and manu- 
ictunng period. It is one to purify our nature, expand our ideas, and ex- 
alt our souls. Let no library or book-room be without it ; the more it is 
studied the more it will be esteemed." Literary Gazette. 

SOUTHEY'S POETICAL WORKS. 

The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Southey, Esq., LL.D. The ten 
volume London edition in one elegant royal 8vo. volume, with a fine por- 
trait and vignette. $3 50. 

*.* This edition, which the author has arranged and revised with the 
same care as if it were intended for posthumous publication, includes many 
pieces which either have never before been collected, or have hitherto re- 
mained unpublished. 

SCHLEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY OF 
HISTORY. 

The Philosophy of History, in a course of Lectures delivered at Vienna, by 
Frederick von Schlegel, translated from the German, with a Memoir of 
the Author, by J. B'. Robertson. Handsomely printed on fine paper. 2 
vols. 12rno. $2 50. 

THE LIFE OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 

Edited by his son, John C. Hamilton. 2 vols. 8vo. $5 00. 
"We cordially recommend the perusal and diligent study of these vol- 
umes, exhibiting, as they do, much valuable matter relative to the Revo- 
lution, the establishment of the Federal Constitution, and other important 
events in the annals of our country." .Yew- York Review. 



12 D. Appleton $ Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 

HISTORY OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE^ 

Translated from the French of M. Laurent De LrArdechc, Mem. 
ber of the Institute of France. Illustrated with Five Hundred 
Spirited Plates, after designs by Horace Vernct, an4 twenty 
Original Portraits of the most distinguished Generals of France. 
2 vols. 8vo. $4 00. 
All the leading journals have spoken in the most unqualified 

praise of this work. The following is from the Boston Traveller : 

"Aa a chaste, condensed, faithful, and aceurale memoir of the Great Captain, it is worthy of 
much attention. The author has mainly drawn the necessary facts of his history from the letters, 
speeches, manifestoes, bulletins, and other state papers of Napoleon, and has given a considerable 
Dumber of these in his text. 

" The work is superior to the lone verbose productions of Scott and Bourrienne not in style 
alone, but in truth being written to please neither Charles X, nor the English ariitocracy but 

THE BOOK OF THE NAVY; 

Comprising a General History of the American Marine, and parti- 
cular Accounts of all the most Celebrated Naval Battles, from the 
Declaration of Independence to the present time, compiled from 
the best authorities. By John Frost, Professor of Belles Lettres 
in the High School of Philadelphia. With an Appendix, con- 
taining Naval Songs, Anecdotes, &/c. Embellished with nume- 
rous original Engravings and Portraits of distinguished Naval 
Commanders. Complete in one handsome volume, 8vo. $100. 

" This elegant volume is dedicated to the present Secretary of the Navy, and is altogether a very 
faithful and historical record. It comprises twenty-two chapters, detailing the prominent evenU 
cotuiected wit': ! ." naval history of i.lie American federal republic. To the narrative is subjoined 
an appendix , -, nty pages, including thirty-two very interesting characteristic anecdotes, nine, 
teen lyrical poems, and a minute chronological table of events in American Naval History. It it 
appropriately adorned with ste.'l engraved "portraits, numerous vignettes, and full page representa- 
tions of various conflicts. The Book of the Navy deserves, and will doubtless have, a very extend- 
ed circulation." National Intelligencer. 

INCIDENTS OF A WHALING VOYAGE. 

To which is added Observations on the Scenery, Manners, and 
Customs, and Missionary Stations of the Sandwich and Society 
Islands, accompanied by numerous plates. By Francis Allyn 
Olmsted. One handsome volume, 12mo. f 1 50. 
PICTORIAL VICAR OF WAKEFIELD. 

The Vicar of Wakefield. By Oliver Goldsmith. Elegantly illus- 
trated with nearly 200 Engravings, making a beautiful volume, 
octavo, of about 350 pages. $1 25. 

"We love to turn back over these rich old classics of our own language, and rejuvinate ourselves 
by the never-failing associations which a re-perusal always calls up. Let any one who has not 
read this immortal tale for fifteen or twenty years, try the experiment, and we will warrant, that he 
rise* up from the task the pleasure we should have said a happier and a better man." -Sav. Rep. 

PICTORIAL ROBINSON CRUSOE. 

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. By Daniel De 
Foe. With a Memoir of the Author, and an Essay on his 
Writings, illustrated with nearly 500 spirited Engravings, by 
the celebrated French artist, Grandville, forming one elegant 
volume, octavo, of 500 pages. $1 75. 

Was^thereever anything written by mere man that the reader wished longer, except Robinson 

,ol only the most charming of booki but 



Crusoe, Don Quixotic, and the Pilgrim's Progress?" F>r John, 
" How happy that this, the most moral of rom. 



the most instructive." A. Chalmers. 



D. Appleton $ Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 13 

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, MANUFACTURES AND MINES, 

Containing a clear exposition of their Principles and Practice. By Andrew 
Ure, M.D., F.R S., &c. &c. Illustrated with One Thousand Two Hundred 
and Forty-one Engravings on wood. Containing upwards of 1300 closely- 
printed pages, forming one very thick volume 8vo., strongly bound in 
sheep. $5 00. JET" The same work bound in two volumes. $5 50. 
In every pr.int of view a work like the present can but be regarded as a benefit done to theo- 
retical and practical science, to commerce and industry, and an important addition to a spe- 
cies of literature the exclusive production of the present century, and the present state of 
peace and civilization. Criticisms in favour of its intrinsic value to all classes of tlie commu- 
nity might lie produced, if space would permit, from upwards of three hundred of the leading 
journals in Europe and this country. 

" This useful and most excellent work, which has been issuing in Monthly Numbers, for 
some time past, is now completed. It is a publication of most derided and permanent value, 
one of* Inch no library should be destitute. It is tilled with information upon precisely those 
ubjei-ts with which every one should be familiar, upon the practical operations of the arts, 
the scientific principles and processes of mechanics, and the history of all improvements in 
every department of Science ir.d Industry. The author is a man of eminence and ability, and 
the woik enjoys the highest reputation in England, where it was first pubhshld. We trust 
it will be welcomed by the intelligent of every class of our citizens. It is neatly printed, and 
illustrated with upwards of twelve hundred engravings." N. Y. Tribune. 

HYDRAULICS AND MECHANICS. 

A Descriptive and Historical Account of Hydraulic and other Machines for 
Raising Water, including the Steam and Fire Engines, ancient and mod- 
ern ; with Observations on various subjects cot nected with the Mechanic 
Arts : including the Progressive Development of the Steam-Engine, 
Descriptions of every variety of Bellows, Piston, and Rotary Pumps, 
Fire Engines, Water Rams, Pressure Engines, Air Machines, Eolipiles, 
&,c. Remarks on Ancient Wells, Air Beds, Cog Wheels, Blowpipes, 
Bellows of various People, Magic Goblets, Steam Idols, and other Ma- 
chinery of Ancient Temples. To wruch are added Experiments on Blow- 
ing and Spouting Tubes, and other original Devices, Nature's modes and 
Machinery for Raising Water. Historical notices respecting Siphons, 
Fountains, Water Organs, Clopsydrae, Pipes, Valves, Cocks, &c. In five 
books. Illustrated by nearly Three Hundred Engravings. By Thomas 
E wbank. One handsomely printed volume of six hundred pages. $3 50. 

HODGE ON THE STEAM-ENGINE. 

The Steam-Engine, its Origin and Gradual Improvement, from the time of 
Hero to the present day, as adapted to Manufactures, Locomotion and 
Navigation. Illustrated with Forty-eight Plates in full detail, numerous 
Wood Cuts, <fcc. By Paul R. Hodge, C.E. 1 vol. folio of plates, and 
letter-press in 8vo. $10 00. 

LAFEVER'S MODERN ARCHITECTURE. 

Beauties of Modern Architecture . consisting of Forty-eight Plates of Ori- 
ginal Designs, with Plans, Elevations and Sections, also a Dictionary 
of Technical Terms ; the whole forming a complete Manual for the Prac 
tical Builder. By M. Lafever, Architect. 1 vol. large 8vo. half bound. 
$6 00. 

LAFEVER'S STAIR-CASE AND HAND-RAIL 
CONSTRUCTION. 

The Modem Practice of Stair-case and Hand-rail Construction, practically 
explained, in a series of Designs. By M. Lafever, Architect. With 
Plans and Elevations for Ornamental Villas. Fifteen Plates. 1 vol. 
large 8vo. $3 00. 

The works of Lafever are pronounced by practical men to be the most useful ever pub- 
lished. 

THE PRINCIPLES OF DIAGNOSIS. 

By Marshall Hall, M.D. F.R S., <fcc. Second Edition, with many improve- 
ments. By Dr. John A. Sweet. 1 vol. 8vo. $2 00. 



14 J). Appleton $ Co.'s Catalogue of Valuable Works. 

MINIATURE CLASSICAL LIBRARY. 

This unique Library will comprise the best works of the best 
authors in prose and poetry ; published in an elegant form, 
with a beautiful frontispiece, tastefully ornamented. The 
following are now ready : 

GOLDSMITH. ESSAYS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. By Oliver Gold- 
smith. 37} cents. , 

GOLDSMITH. THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD. By Oliver Goldsmith. 
37* cents. 

JOHNSON. THE HISTORY OF RASSELAS, PRINCE OF ABYSSINIA. 
A Tale. By Samuel Johnson, LL.D. 371 cents. 

COTTIN .ELIZABETH, OR, THE EXILES OF SIBERIA. By Madame 
Cottin. The extensive popularity of this little Tale is well known. 31} cts. 
TOKEN OF REMEMBRANCE. 
TOKEN OF AFFECTION. 
TOKEN OF FRIENDSHIP. 
TOKEN OF THE HEART. 
Each volume consists of appropriate Poetical extracts from the principal 

writers of the day. 31i each. 

PURE GOLD FROM THE RIVERS OF WISDOM. A collection 
of short extracts on religious subjects from the older writers, Bishop Hall, 
Sherlock, Barrow, Paley, Jeremy Taylor, <fec. 3U rents. 

ST. PIERR E. PAUL AND VIRGINIA. From the French of J. B. H 
De St. Pierre. 3U cents. 

H. MORE'S PRIVATE DEVOTIONS. Complete. 31 i cents. 
THE SEASONS By . lamps Thomson. 37$ cents. 
GEMS FROM AMERICAN POETS. 37* cents. 
CLARKE'S SCRIPTURE PROMISES. Complete. 371 cents. 
*** These volumes will be followed by others of attested merit. 



@J ? EM [LAM a. Their Position in 
Society, Character, and Responsibilities. By Mrs. Ellis, author of " The 
Women of England." Complete in one handsome volume, 12mo. 50 cts 



[? (EM iA K1[E) B Their relative Duties, Do 
mestic Influences and Social Obligations. By Mrs. Ellis, author ol 
" The Women of England," " The Daughters of England." In one 
handsome volume, 12mo. 50 cents. 



THE WsJOfflgJiO F EM^tLAMEIa Their Social Duties and 
Domestic Habits. By Mrs. Ellis. One handsome volume, 12mo. 50 cts. 



Sl!JJA'U"[JM<i By Isaac Taylor, author of "Natural 
History of Enthusiasm," &c.&c. Second edition. 1 vol. 12mo. $1 00. 

" In this volume the general principles of Education, as applicable to private families and 
to small 6chools, are staled and explained ; such methods of treatment, especially, being sug- 
gested as aie best suited to the circumstances of a country residence; at the sains time, hints 
are offered of a kind to be available under any circumstances for carrying on the culture of. 
(hose ol the intellectual faculties that are the earliest developed, and on the due expansion ol 
which the 6>rce and efficiency of the mature mind depend.'* 

" A very enlightened, just, and Christian view of a most important subject." American 
tiibliciil Repository , 



F 

By Francis Wayland, D.D. Second edition, 1 vol. 18mo. 



F AMQIFDOEEB ta?g a By 
Isaac Taylor, author of Natural History of Enthusiasm." Tnird edition. 
1 vol. 12mo. 87} cents. 

" One of the most learned and extraordinary works of modern times." 



NOV06 1989 



DATE DUE 




RIGD APR 13 



GAYLORD 



PRINTED IN U.S.A.