« FöregåendeFortsätt »
I deem'd such nooks the sweetest shade
The sun in all its round survey'd ;
And still I thought that shatter'd tower!
The mightiest work of human power;
And marvelld as the aged hind
With some strange tale bewitch'd my mind,
Of forayers, who, with headlong force,
Down from that strength had spurr'd their horse
Their southern rapine to renew,
Far in the distant Cheviots blue,
And, home returning, fill'd the hall
With revel, wassel-rout, and brawl.
Methought that still with trump and clang,
The gateway's broken arches rang;
Methought grim features, seam'd with scars,
Glared through the window's rusty bars,
And ever, by the winter hearth,
Old tales I heard of woe or mirth,
Of lovers' slights, 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 stretch'd at length upon the floor,
Again I fought each combat o'er,
Pebbles and shells, in order laid,
The mimic ranks of war display'd;
And onward still the Scottish Lion bore,
And still the scatter'd Southron fled before.
Still, with vain sondness, could I trace,
Anew, each kind familiar face,
That brighten'd at our evening fire!
From the thatch'd mansion's grey-hair'd Sire,
Wise without learning, plain and good,
And sprung of Scotland's gentler blood;
Whose eye, in age, quick, clear, and keen,
Show'd 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 paint
Alike the student and the saint;3
Alas! whose speech too ost 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, caress'd.
[Robert Scott of Sandyknows, the grandfather of the Poet.]
Upon revising the Poem, it seems proper to mention that the lines,
“Whose doom discording neighbours sought,
Content with equity unbought: have been unconsciously borrowed from a passage in Dryden's beautiful epistle to John Dryden of Chesterton. 1808. Nole to Second Edit.
[The reverend gentleman alluded to was Mr. John Martin, minister of Mertoun, in which parish Smailholm Tower is sitiated.]
For me, thus nurtured, dost thou ask The classic poet's well-conn'd task? Nay, Erskine, nay - On the wild hill Let the wild heath-bell flourish still; Cherish the tulip, prune the vine, But freely let the woodbine twine, And leave untrimm'd the eglantine: Nay, my friend, nay --Since ost thy praise Hath given fresh vigour to my lays; Since oft thy judgment could refine My flattend thought, or cumbrous line; Still kind, as is thy wont, attend, And in the minstrel spare the friend. Though wild as cloud, as stream, as gale, Flow forth, flow unrestrain'd, my Tale!
The livelong day Lord Marmion rode:
The mountain path the Palmer show'd
By glen and streamlet winded stiil,
Where stunted birches hid the rill.
They might not choose the lowland road,
For the Merse forayers were abroad,
Who, fired with hate and thirst of
Had scarcely fail'd to bar their way.
Oft on the trampling band, from crown
Of some tall cliff, the deer look'd down;
On wing 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 moon had long been pass'd before
They gained the height of Lammermoor;
*[See notes to “ The Bride of Lammermoor.” Waver.ey Novels, vols. xiii. and xiv.]