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The tale of friendship scarce was told,
To thee, perchance, this rambling strain 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 flagg’d, as oft will chance, No effort made to break its trance,
We could right pleasantly pursue
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 beam'd gay, And ladies tuned the lovely lay; And he was held a laggard soul, Who shunn'd to quaff the sparkling howl. Then he, whose absence we deplore, Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore, The longer miss'd, bewail the more;
'(Camp was a favourite dog of the Poet's, a bull-terrier of extraordinary sagacity. He is introduced in Raeburn's portrait of Sir Walter Scott, now at Dalkeith Palace.]
'[Colin Mackenzie, Esq. of Portmore.]
And thou, and I, and dear-loved R-,
grave discourse might intervene
[Sir William Rae, of St. Catharine's, Bart., subsequently Lord Advocate of Scotland, was a distinguished member of the volunteer corps to which Sir Walter Scott belonged; and he, the Poet, Mr. Skene, Mr. Mackenzie, and a few other friends, had formed themselves into a little semi-military club, the meetings of which were held at their family supper-tables in rotation.]
* [The gentleman whose name the Poet " might not say," will now, it is presumed, pardon its introduction. The late Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Bart., son of the author of the Life of Benttie, was another member of this volunteer corps and club.]
• Ser King Lear.
But soon their mood was changed;
Of something disarranged. Some clamour'd loud for armour lost; Some brawld and wrangled with the host; * By Becket's bones," cried one, " I fear, That some false Scot has stolen my spear !"Young Blount, Lord Marmion's second squire, Found his steed wet with sweat and mire; Although the rated horse-boy sware, Last night he dressd him sleek and fair. While chased 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 Marmion who the plight dare tell,
Nor wholly understood,
He knew Lord Marmion's mood.
And did his tale display
To cause such disarray.
Alias, “ Will o' the Wisp." This personage is a strolling demon, or esprit follet, who, once upon a time, got admittance into a monastery as a scullion, and played the monks many pranks. He was also a sort of Robin Goodfellow, and Jack o' Lanthern. It is in allusion to this mischievous demon that Mil. ton's clown speaks,
“ She was pinched, and pulled, she said,
And he by Friar's lanthern led." “ The History of Friar Rush" is of extreme rarity, and, for some time, even the existence of such a book was doubted, although it is expressly alluded to by Reginald Scot, in his “Discovery of Witchcraft.” I have perused a copy in the valuable library of my friend Mr. Heber; and I observe, from Mr. Beloe's “ Anecdotes of Literature,” that there is one in the excellent collection of the Marquis of Stafford.