Sidor som bilder

Thence winding down the northern way,
Before them at the close of day,
Old Gifford's towers and hamlet lay.'

No summons calls them to the tower,
To spend the hospitable hour.
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 bush and flagon trimly placed,

Lord Marmion drew his rein;
The village inn seem'd large, though rude;
Its cheerful fire and hearty food

Might well relieve his train.


'[The village of Gifford lies about four miles from Haddington; close to it is Yester House, the seat of the Marquis of Tweeddale, and a little farther up the stream, which descends from the hills of Lammermoor, are the remains of the old castle of the family.]

? The accommodations of a Scottish hostelrie, or inn, in the 16th century, may be collected from Dunbar's admirable tale of “ The Friars of Berwick." Simon Lawder, “the gay ostlier,” seems to have lived very comfortably; and his wife decorated her person with a scarlet kirtle, and a belt of silk and silver, and rings upon her fingers; and feasted her paramour with rabbits, capons, partridges, and Bourdeaux wine. At least, if the Scottish inns were not good, it was not for want of encouragement from the legislature; who, so early as the reign of James I., not only enacted, that in all horoughs and fairs there be hostellaries, having stables and chambers, and provision for man and horse, but by another statute, ordained that no man, travelling on horse.

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.

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,
And view'd around the blazing hearth.
His followers mix in noisy mirth;

or foot, should presume to lodge anywhere except in these hostellaries; and that no person, save innkeepers, should receive such travellers, under the penalty of forty shillings, for exercising such hospitality. But, in spite of these provident enactments, the Scottish hostels are but indifferent, and strangers continue to find reception in the houses of individuals.

1 James I. Parliament I. cap. 24; Parliament III. cap. 56.

Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide,
From ancient vessels ranged aside,
Full actively their host supplied.

IV. Theirs was the glee of martial breast, And laughter theirs at little jest ; And oft Lord Marmion deign'd to aid, And mingle in the mirth they made; For though, with men of high degree, The proudest of the proud was he, Yet, train'd 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 fires to Zembla's frost.

V. Resting upon his pilgrim staff,

Right opposite the Palmer stood ; His thin dark visage seen but half,

Half hidden by his hood. Still fix'd 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.

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.
All gazed at length in silence drear,
Unbroke, save when in comrade's ear
Some yeoman, wondering in his fear,

Thus whisper'd forth his mind :-
“ Saint Mary! saw'st thou e'cr such sight?
How pale his cheek, his eye how bright,
Whene'er the firebrand'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 quell'd their hearts, who saw The ever-varying fire-light show That figure stern and face of woe,

Now call?d upon a squire :“ Fitz-Eustace, know'st thou not some lay, To speed the lingering night away?

We slumber by the fire.”—

VIII. “ So please you," thus the youth rejoin'd, “ Our choicest' minstrel's left behind. Ill may we hope to please your ear, Accustom'd 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 lovelorn tune
More sweetly warbles to the moon.
Woe to the cause, whate'er it be,
Detains from us his melody,
Lavish'd on rocks, and billows stern,
Or duller monks of Lindisfarne.
Now must I venture, as I may,
To sing his favourite roundelay."


A mellow voice Fitz-Eustace had,
The air he chose was wild and sad;
Such have I heard, in Scottish land,
Rise from the busy harvest band,
When falls before the mountaineer,
On Lowland plains, the ripen'd ear.
Now one shrill voice the notes prolong,
Now a wild chorus swells the

Oft have I listen'd, and stood still,
As it came soften’d up the hill,
And deem'd it the lament of men
Who languish'd for their native glen;
And thought how sad would be such sound,
On Susquehanna's swampy ground,
Kentucky's wood-encumber'd brake,
Or wild Ontario's boundless lake,
Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain,
Recall'd fair Scotland's hills again!

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