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Answer'd the bard, of milder mood :
That kings would think withal, When peace and wealth their land has bless'd, 'Tis better to sit still at rest,
Than rise, perchance, to fall.”
And from the southern Redswire edge
And charger's shrilling neigh;
Various in shape, device, and hue,
Green, sanguine, purple, red, and blue,
O'er the pavilions flew.
Pitch'd deeply in a massive stone,
Which still in memory is shown, Yet bent beneath the standard's weight, Whene'er the western wind anroll’d, With toil, the huge and cumbrous fold,
And gave to view the dazzling field,
Where, in proud Scotland's royal shield, The ruddy lion ramp'd in gold.
Until within him burn'd his heart,
As on the battle-day;
When stooping on his prey.
Were but a vain essay;
In glorious battle-fray !"
When sated with the martial show
With gloomy splendour red;
The morning beams were shed,
And all the steep slope down,
Mine own romantic town!
Yonder the shores of Fife you saw;
And, broad between them rollid,
Like emeralds chased in gold.
As if to give his rapture vent,
And raised his bridal hand,
To fight for such a land !"
And tife, and kettle-drum,
Did up the mountain come:
And thus the lion spoke:-
Or chapel of St. Rocque.
When blither was their cheer,
* Seven culvering, so called, cast by one Borthwick.
+ Each of these feudal ensigns intimated the different rank of those entitled to display them.
Thrilling in Falkland woods the air,
When wrinkled news-page, thrice-conn'd o'er, In signal none his steed should spare,
Beguiles the dreary hour no more, But strive which foremost might repair
And darkling politician, crossid, To the downfall of the deer.
Inveighs against the lingering post,
And answering housewife sore complains
Of carrier's snow-impeded wains:
Well pleased, to seek our city home; Sit on her hilly throne;
For converse, and for books to change Her palace's imperial bowers,
The forest's melancholy range, Her castle, proof to hostile powers,
And welcome, with renew'd delight, Her stately halls and holy towers
The busy day and social night. Nor less,” he said, " I moan
Not here need my desponding rhyme To think what wo mischance may bring,
Lament the ravages of time, And how these merry bells may ring
As erst by Newark's riven towers, The death dirge of our gallant king;
And Ettrick stripp'd of forest bowers.* Or, with their larum, call
True,–Caledonia's queen is changed, The burghers forth to watch and ward,
Since, on her dusky summit ranged, 'Gainst southern sack and fires to guard
Within its steepy limits pent, Dun-Edin's leaguer'd wall.
By bulwark, line, and battlement, But not for my presaging thought,
And flanking towers, and laky flood, Dream conquest sure, or cheaply bought!
Guarded and garrison'd she stood, Lord Marmion, I say nay:
Denying entrance or resort,
Save at each tall embattled port;
Portcullis spiked with iron prong.
That long is gone,—but not so long, That England's dames must weep in bower, Since, early closed, and opening late, Her monks the death-mass sing;
Jealous revolved the studded gate, For never saw'st thou such a power
Whose task, from eve to morning tide, Led on by such a king.”
A wicket churlishly supplied. And now, down winding to the plain,
Stern then, and steel-girt was thy brow, The barriers of the camp they gain,
Dun-Edin! o, how alter'd now, And there they make a stay
When safe amid thy mountain court There stays the minstrel, till he fling
Thou sitost, like empress at her sport, His hand o’er every border string,
And, liberal, unconfined, and free, And fit his harp the pomp to sing
Flinging thy white arms to the sea, Of Scotland's ancient court and king,
For thy dark cloud with umber'd lower,
That hung o'er cliff, and lake, and tower,
Ten thousand lines of brighter day.
Not she, the championess of old,
In Spenser's magic tale enroll’d, -
She for the charmed spear renown'd,
Which forced each knight to kiss the ground,
Not she more changed, when placed at rest, WHEN dark December glooms the day,
What time she was Malbecco's guest,t And takes our autumn joys away;
She gave to flow her maiden vest; When short and scant the sunbeam throws, When from the corslet's grasp relieved, Upon the weary waste of snows,
Free to the sight her bosom heaved ; A cold and profitless regard,
Sweet was her blue eye's modest smile, Like patron on a needy bard;
Erst hidden by the aventayle ; When sylvan occupation's done,
And down her shoulders graceful rolla And o'er the chimney rests the gun,
Her locks profuse, of paly gold. And hang, in idle trophy, near,
They who whilome, in midnight fight, The game pouch, fishing-rod, and spear;
Had marvell’d at her matchless might, When wiry terrier, rough and grim,
No less her maiden charms approved, And greyhound, with his length of limb,
But looking liked, and liking loved. I And pointer, now employ'd no more,
The sight could jealous pangs beguile,
And charm Malbecco's charms awhile;
See Introduction to Canto II
+ See“ The Fairy Queen,” Book III., Canto IX. Since path is none, save that to bring
# “ For every one her liked, and every one her loved.” The needful water fom the spring;
Spenser, as above.
0! born, time's ravage to repair,
And make the 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,
The gentle poet live again ;
Thou, who canst give to lightest lay
An unpedantic moral gay,
Nor less the dullest theme bid fit
On wings of unexpected wit;
In letters, as in life, approved,
Example honour'd, 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, 0!
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 repitition, Heaven!
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 plann'd,
So shall he strive, in changeful hue,
Field, feast, and combat, to renew, For fiction's fair romantic range,
And loves, and arm, and harpers' glee,
And all the pomp of chivalry.
The train has left the hills of Braid; Than dull December's gloomy noon?
The barrier guard have open made The moonlight than the fog of frost ?
(So Lindesay bade) the palisade, And can we say, which cheats the most?
That closed the tented ground, But who shall teach my harp to gain
Their men the warders backward drew, A sound of the romantic strain,
And carried pikes as they rode through, Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere
Into its ample bound. Could win the royal Henry's ear,
Fast ran the Scottish warriors there, Famed Beauclerc callid, for that he loved
Upon the southern band to stare; The minstrel, and his lay approved ?
And envy with their wonder rose, Who shall these lingering notes redeem,
To see such well-appointed foes; Decaying on oblivion's stream;
Such length of shafts, such mighty bows, Such notes as from the Breton tongue
So huge, that many simply thought, Marie translated, Blondal sung ?
But for a vaunt such weapons wrought;
And little deem'd their force to feel
Let vassals follow where they lead,
But war's the borderers' game.
O'er mountain, moss, and moor;
Their booty was secure.
But when they saw the lord array'd
“ Hist, Ringan! seest thou there!
Beset a prize so fair!
Could make a kirtle rare."
Nor less did Marmion's skilful view Glance every line and squadron through ; And much he marvell’d 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, On Flemish steeds of bone and height,
With battle-axe and spear.
Each warlike feat to show;
On foeman's casque below.
For visor they wore none,
Like very silver shone.
Two-handed swords they wore,
With iron quilted well;
As feudal statutes tell.
A dagger-knife, and brand-
And march to foreign strand;
To till the fallow land.
More dreadful far his ire
And joy'd to hear it swell.
Like the loud slogan yell.
A various race of man;
To every varying clan;
On Marmion as he past;
And harden’d to the blast;
A broadsword of unwieldly length,
A studded targe they wore,
To that which England bore.
VI. Thus through the Scottish camp they pass'd, And reach'd the city gate at last,
Where all around, a wakeful guard,
Of jarring grindstone was applied.
Page, groom, and squires, with hurrying pace,
Described each new-come lord, Discuss'd his lineage, told his name, His following, and his warlike fame.-The lion led to lodging meet, Which high o'erlook'd 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; And when the appointed hour succeeds, The baron dons his peaceful weeds, And following Lindesay as he leads, The palace halls they gain.
For he had charged, that his array
The banquet and the song,
This feast outshone his banquets past;
Nor courted them in vain; For often, in the parting hour, Victorious love asserts his 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.
Through this mix'd crowd of glee and game,
His broider'd cap and plume.
His cloak, of crimson velvet piled, Trimm'd with the fur of martin wild; His vest of changeful satin sheen, The dazzled eye beguiled;
His gorgeous collar hung adown,
His trusty blade, Toledo right,
The monarch's form was middle size;
His short curl'd beard and hair.
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, That bound his breast in penance pain, In memory of his father slain. Even so 'twas strange how evermore, Soon as the passing pang was o'er, Forward he rush'd, 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 tighten'd rein, Scours doubly swift o'er hill and plain.